Corporate Governance Committee

 

 

Highlights | Management | Committee Composition | Guidelines | Conduct |

<< Back

CRT PROPERTIES, INC.
AUDIT COMMITTEE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CHARTER

Audit Committee Charter Quicklinks

Purpose

Committee Membership

Committee Meetings

Key Responsibilities

I. PURPOSE

The Audit Committee (the “Committee”) of CRT Properties, Inc. (the "Company") shall (i) assist the Board of Directors (the “Board” or the “Board of Directors”) in fulfilling its responsibility to oversee management in (A) the conduct of the Company’s financial reporting process, including by overseeing the integrity of the financial statements and other financial information provided by the Company to any governmental or regulatory body, the public or other users thereof, (B) the Company’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, (C) independent auditors’ qualifications and independence, (D) the performance of the Company’s internal audit function and its independent auditors and its systems of internal accounting and financial controls and (E) the Company’s code of business conduct and ethics as established by the Board and (ii) prepare the Committee report required to be included in the Company’s annual proxy statement.

Back to Top

II. COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

The Committee shall be comprised of three or more members of the Board of Directors, each of whom is determined by the Board of Directors to be “independent” under Rule 10A-3 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and the rules of the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. No member of the Committee may serve on the audit committee of more than three public companies, including the Company, unless the Board of Directors (i) determines that such simultaneous service would not impair the ability of such member to effectively serve on the Committee and (ii) discloses such determination in the annual proxy statement.

All members of the Committee must be financially literate, as such qualification is interpreted by the Board in its business judgment, and must be familiar with basic finance and accounting practices and be able to read and understand financial statements. At least one member of the Committee must be an “audit committee financial expert” as defined in Item 401(h) of Regulation S-K.

The members of the Committee shall be elected by the Board at the annual organizational meeting of the Board and serve until their successors shall be duly elected and qualified. Any member may be removed, with or without cause, by the Board of Directors at any time.

The Board of Directors may appoint one member to be the Chairman. If the Board fails to appoint a Chairman, the members of the Committee shall elect a Chairman by majority vote of all members. The Chairman will chair all regular sessions of the Committee and set the agenda for Committee meetings.

Back to Top

III. COMMITTEE MEETINGS

The Committee shall meet at least quarterly, or more frequently as they deem appropriate and as circumstances dictate. Any member of the Committee may call a special meeting of the Committee. Meetings of the Committee may be held telephonically.

The Committee shall periodically meet with each of management, the director of the internal auditing department or a partner of the firm engaged to perform the internal audit function for the Company and the independent auditors in separate executive sessions to discuss any matters that the Committee or each of these groups believe would be appropriate to discuss privately. In addition, the Committee should meet with the independent auditors and management quarterly to review the company’s financial statements.

All non-management directors who are not members of the Committee may attend meetings of the Committee but may not vote. In addition, the Committee may invite to its meetings any director, member of management of the company and such other persons as it deems appropriate in order to carry out its responsibilities. The Committee may also exclude from its meetings any persons it deems appropriate in order to carry out its responsibilities.

Back to Top

IV. KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

The Committee’s primary responsibility is one of oversight and it recognizes that the Company’s management is responsible for preparing the Company’s financial statements and that the independent auditors are responsible for auditing those financial statements. The Committee also recognizes that financial management including the internal audit staff or the employees of the firm engaged to perform the internal audit function for the Company, as the case may be, as well as the outside auditors, have more time, knowledge and more detailed information on the Company than do Committee members; consequently, in carrying out its oversight responsibilities, the Committee is not providing any expert or special assurance as to the Company’s financial statements or any professional certification as to the independent auditor’s work. The Committee shall also carry out any other responsibilities assigned to it by the Board of Directors from time to time.

The Committee may form, and delegate authority to, subcommittees consisting of one or more members when appropriate, including the authority to grant preapprovals of audit and permitted non-audit services provided that the decisions of such subcommittee to grant pre-approvals shall be in accordance with the Audit Committee’s pre-approval policies and procedures and shall be presented to the full Committee at its next scheduled meeting.

In fulfilling its responsibilities, the Committee shall have the power and authority to investigate any matter brought to its attention. The Committee (i) shall be entitled to retain outside legal, accounting or other experts and advisors, as it determines necessary to carry out its duties, (ii) will receive appropriate funding, as determined by the Audit Committee, from the Company to engage such persons, and (iii) shall determine the compensation to be paid and the other terms of such engagement.

The Committee shall be given full access to the company’s internal audit group, Board of Directors, corporate executives, books and records of the company and independent accountants as necessary to carry out these responsibilities.

In fulfilling its responsibilities, the Committee shall:

Independent Auditors

1.        Have the direct responsibility for the appointment, termination, evaluation, compensation and oversight of the work of the independent auditors.

2.        Have independent auditors report directly to the Committee, and the Committee’s responsibility includes the resolution of disagreements between management and the independent auditor regarding financial reporting.

3.        Approve in advance any audit or permissible non-audit services to be provided to the Company by the independent auditors.

4.        Obtain and review a report by the independent auditors describing: (i) the firm’s internal quality-control procedures; (ii) any material issues raised by the most recent internal quality-control review, or peer review, of the firm, or by any inquiry or investigation by governmental or professional authorities, within the preceding five years, regarding one or more independent audits carried out by the firm, and any steps taken to deal with any such issues; and (iii) all relationships between the independent auditors and the Company.

5.        Review and discuss quarterly reports from the independent auditors on: (i) all critical accounting policies and practices to be used; (ii) all alternative treatments of financial information within generally accepted accounting principles that have been discussed with management, ramifications of the use of such alternative disclosures and treatments, and the treatment preferred by the independent auditor; and (iii) other material written communications between the independent auditor and management, such as any management letter or schedule of unadjusted differences.

6.        Review and evaluate, at least annually, the qualifications, performance and independence of the independent auditors and report on its conclusions to the Board. In conducting its review and evaluation, the Committee should:

a.        (a) Determine whether the lead audit partner (having primary responsibility for the audit) or the audit partner responsible for reviewing the audit is required to rotate in compliance with applicable law.

b.        (b) Take into account the opinions of management and the company’s internal auditors (or other personnel responsible for the internal audit function).

c.        (c) Consider whether, in order to assure continuing auditor independence, there should be a regular rotation of the firm of independent auditors.

 

7.        Establish hiring policies for the Company in respect of employees and former employees of the independent auditors.

Financial Reporting Process

8.        Consider and review with the independent auditors and management: (i) the adequacy of the Company’s disclosure controls and procedures and internal controls, including computerized information system disclosure controls and procedures and security; (ii) all significant deficiencies in the design or operation of the Company’s internal controls which could adversely affect the Company’s ability to record, process, summarize and report financial data; (iii) any fraud, whether or not material, that involves management or other employees who have a significant role in the Company’s internal controls; and (iv) the related findings and recommendations of the independent auditors together with management’s responses. Without excluding other possibilities, the Committee may wish to review with the independent auditors (i) any accounting adjustments that were noted or proposed by the auditors but were “passed” (as immaterial or otherwise), (ii) any communications between the audit team and the audit firm’s national office respecting auditing or accounting issues presented by the engagement and (iii) any “management” or “internal control” letter issued, or proposed to be issued, by the independent auditors to the Company.

9.        Consider and review with the independent auditors: (i) significant findings during the year, including the status of previous audit recommendations; (ii) any audit problems or difficulties encountered in the course of audit work including any restrictions on the scope of activities or access to required information; (iii) any changes required in the planned scope of the audit plan; (iv) the audit budget and staffing; (v) the responsibilities, budget and staffing of the Company’s internal audit function; and (vi) the coordination of audit efforts in order to monitor completeness of coverage, reduction of redundant efforts, and the effective use of audit resources.

10.     Review periodically the effect of regulatory and accounting initiatives, as well as off-balance sheet structures, on the financial statements of the Company.

11.     Review with management and the independent auditor’s significant risks or exposures to the Company’s business and assess the steps management has taken to minimize such risks. Discuss with management and the independent auditors the Company’s underlying policies and guidelines with respect to risk assessment and risk management.

Review of Reports and Earnings Press Releases

12.     Prior to public release, review with management and the independent auditors the Company’s annual and quarterly financial statements, including the Company’s disclosures under “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, and discuss with the independent auditors of the matters required to be discussed by Statement of Auditing Standards No. 61.

13.     Discuss with management and the independent auditors the Company’s earnings press releases (paying particular attention to the use of any “pro forma” or “adjusted” non-GAAP financial measures or information), as well as financial information and earnings guidance provided to analysts and rating agencies. This review may be generally of disclosure and reporting policies.

Legal Compliance

14.     Review periodically with the Company’s counsel legal and regulatory matters that may have a material impact on the Company’s financial statements.

15.     Review any issues that arise under the Company’s code of business conduct and ethics, including having the authority to approve or deny any waivers requested thereunder.

16.     Establish and maintain procedures for the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints received by the Company regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, or auditing matters, and the confidential, anonymous submissions by employees of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.

General

17.     Review and approve in advance all proposed transactions between the Company or its subsidiaries and any affiliate other than executive compensation decisions approved by the Compensation Committee or decisions relating to the compensation of directors or Board committee members approved by the Board of Directors.

18.     Prepare all reports required to be included in the Company’s proxy statement, pursuant to and in accordance with applicable rules and regulations of the SEC.

19.     Report regularly to the Board of Directors following each meeting, which reports shall include any issues that arise with respect to the quality or integrity of the company’s financial statements, the company’s compliance with legal or regulatory requirements, the performance and independence of the company’s independent auditors or the performance of the internal audit function and with respect to such other matters as are relevant to the Committee’s discharge of its responsibilities. The Committee shall provide such recommendations as the Committee may deem appropriate. The report to the Board of Directors may take the form of an oral report by the Chairman or any other member of the Committee designated by the Committee to make such report.

20.     Maintain, with the assistance of counsel, minutes or other records of meetings and activities of the Committee.

Each member of the Committee shall be entitled to rely on: (i) the integrity of those persons and organizations within and outside the Company from which it receives information, and (ii) the accuracy of the financial and other information provided to the Audit Committee by such persons or organizations, absent actual knowledge to the contrary. In the event of such knowledge, this shall be reported promptly to the Board of Directors. It is not the responsibility of the Audit Committee to determine whether the Company's financial statements are complete and accurate and in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, to plan or conduct audits, to conduct investigations, or to assure compliance with laws, regulations, or any internal rules or policies of the Company.

Annual Self-Evaluation

21.     Conduct an annual self-evaluation of the performance of the Committee, including its effectiveness and compliance with the Charter of the Committee. In addition, the Committee shall annually review and reassess the adequacy of this Charter and recommend to the Board of Directors any improvements to this Charter that the Committee considers necessary or valuable.

Approved and adopted by the Board of Directors at its regular meeting on February 26, 2004.

Back to Top

Committee Members

D. Pike Aloian

George F. Staudter

Randall E. Paulson