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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Audit Committee 25 February 2013

 

Report of the Corporate Risk Management Group

 

Welfare Reform Risk

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To respond to the request of the Audit Committee at the meeting dated 19 November 2012, that a full report is presented detailing the risk management process using the example of the Welfare Reform risk.

Recommendation

1.             THAT the Committee note the ways in which the Corporate Risk Management Strategy is being followed in order to mitigate the risks identified in relation to the implementation of Welfare Reform legislation.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             To facilitate the monitoring of the work of the Corporate Risk Management Group.

Background

2.             At the meeting of 19 November 2012, the Audit Committee were presented with the Corporate Risk Register, completed risk templates for each corporate risk, and an updated copy of the Corporate Risk Management Strategy. In order to further understand how the risk management process is carried out in practice, the Committee requested to be provided with a full report detailing the work being undertaken in relation to the Welfare Reform risk.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.             The Corporate risk template details the Groups that have been established to manage the risk:

          i) the Welfare Reform Working Group;

          ii) the Member Task and Finish Group.

 

4.             The risk is subdivided into separate, smaller risks, according to the number of different reforms due to be implemented. These have then been given a priority status in accordance with the proximity of the changes, as well as whether the Council has the responsibility for implementing the change. These are detailed in the Corporate Risk Template and subdivided risk table at Appendix 1, which also looks at the effect upon both customers and the Council, together with actions for mitigation. Each subdivided risk area is categorised high, medium or low.

5.             A second table at Appendix 2 categorises the subdivided risks by the cross cutting issues: staffing, ICT and financial, in order to highlight these affected areas.

6.             A stakeholder group has been set up with other affected agencies (Citizens Advice Bureau, credit union, Jobcentre Plus, housing associations) in order to work in partnership to mitigate the risk.

7.             Affected service areas have also developed individual action plans to address the problems that are relevant to them.  An example of the Action Plan for Benefit Changes is attached at Appendix 3.

8.             Corporate risks are monitored by the Corporate Risk Management Group which meets on a quarterly basis.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

9.             Mitigation of the financial impact of Welfare Reform changes are considered as part of the risk assessment process. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

10.        Sustainability including Social Inclusion forms part of the risk theme applicable to Welfare Reform.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.        The Welfare Reform Act 2012 sets the basis under which changes to the administration of Welfare Benefits will be implemented.

Crime and Disorder Implications

12.        Welfare Reform changes have the potential to impact upon levels of Crime and Disorder unless mitigating action is taken.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13.        Regard will have to be given to the effects of Welfare Reform changes on the most disadvantaged members of society.

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.        Risk management, as an intrinsic part of corporate governance, is embodied within the principle of community leadership and will be a key competency for the Council to demonstrate as part of the Wales Programme for Improvement. Effective risk management assists the Council to manage its assets more efficiently and thereby promotes the achievement of the Council's aims in respect of Corporate Resources.

Policy Framework and Budget

15.        This report is a matter for consideration by the Audit Committee.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.        Consultation has taken place with nominated risk owners, Improvement & Development Team staff and members of the Corporate Risk Management Group.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.        Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Corporate Risk Management Strategy

 

Contact Officer

Alan Jenkins - Head of Accountancy and Resource Management

 

Officers Consulted

Corporate Risk Management Group

Head of Accountancy and Resource Management

Head of Financial Services

Improvement and Development Team

 

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies - Managing Director

 

 

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