Agenda item

Q1 Strategic Risk Report (Agenda item 8)

Report of the Executive Director for Strategy & Governance.


At this point of the meeting the Chairman read aloud the exclusion of press and public paragraph under Agenda item 15 to enable the Capita Risk report at Agenda item 16 to be discussed.


Councillor Birt then queried the exclusion paragraph under Agenda item 15.  The proposal was explained and it was agreed that this matter would be clarified with a Legal Officer who would be attending the meeting for Agenda item 12.


RESOLVED that under Section 100(A) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as contained in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.


The Corporate Innovation, Change & Performance Manager presented the status of the Council’s 14 strategic risks as of the end of quarter 1 19/20.


He apologised for an error on the heat map matrix as the risk relating to ICT security had been reduced from a high risk to a medium risk.


The risk relating to the Council’s ability to maximise income from its asset portfolio remained static.


Referring to the risk report on page 19 of the agenda pack in relation to the impact of the Homelessness Reduction Act, Members were informed that the Team were still facing sustained levels of unprecedented demand and the findings and action plan from the review of the Housing Service facilitated by the LGA were still on-going.


The Vice-Chairman pointed out that the Overview & Scrutiny Commission was well aware of this issue and had added Housing to its work programme for a future meeting.


Referring to page 21 of the agenda pack, Members were made aware that there had been a sharp increase to the Council’s turnover rate; however, following a trend analysis being carried out it had been found that there was no cause for concern.


It was noted that the risk report had been reviewed by relevant Directors.


Councillor James for the sharp increase to staff recruitment and retention to be explained.  Members were informed that this was a seasonal occurrence and was not exclusive to local authorities.


In response to a question, Members were informed that short term contracts were featured in the performance measures.


Mr Plaskett felt that the rating for the homelessness target would be difficult to reduce and did not believe that the target set would be met.


In response, the Corporate Innovation, Change & Performance Manager completely agreed.  There was no quick fix and this had already been included on the aforementioned Action Plan.


The Vice-Chairman felt that part of the solution to the investment asset portfolio was the development of the property in Thetford.  Members were informed that this risk had an impact on the Council’s ability to reduce homelessness.


It was therefore agreed that the target date should be changed from 31 October 19 to 31 March 2020. 


On page 20 of the agenda pack, under Contracts Monitoring, it was agreed that the target date be changed from 31 July 2019 to 31 December 2019 to take account of the pending Brexit result.


Mr Plaskett said that he would be reluctant to remove the ICT security breach risk anytime soon.  The Chairman felt that the Team should be congratulated as given the length of time it had been on the risk register the current risk score had never changed.


The critical risk for staff recruitment would be removed but would remain as an operational risk. The Chairman asked that the Operational Risk Register be brought to a future Governance & Audit Committee meeting.  It was agreed that this would be brought forward in Q2.


Mr Plaskett felt that risks should move from red to amber then green before it was removed from the critical risk register.  The Corporate Innovation, Change & Performance Manager agreed and would take this suggestion forward.


An informal resolution was then proposed and agreed that a risk must not be removed in its entirety until the risk score was green.


Councillor Monument asked if the ICT risk could be reduced to 2.  Members were informed that this had to remain on the register due to the constant evolution of this risk.


It was agreed that the target date for the Medium Term Financial Plan on page 22 of the agenda pack would be moved to end of December 2019.


It was further agreed that risk under failure to deliver the Council’s Corporate Priorities would be removed.


Due to it achieving its target date, it was agreed that the risk relating to impact of County Council budget reductions would be moved from a critical risk to an operational risk.


The Capita Service risk would remain   Councillor Clarke asked if the time scale for the comments received from the Planning Inspector in relation to the Local Plan were reflected in the target score.  Members were informed that this information would be reported back to the next Governance & Audit Committee meeting.


Referring to the General Data Protection Regulations implementation, the Vice-Chairman reported that all Members had been asked to participate in an on-line test and further asked if this training would reduce the risk.  Councillor Birt said that he was not aware of such a test.  In response to concerns about whether the training had been offered to all Members, the Corporate Innovation, Change & Performance Manager said that he would discuss the matter with Kirsty Mallett, the Information Governance Officer.


Subject to the aforementioned amendments and recommendations, the contents of the report were otherwise noted.

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