Business continuity professionals are calling on the prime minister to create a single department to consolidate, simplify and clarify public sector business continuity plans.
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A petition on the Downing Street website calls on Gordon Brown to create "a designated lead department within central government to coordinate, initiate and oversee business continuity management within all other government departments."
Richard Fizthugh of the Business Continuity Expo 2008, which created the petition, said present business continuity responsibilities are spread throughout government. He said an attempt to create an easy-to-use guide on who to call in an incident ran to over 200 pages. "This can't be right," he said.
Pointing to press reports of cyber attacks against the British government and business targets, Fitzhugh said the sector had worked hard to provide resilience against attacks, but it was time to do more. "It is not simply a question of cogent thinking and sensible directorial infrastructure, it underpins the very fabric of society," he said.
David Honour, a signatory to the petition , said, "It is essential that central government follows business continuity best practice. It needs to designate a lead department to coordinate and manage business continuity activities."
Lyndon Bird from the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), a trade body, said a lead department to co-ordinate policy and implement consistent strategies would improve the UK's domestic business resilience and its international trading performance. "The UK will be seen as a safe, secure and consistent place to build and base business operations," he said.