The Group places considerable value on the involvement of its employees and keeps them informed of all relevant matters on a regular basis. The Group is an equal opportunities employer and all applications for employment are considered fully on the basis of suitability for the job.
There were no political donations made during the year (2014: £nil).
Whilst the Company does not comply with the UK Corporate Governance Code 2012, the Directors recognise the importance of sound corporate governance and have reported on our Corporate Governance arrangements by drawing upon best practice available, including those aspects of the UK Corporate Governance Code 2012 we consider to be relevant to the Company and best practice.
The Audit Committee comprises Terry Roydon (Chairman) and Simon Bennett. The Audit Committee meets at least three times a year and is responsible for ensuring that the financial performance of the Group is properly reported and monitored and for meeting the auditor and reviewing their reports in relation to the financial statements and internal control systems. The Group's auditor provides some non-audit services, but these are not considered to threaten their independence. The committee reviews the level of non-audit fees on an annual basis. The Audit Committee meetings are also attended by invitation by representatives of the Group's auditor, the Group Finance Director and the Chief Executive.
In June 2015 the Conduct Committee of the Financial Reporting Council (Committee) wrote to the Group requesting information and explanations as to why the Company did not consolidate DGVL in the Interim Results for the half year ended 31 December 2014 in accordance with IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements which was effective for the Group for the first time this year. Following discussions with the Committee, the Board concluded that the Group controls DGVL from the date it entered into the agreement with DGVL and has therefore consolidated the results and financial position of DGVL within the Group accounts. As this was a change in accounting policy, the comparatives have been restated.
Since 30 June 2014 the Audit Committee has met four times to consider the planning of the statutory audit and to review the Group's draft half and full year results prior to Board approval and to consider the external auditor's detailed reports thereon.
The Board is responsible for maintaining a sound system of internal control to safeguard shareholders' investment and the Group's assets and for reviewing its effectiveness. Such a system is designed to manage, but not eliminate, the risk of failure to achieve business objectives. There are inherent limitations in any control system and accordingly even the most effective system can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance against material misstatement or loss.
The Board reviews the effectiveness of the Group's system of internal control on an ongoing basis. Annual budgets are prepared and detailed management reports are presented to the Board and used to monitor financial performance and compliance with the Group's policies and procedures. All controls are covered including financial and operational controls to manage risk. The Board meetings are also used to consider the Group's major risks.
Relations with shareholders
The Company has institutional shareholders and is, where practicable, willing to enter into a dialogue with them. The Chief Executive and Group Finance Director meet with institutional investors within the confines of relevant legislation and guidance.
The Board invites communication from its private investors and encourages participation by them at the AGM. All Board members are present at the AGM and are available to answer questions from shareholders.
The Board reviews from time to time the need for an internal audit function and remains of the opinion that the systems of internal financial control are appropriate to the Group's present activities and that such a function is unnecessary.
The Remuneration Committee comprises Simon Bennett (Chairman) and Terry Roydon. The principal functions of the committee are to determine the Group's policy on the remuneration of the Executive Directors and to determine the remuneration package of each Executive Director. The committee also determines long term incentive plans and the allocation of share options to the Executive Directors and other employees. The Remuneration Committee meetings are also attended by invitation by the Chief Executive and the Group Finance Director. During the year the committee met four times to review the Executive Directors' remuneration package.
The Directors comply with Rule 21 of the AIM Rules relating to Directors' dealings and take all reasonable steps to ensure compliance by the Company's applicable employees. The Company has adopted and operates a share dealing code for Directors and employees in accordance with the AIM Rules.