This feedback is anonymous. Please Contact us if you would like a response.

Main content area

The exercise contractor, REM Associates, made eight recommendations to improve the operation of the OPICC and the department’s CMT, grouped by priority for implementation. The department has accepted all recommendations. Table 2 presents the recommendations and the department’s response. The implementation of all recommendations is the responsibility of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Table 2 Recommendations for the OPICC and the department’s CMT

Priority 1 – For implementation within 12 months

Recommendation

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science response

1. Review current Crisis Management System (CMS) to align with Australian Government Crisis Management Framework arrangements.

Align processes and forms to Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre and implement procedures to track and maintain situational awareness including designated room/facility.

Consider deploying liaison officers to Petroleum Titleholder and other response agencies upon notification and ensure they are trained and understand role.

Agreed. The department will undertake a thorough evaluation of its offshore incident response plans and processes. This includes ensuring that the department’s internal policies and plans better align with the Australian Government Crisis Management Framework through collaboration with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre. The department will work directly with the Crisis Coordination Centre to ensure that the processes and functions of each agency are appropriately integrated.

While liaison officers were not deployed to Western Australia during Exercise Ningaloo Challenge due to exercise constraints, the use of liaison officers forms part of the department’s existing Offshore Petroleum Incident Coordination Framework. To support this framework, specific guidance will be developed to outline the role and responsibilities of liaison officers.

2. Implement regular training and exercise program to instruct the department’s CMT personnel on crisis management fundamentals.

Include smaller, regular exercises to validate critical components of the CMS. Integrate training and exercises with Petroleum Titleholders and other Commonwealth Agencies.

Align training and competencies for the department’s CMT and OPICC personnel to Australian Government Crisis Management practices.

Agreed. The Offshore Petroleum Incident Coordination Framework currently outlines a learning and development program to assist in building and maintaining the crisis management capability of OPICC member agencies and the department’s CMT. The department will reconsider these arrangements to ensure that appropriate training is conducted, and where possible in alignment with Australian Government crisis management practices, and the procedures to be implemented during an offshore incident are understood by all relevant staff.

The department supports the approach of conducting smaller, more regular exercises to increase the retention of information, improve competency and reduce costs.

3. Develop and implement Crisis Management Handbook for the department’s CMT outlining roles, responsibilities of key positions and processes to track and manage requests for support.

Agreed. Following the review and revision of the department’s offshore incident response plans, these plans and procedures will be compiled into a Crisis Management Handbook. This handbook will assist the operation of the department’s CMT during an incident by outlining key roles, key responsibilities, and processes that should be undertaken.

Priority 2 – implementation within 13-24 months

Recommendation

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science response

4. Clearly define and document organisational roles and responsibilities of the department’s CMT, OPICC and relation to Australian Government Crisis Management Framework arrangements.

Agreed. The department will work with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre to clearly define the role and responsibilities of the department and the OPICC in relation to whole-of-government crisis arrangements. The outcomes of this collaboration will be clearly reflected in an update of the Offshore Petroleum Incident Coordination Framework, and supporting plans within the CMT’s Crisis Management System. The department will consult with relevant external agencies and stakeholders on the draft amendments to the framework.

5. Develop and implement Situation Appreciation / Business Impact Assessment to ensure understanding of size and complexity of incident for the department’s CMT and OPICC.

Train the department’s CMT and OPICC personnel in use of Strategic Incident Potential Assessment / Business Impact Assessment.

Agreed. The department recognises the value in a clearly articulated situation appreciation process, to understand the scope and severity of the incident to inform strategic decision making.

The department views this as a priority, and it will be incorporated in the further development and improvement of the current Crisis Management System.

6. Develop and implement a strategic communications process that identifies key stakeholders, frequency and mechanism of communication within Commonwealth Government and external interested parties.

Review integration of the department’s communications into Australian Government communications arrangements.

Agreed. The department will consult with relevant Commonwealth agencies, in particular the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre and NOPSEMA, to develop a clear and integrated communications process for use within the Commonwealth Government. The department will also review, and revise where necessary, its communication process with external parties, such as the Titleholder and state/territory governments.

Priority 3 – as resources are available to implement

Recommendation

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science response

7. Identify suitable room and facilities for the department’s CMT including room layout, communications requirements, situation display and key personnel locations.

Agreed. Following the development of new arrangements and procedures identified through implementing recommendations 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6, the department will consider the facilities required to support these arrangements.

The facilities required will be documented in the department’s Crisis Management System.

8. The department to identify, understand and leverage capabilities from other Commonwealth Agencies (AMSA, Australian Border Force Maritime Border Command) and opportunities to leverage subject matter expertise to support response operations and maintain situational awareness.

Agreed. The update of the Offshore Petroleum Incident Coordination Framework will include clear descriptions of the capabilities of relevant Commonwealth agencies that are available during an offshore petroleum incident, to ensure the expertise and resources of agencies are appropriately recognised and utilised. Additional specific information about Commonwealth capabilities will be incorporated into the department’s internal planning documents.