Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2020

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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20 COVER STORY responsibility. As Milley states, "It's important, I think, to have a culture of good governance, ethics and integrity that is really permeated throughout the organization." INHOUSE: How do you view and manage risk in your organization? Lawal: At Interac, risk is very much a shared responsibility. We consider it to be essential from several perspectives: from strategic, security and product development to service delivery, compliance, governance and brand. All these perspectives really need to be informed by risk. It's a responsibility that everyone in the organization shares — led, of course, by the chief risk officer and the risk team at an enterprise level — but we all have a responsibility in keeping the organization safe on that front. Evans: From my role at SickKids, in terms of trying to make everyone feel accountable for managing risk, it goes beyond the legal depart- ment and risk management team. Every single staff member has a role to play, and I think we had some real successes here when we took our enterprise risk register and assigned executive ownership to all the risks that are in the register. Right away that creates an accountability. It's not risk management or legal owning a particular risk. It is the operational area that is most closely associat- ed with whatever the risk might be, and we engage those leaders and their leadership team in our plans to mitigate and manage those risks as we move forward. Harrs: We're a public company and responsi- bility for risk management ultimately falls to the board of directors, but they, in turn, appoint a committee, which is responsible, then that falls to the executive team, and they create an executive risk management team, which is comprised of risk champions from the entire organization. People from IT, product development and legal will each have a risk champion who's supposed to isolate and assess the various risks within their depart- ment and within their division, and they bubble that up to the committee, which then assigns values associated with those risks: the inherent risks, the residual risks and then they obviously suggest risk-mitigation strategies. We have a legal obligation to inform sharehold- ers of the risks. Milley: It's essential to have an organizational view of risk. The risk and audit committees, the legal counsel and the board of directors don't have insight really into the daily tasks that employees are really engaging in, so, it's important, I think, to have a culture of good governance, ethics and integrity that is really permeated throughout the organization. It's everybody's responsibility and everybody has a unique insight into the work that they're doing. It's not owned by legal. It's informed by legal. It's informed by every employee, so, at the foundation, having this strong corporate culture is very, very important. INHOUSE: What are the key areas of risk that cause you the most concern from a legal perspective? Evans: We are a public hospital providing care to patients, and it may not be known by everybody, but there are studies that show that three to four per cent of pediatric patients that are admitted to hospitals suffer significant preventable harm during their stay at the hospital. Whether that's a medication error or a wrong-sided surgery, these are significant concerns that arise in the course of care that could have been prevented. So, I would say risk to our patients is probably our foremost focus. The other area that we focus on a lot are risks that affect our staff. We know that we are a great hospital because of the people that we have working here. We need to do everything that that we can to ensure that they are safe. This has become incredibly important in COVID-19 times because of the risks that are associated with that, particularly in the health-care setting. Another category that we keep a close eye

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