Abstracts: July 23rd, 2001

Audit Commission paperThe paper provides practical advice to councils on how to address their key business risks. It argues that councils must identify and cope with the risks that threaten the achievement of their key strategic aims, and recognise that the process is not a one-off exercise, but an ongoing task. It is aimed at councillors and officers to help them review whether their current risk management activities are satisfactory. It contains examples of good practice and a number of suggestions for improvement that can realistically be implemented in any council.

It emphasizes that good risk management is necessary in all organisations but it is particularly important in local government for delivering public services effectively and ensuring that a council is well run. Councils need to keep pace with the advances made by other sectors, such as the NHS and central government.

The paper recommends that councillors take the lead in establishing good risk management since risks threaten the achievement of policy goals, that risk management should be embedded in existing processes and not seen as aone-off event and that authorities need to be pragmatic, recognising that the process of risk management does not eliminate risk but helps to control those risks that could damage the council’s objectives and reputation.

Published by The Audit Commission: www.audit-commission.gov.uk   <http://www.audit-commission.gov.uk.