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COOP and Teleworking

NCJ Number
Homeland Defense Journal Volume: 5 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2007 Pages: 22,24,26,28
Don Philpott
Date Published
August 2007
5 pages
This article discusses the objectives and implementation steps of Homeland Security Presidential Directive-20 (HSPD-20)--which aims to ensure the continuity of essential Federal Government operations (COOP) under all possible conditions--as well as progress in achieving HSPD-20's objectives.
HSPD-20 establishes a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structure and operations and creates a single national continuity coordinator responsible for administering the development and implementation of COOP policies. The directive outlines 15 steps the executive branch of the Federal Government must take in implementing the directive. These include ensuring that vital resources, facilities, and records are protected and official access provided; that critical communications are provided at alternative sites; and that the Department of Homeland Security develop and conduct a Federal COOP training program and make grants available for similar efforts by State and local governments. A survey was recently conducted in order to determine how government agencies at the Federal, State, and local levels were doing in implementing COOP objectives. The survey shows that government respondents across all sectors surveyed believe that "telework," or secure remote access to data and information-sharing capabilities, is critical to an agency's COOP capability; however, only 28 percent actually use telework routinely. Most respondents have taken steps to prepare for COOP (88 percent), and 63 percent reported that their agency is modifying its information technology infrastructure to support COOP. More than 70 percent of respondents believe that government-to-government interoperational links are ready to operate under COOP scenarios. The survey shows that government agencies at all levels are more prepared today than 2 years ago in recognizing the importance of telework in COOP, and they are moving in the right direction. The challenge is to move faster.