Report of the Director of Corporate Services
The Committee considered a report of the Director of Corporate Services on the Fund’s Risk Register.
They were informed that CIPFA Guidance recommended the production and monitoring of a Risk Register for Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) funds. At their meeting in June 2018, the Pensions Committee noted the contents of the Pension Fund Risk Register at that time and asked the Local Pension Board to continue to undertake a regular detailed review of the identified risks and the process for maintaining the Risk Register and report back on any areas of concern. It was also agreed that the Pensions Committee would continue to carry out an annual review of the high level and emerging risks identified from the Fund’s Risk Register.
The Committee noted that the Risk Register brought together all the Fund’s risks in a single document. It continued to be based on the 4 key areas of activity within the Fund: Governance, Funding, Administration and Investment. More recently, the impact of LGPS Asset Pooling and the nature of the risks that brought to the Fund had been incorporated across the various areas of activity.
The detailed Risk Register matched high level risks, under each of the 4 areas of activity, to the Fund’s high level objectives. Each of the detailed risks had been given an impact score and a likelihood score before any controls were applied. These had then been combined to give an overall pre-control risk score, which had been assigned a Red – Amber - Green (RAG) rating.
Controls that were currently in place to mitigate risks and additional sources of assurance were then considered to provide a post control impact and likelihood score. Again, these had been combined to give an overall post control risk score which had been assigned a RAG rating. All risks were given a review date, risk owner and any future actions to be taken were noted.
Officers reviewed the Risk Register every quarter, focusing in on the detail of one of the 4 areas, along with a review of any emerging risks. As part of their review, Members of the Local Pensions Board had attended the review meetings and taken an active role in the discussions.
The Committee considered a summary of the high-level risks associated with the objectives (Appendix 3 to the report), together with emerging risks (Appendix 4 to the report).
Mr Jenkinson indicated that the Pensions Board had carried out a regular detailed review of the identified risks and the process for maintaining the Risk Register, and they had concluded that:
· The Risk Register was a robust and comprehensive register of risks that the Pension Fund faced.
· The procedure for reviewing the Register was carried out regularly with each risk being evaluated and updated as required.
· The Officer Working Group that conduct these reviews had ownership of the individual risks and the whole Register and took their responsibility seriously.
· The Pension Board continued to recommend that the Register included a time-tracked element such that an Audit Trail could be established of the ways in which risks changed over time.
· The Board also considered that there was value in continuing to attend meetings of the Officer Working Group.
Mr Jenkinson added that the Pensions Board would be content to continue to carry out this, light-touch, scrutiny role if the Pensions Committee so wished.
RESOLVED – (a) That high-level summary and emerging risks from the current Staffordshire Pension Fund Risk Register, as presented in Appendices 3 and 4 to the report, be noted.
(b) That the content and recommendations of the Local Pensions Board‘s review of the Staffordshire Pension Fund Risk Register, Appendix 2 to the report, be noted and that the Local Pensions Board be requested to continue to play an active role in the ongoing review process.