Crisis management in the Government Offices

The Government is responsible for crisis management at national level. The Government Offices supports the Government in this work. In the event of a crisis, each ministry handles matters within its own area of responsibility. The head of crisis management at the Ministry of Justice develops and coordinates crisis management for the Government Offices and provides support to the ministries.

The Government is responsible for crisis management at national level. The Government’s responsibility applies primarily to strategic matters. Responsibility for leadership and coordination of strictly practical matters lies with the agencies concerned.

The Government Offices supports the Government in its crisis management work. In the Government Offices, as in other parts of society, work during crises is based on the principle of responsibility. This means that the ministry responsible for a given matter under normal circumstances is also responsible for that matter in a crisis situation.

The ministries handle crises within their policy areas

The expert knowledge of the ministries is necessary for handling crises. In crisis situations, the ministries are responsible for their own areas of responsibility, while the Crisis Management Coordination Secretariat is responsible for coordination and support, gaining an overall picture of the situation and making a joint overall analysis.

Each ministry must have a crisis management plan and a crisis management organisation. There must be an appointed crisis management group that has conducted exercises. There must be a high level of accessibility at the ministries and they must therefore have an official on standby.

In a crisis situation, the ministries must be able to:

• receive and pass on alerts;

• alert those concerned within the ministry’s own organisation;

• call staff in to work;

• contact and coordinate with agencies within the ministry’s area of responsibility.

The Strategic Coordination Group provides strategic direction

There is a Strategic Coordination Group for crisis management in the Government Offices. The Group consists of the State Secretaries of the ministries affected by a serious incident. It is led by the Minister for Justice and Home Affairs’ State Secretary or the State Secretary that he or she appoints. The Group’s task in a crisis situation is to provide strategic direction for the Government Offices’ work.

The head of crisis management coordinates crisis management at the Government Offices

There is a head of crisis management at the Ministry of Justice. This official is responsible for developing, coordinating and following up crisis management measures in the Government Offices and for any preparation needed. To develop crisis management capacity in the Government Offices, the head of crisis management can issue guidelines on the basic level each ministry should have for crisis management, on training and exercises, etc. Coordination means synchronising the work when several ministries are affected, taking a holistic approach and facilitating inter-ministry work within the Government Offices. Follow-up refers to monitoring capacity for crisis management within the Government Offices.

In a crisis, the head of crisis management should ensure that work starts up quickly and coordinate and support crisis management within the Government Offices.

The head of crisis management is assisted by a Crisis Management Coordination Secretariat.

The tasks of the Secretariat include:

• international monitoring, analysis and situation reporting

• development, training, exercise and follow-up in crisis management and

• acting as a central contact point at the Government Offices.

The Secretariat monitors events both in and outside Sweden around the clock. During a crisis, the Crisis Management Coordination Secretariat is responsible for supporting the rest of the Government Offices in its crisis management. This includes raising the alert and putting together an overall status report and a picture of the combined impact on society of all the individual events. After the crisis, the Secretariat should be able to follow up and evaluate the measures taken.

The Secretariat also has the important task of supporting the ministries in developing their crisis management through exercises, training courses and other means.

The Crisis Management Council: a forum for information exchange between the Government Offices and agencies

The Government Offices and Crisis Management Council members meet to exchange information. Under normal circumstances, the Council meets twice a year for a general briefing on the work in the area of crisis contingency planning. The Council may also meet for information exchange between the Government Offices and agencies during serious incidents and crisis situations.

The Crisis Management Council was established by the Government in December 2008 and is led by the Minister for Justice and Home Affairs’ State Secretary. The Council normally includes the National Police Commissioner, the Head of the Swedish Security Service, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and the Directors-General of Svenska kraftnät (the Swedish national grid), the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.

The Council also includes a County Governor, representing the county administrative boards. Representatives of the ministries responsible for relevant agencies may also take part. The Minister for Justice and Home Affairs’ State Secretary may also co-opt other members if necessary.