The Al Habtoor Group Audit Committee presented its first Annual Internal Control Assurance Report (ICAR) to the Chairman, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor. It covered the period from January 1st to December 31st 2012.
During the year the Group’s Internal Audit Department introduced a new Annual Internal Control Assurance Report drawing inspiration from international Best Practices such as COSO (Internal Control—Integrated Framework), Sarbanes Oxley and others. The ICAR was customized for the requirements of the Group.
The objective of the report was to outline the business challenges, growth and opportunities, risks and major events witnessed during the year and to highlight how the existing controls responded to the changes in the environment.
These Best Practices are in line with Khalaf Al Habtoor’s vision of aligning the Al Habtoor Group with the 21st century best practices and contribute towards building a sustainable organisation.
R. Venkataraman, Director Corporate Governance and Risk Management at the Al Habtoor Group said, “The report is an important tool for growth and helps us identify any weaknesses across the units and improving in under-performing areas.”
He added, “In doing this exercise on a regular basis we also create awareness within the organization about the importance of sound controls. It creates a transparent environment and embeds a strong culture.”
Mr. Al Habtoor congratulated the Internal Audit Department for taking the lead in implementing the assurance model and ensuring Best Practices within the Group.
The Chairman said, “Following the global financial crisis investors around the world are seeking an increased level of assurance. This is a pre-requisite for any business and we want to ensure we have all the appropriate and effective controls in place. We are a trusted brand.”
The Al Habtoor Group has been a pioneer in several initiatives in the UAE including ‘Itisal Al Nazahah’, the whistle-blowing hotline which is a crucial part of detecting fraud and corruption within an organisation. It was also among the first to introduce ‘automated continuous monitoring solutions’, a method which enables organisations to monitor financial controls or data quality controls more effectively in less time.