News

SunGard sold in 'record' deal

US software company Sungard Data has been bought by a consortium of investment funds for $11.3bn (£6bn).

The deal is the largest private buyout of a technology firm, and also believed to be the second-largest buyout of any type of company in business history.

The broad-based consortium includes Silver Lake Partners, Bain Capital, Blackstone Group and Texas Pacific.

Sungard provides computer services, particularly to finance firms, and has annual sales of $3bn.

The Pennsylvania-based company has more than 20,000 customers in about 50 countries.

"This transaction offers great value to our stockholders and represents an endorsement of our business model," said Sungard president Cristobal Conde.

"Our customers and employees should know that it is business as usual, now and following the completion of the transaction."

Mr Conde added that Sungard will retain its senior management team and current headquarters.

The consortium is paying $36 a share for Sungard. Its other members include Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and Providence Equity.

The deal is being financed through a combination of equity contributed by each partner, and additional loans provided by JP Morgan, Citigroup Global Markets, Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley.

While the Sungard board has recommended acceptance of the offer, it must still be approved by stockholders and regulators.

The sale is expected to be completed by the third quarter of this year.

"Our consortium partners are extremely pleased with this investment," said Silver Lake Partners co-founder Glenn Hutchins.

The annoucements made no reference to the future plans for the group, although some industry analysts are reported as believing that this record deal increases the chance of a further sell off of the Availability Services Disvision to offset increased costs.

At this time no spokesman was available for comment from the European operations of SunGard, but it appears as though mergers and acquisition are to remain a hot topic for some time to come.

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Sungard shares soar on news of takeover talks

22nd March 2005

SunGard (NYSE:SDS) A global leader in the provision of information availability services, has announced that it is in discussions with an investment consortium concerning a possible sale.

SunGard’s Board of Directors has authorized Credit Suisse First Boston and the law firm of Shearman & Sterling to commence discussions with the consortium. The consortium comprises Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Carlyle Group, Bain Capital, Texas Pacific Group, Blackstone Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

These negotiations will be undertaken while the company continues to progress the planned spin-off of the company's Availability Services business, which was announced last Autumn.
The offer for the whole Business could total more than $10 billion and negotiations have apparently been underway for the last few months.

SunGard, which is based in Wayne, Pennsylvania, provides software and information availability services, as well as BC consulting to many of the worlds top financial companies. Representatives from the consortium were expected to have a conference call on Tuesday to complete details of its offer and could reach a deal by Thursday, executives suggested.

The consortium has tentatively agreed to pay about $35 a share for SunGard, they said. That represents about a 40 percent premium to the closing price of SunGard's shares on Friday, which was $24.95. The shares surged $6.12, or 24.5 percent, in heavy trading on Monday, to close at $31.07.

The talks were originally reported by The New York Post on Monday.

The potential deal comes just six months after SunGard announced its intention to split off its disaster data recovery business into a publicly traded company. SunGard's decision to split its software and business processing operation from the disaster data recovery unit, called Availability Services, made the deal under discussion possible, the executives said. The software unit accounts for about 60 percent of the company's total revenue, or $1.8 billion in 2003. It had operating income of $324 million that year.

SunGard, which employs more than 10,000 people, has long been viewed by many as a ripe takeover target but had been considered less attractive because its two businesses appealed to different organisations. One effect of the investment group approach may be to increase the likelihood of a company break up as the consortium seeks to maximise the return for the 40% premium placed on the share price.

Glenn Greene, an analyst at ThinkEquity has been reported as saying that “it was likely that the company's announcement of its plans to spin off its disaster recovery business had piqued the interest of outside investors and that this is what probably led the private equity firms to put together the deal," adding that "The fact that these are very credible investors in the deal suggests it's fairly far along."

Over the past year, he said, the company has focused on its plans for growth. The data recovery unit competes directly with International Business Machines (IBM) and Hewlett Packard (HP). The software unit, the bigger of the two, faces a more fragmented market. "SunGard plays in a lot of different markets," Greene said. "But they have the largest product breadth."

SunGard has announced that it does not intend to comment on any specific discussions or any potential transaction unless and until it enters into a definitive agreement with respect to a transaction. There can be no assurance that these discussions will result in any transaction for a purchase of the company. However the New York Times has reported that a deal could be close and expects news shortly, perhaps by Easter.

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See what people are saying about the Forum!

Feedback on the Forum and its work

Below we have listed comments we have recieved about us and our work from a wide range of organisations and fellow professionals who have already benefited from working with the Continuity Forum.

The Continuity Forum provides an excellent focal point for business continuity professionals and for advancement of BCM in the wider business community.

the Continuity Forum are doing a very worthwhile job - keep up the good work!

I do look forward to attending other events held by the Continuity Forum, as I believe you have the most topical and best delivered events in the business.

I am really very impressed with the professionalism of Continuity Forum and the reputation it has already established in the whole area of Business Continuity. Marvellous!

The Forum is an ideal platform for "networking" (sorry to use that 'Hakneyed' term) and I found meeting senior representatives of industry at the last Forum event most interesting and relevant. This is one of the Forum's greatest strengths and, as long as it continues to attract such high-calibre participants, it will grow even more successful.

Continue the good work in the Promotion of BCM through-out Trade & Industry

Events to date have been excellent. Thank you.

Continuity Forum events are high-quality and very valuable to me. I recommend them to anyone

C.F. has proved an excellent forum - excellent one-day courses and a valuable resource- look forward to more.

More of the same please, I like the forums, they are a good source of knowledge, and a chance to talk with industry peers

Its good to see an organisation that recognises BCM as part of a wider risk manageemnt agenda and toolbox. Other organisations are not yet as forward thinking. I encourage you in this.

After struggling to find information for an important internal project I was recommended by a friend to talk to the Forum. Within a few days I had the material I needed mailed straight to me. Super work and lovely people too!

Very Impressive

I have been involved in the BC sector for over 10 years and I think what the Forum has been able to do in such a short time is nothing short of amazing!

Its great to see at least one organisation joining up the dots

the BC market needs the Forum and its vision if we are ever going to be a truly mainstream discipline ...

I have been to three events so far and each has been very worthwhile, your ability to get great speakers and both meet and discuss the issues is really appreciated. Keep up the good work

Major systems crash at Department of Work and Pensions

A configuration issue between Windows 2000 and XP caused the machines to crash on Monday 22 November and it was not until Friday of that week that all systems were fully functioning. November's crash happened in part because of the power of remote upgrade tools which allow technicians to modify tens of thousands of machines using simple routines at a single terminal.

It is believed that an EDS operator allowed Windows XP to be installed on 40,000 computers instead of the 30 in the trial. Procedures have been strengthened to ensure that a single operator cannot perform a remote upgrade accidentally, EDS said.

MFI hit by IT Failure to the tune of £46m

Issues with a new supply chain system have cost furniture retailer MFI £46m in lost sales, write-offs, additional costs and extra IT work. The company admitted the problems with the multi-million pound supply chain modernisation project in a profits warning earlier this year that led to then COO Gordon MacDonald and finance director Martin Clifford-King being sacked.

Autumn & Winter Event Series announced

Major Series of events and workshops launched by the Continuity Forum

We are delighted to announce our Autumn & Winter series of events and workshops aimed at supporting and promoting professional BCM to Business and helping those involved gain the skills needed to effectively create Continuity within your organisation

The Continuity Forum, in association with a number of the UK’s leading Companies, is pleased to announce our High Risk Industries Special event and an associated Forum Development Group (FDG).

This event is scheduled for 15th September 2004 at the British Airways EPIC Centre at Heathrow and will focus on issues affecting the Business Continuity Management, Security and other ‘Special Considerations’ within organisations working in or affected by ‘High Risk’ Industries Environments. if you are interested in attending this event please contact the Forum directly at events@continuityforum.org

This will be followed by our Annual Telecoms & Resilience event, this year at the BT Tower, on the 23rd September, and a new ‘Special Event’ aimed at boosting the planning for BCM in the Charities sector.

In October, we’ll be adding two more Special Events covering Basell II and Sarbanes Oxley, where we’ll be exploring compliance and BCM under the Legislative and Regulatory framework needed. This will be followed with another new special event and focussing on the needs of the Public Sector prior to the Royal assent of the Civil Contingencies Bill expected in November. This event is designed to coincide with the further development of the CCB and the increasingly high profile of a wide variety of UK BCM and security issues.

In December we'll be running our Business and Terrorism Annual Event again and sharing the results of this years research into this delicate and important topic. You'll be able to meet experts from a wide variety of backgrounds and discuss the issues as they affect your business or organisation. It is intended that this event will support government initiatives in raising the awareness and information available to promote good corporate and civil resilience to a range of threats.

All these events are all part of an exciting Autumn and Winter programme of events, research and workshops for the Continuity Sector with over 40 different events and workshops provided by the Continuity Forum across the country, covering public promotion of Business Continuity Management, specialist events, professional development workshops and numerous private group meetings. We are also extending our research still further and have 4 major programmes completing in the next few months, covering the developing BC sector and its related issues, which our members will be able to receive free of charge.

Remember that while events are free to access, we will, of course, give preference in our delegate allocation to Forum Members for all these events.

Just look at the value you could be getting with your membership of the Forum. If you were to book with commercial event organisers these events alone would cost you nearly £15,000 per person!

Whatever your level of experience, you and your organisation simply cannot get better value or support.

So what are you waiting for? Join us today!

For more details or to join the Continuity Forum please contact us on either 020 8993 1599 or by email via events@continuityforum.org

These events are part of our 'Public Series' and are run to promote BCM generally to organisations of all types.

Major Public Events

Security and the City ... Securing Safety and Continuity

High Risk Industries ... BCM at the frontiers

Telecoms and Resilience ... Communicating in a crisis

Civil Contingencies Bill, EP, BCM and the Public Sector ...
Public Sector Planning and Preparation

Basel II and Sarbanes-Oxley ... creating a Strategic framework for Compliance

Business Continuity and Terrorism ... The unlikely Counter Terrorist - You?

The following CPD workshops are geared to support the professional development of those involved in planning and managing an Organisations BCM Programme. Spaces are limited at these events as they are held in a workshop format. New events will be added based on feedback received from those attending our CPD series.

*** CPD Event Series ***

CPD - Introducing & Developing a BCM culture within organisation
CPD - Introducing Crisis Management
CPD - Plan Initiation and BIA Development
CPD - Communications and Resilience
CPD - BC for SME’s
CPD - Emergency Planning and BC Workshop
CPD - Managing ‘Risk’
CPD - Media Skills
CPD - Security and BCM
CPD - an Introduction to BCM and IT
CPD - Reputational Risk and BCM
The following are part of our Regional programme of events and are part of our 'Public Series' run to promote BCM generally to organisations of all types with a 'regional' focus. New events are constantly being added so do check back regularly for updates!

Regional Events Series

Croydon Continuity
West Midlands Forum
Eastern Counties Forum
North West Forum
North East Forum
Scottish Development Agency & CF Event
Greater London Boroughs LA Programme
South East Forum
South West Forum
In addition, we have created Forum Development Groups covering the main industry issues, which are designed to focus on specific topics of interest to the BC planner and Business in general. These FDG's are run on either a 'standalone' basis or as part of a larger event. Each group has an Independent 'chair' nominated by the group who can direct Forum resources proactively to undertake research or develop events.

Forum Development Groups

High Risk Industries Group
Insurance and RM Group
Regulation and Standards Group
Telecoms and Resilience Group
Emergency Planning & BCM Group
Security Forum Group
Financial Services & City Continuity Group
Charities Group
Public Sector Group

If you have any questions please contact Sara Mckenna or Russell Price at the Continuity Forum directly on 020 8993 1599 or events@continuityforum.org

HP to buy Synstar Plc

HP buying Synstar Plc

Consolidation of the UK BC & Services Sector continues

August 9th, 2004

Today the announcement was made to the Stock Exchange that HP intends to purchase Synstar Plc confirming rumours in the weekend press.

This purchase, valued at over £150m, will further increase the investment made by HP over the past two years and rivals the acquisitions of SG-RS by IBM earlier this year and SunGards purchase of Comdisco last year.

Up until a few years there was quite a choice of recovery centres available to business, but over the past few years we have seen Guardian, Comdisco and now Synstar being integrated within the far larger Multi-national, Multi-service vendors. This process of integration seems to be an essential part of the changing landscape of the BCM sector as it becomes not just an important issue, but a business critical one.

Currently the UK and European markets are changing rapidly and we believe these acquisitions are closely associated with the growth potential available in Europe as both Regulatory, Compliance and commercial issues highlight the need for far more organisations to invest in Best Practice Business Continuity Management.

While most of the UK Corporate markets do have some form of BCM planning in place, often these plans are relatively ‘compact’ in relation to the overall business, with the planners frequently having to compromise on the level of planning possible due to budgetary constraints. From research undertaken earlier this year we believe that there is still huge growth potential within the BC sector, with as much as 100%+ growth possible in some segments of the market. The opportunity for growth does not stop there as the Middle Tier of Enterprise companies are still predominantly operating with little more than basic DR planning in place. These plans, focused on only a limited number of business critical systems, will undoubtedly be expected to mature into more effective and acceptable BCM programmes as time passes and more ‘senior’ Corporate Partners increase the pressure on Supply Chain Partners to ‘upgrade’ their planning and general commitment to BCM.

In addition, further sector specific growth is anticipated next year (2005) as the UK Civil Contingency Bill (CCB) will be coming into effect and will be likely to focus the efforts of the Public Sector on a Local and National level and both support and broaden the BCM message to many more organisations of all types and sizes around the UK.

Our Market Trends surveys are continuing to indicate that growth in the SME sector is continuing at pace and this is being driven by middle tier organisations, with the huge potential for the BCM growth in the SME sector still remaining largely untapped by most service providers as they struggle to come to terms with appropriate offerings. With this in mind, it looks like HP has found the ideal acquisition to drive further revenue growth and increase Service Capability in Synstar Plc, who are particularly strong in both Regional and Middle Tier services, with an excellent reputation for Customer Loyalty and Service Performance.

With this acquisition of Synstar HP will undoubtedly increase its ability to compete in the UK market across all sectors, as well as extending the total number of Recovery Sites and facilities available around the country to HP clients.

If you have any questions please contact Sara Mckenna or Russell Price at the Continuity Forum directly on 020 8993 1599 or info@continuityforum.org

Contribute to our latest Research Programme

Continuity Forum Confidential Research

The Continuity Forum is always looking to develop information relevant to BCM professionals across a range of issues. Our information is constantly updated and we are the worlds leading provider of Research material relevant to the BCM and Risk Industries. Our expertise and specialisation provides reliable, insightful and, most importantly, independent intelligence that is used by leading organisations around the world.

We have completed over 270 research programmes through the worlds only team of dedicated professional researchers and expert analysts,creating a huge knowledgebase, which is, of course, available to members. This vast body of Business Intelligence means we often have the information needed for key projects or other developments as our research covers most aspects of the Business Continuty & Risk Sectors and connects with many other key areas of the disipline, for example Security, Telecoms, Workspace Recovery and Insurance to name just a few!

The Continuity Forum undertakes research on an on-going basis geared to support and understand the rapidly developing issues affecting our sector. Our research is ALWAYS undertaken on a completely confidential basis and while the results will be shared with our members and added to the knowledge base we are developing for the profession generally, no detail identifying any respondent or organisation will ever be shared with any third party.

We hope that you will be able to spend a few minutes contributing to our research by visiting from time to time to complete the various surveys that will be listed on this page. We would also like you to encourage as many colleagues as possible to contribute by forwarding them a link to the Continuity Forum (www.continuityforum.org) asking them to express their views and experiences too!

It may surprise you to learn that you can request us to undertake specific research too! We are always looking for topics, subjects and ideas that would be useful and relevant to you and others working in the field and if you have any suggestions or would like our assistance just call or mail us and we'd be delighted to help.

All Continuity Forum Members can get access to our research as part of their membership and we also undertake programmes for non-members provided it is related to the BCM and Risk Management fields.

Finally, please do pass details on our research surveys on to your professional colleagues or contacts, the greater the number of participants the more accurate and useful our research results will be to everyone.

For more information on our knowledgebase or our various research programmes and resources please contact Sara Mckenna or Russell Price at the Continuity Forum directly on 020 8993 1599 or info@continuityforum.org

Current Research Programmes

Responsibilities, Planning and Budgets - 2004

This research questionnaire is structured to cover four main topic areas. Firstly, details on the role and responsibilities of BC planners, along with indications of general salary levels and associated details. Secondly, we are looking at the scope and maturity of the BC planning and management within organisations, and thirdly, we are asking for brief details on the frequency of Disruption Events and their consequences. Lastly, we ask a few questions focused on the services you would value from the Continuity Forum and an assessment of our progress to date.

Please remember that this survey is completely confidential. Our analysts reviewing the returned data will have no information identifying you directly. This document is separated from your completed survey mail BEFORE any answers are seen. In addition, no referencing numbers or any such method is used which could identify either you or your organisation.

If you wish to receive a copy of this research as soon as it is completed, you should send a separate email to us directly, providing the usual contact details as well as a valid email address. We will then send you the completed report immediately upon its completion. If you are registered with us we'll send you a notification automatically as soon as the data collection and analysis is completed.

Summary results will also be available from the Continuity Forum Website shortly.

Please do answer as many of the questions as you can and be sure to complete all FOUR sections. We are aiming for a very large sample size for this research and every questionnaire completed adds to the accuracy of the final findings.

Click here to complete 2004 Responsibilities, Planning and Budgets Research

Event Invocations and Experiences

This programme is looking at the incidence of events and their impact on organsations of all types. Information collected will be added to our historic data giving us a view on how event risks are changing and how they impact on organisations.

Click here to complete Invocations & experiences Research (End User)

Special Risk Development Group

This research is related to the Continuity Forums Special Risks Development Group covering issues of planning and development as relevant to BCM and Risk professionals. The associated Public event is being held in September and this research is being undertaken to ensure our work with this group is as 'on-topic' as possible.

Click here to contribute to the Special Risk Development Group survey

Do check back regularly as new programmes will added on a regular basis.

Thank you for your assistance. If you have any queries or would like to discuss either general or specific areas for research please do contact us directly on 020 8993 1599.

Manchester Telecommunications Failure Report

Manchester Tunnel Fire, March 2004, UK

Communications failure causes widespread disruption

Manchester’s communications infrastructure was thrown into chaos at the end of March with a widespread telecoms failure affecting over 130,000 lines.

The cause was a tunnel fire in the early hours of Monday 29th March in an underground tunnel many meters below surface level. Access difficulties and safety concerns for Fire Fighters added to the difficulties in bringing the blaze under control.

The UK is not alone in facing in facing a new age in terrorist threat, the risks around the world are greater than ever before and it is our responsibility to directly address the real dangers posed

Business and residential customers across a wide area of the North West of England suffered the complete loss of both voice and data capability, in most cases for over a week, and a cascade effect was seen with data hosting and call centres located within the affected area extending the effects across Britain and other countries.

Some disruption was also caused to mobile networks and Emergency Services Radio Networks. Estimates for the losses caused by this event are already ranging from £4.5 - £8 million a day, although once the full effects have been calculated we expect to see a total impact in the region of £50-60million. BT has commented saying that ‘an investigation is underway and once the facts have been established they will consider the issue of Compensation’.

However, from experience of previous disruptions of this we expect levels of compensation to be very low, typically some £50 per day affected for businesses and much less for residential customers. Some of those affected may be able to claim for business interruption through their insurance policies, but again previous experience points to difficulties in claiming and long settlement times for those ultimately successful.

The broader issues raised by this event are extensive and through our recent Telecoms & Resilience group activities we have highlighted the vulnerability of organisations of ALL types to serious disruption caused by Telecoms failure.

Last November at our Telecoms and Resilience event, the Continuity Forum, Home Office and OFCOM urged business to urgently take greater steps to ensure Telecoms Resilience throughout their operations. Continuity Forum research has shown that in most businesses, even those with BC plans, very little provision is made for Telecoms Continuity. Service Providers were also urged to increase their abilities to work with Planners and increase both the access to, and accuracy of, information needed to identify single points of failure.

Critically a number of organisations have contacted the Continuity Forum highlighting the effect of NOT having access to this data. They had all implemented a dual supply policy for much of their critical communications, only to discover through this event that the routing taken by suppliers was common resulting in complete failure. Needless to say these organisations are very disturbed by this experience and want suppliers to work together to avoid a repeat instance of this event and they are also intending to vigorously pursue legal action should ‘significant and substantial compensation’ not be forthcoming in the very near future.

The cascade effect also extended the reach of this event to international companies in the US and beyond, even reaching Afghanistan! Web servers located in the region were affected and this caused serious disruption to many smaller businesses using the services of ISP’s to host and manage Web sites and email. Speaking to one of the affected companies in Surrey the Forum was told that they had lost revenue amounting to approximately £10,000 per day and they had had great difficulties in contacting their ISP to resolve matters. The Continuity Forum has commenced the Case Study process and will report back to members on the effects of this event and the lessons that can be learned from it.

If you have any information on the effects on your organisation we would be delighted to hear from you, as always, in the strictest confidence. Contact the Forum directly on 020 8993 1599 or info@continuityforum.org

Download resources from the FORUM section

Check out the Downloads in the FORUM area!

The Continuity Forum provides information and support directly to our members and you can contact us via Phone or Email with any questions you may have related to Business Continuity. In addition to this unique level of service, we provide a constantly growing and diverse range of materials in the Download and Discussion Forum (accessed through the FORUM link on the top bar).

We are keen to develop this further and would urge you to register with with us through this Website, which is required before access can be granted. You'll then be able to both download materials that interest you and upload materials that you have found useful for other professionals to view and us.

Registration is easy and FREE and should only take 30 seconds to complete.

Registration will also facilitate 'Early Bird' Notification for our seminars and workshops giving you priority access to our highly regarded events and enabling you to meet Leading Experts from all areas of our professions disciplines.

You can contact us directly on info@Continuityforum.org

If you have any questions or queries please contact the Continuity Forum on 020 8993 1599 or via email on info@Continuityforum.org

We would also like to encourage you to send in any White Papers, research, template plans or any other material you have developed enabling the content to be shared with a far wider audience.

If you want to get more involved with the Forum and our work, why not join in our active Forum and events schedule or even the Workshops, which are soon to be greatly extended and which provides you with a great way to keep up to date on current issues and develop your professional skill and awareness

You can contact us directly on info@Continuityforum.org

If you have any questions or queries please contact the Continuity Forum on 020 8993 1599 or via email on info@Continuityforum.org

Public Sector Emergency Planning Self Assessment Toolkit

Self Assessment Toolkit for the Public Sector National Audit Office lauches Self Assessment tools for Local Authorities

The Civil Contingencies Bill supports the promotion of greater resilience among public agencies and the wider local community.

The bill makes now an appropriate time for authorities to review current arrangements. It promotes business continuity as well as emergency planning, recognising that preparedness is an issue for the whole local authority and the businesses within the area.

There is no preferred structure for delivering the services covered by the bill. Much will depend on local issues (for example local hazards such as the number of COMAH sites; the internal arrangements of the local authority regarding risk management and links between emergency planning, risk and business continuity arrangements.) Authorities also need to contribute to local multi-agency strategic work and to the development of regional and national agendas. Business/service continuity arrangements are an issue for all services.

In areas of joint arrangements many specific emergency planning responsibilities lie with the responsible or contracted authority. However, all authorities need clarity about who would be responsible for responding to an internal or external emergency on behalf of the authority; effective arrangements for contacting those people, including out of hours; and a clear system for control and communication during emergencies.

Individuals who may form any emergency response team are likely to benefit from appropriate training. The effectiveness of arrangements can only be reviewed and validated through regular exercises. Reviews and learning based on those exercises and on actual incidents in an authority, or in other authorities, can then feed into improvements. In June 2004 the Forum started to provided Local Authorities and other groups with the resources and expertise to run and manage a variety of Business Continuity events around the whole of the UK designed to boost awareness and connect with local businesses.

Russell Price, Chairman of the Continuity Forum, commenting on this announcement from the NAO says: “The importance of effective Emergency Planning and BCM within our local Authorities is clear and the current CCB proposals are for the first time placing responsibilities on the public sector to ensure that both their own BCM plans are effective and that local business are encouraged to adopt BCM to boost local resilience to disruption events. We are commited to support Local Authorities with this work and have already supported a nuimber of initiatives around the UK. ANY Regional or Local group needing support, assistance or guidance can contact us and we'll help develop Materials, Guidance and even local Events to promote BC both internally and externally.”

The Continuity Forum is providing an extensive range of free support services to assist UK authoroities develop the awareness and proactive planning and management in a wider range of businesses across the UK.

Our Guidance has been developed in conjunction with a number of Local Authorities and is completely NON commercial in nature, thereby fully meeting the needs of the PUBLIC Sector whilst not compromising on the either the quality or content of the advice and support. The Bill makes it clear that there is a duty on Local Authorities to engage with Business for the promotion of Business Continuity Planning and recognises the role that indepedent groups can offer in this space.

The Continuity forum is once again leading the way by bringing information and knowledge on the issues to a new audience enabling a greater level of National awareness and importantly, support for both the Local Businesses and the Authorities. The programme has already started with a very succesful event, held in conjunction with the Corporation of London during June, and will now rollout to other parts of the UK.

All feedback recieved has been excellent and we are now confident that with the Local Authority sector and the Continuity Forum working in Union we can bring the benefits of BCM many more organisations across the country and improve the quality of both planning and local liaison.

For more information or to join the programme please contact the Continuity Forum directly on 020 8993 1599 or info@continuityforum.org If you have any questions please do contact us at the Continuity Forum, you can either mail us on events@continuityforum.org or call us on 020 8993 1599.

FORUM ACTIVITIES update

The Continuity Forum’s mission is to build the resilience of organisations internationally, regardless of size or sector, through education and the promotion of best practice in Business Continuity Management and its related disciplines. The Forum is dedicated to aiding the growth and the development of the Continuity sector and appropriate standards.

One of our key aims is to lobby government, regulators and industry to recognise the vital importance and contribution of Business Continuity Management and its related disciplines to organisations and the need to establish a culture of embedded Continuity

We support this aim by

· Encouraging the development of BCM through co-operation and collaboration with all organisations relevant to the development of the sector.

· Engaging government, regulators and trade bodies to promote BCM and encourage adherence to recognised standards for BCM and professional practice.

In support of this approach Continuity Forum has, the in past 12 months, has built upon existing relationships and established new relationships with appropriate organisations. Examples of these relationships and activities are shown below:

British Standards Institution (BSI) – Continuity Forum have been working with BSI on the proposal to create a BCM standard and will sit on the sub-committee that will create the new high level standard based on PAS 56. Continuity Forum is also exploring other possibilities for guides that related to elements of BCM.

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is one of the leading professional accountancy bodies in the UK and the only one that specialises in the public services. It is responsible for the education and training of professional accountants and for their regulation through the setting and monitoring of professional standards. John Sharp is a member of the Resilience sub group on the Better Governance Forum providing BCM input.

Chartered Management Institute (CMI) – Continuity Forum, working with one of their Gold Members – Veritas, are supporting the sixth annual survey into Business Continuity Awareness amongst general managers to discover what the key causes behind business disruption have been over the past twelve months and explore the impact that these interruptions have had. The report will also offer insights into UK organisations' preparedness for disaster and track changes in attitudes since 1999. The research, scheduled to be launched in March in support of Business Continuity Awareness Week.

City of London Police – Continuity Forum has formed a relationship with the City of London Police and are working with them to ensure appropriate BCM advice is available through the Police website.

Civil Contingencies Secretariat – John Sharp has been an active member of the teams writing the draft guidance and regulations supporting the new Civil Contingencies Act. Initially he worked with the Civil Contingencies Secretariat on the background to the Bill and subsequently provided input to the BCM Planning and Promotion sections of the draft guidance.

European Telecoms Resilience and Recovery Association (ECTR2A) is a EU funded body with a remit to improve telecommunications resilience and suppliers and organisations. John Sharp is a member of the Advisory Board providing BCM input.

London Resilience Team – Government Office for London. John Sharp has been an active member of the LRT Business and Critical Infrastructure Teams. He currently sits on two working parties, one looking at how BCM can be included in new Corporate Governance regulations and the other concerned with improving the promotion of BCM to the wider business community across London. Continuity Forum is also working to ensure that LRT gain maximum exposure for its work during Business Continuity Awareness Week 2005, (13 - 18 March 2005).

Metropolitan Police – John Sharp has been a member of the Met Police executive team for BCM for some time, providing high-level advice on improving the continuity capabilities of the police service in the greater London area.

National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) is a specialist police organisation co-located with the Security Service in the National Security Advice Centre (NSAC). The organisation co-ordinates a nationwide network of specialist police advisors known as Counter Terrorist Security Advisors who can offer help on counter terrorism security. Continuity Forum has a long-standing relationship with NaCTSO proving help and assistance on BCM. The Forum is currently providing input on a new Security publication being produced by NaCTSO and London First.

National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre (NISCC) is an interdepartmental organisation set up to co-ordinate and develop existing work within Government departments and agencies and organisations in the private sector to defend the CNI against electronic attack. Continuity Forum have established a relationship with NISCC to explore how the use of their new Warning, Advising and Reporting tool (WARP) can be used to improve the communication of BCM issues.

Scottish Business Crime Centre is a non-profit making organisation created in 1996 under the Business Crime Reduction Strategy for Scotland, to establish a unique partnership approach between the Police, business community and Government. The main function of the Centre is to provide practical advice to the business/commercial sectors on how to develop business crime reduction and prevention strategies. Continuity Forum is very active in providing BCM advice to the Centre and to their audiences.

In addition to the above activities Continuity Forum is working with many other organisations including ALARM, Bank of England, British Bankers Association. Business Link for London, CBI, City of London Emergency Liaison Team, Communications Managers Association, Federation of Small Business, FSA, Home Office, IoD, London Chambers of Commerce, London Connects and OFCOM.

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