In accordance with the Luxembourg law on commercial companies, the company’s annual and consolidated accounts are certified by an external auditor appointed by the annual general meeting of shareholders. On 7 April 2016, and based upon a proposal from the Board, the shareholders re-elected PwC as the company’s external auditor for one year and approved its remuneration, with a majority of more than 99.495%. The mandate of PwC will expire at the annual general meeting on 6 April 2017.
The SES Internal Audit function performs separate evaluations of the relevance of, and compliance with, company policies and internal control procedures.
The mission of the Internal Audit function is to provide independent and objective assurance regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of business operations, the reliability of financial and operational reporting, and the company’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. In this context, Internal Audit is also tasked to support management with identifying, preventing and minimising risks, as well as safeguarding the company’s assets.
To ensure an appropriate level of independence and communication, the Internal Audit function has a direct reporting line into the Audit and Risk Committee and reports functionally to the President and CEO.
The activities of the Internal Audit function are executed in accordance with an annual audit plan, which is reviewed and approved by the Audit and Risk Committee. This plan is derived from an annual risk assessment based on a risk mapping exercise relying on the SES risk register. The annual risk assessment responds to the need to dynamically link the audit plan to risks and exposures that may affect the organisation and its operations.
Internal Audit monitors the implementation of internal control recommendations and regularly reports on effective compliance to the Senior Management of SES and to the Audit and Risk Committee.
Internal Audit also regularly co-ordinates audit planning and exchanges relevant information with the company’s external auditors.
The proxy structure of the SES Government Solutions entity, in line with common practice for businesses serving certain segments of the US Government, imposes various restrictions on the Board and executive management in directly supervising the maintenance of an internal control system and imposing an internal audit structure.
The SES Internal Audit function did not perform any direct internal control review of this entity during 2016, in line with the imposed restrictions. However, these restrictions are mitigated through having agreement on a required risk management and internal control framework which is subject to evaluation and testing by a third-party internal audit function. An adequate reporting process of activities of the third-party audit function to the SES Internal Audit function and Audit and Risk Committee has been put in place.
It should be further noted that PwC, as external auditor, reviews the financial statements of SES Government Solutions.