MS forms committee to oversee its own compliance

MS forms committee to oversee its own compliance

Microsoft has named three members of its anti-trust compliance committee, an initial step in complying with court-ordered sanctions designed to keep the software maker's behaviour in check.

Microsoft has appointed three of its board members to the committee following the opinion issued last week by US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in the US Government's anti-trust case against the company. As part of her decision, Kollar-Kotelly ordered Microsoft to create a group of internal watch-dogs that would help ensure that Microsoft follows orders laid down by the court.

The committee must always include not less than three members who are neither present nor former company employees, Microsoft noted. Microsoft's board of directors passed a resolution on Friday to form the committee, Microsoft said.

James Cash, a Microsoft board member and Harvard Business School professor, will serve as chairman of the anti-trust compliance committee, the statement said. Raymond Gilmartin, a Microsoft board member and the chairman, chief executive officer and president of Merck & Co. will also be on the committee. Ann McLaughlin Korologos, former US secretary of labour and a Microsoft board member, is the last member.

The compliance committee is required to hire a compliance officer who will report to both the committee and to Microsoft's chief executive officer, Steve Ballmer.

"I want to be clear that we have heard both those who have supported us and those who have criticised us," Ballmer said during a news conference following the release of Kollar-Kotelly's opinion last week. "Compliance is both a corporate commitment and a personal responsibility for all our employees."

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