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Integrity - use of values or principles to guide action in the situation at hand.

Below are links and discussion related to the values of freedom, hope, trust, privacy, responsibility, safety, and well-being, within business and government situations arising in the areas of security, privacy, technology, corporate governance, sustainability, and CSR.

No 'systemic problems', 6.10.04

The Globe and Mail

Canada's new audit watchdog said Wednesday a survey the country's four top accounting firms found no evidence of systemic problems with the quality of external audits, but also suggested “scope for further improvement” remains.

The Canadian Public Accountability Board — which reviewed the work of Deloitte & Touche LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, KPMG LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP — also made a number of recommendations aimed at helping the firms improve the quality of future work.

The CPAB's recommendations cover topics ranging from independence and ethics to human resources polices, monitoring of quality control, and how firms monitor and manage higher risk clients.

For example, the report noted each of the four firms has extensive independence policies and procedures that have been updated to reflect recent changes in the profession's standards.

“We have recommended some further enhancements or clarification to certain firms' policies — for example, the requirement to document on every audit any threats to independence and the safeguards employed to reduce such threats to an acceptable level,” the report said.

As well, the report recommended that the firms make available to partners and staff a list of clients with whom audit independence must be maintained.

“Such lists are an important safeguard against inadvertent independence violations arising from either investments or the provision of certain non-audit services,” the report said.

Some firms, the report added, have yet to adopt a “code of conduct” that partners and staff need to sign annually. Similarly, some have yet to establish a formal “whistleblower” policy that would let employees report what they feel is unethical conduct or poor professional judgment without fear of reprisal.


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"We shall need compromises in the days ahead, to be sure. But these will be, or should be, compromises of issues, not principles. We can compromise our political positions, but not ourselves. We can resolve the clash of interests without conceding our ideals. And even the necessity for the right kind of compromise does not eliminate the need for those idealists and reformers who keep our compromises moving ahead, who prevent all political situations from meeting the description supplied by Shaw: "smirched with compromise, rotted with opportunism, mildewed by expedience, stretched out of shape with wirepulling and putrefied with permeation.
Compromise need not mean cowardice. .."

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, "Profiles in Courage"


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