Incidents and emergencies can occur at any time, they can arise from a number of causes, and can have a significant impact on the University's operations. Response to incidents, which can be managed relatively quickly using local resources, possibly with the assistance of the Emergency Services.
Management of emergencies that usually involve intervention by the Emergency Services and require a greater level of coordination to address the wider implications.
The procedures relating to each level of emergency response are documented in three different plans.Incident Response Plan (IRP)The IRP details the procedures for coordination between Security Services, Building Emergency Control Organisations (ECO) and the attending emergency services, and protocols for escalation to Emergency response. The EMC meets monthly and provides reports to the Senior Executive Group, the Safety and Risk Management Committee of Senate and the Central OHS Committee.Building Emergency ProceduresLocal Heads of Department are responsible for ensuring that building emergency procedures are implemented in accordance with the performance standards outlined in the Guidelines for Building Emergency Procedures. The IRP will be tested regularly in accordance with the requirements of the Building Emergency Procedures.
Emergency management refers to a wide range of measures to protect communities and the environment from risks and to recover from emergency events stemming from either natural or human-induced causes. Through legislation and government policy, Public Safety Canada, which was created in December 2003, is responsible for leading by coordinating the management of emergencies among federal departments and agencies. We did not examine the performance of emergency management efforts by provinces, territories, or local communities.
The H1N1 pandemic, the 2003 eastern seaboard power blackout, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), massive flooding, and terrorist conspiracies and attacks have demonstrated that global trade, international travel, and cyberspace have increased the speed at which emergencies escalate in scope and severity. Public Safety Canada is faced with the challenging task of providing the coordination necessary for an overall federal approach to emergency management, in an environment where departments have operated as needed and through their ministers to provide federal assistance on a case-by-case basis. Public Safety Canada has not exercised the leadership necessary to coordinate emergency management activities, including critical infrastructure protection in Canada. Public Safety Canada has made considerable progress in improving federal emergency coordination through its Government Operations Centre. Although the 2004 National Security Policy called for first responders’ equipment and communications to be interoperable, key gaps remain for voice communications. 7.2 Under Canada’s Constitution Act, 1867, provinces and territories have primary responsibility for emergency management within their boundaries.
7.3 Following the events of September 11, 2001, the Canadian government changed its approach to emergency preparedness and response. 7.4 Building the capability to manage a coordinated federal response to an emergency of national significance is a huge undertaking and cannot be achieved overnight. 7.5 The 2004 National Security Policy, our 2005 audit of national security and emergency preparedness, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence all called for updated federal legislation to clearly define and ensure adequate emergency management powers and responsibilities for the Minister of Public Safety. 7.7 In January 2007, federal, provincial, and territorial ministers agreed that emergency management would adopt a comprehensive all-hazards approach. The Emergency Management Act requires the Minister of Public Safety to exercise leadership for emergency management by coordinating emergency management activities among federal departments and agencies, and in cooperation with the provinces and territories. As well, other federal ministers are to identify the risks that are within their area of responsibility, including those related to critical infrastructure, and to prepare, maintain, test, implement, and exercise emergency management plans in respect of those risks in compliance with the policies, programs, and other measures established by the Minister of Public Safety.
7.9 Public Safety Canada is the coordinating agency for federal departments, which have various roles to play in an emergency. 7.10 If a department or agency has a clear mandate to respond to an emergency and is responsible to act, it is the subject matter expert. 7.12 Public Safety Canada’s role as the lead department for coordinating federal emergency management includes critical infrastructure protection. To establish policies and programs for emergency management plans and operations, provide advice to departments, and evaluate their plans. To coordinate the emergency management activities among federal government institutions along with those of the provinces and territories.
To promote a common approach to emergency management, including the adoption of standards and best practices.
7.14 Specifically, we examined Public Safety Canada’s responsibility to lead by coordinating the efforts of other federal entities and by coordinating federal efforts with those of the provinces and territories. 7.15 We did not examine the performance of provinces, territories, or local communities in their delivery of emergency management services or activities, nor did we examine provincial and territorial or private sector critical infrastructure protection efforts.
7.17 Public Safety Canada is responsible under legislation to exercise leadership through planning, establishing policies and programs for emergency preparedness, cooperating with provinces and territories, and promoting a common approach to emergency management. 7.18 Because the subject matter expertise and experience for dealing with emergencies resides in several different departments, Public Safety Canada has an important role to ensure that all potential hazards are addressed, that plans exist and have been shared and tested, and that, during a crisis, the kind of response needed is quickly established without confusion. 7.19 We found that while Public Safety Canada played a coordination role in some emergencies, including participating in the development of response plans for avian and pandemic influenza, it has yet to establish the policies and programs that would help define its leadership and coordination role for emergency management in an all-hazards environment.
7.22 In the face of these challenges, Public Safety Canada has taken the first steps toward establishing its leadership role by developing the interim Federal Emergency Response Plan, a framework for coordinating emergency response activities across government. 7.23 While the framework may be considered complete, the roles and responsibilities and the capabilities (contained in its annexes) needed for an integrated, coordinated approach to emergencies have not been updated or completed.
7.24 The Federal Emergency Response Plan outlines a decision-making process to help coordinate a federal response to emergencies. 7.25 As part of our audit, we reviewed federal responses to six emergencies that occurred between August 2006 and May 2009, where multiple federal departments were involved and for which after-action reports were available. 7.27 In order to be ready to respond, emergency management plans need to address the most important risks.
7.28 The 2004 National Security Policy and the 2007 Emergency Management Act recognized that the federal government needed to better understand Canada’s vulnerability to emerging risks and use this information to develop comprehensive emergency plans and programs.
7.29 We found that Public Safety Canada has made limited progress in developing the guidance that departments need to achieve a consistent approach when identifying their risks and their emergency management plans and programs.
7.30 The Emergency Management Act stipulates that Public Safety Canada is responsible for reviewing departmental emergency management plans, which includes departmental business continuity plans.
7.35 Public Safety Canada has made considerable progress in federal emergency coordination through its Government Operations Centre, as the centre operates on a continual basis and can track many potential or evolving events. 7.36 In order for response plans to be reliable during an emergency, they must be regularly exercised, especially the plans for coordination between departments and agencies and between different levels of government.
7.39 Following the events of September 11, 2001, Canada focused its attention on the significant threats posed by terrorist attacks and on the need to enhance readiness against emergencies caused by people, whether deliberate or accidental.
7.40 We examined the status of efforts made to improve CBRNE response capability, where a coordinated and integrated approach among federal departments, as well as provincial and local jurisdictions, is essential to success. 7.42 Public Safety Canada is responsible for setting the overall federal policy on CBRNE issues.
7.43 While the current strategy states that the government is to take all possible measures to pre-empt, prevent, mitigate, and respond effectively to a potential CBRNE incident, it has not identified the desired capability, mandate, roles, or priorities for crisis or consequence management for the responsible federal organizations. 7.45 The 2004 National Security Policy called for equipment and communications to be interoperable or compatible so that first responders could work together better. 7.46 First responders have identified voice communications as the main constraint to their interoperability. 7.51 While not meeting its target date in 2005, Public Safety Canada started to work with provinces, territories, and the private sector to develop a plan to implement a proposed National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure.
7.62 We found that Public Safety Canada has not exercised the leadership necessary to coordinate emergency management activities, including protection of critical infrastructure in Canada. 7.65 Over the period of our audit, Public Safety Canada, along with other federal departments and agencies, had made limited progress in enhancing the response to and recovery from emergencies in a coordinated manner.
7.66 Public Safety Canada is making progress in promoting standards for personal protective equipment used in responding to emergencies. This audit examined federal efforts to improve the nation’s readiness and resiliency to respond to incidents or attacks, through improved coordination of emergency management activities at the federal level, and through work with provinces and territories to achieve unified and integrated response and recovery operations. We followed up on selected recommendations made in our April 2005 chapter, National Security in Canada, regarding emergency preparedness, including response capabilities for a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear event.
The audit did not examine emergency management activities of the provinces and territories; it focused on Public Safety Canada’s coordination of emergency management among federal departments along with the provinces and territories. We expected that Public Safety Canada would exercise leadership by coordinating federal emergency management activities, as described in legislation and policies. We expected that Public Safety Canada would coordinate federal emergency management activities with those of the provinces and territories to provide timely and coordinated support to communities in an emergency. We expected that Public Safety Canada would regularly test and exercise federal emergency management plans.
We expected that Public Safety Canada and selected federal entities would use a risk-based approach to identify the resources needed and to coordinate the response to and recovery from emergencies. We expected that Public Safety Canada would promote a common approach to emergency management, including the adoption of standards and best practices.
We expected that Public Safety Canada, together with its federal partners, would provide emergency management training, based on a needs assessment and risk-based plan. 7.26 The Privy Council Office and Public Safety Canada should ensure that all components of the Federal Emergency Response Plan are completed and should obtain government approval for the plan.
7.31 As stipulated in the Emergency Management Act, Public Safety Canada should establish policies and programs and provide advice for departments to follow when identifying risks and developing their emergency management plans. 7.32 As stipulated in the Emergency Management Act, Public Safety Canada should analyze and evaluate the emergency management plans prepared by departments to ensure that they are prepared according to the policies, programs, and advice provided, and it should identify potential gaps or risks to a coordinated emergency management response. 7.44 As stipulated in the Emergency Management Act, Public Safety Canada should ensure that its coordination role for the federal response to an emergency is well-defined and that the operational policies and plans that departments will follow are updated and consistent. Capability gap—The gap between available resources and the desired result, which in this case is a timely and effective response to an emergency. First responders—The police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical service workers who are the first to respond to an emergency.
The following pages examine key distinctions between emergency management and ICS and the roles that each is designed to fulfill during a major medical incident. Emergency management describes the science of managing complex systems and multidisciplinary personnel to address extreme events, across all hazards, and through the phases of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The activities of the EMP address the phases of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. It is important to note that the procedures and systems used to conduct preparedness activities (committee structure and meetings, memo writing, regular email notification of meetings, etc.) are typically not adequate for use during emergency response. The ICS provides guidance for how to organize assets to respond to an incident (system description) and processes to manage the response through its successive stages (concept of operations).
The ICS, as described in NIMS, refers to the combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure and designed to aid in the management of resources during incident response. Common terminology - use of similar terms and definitions for resource descriptions, organizational functions, and incident facilities across disciplines. Modular organization -response resources are organized according to their responsibilities.


Manageable span of control - response organization is structured so that each supervisory level oversees an appropriate number of assets (varies based on size and complexity of the event) so it can maintain effective supervision. Consolidated action plans - a single, formal documentation of incident goals, objectives, and strategies defined by unified incident command.
The utility of ICS becomes evident when analyzing the demands encountered during an incident response. When an incident generates demands on the response system, the issues addressed first are usually demands created by the hazard itself—hazard-generated demands.
Many of these procedures increase the efficiency of preparedness activities, while essentially training participants on the procedures to be used during response and recovery.
While some emergencies in Canada can be handled locally by municipalities or provinces, the federal government will assist when requested, when the emergency transcends jurisdictional boundaries, or when its assistance is in the national interest. This includes establishing policies and programs for the preparation, testing and exercising, and implementing emergency management plans; it also includes monitoring and coordinating a common federal approach to emergency response along with the provinces—an “all-hazards” approach incorporating prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
In addition, we looked at its efforts to enhance emergency response and recovery in coordination with six other departments that have specific roles in emergency management. Today, many emergencies can be difficult to contain by a single government department or jurisdiction. For example, it has yet to develop the policies and programs that would help clarify its leadership and coordination role for an “all-hazards” approach to the emergency management activities of departments. This limits the ability of fire, police, and ambulance services to work together and with other jurisdictions in an emergency.
Emergencies such as fires and floods may remain local in nature and, if so, may be effectively managed within the local resources of the municipality and province or territory. At that time, there was a highly decentralized division of responsibilities among federal departments, provinces, and territories. In the past, federal departments had organized their emergency response actions as situations arose.
It stipulates that the Minister of Public Safety is to exercise “leadership at the national level relating to public safety and emergency preparedness.” When she appeared before the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Minister explained that she would be responsible for coordinating the federal response to emergencies, while respecting the Prime Minister’s prerogative in matters relating to national security and to the statutory authorities of other ministers. This approach would incorporate the four functions of emergency management: prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
It assigns to the Minister of Public Safety the responsibility to “exercise leadership relating to emergency management by coordinating federal emergency management activities” (Exhibit 7.1). Public Safety Canada is to ensure that the federal government is ready to respond to any future emergencies through the development of policies, standards, and plans that define roles and responsibilities.
However, if emergencies escalate and spread, other federal departments may be required to play a role to manage the impact within their area of expertise.
Many of Public Safety Canada’s emergency management programs are delivered through 11 regional offices.
We also did not examine the security activities carried out in preparation for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as responsibility for these activities was assigned to the Office of the Coordinator for 2010 Olympics and G8 Security, which reports to the National Security Advisor.
It is responsible for coordinating the emergency management activities of various federal departments and agencies and fostering a cooperative approach to responding to emergencies. Defining a leadership role when each department responds to its own ministerial direction, and coordinating that direction with other departments can be a challenge. Another challenge we noted was that the Department has had difficulty attracting and retaining senior managers to provide the direction needed in its emergency management. In the 2008–09 fiscal year, Public Safety Canada had an annual budget of $58.5 million for emergency management. Department officials told us that details on how the federal plan supports provincial and territorial plans and capabilities are being drafted.
Since 2006, an interdepartmental assistant deputy ministers’ committee for emergency management (now, ADM-EMC) has met regularly to discuss emergency management priorities and to make decisions to guide federal government actions during emergencies. We tried to determine whether the Federal Emergency Response Plan was used as the framework for a coordinated response.
In 2007, the Deputy Ministers’ Committee directed Public Safety Canada to assess the federal government’s state of readiness for a national emergency. Under the Emergency Management Act, federal departments are to identify risks that are within their area of responsibility, and prepare emergency plans in respect of those risks according to the policies established by Public Safety Canada. A comprehensive risk and vulnerability assessment to guide the development of plans and response capabilities under an all-hazards approach has not been conducted in Canada. These plans are needed so that federal organizations can continue operating during an emergency.
The role of the Government Operations Centre is not to act as a decision-making body in an emergency response, but to assemble and communicate information to decision makers.
The National Security Policy and the Emergency Management Act call for regular exercises to assess the adequacy of emergency response plans in various scenarios. The Department provided us with after-action reports for 14 of the exercises it coordinated or participated in since April 2005, but observations and recommendations from these reports were not systematically collected and used to improve emergency plans and operations. In Budget 2001, the federal government allocated $513 million over six years to federal departments and agencies to improve their ability to respond to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) events, as these types of emergencies are beyond the response capacity of provinces, territories, and municipalities. To enhance the capacity of local emergency workers to respond to a CBRNE event, Public Safety Canada leads a training program for first responders from municipal, provincial, and territorial governments, with a combined annual federal budget of $12 million. We expected that Public Safety Canada would lead the efforts of these departments, and we looked for evidence of joint planning and execution to develop the capabilities needed for a coordinated response and recovery. In 2005, it issued a federal strategy, identifying the roles and responsibilities of federal departments and agencies for an effective response to these types of emergencies. The role of the federal CBRNE team is to manage the crisis phase of an emergency; however, the team does not have the resources to manage the after effects of a CBRNE incident, including assisting in mass casualty evacuation, medical aid, or decontamination. In response to our 2005 audit chapter, Public Safety Canada agreed to collaborate with a research group to develop standards for equipment for use in chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear emergencies.
Capability gaps remain in communications interoperability that limit the ability of fire, police, and ambulance services to talk to one another and to communicate across jurisdictions during an emergency. Following the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, the federal government allocated $190 million over five years to improve critical infrastructure protection and emergency management capacity across the federal government. Furthermore, there is little guidance to departments responsible for sectors to determine what assets or facilities are critical to the federal government. Based on the responsibilities outlined in the Emergency Management Act, Public Safety Canada should provide policies and guidance for departmental sector heads to determine their infrastructure and assess its criticality, based on risk and its significance to the safety and security of Canadians; it should establish policies and programs to prepare plans to protect the infrastructure. While it has a challenging role, Public Safety Canada still needs to develop the policies and programs that would help clarify its leadership and coordination role for the emergency management activities of operational departments. However, key interoperability gaps remain for voice communications, limiting the ability of various fire, police, and ambulance services to work together in an emergency.
Public Safety Canada has the lead responsibility for addressing the majority of these recommendations. Hospital staff and other healthcare personnel might equate emergency management activities to a hospital's Disaster Committee (hence the recommended name change to Emergency Management Committee). In Comprehensive Emergency Management, mitigation activities are undertaken during the time period prior to an imminent or actual hazard impact.
It includes activities that establish, exercise, refine, and maintain systems used for emergency response and recovery.
This point is often missed by organizations as they attempt to utilize emergency preparedness committees and their associated structures and processes to manage response to an event.
Specific guidance for incident response, including processes for asset deployment, is addressed in an EOP. The initial recovery stage (which actually begins in the late stages of response) is integrated with response mechanisms, and the EOP incident management process should be extended into recovery. It did not include objectives for managing the disruption of traffic or other countywide ramifications of the plane crash.
Examples include the use of emergency notification procedures for disseminating preparedness information, the use of a management- by- objective approach when planning preparedness tasks, and using tightly managed meetings with detailed agendas. As emergency events today can escalate quickly, this federal capability has become increasingly necessary.
The Department’s responsibility for emergency management includes coordinating the protection of critical infrastructure—from planning for emergencies to recovering from them. A federal response is needed for emergencies that are beyond the capacities of other players—emergencies that may have a low probability of occurrence but a high potential impact. Public Safety Canada has taken the first step by developing the interim Federal Emergency Response Plan, which it considers to be final although it has not been formally approved by the government. However, at the time of our audit, no date was planned for obtaining formal approval of the strategy. Urban density, international travel, and global trade have increased the speed at which emergencies can escalate and spread.
In December 2003, the government created the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, bringing together emergency preparedness, national security, and policing responsibilities within one federal department. The aim is to eliminate the potential for confusion when responding in a crisis and provide a federal point for coordination.
For example, for an incident involving a terrorist or criminal act, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) would be the primary federal response agency in its law enforcement role. It also manages the federal Government Operations Centre that monitors emerging threats and provides round-the-clock coordination and support to government entities in the event of a national emergency. As well, we examined progress by Public Safety Canada in enhancing emergency response and recovery in coordination with government departments and agencies. Each department remains responsible to its own minister and for acting as required under its own legislation. However, it had not spent one third of its budget for emergency management in each of the past two years.
In June 2005, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts recommended that Public Safety Canada obtain formal support for its plan from other departments.
The Privy Council Office and Public Safety Canada will seek approval for the completed Federal Emergency Response Plan (FERP) at the earliest possible date and the supporting Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) prior to the end of the 2009–10 fiscal year. Through this review process, a number of capability gaps were identified; however, Public Safety Canada did not have a framework upon which to prioritize or rank the severity of the gaps and, as a result, has not moved forward with an action plan to address these gaps.
Under its leadership role for emergency management activities, Public Safety Canada is to coordinate risk assessments in collaboration with other federal departments and to ensure that they have proper emergency management plans and preparedness measures in place.
A Public Safety Canada study conducted in 2008 of 36 federal departments found wide variation in the risk assessment processes used by departments to guide the development of plans and capabilities.
Under the Emergency Management Act, Public Safety Canada is responsible for ensuring that business continuity plans are complementary and meet the overall needs of the federal government.


In keeping with the all-hazards approach to emergency management, Public Safety Canada is leading the development of an Emergency Management Planning Framework that will provide departments and agencies with guidance, tools, and best practices for developing emergency management plans. Public Safety Canada is developing the Emergency Management Planning Framework, which will include performance measurements that will allow Public Safety Canada to analyze and evaluate emergency management plans produced by departments and agencies. However, it has not clearly defined when or why its level of activation changes in response to the severity of events and what this means for participating departments.
Public Safety Canada maintains a calendar that lists exercises planned among federal departments and has developed a framework for federal departments and agencies to coordinate their national exercise efforts.
From April 2003 to April 2009, it had trained 1,854 local first responders to assist during an event, and a further 10,400 had received awareness training. However, it did not address how federal departments and agencies would coordinate their resources with those of the provinces, territories, and municipalities to assist them in a national emergency, nor has it expanded the strategy to include explosives. In August 2008, the three departments involved in the federal CBRNE response team informed Public Safety Canada of their concerns with the team’s mandate, capacity, training, and the compatibility of communications equipment. Public Safety Canada will maintain the Federal Emergency Response Plan and its components as an evergreen document. The equipment is used in a variety of emergency response situations, and it includes fire and heavy urban search and rescue vehicles, personal suits, gear worn by first responders to protect against hazardous materials, and communications systems. Public Safety Canada officials told us that its role is not to establish standards but to assist first responder groups that purchase and use the equipment to develop their own standards. The Emergency Management Act stipulates that the Minister of Public Safety is to provide advice and to analyze and evaluate federal departmental emergency management plans, which include critical infrastructure plans.
We found that, in the absence of guidance from Public Safety Canada, departments have been developing their own approaches, without the assurance that they will result in plans that are coordinated and consistent across government. However, department officials at Public Safety Canada told us that, while they can provide advice and coordination to departments, it is the responsibility of operational departments to identify Canada’s critical infrastructure and determine how it should be protected before a national, coordinated approach can be implemented.
Based on the responsibilities outlined in the Emergency Management Act, Public Safety Canada will provide tools and guidance for sectors to determine their processes, systems, facilities, technologies, networks, assets, and services. Public Safety Canada will also provide tools and guidance for departmental sector heads to assess the infrastructure’s criticality based on risks and its significance to the safety and security of Canadians, and will establish policies and programs to prepare plans for their protection.
Public Safety Canada has taken the first step by developing the interim Federal Emergency Response Plan.
Public Safety Canada is developing the Emergency Management Planning Framework, which will include performance measurements that will allow Public Safety Canada to analyze and evaluate emergency management plans produced by departments and agencies. The sum of all emergency management activities conducted by a response organization may be collectively referred to as an Emergency Management Program (EMP) for that entity. The critical task in preparedness planning is to define the system (how assets are organized) and processes (actions and interactions that must occur) that will guide emergency response and recovery. The EOP defines effective process and procedures for the context of emergency response (emergency notification procedures, establishing an incident management team, processing of incident information, etc.). An effective EOP not only guides the initial (reactive) response actions but also promotes transition to subsequent (proactive) incident management.
The management transition from response to recovery (both timing and methods) must be carefully planned and implemented to avoid problems. Arlington County emergency management officials, therefore, quickly knew they had to manage these other problems through their Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which was geographically separate from, but closely coordinated with, incident command at the Pentagon. Nor does the Plan include updated or completed definitions of the roles, responsibilities, and capabilities needed for an integrated, coordinated approach to emergency response. Today, many emergencies can be difficult to contain, and the impact is likely to be greater. At the request of a province or territory or where the type of emergency falls within federal jurisdiction or occurs on federal lands, the federal government provides help to manage and coordinate the response to an emergency. Recognizing this, the federal government issued the National Security Policy in April 2004, which called for the federal government to be prepared to play an enhanced role in modern emergency management and to improve collaboration among governments and other entities.
As well, it oversees the conduct of exercises on emergency management at the national level and an inter-jurisdictional training program for local frontline emergency workers at its Canadian Emergency Management College. Public Safety Canada, under the Emergency Management Act, is responsible for establishing policies and programs that other ministers must follow in carrying out their emergency management responsibilities and determining how they will be coordinated.
In this context, it is evident that Public Safety Canada has been unable to develop its capacity for emergency management. At the time of our audit, the Plan was still an outline of the requirements of an emergency response plan. While we recognize that the Federal Emergency Response Plan will always need to be updated to reflect changes in policies and practices, it is a significant policy document that, with formal government approval, would provide proper authority and clear support to Public Safety Canada. However, the ADM-EMC, the body responsible for coordinating the federal response to an emergency, did not meet to discuss possible responses during three of these six emergencies.
Public Safety Canada will seek approval of the National Emergency Response System (NERS), an annex to the FERP, which articulates how the FERP supports provincial and territorial emergency response plans, by the end of August 2010. It had provided a self-assessment tool for departments to review their own business continuity plans.
While Public Safety Canada has administered participant questionnaires and consulted experts and other government departments, it has not conducted a formal needs analysis for its first responder training.
At the time of our audit, Public Safety Canada was consulting with the provinces and territories to develop a national CBRNE strategy that included their responsibilities. While the responsibilities of each team member were clear, there were no defined operational protocols or agreements on how the team would work together in a coordinated manner. This includes ensuring the development of policies and event-specific plans that outline operational protocols and departmental roles and responsibilities, and reviewing these plans to ensure a coordinated approach as necessary. In its 2004–05 Report on Plans and Priorities, Public Safety Canada committed to the development and release of a National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure by spring 2005.
In our opinion, to make further progress, the plan would benefit from formal government approval and a better definition of roles and responsibilities of all players, as well as the capabilities needed for an integrated, coordinated approach to emergency response.
The centre has enabled Public Safety Canada to make considerable progress in coordinating response activities in times of crisis, as it keeps other departments informed of the status of events on a real-time basis. The term program is used because it denotes activity that is continuously ongoing, whereas a plan is often considered a series of actions that occur only in response to defined circumstances.
As recovery progresses, recovery management transitions to regular agency management processes or some intermediate method defined by the responsible organizations. A federal response is needed for those emergencies that are beyond the capacity of municipalities or individual provinces or territories—emergencies that may have a low probability of occurrence but can have a high potential impact.
The Emergency Management Act (2007) established that the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Public Safety Canada) is responsible for responding to requests for assistance made by provinces and territories and for coordinating the assistance provided by other federal departments and agencies to the provinces and territories. Turnover and change of staff has been particularly problematic, and in the 2008–09 fiscal year, the rate of employee movement (including appointments, promotions, deployments, acting assignments, and departures) was 71 percent in emergency management. The Plan has been presented to an interdepartmental committee of assistant deputy ministers.
According to after-action reports prepared by participating departments for these emergencies, there were problems in coordinating the federal response among departments and agencies in all cases.
Public Safety Canada will organize information sessions with departmental executive committees to brief departments on the FERP and their associated roles and responsibilities.
In the six federal departments we examined, we found that none had received any guidance from Public Safety Canada on conducting risk assessments for emergency planning, yet all of these departments were working to update their plans. However, at the time of our audit, Public Safety Canada had not formally analyzed or evaluated departmental business continuity plans, nor did it have plans to do so.
Under the Emergency Management Act, it is the responsibility of each minister accountable to Parliament for a government institution to identify the risks that are within or related to his or her area of responsibility. Furthermore, officials at Public Safety Canada told us that the Government Operations Centre did not have the physical facilities to support the number of staff needed to keep the operations centre fully functional for a major emergency lasting an extended period of time.
However, we found that exercises were designed to meet the training objectives of individual departments, rather than to test the government’s overall coordination or readiness for a national emergency against identified risks.
Team members felt that it was the responsibility of Public Safety Canada to define protocols and formalize agreements among members. Under the Emergency Management Act, it is the responsibility of each minister accountable to Parliament for a government institution to identify the risks that are within or related to his or her area of responsibility. An effective mitigation effort should begin with, and be based on, a valid HVA as this will help an organization prioritize issues during follow-on mitigation and preparedness planning. Too often, the response community focuses on the hazard demands and neglects response demands until the latter create a significant impediment to overall response effectiveness.
To be able to respond effectively to large-scale emergencies and reduce the potential loss of life and property damage, there needs to be extensive planning and coordination. It identified the need for an “all-hazards” approach, meaning that whether or not the cause of an emergency is malicious, accidental, or natural, the federal government would be prepared to respond.
Nevertheless, each department determines whether it will assist during an emergency, what its role will be, and how it will operate with other federal, provincial, or territorial partners. Roles and responsibilities needed to achieve a coordinated approach were not well understood and some established practices were not followed.
Public Safety Canada initiated a project in April 2009 to streamline and validate these risk assessment processes for emergency planning and capabilities development. From its monitoring, Public Safety Canada found that progress was more advanced in some sectors than in others toward completion of the 37 milestones necessary for their emergency management to be fully operational (Exhibit 7.3). However, improvements can be made in identifying and implementing lessons learned from real emergencies and exercises. With well-developed ICS and emergency management support, the incident response proactively addresses both types of demands and, in fact, reduces many response-generated demands to routine status.
To facilitate this, the policy called for an updated emergency response system in which federal entities would work together in a coordinated manner.
At the time of our audit, the ADM-EMC intended to clarify roles and responsibilities in its decision-making process. Public Safety Canada officials told us that the role it could play in this type of emergency is unclear, as the three departments on the federal CBRNE team have the expertise, resources, and responsibility, while Public Safety Canada has none of these. This information is key for industry and all levels of government to allocate resources and develop their own protection plans. In its responsibility as the lead federal department for emergency management policies and plans, including chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives, Public Safety Canada has not clarified the decision-making processes and operational protocols for emergency response activities. As well, it identified the need for federal departments and agencies to be more strongly linked with emergency operations at the provincial, territorial, and local levels.



Computer inventory checklist
Survival kit power outage


Comments

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    Author: murad
  2. 22.05.2015 at 18:49:44


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    Author: Orxan_85
  3. 22.05.2015 at 17:31:51


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    Author: Gokan_ozen