Chilling Case Studies on Risk Management at MACo Winter Conference

County officials learn the hidden costs to county governments of incidents and accidents and an explanation of the Iceberg Theory of risk management.

Commisioner Shade of Allegany County and Commissioners Edwards and Hinebaugh of Garrett County listen to a MACoCon presentation on Risk Management.

In The Basics of Risk Management, Larry Bohlen and Richard Furst of the Local Government Insurance Trust shared insight into risk management for county governments. The session was moderated by Councilwoman Rikki Spector of Baltimore City.

Bohlen and Furst discussed a broad definition of risk management and the many benefits of the practice. They shared the value of asking questions when making decisions and the way to establish realistic goals for risk management.

Bohlen and Furst said,

icebergWe can see that we need to be prepared for the unexpected and the unthinkable.

In an explanation of the Iceberg Theory, Furst and Bohlen explored the many hidden and indirect costs of accidents, or the unforeseen costs of planned action. One case study included the purchase of a building from a local school system that needed much remediation. Another example was a fire in a courthouse that was just nearing construction completion. On the subject of personnel, the presenters recalled an employee harassment suit that lasted eight years. From beyond Maryland, the presenters showed a slide of flooding that trapped school buses in New Orleans following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Attendees of the session who participate in the Academy Fellows certificate program received credit for the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance.