Agenda item


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The Corporate Performance Manager provided a brief overview of the Council’s risk management framework and approach.  Members were reminded that a briefing session had been held on 4 August 2020 for the Committee which had also been recorded and available to view on Mod Gov.


In presenting the report it was explained that the Corporate Risk Register reflected the significant risks and the delivery of the Corporate Business Plan. The Committee was informed that the Corporate Risk Register was reviewed on a 4 monthly cycle.  The latest version was reviewed in May 2023.  The Corporate Performance Manager advised that during August 2023 a full review would be undertaken by the Senior Management Team.


It was noted that the new Corporate Business Plan would be finalised in late Autumn 2023 and at the same time an in-depth review of the Corporate Risk Register would be undertaken.  The Committee’s attention was drawn to the appendices attached to the report which had been developed over a number of years.  The current Committee may wish to revise these to accommodate their requirements.


The Corporate Performance Manager explained that one to one meetings had been held with Service Managers to develop the Corporate Risk Register, a composite report was then considered and moderated by the Council’s Senior Leadership Team prior to a final version being received by the Audit Committee.


With regard to the report being presented, the Corporate Performance Manager explained that there were no new risks, no deletions and no changes to the scores.


The Corporate Performance Manager explained that given the strategic nature of the risks there was a significant amount of mitigation work required to have an impact on some of the risk scores and a number of the risks were heavily influenced by external factors beyond the direct control of the local authority. It may be that the Council will see the risk scores maintained for a number of months, possibly years under the circumstances.


In conclusion, the Corporate Performance Manager explained that the updates to the risk register was for information only.


The Chair thanked the Corporate Performance Manager for the report and invited questions and comments from the Committee, a summary of which is set out below.


Councillor Bearshaw commented that the format of the risk register was difficult to read and referred to pages 39, 40 – 41 which sets out the current position for each risk, there were quite a lot risks in place for a long time, a lot of mitigation in place and wondered if the format may include the following - unmitigated, current and target score which would make it easier to see the up to date position.  Councillor Bearshaw asked if a bowtie analysis would give a picture of the current position and be easier to understand.


In response, the Corporate Performance Manager stated that the comments were useful and referred to Appendix 5 – New Risk Summary Report which was a new summarised version of the Risk Register requested by the former Audit Committee.  With regard to the bowtie analysis, this had not been undertaken by the Council before but if Members allowed sufficient time for the suggestion to be worked on, an example could be brought back to a future meeting.


The Chair added that Councillor Bearshaw could assist the Corporate Performance Manager with the proposal outlined above.  Councillor Bearshaw undertook to contact the Corporate Performance Manager.


Councillor Jones expressed concern on the extended support for Windows 7 and the cost incurred and asked if all the legacy system relating to Citrix had now been replaced.  In response, the Assistant Director, Resources undertook to email a response to the Committee.


In response to comments and questions from Councillor de Winton on the high level of red risks and when the Committee could expect to see a reduced number, at the invitation of the Chair the Portfolio Holder for Finance addressed the Committee and outlined the external factors which the Borough Council had no control over and the difficulties/challenges faced in reducing the number of red areas in the Risk Register.


The Chair, Councillor Ryves commented that there was a lot of information to take in and asked when the Audit Committee could expect to see the following audit reports:


           Role of West Norfolk Housing Company.

           Waste Management Contract.

           Car Parking.


In response, the Senior Internal Auditor advised that the Waste Management Contract and the Housing Companies was scheduled on work plan for the current financial year.  With regard to car parking audit had previously been undertaken and was included in the three year rolling programme.


The Corporate Performance Manager reminded Members that an overview of the risk management process was include in the Members’ Induction Programme.


In conclusion, the Committee was informed that the Corporate Risk Register continued to be actively monitoring by Management Team on a periodic basis.


RESOLVED:  The Committee considered the Corporate Risk Register as at May 2023 and confirm agreement with Management Team’s assessment of the risks to the corporate business plan.


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