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BAE Appoints Committee to Audit Ethics, Procedures

LONDON, United Kingdom --- The Board of BAE Systems has today announced the creation of an external, expert committee to review and evaluate the Company’s policies and processes - and their application - relating to ethics and business conduct.

The Independent Committee will be chaired by Lord Woolf, the former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. Lord Woolf will be joined by three other members: Philippa Foster Back OBE, Director of the Institute of Business Ethics; Sir David Walker, Senior Adviser and formerly Chairman of Morgan Stanley International Ltd; and a final member who will be confirmed by Lord Woolf in due course. The Committee will report to the Board of BAE Systems.

BAE Systems Chairman Dick Olver said: “BAE Systems is committed to the highest standards and this is yet another demonstration that we will take every practical measure to ensure that our policies and procedures, relating to ethics and business conduct, are world class, as is our adherence to them. The Committee’s conclusions and recommendations will be published in full and the BAE Systems’ Board has committed to abide by the findings of the Independent Committee.”

BAE Systems Chief Executive Mike Turner said: “We want to be in a position to provide further assurance to our customers, investors, employees and communities that our policies, relating to ethics and business conduct, are subject to continuous improvement and set the pace for the international defence industry.”

The Committee will review the Company's adherence to applicable anti-corruption legislation, including anti-corruption and international treaty obligations. It will reach a judgement as to how the Company's policies and procedures benchmark against industry standards, whether they are sufficiently robust to ensure compliance with its ethical business policies generally and in particular to detect and prevent violations of anti-corruption laws.

The Committee will also make recommendations for any actions it believes the Company should take, in particular in respect of the role of the Company’s board-level Audit and Corporate Responsibility Committees.

The Committee will make its own decisions on final timescales, but it is anticipated that a written report with conclusions and recommendations will be published in early 2008.

BAE Systems is a global defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With 88,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £13.7 billion pounds sterling (US25.4 billion dollars) in 2006.

Click here for the Woolf committee website. (ends)
BAE Systems Board Asks Lord Woolf to Lead Independent Committee on the Company's Business Ethics