The accidents caused by firearms continue to rise in the United States. This week, the federal government has decided to take action to reduce the number of firearms obtained by ineligible individuals. The people who fall into this category of “ineligible” include convicted felons, perpetrators of domestic violence, as well as individuals who suffer from mental health challenges that risk harm to themselves or others. The question then becomes how institutions will properly comply with federal healthcare privacy laws under HIPPA and also meet the objective of these executive orders.
If you plan on importing or exporting goods to another country, then you should be aware of the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG). This is a treaty that was originally signed in Vienna in 1980. As of September 2014, it has been ratified by 83 countries. The purpose of the treaty is to create uniform laws to govern international sales. Read more
The more pervasive use of technology by healthcare institutions comes with the need for greater protection of personal information. This is especially true for institutions that directly handle the health care information of the general public or have a branch of its organization that does so. In 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will review the effectiveness of its own protocols and mechanisms for protecting the personal health information of the public. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), a division of the DHHS, will be in charge of conducting the audits. The OCR has budgeted 43 million dollars in 2016, an increase of 4 million dollars over the 2015 budget, to carry out this plan. The additional funds will be used to conduct audits to ensure greater privacy protection in the health care industry. The additional funds will be used to check to ensure that all of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) rules and regulations are being followed and to check to see if greater measures need to be implemented to protect patient privacy.
Toshiba has been doing damage control since April of 2015. This is when allegations that the company had been inflating its profits over a number of years first broke. Independent investigators concluded that Toshiba overstated its profits by $1.22 billion. The financial scandal of this 140 year old Japanese company, a pioneer in electronics and other technological advancements, will require a total change of its institutional accounting and corporate culture.
Cheaters never win. This is especially true when trying to cheat governmental authorities. That is what happened for one of the most popular car manufacturers in the world, Volkswagen (VW). The VW debacle illustrates the importance of sincere corporate compliance. In a widely publicized report, a research team in West Virginia discovered that VW was caught having built cars designed to cheat on emissions tests. The team, led by engineering professor Daniel Carder, produced the first evidence of misrepresentations by VW in tests of its on-road diesel emission levels. Through its research, the team found that VW diesel vehicles produced emission levels significantly higher than the standards allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Alstom S.A. (Alstom) is a French power and transportation company. It was charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and pleaded guilty to the charges. Alstom was charged with paying bribes to government officials in exchange for energy contracts. Over the past decade, the company was involved in paying bribes in the range of tens of millions of dollars in countries throughout the world. These countries include Indonesia, the Bahamas, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. They have also been charged with falsifying their record book and failing to execute sufficient internal controls. Read more
After years of trying to prevent fraud and corruption in corporations at home and abroad, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has hired a corporate compliance expert. Several reports have stated that this expert is Hui Chen, the former head of compliance for Standard Chartered Bank and ex-assistant general counsel at Pfizer Inc. The DOJ believes that an expert in this field will allow the DOJ to determine more effectively if corporations should be criminally charged for failing to prevent wrong doing. This expert will also determine if all possible measures and programs were implemented under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), yet the crime occurred anyway.