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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Finance and Accounting

Ontario Introduces Bill 142, Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017: It’s much more than just liens!

On May 31, 2017, Ontario Attorney-General Yasir Naqvi introduced Bill 142, entitled “Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017”. The Bill follows upon a report commissioned by the Ontario government and prepared by Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel entitled “Striking the Balance: Expert Review of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act”. If enacted, the proposed legislation will introduce what is arguably the most sweeping set of changes that the Canadian construction industry has ever seen.

 

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Risk appetite in practice

From time to time, I am asked about the best risk management activity I have seen. Perhaps the best overall ERM was at SAP. I wouldn’t say it was perfect but it did include not only periodic reviews but the careful consideration of risk in every revenue transaction (including contracting) and development activity.

 

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Ontario’s proposed changes to employment and labour laws could still impact franchising

The Ontario government has responded with surprising speed to the Final Report from the Changing Workplaces Review (the Final Report) by introducing Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 on June 1, only eight days after the release of the Final Report on May 23, 2017. Bill 148 is intended to implement certain recommendations made in the Final Report. In a positive development for franchisors and franchisees, Bill 148 does not include measures to adopt the more drastic recommendations in the Final Report that were specifically directed at franchise systems.

 

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Canadian government suspends CASL private right of action

The Canadian federal government has announced that it has suspended the coming into force of the private right of action under Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL), originally scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2017.

 

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CASL’s soon-to-be-enacted private right of action brings risk of class proceedings

On July 1, 2017, the private right of action under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will come into force.

 

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Don’t outsmart yourself: AI and compliance

I’m a big fan of artificial intelligence. The older I get, the more I appreciate that real intelligence needs all the help it can get. Corporate ethics and compliance officers, however, need to pause before betting big on AI as a solution to all our needs.

 

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Plan administrators cannot “undo” negligent representation

It is well established from the case law that a pension plan administrator may be susceptible to legal claims where inaccurate or unclear information has been communicated to plan beneficiaries.

 

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The current state of risk oversight: Useful or useless?

All the surveys, including this one, report that executives do not believe risk management practices at their organization are making a significant contribution to the development and execution of their strategies.

 

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The risk of material errors in the quarterly financial statements

Audit Analytics has released some interesting statistics on financial restatements and SOX. According to them, in 2015 about 5.3% of companies assessed their internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) as ineffective. This is down from 5.8% in 2014 but otherwise the highest level since 2008. This is the key section of their report.

 

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Ontario’s first Cap and Trade Auction results

cap trade auction

Ontario held its first Cap and Trade Program Auction of Greenhouse Gas Allowances on March 22, 2017. The auction drew 47 qualified bidders. Of the total number, approximately half are members of the energy industry.

 

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When an acceptable level of risk is not acceptable

We are used to identifying a risk, analyzing the potential consequences and their likelihood, and then establishing a ‘risk level’. We evaluate whether the level of risk is acceptable or not, based on risk appetite, risk criteria, or the like. But is that sufficient?

 

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The sharing economy expands the tax base

The sharing economy has disrupted the traditional taxi, hospitality and other sectors, and is expanding the tax base available to governments and revenue agencies worldwide.

 

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Lawful access: The Privacy Commissioner reiterates its position

Patricia Kosseim, Senior General Counsel and Director General, Legal Services, Policy, Research and Technology Analysis for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, was asked, at the request of Commission’s counsel, to provide an overview of the legislation for protecting privacy in Canada and to answer questions about lawful access issues from a federal perspective.

 

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How to mess up your risk management program

Does your risk management activity ‘check the box’, or does it help the organization succeed by making more intelligent and informed decisions?

 

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Document discovery and native documents: Document production must be “usable”

The recent Alberta case of Bard v. Canadian Natural Resources provides a road map for compelling the production of native electronic documents in “usable” form.

 

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