Risk management and internal control
Internal control and risk management systems are in place. Our risk management system is explained in more detail in the Strategic performance section.
We have strict procedures for internal and disclosure controls and auditor independence. The Disclosure Committee monitors the disclosure procedures established by the company and advises the Executive Committee to ensure adequate and timely disclosure of material financial and non-financial information.
An Internal Control committee is responsible for maintaining the company’s internal control framework. An area of continued focus in 2014 was the control standards for our key IT systems and making more use of automated controls in these systems. Designing and implementing global standardized processes, partially through outsourced, partially through captive shared service centers, has been another important focus area to support the company’s strategy of standardization and functional excellence.
We also have a company-wide compliance monitoring tool in place to discuss and monitor progress with respect to compliance-related issues. More detail on the so-called non-financial letter of representation process is available in the Compliance and integrity management chapter.
Reference is made to the Statement of the Board of Management in the Leadership section for the statements relating to internal risk management and control systems.
The AkzoNobel internal control framework
The AkzoNobel internal control framework provides reasonable assurance in achieving business goals, including strategic, operational and reporting goals, as well as those covering compliance. Internal control is not only about policies and procedures, but also relates strongly to people, culture and behaviors.