OECD’s New Guide on Due Diligence for Ethical Conduct

June 07, 2018 ABAC, Due Diligence, third-party compliance

Corporate compliance officers have another item for their bookshelf: the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct, published on May 31 after three years of consultation and work. The guidance itself is as useful as any other work in the field: available as a free download: 100 pages, and […]

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The corporate compliance community was jolted this month by news that Michael Cohen, long-time legal counsel and fixer for President Donald Trump, received millions of dollars from corporations after the 2016 election, supposedly for consulting services on a wide range of matters. That money — at least $4.4 million — […]

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Panasonic Avionics Corp., a U.S. subsidiary of Panasonic that makes in-flight entertainment systems, settled charges with U.S. regulators on April 30 that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for years in the 2000s. The case offers almost every lesson a compliance officer might want to discuss about anti-bribery programs. And Panasonic settled its charges with $280 million in penalties, a two-year deferred-prosecution agreement, and a compliance monitor. Clearly the lessons are worth learning.

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At the preliminary level, companies can rely on evidence supplied by the customer about beneficial owners and controllers. That is, the person opening the account can supply the documentation you need, and that can suffice provided that your firm “has no knowledge of facts that would reasonably call into question the reliability of such information.”

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Emerging technologies have a habit of sneaking up on corporate ethics and compliance functions, so anticipating their consequences is always a worthwhile pursuit. Today let’s turn our attention to one that already seems clichéd but is indeed an enormous issue: the Internet of Things.

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Boards give CCOs inadequate budgets; employees disregard training and policy manuals; business partners lie; audits fail to uncover misdeeds. Nobody likes those things, but they happen. The question for compliance officers is how to respond when those circumstances do happen. If anything, the high-profile cases seen more demonstrate how compliance officers should not respond to difficult circumstances.

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The United States has long been regarded as the world’s leader in anti-bribery anti-corruption (ABAC) enforcement. Now China has joined the ranks of countries who have followed U.S. lead by creating their own ABAC laws.

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On November 29, 2017 Department of Justice (DOJ) Deputy Director Rod Rosenstein moved to formally enshrine the FCPA Pilot Program, begun under President Obama, by incorporating it in the U.S. Attorney’s Manual (USAM) at Title 9-47.120, now called the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy (“the Policy”).  Now that the policy has moved from an experiment to a fixture of the U.S. enforcement landscape, here’s what companies need to know to use it to their advantage.

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Compliance professionals in France have new guidance on how to evaluate and monitor third parties for compliance with Sapin II, the country’s overhauled anti-corruption law. Now comes the challenge of hammering those guidance principles into a sturdy structure that works for your own organization.

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Coming in 2018: More Transparency, More Third-Party Risk

December 27, 2017 Beneficial Ownership

In mid-December EU lawmakers adopted amendments to the region’s 4th AML Directive that will bring more transparency and enforcement to the corporate world. The intention is noble: to crack down on money-laundering, tax evasion, and other corporate corruption, as put on display by release of the Panama Papers in 2016. Compliance officers, however, will have fresh challenges for disclosure, third-party governance, and enforcement risk.

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