Assurance of information produced by an organisation’s management, generally means enhancing the degree of confidence of the intended users. Enhanced confidence is obtained from the outcome of an evaluation of the quality of such subject matter against criteria, by an independent third party practitioner.
The outcome of an assurance exercise is an ‘assurance statement’ containing a conclusion on the quality of the subject matter.
AngloGold Ashanti appointed a team of non-financial assurance practitioners, whose qualifications and practical experience cover the breadth of corporate sustainability issues in the environmental, social and economic spheres, to undertake this independent third party assurance role.
The assurance conclusion was based on a test of the reliability of the performance information by way of:
What users of the Report to Society see, in the form of the Assurance Statement issued by the third party, is the proverbial tip of the iceberg in the assurance process. What AngloGold Ashanti further benefits from, is a resulting internal management report with detailed observations made during the engagement, related to management and control issues, highlighting areas of particular concern or potential improvement. During the assurance exercise there has been ongoing dialogue between AngloGold Ashanti and the assurers at various levels, related to best practice and efficiency of controls, further contributing to staff awareness of material sustainability issues for the company.
The added value experienced by Anglogold Ashanti in the assurance of the Report to Society can be summarised as follows:
AngloGold Ashanti Annual Report 2007 – Report to Society