Root Cause Analysis Part II in .NET

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Root Cause Analysis Part II
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Objectives
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By the end of this chapter, you should be able to: Trace the factors that contributed to the crises presented in 4 Describe the ways in which compliance with SOX requirements could have reduced the impact of these crises Explain how the implementation of SOX best practices could prevent similar crises from occurring
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Summary of Finding from Root Cause Analysis Part I
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The crises within the American Red Cross, the United Way of the National Capital Area, and the James Beard Foundation presented these common contributing factors: Lack of board oversight and overall weakness of governance: None of the boards appeared to understand its fiduciary obligations in providing oversight and governance to these nonprofits Organizational cultures: Environments that provided opportunities for fraud, or through inaction, facilitated dysfunctional behavior Protocols for expense reimbursement: In its forensic audit of the UWNCA, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) auditors discovered pages and pages of reimbursements without receipts Similarly, Mr Pickell of the James Beard Foundation was provided with signed blank checks for reimbursements that did not have supporting documentation Senior management attitudes and behavior: In all three cases, the leaders were self-confident, autocratic, and to some degree, charismatic They viewed their boards with either hostility or disdain In the cases of Messrs Suer and Pickell, they were able to charm their board leadership into compliance Dr Healy found herself in an adversarial role with her board because of her management style and her status as an outsider in the Red Cross culture Audit and/or financial review: All three nonprofits had mechanisms that served to conceal the dysfunction within the organizations In the cases of UWNCA and the James Beard Foundation, the auditors were complicit in preventing the discovery of the fraudulent behavior Role of whistleblowers: The individuals who were whistleblowers in these organizations came from a variety of roles and places The victims families and their use of media attention were the primary whistleblowers in the Red Cross scandal Their complaints garnered Congressional attention and thus ramped up the pressure on the Red Cross In the case of the UWNCA, several staff and board
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members began to question financial practices and reports All of the whistleblowers were terminated, including board members As the media reported on these firings, pressure began to mount on Mr Suer and his Executive Committee The James Beard Foundation s auditor finally decided that enough was enough He had seen evidence of Mr Pickell s plundering but had kept silent to that point
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Whistleblower Protection
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The boards in all three cases were deeply in denial and, to some extent, complicit in the fraud In the cases of the UWNCA and the James Beard Foundation, whistleblowers were the insiders who knew what was happening, but needed to transmit it to outsiders The whistleblowers in the UWNCA were terminated for their reports and questions Had a Whistleblower Protection policy been in effect and enforced, the reports these individuals were making may have been investigated at a much earlier stage In the case of the American Red Cross, the whistleblowers about the Liberty Fund were the families of the September 11th victims and, hence, outside of the organization However, as we saw in the excerpt of Senator Grassley s letter to Marsha Evans, Dr Healy had previously alerted the board about the widespread financial mismanagement within the local chapters Internal memos related to the New Jersey manager s fraud suggest that the Red Cross insiders on the board found Dr Healy s concerns an annoyance (Grassley, 2002) Although her termination was directly related to the Liberty Fund crisis and the post-September 11th blood collection, her persistence in rooting out corruption was a constant thorn in the board s side Dr Healy s termination might not be directly linked to her whistleblowing, but it appears that only Senator Grassley was genuinely interested in remedying the situation
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