[To provide an update on the key risks the Council faces and how it can gain assurance that these risks are being mitigated]
Hayley Reid, Senior Auditor presented the report and highlighted changes made to the strategic risk register since the last meeting since the meeting of the Committee on 10 June 2019.
Referring to risk ref 30 - Civic Halls and the confirmation letter in the comment section on the risk, Councillor Jonathan Yardley said that he had been informed that a letter had been sent to the Council from a subcontractor claiming they were owed money for asbestos survey work they had undertaken and that they are unwilling to release their report and certificates for the work until they have been paid. This could cause delay to completion of the refurbishment works. He sought clarification on this point. Claire Nye, Director of Finance reported that the checks referred to in the report related to a point in time before the Council went through the extension of the Civic Hall contract. The two issues are separate. There is a bond in place in case of such instances. She undertook to report back on the issue raised by Councillor Yardley regarding payment for asbestos work.
Referring to risk ref 4 - Medium Term Financial Strategy, Mike Ager, Independent Member asked how the Committee could gain assurance that all was well in Adult Social Care and Children’s Services, activities within Local Government that were under pressure at the moment. The Senior Auditor reported that the two service areas had their own risk register that were reviewed prior to the strategic risk register being compiled for Committee. Risks within the two service areas are considered, including at Leadership teams, even if they are not detailed within the strategic risk register.
Referring to risk 9 - City Centre Regeneration and the Westside development, John Humphries, Independent Member reported that, under new arrangements, the Council would take some of the responsibility for letting out space at the development and would be acting as a landlord for some of the units once the development was complete. He suggested that there was a risk to the Council from having void units. He asked about the Council’s exposure to this. Claire Nye, Director of Finance reported that appropriate safeguards would be put in place to protect the Council from such risks and to protect its interests.
1. That the latest summary of the Council’s strategic risk register as at Appendix 1 to the report bed noted.
2. That the increase in the scores for the following risks be noted:
· Risk 30 – Civic Halls, in light of the Civic Hall’s construction contractor going into administration.
3. That it be noted that risk 35 – Brexit had been incorporated into risk 8 – Business Continuity Management which had been renamed Business Continuity Management, Including Brexit Implications. This risk had been increased from amber to red and would be continually monitored alongside the ongoing political situation.
4. That changes to the target date for a reduction in the scores of the following risks be noted:
· Risk 29 – Fire Safety – Public Buildings
· Risk 24 – Maximising Benefits from the West Midlands Combined Authority.
5. That the main sources of assurance available to the Council against its strategic risks at Appendix 2 be noted.