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Crisis management at the Government Offices


The Prime Minister’s Office is responsible for coordinating crisis management at the Government Offices. The State Secretary to the Prime Minister is responsible for leading the overall crisis management process.

The Government’s duties primarily concern matters of a strategic nature. Responsibility for managing and coordinating operations lies with the relevant agencies. The Government Offices supports the Government’s crisis management efforts.

At the Government Offices, as in other parts of society, crisis management is built 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. Each ministry must have a crisis management plan and a crisis management organisation. There must be an appointed crisis management group that has participated in exercises. The Government Offices also has continuously staffed international monitoring and preparedness functions at different levels.

In the event of a crisis, the ministries must be able to receive and forward alerts, alert those concerned within the organisation, call in staff for service, and contact and collaborate with their agencies.

The Government and the Government Offices must always be fully prepared to manage all types of major emergencies.

Experience shows that organisations that continuously participate in exercises are more effective at managing serious incidents and crises.

Several times a year, the entire Government, all state secretaries and the Government Offices take part in exercises to prepare for different types of incidents and scenarios that the Government may face. Exercises are held at all levels. They may involve everything from slowly evolving crisis, such as epidemic diseases, to sudden incidents such as a terrorist attack or a natural disaster.

The exercises conducted by the Government and Government Offices focus on the management of incidents and situations – nationally and internationally – that create challenges or tensions for Sweden, Swedes or Swedish interests, and that require management by the Government and Government Offices.

The State Secretary to the Prime Minister leads the Government Offices’ overall crisis management process.

The State Secretary to the Prime Minister is responsible for leading the overall crisis management process, assesses the need for coordination at the Government Offices, and can convene a meeting of the Strategic Coordination Group, comprising state secretaries at the ministries whose areas of activity are affected.

Director-General and the Crisis Management Coordination Secretariat support coordination

The Government Offices has a special Director-General and a secretariat for crisis management. They support the State Secretary to the Prime Minister and develop, coordinate and follow up crisis management at the Government Offices. The Director-General’s responsibilities include ensuring that the Government Offices makes necessary preparations for crisis management response. This may include early warning of a situation that may develop into a crisis, or training and exercises to increase crisis management capacity in general.

The Crisis Management Coordination Secretariat monitors developments both nationally and internationally around the clock. It should be able to raise an alert and produce comprehensive status reports and a picture of the combined impact on society of all individual events. After a crisis situation, the Secretariat should be able to follow up and evaluate the measures taken.

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

The Crisis Management Council meetings for information sharing and discussion are attended by the Council’s members and representatives of the Government Offices. Under normal circumstances, the Council meets twice a year for a general briefing on contingency planning. The Council may also meet for information sharing 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 headed by the State Secretary to the Prime Minister. 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 Swedish Post and Telecom Authority, 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, and representatives of the ministries responsible for the relevant agencies. The State Secretary to the Prime Minister may also co-opt other members if necessary.

Civil contingencies planning

Civil contingencies planning involves preventing, withstanding and managing crisis situations. The aim of Sweden’s contingency planning is to protect the lives and health of the population, society’s ability to function and its capacity to uphold our basic values such as democracy, the rule of law and human rights and freedoms. Issues concerning the coordination of civil contingencies planning come under the Ministry of Defence. The responsible minister is the Minister for Civil Defence. 

Emergency preparedness

Government Offices work on national security