EASTVILLE, MIDVILLE AND NEW LEAKE
GROUP PARISH COUNCIL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RISK MANAGEMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 2006

 


INTRODUCTION

It is the responsibility of Eastville, Midville and New Leake Group Parish Council to provide services for, and manage and maintain the assets of, the villages of Eastville, Midville and New Leake, within the law, and the resources provided by the annual precept and other incomes, taking into account the wishes of the residents and obtaining value for money.

 

Area and Aim

 

Risk

Recommendations to minimise risk.The aim is for all recommendations to be in place by April 2006

1Assets

1. To identify, value and maintain all the assets of the Parish Council and ensure that asset and investment registers are complete, accurate and properly maintained

1.Lack of knowledge of assets of Parish Council

2.Assets lost or misappropriated

3.Inadequate or inaccurate valuation f the councilís assets

4.Asset register not established or inadequately maintained

1.Ascertain and record all assets for which Eastville, Midville and New Leake Parish Council are responsible and create a permanent asset register.

2.Appoint a councillor responsible for regular monitoring of location and use of assets.

3.Arrange a periodic review of valuations including a professional valuation where necessary.Internal audit checks.

4.Create asset register in accordance with Audit Commission requirements.

2Health and safety liability

1. To carry out adequate safety checks on all buildings, properties, and equipment for which the council is responsible

 

 

 

2To ensure that the clerk can work safely from home particularly with regard to working with computers for long hours and allowing members of the public into the home

 

3.To ensure the smooth and continuous running of the Parish Council at all times

 

 

 

 

 

1aLack of information of properties, buildings and equipment.

1bLack of knowledge of safety requirements.

1cLack of commitment to carrying out safety checks

 

2aLack of knowledge of safety requirements

 

 

2b Lack of commitment to safety

 

 

 

 

3aThe clerk is on holiday or in hospital for a period of more than 4 weeks

 

 

 

 

3bThe clerk is unable to carry out her duties due to death, permanent ill health or resignation

3cFire

3dIrreversible computer breakdown

 

 

1aEnsure that all current legislation and advice is held by clerk.Include in asset register all properties for which Parish Council is responsible.

1bEnsure that all current legislation and advice is held by clerk.Place subject as item on Parish Council meeting agenda at regular intervals.

1cAs at 1b above.Delegate responsibility for particular properties to individual councillors.

2aEnsure that current advice on using computers and VDUs are adhered to paying particular attention to the length of time spent at the computer at each session.

2bIf a member of the public requests to view information this should only be done the in the clerkís home if she is quite happy with this arrangement and ideally she would be accompanied by a councillor.Otherwise all viewing should take place in the village hall again with a councillor present.

 

3aThe clerk to hold a diary detailing all the regular events throughout the year such as insurance renewals, budget dates etc and ensure that a councillor is appointed to take over the duties of the clerk. The clerk to keep a back-up copy of important information on two sets of floppy disc, one of which must be kept in a separate building or given to a nominated councillor and updated after each meeting.

3bas 3a above.

 

 

 

3cas 3a above

3das 3a above

3Public liability

1To ensure that all councillors are aware of their responsibilities, and possible liabilities, and to provide adequate insurance cover for all possible risks.

1aLack of knowledge of possible culpability of councillors.

1bLack of education of Councillors regarding culpability.

1cInadequate insurance cover taken out Ė property, personal liability, employers liability.

1aCreation of standing orders and familiarisation with those where greatest risk occurs.

1bAs at 1a above.Attend any training courses available.

 

1cReview risk assessment by including on agenda of Parish council meetings at least annually.Insurance requirements to be reviewed annually.

4Best Value

1To form a partnership with other council and government organisations in order to achieve adequate two way communications and influence.

1aLack of effective lines of communication with other organisations

 

1bLack of effective lines of communication with parishioners.

 

 

 

1cLack of preparation subjects requiring influence

 

 

1dLack of confidence by Parish Councillors

1a Note all communication lines which are essential or beneficial and make information available to all councillors.Establish contact by name and where possible face-to-face.

1b Take every opportunity to publicise role of Parish Council.Look at creating a Parish newsletter.Use notice boards effectively.Use key issues to raise profile of Parish Council and to test parishioners view.Add social event to occasional meeting.Create annual Parish Council plan and put to parishioners for comment.

1c Ensure all councillors are aware of the need for careful research and are guided as to where to obtain relevant information on issues under discussion.

1dAs at 1a above.Experienced councillors should assist newcomers to establish essential contacts.Delegate responsibility for specific contacts to individual councillors.

5Finance

1. To ensure that salaries are paid to employees and amounts paid to contractors are paid in accordance with council regulations, and adequately monitored.

2. To ensure that year end accounts are prepared on the correct accounting basis, on time, and supported by an adequate audit trail.

 

 

 

 

 

3. To ensure that the annual precept requirements results from an adequate budgetary process; progress against the budget is regularly monitored; and reserves are appropriate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4To explore all possible sources of income, and to ensure that expected income is fully received

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5To keep appropriate books of account accurately and up-to-date throughout the financial year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6To ensure that payments made from council funds and the use of assets represent value for money, are adequate managed, and comply generally with the wishes of the residents.

1aInappropriate rate of pay to employees

1bTax and NI arrangements not in accordance with regulations.

1cAmounts paid to contractors not in accordance with contract and inadequately monitored

2aLack of knowledge of Council regulations and procedures.

2bLate or non-submission of annual accounts.

2cYear end accounts not prepared inaccurate, or not in accordance with Council requirements.

2dInadequate audit trail from records to final accounts.

3aLack of knowledge of budgetary process, and Council regulations.

3bLack of commitment to budgetary process

3cInadequate consideration of requirements for annual precept

 

 

3dCalculation not in accordance with Council regulations

3eInadequate internal control with regard to monitoring expenditure

3fReserves too low

4aLack of knowledge of possible sources of income eg. grants.

4bLack of commitment to pursue possible sources of income

4cReceipts not banked or not banked promptly

4dDebts not pursued promptly

4eVAT claims not made promptly or made incorrectly

 

5aLack of knowledge of accounting requirements

 

5bLack of commitment to accounting requirements

 

 

 

5cBank charges unnecessarily incurred

 

5dFailures and inaccuracies in recording amounts, totals in books of account, and bank reconciliations.

5eInaccuracies and interest losses caused by account transfers.

5fThe most beneficial interest terms not being employed.

 

5gInadequate control of cash receipts and payments

 

5hBooks of account not kept up to date/invoices not posted promptly

5jInternal controls not in place or not operated.

5jPayments missed or delayed due to inadequate filing of invoices

5kClerk taken ill or leaves without replacement

6a.Lack of knowledge of wishes of residents

 

 

 

 

6b Use of funds not giving value for money

 

6cUse of funds not in accordance with the wishes of the residents

6dCharges for use of facilities inadequate

6eFund raising not properly controlled or not in accordance with regulations

1aEnsure employee regulations are available and understood by clerk and internal audit checks are carried out.

1bAs 1a above

 

1cInternal audit checks and appoint councillor to monitor contract work carried out.

 

2aInclude financial regulation in Standing Orders and attend training seminar where available.

2bRequest notification from RFO that accounts have been submitted in accordance with audit requirements.

2cInternal audit checks and checks by RFO.

 

2dAs 2c above.

 

3aEnsure all Councillors have a copy of the Financial Regulations and place item on agenda early in year to remind councillors of budget process and actions required.

3bas 3a above.Involve all councillors in budgetary process not solely the clerk.

3cPlace item on agenda early in year to remind councillors of budget process and actions required.Start consideration of calculation at least 4 months prior to submission date.Create annual and 2/3 year plans to assist in process.

3dChecks by RFO and Internal Auditor

 

 

3eChecks by RFO and internal auditor.Financial and budget progress reports to all PC meetings.

 

3fAs at 3e above.

4aAppoint a Councillor as Grants Officer to gain experience for all grants available and application procedures.

 

4bAs at 4a.

 

 

4cRegular checks by RFO and Internal audit checks

4dAs at 4c above.

4eEnsure clerk has appropriate and up-to-date VAT official publications.Internal Audit checks.

 

5aEnsure all councillors are familiar with current financial regulations and include them in standing orders.Regularly review standing orders.

5bAs 5a above.RFO to produce financial reports at all meetings.Annual internal audit reports to be made available to all councillors and any recommendations to be acted upon promptly.

5cRFO to carry out regular inspection of books of account.Internal audit to be undertaken periodically during current financial year.

5dRFO to ensure books of account are formatted in such a way that internal controls are included and activated.Regular internal audits to advise on internal controls required.

5eKeep number of accounts to a minimum but ensure that any large credit balances are deposited in an interest bearing account.

5fEnsure that favourable interest rate is obtained in deposit accounts and review against alternatives but bearing in mind the risks in changing accounts.

5gAvoid cash payments and receipts if possible.Where cash payments and receipts are unavoidable use a properly controlled petty cash account with a set maximum balance.

5hRegular checks by RFO and internal auditor.Financial reports at all Parish Council meetings.

 

5jAs at 5h above.

 

5jAs at 5h above.

 

5kAppoint a councillor as RFO to be familiar with all aspects of financial matters.Keep a diary listing dates and details of items requiring attention.

6aTake every opportunity to publicise the role of the Parish Council, create Parish newsletter, make effective use of notice boards, raise profile of Parish Council, organise social events create annual Parish plan and put to parishioners for comment.Ensure residents are consulted on all major financial issues.

6bEffective budget planning processes.Creation of annual plan after consultation process.†† Creation of outline 2/3 year plan.

6cAs 6b above.Internal audit checks.

 

 

6dEffective financial management by RFO and internal audit checks

6eAll councillors to be aware of need to check regulations before commencing fund-raising activities.Effective financial management by RFO.

6Member liability

1To ensure that all councillors are aware of their responsibilities and possible liabilities

 

1aFailure to declare interests

 

1bFailure to declare receipt of gifts etc.

1aEnsure that this item is placed on every agenda.Ensure all councillors are aware of the implications of not declaring interests

1bEnsure Councillors are aware of the regulations governing the receipts of gifts etc.

7Employer liability

1To ensure that all councillors are aware of their responsibilities and possible liabilities

1aFailure to act within the law.

1aEnsure all councillors are aware of the Code of Conduct, Standing Orders and relative Acts.Ensure they comply with employment law and issue and work within contracts of employment. Evaluate Health and Safety issues.

8Legal liability

1. To ensure compliance with the Acts of Parliament, Councilís financial regulations and code of conduct

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2To comply with appropriate Government legislation regarding disability, racial equality, safeguarding children etc.

 

 

1aLack of knowledge of regulations and codes.

1bAbsence of standing orders

1cActions by the Parish Council outside its powers laid down by Parliament.

1dLack of commitment to regulations and procedures

1eItems purchased without proper tendering procedures, resulting in accusations of commercial favouritism.

1fPayments made without prior approval and adequate control.

1gLack of control of signatories to cheques.

1h VAT not properly accounted for, resulting in overclaims and large demands from Customs and Excise

2aLack of knowledge of applicable legislation

 

2bLack of public awareness of applicable legislation.

2cFailure to comply with applicable legislation

1a Ensure that all Councillors have copies of relative Acts, Code of Conduct, and Standing Orders.Highlight essential parts and provide training where possible.

1b Ensure that Standing Orders are produced, understood by councillors, and reviewed at least once per year.

1c As at 1a above but ensure that powers are highlighted or extracted into effective summary.

1d Regular reference to appropriate regulations in agenda items.

1e Ensure all councillors are aware of regulations re estimates and full tender procedures.Introduce practice of estimates for all purchases over an agreed figure.

 

1fEnsure all payments are approved in Council meetings and recorded in minutes.Keep cash payments to a minimum and avoid if possible.

1gKeep authorised signatories to a minimum consistent with practicalities.

1hEnsure appropriate publications held and that clerk has good knowledge of regulations

 

 

 

2aClerk to have all appropriate legislation available.Review liabilities and responsibilities periodically at Parish Council meetings.

2bInclude, as appropriate, in any public consultation.

 

2cAs at 2a above.

9Objectives of PC

1To identify and regularly review the Councilís priorities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1aLack of knowledge of how to set objectives, set priorities, and identify risks to their achievement

1bLack of commitment by council members

1cNo risk analysis carried out

 

1dNo steps taken to combat identified risks.

1aAll councillors to be made aware of need for objections and identification of risk.

 

 

1bAdd risk assessment to agenda annually reviewing particular items and results against those items.

 

1cAs 1a above.Ensure that completion of the risk assessment is given high priority as a requirement of the Audit Commission.

1dAs at 1b above.

 

This Risk Management Policy was adopted by the council at its meeting held on 16 May 2005 and reviewed at a meeting held on 3 July 2006.