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Risk management played a key part for single tier local authorities in their preparation for comprehensive performa...
Risk management played a key part for single tier local authorities in their preparation for comprehensive performance assessments last year, according to 61% of respondents to a new survey.

It also found that of the authorities graded 'excellent' in the CPA, as many as 82% agreed on the practical importance of risk management.

CPA, a government initiative, is designed to help councils deliver better services for local people and helps them to identify the actions they need to take to deliver this improvement.

The survey, which was sent to all local authority chief executives, directors of finance and risk managers in England, was conducted by Zurich Municipal Management Services.

It also revealed that at present 61% of district councils are confident that their authority's corporate governance arrangements will meet the standards expected by the CPA inspectors. However, 24% have stated that they 'did not know' and 14% are not confident.

The results of the survey also showed that the authorities not graded as 'excellent' are looking to risk management for help in the future. More than 84% of such authorities will be reviewing and updating their approach to risk management in preparation for the next CPA assessments.

Response to the survey reiterated the important role that risk management plays in the CPA assessment process and showed that authorities with sound risk management and corporate governance arrangements already in place are more likely to be rated 'excellent'.

Sarah Richards, a senior partner at the Zurich Municipal management services, said: 'Risk management is really about identifying and dealing with problems and challenges in the path of business objectives and improved services.

'However, few organisations deal with risks effectively, which means they will may never reach their goals or meet the strict criteria set out in CPAs. The survey clearly demonstrated that it is beneficial for authorities to implement risk management st rategies.'

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