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ChiefOfficers.Net

So, it's simple: you attach an electronic signature to an electronic document and off it wings by e-mail. Job done, right? Apparently "some businesses are still unsure if electronic signatures would satisfy legal requirements," says The Law Commission. But instead of just saying "of course, in the absence of fraud or some other frustrating or negating matter, that's a validly executed document" the Law Commission has produced "proposals." So, not simple at all, then.

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Stuart Dickson Produce Pty Ltd is a Sydney fruit and vegetable wholesaler. The company has been issued with an AUD10,500 penalty notice for buying produce from growers without a written "Horticulture Produce Agreement" (inevitably known as an HPA) in place. But, while the notice has been announced, the ACCC which issued and publicised it, doesn't stand behind it with any great force.

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When the USA passes laws relating to offshore income and assets, it's big news and around the world US citizens and those providing services to them get into something of a flap. But when the UK introduced, in November last year, a requirement for "anyone who has undeclared UK tax liabilities that involved offshore matters or transfers to disclose the relevant information about this non-compliance" there was barely a ripple. There should have been a storm because penalties are potentially devastating.

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Shell UK has been fined by the Aberdeen Sheriff's Court. The prosecution was brought by the UK's Health and Safety Executive after a technician was struck by a cylinder and left severely injured on the Brent Delta offshore platform.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued civil proceedings in the Federal Court alleging that biotech company Landmark Operations Limited, which trades as "Seednet." The ACCC alleges that Seednet made "false, misleading and deceptive claims in a fact sheet" relating to a variety of barley, known as "Compass," developed by Adelaide University and marketed and distributed by Seednet.

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On 5th July 2018, a UK company, Gin Festival Limited, went into administration and its website www.ginfestival.com was taken down .. So, what's this, then...?

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In late 2017, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau released its "final" report into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. It was clear that the ATSB considered the issue unresolved but closed. A private enterprise search, with a contingency fee, subsequently ran for several weeks but turned up no further information. In the past few days, Malaysia's Safety Inspection Team 13 operating under the auspices of Malaysia's Ministry of Transport published what is called it's final report - but the transport minister says that, while searches have concluded and semi-final conclusions reached from the evidence gathered over four years, the book is not closed until definitive answers can be given. It's a desperate situation and, for those involved, time isn't healing.

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The last of the Formula One team backed by entrepreneurs with connections to airlines has announced that it has entered administration. Virgin sold out, Team Lotus/Caterham (backed by AirAsia's Tony Fernandez) went into liquidation and now Force India, backed by Vijay Mallya has had the late Friday knock on the doors after creditors appointed administrators. The only surprise is that it's taken so long.

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There's history: Malaysia Airlines's fleet used to be almost entirely Boeing. Because there were almost no components common to more than one Boeing model, stocks of parts were enormous and that translated to vast amounts of capital tied up in warehouses. AirAsia, however, like many low-cost airlines, capitalised on the fact that there are many common parts across the Airbus A300 series which means that stock costs (and the space to keep them) can be significantly smaller. Malaysia Airlines began to restructure its fleet. Then, at the height of the 1MDB scandal, the government-linked flag carrier announced it was going to buy Boeing again. And then something interesting happened in the 1MBD investigation in the USA. Current PM Mahathir and his graft-busting team need to take a look at what went on.

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A property developer in Manchester, England, has been convicted and sentenced after the roof and part of the rear wall of a building collapsed during demolition works. One might think that's kind of the point of demolition but not when it's done in an unsafe manner.

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Some months ago, we produced a series of our views of some of the ways that Formula One could be improved to avoid it becoming a high-speed procession around circuits that are, often, not very interesting from a spectators' point of view. One of those was a system where the fastest drivers were rewarded for being fastest but started at the back. In the past few races, without the incentives, that's what we've seen and yesterday's German Grand Prix demonstrated why it's such an excellent concept, even when the stewards act to spoil it.

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When Drupal 8 was first announced, I installed it and within a couple of hours had given up with it. It was clunky, many of the modules I relied on were not available and may never be but, most of all, it was clear that if I wanted it to do what I wanted it to do I was going to have to relearn programming - which is exactly why we moved to Drupal: I can make Drupal 7 do what I want with minimal digging around under the covers. Three years and many releases later, as the threat of Drupal 7 reaching end of life becomes real, and in the light of some big complex sites we are building, it was time to review D8's progress. I don't just not like it, I actively detest it. And with one press of the delete key acting on the server, I'm free of it.

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There's bound to be some head-scratching going on after the announcement of a cartel case relating to blood and body tissue. Before the "yuk" factor makes you turn the page, we should explain: it's all about stem cell preservation.

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The UK's Information Commissioner's Office has ordered Facebook to pay a penalty (it's not a fine because there has been no criminal prosecution and only the Crown, via the Criminal Courts, can levy fines) of GBP500,000. The amount will not trouble Facebook - it's less than the annual tax the company doesn't pay the UK as a result of its cross-border arrangements. But the principle should send shock waves through the raft of American companies that operate in Europe and think they can do as they please. Four letters are at the heart of the grenade that the ICO just sent across the pond: GDPR. The next fine will hurt - and it will hurt over and over again.

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Ironically, the new-found press freedoms (which have not been backed by changes in legislation) have demonstrated a problem. The media, which has long had oppressive control foisted on it has learned self-censorship drawn far inside boundaries in countries with greater press freedom. Now the problem is this: domestically trained journos don't know where boundaries should be. So when an application was granted for restrictions on reporting matters subject to charges against former PM Najib Razak, there's mistaken outrage.

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