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In a commentary on the Compliance and Ethics Blog, Adam Shnider, Vice President, Delivery at Coalfire, writes about the intersection between compliance and cybersecurity, and how both offices can benefit from a strong partnership. “While both cybersecurity and cyber compliance share the common objective of providing greater security and customer data protections, the Who, What, Where, When, and Why behind them are different—for these reasons, they are organizationally separate in many companies,” Shnider writes. “Yet, there are significant efficiency, productivity, and end-to-end cybersecurity advantages in forging partnerships ‘across the aisle’ between these functions. There are also distinct disadvantages, and even risks, in keeping these activities strictly within siloes.”
On December 20, 2017, a newly signed executive order implemented the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which authorized the United States to impose sanctions on any foreign person who has engaged in gross violations of human rights, or acted as an agent on behalf of a foreign person engaged in such violations. The first round of Global Magnitsky designations included a cross-section of targets who participated in alleged human rights violations and international corruption. A natural question, given the newness of these sanctions, is: what’s next?
While most post-Escobar decisions have involved the merits, Escobar also has significant implications for the scope of materiality discovery under the FCA. In United States ex rel. California v. Paramedics Plus LLC, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas became one of the first courts to directly tackle that issue in a written opinion, holding that Escobar affords FCA defendants the ability to broadly discover how the government has actually handled the disputed issue, both in that case and in other analogous situations.
A blog post on FCPA Professor applauds Cobalt International for refusing to settle allegations that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in relation to its business operations in Angola. “Just because the SEC thinks your company has violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, it isn’t necessarily so and you don’t have to roll over and write a check,” the article says. ‘To state the obvious, unless a company caves, the SEC actually has to prove an FCPA violation and history has demonstrated that when forced to do, the SEC often fails.”
IT firm Integral Consulting Services, Inc. will pay $505,838.00 to settle allegations that it submitted false claims to the United States by inflating certain indirect cost rates in connection with work performed on an Army contract. The civil settlement agreement resolves allegations that ICS took costs and expenses it incurred in connection with litigation arising out of a teaming agreement with another contracting company and included the costs and expenses in the General and Administration indirect cost pool that was spread amongst ICS’s various government contracts and submitted to the government. The inclusion of such costs had the effect of inflating the claims paid by the Army to ICS.