To fulfill its responsibilities and to discharge its duty, the Board of Directors follows the procedures and standards that are set forth in these guidelines. These guidelines are subject to modification from time to time as the Board of Directors deems appropriate in the best interests of the company or as required by applicable laws and regulations.
Audit Committee Charter
The purpose of the Audit Committee (the "Committee") of the Board of Directors (the "Board") of Medifast, Inc. (the "Company") shall be to assist in Board oversight of (1) the integrity of the Company's financial statements, (2) the Company's compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, (3) the independent auditors' qualifications and independence, (4) the performance of the Company's independent auditors' (the "Auditors") (5) the Company’s compliance with its investment policies, procedures, strategies and transactions including, but not limited to, the quality and performance of the investment portfolios of the Company; and (6) the Company's code of business conduct and ethics; and to prepare the audit committee report that the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") require to be included in the Company's annual proxy statement. References herein to any term or provision of any law, rule or regulation shall include all amendments, restatements, supplements or modifications thereof, and all successor, replacement or redesignated terms or provisions thereto.
Composition and Qualifications
The Committee shall be comprised of three or more directors, the exact number to be determined from time to time by resolution of the Board. Each member of the Committee shall (1) be "independent" as required by New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) rules and any other legal requirements as shall from time to time be in effect, including, without limitation Rule 10A-3(b)(i) under the Act, subject to the exemptions provided in Rule 10A-3(c), and (2) have such financial/accounting literacy or expertise as required by NYSE listing standards and/or rules adopted by the SEC pursuant to the Act. The Board of Directors shall, in the exercise of business judgment, determine the "independence" and "financial literacy", "financial expertise", or "accounting and related financial management expertise" of directors for this purpose. At least one member of the Committee must have accounting or related financial management expertise, as the Board interprets such qualification in its business judgment. A person who satisfies the definition of audit committee financial expert set out in Item 401(h) of Regulation S-K shall be presumed to have such accounting and related financial management expertise.
No Director may serve as a member of the Committee if such Director serves on the audit committee of more than two other public companies, unless the Board determines that such simultaneous service would not impair the ability of such Director to effectively serve on the Committee. Any such determination shall be disclosed in the Company's annual proxy statement.
The Chairman of the Committee shall be designated by a majority vote of the entire Board.
Members of the Committee shall be designated annually by a majority vote of the entire Board (after considering any recommendations of the Corporate Governance Committee) at the organizational meeting of the Board held in connection with the annual meeting of shareholders.
Vacancies on the Committee shall be filled by a majority vote of the entire Board. By a majority vote of the entire Board, a member of the Committee may be removed.
Structure and Operation
- Two members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum. When more than two members are present, the act of a majority of the members present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Committee, and when only two members are present, the unanimous vote of the two members shall constitute the act of the Committee.
- The Secretary of the Company, or in the absence of the Secretary such person as may be designated by the Chairman of the Committee, shall act as secretary and keep the minutes of all meetings of the Committee.
- The Committee shall meet in person or telephonically at least four times a year at such times and places determined by the Chairman of the Committee, with further meetings to occur, or actions to be taken by unanimous written consent, when deemed necessary or desirable by the Committee or its Chairman.
- The Committee may request that any directors, officers or employees of the Company, or other persons whose advice and counsel are sought by the Committee, attend any meeting of the Committee to provide such pertinent information as the Committee requests.
- Except as expressly provided in this Charter, the By-laws of the Company, or the Company's Corporate Governance Guidelines, or as required by law, regulation or NYSE listing standards, the Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Committee's function is one of oversight. The Company's management is responsible for preparing the Company's financial statements and for developing and maintaining systems of internal accounting and financial controls, while the Auditors will assist the Committee and the Board in fulfilling their responsibilities for their review of these financial statements and internal controls. The Committee expects the Auditors to call to their attention any accounting, auditing, internal accounting control, regulatory or other related matters that they believe warrant consideration or action. The Committee recognizes that the financial management and the internal and outside auditors have more knowledge and information about the Company than do Committee members. Consequently, in carrying out its oversight responsibilities, the Committee does not provide any expert or special assurance as to the Company's financial statements or internal controls or any professional certification as to the Auditors' work.
The Committee shall undertake the following activities in carrying out its oversight responsibilities:
- Internal and External Audit Responsibilities
- The Committee shall have the sole authority to directly appoint, retain, compensate, evaluate and, where appropriate, replace the Auditors (subject, if appropriate, to ratification by a vote of the shareholders of the Company). The Auditors shall report directly to the Committee. The Committee must be directly responsible for oversight of the independent auditors, including resolution of disagreements between management and the Auditors.
- Review and pre-approve all the audit services to be performed, including the Auditors' engagement letter for the annual audit of the Company in accordance with U.S. generally accepted auditing standards and the proposed fees in connection with such audit. Any additional services that management chooses to hire the independent auditors to perform must be approved individually by the Committee, prior to the independent auditors’ engagement. The authority for such pre-approval may be delegated to one or more members of the Committee; the decisions of any member to whom pre-approval authority is delegated shall be presented to the full Committee at the next Committee meeting and make recommendations, if any, with respect to the audit scope, plans for (including staffing and budgeting), and the results of, the annual audit conducted by the Auditors and the internal auditors.
- Receive and review periodic written reports from the Auditors regarding the Auditors independence and discuss such reports with the Auditor. Annually, obtain and review a report by the Auditors describing their internal quality-control procedures, any material issues raised by the most recent internal quality-control review or peer review, or by any inquiry or investigation by governmental or professional authorities, within the preceding five years, with respect to any independent audit carried out by the firm. Such report shall also detail steps taken to resolve any issues raised in the above reviews, inquiries or investigations and all relationships between the independent auditor and the Company. The Committee shall review and discuss with the Auditors any relationships or services that may impact the objectivity and independence of the Auditors and take appropriate action in response to the Auditors' report to satisfy itself of the Auditors' independence. This review shall include an evaluation of the lead partner of the Auditors. The Committee shall insure that the lead audit partner is rotated at least every five years to the extent required by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 (the "Act"), and shall consider whether there should be regular rotation of the Auditors. The Committee shall present its findings from this report to the Board.
- The Committee shall establish clear policies with respect to the hiring of employees or former employees of the Auditors.
- The Committee shall ensure that none of the individuals serving in the positions of chief executive officer, chief financial officer, corporate controller, chief accounting officer, or any person serving in an equivalent position participated in any capacity in the audit of the Company as an employee of the Auditors during the 1-year period preceding the date of initiation of any audit being performed by the Auditors.
- Review with the Auditors the matters required to be discussed by Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Auditing Standard 1301 ("AS 1301") Communications with Audit Committees, relating to required communications with audit committees regarding certain matters to the conduct of an audit and to obtain certain information from the audit committee relevant to the audit.
- Review with the Auditors any audit problems or difficulties and disagreements with management encountered in the course of the audit, management's response thereto and the related effects on audit scope and procedures. The Committee is responsible for resolving any disagreements between management and the Auditors or internal auditors regarding financial reporting.
- Examine and review with the Auditors, the Company's chief financial and accounting officers the comments and recommendations contained in the Auditors' summary audit management reports, as presented to the Committee, and management's response to those reports, and advise the Board with respect thereto.
- Conduct an ongoing review of related party transactions to detect any potential conflicts of interests.
- System of Internal Controls
- At least quarterly, the Committee may meet with management, the Auditors, and internal audit in separate executive sessions.
- Review with the management and the Auditors the quality and adequacy of internal controls that could significantly affect the Company's financial statements.
- Discuss with management and the Auditors the Company's major financial risk exposures, the Company's policies with respect to risk assessment and risk management and the steps management has taken to monitor and control these exposures.
- Review and make recommendations to the Board concerning the Company's policies with regard to affiliate/related party transactions.
- Financial Reporting Process and Financial Statements
- Discuss with management and the Auditors the quality and adequacy of the Company's disclosure controls and procedures, and review disclosures made by the Company's principal executive officer and principal financial officer in the Company's periodic reports filed with the SEC regarding compliance with their certification obligations.
- Prior to each quarterly earnings release, the Committee may discuss with management and the Auditors the earnings press release, as well as financial information and earnings guidance to be provided to investors, analysts or rating agencies.
- Meet to review and discuss with management and the Auditors the Company's quarterly financial statements, including reviewing the Company's specific disclosures under "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations", prior to filing on Forms 10-Q.
- Meet to review and discuss with management and the Auditors the annual audited financial statements, including reviewing the Company's specific disclosures under "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations", any changes in accounting policies and practices, financial reporting practices and significant reporting issues, critical accounting policies and significant estimates and judgments made in connection with the preparation of such audited financial statements, prior to filing on Forms 10-K.
- Review with management and the Auditors the effect of regulatory and accounting initiatives, as well as off-balance sheet structures, on the Company's financial statements.
- Review with, and make a recommendation to, the Board with respect to the inclusion of the audited financial statements, including the Company's specific disclosures under "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations", in the Company's Annual Report to Shareholders and in the Company's Form 10-K to be filed with the SEC.
- Prepare the report from the Audit Committee required by the rules of the SEC to be included in the Company's annual proxy statement.
- Compliance with Laws and Regulations
- Review with the Company's General Counsel legal matters that may have a material impact on the financial statements, the Company's compliance policies and any material reports or inquiries received from regulators or government agencies.
- Compliance with the Company's Codes of Conduct
- Ensure that the Company's Ethics Policy (the "ethics codes") are in writing and have annually been distributed to applicable Company employees, Directors and other individuals covered by its contents.
- Establish and maintain a procedure for the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints received by the Company regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, or auditing matters. Additionally, establish and maintain procedures for the confidential, anonymous submission by employees of the Company of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.
- Reporting and other Responsibilities
- Annually review the Committee's performance, review and reassess the adequacy of the Committee's purpose and responsibilities as herein set forth and recommend any proposed changes to the Board for approval.
- The Committee has the authority, without having to seek Board approval, and appropriate funding to obtain advice and assistance, as appropriate, from outside legal, accounting and other advisers, as it determines necessary to carry out its duties. The Committee may also conduct or authorize investigations into or studies of matters within the Committee's scope of responsibilities.
- The Committee shall review at least quarterly with the Board any issues that arise with respect to the quality or integrity of the Company's financial statements, the Company's compliance with legal or regulatory requirements, the performance and independence of the Auditors, or the performance of the internal audit function.
- The Committee shall review and evaluate compliance with the Company's investment policies, procedures and strategies. In doing so, it will review transactions entered into by the Company and determine if the funds are invested in accordance with the policies, procedures, strategies and limits set by the Committee and make appropriate recommendations to the Board.
- The Committee shall review and evaluate the Company’s capital allocation strategy and make recommendations to the Board on uses of capital to drive long term shareholder value. Uses of capital include, but are not limited to, dividends, share repurchases and acquisitions.
- The Chairman of the Committee shall report to the Board at each meeting of the Board the deliberations, actions and recommendations of the Committee since the last Board meeting and such other matters as the Board shall from time to time specify.