Hot docs

You have to wonder how effective audits are when you hear that one way Bernie Madoff’s team avoided detection was by placing newly-printed documents in the refrigerator.  Otherwise, the auditors might have cottoned on to the fact that the documents were, in fact, hot off the presses, rather than generated in the ordinary course. Who’d have thunk that paper temperature was critical information.

“Madoff’s Cold Play Outwitted Auditor,” Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2013 C1

How do you discover wrong-doing?  What assumptions do you need to leave behind?  Knowing what you know now, how would you have done things differently?  Do you check the photocopy logs for the days before the audit? Ed Muskie’s campaign reportedly discovered a lot of late-night copying was going on.  Not until Watergate did they understand.

Yes, information governance/management is closely tied to compliance and risk.  But also to knowledge management.  How do you learn from the mistakes of others?  Easier than learning from your own?  Or just less painful?


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Filed under Business Case, Compliance, Controls, Governance, Knowledge Management, Risk

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