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Corporate Goverance FAQ

 What is corporate governance?
 What is a director?
 What is an officer?
 For what are directors responsible?
 How is ‘due diligence’ defined?

What is corporate governance?
Corporate governance is defined as “systems and processes for ensuring proper accountability, probity and openness in the conduct of an organization’s business.”

What is a director?
Person elected by shareholders to serve on the board of directors. The directors appoint the president, vice presidents, and all other operating officers. Directors decide, among other matters, if and when dividends shall be paid.

What is an officer?
An individual appointed by the director(s) of a corporation to manage the daily affairs of the company, such as President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, CEO, CFO, etc. Although officer positions are distinct from that of director, officers can also hold the position of director.

For what are directors responsible?
Loyalty — the director must put the interest of the corporation above their own;
Obedience — the director’s actions must conform to the corporate charter and bylaws;
Diligence — management of the corporation must be done in an expedient and knowledgeable manner*
*= (Source: The Three Faces of Executive Liability, published by the Academy of Producer Insurance Studies).

How is ‘due diligence’ defined?
A legal term describing a thorough effort to intercept potential problems before they occur, such as preparing for Y2K or monitoring for fraudulent claims. In IT, the process includes documented evidence that information systems are regularly assessed, updated and monitored for data integrity and security. Due diligence will be intrinsically involved in the privacy and security regulations under HIPAA, via audit trails, user authentication and access controls.
 
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