Are you prepared for a Pandemic?

Leaders from business and industry, government and public health authorities are all watching with great interest the progress of H1N1 (“swine flu”), a strain of influenza which has proven that it can be lethal. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies pandemics into six progressively more serious phases, and H1N1 is currently in phase five, Pandemic Alert, possibly raised to the highest level, level 6 later this week.

Pandemic preparedness differs from traditional Business Continuity Management (BCM) in the scope of the event, the general lack of physical impact on assets and the likelihood that personnel will be seriously affected at home as well as in the workplace. While nobody knows whether the current H1N1 virus will become the next global pandemic, nearly all public health experts admit that we will have another global pandemic.

Internal Audit and/or Risk Management should have a key role in pandemic preparedness. An article in the June 2007 issue of the Internal Auditor makes the case that the internal audit function can play a key role in the process by providing an independent and objective assessment of the plan. Attached you can find two documents, one on a Protiviti Preparedness Assessment (developed for H5N1 but now more actual than ever) and a recent article on managing post-disaster liabilities.

Protiviti has developed a specific Pandemic Flu Audit Workprogram to assess readiness within your organization which we are happy to explain in more detail if requested. If so, contact our office for an appointment (+31 20 346 0400). Protiviti offers two publications on the topic Pandemic Flue:

Pandemic Preparedness Assessment

Failure to manage post-disaster liability risk may cost you

For practical questions regarding this topic and regarding Internal Audit, Internal Control & (Enterprise) Risk Management in general, please contact Carl Messemaeckers van de Graaff (email: c.messemaeckers@protiviti.nl, phone: +31 20 346 0400).

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