Impact of COVID-19 on Defence, Security and Justice

As the effects of COVID-19 are felt around the world, Defence, Security, and Justice (DS&J) agencies are working to maintain mission readiness, ensure public safety, and support government-wide efforts. Organisations are focused on delivering innovative solutions to support core response efforts (e.g., deploying Navy hospital ships to augment care services), ensure the safe flow of goods and resources, and provide consistent communication with the public despite disruptions occurring within this dynamically changing environment.

Potential long-term impact on Defence, Security, and Justice agencies Defence, Security and Justice agencies at all levels (federal/national, state/regional, local/municipal) can expect impacts across key organisational pillars, including:

Workforce planning: increased focus on enabling remote work and providing scalable, virtual support solutions requiring investments in digital, technology, and cyber services.

Training methods: military and law enforcement training that is conducted in classrooms can pivot to remote methods; however, operational training requires experiential, team-based approaches.

Reprioritizing spending: as government spending shifts toward economic recovery efforts, DS&J organisations may experience decreased budgets requiring them to review investments and operations.

Policy: as organisations reflect on the response to this crisis, focus will shift toward scenario planning and establishing new policies and procedures to increase performance, preparedness, and resiliency

Key Questions Government Executives should be Asking ?

  1. What additional actions should be taken to protect the safety of our military personnel, law enforcement officers, and civilian workforce?
  2. How do we maintain our level of operational readiness as resources and personnel become increasingly strained?
  3. Do we have the necessary infrastructure in place to enable a remote workforce?
  4. What do we need to put in place to manage crisis and post-crisis communications and activities?
  5. How do we test for and adapt to gaps and risks in the resilience of our supply chain network?
  6. How do we understand and forecast for disruptions to long-term military acquisitions?

Practical next steps Defence, Security and Justice leaders will be defined by what they do along the three dimensions to managing a crisis: Respond, Recover, and Thrive. Some key next steps include:

Integration and coordination of activities with central response leaders to facilitate implementation and enforcement of guidance to maintain public safety.

Re-prioritising ongoing programs to reallocate personnel and assets to support crisis response activities.

Leveraging digital and analytics tools to enable continuity of standard operations (e.g. law enforcement chat bots), increasing visibility into response coverage and measures, and improve decision-making.

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