Continuity of Operations (COOP) in the Executive Branch: Background and Issues for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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In the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks, subsequent biological weapon incidents, and occasional warnings of potential terrorist incursions, policymakers have given renewed attention to continuity of operations COOP issues. COOP planning is a segment of federal government contingency planning that refers to the internal effort of an organization, such as a branch of government, department, or office, to assure that the capability exists to continue essential operations in the aftermath of a comprehensive array of potential operational interruptions. It is related to continuity of government COG planning. COG plans are designed to ensure survival of a constitutional from of government and the continuity of essential federal functions. This report does not discuss COG planning beyond any direct relationship to COOP planning. Government-wide, COOP planning is critical because much of the recovery from an incident, which might include the maintenance of civil authority, and infrastructure repair, among other recovery activities, presumes the existence of an ongoing, functional government to fund, support, and oversee actions taken. In the executive branch, COOP planning can be viewed as a continuation of basic emergency preparedness planning, and a bridge between that planning and efforts to maintain continuity of government in the event of a significant disruption to government activity or institutions. Because the number and types of potential interruptions are unknown, effective COOP planning must provide, in advance of an incident, a variety of means to assure contingent operations.
- Administration and Management
- Safety Engineering