A Continuity of Operations sub–committee to ensure the continued
operations of central government and all statutory authorities has been
established as part of the Cayman Islands National Hurricane Plan.
The purpose of the plan is to minimise disruptions to the operations of government after a national emergency or disaster.
Chief Officer of the Portfolio of Civil Service, Peter Gough, chairs
the sub–committee on behalf of the Chief Secretary. Core members
include the directors of Lands and Survey, the National Archives,
Computer Services and the Public Works Department.
Mr. Gough said the Continuity of Operations idea is nothing new to the government.
were many [business continuity] plans in place before,” he said. “All
that’s happened is they are being called something else, they are in a
standard format, and they are much more comprehensive than they were
Some of the changes to the old plans have been adopted because of lessons learned from Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
plan] is a little different this year than last year,” Mr. Gough said,
noting that in years past, the Personnel Department was responsible for
the deployment of civil servants after a hurricane.
This year, however, each portfolio, ministry or authority will deploy its own personnel, Mr. Gough said.
“It’s a better system because they know the personnel required to keep operations running,” he said.
1 April every year, the chief officers of each ministry and portfolio
are responsible for producing a plan that identifies personnel that are
essential to the operation of its entity. The chief officers also
identify available personnel who are not considered essential but who
could help with other specific post–disaster tasks.
At the advent of an imminent threat to the Cayman Islands, all vacation leave is cancelled, Mr. Gough said.
of the individual ministry/portfolio continuity of operations plans
then come into effect and collectively form the Cayman Islands
Government Continuity of Operations Plan. The various chief officers
are responsible for facilitating Government’s return to routine
business practices as soon as possible after the disaster.
the tasks of the chief officers is to identify vital business records
within their ministry or portfolio and ensure their back–up and/or safe
storage. These efforts will be led by Director of Archives Roger Craig.
National Hurricane Plan envisions vital government records being
transferred and stored at the National Archives during the approach of
a storm, but Mr. Craig said that would not be possible until its new
building is constructed.
“We have been full here for a number of years,” he said.
Mr. Craig explained that the National Archive can only store about 5,000 records.
new building will allow us to store about 30,000 records, which should
meet Government’s needs for the next 25 years,” he said.
building will be constructed on land off Shedden Road adjoining the
National Archive. Mr. Craig said the new building is in its final
planning stages and that funds are allocated for its construction.
role in the Hurricane Plan played by the National Archive is helping
the various portfolios and ministries identify which of its records are
indeed vital, in a process Mr. Craig calls departmental disaster
Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts said the
improvements made in the 2006 National Hurricane Plan show the
Government’s commitment to improving its capability to respond to
“I want the Cayman Islands to claim the title as the most resilient country in the Caribbean,” he said.