Internal controls

Parent companies

The Boards of RELX PLC and RELX NV exercise independent supervisory roles over the activities and systems of internal control of RELX Group plc. The Boards of RELX PLC and RELX NV have each adopted a schedule of matters which are required to be brought to them for decision. In relation to RELX Group plc, the Boards of RELX PLC and RELX NV approve the strategy and the annual budgets, and receive regular reports on the operations, including the treasury and risk management activities of the company. Major transactions proposed by the Boards of RELX Group plc require the approval of the Boards of both RELX PLC and RELX NV.

The RELX PLC and RELX NV Audit Committees meet on a regular basis to review the systems of internal control and risk management of RELX Group plc.

Operating companies

The Board of RELX Group plc is responsible for the system of internal control of RELX Group's businesses, subsidiaries and financing activities. The board of RELX Group plc is also responsible for reviewing the effectiveness of its system of internal control.

The Board of RELX Group plc has implemented an ongoing process for identifying, evaluating, monitoring and managing the more significant risks faced by the Group.

RELX Group plc

RELX Group plc has an established framework of procedures and internal controls, with which the management of each business is required to comply. Group businesses are required to maintain systems of internal control which are appropriate to the nature and scale of their activities and address all significant strategic, operational, financial and legal compliance risks that they face. The Board of RELX Group plc has adopted a schedule of matters that are required to be brought to it for decision.

RELX Group plc has a Code of Ethics and Business Conduct that provides a guide for achieving its business goals and requires officers and employees to behave in an open, honest, ethical and principled manner. The Code also outlines confidential procedures enabling employees to report any concerns about compliance, or about RELX Group’s financial reporting practice. Click here to read the Code in full.

Each business area has identified and evaluated its principal risks, the controls in place to manage those risks and the level of residual risk accepted. Risk management and control procedures are embedded into the operations of the business and include the monitoring of progress in areas for improvement that come to management and board attention. The principal risks facing the Group are set out on pages 60-63 of our 2016 Annual Report.

The principal risks facing the RELX Group plc businesses are considered by the Board and Audit Committee. Litigation and other legal regulatory matters are managed by legal directors in Europe and the United States.

The RELX Group plc Audit Committee receives regular reports on the identification and management of material risks and reviews these reports. The Audit Committee also receives regular reports from both internal and external auditors on internal control and risk management matters. In addition, each division is required, at the end of the financial year, to review the effectiveness of its internal controls and risk management and report its findings on a detailed basis to the management of RELX Group plc. These reports are summarised and, as part of the annual review of effectiveness, submitted to the Audit Committee of RELX Group plc. The Chairman of the Audit Committee reports to the Board on any significant internal control matters arising.

Annual review

As part of the year-end procedures, the Audit Committees and Boards of RELX PLC, RELX NV, RELX Group plc review the effectiveness of the systems of internal control and risk management during the last financial year. The objective of these systems is to manage, rather than eliminate, the risk of failure to achieve business objectives. Accordingly, they can only provide reasonable, but not absolute, assurance against material misstatement or loss. The Boards have confirmed, subject to the above, that the respective risk management and control systems provide reasonable assurance against material inaccuracies or loss and have functioned properly during the year.