The Chief Officer Finance Performance and Change reported on an updated Corporate Risk Assessment 2022-23 and updated Corporate Risk Management Policy and provided an update on Incident and Near Miss occurrences.
The Chief Officer Finance Performance and Change informed the Committee that Corporate Risk Assessment had been reviewed in consultation with the Corporate Management Board. The document identified the main risks facing the Council, their link to the corporate well-being objectives under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and the likely impact of these risks on Council. She stated that there are currently 12 Risks on the Corporate Risk Register, of these risks, 7 are scored as high, 4 risks are scored as medium, and 1 is scored as low.
The Chief Officer Finance Performance and Change highlighted the amendments made to the Corporate Risk Assessment in that:
· No new Risks have been added since the last Governance and Audit Committee review
· The Risks have been re-numbered in line with the recommendation from this year’s South West Audit Partnership (SWAP) Internal Audit report to recognise the department, the year the risk was identified, and the risk number. This numbering will be used by all departments going forward.
· Risk COR-2019-02 has been updated to include reference to the Climate Emergency.
· Risk SS-2019-01 has been updated to reflect the ongoing safeguarding actions.
· Risk reference ‘COR-2020-03’-‘Public Health/Protecting the Public’ (formerly risk 12) has been amended to reflect that Welsh Government funding is available to support the ongoing actions.
The Chief Officer Finance Performance and Change reported that the Corporate Risk Management Policy had been amended to refer to the new internal Risk Management guidance document which has been approved by the Corporate Management Board.
The Chief Officer Finance Performance and Change informed the Committee that the Insurance team maintained a log of near misses in line with the current Near Miss Reporting procedure, and that no incidents were reported during the period January 2021 to December 2021. She stated a Near Miss Reporting E-learning module has been developed to promote awareness of the policy and procedure that needs to be followed. Officers are currently in the process of identifying the key staff that will need training and e-learning roll-out will follow in the coming months.
A member of the Committee expressed concern at the significant media coverage due to the recent closure of car parking areas at some of the new build schools, which had been on the advice of the Health and Safety Executive. Its closure had been made due to significant concerns to child safety and asked when this risk would be placed on the risk register. The member stated that the closure could be in breach of the planning conditions for the sites. The Chief Officer Finance Performance and Change informed the Committee that the Corporate Director Education and Family Support is managing this risk and should it be necessary, the risk would be escalated to corporate level and be placed on the risk register. She also stated that risk register had been updated prior to the recent closure of the parking areas at schools. The Chief Officer Finance Performance and Change informed the Committee that she would take this away and discuss with the relevant Corporate Directors.
The lay member expressed concern at the lack of changes made to the risk register, in that the evaluation scores remain the same, apart from the re-numbering of risks and presentational changes, with the exception of reference to the Climate Emergency. The Chief Officer Finance Performance and Change assured the Committee that the risk register had been reviewed and updated by the Corporate Management Board, the evaluation scores had been reviewed and had remained the same.
The Chairperson referred to the increase in the gross score for safeguarding but that the net score remained the same, due to the actions that are underway and asked that an update be provided. The Chief Officer Finance Performance and Change informed the Committee that the Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing had reviewed the scores and was happy with scores, but she nevertheless stated that she would take this away and come back to the Committee with information on the scores for this risk.
The Chairperson requested an update on the WCCIS system. The Chief Officer Finance Performance and Change informed the Committee that there are significant issues on the system and that upgrade work is being carried out at the weekend. She stated that the matter is a concern, and the Head of Partnership Services is monitoring the situation.
RESOLVED: That the Committee considered the Corporate Risk Assessment 2022-23 and approved the updated Corporate Risk Management Policy, including the timeline.