To consider report 64/11 of the head of HR, IT and customer services.
The committee considered report 64/11 of the head of HR, IT and customer services. This updated the committee on the council’s business continuity and risk management arrangements. This was the council’s plan to reinstate its services following a major incident affecting the council’s service provision.
The committee accepted that, in the event of a major incident, not all services would be available immediately afterwards. The plan was to prioritise service reinstatement to avoid suffering to residents. For example, the provision of housing benefit payments would be a higher priority than administering planning applications.
The committee welcomed the reciprocal arrangements with South Oxfordshire District Council to provide services in times of disruption. Councillors noted that the council would work with Oxfordshire County Council to test the business continuity arrangements. The council’s management team would also carry out walk-through testing of the arrangements to ensure that they were viable and that staff rehearsed their roles. Although there were no firm timescales for these tests, the officers agreed to report on progress to the next committee meeting. The committee recommended officers to carry out these tests within six months. The committee also stressed the importance of ensuring contractors had business continuity arrangements to meet their contractual obligations to the council. The officers agreed to confirm that these arrangements were in place for the council’s largest and most important contracts, and that the officers were satisfied with these arrangements.
(a) note the council’s existing business continuity arrangements and the additional work undertaken since the last update;
(b) ask the officers to report back on the timescale for testing the business continuity arrangements; and
(c) ask the officers to confirm that business continuity arrangements are in place for the council’s largest and most important contracts and that the officers are satisfied with the arrangements.