CCA

Phase 2 Consultation of Civil Contingencies Act

After two years the revision of the Civil Contingencies Act (CCA) through the Enhancement Programme (EP) is nearing completion with the final consultations closing on 27th September 2011.  
 
The Enhancement Programme to the Civil Contingencies Act covers most areas of the legislation and has been split into phases. The phase has delivered updates centred primarily on Emergency Response and Recovery across the country and builds on the lessons learnt since the introduction of the Act. Clarification and updates have also been made on Good Practice Guidance, Mutual Aid and the fit with other legislation. (Summary of Phase One work)   
 
The work continues with consultation on the changes proposed in the following areas: 
 
Co-operation
Local Responder Risk Assessment Duty
Business Continuity Management
Communicating with the Public
Business Continuity Advice and Assistance to Business and the Voluntary Sector);
Arrangements for London
 
If you have yet to review these changes to the Act time is running out. You can use the links below to see and comment on the changes proposed.  
 
The Continuity Forum welcomes the revision process, particularly the aligning of Business Continuity arrangements with the British Standard BS25999 that we feel the revisions significantly clarify the expectations of the Act within all Category One and Two Responders. Another Major plus for the revised Act are the expectations relating to communications which we feel is a major step forward, providing greater clarity and removing much of the ambiguity that previously existed. It is clear to us that the CCA team has worked hard to a balanced review that provides flexibility in delivering appropriate solutions and processes, whilst maintaining clear direction on the expectations of the Act.    
 
The alignment with BS25999 is of particular importance to the sector and our communities as the Civil Contingencies Act preceded the launch of the Standard. Whilst many of those within the sector had aligned with BS25999 principles the now revisions make this expectation far clearer. We would hope that those planing in Category One and Two organisations will quickly move to assess and adapt their planning to meet this expectation, in particular the aspects that address their supply chain. Many BCM professionals working within organisations covered by the CCA have found this area to be a difficult area to address with management and has led to numerous avoidable problems.     
 
One area that we feel may need to be strengthened is the verification and audit of of the Business Continuity arrangements in place. Whilst we accept that some aspects of the BCM capabilities within Category One organisations may need a degree of adaption (and indeed BS25999 allows for this) this should not undermine the intent of either the Act or BS25999. Consequently, we would to see a condition added to justify variance from the standard.  This would not undermine the flexibility of either the Act or standard, but would result in evidence for the need to vary from accepted Good Practice to be justified more clearly. We also feel that a little more focus should be given to the audit and assessment of the plans developed and deployed as could be argued as fundamental to delivery of value from the investment being made. 
 
With regards to Category Two responders, we feel that the regulators for these sectors need to pay far more attention to the Business Continuity arrangements developed by the companies they are responsible for regulating and should demand similar levels of detail and regular updates. The Continuity Forum is working in this area and we are hoping to meet with the primary regulators shortly to discuss this issue further.        
 
Links to more information is shown below: (Opens in new window)
 
In a change to previous consultations, those wishing to comment are asked to submit their comments, via a dedicated on-line survey. The link is HERE!
   
If preferred, paper based comments will be accepted and a template can be requested from [email protected]
 
Final versions of the revised Act are expected to be complete in early Spring 2012. 
 
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the Civil Contingencies Act in more detail please do get in touch.
 

 

 

GovNet Communications

 
Civil Contingencies 2011 - Continuity Forum Partner Event
 

GovNet - A Continuity Forum Partner

Civil Contingencies 2011
QEII Conference Centre, London. 
Tuesday 18th January, 2011
 

Risk Scenarios ... how well are we prepared?

 

The Cold War may be history, but with threats ranging from global warming to terror cells, Britain's emergency planners are now struggling to prepare for a greater range of potential disasters than ever before.

Since the outcry after the poorest citizens of New Orleans were left marooned in their ruined city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, emergency planning has been thrown " harshly " into the spotlight.

Environment Agency responds to Pitt review findings on 2007 Summer flooding

Category Business Continuity legislative, regulatory and government


Environment Agency accepts Pitt Review in Full


The report of Sir Michael Pitt's Review into the floods of Summer 2007 was published in June 2008. The Government welcomes this Review, and pays tribute to Sir Michael Pitt and his team. They have thoroughly reviewed the flooding that happened in 2007 and identified clearly the lessons that should be learned.

Enhancement Programme to the Civil Contingencies Act announced

While the CCA regime provided a robust and effective mechanism for responding to all of the disruptive challenges that have occurred since 2005 (e.g. floods, Bluetongue disease, foot and mouth, and the Buncefield fire), these events and the subsequent reviews (particularly the Pitt and Newton Reviews) provided much new evidence which indicated that there are various aspects of the CCA regime which would merit a more thorough review.

Minister promises action on Flooding

Minister responds to Pitt Review


Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has pledged to introduce a "prioritised action plan" to improve flood protection which will be published in the autumn. 

Mr Benn was commenting on the official review by Sir Michael Pitt into last summer's devastating floods. Mr Benn said £5m would be spent on surface water management, £1m on making reservoirs safer and £250,000 on a nationwide flood response exercise.

Revisit disaster plans, councils warned

Public sector IT systems at risk


By Steve Ranger Public Sector Magazine

Councils are missing chances to establish up-to-date disaster recovery plans for their IT services. Local government user group Socitm has warned its research from recent disasters that have impacted local authority IT services raises "serious concerns" as to whether councils understand the expectations of the Civil Contingencies Act and are sufficiently prepared to cope with threats to business continuity.

The research focuses on six case studies from local authorities that have experienced major disasters, from an arson attack to major flooding and the Buncefield oil storage depot explosion.

Coping with Disaster

Nature has a way of reminding us that the unexpected will always happen. Earthquakes, forest fires, avalanches, tsunamis, disease and flooding are some of the events that have disastrous outcomes and continue to surprise the world when they occur. How we cope with the effects of such events is determined by the willingness and capabilities of governments, NGOs and individuals.

Whilst unable to predict precisely when and what will occur experience has taught society that preparation and planning at all levels leads to a greater level of resilience for communities. This resilience however is dependent upon the capabilities of the authorities, voluntary organisations and businesses to respond at the time.

Government extends CCA responsibility to Strategic Health Authorities

 The Act splits local responders into two categories, imposing a different set of duties on each. Category 1 responders are those organisations at the core of emergency response (e.g. emergency services, local authorities, Primary Care Trusts), and are subject to the full range of civil protection duties.

Taking Centre Stage

As part of the overall provision of UK civil protection Local Authorities, Emergency Services and parts of the NHS (Category 1 responders) in England and Wales are now required by law to have established effective business continuity management. They must ensure they can continue to perform their functions in the event of an emergency.

This relates to all the functions of a Category 1 responder, not just its civil protection functions. In order to help others in the event of an emergency, they first need to be able to keep their own crisis response capabilities going.

REVISED DRAFT CCA REGULATIONS AND GUIDANCE

The Government remains on track to bring the bulk of the duties in Part 1 of the Act fully into force in November 2005.

Implementation timetable

The Act requires the Government to seek the consent of the National Assembly for Wales to the revised package of Regulations and statutory guidance and to consult the Scottish Executive; this process will take place during May and June. The Government has worked closely with colleagues in all of the devolved administrations throughout the policy development process, and do not expect to make substantial further changes to the documents. Local responders should therefore continue to drive forward their implementation programmes using the revised draft Regulations and statutory guidance published today as the basis for this work.

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