The Integrity Center, Inc. "objective risk management services"
July 11, 2002
The New Face of Corporate Responsibility
In a 97-0 vote, the U.S. Senate voted
on 7/10/02 to approve an amendment
to an accounting oversight bill that
adopts new penalties for corporate
fraud and document shredding. The
measure doubles the Federal prison
terms and gives Federal protection
to company whistle-blowers. And,
this action is just the beginning of
what appears to be an onslaught of
new corporate responsibility legislation.
What this means to the average corporate
manager is that --- depending on what
legislation gets passed --- if your company
is sued in the future, you may NOT be
immune from being personally named in
the law suit. And, Federally-protected
whistle-blowers will now be sure to keep
the pot stirred.
In our field of risk management, that means
that you need to keep your eyes open for
new legislation that would make you
personally responsible for the acts of the
people you hire. In the future, you may
wish that you had thoroughly checked a
new person out, if hiring them can be shown
to be partly your responsibility.
Also, remember what we have been saying
for years --- the paperwork that you would
depend upon to defend your actions in case
of a suit must be legal. Otherwise, it will be
deemed inadmissible in court and therefore worthless
to your defense. That means: use licensed providers
who have the right to get you the information,
don't use stored data --- that violates Federal
law, and follow State and Federal law in the
handling of the information.