Summary: In 2004, a former executive of Wal-Mart de Mexico, Wal-Mart’s largest foreign subsidiary, revealed to a Wal-Mart lawyer the pervasive bribery campaign Wal-Mart de Mexico was using in an effort to “win market dominance.” Wal-Mart investigated and found significant evidence that US and Mexico laws were likely violated. The lead investigator recommended an expanded investigation. Instead, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down and it hasn’t been public until now.
Law enforcement officials were never notified, and none of the Wal-Mart de Mexico executives were disciplined. In fact, its chief executive – one of the driving forces behind the bribery – was promoted in 2008. Worried about the damage these revelations could have, Wal-Mart “focused more on damage control than on rooting out wrongdoing.”
Wal-Mart’s stock price fell 4.6 percent yesterday and Wal-Mart de Mexico’s went down 13 percent. This debacle is a good illustration of what can happen to companies who choose to ignore whistleblowers instead of embrace their disclosures.
Related Articles: Chicago Tribune
Summary: This opinion piece explores the arguments for and against HIMP – USDA's proposed deregulated poultry inspection program – and cites inspector whistleblower affidavits sent to GAP expressing public health concerns. The author applauds the agency's decision to extend the comment period, adding that the whistleblowers have "been the front line guys on this food safety battle from the beginning" and should be heard.
Key Quote: The Government Accountability Project (GAP) was one of the first organizations to express serious doubts about the HACCP Inspection Models Program (HIMP) which had been flying comfortably under most watchdog radar, probably overshadowed by the never-ending "pink slime" controversy.
Related Article: Federal Daily
Summary: GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack appeared on The Kojo Nnamdi Show yesterday to talk about the phenomenon of whistleblowing and its importance in society.
The other participants included Eyal Press, author of Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times, and Ali Soufan, recipient of the 2012 Ridenhour Book Prize for his book, The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda. The Ridenhour Awards ceremony will be held tomorrow where Countrywide/Bank of America whistleblower and GAP client Eileen Foster will be presented the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling, along with Lt. Col. Daniel Davis who blew the whistle on the current situation in Afghanistan.
Summary: New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration had originally pressed the state Senate to disinvite a whistleblower from the developmental disabilities panel held yesterday. However, the administration reversed itself and the whistleblower appeared on the panel with another top official. The whistleblower has accused the state developmental disabilities agency’s handling of reports of abuse and neglect.Related Article: Times Union
Summary: President Obama will posthumously honor a former Polish underground officer who was one of the first people to expose Nazi atrocities with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The officer died in 2000 in the United States.
Summary: GAP's Food Integrity Campaign provides an update on state Ag Gag legislation, including unfortunate movement in the state of Missouri.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.