CHAPTER 17 - FUNCTIONS OF RISK CHAMPIONS
28. Functions of the Risk Champion
(1) The Risk Champion is a person with the skills, knowledge, leadership qualities and power of office required to champion a particular aspect of risk management.
(2) A key part of the Risk Champion's responsibility should involve intervening in instances where the risk management efforts are being hampered, for example, by the lack of co-operation by Management and other officials and the lack of institutional skills and expertise.
(3) The Risk Champion should also add value to the risk management process by providing guidance and support to manage "problematic" risks and risks of a transversal nature that require a multiple participant approach.
(4) In order to fulfil his/her function, the Risk Champion should possess:
a) a good understanding of risk management concepts, principles and processes;
b) good analytical skills;
c) expert power;
d) leadership and motivational qualities, and
e) good communication skills.
(5) The Risk Champion should not assume the role of the Risk Owner but should assist the Risk Owner to resolve problems.
(6) Some of the roles and responsibilities of the Risk Champion may also include:
a) Advocating the culture of change and adopting risk management as a professional discipline to be adopted in every day management of activities and to strategically influence the current way of doing things which is compliance driven;
b) Educating the stakeholders of the importance of managing risk in dealing with public funds, the responsibility that goes beyond meeting the requirements of meeting the requirements of financial management prescripts but most importantly impacting positively service delivery;
c) Communicating the right message and driving this message to influence behaviour and discipline in getting the basics right. This extends further to ensuring the use of a common risk management language and consistent messages in all communications, and
d) Informing the users and stakeholders of current demands, need to improve, what to improve and how to improve to leave the legacy that goes beyond compliance but continuous improvement of accountability and service delivery.
(7) A key part of the Risk Champion’s responsibility should involve intervening in and escalating instances where the risk management efforts are being hampered, for example, by the lack of co-operation by Management and other officials and the lack of institutional skills and expertise.