PostNL’s external auditor, Ernst & Young Accountants LLP, is appointed by the General Meeting of Shareholders. The lead partner rotates after a maximum period of five years and the key assurance partners rotate after a maximum period of seven years. Ms S.D.J. Overbeek - Goeseije has been the lead audit partner since 2017.
The Supervisory Board recommends to the General Meeting of Shareholders the appointment or replacement of the external auditor. In doing so, it considers the Audit Committee’s advice regarding the external auditor’s nomination for appointment/reappointment or dismissal. The Audit Committee prepares the selection of the external auditor. The Audit Committee reports annually to the Supervisory Board on the functioning of, and relevant developments in the relationship with the external auditor. The Audit Committee gives due consideration to the Board of Management’s observations in this respect. At the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders held on 16 April 2019 Ernst & Young Accountants LLP was reappointed as external auditor for PostNL for another 2 years, that is for the financial years 2019 and 2020. Ms S.D.J. Overbeek - Goeseije shall remain the lead audit partner.
The Audit Committee, supported by the internal audit function, is required to pre-approve all services the external auditor provides to ensure these do not impair the auditor’s independence from PostNL. The Audit Committee grants a general pre-approval for certain routine services every year. By Dutch law, the external auditor is in principle prohibited to render non-audit services.
Conflicts and potential conflicts of interest between the external auditor and PostNL are settled in accordance with the terms of reference of the Audit Committee and Dutch law. See note 2.1.5 to the consolidated financial statements of PostNL N.V. for the fees paid to Ernst & Young Accountants LLP and the distribution of fees between audit and audit-related services.
The Audit Committee requires a formal written statement from the external auditor confirming its independence.