HomeCase StudiesBlacktown City Council brings ERM to Charting a Course for the City for the Longer Term
From the time the Shire of Blacktown was proclaimed a Municipality in 1961, then sitting on the fringe of Sydney’s population mass, Blacktown City Council (BCC) is now located in the geographical center of Sydney’s environ.
Such has been the demand for housing in Sydney’s Western Suburbs that BCC is in the top 10 largest Councils by population in Australia. BCC is planning for a population target of 500,000 by about 2030 from a current count of about 350,000.
Our CEO is driving ERM and has asked the Audit and Risk Department to institute a best of breed ERM that is contextualised to BCC to ensure the best outcomes having regards to Safety & Environment, Community and Government expectations and achieving BCC Strategic Plans.
Blacktown City Council is a year ahead; incorporating enhancements to the Risk Process and Risk Matrix at the start of Implementation saved us from finding this out too late.
KnowRisk has handsomely replicated the BCC ERM Framework. Significantly, the need for having a flexible system that can be adapted to suit your needs cannot be overstated, else you become exposed to problems if the system dictates how you can implement.
BCC is confident KnowRisk delivers a truly integrated ERM solution and that we will achieve very good value from the system.
CorProfit are proving to have good knowledge of ERM and how to implement in beneficial ways. They challenge the ERM Team to think about concepts that add value, and we in turn challenge CorProfit and find that they can address our concerns in the system.
The New South Wales Government has mandated that BCC (as with other Local Councils) develops and manages a Community Strategic Plan to ensure the delivery of innovative “smart city” projects that improve the liveability, productivity and sustainability of the amenities that the constituents and public have.
With the Government Smart City Initiative, BCC has planned 8 Major Transformational Projects, some of which are at a scale that Council has not done in the past thus exposing us to new risks that need to be managed and ensure that Council’s reputation risk is well managed.
The ERM Team revisited an ERM Framework that had served us from 2016 and resolved to make enhancements that adequately reflected the commitment to using ERM to drive better outcomes.
A key success of bringing executive management and staff to adopting the ERM Framework is finding a balance between the level of involvement they need to give and the centralized support from the ERM Team.
The ERM Team has already factored in the Change Management that is inherent in taking ERM through the Council’s operations. The stakeholder relations has paid dividends in showing the benefits against the efforts and that ERM brings techniques to make better decisions with.
Outcomes and benefits expected from ERM:
proactive rather than reactive
integrated into work practices across the whole of Council
applied by all staff in functions and activities of Council
utilised to improve compliance with legal and regulatory obligations.
The ERM Team had some new members appointed, we could see that ERM had been developing over some time in BCC and was well structured. We thought that just the collective skills of the ERM practitioners would sustain the next stage of ERM.
BCC has been using KnowRisk since 2009 under various areas, championed by both Risk and Audit Departments separately. Under the new ERM strategy, BCC vision is to have Risk, Audit, Compliance, Project Risks and Insurance being aligned and integrated.
Naturally we called CorProfit in, as they support the KnowRisk system.
Our attitude was that having a risk system sitting on the shelf, costing maintenance fees was a no-go. So, we challenged CorProfit that having an integrated ERM solution was the direction BCC was heading. Though Corporate Risks was the first cab off the rank, CorProfit needed to prove that KnowRisk had the capabilities of working well for a number of Risk Programs.
CorProfit related examples of current assignments that showed that they were already having success with bringing several Risk programs under an ERM (ISO31000 – based) umbrella.
But what surprised us was that CorProfit led us to the methodology (the Framework) rather than the technology (KnowRisk), which in turn needed a competent ERM function before the implementation proceeded.
We gave CorProfit the opportunity to give their feedback on the Framework which resulted in the justification to change the approach to Risk Treatment, having a Consequence Matrix and rounding out the Risk Process to be complete for the next stage of Implementation.
The ERM Team also liked the standard reports out of KnowRisk. This gave us a good feeling for the range of risk data already held in the database. But what CorProfit pointed out was that the standard reports were standalone; they proposed a Quarterly Executive Report that is assembled from bringing the data from KnowRisk into setting it in a Word Template.
The Quarterly Executive Report explains the results of applying Risk Management and gives Management information to make informed decisions on, a bridge to having ERM support BCC corporate objectives and strategies.
The ERM Team was by now comfortable with having CorProfit participate in the BCC ERM journey and could see the importance of having someone with credible ERM Implementation experience contribute.