As an AIM listed company MS INTERNATIONAL plc is not required to comply with the requirements of the UK Corporate Governance Code and has not elected to voluntarily comply with it.
However, the Group is committed to high standards of governance appropriate to its size and structure. The main features of the Group's corporate governance arrangements are set out below.
The Board consists of three executive directors, one of whom, Michael Bell is the Executive Chairman and three non-executive directors, Roger Lane-Smith, David Pyle and David Hansell. The Chairman has no other significant commitments. Day to day control in divisional operations is vested in individual managing directors, supported by their respective financial managers.
The Board meets at least quarterly throughout the year to direct and control the overall strategy and operating performance of the Group. To enable them to carry out these responsibilities all directors have full and timely access to all relevant information. Executive directors, except for Company business trips and holidays, meet daily and the Chairman periodically meets with the non-executive directors. Additionally, each of the divisional operations have regular review meetings which the Executive Chairman and the main Board financial director attend.
Procedures are in place for directors to seek independent advice at the expense of the Company and the Company has insurance in respect of legal action against the Directors. The Company Secretary is responsible to the Board for ensuring that Board procedures are complied with and for advising the Board on all governance matters.
The Board is responsible for establishing and maintaining the Group’s system of internal control. Internal control systems are designed to meet the particular needs of the operating company concerned bearing in mind the resources available and the risks to which it is exposed, and by their nature can provide reasonable but not absolute assurance against material misstatement or loss. The key procedures which the directors have established with a view to providing effective internal control are as follows:
The Board has overall responsibility for the Group and there is a formal schedule of matters specifically reserved for decision by the Board which covers the key areas of the Group’s affairs including acquisitions and divestment policy, approval of budgets, capital expenditure, major buying and selling contracts and general treasury and risk management policies. There is a clearly decentralised structure which delegates authority, responsibility and accountability, including responsibility for internal financial control, to management of the operating companies.
Responsibility levels and delegation of authority and authorisation levels throughout the Group are set out in the corporate accounting and procedures manual.
There is a comprehensive system for reporting financial results. Monthly accounts are prepared on a timely basis. They include income statement, balance sheet, cash flow and capital expenditure reporting with comparisons to budget and forecast. The budget is prepared annually and revised forecasts are provided monthly.
There is an investment evaluation process to ensure Board approval for all major capital expenditure commitments.
There is a contract evaluation process to ensure directors approval for all major sales contracts.
The Board has reviewed the effectiveness of the system of internal controls and together with operational management, has identified and evaluated the critical business and financial risks of the Group. These risks are reviewed continually. Where appropriate, action is taken to manage the risks.