RISK MANAGEMENT POLICY STATEMENT

 

Definition of 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, standards of conduct and service delivery arrangements.

POLICY STATEMENT

Heath and Reach Parish Council recognises that it has a responsibility to manage risks effectively in order to protect its employees, assets, liabilities and community against potential losses, to minimise uncertainty in achieving its goals and objectives and to maximise the opportunities to achieve its vision.

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 focussed approach to managing risk.

Risk management is an integral part of the Council’s management processes.

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the Council’s risk management strategy are to: –

1. Integrate risk management into the culture of the council
2 Manage risk in accordance with best practice
3. Anticipate and respond to changing social, environmental and legislative
requirements
4. Prevent loss, disruption, damage and injury and reduce the cost of risk, thereby maximising resources
5. To inform policy and operational decisions by identifying risks and their likely impact
6. Raise awareness of the need for risk management.

These objectives will be achieved by:

1. Establishing clear roles, responsibilities and reporting lines within the council for risk management
2. Providing opportunities for shared learning on risk management across the
council
3. Providing risk management training and awareness sessions
4. Incorporating risk management considerations into the Council’s management processes
5. Effective communication with, and the active involvement of, employees
6. Monitoring arrangements on an on-going basis.

Responsibility for Risk Management

The Council recognises that it is the responsibility of all Councillors and employees to have regard for risk in carrying out their duties. If uncontrolled, risk can result in a drain on resources that could better be directed to front line service provision, and to the meeting of the Council’s objectives and community needs.

Adopted May 2012
Reviewed March 2021
Next review March 2022

Management of Risk

       
MANAGEMENT
SubjectRisks identifiedH/M/L Management/Control of RiskReview/Assess/Revise Last ReviewedNext Review Date
Business ContinuityCouncil not being able to continue its business due to an unexpected or tragic circumstance.LAll files and recent records are kept at the clerk’s home. All electronic records are Cloud hosted by Microsoft 365. In the event of the Clerk being indisposed the Chairman to contact the Webmaster for advice.Review when necessary. Ensure procedures below are undertaken.March 2021March 2024
Meeting locationAdequacy
Health and Safety
MMeetings are held at the Heath Village Barn.
All the premises and facilities are considered to be adequate for the Clerk, Councillors and any public who attend from a health and safety and comfort aspect.
The hall is not DDA compliant.
Existing Procedure adequate.
Meeting are held using Zoom until May '21 at least.
May 2020May 2021
Council RecordsLoss through theft, fire, damageLPapers, both (a) current and (b) archived,
are held in a (a) filing cabinet at the clerk’s home & (b) secure storage.
Provision is considered to be adequate.March 2021March 2024
Council Records - electronicLoss through damage,
fire, corruption of computer
MThe Parish Council’s electronic records are stored on MS Cloud servers. Back- ups of the files are automatically taken daily and monthly and kept in a secure location. Access is via a secure login.Existing procedure adequate.March 2021March 2024
FINANCE
PreceptAdequacy of preceptMAn annual budget is developed by Council and adopted. Sound budgeting is part of the annual precept and budgeting process. The Parish Council receives regular budget updates and a detailed budget in the late autumn. The precept is an agenda item at the November/January meeting.Existing procedure adequate.January 2021January 2022
InsuranceAdequacy
Cost
Compliance
Fidelity Guarantee
L
L
L
M
Insurance is reviewed every three years of all insurance arrangements in place. Employers Liability, Public Liability and Fidelity Guarantee are a statutory requirement.Existing procedure adequate. Review provision and compliance annuallyMay 2020May 2023
BankingInadequate checksLThe Council has Financial Regulations which set out the requirements for banking, cheques and reconciliation of accounts.Existing procedures adequate.Mary 2020May 2021
CashLoss through theft or dishonestyLThe Council has no petty cash or float. Any cash transactions are made by the clerk, are fully
receipted and then paid by cheque on receipt of an invoice.
Existing procedures adequate.May 2020May 2021
Financial controls and recordsInadequate checksLMonthly reconciliations prepared by RFO and reviewed by the Parish Council. Two signatures on cheques and stubs. Payments made by Direct Credit are approved at the Full Parish Council Meeting and valid at the next meeting. Internal and external audit. Any financial obligation must be resolved and clearly minuted before any commitment. All payments must be resolved and clearly minuted.
Any s137 payment must be recorded at time of approval
Existing procedures adequate.May 2020May 2021
Freedom of Information ActPolicy ProvisionL
M
The Council has a model publication scheme for Local Councils in place. The clerk is aware that if a substantial request arrives then this may require many hours of additional work. The Council is able to request a fee if the work will take over 15 hours. However the request can be resubmitted, broken down into sections, thus negating the payment of a fee.Monitor and report any impacts made under Freedom of Information ActMarch 2021March 2024
Election CostsRisk of election costMRisk is higher in an election year. There are no measures, which can be adopted to minimize the risk of having a contested election. A contingency fund has been established to meet the costs.Include in financial statement when setting precept.January 2021January 2022
VATRe-claimingLThe Council has financial regulations which set out the requirements.Existing procedures adequate.March 2021March 2022
Annual returnNot submitted within time limits.LAnnual return is completed and
signed by the Council, submitted to the Internal Auditor for completion and signing, then checked and sent on to the External Auditor within time limit.
Existing procedures adequate.May 2020May 2021
ASSETS
Listed in asset registerAccidental damage or vandalism.LAn asset register is kept up to date and insurance is held at the appropriate level. Regular checks should be made on equipment by members of the Parish Council.Existing procedures adequate.March 2021May 2022
LIABILITIES
Legal Powers and legal liabilityIllegal activity or payments.

Working Parties taking decisions.
M

L
All activity and payments made
within the powers of the Parish Council (not ultra vires) and to be resolved and clearly minuted. Clerk to clarify legal position on
proposals and to seek advice if necessary.

Ensure they have clear terms of reference.

Existing procedures adequate.

Monitor.
March 2021May 2022
Minutes/ Agendas/ Statutory DocumentsAccuracy and legality
Non compliance with
statutory requirements.


Proper document control.
LMinutes and agendas are produced in the prescribed method and adhere to legal requirements. Minutes are approved and signed at next meeting. Minutes and agendas are displayed according to legal requirements Business conducted at Council meetings should be managed by the Chairman
Standing Orders are updated and reviewed annually.


Document retention policy updated and based on NALC recommendations and implemented annually.
Existing procedures adequate.March 2021May 2022
Public LiabilityRisk to third party, property or
individuals.
MInsurance is in place. Risk assessments of any individual events undertaken.Existing procedures adequate.March 2021May 2022
EMPLOYEES, CONTRACTORS AND VOLUNTEERS
ClerkLoss of clerk.

Fraud.

Actions undertaken.

Clerk’s Salary and PAYE.
M

L

L

M
A contingency fund should be established to enable training for the Cilca qualification in the event of the clerk resigning.

The requirements of Fidelity Guarantee insurance must be adhered to.

Clerk as RFO to make monthly payments to HMRC and report at next meeting.

Consider when setting next precept.

Monitor working Conditions.

Existing procedures adequate.
November 2021January 2022
Employer LiabilityNon compliance with employment law.LUndertake adequate training and seek advice from BATPC.
Review Clerk’s contract annually.
Existing procedures adequate.April 2021April 2022
ContractorsNon-compliance with terms of
contract
LReview contracts tri-annuallyExisting procedures adequateApril 2021April 2024
VolunteersRisk to volunteers undertaking work on behalf of the Parish Council.MEnsure that volunteers are covered by the Parish Council’s insurance policy. Risk assessments to be carried out for any new activity.Existing procedure adequateApril 2021April 2024
MEMBERS RESPONSIBILITIES
Members InterestsConflict of interest.

Register of members Interests.
M

L
Councillors have a duty to declare any interest at the start of the meeting.

Register of Members Interests form to be reviewed at least on an annual basis
Existing procedures adequateApril 2020May 2021