Tag: risk control

The oil well and the damage done

BP counts the political and financial cost of Deepwater Horizon

A disaster as the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is not anymore the domain of a private company, an accident, but has been centered into the heart of the public domain, public governance and of public risk management. This story in The Economist share the common thoughts of what happened, what we feel today and shares some thoughts on what will come. It seems that we will enter a new era of public risk management.

The Economist:
““WHO cares, it’s done, end of story, will probably be fine.” Thus, in an e-mail, a manager at BP wrote of the decision to use only a few “centralisers” when cementing into place the pipe that ran from an oil reservoir 13,000 feet (4,000 metres) below the sea floor to Deepwater Horizon, the drilling rig floating 5,000 feet above it. The cement failed—considerably more likely with fewer centralisers, experts say—four days after the e-mail was sent, on April 20th. Oil and gas rushed up the well, dooming the rig and 11 of her crew. Two months on, after perhaps 3m barrels of oil have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, the story has still not ended and a lot of people, from those who dwell on the gulf coast to the chief executive of BP and the president of the United States, care very much indeed.” Read more >

An Unrealized Opportunity for Revenue, Risk Free

Source: ICMA (International City/County Management Association)
by Ron Blanquie

“It’s no wonder that risk management’s public role is often underused and misunderstood. Government entities have incorrectly concluded that risk management’s overall costs can only be tethered but not controlled or reduced.

Public entities in California today face an unprecedented challenge as they try to maintain the levels of public service that their citizens have come to expect. Given the current dismal global economic situation and its adverse trickle-down effect on local government, it’s a wonder that more California communities are not filing for bankruptcy.

Federal bailouts and proposed tax increases seem to be the only revenue-generating mechanisms left—or are they? Maybe an ever-present but unrealized opportunity for local governments exists—risk management!

Public entity risk management has historically been viewed as a necessary evil, an expense line item. Governments have viewed their risk management organization as a triad composed of society, the judicial system, and what the insurance industry has forced on them. This perception is further supported by inexplicable insurance premiums, arbitrary claim settlements, and frivolous lawsuits.” Read more >

European Risk Observatory

Considering the fact that many surveys and studies bring forward the vulnerability of the human factor in all kind of processes, and that risks seems to emerges as human mistakes, it is good to know the background and environment of human behaviour at work.

We think that the Risk Observatory of the
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work is systematically focussing on those risks. More and more people face psychosocial risks at work.

By the end of the fifties, early sixties two comletely different ‘sciences’ met. Architecture and psychology discovered each others worlds and fundaments, to find news answers on social cohesion, human perception and city architecture. The new science was social psychology. We think, like Le Corbusier already build in into his appraoch, that the human factor should be in the middle of our architecture and processes. So also in risk management and governance. Psychology meets management.

This Risk Observatory, with the clear tagline ‘Anticipating change’, we recommend to our members.

G20-agenda: risk management

On the 14th of March, next week, the G20 countries are meeting in London to prepare for the global economic summit next month. What will be on the agenda? Financial regulators as tax, funds and bonusses. Of course. But the real focus will be on prevention and avoiding disasters. for the future.

Quite an ambition. It seems to be a first but firm reaction: “The G-20 now has a crucial role in driving forward work between advanced and emerging economies to tackle the international financial and economic crisis, restore worldwide financial stability, lead the international economic recovery and secure a sustainable future for all countries.”

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The Art of Risk Management

Amsterdam is midway through the construction project of the north-south metro line (photo © ANP). The 8-year project began in 2002 and is costing €1.7billion, double the figure projected in 1996! But there are hugh problems realizing it. Where the risks underestimated? The contracts not well designed? Council and alderman amateurs? The managers, planners and civil engineers inadequate or not in control ? Or was it the attitude of central government?

Former Minister Veerman will lead the commission which will investigate the course of this project, with one mission: to audit the quality of risk management. Finally! Recognition of risk management as a true profession and a crucial factor for proper project management and good public governance. Is risk management perhaps an art in reaching goals and targets within budget and on time?

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