The Business Assurance department maintains a high-level of independence and objectivity within the company based on the following principles:
- The Audit Committee Charter describes the purpose, authority and responsibilities of Internal Audit;
- The VP of Business Assurance has unrestricted access to the Supervisory Board and Audit Committee and reports regularly to the Audit Committee, as well as maintaining a direct relationship with the Audit Committee chairman;
- The VP of Business Assurance meets at least once annually with the Audit Committee without the Management Board being present;
- Members of the Internal Audit department are qualified professionals who uphold the ethical guidelines covering independence laid down by the professional bodies governing registered accountants and internal auditors; and
- The internal auditor's role is to provide assurance and advice to management, who are ultimately accountable for the effectiveness of the internal control and risk systems.