AMENDED AND RESTATED CHARTER OF
THE AUDIT COMMITTEE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
OF ONE LIBERTY PROPERTIES, INC.
AS OF MARCH 13, 2014
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The Audit Committee (the “Committee”) is a committee of the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of One Liberty Properties, Inc. (the “Company”). The primary function of the Committee is to assist the Board in overseeing (i) the integrity of the Company’s financial statements, (ii) the Company’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, (iii) the independent auditors’ qualifications and independence and (iv) the performance of the independent auditors and the Company’s internal audit function. In addition, the Committee will prepare the audit committee report required by the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission to be included in the Company’s annual proxy statement.
The Committee will fulfill its responsibilities by carrying out its activities and duties consistent with this Charter. In fulfilling its purpose, the Committee will encourage free and open communication between itself, independent registered public accountants, the Internal Auditors (as defined) and management of the Company. The Committee shall be given full and direct access to the Company’s management, employees, independent auditors and the firm and/or the person(s) performing the internal audit function, as necessary to carry out these responsibilities.
Committee members are encouraged to enhance their familiarity with finance and accounting by participating in educational programs, which will be paid for by the Company.
The Committee shall be comprised of three or more directors. The members of the Committee shall be nominated by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Board and elected by the Board at the annual organizational meeting to one-year terms or until their successors are elected and qualified.
Each member of the Committee shall satisfy the independence requirements of the New York Stock Exchange, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and be financially literate, as determined by the Board in its business judgment.
At least one member of the Committee shall be a “financial expert,” as determined by the Board in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the New York Stock Exchange listing standards and the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, at least one member of the Committee shall be determined by the Board, in its business judgment, as having accounting or related financial management expertise. If the Board determines that a Committee member is a “financial expert,” it may presume that such member has accounting or related financial management expertise. The designation of one or more members as a “financial expert” shall not impose any duties, obligations or liabilities on such member greater than the regular duties, obligations, and liabilities of a member of the Committee or the Board.
No director shall simultaneously serve on the audit committee of more than three public companies, unless the Board has determined that such simultaneous service will not impair the ability of such director to effectively serve on the Committee and discloses such determination in the Company’s annual proxy statement or the Company’s website.
Unless a Chair of the Committee is elected by the full Board, the members of the Committee may designate a Chair by majority vote of the full Committee membership.
No consulting, advisory or compensatory fees shall be paid by or for the Company to any member of the Committee or to any entity with which he or she is affiliated, other than director and committee fees payable by the Company in the ordinary course. Board and committee fees may be payable in cash, shares, options and/or in kind. Committee members may receive additional compensation from the Company for their service on the Committee and for being Chairperson of the Committee.
The Committee shall meet once every quarter, or more frequently if circumstances dictate, to discuss with management the annual or quarterly financial statements, as applicable. The timing of the meetings shall be determined by the Committee. The Committee will meet at any mutually convenient time that the independent auditors, the firm and/or person(s) performing the internal audit function (the “Internal Auditor”) or management believe communication to the Committee is required. To foster open communication, the Committee shall meet periodically with management, the Board, the independent auditors and the Internal Auditor in separate executive sessions to discuss any matter which the Committee or each of these groups believe appropriate. Except for executive sessions of the Committee, minutes shall be kept of each meeting of the Committee.
IV. Committee Responsibilities and Duties
The Committee shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
* To report Committee activities to the Board on a regular basis and make appropriate recommendations.
* To inquire as to the independence of the independent auditors. As part of this responsibility, the Committee will ensure that the independent auditors submit on a periodic basis to the Committee a formal written statement delineating all relationships between such auditors and the Company. The Committee will discuss with the independent auditors any disclosed relationships or services that may impact the objectivity and independence of the independent auditors and recommend that the Board of Directors take appropriate action in response to the independent auditors’ report of any such relationships or services to satisfy itself of the independent auditors’ independence.
* To conduct or authorize investigations into matters within the Committee’s scope of responsibility. The Committee is authorized to the extent it deems necessary or appropriate, at the Company’s expense and without Board approval, to retain independent counsel, accountants or other advisors to assist the Committee in fulfilling its duties. The Committee may request any officer, director or employee of the Company, the Company’s outside counsel, the Company’s independent auditors and/or the Internal Auditor to attend any meeting of the Committee or to meet with any members of, or consultants to, the Committee.
* To establish procedures for the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints received by the Company regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, or auditing matters, and the confidential, anonymous submission by employees of concerns regarding accounting, auditing or internal control issues.
* To meet separately and periodically with management, the independent auditors and the Internal Auditor.
* To establish and review hiring policies regulating the hiring by the Company of employees or former employees of the Company’s independent auditors.
* To review and approve all related party transactions involving the Company and any affiliated company, executive officer, director or employee, or family member of any of the foregoing.
* To review and approve, at least annually, the Company's decision to enter into swaps ("Swaps"), as defined in Section 1a(47) of the Commodity Exchange Act and the rules and regulations thereunder (collectively, the "CEA") using the "End-User Exemption" from the mandatory clearing and mandatory exchange-trading requirements of Section 2(h)(1) and 2(h)(8) of the CEA (as such, "Exempt Swaps"), and review and approve, at least annually, the policies proposed by the Company's management regarding the use of Swaps and Exempt Swaps.
RESPONSIBILITIES FOR ENGAGING INDEPENDENT AUDITORS AND REVIEWING INTERNAL AUDIT FUNCTION:
* To be directly and solely responsible for the appointment, retention and evaluation of the independent auditors and to be solely responsible for the approval of any replacement of the independent auditors if circumstances warrant such action. The Committee will review and approve fees paid to the independent auditors, including audit and non-audit fees, generally before such services are provided.
* To consider policies and procedures of the independent auditors for audit and review partner rotation as required by the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
* To obtain from the independent auditors on a timely basis a report relating to the Company’s annual audited financial statements describing all critical accounting policies and practices used, all alternative treatments within generally accepted accounting principles for policies and practices related to material items that have been discussed with management, ramifications of the use of such alternative disclosures and treatments, and the treatment preferred by the independent auditors, and any material communications between the independent auditors and management.
* To obtain and review at least annually a report by the independent auditors describing the independent auditors’ internal quality control procedures, any material issues raised by the most recent quality control review or peer review or any inquiry or investigation by governmental or professional authorities within the preceding five years respecting one or more independent audits carried on by the independent auditors, and any steps taken to deal with any such issues.
* To review and discuss with management and the independent auditors the quality and adequacy of the (i) Company’s internal controls and (ii) Internal Auditor.
* To advise the Internal Auditor that it is expected to provide to the Committee summaries of and, as appropriate, the significant reports to management prepared by the Internal Auditor and management’s responses thereto.
* To review and discuss with management, the independent auditors and the Internal Auditor, any deficiencies or material weaknesses in the design or operations of internal controls over financial reporting or other significant findings resulting from any examination of the Company’s internal controls.
* To inquire of the Company’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer as to the existence of any significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in the design or operation of internal control over financial reporting which are reasonably likely to adversely affect the Company’s ability to record, process, summarize and report financial information, and as to the existence of any fraud, whether or not material, that involves management or other employees who have a significant role in the Company’s internal control over financial reporting.
RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING THE ANNUAL AUDIT AND QUARTERLY AND ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS:
* The Committee will discuss with the independent auditors:
* The planned arrangements and written scope of the internal audit prior to the performance of significant internal audit services and the Committee will approve the scope of the internal audit.
* The planned arrangements and significant areas of emphasis and additional Committee concerns prior to the performance of the annual audit and the Committee will approve the plan for the annual audit.
* The adequacy of the Company’s internal controls, including computerized information systems controls and security and financial reporting controls.
* The need for the independent auditors to assess their responsibility for detecting accounting and financial reporting errors, fraud, defalcations, illegal acts and non-compliance with the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
The need for changes or improvements in financial or accounting practices or controls.
* The Committee will advise management, the independent auditors and the Internal Auditor that they are expected to provide the Committee with timely written notification and analysis of significant financial reporting issues.
* The Committee shall discuss with management its process for performing its required certifications under Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, including the evaluation of the effectiveness of disclosure controls by the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
* The Committee will review and discuss with management, the independent auditor and the Internal Auditor, each periodic report (including the Company’s disclosures under “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations therein) to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such periodic report (i.e., Form 10-K and Form 10-Q) must be approved by the Committee prior to filing, either at a meeting, or by a telephone conference call in which management and the independent auditors participate.
* The Committee will review and discuss with management the Company’s earnings press releases, as well as financial information and earnings guidance provided to analysts and rating agencies, if any.
* The Committee will obtain from the independent auditors assurance that the independent auditors have communicated all matters required to be communicated by the independent auditors to the Committee in accordance with Section 10A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
* The Committee will discuss with management and the independent auditors:
* The independent auditor’s audit of, and report on, the financial statements.
* The independent auditor’s qualitative judgment about the quality, not just the acceptability, of the accounting principles and financial disclosures.
* The matters required to be discussed pursuant to the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), including PCAOB Auditing Standard No. 16, Communications With Audit Committees, the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other applicable regulations, including but not limited to:
- The independent auditors’ judgment as to the quality, not just the acceptability, of the Company’s accounting principles.
- The methods used to account for significant unusual transactions.
- The effect of significant accounting policies in controversial or emerging areas.
- The process and basis for sensitive accounting estimates.
- Any disagreements between independent auditors and management over accounting or disclosure matters.
* Any significant matters arising from any audit relating to the Company’s financial statements, and discuss any difficulties the independent auditors encountered in the course of the audit, including any restrictions on their activities or access to requested information, and any significant disagreements with management. The Committee is responsible for the resolution of disagreements between management and the Company’s independent auditors regarding financial reporting.
* The annual report by management on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting to be included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, and the independent auditor’s attestation report on management’s assessment of internal control over financial reporting.
* The Committee will:
* Review and discuss with management, the independent auditors and the Internal Auditor, the (i) Company’s policies with respect to risk assessment and risk management and (ii) contingent liabilities and risks that may be material to the Company.
* Review and discuss with management and the independent auditor, the responsibilities, organization, budget, staffing and qualification of the Internal Auditor, including the appointment, reassignment, or discharge of any Internal Auditor employed by the Company or any outsourced provider of internal auditing services, as the case may be.
* Discuss with the Internal Auditor any audit problems, significant difficulties or disagreements with management encountered in the course of the internal audit, including any restrictions on the scope of the audit or access to information.
* Discuss with management and the independent auditors any correspondence with regulators or governmental agencies and any published reports which raise material issues regarding the Company’s financial statements or accounting policies.
* Discuss with the Company’s general counsel any significant legal, compliance or regulatory matters that may have a material effect on the Company’s financial statements or business or compliance policies, including material notices to or inquiries from governmental agencies.
* The Committee will:
* Review annually the Committee’s Charter for adequacy and recommend any changes to the Board.
* Meet with the independent auditors and management in separate executive sessions to discuss matters that should be discussed privately with the Committee.
* Ensure that this Charter is available on or through the Company’s website and that the address for the website is included in the annual proxy statement.
* Review periodically the Company’s policies and procedures that pertain to the Company’s financial reporting process, system of internal controls, the framework for such controls (e.g., the criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013), to be implemented in 2014) and the systems that management has established to implement these policies and procedures.
* Perform an annual self-evaluation of its performance and present its findings to the Board.
The management of the Company is responsible for the preparation, presentation and integrity of the Company’s financial statements and for the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting. Management is responsible for maintaining appropriate accounting and financial reporting principles and policies and internal controls and procedures that provide for compliance with accounting standards and applicable laws and regulations. The independent auditors are responsible for planning and carrying out a proper audit of the Company’s annual financial statements, reviews of the Company’s quarterly financial statements prior to their filing, and annually auditing management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, and other procedures. In fulfilling their duties hereunder, it is recognized that members of the Committee are not (i) performing the functions of auditors or accountants, and therefore, it is not their responsibility to conduct “field work” or other types of auditing or accounting reviews and (ii) employees, and rely, without independent verification, on the information provided to them and the representations made to them by management, the independent auditors and the Internal Auditors.
The Committee’s oversight does not provide an independent basis to determine that management has maintained appropriate accounting and financial reporting policies, appropriate internal controls and procedures or appropriate disclosure controls and procedures, or that the Company’s reports and information provided under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are accurate and complete. Furthermore, the Committee’s consideration and discussions referred to in this Charter do not assure that the audit of the Company’s financial statements has been carried out in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, that the financial statements are presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, that the Company’s independent auditors are in fact “independent,” or that the matters required to be certified by the Company’s chief executive officer, chief financial officer or other officers of the Company under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission have been properly and accurately certified.