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Top D&O Compliance Issues

Top D&O Compliance IssuesIn a study completed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Justice Department (DOJ), the main components with regulation violations were exposed. Broken down into four main categories, the violations can be identified as fraud, corruption, cybercrime and social issues. As violations are an inherent part of any directors and officer’s concern, a proper Directors and Officers Liability Program can help to mitigate loss and reduce risk.

Fraud- This category encompasses not only lost assets, but also misrepresentation of company funds and financial statements, as well. Insider trading, false representations of product performance and breaches of fiduciary duty can also lead to investigations, according to Inside Counsel.

Corruption- The SEC and the DOJ have been strictly enforcing laws that seek to end bribery per the U.S. Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA). Established in the 2000s, the law states that foreign officials are prohibited from offering or accepting bribes and are penalized with significant fines if found in violation.

Cybercrime- As data breaches are becoming more and more common, regulators have shifted their attention to include cyber-crime. While this development is still in its infancy, companies are struggling to maintain adequate security systems to deter hackers. Since there are no precedents to follow, regulatory enforcement is working to develop an effective way to gauge and monitor these crimes. It is presumed that companies will be required to report cybercrimes to law officials in the recent future in an effort to form a record of criminal activity.

Social Issues- With outsourcing labor being a common solution to reduce operating costs, the issues regarding civility in nontraditional cultures is growing. For example, Inside Counsel reports that The Dodd Frank Act included a provision requiring companies to notify investors, through regular SEC reporting, whether certain minerals used in production originate from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition, anti-trafficking laws have been put in place that requires contractors and subcontractors to follow during foreign transactions. What’s more, in relation to poor manufacturing conditions, regulators are monitoring and enforcing disclosure agreements.

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