Former Singapore resort director charged with corruption

The inside of a darkly lite casino, with an ominous statue in the foreground

An ex-director of one of Singapore’s major integrated resorts faces up to five years’ jail and/or a fine of SGD$100,000 for seven charges of corruption.

Soh Yew Meng was allegedly paid at least SGD$317,000 in bribes in the course of his position as director of Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). The bribes were said to have been paid as consideration for “furthering [certain contractors’] business interests” in RWS projects, including restaurants and cafes located in the resort.

The bulk of the bribes comes from two SGD$150,000 payments made by the managing director of a furniture and construction company to Soh between 2013 and 2014 to “further the business interests” of the company. Other contractors accused of making corrupt payments to Soh include a lighting designer, a building company and a security systems business.

The charges against Soh also include three accounts of attempting to obtain corrupt benefits of an unspecified amount from a contractor and an individual.

Tan Siow Hui, a freelance quantity surveyor working with Soh, has been prosecuted for conspiring with him to receive and attempt to obtain bribes from contractors.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) has identified a number of locations where the bribes were paid, including car parks and a local canteen. It emphasises that it will not hesitate to act against parties involved in corrupt practices: “Procurement systems and processes are put in place to ensure fair competition from all bidding vendors. But when individuals circumvent these processes and seek benefit for themselves, a level playing field becomes impossible to achieve.”

Last year, Singapore fell two places in the Corruption Perceptions Index ranking of least corrupt countries in the world. It currently sits at 7th place.

Are you on top of your international anti-bribery and corruption obligations? GRC Solutions produces off-the-shelf and custom compliance training for a number of jurisdictions, including Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Contact us today for more information.

Sources: The Straits Times, Today Online, Channel NewsAsia

Fisher & Paykel fined $200,000 for misleading and deceptive conduct

Appliance company Fisher & Paykel and its warranty provider, Domestic & General, have each been ordered to pay $200,000 for misleading and deceptive conduct involving extended warranties.

The Federal Court of Australia found Fisher & Paykel misled and deceived their customers into thinking they were had to purchase an extended warranty in order to protect their products from repair costs. Under Australian consumer law, customers can seek repairs, replacements or refunds, even after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, if the product is of unacceptable quality or is affected by a “major failure”.

Customers who had purchased a dishwasher with a two-year warranty received letters from Fisher & Paykel stating that “your dishwasher is now a year old, which means you have 12 months remaining – after that your appliance won’t be protected against repair costs. Fisher & Paykel can help.” The letter then offered the option to purchase an extended two-year warranty in addition to the original warranty. According to the ACCC, 48,214 letters were sent out.

The Court found it was not enough for the letter to note that customers were “entitled to a replacement or refund for a major failure and compensation for any other reasonably foreseeable loss damage” since this was “in relatively fine print” on the back page of the letter.

After the legal proceedings commenced against the two companies, all 1326 consumers who bought the extended warranties were contacted and offered a full refund. However, only 107 actually claimed a full refund.
Justice Wigney of the Federal Court also ordered the two companies to pay $15,000 in costs.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Contact GRC Solutions today for more information about our competition and consumer law training courses.

Conference mishmash

Last week we ended our 2014 Conference season with Learning@Work and GRC 2014.

The Learning@Work conference brought together thought leaders from across Australia to share the latest challenges affecting the workplace learning environment.

Everything from social learning and company culture to new learning technology trends and gamification was covered with ample networking opportunities thrown in between. Both Dean Rogers our Business Development Manager in Melbourne and Sam Gibbins, General Manager of Asia were flown over to Sydney to greet friendly faces at our exhibition booth.

photo 2Governance, risk and compliance
The GRC Institute Conference kicked off with a lively start at the Welcome Reception on Wednesday night. Julian Fenwick, Managing Director, Sam Gibbins, General Manager Asia and Tricia Clarke, Business Development Manager from Perth were there enjoying a drink with delegates, exhibitors and old friends.

Day one involved an extremely well run crisis management simulation exercise. Delegates were given different roles during a bribery and corruption incident occurring in a fictional mining company. As part of the crisis management team, groups were challenged to find the right strategy to mitigate risks as the crisis unfolded. Effective monitoring of social media and PR were central to the discussion. KPMG’s Geof Mortlock and Dominika Zerbe placed strong emphasis on companies avoiding their board’s Chairman becoming the public face of their company during a crisis situation.
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Delegates had a fantastic time at the remaining conference workshops and seminars with great leaders sharing their thoughts on governance, risk and compliance challenges being faced.
The conference ended with a Halloween themed Gala dinner including awards, dancing and karaoke.

We were delighted to see that one of our Salt Compliance clients, Toyota Finance Australia, were successful in taking out the award for Compliance Team of the Year over all Winners

compliance trainingcompliance trainingHalloween photo

We were thrilled with the positive response we received at both conferences from delegates showing genuine interest in our products and services, particularly our newest product the GRC Legal Obligations Register – GRC LOR. It was also a great opportunity to catch up with many of our existing clients that were attending the conference.

We look forward to following-up with all of our fellow delegates to see what governance, risk and compliance avenues we can support them with leading into 2015.

Asia Update

Sam Gibbins, General Manager Asia has spent the last few weeks travelling to meetings across Asia accompanied by Julian Fenwick our Managing Director who was visiting from Australia.

Together they also exhibited at the International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing 2014, held in Malaysia.

The event was positive with a crowd of 490 delegates visiting the conference in Kuala Lumpur. The pool of delegates consisted of Senior Executives from large organisations across Asia.

This important yearly event is one that brings Senior Management and the Board of Directors at various organisations together to discuss corporate governance, risk and compliance and to consider the effectiveness of their current methodologies, technologies and systems on minimising financial crime, terrorism financing and the like.

As a corporate Anti-Money Laundering expert, Sam was also asked to Chair a discussion on Anti-Money Laundering & Crypto Currencies (Bitcoin). You can read our article on this topic here.

We were also able to do some quick demonstrations of our Salt Compliance training technology and content for Asia.

Seeing as this conference was in Malaysia, we understand that many of you were unable to attend. We would like to extend our invitation for an obligation free Salt Compliance demonstration to you.

Simply contact us to set-up a time that is most convenient for you.

panel discussionSam does demojulian at standphoto 3conference room

Whitepaper: Five key elements of effective compliance training


5 key elements effective compliance training title page

Julian Fenwick, Managing Director of Governance, Risk & Compliance Solutions has written this whitepaper to share his insights on the demand for organisational compliance training that comes with tightening legislation across the Asia-Pacific.

Throughout this paper he outlines the five key elements of effective compliance training, particularly from an online compliance training perspective.

Julian has played an instrumental role in the development of the online compliance training industry in Australia.



Whilst organisations continue to face the exorbitant consequences for non-compliance across a number of Asia-Pacific jurisdictions, compliance training styles continue to evolve.

Julian encourages organisations to ensure their compliance training programs in any style, are developed to face new risks, improve learning outcomes and most importantly enhance your organisational culture.

Please complete the form to download the whitepaper

GRC Solutions is expanding!

grc is moving

It gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of our new Sydney office at 1 York Street, Sydney.

Our new home enables us to better serve our clients with an evolving suite of products: Salt Compliance, GRCHub & PolicyHub.

The team and I are excited about this move and the new opportunities to grow our business.

We look forward to hosting you in our new office in the near future.

Kind regards
Julian Fenwick
Managing Director