Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Tuesday that it has created a new global position to oversee compliance with a U.S. law that forbids bribes to foreign officials.

The creation of a new Global FCPA Compliance Officer post is one of the steps the company has taken in the past year to manage issues of bribery when they arise, spokesman David Tovar said in a statement. FCPA refers to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a 1970s U.S. law.

On Saturday, the New York Times reported that a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an email from a former executive at Wal-Mart de Mexico in September 2005 that described how the Mexican affiliate, known as Walmex, had paid bribes to obtain permits to build stores in the country.

According to the Times, Wal-Mart sent investigators to Mexico City and found a paper trail of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. But the company's leaders shut down the probe and did not notify U.S. or Mexican law enforcement officials until after the newspaper had informed Wal-Mart that it was looking into the issue, the Times reported.

(Reporting By Brad Dorfman; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)