One of the enduring benefits of the corporate form is the treatment of corporations as separate “people,” distinct from their owners when questions of legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities arise. This separation extends not just to individual investors and shareholders, but in most circumstances to the corporate directors and officers who decide what their corporation does. Common law courts and federal and provincial corporation statutes define the exceptions – usually based on what are called “piercing the corporate veil” between the company and its controlling minds, or by deciding that those controllers run the corporation as an “alter ego” rather than as a distinct legal person. In recent months, two cases in Ontario have given courts the opportunities to review and reaffirm these traditional approaches.Read More
Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog
By Ryan J. Black, Janine MacNeil, Sharon E. Groom, Lyndsay A. Wasser, Rohan HillRead More
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The collective experience of 54 environmental, health, and safety (EHS) audit directors and managers from some of the world’s leading multinational companies provides valuable insights for companies of all sizes and audit-maturity levels in guiding EHS auditing activities. With the goal of promoting continuous improvement in EHS auditing effectiveness and practices, AECOM’s International Audit Practicef Consortium (IAPC) has published its Seventh Biennial Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Practices Survey Report--a 123-page report presenting the results, analysis, and lessons learned from its membership in critical EHS areas of: Audit Scope versus Depth; Auditor Independence, Competency, and Training; Compliance Point versus Control Failures; Audit Program Metrics and Evaluations; and Stakeholder Value.Read More
STP Launches New Online Gap Analysis Tool
Auditors and Quality Managers across all manufacturing and service industries use ISO and OHSAS standards to put their Environmental and Health and Safety Management Systems into practice. These standards help implement effective and efficient EHS requirements, or VPP Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. In this blog I review and summarize the two standards, their aims and obligations.
Knowing CASL’s exemptions is key to learning how it applies to your business.
New anti-spam regulations that go into effect July 1 will do more than prevent spamming within Canada by Canadian businesses. Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) is a catch-all net that covers all forms of electronic messaging, from email and newsletters to social media and software downloads. Businesses that don’t comply face fines of up to $10 million.
On April 15, the European Parliament adopted a proposal to expand public company requirements to report accounting information, adding social responsibility and diversity reporting for companies that meet specified employee and revenue thresholds. The new directive provides targeted companies with flexibility to meet these rules by meeting national or voluntary standards that require at least equivalent reporting. To become law, the Commission's proposal must also be adopted by the European Union (EU) Member States in the Council (which votes by qualified majority); this is anticipated within the coming weeks.
One of the Dodd-Frank Act’s many directives to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was to require annual disclosures by publicly listed “resource extraction issuers” of payments they make to the U.S. federal government or foreign governments, related to commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals. SEC thought it met this directive when it issued Rule 13q-1 and associated Form SD in August 2012. However, on July 2, 2013 a federal judge decided that SEC misapplied its authority, and so vacated these provisions and remanded the issue to SEC to try again (American Petroleum Institute v. SEC). Since Dodd-Frank required issuer reporting to begin no less than one year after SEC issued rules, the issuer reporting requirement is now on hold—but the statutory requirement remains in place so further rulemaking should be expected.
Included in the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” (Dodd-Frank Act), which became law in the United States on July 21, 2010, was the requirement that U.S. public companies disclose their use of “conflict minerals”—and compliance efforts must begin now. Specifically, companies must determine whether any of their products have been manufactured with any tin, tantalum, tungsten, or gold (3TG).
Various changes were made to environmental legislation during 2012, both in the US and internationally. Here follows a summary of some of the headlines.