The Audit Committee assists the Board in discharging its responsibilities, in particular, with regard to financial reporting, external and internal audits and controls, including reviewing and monitoring the integrity of the Group’s annual and interim financial statements and reviewing the effectiveness of the external audit process. The Audit Committee also assists the Board in reviewing the effectiveness of the Group’s internal audit, internal controls, whistleblowing and fraud systems. The ultimate responsibility for reviewing and approving the annual report and accounts and the half-yearly reports remains with the Board. The Audit Committee meets at least three times a year at the appropriate times in the reporting and audit cycle.
The terms of reference of the Audit Committee details its responsibilities and covers such issues as membership and the frequency of meetings, together with requirements for quorum and notice procedure and the right to attend meetings. The terms of reference also set out the authority of the committee to carry out its responsibilities.
The UK Corporate Governance Code recommends that an audit committee should comprise at least three members who are independent non-executive directors and that at least one member should have recent and relevant financial experience. The Audit Committee’s terms of reference require that its composition comply with these recommendations. The Audit Committee is chaired by Paul Harrison and its other members are Gillian Kent and Rita Clifton.
Ascential plc – terms of reference of the Audit Committee