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Considering the Governance Risks

Posted By IRMSAInsight, 15 June 2015
IRMSA Breakfast
15 June 2015 



Considering the Governance Risks


The recent press focussing on the bribery scandal faced by FIFA has highlighted the importance of governance and oversight in organisations and the curt response from the previous president of FIFA that he could not have been aware about everything going on within the organisation highlights the critical nature of risks associated with inadequate or ineffective governance.

Governance starts with the tone at the top, supported by an uncompromising code of ethics, but there are also critical governance risks that need to be considered to ensure that oversight across the organisation is effective. Organisations risk driving a compliance culture rather than ensuring the right level of oversight, within a well-defined and understood framework, that supports agile decision making and appropriate levels of governance at the right level and time.


Taking this into consideration, risk managers need to carefully consider the risks associated with organisational governance:

  • How robust and mature are the corporate and operational governance structures across all levels of the organisation and are any components of the business exempt from compliance with governance standards?

  • Does governance go beyond committees and compliance, to address the organisations operating model, policy setting and oversight as well as the key elements of risk and control?

  • Do decision makers have clearly defined levels of accountability, with the appropriate business intelligence to make informed decisions and are decisions tracked to ensure they are effectively executed?

  • Beyond accountability, is it clear who will be responsible and which parties should be consulted and informed? Is the board supported across all lines of defence?



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Kudakwashe J. Svosve says...
Posted 17 June 2015
What I have noticed in the organisation I work in as well as comparing government for example. Bottom-Up communication tends to be a lot more frequent that top-down communication. There is a skew towards top level management sharing what they deem "necessary" information to lower level employees. Most lower level employee upward communication is generally more formal day to day duties communication due to a lack of a vast amount of information. This structure makes is difficult for companies in general to have more robust structures when it comes to operational governance. In my opinion there needs to be a better and a more transparent flow of information within organisations. Employees can be grouped into different skill bands where management can tailor the type of communication received within these bands, but in essence providing employees an equal access to information and procedures.
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