Risk Corner – Relating risk to governance
Risk Management is an important component of public sector governance. Government commits significant resources to improve services and infrastructure for the community.
Increasing demands on these services call for sound governance processes, which enable the Government to minimize risks to their delivery and optimize available resources. Risk Management helps to reduce the chances of accident in the first place to enhance optimal use of scarce resource in other more important areas.
Against this background, I would like to recommend the following. First and foremost the Government of Sierra Leone should develop a Risk Management Framework that will provide for a minimum risk management standard across public sector entities.
The benefit of such a framework is that it brings together information on governance policies, accountabilities, roles and responsibilities for all those involved in risk management. It will also provide a central resource to facilitate identification of a wide range of risk management information sources.
Government (s) first obligation is to protect its citizens. A discipline like risk management which contributes towards the protection of the nation should be given support by government.
Government should create the enabling legislation with emphasis on risk avoidance or reduction, for example providing efficient fire fighting force. The compulsory use of fire extinguisher and detectors. Setting up minimum standards for working environment.
Effective legislation on the protection of the environment, intruder alarms in government offices. In view of the importance of risk management as a vehicle for the prevention of loses and the protection of national asset, individual families, commercial concern and government most support all risk management measures as a matter of National Cooperate Policy. Government should wake up to the risk posed by society because replenishing assets, its consequential loss and can be costly and time consuming.
The Insurance Industries
Insurance and risk management complement each other, the insurer and risk management must work together. Effective risk management will limit the potential loses and reduce claims paid by insurers. This in turn will reduce premium and reduce economic waste to the nation.
Insurers can also help awareness by the introduction appropriate code and policy condition on fire, workers health, safety laws, driving regulation and loss control measures. Insurers can join forces with risk managers in organizing risk management awareness programmes.
A Risk Management consciousness will reduce or eliminate losses and consequently save the organisation assets enabling them to produce more profit and should therefore treat risk management with seriousness. i.e., Office of National Security (ONS), Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s), Sierra Leone Police, the National Fire Force, and others.
Other Civil Societies groups
Like Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, Motor Drivers Union, Sierra Labour Congress, Professional Groups like Architect, Engineers, Medical and Dental Association, Bar Association, can effectively mobilize their membership to play effective role in the promotion of loss prevention of loss prevention measures through their daily vocation. Drivers Association needs commendation for the role they are already playing in this regard, we urge them to do more.
In conclusion let me hasten to say, Government as a concept is in itself an intangible entity that is personified by us, the totality of citizenry. This is to say that Government is not a matter of “we” or “them” but a totality of all. That is “we” and “them”, in order to make any advancement both the “we” and “them” have to come together as one and move in the same direction. The “we” can no wanting and doing something else. That is a recipe for chaos and backwardness. Thus, there have to be constant group exchanges-public, private, and partnership. This indicates that risk management is indeed a shared responsibility.
We are looking forward for Government to enact the enabling legislation with emphasis on risk avoidance. Or reduction example providing an efficient fire fighting force compulsory use of fire extinguishers and detectors, burglary and intruder alarms in government offices, setup minimum standards for working environment and effective legislation on the protection of the environment.
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