Hartlepool council to look to take new focus on risk management after budget cuts from Government

Council bosses are to look to a new approach on managing risks after identifying it as an area to improve.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 15:49 pm
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

A report to go before Hartlepool Borough Council audit and governance committee will propose the council adopts a new risk management framework, highlighting government budget cuts as a contributing factor.

It comes after the Council Plan 2017-2020 identified the framework and how it was previously being implemented across the organisation was in need of review.

The report from Claire McLaren, assistant director for Corporate Services, said this was further confirmed after the internal audit review of risk management in June 2018 was assessed as ‘limited assurance’, one ranking below the top ‘satisfactory’ rating.

The new proposed framework states the council needs to take risks to move forward, especially given government budget cuts, but they must be managed appropriately.

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It said: “Risks need to be taken in order to improve and move Hartlepool Borough Council forward to meet the challenges currently facing local authorities such as government budget cuts, increasing demand on services and changing customer expectations.

“Our risk management process needs to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, provide assurance to members and the senior management team and contribute to efficient and effective service delivery resulting in the achievement of our desired and documented outcomes.”

Council bosses say the new framework drawn up has simplified the council’s approach, provided further clarity to officers about how risk should be considered within the council and demonstrates the added value of appropriate risk management.

The council report added an officer toolkit has also been developed by the council to provide a guide for officers leading them step by step through the risk process and aims to ensure consistency in the process.

It said: “Effective risk management is vital if the organisation is to successfully achieve its aims and deliver effective and efficient services.

“The need for effective risk management is of even greater importance in the current environment of reducing budgets and increasing demand.”

A review of the council’s risk register will also be undertaken and training and support will be provided to officers across the organisation to ensure risks are recorded and reported appropriately.

If the audit and governance committee approve the new framework at its meeting next week it will go to the finance and policy committee for final approval.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service