NETHERLANDS - Further clarification would promote the application of the corporate governance code, the Dutch Monitoring Committee for the code has found in its first report.
The committee, established by the government in December 2004 to promote compliance, said the code had proven to be “practical and readily implementable”, but suggested statements regarding internal risk management and audit systems, and the remuneration policy for directors, could be clarified.
Jean Frijns, chairman of the commission, described the 88% compliance percentage as “high, when one considers that this is the first year in which application of the code was made mandatory for listed companies.”
But he added that compliance must reach 100%. “The average score is currently still depressed by a number of smaller funds and by Dutch companies with a major listing on a foreign stock exchange,” he said.
The committee is tasked with publishing at least one annual report of its findings and in 2006 the emphasis will focus on the role played by shareholders.
“Access to shareholder meetings is a key area of attention for us,” said Frijns. “This is something that can and must be simplified, for instance by webcasting and distance voting.
“Aside from that, we shall devote more attention to corporation-shareholder dialogue.”
The findings were officially presented to the ministers of Finance, Economic Affairs and Justice on Tuesday December 20.
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