2003 Audit Charter: AIR
Board of Directors
Audit Committee Charter
The Audit Committee is appointed by the Board to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities relating to (i) corporate accounting, disclosure and reporting practices and legal and regulatory compliance of the Company, (ii) the quality and integrity of the Company's financial statements and (iii) the qualifications, independence and performance of the Company's internal audit function and independent auditors.
The Audit Committee shall be comprised of not less than three directors of the Company who shall meet the compensation, independence, experience, financial expertise, and other requirements of the New York Stock Exchange and applicable federal and state securities law and regulations. The members of the Audit Committee shall be appointed by the Board from time to time after considering the recommendation of the Nominating & Governance Committee and upon a determination by the Board that the nominees meet all required qualifications for Audit Committee membership.
Committee Authority and Responsibilities
The Audit Committee will maintain flexible policies and procedures and meeting schedules, consistent with the requirements of this Charter and the Company's by-laws, to enable the Audit Committee to best react to changing circumstances and provide that the Company's accounting, disclosure and reporting practices are in accordance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements. The Chairman of the Audit Committee may call meetings during the year as necessary, but shall call a meeting at least once each fiscal quarter.
The Committee will provide for free and open communication between the Committee and the Company's directors, independent auditors, internal auditors and management.
Both the Company's internal auditors and independent auditor are ultimately accountable to the Board of Directors and the Audit Committee as representatives of the Company's shareholders.
The Audit Committee, in its capacity as a committee of the Board of Directors, shall be directly responsible for the appointment, compensation and oversight of the work (including resolution of disagreements between management and the auditor regarding financial reporting) of the Company's independent auditors for the purpose of preparing or issuing an audit report or related work. The Audit Committee shall have sole responsibility for engaging or terminating the relation-ship with the Company's independent auditors and the independent auditors shall report directly to the Audit Committee. The Company shall provide appropriate funding, as determined by the Audit Committee, for payment of compensation fees and expenses to the independent auditor for the purpose of rendering an audit report.
The Audit Committee has authority to retain special legal, accounting or other consultants to advise the Audit Committee as they may determine appropriate. The Audit Committee may require any officer or employee of the Company or the Company's legal counsel or independent auditor to attend committee meetings or to meet with any members of, or consultants to, the Audit Committee. The Company shall provide for appropriate funding, as determined by the Audit Committee, in its capacity as a committee of the Board of Directors, for payment of all fees and expenses to any advisors employed by the Audit Committee pursuant to its authority under this Charter or applicable law or regulations.
The Audit Committee shall establish procedures for the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints received by the Company regarding accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing
The Audit Committee shall make regular reports to the Board.
In carrying out its duties and responsibilities, the Audit Committee shall:
1. Review and assess the adequacy of the Audit Committee charter annually and submit any recommended changes to the Board for approval.
2. Approve and recommend to the Board for appointment and engage independent auditors that meet NYSE and applicable securities law and regulatory requirements to audit the financial statements of the Company and its divisions and subsidiaries and the Company's pension plans.
3. Review written statements from the independent auditors delineating all non-audit relationships between the independent auditors and the Company, review with the independent auditors the effect of any disclosed relationships or services on objectivity and independence of the independent auditors, take appropriate action to ensure the independence of the appointed independent auditors and approve the compensation arrangements and proxy statement disclosures of compensation, fees and expenses paid to independent auditors.
4. Receive and review, at least annually, a report by the independent auditors describing (i) the auditors internal quality control procedures and (ii) any material issues raised by the most recent internal quality control review of peer group review of the firm or by governmental or professional authorities in the preceding five years relating to an independent audit conducted by the firm and resolution of such issues.
5. Approve in advance, as a Committee of the whole or by delegation of authority to one or more members of the Committee, any permitted non-audit services performed by the Company's independent auditor, including tax services, and cause such approval to be disclosed in the Company's periodic filings as required by applicable regulations.
6. Discuss with the independent auditors the matters required to be discussed by Statement on Auditing Standards No. 61 and other applicable laws and regulatory requirements relating to the conduct of the audit.
7. Meet with the independent auditors and financial management of the Company to review the scope of the proposed audit for the upcoming year and the audit procedures to be used; at the conclusion of the year review such audit, including any comments or recommendations of the independent auditors.
8. Review with the Company's independent auditors, internal auditors, and financial and accounting personnel, the adequacy and effectiveness of the internal controls and disclosure controls of the Company, and elicit any recommendations for the improvement of such internal control and disclosure control procedures or particular areas where new or more detailed controls or procedures are desirable.
9. Review the internal audit function of the Company, including its organizational structure, authority and independence of reporting obligations, department budget, qualification of personnel and the proposed audit plans for the coming year, and the coordination of such plans with the outside auditors. Review and concur with the appointment, reassignment or dismissal of the Director of Internal Audit.
10. Receive, review and discuss with the Company's independent auditors, and internal auditor as appropriate (i) a summary of significant findings from completed internal audits, together with management's response, and periodic progress reports, with explanation for any deviations from the original plan; (ii) all critical accounting policies and practices to be used; (iii) all alternative treatments of financial information within GAAP (generally accepted accounting
11. Review and discuss (i) significant financial risks, (ii) the financial statements, and (iii) the Company's draft MD&A for the period with management and the independent auditors, prior to issuance of an earnings release or earnings guidance or their filing or distribution to shareholders. Among the items to be discussed are (i) accounting principles, practices and judgments, (ii) whether the independent auditors are satisfied with the disclosure and content of the financial statements to be presented to the shareholders, and (iii) any changes in accounting principles.
12. Provide sufficient opportunity for the Committee to meet separately in executive session each quarter with (i) management, (ii) the independent auditors, and (iii) the internal auditor. Among the items to be discussed in these meetings are the auditors' evaluation of the Company's financial, accounting, and auditing personnel, the auditors' judgments about the Company's accounting principles as applied to its financial reporting; the level of management cooperation that the outside auditors received during the course of the audit; and management's assessment of the performance of the auditors.
13. Review the human resources and succession planning of the accounting and financial operations within the Company.
14. Receive reports concerning the Company's Assist Line activity and any non-compliance with the Company's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics by any officers of the Company and approve any waivers therefrom and any "related party" transactions.
15. Report on significant matters discussed at each Committee meeting to the Board.
16. Investigate, as appropriate, any matter brought to its attention within the scope of its duties, with the power to retain outside counsel or a second independent accountant, at the expense of the Company, for this purpose if, in its judgment, that is appropriate.
17. Prepare an appropriate Audit Committee report to shareholders to be included in the Company's annual proxy statement that is consistent with applicable law and Securities and Exchange Commission requirements.
18. Perform any other activities consistent with this Charter, the Company's by-laws, and governing law and regulations, as the Committee or Board deems necessary or appropriate.
While the Audit Committee has the responsibilities and powers set forth in this Charter, it is not the duty of the Audit Committee to prepare financial statements, plan or conduct audits or to determine that the Company's financial statements are complete and accurate and are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and applicable rules and regulations. These are the responsibility of management and the Company's independent auditor.