The Autumn Statement and public sector risk: Difficult decisions

Written by Paul Dudley, director, Alarm

It is clear from the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2016 that there will continue to be pressure on public sector budgets. This was recognised in the Local Government Association’s response to the Autumn Statement which said that: “Many councils are faced with difficult decisions about which services are scaled back or stopped altogether.” These are challenging and uncertain times for the public sector.

Responding to these continuing financial pressures, local government and the wider public sector are using new and innovative service delivery models as one of the ways to maintain the quality of services while making best use of its resources.

With change comes opportunity as well as risk. In times of uncertainty, those organisations with effective risk management are those that are most likely to come out of that period of uncertainty stronger and more resilient.

In recognition of these changes and the challenges, Alarm has recently published a guide called 'New ventures, new risks' which explores recent history and the current context of the various methods and models developed to continue delivering public services to its users. It relies on recent published research to explain the major drivers for changing service delivery. It also discusses the unstoppable forces that are leading the public sector to look for more efficient and effective service delivery models. There are specific sections on business risks including governance as well as insurance considerations which need to be taken into account.

The use and effectiveness of new public service delivery models will be further explored at Alarm’s National Conference which takes place on 25-27 June at the University of Manchester.

Emerging opportunities for improvement, transformation and savings, along with income generation, are changing the public service landscape. This is creating additional challenges for public service risk managers and requiring new skills, a demand that Alarm continues to respond to.

The full conference programme for Alarm's National Conference will be available in January. Meantime, register your interest by emailing

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