The Directors are committed to maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance commensurate with the size, stage of development and financial status of the Group.
The Board is responsible for the supervision and control of the Company and is accountable to the shareholders. The Board has reserved decision-making on a variety of matters, including determining strategy for the Group, reviewing and monitoring executive management performance and monitoring risks and controls.
The Board currently has four Directors, comprising one executive director and three non-executive directors. The Board met formally on eight occasions during the year ended 31 December 2016. An agenda and supporting documentation was circulated in advance of each meeting. All the Directors bring independent judgement to bear on issues affecting the Group and all have full and timely access to information necessary to enable them to discharge their duties. Non-executive directors are not appointed for specific terms, with one third of non-executive directors up for re-election each year and each new director is subject to election at the next Annual General Meeting following the date of appointment.
The following committees deal with the specific aspects of the Group affairs:
This Committee comprises two non-executive directors. The external auditors have the opportunity to meet with members of the Audit Committee without executive management present at least once a year. The duties of the Committee include the review of the accounting principles, policies and practices adopted in preparing the financial statements, external compliance matters and the review of the Group’s financial results.
Given the current size of the Group a Nominations Committee is not considered necessary. The Board reserves to itself the process by which a new director is appointed.
This Committee comprises two non-executive directors. This Committee determines the contract terms, remuneration and other benefits of the executive Directors, Chairman and non-executive Directors. Further details of the Group’s policies on remuneration, service contracts and compensation payments are given in the Remuneration Committee Report below.
The Group’s policy on senior executive remuneration is designed to attract and retain individuals of the highest calibre who can bring their experience and independent views to the policy, strategic decisions and governance of the Group. In setting remuneration levels, the Remuneration Committee takes into consideration the remuneration practices of other companies of similar size and scope. A key philosophy is that staff must be properly rewarded and motivated to perform in the best interests of the shareholders.
Total remuneration to Directors during the year ended 31 December 2016 was €305,607 (31 December 2015: €442,720)
The Board is responsible for maintaining the Group’s system of internal control to safeguard shareholders investments and Group assets.
The Directors have overall responsibility for the Group’s system of internal control and have delegated responsibility for the implementation of this system to Executive Management. This system includes financial controls that enable the Board to meet its responsibilities for the integrity and accuracy of the Group’s accounting records.
The Group’s system of internal financial control provides reasonable, though not absolute, assurance that assets are safeguarded, transactions authorised and recorded properly and that material errors or irregularities are either prevented or detected within a timely period. Having made appropriate enquiries, the Directors consider that the system of internal financial, operational and compliance controls and risk management operated effectively during the period covered by the financial statements and up to the date on which the financial statements were signed.
The internal control system includes the following key features, which have been designed to provide internal financial control appropriate to the Group’s businesses:
- budgets are prepared for approval by the Board;
- expenditure and income are compared to previously approved budgets;
- a detailed investment approval process which requires Board approval of all major capital projects and regular review of the physical performance and expenditure on these projects;
- all commitments for expenditure and payments are compared to previously approved budgets and are subject to approval by personnel designated by the Board of Directors;
- cash flow forecasting is performed on an ongoing basis to ensure efficient use of cash resources;
- the Directors, through the Audit Committee, review the effectiveness of the Group’s system of internal financial control.