Alan Ferguson (Chairman)
The Committee is made up of four Non-Executive Directors. The Board considers the Chairman (Alan Ferguson) and each of the members to be independent within the definition of the Code and that each of them has relevant financial experience as well as a broad and diverse spread of of commercial experience. Alan Ferguson has held a number of senior financial roles, most recently as Chief Financial Officer of Lonmin Plc and is currently chairman of the Audit Committee of two FTSE 100/250 companies as well as an AIM listed company. This provides the Board with assurance that the Audit Committee has the appropriate skills and experience to ensure that it can be fully effective, and that it meets the Code requirement that at least one member of the Committee has significant, recent and relevant financial experience.
The Chairman of the Board, the Group Chief Executive, the Group Finance Director, the Group Financial Controller, the Vice President Risk and Control, who leads the internal audit function, and representatives from the external and internal auditors regularly attend meetings by invitation. The Committee periodically, and the Chairman more regularly, meets separately with the Vice President Risk and Control, and the external auditors without the Executives being present.
The Committee's remit is to assist the Board to fulfil its responsibility for ensuring that the Group's financial systems provide accurate and up to date information on its financial position.
The Key Responsibilities of the Committee are to:
- To monitor the integrity of the financial statements and results announcements of the Group and to review significant financial reporting issues and judgements
- To recommend external auditor appointment and removal, assess audit quality, negotiate and approve the audit fee, assess independence and monitoring of non-audit services
- To review the adequacy and effectiveness of the Group’s internal controls and risk management systems, and the adequacy effectiveness and output of the internal audit function
- To review the adequacy of the Group's whistle-blowing arrangements and procedures for detecting fraud.
Looking ahead to 2017
In addition to routine business, the Committee has four focus areas for 2017. The Committee will:
- Plan and conduct the tenders of the external audit and internal audit services
- Review the implementation of our enhanced ethical compliance programmes relating to anti-bribery and sales of products into sanctioned markets
- Review the progress of the project to increase the use of data analytics both as an audit tool and as a tool to examine process flows within SAP
- Continue our focus on cyber security risk and ensure the Committee receives some training in this area.