Applying ERM Principles to Functional Divisions: A Federal Grants Risk Management Case Study – 2018

In this 2018 Summit presentation… Today, buzz words like “enterprise risk management” (ERM) and “accountability” abound in the public and private sectors. But how do they really work operationally? Faced with an $11 billion budget for grant programs but finite internal resources to manage them, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) sought a way to use risk management to improve accountability and oversight of grants. Seeking a risk-based, data driven approach to strategic decisions, HRSA embarked on a one-of-a-kind assessment of current risks and related risk management practices, and the development of risk tools for decision makers.

This presentation provides a case study for operationalizing risk management in the grants world, and more generally at the sub-agency level. Those seeking to integrate risk management into their operations heard about project challenges and successes, key risk findings and recommendations, and considerations when taking on such a project. During the presentation, the speakers:

  • Explained the context within which HRSA determined to launch such an ambitious study, and the questions faced in developing the project;
  • Briefly walked through the tools developed to document and assess key risks and opportunities;
  • Described the findings of the study and how ERM principles were applied; and
  • Discussed the challenges and limitations faced with a risk management study of this kind.

Speakers: Lori Giblin, CNCS; Suzanne Auerbach, HRSA