Kinlet Parish Council Risk Management Strategy

What is Risk Management?
Risk is the threat that an event or action will adversely affect an organisation’s ability to achieve its objectives and to successfully execute its strategies.  Risk management is the process by which risks are identified, evaluated and controlled.  It is a key element of the framework of governance together with community focus, structures and processes, standard of conduct and service delivery arrangements (Audit Commission)

Risk management is an essential feature of good governance.  An organisation that manages risk well is more likely to achieve its objectives.  It is vital to recognise that risk management is not simply about health and safety but applies to all aspects of the Council’s work.

Risks can be classified into various types but it is important to recognise that for all categories the direct financial losses may have less impact than the indirect costs such as disruption or normal working.  Examples are below:-
Strategic Risk – long term adverse impacts from poor decision making or poor implementation. Risks damage to the reputation of the council, loss of public confidence, in a worst case scenario, Government intervention.
Compliance Risk –failure to comply with legislation, or laid down procedures, or the lack of documentation to prove compliance. Risks exposure to prosecution, judicial review, employment tribunals, inability to enforce contracts.
Financial Risk – fraud and corruption, waste, excess demand for services, bad debts. Risk of additional audit investigation, objection to accounts, reduced service delivery, dramatically increased Council Tax levels/impact on Council reserves.
Operating Risk – failure to deliver services effectively, malfunctioning equipment, hazards to service users, the general public or staff, damage to property.  Risk of insurance claims, higher insurance premiums, lengthy recovery processes.
Not all these risks are insurable and for some the premiums may not be cost effective.  Even where insurance is available, a monetary consideration may not be an adequate recompense.  The emphasis should always be on eliminating to reducing risk before costly steps to transfer risk to another party are considered.

Risk Management Policy Statement
Kinlet Parish Council recognises that it has a responsibility to manage risks effectively in order to protect employees, assets, liabilities and community against potential losses and to minimise uncertainty in achieving its goals.
The Council is aware that some risks can never be eliminated fully and it has in place a strategy that provides a structured, systematic and focused approach to managing risk.
Risk management is an integral part of the Council’s management processes.

Risk Monitoring
The risk management process does not finish with putting any risk control procedures in place.  Their effectiveness in controlling risk must be monitored and reviewed. It is also important to assess whether the nature of any risk has changed over time.
The information generated from applying the risk management process will help to ensure that risks can be avoided or minimised in the future.  It will also inform judgments on the nature and extent of insurance cover and the balance to be reached between self-insurance and external protection.

Reviewed May 2017.