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Amendments

Title:

Corporate Governance Best Practice Principles for TWSE/TPEx Listed Companies  CH

Amended Date: 2020.02.13 
Categories: Corporate Governance

Title: Corporate Governance Best Practice Principles for TWSE/TPEx Listed Companies(2018.12.12)
Date:
Article 3     A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall follow the Criteria Governing Establishment of Internal Control Systems by Public Reporting Companies and take into consideration the overall operational activities of itself and its subsidiaries to design and fully implement an internal control system, and shall conduct continuing reviews of the system, in order to ensure the continued effectiveness of its design and implementation in light of changes in the company's internal and external environment.
    A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall perform full self-assessments of its internal control system. Its board of directors and management shall review the results of the self-assessments by each department at least annually and the reports of the internal audit department on a quarterly basis. The audit committee or supervisors shall also attend to and supervise these matters. Directors and supervisors shall periodically hold discussions with their internal auditors about reviews of internal control system deficiencies. A record of the discussions shall be kept, and the discussions shall be followed up, improvements implemented, and a report submitted to the board of directors. TWSE/TPEx listed companies are advised to establish channels and mechanisms of communication between their independent directors, audit committees or supervisors, and chief internal auditors, and the convener of the audit committee or supervisors shall report their communication with the independent directors and chief internal auditors at the shareholders' meeting.
    The management of a TWSE/TPEx listed company shall pay special attention to the internal audit department and its personnel, fully empower them and urge them to conduct audits effectively, to evaluate problems of the internal control system and assess the efficiency of its operations to ensure that the system can operate effectively on an on-going basis, and to assist the board of directors and the management to perform their duties effectively so as to ensure a sound corporate governance system.
    Appointment, dismissal, evaluation and review, salary and compensation of internal auditors of a TWSE/TPEx listed company shall be reported to the board of directors or shall be submitted by the chief auditor to the board chairperson for approval.
Article 3-1     A TWSE/TPEx listed company is advised to have an adequate number of corporate governance personnel with appropriate qualifications based on the size of the company, business situations and management needs, and to appoint a chief corporate governance officer as the most senior officer to be in charge of corporate governance affairs. Said officer shall be a qualified, practice-eligible lawyer or accountant or have been in a managerial position for at least three years in a securities, financial, or futures related institution or a public company in handling legal affairs, financial affairs, stock affairs, or corporate governance affairs.
    It is required that the corporate governance affairs mentioned in the preceding paragraph include at least the following items:
  1. Handling matters relating to board meetings and shareholders meetings according to laws.
  2. Producing minutes of board meetings and shareholders meetings.
  3. Assisting in onboarding and continuous development of directors and supervisors.
  4. Furnishing information required for business execution by directors and supervisors.
  5. Assisting directors and supervisors with legal compliance.
  6. Other matters set out in the articles or corporation or contracts.
Article 6     The board of directors of a TWSE/TPEx listed company shall properly arrange the agenda items and procedures for shareholders meetings, and formulate the principles and procedures for shareholder nominations of directors and supervisors and submissions of shareholder proposals. The board shall also properly handle the proposals duly submitted by shareholders. Arrangements shall be made to hold shareholders meetings at a convenient location, with sufficient time allowed and sufficient numbers of suitable personnel assigned to handle attendance registrations. No arbitrary requirements shall be imposed on shareholders to provide additional evidentiary documents beyond those showing eligibility to attend. Shareholders shall be granted reasonable time to deliberate each proposal and an appropriate opportunity to make statements.
    For a shareholders meeting called by the board of directors, it is advisable that the board chairperson chair the meeting, that a majority of the directors (including at least one independent director) and convener of the audit committee, or at least one supervisor, attend in person, and that at least one member of other functional committees attend as representative. Attendance details should be recorded in the shareholders meeting minutes.
Article 7     A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall encourage its shareholders to actively participate in corporate governance. It is advisable that the company engage a professional shareholder services agent to handle shareholders meeting matters, so that shareholders meetings can proceed on a legal, effective and secure basis. A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall seek all ways and means, including fully exploiting technologies for information disclosure, to upload annual reports, annual financial statements, notices, agendas and supplementary information of shareholders meetings in both Chinese and English concurrently, and shall adopt electronic voting, in order to enhance shareholders' attendance rates at shareholders meetings and ensure their exercise of rights at such meetings in accordance with laws.
    A TWSE/TPEx listed company is advised to avoid raising extraordinary motions and amendments to original proposals at a shareholders meeting, and is advised to adopt a candidate nomination system for the election of directors and supervisors.
    TWSE/TPEx listed companies are advised to arrange for their shareholders to vote on each separate proposal in the shareholders meeting agenda, and following conclusion of the meeting, to enter the voting results the same day, namely the numbers of votes cast for and against and the number of abstentions, on the Market Observation Post System.
Article 11     The shareholders shall be entitled to profit distributions by the company. In order to ensure the investment interests of shareholders, the shareholders meeting may, pursuant to Article 184 of the Company Act, examine the statements and books prepared and submitted by the board of directors and the reports submitted by the audit committee or supervisors, and may decide profit distributions and deficit off-setting plans by resolution. In order to proceed with the above examination, the shareholders meeting may appoint an inspector.
    The shareholders may, pursuant to Article 245 of the Company Act, apply with the court to select an inspector in examining the accounting records, assets, particulars, documents and records of specific transaction of the company.
    The board of directors, audit committee or supervisors, and managers of the TWSE/TPEx listed company shall fully cooperate in the examination conducted by the inspectors in the aforesaid two paragraphs without any circumvention, obstruction or rejection.
Article 22     A TWSE/TPEx listed company is advised to specify in its articles of incorporation that it adopts the candidate nomination system for elections of directors, carefully review the qualifications of a nominated candidate and the existence of any other matters set forth in Article 30 of the Company Act, and act in accordance with Article 192-1 of the Company Act.
Article 23     Clear distinctions shall be drawn between the responsibilities and duties of the chairperson of the board of a TWSE/TPEx listed company and those of its general manager.
    It is inappropriate for the chairperson to also act as the general manager or other equivalent position (highest managerial position). If the chairperson also acts as the general manager or other equivalent position (highest managerial position) or the chairperson and general manager or other equivalent position (highest managerial position) are spouses or relatives within one degree of consanguinity, it is advisable that the number of independent directors be increased and there be a majority of the members of the board of directors who are not employees or managers.
    A TWSE/TPEx listed company with a functional committee shall clearly define the responsibilities and duties of the committee.
Article 24     A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall appoint independent directors in accordance with its articles of incorporation. They shall be not less than two in number and not less than one-fifth of the total number of directors.
    Independent directors shall possess professional knowledge and there shall be restrictions on their shareholdings. Applicable laws and regulations shall be observed and, in addition, it is not advisable for an independent director to hold office concurrently as a director (including independent director) or supervisor of more than five other TWSE/TPEx listed companies. Independent directors shall also maintain independence within the scope of their directorial duties, and may not have any direct or indirect interest in the company.
    If a TWSE/TPEx listed company and its group enterprises and organizations, and another company and its group enterprises and organizations nominate for each other any director, supervisor or managerial officer as a candidate for an independent director of the other, the TWSE/TPEx listed company shall, at the time it receives the nominations for independent directors, disclose the fact and explain the suitability of the candidate for independent director. If the candidate is elected as an independent director, the TWSE/TPEx listed company shall disclose the number of votes cast in favor of the elected independent director.
     The "group enterprises and organizations" in the preceding paragraph comprise the subsidiaries of the TWSE/TPEx listed company, any foundation to which the TWSE/TPEx listed company's cumulative direct or indirect contribution of funds exceeds 50 percent of its endowment, and other institutions or juristic persons that are effectively controlled by the company.
    Change of status between independent directors and non-independent directors during their term of office is prohibited.
    The professional qualifications, restrictions on both shareholding and concurrent positions held, determination of independence, method of nomination and other requirements with regard to the independent directors shall be set forth in accordance with the Securities and Exchange Act, the Regulations Governing Appointment of Independent Directors and Compliance Matter for Public Companies, and the rules and regulations of the Taiwan Stock Exchange or GreTai Securities Market.
Article 26     A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall stipulate the scope of duties of the independent directors and empower them with manpower and physical support related to the exercise of their power. The company or other board members shall not obstruct, reject or circumvent the performance of duties by the independent directors.
    A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall stipulate the remuneration of the directors according to applicable laws and regulations. The remuneration of the directors shall fully reflect the personal performance and the long-term management performance of the company, and shall also take the overall operational risks of the company into consideration. Different but reasonable remuneration from that of other directors may be set forth for the independent directors.
Article 28     A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall establish either an audit committee or a supervisor.
    The audit committee shall be composed of the entire number of independent directors. It shall not be fewer than three persons in number, one of whom shall be convener, and at least one of whom shall have accounting or financial expertise.
    The exercise of power by audit committee and independent directors and related matters shall be set forth in accordance with the Securities and Exchange Act, the Regulations Governing the Exercise of Powers by Audit Committees of Public Companies, and the rules and regulations of the TWSE or TPEx.
Article 28-1     A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall establish a remuneration committee, and it is advisable that more than half of the committee members be independent directors. The professional qualifications for the committee members, the exercise of their powers of office, the adoption of the organizational charter, and related matters shall be handled pursuant to the Regulations Governing the Appointment and Exercise of Powers by the Remuneration Committee of a Company Whose Stock is Listed on the Stock Exchange or Traded Over the Counter.
Article 33      When a board meeting is convened to consider any matter submitted to it pursuant to Article 14-3 of the Securities and Exchange Act, an independent director of a TWSE/TPEx listed company shall attend the board meeting in person, and may not be represented by a non-independent director via proxy. When an independent director has a dissenting or qualified opinion, it shall be noted in the minutes of the board of directors meeting; if the independent director cannot attend the board meeting in person to voice his or her dissenting or qualified opinion, he or she should provide a written opinion before the board meeting unless there are justifiable reasons for failure to do so, and the opinion shall be noted in the minutes of the board of directors meeting.
    In any of the following circumstances, decisions made by the board of directors shall be noted in the meeting minutes, and in addition, publicly announced and filed on the MOPS two hours before the beginning of trading hours on the first business day after the date of the board meeting:
  1. An independent director has a dissenting or qualified opinion which is on record or stated in a written statement.
  2. The matter was not approved by the audit committee (if the company has set up an audit committee), but had the consent of more than two-thirds of all directors.
    During a board meeting, managers from relevant departments who are not directors may, in view of the meeting agenda, sit in at the meetings, make reports on the current business conditions of the company and respond to inquiries raised by the directors. Where necessary, a CPA, legal counsel, or other professional may be invited to sit in at the meetings to assist the directors in understanding the conditions of the company for the purpose of adopting an appropriate resolution, provided that they shall leave the meeting when deliberation or voting takes place.
Article 35     A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall submit the following matters to its board of directors for discussion:
  1. Corporate business plans.
  2. Annual and semi-annual financial reports, with the exception of semi-annual financial reports which, under relevant laws and regulations, need not be CPA audited and attested.
  3. Adoption or amendment to an internal control system pursuant to Article 14-1 of the Securities and Exchange Act, and evaluation of effectiveness of an internal control system.
  4. Adoption or amendment, pursuant to Article 36-1 of the Securities and Exchange Act, to the handling procedures for financial or operational actions of material significance, such as acquisition or disposal of assets, derivatives trading, extension of monetary loans to others, and endorsements or guarantees for others.
  5. The offering, issuance, or private placement of any equity-type securities.
  6. The performance assessment and the standard of remuneration of the managerial officers.
  7. The structure and system of director's remuneration.
  8. The appointment or discharge of a financial, accounting, or internal audit officer.
  9. A donation to a related party or a major donation to a non-related party, provided that a public-interest donation of disaster relief for a major natural disaster may be submitted to the next board meeting for retroactive recognition.
  10. Any matter required by Article 14-3 of the Securities and Exchange Act or any other law, regulation, or bylaw to be approved by resolution at a shareholders meeting or to be approved by resolution at a meeting of the board of directors, or any such significant matter as may be prescribed by the competent authority.
    Except for matters that must be submitted to the board of directors for discussion under the preceding paragraph, when the board of directors is in recess, it may delegate the exercise of its power to others in accordance with law, regulations, or its articles of incorporation. However, the level of delegation or the content or matters to be delegated shall be clearly specified, and general authorization is not permitted.
Article 37     Members of the board of directors shall faithfully conduct corporate affairs and perform the duty of care of a good administrator. In conducting the affairs of the company, they shall exercise their powers with a high level of self-discipline and prudence. Unless matters are otherwise reserved by law for approval in shareholders meetings or in the articles of incorporation, they shall ensure that all matters are handled according to the resolutions of board of directors.
    It is advisable that a TWSE/TPEx listed company formulate rules and procedures for board of directors performance assessments, and that each year it conduct regularly scheduled performance assessments of the board of directors, functional committees, and individual directors through self-assessment, peer-to-peer assessments, engaging outside professional institutions, or in any other appropriate manner. It is advisable that the performance assessment of the board of directors include the following aspects, and that appropriate assessment indicators be developed in consideration of the company's needs:
  1. The degree of participation in the company's operations.
  2. Improvement in the quality of decision making by the board of directors.
  3. The composition and structure of the board of directors.
  4. The election of the directors and their continuing professional education.
  5. Internal controls.
     It is advisable that performance assessments of board members (self-assessments or peer-to-peer assessments) include the following aspects, with appropriate adjustments made on the basis of the company's needs:
  1. Their grasp of the company's goals and missions.
  2. Their recognition of director's duties.
  3. Their degree of participation in the company's operations.
  4. Their management of internal relationships and communication.
  5. Their professionalism and continuing professional education.
  6. Internal controls.
    It is advisable that the performance assessment of a functional committee cover the following aspects, subject to changes according to the company's needs:
  1. Their degree of participation in the company's operations.
  2. Their recognition of the duties of the functional committee.
  3. Improvement in the quality of decision making by the functional committee.
  4. The composition of the functional committee, and election and appointment of committee members.
  5. Internal control.
    A TWSE/TPEx listed company is advised to submit the results of performance assessments to the board of directors and use them as reference in determining compensation for individual directors, their nomination and additional office term.
Article 39     A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall take out directors liability insurance with respect to liabilities resulting from exercising their duties during their terms of occupancy so as to reduce and spread the risk of material harm to the company and shareholders arising from the wrongdoings or negligence of a director.
    A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall report the insured amount, coverage, premium rate, and other major contents of the liability insurance it has taken out or renewed for directors, at the next board meeting.
Article 42     A TWSE/TPEx listed company is advised to specify in its articles of incorporation that it adopts the candidate nomination system for elections of supervisors, carefully review the qualifications of a nominated candidate and the existence of any other matters set forth in Article 30 of the Company Act, and act in accordance with Article 192-1 of the Company Act.
Article 46     A supervisor may investigate the operational and financial conditions of the company from time to time, and the relevant departments in the company shall provide the books or documents that will be needed for the supervisor's review, transcription or duplication.
    When reviewing the finance or operations of the company, a supervisor may retain attorneys or CPAs on behalf of the company to perform the review; however, the company shall inform the relevant persons of their confidentiality obligations.
    The board of directors or managers shall submit reports in accordance with the request of the supervisors and shall not for any reason circumvent, obstruct, or refuse the inspection of the supervisor.
    When a supervisor performs his/her duties, a TWSE/TPEx listed company shall provide necessary assistance as needed by the supervisor, and the reasonable expenses that the supervisor needs shall be borne by the company.
Article 49     A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall take out supervisors liability insurance with respect to liabilities resulting from the exercise of duties during their terms, so as to reduce and spread the risk of material harm to the company and shareholders arising from the wrongdoing or negligence of a supervisor.
    A TWSE/TPEx listed company is advised to report the insured amount, coverage, premium rate, and other major contents of the liability insurance it has taken out or renewed for supervisors, at the next board meeting.
Article 55     Disclosure of information is a major responsibility of a TWSE/TPEx listed company. A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall perform its obligations faithfully in accordance with the relevant laws and the related TWSE and TPEx rules.
    A TWSE/TPEx listed company is advised to publish and report its annual financial report within two months after the end of a fiscal year, and publish and report its financial reports for the first, second and third quarters as well as its operating status for each month before the specified deadline.
    A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall establish an Internet-based reporting system for public information, appoint personnel responsible for gathering and disclosing the information, and establish a spokesperson system so as to ensure the proper and timely disclosure of information about policies that might affect the decisions of shareholders and stakeholders.