The Board considered the quarter 1 corporate risk management report for 2022/23.
a. Re: CRR40 – Unplanned investment in subsidiary companies: Cllr Bradshaw indicated that he wished to more fully understand how governance arrangements had recently changed, and the scale of this risk, as his understanding was that Bristol Holding Ltd was not now the primary assurance vehicle for company business plans across the range of subsidiary companies. It was noted that a written response would be provided through the risk owner to clarify the detail on this point.
b. Re: CRR41 – Capital portfolio delivery: Cllr Wilcox queried whether the nature of this risk had changed given that in the quarter 4 report, the title of CRR41 had been listed as ‘Long term major capital projects’; new actions were also now included in relation to this risk.
In response, officers clarified that a re-baseline and in-depth analysis of risks had been carried out with risk owners, including a review of risk titles/descriptions. In this case, the title had been adjusted to reflect that the risk was around potential failure to deliver long term capital projects. Cllr Wilcox suggested that it would have been helpful if this explanation had been included in the summary/preamble section of the report (page 81).
c. Also in relation to CRR41, Cllr Gollop flagged that the June Audit Committee had reviewed an external audit Value for Money report that had referred to a number of issues relating to the capital programme, including the fact that approximately 75% of capital spend happened cyclically in quarter 4; he suggested that the Value for Money report (and related recommended actions) should have been referenced in relation to this risk - it appeared that the risk could be being identified differently by those who managed risk and by those who managed the capital programme/projects. In response, it was clarified that the officers involved in the above mentioned review of risk descriptions were the same officers who were managing the capital programme, so there was consistency of officer involvement in this activity.
Cllr Gollop added that he would have expected there to be a linkage between the two reports given that the Value for Money report was highlighting risks that the Council should be responding to; he assumed that these should be picked in the Corporate Risk Register.
The Chief Executive advised that in his view there was commonality between the reports but there may an issue about the way the risks were described in the respective documents – officers would follow up this point in liaison with the Executive Director - Growth and Regeneration; it was also noted that the Corporate Risk Register was designed to document strategic risks and may not reflect operational risks identified in a separate report(s).
d. Re: BCCC5 – Cost of living crisis impact on citizens and communities: Cllr Parsons noted that this was a new risk and asked for an explanation about the rationale for this risk, particularly around how specific this risk was, given other related risks that were included, for example around homelessness. In relation to the controls and mitigation, he queried the lack of a reference to citizens’ access to money (e.g. access to the Crisis Prevention Fund).
In response, it was noted that this was a new external risk, meaning that it was viewed as an external risk to the organisation whereas the other related risks were captured as internal risks, meaning that they were risks where the organisation could have a more direct impact in terms of managing and controlling the risk. It was noted that within the summary of progress against this risk, a number of actions being taken forward with city partners were detailed, including actions to assist residents in accessing financial advice and support; there had also been a member briefing on actions being taken by the Council and partners in response to the cost of living crisis.
Noting and taking into account the above points, OSMB RESOLVED:
- To note the quarter 1 2022/23 corporate risk management report and Appendix A - Corporate risk report summary of risks as submitted to the Cabinet on 12 July 2022.