This report deals with the 6 monthly review of the Council’s Corporate Business Risk Register and the annual review of the Strategic Risk Framework.
Members considered a report regarding the 6 monthly review of the Council’s Corporate Business Risk Register and the annual review of the Strategic Risk Framework.
Members made the following comments:
· Risk SR26 (Children’s Social Care) – A Member commented that in his opinion the narrative did not recognise the current situation whereby budgets were being continually increased, followed by regular overspends.
· Proposed new risk (Shape of Local Government in Kent) – A Member referred to ongoing discussions about the shape and structures of local government in Kent. While this was probably a low risk, it was suggested that Cabinet consider adding it to the risk register given the inevitable impact on Medway.
· Risk SR03b (Finances) – referring to the risk surrounding the Council’s ability to deliver a balanced budget without recourse to reserves, a Member asked what actions were being taken to mitigate against this risk. The Chief Finance Officer replied that a number of mitigating actions were contained in the Medium Term Financial Plan, including the opportunities the digital transformation agenda would bring, addressing pressures in social care, alternative delivery models, income generation and property rationalisation. The details behind these would be reported through the budget setting process. In response, another Member queried the value of the risk management process if the information about what was being done to mitigate risks was held elsewhere. He suggested that a better approach would be to combine risks and mitigations in one place so that Members could see the current position regarding a risk, what was being done to mitigate it, what the timescales were and what the residual risk would be at the end of the process. The Chief Finance Officer commented that officers recognised this issue and were looking to embed financial risks into the corporate risk register so there was a more joined up approach to risk.
Referring to the budget setting process, a Member commented that a weakness of the system was that details of the budget were not made known to non-executive Members until too late in the process with the result that proper scrutiny was not possible and the budget was out of date and inadequate at the point it was agreed.
· Risk SR25 (Adult Social Care Transformation) – Noting the high risk rating for this, a Member queried whether the Council had the resilience or the capacity to deal with the Sustainability and Transformation Plan and the need to pool budgets and also commented that the details about mitigation seemed light.
· Risk SR17 (Delivering Regeneration) – A Member asked what the Council was doing to ensure there was sufficient affordable housing for workers in Medway. Reference was made to the recommendations from the Housing Task Group and it was noted that a report on progress in implementing these would be considered by the Committee in January 2017.
The Committee agreed to note the report and forward to Cabinet the comments made in respect of Risk SR26 (Children’s Social Care), Risk SR03b (Finances), Risk SR25 (Adult Social Care Transformation) and the suggested new risk regarding the shape of local government in Kent.