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Top lawyer monitors Volkswagen

U.S. Department of Justice appoints Larry D. Thompson to monitor Volkswagen.

Who is the monitor?

From 2001 to 2003, Larry D. Thompson held the second highest position in the U.S. Department of Justice, that of Deputy Attorney General. Now 71, he was also employed in the top management of the PepsiCo group. For almost two years, Thompson has been working as an attorney for the law firm Finch McCranie in Atlanta, GA.

What are the monitor’s responsibilities?

Over the next three years, Thompson will ensure that the Volkswagen Group is fulfilling the conditions set out in the settlement agreement made with the U.S. government. This includes measures to strengthen ­Volkswagen’s compliance, reporting and monitoring mechanisms, as well as the implementation of an enhanced compliance and ethics program. The lawyer will also be tasked with certifying that ­Volkswagen’s compliance program is able to detect issues such as that involving diesel emissions, and to prevent anything similar from happening again.

What powers does the monitor have?

Larry D. Thompson and his team are allowed to enter offices, peruse ­documents, and make contact with all Volkswagen employees. The monitor is also authorized to participate in the meetings of all committees. In carrying out his tasks, however, the monitor is obliged to treat any confidential business or personal information with utmost confidentiality.

Is this the first time that a German company has been assigned a monitor?

No. Proceedings against Siemens, Daimler, and Bilfinger all included agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice that required supervision by a monitor.