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Managing in a changeable operating environment

Managing in a Changeable Operating Environment

Risk Management

The Ministry’s risk management framework brings together strategic policies and operational procedures and practices to ensure that controls are implemented to prevent or mitigate the impact of identified risks. The risk management framework is overseen by the Ministry’s Strategic Leadership Group and includes business continuity planning. The key components and activities of the Ministry’s risk management framework are:


Framework components

Key activities

Key influences

Policies and practices – guiding the use of risk management

Communication and training

Assessing risk tolerance


Ministry’s strategy

Risk identification and assessment– developing a Ministry risk profile and management plan

Event identification

Identify risk tolerance

Risk profiling and management planning

Statutory compliance assessment

Risk impact, probability of occurrence and imminence

Risk tolerance

Service performance standards

Risk management– applying common systematic risk management policies and practices

Control activities

Monitoring and reporting

Response management

Risk register management

Ministry internal controls and project plans

Public Finance Act, State Sector Act; Audit feedback; Treasury and SSC guidance

Business continuity plan

Review and learning– risk management framework is fit for purpose; the Ministry has the required risk management capability; we learn from experience

Review standards and best-practice foundation

Sharing experiences

Update of Ministry’s risk management framework

Fit for purpose

Australian / New Zealand standard AS/NZ 4360:1999 Risk Management as updated by AS/NZ 4360:2004


The Ministry’s approach to applying this framework involves identifying and, where possible, monitoring and managing the conditions that give rise to particular risks. The Ministry then applies risk monitoring and/or management activities on the basis of the risk profile. This approach allows the Ministry to focus its attention on the most consequential risks and as far as possible limit the conditions that would cause a risk to affect performance. Different risks and risk conditions will require customised approaches to identification and management.

Managing risks to achieving outcomes

The Ministry’s risk management framework is applied to five areas in which the Ministry is exposed to potential risks to the achievement of outcomes:

  • Developing policy advice
  • Managing heritage property
  • Administering government funds
  • Production and delivery of cultural information and experiences
  • Managing the Ministry.

For each area the source of the risk may be external, internal or both; and the risk may impact upon the Ministry’s strategy, capability, performance or business continuity.

In general, external risks that might affect the achievement of the Ministry’s and government’s outcomes are related to either the operating environment or strategic issues. Internal risks that could affect progress towards outcomes are either performance- or capability-related. Performance risks generally relate to the key initiatives or services supporting each outcome. Capability risks are largely being addressed by pursuing objectives outlined in the Organisational Health and Capability section of this document. The Ministry has assessed that the performance and capability-related risks of greatest consequence are:



Type and outcome

Risk management

Failure to maintain the quality of policy advice, monitoring and other services to Ministers

Capability risk – all outcomes

Continued development of the Ministry’s strategic policy capability and use of peer review

Loss of reputation for reliability and accuracy of Ministry-developed digital resources

Performance risk – Outcome One


Use of recognised external experts, internal checking and peer review in developing digital resources

Performance failure at a funded agency

Performance risk – Outcome Two


Development and delivery of best-practice guidance for agency boards

Early identification of funded-agency risks and management of these through agency reviews, the development of annual Memorandums of Understanding, and/or monitoring plans

Failure to understand or meet the requirements of users of Ministry resources

Performance risk – all outcomes

Increase engagement with users of the Ministry’s digital resources through its websites

Failure to maintain and develop effective networks and robust processes for consultation with stakeholders

Strategy – all outcomes

Continued enhancement of the flow of information to and from stakeholders

Major technology failure

Business continuity – all of Ministry

Development of appropriate common processes and platforms for the management and development of digital resources

Continued implementation of focused project and risk management

Over the next five years the Ministry will continue actively monitoring the environment in which we work in order to detect developing risks as early as possible and to anticipate influences that may inform our strategy. In 2008/09, particular emphasis will be given to implementing initiatives for improving the management of both strategic and operational risk

Updated on 23rd July 2015