The Code requires the Board of Management to provide a description of PostNL’s main risks in relation to its risk appetite. Such risks may include strategic, operational, compliance and financial reporting risks. These risks and the relation to PostNL’s risk appetite are included in the 'Risk and opportunity management' chapter. The Board of Management confirms that it is responsible for PostNL’s risk management, internal control, integrity and compliance systems and has reviewed the design and the operational effectiveness of these systems for the year ended 31 December 2020. The outcome of these reviews and analysis has been shared with the Audit Committee and the Supervisory Board and has been discussed with PostNL’s external auditor. The same would apply in respect of material failings in PostNL’s risk management, internal control, integrity and compliance systems and of material changes or improvement implemented in such systems, each if applicable. In 2020, PostNL implemented material organisational and IT changes and improvements. The integration of the PostNL and Sandd postal networks and the divestment of Nexive and Spotta have been completed in the first half of 2020. In the second half of the year PostNL completed the transaction of sale-and-leasback of five sorting locations in The Netherlands. No material failings in PostNL’s risk management internal control, integrity and compliance systems were reported. Other than those described in the 'Risk and opportunity management' chapter and provided for external conditions that can reasonably be expected to have an impact on a company’s results, the results of PostNL are generally not sensitive for material changes in external conditions.
Based on the outcome of the PostNL-specific approach to risk management, internal control, integrity and compliance systems as outlined in the 'Risk and opportunity management' chapter, the Board of Management believes, to the best of its knowledge, that PostNL’s internal control over financial reporting worked effectively over the year ended 31 December 2020 and provides reasonable assurance that the financial reporting is free from material inaccuracies or misstatements.
Additionally, the Board of Management is of the view that considering the annually updated strategic plan and forecasts, in the current situation, it is justified that PostNL’s financial reporting has been prepared on an ongoing concern basis and that it states those material risks and uncertainties that are relevant for the expectation of PostNL’s continuity for the period of twelve months after the preparation of the report. The above, however, does not imply that PostNL can provide certainty as to the realisation of strategic business and financial objectives. Nor can PostNL’s approach to internal control over financial reporting be expected to prevent or detect all misstatements, errors, fraud or violation of laws or regulations.
In view of the above and based on the outline of the main risks and risk responses described in the 'Risk and opportunity management' chapter, the Board of Management believes it complies with provisions 1.4.2. and 1.4.3. of the Code.