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Australias biggest airlines sign MOUs with Western Sydney Airport

first_imgAustralia’s biggest airlines sign MOUs with Western Sydney AirportWestern Sydney Airport has entered into memoranda of understanding with the Qantas Group and Virgin Australia Group.The MOUs will see the airlines provide insights into designing and planning Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport, as well as having early discussions around future Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Tigerair services using the Airport.Western Sydney Airport Chief Executive Officer Graham Millett said the MOU is a tremendous vote of confidence in Sydney’s new international airport from Australia’s airlines.“The insights we’ll gain from working with the airlines help us build an airport that people will love using,” said Mr Millett.“Australian airlines have long been advocates of Western Sydney gaining its own airport. We look forward to working with them as we deliver jobs and opportunities to the region.”Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said Western Sydney International was as important part of Australia’s aviation future.“Given the size and significance of New South Wales to the national economy, a second airport is exactly what we need to keep growing. The potential is huge,” said Mr Joyce.“It’s not often you get to help design an airport from scratch, so we’re really pleased to be part of it. This a chance to create a great experience for passengers and a high level of efficiency for airlines, which helps us keep fares lower.”Virgin Australia Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Paul Scurrah said that the MOU was a great example of industry partners working together to help shape the best travel experience.“Western Sydney has the unique opportunity to build a new airport from the ground up to meet the evolving needs of future passengers,” said Mr Scurrah.“This agreement offers a chance to collaborate early in the planning phase. We’re looking forward to sharing our ideas to help make the airport a great experience and ensure it supports future operational requirements.”The MOU will see the organisations collaborate on a range of elements, including:passenger terminal and boardingtechnology and innovation opportunities, particularly around baggage handling, security and customer serviceairport access, including train stations, parking and rideshare facilitiesair freight and cargo facilitiessustainability, including resource reuse and recyclingWhen Western Sydney International opens in 2026, it will be the closest airport for around 2.5 million people. As the country’s third largest economy and home to one in 10 Australians, Western Sydney is booming.The MOUs represent a significant next step in the development of Sydney’s new international airport.Source = Western Sydney Airportlast_img read more

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Friday Roundup

first_img Elevate Your FCPA Research There are several subject matter tags in this post. However, only subscribers to FCPA Professor’s premium search feature can see and use them in research. Efficient and cost-effective FCPA research is just a click away. Quotable, SEC Annual Report, it’s called the rule of law – deal with it, across the pond, more ISO 37001 puff pieces, monitor related, for your viewing pleasure, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.QuotableTo those still hyperventilating about Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement in the Trump administration (see here and here), perhaps this might calm you down. As reported here by Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance: “[FCPA Unit Chief Daniel Kahn dismissed the suggestion that President Donald Trump‘s previous criticism of the FCPA has had any effect on the department’s enforcement of the law. Mr. Kahn said he “spanned both administrations,” referring to Mr. Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama, adding, “I am continuing to do what I do.”SEC Annual ReportYesterday, the SEC released its annual report for FY2017. According to report, the SEC’s focus is guided by five principles including:“Focus on Individual AccountabilityThe Commission has long pursued misconduct by both institutions and individuals. And it will continue to do so. But common sense and experience teach that individual accountability more effectively deters wrongdoing. The vigorous pursuit of individual wrongdoers must be the key feature of any effective enforcement program. That pursuit will send strong messages of both general and specific deterrence and strip wrongdoers of their ill-gotten gains. In many instances, we must also seek to protect investors by barring serious wrongdoers and recidivists from our markets.Nice words, but the fact remains approximately 80% of corporate FCPA enforcement actions lack any related SEC charges or findings against company employees. (See here).Under the heading “Evaluation of Our Efforts,” kudos to the SEC for stating:“Judging the effectiveness of our resource allocation is a complex task. Traditionally, many have judged the Commission on quantitative metrics. […] While such statistics provide some kind of measurement, they provide a limited picture of the quality, nature, and effectiveness of our efforts. For example, returning $100,000 to several dozen defrauded investors has little impact on our overall statistics, but can be life-changing for those investors. And, of course, violations that are prevented or deterred are never reflected in statistics. […] [W]e believe the Commission’s enforcement program should be judged both quantitatively and qualitatively and over various time periods. Have we focused on the most serious violations? Have we obtained meaningful punishments that deter unlawful conduct? Have we incapacitated wrongdoers? Are we recouping ill-gotten gains and returning money to investors? We believe the course we have set, and the principles we are following, answer all those questions in the affirmative.”Again, nice words but in the FCPA enforcement context, quality of enforcement includes analyzing instances in which the SEC has been put to its ultimate burden of proof and in 40 years the SEC has never prevailed in an FCPA enforcement when put to its ultimate burden of proof.Quality of enforcement also includes analyzing whether prevailing enforcement theories, resolution vehicles, and remedies sought are even consistent with legal authority and rule of law principles.  On this score, there is much to be disputed.It’s Called the Rule of Law – Deal With ItSomewhat related to the above, as highlighted in this recent post, Co-Director of SEC Enforcement Steven Peikin recently delivered an FCPA speech in which he stated among other things that the Supreme Court’s June 2017 decision in Kokesh (see here for the prior post) has had “an impact across many parts of our enforcement program.” It has been interesting to see some of the reaction to this issue in the speech, which seem to imply that this is some sort of public policy crisis or that somehow we should have empathy for the SEC.I say good. That is what happens when an unanimous Supreme Court rejects your position. It’s called the rule of law. Deal with it.The majority of corporate SEC FCPA enforcement actions in most years result from corporate voluntary disclosures in which the SEC mostly just “processes” the voluntary disclosure against the backdrop of the company tolling or agreeing to waive statute of limitations defenses.  Even if that dynamic is not present, the SEC has a specific FCPA Unit (one of only five specialized units in the SEC). In short, get ‘er done.Across the PondYesterday, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced that it “charged two individuals in relation to the Unaoil investigation.” Elevate Your Research “Ziad Akle [Unaoil’s territory manager for Iraq] and Basil Al Jarah [Unaoil’s Iraq partner] have both been charged by requisition with conspiracy to make corrupt payments to secure the award of contracts in Iraq to Unaoil’s client SBM Offshore.A third man, Saman Ahsani [Unaoil’s Commercial Director], is subject to an extradition request to Monaco on related charges.The charges relate to alleged corrupt conduct within Unaoil, between June 2005 and August 2011.Basil Al Jarah has been charged with two offences of conspiracy to make corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.Ziad Akle has been charged with one offence of conspiracy to make corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 ISO 37001 Puff PiecesReading the constant stream of ISO 37001 related marketing pitches is rather funny.For instance, this piece titled “How Microsoft Is Busting the Bribery Bubble,” recently published on the ISO website as “news” gushes about ISO 37001 and states, without any factual support: “General consensus is that ISO 37001 has the potential to be a powerful tool for all organizations seeking to combat bribery risk in their own operations and throughout their global value chains.”It is nothing short of amazing that the long article does not mention that Microsoft is currently under FCPA scrutiny. As stated in the company’s most recent 10-Q: “we have been cooperating with authorities in the U.S. in connection with reports concerning our compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in various countries.”And then there is this LinkedIn post titled “ISO 37001: Industry Opinion Mixed on One Year Anniversary.”  I can’t claim to have read everything written about ISO 37001 over the past year, but my perspective is that the “mixed” part merely represents those with a vested business interest who are pushing ISO 37001 related services and certifications.Monitor RelatedThis recent Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance piece states:“Experts see room to improve the U.S. Justice Department’s corporate-monitorship program, now under review as part of  a broader look at how prosecutors deter corporate fraud. Potential changes, they say, include steps meant to build up expertise and eliminate perceptions of conflicts of interest among monitors, broadening access to lucrative monitorships and making it clearer why some companies, but not others, wind up with monitors in the first place.”How about just eliminating monitors as a condition of settlement? In many cases, monitors appear to be little more than a government required transfer of shareholder wealth to Monitor Inc (see here).As to the suggestion by Hui Chen (former DOJ compliance counsel) of a government monitor office (“I actually think monitorships should just become its own agency,” of perhaps 10 to 20 people, funded by penalties collected in enforcement actions), I do not think that a government monitor department is the answer. As Ronald Reagan was fond of saying: the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: “I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.”For Your Viewing PleasureRecently, the Washington Legal Foundation hosted a live webcast titled “The FCPA Approaches Middle Age: Is the Anti-Corruption Law Slowing Down or as Spirited as Ever?”featuring Homer Moyer (Miller & Chevalier) and Lucinda Low (Steptoe & Johnson).To view the webcast, click here.For the Reading StackSee here from Dentons “Global Anti-Corruption and Anti-Bribery Laws.” As stated by the firm:“To help you navigate what can be a complex web of statutes with differing elements, jurisdictional reach and consequences, Dentons created this first-of-its kind interactive tool synthesizing legislation across a common set of variables. Drawing on the knowledge and resources of our global, multidisciplinary team, our tool puts key information at your fingertips so that you can quickly and easily learn about and compare various aspects of international anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws …”.See here from Miller & Chevalier attorneys Gregory Bates and Leah Moushey, with co-author Filipe Magliarelli of KLA-Koury Lopes Advogados, “A Comparison of Brazil and the United States: Prosecutors’ Toolkits in the Anticorruption Context.”last_img read more

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