U.S.-based Walmart Stores Inc, on Wednesday, said it was tightening the anti-corruption practices in India, amidst reports of U.S. lawmakers asking the retail giant to review its operations in the country along with those in four other nations.
“This (anti-corruption measures) is part of the previously announced worldwide review of our anti-corruption programme that we initiated in March of 2011 including the global review that the company is conducting of its policies, practices, and controls for FCPA compliance,” a Bharti Walmart spokesperson said in a statement.
Bharti Walmart is a 50:50 joint venture between Walmart Stores and Bharti Enterprises that operates wholesale stores in India.
The spokesperson further said the initiative included developing and implementing recommendations for the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) training, anti—corruption safeguards, and internal controls. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the U.S. bars bribes to officials of foreign governments. According to the Wall Street Journal, lawyers hired by Walmart Stores to evaluate its anti-corruption policies have recommended adding India and South Africa to a review that includes Mexico, Brazil and China, citing a letter to the company from congressional Democrats. According to the letter quoted by WSJ, from Representatives Elijah Cummings and Henry Waxman, both Democrats, Walmart asked its lawyers to expand the review to a worldwide assessment of the company's anti-corruption policies.