2004 Committee Charter : UDIPURPOSE
The purpose of the Audit and Ethics Committee (the "Committee") is to provide assistance to the Board of Directors (the "Board") of United Defense Industries, Inc. (the "Company") in fulfilling the Board's oversight responsibilities regarding the Company's accounting and system of internal controls, the quality and integrity of the Company's financial reports, the independence and performance of the Company's outside auditor, and the operation of the Company's ethics program. In so doing, the Committee should endeavor to maintain free and open means of communication between the members of the Committee other members of the Board, the outside auditor and the financial management of the Company.
The Committee's audit-related responsibility is to oversee the Company's financial reporting process on behalf of the Board and report the results of their activities in this respect to the Board. Management of the Company has the responsibility for the Company's financial statements as well as the Company's financial reporting process, principles and internal controls. The outside auditor is responsible for performing an audit of the Company's annual financial statements, expressing an opinion as to the conformity of such annual financial statements with generally accepted accounting principles, reviewing the Company's quarterly financial statements and other procedures. It is recognized that the members of the Committee are not engaged in the accounting or auditing profession and, consequently, their level of expertise in matters involving auditing or accounting including in respect of auditor independence is more limited than that of the Company's outside auditor. As such, it is not the duty of the Committee to plan or conduct audits or to determine that the Company's financial statements fairly present the Company's financial position and results of operation and are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and applicable laws and regulations. Each member of the Committee shall be entitled to rely on (i) the integrity of those persons within the Company and of the professionals and experts (such as the outside auditor) from which it receives information, (ii) the accuracy of the financial and other information provided to the Committee by such persons, professionals or experts absent actual knowledge to the contrary and (iii) representations made by management or the outside auditor as to any non-audit services provided by the outside auditor to the Company.
The Committee's ethics-related responsibility is to oversee the Company's ethics program and report the results of their activities in this respect to the Board. Management of the Company has the responsibility to provide for the expression, by employees regardless of rank or position description, of concerns regarding potentially unlawful or unethical business practices by the Company. The Committee shall oversee and assess the operation of the Company's ethics program established by management, including the articulation and communication of standards of conduct, the maintenance of mechanisms for reporting concerns in a manner protective of concerns regarding retaliation, the selection of appropriate personnel to administer the ethics program, the mechanisms by which ethics issues raised by employees are addressed, and the implementation of corrective action under appropriate circumstances.
The Committee shall consist of three members of the Board. The members shall be appointed by action of the Board and shall serve for one year terms, or until their successors shall be duly elected and qualified. Each Committee member shall be "financially literate" as determined by the Board in its business judgment and shall satisfy the "independence" requirements of the New York Stock Exchange and Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") Rule 10A-3(b)(1). No Committee member may simultaneously serve on the audit committee of more than two other public companies, unless the Board determines that such simultaneous service would not impair the ability of such member to effectively serve on the Committee and such determination is disclosed in the Company's annual proxy statement. At least one member of the Committee shall have "accounting or related financial management expertise," as determined by the Board in its business judgment. In addition, either at least one member of the Committee shall be an "audit committee financial expert" within the definition adopted by the SEC or the Company shall disclose in its periodic reports required pursuant to the Exchange Act the reasons why at least one member of the Committee is not an "audit committee financial expert."
COMMITTEE ORGANIZATION AND PROCEDURES
1. Unless a Chair is elected by the full Board, the members of the Committee shall appoint a Chair of the Committee by majority vote of the full Committee. The Chair (or in his or her absence, a member designated by the Chair) shall preside at all meetings of the Committee.
2. The Committee shall have the authority to establish its own rules and procedures consistent with the bylaws of the Company for notice and conduct of its meetings, should the Committee, in its discretion, deem it desirable to do so.
3. The Committee shall meet four times in each fiscal year, and more frequently as the Committee in its discretion deems desirable. The Committee shall meet separately, periodically, with management, with the internal auditor and with the independent auditor.
4. The Committee may, in its discretion, include in its meetings members of the Company's financial management, representatives of the outside auditor, the senior internal audit manager, and other financial personnel employed or retained by the Company. The Committee may meet with the outside auditor or the senior internal audit manager in separate executive sessions to discuss any matters that the Committee believes should be addressed privately, without management's presence. The Committee may likewise meet privately with management, as it deems appropriate.
5. The Committee may, in its discretion, utilize the services of the Company's regular corporate legal counsel with respect to legal matters or, at its discretion, retain other legal counsel if it determines that such counsel is necessary or appropriate under the circumstances. The Committee may also retain any independent experts or advisors (accounting, financial or otherwise) that the Committee believes to be necessary or appropriate. The Company shall provide for appropriate funding, as determined by the Committee, for payment of compensation to the independent auditor for the purpose of rendering or issuing an audit report and to any advisors employed by the Committee.
6. The Committee may, in its discretion, include in its meetings the director of the Company's ethics program, subordinates of the ethics director, and such other members of the Company's management as the Committee may deem appropriate. The Committee may meet with any of the Company's ethics program personnel in a separate executive session to discuss any matters that the Committee believes should be addressed privately without management's presence.
7. The Committee shall be directly responsible and have sole authority for the appointment, compensation, retention and oversight of the work of the independent auditor (including resolution of any disagreements between Company management and the independent auditor regarding financial reporting) for the purpose of preparing or issuing an audit report or related work or performing other audit, review or attest services for the Company, and the independent auditor shall report directly to the Committee.
8. Before the independent auditor is engaged to render audit or non-audit services to the Company or its subsidiaries, the Committee shall approve the engagement. Committee approval of audit and non-audit services will not be required if the engagement for the services is entered into pursuant to pre-approval policies and procedures established by the Committee regarding the Company's engagement of the independent auditor, provided the policies and procedures are detailed as to the particular service, the Committee is informed of each service provided, and such policies and procedures do not include delegation of the Committee's responsibilities under the Exchange Act to the Company's management. The Committee may delegate to one or more designated members of the Committee the authority to grant pre-approvals, provided such approvals are presented to the Committee at a subsequent meeting. If the Committee elects to establish pre-approval policies and procedures regarding non-audit services, the Committee must be informed of each non-audit service provided by the independent auditor. Committee pre-approval of non-audit services (other than review and attest services) also will not be required if such services fall within available exceptions established by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC").
9. The Committee shall, at least annually, review the independence and quality control procedures of the independent auditor and the experience and qualifications of the independent auditor's senior personnel that are providing audit services to the Company.
In conducting its review:
(i) The Committee shall obtain and review a report prepared by the independent auditor describing (a) the auditing firm's internal quality-control procedures and (b) any material issues raised by the most recent internal quality-control review, or peer review, of the auditing firm, 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 auditing firm, and any steps taken to deal with any such issues.
(ii) The Committee shall discuss with the independent auditor its independence from the Company, and obtain and review a written statement prepared by the independent auditor describing all relationships between the independent auditor and the Company, consistent with Independence Standards Board Standard 1, and consider the impact that any relationships or services may have on the objectivity and independence of the independent auditor.
(iii) The Committee shall confirm with the independent auditor that the independent auditor is in compliance with the partner rotation requirements established by the SEC.
(iv) The Committee shall consider whether the Company should adopt a rotation of the annual audit among independent auditing firms.
(v) The Committee shall, if applicable, consider whether the independent auditor's provision of any permitted information technology services or other non-audit services to the Company is compatible with maintaining the independence of the independent auditor.
10. The Committee shall meet with the outside auditor and management of the Company in connection with each annual audit to discuss the scope of the audit and the procedures to be followed.
11. The Committee shall meet with the outside auditor and management prior to the public release of the financial results of operations for the year under audit and discuss with the outside auditor any matters within the scope of the pending audit that have not yet been completed.
12. The Committee shall review and discuss with management and the independent auditor: (A) major issues regarding accounting principles and financial statement presentation, including any significant changes in the Company's selection or application of accounting principles, and major issues as to the adequacy of the Company's internal controls and any special audit steps adopted in light of material control deficiencies; (B) any analyses prepared by management or the independent auditor setting forth significant financial reporting issues and judgments made in connection with the preparation of the Company's financial statements, including analyses of the effects of alternative GAAP methods on the Company's financial statements; and (C) the effect of regulatory and accounting initiatives, as well as off-balance sheet structures, on the Company's financial statements.
13. The Committee shall review and discuss the audited financial statements with the management of the Company.
14. The Committee shall discuss with the outside auditor the matters required to be discussed by Statement on Auditing Standards No. 61 as then in effect including, among others, (i) the methods used to account for any significant unusual transactions reflected in the audited financial statements; (ii) the effect of significant accounting policies in any controversial or emerging areas for which there is a lack of authoritative guidance or a consensus to be followed by the outside auditor; (iii) the process used by management in formulating particularly sensitive accounting estimates and the basis for the auditor's conclusions regarding the reasonableness of those estimates; and (iv) any disagreements with management over the application of accounting principles, the basis for management's accounting estimates or the disclosures in the financial statements.
15. The Committee shall, based on the review and discussions in paragraphs 13 and 14 above, and based on the disclosures received from the outside auditor regarding its independence and discussions with the auditor regarding such independence in paragraph 9 above, recommend to the Board whether the audited financial statements should be included in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year subject to the audit.
16. The outside auditor is required to review the interim financial statements to be included in any Form 10-Q Report by the Company using professional standards and procedures for conducting such reviews, as established by generally accepted auditing standards as modified or supplemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission, prior to the filing of such Form 10-Q. The Committee shall discuss with management and the outside auditor in person, at a meeting, or by conference telephone call, the results of the quarterly review including such matters as significant adjustments, management judgments, accounting estimates, significant new accounting policies and disagreements with management. The Chair may represent the entire Committee for purposes of this discussion.
17. The Committee shall discuss with the outside auditor and the senior internal audit manager, at least annually, the adequacy and effectiveness of the accounting and financial controls of the Company, and consider any recommendations for improvement of such internal control procedures.
18. The Committee shall discuss with the outside auditor and with management any management letter provided by the outside auditor and any other significant matters brought to the attention of the Committee by the outside auditor as a result of its annual audit. The Committee should allow management adequate time to consider any such matters raised by the outside auditor.
19. The Committee shall discuss at least annually with the senior internal audit manager the activities and organizational structure of the Company's internal audit function and the qualifications of the primary personnel performing such function.
20. Management shall furnish to the Committee a copy of each audit report prepared by the senior internal audit manager of the Company.
21. The Committee shall, at its discretion, meet with the senior internal audit manager to discuss any reports prepared by him or her or any other matters brought to the attention of the Committee by the senior internal auditor manager.
22. The senior internal audit manager shall be granted unfettered access to the Committee.
23. The Committee shall review and reassess the Committee's charter at least annually and submit any recommended changes to the Board for its consideration.
24. The Committee shall provide the report for inclusion in the Company's Annual Proxy Statement required by Item 306 of Regulation S-K of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
25. The Committee shall discuss with management the Company's policies with respect to risk assessment and risk management. The Committee shall discuss with management the Company's significant financial risk exposures and the actions management has taken to limit, monitor or control such exposures.
26. The Committee shall set clear hiring policies for employees or former employees of the Company's independent auditor.
27. The Committee shall establish procedures for the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints received by the Company regarding accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters. The Committee shall also establish procedures for the confidential and anonymous submission by employees regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.
28. The Committee shall at least annually perform an evaluation of the performance of the Committee and its members, including a review of the Committee's compliance with this Charter.
29. The Committee, through its Chair, shall report periodically, as deemed necessary or desirable by the Committee, but at least annually, to the full Board regarding 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 auditor, the performance of the Company's internal audit function or any other matter the Committee determines is necessary or advisable to report to the Board.