Service Team Plans and Strategic Risk Registers (Agenda item 9)
Report of James Edwards, Performance & Risk Officer.
James Edwards, the Performance Risk Officer, presented both agenda items 9 and 10 together.
Risk Management had continued in exactly the same format as before. No scores had been increased.
As far as operational risks were concerned, the scores had decreased and there were no closed risks or new risks at the end of Quarter 4.
Mr Stevens referred to page 42 of the agenda and asked if the Corporate Management Team (CMT) had the authority to close such risks. He felt that the risks that had been closed should still, in his opinion, be classed as a high risk; particularly in relation to contractual arrangements. Members were informed that CMT’s observations had to be taken on board.
Referring to the closed risks, the Committee asked if there could be further detail behind these to explain why CMT had felt these were no longer seen as a risk. The Performance Risk Officer said that he would report the Committee’s concerns to CMT.
Mr Stevens asked if an email could be sent to Audit Committee Members following these discussions. The Chairman also asked if a written paper could be provided in response to the aforementioned questions.
An observation had been made to the closed risk in relation to the lack of specialist procurement support. The Performance Risk Officer said that this risk had been closed as specialists could be brought in as and when required. The Vice-Chairman felt that if there was no specialist procurement knowledge in-house how would the Council know when such advice was required? The Vice-Chairman further felt that the Business Transformation programme should be put back on the risk register. Members were informed that the new Chief Executive would be undertaking a risk review in due course. Councillor Canham felt that CMT should be asking the Audit Committee if anything should be taken off the risk registers. Councillor Nairn agreed with the aforementioned comment and felt that CMT needed to justify why these risks had been removed. Mr Ludlow said that the previous Performance Risk Officer used to do provide the commentary. The Chairman felt that the Audit Committee had been left out of the loop and asked how this had come about. Members were informed of the process carried out every quarter where CMT would review strategic risks with the responsible officers. The Performance Risk Officer stated that this was the opportune time for Members to add any new risks they felt should be included on the risk register. Rob Murray advised that the role of the Audit Committee was to ensure risk management was being operated correctly and reminded Members that the risk register itself was owned by Officers. The Chairman felt that the Committee should be forewarned before anything was taken off as the process of elimination was incorrect. He asked the Performance Risk Officer to look into all the aforementioned concerns.
Mr Ludlow said that he had a number of questions to ask the Performance Risk Officer but as there were so many he would email them instead.
The Vice-Chairman said that he would prefer the risk numbers to be re-instated and the risk ratings should be changed.
Councillor Nairn had observed that the risk on page 47 of the agenda in relation to Microsoft had decreased and felt that this score was incorrect. The Vice-Chairman agreed with this observation and said that the risk should remain high. The Chairman stated that there should have been a complete update of IT by Norfolk County Council and he did not know whether this was still on-going.
The reports were otherwise noted.