No matter what: Ensuring the performance of essential functions through devolution plans

This article focuses on the role that devolution planning should occupy in an agency’s continuity planning effort. A devolution plan is an integral part of a Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan; however, many agencies do not expend the necessary time and effort to develop these essential plans. There are several reasons for this, including the difficult nature of the concepts at issue, as well as the practical challenges inherent with the implementation of a devolution plan. This article gives a brief overview of COOP planning, with particular attention paid to the reconstitution period. It then gives the definition of devolution and attempts to explain different ways that planners approach this issue, considering both internal and external devolution. Finally, the article reviews some of the core elements that should be included in every devolution plan.

This article was published in the January/February 2010 issue of the Journal of Emergency Management.

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