ARAC (03-20) Paper 6 – Corporate Risks
ARAC (03-20) Paper 6 Annex A – Corporate Risk Summary Report
ARAC (03-20) Paper 6 Annex B - Corporate Risks Plotted
6.1 Dave Tosh presented this item and described the efforts that had gone into the ongoing mitigation of the Commission’s corporate risks. Whilst this had not resulted in any movement in the risk ratings, the Annex showing the risks plotted on a matrix demonstrated the direction of travel based on the controls in place. The Committee welcomed the detailed updates provided in the documentation and asked for further details on some of the controls and further mitigating action.
6.2 In response to specific questions around video conferencing, Manon and Dave described the pros and cons of using Zoom and Microsoft Teams and outlined how assessments were made to balance security and data protection considerations with requirements of official languages legislation, which they did on a case by case basis. Based on a risk assessment, the decision had been made to use Zoom, which facilitated simultaneous translation, for public meetings where privacy and security were less of an issue (as they were broadcast) and to use Microsoft Teams for private and internal meetings as this was more secure. Unfortunately, Microsoft were not able to offer a solution on the provision of simultaneous translation. Manon advised that the Welsh Language Commissioner was supportive of the Senedd’s use of Zoom and had cited the Senedd as adopting best practice.
6.3 The Commission assured the Committee that they would be keeping abreast of developments in existing video conferencing applications to accommodate simultaneous translation functionality and would continue to explore alternatives.
6.4 In relation to risks around Senedd reform, the Committee discussed issues around the timing of raising awareness of votes at 16 in collaboration with the Welsh Government and the Electoral Commission.
6.5 Aled expressed concern that, as stated in the report, groups consisting of officials from relevant organisations dealing with electoral changes (including the Senedd Commission, Welsh Government and the Electoral Commission) had not met since last year and asked how this was being addressed. Arwyn confirmed that informal arrangements were in place to take the work on electoral changes forward and these were working well in practice. [A meeting of one of these group was expected later in the summer].
6.6 There was also a discussion around the impact of any delays to the Electoral Commission Financing and Accountability measures (around the Electoral Commission becoming accountable to the Senedd) on preparations for, and promotion of the 2021 elections. Manon advised that a resolution to this was imminent and interim arrangements were in place. The Chair asked for an update on this at the next meeting.
6.7 In response to questions relating to risks around Brexit and UK constitutional change, particularly if no deal had been agreed, the Chair referred Committee members to the material produced by the Commission’s Research Service which included regular blogs around Brexit and the impact on the Senedd.
6.8 Committee members expressed recognition and praise for the ways in which the Commission had managed its most significant risks and kept on top of documenting them, especially given the difficult circumstances. This included specific praise for the ways in which ICT had mitigated the additional cyber security risks around working remotely.
(6.4) Manon and Siwan to update ARAC at the July meeting on the implementation of aspects of Senedd reform, specifically around the Electoral Commission.