- Federal Continuity Directive1
- Federal Executive Branch National Continuity Program and Requirements
- Department of Homeland Security
- 87 pages
- February 2008
1. PURPOSE: This Federal Continuity Directive (FCD) provides direction to the Federal executive branch for developing continuity plans and programs. Continuity planning facilitates the performance of executive branch essential functions during all-hazards emergencies or other situations that may disrupt normal operations. The ultimate goal of continuity in the executive branch is the continuation of National Essential Functions (NEFs).
2. APPLICABILITY AND SCOPE: The provisions of this FCD are applicable to the executive departments enumerated in 5 U.S.C. § 101, including the Department of Homeland Security, independent establishments as defined by 5 U.S.C. § 104(1), Government corporations as defined by 5 U.S.C. § 103(1), and the United States Postal Service. The departments, agencies, and independent organizations are hereinafter referred to as “agencies.” The continuity program elements outlined herein are for use at all levels of Federal executive branch organizations regardless of their location, and are also useful reference documents for non-Federal Government and private sector entities.
6. POLICY: It is the policy of the United States to maintain a comprehensive and effective continuity capability composed of Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Continuity of Government (COG) programs to ensure the preservation of our form of Government under the Constitution and the continuing performance of NEFs under all conditions (National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD)-51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-20, National Continuity Policy). Continuity requirements must be incorporated into the daily operations of all agencies to ensure seamless and immediate continuation of Primary Mission Essential Function (PMEF) capabilities so that critical government functions and services remain available to the Nation’s citizens. Continuity planning will occur simultaneously with the development and execution of Federal agency programs. This means that organizations must incorporate redundancy and resiliency as a means and an end.
In support of this policy, the Federal executive branch has developed and implemented a continuity program which is composed of efforts within individual agencies to ensure that their Mission Essential Functions (MEFs) continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies. These efforts include plans and procedures, under all readiness levels, that delineate essential functions, specify succession to office and emergency delegations of authority, provide for the safekeeping of vital records, identify a range of continuity facilities and locations, provide for interoperable communications, provide for human capital planning, validate these capabilities through tests, training, and exercises (TT&E), specify a devolution of control and direction, and provide for reconstitution. All agencies, regardless of their size or location, shall have in place a viable continuity capability to ensure continued performance of their agency’s essential functions under all conditions.
“COOP,” or Continuity of Operations, is an effort within individual organizations (i.e., Federal executive branch departments and agencies) to ensure that MEFs and PMEFs continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies.
“COG,” or Continuity of Government, means a coordinated effort within each branch of Government (e.g., the Federal Government’s executive branch) to ensure that NEFs continue to be performed during a catastrophic emergency.
“ECG,” or Enduring Constitutional Government, means a cooperative effort among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches and with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers among the branches, to preserve the constitutional framework under which the Nation is governed and the capability of all three branches of government to execute their constitutional responsibilities and provide for orderly succession, appropriate transition of leadership, interoperability, and support of NEFs during a catastrophic emergency.