APEC — Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation is an intergovernmental group formed to facilitate economic growth, cooperation, trade, and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. It operates on the basis of nonbinding commitments, open dialogue, and equal respect for the views of all participants.
Attestation — The affirmation by signature, usually on a printed form, that the action outlined has been accomplished by the individual signing (e.g., the individual has read the code of conduct and agreed to adhere to its principles).
Attorney-Client Privilege (US mainly but may apply to some other countries) — A legally accepted policy that communication between a client and attorney is confidential in the course of the professional relationship and that such communication cannot be disclosed without the consent of the client. Its purpose is to encourage full and frank communication between attorneys and their clients.
Audit, baseline — A systematic inspection of records, policies, and procedures with the goal of establishing a set of benchmarks for comparison for future inspections.
Audit, concurrent — An ongoing inspection of records, policies, and procedures at a given point in time in which identified potential problems are investigated as they arise (e.g., prepublished financial statements).
Audit, retrospective — A comprehensive inspection of records, policies, and procedures done usually in anticipation of launching a compliance and ethics program. All potential problems are identified and then investigated (e.g., published financial statements, historical audit).
Benchmarking — The measurement of performance against best-practice standards.
Best Practices — Generally recognized standards that deliver top results for organizations in operational and/or financial processes.
Caremark International Derivative Litigation — The 1996 U.S. civil settlement of Caremark International Inc., in which an imposed corporate integrity agreement precluded Caremark from providing healthcare in certain forms for a period of five years. Also suggests that the failure of a corporate director to attempt in good faith to institute a compliance and ethics program in certain situations may be a breach of a director’s fiduciary obligation.