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CONTINUITY of OPERATION PLAN

 

 

 

 

 

Approval and Implementation

 

 

Texas State University

Continuity of Operation Plan

 

 

This Continuity of Operation Plan Is Hereby Approved.
This Plan Is Effective Immediately and Supersedes All Previous Editions.

 

 

Signature

 

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Table of Contents

  1. GENERAL

Introduction
Purpose
Scope and Methodology
Devolution
Objectives
COOP Elements
Governance
Escalation & Command Structure
NIMS
Public Authority Coordination
Public Information
Reconstitution Operations
Roles & Responsibilities

  1. BUSINESS IMPACT ANALYSIS

Information Technology

  1. RISK ASSESSMENT

Broad Category of Hazards
Hazard Matrix

  1. RISK MANAGEMENT/CONTINUITY PLANNING

Policy
Alternate Facilities
Essential Files, Records, & Databases
Unit Plans

  1. UNIT PLAN TESTING & MAINTENANCE

Texas State COOP
Unit COOP Testing
COOP Plan Maintenance 14

APPENDICES

        1        Unit Continuity Plan Considerations
        2        Recovery Assumption for Continuity Plan Development
        3        BCP Minimum Requirements
        4        Emergency Purchasing of Goods, Materials, and Services
        5        Emergency Execution of payroll for Faculty and Staff Employees
        6        Emergency Materials Management and Logistics
        7        Restoration Strategy for Centrally Administered Information Resources
        8        Building Prioritization


1. GENERAL

Introduction
This Continuity of Operation Plan (COOP) results from three distinct processes:

1) The Risk, Assessment, which identifies potential hazards (and probability of occurring) that could affect the University.
2) The Business Impact Analysis, which is used to determine critical mission processes/resources and the interdependencies between those processes (resources) that must continue to exist for the University to function.
3) The Recovery Assumptions generally identify and acknowledge the inherent limitations and cost/benefit analyses that have been approved by the Executive Leadership team (President’s cabinet) and that are to be considered when developing a unit’s COOP plan.
Based on consideration and formal acceptance of these assumptions, the Executive Leadership team is aware of the limitations and remaining risks present and the cost to further mitigate and, in and of itself, frame the complete ideology and development of the institution’s continuity strategies.
President’s Cabinet oversees all COOP efforts at Texas State University and must accept and approve the results.  Each member of the Cabinet appoints a representative to the COOP Steering Committee to represent his or her division and departments.
COOP Planning and governance is the process whereby organizations ensure the maintenance of critical operations when impacted by incidents such as natural disasters, technology failures, human errors, or terrorism. The objectives of a continuity plan are to minimize loss to the organization, continue to serve customers, and maintain administrative operations.

Purpose
The University has an obligation to protect and provide for students, faculty, staff, and visitors in the event of a major interruption to our mission or operation. These obligations extend to a responsibility for each department to maintain its ability to meet its individual obligations. This includes the ability to provide the services expected of the department and to carry out functions essential to the mission of the University should an event occur that interrupts the normal course of operations. Failure to have an adequate continuity plan could lead to financial disaster, loss of reputation, interruptions of academic classes, failure of research projects, and delays in completing other mission essential functions or essential support functions.

Scope & Methodology
The University Emergency Response Plan addresses health, life, and safety issues and the Continuity of Operation Plan (COOP) is executed only after those issues have been addressed.

COOP planning encompasses maintaining and recovering essential business operations, not just the recovery of technology. COOP requires both a university-wide plan and individual plans for operating units that are responsible for mission essential functions. Mission essential functions are processes that are critical to ensure loss to the organization is minimized, constituents continue to be served, and administrative operations are resumed safely and effectively.

Risk Management/Continuity Planning utilizes the Risk Assessment to determine which risks should be managed; and provides a written, widely disseminated, and exercised plan on actions necessary to get operations running in the event of disruption associated with those risks. Testing and Updating establishes mechanisms to exercise the plan and keep it current.

DEVOLUTION

The need to address catastrophic possibilities and the concept of devolution is critical to ensure the continuation of essential functions.  Devolution planning addresses how Texas State University will identify and conduct its essential functions in the aftermath of a worst-case scenario, one in which the majority of the University’s San Marcos-based leadership is incapacitated.  Devolution allows the agency to transfer all of its essential functions and responsibilities to personnel at a different office or location in the aftermath of a catastrophic incident or event.

Texas State University and Texas State University System resources, processes and procedures are jointly developed and utilized to support the devolution processes.

The Texas State University primary devolution sites and support personnel are located at Texas State University- Round Rock Campus Secondary devolution sites are at other Texas State University System Universities as determined by Texas State University System Administration.

Objectives

The plan objectives, in order of priority are to:

1)      Provide for student, employee and public safety and welfare.
2)      Minimize confusion and indecision through advance planning and preparation.
3)      Minimize damage and loss of University property and resources.
4)      Continue essential functions including communications, payroll, accounts payable,    student services, online classes and physical classes.
5)      Restore normal business operations within identified recovery times.

COOP ELEMENTS

The commonly accepted components of a Continuity of Operation Plan are:

1)      Business Impact Analysis – identifies critical business processes, assigns estimates of maximum allowable downtime, and designates priorities for restoration.
2)      Risk Assessment – identifies specific threats, assesses vulnerability to those threats, and assigns a degree of risk associated with each threat.
3)      Recovery Assumptions – See Appendix Two (2) for the assumptions that should be used in the preparation of each unit’s COOP.

GOVERNANCE

COOP at Texas State is governed on three levels:

  1. COOP Program Manager – Vice President of Finance and Support Services.
  2. COOP Steering Committee:
    The COOP Steering Committee oversees development of the Continuity of Operation Plan and ensures that the plan is maintained, up-to-date, tested, and evaluated as required in accordance with the testing provisions in this plan (see section V. Unit Plan testing and Maintenance).
  3. EHS&RM:
    Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management (EHS&RM) is responsible for collecting all unit plans.  This document and the aggregated unit plans comprise the University’s complete Continuity Plan. EHS&RM maintains the Texas State (Kuali) Ready program.

ESCALATION AND COMMAND STRUCTURE

Order of Succession and Delegation of Authority

The University Orders of Succession (UOS) allows for an orderly and predefined transition of leadership of senior agency offices during an emergency if any officials are unavailable to execute their legal duties.  The designation as a successor enables that individual to act for and exercise the powers of a principal in emergency or continuity situations.  The following table presents the University’s UOS for senior agency positions. Detailed orders of succession are included in each division and program COOP plan.

Position

Successors

University President

 

  1.  Provost/Vice President, Academic Affairs

       2.  Vice President, Finance and Support Services

       3.  Vice President, Information Technology

       4.  Vice President, Student Affairs

       5.  Vice President, University Advancement

Additional Texas State University Division, Department, and Center orders of succession are identified in the Texas State Ready Continuity Planning Tool.

The pre-determined delegations of authority specify the positions that will have the authority for making policy determinations and key decisions upon activation of the COOP.  Delegations of authority may take effect when normal channels of direction are disrupted and end when these channels have resumed.

All authorities within the University’s Divisions, Departments and Centers are granted to the identified orders of succession should routine leadership be unable to direct response and recovery during COOP activation.

Triggers

This University Operation Plan will be implemented or considered for implementation based on the impact of the incident or any disruption of essential functions greater than 12 hours.

Continuity Activation

Only the President or, in the absence of the President, his/her designee can declare or end a campus wide continuity activation.  Each Department Head or designee shall have the authority to declare or end a continuity action for his/her own department independent of a campus wide declaration.

 

Texas State University has adopted the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

NIMS provides a consistent nationwide template to enable Federal, State, tribal, and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to work together to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity in order to reduce the loss of life and property and harm to the environment.

Emergency response operations work under a defined command and control system, referred to in NIMS as an Incident Command System (ICS).Texas State’s ICS is designed to coordinate activities of responding agencies and ensure that all responders work toward the single goal of resolving the crises as quickly and efficiently as possible while coordinating with the University’s Emergency Operations Center Team (EOC Team).

Continuity operations also works under a defined command and control system, referred to in NIMS as an Incident Command System (ICS). Texas State’s ICS is designed to coordinate activities and ensure that all responders work toward the single goal of resolving the issues at hand and getting the university returned to normal operation in an expedient manner.

1.         Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

In the event that a state of emergency is declared, the Emergency Operations Center shall be activated and staffed by essential personal.

A.  The primary EOC is located on the San Marcos Campus in the Nueces Building.

B.  If the Nueces Building (primary) is not accessible, then upon activation the local offsite EOC can be set up in San Marcos Fire Department Station 5.

 SMFD Station 5
100 Carlson Circle
San Marcos, TX  78666
Phone: 512-805-2660

C.    In the unlikely event that both the primary and local offsite EOC are inaccessible, then the Texas State University Round Rock Campus is designated as the offsite Emergency Operations Center.

Texas State University Round Rock Campus
1555 University Blvd.
Round Rock, Texas 78665
Phone: 512-805-2660

2.         Public Information and Emergency Notification

Texas State University utilizes the Emergency Alert System to manage critical communication during an emergency event. The Emergency Alert System is designed for external and internal communication applications where speed, efficiency, and direct communications are important.

NIMS Incident Command System Command Staff Role Description

Incident Commander (IC): The designated individual from the public agency or other responsible party who has the authority to act on behalf of his/her respective organizations. Most incidents have a single Incident Commander who has the final decision‐making authority.

Liaison Officer (LNO): Serves as a primary contact for supporting agencies assisting at the incident.

Public Information Officer (PIO): Serves as a conduit for information to internal and external stakeholders, including the media.

PUBLIC AUTHORITY COORDINATION

Processes, procedures and coordination with public authorities and other partners have been established in the Texas State University Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).  The coordination and partnership processes for incident response and continuity of operations coordination will follow the Incident Command System and Direction and Control as established in the University EOP.

PUBLIC INFORMATION

Processes, procedures and coordination for public information and with media partners has been established in the Texas State University Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).  The coordination and partnership processes for incident response and continuity of operations coordination will follow the Joint Information System and Public Information processes as established in the University EOP. 

RECONSTITUTION OPERATIONS

A planned reconstitution effort facilitates an effective and orderly return to normal operations following a COOP implementation with the goal of attaining full operational capability without interruption of essential functions.  The objectives of a reconstitution plan include: 

  1. Identifying and addressing internal and external stakeholder issues related to reconstitution;
  2. Identifying systems at the reconstitution site(s) requiring vendor/contract support;
  3. Forming a reconstitution team; and 
  4. Coordinating reconstitution needs and requirements.

Reconstitution procedures commence when Texas State University President’s Cabinet determines the emergency situation has ended and it is unlikely to recur.  Once this determination has been made, one or a combination of the following options may be implemented.

  1. Continue to operate from the alternate site location with support, if necessary.
  2. Begin an orderly return to headquarters and reconstitute from remaining or other resources.
  3. Begin to establish a reconstituted office in another facility.
  4. Upon a decision by the IC or other authorized person that the original facility can be reoccupied or that a different facility will be established as a new location:
  1. The facility manager will oversee the orderly transition of all functions, personnel, equipment, and records from the alternate site location to a new or restored facility. 
  2. Prior to relocating to the current headquarters or another building, facility management personnel will conduct appropriate security, safety, and health assessments for suitability for occupancy.
  3. When the necessary equipment and documents are in place at the new or restored facility, the staff remaining at the alternate site location will transfer mission critical activities and begin to resume normal operations.

            Reconstitution Teams

This section documents the strategies, personnel, procedures, and resources that the Reconstitution Teams will use to respond to interruptions of essential business functions.

Reconstitution Teams are activated by the EOC after an emergency event has occurred. These teams work to bring about the resumption of normal activities within their specific areas.

  Reconstitution Team General Responsibilities – Each Reconstitution Team Leader should:

A.      Be available to participate in meetings conducted by the EOC to gain as much information as possible regarding the emergency.
B.      Track expenditures for natural disasters following FEMA guidelines and instructions provided by the Texas State University Director of Purchasing.
C.     Maintain close communication with the EOC throughout the duration, advising of progress and updated status reports.
D.     Evaluate and make an initial report to the EOC of the extent of any operational damage within the team’s area of responsibility when authorization to enter the affected area is received.
E.      Implement pre‐planned recovery strategies based in part upon the Departmental Emergency Plan and/or Departmental Emergency Recovery Plan.
F.      Coordinate resource allocation and logistical needs and/or problems through the EOC.
H.     Acquire additional staff according to the department’s needs.
I.       Participate in a general debriefing to evaluate responses to the emergency and make recommendations for improvement upon restoration of operations

            ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

Administration: Administrative support includes the full endorsement, support, and approval of the plan, ensuring necessary financial, human, and physical resources are available.

Directors, Managers, and Supervisors: Required to be knowledgeable of and adhere to the procedures in this plan, to the extent possible, and ensure communication to and the participation of staff in planning, recovery, and training.

COOP Committee:

1.      Serves as the Plan Administrator and has the responsibility for overseeing the development, implementation, and maintenance of the University’s Continuity Plan in support of the plan objectives.

2.      Serves as the advisory committee responsible for providing recommendations and advice to the President and President’s Cabinet as assistance is needed.

Faculty and Staff Employees: Employees are responsible for knowing and understanding their individual roles in the plan and having the ability and willingness to carry out that role in the event of an emergency.


II. BUSINESS IMPACT ANALYSIS

The first step in Continuity Planning is determining mission essential functions and essential supporting activities. The interdependencies between these processes must continue to exist for the University to function. Essential functions or essential supporting activities generally fall into one of three general categories:

  1. Safety and Security - Activities needed to sustain a safe and secure environment for students, faculty, staff, the visiting public, and surrounding community. Examples include EHS&RM, University Police, local fire protection, and hazardous material mitigation.  While the Emergency Response Plan addresses restoring safety and security, the Business Continuity Plan may be concerned with sustaining those functions for an extended period.
  1. Business Support Services - Activities that allow the University to maintain necessary business operations, safeguard assets, and ensure the financial viability of the University.  Examples include payroll, revenue collection, accounts payable and financial reporting.
  1. Learning, Education, and Research - Activities that carry out or directly support the academic mission of the University.  For example, student support services (admissions, registration, etc.), lecture and study, research, post graduate programs, graduation.

A comprehensive Business Impact Analysis has been completed for all 143 identified departments, divisions, and centers within Texas State University.  This includes Academics, Financial and Support Services, Residential Services, Research, and supporting entities.  This Business Impact Analysis is available within the Texas State Ready Continuity Program Tool. 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

The core services provided by the Information Technology Division (e.g., voice and data network, instructional software, administrative systems, and data center facilities) are considered basic to the recovery of most if not all the above business processes. As such, the IT division maintains a separate Disaster Recovery Plan that addresses the recovery and the continuity of those services in the event of a disaster. See Appendix 7 for Restoration Strategy for Centrally Administered Information Resources.


III. RISK ASSESSMENT

The second step of business continuity planning is to determine the potential hazards or threats that could affect the University, assess the likelihood of their occurrence, and analyze our vulnerability. This analysis forms the basis for preparing the continuity plan. More time and resources are spent planning for and, where possible, preventing disasters that are judged to have both a high likelihood of occurrence and a high level of severity.

This risk analysis addresses the likelihood of occurrence and severity of threats as viewed from a campus wide perspective. Operating units can use this assessment as a guide in developing their specific risk assessments, but must realize that both likelihood of occurrence and event consequence may differ when viewed from a unit level. For example, the occurrence of a major fire that affects the entire University is judged to be unlikely, but the occurrence of a fire affecting a specific warehouse that lacks robust fire prevention measures may be judged likely.

BROAD CATEGORIES OF HAZARDS

Texas State recognizes that the planning process must address each hazard that threatens the University. The University is vulnerable to a wide range of threats. The University, with its varying topography, mixed use of space, rapidly growing student population, and transient and recreational population is subject to a wide variety of negative impacts from natural and technological hazards. The natural, technological or man-made hazards that confront the University include:

Natural Hazards

  1. Geological such as earthquake
  2. Meteorological such as floods, drought, fire, and extreme weather/storm (snow, ice, hail, windstorm, tornado); and
  3. Biological such as emerging diseases that impact humans or animals

Technological/Man-made Hazards

  1. Energy/power/utility failure; 
  2. Communications systems interruptions
  3. Hazardous materials;
  4. Air/water pollution, contamination
  5. Explosion/fire;
  6. Major vehicle accident;
  7. Train accident;
  8. Civil disturbance;
  9. Sabotage; and
  10. Terrorism.

A hazard matrix that depicts the likelihood of occurrence and severity level of each of these hazards is listed below. The “Likelihood of Occurrence” is based upon historic occurrences of the identified hazard in the local area. The “Severity” of the hazard is based upon the interruption of business, by the potential number of impacted persons, the potential number of buildings involved and extent of damage, and the number/nature of potential casualties.

Hazard Matrix

 

Hazard

Likelihood

Of

Occurrence

Severity

Likely

Unlikely

High

Moderate

Low

Tornado

X

 

X

 

 

Flood

X

 

 

X

X

Structural Collapse

 

X

 

X

 

Disease Outbreak

 

X

 

 

X

Civil Disorder

X

 

X

 

 

Train Accident

X

 

 

X

 

Utility Failure

X

 

X

 

 

Power failure

X

 

X

 

 

Telecom Failure

 

X

X

 

 

Data/Communication Failure

X

 

X

 

 

Major Fire

 

X

 

X

 

Extreme Weather

X

 

X

 

 

Terrorist Threat

 

X

X

 

 

Hazmat

X

 

X

 

 

Earthquake

 

X

X

 

 

Active Shooter

X

 

X

 

 

Public Assembly Emergency

X

 

 

 

X

Hostage Situation

X

 

 

X

 


IV. RISK MANAGEMENT/CONTINUITY PLANNING

POLICY

Each University division will appoint a person responsible for continuity planning. This person will be the division focal point for determining which of its units operates processes that are essential and ensuring those processes are identified in section II of this plan.

Each division will ensure that operating units responsible for essential business functions identified in section II develop a Continuity Plan that enables the operating unit to continue to perform those essential functions and support activities in the event of a disruption.  Divisions may determine the degree to which continuity planning is consolidated across multiple units within a division. This decision will be based on factors such as commonality of business process, size of the division, etc. However, all identified essential functions and services support activities must be covered by a plan.

Unit plans must take into account the possibility that a University-wide interruption may affect multiple units. Departments that depend on other departments or external suppliers to provide its critical functions should coordinate with those departments or external suppliers to ensure these suppliers or units also have a continuity plan.

Division coordinators will provide central coordination of the continuity planning process to assist units in determining space, equipment, and services that might be available within the University and to make the planning process coherent across units.

Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management (EHS&RM) will be responsible for collecting all unit plans and the combination of this document and the unit plans will constitute the University’s complete Continuity Plan. Initial versions of unit plans will be completed and forwarded to EHS&RM no later than six months from the approval of this plan. Texas State Ready is a computer based program that will aid the departments and groups in developing their Business Continuity Plan. Texas State Ready is available to all active Texas State University employees and can be accessed via the following http://www.fss.txstate.edu/ehsrm/business.html link. Click on the “Texas State Ready Login” at the top of the left hand column. Training on how to use the program is available.

Contact  EHS&RM at 512-245-3616 to schedule.

In the event plan activation requires prioritization among units for the recovery of services or allocation of limited resources, that prioritization will be accomplished by the President’s Cabinet after consideration of the critical times identified in business impact analysis and the exact circumstances surrounding the plan activation.

ALTERNATE FACILITIES

If the continuity incident requires the relocation of the essential personnel, staff may be distributed first to functioning University San Marcos campus locations or to other University owned facilities such as Star Park, Freeman Ranch Multipurpose building or the Round Rock Campus. If required, the purchase of new lease space would be processed through the University Financial Support Office. Should relocation become necessary, relocation activities will become the University’s top priority. Only personnel essential to the maintenance and primary function of the affected business element or program will be given space in continuity operations sites.

Types of Alternate Facilities

  1. Co-Locate with another University

University-controlled buildings that are operational during a continuity incident may have limited space, and some of the agency’s essential functions have operational requirements that can only be met by a specialized environment. In these cases, Texas State pre-identified essential functions may share space with another University. Texas State has worked with System Staff in Austin and at other System Universities to identify where essential functions could utilize workstations or space in other university facilities that are not affected by the incident.

  1. Use Virtual Office Technologies

If appropriate, the University will direct appropriate personnel performing essential functions to use virtual office technologies in order to continue essential functions in a safe environment. The University has identified the components and key positions of its essential functions that can be operated by staff. The University will follow Texas state policies and procedures related to remote/ telecommuting as well as information resources requirements, tools, and resources necessary to support remote/ telework.

The University has developed a telework process and policy, as well as the infrastructure needed to allow staff to work remotely. The telework program includes procedures to ensure employee accountability and provides training that helps supervisors manage employees without face-to-face contact.

ESSENTIAL FILES, RECORDS, & DATABASES

Texas State University has identified the vital files, records, and databases needed to support its essential functions under the full spectrum of all-hazards continuity.  This information includes records critical to carrying out the agency’s essential legal and financial functions; and those essential to the continued functioning and/or the reconstitution of the agency if continuity activation is declared.

A vital state record is defined as any state record necessary to:

(a) the resumption or continuation of state agency operations in an emergency or disaster;
(b) the legal and financial status of the agency; or
(c) the protection and fulfillment of obligations to the people of the state.

Vital Records are those records that are essential to resume or continue as a departmental entity in the event of a disaster.  Vital records must be backed up with the duplicate record stored off-site so that in the case of a disaster, the back-up version can be used to resume normal business.

Organizational areas are cautioned that a computer back-up tape in and of itself may not be used by itself for records retention. See TAC Title 13, Part 1, Chapter 6, Subchapter C, Rule §6.94 ) (C).  System tapes used for data backup or disaster recovery, unless indexed for accessibility, must not be used to satisfy records retention requirements.

Each division, department and center has identified essential/vital records in their respective Texas State Ready Program materials.

Essential Records are maintained as electronic files capable of being recovered or restored via the Texas State University Information Technology Disaster Recovery Plan.

UNIT PLANS

The plan for operational continuity shall contain clear strategies and procedures needed to continue operations and execute a recovery in the event of an interruption that compromises the ability of the operating unit to carry out its essential functions.  The determination that an interruption and activation of the unit level plans has occurred may be made by the individual dean, director, or similar administrative head for local occurrences or by the Cabinet for university-wide occurrences.  Unit plans will follow business continuity planning principles described in this document. The unit Business Continuity Plan should be developed by completing and documenting these steps:

  1. Determine which subset of essential functions(s) identified in Section II is being addressed by the unit plan.
  2. Develop a unit risk analysis that uses Section III of this document as a guide and identifies risks and/or hazards that might reasonably pose a threat to the operating unit’s ability to function. The unit risk analysis should examine threats as they apply to the operating unit so the results may differ from those in Section III.
  3. Identify existing and easily implemented controls to avoid these risks and hazards.
  4. Develop and document procedures for recovering all or part of the highest priority functions, given specific failure scenarios and time horizons.
  5. Determine whether each process could be suspended or degraded or whether it must be fully operational immediately.  In many cases, continuity service levels may be considerably less than existed prior to interruption, but nevertheless sufficient to sustain the essential function.
  6. Determine the time frame for full recovery of essential functions if a degraded service level is deemed initially acceptable.
  7. Identify alternate work sites or other temporary facilities for the essential functions and support activities.
  8. Provide for the ongoing back up of essential data and protection of critical equipment.
  9. Assign local recovery roles, responsibilities, and authority.
  10. Develop procedures for recovering impacted operations quickly, and strategies for providing programs and services under various emergency conditions.
  11. Determine when the plan needs to be activated and identify who within the unit is authorized to implement the plan.
  12. A copy of this plan will be stored in Texas State ready to be accessed by essential personnel. A hard copy is maintained by EHSRM, and provided to the Texas State System office, and Texas State Round Rock campus.
  13. Maintain the list of resources, vendors, etc., with which the unit has agreements for the provision of services, supplies, or equipment to be used in the event of an interruption of operations.
  14. Establish procedures for contacting appropriate staff members, University departments and University suppliers in the event of an interruption of operations.
  15. Establish procedures for return to full, normal operations of the operating unit, including that of non-critical functions.

The questionnaire found at Appendix 1 may assist units in formulating their Continuity Plan.

 


V. UNIT PLAN TESTING & MAINTENANCE

TEXAS STATE COOP TESTING

The Texas State Continuity of Operation Plan must be reviewed and updated annually to include updating contact lists, responsibilities, Memorandums of Agreement/Memorandums of Understanding, and procedures remain current and valid.

UNIT COOP TESTING

The first stage of testing a Unit Continuity Plan is to verify that the plan meets the minimum requirements as outlined in Appendix Three (3).

Unit Continuity Plans must be exercised no less than once per year. This exercise should include the following:

  1. Identifying exercise objectives
  2. Conducting exercises to validate the viability of the plan
  3. Documenting exercise results and the steps proposed to correct any problems
  4. Making appropriate changes to the plan

TRAINING

Units will assure that training on the use of the plan is provided to ensure that all staff is adequately trained to fulfill their responsibility in support of the recovery process.

Training for new employees should be carried out within 120 days of their start date.

Training Texas State staff is essential for the agency to effectively activate and carry out a COOP implementation. Personnel must be trained so they have the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their responsibilities. The types of training are:

Orientation Training

The University Continuity Committee representatives will develop and provide orientation training to introduce general concepts and procedures of the COOP plan, essential functions and describes staff assignments and roles.

If a COOP is activated, an orientation will be made available to personnel arriving at an alternate operating facility. The orientation will cover the support and services available at the facility and administrative matters such as supervision, security and personnel policies.

Hands-on Training

This training provides practice in specialized skills such as notification procedures. It is generally provided by subject matter experts to personnel with specific roles in COOP activation. Hands-on training will be provided to members of the Continuity Incident Management Team and to University personnel responsible for maintaining communications or conducting specific operations during COOP activation.

Hands-on training also will be part of the University’s “virtual office” plan to allow personnel and managers in critical functions to develop skills and knowledge in communicating and managing core operations remotely.

COOP PLAN MAINTENANCE

The level of complexity contained within the University COOP program requires a long-term maintenance program.  The University COOP includes an annual review of the plan elements for accuracy and applicability.  Plan reviews may involve agency leadership for resolution of issues, and formal change controls will be implemented to cover major revisions of the document. 

In addition to regular reviews of COOP plans and processes, COOP tests and exercises may produce information that results in changes to the COOP plan and systems. COOP plans may also be updated and revised based on major issues identified by the following sources of information.

  1. Presidential Directive, and State and local ordinances or directives
  2. Direction from The Texas State Office of Risk Management (SORM) or Texas Homeland Security, Department of Public Safety
  3. Direction from the Texas State University System
  4. Changes in the Texas State University mission and/or policies
  5. Changes in technology including information management systems
  6. Changes in student or other stakeholder needs

University personnel will work to update and maintain the agency COOP plan.  The business and program areas will be responsible for keeping the information in their division, department, or center COOP plans current at all times.  This includes ensuring that all emergency contact numbers for essential personnel are current.  University leadership and key personnel for the agency’s COOP program will be kept fully informed regarding any major changes to the plan.

Initially and annually, verify that the unit’s BCP meets the minimum requirements as approved by the BCP steering committee to be considered a completed unit plan. See Appendix Three (3). In addition to the items identified in Appendix 3, during the annual review each Business Continuity Plan must be “reviewed and updates annually to include plans to ensure contact lists, responsibilities, Memorandums of Agreement/Memorandums of Understanding, and procedures remain current and valid.”

Unit heads must evaluate the impact of changes within the unit, make appropriate plan updates, and communicate changes to persons holding copies of the plan.

Plans should be reviewed by the unit head once per year. In particular, the unit head should assure that:

  1. essential functions and support activities have been identified
  2. Continuity and recovery strategies are in place
  3. Documentation for the plan is current
  4. Minimum levels of required operation and recovery time frames have been set.
  5. Exercising of the plan has been completed annually.

Appendices and Tables

 

Appendix 1 Unit Continuity Considerations
Appendix 2 Recovery Assumtions for Continuity Plan Development
Appendix 3 BCP Minum Requirements
Appendix 4 Emergency Purchasing of Goods, Materials, and Services
Appendix 5 Emergency Execution of Payroll for Faculty and Staff Employees
Appendix 6 Emergency Materials Management and Logistics
Appendix 7 Restoration Strategy for Centrally Administered Information Resources
Appendix 8 Building Prioritization Schedule
Table 1 & 2 Texas State Centrally Administered Systems, Applications, Services