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Civil Contingencies Act

Background

The Civil Contingencies Act, and accompanying non-legislative measures, delivers a single framework for civil protection in the United Kingdom capable of meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century. The Act is separated into two substantive parts: local arrangements for civil protection (Part 1) and emergency powers (Part 2). The Cabinet Office is reviewing Part 1 of the Civil Contingencies Act. Details of the Enhancement programme can be found below.

Part 1

Part 1 of the Act and supporting Regulations and statutory guidance Emergency Preparedness establish a clear set of roles and responsibilities for those involved in emergency preparation and response at the local level. The Act divides local responders into two categories, imposing a different set of duties on each.

Those in Category 1, are those organisations at the core of the response to most emergencies (e.g. emergency services, local authorities, NHS bodies). Category 1 responders are subject to the full set of civil protection duties. They will be required to:

Category 2 organisations (e.g. Health and Safety Executive, transport and utility companies). These "co-operating bodies" are less likely to be involved in the heart of planning work but will be heavily involved in incidents that affect their sector. Category 2 responders have a lesser set of duties - co-operating and sharing relevant information with other Category 1 and 2 responders.

Category 1 and 2 organisations will come together to form Local Resilience Forums (based on police areas) which will help co-ordination and co-operation between responders at the local level.

The bulk of Part 1 of the Act was brought into force in November 2005 (the duty on local authorities to provide advice and assistance to business and voluntary organisations about business continuity management commences in May 2006).

Part 2

Part 2 of The Act updates the 1920 Emergency Powers Act to reflect the developments in the intervening years and the current and future risk profile. It allows for the making of temporary special legislation (emergency regulations) to help deal with the most serious of emergencies. The use of emergency powers is a last resort option and planning arrangements at the local level should not assume that emergency powers will be made available. Their use is subject to a robust set of safeguards - they can only be deployed in exceptional circumstances. More information is set out in the Emergency Powers section of this site.

Part 2 of the Act was brought into force in December 2004.

Civil Contingencies Act Enhancement Programme

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA) brought into being a single statutory and regulatory framework for civil protection in the UK. Since the CCA was enacted, there was an explicit intention to review it within three years. Given the range of disruptive challenges that have occurred in the intervening years, and the subsequent inquiries such as the Pitt Review. The Cabinet Office established the CCA Enhancement Programme to take this review forward.

The objectives of the CCAEP are as follows:

These objectives are to be met via a range of projects, organised into a four phase programme, with delivery ongoing over the next three years.

Phase 1

This phase focused on improving the standard and consistency of implementation of the CCA. The policy work for Phase 1 was completed in October 2009, although implementation will run until early 2010. More information on the work undertaken during this phase can be found in the Programme Initiation Document below.

Phase 2

Phase 2 will explore potential changes to the CCA, associated Regulations or statutory guidance. Work on Phase 2 began in October 2009 and will conclude in June 2010. Civil Contingencies Act Enhancement Programme – Phase 2 Project Summary [PDF 1 page, 59KB]. More information on the work planned for this phase can be found in the Programme Initiation Document below.

The effectiveness of the CCA regime and CCAEP depends on a close working relationship between the Civil Contingencies Secretariat and the local responder community. As such, a highly consultative approach will be employed throughout. This will ensure that there is scope for requisite stakeholder input, key messages are transmitted in a timely manner, and stakeholders are fully aware of the upcoming changes to the CCA regime and have sufficient time to make any adjustments required.

Key documents and links

Other documents and links

Consultation Exercises

Renewing Civil Contingencies Act Arrangements for London

As part of the Civil Contingencies Act Enhancement Programme we have undertaken a project to review existing CCA arrangements in London and have produced a consultation paper on our proposals for changes to administrative arrangements in the capital.

Our aim is to ensure civil protection arrangements in London are robust, joined-up and cost effective, and that appropriate structures are in place to support effective partnership working at all levels in the capital and with neighbouring areas. Whilst we can be proud that London has, on the whole, dealt very effectively with a wide range of emergencies in recent years, there are opportunities to review whether responsibility and accountability are placed where they can best be discharged.

This consultation is now closed.

The results of this formal consultation will inform final policy and any subsequent changes to arrangements in London. For further information please contact the Civil Contingencies Act Enhancement Programme team on 0207 217 5017 or email ccact@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk.

Document Downloads

Draft Revision to Chapter 2 (Co-operation) of the statutory guidance, Emergency Preparedness

As part of the Civil Contingencies Act Enhancement Programme we have undertaken a project to identify ways to achieve better engagement and collaborative working between responders to support them in fulfilling their duties under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA). This project formed part of Phase 1 of the programme which focused on improving the standard and consistency in the way the existing legislative framework was implemented.

Through engaging with a range of stakeholders, we identified opportunities to improve Chapter 2 (Co-operation) of the existing statutory guidance, Emergency Preparedness, and have produced a draft revision for consultation.

This consultation is now closed.

The results of this formal consultation will inform the final revision to Chapter 2 which we hope to publish in Spring 2010. It will also inform further work on better engagement and collaborative working in Phase 2 of the programme. For further information please contact the Civil Contingencies Act Enhancement Programme team on 0207 217 5017 or email ccact@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk.

Document Downloads

Draft Revision to Chapter 3 (Information Sharing) of the statutory guidance, Emergency Preparedness

As part of the Civil Contingencies Act Enhancement Programme we have developed updated and new guidance to support Category 1 and 2 responders in fulfilling their duties under the CCA. As part of Phase 1 of the programme, which focused on improving the standard and consistency in the way the existing legislative framework was implemented, we considered the existing Information Sharing chapter in the statutory guidance, Emergency Preparedness.

Through engaging with a range of stakeholders, we identified opportunities to enhance the guidance and have produced a draft revision for consultation.

This consultation is now closed.

The results of this formal consultation will inform the final updated version which we hope to publish in Spring 2010. For further information please contact the Civil Contingencies Act Enhancement Programme team on 0207 217 5017 or email ccact@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk.

Document Downloads

Draft Interim Guidance: Civil Contingencies Act 2004, the Fit with Other Legislation

As part of the Civil Contingencies Act Enhancement Programme we have developed updated and new guidance to support Category 1 and 2 responders in fulfilling their duties under the CCA. As part of Phase 1 of the programme, which focused on improving the standard and consistency in the way the existing legislative framework was implemented, we considered how we could support a consistent approach across planning and response arrangements established by the CCA and other site specific legislation.

Through engaging with a range of stakeholders, we have produced interim guidance to complement that in Emergency Preparedness. This will be fully incorporated into Emergency Preparedness when the whole document is reviewed at a later stage of the programme.

This consultation is now closed.

The results of this formal consultation will inform the final version which we hope to publish in Spring 2010. For further information please contact the Civil Contingencies Act Enhancement Programme team on 0207 217 5017 or email ccact@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk.

Document Downloads

Contacting the Civil Contingencies Act and Local Response Capability Team

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