Monthly Archives: August 2018

The FCPA and its role in preventing bribery

The word bribe in a Scrabble game

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is a piece of American legislation aimed at outlawing bribery of foreign officials. The Act applies to those with formal ties to the US, such as US nationals or businesses incorporated in the US, as well as foreign nationals and entities who are in the US at the time of the improper conduct. Individuals face between five to 20 years imprisonment for each violation. Corporations can be fined up to $2m per violation, and individuals up to $100,000.

The FCPA does not prohibit facilitation payments made to foreign officials for the purpose of causing them to perform routine governmental actions, such as issuing licenses or performing shipping inspections. The FCPA also does not prohibit reasonable, bona fide expenditures associated with a product or contract, or payments expressly permitted under the written laws of the foreign country.

Here is some guidance on the role the FCPA plays in helping businesses identify and mitigate the risk of bribery. The guidance has been taken from VinciWorks’ online anti-bribery training, which can be taken by staff working in any country.

Key differences between the FCPA and Bribery Act

Business to business bribery

The FCPA does not cover bribery on a private, business to business level, which the Bribery Act does criminalise. However, this sort of corruption is outlawed under other US legislation.

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A guide to the New York sexual harassment laws

The words sexual harassment being written on a typewriter

Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio have been busy putting the city and state on
the right side of #MeToo, the global anti-sexual harassment movement. A flurry of
new laws and requirements on New York State and City businesses have been
added to the books, with more coming into force over the next few months. VinciWorks’ free guide will help to ensure your business is ready for October 9, the key date by which all New York State businesses must provide compliant training on sexual harassment.

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Six things John Oliver taught us about workplace sexual harassment

Anita Hill and John Oliver

In a recent episode of award-winning John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, the comedian tackled the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. The episode was extended to include an interview with Anita Hill, famous for her case against Judge Thomas in 1991. While extremely funny, John Oliver’s take on sexual harassment, coupled with his interview with Anita, gave light to the issues of sexual harassment, the progress, if any, made on tackling the issue over the last three decades and what we can do address it. Here are a few things you may have learned from the episode.

 

1. There is no reason to fear hiring women

While John Oliver ridicules a man who asks “what are the rules?”, there does seem to be a recurring theme throughout the episode – men are worried they will be wrongly accused of sexual harassment. Author and life coach Tony Robins recently came under fire for his anecdote of a man who wouldn’t hire a woman because she was very attractive and it would be “too big a risk”. This fear can be abated by providing clear guidelines on what is considered inappropriate behavior. Combating sexual harassment starts with ensuring a culture of awareness and sensitivity towards the problem. Anita Hill emphasized this, saying that while there are a tiny amount of false accusations, we mustn’t “make rules around the things that rarely happen until we finish up making the rules around the things that are happening regularly.”

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Legal professional privilege and the Data Protection Act 2018

A finger print being taken

GDPR, the mammoth new data protection regulation, came into force across the EU in May this year. Alongside it, the Data Protection Act 2018 was passed by the UK Parliament, replacing the DPA 1998 and giving the UK a single source of data protection legislation.

Designed to be read alongside GDPR, the DPA added to the bits of law that GDPR does not cover and expanded on the areas the UK chose to opt-out from or amend. One of these key areas is legal professional privilege. Legal professional privilege is a fundamental human right which allows clients to have open conversations with their lawyers in order to allow lawyers to provide their clients with the best service.

While the GDPR does not include any provisions for legal professional privilege, the DPA 2018 clearly stipulates that the provisions of the act do not apply to personal data that consists of information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained. This could refer to legal professional privilege in legal proceedings or information in respect of which a duty of confidentiality is owed by a professional legal advisor to a client of the advisor.

Due to these changes, and what they mean for GDPR rights such as subject access requests, VinciWorks has produced a comprehensive guide to the DPA and legal professional privilege, in addition to our in-depth webinar on the Data Protection Act 2018.

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US sanctions on Iran – avoiding sanctions chaos

Flags of Iran and USA painted on broken wall

On Monday August 6, the US reimposed the first round of trade sanctions against Iran that had been suspended following the 2015 international nuclear agreement (Iran Deal). The sanctions officially ‘snapped back’ at one minute past midnight on Tuesday.

The reimposition of sanctions means Iran is prohibited from using US dollars in the global market. US trade in Iranian cars and Iranian metals are banned. Furthermore, permits allowing the import of everyday goods from Iran to the US, from Persian rugs to pistachios, have been revoked. Iranian companies can no longer even get a license to buy US-made commercial aircraft parts.

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Modern Slavery Act prosecutions are up – but whose job is it to enforce the Act?

Construction worker

Last week, the Crown Prosecution Service published its first report into Modern day slavery following the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act in 2015. The report showed that there was a 27% increase in the number of suspects charged with slavery offences in 2017/18 compared with the previous year. Referrals of modern slavery allegations have also risen to their highest level and the number of prosecutions is on the increase too.

Awareness increasing

These are all positive signs that the Modern Slavery Act which was introduced in 2015 is beginning to have an effect on ending the scourge of people trafficking, domestic servitude and prostitution. However, a BBC programme, The Prosecutors: Modern Day Slavery, highlighted the ongoing difficulty of actually bringing the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. One of the reasons is the method of spotting and reporting incidents of slavery.

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New online sanctions course release – Sanctions: Know Your Transaction

New interactive sanctions training

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 will ensure the UK is able to implement international sanctions post-Brexit. To help organisations comply, VinciWorks has released a brand new scenario based training course, Sanctions: Know Your Transaction. Following the success of our anti-bribery and anti-money laundering training, this course drops users into a set of immersive scenarios to test their knowledge, understanding and ability to comply with new the sanctions law.

Sanctions: Know Your Transaction screenshot

Free demo

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