Thursday, 17 March 2011

Barnet Corporate Risk Register - a sea of red!

Looking through the papers for the forthcoming Barnet Council Audit Committee I was surprised when reading the Corporate Risk Register at just how many items were marked as high risk. Of the 13 items 11 have a high impact and 10 have both a high impact and either a medium or high probability of occurring as well. My attention was drawn to the new revenue and benefits system which will not be in place to collect taxes and administer benefits. It notes that the current supplier of Revenue & Benefits IT has been taken over by a third party and they are now "desupporting" the existing system and forcing all current users to source new systems. Dear oh dear. The problem may be resolved by now as the risk register was dated 31 January 2011 but it shows that when you depend on third parties they can let you down.

I am genuinely worried that the risks attached to the One Barnet Programme are being consistently underestimated and that hope is outweighing common sense. The One Barnet programme represents one of the largest risks to the borough yet there is virtually no transparency on the One Barnet risk register. Every single citizen of the borough will suffer the consequences of this programme if it goes wrong - surely we have the right to at least look at the One Barnet risk register and see what fate awaits us.


  1. I wondered what was up with their system. I phoned them a couple of weeks ago because my kid turned 18 but is still in full-time education, so I was not sure whether I lost my single adult reduction. I was told to get confirmation from the college but there was nothing they could do because the system was down. I assumed it was just that day..

  2. Now we know Mr Reasonable. A rushed and botched implementation of another system has occurred with some people getting bills they cannot pay without the barcode and others getting billed twice e.g husband and wife both billed 100%. If they don't talk much it could be expensive !

  3. To be fair Mr Mustard it may not all be staff's fault. What is does highlight however is that the private sector sometimes does things that are unexpected - like they get taken over and with that comes a change of priorities. In Barnet Council's case the new company decided they weren't going to support the IT system any more. What it illustrates for the One Barnet Programme is that events are not predictable and if you put all your eggs into one basket, you can suddenly find yourself in a complete mess. I just wish the council would recognise that the private sector doesn't always have the right answer and that gambling £270 million on one private sector partner may not be in the best interests of the residents.