We have prepared the 2008 Report of AkzoNobel and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as adopted by the EU and additional Dutch disclosure requirements for annual reports.
To the best of our knowledge:
- The financial statements in this 2008 Report give a true and fair view of our assets and liabilities, financial position at December 31, 2008, and of the result of our consolidated operations for the financial year 2008.
- The management report in this 2008 Report includes a fair review of the development and performance of the businesses and the position of AkzoNobel and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole, and describes the principal risks and uncertainties that we face.
The Board of Management is responsible for the establishment and adequate functioning of internal controls in our company. Consequently, the Board of Management has implemented a broad range of processes and procedures designed to provide control by the Board of Management over the company’s operations. These processes and procedures include measures regarding the general control environment, such as a Code of Conduct including Business Principles, Corporate Directives and Authority Schedules, as well as specific measures, such as a risk management system, a system of controls and a system of letters of representation by responsible management at various levels within our company.
All these processes and procedures are aimed at a reasonable level of assurance that we have identified and managed the significant risks of our company and that we meet our operational and financial objectives in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The individual components of the above set of internal controls are in line with the COSO Enterprise Risk Management framework.
The corporate director Internal Audit is responsible for ensuring that these measures are assessed for adequacy and effectiveness. With respect to support to, and monitoring of, compliance with laws and regulations including our Business Principles, a compliance committee has been established. Internal Audit provides assurance to the Board whether our internal control processes, as designed and represented by management, are adequate and functioning correctly.
While we routinely work towards continuous improvement of its processes and procedures regarding its financial reporting, the Board of Management is of the opinion that these processes and procedures:
- Provide a reasonable level of assurance that this 2008 Report does not contain any material misstatements
- Have operated properly in the year 2008
- Will also operate properly in 2009.
For a detailed description of the risk management system with regard to the strategic, operational and compliance risks and the principal risks identified, reference is made to the chapter. We have discussed the above opinions and conclusions with the Audit Committee, the Supervisory Board and the external auditor.