The Energie AG Group has implemented all necessary governance systems within the scope of its obligation under stock corporation law. An integrated implementation of reporting and documentation of the control systems in line with the “Three-Lines-of-Defence Model” ensures a holistic view. This includes process-specific monitoring within the framework of the Internal Control System (ICS) with a special focus on the preservation of the Group's assets and the validity of the processes relevant to accounting. In addition, maintaining and strengthening risk awareness and awareness of the importance of the ethical values laid down in the vision and mission statement is an essential component of the corporate governance culture. Optimising operational processes – especially against a backdrop of organisational restructuring while leveraging the opportunities arising from digitalisation – with a valid ICS provides added value with a view to achieving corporate objectives.
Special attention is paid to the accounting process. The organisational structure, guidelines and measures to ensure the correctness of the financial reporting and compliance with legal regulations are ensured by clear role separation and by risk assessment. The “Group Treasury”, “Group Accounting” and “Controlling and Risk Management” departments have been established as company holding roles. Accounting has been set up as a service for the entire Group in the Energie AG Oberösterreich Business Services GmbH service company. Accounting's task comprises the classic tasks of orderly accounting; a strongly IT-supported process with automated controls is implemented here to avoid material misrepresentations in the posting of transactions. All controls and the associated risk assessment are posted in a separate IT tool and are periodically reviewed by Group Internal Audit for applicability, efficiency and effectiveness. The basis for valid financial reporting is a high degree of standardisation in data acquisition and processing, starting with commercial services, through the preparation of the companies' separate financial statements, to consolidation in the consolidated financial statements. The Management Board and the supervisory bodies are regularly informed also in a standard process.
In the 2018/2019 fiscal year, the realignment of the Sales and Generation segments and the bundling of water and heat activities in the Czech Republic necessitated a major adjustment of processes and thus an adaptation of controls. Continuous monitoring and consulting and a cyclical audit by Group Internal Audit form the basis of quality validation for these systems. Structured, standardised reporting to the Management Board and supervisory bodies ensures that the legally prescribed monitoring tasks are performed.
Control awareness is well anchored in the operating units and is sustainably implemented in the business processes. The concrete design of the controls is adapted to individual requirements which adequately consider risks and can include both manual and automated components. The dual control principle is strictly applied to approval processes.
The legal obligation to equal treatment in accordance with the Electricity Industry and Organisation Act (ElWOG) and the Gas Industry Act (GWG) are subject to appropriate ICS controls and are monitored by the Equal Treatment Officer.
The ICS satisfied the statutory requirements in the year under review. Control measures were and are being adapted and implemented with a high level of commitment at Energie AG to reflect the change process.