WASHINGTON, D.C., November 12, 2008 - The majority of government financial managers do not have emergency preparedness plans in place should a natural disaster or emergency occur, according to research conducted by the Council for Excellence in Government in conjunction with J.P. Morgan and Visa. To promote greater emergency preparedness, the Council has published a checklist of best practices for financial managers, as well as helpful links and documents that can be used throughout the planning and response process.
During the last year the Council, J.P. Morgan and Visa hosted a national series of panel discussions focused on financial management preparation surrounding emergency situations. More than 200 local, county, state, and federal financial managers and experts met in Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C to discuss best practices and gaps in current plans to prepare, respond and recover financially during a major emergency.
According to research conducted during the program, less than 50 percent of responding jurisdictions reported having established financial plans for emergency preparedness and a mere 20 percent reported having the pre-existing relationships with organizations to enable the distribution and accountability of funds for aid.
"We are alarmed by the number of jurisdictions financially unprepared for emergency situations. Financial officials must play a larger role in planning, managing and directing response and recovery operations," said Patricia McGinnis, president and CEO of the Council for Excellence in Government. "Partnerships among government at all levels, non-profits, and financial institutions must be in place before a disaster occurs, with clearly understood and practiced roles and responsibilities."
Some of the best practices offered to help the public sector better manage emergencies are:
"J.P. Morgan is committed to working with local communities and state officials to prepare for the unexpected," said Laurie Neill, managing director of public sector solutions, J.P. Morgan. "All too often the cross-sector relationships that are crucial in preparing for and responding to emergencies occur when it is too late."
Additional best practices and documents are available at www.excelgov.org.
About the Council for Excellence in Government
The Council for Excellence in Government is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that works to promote improved government performance, citizen participation in government, and public-private partnerships. Since 2002 the Council has been a leader and catalyst in examining issues of homeland security and emergency management from the citizens' perspective. For more information, please visit www.excelgov.org.
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.3 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management, and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan, Chase, and WaMu brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at http://www.jpmorganchase.com.
Visa operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit www.visa.com.