Andy Owen, Corporate Risk and Insurance Manager, presented the report that provided the Standards and Audit Committee with the key risks and opportunities identified by the review and the revised Strategic/Corporate Risk and Opportunity Register. Members were referred to the dashboard as part of Appendix 1 and the “In Focus” as part of Appendix 2.
Councillor Collins referred to the risk “Impact of UK Withdrawal from EU” and questioned whether following recent events would the priority still be green. Andy Owen stated the rating had gone up from the previous review and were working towards the transition stage up to the 31 December 2020 and potentially a No Deal scenario which was why there had been increases. That a lot of work had been undertaken and would continue to be reviewed and plans were in place for either a Deal or No Deal. That any adjustments would be picked up in the next quarterly reports if required.
Councillor Collins referred to the risk “Impact of Coronavirus” and questioned whether this had been factored in for the rest of the year. Andy Owen stated this risk would not be classed as a short term fix and having looked at reports that had been presented to overview and scrutiny on its impact and financial implications the forecast rating should be 16 by the end of the year. That this risk, as seen as a longer term issue, would be refreshed at the end of the year with the forecast changing to a 16 due to the impacts the Council were facing.
Councillor C Kent questioned where in the report it referred to a risk that related to the savings that would need to be made to balance the budget next year and that this risk was being undertaken in the right way. Andy Owen stated that previously there had been an MTFS risk and further discussions would take place with Finance on whether to keep as a separate item or to have a new risk for the MTFS. Sean Clark stated that this was an earlier version of the risk register with the real impact becoming known since the end of that quarter and would be going in as a risk on the next risk register. This was discussed at Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet last week and that further reports would be presented following discussions on the best approach.
The Chair questioned whether the Council would be borrowing more money to finance this over a number of years. Sean Clark stated the Council could not just borrow money to pay for revenue expenditure but could borrow money under capital circumstances which had been undertaken on the previous investment strategy to create revenue income but the Council could not go out to borrow as this was not under the legal remit of a local authority.
Councillor Spillman asked for clarification on how the numbers shown on the risk register were reached, the process and what happened next especially those risks that had been red flagged. Andy Owen referred Members to Appendix 3 of the report that set out the criteria guide on how the risk and opportunities were rated and under the In Focus report as Appendix 2 each risk would be rated with an inherit rating. That no actions or controls in place would not be taken into consideration which gave the feel for what the inherit rating would be. That for residual risk the current actions in place would be looked into which again would give the feel for what the residual risk could be. For each review there would be a revised residual risk to look at the further actions in place, revised the effectiveness of those actions which would give the feel for the actual residual risk. As part of this the action planning and those actions in place were looked into and the timescales and then a forecast rating would be where the items would be assessed.
Councillor Spillman asked for clarification on how the numbers shown on the risk register were reached, the process and what happened next especially those risks that had been red flagged. Andy Owen referred Members to Appendix 3 of the report that set out the criteria guide on how the risk/ opportunities were rated and under the In Focus report as Appendix 2. It was explained that each item would be assessed and given an inherent, residual, and forecast rating. For the inherent rating assessment no actions or controls are considered for the evaluation. For the residual ratings evaluation the existing action/controls were considered for the assessment. Revised residual ratings were judged following consideration of the existing and further actions /controls undertaken and the forecast rating evaluated assuming all the action/controls had been completed and working.
Councillor Spillman questioned where a risk had been identified and looked at the provision in place and noticed that one department of the review was not meeting that risk, what was undertaken from the Auditors. Sean Clark stated that a cross service performance board looked at all the risks as part of the overall performance management of the Council. Should a risk be manageable but not being managed this would go through the relevant directors.
The Chair asked whether there were any further updates on Impulse Leisure. Sean Clark stated that a number of discussions were still taking place.
Lisa Laybourn questioned those risks on the register that had remained at the same rating across a period of time and referred to the A13 widening project which had an inherit risk of 16, the residual risk after mitigating actions had been applied at 16 and the forecast figure of 16. Officers were asked whether this risk was being managed effectively and if so, was there a future date when this would be returned to a more palatable risk rating. Andy Owen referred Members to page 116 of the report “Corporate Risk No 9” and stated that this had been judged as to the current controls in place with the ratings still at 16 with additional actions in place to manage the risk. That it had been accepted that the risk would still be with the Council until 31 March 2021 as a rate of 16 but stated continued monitoring and reviewing would be undertaken of the programme until the project was delivered. Anna Eastgate referred to the information that had been presented to this committee and the Planning Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee in July that referenced the contracts in place for the A13 and how difficult it was to control programme. That a project improvement plan had been carried out and those improvements had been implemented, the team had been strengthened, and the expertise of the team improved and the Council would continue to review and challenge everything possible to make sure that all contractors and parties were held to account so that the Council could demonstrate that the monies expended on this project had been spent in an appropriate and proper manner. That there would be inherit risks with this project right through to completion and that was why the rating was very hard to mitigate.
1. That the Standards and Audit Committee noted the items and details contained in the Dashboard.
2 That the Standards and Audit Committee noted the “In Focus” report which highlighted the higher priority items identified by the review.