Getting ready for the Covid-19 Inquiry – what’s your strategy?

3 May 2022

Where an inquiry ought to establish facts and identify lessons to be learned so that mistakes made are not repeated, it may seem that there is no place for “strategy” in the inquiry sphere.

And, while we wait with bated breath for the final terms of reference for the Covid-19 Inquiry, can organisations really collate a strategic approach to an inquiry with such a wide-ranging ambit?  Absolutely. There is no better time to do it than without the pressure of deadlines and hearing dates, whilst the Inquiry is finding its feet.

Fiona Barton QC, in her recent blog post, highlighted the need for organisations who wish to have a voice to get in touch with the trade and/or professional organisations as soon as possible. There is still time to do so even though the consultation is closed.

Internally, organisations need to think about how they and their industry fit into the pandemic picture; were you called upon to respond, were you subject to decision making that could have been better? Crystallising early, in your organisation’s own mind, the role it played helps frame the core points that you want the Inquiry to hear from you, either as a Core Participant or through the association that may be canvassing your views.

What are the big headlines that summarise the impact of the pandemic on you? Does answering this question require you to go to your operational teams to draw the raw data/information?

Do the big headlines unearth that there were things that your industry or organisation could have done better? If so, recognising it, thinking through the approach and making early improvements will strengthen the position when explaining that process to the public.

As the Inquiry powers up, this is the optimal time to collate the documentation and information from the people on the ground and organise it.  “Preparedness” is repeated in the draft terms of reference as a focal point; preparedness is central to the strategy deployed to assist the Inquiry.

If you think your client or organisation need assistance with strategy in preparing for the Inquiry, members of 5 Essex Court are available to provide advice and support.


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