Monthly Archives: August 2017

The dog that didn’t bark

In a departure from normal practice, I comment upon an event unreported, as far as I can tell, in The Wall Street Journal.  For me, some things transcend politics.

Maybe I missed it.  Or maybe The Wall Street Journal didn’t see fit to print the leaked transcripts of President Trump’s post-inauguration phone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia.

What does it say that this story, blaring over the TV newswires, wasn’t printed?  Does it say something about some organizations placing the Nation’s security above their own circulation numbers?  Is that a control you can rely on?  Apparently not from everyone.

Even if the paper had or did print something on this, what does the leak of those transcripts say about information governance?  First, does the White House have adequate controls and culture in place?  Clearly not.  Maybe General Kelly can help with that.

But what about the person who signed an oath and nonetheless decided to leak these classified transcripts to the press, thinking little or nothing about the impact on future calls between world leaders?  What’s their understanding of duty?  Placing the Nation’s needs above those of party or self?

Hang ’em high.

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Filed under Access, Compliance, Controls, Culture, Duty, Employees, Governance, Government, Internal controls, Protect assets, Third parties

Catching up

I was working on another project, and could not do my postings as timely as I would like.  But here’s a bunch of news items I wanted to write about:

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Filed under Compliance, Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Lawyers, Oversight, Ownership, Privacy, Third parties, Uncategorized

VW Compliance Executive Pleads Guilty

“Ex-VW Official Admits Role in Emissions Cheating,” The Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2017 B3. A former VW “compliance executive” charged with conspiracy to defraud the US, wire fraud, and Clean Air Act violations pleads guilty.  He admits he knew about the software used to mislead US environmental regulators.  Faces sentencing in criminal case in December.

Hiding information from the government is not a good thing.  What was the culture that allowed this to happen?  Did people feel a need to do this to compete?  Too many car companies have been caught up in such scandals to have it be random.

The shareholders have paid (and are continuing to pay) for the mistakes of the employees of the company.  Who else from the company is going to go to jail,  or lose his/her job?  VW is facing costs in just the US of more than $25 billion and investigations elsewhere.  Does the “compliance executive” know of others who also knew?  Might he offer up some names before December?  People who bought VWs are going to want to recover damages from someone.

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Filed under Accuracy, Analytics, Board, Compliance, Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Culture, Culture, Data quality, Directors, Duty, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Oversight, Oversight, Value

Too many controls?

A key element of governance is determining who’s in charge.  And who’s responsible when something goes wrong.

“Fed Looks To Ease Curbs on Directors,” The Wall Street Journal, August 4, 2017 B10. “The Federal Reserve proposed scaling back the requirements it places on banks’ boards of directors….”  The Fed is concerned “it has been overloading boards with too many specific requirements….”

Have the Fed attempts at micromanagement resulted in directors taking their eyes off the ball?  Does the Fed take responsibility for over-management?  Is the Fed a fiduciary, with liability to the banks or their shareholders?

 

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Filed under Board, Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Directors, Duty, Governance, Government, Third parties

A study in corporate liability

You hire independent contractors to drive under your corporate banner, and pay you a portion of the fees they collect.  You buy cars  and lease them to the contractors to drive.  What could go wrong?  The cars catch on fire.

“Uber Knowingly Leased Unsafe Cars to Drivers,’ The Wall Street Journal, August 4, 2017 A1.  Apparently, the cars that were leased had been recalled, and not fixed.  Who knew what when?  Did Corporate in the US know before the fire?  Or is this the result of a business model or culture where working around rules is prized above complying with them?

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Filed under Board, Compliance, Compliance, Corporation, Culture, Culture, Duty, Employees, Governance, Oversight

Hire the bad guys

Someone breaches your security perimeter and hacks your product.  Relax, it was only a job interview.

“GM Hires Famed Jeep Hackers,” The Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2017 B5.  The people who that successfully hacked a moving Jeep have been hired by GM to advise on cybersecurity.

I guess it’s better to have them inside the tent rather than outside.  But it’s only a guess.

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Filed under Access, Controls, Internal controls, IT, Security, Third parties

VW may face fraud charges

VW is being investigated by the EU’s antifraud office since November 2015, in connection with loans based, in part, on VW’s green environmental reputation.  The emissions cheating scandal has cost $25 billion.  And counting.  May recommend that Germany charges two employees with fraud.  German authorities are in on the hunt, too.

“Volkswagen Faced With New Legal Woes,” The Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2017 B3.

Who knew what when, and who failed to disclose what they knew?  When it rains, it pours.

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Filed under Board, Compliance, Compliance, Corporation, Duty, Employees, Governance, Inform market, Inform shareholders, Managers, To report