Despite escalating responsibilities, audit committees are spending less time on the priority issue of risk oversight, and also failing to develop diversity of talent and expertise within their own ranks.That’s the conclusions of Ernst & Young’s “2006 Audit Committee Survey,” which found that during the past year, audit committees have spent 20 percent or less of their time on risk oversight, and that 91 percent of audit committee members are over the age of 50, while only 8 percent of committees have more than one female member.

In late 2006, the Big Four firm conducted a survey of audit committee chairs and members from 176 companies across 11 industry sectors. The report provides details on top risk concerns and reveals best practices by industry sectors ahead of the curve in establishing risk governance practices.

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