CIHR's Corporate Risks for 2010-11

Summary of the 16 Corporate Risks

Integrated Risk Management is a comprehensive and systematic approach to understanding, communicating and managing risk from a corporate perspective. It allows an organization to identify, assess and document key risks within a common framework in order to apply due diligence in managing and mitigating risks on an ongoing basis. In today's fast changing environment there is a need for effective risk management to promote good governance and demonstrate accountability.

In April 2001, Treasury Board (TB) introduced the Integrated Risk Management Framework to guide federal government departments in incorporating risk management into their governance practices.

CIHR's Integrated Risk Management Framework includes a Corporate Risk Profile whose purpose is to identify the organization's key risks and opportunities through internal consultations; assess the current status of risk management and mitigation within the organization; and, describe the organization's overall risk profile. The Corporate Risk Profile is refreshed on an annual basis to capture any new risks, or changes to existing risk statuses, that may occur over the course of the year.

The following information provides highlights on the 16 key risks represented in Corporate Risk Profile for 2010-2011.

Areas of Risk
Health Research Roadmap Implementation (High)

There is a risk that CIHR is unable to fully deliver on the strategic directions outlined in the Health Research Roadmap in the defined timeframe. This includes risks that: internal and external stakeholders do not understand or support the proposed changes; and, that operational requirements and competing priorities prevent resources from focusing on the implementation.

Knowledge Translation (High)

There is a risk that CIHR may not be able to support the synthesis, dissemination, exchange and ethically sound application of knowledge at the levels required to achieve the knowledge translation (KT) component of its mandate and to improve the health of Canadians. 

Results Management (High) There is a risk that CIHR will be unable to evaluate and report on the results of CIHR's funded research inputs, outputs and impacts.
Peer Review (Medium)

There is a risk that CIHR may be unable to continue to recruit highly qualified peer reviewers to evaluate research proposals.

Budgeting (Medium)

There is a risk that CIHR funds are not optimally allocated to support the achievement of its strategic outcomes.

There is also a risk that CIHR's planned staffing, project and programming activities exceed available funding resulting in key planned activities and initiatives not being realized.

There is a concurrent risk that funding via an annual appropriation may make it difficult for CIHR to plan and resource longer term activities and strategies.

Human Resources Management (Medium)

There is a risk that (a) CIHR does not have a plan or process to systematically and deliberately prepare for and replace future vacancies in key positions; (b) CIHR is unable to retain key staff and (c) CIHR is not able to staff positions with appropriately skilled and experienced people.

Stakeholder Relations (Medium) There is a risk that the federal government arena and CIHR external stakeholders such as the science and technology community and the Tri-councils do not see CIHR as supporting federal government priorities. There is also a risk that CIHR's reputation as a partner of choice will be impacted if international commitments are not fulfilled.
Program Design (Medium)

There is a risk that CIHR programs are not designed to effectively develop and translate health research knowledge and to increase health research capacity in Canada.

Strategic Investment Planning (Medium)

There is a risk that CIHR's programs are not well aligned with the research priorities identified by CIHR, the Health Portfolio, the federal government's Science and Technology strategy and other key stakeholders within the health research enterprise.

Information Management (Medium)

There is a risk that knowledge is not effectively being captured, documented and shared within the Institutes and across CIHR.

Another risk is that the relevant, accurate and integrated (performance and financial) information needed to facilitate effective decision making is not available to CIHR's management team and governance committees when needed.

Governance and Accountability (Low)

There is a risk that the roles and accountabilities of Directors and Managers are not clear due to CIHR's complex governance structure (virtual Institutes) and the large number of committees involved in decision making. Also, this governance structure risks impairing the efforts to coordinate and make timely decisions.

Values and Ethics (Low)

There is a risk that internal values and ethic expectations within CIHR (including compliance to policies and procedures) are not established, promoted and enforced within the organization.

Standard Operating Procedures (Low)

There is a risk that the procedures used in delivering the peer review of funding programs and the administration of grants and awards are not consistent and formalized across the different branches within the Research Portfolio.

IT Infrastructure for Future Needs (Low)

There is a risk that CIHR's information technology infrastructure is not adequate to meet future user's needs and support effective and efficient processes.

Business Continuity (Low)

There is a risk that CIHR is unable to sustain critical business operations following a catastrophic event.

Management of Partnerships (Low)

There is a risk that CIHR's approach to selecting and working with partners is ineffective and inefficient and that CIHR's partner monitoring program does not ensure that partners act within their defined limits of authority and perform in a manner consistent with CIHR's philosophies, ethics, strategies and objectives.

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