The Board acknowledges its accountability to its stakeholders to present information that is relevant, accurate and reliable. In this regard it should be noted that Remgro follows a combined assurance model, incorporating management, internal audit and external assurance (e.g. BBBEE scorecard verification and Carbon Disclosure Project verification). Remgro believes that these assurance methods provide the necessary assurance over the quality and reliability of the information presented. The different options and levels of independent assurance available are continuously being reassessed to ensure optimised assurance.
The consolidated Annual Financial Statements of Remgro were audited by the independent external auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc., in accordance with International Standards on Auditing. Remgro acknowledges the increasing requirements from investors and regulatory and other guidelines, such as King IV and the integrated reporting guidelines, for the external assurance of selected non-financial information.
The Audit and Risk Committee is responsible to ensure that the combined assurance model is applied to provide a coordinated approach to all assurance activities, and that the combined assurance received is appropriate to address all the significant risks facing Remgro. It is also responsible to monitor the relationship between external service providers and Remgro. Various other voluntary external accreditation, certification and assurance initiatives are followed in the Remgro Group.
Remgro has implemented an enterprise-wide risk and opportunities management system that forms part of the overall combined assurance plan. Technology and information risk and opportunities management is fully integrated and included in Remgro’s combined assurance process.
The Board is satisfied that a combined assurance model is applied which incorporates and optimises the various assurance services and functions so that these support the objectives for assurance.
The Board’s direction takes into account legal requirements in relation to assurance and whether assurance should be applied to the underlying data used to prepare a report, or to the process for preparing and presenting a report, or both. In determining how to assure external reports, consideration is given to whether the nature, scope and extent of assurance are suited to the intended audience and purpose of a report; and the evaluation of the underlying subject matter of the report. The Board is satisfied that the external reports of Remgro meet the recommended practices of King IV.
Internal audit forms an integral part of Remgro’s enterprise-wide risk and opportunities management system to provide assurance on the effectiveness of Remgro’s risk and opportunities management process and system of internal control. The internal audit function is independent from management with unfettered access to the Audit and Risk Committee and executive management.
Remgro’s Chief Audit Executive (CAE) provides an annual written assessment to the Audit and Risk Committee on the effectiveness of the Remgro Group’s governance system of internal controls and risk and opportunities management. The Audit and Risk Committee is satisfied with the independence, quality and scope of the internal audit process.
Reports on the effectiveness of Remgro’s internal controls are included in the Risk and Opportunities Management Report and the Audit and Risk Committee Report. The Audit and Risk Committee has, inter alia, considered the reports from the internal and external auditors and satisfied itself about the adequacy and effectiveness of the Remgro Group’s systems of internal control.
During the previous financial year, the Audit and Risk Committee reviewed and amended the Internal Audit Mandate for approval by the Board, in light of the principles and recommended practices of King IV.
The Board continuously monitors that internal audit follows a comprehensive quality assurance and improvement process, regularly reviews Remgro’s risk profile and approves the risk-based annual internal audit work plan accordingly.
The Audit and Risk Committee has appointed Mr Deon Annandale as Remgro’s CAE. The Board is satisfied with the attributes, objectivity and independence of the CAE, and that the CAE has the necessary gravitas and competence. The CAE is invited to attend meetings of the Management Board, as and when required, in addition to standing invitations to the ROTIG and Treasury Committees’ meetings and the investment strategy conference.
An external, independent quality review of the internal audit function is conducted at least once every three years.