January 8, 2018

Jail Time for VW Exec Offers Important Lessons on Risks and Compliance

The seven-year federal prison sentence for former Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt has weighed on my mind since it was handed down in December. Schmidt led Volkswagen’s U.S. regulatory compliance office during the period when the German automaker was installing “defeat devices” on its vehicles designed to circumvent U.S. emissions rules.

During his allocution in federal district court, Schmidt admitted knowing of the existence of cheating software in Volkswagen’s two-liter diesel vehicles. He also acknowledged knowing VW employees were intentionally providing misleading explanations to U.S. regulators.

It is stunning to me that such admissions would come from the head of compliance for any organization, much less one from a venerable and respected global automaker.…

January 2, 2018

Five Internal Audit Resolutions for 2018 and Beyond

When a new year dawns, people tend to embrace it with optimism and confidence despite the uncertainty that lies ahead. I don’t know whether this hopeful outlook is driven by the celebration that surrounds the date or whether that optimism is what drives the merriment. Whatever the case, the New Year also pushes us to set goals and resolve to better ourselves.

My custom for the past several years is to use my first blog post of the year to set out New Year’s resolutions for the profession that highlight emerging or anticipated issues. For example, the upcoming May 2018 deadline to meet new European Union rules on personal privacy protection would meet the criterion.…