Category Archives: Employees

Reliance

“U.S. Prosecutors to Weigh Criminal Case for McCabe,” The Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2018 A1. The DOJ Inspector General referred the case/matter of former FBI Deputy Director for criminal prosecution over his responses to investigators looking into leaks.

What does it say about the culture of an organization when two of its top officers, both of whom are lawyers, may have lied to federal investigators?  And what if that organization’s mission is the investigation of crimes?

How much do we rely on institutions and professionals to provide governance and to stand as examples of compliance?  Is that reliance justified?

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Filed under Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Culture, Duty, Employees, Governance, Government, Lawyers, Legal, Requirements

Porsche raid

“Porsche Executive is Arrested,” The Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2018 B6.

In continuing fallout from the VW emissions cheating scandal, a senior Porsche executive (head of engine development) was arrested by German police and several offices and factories were raided.  A member of the Porsche board is also under investigation.

Fooling the emissions tests was not a great idea.

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Filed under Board, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance (General), Corporation, Directors, Duty, Employees, Governance

Early warning

“SunTrust Sees Risk of Breach,” The Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2018 B3.  A SunTrust employee may have stolen information (names, addresses, account balances, and phone numbers) on 1.5 million customers.

The bank became aware of a problem in February, but only recently became aware that the (now-former) employee was trying to share the information outside the bank.

Good for the bank to have systems that notice the unusual activity and for the bank to have given relatively early notice.

 

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Filed under Communications, Controls, Corporation, Duty, Employees, Governance, Internal controls, Oversight, Privacy, Protect assets, To report

Going back to law school

“Comey’s Handling of Memos Is Investigated,” The Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2018 A1.

Apparently, the former head of the FBI (and a lawyer) considers memos he wrote in the course of his employment, about a meeting with his boss in his capacity as an employee, on his employer’s computers, to be personal documents, rather than government documents.  I don’t think he learned that at the University of Chicago’s Law School.

Forget, for the moment, whether these contained classified information, the leaking of which would be a crime a well as a violation of the duty of an employee.  He decided to transfer these memos to an outside party (a law professor!), so that they would be leaked to the press.  Another crime if classified information was involved.  But the law professor just became a member of a conspiracy involving the theft of government property.

But think about it from the employer’s point of view.  Didn’t Mr. Comey just convert an employer asset into a personal asset?  Allegedly, he created these contemporaneously as a business record.  Business records belong to the business.

I (another lawyer, mind you) take the view that everything an employee receives or creates in his or her role as an employee is the property of his/her employer.  How could a government employee decide to release them to the media in his/her role “‘as a private citizen.'”  Does this mean an employee of your company can decide on their own to broadcast your trade secrets, not as an employee, but as a private citizen?

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Filed under Compliance (General), Controls, Duty, Employees, Government, Information, Internal controls, Lawyers, Ownership

Catching up

I was out of town for a bit, and am now catching up  So this will deviate from the usual one-story, one-post format.  19 squibs.

“ISS Opposes Five Equifax Directors,” The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2018 B2.  A proxy advisor recommends against voting for members of the Board’s technology committee, who had responsibility for technology security.  Is that all that happens, they get fired?  157 millions accounts exposed and they get un-elected but not (yet) sued?  No claw-back of director’s fees?

“Facebook Data Dispute Embroils University of Cambridge,” The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2018 B4. Cambridge says Facebook approved of the University’s use of Facebook data.  Or your data, if you wish.

“Fired FBI No.2 McCabe Misled Probe, Report Says,” The Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2018 A1.  Misleading an internal investigation into leak to the newspaper is not good.

“Volkswagen Prepares to Replace CEO, The Wall Street Journal, April 11, 2018 B1.  CEO who help VW survive the emissions scandal gets replaced. A palace coup after the company spent $25 billion+ on the scandal.  Is this more price for VW to pay?  And let’s not forget the shareholders, who foot the bill.  See also “VW Picks Chief After Boardroom Coup,” The Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2018 B1.

“Blunder Hits Samsung Securities,” The Wall Street Journal, April 11, 2018 B13. An employee’s mistake leads to mistaken issuance of $105 billion in shares, more than 30 times the company’s existing issued shares.  Do you have the right controls in place?  Is this an information governance issue?

“Facebook Hearings Put Regulation In Spotlight,” The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2018 A1. Will the Facebook data leak/usage lead to new privacy regulation?

“Adviser Urges Shift On Board Of Equifax,” The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2018 B10.  Does the company’s failure to avoid a cyber attack mean the board has to go?  Maybe.

“China’s Censors Zero In on Apps,” The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2018 B4.  Chinese government extends control over a smartphone app that had crude jokes.  Now there’s enforcement of a policy, and a demonstration of what “governance” means.

“Zuckerberg Says Sorry for Harm Done,” The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2018 B4.  Classic crisis management strategy:  admit you’re wrong?

“Sensing Urgency, Facebook Bolsters User Protections,” The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2018 B5.  Locking the door after the horse bolted.

“Facebook Sets ‘Issue’ Ads Rule,” The Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2018 A1.  Does a background check on advertisers protect your privacy?

“YouTube Policies Stir Bitterness,” The Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2018 B1.  Following attack at YouTube HQ, taking a closer look at YouTube’s policies on filtering/restricting content.

“Facebook CEO: Lax Privacy a ‘Huge Mistake,'” The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2018 A1.  Not focusing on privacy protections a “huge mistake.”  Really?

“Police Want to Send AI Into the Street,” The Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2018 A3.  Can body cams be used to collect “Person of Interest”-level information, real time?

“WPP’s Sorrell Faces Probe,” The Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2018 B1.  CEO of advertising company under internal investigation for misusing company assets.  It’s really just a question of duty.

“GM Scraps a Standard in Sales Reporting,” The Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2018 B1.  You manage what you measure.  So, no longer reporting this statistic will reportedly make it easier to measure performance.  Huh?

“Oracle Defeats Google In Court,” The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2018 B1. Appeals court revives copyright infringement suit against Google.  $9 billion+ in damages alleged.

“Wedbush Accused Of Flawed Oversight,” The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2018 B12.  SEC charges company with failure to properly supervise an employee involved in “long-running ‘pump-and-dump’ scheme.”

 

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Filed under Accuracy, Board, Communications, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Culture, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Investor relations, Oversight, Oversight, Ownership, Ownership, Policy, Privacy, Protect information assets, Security, Third parties, Value

Ethics

When you need to hide relevant information from your clients, you are often doing something that’s not ethical.

“BofA to Pay Fine Over ‘Marking’ of Trades,” The Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2018 B10.  Bank hid the fact that it was routing its clients’ trades through high-speed trading firms.  Millions of times.  Apparently, the scheme was well known by bank employees, and was to hide the bank’s practices from major clients who would have objected.  And they did it anyway.  Cost: $42 million fine, and a loss of a lot of face.

You’d think a bank would have a policy or maybe even a culture against lying, cheating, or stealing.  Who’s getting fired?

 

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Filed under Compliance, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Culture, Duty, Employees, Governance, Management, Oversight, Policy, To report

It was nice being #2

“Nike No. 2 Executive Quits Amid Complaints,” The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2018 B1.  “Nike brand president and a potential successor to [CEO] leaves position after complaints about “inappropriate workplace behavior.”

Why am I harping on the numerous resignations and dismissals over allegations of sexual harassment and similar? Isn’t this blog supposed to be about information governance?

At the core of governance is what rules you have and what rules you enforce.  High-profile violations of the law or the Code of Conduct, by high-profile executives, catches a lot of splash in the headlines.  Are some aspects of the Code of Conduct more worthy of enforcement than others?  If the company chooses to penalize high flyers for some violations, but not for others, do you really have compliance?

Employees have a duty to obey the law and to follow company policy.  All employees.  All policies.  Even those pesky ones about information.  Or is the company willing to allow some employees to violate some policies sometimes?

What enforcement steps has your company taken of late for violations of law or policy?  Do you know?  Do the shareholders?

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Filed under Board, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Duty, Employees, Governance, Oversight, Oversight