Trust Digest 53 (June 17, 2014)


Starbucks to Provide Free College Education to Thousands of Workers
Starbucks will provide a free online college education to thousands of its workers, without requiring that they remain with the company, through an unusual arrangement with Arizona State University, the company and the university will announce on Monday. The program is open to any of the company’s 135,000 United States employees, provided they work at least 20 hours a week and have the grades and test scores to gain admission to Arizona State. For a barista with at least two years of college credit, the company will pay full tuition; for those with fewer credits it will pay part of the cost, but even for many of them, courses will be free, with government and university aid.
Key Words: Starbucks, CSR
Trust Issues: Stakeholders, Benevolence


U.K. Prosecutor Raids Triple After Years of Bungled Cases
The U.K. Serious Fraud Office tripled the number of raids it carried out in the last year, in a sign the agency is trying to rebuild its image as a tough prosecutor after years of collapsed cases. The SFO conducted 26 raids between April 2013 and March 2014, compared to eight the year before, according to London-based law firm Pinsent Masons LLP.
Key Words: UK, Fraud
Trust Issues: Regulation, Capability


V.A. Punished Critics on Staff, Doctors Assert
Staff members at dozens of Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country have objected for years to falsified patient appointment schedules and other improper practices, only to be rebuffed, disciplined or even fired after speaking up, according to interviews with current and former staff members and internal documents.
Key Words: VA Scandal, Whistleblowers
Trust Issues: Accountability, Communication, Integrity


Political Polarization in the American Public
Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in the last two decades. These trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life. And a new survey of 10,000 adults nationwide finds that these divisions are greatest among those who are the most engaged and active in the political process.
Key Words: Pew Research, Ideology, Partisan Politics
Trust Issues: Communication, Similarity


5 Things Management is Reluctant to Say to Internal Auditors
A few months ago, I wrote about Five Things the Audit Committee Won’t Tell Internal Auditors. Based upon feedback I received from around the world, it appears that many chief audit executives shared my perspectives. While I continue to believe we need to work on communications with our audit committees, that is not the only area in which we face communication challenges. Internal auditors typically have a strong working relationship with management, but managers also don’t always tell us everything we need to hear – and know.
Key Words: Internal Audits
Trust Issues: Stakeholders, Communication, Capability


SEC Charges Hedge Fund Adviser With Conducting Conflicted Transactions and Retaliating Against Whistleblower
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged an Albany, N.Y.-based hedge fund advisory firm with engaging in prohibited principal transactions and then retaliating against the employee who reported the trading activity to the SEC. This is the first time the SEC has filed a case under its new authority to bring anti-retaliation enforcement actions. The SEC also charged the firm’s owner with causing the improper principal transactions.
Key Words: SEC, Whistleblowers, Dodd-Frank
Trust Issues: Accountability, Integrity


Abdullah Campaign Alleges Widespread Election Fraud and Points at Karzai
Less than 48 hours after a runoff election to choose the next president of Afghanistan, the first signs of a looming political crisis emerged on Monday, with the campaign of Abdullah Abdullah claiming there had been widespread ballot stuffing and suggesting he was being set up for a defeat he would not accept.
Key Words: Afghanistan, Election Fraud
Trust Issues: Transparency, Capability


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