BCAW2019 - Investing in resilience through exercises (CMTEDD case study)

By Matthew Harper

Business Continuity Awareness Week this year marks the mid point of the ACT Chief Ministers, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate’s (CMTEDD) 2018-2020 business continuity exercise program.  The CMTEDD program is an ambitious one, 14 exercises over two financial years including eight business area desktop exercises, four IT disaster recovery exercises and two functional exercises.

 The exercise program is as diverse as CMTEDD itself.  As the smallest physical jurisdiction in Australia, the ACT delivers all the services usually delivered by two tiers of government in most of Australia.  The traditional roads, rates and rubbish are joined by schools, hospitals, emergency services, transport, public housing and revenue.  As a small jurisdiction, the term “lean” applies to the directorates (in other places called ministries or departments), and in line with the lean philosophy, CMTEDD covers a huge range of activities including service to the Chief Minister, territory revenues, shared human resources and IT, the shopfronts and contact centres, registration and a range of policy and legislative areas.

 CMTEDD has a strong governance and assurance approach, linked closely with a supportive and assisting business continuity program.  The result is a consistency of business continuity plans and expectations across the directorate, while the governance ensures that the expectation is met.  With this approach, CMTEDD views exercises in a multi faceted way:

  • An opportunity for education

  • An opportunity for improvement

  • Providing assurance

  • Ensuring good governance.

 The assurance and governance approach means that all exercises have a solid aim and very measurable objectives.  This allows all objectives to be assessed against a three level assessment tool, the objectives are simply; achieved, partially achieved, not achieved.  The further analysis of each objective provides an analysis as to why the objectives have been rated in that manner.  In this, a “not achieved” can be identified as an exercise issue through to a failure of a key element of the plan, training or implementation.

 This afternoon as part of the BCAW-BCI ACT forum,  Angela Friend of CMTEDD will be presenting on the program with a special look at the most recent functional exercise, “Exercise Nimble Access” and will be offering insights into what the program has discovered.  There are still a few seats available, so if you are in Canberra today (Wednesday 15 May), join us at Yellow Edge, Level 2, 9 Sydney Avenue, Barton at 3pm.  No need to register, just smile at the door!


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