Constitution - Part 5G - Financial standing orders - FR5 Risk Management



17.1 Cabinet is responsible for approving the County Council's risk management strategy. Cabinet is responsible for approving the County Council's strategic risk assessment and for ensuring that proper insurance exists where appropriate.

17.2 The Corporate Management Team will update the corporate risk register on a quarterly basis. The Section 151 Officer is responsible for preparing the County Council's Risk Management Strategy and for promoting it throughout the County Council. Directors are responsible for promoting and implementing the risk management strategy.

17.3 It is the responsibility of each Director to assess annually all risks within the areas under their control, and to record them in an annual risk management plan. 

17.4 All risks will be recorded in the corporate risk register together with an action plan to show how the risks are owned, monitored, and mitigated.

17.5 The management of risks must be reported to the Corporate Management Team and Cabinet.  The format and frequency of reporting will be set out in the County Councils risk management strategy

17.6  The Audit and Assurance Committee will monitor the effective development and operation of risk management framework in the County Council.

18.1 The Section 151 Officer will arrange all insurances (and levels of cover; both internal and external) falling within the framework of insurable risks agreed by Cabinet. The provision of the insurance policy will be subject to proper procurement practices and the Section 151 Officer will seek the advice of the Corporate Procurement function when procuring the policy. The Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) will deal with all material claims*, in consultation with the Chief Legal Officer in respect of any legal matter arising, and in consultation with the other Directors where necessary. 
 *Material being all claims which either:

• Are above a monetary value determined by the Section 151 Officer 
• Have potentially significant reputational implications for the Council

18.2 Other risks may be covered by insurance or carried by the directorate(s) involved at the discretion of the relevant Director having regard to advice from the Section 151 Officer.

18.3 Where appropriate, costs and losses not insured externally and not covered by the Council's internal insurance reserve/ policy will fall as a charge upon the budget of the Directorate to which the item relates. Directors are responsible for taking effective preventive measures against all risks. The Annual Governance Group will be informed of any insurance matters at least annually.

18.4 Each Director will give prompt notification to the Section 151 Officer of all new risks for which insurance may be required; and any material changes in existing risks or assets as they arise and of any other changes in insurance cover required.

18.5 Directors will notify the Section 151 Officer immediately in writing and without delay of any loss, liability or damage or any event likely to lead to a material claim, and will provide such information and explanations required by the Section 151 Officer or the County Council's insurers.

18.6 For those risks not covered by external insurance policies, and as determined by Cabinet, the Section 151 Officer will operate an internal insurance reserve/ provisions. The balance of these reserves / provisions will be considered by the Section 151 Officer upon receipt of advice from the Council's external insurance advisors and reported as part of the Council's annual budget setting and Statement of Accounts processes.

19.1 As set out in Part 5H 'Contract Procedure Rules' of this Constitution, Directors will consult and seek approval from the Section 151 Officer and the Monitoring Officer concerning the terms of any indemnity which they are requested to give on behalf of the County Council.

19.2 Before entering into any arrangement involving a legal relationship, the Director involved will ensure that the County Council has adequate legal powers and where appropriate that there is adequate professional indemnity insurance to cover and minimise any risk to the County Council and to those individuals involved. Advice should be obtained from the County Council's Insurance Officer and the Chief Legal Officer where necessary before proceeding.

20.1 The Chief Legal Officer will have custody of the original documents for all contracts, leases, deeds and agreements, and similar legal documents made under seal. Part 5H 'Contract Procedures Rules' in this Constitution provides more detailed rules that must be followed in relation to contract formalities (including when contracts must be completed under seal).

21.1 The Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services will ensure the County Council has an effective information management strategy, infrastructure and capability in place. All 'officers' of the County Council have a personal responsibility with regard to the protection and confidentiality of information, whether held in manual or computerised records, including on portable storage devices. 

21.2 Directors will ensure that all officers are familiar with the County Council's information governance policies, including the Information Governance Acceptable Use Policy and that adequate and effective controls and security routines are operated to protect data and facilities against the unauthorised access, loss or abuse.

21.3 Directors are responsible for ensuring that all computerised and manual systems and records within their responsibility are operated in accordance with the requirements of data protection, freedom of information, and other legislation, and that they are operating within the County Council's policies and procedures in this respect.

Retention of Records and Documents

21.4 Directors will ensure that financial records, vouchers and documents will be preserved in accordance with the County Council's data retention policy prescribed by the County Council's arrangements under the Freedom of Information Act and other regulations. In addition Directors will ensure that document retention requirements specified by bodies providing external funding are met to ensure that funding is not jeopardised.  Financial records will not be disposed of other than in accordance with arrangements approved by the Assistant Director - Customer and Community Services.

The following section should be read in conjunction with Part 6D 'Anti-Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Policy' and Part 6E 'Whistle Blowing Policy'
22.1 The Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) is responsible for the development and maintenance of a counter fraud and corruption policy with the Chief Legal Officer (Monitoring Officer) responsible for the development and maintenance of the whistle blowing policy. Cabinet is responsible for approving these policies and Directors are responsible for promoting and implementing the policies. Audit and Assurance Committee is responsible for receiving assurance over the implementation and effectiveness of the policies.

22.2 All Directors are responsible for ensuring their systems are properly controlled against fraud.  Directors will ensure that controls are in place to prevent or detect fraud being carried out within their areas.  Directors will also seek regular assurances from their managers that these controls continue to work effectively.