This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The risk register is published! (Lincolnshire Police and G4S partnership)

I have just received a copy of the Lincolnshire Police / G4S risk register. I have uploaded a copy of it here so that it is accessible for all to see. This includes, of course, the Lincolnshire public who, ultimately, are the ones at risk.

It makes very interesting reading and I have not fully woven together all of my thoughts. I thought it best to get it up and out as soon as possible rather than do a full analysis on my own first. Moreover, the analysis can now be crowdsourced. I don’t have any unique inside knowledge or specialist project/programme skills (although I am a registered programme management practitioner - Managing Successful Programmes). There are many others out there who may wish to share thoughts on this document, especially those who are working inside the police service. Please feel free. (And if you want to be an anonymous source, you can email me)

My initial thoughts are:

Risk 1 (Failure of strategic partnership with G4S)
– the estimate of failure is given high impact but very low probability of it happening. Really? Was this drawn up before or after the Olympics? (I do not have that information embedded in the file.) The control seems only to be about monitoring performance. Where are the mitigating actions to prevent such an occurrence? Or is the likelihood of this happening deemed to be so low, they are not really bothering until something really hits the fan?

Risk 2 (Lack of resources and skills to manage a contract this large) – good call on this being a significant risk. This is a very big risk. So how does Lincolnshire plan on managing this? With "some legacy support” and “consultancy support”. So have I got this correct? The biggest risk in this outsourcing contract (it is a 3 X 4 = 12) is being mitigated by… outsourcing it to another (?) consultancy? That is comforting…

Risk 3 (Failure to consider the impact of outsourcing on retained services and our current pool of volunteers) – now this is interesting. So the risk is merely a failure to consider. Not a failure to optimise, or integrate, or even handle. Just that the risk is a failure to consider. That is easy then: I have considered the impact and decided it is big. But now I can move on! However, perhaps the author meant more than that though since the consequences are “failure to link changes and services into cohesive processes across in scope and out of scope services. Impact on those volunteers availability to continue in their function, or on those staff that manage volunteers”. In other words they are worrying (as I did below, and I promise I did not have this document before today) that by working with a profit making organisation volunteers may think twice about carrying on volunteering. Wow. That is big. Really big. And their control on this is to “Ensure that force volunteer practises and ambitions are communicated and considered by any potential partner. Partner due diligence to improve understanding of in scope and retained services. Client side and implementation team structure to be developed with consideration to transition impact on retained services.” Have you got that? Easy to understand. No real problem then…

Now I could go with the other risks but I promised I would not. But what do you think of risks 4 to 13? Have risks 14 to 99 been overlooked? If so, what would you have put on the list?

And now how confident are you that this contract (the biggest one of its kind in the police service as far as I am aware) has adequate risk management procedures & actions in place such that there could never be any reduction in the safety of communities in Lincolnshire? Are you more or less confident now that you have seen the risk register?

Perhaps you would like to give it a measure: is it a 1 X 1 or a 4 X 4 level of risk? (or somewhere in between?)

PS: As many people will know, I have been beavering way to get a copy of the risk register since April and I took the whole matter to the Information Commissioner who ruled in my favour. If you want to 'reward' me for my efforts, I am currently growing a 'Mo' for 'Movember' to raise money for research into prostate cancer. Please donate, whatever you can! Just click the link below 

Result after just five days - think what will be possible after 30!

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