To receive a report from Gemma Young, Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management.
This was introduced by Gemma Young, Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management
1. The report presents the revised Corporate Risk register and Covid-19 Risk Register.
2. The Brexit Risk Register risks had been closed and any residual risks have been amalgamated into the Corporate Risk Register.
3. The team were now working to the Covid-19 risks incorporated into the normal daily risks registers rather than having separate registers which must be reviewed constantly and bought to Committee. This was being done to simplify the process.
4. The Corporate Risk Register has been updated by Departmental Management Teams and the Executive Management Team with their comments taken on board.
Detailed discussions took place:
· Concern was raised about the Brexit risks and how these risks would be followed up, updated and reported if the register is closed. Had the safety and Public Health risk been amalgamated into other risks.
Risks related to Public Health would still be reflected in the Council’s Risk Registers. Any Public Health risks would be represented on the refreshed Corporate Risk Register.
With regards to the Brexit Risks, the Council did not have a Brexit Panel anymore. The Brexit Risk register was created at the behest of the Brexit panel so they could keep in view those Brexit risks. The team had amalgamated the risks onto the Corporate Risk Register including the ones below under Directorate and service level risks. The focus of those risks remained.
· Concern was raised that the final day to register for settled status was the 30 June 2021. Some Members requested data relating to the numbers of residents who had applied, those that had not and what the impact would be as it could have serious ramifications on the Borough. Would the EU settled status scheme be part of the Council’s staff risk? Was the Council aware of its staffs’ status and if those people had applied for settled status? The Covid staff risk was highlighted and the fact that some staff may not want a return to the office full time. This was also a risk.
There are 3,600 residents in the Borough who had not, as of 31 March 2021, applied for EU settled status and are in receipt of benefits. There may be other people who had not applied but the Council did not have data to identify these people, only aware of those people claiming benefits. The Council were lobbying to access that data to identify those individual residents with the DWP. The Council had a work plan/stream to work with those people as the deadline is approached.
School’s data had also been used to identify families who need to register for settled status.
Officers recommended that the Executive Director of Resources provide back to Committee a briefing report that would give members assurance on these issues. These issues had not been forgotten but had gone into business as usual as part of someone’s job done on a daily basis.
The Council had continued to work with CAB and they continue to provide face to face support for anyone wanting to apply for EU settled status. CAB (based at Edmonton Library) were the Council’s partner in supporting residents who wish to apply for EU settled status.
The Covid staffing risk in the Corporate Risk Register now came under ‘Failure to recruit & retain staff’ and if there are risks in certain areas, these would be logged on the Service & Directorate risk registers. If the Council lose a large number of staff, then that would be a Corporate risk. The Head of Internal Audit would look at the Covid risk regarding an update to tiers (no longer Government Policy) and would report back to Committee.
Some members still remained concerned as there were still many unknowns regarding the challenges and consequences of Brexit especially the issue of EU settled status. As a live and continuing issue officers should have documentation and some members felt that they could not support this report as there were too many unanswered questions. Officers would take theses concerns back to the Service.
The Head of Governance & Scrutiny confirmed that Members are being asked to note the report and to provide comments on risks recorded in the Corporate Risk Register and the COVID 19 Risk Register.
· The Executive Director Resources clarified that the report as it stands is noted. Officers have heard concerns/comments from the Committee around the Brexit risk and would like a report back to Committee around what the Council is doing regarding EU settled status for residents in the Borough. Noting the report on this basis.
Post meeting note: A briefing note was circulated to Members of the Committee from the Executive Director Resources providing an update on EU Settled Status on 20 July 2021, as requested.
AGREED to note the Risk Registers Report.
· Councillors Anderson, Laban and David-Sanders noted the report with reservations, comments made and actions taken.