Department of Human Services

Pandemic Planning

Do now

  • Agree to your organisation’s priorities, document them and ensure all of the management team understands them.
  • Review your existing business continuity plans (if they exist) for weaknesses and unidentified impacts specific to COVID-19 (supply chain, staff availability, customer demand). Consider likely trigger points for decision-making.
  • If you need to develop a pandemic plan, a simple template can be found from the Trusted Information Sharing Network (PDF 231 KB).
  • Establish a response team with clear roles, accountabilities and objectives to manage your pandemic planning and response.
  • Establish and agree processes for pandemic related decision making with your management team and Board and agree on critical milestones. Refer to the Decision Log template (DOCX 91.9 KB).
  • KPMG have a useful Crisis Management Meeting Agenda, and other templates within their Managing Critical Moments Workbook
  • Agree on approach to communications to staff and stakeholders - and feedback loops. Balance transparency and preparedness with not wanting to appear to be overreacting.
  • Keep a detailed record of all decisions. Refer to the Decision Log template (DOCX 91.9 KB).

Do next

  • Appoint functional workstreams and owners, and align activity with response objectives.
  • Confirm critical stakeholders and suppliers and agree communication strategies for them.
  • Verify that technology infrastructure can support alternative means of working for both corporate functions and service delivery.
  • Review supplier service availability and resilience.
  • Consider the need to expand delegations for various types of authority (where required).
  • Consider how staff will be paid under various scenarios (i.e. where payroll functions cannot be performed remotely).

Do as needed

  • Use trusted sources of information to monitor the spread of the pandemic, compliance requirements and emerging clusters of cases, ensuring staff and clients are also aware of these trusted sources. It may be beneficial to allocate a single person to be responsible for monitoring these sources.
  • Review the previous DHS coronavirus online forums and ensure your organisation is invited to all future forums
  • Consider conducting simulations of various contingency scenarios to ‘stress test’ continuity plans (using for example,” best case” and “worst case” options for income / expenditure) and assess impact on associated services, support processes, controls and cash flows.
  • Adapt policies and procedures as required and ensure they remain up-to-date, accurate, relevant and accessible.
  • Consider explicit staff succession planning and upskilling / training for key roles (in case people become ill or have to care for an ill person) while maintaining compliance with quality and regulatory requirements
  • Ensure alignment of activities with your organisations reputation, purpose and values (e.g. supporting the wider community response).
Page last updated : 11 Jun 2020

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