News Corp. Sets Up Employee Hotline to Report 'Illegal Activity' (Report)
News Corp. has set up a hotline for employees to report suspicious activity by their colleagues as it continues to be the focus of a bribery investigation, the U.K.'s Independent reported.
Rupert Murdoch's company -- which is being investigated by both U.S. and U.K. authorities over alleged payments made by its U.K. tabloids to British policemen for news tips -- circulated instructions to its employees that emphasized they are under an obligation to report suspicious activities. The dedicated line is available around the clock.
"Employees who suspect ... violations of this policy must report them to the legal department of the business unit or of News Corporation or to the News Corporation alertline," the document states.
News Corp. also assured would-be whistleblowers that it would protect those who incorrectly accuse one of their colleagues.
"If you make an honest complaint in good faith, even if you are mistaken as to what you are complaining about, the company will protect you from retaliation," the policy says.
The company also warned employees about giving gifts to government officials or even entertaining them.
"Gifts and hospitality that may be perfectly acceptable among private parties can be completely forbidden when the other party is a government official," it reads.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter requesting information from News Corp. as part of an investigation into whether it violated America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law that prohibits companies from bribing foreign officials.
The company also is under investigation in the U.K. for violating its bribery laws.
Meanwhile, News Corp. is in the midst of trying to settle several lawsuits in the wake of its News of the World phone-hacking scandal. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the paper's employees had hacked into the voicemails of murdered teen Milly Dowler as well as some actors and other stars.
The news led to the paper's closure and also sparked the investigation into whether the paper's employees had paid police officers for confidential information.
Late last month, the company made a $4.7 million offer to Dowler's family, which would be the largest sum ever paid out by a newspaper owner.