Archive for 2012

Conflicts of interest monitoring

Most recently, we looked at auditing for COIs.  In this post, we examine what might be called auditing’s first cousin – monitoring, and particularly monitoring for COIs. Monitoring is a broadly used concept in the C&E world.  It can refer both to monitoring by business personnel (front-line monitoring – or what is […]

Auditing for Conflicts of Interest

Does your company’s C&E audit plan sufficiently address COIs?  Most companies presumably have some COI-related auditing, but far fewer deal with this important C&E area in a systematic way. As with other C&E-related areas, COI-directed audits tend to fall largely into a “substance” bucket and a “process” one. The former includes  (but is by […]

SMEs for COIs: should your organization have one?

Does your C&E program have a subject matter expert/point of contact for conflict of interests – the way that you are likely to have for  anti-corruption or competition law compliance? Not all programs need to have this sort of position, but those with relatively high COI risks should consider creating one.  So should […]

A world of anti-corruption law

And now a word about our publisher. Many of you have doubtless already heard of ethiXbase but for those who haven’t it is not only the publisher of the Conflict of Interest Blog but also of the FCPA Blog and of a database which contains an abundance of useful resources for compliance professionals dealing with global anti-corruption challenges. This […]

Conflicts of interest and industry culture

In the C&E world, culture most often refers to the culture of an organization.  In this connection, an earlier post discussed how permitting COI violations near the top of an organization can undermine the sense of “organizational justice” among employees generally – and thereby diminish the C&E program as a whole. […]

Political contributions, bribes – and a barrel of worms

A congressman from Texas once said, “Ethics is a barrel of worms,” which, according to this article, is “a pungent summing up of the problem of deciding who is ethical in politics.”  And when it comes to deciding when political contributions cross the line into bribery, the criminal law – […]

Bringing a conflict of interest to justice – at $35,000/hour

Controlling shareholders, because of their dominant share of ownership of a corporation, possess the power to direct its affairs.  As noted by Harvard Law Professor Victor Brudney:  “In the exercise of that power, controllers’ fiduciary obligation precludes their obtaining separate benefits for themselves.”  In an important decision handed down earlier this week, […]

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme”: more on Facebook

I was reminded of this famous saying of Mark Twain’s when reading the latest news about the now notorious Facebook IPO. A prior post described allegations that the lead underwriter,  Morgan Stanley, apparently shared information about Facebook’s flagging prospects with some, but not all, customers before the IPO — a claim […]

A world of risk

As is true with conflicts of interest, C&E risk assessment is the source of near endless interest to me. (No wonder I don’t get invited to parties!) The importance of risk assessment is obvious from the many cases where the failures to understand or sufficiently address risk have led to C&E catastrophes. But the […]

What is the opposite of a conflict of interest?

This is a fair – indeed, perhaps unavoidable – question for a blog on conflicts of interest to ask, and is related broadly to an earlier post about whether we worry too much about conflicts of interest, and also one about “reverse conflicts of interest.” It is not clear to me, […]