Category Archives: Theme Three: Compliance

What does it say?

“AstraZeneca Appoints Controversial Cancer Doctor to Head Research Unit,” The Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2019.  Doctor was accused in the past of not disclosing possible conflicts in articles he wrote.  He claims the failures to disclose were accidental.

How do you accidentally neglect to disclose a conflict?  Does the explanation offered (different rules in different journals) pass muster?  Or is this a case of, “When in doubt, disclose”?

And what does it say to others in the company who may also “accidentally” fail to disclose conflicts?  Seems to combine aspects of Governance (does your culture accept accidental non-disclosure of conflicts by higher-ups), and Information (information about conflicts is information that should be disclosed, as well as what evidence establishes an “accident”), and Compliance (how you address non-compliance with rules by the higher-ups).

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Filed under Accuracy, Theme One: Information, Theme Three: Compliance, Theme Two: Governance

More on forecasts

“The $9 Billion Upcharge: How Insurers Kept Extra Cash From Medicare,” The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2019.  Insurers’ estimates of cost of future prescriptions are always wrong, and, surprisingly, favor the insurers.  $9 billion worth.

See also https://infogovnuggets.com/2019/01/05/projections-as-information/, which deals with projections as information.

Wouldn’t you think the “system” would have controls to adjust for over-estimates?  Is the fact that such controls are not working, over time, indicate a failure of Governance? Or of Compliance? Estimates are information, but need to be weighted.  Are they in good faith?

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Filed under Theme One: Information, Theme Three: Compliance, Theme Two: Governance

Corporation not liable for misdeeds of employees

“Three Former Credit Suisse Bankers Arrested for Involvement in Mozambique Debt Deals,” The Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2019.  “The indictment alleges that the former employees worked to defeat the bank’s internal controls, acted out of a motive of personal profit and sought to hide these activities from the bank.”

Normally, an employer is liable for the acts of its employees.  But not here.  Governance (have the right controls, and enforce them) and Compliance (here’s a lesson in how to avoid FCPA liability).

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Filed under Theme Three: Compliance, Theme Two: Governance

TMI

“Popular Weather App Collects Too Much User Data, Security Experts Say,” The Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2019.  Weather App in the US, Canada, and third-world countries collects your location, your email address, and your phone’s device id; all this information is stored on severs in China. Also reports of forcing users to subscribe to other services, at a cost.  Doesn’t work on iPhones.

Are there limits on this, either laws limiting the collecting, storage, or processing of this data, or internal restrictions at the company gathering the data?  Or “surreptitiously” subscribing users to a service that they have to pay for?

Information, Governance, and Compliance;  a three-for.  There can be too much information.

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Filed under Theme One: Information, Theme Three: Compliance, Theme Two: Governance

Keeping secrets

“Congo Keeps Voters in the Dark About Election Results,” The Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2019.  Government blocks the internet while votes are being counted.

Certainly, a Governance issue, with incumbent government having the power (if not the right) to do this, and the government does have control of the process.  And this does involve Information, both as to the results of the vote and the public discussion of the process in the interim, but also aspects of collection of and access to information, and the role of technology in disseminating information.  And maybe Compliance, too, depending on whether the government is acting in accordance with the controlling documents or rules.

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Filed under Theme One: Information, Theme Three: Compliance, Theme Two: Governance

Projections as “information”

“Fracking’s Secret Problem—Oil Wells Aren’t Producing as Much as Forecast,” The Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2018.  Actual production from oil wells doesn’t measure up to what investors were told.

Two or three points here.  First, projections and forecasts are, in certain respects, “information.”  You use these to make a decision to buy or not to buy.  But, like opinions, they may be somewhat divorced from “truth.”  That’s both the use of Information, and weighting of its value.

But there are questions relating how does the rule maker (here, the government) set limits on the optimism of forecasts in the investment arena (Governance)?;  how do promoters go about complying with those limits (which is both Governance and Compliance)?; and how do investors factor in/out the optimism factor (which has aspects of Governance and both the use and the value of Information)?

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Filed under Theme One: Information, Theme Three: Compliance, Theme Two: Governance

Governing how other people handle information about you

Starting out the New Year with a story highlighting the three major aspects of this blog: the intersections between Governance, Compliance, and Information.

“Equifax Is Back in Washington’s Crosshairs,” The Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2019.  Congress planning new legislation for credit-reporting companies after the Equifax hack affecting nearly 150 million people.

Governance and Compliance are linked here, as the government is planning new laws/regulations to control how companies manage “their” information about you.  But also has aspects of Information, as the information at issue is information about you over which you have little control.

Will the government do a substantially better job than the existing legal remedies?  Will improvement be possible without addressing the underlying lack of effective privacy protections?

 

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Filed under Privacy, Theme One: Information, Theme Three: Compliance, Theme Two: Governance