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32 resources. Statutory or constitutional law may limit the del- Skills, egation of this kind of authority. Experience, When delegating administrative authority, an agency also Knowledge and training, and needs to examine laws and regulations governing the agency. Personality. Delegation of administrative authority is generally limited to upper management, but may be extended to middle manage- Although the focus is on the measurable skills, experi- ment and non-management as necessary and allowed by law. ence, knowledge, and training necessary for holding a spe- Again, the transportation agency's legal counsel can provide cific key position, personality traits such as an ability to advice on delegation of administrative authority. work under pressure or communicate clearly in pressure sit- uations may also be considered. An order of succession also requires sufficient depth. In other words, there may very ORDER OF SUCCESSION well need to be more than one or two named successors in most circumstances. Order of succession is defined as a formula that specifies To achieve the best results, all key positions are first iden- who will automatically fill a position if it is vacated. Devel- tified. The authority to be delegated, identified in Worksheets oping orders of succession for key positions is intertwined 24 and 25, already gives some idea of which positions and with determining delegation of authority in an emergency. personnel are key positions and personnel. However, there A comprehensive COOP plan will include an order of suc- may be some key positions or personnel that have not been cession for each key position. Although orders of succession identified by looking solely at delegation of authority. There- for key leadership and management positions within the fore, the COOP team can review the agency's current orga- agency, both at headquarters and in satellite facilities, are nizational structure, by position and function, i.e., executive necessary for a comprehensive COOP plan, orders of suc- director(s)/general manager, deputy director(s), vice presi- cession are not limited solely to management positions. In dent(s), chief operating officer(s), etc. After studying the fact, any essential function requires that there be sufficient agency's organization chart, the COOP team can examine succession plan contingencies to fill needs. Some of the per- the consequences resulting from a current or past vacancy, sonnel who are on contingency teams can be assigned, as question current and former agency personnel, and examine appropriate, within the order of succession plan. historical evidence regarding needed orders of succession. All agencies have non-management personnel who, because When finished, the COOP team can document its results in of their function in the agency, are critical to accomplishing Worksheet 26. the agency's goals. Ideally, identify key positions by the position title and not by the name of the person currently in the position, because different individuals may move through VITAL RECORDS AND DATABASES a single position, while positions tend to stay the same. Con- sequently, the orders of succession by key positions will need A successful COOP plan provides for the protection, fewer revisions over time. Nevertheless, there may be a few accessibility, and recovery of the agency's vital records, sys- individuals who have very specific knowledge, skills, and/or tems, and equipment. These are the records, systems, and experience in the agency and they may have to be named equipment that if irretrievable, lost, or damaged will materi- specifically. If key personnel are identified by position title, ally impair the agency's ability to conduct business and carry materials should be revised to reflect any reorganization out essential functions. affecting those parts of the agency. Every agency has some type of maintenance program in When identifying successors, the COOP team is advised place for the preservation and quality assurance of data and to consider the organizational and geographic proximity of systems. Such a program takes into account the cost of pro- the potential successor to the key position. A potential suc- tecting or reconstructing records weighed against the neces- cessor who is part of the same department or division (orga- sity of the information to achieving the agency mission. nizational proximity) is a good choice, because they already COOP planning takes advantage of the maintenance pro- have an understanding of the key position. However, ensure grams already in place and may improve upon them to that there is at least one successor in the order of succession achieve optimal readiness for disruptions to an agency's essential functions. who is not located in the same office or facility in case the vacancy results from a catastrophic emergency in a particu- lar geographic location. Vital Records Considerations for orders of succession planning include the following: A successful COOP plan also provides for the identifica- tion, protection, and ready availability of electronic and hard- Geographic proximity, copy documents, references, records, and information sys- Organizational proximity, tems needed to support essential functions under any type of