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31 or jobs are all important; but some take a different priority Emergency Authority under emergency conditions. Contingency team members may, in fact, be doing the most important work in an emer- Emergency authority refers to the ability to make deci- gency, as they tackle the unexpected needs and requirements sions related to an emergency, such as deciding whether to to help make others safe and secure. activate a COOP plan, deciding whether to evacuate a build- Once the teams have been identified, based on the activa- ing, or determining which personnel are to report for duty. In tion procedures developed for the COOP plan and the hours an emergency requiring COOP plan activation, COOP team of operation, it is desirable that a roster of trained personnel members are often the natural choice for assuming emer- to support COOP plan implementation be developed and gency authority. However, COOP team members are not the maintained by the transportation agency. Worksheet 23 pro- only candidates for such authority. vides a sample. In determining its policies for emergency delegation of authority, the transportation agency can review its pre- delegated authorities for making policy determinations and decisions at headquarters, field levels, and other organiza- DELEGATION OF EMERGENCY AUTHORITY tional locations, as appropriate. When delegating emergency authority, an agency can consider delegating authority among Transportation agencies confront emergency situations that the key personnel in such a way to ensure that each has an result in the loss or unavailability of senior management and equitable share of the duly established leadership. An agency technical personnel. To address this possibility, the COOP also should train officials on performance of their emergency team should assess requirements for delegation of emer- duties. gency authority. Basic principles to consider when delegating emergency Delegation of emergency authority enables the agency to authority include the following: determine who has decision-making authority, access to areas, and management of essential functions. This will also help to Identify which authorities may be delegated; ensure rapid response to any emergency situation requiring Establish rules and procedures addressing conditions for the implementation of the COOP plan. The transportation succession and method of notification; agency's legal counsel is normally consulted when deter- Identify limitations of delegations; mining delegations of authority. Identify to whom authorities may be delegated; and In addressing this component of COOP planning, trans- Train potential successors on their duties in an emergency. portation agencies may wish to consider the following: Worksheet 24 may be completed by the COOP team to Identification of the programs and administrative author- document the agency's policies and procedures for the dele- ities needed for effective operations at all organizational gation of emergency authority. levels having emergency responsibilities; Worksheet 25 addresses the rules, procedures, and limita- Identification of the circumstances under which emer- tions that may be placed on delegations of emergency author- gency authorities would be exercised; ities by position. Vacancies in key positions can occur for Clarification of the limits of authority and accountabil- various reasons, and many times, vacancies are the result of ity under emergency conditions; non-emergencies, such as illnesses, leaves of absence, and Documentation of the authority of designated successors temporary assignments. Thus, the delegation of authority to exercise agency direction, including any exceptions, component of a COOP plan requires a list of conditions or and the successor's authority to re-delegate functions events that will trigger the delegation of authority for that key and activities as appropriate; position. Activation of any delegation of authority may be tied Clarification of circumstances under which delegated to the level of threat or category of emergency. Activation authorities would become effective and when they would policies may also detail how the designee will assume author- terminate (usually, pre-determined delegations of author- ity and how agency staff will be notified of the delegation. ity would take effect when the normal authority is ren- dered unavailable and would terminate when normal authority is resumed); and Administrative Authority Recognition of the need for training personnel who may Administrative authority refers to the ability to make deci- be expected to assume authorities in an emergency. sions that have effects beyond the duration of the emergency. Unlike emergency authority, administrative authority does Two categories of authority can be addressed in COOP not have a built-in expiration date. Such decisions involve delegation of authority: emergency authority and adminis- policy determinations and include hiring and dismissal of trative authority. personnel and allocation of monetary and non-monetary