The Audit & Risk Committee is chaired by Nick Rose. The other members are Karen Richardson and Jasmine Whitbread. They are all independent non-executive directors. The Board considers that the Committee’s members have broad commercial knowledge and extensive business leadership experience, having held between them various prior roles in major business, Government, financial management, treasury and financial function supervision and that this constitutes a broad and suitable mix of business and financial experience. The Board has reviewed membership of the Committee and is satisfied that it includes a member, Nick Rose, who has recent and relevant financial experience as required by the provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code and he is an ‘audit committee financial expert' for the purposes of the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
The Committee recommends the appointment and reappointment of the external auditors and considers their resignation or dismissal, recommending to the Board appropriate action to appoint new auditors. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP have been the company’s auditors for many years. Having reviewed the independence and effectiveness of the external auditors, the Committee has not considered it necessary to date to require them to tender for the audit. The external auditors are required to rotate the lead partner every five years, and other partners that are responsible for the group and subsidiary audits every seven years. The Committee discusses with the auditors the scope of their audits before they commence, reviews the results and considers the formal reports of the auditors and reports the results of those reviews to the Board.