Agenda item

Review of approach to strategic risk management

To set out the principles and the approach that the Council is taking for managing corporate risks.


This report had been circulated in a supplement to the agenda.  The Director of Transformation introduced the report, the principal points included:


i.             The management of risk had been ‘bottom up’ rather than ‘top down’, and changes to the approach would include: rigorous reviewing and updating; consistency in the use of the scoring matrix; managing risks strategically; aggregating similar risks within and across the directorates; a proactive role for the Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) to provide opportunities for challenge and discussion; and a review of the council operating model, including the delivery of support services, as part of the Thrive Transformation Programme.


ii.            Processes would be reviewed in line with the principles of ‘simplify, standardise, share’.


iii.          The Corporate Performance Team had made good progress in implementing the Corporate Performance Improvement Plan.


iv.          In addition to a request made by the committee ‘to undertake a ‘deep dive’ into selected risks in the directorate risk registers’ (actions 184), CLT intended to hold a similar workshop.


v.           Consideration would be given to external strategic risks, linking to the National Risk Register and the Local Resilience Forum.


vi.          Training would be commissioned for senior officers and members for the new municipal year.


vii.         CLT would set the organisational risk strategy in relation to the council’s transformation programme.


In response to a question about the risk scoring matrix, paragraph 5 of the report (supplement page 4), the Director of Transformation noted the need to make it clear that the review frequency related to formal review and it was expected that the highest scoring risks would be monitored in the meantime.


Further points raised during the discussion included:


·             It was not considered that recommendation b) of the report, that the committee ‘review the approach to risk management in the context of the organisation embarking on a major transformation programme, Thrive’, could be achieved at this meeting given the limited information provided in the report about Thrive.


·             Disappointment was expressed that the strategic risk register was not yet available to the committee.  It was requested that a further report to detail the approach to strategic risk management, including an associated risk management matrix, be provided within three months.


·             The Vice-Chairperson noted that paragraph 9 (supplement pages 4 – 5) summarised the areas for improvement identified by the committee and commented on the need to: track changes to the risk management approach; understand the risks that may have been missed as a consequence of a lack of consistency in the approach to identifying them; and explain the connections with the work of health partners and the Health and Wellbeing Board.


·             Given the potential changes to committee membership in the new municipal year, the Chairperson noted the need to provide appropriate background in the next report.


Resolved:  That


a)           The steps being taken toward a more strategic approach and a more visible corporate grip on risk, in the light of the committee’s previous discussions, be noted;


b)          The assurances provided have been considered and the committee has commented on its content; and


c)           A further report on the approach to strategic risk management be provided to the June 2023 meeting of the committee.


Update: This further report is now expected at the September 2023 meeting.

Supporting documents: