To consider the attached Report.
The Chairman announced that this would be Mr Maddock’s last Audit and Governance Committee meeting as he would be leaving the Council shortly. His expertise and advice would be greatly missed.
The Chief Finance Officer introduced the report on the effectiveness of the arrangements for risk management. Members were requested to consider the effectiveness of the Council’s arrangements for Risk Management to provide assurance to the Council on the functioning and adequacy of this important internal control. He also noted that the Finance and Performance Management Cabinet Committee looked at risk management at a member level.
It was noted that the internal arrangements for Risk Management remained unchanged for the majority of the year. However, the methodology was currently undergoing an internal review to align with the new corporate structure.
It was common practice within services for risk assessments to be conducted on new or changed activities and capital projects. All directorates were required to have a section on Risk Management in their business plans. This section would contain details on the directorate’s key risks, a risk matrix and action plans for dealing with the risks that were above the risk tolerance line.
All directorates were required to have Risk Management as a standing item on management team meeting agendas. This is to ensure that directorate risk registers were kept up to date with any new items and that existing action plans, both for directorate and corporate risks, were monitored. The regular discussion of risks allowed directorate champions to report back on discussions at the Risk Management Group (RMG) and also to bring forward items from their directorates that they felt should now be included, or if already included updated, on the Corporate Risk Register. The Risk Management Group then considered updates to the Corporate Risk Register by making recommendations to the Leadership Team.
N Nanayakkara noted that there was repeated reference to a potential for missing a time scale in regards to the NPPF which would result in the Council having to use a standard methodology. Can you confirm that we did not miss that time frame? The Chief Finance Officer assured her that we did not miss that time frame, the Planning Inspectors were now here and we were currently going through the process.
A Jarvis noted that the format used was the same since 2013, will there be a review of the profiles and the way it was presented at a future meeting. He was told that they were reviewing Risk Management now, this was being carried out by the Commercial and Regulatory directorate and Internal Audit would be heavily involved in this process, advising them of best practice.
Councillor Whitehouse observed that half the risks mentioned were in the ownership of one officer that was departing in May; would this be taken into consideration and passed on in an appropriate way. N Nanayakkara said that was good point and could Mr Maddock highlight what the interim arrangement were and the arrangements for his role going forward. P Maddock replied the Council had taken on an interim to cover his role and they had started today, so there was a three week overlap. As for the Risk Register, that was reviewed regularly and the names will be altered as needed. A new Chief Executive had already been appointed.
N Nanayakkara summed up by saying that the Committee had considered the report and that it was the intention of the Committee to remain firmly engaged with the review of the arrangements going forward and would be keenly interested in what developed.
That the Committee considered and noted the effectiveness of the arrangements for Risk Management.