Report of the Chief Operating Officer (Section 151 Officer)
The Committee considered a report of the Chief Operating Officer (Section 151 Officer) that provided the Committee with the outcome of the review of the Risk Management Policy, an overview of the Council’s corporate and COVID-19 risk management arrangements, the main risks identified and the mitigations in place.
A new risk management policy would be in place by April 2022 following consultation and review by the senior leadership team. The policy defined risk as something that jeopardised the Council’s ability to achieve its priorities, deliver services as planned and fulfil statutory functions. It identified risk management as the process by which the Council continuously and methodically addressed the risks which could hinder the achievement of its priorities, provide services as planned and fulfil its statutory duties. The policy identifies accountabilities and roles and how risks were dealt with recorded, reviewed and escalated.
The Committee last considered the risk register in March 2021 and the report included the current risk register at Appendix 2 to the report. The register followed the new policy, had a closer focus on Council priorities and identified the main risks facing the Council and where responsibility lied for the Council’s response. As a result, five new risks had been identified addressing: climate change and sustainability; education and the link to inequalities; increase in demand for specialist school placements for children with an Education, Health and Care Plan; reducing health inequalities; and a deterioration in industrial/employee relations affecting the Council’s ability to deliver vital services. Four risks had been removed from the corporate register relating to
Sky Blue sports, information governance, health and safety and elections. Red risks on the register related to Children’s Services workforce stability and reducing health inequalities.
The City Council had maintained a Covid Risk Register since the start of the pandemic. This was the 6th version of the register and reflected the Omicron phase of the pandemic. The register included 16 red risks in March 2021 when the Committee last considered it and these had now reduced to three, all relating to Children’s Services. It was anticipated that this would be the last iteration of the register with any residual risks being transferred to corporate, directorate or service level plans if appropriate, but this depended on circumstances which remained hard to predict.
In response to questions from Members of the Committee, the Insurance Manager and Finance Manager (Corporate Finance) provided the following information and assurance:
• The policy deductibles varied across different policies and a high proportion of claims were self-insured by the City Council. There had been very few claims relating to Covid.
• The market situation and context in relation to cyber security in the public sector had changed significantly over the last two years and was kept under review. The recent budget approval included significant investment in cyber security which was already a high priority, and this reflected the outcome of an audit last year which recognised the need to strengthen this area of work.
RESOLVED that, the Audit and Procurement Committee:
1) Having satisfied themselves that the risks are being identified and managed, notes the outcome of the review of the Risk Management Policy.
2) Having satisfied themselves that corporate risks are being identified and managed, notes the Corporate Risk Register.
3) Having satisfied themselves that COVID-19 risks are being identified and managed, notes the COVID-19 Risk Register.