The Civil Contingencies Act 2004

"We need an official inquiry - now. Not a whitewash inquiry like Lord Hutton's. Or a punch-pulling inquiry like Lord Butler's. But an inquiry run by plain Mr or Mrs somebody." - Lt. Col. Crispin Black
An independent, public discussion, analysis and inquiry into the events of July 7th.

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004

Joined: 25 Nov 2005, 11:41

19 Jul 2006, 11:57 #1

Copied straight from another post here because this is a topic that needs its own dedicated thread.

A little bit more context (via Parliamentary discussion of HL Bill 77, 53/3):
House of Commons debates
Monday, 24 May 2004

Orders of the Day — Civil Contingencies Bill

New Clause 2 — Emergency Public Education And Training Board


Michael Fabricant (Lichfield, Conservative):  Again, I quote the point made by the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy: lines of communication have to be established. The question I ask the Minister is: if a bomb were to go off, but we did not know that it had gone off, how would we know that we had to go in, stay in and tune in, even if there is something to tune in with?

What is the Minister frightened of? What are the Government so frightened of? Does she have such a low level of trust in the British people that she thinks people will panic if they know about these issues? Why does not she do what they do in the United States of America? Why does not she do what they have done in Australia? I hate to reduce the matter to political phrases, but education, education, education in this instance could be a matter of life or death.

I should quote another phrase: "trust the people". As my hon. Friend the Member for Worthing, West said, people perform better in the light of knowledge rather than in the darkness of lack of knowledge.

Let us reflect more on the detail of the message to go in, stay in and tune in. If people are not trained to know exactly what to do, what do they do once they are in? Do they block the windows to ensure that no dust or ricin contaminant comes in? It may be common sense to do that. I do not know: no instructions have been given. As for tuning in, will the Minister tell us whether there is a national emergency system in place now—there certainly was not a few years ago—whereby every single radio channel and every single television channel goes to one source, so that the same message is sent out?

Hazel Blears (Minister of State (Crime Reduction, Policing & Community Safety), Home Office): indicated assent.
A nod of Hazel Blear's head and the news, suddenly, isn't any more. It's worth reading the full dialogue after checking out the short list of qualifying factors required to institute such broadcasts, remembering that the situation referred to by Fabricant is the most extreme version of events and that there are many shades of grey between the 'multi-sourced rolling news reports' to which we have all become accustomed (minus Independent Television News) and total state control of all media.

It's not dark yet, but it's getting there. It is left as an exercise for the reader to determine quite how dark it already is.
"The problem with always being a conformist is that when you try to change the system from within, it's not you who changes the system; it's the system that will eventually change you." -- Immortal Technique

"The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." -- Malcolm X

"The eternal fight is not many battles fought on one level, but one great battle fought on many different levels." -- The Antagonist

"Truth does not fear investigation." -- Unknown
Reply
Like

Joined: 24 Jan 2006, 22:57

19 Jul 2006, 12:33 #2

Ant,

It's also worth noting that the BBC Charter & Agreement with the government contains the following (emphasis mine):

<...>
8. DEFENCE AND EMERGENCY ARRANGEMENTS


8.1 The Corporation shall, whenever so requested by any Minister of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and at the Corporation's own expense, broadcast or transmit from all or any of the stations any announcement (with a visual image of any picture or object mentioned in the announcement if it is a television transmission) which such Minister may request the Corporation to broadcast or transmit; and shall also, whenever so requested by any such Minister in whose opinion an emergency has arisen or continues, at the like expense broadcast or transmit as aforesaid any other matter which such Minister may request the Corporation to broadcast or transmit, provided that the Corporation when sending such an announcement or other matter may at its discretion announce or refrain from announcing that it is sent at the request of a named Minister.


8.2 The Secretary of State may from time to time by notice in writing require the Corporation to refrain at any specified time or at all times from broadcasting or transmitting any matter or matter of any class specified in such notice; and the Secretary of State may at any time or times vary or revoke any such notice. The Corporation may at its discretion announce or refrain from announcing that such a notice has been given or has been varied or revoked.


8.3 If and whenever in the opinion of the Secretary of State an emergency shall have arisen in which it is expedient in the public interest that Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom shall have control over the broadcasting or transmission of any matter whatsoever by means of the stations or any of them, it shall be lawful for the Secretary of State to direct and cause the stations or any of them or any part thereof to be taken possession of in the name and on behalf of Her Majesty and to prevent the Corporation from using them, and also to cause the stations or any of them or any part thereof to be used for Her Majesty's service, or to take such other steps as he may think fit to secure control over the stations or any of them, and in that event any person authorised by the Secretary of State may enter upon the stations or any of them and the offices and works of the Corporation or any of them and take possession thereof and use the same as aforesaid.


<...>

Hmmmmmmm

i
The above text is from the Agreement Document, available here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/policies/charter/

I was alerted to the above from an article at Medialens
In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connection to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, "just to keep the people frightened." -- George Orwell, 1984
Reply
Like

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

19 Jul 2006, 13:17 #3

Civil Contingencies Act deadline looming for UK local authorities

Get free weekly news by e-mailThe majority of the requirements of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA) are now in force in the UK . However, one major outstanding deadline is rapidly approaching: from 15th May 2006 local authorities have a duty to provide business continuity advice to organisations in their area.

Background
Following the UK fuel crisis and the severe flooding in the autumn and winter of 2000 and the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001, the Deputy Prime Minister announced a review of emergency planning arrangements. The review included a public consultation exercise which reinforced the government’s conclusion that existing legislation no longer provided an adequate framework for modern civil protection efforts and that new legislation was needed. The end result of this process was the Civil Contingencies Bill which was introduced to Parliament on 7th January 2004 and which received Royal Assent on 18 November 2004 .

The Civil Contingencies Act consists of two substantive parts:

Part 1: focuses on local arrangements for civil protection, establishing a statutory framework of roles and responsibilities for local responders.

Part 2: focuses on emergency powers, establishing a modern framework for the use of special legislative measures that might be necessary to deal with the effects of the most serious emergencies.

The bulk of the duties imposed by the Civil Contingencies Act fall upon organisations and bodies defined by the Act as ‘Category 1’ responders.

Category 1 responders are those organisations at the core of emergency response (e.g. emergency services, local authorities). Under the Act they are required to:

* Assess the risk of emergencies occurring and use this to inform contingency planning;

* Put in place emergency plans;

* Put in place business continuity management arrangements;

* Put in place arrangements to make information available to the public about civil protection matters and maintain arrangements to warn, inform and advise the public in the event of an emergency;

* Share information with other local responders to enhance co-ordination;

* Co-operate with other local responders to enhance co-ordination and efficiency; and

* Provide advice and assistance to businesses and voluntary organisations about business continuity management.

The last item of the list applies to local authorities only and the deadline to have provisions in place to meet the requirements of this duty is 15th May 2006 .

LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND BUSINESS CONTINUITY: THE CCA REQUIREMENTS
The Cabinet Office has provided Continuity Central with the following notes with regards to the business continuity responsibilities of local authorities under the Act:

Internal business continuity planning

* For responders to help others, they first have to be able to keep themselves going in the face of a disruption.

* The Act requires Category 1 responders to put in place business continuity plans to ensure that they are able to continue to exercise their functions in the face of an emergency.

* Category 1 responders are also required to have in place a procedure for invoking the plan, a programme of exercises to ensure that they are effective; and a training regime to ensure that key staff will be able to perform the tasks expected of them in the event of an emergency.

* Category 1 responders have always done a degree of business continuity planning – the Act puts this work on a more systematic footing.

* The good practice guidance in Emergency Preparedness builds on established standards and doctrine in this area and was developed in close collaboration with prominent practitioners.

What the Act requires:

* Local responders are required to put plans in place to ensure that they are able to exercise their functions in the event of an emergency.

* For local responders to help others in their civil protection work, they first need to keep their own emergency response going. But they also need to be able to keep their normal functions going if the impact of the emergency on the community is to be kept to a minimum.

* In practice this means putting in place robust business continuity plans which can deal with the range of risks faced and testing them regularly.

Local responders need to:

* Establish a procedure for determining that an emergency has occurred;

* Carry out exercises to ensure that plans are effective (i.e. validation); and

* Ensure that appropriate staff receive sufficient training to be able to implement the plan.


If local responders rely on third parties to help deliver their critical functions they will need to assure themselves that they will be able to deliver on the day. Therefore contracts must be robust to ensure that third parties are able to continue to deliver their services during an emergency.

PROVIDING BUSINESS CONTINUITY ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE
The guidance document ‘Emergency Preparedness’, summarises what local authorities will be expected to have achieved by 15th May. This is as follows:

• Local authorities must provide general advice and assistance to the business and voluntary sector communities at large; may provide specific advice and assistance to individual organisations; and may give advice and assistance to individual businesses in relation to the engagement of business continuity consultants.

• Local authorities may charge for advice and assistance provided on request, on a cost-recovery basis.

• Not all voluntary organisations would want –or benefit from – business continuity advice. A local authority may therefore define its own voluntary sector audience, targeting efforts where they will add most value.

• Local authorities should have regard to relevant Community Risk Registers (CRRs) when developing an advice and assistance programme.

• Local authorities may enter into collaborative arrangements with other Category 1 and 2 responders in fulfilling their duties.

• Local authorities within a Local Resilience Forum (LRF) area are required to co-operate with each other in performing their duties; other Category 1 and 2 responders within a Local Resilience Forum are required to co-operate with local authorities.

• Local authorities are required to have regard to the BCM advice and assistance provided by other Category 1 and 2 responders to business and voluntary organisations in their areas.

• Local authorities should consider how to use the arrangements for multi-agency co-operation established by the Act to ensure BCM advice and assistance programmes are co-ordinated and effective.

(See http://www.ukresilience.info/ccact/eppd ... hap_08.pdf for more details.)

As can be clearly seen from the above there is scope for local authorities to take a variety of approaches to the duty to provide business continuity advice and assistance. Local authorities can decide to undertake the bare minimum by simply addressing the ‘musts’ rather than the ‘mays’ contained in the government’s guidance document. Or they can take a best practice route and provide a wide-ranging business continuity advice service to organisations in their area. Time and budgetary constraints may well be the factors which determine which approach is taken.
continuity central

Spy blog has a good analysis of the CCA and the powers it contains, including ability to rule by royal perogative and a coup d'etat.
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
Reply
Like

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

19 Jul 2006, 13:38 #4

Charles Clarke's reply to Simon Carr contains the following responses:
6. “A minister can declare a state of emergency and suspend all legal proceedings, including Parliament”.

Correct. The Civil Contingencies Act (2004) allows a Minister of the Crown to introduce temporary emergency laws for part of the country, or even the whole country if Parliament cannot be called into session quick enough for a response. Such laws are limited in duration to 30 days, unless Parliament votes to extend this period before it expires.

The power arises from the possibility of extreme actions, including terrorist acts, which might require emergency regulations as a last resort to deal with the effects of the most serious emergencies where current legislative powers are not sufficient. Their use is subject to tight legal safeguards to ensure that they can only be used in relation to serious emergencies, where the regulations are necessary for the purposes of dealing with the emergency and can only be used in a proportionate way.

Moreover any use of emergency regulations must be compatible with the Human Rights Act also introduced by this government, which cannot be overridden.


34 “Any cabinet minister may make ‘emergency regulations’ if he believes an emergency has occurred, is occurring, or will occur”.

In the unlikely event that emergency powers are used, regulations would be made by Her Majesty. Only if the Queen is unable to make the regulations without serious delay would the regulations be made by a Minister, whose actions would be subject to strict legal safeguards. Once made, the Regulations must be put before Parliament as soon as is reasonably practicable, and will fall if Parliament does not approve them (with or without amendment) within 30 days.
Home Office
Was the CCA invoked on July 7th and if it was, which seems likely, what emergency regulations were put in place? A FOI request to John Reid methinks.
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
Reply
Like

Joined: 25 Nov 2005, 11:41

19 Jul 2006, 19:42 #5

House of Lords
National Emergency Warnings


All Written Answers on 8 Apr 2003

Baroness Anelay of St Johns (Conservative) asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the Answer by Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 25 March (HL Deb, col. 652), what agreements they have reached with terrestrial, cable and satellite broadcasters that will ensure that any special national warning will be in a format that is accessible by those who have hearing and sight impairment.


Lord Falconer of Thoroton (Minister of State (Criminal Policy), Home Office)
Our current arrangement for warning the public about major emergencies involves using the broadcasters and their full range of services. This includes TV (with sign language or subtitles as necessary), radio including minority language broadcasts, Teletext, Ceefax and through websites. Such arrangements are appropriate to existing and anticipated threat levels.

These major emergency information procedures are separate from the National Attack Warning System (which my right honourable friend Lord Macdonald of Tradeston described on 12 March). This system is maintained by the Government for use in general war to alert the public. However, plans also provide for a considerable amount of public education material to be produced in the period of tension which would precede the need to invoke use of the system. This would ensure that no members of the public were disadvantaged by disability or language needs.

Source: http://theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=200 ... asts#g33.2
"The problem with always being a conformist is that when you try to change the system from within, it's not you who changes the system; it's the system that will eventually change you." -- Immortal Technique

"The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." -- Malcolm X

"The eternal fight is not many battles fought on one level, but one great battle fought on many different levels." -- The Antagonist

"Truth does not fear investigation." -- Unknown
Reply
Like

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

22 Jul 2006, 13:22 #6

The Government's Cobra committee is leading the response to the terrorist attack on Britain. The committee is essentially the Government's emergency response team.

Despite its dynamic-sounding name, the acronym stands for the less stirring "Cabinet Office Briefing Room A".

Home Secretary Charles Clarke confirmed he chaired meetings of Cobra on Thursday morning, and that Prime Minister Tony Blair chaired a meeting later on his return from Gleneagles.

Heads of MI5, the police, the civil contingencies secretariat and senior ministers, would have been among those brought together at Whitehall to analyse the situation and attempt to co-ordinate responses across government.

The Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator in the Cabinet Office, Bill Jeffery, was also likely to attend.

Cobra may have met at 10 Downing Street or, if the Whitehall area was thought to have been in danger, it may have been re-located to the Citadel - the secure underground complex below government buildings in the area.

An emergency meeting of the committee was called on September 11 2001 as soon as the enormity of the attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon became clear.

It was also convened after two suicide car bombings in Istanbul hit the British Consulate General and the HQ of HSBC bank in the city in November 2003, killing 61 people including British Consul-General Roger Short.

The committee would initially need to consider whether to invoke the powers contained in part two of the Civil Contingencies Act, which allows considerable powers for the executive in times of a serious emergency.

Most of these powers were highly unlikely to be used in the event of attacks such as today's.

In fact, they were designed to cope with a far larger strike, particularly one involving chemical or radiological material, such as a nuclear "dirty bomb".

They would allow a minister to suspend sittings of Parliament if necessary and to declare a bank holiday to shut down businesses.

By executive decree, property could be destroyed or requisitioned, assemblies banned, freedom of movement limited, the Armed Forces mobilised and special courts set up to deal with suspects if it was felt another atrocity was planned.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said he was unable to provide details of Thursday's Cobra meetings.
Daily Mail
Dear Sir/Madam

I am making the following request for information under the FOIA:

Could you please provide the following information:

Was the Civil Contingencies Act and/or any powers contained within the Act, invoked before, on or after the events in London on July 7th 2005 ?

If so, which parts of the CCA was invoked, and which minister made the decision.

Regards

Bridget Dunne
openness.team@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk

I had originally contacted the Home Office who replied:
Information and Record Management Service
&nbsp; 2 Marsham Street, London&nbsp; SW1P 4DF
Switchboard 020 7035 4848&nbsp; &nbsp; Fax: 020 7035 4745 Textphone: 020 7035 4742
E-mail: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk&nbsp; Website: www.homeoffice.gov.uk
&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;
Reference: FOI 3987
21 July 2006

Dear Ms Dunne,

Thank you for your email received in the Home Office on 19 July 2006 on whether elements within the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA) were invoked on or after the events in London on 7th July 2005.

I do not believe that it is appropriate to deal with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The utilisation of the CCA is the responsibility of Cabinet Office. Their contact details are given below.&nbsp;

Cabinet Office
Room 4.45
Admiralty Arch
The Mall
London SW1A 2WH

Email: openness.team@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk

If you are dissatisfied with this response you may request an independent internal review of our handling of your request by submitting your complaint to info.access@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk and quoting reference number FOI 3987:

Yours sincerely,

Paul Mathews
Information and Record Management Service
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
Reply
Like

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

24 Jul 2006, 13:53 #7

I received this today, so let's see if they reply within 20 working days.
Dear Ms Dunne,

Thank you for you request for information. Your request was received on 24 July and it is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications

Yours sincerely

Andrew Collingwood
MST
Private Office Group
70 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2AS
Tel: 020 7276 0528
Fax: 020 72760080
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
Reply
Like