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C-Level Executives, Including The Chro, Must Embrace Evidence-Based Hr Or Risk Facing Competitive Disadvantage: KPMG Report

July 2, 2015 Comments off

C-Level Executives, Including The Chro, Must Embrace Evidence-Based Hr Or Risk Facing Competitive Disadvantage: KPMG Report
Source: KPMG

A global survey titled Evidence-Based HR: The Bridge Between Your People and Delivering Business Strategy conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of KPMG International, the audit, tax and advisory firm revealed that while interest and investment in evidence-based HR is increasing, wide-spread adoption is still not getting the traction many predicted just a few years ago. Evidence-based HR uses data, research, and analysis to determine how HR practices affect business outcomes such as productivity, profitability, customer satisfaction and service quality.
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Trends in State Courts 2015

June 30, 2015 Comments off

Trends in State Courts 2015
Source: National Center for State Courts

Leadership and technology are the central themes of Trends in State Courts 2015, an annual NCSC publication dedicated to making courts aware of key trends that affect not only court operations, but also society. Articles discuss numerous aspects of court leadership, such as judges and court administrators as “productive pairs,” collaboration between stakeholders inside and outside of courts, and engagement of court staff. A special section looks at topics in state of the judiciary messages and how interest in them has risen or fallen between 2010 and 2015. Court technology topics include developing an online benchbook, using online portals to help self-­represented litigants, and archiving records via the “cloud.” Other articles examine how Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District became a “high­functioning court,” accessibility and fairness in Nevada, and more.

Donor Governance and Financial Management in Prominent U.S. Art Museums

June 29, 2015 Comments off

Donor Governance and Financial Management in Prominent U.S. Art Museums
Source: Social Science Research Service

I study “donor governance,” which occurs when contributors to non-profit firms place restrictions on their gifts to limit the discretion of managers. In a study of U.S. art museums, I find that this practice has grown significantly in recent years, and it represents the largest source of permanent capital in the industry. When donor restrictions are strong, museums shift their cost structures away from administration and toward program services, and they exhibit very high savings rates, retaining in their endowments 45 cents of each incremental dollar donated. Retention rates are near zero for cash generated from other activities. Restricted donations appear to stabilize non-profits and significantly influence their activities, but they reduce management flexibility and may contribute to lower profit margins. Rising donor governance in U.S. art museums may represent a reaction by contributors to the industry’s high rates of financial distress, weak boards of trustees, and large private benefits of control enjoyed by managers.

DoD OIG — DoD Cardholders Used Their Government Travel Cards for Personal Use at Casinos and Adult Entertainment Establishments

June 24, 2015 Comments off

DoD Cardholders Used Their Government Travel Cards for Personal Use at Casinos and Adult Entertainment Establishments (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General

Objective
Our objective was to determine whether DoD Government travel charge card holders used their card for personal use at casinos or adult entertainment establishments. Public Law 112-194, “Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012,” requires the Inspector General of each executive agency with more than $10 million in travel card spending to periodically audit or review travel card programs. We focused on individually billed travel cards. Cardholders are personally and financially liable for payment of all undisputed charges, including personal use, indicated on the billing statement, not the government.

Finding
DoD cardholders improperly used their Government travel charge card (GTCC) for personal use at casinos and adult entertainment establishments. From July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014, DoD cardholders had 4,437 transactions totaling $952,258, where they likely used their travel cards at casinos for personal use and had 900 additional transactions for $96,576 at adult entertainment establishments. Specifically, we reviewed seven nonstatistically selected cardholders who had 76 transactions valued at $19,643 to confirm that our analysis identified personal use at casinos and adult entertainment establishments from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014.
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Taxpayer Service, Case Closures, and Dollars Collected Suffer from Budget Cuts, TIGTA Finds

June 19, 2015 Comments off

Taxpayer Service, Case Closures, and Dollars Collected Suffer from Budget Cuts, TIGTA Finds (PDF)
Source: Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
From email:

Reduced budgets and collection resources at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have resulted in declines in taxpayer service, case closures, and dollars collected, according to a report released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

TIGTA initiated its audit to determine the impact that IRS budget reductions have had on collection programs and employees.

Between Fiscal Years 2010 and 2015, the IRS’s budget has been reduced by more than $1.2 billion. Since Fiscal Year 2010, decreases in the IRS’s budget have resulted in the reduction of 21 percent of Automated Collection Service (ACS) contact representatives and 28 percent of Field Collection revenue officers.

This has resulted in the ACS answering 25 percent fewer taxpayer telephone calls since 2011, because there were fewer ACS contact representatives available to answer them. Taxpayers whose calls were answered spent an average of eight minutes (97 percent) longer waiting for a contact representative. In addition, ACS inventory grew and became older, and more cases were not resolved and were transferred to the Queue, a data base that houses delinquent accounts that the IRS is unable to work.

U.S. Financial Services Credit Ratings Are Resilient To Cyber Security–For Now

June 17, 2015 Comments off

U.S. Financial Services Credit Ratings Are Resilient To Cyber Security–For Now
Source: Standard & Poor’s

It seems not a week goes by without a high-profile cyber-attack against a major U.S. corporation or government agency. A sampling of past corporate targets includes giant retailers (Home Depot, Target, Sony), banks (JPMorgan Chase, Citibank), and health insurers (Anthem, Premera Blue Cross). Clearly, no entity is safe from a cyber-attack. But what are the credit implications of this onslaught of data breaches? Although the many successful cyber-attacks have not yet resulted in any changes in Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ ratings on financial services companies, we view cyber-security as an emerging risk that we believe has the potential to pose a higher credit risk to financial services firms in the future, although we cannot predict the timing. It’s not difficult to envision scenarios in which criminal or state-sponsored cyber-attacks (for credit implications, we don’t differentiate the sources of intrusion) would result in significant economic effects, business interruption, theft, or reputational risk. One key point is that cyber-attacks may not be discovered immediately: It can take weeks or months before an intrusion is discovered.

Cyber-attacks appear random but could be highly correlated thanks to contagion caused by global interconnectivity. Data interconnectivity exists among banks, merchants, data owners (health care providers, telecom companies, etc.), and other sources (vendors, distributors, suppliers). So, hackers have many paths to breaching company data and disrupting business operations. Published reports note that data breaches have been going on long enough for cyber-criminals to have collected substantial data on a large number of individuals.

Overview

  • So far, we have not downgraded any companies because of the damage resulting from a cyber-attack.
  • Although company disclosures about cyber-risks remain limited, we’re starting to explore the issue in the context of management governance and enterprise risk management.
  • Although still too small to draw robust statistical conclusions, our analysis provides insights into how and when cyber-attacks can affect creditworthiness.
  • Our credit opinion takes into account a balanced view including other risk factors concerning the effects of a cyber-attack.

Getting the Most Out of University Strategic Planning: Essential Guidance for Success and Obstacles to Avoid

June 17, 2015 Comments off

Getting the Most Out of University Strategic Planning: Essential Guidance for Success and Obstacles to Avoid
Source: RAND Corporation

Higher education institutions often find themselves in a competitive marketplace, looking to attract highly respected scholars, top-tier students, and donors, as well as to increase their visibility and reputation. In such an environment, strategic planning — which Crittenden defines as “attempt to systematize the processes that enable an organization to achieve goals and objectives” (2000) — can help universities maintain stability in a changing situation and respond constructively to increasing competition or external threats. Our experiences supporting universities in their strategic planning efforts, and literature that has influenced our practices, have identified factors that drive success — and create obstacles — in the planning process.

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