Information Technology Code of Business Conduct and Whistle-blowing jpervision nancial reporting Main risks Strategic risks Heineken brand and Company reputation Heineken's worldwide operations are highly dependent on the availability and integrity of its (common) information systems. IT processes and infrastructures are to a large extent centralised and outsourced to professional outsourcing partners. Structured IT Risk monitoring processes are in place, which includes clear agreements on assurance from IT outsourcing partners. The harmonisation, centralisation and outsourcing of IT have a positive impact on the overall control environment. The Code of Business Conduct and Whistle-blowing procedures are applicable to all majority-owned Operating Companies, regional offices and Head Office. Compliance is supported through continuous monitoring of effectiveness and rotational audits. Employees may report suspected cases of serious misconduct to their direct superior, the local Trusted Representative or anonymously to an independently un confidential helpline. The Integrity Committee oversees he functioning of the Whistle-blowing procedure and reports bi-annually to the Executive Board and Audit Committee on reported cases and effectiveness of the procedure. In the 2ar under review, Heineken revised and relaunched the ode of Business Conduct, and brought the Whistle-blowing rocedure in line with Data Privacy regulations. new case-management system and e-learning tool for perating Companies will be implemented early 2010. he Executive Board oversees the adequacy and functioning f the entire system of risk management and internal control, ssisted by Group departments. Group Internal Audit provides ndependent assurance and advice on the Risk Management nd Internal Control Systems. The Assurance Meetings versee the adequacy and operating effectiveness of the Risk 'anagement and Internal Control Systems in their respective nvironments at both local and regional level. Regional lanagement and Group Internal Audit participate in the ical meetings in order to ensure effective dialogue and ansparency. The outcome and effectiveness of the Risk ianagement and Internal Control Systems are discussed ith the Executive Board and the Audit Committee. he risk management and control systems over financial eporting contain clear accounting policies, a standard hart of accounts and Assurance Letters signed by regional nd local management. The Heineken common systems and mbedded control frameworks that have been implemented i a large number of the Operating Companies support ommon accounting and regular financial reporting i standard forms. Testing of the key controls relevant or financial reporting is part of the common Internal mdit Approach. The worldwide external audit activities provide additional assurance on true and fair presentation of the financial reporting at the Operating Company level. Within the scope of the external auditors' financial audit assignment, they also report on internal control issues through their management letters, and they attend the regional and certain local assurance meetings. In 2009, special attention was given to the continuous integration of financial reporting of the acquired businesses from former Scottish Newcastle and other acquisitions, including transfer to the Heineken Accounting Policies. Almost all acquired companies have already implemented the Heineken standard chart of accounts. The internal risk management and control systems, as described in this section, provide a reasonable assurance that the financial reporting does not contain any errors of material importance. The risk management and control systems worked properly in the year under review. This statement cannot be construed as a statement in accordance with the requirements of Section 404 of the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which is not applicable to Heineken N.V. Under the explicit understanding that this is not an exhaustive list, Heineken's main risks are described below, including the mitigation measures. Risks concerning the Heineken brand and Company reputation, economic downturn, volatility of input costs, exchange and interest rates, availability and cost of capital and increasing legislation (such as alcohol excise duties and anti-trust) affecting the business are considered the most significant risks. The main Company risks have been discussed with the full Supervisory Board. As both the Group and its most valuable brand carry the same name, reputation management is of utmost importance. Heineken enjoys a positive corporate reputation and our Operating Companies are well respected in their regions. Constant management attention is directed towards enhancing Heineken's social, environmental and financial reputation. The Heineken brand is, along with our people, our most valuable asset and one of the key elements in Heineken's growth strategy with a portfolio that combines the power of local and international brands. Anything that adversely affects consumer or stakeholder confidence in the Heineken brand or Company could have a negative impact on the overall business. Annual Report 2009 - Heineken N.V. 45

Jaarverslagen en Personeelsbladen Heineken

Jaarverslagen | 2009 | | pagina 42