Agenda item

Risk and Performance Management: Annual Assurance Report 2022


A report of the Interim Head of Strategy, Governance and Information was presented to outline the Council’s approach to performance and risk management, to summarise activity in the past year and planned activity for 2023 to provide the Committee with assurance that the Council had robust arrangements in place for these disciplines.


The Council’s approach to these disciplines was articulated within the following policies:


·        Performance Management Policy.

·        Programme and Project Management Policy.

·        Risk and Opportunity Management Policy.


The policies were scheduled to be reviewed during 2023 to ensure they continued to meet the organisation’s needs in relation to these disciplines.


At a meeting of the Executive on 5 April 2022, a refreshed Strategic Plan workplan for the 2022-24 period and Directorate Priorities for 2022/23 was approved, which combined provide a cohesive approach to the delivery of key priority activities across Council services.


Significant work was also undertaken in the year to improve Directorate and strategic performance management, with the implementation of a monthly performance review cycle using an integrated performance dashboard drawn from a range of feeder systems which recorded different aspects of corporate performance.


The monthly Directorate and LMT performance reviews held throughout 2022/23 considered the following items on a ‘by exception’ basis, with only matters considered to require discussion or steer, raised:


  • Actions agreed by the Executive (including responses to scrutiny reports).

·        The Strategic Plan workplan (both in terms of activity and outcomes).

  • Directorate priorities.
  • The Council’s portfolio of programmes and projects.
  • Compliance indicators (e.g. completion of audit actions).
  • Directorate and strategic risk registers.


Output from the monthly performance reviews was reflected in a quarterly update on wider corporate performance, to the Executive and Overview and Scrutiny Board; an approach which had served to significantly improve focus upon and strengthen delivery of corporate performance disciplines.


A refresh of the Strategic Plan was deferred in 2022/23 due to the need to consider the implications of several key White Papers over the past year, therefore the issue of articulating outcomes and measures, would be addressed in a full refresh of the Strategic Plan in 202/23.


The Programme and Project Management (PPM) policy and its underpinning framework provided a standardised approach to the governance of programmes and projects, including standard documentation.


All projects within the Councils portfolio continued to be connected to overarching programmes and portfolios wherever possible to clearly articulate their contribution.


Currently there were projects in the portfolio that were being managed under the PPM framework.  These projects were supported and monitored by the Portfolio Management Office (PMO) and were reported by exception to the monthly Directorate and Leadership Team performance review meetings and in the quarterly reports to the Executive and Overview and Scrutiny Board.


The Councils approach to PPM was also the base methodology for delivery of Strategic Plan workplan activities and all change and savings programme initiatives, requiring robust milestone delivery plans which were subject to the monthly performance management and governance regime for project delivery, as set out in detail in the PPM Framework.  This included:


  • Project / initiative business cases quality assured and assessed for viability.
  • Review of performance against time, scope, cost and benefit.
  • Management and mitigation of risks and issues.
  • Approvals for change controls.


Monitoring of these activities would be further strengthened through alignment with the new performance management arrangements planned for 2023/24.


In 2022 Veritau completed an audit of the BOHO X project, which was the subject of a separate report to the Committee in April 2022.  The audit findings identified management actions to address and implement, throughout 2022/23.  All actions from that audit had been implemented and were listed at paragraph 22 of the submitted report.


The wider compliance of programmes and projects with the PPM framework would continue to be assessed periodically by the Council’s internal auditor, Veritau, either through a scheduled audit or in response to specific governance concerns or requests from statutory or other senior officers.


The PPM Framework and associated project documentation would be further reviewed in 2023/24 and where appropriate, streamlined to ensure alignment with the new performance management arrangements currently in development.


During 2020 the Councils risk appetite was refreshed reviewed and revised to bring it in line with the Council’s current financial standing so that risks were being captured and scored in line with this.  All risk management documentation was also reviewed and updated to reflect these changes. On review, no changes were made to the Councils risk appetite during 2022. The purpose of strategic risk management was to capture the most significant risks the organisation was exposed to that could impact on its ability to deliver the strategic priorities outlined in the Strategic Plan.


The Council used risk registers to manage the various risks it identified. During 2022 the Council implemented a heat map approach to group risks into themes.  These themes and movement within them were used to set out the risks facing the Council.   During early 2023 a review of this approach was undertaken by senior officers and as a result further refinement of the approach would be made during 2023.  This would be articulated within the refreshed Risk and Opportunity Management policy.


A summary of the Strategic Risk themes was considered every three months by the Executive as part of a report on performance against delivery of the Strategic Plan and other key performance measures, with the same report considered by Overview and Scrutiny Board.


The status of risks were reported by exception to the new monthly Directorate and Leadership Team performance review meetings described earlier in the report and in the quarterly reports to Members. 


The Council had a corporate Risk Management Group in place which met

on a quarterly basis to monitor risk management and to identify new and emerging risks to the organisation.


AGREED that the Committee noted the arrangements in place to manage performance and risk management within the Council, progress in the past year, and plans to further strengthen those arrangements.

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