Risk Management

Following on from the Department’s revised risk and tolerance statement, released in April 2016, in 2016–17 the Department developed a revised Risk Matrix, published in November 2016. Staff using the new matrix assess risk through the lens of the Department’s risk appetite and tolerance, making it easier for decision-makers to see where there is scope to apply new ideas and approaches. In June 2017, the Department finalised development of its new enterprise risk management system, RiskNet. The system is designed to help staff make more meaningful risk assessments and provide clearer and more meaningful information for people responsible for accepting risk plans.

RiskNet fully incorporates the Department’s new Risk Appetite Statement, so staff can more easily and accurately assess risks against the Department’s tolerance levels. It allows the Department to easily track and group together similar risks, helping it remain aware of the bigger picture and manage groups of risks more effectively. RiskNet will support more consistent rating of risks throughout the Department.

Since early 2017, the Department has been redeveloping its Strategic Risk Statement, which highlights priority areas of potential exposure for the period 2017 to 2019. It provides examples of how such risks might be encountered and some advice and strategies for effectively managing these risks. In conjunction with the Risk Appetite and Tolerance Statement, the Strategic Risk Statement will be used to guide decision making, risk management and resource allocation in the Department.

During 2016–17, the Employment Risk and Implementation Committee was disbanded as a result of the decision that reporting on the implementation of key initiatives could be streamlined and delivered from line areas and duplication of reporting could be eliminated. This committee’s functions relating to risk oversight and management are now overseen by the Finance and Business Services Committee, where risk is a standing agenda item. The Department continued to achieve strong results in the Comcover Benchmarking Survey of risk maturity, re‑affirming a well-embedded and mature culture of risk management.