The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that responder agencies and Emergency Management Victoria review preparedness arrangements to ensure procedural documentation (including plans), recruitment, briefings and training are completed before significant seasonal events are likely to occur.
Seasonal preparedness should culminate in attestations of assurance to confirm that:
a) documentation reflects relevant risks and potential impacts
b) briefings and training schedules have been tailored and delivered according to seasonal influences
c) recruitment strategies enable the engagement of adequate numbers of appropriately skilled personnel for the entire season.
The attestation process will be broadened to address a wider range of emergency risks, including non-seasonal risks.
This will reinforce the requirements for the sector to be prepared to respond to any emergency event on any day of the year.
EMV has introduced a new attestation process that was trialled for the 2021–22 summer season. The expanded approach requires agencies to report on their preparedness across a range of hazards for which they are control agencies as outlined in the SEMP, including agencies with relief and early recovery responsibilities. This approach addresses a wider range of emergency risks including non-seasonal risks such as cyber, biosecurity and pandemics.
Using this approach, the sector provided a full Annual Preparedness Report to the EMC in November 2021. EMV advised that a summary was provided to the minister and the Security and Emergency Management Committee of Cabinet.
The Annual Preparedness Report provides assurance that a range of key preparedness activities have been or will be completed. The report provides information on the preparedness activities of each agency aligned to their critical tasks under the Victorian Preparedness Framework (and as articulated in the Roles and Responsibilities section of the SEMP).
EMV advised that this approach will form the basis for future seasonal assurance reporting across the sector, with discussions underway on the timing and frequency for future reporting.