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Managing Risk and Performance: A Guide for Government Decision Makers by Douglas W. Webster, Thomas Stanton

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Chapter 6

Introduction to Enterprise Risk Management for Government Managers

Douglas W. Webster

CEO, CAMBIO CONSULTING GROUP

The first part of this book focused on making the case for managing risk in the public sector. It is not our intent, however, to suggest that government agencies tend to ignore risk. Clearly, awareness of the need to manage risk in government operations is not new. Numerous guidelines and policies exist to manage risk internal to federal agencies. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), various presidential directives, and other federal sources provide both mandates and guidance for managing risks in countless areas as diverse as continuity of operations (COOP), loan and loan guarantee programs, cybersecurity, and many other types of risk. Yet despite the many regulations and policies that exist to ensure risk is managed in government agencies, there are far too many examples of a failure to manage—or in some cases even consider—risks to achieving objectives.

A starting point for effective risk management is to set in place an organizational culture that recognizes the value of risk management in maximizing stakeholder value, as was addressed in Chapter 2. Establishing such a culture requires much more than hallway posters cautioning people not to take unconsidered risks, or even the organization's leader offering formal endorsement of risk management. ...

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