The Committee received a report which presented the draft Corporate Risk Register 2017/18 (‘the Register’) for Members’ consideration. The report also updated Members on other corporate governance issues, including internal audit reports assessed as limited in their assurance level and actions which were being carried out in this regard.
The Register had been developed by the management team to address issues of a strategic nature which were seen as areas that had potential to impact on the delivery of the Council’s strategic purposes. Members were asked to consider the draft Register and to make any proposed changes or additions to this, which would be monitored by the Committee on a 6-monthly basis. Officers advised that in addition to the Register, future actions included the development of a new Risk Management Strategy, together with improvements to the reporting of the Register to the Committee. Officers stated that the Register needed to be made smarter, and it was noted that the names of the Risk Owner for two of the risks needed to be added to this.
Members supported the document and in doing so stated that this also needed to show when actions were due to be completed by. It was therefore agreed that a “when” column be added to this. Members queried the Council’s resistance to major incidents such as the Grenfell Tower fire, and whether anything should be built into the Corporate Risks in this regard. Officers responded that the Corporate Risks should be widened to include the Council’s Emergency Plan, and where the Council was working in partnership with other agencies. Members queried whether the Council had a contingency fund similar to the Fire Authority for major incidents. Officers confirmed that should a major incident occur the Council would look to use its balances, with the Government then covering any associated costs above a certain threshold.
Members queried the high Residual Risk score for one of the Corporate Risks and whether the Residual Risk level should, in light of the Current Mitigations and Actions Needed detailed, look to reduce. Officers agreed that Residual Risk scores should always reduce to as low a level as possible, with the objective being to bring these down to either amber or green level.
Members queried how developed the Risk Register was at this stage. Officers advised that this would need to be considered by the Risk Management Group, who would need to look at this over the course of a few meetings before being clear on what the mitigating elements were and on any positive/negative trends. The Committee requested that in light of the issues highlighted and concerns raised during the meeting in relation to Risk Management, the Register be reported on at all future meetings of the Committee, rather than on a 6-monthly basis.
Mr Percival added that he was aware that other district councils engaged with their insurers on corporate risk register issues, as insurers had expertise in the field of risk management frameworks. He suggested therefore that if Officers weren’t already doing so they might wish to engage with the Council’s insurers on this.
1) the draft Corporate Risk Register be updated in accordance with the comments/actions detailed in the preamble above; and
2) Corporate Risk Register reporting take place at all future meetings of the Committee, rather than on a 6-monthly basis.