The Director of Delivery, Communications and Political Governance submits a report which provides an update on the Strategic and Operational Risk Registers and Health and Safety data.
Members will be asked to note the Strategic Risk Register and Operational Risk Register (as at 30th September 2022) and to note the Health and Safety Data.
Members will also be asked to make any comments to the Director of Delivery, Communications and Political Governance.
The Director of Delivery, Communications and Political Governance submitted a report providing an update on the Strategic and Operational Risk Registers and Health and Safety data.
The Manager (Risk Management) introduced the report explaining the review process that had been undertaken relating to the risk registers. The risk registers presented included the introduction of the PESTLE framework, (that is the Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors that influence an organisation) and PESTLE analysis.
Attention was drawn to the following points:
· Appendix 1A summary of the strategic risks facing the council containing an example of a risk control action plan. It was noted detailed control action plans were now completed by Strategic Directors/other relevant officers making the system more robust and to ensure controls were being implemented and progress made.
· Appendix 2 providing a summary of the operational risks affecting day to day running of divisions.
· Appendix 3 Operational Risk Register which supports appendix 2 and providing more detail in relation to the council’s operational risks.
· During the review, risks were amended, 2 were deleted (i.e. no-longer high scoring on the scale after mitigating factors implemented) and 10 new risks were added, that was due to changing environment internally and externally.
· Appendix 4 Health and Safety report and data including an early update on the revised corporate audit programme and initial outcomes.
In relation to Health and Safety data members were informed that:
· 340 incidents had been reported,
· 155 near misses occurred in the last reporting period but this reporting period had seen that level go down.
· Managers were being encouraged to report all incidents on the Health & Safety System.
The Chair thanked the officer for the report and invited members comments which included the following:
Members welcomed the report and concise description of risks. Members noted that in relation to elections there was now a requirement for people voting to show identification and it was queried whether this had been factored into the risk register. The Manager, Risk Management agreed to confirm how the issue of checking identification will be managed by Electoral Services.
Concern was expressed about increasing backlogs in relation to the risk around cases identified in children missing from education and it was indicated in the risk register that may be related to staffing capacity, but this would be confirmed outside of the meeting.
Members queried Risk 27 Budget and what “investigates building an external funding strategy/toolkit in order to aid and encourage bid creation and consistency” meant. Officers agreed to explore that further and provide a response to the next meeting.
Members were interested to know if there were any risks associated with the cost of living crisis in particular increased costs of energy and impact on services. It was advised that such a risk is evidenced in the Strategic Risk Register e.g., economic instability and rising inflation and this was a long term strategic risk.
Members considered the health and safety data noting the large number of high RAG ratings across the council and asked how best members could scrutinise such ratings moving forward. Members were advised they were expected to note and raise any specific concerns which could be fedback to the service. The committee could request more information and the Manager, Risk Management could contact the risk owner to provide this information. It was suggested that whilst this committee should review and note the report, maybe there was a need for specific risks to be discussed at relevant scrutiny commissions.
The Monitoring Officer welcomed the point made and recognised it was a very good idea to take that by theme or look at by a particular department and to say that the relevant scrutiny commission on a regular basis should review the risk register for their area, so whilst not looking to divest this committee of that if there was need for deeper dive into risk registers it could go to scrutiny.
In relation to the new process members welcomed the PESTLE approach being taken and felt the number of risks identified was good for an organisation of this size however it was suggested that the Operational Risk Register contained too much detail and the use of jargon should be limited.
A question was raised about risk exposure and appetite and how that was addressed. The corporate risk assessment process covers the 4T’s which is risk response strategy action (treat, terminate, tolerate and transfer the risk) which helps with addressing risk appetite. At LCC, risk is scored with controls in place and the officer/team/service/department will decide whether further controls are required.
There was a brief discussion about scoring risk, risk treatments and whether those were appropriate for the risk involved as well as what is acceptable in terms of risk scoring and risk appetite. Members were informed that “scoring risks and risk appetite” are both covered in training for those completing risk assessment/registers and guidance is available to staff on how to score risks. In some cases, certain risks queried by members such as the appetite for political risk, would have to be discussed a strategic board level. Members were advised that the approach taken with each risk is to use the 4 T’s – Treat, Tolerate, Terminate or Transfer risk and the detail sitting behind this for strategic risks is in the control action plan.
Members noted this was the first report of the new strategic risk register process and progress made on managing the risks over time will become clearer.
The Chair thanked officers for the report and responding to the points made.
1. That the Strategic Risk Register and the Operational Risk Register (as of 30 September 2022) be noted,
2. That the Health and Safety data report be noted.