Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1427)

Jack Chambers

Question:

1427. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his Department has a disaster recovery plan, business continuity plan and or disaster recovery sites; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36236/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Divisions within my Department are required to have Business Continuity Plans (BCP) and these documents identify the Division’s priority work and set out the strategy to maintain these services in the event of a crisis. These plans were mobilised in recent years when severe weather events prevented access to many Government buildings. In addition, each of the six main DAFM geographic locations have a location-specific BCP that deals with overarching business continuity planning for all the Divisions located in that area.

The Department maintains a Disaster Recovery site for its IT operations. However, in terms of work locations, given the number of DAFM offices around the country, it does not maintain recovery sites per se . Instead, staff and critical work can be redistributed within their geographical location or even between locations if necessary. This flexibility is possible largely because my Department has invested in an IT infrastructure that does not limit staff to a specific desk or building. Staff can access critical systems from any DAFM office. This is so that, in the event of a disaster, staff can maintain priority services from other DAFM offices or remotely.

This infrastructure is, itself, underpinned by a comprehensive IT recovery plan which includes mirroring of resources and frequent back-up of information.