Type: FCA Regulation
PART 620 - DISCLOSURE TO SHAREHOLDERS
Subpart F - Bank and Association Audit and Compensation Committees
§ 620.30 Audit committees.
Each Farm Credit bank and association must establish and maintain an audit committee. An audit committee is established by adopting a written charter describing the committee's composition, authorities, and responsibilities in accordance with this section. All audit committees must maintain records of meetings, including attendance, for at least 3 fiscal years.
(a) Composition. Each member of an audit committee must be a member of the Farm Credit institution’s board of directors. An audit committee may not consist of less than three members and must include any director designated as a financial expert under § 611.210(a)(2) of this chapter. All audit committee members should be knowledgeable in at least one of the following: public and corporate finance, financial reporting and disclosure, or accounting procedures.
(b) Independence. Every audit committee member must be free from any relationship that, in the opinion of the board, would interfere with the exercise of independent judgment as a committee member.
(c) Resources. Farm Credit institutions must permit their audit committees to contract for independent legal counsel and expert advisors. If an institution hires a financial expert advisor pursuant to § 611.210(a)(2), that advisor will also serve as an advisor to the audit committee. Each institution is responsible for providing monetary and nonmonetary resources to enable its audit committee to contract for external auditors, outside advisors, and ordinary administrative expenses. A two-thirds majority vote of the full board of directors is required to deny an audit committee’s request for resources.
(d) Duties. Each audit committee must report only to the board of directors. In its capacity as a committee of the board, the audit committee is responsible for the following:
(1) Financial reports. Each audit committee must oversee management's preparation of the report to shareholders; review the impact of any significant accounting and auditing developments; review accounting policy changes relating to preparation of financial statements; and review annual and quarterly reports prior to release. After the audit committee reviews a financial policy, procedure, or report, it must record in its minutes its agreement or disagreement with the item(s) under review.
(2) External auditors. The external auditor must report directly to the audit committee. Each audit committee must:
(i) Determine the appointment, compensation, and retention of external auditors issuing audit reports of the institution;
(ii) Review the external auditor’s work;
(iii) Give prior approval for any non-audit services performed by the external auditor, except the audit committee may not approve those non-audit services specifically prohibited by FCA regulation; and
(iv) Comply with the auditor independence provisions of part 621 of this chapter.
(3) Internal controls. Each audit committee must oversee the institution's system of internal controls relating to preparation of financial reports, including controls relating to the institution's compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Any internal audit functions of the institution must also be subject to audit committee review and supervision.
[71 FR 5766, Feb. 2, 2006, as amended at 71 FR 76120, Dec. 20, 2006]
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