10 April 2003 | Robin Parker
Fewer than one in five firms have taken steps to prevent disruption to their business by the war on Iraq, a report claims.
According to the annual Chartered Management Institute survey of 742 managers, published by the Business Continuity Institute, half said UK businesses had made insufficient preparations for terrorist attacks.
While 44 per cent of firms have addressed the potential impact of firefighters' strikes, just 17 per cent have prepared for war disrupting business.
More than half of managers admitted their firms had no business continuity plan to keep running if disaster struck, or did not know if they did. Only a quarter had tested such plans in the past year.
Although a third feared disruption to their supply chains, 26 per cent had no idea what measures their firms took to protect against such failures.
The findings echo a survey by pan-European IT services provider Synstar, which claims that 58 per cent of UK firms have not made any plans for war-related threats or potential terrorist attacks.
John Sharp, chief executive of the Business Continuity Institute, said risk prevention would come into sharper focus this year as the effects of the war become apparent.
"The past year has been ruled more by fear of disruption than actual disruptions, and companies aren't sure how to prepare themselves," he said.
l Almost a third of purchasers are "very concerned" about the effect the war on Iraq will have on their supply chains, according to SM's latest online poll. A further 23 per cent are fairly concerned, 28 per cent were not too concerned, while one in five was not concerned at all.