This excerpt taken from the VRSN DEF 14A filed Apr 10, 2006.
The purpose of the Audit Committee (the Committee) of the Board of Directors (the Board) of VeriSign, Inc. (the Company) is to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities relating to the Companys financial accounting, reporting and controls. The Committees principal functions are as follows:
The Committee will fulfill these functions primarily by carrying out the activities enumerated in Part IV of this charter. In order to serve these functions, the Committee shall have unrestricted access to all Company personnel and documents, and shall have authority to direct and supervise an investigation into any matters within the scope of its duties, including the power to retain outside counsel in connection with any such investigation.
While the Audit Committee has the responsibilities and powers set forth in this charter, it is not the duty of the Committee to plan or conduct audits or to determine that the Companys financial statements are complete and accurate and are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. This is the responsibility of management and the Companys independent auditor. Nor is it the duty of the Committee to conduct investigations or to assure compliance with laws and regulations and the Companys policies and procedures.
The Committee may retain, at the Companys expense, special legal, accounting or other consultants, experts and advisers of its choice that it deems necessary in the performance of its duties. The Company shall provide appropriate funding, as determined by the Committee, for payment of (a) compensation to any advisors employed by the Committee, and (b) ordinary administrative expenses of the Committee that are necessary or appropriate to carry out its duties. The Committee is authorized to retain and terminate, at the Companys expense, legal counsel, auditor or other consultants or advisors, as the Committee determines may be necessary or appropriate to carry out its duties.