During the year, the Audit Committee continued to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities by monitoring and reviewing the integrity of the Group’s financial reporting, effectiveness of the internal and external audit functions, revenue assurance capabilities, fraud and risk management, and cyber security. The Committee was particularly focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business, in terms of financial performance, new and emerging risks, crisis management as well as business continuity and resilience.
The Committee comprised three Non-Executive Directors, of whom two were independent Non-Executive Directors whose biographical details are set out on pages 102 to 106.
The members of the Committee are:
The Committee is chaired by Mr Mohan Weerakoon who was appointed as the Chairman of the Committee on 18 January 2021 in place of Mr Ananda Seneviratne, former Chairman of the Committee who ceased to be a member of the Committee upon his resignation from the Board w.e.f. 12 November 2020. Mr Saman Fernando was appointed as a member of the Committee on 18 January 2021.
Ms Lai Choon Foong, is a member of Chartered Accountant of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants and a CPA of CPA Australia. The Board has satisfied themselves that the current members of the Audit Committee are competent in financial matters and have a good mix of skills, expertise and experience in commercial, telecommunications and audit matters.
Other attendees at Committee meetings (or part thereof) were the Group Chief Executive Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Group Chief Financial Officer, Group Chief Internal Auditor, representatives of External Auditors and Group Company Secretary. Other members of Senior Management are also invited to attend as appropriate, to present reports and provide response to the audit issues presented to the Committee. Throughout the year, the Committee members met with the External Auditors without the presence of Management, allowing the Committee to discuss key issues directly.
The role and responsibilities of the Audit Committee are set out in written Terms of Reference, which is available in SLT’s corporate website. The Committee conducts its affairs in compliance with the Terms of Reference.
The Committee’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following matters with a view to bringing any relevant issues to the attention of the Board:
The purpose of internal control over financial reporting is to ensure the accuracy, completeness and timeliness in the Management’s reporting of interim and annual financial results of the Group and its subsidiaries.
SLT’s financial reporting consists of monthly, quarterly and annual financial and management reports, including the reporting of actual results against the budget, targets, key performance indicators and forecasts.
The Audit Committee and the Board of Directors review the financial and management reports on a regular basis, and directs the Management on the strategies and plans required to improve the performance of the Group and its subsidiaries.
At the AGM held in July 2020, the shareholders approved the appointment of Ernst & Young as the External Auditors. On the recommendation of the Audit Committee, the Directors will be proposing the re-appointment of Ernst & Young as the External Auditors at the AGM to be held in April 2021.
The Audit Committee is responsible for the monitoring of policies and procedures on the use of the External Auditor for non-audit services in accordance with professional and regulatory requirements.
The External Auditors have confirmed that in relation to the audit of SLT Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2020, they are independent within the meaning of Section 163, subsection 3(a) of the Companies Act No. 07 of 2007.
These policies are kept under review to ensure that the Group benefits, in a cost-effective manner, from the cumulative knowledge and experience of its External Auditor whilst also ensuring the necessary degree of their independence and objectivity.
The Committee also ensures that fees incurred, or to be incurred, for non-audit services both individually and in aggregate, do not exceed the fees recommended for the external audit and take into account the relevant ethical guidance for External Auditors.
The fees paid to the External Auditor for the audit of SLT and its subsidiaries during the financial year 2020 are disclosed in Note 7 to the Financial Statements.
SLT’s Group Internal Audit function conducts audits based on an annual audit plan approved by the Committee. It also conducts investigations at the request of Senior Management, Committee or the Board of Directors.
The Committee oversees the adequacy and effectiveness of the Group’s systems of internal control, compliance and risk management as well as monitors the effectiveness, performance and objectivity of the Internal and External Auditors.
To fulfil its duties, the Committee also considered:
SLT has implemented an enterprise Risk Management Framework which covers the strategic, operational, compliance and financial risks of the Group.
The risk management function has focused on assessing various risks arising from the impact of the pandemic and cyber security, of which the Management has taken appropriate action to mitigate these risks.
The Committee reviews the adequacy of the risk management function in identifying and assessing key risks, and in working with the Management to mitigate these risks through appropriate and timely action.
The key objective of the Revenue Assurance function and Fraud Management function is to minimise revenue leakages and frauds penetrated by internal or external parties.
The Committee reviews the findings and recommendations of these functions and ensures that appropriate and timely action is taken by the Management to minimise revenue leakages and frauds.
The Committee met six times during the year 2020. The attendance of the Directors at the Committee meetings is given in page 118 of the Annual Report.
|Month of meeting||Key activities|
|06 February 2020||
|27 February 2020||
|22 May 2020||
|11 August 2020||
|28 October 2020||
|09 November 2020||
On behalf of the Group Audit Committee
Mohan Weerakoon, PC
Chairman of the Audit Committee
9 March 2021