By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO, AP Retail Writer NEW YORK (AP) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is creating a new global compliance officer position following reports that the world's largest retailer allegedly covered up results of an internal probe proving that its Mexican subsidiary bribed officials there.
The new global leader, who has not been named, will make sure the discounter is in compliance worldwide with the U.S. law that forbids U.S companies from engaging in bribery and other corrupt practices overseas.
The new executive will oversee five regional compliance directors. The company said it also is adding new protocols to ensure investigations into possible violations of the 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act are managed "consistently and independently."
Wal-Mart said it has a dedicated compliance director in Mexico, who will report directly to the global compliance leader.
"We are taking a deep look at our policies and procedures in every country in which we operate," Wal-Mart spokesman Dave Tovar said in a statement. "This includes developing and implementing recommendations for FCPA training, anti-corruption safeguards and internal controls."
Those moves are the latest Wal-Mart has announced in response to a New York Times article last weekend outlining the Mexico allegations. The news has hammered Wal-Mart's stock price and prompted congressional investigations.
The New York Times reported that Wal-Mart failed to notify law enforcement after company investigators found evidence that its officials had authorized millions of dollars in bribes to Mexican officials in exchange for speedier building permits and other favors that helped the company expand it aggressively in Mexico.