Agenda item

Risk Management Update Q1 2022/23


The Lead Specialist (Procurement, Performance & Change) presented his report which informed the Audit Committee of the status of the Strategic and Corporate Risk Register as at the end of Quarter 1 for 2022/2023. He explained there had been a move to a new framework and reporting following a fundamental review of all the risks, and he welcomed the views of members as to what they may wish to see going forward in future reporting. Key elements of the report were highlighted and some items explained in a little more detail, including:

·        The report shown in the agenda had been filtered to show a summary of active risks for Strategic risks and Corporate risks only. There were approximately another 170 risks relating to projects.

·        Information about inherent and residual risk scores.

·        Risk movements in comparison to the previous reporting period.

·        Control measures were not shown in the report, or any actions or mitigations that have been put in place to reduce residual risk


During discussion, the Lead Specialist (Procurement, Performance & Change), and the Chief Executive Officer responded to points of detail raised by members, and some of their comments included:

·        The transition to a unitary authority was an opportunity to improve SSDC practice in some areas, and also to inform the design for the new authority.

·        Red areas within the reports wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Red indicated the risk was recognised and mitigating controls were being put in place to reduce the risk.

·        Health and Safety associated risks would usually always be indicated as a red risk.

·        In terms of staff capacity regarding business as usual and work on Local Government Re-organisation (LGR) - the authority was feeling the strain in terms of the amount of work to be done. Many staff were doing their day job and in addition were making their contributions to the LGR program - so there are additional calls on officer time. To address this, additional capacity had been put into the organisation where possible. Members were reminded that earlier in the year that full Council had agreed an LGR Contingency Fund of £1million in order to backfill or provide capacity to mitigate some of the stresses and strains across the authority, and some examples were provided.

·        Regarding a specific query raised about finances relating to Wincanton regeneration - officers noted the query and would liaise with the member for more detail outside of the meeting.

·        Specific financial details would not usually be included in the risk register, however, risk scoring for financial exposure would be.

·        Regarding a figure for FIN-06 - management of commercial investments - on page 20 of the agenda - the April score of '1' had been an error in previous reporting.


Members made some suggestions as to additional information which would be useful, and of interest, to see in future reporting:

·        provide a brief overview of some of the actions taken to lower scores for individual risks to help explain the changes in risk scoring.

·        Some sort of key for financial risks may be helpful.

·        Members don't have much oversight of the commercial portfolio as it's handled by the Investment Assessment Group (IAG). Some clarity regarding the oversight arrangements would be useful, to see if they could be strengthened and to see if anything can be done to mitigate risks. Members acknowledged such a report would not be about specific financial details as that was reported elsewhere.

In response to the suggestion about the oversight arrangements for the commercial portfolio, the Monitoring Officer noted she would do a briefing note and circulate to members to explain what the risks were, what steps were in place to manage the portfolio, and the process for decision making.


Members were content to note the SSDC Strategic & Corporate Risk Profile for Quarter 1. The Chairman thanked the Lead Specialist for his informative report, and members thanked all officers for the work being done.



1.    That Audit Committee noted the SSDC Strategic & Corporate Risk profile as close of Q1 2022/2023.

2.    That Audit Committee advised what level of detail on individual risks they required in future reports.


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