LONGPARISH PARISH COUNCIL

RISK ASSESSMENT

FINANCIAL AND MANAGEMENT

Subject

 

Risks Identified

H/M/L

Management control of risks

Review/Assess/Revise

Councillors

Losing Councillor

membership or having

less than 3 Councillors

at any one time.

L

When a vacancy arises there is a legal process to follow. This either leads to a bye-election or a co-option process. An election is out of the Parish Council’s control. The co-option process begins with an advert, acceptance of applications, consideration of applicants and co-option vote at a Council meeting then appointment.

If there are fewer than 3 Councillors at any one time on the Council it becomes inquorate. The legal process of Test Valley Borough Council appointing members takes place.

Existing procedures

adequate.

Business

continuity

Risk of Council not

being able to continue

its business due to an

unexpected or tragic

circumstance.

L

Almost all working files are held electronically and shared between Members.  Key records such as Minutes and Annual Accounts are published on the village website.

Existing procedures

adequate.

Precept

Adequacy of precept

Requirements not

submitted to TVBC in

time

Amount not received by

TVBC.

L

L

L

To determine the precept amount required, the Parish Council regularly receives budget update information and the precept is an agenda item at full Council. At the Budget/Precept meeting Council receives a budget update report, including actual position and projected position to end the year and indicative figures or costings obtained by the Clerk. With this information the Council maps out the required monies for standing costs and projects for the following year and applies specific figures to budget headings, the total of which is resolved to be the precept amount to be requested from Test Valley Borough Council. This figure is submitted by the Clerk in writing to TVBC.

Precept should be considered by Council before the deadline - deadline should be ascertained from TVBC asap.

The Clerk informs Council when the monies are received (usually April and September).

Existing procedure adequate

Financial records

Inadequate records

Financial irregularities

L

L

The Council has Financial Regulations which set out the requirements

Existing procedure adequate.

Review of Financial

Regulations Annually.

Bank and banking

Inadequate checks

Bank mistakes

Loss

Charges

Loss of signatories

L

L

L

L

L

The Council has Financial Regulations which set out the requirements for banking, cheques and reconciliation of accounts.

Should the Bank make processing errors, these should be discovered when the Clerk reconciles the bank accounts once a month when the statement arrives.  These are dealt with immediately by informing the bank and awaiting their correction. Monitor the bank statements monthly.

Council would choose replacements but the Bank takes time to implement changes.

Existing procedures adequate.

Cash / Loss

Loss through theft or

dishonesty

L

The Council has Financial Regulations which set out the requirements.

Cash/cheques received are banked within 3 banking days. There is no petty cash or float.

This is audited by the Internal Auditor annually.

Existing procedure adequate.

Litigation

Potential risk of legal

action being taken

against the Council

M

Public liability insurance is included in the Council’s insurance provision, and advice from insurance brokers about possible threats is regularly reviewed.

Insurance is adequate for

requirements but there is still

risk of other claims.

Reporting

and auditing

Information

communication

Compliance

L

M

A monitoring statement is produced regularly and presented to Council, discussed and

approved at the meeting. This statement includes, bank reconciliation, budget update, and a

breakdown of receipts and payments balanced against the bank.

Council should regularly audit internally to comply with the Fidelity Guarantee

Existing procedure adequate.

Financial Risk

Maintaining proper control of Public funds.

L

L

The Council has Financial Regulations which set out the requirements.

All major expenditure has to be agreed by the whole Council and a comprehensive budget is prepared annually and monitored monthly.  Delegated financial powers are defined in the Standing Orders and strictly adhered to.  Expenditure id reviewed monthly as part of the financial report to the Council, and the Council’s target is to maintain a general reserve that is equal to at least a year’s routine expenditure.

Existing procedure adequate

Grants and

support -

payable

Power to pay

Authorisation of Council

to pay

L

All such expenditure goes through the required Council process of approval, minuted and

listed accordingly if a payment is made using the S137 power of expenditure.

Existing procedure adequate. Parish Councillors request

S137 rules if required.

Grants -

receivable

Receipts of Grant

L

The Parish Council does not presently receive any regular grants. One-off grants would

come with terms and conditions to be satisfied.

Procedure would need to be

formed, if required

Best value

Accountability

Work awarded

incorrectly

Overspend on services

L

M

Normal Parish Council practice would be to seek, if possible, more than one quotation for any substantial work required to be undertaken or goods. For major contract services, formal competitive tenders would be sought. If a problem is encountered with a contract, the Clerk would investigate the situation, check the quotation/tender, research the problem and report to Council. This is covered in the Financial Regulations.

Existing procedure adequate.

Include when reviewing

Financial Regulations

Annually.

Employees

Fraud by Clerk

Actions undertaken by Clerk.

Health and Safety

L

L

The requirements of the Fidelity Guarantee insurance to be adhered to with regards to Fraud.

The Clerk should be provided with relevant training, reference books, access to assistance and legal advice required to undertake the role.

Existing procedure adequate.

Purchase revised books.

Monitor working conditions,

safety requirements and

insurance regularly.

VAT

Re-claiming/charging

L

The Council has Financial Regulations which set out the requirements. VAT is claimed at least annually.

Existing procedure adequate

Audit -

Internal

Audit

Completion within time

limits

L

Internal auditor is appointed by the Council. Internal auditor is supplied with the relevant

documents to audit and the form to complete and sign for the External Auditor. Procedures

are all covered in the ‘Review of Effectiveness of the system of Internal Audit’ which is

reviewed annually.

Existing procedure adequate

Annual

Return

Completion/Submission

within time limits

L

A signed copy of the Annual Return approved by the Council is submitted to the internal auditor for completion and signing then checked and sent on to the External Auditor within the time limit.

Existing procedure adequate

Legal

powers

Illegal activity or

payments

L

All activity and payments, as prescribed by the Financial Regulations, within the powers of the Parish Council have to be resolved and minuted at Full Parish Council Meetings, including a reference to the power used.

Existing procedure adequate.

Minutes/

Agendas/

Notices

Statutory

documents

Accuracy and legality

Business conduct

L

L

Minutes and agenda are produced in the prescribed method by the Clerk and adhere to the

legal requirements and best practice guidelines.

Minutes are approved and signed at the following Council meeting.

Minutes and agenda are displayed according to the legal requirements.

Business conducted at Council meetings should be managed by the Chair.

Existing procedure adequate.

Members to adhere to Code

of Conduct

Members

interests

Conflict of interest

Register of Members

interests

L

M

Although not a requirement, the declaring of interests by members at a meeting should be an obvious process to remind Councillors of their duty and should remain on the agenda.

Register of Members Interest forms should be reviewed regularly by Councillors.

Existing procedure adequate.

Members take responsibility

to update their Register, prompted by the Clerk.

Insurance

.

Adequacy

Cost

Compliance

Fidelity Guarantee

L

L

L

M

An annual review is undertaken (before the time of the policy renewal) of all insurance

arrangements in place. Employers and Employee liability insurance is a necessity and must

be paid for. Ensure compliance measures are in place. Ensure Fidelity checks are in place.

Existing procedure adequate.

Review insurance provision

annually.

Review of compliance

Freedom of

Information

Act

Policy

Provision

L

M

The Council has a model publication scheme for Local Councils in place. The Clerk is aware that if a substantial request arrives then this may require many hours of additional work. The Council is able to request a fee.

Monitor and report any

impacts of requests made

under the F of I Act.

Assets

Loss or Damage

Risk/damage to third

party(ies)/property

L

L

A full asset register is maintained and checked against the level of insurance cover annually.

Asset register to be updated

Annually

Maintenance

Poor performance of

assets or amenities

Risk to third parties

L

L

All assets owned by the Parish Council are regularly reviewed and maintained. All repairs

and relevant expenditure for these repairs are actioned/authorised in accordance with the

correct procedures of the Parish Council. All assets are insured and reviewed annually.

All public amenity land is inspected regularly by parish employees .

Existing procedure adequate.

Ensure inspections carried

Out.

Notice boards

Risk/damage/injury to

third parties

Road side safety

L

L

The Parish Council has two notice boards sited around the village. All locations have approval by relevant parties, insurance cover, inspected regularly by the Clerk - any repairs/maintenance requirements brought to the attention of the Parish Council.

Existing procedure adequate

Street

furniture

Risk/damage/injury to

third parties

L

The Parish Council is responsible for two bus shelters which are covered by insurance. These are inspected annually by the clerk -  all reports of damage or faults are reported to Council and/or dealt with.

Existing procedure adequate.

Health & safety

Risk/damage/injury to

third parties

M

The main potential danger is at the children’s playground and skate ramp, which are subjected to an annual safety inspection.  They are also examined by a volunteer on an informal basis weekly.  Risks are assessed, and advice sought where necessary, for other activities such as Clean-Up days, and suitable briefings conducted and warning signs and high-visibility vests are utilised.  Potentially dangerous machinery, such as brush-cutters, is not permitted to be used without prior training.

Existing procedure adequate.

Meeting location

Adequacy

Health & Safety

L

M

Parish Council Meetings are held at the Village Hall. The premises and the facilities are considered to be adequate for the Clerk, Councillors and Public who attend from Health & Safety and comfort aspects.

Existing location adequate.

Council

records -

paper

Loss through:

theft

fire

damage

L

The Parish Council records are stored in 3 locations – historical records are with Hampshire County Council, documents are stored in a locked filing cabinet (Clerk holds the key) in a storage cupboard at the Village Hall, and current records are at the Clerk’s home office.

Damage (apart from fire) and

theft is unlikely and so

provision adequate

Council

records -

electronic

Loss through:

Theft, fire, damage

corruption of computer

L

M

The Parish Council’s electronic records are stored on the Clerk’s computer.

Back-ups of the files are taken at regular intervals.

Back up of electronic files stored.

Reviewed at meeting held on 11 May 2020

Signed by: .............................................................................................