Walmart had as much to say about an ongoing and expanding investigation into alleged violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in its third quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission as it did about its actual financial results.
According to Walmart, the audit committee of the board of directors, comprised solely of independent directors, is conducting an internal investigation into, among other things, alleged violations of the FCPA and other alleged crimes or misconduct in connection with foreign subsidiaries, including Wal-Mart de México, S.A.B. de C.V. and whether prior allegations of such violations and/or misconduct were appropriately handled by the company. The audit committee and the company have engaged outside counsel from a number of law firms and other advisors who are assisting in the on-going investigation of these matters. The company is also conducting a voluntary global review of its policies, practices and internal controls for FCPA compliance. The company is engaged in strengthening its global anti-corruption compliance programs through appropriate remedial anti-corruption measures following the November 2011 voluntarily disclosure of investigative activity to the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC.
The disclosure that got peoples’ attention on Thursday morning was that since the implementation of the global review and the enhanced anti-corruption compliance programs, the audit committee and the company have identified or been made aware of additional allegations regarding potential violations of the FCPA.
When such allegations are reported or identified, the audit committee and the company, together with their third party advisors, conduct inquiries and when warranted based on those inquiries, open investigations. Inquiries or investigations regarding allegations of potential FCPA violations have been commenced in a number of foreign markets where we operate, including but not limited to Brazil, China and India.
The company has been informed by the DOJ and the SEC that it is also the subject of their respective investigations into possible violations of the FCPA. The Company is cooperating with the investigations by the DOJ and the SEC. A number of federal and local government agencies in Mexico have also initiated investigations of these matters. Walmex is