Continuity of Operations: Agency Plans Have Improved, But Better Oversight Could Assist Agencies in Preparing for Emergencies

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DIANE Publishing, 2005 - 80 pages
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To ensure that essential government services are available in emergencies, federal agencies are required to develop continuity of operations plans. According to FEMA, which is responsible for providing guidance for & assessing agency continuity plans, a key element of a viable capability is the proper identification of essential functions. A number of agencies & their components did not have continuity plans in place on Oct. 1, 2002, & those that were in place did not generally comply with FEMA's guidance. This report determines the extent to which: (1) major federal agencies used sound practices to identify & validate their essential functions & (2) agencies had made progress since 2002 in improving compliance with FEMA guidance. Illustrations.

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Page 4 - We also recommend that the Secretary of Homeland Security direct the Under Secretary for...
Page 9 - March 2003 due to snow; and building-level events, such as asbestos contamination at the Department of the Interior's headquarters. Such disruptions, particularly if prolonged, can lead to interruptions in essential government services. Prudent management, therefore, requires that federal agencies develop plans for dealing with emergency situations, including maintaining services, ensuring proper authority for government actions, and protecting vital assets. Until relatively recently, continuity...
Page 1 - ... copyrighted images or other material, permission from the copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this material separately.
Page 74 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration National Science Foundation Nuclear Regulatory Commission Office of Personnel Management Small Business Administration Social Security Administration...
Page 63 - Two other agencies reported that they planned for nonessential staff to telework during a COOP event, but their continuity plans do not specifically mention teleworking.
Page 10 - FBMA, as executive agent for COOP, responsible for formulating guidance for agencies to use in developing viable plans; coordinating interagency exercises and facilitating interagency coordination, as appropriate; and overseeing and assessing the status of COOP capabilities across the executive branch. According to FEMA officials.
Page 1 - July 1999 as planning guidance to agencies. The circular states that, in order to have a viable COOP capability, agencies should identify their essential functions. These functions then provide the basis for subsequent planning steps. The circular also identified eight elements of a viable COOP capability.1 We previously reviewed agency COOP plan compliance with FEMA.s guidance, at your request.
Page 32 - June 2004, FEMA released an updated version of FPC 65, providing additional guidance to agencies on each of the topics covered in the original guidance, including an annex on essential functions.
Page 33 - ... with other agencies. On January 10, 2005, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security issued a memorandum outlining additional guidance on essential functions and initiated a process to identify and validate agency-level functions. The memorandum noted that in the past many departments and agencies had had difficulty clearly identifying and articulating their essential functions. It attributed this difficulty, in part, to the lack of a defined set of national-level essential functions...

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