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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3603..


MR QUINLAN: I have actually instructed my office this morning to go out and see if we can find a high-school accounting or bookkeeping text which I will be sending to you, with my compliments.

MR SPEAKER: Before we proceed, I would like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of a former Speaker of the Assembly, Ms Roberta McRae. Welcome.

Mr Smyth: You haven't changed, Roberta. Much!

MR SPEAKER: The rules are still the same, though, Mr Smyth.

Business continuity planning

MRS CROSS: My question is to Mr Quinlan in his capacity as the minister responsible for business. Minister, recently researchers from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management carried out a survey of Commonwealth government agencies to determine the state of their business continuity management plans. The results of this research, by Professor Ernie Jordan and David Musson, show that few of the federal agencies have comprehensive and fully tested business continuity plans.

Business continuity planning provides a clearly defined and fully documented strategy, with an associated set of defined and tested procedures, designed to ensure the continuation of key business processes. These plans also ensure that those key processes can be resumed as soon as possible after disruption. The recent bushfires, the Bali bombings and so on show that there are real threats to our systems. Minister, is there a consolidated business continuity plan, also known as BCP, for the whole of the ACT government, and is there an operational, active business continuity management program within the whole of the ACT government?

MR QUINLAN: I would have to say that the short answer to that would be no. I was just wondering, Mrs Cross, whether the good professor is the author of the book that describes business continuity plans. I will take that on notice and I will let you know, at least for my own portfolio, exactly what plans are in place and what backups are in place to cope with various failures of automatic systems and the loss of information.

I think most people are now aware that, in the western world, something like 70 per cent of businesses that lose their data fail, no matter what. If they lose their information base, then 70 per cent of them go out backwards.

Mr Cornwell: Cripes, your government must be in trouble then.

MR QUINLAN: Very droll! You are very good, Mr Cornwell! I will let you know, in a general sense, what protections are in place.

MRS CROSS: I thank the minister for his answer. Minister, would you also advise me if the departments and agencies for which you have responsibility have a business continuity plan?

MR QUINLAN: Yes, sure.


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