Strategies to build resilience in Australia’s national critical infrastructure

In January 2017 the Government announced a renewed focus on the ownership and resilience of Australia’s national critical infrastructure and in a joint media release with Senator The Hon George Brandis QC said:

“With increased privatisation, supply chain arrangements being outsourced and offshored, and the shift in our international investment profile, Australia’s national critical infrastructure is more exposed than ever to sabotage, espionage and coercion.

We need to manage these risks by adopting a coordinated and strategic framework. This challenge is not something the Commonwealth can address alone”.

The diverse number of threats and the need for an ‘all hazards’ approach presents significant challenges to owners and operators of critical infrastructure. In 2006 Janellis pioneered an integrated organisational resilience framework with critical infrastructure providers and key elements of the  framework continue to be embedded in industries including: aviation; banking and finance; energy; transport; water and government agencies.

Areas of focus and investment for 2016/17 in building resilience for critical infrastructure include:

  • Clarity on the role of the Executive and Board in a crisis, including their role in ensuring the organisation is prepared for an incident, emergency or crisis.
  • Scenario-based planning at the Executive and Strategic level to uncover and mitigate against ‘catastrophic’ risks the organisation may face.
  • Crisis Communications and its effective integration within the crisis emergency and incident management framework.
  • Multi-agency Emergency Management Capability Awareness Programs providing multi-faceted resilience protection for key assets.
  • The effective use of decision support tools for Incident, Emergency and Crisis Management Teams to enhance integrated critical thinking and decision making.
  • Exercise development process to facilitate scenario-based exercises that build capability, highlighting areas for improvement and provide assurance to key stakeholders.
  • Resilience reporting to provide assurance to the Executive, Board and other key stakeholders.

The ‘all hazards’ approach to building resilience is growing in awareness and acceptance due to increasingly complex and unpredictable impacts. Developing and maintaining capability is a key requirement for critical infrastructure owners and operators and; non-critical infrastructure organisations who are operating in higher risk industries.

Greater levels of assurance are being sought by key stakeholders that teams and organisations have the capability to respond and resilience reporting is being used to assess the capacity and capability for specific assets and across the enterprise.

For more information on the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Assessment and Assurance Tools or the Organisational Resilience Framework please email us at Janellis info@Janellis.com.au.