The UK government has published a Resilience Framework that commits to taking forward the Commission’s recommendations on resilience standards for key infrastructure sectors and stress testing to help assure them.
The strategy document – the first of its kind for the UK – pledges government action to “introduce standards on resilience and develop an action plan to deliver these across the private sector, where these do not already exist, to give a clear benchmark on what ‘good’ looks like for resilience” as well as to “review existing regulatory regimes on resilience to ensure that they are fit for purpose”.
The Commission made several recommendations to government on the subject of infrastructure resilience in a 2020 report, Anticipate, React, Recover: Resilient infrastructure systems.
Sir John Armitt, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, said:
“We’re pleased to see the publication of the framework, which provides welcome strategic vision, rightly emphasising that prevention is better than cure. It’s particularly encouraging to see confirmation that government will take forward the Commission’s recommendation for resilience standards for infrastructure sectors that currently lack them, supported by stress testing.
“We now must see rapid progress on developing such standards, to give consumers greater clarity on the service levels they can expect in the face of different shocks and strains. It will also be important that any new resilience standards are adequately monitored and that operators are empowered and incentivised to meet them, including through the regulatory system.
“We stand ready to support the Resilience Directorate and others in this crucial shared endeavour.”
The Commission is undertaking further work on climate resilience as part of the next National Infrastructure Assessment, to be published in autumn 2023.