Simon Dennis, Acting Head of Policy, Performance and Improvement, presented the current Strategic Risk Register which summarised the current position of the Register and also provided additional background on the role of risk management in the Council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Council’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic had seen risk management play a vital role which continued to be the case. The changes required to processes had been reported to the Committee previously but, at the time of writing, the Council’s overall corporate risk management arrangements had now broadly returned to normal.
The Council’s pattern of reducing assessed risk, in place up until Covid-19 had struck, had recommenced. This also reflected the increasing grasp on the key risks that needed to be managed at a strategic level. This improvement had inevitably slowed during the pandemic but the overall track in the last two years was an improving one. Since July 2021, 60% of risks monitored at a strategic level had reduced or been removed, just over 25% have remained stable and just over 15% had increased or were new to the register.
Since the last update, there had been no additions or removals from the Strategic Risk Register. There remained 13 risks, up from 12 in July 2020.
The risk management process had been subject to an Internal Audit review which had compared arrangements to the requirements of the relevant International Standard ISO31000. The review had included that substantial assurance, the highest assurance level possible, could be derived from the controls that were in place. A further review would be carried out in 2022.
Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-
- The Strategic Risk Register would be adapted to align with the new Council Plan
- A refresh of risk management training would be available to Members shortly
- Any audits undertaken by Internal Audit with a partial or no assurance rating were passed to Policy and Performance for the Risk Champions’ consideration of inclusion/increased scoring on the Risk Register
- If there was a change in the scoring of one SLT risk, was the possible impact on other risks considered?
- Any reduction in Covid related risks, how did this impact on other risks?
- What challenge was there to those risks that had had the same scoring for a long time?
- The Food Resilience Worker had commenced their employment on 10th January, 2022. Their responsibilities would be around building the Authority’s understanding of food provision throughout the Borough and how the extra resources provided had been deployed
- The impact of the Covid pandemic and the provision of food banks
Resolved:- (1) That the update be noted.
(2) That the Acting Head of Policy, Performance and Intelligence, and Head of Internal Audit, meet to discuss the issues raised.
(Appendix 1 was considered in the absence of the press and public in accordance with Paragraph 3 of the Act (Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information/financial information)