Home > Council and Democracy > Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider the controls being implemented to manage the strategic risk relating to service failure.


The Committee considered progress on individual risks identified within the Council’s Strategic Risk Register related to service failure.


Sub-Risk: Failure of a service provider in high risk contracted areas such as social care and waste management


Mr Thompson, Director of Resources, reported that in terms of potential service failure specifically related to domestic waste, a number of mitigation measures were in place and the Council continued to work with the contractor to ensure a smooth transition to bring the domestic waste service back under the Council umbrella. So far, a Project Board and Working Group had been set up and tenders had been completed for the Layton depot works. In addition, acquisition of new refuse collection vehicles and supply of ICT software had been completed and TUPE arrangements for staff would commence in April 2019.


In response to questions about the transition of domestic waste collections and associated risks, Mr Thompson advised that the Net Risk score had been reduced as the initial uncertainty over the changes had given way to a smooth and largely uneventful project and it was anticipated that the move would allow for greater control and by extension a reduced risk.


Regarding the risk of Adult Services failure, Mrs Smith, Director of Adults’ Services, provided assurances that in-house capacity had been retained especially in high risk service areas. Added to this, it was anticipated that continual horizon scanning of providers would identify future risks suitably early to allow effective mitigation. Prioritisation of team workloads, regular team meetings and individual work plans would ensure effective and in-depth monitoring of regulated and non-regulated care. Support for care businesses, liaison with care providers and development of robust contingency plans were also key mitigation measures.


When asked about why waste collection and adult services had been put together on the risk register, Mrs Greenhalgh, Head of Audit and Risk, advised that the risk related to the potential failure of a high risk service provider and the actions detailed in the risk register were being taken to reduce this risk. Mrs Greenhalgh agreed to consider how this was presented in the risk register.


Sub Risk: Loss of key infrastructure and resource which results in Council services not being delivered.


In addition to the existing measures in place to mitigate this risk and in particular, the risk associated with the Council’s data centres, the Committee was informed that alongside the two data centres currently in operation , discussions with Microsoft to investigate the feasibility of utilising a cloud based storage solution were underway. In response to a question about the data centres as a long term requirement, the Committee noted that the cost and risk associated with using a third party data storage solution would be higher than maintaining an in house asset.

An annual review of planned property maintenance had been initiated and agreed with the Corporate Asset Management Group, it was reported that the Head of Property Services had prioritised backlog maintenance and begun a separate review of leisure sites, prioritising back and front of house urgent repairs. Consolidation of existing buildings, business continuity planning and encouragement of preventative maintenance had also helped to mitigate the risk in this area.


Sub-Risk: Cyber Threats


Whilst most of this had been covered during the discussions at Item 5 on the agenda, Members questioned the reduced Net Risk Score which had been applied. In response, Mr Doyle suggested that as previously noted, many mitigation measures had been adopted but there still remained an element of uncertainty given the constantly changing nature of cyber threats. Despite reassurances that the Council was as prepared as it could be, Mr Doyle accepted that perhaps the Net score could be raised if it was considered that the risk level had increased.

Supporting documents: