Ready for bird flu? Most local gov'ts aren't

Vendor survey finds only 40 percent of governments have plans to recover from pandemic, and most are not concerned.
Written by ZDNet UK, Contributor

State and local IT officials do not feel ready to deal with a bird flu pandemic, a survey conducted by Citrix Systems says. According to Citrix, a vendor of centralized systems to government and business, only 40 percent of officials have disaster recovery and business continuity plans in place to address a pandemic. Twenty-four percent said they were unsure if they did.

What's the problem? Most (65% of respondents) said budget restraints. Other hurdles: technology infrastructure, management focus, and remote access to data and applications.

Bert Wakeley, director of state and local government for Citrix said:. "Much like Y2K, agencies can see both the potential problems and solutions well before they happen - now avian flu preparation is just a matter of political leadership focus and priority."

While avian flu is in the news fairly regularly, just 27 percent of survey respondents said they were concerned about the impact of an avian flu outbreak on their daily agency operations. Sixty-seven percent said they were not very concerned about the effects of an outbreak on agency operations.

"The results demonstrate that technology is not a barrier for pandemic preparation. That said, the survey also demonstrates an acute need for greater awareness of the avian flu threat and greater resources to address that threat," Wakeley said.
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