Investors
Media Careers Contact Us Asset Locations Investor Info


Audit Committee

AMENDED AND RESTATED CHARTER OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE
OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
NRG ENERGY, INC.
(Amended and Restated on February 21, 2006)

 

I.          PURPOSES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMITTEE

The purposes and responsibilities of the Audit Committee (the “Committee”) of the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of NRG Energy, Inc. (the “Company”) shall be to represent and provide assistance to the Board with respect to matters involving the accounting, auditing, financial reporting, internal controls and legal compliance functions of the Company and its subsidiaries, including, without limitation, assisting the Board in its oversight of: (1) the integrity of the Company's financial statements, (2) the Company's compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, (3) the independent auditor's qualifications and independence, (4) the performance of the Company's internal audit function and independent auditors, and (5) the effectiveness of the Company's financial risk management and applicable legal and regulatory compliance issues, each in accordance with the duties and responsibilities set forth below. Additionally, the Committee shall prepare the report required to be included in the Company's annual proxy statement pursuant to rules promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and shall perform other duties as assigned by the Board.

II.        COMPOSITION OF THE COMMITTEE

The Committee shall be comprised of at least three (3) directors who meet the applicable securities market definition of "independence" for directors and audit committee members, as determined by the Board. All members of the Committee must be financially literate, as determined in the Board's judgment, and at least one member shall be deemed a “financial expert” as defined by SEC rules and regulations. No Committee member shall simultaneously serve on the audit committees of more than two (2) other public companies unless the Board determines that such simultaneous service would not impair the ability of such member(s) to effectively serve on the Committee and the Company discloses such determination in its annual proxy statement or, if the Company does not file an annual proxy statement, in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Further, the chair of the Committee shall not simultaneously serve as chair of the audit committee of more than one (1) other public company unless the Board specifically approves such service.

Based upon the recommendation of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, the members of the Committee shall be elected annually to one-year terms by majority vote of the Board. Vacancies on the Committee shall be filled by majority vote of the Board at the next meeting of the Board following the occurrence of the vacancy with directors who qualify as Independent Directors. No member of the Committee shall be removed except by majority vote of the Independent Directors then in office.

III.       MEETINGS AND PROCEDURES OF THE COMMITTEE

The Committee shall meet at least four times annually or more frequently as circumstances require. The Board shall designate one member of the Committee as its Chairperson. The Chairperson of the Committee or a majority of the members of the Committee may also call a special meeting of the Committee. A majority of the members of the Committee present in person or by means of a conference telephone or other communications equipped by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other shall constitute a quorum.

Information and materials that are important to the Committee's understanding of the agenda items and other topics to be considered at a Committee meeting should, to the extent practicable, be distributed sufficiently in advance of the meeting to permit prior review by the directors. In the event of a pressing need for the Committee to meet on short notice or if such materials contain highly confidential or sensitive information, it is recognized that written materials may not be available in advance of the meeting.

The Committee may form subcommittees for any purpose within its authority that the Committee deems appropriate and may delegate to such subcommittees such power and authority of the Committee as the Committee deems appropriate; provided, however , that no subcommittee shall consist of fewer than two members; and provided further that the Committee shall not delegate to a subcommittee any power or authority required by any law, regulation or listing standard to be exercised by the Committee as a whole.

The Committee may request that any directors, officers or employees of the Company, or other persons whose advice and counsel are sought by the Committee, attend any meeting of the Committee to provide such pertinent information as the Committee requests. As part of its responsibility to foster open communication, the Committee should also meet separately on a periodic basis with management, the General Counsel or chief audit executive, and the independent auditors.

The Committee shall report regularly to the full Board with respect to its activities. Written minutes of all Committee meetings shall be kept and the minutes shall be maintained with the books and records of the Company.

IV.       DUTIES OF THE COMMITTEE

Among its specific duties and responsibilities, the Audit Committee shall, consistent with and subject to applicable law and rules and regulations promulgated by the SEC, the applicable securities market or other regulatory authority:

A.        Financial Statement

  1. Review significant accounting and reporting issues, including any significant changes in the Company's selection or application of accounting principles and recent professional and regulatory pronouncements.

  2. Review any major issues regarding accounting principles and financial statement presentations, including (A) any significant changes in the Company's selection or application of accounting principles, and (B) analysis prepared by management and/or the independent auditor setting forth significant financial reporting issues and judgments made in connection with the preparation of the financial statements, including analyses of the effects of alternative GAAP methods on the financial statements.
  3. Review with the independent auditors the results of the audit and any audit problems or difficulties and management's response.

  4. Discuss the annual audited financial statements and quarterly financial statements with management and the independent auditor, including the Company's disclosures under “Management's Discussion and Analysis of “Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

  5. Receive reports from management regarding, and review and discuss the adequacy and effectiveness of, the Company's disclosure controls and procedures.

  6. Review earnings press releases and review generally earnings guidance provided to analysts and rating agencies. To the extent practicable, the Company shall discuss any press release with the Committee chair prior to release.

  7. Review the annual financial statements as well as interim financial reports with management and the independent auditors before filing with regulators.

  8. Review the effect of accounting initiatives, as well as off-balance sheet structures, on the financial statements of the Company.

  9. Resolve any disagreements between management and the independent auditor regarding financial reporting.

B.        Internal Controls

  1. Consider the adequacy and effectiveness of the Company's internal control and reporting system, including information technology security and control.

  2. Review the yearly report prepared by management, and attested to by the independent auditors, assessing the effectiveness of the Company's internal control over financial reporting and stating management's responsibility for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting prior to its inclusion in the Company's annual report.

C.        Internal Audit

  1. Review and approve the internal corporate audit staff functions, including the purpose of the internal audit function, authority and organizational reporting lines as well as the annual audit plan and budget.

  2. Review and concur in the appointment, replacement, or dismissal of the chief audit executive.

  3. Review the effectiveness of the internal audit function, including the chief audit executive.

D.        Independent Auditors

  1. Appoint, retain, oversee, evaluate, compensate and terminate, on its sole authority, the Company's independent auditors and pre-approve all audit engagements and the scope, fees, and terms of each engagement. In that regard, the Committee shall evaluate the independent auditor's qualifications, performance, and independence.

  2. Obtain funding from the Company for payment of: (i) compensation to the independent auditors who are engaged for the purpose of preparing or issuing an audit report or performing other audit, review, tax or attest services; (ii) compensation to any other advisers employed by the Committee; and (iii) other administrative expenses of the Committee that are necessary or appropriate in carrying out its duties.

  3. Review and approve, if appropriate, all audit and, as provided in Rule 2-01 of Regulation S-K, all permitted non-audit engagements and relationships between the Company and the independent auditors and/or establish policies and procedures of the Committee that provide for the approval (including automatic pre-approval) of specified services to be provided by the independent auditors.

  4. At least annually, obtain and review an appropriate report by the independent auditor describing: (i) the independent auditor's internal quality-control procedures; (ii) any material issues raised by the most recent internal quality-control review, or peer review, of the independent auditor, or any inquiry or investigation by governmental or professional authorities, within the preceding five years, respecting one or more independent audits carried out by the independent auditor, and any steps taken to deal with such issues; and (iii) (to assess the auditor's independence) all relationships between the independent auditor and the Company.

  5. Receive and review reports of the independent auditor regarding critical accounting policies and practices to be used and other material written communications between the independent auditor and management, including any management representation letter, report on observations and recommendations on internal controls, schedule of unadjusted differences, and a listing of adjustments and reclassifications not recorded.

  6. Set clear hiring policies for employees or former employees of the independent auditors and monitor compliance with such policies.

E.         Risk Management

  1. Discuss policies with respect to risk assessment and risk management, including, without limitation, (a) the Company's major financial risk exposures and steps taken by management to monitor and mitigate such exposures, (b) the effectiveness of the Company's system for monitoring compliance with laws and regulations, and (c) the compliance and effectiveness of risk management policies.

  2. Review the findings of any examination by regulatory agencies relating to the mandate of the Audit Committee, and any observations of the chief audit executive or the independent auditor.

  3. Obtain regular updates from management and company legal counsel regarding compliance matters that may have a material affect on the financial performance of the Company or on the Company's financial statements or reporting obligations.

  4. Review periodically the Company's tax policies and any pending audits or assessments.

F.         Reporting Responsibilities

  1. Regularly report to the Board about Committee activities.

  2. Provide an open avenue of communication between the chief audit executive,

  3. Prepare and publish the annual committee report required by the rules of the SEC to be included in the Company's annual proxy statement.

G.        Complaints and Concerns

  1. Establish procedures for the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints received by the Company regarding accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters.

  2. Establish and make known procedures for the confidential, anonymous submission by employees of the Company of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.

The Committee may consider other matters and engage in other activities in furtherance of fulfilling the purposes and responsibilities described in Section I hereof as the Committee of the Board may deem appropriate.

V.        EVALUATION OF THE COMMITTEE

The Committee shall, on an annual basis, evaluate its performance under this Charter. In conducting this review, the Committee shall evaluate whether this Charter appropriately addresses the matters that are or should be within its scope. The Committee shall address all matters that the Committee considers relevant to its performance, including at least the following: the adequacy, appropriateness and quality of the information and recommendations presented by the Committee to the Board, the manner in which they were discussed or debated, and whether the number and length of meetings of the Committee were adequate for the Committee to complete its work in a thorough and thoughtful manner.

The Committee shall present to the Board the results setting forth the results of its evaluation, including any recommended amendments to this Charter and any recommended changes to the Company's or the Board's policies or procedures.

VI.       INVESTIGATIONS AND STUDIES, OUTSIDE ADVISORS, SUPPORT

The Committee may conduct or authorize investigations into or studies of matters within the Committee's scope of responsibilities, and may retain, at the Company's expense, such independent counsel or other advisers as it deems necessary.

VII.     GENERAL LEGAL STANDARD

Nothing contained in this Charter is intended to create, or should be construed as creating, any responsibility or liability of the members of the Committee, except to the extent otherwise provided under the applicable laws of Delaware which shall set the legal standard for the conduct of the members of the Committee.

 

HOMEABOUT NRGMEDIACAREERSCONTACT USLOCATIONSLEGAL NOTICESINVESTORS