To consider the attached report.
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The Committee received a report and update on the work undertaken by the Risk Management Group (RMG) during September-November 2020.
The inaugural meeting had been held on 14 September 2020 and primarily focused on training, and on getting a common understanding of the Council’s Risk Management Framework including the risk scoring methodology. The group had then considered the Strategic Risk Register (SRR) which was owned by the Corporate Management Team (CMT). The SRR currently held the 12 most significant risks faced by the council, with each risk owned by a member of CMT. The SRR was reviewed and updated on a monthly basis.
The main themes of the strategic risks were internal and external financial risks, market failure and safeguarding. Each of the risks had a number of actions identified to mitigate the risk, and the actions were monitored and updated on a monthly basis. The RMG discussed each of the key risks in detail and members suggested that a new risk relating to Climate Change should be considered.
The agenda for the meeting of the RMG on 2 November 2020 had included Adults and Health Risk Update, Strategic and Covid-19 Risk Registers, and the Corporate Fraud Risk Register. Senior Officers from the Adults and Health Directorate had attended the meeting to present the key risks that had been escalated to the Adults and Health Board in line with the Risk Escalation Framework. The key risk these were as follows:-
· Safeguarding – Systems & processes;
· Impact of national environment - policy changes, Covid and EU Exit (D-20);
· Care Market Stability - Provider oversight; financial sustainability;
· Transformation – Implementation of new ‘strengths-based’ approach; programme delivery and capacity; delivery of AIS (case management system) replacement;
· Service Quality/Delivery – Partnership working; workforce recruitment & retention; and
· Finances – Reducing resources; rising costs; increasing demand; strain on existing budgets.
An update on the Strategic and Covid-19 Risks Registers had been considered, and it had been noted that the risk information was largely similar to that presented in September. All risks had been reviewed and updated by the relevant Corporate Director. The most significant risks continued to relate to contracts/market failure, external financial pressures and safeguarding.
The RMG had discussed the risk “gap” (the difference between the current score and the target score), and the need for the Council to have robust actions in place to close the gap. A more detailed update on the risk of insufficient capacity would be submitted to the next RMG meeting.
The Group had also considered the Fraud Risk Register, which had been produced following a detailed review of the key fraud risks faced by Buckinghamshire Council. This would be used to inform the Counter Fraud and Internal Audit Plan activity going forward. The most significant risks related to council tax, business rates, housing tenancy, procurement and cyber.
The Committee was informed that the original terms of reference for the RMG, approved in July 2020, had envisaged the RMG meeting approximately 4 weeks in advance of each Audit and Governance Committee meeting. However, in order to cover all the various Risk Registers and speak to Service areas, it had been agreed that the RMG would need to meet more frequently. An update on the terms of reference would be submitted to the next meeting.
That the update on the work undertaken by the Risk Management Group (RMG) during September-November 2020 be noted.