Strengthen public-private partnerships to achieve resilience - Marsh/NPC report

A confluence of challenges, including sustained supply chain issues, extreme weather, large-scale cyber attacks, the global energy crisis and ongoing issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed vulnerabilities in the UK’s resilience arrangements that could be addressed through increased coordination between business and government.

This interaction is explored by Marsh McLennan in a new report for the National Preparedness Commission, Partnering with Purpose.

Executive director at Marsh McLennan, and author of the report, Richard Smith-Bingham, said the private sector can, should and is keen to contribute to increasing the UK’s resilience: “Companies have much to offer by way of finance, physical assets, workforce, capabilities and innovation. But if we truly want to align commercial priorities with larger national imperatives, we need to refresh how we apportion responsibility for risks, how we regulate for resilience and how we share data.”

Founded on extensive desk research and interviews with resilience experts in the UK and abroad, the report offers 18 ideas for achieving better alignment and traction on resilience with the private sector and positioning the country to withstand current and future shocks. These ideas include mandating stockpiles for critical goods, stronger cyber security mandates, new approaches to insuring catastrophic risks, greater analytical horsepower for critical risks, more extensive stress testing for critical national infrastructure, public-private sector crisis exercises and private-sector code(s) of crisis conduct.

“The new national resilience strategy being prepared by government should stimulate and test new approaches that will position the UK well for the future,” added Lord Toby Harris, chair of the National Preparedness Commission. “As identified in the report, government will need to play director, client, stimulator, facilitator and cheerleader with business to fully realise a whole-of-society approach to resilience.”

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