This excerpt taken from the HPT DEF 14A filed Apr 13, 2007.
Our audit committee appointed Ernst & Young LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for 2006. A representative of Ernst & Young LLP is expected to be present at our annual meeting, with the opportunity to make a statement if he or she desires to do so. This representative will be available to respond to appropriate questions from shareholders who are present at our annual meeting.
The fees for services provided by Ernst & Young LLP to us in the last two fiscal years were as follows:
Our audit committee has established policies and procedures which are intended to control the services provided by our independent registered public accounting firm and to monitor their continuing independence. Under these policies, no services may be undertaken by our independent registered public accounting firm unless the engagement is specifically approved by our audit committee or the services are included within a category which has been pre-approved by our audit committee. The maximum charge for services is established by the audit committee when the specific engagement or the category of services is approved or pre-approved. In certain circumstances, our management is required to notify the audit committee when pre-approved services are undertaken and the committee or its chairman may approve amendments or modifications to the engagement or the maximum fees. Our director of internal audit is responsible to report to our audit committee regarding compliance with these policies and procedures.
Our audit committee will not approve engagements of our independent registered public accounting firm to perform non-audit services for us if doing so will cause our independent registered public accounting firm to cease to be independent within the meaning of applicable SEC rules. In other circumstances, our audit committee considers, among other things, whether our independent registered public accounting firm is able to provide the required services in a more or less effective and efficient manner than other available service providers and whether the services are consistent with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Rules.
All services for which we engaged our independent registered public accounting firm in 2005 and 2006 were approved by our audit committee. The total fees we paid to Ernst & Young LLP for services in 2005 and 2006 are set forth above. Audit related fees in 2006 relate to services provided with respect to our acquisitions. The tax fees in 2005 and 2006 were for services involved in reviewing our tax reporting. Our audit committee approved the engagement of Ernst & Young LLP to provide these non-audit services because it determined that Ernst & Young LLPs providing these services would not compromise its independence and that its familiarity with our record keeping and accounting systems would permit it to provide these services with equal or higher quality, more quickly and at a lower cost than we could obtain these services from other providers.