In June 2019, Walmart paid the DOJ and SEC $282 million to settle allegations that it violated the FCPA by paying an intermediary in Brazil for help obtaining construction permits and having weak anti-corruption internal controls in Brazil, China, India, and Mexico. How does its three-page anti-corruption policy compare?
1. It’s global.
To effectively implement this policy, Walmart shall maintain an effective risk-based Global Anti-Corruption Program (the “Program”) designed to prevent, detect, and remediate bribery and recordkeeping violations. As part of the program, Walmart shall adopt operating procedures specifically targeted to the corruption risks that exist for all of its operations, worldwide.
2. It’s helpful to not report anonymously.
All reports to Ethics & Compliance are treated as confidentially as possible. It helps with follow-up if you identify yourself. If you are not comfortable identifying yourself, you can make anonymous reports to the Ethics Helpline to the extent allowed by law.
3. No (mention) of facilitating payments.
This policy prohibits corrupt payments in all circumstances, whether in dealings with government officials or individuals in the private sector.
Every company we’ve benchmarked has explicitly mentioned facilitating payments. Apple, Novartis, Microsoft, Volkswagen, and Airbus ban them. In contrast, Tesla might approve some facilitating payments.
4. Don’t fake it.
Knowingly reporting false information is contrary to our values and will be subject to disciplinary action. Also, anyone who reports a suspected violation may be subject to disciplinary action to the extent he or she violated any Walmart policy or procedure.
5. There are incentives.
Appropriate incentives and punishments for associates, executives and third parties for adherence to or violations of, respectively, the relevant policy and related procedures.
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View more anti-corruption policy benchmarks here.