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Board of Directors and FCPA Oversight – An Internal Control Under SOX, Part II

In Part I of this two-part post regarding a Board of Director’s Role in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) oversight from the internal controls perspective, I reviewed how a Board might have independent liability for its failure to act as an appropriate internal control as required by Sarbanes...

The Origins of the FCPA: Lessons for Effective Compliance and Enforcement – Part Four

This is the fourth part of an occasional series. The first is available here , the second here and the third here. The entire paper will be published by Securities Regulation Law Journal early next year. The volunteer program The corporate payments issue and the SEC investigations and actions garnered...

Lessons from GSK in China – Internal Controls, Auditing and Monitoring

One of the great things about writing your own blog is that sometimes you can get going on a subject and just explore it. While I think I might sometimes get carried away when I delve into a topic, I certainly learn much while doing so. This week appears to be such a situation where in studying and researching...

TNG Premiers and Internal Controls for Gifts in a Best Practices Compliance Program

This week, 27 years ago, Star Trek – The Next Generation (TNG) made its television debut. Rarely has there a follow up to a beloved original series ( Star Trek – The Original Series (TOS) ) that is equally treasured by fans. They say that your favorite Star Trek is the one you grew up with...

The Horror of Dracula and Internal Controls in International Locations, Part I

This Friday we celebrate the second in the Hammer Films horror series, which was actually its first offering, based on Count Dracula, entitled “ Horror of Dracula ”. It starred the famous Hammer Films horror movie two-some of Peter Cushing as Professor Van Helsing and Christopher Lee as Count...

Steve Bartman and Internal Controls Outside the US, Part II

Today, we note that 11 years ago, Steve Bartman entered the Chicago Cubs Hall of Infamy. For every baseball fan, if there was ever a but for the grace of God, go thee moment the sad saga of Bartman is it. The Chicago Cubs, who at that point had not played in World Series appearance in 58 years were five...

The Mummy and Internal Controls in Locations Outside the US – Part III

Today we celebrate Hammer Film’s version of The Mummy . This was the first film that the Hammer studios made under a license agreement with Universal Pictures, the holder of the copyright of its classic monsters from the 1930s and 1940s. This version starred the duo of Peter Cushing and Christopher...

Carlton Fisk, The Homer and Oversight of a Profitable Subsidiary

Today we celebrate one of the great moments in World Series history. At approximately at 12:34 AM on this date in 1975, Carlton Fisk came to bat at the bottom of the 12 th , in Game 6 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds. He hit a pitch down the left field line. He stood...

Right to Retire or Termination: Remediation of Leadership to Foster Compliance

Many historians have long given 476 AD as the date of the fall of the Roman Empire. Further, it was from this date forward that Europe began its long slide into the abyss, which came to be known as the Dark Age. However, this view was challenged in 1971 by Peter Brown, with the publication of his seminal...

The Great Pumpkin and the Alternative Universe

For Halloween last year, I wrote a blog post where I derided Linus and his forlorn quest to have his pumpkin patch named the most sincere by the Great Pumpkin. In response I received this rather terse message from my colleague Doug Cornelius: Are you trying to say that the Great Pumpkin is not real...

Don’t Collapse in the Wind – Knowledge is Power

On November 7, 1940, high winds buffeted the Tacoma Narrows Bridge leading to its collapse. The first failure came at about 11 a.m., when concrete dropped from the road surface. Just minutes later, a 600-foot section of the bridge broke free. Subsequent investigations and testing revealed that when the...

Trial Lawyering and FCPA Compliance

As most readers of this blog know, I am a recovering trial lawyer. To this day, some of my best friends are still out there, still teeing it up as trial lawyers. They have an important place in our country’s legal system, including defending corporations, which was my primary client base in those...

Chamber of Commerce: Corporations Form the Cornerstone of FCPA Compliance

Recently one of the most unlikely sources for praise of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) came out to inform us all that corporations are the cornerstone of FCPA compliance and enforcement. You may be surprised to find out that it came from the US Chamber of Commerce. It did not come in the form...

Sherlock Holmes and Innovation in the Compliance Function, Part I – A Study In Scarlet

Today begins a week of double themed blog-posts. First I am back with an homage to Sherlock Holmes, for it was in the magazine Beeton’s Christmas Annual that the characters Sherlock Holmes and Watson were introduced to the world in 1887, in the short story A Study in Scarlet . The second theme...

Craig Biggio to the Hall of Fame and Your Compliance Team

For those of you who do not believe that global warming is upon us, let me assure you that it is real and unfortunately caused by humans. How do I know this for a certainty? It is because there was an event back in 2005 that caused Hell itself to freeze over. I am of course referring to the first and...

Welcome to COSO and the World of Internal Controls – Part I

I have intentionally avoided a Top Five or Top Ten prediction list for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement going forward from 2014 into 2015. However there is one area of FCPA enforcement, which I think underwent a sea change in 2014 and has significant implications for the Chief Compliance...

Victory or Death: William Barret Travis and the Obligations of a CCO

Today in 1836, Alamo commander William Barret Travis issued his famous ‘ Victory or Death ’ plea for reinforcements. It was short so I quote it in full: To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World : Fellow citizens & compatriots—I am besieged, by a thousand or...

Can You Spot the FCPA Risk?

This article was reprinted with permission from FCPA Professor A high-ranking government official encourages other governments to sign deals and change policies to the advantage of various companies. At the same time, those companies were among the many that gave to the high-ranking official’s...

Minnie Minoso Broke Barriers; Goodyear Pushes Compliance Forward

Yesterday we celebrated the hard-nosed playing style of Anthony Mason, who recently passed away. Today we honor a true pioneer in professional baseball, Minnie Minoso, or Mr. White Sox. Minoso was the first black Cuban to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) when he debuted for the Cleveland Indians in...

Responsibility, Accountability and the FCPA Institute in Houston

What is accountability in your compliance program? How does it relate to responsibility for a company to prevent, detect and remediate any issues that might arise under a Foreign Corrupt Practices (FCPA) compliance program? What if a company is so big that it cannot provide meaningful oversight of its...

Ingots of Gold & SEC FCPA Enforcement – Communication – Part IV

Today I want to use the Agatha Christie’s story Ingots of Gold as an introduction to some of the regular communications that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) representatives frequently provide in public forums, regarding their views on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement...

Compensation Incentives in a Best Practices Compliance Program

One of the areas that many companies have not paid as much attention to in their Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) anti-corruption compliance programs is compensation. However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have long made clear that they view incentives...

King Arthur Week, King Arthur and Leadership – Part I

I have been studying the legend of King Arthur and thought it would be good idea to have a week of blog posts around the legend of King Arthur, the Roundtable and his knights. Today I begin with King Arthur and some leadership lessons that might apply to a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), compliance practitioner...

Levi Strauss and Auditing of Third Parties

This week we celebrate innovation. On May 20, 1873, a patent to create work pants reinforced with metal rivets was granted. This marked the birth of one of the world’s most famous garments: the blue jeans. Jacob Davis, a tailor in Reno, Nevada, presented the idea to Levi Strauss in 1872 when he...

On the Oregon Trail: the BHP Enforcement Action and High-Risk Hospitality

Today we celebrate American exceptionalism. As noted in ‘This Date in History’, on this date in 1834 the first wagon train, made up of 1,000 settlers and 1,000 head of cattle, set off down the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri, on the Great Emigration. After leaving Independence, the...