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UK councils operating without BC managers

by Andy Clutton

A freedom of information (FOI) request conducted by Databarracks has revealed that over half (54%) of councils do not have a designated Business Continuity Manager. However, 91% review their Business Continuity Plans at least annually and every council has reviewed its Business Continuity Plans since the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

“For over half of councils to not have a Business Continuity Manager might seem odd, given how large and critical councils are,” comments Databarracks managing director, Peter Groucutt. “Actually, councils have several functions that other organisations don’t. They have Civil Protection, Emergency Planning or Emergency Management. These are focused externally, on the requirements of citizens rather than the council themselves. In these cases, Business Continuity and Resilience for their own internal services may sit within those departments as part of their wider remit. Individual service owners will be responsible for the continuity of their area, with assistance from those functions. Councils are, in general, a great example of how to manage Business Continuity and Organisational resilience.

“Business Continuity must be embedded in an organisation, taken seriously and regularly exercised. To do that, it must be given attention from the highest levels of management, with input from all your key service areas. It’s not something that you can do once every three years and then forget until the next review. Your ability to respond needs to be practised and updated as your organisation and processes change or it will quickly become out of date. The FOI request show that councils are doing exactly that.

“BC is not one-size fits all. The concepts, methods and principles are universal, but just as every organisation is different, so too is how BC is applied. Although you can apply BC and resilience in different ways, it is surprising that there is not more consistency in how it is applied across the 69 councils.”

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