PLAYING FOR HIGH STAKES – THE RISK OF IGNORING COMPLIANCE ISSUES
Can’t make it to the casino? Nothing like making a high stakes gamble with your company and your job. If you’re hoping that the compliance problem you know you have will just go away, you’d be better off playing high stakes poker in a private room in Vegas. You’re playing with your own money there, not that of your company or investors. Hiding an issue from the feds is a sure way to end up with huge penalties – and an appointment with a suspension official – if a whistleblower or audit uncovers the problem. This is the thrust behind the Mandatory Disclosure rule which does, as the name implies, require federal contractors to disclose “credible evidence” of non-compliance. The rule is indeed part of your federal contract(s). Ignoring a problem, therefore, isn’t just risky, it could be an actual contract violation. What’s more, suspension and debarment actions have increased substantially in the last 5 years. Such an action can effectively kill all of your company’s public sector business. That’s not to mention the fines, legal fees, and lost productivity that comes with enforcement actions. These can easily run to eight figures. Plus, if you knew about the problem and did nothing, your job is at substantial risk. It’s imperative to remember the Nixon-era phrase: “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up”. If you’re hoping the feds won’t find out about you’re problem you’re taking a risk with your company, your investor’s money, and your reputation. Better to play $5,000 poker with Tiger Woods.