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Reserve Bank of Australia responds to outage report

Source: Reserve Bank of Australia

In January 2023, the Reserve Bank of Australia commissioned a comprehensive review of the operating environment supporting the Reserve Bank Information and Transfer System (RITS).

This system is a critical part of Australia’s payments infrastructure and is owned and operated by the Reserve Bank. The review, conducted by Deloitte, was requested by the Payments System Board (PSB) following a major outage of the system on 12 October 2022. The review was discussed at the PSB meeting on 25 May where the PSB also considered an internal assessment of RITS against the relevant international Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures prepared by the Bank’s Payments Policy Department.

To support transparency, the Bank is today releasing the Deloitte review and the assessment against the international principles, and the Bank’s initial response, as outlined below.

The Bank is committed to the highest standards in operating critically important national payments infrastructure. The review and assessment highlight that there is work to be done here. The Deloitte review concluded that the Bank has relied heavily on experienced and dedicated staff and has a strong culture of care. It also concluded that the Bank needs to strengthen its systems and processes if it is to achieve the high standards of service availability that are required.

The Bank is committed to implementing the recommendations in the review and assessment. Specifically, it plans to:

formalise the RITS operating model to ensure responsibilities are well articulated, investments are appropriately targeted, and resilience is enhanced.
strengthen the risk management framework, with a focus on improving accountability for assurance activities.
uplift processes supporting the RITS ecosystem including better use of automation and more effective change management practices.
further develop frameworks to encourage feedback and constructive challenge in the areas supporting RITS, consistent with broader Bank initiatives.

A detailed implementation plan is now being developed, with some elements of that plan overlapping the Bank’s response to the recommendations arising from the Review of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

The Bank will report to the PSB on progress in implementing the improvements at future Board meetings.

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