Abstracts: March 7th, 2007

This report from the Society of IT Management is based on research from recent disasters that have hit local authorities, affecting their ICT service. It raises serious concerns and questions whether councils understand the expectations of the Civil Contingencies Act and are sufficiently prepared to cope with threats to business continuity.The cases of discontinuity examined in the report include an arson attack, the aftermath of storm damage, an explosion at an oil terminal, major flooding, a building collapse and a burst water main in a town hall.

The report shows that the quality of the response owes everything to the quality of the preparation. Although every case is different, people need to know what to do, not to ask someone else. It details the lessons to be learned from experiences that are retold, successes to repeat and mistakes and oversights to avoid. It asks management teams the question: “How well would you be covered?”

The report also reveals that when something goes seriously wrong, something else happens to compound the problem. Secondary hurdles include difficulty in contacting key personnel and out of date information in disaster recovery plans.

The report is available from SOCITM http://www.socitm.gov.uk   at 95 pounds.