Catching up

I’ve taken a bit of a break; one of the readers of this blog asked if I’d stopped writing it.  Not that there aren’t issues on governance, information, or (and) compliance that come up daily.

Is this blog of value?  Is it worth your time?  Let me know.  How can I improve this?  Let me know by posting a comment.

Some recent stories:

  1. “Subaru Probes if Fuel Data Was Fake,” The Wall Street Journal, December 21, 2017 B1.  Company investigating whether workers fudged the numbers on fuel economy.  Another black eye for the Japanese quality objectives.  Is there/was there a culture problem?  Or did management apply too much pressure?
  2. “Wells Fargo Earns New Ire From Bank’s Overseers,” The Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2018 B10.  Bank regulators marked Wells Fargo down because of its management, and as a result the bank will pay higher insurance and be subjected to higher regulatory scrutiny.  2017 wasn’t a good year for the bank.
  3. “Court to Review SEC Judges,” The Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2018 B10.  The Court accepted an appeal that will look at whether SEC’s judges are unconstitutional, having been selected by the HR Department.  Do government agencies need to comply with the US Constitution?  Can one be “governed” by someone who wasn’t properly appointed or supervised?  Is the common law writ of quo warranto still effective?
  4. “Parents’ Dilemma: When to Give the Children Smartphones,” The Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2018 A1.  Giving your child a smartphone also gives them access to a whole bunch of stuff you might wish they didn’t have so much access to.  Are you properly governing how much information your kids can see?  Do you also provide them a handgun (without bullets, of course)?  (The article talks about teaching your children to use cocaine, but in a balanced way). Not all information accessible by smartphone is of equal value, and different parties in the transaction value different information differently.

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Filed under Access, Accuracy, Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Culture, Data quality, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Government, Information, Internal controls, Oversight, Security, Third parties, Value

Who owns your email?

“Lawyer Presses Mueller on Emails,” The Wall Street Journal, December 18, 2017 A4.  Questions arise after a government agency (later identified as the GSA) turns over Presidential transition team emails to Mr. Mueller.

Who owns the emails of non-governmental employees who use storage provided by a government agency?  And must the Special Counsel file a subpoena before getting information from a third party?

Where is your company’s email stored? Who owns it?

If there’s anything in those emails, are they “fruit of the poisonous tree” as the Special Counsel did not get a warrant?

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Filed under Access, Controls, Corporation, Duty, Employees, Government, Information, Internal controls, Lawyers, Ownership, Third parties

Net Neutrality

Which is better?  Government regulation or market regulation?  I guess we’ll find out.

“FCC Reverses Rules on Net Access,” The Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2017 A1.  The move reverses the utility-based rules that were previously in place.

Were the rules neutral before, or are they neutral now?  Does the government control how we get our information, or do market forces?  How much does it matter?

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Filed under Access, Communications, Controls, Governance, Interconnections, IT, Oversight, Third parties

Keeping track

Your can keep track on paper, or have a machine do it.  Which is better for compliance?

“Electronic Logs to Rule the Road,” The Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2017 B3.  For many years, larger trucking companies have used electronic systems to monitor how many hours their drivers drive, and thus comply with various DOT regs.  Now smaller companies will have to follow suit.


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Filed under Accuracy, Collect, Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Duty, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Management, Oversight, Requirements, Third parties, To report, Value

Prosecution deferral

HSBC Set Free of Deferred-Prosecution Pact,” The Wall Street Journal, December 12, 2017 B10.  Five years later, HSBC has apparently cleaned up its act enough, and its independent monitor can now go home.

Independent monitors are an intrusive and expensive mechanism by which to avoid criminal conviction.  You pay a third party to watch to make sure you don’t do anything wrong going forward.  But they’re better than a criminal conviction.

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Who are your employees, anyway?

“Firm Settles Russia Probe,” The Wall Street Journal, December 12, 2017 A5.  Company working on US defense projects had Russian employees who lacked appropriate security clearances (and who stored some material on servers in Russia).

No fine reported; company to institute new security protocols and thereby resolve criminal complaint.

One would have thought someone would have gotten more than their hands slapped over this one.

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Filed under Access, Compliance, Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Duty, Governance, Government, Internal controls, Management, Oversight, Protect

Sending a message?

“Bank Fires Adviser on Conduct,” The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2017 B10. Morgan Stanley fires a former Congressman (Harold Ford, Jr.) who worked as a “senior adviser” after allegations of inappropriate conduct involving a woman.

The fired Congressman still works as a political analyst for MSNBC.

Does that send a message to the bank’s employees that you’re serious about your policies? What about MSNBC?

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Filed under Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Duty, Employees, Governance, Internal controls, Oversight, Policy