06 October 2009
Media Release: NTE/31/09
1,000 Companies to be Flu Pandemic Prepared by 2010
Strengthen Singapore enterprises’ resilience against the threat of business disruptions
1.                  The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) today launched the Flu Pandemic Business Continuity Programme, with the support of SPRING Singapore, to help at least 1,000 companies become flu pandemic prepared by the end of 2010. This is part of the National Business Continuity Management (BCM) Programme to strengthen Singapore enterprises’ resilience against the threat of business disruptions.
2.                  Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Manpower, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, at the launch said, “Businesses can be disrupted by unforeseen circumstances, including natural and man-made calamities. The recent Influenza A H1N1 virus and the SARS we saw in 2003, represent one form of specific threat which could cause great disruptions to businesses and loss of lives. WHO has warned that a fresh round of flu pandemic could be triggered if new strains of the Influenza A H1N1 virus becomes virulent. Our businesses should therefore be vigilant and prepare themselves for such scenarios. We hope to encourage companies to participate in the Flu Pandemic Business Continuity Programme, as part of a larger effort towards building resilience through Business Continuity Management practices."
3.                  Under the programme, companies will have their flu pandemic preparedness verified by Quality Management System (QMS) certification bodies. These QMS certification bodies are accredited by the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) and appointed by SPRING Singapore. Each verification takes about two man-days and costs $2000. However, companies need to pay only $400 as 80% of the cost is subsidised.
4.                  The company will be assessed, given feedback and time to address any gaps before the final verification by the certification body. Upon satisfactory report by the certification body, SBF will issue a verification certificate as proof of the company’s flu pandemic preparedness.
5.                  Mr Teng Theng Dar, CEO of SBF said, “Businesses should see the Flu Pandemic Business Continuity Programme as an important investment. Not only will they have peace of mind knowing that they have the systems in place to prevent any disruptions to their operations, they will also get professional advice on their flu preparedness processes to mitigate any impact arising from disruptions, thus ensuring business continuity. In terms of time and cost, the programme’s investment is very affordable. Moreover, 80 per cent of the verification fee is subsidised by SPRING Singapore and the entire process has been kept to two man-days to make it more accessible to all enterprises.”
6.                  “The Flu Pandemic Business Continuity Programme is a targeted approach to encourage our companies to take a longer-term view of business continuity and build up their resilience. By dealing with the current threat of flu pandemic, companies can get a better sense of how BCM can help them mitigate the risks of disruption to their operations and benefit their business. Hence, the programme also serves as a stepping stone for companies to work towards full adoption of Business Continuity Management for their businesses,” said Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive of SPRING Singapore.
7.                  The Flu Pandemic Business Continuity Guide: 2009 and the Flu Pandemic Business Continuity Guide – Guidance for Verifiers: 2009 used in the verification process were both developed by SPRING Singapore with the aid of BCM standard experts based on the principles of SS 540.
8.                  SBF, with the support of SPRING Singapore, will be organising workshops for enterprises on flu pandemic preparedness. Interested companies can approach the National Business Continuity Management Centre at SBF at bcm@sbf.org.sg or call 6827 6867 or visit the SBF website at www.sbf.org.sg.
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About Singapore Business Federation 
As the apex business chamber, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) champions the interests of the business community in Singapore, in trade, investment and industrial relations. Nationally, SBF acts as the bridge between the government and businesses in Singapore to create a conducive business environment. Internationally, SBF represents the business community in bilateral, regional and multilateral fora for the purpose of trade expansion and business networking. For more information, please visit our website: www.sbf.org.sg
About SPRING Singapore
SPRING Singapore is the enterprise development agency for growing innovative companies and fostering a competitive SME sector. We work with partners to help enterprises in financing, capabilities and management development, technology and innovation, and access to markets. As the national standards and accreditation body, SPRING also develops and promotes internationally-recognised standards and quality assurance to enhance competitiveness and facilitate trade.
Please visit www.spring.gov.sg for more information and news about SPRING Singapore.



fact sheet on flu pandemic business continuity programme_final.pdf