A business entity cannot survive in a business environment that lacks clear policies, regulations, and laws which defines how it relates to other business, the government, and it its client. These laws and regulation are meant to protect individual parties when entering into business agreements. In Washington, there are specific policies, regulations, and laws that define how the business unit should be managed and how it should relate to different parties within the business environment.
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The legal environment helps in defining how organizations can ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information to enhance efficiency (Miller & Cross, 2013). Some firms have been very successful in this region because they have mastered the legal environment in Washington, DC. On the other hand, others have suffered because of their inability to understand these laws.
This case study is meant to enlighten all the stakeholders of the legal environment in the region, and how it may impact on an organization’s ability to manage confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.
The term policy should be looked at from two perspectives. Government policies are laws and regulations that are issued by the federal, state, or local government to define how all firms within a given industry should behave for the benefit of the entire societal system. On the other hand, organizational policies are regulations and policies set by an organization to enable it to conduct business in an efficient way without contravening government policies (Ross, 1997).
It is important to note that it is the responsibility of individual firms to ensure that their organizational policies are in line with government policies. Each organization will have its own unique organizational policies. This way, they will be able to avoid unnecessary litigation or any other form of harassment from government agencies.
In Washington, DC, there are laws and regulations that have been defined by the federal and state government that must be observed by individual firms. These laws are numerous, and we may not be able to address all of them in this single sitting. Each business unit will have unique laws and regulations to observe based on the industry in which it operates.
For this reason, it is the responsibility of the individual firm to understand specific laws and regulations set by state and federal government that defines its operational activities (Gibson, 2011). However, there are some general laws that are universal and should be observed by all firms. Before any firm can start operations, the law requires it to register with the federal, state, and local government based on its size.
Some small firms may only need the permit from the local government, while other larger ones may need registration at the three levels. Another universal regulation that must be observed by all firms is the need to register as a taxpayer, and dutifully remit taxes to the national and local governments as stated in the law. Failure to observe this regulation may find a firm in court for its omission to undertake its obligations.
The legal environment in this state defines how employers should relate to their employees (Adamson, 2002). Although employers have the liberty of defining organizational policies, they must observe all labor laws that protect employees. There are other laws about environmental pollution, the legality of the operations or the products, consumer protection, and public relations.
Confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA) are one of the most popular models designed to offer guidance for information security and availability within an organization (Hingarh & Ahmed, 2013). This model is popular because of its three facets. It seeks to ensure that information within an organization remains confidential.
Among the cases that were researched, it was apparent that government policies respect the confidentiality of information of individual firms as long as it is in good faith. This protects individual firms from an unscrupulous individual who may want to access the information for malicious purposes. The integrity of the information refers to how trustworthy it is in reporting what it claims to report.
Government policies are very strict when it comes to the integrity of information within this region. For instance, when an organization provides information to the government for the purpose of taxation, the information should give a true reflection of the profits of that particular firm. Similarly, all other stakeholders, including customers, should not be provided with misleading information that may subject them to physical or financial harm.
Finally, this model emphasizes on the availability of the data to the relevant stakeholders (Li, 2007). All stakeholders should find it easy to retrieve relevant information from the firm whenever there is need. The government should be able to get any data that is due to it. The same should be the case with the owners, top management unit, employees, customers, and other agencies. Because of the increasing number of stakeholders, firms currently do consider making this information available on their websites.
A case study conducted with a number of firms in Washington, DC, reveals that different firms are using different information systems to protect their data, make it available to relevant stakeholders, and enhance its accuracy. Government policies only guide, but do not have any direct control of the choice of systems individual firms chose.
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Adamson, J. E. (2002). The legal environment: Essentials for the successful professional. Mason, OH: South-Western/Thompson Learning.
Gibson, D. (2011). Managing risk in information systems. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Hingarh, V., & Ahmed, A. (2013). Understanding and Conducting Information Systems Auditing. New York: Wiley.
Li, S. (2007). The legal environment and risks for foreign investment in China. Berlin: Springer.
Miller, R. L. R., & Cross, F. B. (2013). The legal environment today: Business in its ethical, regulatory, e-commerce, and global setting. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Ross, D. (1997). Petty Advertising Law in the United States and European Union. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 16(1), 2-13.