Report of the Chamberlain
The Committee received a Joint Report of the Chamberlain and the Chief Operating Officer which provided updates regarding the top risks within their Departmental Risk Registers.
As per the discussion in item 5, the Chamberlain proposed that the risks associated with IT should, going forward, be reported into the Digital Services Committee as opposed to the Finance Committee; she assured Members, however, that if an IT related Risk did emerge which had a material impact on the City’s finances, it would be brought to the Finance Committee’s attention in good time.
In addition, the Chamberlain highlighted the updated Unsustainable Medium-Term Finances Risk (CR35); the two key current drivers for this Risk are the ongoing inflationary pressures across the economy and the state of the post-pandemic recovery.
In response to Members raising concerns about whether an amber score (12) for CR35 was sufficient given the deteriorating inflationary situation, the Chamberlain stressed that officers were remaining highly vigilant on this issue, she also highlighted that, whilst the amber score was predicated on there being mitigations in place to meet the challenge in the immediate term, consideration would need to be given to how to continue to try to mitigate the challenge in 2023/24, especially if inflation continued to be a factor into 2023 as was the expectation of the Bank of England.
The Chamberlain added that Members of the Resource Allocation Sub-Committee would be looking at this in depth at their Away Day on Friday 17th June.
In response to a separate query concerning the Employer contributions to the City’s Pension Scheme, the Chamberlain highlighted the upcoming Actuarial Review; she informed Members that, in each of the last seven years, the Corporation had been able to hold its contribution at the same rate; if the Actuarial Review should come back with changed assumptions, then we will have to act accordingly; an update will be submitted in due course to the Pensions Committee and the Finance Committee thereafter.
A Member queried whether it was viable that some Risks in the Report, which had current scores of 12, would achieve their target of being reduced to 2 in the short timeframe projected. In addition, some included delivery dates within the next two weeks. The Member also pointed out that several Risks were littered with acronyms which, in the absence of an accompanying glossary, was unhelpful to the majority of those that would read this Report. The Chairman and the Chamberlain responded that these issues, in the main, were associated with the IT risks and would liaise with the COO to ensure that these points were picked up in the next Risk Register Report to the Digital Services Committee.
RESOLVED – that the Committee noted the Report.