Vous trouverez dans ce billet deux documents produit par l’European Confederation of Directors’ Associations (ecoDa), partenaire du Collège des administrateurs de sociétés (CAS), qui sont susceptibles d’intéresser les personnes qui se préoccupent de gouvernance européenne.
Le premier document est un compte rendu d’une conférence commanditée par ecoDa et l’European Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditors (ECIIA) et qui porte sur le processus d’audit interne. C’est un rapport synthèse vraiment pertinent pour les spécialistes du contrôle interne.
Voici un extrait du rapport :
« This paper seeks to provide useful guidance to boards, governing bodies and individual directors that wish to make effective use of the internal audit function, particularly in respect of gaining assurance concerning the adequacy of an organisation’s risk management and internal control systems. Internal audit is a key component of modern corporate governance. However, board structures and corporate governance systems exhibit significant variation across Europe. In some countries (e.g. the UK, France), the board consists of both senior members of management and non-executive directors. In other countries (e.g. Germany, Netherlands, or the Nordic countries), the board or supervisory board may be entirely composed of non-executive board members. In such circumstances, senior management may sit on a separate executive board or be excluded from the board altogether. Notwithstanding the variation in corporate governance systems across Europe, there are some basic characteristics of governance frameworks that are typical in most countries:
- The board provides direction to senior management by setting the organisation’s risk appetite. It also seeks to identify the most significant risks facing the organisation. Thereafter, the board assures itself on an ongoing basis that senior management is responding appropriately to these risks.
- The CEO and senior management are delegated primary ownership responsibility for the operational functioning of an organisation’s risk management and control framework. It is management’s job to provide leadership and direction to the employees in respect of risk management, and to control the organisation’s overall risk-taking activities in relation to the agreed level of risk appetite.
To ensure the effectiveness of an organization’s risk management framework, the board and senior management need to be able to rely on adequate line functions – including monitoring and assurance functions – within the organisation. In order to conceptualise these line functions, ecoDa and the ECIIA endorse the use of the “Three lines of Defence” model which is already widely adopted within the financial industry, but which can also be productively utilised in a wide range of sectors. The “Three lines of Defence” structure is a conceptual delineation of an organisation’s internal control levels: first line controls, second level monitoring controls and third-line independent assurance. It also provides a framework with which the board can understand the role of internal audit in the overall risk management and internal control process of an organisation ».
Le deuxième document est également très intéressant; il concerne la position européenne en ce qui a trait au « Comply or Explain » et présente les recommandations d’ecoDa sur le sujet.
Voici un extrait de la récente conférence annuelle qui portait sur le « Comply or Explain » :
« Throughout Europe, the governance of listed companies is reigned by governance codes that offer the companies a frame of reference based on best practices, which companies are supposed to comply with, or in the case of non-compliance those companies are (now) legally obliged to explain why they deviate from the code’s recommendation. Consequently, comply-or-explain (CoE) in general and the quality of explanations more specifically is expected to be one of the top priorities of the European Action Plan on corporate governance.
The 2008 ISS/Risk Metrics study – to which ecoDa as a partner organization contributed actively – demonstrated that there was widespread support for this flexible approach but at the same time revealed that the quality of explanations deserved special attention. Although governance practices have improved considerably since then, the European Commission stated in its 2011Governance Green Paper that the quality of the explanations still offers substantial room for improvement. Although the Commission so far has dealt with this issue with caution and pragmatism, some make a plea for abandoning all together the flexibility the governance codes offer.
Convinced that such a move would be detrimental to a substantive improvement of thegovernance practices and would even be unfeasible for the largest part of the more qualitative governance recommendations, ecoDa – the Voice of European Directors – took the initiative to organize a European Conference on this theme. ecoDa is convinced that only an improvement of the quality of explanations can safeguard the flexibility offered today by the European governance approach ».
Related articles :
‘Comply or explain’ gains traction for getting women on boards (theglobeandmail.com)