Crisis management in the Government Offices


Issues relating to civil contingencies and Government Offices crisis management come under the Minister for Home Affairs in the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice also coordinates crisis management at the Government Offices as this involves several ministries; the coordinated crisis management efforts are led by the State Secretary to the Minister for Home Affairs.

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 particular 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 capacity 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 – held at all levels – to train for different types of incidents and scenarios that the Government may face. They may involve everything from slow-moving disasters, such as epidemic diseases, to a sudden incident such as a terrorist attack or a natural disaster.

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

State Secretary to the Minister for Home Affairs leads coordinated crisis management

The State Secretary to the Minister for Home Affairs leads the coordinated crisis management, assesses the need for coordination at the Government Offices, and can convene a meeting of the Strategic Coordination Group, comprising state secretaries of 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 Minister for Home Affairs and develop, coordinate and follow up crisis management at the Government Offices. Among the Director-General's responsibilities is ensuring that the Government Offices makes necessary preparations for crisis management. 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 is responsible for raising the alarm, and for producing comprehensive status reports and a picture of how all individual events together affect society. After a crisis, the Secretariat follows up and evaluates 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 led by the State Secretary to the Minister for Home Affairs. 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 Minister for Home Affairs may also co-opt other members if necessary.