The Directors acknowledge the importance of high standards of corporate governance and intend, given the Company’s size and the constitution of the Board, to comply with the principles set out in the QCA Corporate Governance Code. The QCA Code sets out a standard of minimum best practice for small and mid-size quoted companies.
The Company complies with the QCA guidelines apart from deviations as discussed within this report. One such area relates to Principle 7 (evaluate board performance based on clear objectives). Given the size and nature of the Company the Board does not consider it appropriate to have a formal performance evaluation procedure in place for Non-Executive Directors. The Board will closely monitor the need for formal performance evaluation, in light of Principle 7 of the QCA Code, as the Company develops.
The Board holds regular scheduled and other timely board meetings as needs arise which require the attention of the Directors. From admission to AQSE, the Board have been responsible for the management of the business of the Company, setting the strategic direction of the Company and establishing the policies of the Company. It is Company and monitor the business and affairs of the Company, on behalf of the Shareholders to whom they are accountable.
The primary duty of the Board is to act in the best interests of the Company at all times. The Board will also address issues relating to internal control and the Company’s approach to risk management.
Board of Directors
The Board currently consists of a non-executive Chairman, an executive Director and a non-executive Director. The Directors meet regularly throughout the year to discuss key issues and to monitor the overall performance of the Company.
The Board believes that its composition brings a desirable range of skills and experience in light of the Company’s challenges and opportunities, while at the same time ensuring that no individual (or a small group of individuals) can dominate the Board’s decision making. The Company will appraise the structure of the Board on an ongoing basis.
No formal induction process exists for new Directors, given the size of the Company, but the Chairman ensures that each individual is given a tailored introduction to the Company and fully understands the requirements of the role.
A Director has a duty to avoid a situation in which he or she has, or can have, a direct or indirect interest that conflicts, or possibly may conflict with the interests of the Company. The Board had satisfied itself that there is no compromise to the independence of those Directors who have appointments on the Boards of, or relationships with, companies outside the Group. The Board requires Directors to declare all appointments and other situations which could result in a possible conflict of interest.
The Board meets formally several times a year to review, formulate and approve Group’s the strategy, budgets, and corporate actions and oversee the Group’s progress towards its goals, and to ensure the Directors maintain overall control and supervision of the Group’s affairs.
The Board maintains regular contact with all its service providers, and they are kept fully informed of investment and financial controls and any other matters that should be brought to the attention of the Directors. The Directors also have access where necessary to independent professional advice at the expense of the Group.
Due to the size and nature of the Company and the Board, there is currently no audit, remuneration, or nomination committee in place.
Internal financial control
Financial controls have been established so as to provide safeguards against unauthorised use or disposition of the assets, to maintain proper accounting records and to provide reliable financial information for internal use.
Key financial controls include:
- a schedule of matters reserved for the approval of the Board;
- evaluation, approval procedures and risk assessment for acquisitions; and
- close involvement of the Directors in the day-to-day operational matters of the Company.