Risk Management a Top Priority for Government Entitites, Says Study

March 6, 2006

The Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), a nonprofit risk management training and educational organization, says that risk management operations within government entities today have gained a heightened importance according to its newly completed survey on Cost of Risk.

The survey was a joint project with the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) to assess risk management functions performed by all the various governmental entities.

“Our purpose in conducting this survey was to determine how government entities were addressing risk management challenges,” explained Gerard Hoetmer, executive director of PERI. “These findings show that risk management operations have assumed a higher priority as more risk management departments now report to senior officials. Equally compelling is what the results tell us about how risk management budgets are spent and what cost cutting measures were used most often.”

The Cost of Risk survey collected information on property and casualty trends and public government practices during fiscal year 2004, from respondents in 48 states, with the majority coming from representatives in the Western region of the United States. Survey participants included municipalities, county governments, school districts and state or state agencies. For the first time, responses were received from special districts, joint power authorities (JPAs) and pools and colleges and universities.

Among the other survey findings featured were breakdowns on how various government entities distribute risk management budgets and what percentage of the total operating budget accounts for liability, workers’ compensation and property costs. The survey report also incorporates data from the PERI Data Exchange, which is a database of public sector liability and workers’ comp claims data.

The comprehensive report on the survey results is available online from the PERI bookstore at www.riskinstitute.org and PRIMA at www.primacentral.org.

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