2003 Audit Charter: FNMAudit Committee Charter
1. Members. The Committee shall consist of at least three directors, including a chair and such other directors as the Board shall appoint upon recommendation by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, each of whom shall meet the independence and qualification requirements of the New York Stock Exchange, as determined by the Board.
2. Purpose, duties and responsibilities.
The purpose of the Committee shall be to:
oversee (a) the accounting, reporting, and financial practices of the corporation and its subsidiaries, including the integrity of the corporation's financial statements, (b) the creation and administration of financial controls and the corporation's compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, (c) the outside auditor's qualifications and independence, and (d) the performance of the corporation's internal audit function and the corporation's outside auditor; and
prepare the report required by the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission to be included in the corporation's annual proxy statement.
Among its duties and responsibilities, the Committee shall:
Oversight of External Auditor Relationship
Be directly responsible for the appointment, compensation, retention and oversight of the work of the outside auditor. In this regard, the Committee shall have the sole authority to appoint and retain, subject to ratification by the corporation's stockholders, and terminate when appropriate, the corporation's outside auditor, and review and assess the activities of the outside auditor. The outside auditor shall report directly to the Committee. The corporation shall provide appropriate funding, as determined by the Committee, for payment of compensation to the external auditor.
At least annually, consider the independence of the outside auditor, including whether the outside auditor's performance of permissible non-audit services is compatible with the auditor's independence, and obtain from the outside auditor a written statement delineating all relationships between the outside auditor and the corporation and any other relationships that may adversely affect the independence of the auditor. Discuss with the outside auditor any disclosed relationships or services that may impact the objectivity and independence of the outside auditor.
At least annually, obtain and review a report by the outside auditor describing: the outside auditor's internal quality-control procedures; and any material issues raised by the most recent internal quality-control review, or peer review, or by any inquiry or investigation by governmental or professional authorities, within the preceding five years, respecting one or more independent audits carried out by the firm, and any steps taken to deal with any such issues.
Review and evaluate the lead partner of the outside auditor team. Oversee the rotation of audit engagement team partners as required by law and rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Approve in advance all audit engagement fees and terms for all audit services to be provided by the outside auditor. (By approving the audit engagement, an audit service within the scope of the engagement shall be deemed to have been approved in advance.) Discuss with the outside auditor the planning and staffing of the audit.
Establish policies and procedures for the engagement of the outside auditor to provide permissible non-audit services, which shall include approval in advance by the Committee of all permissible non-audit services to be provided by the outside auditor. The Committee may delegate authority to one or more members to grant pre-approvals of audit and permitted non-audit services, provided that decisions to grant pre-approvals shall be presented to the full Committee at its next scheduled meeting.
Establish policies for the hiring of employees and former employees of the outside auditor.
Financial Statement and Disclosure Matters
Review and discuss with the outside auditor: (a) the scope of the audit, the results of the annual audit examination by the auditor, any difficulties the auditor encountered in the course of its audit work, any restrictions on the scope of the outside auditor's activities or on access to requested information, any significant disagreements with management, and other matters required to be discussed under Statement on Auditing Standards No. 61 relating to the conduct of the audit; (b) the scope and resources of the corporation's internal audit function; and (c) any reports of the outside auditor with respect to interim periods.
Review and discuss with management and the outside auditor the annual audited and quarterly unaudited financial statements of the corporation, including: (a) an analysis of the outside auditor's judgment as to the quality of the corporation's accounting principles; (b) significant financial reporting issues and judgments made in connection with the preparation of the financial statements, including any significant changes in the corporation's selection or application of accounting principles and financial statement presentations; and (c) the corporation's disclosures under "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations."
Receive, review and discuss reports from the outside auditors on: (a) all critical accounting policies and practices to be used; (b) 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 outside auditor; and (c) other material written communications between the outside auditor and management, such as any management letter or schedule of unadjusted differences.
Recommend to the Board, based on the review and discussion described in paragraphs (viii) -- (x) above, whether the audited financial statements should be included in the annual report on Form 10-K.
Review earnings releases, and review and discuss generally the types of information to be disclosed and the type of presentations to be made, including the use of "non-GAAP financial measures," in the corporation's earnings press releases, as well as financial information and earnings guidance provided to analysts and ratings agencies. The chair of the Committee may represent the entire Committee for purposes of the review of earnings releases and such other information.
Review and discuss with management, the head of the internal audit department and the outside auditor the adequacy and effectiveness of: (a) the corporation's internal controls, including any significant deficiencies in internal controls, significant changes in internal controls reported to the Committee by the outside auditor or management, and any special steps adopted in light of material control deficiencies; and (b) the corporation's disclosure controls and procedures and management reports thereon.
Review and discuss with the CEO and CFO the basis for the certifications to be provided in the corporation's Form 10-K and Form 10-Qs.
Review and discuss with management and the outside auditor any correspondence with regulators or governmental agencies which raises material issues regarding Fannie Mae's financial statements, financial disclosures or accounting policies.
Review and discuss with management the corporation's major risk exposures, management's policies on risk management and risk assessment, and the corporation's compliance with those policies.
Oversight of Internal Audit Function
Oversee and discuss the internal auditing activities and performance, including the appointment, and replacement when appropriate, of the head of the corporation's internal audit department, the internal audit charter, and the budget and staffing for the internal audit department. Discuss with the head of the corporation's internal audit department the scope and performance of the internal audit function, including a review of the annual internal audit plan, and whether there are any restrictions or limitations on the department.
Obtain periodic reports from the head of the internal audit department regarding internal audit findings and the corporation's progress in remedying any material control deficiencies.
Compliance Oversight Responsibilities
Review and discuss the status of compliance with accounting, legal, regulatory and tax requirements, and developments in these areas that are of major significance to the corporation.
Review and discuss Fannie Mae's Code of Business Conduct ("Code") and the activities of management's Business Conduct Committee established under the Code, including the monitoring of compliance with the Code and any significant violations of the Code.
Establish procedures for the receipt, retention, and treatment of complaints received by the corporation regarding accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters, including procedures for confidential, anonymous submission of concerns by employees regarding accounting or auditing matters.
Meet with representatives from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight as required.
Annually evaluate the performance of the Committee, and reassess the adequacy of the Committee charter and submit any recommended changes to the Board for approval.
Make regular reports to the Board on the Committee's activities. These reports generally shall occur at the next Board meeting following each Committee meeting or at such other times as the Committee deems appropriate.
Perform such other duties as the Board or the Committee considers appropriate.
3. Outside advisors. The Committee shall have the authority to retain such outside counsel, accountants, experts and other advisors as it deems appropriate to assist the Committee in the performance of its functions. The corporation shall provide for appropriate funding, as determined by the Committee, for payment of compensation to any advisor retained by the Committee.
4. Meetings. The Committee shall meet as often as may be deemed necessary or appropriate in its judgment, but not less than quarterly, either in person or telephonically, and at such times and places as the Committee shall determine. The Committee shall meet separately in executive session, periodically, with each of management, the head of the internal audit department, and the outside auditor.
5. Subcommittees. In its discretion, the Committee may establish subcommittees consisting of one or more members, who shall report on their activities at the next meeting of the Committee.