The fallout from the Wal-Mart bribery scandal continues to grow: this week, lawmakers tasked with investigating the retailer’s malpractice wrote a letter to Wal-Mart CEO David Tovar stating that they have not received enough information from the company to proceed with their investigation. The retail behemoth has not made any executives or in-house staff available for questions, only allowing lawmakers to speak to outside attorneys.
Publicly, the company is scrambling to save face and prove their compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The chain recently hired consulting firm KPMG to conduct due diligence on the retailer’s hundreds of suppliers. In India, a country known for its struggles with corruption, the corporate giant has vowed to cut ties with any vendors found to be engaging in corrupt practices. They’re right to be scared: Wal-Mart lawyers have identified India as one of four countries in addition to Mexico that represents a corruption risk, along with Brazil, China and South Africa.
Clearly, Wal-Mart cares a lot more about reassuring investors than in actually cooperating with lawmakers. However, it doesn’t look like their placating measures are working: on Monday, New York City’s pension funds joined a growing list of groups in filing a derivative lawsuit against the company. The suit claims that Wal-Mart’s officers and board of directors failed in their fiduciary duty to properly deal with the bribery allegations.
It looks like Wal-Mart’s bailing out a sinking ship. The corporation can continue to try and hide its malfeasance, but it looks like the people won’t stand for this sort of corruption any longer.
Wal-Mart bribery review includes Brazil, China & India
New York City files derivative suit vs. Wal-Mart