Council Says Getting Quality Staff Is Biggest Risk
That’s what councillors will be told at next week’s Finance, Audit and Scrutiny Committee.
The dangers facing the authority have been highlighted in a new ‘risk register’ produced following criticism from independent auditors that the authority didn’t have in place a robust process to identify these.
The risks have been scored based on their potential impact and how likely they are to occur.
Not being able to get the right staff scored the maximum value.
To back that up, the report says the Council has struggled to find two full time accountants, carers for Park House and a manager for the ‘Smart Islands’ project.
That’s the Town Hall’s vision for an island-wide initiative using software and Wi-Fi to manage demand on the electrical supply and potentially save power and money.
The Council report claims that the work environment, including the quality of the buildings and offices, lower salaries than the mainland and problems finding housing mean it’s hard to keep staff here.
But officers say a planned investment in training roles and increasing the number of ring-fenced homes for critical Council staff will significantly help the situation.
Changes to legislation such as water and sewage, as well as the on going devolution process in Cornwall have also been identified as upcoming threats.
Councillors ‘over promising’ on the services that can be delivered if government funding is cut and a “collapse” in the Council’s computer systems, leading to loss of key data are also on the list.
The Authority also believes there’s a high likelihood that they could face litigation in the future, and that poor record keeping could make it difficult to defend their case.
They’re planning to improve their data handling and say that having a dedicated legal officer in place, as well as a new whistleblowing policy, will help to reduce the risk of that happening.