PANDEMIE MONDIALE : les conséquences économiques (impact macro-économique) - RAPPORT OFFICIEL DU TRESOR AMERICAIN
Grippe porcine : quelles conséquences pour l'économie d'une pandémie mondiale ?
Une étude du Trésor américain.
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PANDEMIC FLU EXERCISE OF 2007
AFTER ACTION REPORT
U.S. Financial Services
Sector Exercise Results
FBIIC FSSCC SIFMA
U.S. Department of the Treasury
The scenario for this exercise posed a realistic picture of the possible systemic risks to the sector and its dependencies on other critical infrastructures.
Based on the findings of this exercise, it appears that while there will be significant impacts to the financial services sector, the sector overall will continue to operate and cope with these impacts.
This free and voluntary exercise provided organizations from the banking, insurance and markets (securities and derivatives) industries, as well as financial utilities, trade associations, and regulators, an opportunity to assess their pandemic plans against a rigorous and detailed scenario.
The scenario was developed by a team of technical experts from diverse disciplines that few organizations have the ability to tap on their own.
The exercise was designed to use progressive absenteeism rates – reaching as high as 49 percent – to stress the contingency plans of participating organizations. Critical infrastructures that the financial services sector relies on were also stressed during the exercise to simulate likely degradation in available services.
Through this approach, the sector was able to gauge how their individual organizations and markets might be expected to cope with different levels of a pandemic. The exercise highlighted the need for organizations to include a pandemic-specific focus in their overall business continuity planning efforts.
At the start of the exercise, more than onethird of participants stated that they had not yet developed pandemic-specific business continuity plans. However, after the exercise 91 percent of
participants said they would apply lessons they learned from the exercise to refine their organizations’ business continuity plans.
This report details the results from this exercise including how the exercise was constructed by the financial services sector through a publicprivate partnership, the findings from the exercise, and future considerations for the sector and the regulators.
Based on the exercise results, it is apparent that financial organizations of different sizes have different needs and responses to the challenges posed by a potential pandemic flu epidemic.
The participating organizations ranged in size from very small — less than 250 employees — to the largest institutions in the country—with more than 100,000 employees. For example, while high rates of absenteeism would be a universal problem during a pandemic flu, large organizations plan to rely more heavily on telecommuting, while small and medium organizations are more likely to use social-distancing strategies such as staggered shifts, personal space limitations, and personal protective equipment (PPE). The exercise findings indicated that
although many organizations included telecommuting as part of their plans for social distancing, relatively few employees telecommuted during the exercise. Testing of computer systems used for telecommuting by staff performing critical functions remains an issue, with large and medium organizations generally reporting that they have done so for less than half of such staff, and most small organizations reporting having done so for less than 5 percent of such staff.
Telecommuting and cross-training employees are only two examples of how organizations plan to manage their human resources constraints. Other human resources management considerations include educating employees about individual preparedness, determining organizational policies about using vacation time, sick leave, and offering special incentives, as well as the distribution of anti-viral medication and PPE.
During the peak pandemic period of the exercise, 88 percent of participants indicated that their organizations either did not have stockpiles of anti-viral medications or had decided not to distribute them. Organizations indicated that they would be far more likely to stockpile PPE than anti-viral medications. Fifty-four percent of organizations had PPE and distributed it during the height of the pandemic. Large organizations were slightly more likely than small and medium organizations to reserve such equipment for workers who perform critical functions.
The majority of organizations indicated that they were replenishing or creating new stockpiles of PPE by the time the peak scenario period subsided. Communications strategies for customers, employees, and suppliers is another widely recognized component in pandemic plans. At the beginning of the exercise, more than 80 percent of respondents indicated that communications
plans were in place to provide information to employees, customers, and suppliers during a pandemic. At the close of the exercise, the majority of participating organizations reported that these plans were judged to have been moderately effective. Overall, most organizations reported that their existing HR policies were moderately effective in meeting workforce needs during a pandemic.
In addition to the effects at individual organizations, the issue of dependency on other sectors, such as transportation, telecommunications, and energy, was a key component to the exercise.
Leveraging the experience and skills of public and private sector experts, the exercise scenario was designed to provide descriptions of the effects of a pandemic on other sectors to enable participants to better understand the issue of interdependency. While standard business continuity plans often include provisions for vendor services, these service providers will likely suffer similar levels of absenteeism and reduced levels of operations and services during a pandemic flu.
Overall, the majority of participants indicated that they understood their external dependencies and that their plans, based on the exercise scenario, were moderately effective at addressing these dependencies. However, 97 percent of participants stated that more attention to these dependencies is warranted.
By providing an opportunity to test plans, and identify systemic risks and critical dependencies on other sectors through this exercise, 99 percent of exercise participants felt that the exercise met its objectives and was useful in assessing their pandemic planning needs. As a result, the exercise provided the participants the opportunity to examine key crisis management issues, foster strategic thinking, and strengthen the sector’s overall preparedness.
On the whole, the exercise revealed that the largest firms have planned extensively for a possible pandemic. This work was a key contributor to the sector’s overall ability to continue to conduct critical functions and keep markets viable for the short term even as the simulated absenteeism rate moved up toward 49 percent.
In fact, the exercise showed that there was little impact on some operations for short periods at 25 percent absenteeism and generally at 35 percent as well.
The exercise did point out a variety of issues that can be addressed to further strengthen the sector’s ability to weather a pandemic. These issues differ widely by organization. Each organization will need to judge the value of potential enhancements to their strategies and plans and incorporate those that suit their individual situation.
In examining the exercise results, it is apparent that the financial sector’s pandemic response planning involves a layered approach incorporating social distancing techniques, telecommuting, cross-training, communication to employees and customers, and distribution of PPE, as well as special arrangements with service providers.