- 10.6.1 Continuity Planning Requirements
- 10.6.1.1 Overview
- 10.6.1.2 Roles and Responsibilities
- 10.6.1.2.1 Agency Head
- 10.6.1.2.2 IRS Continuity Coordinator
- 10.6.1.2.3 Senior Management/Executives
- 10.6.1.2.4 Continuity Planners
- 10.6.1.2.5 Director, Employee Support Services
- 10.6.1.2.6 Director, Office of Continuity Operations
- 10.6.1.3 Continuity Requirements
- 10.6.1.4 Continuity Planning
- 10.6.1.4.1 Continuity Planning Objectives
- 10.6.1.5 Requirements for Continuity Plans and Procedures
- 10.6.1.6 Elements of a Viable Continuity Capability
- 10.6.1.6.1 Essential Functions
- 10.6.1.6.2 Orders of Succession
- 10.6.1.6.3 Delegations of Authority
- 10.6.1.6.4 Continuity Facilities
- 10.6.1.6.5 Continuity Communications
- 10.6.1.6.6 Vital Records Management
- 10.6.1.6.7 Human Capital
- 10.6.1.6.8 Test, Training, and Exercise
- 10.6.1.6.8.1 Continuity Test Program
- 10.6.1.6.8.2 Continuity Training Program
- 10.6.1.6.8.3 Continuity Exercise Program
- 10.6.1.6.9 Devolution of Control and Direction
- 10.6.1.6.10 Reconstitution
- 10.6.1.7 Continuity Plan Operational Phases and Implementation
- 10.6.1.7.1 Readiness and Preparedness
- 10.6.1.7.2 Activation and Relocation (0-12 Hours)
- 10.6.1.7.3 Continuity Operations
- 10.6.1.7.4 Reconstitution
- 10.6.1.8 Continuity Plan Content and Format
- 10.6.1.8.1 Continuity Plan Control and Maintenance
- Exhibit 10.6.1-1 Continuity Requirements and Metrics
- Exhibit 10.6.1-2 National Essential Functions
- Exhibit 10.6.1-3 IRS Mission Essential Functions
- Exhibit 10.6.1-4 IRS Essential Supporting Activities, Deferrable Mission Critical Functions, and Deferrable Supporting Activities
- Exhibit 10.6.1-5 Glossary of Terms Used in Continuity Planning
- Exhibit 10.6.1-6 Abbreviations/Acronyms Used in Continuity Planning
- Exhibit 10.6.1-7 References
Part 10. Security, Privacy and Assurance
Chapter 6. Continuity Operations
Section 1. Continuity Planning Requirements
March 07, 2014
(1) This transmits revised IRM 10.6.1, Continuity Operations Program, Continuity Planning Requirements.
(1) IRM 10.6.1 is revised as follows:
IRM 10.6.1.2.1 (2) a). - Removes the requirement that IRS submit an annual report to Treasury detailing the state of Continuity Operations. The Homeland Security Requirement was for Departments and not Agencies within the Department.
IRM 10.6.1.1.2 (9) a). - General Policy; Risk Management - Removes the budgetary requirements addressed in this IRM, to prevent conflicting with current IRS budget policy.
IRM 10.6.1.5 (24) c) - Requirements for Continuity Plans and Procedures: Budgetary Requirements - Removes the budgetary requirements at the this level pending development of IRS policy and future IRM.
IRM 10.6.1.6.8.1 (4) d) - Continuity Test Program: Vital Records and IT - This responsibility is transferred to other areas.
IRM 10.6.1.6.8.1 (4) e) - Continuity Test Program: Infrastructure - This responsibility is transferred to other areas.
IRM 10.6.1.6.8.1 (4) h) - Continuity Test Program: Dependencies with other Agencies - This responsibility is transferred to other areas.
IRM 10.6.1.6.8.2 (3) a) - Continuity Training Program - All employee information is no longer required.
IRM 10.6.1.6.8.2 (3) e) - Continuity Training Program - All employee information is no longer required.
IRM 10.6.1.6.8.2 (3) h) - Continuity Training Program - IT functions are IT's responsibility.
IRM 10.6.1.6.9 (3) - Devolution Plan - Information is no longer in effect.
IRM 10.6.1.7 (2) - Continuity Plan Operational Phases and Implementation - Removed as it duplicates information in the introduction and purpose.
(2) Editorial changes were made to provide clarity.
Richard L. Rodriguez
Director, Office of Continuity Operations A:ESS:OCO
This manual provides policies and guidance to be used by IRS organizations to carry out their respective roles and responsibilities in continuity planning. It provides guidance for developing viable and executable continuity plans and procedures.
These provisions apply to all offices, business, operating, and functional units within IRS.
Continuity planning is a good business practice, part of the fundamental mission of IRS as a responsible and reliable public institution. The changing threat environment and recent emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, technological emergencies, and terrorist attack-related incidents, have increased awareness of the need for continuity capabilities and plans that will enable the IRS to continue its mission essential functions across a broad spectrum of emergencies.
Continuity planning applies to a wide range of potential emergencies or threats, including natural disasters, accidents, technological failures, workplace violence, and terrorism. Some of these hazards may produce emergencies that render a single facility unusable for a period of time, such as a local water main break or hazardous material incident. Others may result in more severe and widespread emergencies such as a major national or regional disaster
The primary goal of the IRS continuity planning efforts is to ensure the continuation of IRS mission essential functions under all circumstances. This is accomplished through the development of comprehensive plans, procedures, and provisions for alternate facilities, personnel, resources, interoperable communications, and vital records.
Continuity planning prepares the IRS for disaster prevention, response, and recovery and for the IRS to maintain viability of its mission essential operations during and following an emergency or continuity event.
In accordance with and in support of the National Continuity Policy, the IRS will have in place a comprehensive and effective Continuity Program to ensure the continuity of IRS mission essential functions under all circumstances across the spectrum of threats, including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies.
The IRS Continuity Program will include plans and procedures, under all readiness levels that:
Identify IRS mission essential functions.
Specify succession to office and emergency delegations of authority.
Provide for the safekeeping of and access to vital records.
Identify a range of continuity facilities and locations.
Provide for interoperable communications.
Provide for human capital planning.
Validate IRS continuity capabilities through tests, training, and exercises.
Specify devolution of control and direction.
Provide for reconstitution operations.
The IRS Continuity Program is implemented through its related continuity plans and procedures and its continuity test, training, exercise and operational capability to support these plans and procedures.
The IRS Continuity Program will address geographic dispersion, risk management, security, and readiness and preparedness.
The IRS will incorporate geographic dispersion of its leadership, data storage, personnel, and other capabilities into its normal daily operations, as appropriate. Geographic dispersion of the IRS normal daily operations can significantly enhance IRS resilience and reduce the risk of losing the capability to perform IRS mission essential functions.
The IRS will apply risk management principles to ensure that appropriate operational readiness decisions are based on the probability of an attack or other incident and its consequences.
The IRS will integrate its security strategies that address personnel, physical, and information security to protect personnel, facilities, plans, and capabilities, to prevent adversaries from disrupting IRS continuity plans and operations.
The IRS leadership will ensure that the IRS, through normal procedures or with a continuity plan, can perform its mission essential functions before, during, and after an incident.
The performance of IRS mission essential functions in an emergency or continuity event will be the basis for continuity planning, preparation, and execution.
The IRS will develop and maintain continuity plans and procedures and implement test, training, exercise, and assessment programs that ensure continuity under all conditions.
The IRS continuity plans will be responsive and executable with or without warning.
The IRS will have in place a viable continuity capability to ensure continued performance of IRS mission essential functions from alternate operating sites during any emergency or situation that may disrupt normal operations.
To ensure effective continuity capabilities, the IRS will:
Integrate continuity budgets with a multiyear strategy and a program management plan, and link the budgets directly to objectives and metrics set forth in that plan.
Provide for the acquisition of those resources necessary for continuity operations on an emergency basis.
Budget for and acquire continuity capabilities.
In accordance with the National Continuity Policy, the IRS will use metrics to measure its ability to meet its continuity requirements. The IRS will use the list of continuity requirements, key questions, and metrics guidance specified in Exhibit 10.6.1-1 to certify that it has a strong continuity capability.
National Security Presidential Directive 51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20 (NSPD-51 /HSPD-20), National Continuity Policy, dated May 9, 2007, establishes a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations and a single National Continuity Coordinator responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies; establishes National Essential Functions (NEFs); prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies; and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.
National Continuity Policy Implementation Plan, dated August 2007, builds upon the National Continuity Policy and provides guidance to executive departments and agencies on appropriately identifying and carrying out their Primary Mission Essential Functions that support the eight National Essential Functions—the most critical functions necessary to lead and sustain the Nation during a catastrophic emergency.
Federal Continuity Directive 1 (FCD 1), Federal Executive Branch National Continuity Program and Requirements, dated February 2008, provides direction to Federal Executive Branch departments and agencies for use in developing contingency plans and programs for continuity.
Federal Continuity Directive 2 (FCD 2), Federal Executive Branch National Continuity Program and Requirements, dated February 2008, and draft update June 2012, provides additional direction to Federal Executive Branch departments and agencies for use in developing contingency plans and programs for continuity as described in FCD-1 Appendix D.
These authorities can be found at: http://erc.web.irs.gov/docs/2002/awss/cs/co/continuity_planning_attachment.htm#Legal_basis_CC.
The IRS will implement roles and responsibilities that ensure the continuing performance of its mission essential functions under all circumstances.
The following roles and responsibilities are based on the National Security Presidential Directive 51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20 (NSPD-51/HSPD-20), National Continuity Policy, Homeland Security Presidential Directives, Federal Continuity Directives, and Department of Treasury policies and guidance.
As the Agency Head, the National Continuity Policy assigns the IRS Commissioner responsibilities for:
Establishing an IRS Continuity Program.
Ensuring continuing performance of IRS mission essential functions.
Incorporating continuity requirements into daily IRS operations.
Ensuring IRS has continuity plans for dealing with a national or localized emergency situation and ensuring continued performance of IRS mission essential functions.
Appointing a senior accountable official as the IRS Continuity Coordinator.
Validating and approving IRS mission essential functions.
Developing a Continuity Multi-Year Strategy and Program Management Plan that includes a program budget to support a viable continuity capability.
Planning, programming, and budgeting for secure continuity communications capabilities.
Ensuring IRS mission essential functions interdependencies are coordinated within IRS, at the interagency level, and with private sector partners.
Participating in the Department of Homeland Security’s National Exercise Program.
Incorporating Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance on continuity, as provided, when developing continuity budgets.
As required, submitting Continuity Readiness Reports and other reports, through designated channels (e.g., the Readiness Reporting System).
Developing a Continuity Assessment Program to assist in documenting, prioritizing, and resourcing continuity issues during test, training, and exercise, assessments, and emergency operations.
Evaluating IRS continuity program readiness to ensure the adequacy and capability of its continuity plans and programs.
Promulgating and disseminating continuity guidance to all IRS subordinate organizational elements including field offices.
Emphasizing geographic dispersion of leadership, staff, and infrastructure, as appropriate, in order to increase survivability and maintain uninterrupted government functions.
Executing IRS continuity plans and complying with the requirements and assigned responsibilities under the Continuity of Government Readiness Condition (COGCON) program.
Participating in and conducting testing, as appropriate, to ensure viability of communications systems.
In accordance with the National Continuity Policy, as the Agency Head, the IRS Commissioner will, on an annual basis:
Ensure that key IRS leaders and support staff are provided familiarization training of IRS mission essential functions.
Conduct tests, training, and exercises of the IRS continuity plans, to include continuity personnel, essential IT systems and equipment, in order to evaluate program readiness and ensure adequacy and viability of continuity plans and communications systems.
The above Agency Head responsibilities will be clearly outlined in IRS continuity plans and internal documents.
The Chief, Agency-Wide Shared Services, at the direction of the Commissioner, serves as the IRS Continuity Coordinator.
As the IRS Continuity Coordinator, the Chief, Agency-Wide Shared Services, responsibilities include:
Managing, overseeing, and ensuring the readiness and compliance of the IRS Continuity Program.
Coordinating and managing all activities required for the IRS to perform its mission essential functions during an emergency or other situation that would disrupt normal operations.
Developing the IRS Continuity Program short- and long-term goals and objectives.
Working with the executive leadership of the IRS business, operating, and functional units to complete the IRS mission essential functions identification and analysis process.
Identifying and assisting with resolving issues related to continuity plans development, activation, implementation, and reconstitution.
Assisting with the identification of continuity planning team members.
Acting as liaison between the IRS continuity planning team and executive leadership of the IRS business, operating, and functional units.
Coordinating with IRS business, operating, and functional units on emergency preparedness and response issues.
Ensuring the preparation and maintenance of emergency preparedness and post disaster response and recovery plans.
Preparing and maintaining current rosters of IRS headquarters continuity or emergency response personnel who will assist in disaster operations.
Coordinating appropriate training for continuity or emergency response personnel.
The senior management/executive responsible for a business, operating, or functional unit is responsible for:
Ensuring that IRS continuity policies, guidance, and procedures are implemented and followed.
Managing their organization’s day-to-day continuity programs.
Ensuring they are capable of carrying out their respective mission essential functions related to continuity operations, including planning, activation, execution, and reconstitution.
Planning, programming, and budgeting for continuity capabilities.
Ensuring that comprehensive and viable continuity plans are developed, exercised, implemented, and maintained.
The senior management/executive responsible for a business, operating, or functional unit will, at a minimum:
Identify and prioritize the mission essential functions within their organization.
Identify mission critical data (vital records) and systems needed to perform each mission essential function.
Establish critical resource requirements needed to perform each mission essential function.
Identify communications systems needed to support each mission essential function.
Develop recovery or resumption strategies for each identified mission essential function.
Establish a roster of knowledgeable key personnel to serve on continuity operations or recovery teams.
Establish orders of succession to key leadership positions within their organization.
Pre-delegate authorities for making policy determinations and decisions within their organization, as appropriate.
Establish and periodically (at least annually) test the capability to perform their mission essential functions.
The senior management/executive responsible for a business, operating, or functional unit will ensure that required continuity information is documented in the appropriate continuity plans and procedures.
Continuity planners at all levels have the responsibility of fully understanding their organization and monitoring the direction, guidance, and best practices of the government and private sector in order to develop the most relevant continuity plans.
Continuity planners will:
Serve as continuity coordinators for their respective business, operating, or functional unit.
Work with the IRS Continuity Coordinator on continuity activities.
Participate in the business process analysis used to identify IRS mission essential functions.
Represent their unit on continuity committees or working groups, as appropriate.
The Director, Employee Support Services, is responsible for coordination and oversight of IRS-wide continuity planning.
The IRS must be capable of continuing the performance of its mission essential functions during any emergency for a period up to 30 days or until normal operations can be resumed.
The IRS must have the capability to be fully operational at its continuity facilities as soon as possible after the occurrence of an emergency, but not later than 12 hours after continuity operations activation.
Succession orders and pre-planned delegations of authority to ensure there is an orderly and predefined transition of leadership and delegation of authority within IRS during any emergency must be planned and documented in accordance with applicable laws.
The IRS must safeguard its vital resources, facilities, and records, and provide official access to them.
The IRS must make provisions for acquisition of the staff and resources necessary for continuity operations on an emergency basis.
The IRS must make provisions for the availability and redundancy of critical communications capabilities at continuity sites in order to support connectivity between and among key government leadership, IRS organizational elements, other executive departments and agencies, critical partners, and the public.
The IRS must make provisions for reconstitution capabilities that allow for recovery from a catastrophic emergency and resumption of normal operations.
The IRS must make provisions for the identification, training, and preparedness of IRS personnel capable of relocating to continuity facilities to support the continuation of the performance of IRS mission essential functions.
The IRS will incorporate these continuity requirements into its daily operations to ensure a seamless and immediate continuation of its mission essential functions capabilities.
Continuity planning includes IRS activities and efforts to document and ensure that the IRS is capable of continuing its essential functions during a wide range of potential emergencies.
The IRS continuity plans and supporting procedures, when implemented, will provide for the continued performance of IRS essential functions under all circumstances.
Federal Continuity Directive 1 (FCD 1) outlines the objectives of a continuity plan. These objectives have been adopted by the IRS as a best practice and include:
Ensuring the safety of IRS personnel and visitors.
Ensuring the IRS can continue to perform its mission essential functions, including conducting activities from an alternate location, if necessary.
Reducing the loss of life and minimizing property damage and loss.
Executing, as required, successful succession to office with accompanying delegation of authorities in the event a disruption renders IRS leadership unable, unavailable, or incapable of assuming and performing their duties and responsibilities.
Reducing or mitigating disruptions to IRS operations.
Ensuring that IRS has facilities available where it can continue to perform its mission essential functions during a continuity event or emergency.
Protecting essential facilities, equipment, vital records, and other assets, in the event of a disruption.
Achieving a timely and orderly recovery and reconstitution from a continuity event or emergency.
Ensuring and validating IRS continuity readiness through an integrated continuity test, training, and exercise program to support the implementation of the IRS continuity plans.
IRS continuity planning will be based on the assumption that there will be no warning of potential emergencies or incidents, using a worst-case scenario (e.g., the inaccessibility or unavailability of an IRS facility and all of its contents).
The key elements of continuity to include: orders of succession; delegations of authority; continuity facilities; continuity communications systems; vital records; human capital; test, training, and exercises; devolution; and reconstitution will be addressed.
IRS mission essential functions and essential support activities, interdependencies, and the resources needed to perform them will be identified.
Orders of succession and preplanned delegations of authority for the position of IRS Commissioner as well as for other key IRS leadership positions will be established.
Procedures to ensure IRS vital resources, facilities, and records are safeguarded, available, and accessible to support continuity operations will be identified.
Instructions for acquisition of necessary personnel, equipment, supplies, and other resources that are not already in place for continuity operations on an emergency basis will be provided.
Measures taken to ensure the availability and redundancy of critical communications capabilities at continuity sites in order to support connectivity between and among key government leadership, within IRS, other executive departments and agencies, critical partners, and the public will be identified.
Components, processes, and requirements for the identification, training, and preparedness of IRS personnel who are capable of relocating to continuity facilities to support the continuation of the performance of IRS mission essential functions will be identified.
A decision-making process (matrix) for determining appropriate actions in activating (implementing) IRS continuity plans and procedures will be outlined.
Alert and notification procedures for all continuity personnel throughout all phases of a continuity event or emergency will be established.
A process for reporting IRS continuity readiness and activation status will be provided.
The roles and responsibilities of those individuals who support the IRS Continuity Program will be defined.
Point of contact rosters of trained continuity personnel who are fully equipped and have the authority to perform IRS essential functions, including the execution of the devolution of control plan, will be established and maintained. Rosters will include, at a minimum, names and home, work, and cellular telephone numbers.
Procedures for the activation and relocation, including guidance for continuity personnel, will be provided.
Methods and procedures used to communicate and coordinate activities with continuity and non-continuity personnel before, during, and after a continuity event will be provided.
Procedures in place to ensure that the continuity plan can be implemented with and without warning will be provided.
Process or methodology for attaining operational capability at the continuity facility within 12 hours of continuity plan activation will be provided.
Instructions for the acquisition of necessary personnel and resources to ensure that sustained operations can be maintained for up to 30 days after a continuity event or until normal IRS business activities can be resumed will be provided.
Provision for an all-hazards risk assessment of all IRS continuity facilities will be provided.
All continuity facilities for continuity operations will be identified.
Procedures for notifying continuity facilities and on-site support teams will be provided.
Procedures for the reconstitution of IRS capabilities and transition from continuity operations to normal operations provisions will be provided.
Recommended contents of drive-away/fly-away kits and guidance for maintenance of kits will be provided.
Contingency plans for the performance of IRS mission essential functions in the event key resources, including vital records, supplies, and personnel, are not available will be established.
The IRS continuity plans must outline the process that will be followed to:
Designate and review mission essential functions and resources.
Define short and long-term continuity goals and objectives.
Identify continuity program issues, concerns, potential obstacles, and the strategy for addressing these.
Establish continuity planning, training, and exercise activities and milestones for these activities.
Identify the people, infrastructure, communications, transportation, and funding needed to support continuity programs.
Provisions and procedures for assisting all IRS personnel, especially those who are disaster victims, with special human capital concerns following a catastrophic disaster will be provided.
Guidance to all IRS employees in developing Family Support Plans which will increase personal and family preparedness throughout the organization and support employee availability during a continuity event will be provided.
At a minimum, the entire continuity plan must be reviewed annually and updated accordingly. Significant changes (e.g., mission essential functions, continuity facilities) to the continuity plan must be made as they occur.
The IRS continuity capability, its ability to perform its essential functions continuously, depends on IRS leadership, trained personnel, communications, facilities, and other assets necessary to conduct IRS mission essential functions and essential supporting activities.
The IRS will have a viable continuity capability in place. The following continuity elements are needed to provide a complete and effective continuity capability: orders of succession; delegations of authority; continuity facilities; continuity communications; vital records management; human capital; test, training, and exercise; devolution of control and direction; and reconstitution.
Essential functions are those functions that enable the Federal Government to provide vital services, exercise civil authority, maintain the safety of the public, and sustain the industrial and economic base during an emergency. Essential functions are described as the limited set of agency-level government functions that must be continued throughout or resumed rapidly after a disruption of normal activities. The four categories of essential functions are:
National Essential Functions (NEFs) represent the overarching responsibilities of the Federal Government to lead and sustain the Nation and are the primary focus of the Federal Government leadership during and in the aftermath of a continuity event. The NEFs are listed in Exhibit 10.6.1-2. The IRS is not responsible for any NEFs.
Primary Mission Essential Functions (PMEFs) are collections of similar agency Mission Essential Functions, validated by the National Continuity Coordinator, which must be performed in order to directly support the performance of the NEFs before, during, and in the aftermath of a continuity event. PMEFs are defined as those functions that need to be continuous or resumed within 12 hours after an event and maintained for up to 30 days or until normal operations can be resumed. The IRS has no PMEFs.
Mission Essential Functions (MEFs) are directly related to accomplishing the mission of the organization–providing the goods and services to the Nation that the agency was established in the first place to produce. Generally, a MEF is unique to the agency–most other agencies do not perform this function. MEFs are those functions the agency performs to provide vital services, exercise civil authority, maintain the health and safety of the general public, and sustain the economic/industrial base during a disruption of normal operations. Essential functions related to the mission but are not essential should be categorized as Mission Deferrable Functions. The IRS has three MEFs. These are Processing Tax Remittances, Processing Tax Returns, and Processing Refunds. Further description is in Exhibit 10.6.1-3.
Essential Supporting Activities (ESAs) are the many and varied Essential Functions that must be performed in order to support the agency’s performance of its MEFs. Typically, ESAs are common to most agencies (paying staff, providing a secure workplace, ensuring computer systems are operating, etc.), but do not accomplish the agency’s mission. ESAs are facilitating activities; they are important and urgent, but accomplishing the ESA does not complete the mission or deliver the services the agency was created to accomplish. ESAs should be categorized as essential or deferrable. They may also be identified as Critical Business Processes. The IRS has 15 Essential Functions that are not Mission Essential Functions, but fit Mission Deferrable Functions, Essential Supporting Activities, or Deferrable Supporting Activities. These are described in Exhibit 10.2.10–4.
The IRS will identify and prioritize its essential functions. Once identified, these essential functions serve as key continuity planning factors to determine appropriate staffing, communications, information, facilities, training, and other continuity requirements.
When identifying its essential functions, the IRS will:
Determine which IRS functions must be continued under all circumstances.
Prioritize these essential supporting activities based on criticality of the function. To the extent possible, prioritize these essential supporting activities against likely continuity operations triggers and scenarios. Essential Supporting Functions should be determined as either Deferrable or Nondeferrable.
Establish staffing, resource requirements, and any other supporting activities needed to perform these mission essential functions. Examples of supporting activities include situational awareness, computer and IT support, administrative management, infrastructure preparation, personnel and personal preparation, coordination of clearances and accesses with alternate facilities, instructions for continuity staffs, and logistics.
Identify equipment, including IT hardware and telecommunications hardware needed to perform essential functions.
Identify mission critical data (vital records) and IT systems necessary to conduct essential supporting activities.
Determine consumable office supplies needed to perform essential supporting activities.
Integrate supporting activities to ensure essential supporting activities can be performed as efficiently as possible during emergency relocation.
Defer functions not deemed essential supporting activities until additional personnel and resources become available.
The IRS will be capable of sustaining its essential functions for a period up to 30 days or until normal business activities can be resumed.
The lists of resources required to perform the IRS essential functions will be reviewed annually and updated as necessary.
Orders of succession are provisions for the assumption of senior IRS leadership positions during an emergency when the incumbents are unable or unavailable to perform their authorized duties, roles, and responsibilities. Orders of succession allow an orderly and predefined transition of leadership.
The IRS will provide for a clear line of succession in the absence of existing IRS leadership and the necessary delegations of authority to ensure that the succeeding leadership has the legal authorities to carry out their duties and responsibilities.
The IRS leadership is responsible for establishing, promulgating, and maintaining orders of succession to key positions.
Orders of succession will be of sufficient depth to ensure that IRS is able to perform its mission essential functions. At a minimum:
Establish an order of succession for the position of agency head, the IRS Commissioner.
Establish orders of succession for other key IRS leadership positions, including but not limited to administrators, regional or field directors, key managers, other key mission essential personnel or their equivalent positions (e.g. Deputy Commissioners, heads of IRS business, operating, and functional units; directors of computing centers, submission processing sites, and campuses, etc.). Orders of succession should also be established for devolution counterparts in these positions.
Identify any limitations of authority based on delegations of authority to others.
Describe orders of succession by positions or titles, rather than by names of individuals holding those offices. To ensure their legal sufficiency, coordinate the development of orders of succession with the IRS Chief Counsel.
Revise orders of succession, as necessary, and distribute revised versions promptly as changes occur.
Establish the procedures that designated alternates are to follow when facing the issues of succession to office in emergency situations.
Include in the succession procedures the conditions under which succession will take place, method of notification, and time, geographical, or organizational limitations of authorities granted by the orders of succession.
Develop and provide a duties and responsibilities briefing to the designated successors to the position of agency head (IRS Commissioner), when named, and other key IRS leadership positions, on their responsibilities as successors and on any provisions for their relocation.
Designated successors will be provided annual refresher briefings on IRS continuity preparations.
Orders of succession will be included in the vital records and be available at all continuity facilities in the event the continuity plan is activated.
A delegation of authority identifies who is authorized to act on behalf of the agency head or other agency officials for specified purposes and ensures that designated individuals have the legal authorities to carry out their duties. To the extent possible, these authorities should be identified by title or position, and not by the individual office holder’s name.
The IRS will pre-delegate authorities for making policy determinations and other decisions to ensure rapid response to any emergency situation requiring implementation of its continuity plans.
Generally, predetermined delegations of authority will take effect when normal channels of direction are disrupted and will terminate when these channels are reestablished. Delegation of authority is an essential part of IRS continuity plans and should reach to a sufficient depth and have sufficient breadth—at least three positions deep and geographically dispersed where feasible—to ensure the IRS can perform its mission essential functions while remaining a viable part of the Federal Government during the course of any emergency.
A delegation of authority must document, in advance, the legal authority of officials (including those below the level of IRS Commissioner) to make key policy decisions during a continuity situation.
To ensure IRS primary mission essential functions and mission essential functions are performed, delegations of authority must be planned and documented in advance of an incident and in accordance with applicable laws, including by:
Delineating the limits of authority and accountability.
Outlining explicitly in a statement, the authority (including any exceptions to that authority) of an official so designated to exercise IRS direction, and the authority of an official to re-delegate functions and activities, as appropriate.
Defining the circumstances under which delegation of authorities would take effect and would be terminated.
Delegations of authority must ensure that those officials who might be expected to assume authorities in a continuity situation are properly informed and trained to carry out their emergency responsibilities.
Delegations of authority must ensure the orderly (and predefined) transition of leadership, for the position of IRS Commissioner as well as for key supporting positions within IRS, during an emergency and be closely tied to succession.
At a minimum, annual training is required of IRS officials who might be expected to assume authorities in a continuity situation or an emergency.
Delegations of authority will be included in the vital records and be available at all continuity facilities in the event the continuity plan is activated.
An alternate facility is a location, other than the normal facility, used to carry out IRS mission essential functions during continuity operations activation.
The IRS, at a minimum, will identify and maintain an alternate facility. The IRS will designate alternate facilities, alternate usages of existing facilities, and, as appropriate, virtual office options (e.g., work at home, telecommuting facilities), as a part of its continuity planning.
Alternate facilities will be identified for the relocation of a limited number of key IRS leaders and staff. These facilities must be able to provide survivable protection and enable continued, endurable operations.
The IRS will prepare its personnel for the possibility of an unannounced relocation of IRS mission essential functions, and/or continuity personnel to these designated facilities.
Alternate facilities will be capable of supporting operations in a threat-free environment, as determined by the geographical location of the facility, assessment of the local threat, and/or the collective protection characteristics of the facility. These facilities should replicate essential capabilities by providing systems and configurations that are used in daily activities.
At a minimum, the designated alternate facilities must provide:
Immediate availability to allow continuity operations to commence rapidly in the event of a no warning attack.
Sufficient space, infrastructure, power, life support, and network connectivity to accommodate the continuity personnel and equipment required to continue IRS mission essential functions.
Operational capability to perform IRS mission essential functions within 12 hours of an interruption or continuity event.
Capability to sustain mission essential functions operations for up to 30 days after an event or until normal IRS operations can be resumed.
Computer equipment, software, and other equipment necessary to carry out mission essential functions.
Interoperable communications, including means for secure communications if appropriate, with all identified essential internal and external organizations, customers, and the public.
Physical security including perimeter, access, and internal functions commensurate with operations.
Access to reliable logistical support and essential resources such as food, lodging, water, fuel, medical facilities, and office supplies.
Capabilities to access and use the vital records needed to facilitate the performance of mission essential functions.
All IRS Continuity personnel will be briefed on IRS continuity plans that involve using, or relocating personnel to alternate facilities, existing facilities, or virtual offices.
The IRS will develop executable transportation plans for movement of its continuity personnel to alternate facilities.
The IRS will develop procedures for maintaining readiness of alternate facilities, procuring equipment and supplies that are not pre-positioned, and to notify and coordinate activation of alternate facilities.
The IRS ability to successfully execute its mission essential functions at its headquarters and at its alternate or other continuity facilities, as well as the ability of the IRS senior leadership to collaborate, develop policy and recommendations, and respond under all-hazards conditions, depends on the availability of effective communications systems.
The IRS communication systems must support full connectivity, under all conditions, within IRS, among key government leadership, other agencies, customers, and the public.
The IRS communications and IT systems (e.g., secure/non-secure, voice, data, video, fax, internet access, email), including hardware and software for continuity operations, should mirror those used in day-to-day operations to assist continuity leadership and staff in a seamless transition to crisis operations.
The IRS will ensure that it has sufficient communications capabilities for its headquarters and its alternate and other continuity facilities to support the continuation of its mission essential functions.
The IRS will plan accordingly for mission essential functions that require uninterrupted communications and IT support. All necessary and required communications and IT capabilities will be:
Operational within 12 hours of continuity operations activation.
Sustained for up to 30 days or until normal operations can be resumed.
The IRS must:
Implement minimum communications requirements for IRS headquarters and its alternate and other continuity facilities, as appropriate, which support the continuation of the IRS mission essential functions.
Possess interoperable and available communications capabilities in sufficient quantity and mode/media that are commensurate with IRS responsibilities during conditions of an emergency.
Possess communications capabilities that can support the IRS senior leadership while they are in transit to alternate facilities.
Ensure that the communications capabilities are maintained and readily available for a period of sustained usage of no less than 30 days or until normal operations can be reestablished.
Ensure that all continuity staff is properly trained, as appropriate, in the use of these communications capabilities.
Satisfy the requirement to provide assured and priority access to communications resources.
Have sufficient communications capabilities to accomplish the IRS mission essential functions from an alternate facility. If the IRS alternate facility is shared with another agency, also have a signed agreement with that agency which ensures that each has adequate access to communications resources.
The communications capabilities will be tested at the alternate facilities at least monthly in order to ensure internal and external interoperability and viability.
A critical element of the IRS continuity plans is the identification, protection, and ready availability of its vital records that are needed to support its mission essential functions during a continuity event or emergency. These vital records include electronic and hardcopy documents, references, records, and information systems and applications.
The IRS will identify all vital records needed to continue its mission essential functions and to resume normal operations throughout all phases of the continuity event. Procedures will be established to ensure these vital records are safeguarded, available, and accessible to support continuity operations.
The IRS continuity personnel will have access to and be able to use the required vital records and systems to perform IRS mission essential functions and to reconstitute or resume normal IRS operations.
Categories of these vital records include:
Emergency Operating Records which include records and databases that are essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of IRS during and after a continuity event or emergency.
Rights and Interest Records which include records critical to carrying out IRS essential legal and financial functions, and records vital to the protection of the legal and financial rights of individuals who are directly affected by IRS activities.
The IRS continuity plans will identify and establish procedures to ensure its vital records are safeguarded, available, and accessible to support continuity operations.
The IRS will identify and preposition its Emergency Operating Records that are needed to continue IRS mission essential functions. Rights and Interest Records considered critical to performing mission essential functions should be included in the Emergency Operating Records and maintained at the appropriate alternate continuity facility.
A vital records plan packet must be developed and maintained. The records packet will include:
A hard copy or electronic list of key IRS personnel and continuity personnel with up-to-date telephone numbers.
A vital records inventory with the exact locations of vital records.
Updates to the vital records.
Necessary keys or access codes.
Alternate facility locations.
Access requirements and lists of sources of equipment necessary to access the records (this may include hardware and software, microfilm readers, Internet access, and/or dedicated telephone lines).
Lists of records recovery experts and vendors.
A copy of the IRS Continuity Plans.
At a minimum, vital records must be annually reviewed, rotated, or cycled so that the latest versions are available. A copy of the vital records packet will be securely maintained at the IRS alternate facilities and other continuity locations where it is easily accessible to appropriate personnel when needed.
The IRS will identify its continuity leadership and staff and establish IRS human capital strategies that are adaptable to changing circumstances and a variety of emergencies for use during activation of a continuity plan.
In a continuity event or an emergency, IRS continuity personnel and other special categories of employees will be activated by IRS to perform their assigned emergency response duties.
The IRS plans and procedures for those employees who have not been designated as continuity or emergency response personnel should be addressed in the IRS continuity plans as well as in other types of emergency response planning documents, such as the occupant emergency plans or shelter-in-place plans.
The IRS will:
Develop and implement a process to identify, document, communicate with and train IRS continuity personnel.
Provide guidance to IRS continuity personnel on individual preparedness measures they should take to ensure response to a continuity event.
Implement a process to communicate the IRS operating status to all employees.
Implement a process to contact and account for all employees in the event of an emergency.
Keep employees informed during emergencies whether they work at the alternate site or not.
Identify a human capital liaison from the IRS human resources staff to work with the IRS continuity coordinator or continuity manager when developing the IRS emergency plans.
Implement a process to communicate human capital guidance for emergencies (pay, leave, staffing and other human resources flexibilities) to managers and make employees aware of that guidance in an effort to help IRS continue its mission essential functions during an emergency.
The IRS must ensure that its continuity personnel are officially informed of their roles or designations by providing documentation to ensure that continuity personnel know and accept their roles and responsibilities. IRS continuity personnel must:
Understand the continuity planning requirements.
Understand their roles and responsibilities.
Participate in the IRS continuity test, training, and exercise program.
IRS managers will:
Ensure that all employees have a clear understanding of what they are able to do in an emergency.
Place the right people in the right jobs to perform IRS mission essential functions most effectively.
Know where their employees are and how to contact them.
Maintain specific protocols for designating and activating special needs employees.
Support regular exercises and simulations.
Develop, review, and update emergency guidance, as needed.
The IRS should also:
Develop a communications plan to disseminate information to its essential and non-essential employees.
Address the health, safety, and emotional well-being of employees and their families.
Assure personal preparedness for staff through training and education.
The IRS will develop and maintain a continuity test, training, and exercise program for conducting and documenting test, training, and exercise activities and identifying the components, processes, and requirements for the identification, training, and preparedness of personnel needed to support the continuation of the performance of IRS mission essential functions.
An effective test, training, and exercise program is necessary to assist the IRS in preparing and validating its continuity program and its capabilities.
The test, training, and exercising of IRS continuity capabilities are essential to demonstrating, assessing, and improving the ability of IRS to execute its continuity program, plans and procedures.
The IRS continuity plans will include a test, training, and exercise schedule.
The IRS will create, execute, and document an effective agency-wide continuity testing program that demonstrates, assesses, and improves its ability to execute its continuity program, plans, and procedures, and perform its mission essential functions during continuity events.
Continuity tests and exercises serve to assess, validate, and identify for a subsequent corrective action program, all the components of continuity plans, policies, procedures, systems, and facilities used to respond to and recover from an emergency situation.
Periodic testing also ensures that equipment and procedures are kept in a constant state of readiness.
The IRS continuity test program will include:
Monthly testing and validation of continuity communications capabilities to ensure internal and external interoperability and viability.
Quarterly testing of alert, notification, and activation procedures for continuity personnel at IRS headquarters.
Annual testing of alert, notification, and activation procedures for continuity personnel not located at IRS headquarters.
Annual testing and exercising of required physical security capabilities at alternate facilities.
Annual testing of the capabilities required to perform an IRS mission essential function.
A process for formally documenting and reporting tests and their results.
Continuity training familiarizes continuity personnel with their roles and responsibilities in support of the performance of the IRS mission essential functions during a continuity event or emergency.
The IRS continuity training will prepare IRS continuity personnel to respond to all emergencies and disasters and ensure performance of IRS mission essential functions.
The IRS continuity training program will include:
Annual training for IRS personnel (including host or contractor personnel) assigned to activate, support, and sustain continuity operations.
Annual training for the IRS leadership on the IRS mission essential functions, including training on their continuity responsibilities.
Annual training for all IRS personnel who assume the authority and responsibility of the IRS leadership if leadership is incapacitated or becomes otherwise unavailable during a continuity situation or emergency.
Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Team briefings on IRS continuity plans that involve using, or relocating to, alternate facilities, existing facilities, or virtual offices.
Annual training on the capabilities of communications and IT systems to be used during a continuity event or emergency.
Annual training on the IRS devolution option for continuity, to address how IRS will identify and conduct its mission essential functions during an increased threat situation or in the aftermath of a catastrophic emergency.
Annual training for reconstitution plans and procedures to resume normal IRS operations from the original or replacement operating facility.
The IRS will document the continuity training conducted, date of training, those completing the training, and the training facilitator or instructor.
The IRS continuity exercise program focuses primarily on evaluating continuity capabilities or an element of a capability, such as a continuity plan or policy, in a simulated situation.
The IRS continuity exercise program will include:
An annual opportunity for continuity personnel to demonstrate their familiarity with IRS continuity plans and procedures and to demonstrate the IRS capability to continue its mission essential functions.
An annual exercise that includes the deliberate and pre-planned movement of continuity personnel to an alternate facility or location.
An opportunity to demonstrate intra- and interagency communications capabilities.
An opportunity to demonstrate that backup data and records required to support IRS mission essential functions at alternate facilities or locations are sufficient, complete, and current.
An opportunity for continuity personnel to demonstrate their familiarity with devolution procedures.
A comprehensive debriefing after each exercise, which allows participants to identify systemic weakness in plans and procedures and to recommend revisions to the IRS continuity plans.
A cycle of events that incorporates evaluations, after-action reports, and lessons learned into the development and implementation of a corrective action program.
Devolution is the capability to transfer the legal authority and responsibility for IRS mission essential functions from the IRS primary operating personnel and facilities to other IRS employees and facilities, and to sustain that operational capability for an extended period.
Devolution planning supports overall continuity planning and addresses the full spectrum of threats and all-hazards emergency events that may render the IRS leadership and staff unavailable to support, or incapable of performing IRS mission essential functions from either its primary or alternate facilities. Devolution planning also addresses notice and no notice events.
The devolution site and personnel will be capable of supporting the continuation of all IRS mission essential functions and activities.
The devolution option may be used when the IRS alternate facility is not available, or the option can be activated as a continuity measure.
At minimum, the devolution plan will:
Identify mission essential functions.
Include elements of a viable continuity capability: program plans and procedures; budgeting and acquisitions; mission essential functions; orders of succession and delegations of authority specific to the devolution site; interoperable communications; vital records management; staff; test, training, and exercise; and reconstitution.
Define tasks that support the mission essential functions, define tasks that support those mission essential functions, and determine the necessary resources to facilitate an immediate and seamless transfer of these mission essential functions to the devolution site.
Include a roster that identifies fully equipped and trained personnel who will be stationed at the designated devolution site and who will have the authority to perform the mission essential functions and activities when the devolution option of the continuity plan is activated.
Identify likely triggers that would initiate or activate the devolution option.
Specify how and when direction and control of IRS operations will be transferred to and from the devolution site.
List the necessary resources (people, equipment, and materials) to facilitate the ability to perform the mission essential functions and sustain operations at the devolution site.
Establish and maintain reliable processes and procedures for acquiring the resources necessary to continue the mission essential functions and to sustain operations for extended periods.
Establish and maintain capabilities to restore or reconstitute IRS authorities to their pre-event status upon termination of devolution.
Annual training will be conducted on the IRS devolution option for continuity, addressing how the IRS will identify and conduct its mission essential functions during an increased threat situation or in the aftermath of a catastrophic emergency.
Reconstitution is the process used by IRS personnel to resume normal IRS operations from the original or a replacement primary operating facility. The process of reconstitution will generally start immediately after a continuity event or emergency ends, and can run concurrently with the recovery process.
Reconstitution is normally conducted using a priority-based phased approach, in which the most critical functions are transferred last. Those functions that were discontinued because of the emergency should be reconstituted first.
The IRS will identify and outline a plan to return to normal operations once the IRS Commissioner or the Commissioner’s successors determines that reconstitution operations for resuming normal IRS business operations can be initiated.
The IRS will:
Provide an executable plan to transition from continuity operations status to an efficient normal operations status once a threat or disruption has passed.
Coordinate and pre-plan options for IRS reconstitution regardless of the level of disruption causing implementation of IRS continuity plans. These options will include the option to move from the continuity or devolution location to either the original operating facility or to a new operating site, if necessary.
Outline the necessary procedures, whether under a standard continuity operations scenario or devolution scenario, for conducting a smooth transition from a relocation site, to a new or restored facility.
The IRS implementation actions associated with reconstitution include:
Informing all IRS personnel that the threat of or an actual emergency no longer exists.
Instructing personnel on how to resume normal operations.
Supervising an orderly return to the normal operating facility or movement to another temporary facility or to a new permanent operating facility.
Verifying that all systems, communications, and other required capabilities are available and operational and that the IRS is fully capable of accomplishing all mission essential functions/operations at the new or restored facility.
IRS organizations are required to notify the IRS headquarters (HQ) upon continuity reconstitution. The IRS Continuity Coordinator must notify the Treasury Operations Center (TOC) at 202.622.1825
Conducting an after-action review of the effectiveness of the continuity plans and procedures, identifying areas for improvement, documenting these in the IRS corrective action program, and developing a remedial action plan as soon as possible after reconstitution.
Identifying which (if any) records were affected by the incident, and working with the records management office to ensure an effective transition or recovery of vital records and databases and other records that had not been designated as vital records.
A continuity plan is implemented to ensure the continuation or rapid resumption of mission essential functions during a continuity event. The IRS continuity implementation process will include the following four phases: readiness and preparedness, activation and relocation, continuity operations, and reconstitution.
Readiness is the ability of an organization to respond to a continuity event. This phase includes all continuity readiness and preparedness activities including development; review; and revision of plans; test, training and exercise; and risk management; etc.
The implementation of a continuity plan and its associated procedures may require the use of primary and/or alternate or other facilities, depending upon the emergency and its effect on normal operations.
Examples of scenarios that may require continuity operations activation include the following:
The IRS receives, or the region the IRS is located in receives, notification of a credible threat, which leads IRS to enhance its readiness posture and prepare to take actions as necessary.
The IRS experiences an emergency or a disruption that does not require movement of all continuity personnel to an alternate site. Some disruptions may require that key personnel remain onsite to conduct mission essential functions; other disruptions may prevent some or all personnel from getting to the IRS primary location; and yet others may require implementing a social distancing strategy which would require the use of primary, alternate, and other relocations, such as telework.
The IRS headquarters is unavailable and operations can shift to a regional or field location.
A single IRS facility is temporarily unavailable and the IRS can share one of its own facilities or that of another agency.
Many, if not all, agencies must evacuate the immediate area.
The IRS will provide a process or methodology for attaining operational capability at all continuity sites as soon as possible and with minimal disruption to operations, but in all cases within 12 hours of activation.
The IRS will also identify those mission essential functions that must be continued without disruption and will ensure these can be conducted, under all conditions. The process should include the activation of plans, procedures, and schedules for the continuation of mission essential functions, as well as for the personnel, vital records and databases, and equipment involved with these functions, with minimal disruption.
The activation and relocation phase includes the following activities:
The occurrence of an event or the threat of an event.
Review, analysis, and decision to activate continuity plans.
Alert and notification of continuity personnel.
Relocation, if necessary, to alternate or other continuity facilities.
An accountability analysis of continuity personnel.
Identification of available leadership.
Determination and reporting of operational capabilities to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Operations Center (FOC).
The IRS organizations must notify IRS headquarters upon activation of continuity plans. The IRS Continuity Coordinator must notify the FOC at 540.665.6100 or at 800.634.7084, and submit a Continuity Status Reporting Form to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 940.323.2822, using the form and procedures provided by FEMA’s National Continuity Programs Directorate, of any activation of continuity plans (regardless of the IRS’s location) and of the time of execution or activation of call-down (recall) procedures.
This phase includes the following activities to continue IRS mission essential functions:
Accounting for all IRS personnel.
Performing mission essential functions (which depend on the situation).
Establishing communications with supporting and supported agencies, customers, and stakeholders.
Preparing for the reconstitution of the IRS.
Plans and Procedures will include:
Reception in-processing and accounting for continuity personnel.
Transition of responsibilities to the deployed continuity personnel.
Guidance for non-deployed personnel.
Identification of replacement personnel and augmentees, as necessary.
Execution of all mission essential functions at the alternate facility.
Activation of processes and procedures to acquire the resources necessary to continue mission essential functions and to sustain operations.
Notification of agencies that IRS interacts with, customers, and stakeholders of activation of continuity plans and status (IRS headquarters will notify the FOC and all other appropriate points of contact of the IRS’s alternate location, operational and communications status, and anticipated duration of relocation, if known. The FOC will notify agencies of any additional continuity reporting requirements).
Redeployment plans for phasing down alternate facility operations and returning operations, personnel, records, and equipment to the primary or other operating facility, when appropriate.
The process of reconstitution will generally start immediately after an event ends. Some of the activities involved with reconstitution include:
Assessing the status of affected facilities.
Determining how much time is needed to repair the affected facility and/or to acquire a new facility.
Supervising facility repairs.
Notifying decision makers of the status of repairs, including estimates of when the repairs will be completed.
Implementing a priority-based phased approach to reconstitution.
Inform all IRS personnel that the necessity to continue operating in a continuity environment no longer exists and provide instructions for resumption of normal operations.
Supervise an orderly return to the normal operating facility, or movement to other temporary or permanent facilities.
Report the status of relocation to the FOC and other points-of-contact, as applicable.
The IRS continuity plans and procedures should provide clear objectives and instructions to IRS personnel for preparation and implementation of continuity plans.
The IRS will develop a standardized Continuity Plan template that must be used by all business, operating, and functional units when preparing (updating or creating) a Continuity Plan.
The IRS Continuity Plans, at a minimum, must
Describe prioritized mission essential functions and critical activities.
Specify orders of succession.
Specify emergency delegations of authority.
Identify continuity facilities and locations.
Provide for continuity communications systems.
Identify and provide for safekeeping of vital records.
Provide for human capital planning.
Provide for tests, training, and exercises.
Specify devolution of control and direction.
Provide for reconstitution.
Additional elements or information may be included in the business, operating, and functional unit’s Continuity Plans.
Procedures must be in place identifying who reviews the Continuity Plans and follows up on the planned controls.
Continuity Plans are living documents that required periodic reviews, modifications, and milestone or completion dates for planned controls.
All continuity plans, at a minimum, will be marked, handled, and controlled to the level of sensitivity determined by IRS policy.
All continuity plans will be signed and dated for ease of tracking modifications and approvals. Dating each page of a Continuity Plan is required.
At a minimum, the entire Continuity Plan will be reviewed annually and updated accordingly. Significant changes (e.g., mission essential functions, alternate facilities, and continuity personnel rosters and contact information) to the Continuity Plan must be updated as changes occur.
From the list of continuity requirements below, as Agency Head, the Commissioner will use the key questions and metrics guidance below to certify that IRS has a strong continuity capability.
|National Continuity Policy (NSPD-51/HSPD-20 Paragraph 11) – IRS Continuity Requirements will include the following:|
|CONTINUITY REQUIREMENTS||KEY QUESTIONS|| METRICS |
(Provide justification including quantitative and/or qualitative data to show you have met the requirement or identify steps you will take to do so.)
|1.||The continuation of the performance of Primary Mission Essential Functions (PMEFs) during any emergency must be for a period up to 30 days or until normal operations can be resumed, and the capability to be fully operational at alternate sites as soon as possible after the occurrence of an emergency, but not later than 12 hours after continuity operations activation.||• Is your organization able to perform your current PMEFs during any emergency and for up to 30 days or resumption of normal operations? |
• Is your organization able to be fully operational at an alternate site within 12 hours of continuity operations activation?
|• Measures ability to perform PMEFs through test, training, and exercise, identifying gaps and solutions. |
• Measure capability to be fully operational at a continuity operations site within 12 hours through test, training, and exercise, identifying gaps and solutions.
|2.||Succession orders and pre-planned devolution of authorities that ensure the emergency delegation of authority must be planned and documented in advance in accordance with applicable laws.||• Does your organization have accessible and complete orders of succession familiar to successors? |
• Does your organization have accessible and complete devolution of authorities known by those to whom they devolve?
|• Document and train on succession orders. |
• Document and train on devolution of authorities.
|3.||Vital resources, facilities, and records must be safeguarded, and official access to them must be provided.||• Are your vital resources safeguarded? |
• Are your facilities safeguarded?
• Are your records safeguarded?
• Will your continuity staff have official access to your vital resources, facilities, and records in an emergency?
|• Document measures taken to safeguard vital resources, facilities, and records. |
• Document measures taken to ensure official access to vital resources, facilities, and records.
|4.||Provision must be made for the acquisition of the resources necessary for continuity operations on an emergency basis.||• Have you identified emergency continuity resources? |
• Do you have agreements or contracts to acquire emergency continuity resources?
|• Identify your emergency continuity resource requirements. |
• Identify what agreements or contracts you have made to meet these requirements.
• Identify what additional agreements or contracts are needed.
|5.||Provision must be made for the availability and redundancy of critical communications capabilities at alternate sites in order to support connectivity between and among key government leadership, internal elements, other executive departments and agencies, critical partners, and the public.||• Do you have critical communications capability at your alternate site(s)? |
• Do you have redundant communications capability at your alternate site(s)?
|• Identify your current communications capability at your alternate site. |
• Identify what communications capability is necessary.
• Identify the plan to improve communications at your alternate site in six months, one year, and two years.
|6.||Provision must be made for reconstitution capabilities that allow for recovery from a catastrophic emergency and resumption of normal operations.||• What is your plan to ensuring your reconstitution capability?||• Identify your reconstitution capability plan.|
|7.||Provision must be made for the identification, training, and preparedness of personnel capable of relocating to alternate facilities to support the continuation of the performance of PMEFs.||• Have you identified, trained, and prepared personnel to relocate to alternate sites to continue PMEFs?||• Verify that continuity staff are identified, trained, and prepared to relocate to alternate sites.|
| Stoplight Scoring System: For each of the seven continuity requirements, as agency head, the Commissioner will self-identify a simple grading system, consistent with the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) to show status: |
• Green for success
• Yellow for mixed results
• Red for unsatisfactory.
The following National Essential Functions (NEFs) are the foundation for all continuity programs and capabilities and represent the overarching responsibilities of the Federal Government to lead and sustain the Nation during a crisis, and therefore sustaining the following NEFs will be the primary focus of the Federal Government leadership during and in the aftermath of an emergency that adversely affects the performance of Government Functions.
|1.||Ensuring the continued functioning of our form of government under the Constitution, including the functioning of the three separate branches of government. [This NEF includes department and agency functions that respect the roles and maintain the check and balance relationship among all three branches of Federal government.]|
|2.||Providing leadership visible to the Nation and the world and maintaining the trust and confidence of the American people. [This NEF includes department and agency functions to demonstrate that the Federal government is viable, functioning, and effectively addressing any emergency.]|
|3.||Defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and preventing or interdicting attacks against the United States or its people, property, or interests. [This NEF includes department and agency functions to protect and defend the worldwide interests of the United States against foreign or domestic enemies, to honor security agreements and treaties with allies, implement Presidential directed military operations, maintain military readiness, and preparedness to achieve national objectives.]|
|4.||Maintaining and fostering effective relationships with foreign nations. [This NEF includes department and agency functions to maintain American foreign policy.]|
|5.||Protecting against threats to the homeland and bringing to justice perpetrators of crimes or attacks against the United States or its people, property, or interests. [This NEF includes department and agency functions to protect against, prevent, or interdict attacks on the people or interests of the nation and to identify, neutralize, and prosecute those who have committed or intend to commit violations of the law.]|
|6.||Providing rapid and effective response to and recovery from the domestic consequences of an attack or other incident. [This NEF includes department and agency functions to implement response and recovery plans, including, but not limited to, the implementation of the National Response Plan.]|
|7.||Protecting and stabilizing the Nation's economy and ensuring public confidence in its financial systems. [This NEF includes department and agency functions to respond to and recover from the economic consequences of an attack or other major impact on national or international economic functions or activities.] This is the NEF IRS' mission falls into.|
|8.||Providing for critical Federal Government services that address the national health, safety, and welfare needs of the United States. [This NEF includes department and agency functions that ensure that the critical federal level health, safety, and welfare services of the nation are provided during an emergency].|
The following are the IRS Mission Essential Functions. These may be included in Critical Business Processes lists.
(Source - IRS Critical Business Processes, 2008 Revision Initiative Results, MITS Information Technology Disaster Recovery Organization)
|1.||Process Remittances - Process of receiving payments, fees and other monies through submission processing and includes the deposit of funds along with all necessary accompanying payment data to Treasury.|
|2.||Process Tax Returns - Process that includes the receipt, sorting, coding, and archiving of all tax returns (electronic and paper). (For Paper submissions it includes: receipt, extract and batch/sort, code/edit, and capture, as well as archiving and managing the paper files. For Electronic return data it includes: validate, accept/reject, and receipt acknowledgement).|
|3.||Process Refunds - Process of performing the final calculations and verifications to settle the account including disposition based information, exception reports, posting offsets, and sending refund information for issuance.|
The following are the IRS Essential Supporting Activities, Deferrable Mission Critical Functions, and Deferrable Supporting Activities which are required for IRS to complete its mission, but may not be critical during an emergency. These may also be identified as Critical Business Processes. (Source - IRS Critical Business Processes, 2008 Revision Initiative Results, MITS Information Technology Disaster Recovery Organization)
|1.||Perform Human Resource and Operational Support Activities - Process to ensure there are adequate personnel for required functions and processes, and includes operational support activities such as payroll, human resources, benefits, procurement services, facilities, IT services, security, and providing a safe and equipped working environment.|
|2.||Maintain a Business Continuity Capability - Process that addresses the creation, maintenance, testing and execution of business continuity planning and response, including continuity of government, development of business continuity plans, disaster recovery and other plans; maintaining information security and critical infrastructure plan adherence; and conforming to national level emergency response and security policies and programs. Includes organizational response structures (SAMC/CSIRC) and capability such as the Incident Command System (ICS) and associated support structures of Planning, Logistics, Operations, Finance, and Administration.|
|3.||Provide External Communications - Process of providing information to and communications with other government agencies, Congress, media, and the public.|
|4.||Advocate Fair Taxpayer Treatment - Process by which taxpayer rights and tax laws are applied with integrity and fairness to all taxpayers in their association with the agency.|
|5.||Respond to Inquiries - Process of responding to all inquiries for both tax law and taxpayer account specific information.|
|6.||Detect and Stop Fraudulent Refunds - Process that includes: conducting preliminary review of questionable returns that emanate from electronic, online and paper schemes; conducting research and analysis to detect and identify false returns; stopping payments of false refunds and referring them for field investigation.|
|7.||Issue Taxpayer Notices - Process that supports the development, review, issuance and tracking of taxpayer notices.|
|8.||Develop and Deliver Tax Forms and Publications - Process of planning, developing, publishing, storing and distributing tax forms and publications through physical and electronic formats.|
|9.||Conduct Collection Activities - Process of providing tax payment arrangements and compromises to assist taxpayers in meeting their tax obligations and securing delinquent returns. Includes tax enforcement actions, case processing and debt collections.|
|10.||Conduct Examination Activities - Process that includes the identification, selection, audit, review and closing activities of tax returns and related claims.|
|11.||Issue Pre-Filing Determinations - Process that determines eligibility for tax-exempt status as requested by the taxpayer. Also includes other legal pre-filing determinations as requested by the taxpayer.|
|12.||Conduct Criminal Investigation Activities - Process that supports all criminal enforcement activities that includes investigation of potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code, other related statutes, and terrorist financing. Includes investigating allegations, executing warrants, making arrests, seizing and tracking assets and recommending criminal prosecution.|
|13.||Perform Litigation - Process to address all litigation and technical tax activities (i.e., publish guidance, advance case resolution, general legal services, and providing legal advice) performed by Counsel to ensure compliance of tax law, including the conduct of tax litigation in the appropriate court system.|
|14.||Provide Appeals Process - Process that includes all activities of providing hazards assessment of positions in dispute and resolving such disputes on a basis which is fair and impartial to both the government and taxpayer.|
|15.||Process Vendor Payments - Process that includes the timely receipt, acceptance and submission of both manual and electronic bills for goods and services for timely payment by IRS.|
|Activation – When a continuity plan has been implemented whether in whole or in part.|
|Agency Head –The highest-ranking official of the primary occupant agency or a successor or designee selected by the official.|
|Alert – Advance notification that an emergency or disaster situation may occur.|
|All-hazards – The spectrum of all types of hazards including accidents, technological events, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, warfare, and chemical, biological including pandemic influenza, radiological, nuclear, or explosive events.|
|Alternate Facility – A location, other than the primary facility, used to carry out mission essential functions, particularly during a continuity event. 1) Alternate operating location to be used by business functions when the primary facilities are inaccessible. 2) Another location, computer center or work area designated for recovery. 3) Location, other than the main facility, that can be used to conduct business functions. Also refers to non-traditional options such as working at home, telecommuting, and mobile office concepts.|
|Business Continuity – Ability of an organization to ensure continuity of service and support to its customers and to maintain its viability before, after and during an emergency.|
|Business Continuity Planning –A process to safeguard the entire enterprise from the effects of a business interruption and ensure business operations continue.|
|Business Continuity Plan (BCP) – An ongoing process supported by senior management and funded to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to identify the impact of potential losses, maintain viable recovery strategies and plans, and ensure continuity operations through personnel training, plan testing, and maintenance. The IRS BCP contains a suite of plans, e.g. Occupant Emergency Plan, Incident Management Plan, Business Resumption Plan, and Disaster Recovery Plan.|
|Business Impact Analysis (BIA) – Process of analyzing individual business functions and the effect that a specific disaster or crisis may have upon them. A BIA identifies the resources required to support these functions. The BIA should quantify the expected financial losses and other business impacts, based upon duration, for each threat and vulnerability faced. A BIA is used to help determine Recovery Point and Time Objectives.|
|Business Process Analysis (BPA) –Method of examining, identifying, and mapping the functional processes, workflow, activities, personnel expertise, systems, data, and facilities inherent to the execution of a function or requirement.|
|Business Resumption Plan (BRP) – Addresses the strategies and procedures for restoration of critical business processes or functions after an emergency.|
|Call-Tree – Document that graphically depicts the calling responsibilities and the calling order used to contact management, employees, customers, vendors, and other key contacts in the event of an emergency, disaster, or severe outage situation.|
|Capabilities –A combination of resources that provide the means to achieve a measurable outcome resulting from performance of one or more critical tasks, under specified conditions and performance standards.|
|Catastrophic Emergency –Any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.|
|Command Center – Facility separate from the main facility, equipped with adequate communications equipment from which initial recovery efforts are coordinated. The management team uses this facility to coordinate the recovery process; its use continues until the disaster (crisis) is contained.|
|Command, Control, and Coordination – Crisis Management process: Command means the authority for an organization or part of an organization to direct the actions of its own resources (both personnel and equipment). Control means the authority to direct strategic, tactical and operational operations in order to complete an assigned function. This includes the ability to direct the activities of others engaged in the completion of that function, i.e. the crisis as a whole or a function within the crisis management process. The control of an assigned function also carries with it the responsibility for the health and safety of those involved. Coordination means the integration of the expertise of all the agencies/roles involved with the objective of effectively and efficiently bringing the crisis to a successful conclusion.|
|Communications – Voice, video, and data capabilities that enable leadership and staff to conduct the mission essential functions of the organization. Robust communications help ensure that the leadership receives coordinated, integrated policy and operational advice and recommendations and will provide the ability for governments and the private sector to communicate internally and with other entities (including with other Federal agencies, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and the private sector) as necessary to perform their mission essential functions.|
|Contact List –A list of team members and/or key players to be contacted during a disaster (crisis). This list should include the alternates for each primary team member (a.k.a. notification list).|
|Consumable Office Supplies – General supplies that are consumed in office use.|
|Contingency Planning – The process of developing plans and procedures that enable an organization to respond to events that could evolve into a prolonged outage.|
|Continuity – An uninterrupted ability to provide services and support, while maintaining organizational viability, before, during, and after an event.|
|Continuity Capability – The ability of an organization to continue performance of its essential functions, utilizing Continuity of Operations and Continuity of Government programs and continuity requirements that have been integrated into the organization’s day-to-day operations with a primary goal of ensuring the preservation of our form of government under the Constitution and the continuing performance of National Essential Functions under all conditions. Built upon the foundation of continuity planning and continuity program management, the key pillars of a continuity capability are leadership, staff, communications, and facilities.|
|Continuity Coordinator – Serves as the agency’s manager of all continuity activities. Has responsibility for developing, coordinating, and managing all activities for the agency to perform its mission essential functions during an emergency or situation that would disrupt normal operations.|
|Continuity Event – Event that causes an agency to relocate operations to an alternate site to assure continuance of its mission essential functions.|
|Continuity of Government (COG) –A coordinated effort within the Federal Government’s executive branch to ensure that the National Essential Functions continue to be performed during a catastrophic emergency.|
|Continuity of Government Readiness Condition (COGCON) – The COGCON is a system for establishing, measuring, and reporting the readiness of executive branch continuity programs, which is independent of other Federal government readiness systems.|
|Continuity of Operations (COOP) – Activities and efforts within individual agencies to ensure that they can continue to perform their mission essential functions and primary mission essential functions during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies.|
|Continuity Personnel – Those personnel, both senior and core, who provide the leadership advice, recommendations, and the functional support necessary to continue mission essential operations.|
|Continuity Plan Maintenance – Steps taken to ensure the continuity plan is reviewed and updated at some predetermined time period and whenever major changes occur.|
|Continuity Planning Team – Team that is responsible for continuity planning for the agency. This team requires a good mix of organization professionals and includes members from all levels of management and staff. It also includes members from various divisions of the agency, including those not directly related to the mission, such as human resources. Team members should act as continuity planners or coordinators for their respective functions, elements, or divisions.|
|Continuity Program –Program composed of activities and efforts within individual agencies to ensure that their mission essential functions continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies. These activities and efforts include plans and procedures, under all readiness levels, that delineate essential functions, specify succession to office and emergency delegations of authority, provide for the safekeeping of vital records, identify a range of continuity facilities and locations, provide for interoperable communications, provide for human capital planning, validate these capabilities through tests, training, and exercises, specify a devolution of control and direction, and provide for reconstitution.|
|Continuity Program Management Life Cycle – Ongoing, cyclical model of planning, training, evaluating, and implementing corrective actions for continuity capabilities.|
|Continuous Operations –Ability of an organization to perform its processes without interruption.|
|Corrective Action Program (CAP) – An organized method to document and track improvement actions for a program.|
|Crisis –A critical event, which, if not handled in an appropriate manner, may dramatically impact an organization’s profitability, reputation, or ability to operate.|
|Crisis Management – The overall coordination of an organization’s response to a crisis, in an effective, timely manner, with the goal of avoiding or minimizing damage to the organization’s profitability, reputation, or ability to operate.|
|Critical Business Process (CBP) – Essential or critical operational and/or business support processes or functions that can not be interrupted or unavailable for more than a mandated or predetermined time frame without significantly jeopardizing the operation of the organization. This has been replaced by Essential Supporting Activity (ESA).|
|Critical Functions – Business activities that can not be interrupted or unavailable for a period of time without significantly jeopardizing the operation of the organization.|
|Critical Infrastructure –Systems and assets so vital to the Nation that their incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on national security, national economic security, and/or national public health or safety.|
|Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) – Risk management actions intended to prevent a threat from attempting to or succeeding at destroying or incapacitating critical infrastructures.|
|Critical Resources – In the context of continuity planning, the minimum resource requirements needed to perform or restore an agency’s essential functions. Critical resources may include facilities, communication systems, personnel, vital records and databases, vital systems and equipment, and key vendors.|
|Damage Assessment –Process of assessing damage to computer hardware, vital records, office facilities, etc. and determining what can be salvaged or restored and what must be replaced following a disaster.|
|Delegation of Authority – Identification, by position, of the authorities for making policy determinations and decisions at headquarters, field levels, and all other organizational locations. Generally, pre-determined delegations of authority will take effect when normal channels of direction are disrupted and terminate when channels have resumed.|
|Devolution –The capability to transfer statutory authority and responsibility for mission essential functions from an agency’s primary operating staff and facilities to other employees and facilities, and to sustain that operational capability for an extended period.|
|Devolution of Authority –The passing of an unexercised right, devolution of authority is an essential planning requirement for departments and agencies manifested as a formal list of personnel who are pre-delegated the authority and responsibility to assume leadership of organizational elements within a department or agency with the approval of the department or agency head.|
|Disaster (Crisis) – Any event that disrupts an organization's ability to provide essential or critical business functions for duration greater than the length of time predetermined to be acceptable (see Recovery Time Objective).|
|Disaster Recovery – The reaction to the interruption of a specific business process, according to a plan that ensures its orderly and timely restoration.|
|Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) –The document that defines the resources, actions, tasks, and information, required to execute the recovery process in the event of a disruption. The plan should be designed to provide a complete framework for restoring support for critical business processes within the stated recovery objectives.|
|Drive-Away Kit –A kit prepared by, and for, an individual who expects to deploy to an alternate location during an emergency. It contains items needed to minimally satisfy personal and professional needs during deployment.|
|Emergency – A sudden, unexpected event requiring immediate action due to potential threat to health and safety, environment, or property.|
|Emergency Coordinator – The key senior official appointed within an organizational element or higher who serves as the coordinator for all continuity related matters. Same as Continuity Coordinator.|
|Emergency Management –The discipline which ensures an organization, or community’s readiness to respond to an emergency in a coordinated, timely, and effective manner.|
|Emergency Operations Center (EOC) – A site from which response teams/officials provide direction and exercise control in an emergency or disaster.|
|Emergency Operating Records – Records and databases that are essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of IRS during and after a continuity event or emergency. Examples include emergency plans and directives, succession orders, delegations of authority, staffing assignments, and related records of a policy or procedural nature that provide agency continuity personnel with guidance information resources necessary for conducting operations during a continuity situation, and for resuming operations at its conclusion.|
|Emergency Preparedness – The capability that enables an organization or community to respond to an emergency in a coordinated, timely, and effective manner to prevent the loss of life and minimize injury and property damage.|
|Emergency Relocation Group (ERG) – Pre-designated staff that moves to an alternate location to continue mission essential functions in the event that their normal work locations are threatened or have been incapacitated by an incident. The ERG is composed of an advance team plus emergency personnel.|
|ERG Member –A person assigned responsibility to report to an alternate location, as required, to perform agency essential functions or other continuity operations responsibilities.|
|Enduring Constitutional Government (ECG) – A cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches and with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers among the branches, to preserve the constitutional framework under which the Nation is governed and the capability of all three branches of government to execute constitutional responsibilities and provide for orderly succession, appropriate transition of leadership, and interoperability and support the National Essential Functions during a catastrophic emergency.|
|Escalation – Process by which event related information is communicated upwards through an organization’s established Chain of Command.|
|Essential Functions – These are critical activities that are performed by organizations, especially after a disruption of normal activities. There are three categories of essential functions: National Essential Functions (NEFs), Primary Mission Essential Functions (PMEFs), and Mission Essential Functions (MEFs).|
|Essential Resources – Resources that support the Federal government’s ability to provide vital services, exercise civil authority, maintain the safety and well being of the general public, and sustain the industrial and economic base.|
|Essential Supporting Activities (ESAs) – Essential Functions that must be performed in order to SUPPORT the agency’s performance of its MEFs. Typically, ESAs are COMMON to most agencies (paying staff, providing a secure workplace, ensuring computer systems are operating, etc.), but do not accomplish the agency’s mission. ESAs are facilitating activities; they are important and urgent, but accomplishing the ESA does not complete the mission or deliver the services the agency was created to accomplish.|
|Evacuation – Movement of employees, visitors and contractors from a site and/or building to a safe place (assembly area) in a controlled and monitored manner at time of an event.|
|Executive Agent –A term used to indicate a delegation of authority by a superior to a subordinate to act on behalf of the superior. An executive agent may be limited to providing only administration and support, or coordinating common functions or it may be delegated authority, direction, and control over specified resources for specified purposes.|
|Executive Departments and Agencies – Executive departments enumerated in 5 U.S.C.101, along with Department of Homeland Security, independent establishments as defined by 5 U.S.C. 104(1), Government corporations as defined by 5 U.S.C. 103(1), and the United States Postal Service.|
|Executive/Management Succession Plan – Predetermined plan for ensuring the continuity of authority, decision-making, and communication in the event that key members of executive management unexpectedly become incapacitated.|
|Exercise –A people focused activity designed to execute continuity plans and evaluate the individual and/or organization performance against approved standards or objectives. Exercises can be announced or unannounced, and are performed for the purpose of training and conditioning team members, and validating the business continuity plan. Exercise results identify plan gaps and limitations and are used to improve and revise the business continuity plans. Types of exercises include: Table Top Exercise, Simulation Exercise, Operational Exercise, Mock Disaster, Desktop Exercise, and Full Rehearsal.|
|Facilities – Locations where an organization’s leadership and staffs operate. Leadership and staff may be co-located in one facility or dispersed across many locations, connected virtually through communications systems. Facilities must be able to provide survivable protection and enable continued and endurable operations.|
|Federal Continuity Directive (FCD) – A document developed and promulgated by Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in coordination with the Continuity Advisory Group (CAG) and in consultation with the Continuity Policy Coordination Committee (CPCC), which directs executive branch departments and agencies to carry out identified continuity planning requirements and assessment criteria.|
|FEMA Operations Center (FOC) –A continuously operating entity of DHS, which is responsible for monitoring emergency operations and promulgating notification of changes of COGCON status.|
|Full-Scale Exercise – A multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional, multi-discipline exercise involving functional (e.g., joint field office, emergency operations centers) and "boots on the ground" response (e.g., continuity staff relocating to their alternate sites to conduct scenario driven essential functions).|
|Go-Kits – Organizational packages of records, information, communication and computer equipment and other items related to emergency operations. They should contain items that are essential to supporting the team member’s operations at the alternate facility. Family – A container that contains the basic necessities for survival, such as food and water.|
|Government Functions – Collective functions of the heads of executive departments and agencies as defined by statute, regulation, presidential direction, or other legal authority, and the functions of the legislative and judicial branches.|
|Homeland Security Information Bulletins –Guidance for Federal, State, local, and other governments; private sector organizations; and international partners concerned with our Nation’s critical infrastructures that do not meet the timelines, specificity, or significance thresholds of warning messages. Bulletins often include statistical reports, periodic summaries, incident response or reporting guidelines, common vulnerabilities and patches, and configuration standards or tools.|
|Homeland Security Threat Advisories – Guidance provided to Federal, State, local, and other governments; private sector organizations; and international partners with actionable information about an incident involving, or a threat targeting, critical national networks, infrastructures, or key assets. The Threat Advisories include products formerly named alerts, advisories, and sector notifications.|
|Homeland Security Threat Level System – A color-coded system used to communicate with public safety officials and the public at-large through a threat-based, color-coded system so that protective measures can be implemented to reduce the likelihood of impact of an attack.|
|Hot Wash –A hot wash is a facilitated discussion held immediately following an exercise among exercise players from each functional area. It is designed to capture feedback about any issues, concerns, or proposed improvements players may have about the exercise. The hot wash is an opportunity for players to voice their opinions on the exercise and their own performance. This facilitated meeting allows players to participate in a self-assessment of the exercise play and provides a general assessment of how the jurisdiction performed in the exercise. At this time, evaluators can also seek clarification on certain actions and what prompted players to take them. Evaluators should take notes during the hot wash and include these observations in their analysis. The hot wash should last no more than 30 minutes.|
|Incident Command System (ICS) – ICS is the combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure, with responsibility for the command, control, and coordination of assigned resources to effectively direct and control the response and recovery to an incident.|
|Incident Management Plan (IMP) – The IMP is based on the ICS methodology and provides a standard framework for managing a site’s response to any incident. It focuses on the command and control, coordination activities and management of a disruption or incident at any IRS site/facility|
|Interoperability – (1) The ability of systems, personnel, or agencies to provide services to and accept services from other systems, personnel, or agencies and to use the services so exchanged to enable them to operate effectively together. (2) The condition achieved among communications-electronic systems or items of communications-electronics equipment when information or services can be exchanged directly and satisfactorily between them and/or their users.|
|Interoperable Communications – Communications that provide the capability to perform mission essential functions, in conjunction with other agencies, under all conditions.|
|Key Personnel – Those positions deemed essential by the organization or individuals whose absence would jeopardize the continuation of an organization’s mission essential functions.|
|Leadership – The senior decision-makers designated to head an organization (e.g., President, Governor, Chief Executive, Commissioner, or manager).|
|Logistical Support Services – Personnel who have the skills and authority to coordinate the provision of resources and services.|
|Mission Critical Data –Information essential to supporting the execution of an agency’s essential functions.|
|Mission Critical Systems – Automated data processing equipment essential to supporting the execution of the agency’s essential functions.|
|Mission Essential Functions (MEFs) – Limited set of agency-level functions that must be continued throughout or resumed rapidly after a disruption of normal activities. These are functions that enable an organization to provide vital services, exercise civil authority, maintain the safety of the general public, and sustain the industrial and economic base during disruption of normal operations. Once identified, mission essential functions serve as key continuity planning factors to determine appropriate staffing, communications, information, facilities, training, and other requirements.|
|Multi-Year Strategy and Program Management Plan –A process that ensures the maintenance and continued viability of continuity plans.|
|National Capital Region (NCR) – The National Capital Region was created pursuant to the National Capital Planning Act of 1952 (40 U.S.C. 71). The Act defined the NCR as the District of Columbia; Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties of Maryland; Arlington, Fairfax, Loundon, and Prince William Counties of Virginia; and all cities now or here after existing in Maryland or Virginia within the geographic area bounded by outer boundaries of combined area of said counties. The NCR includes the District of Columbia and eleven local jurisdictions in the State of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Virginia.|
|National Communications System (NCS) – An organization within DHS, the NCS assists the President, the National Security Council, the Director of Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP), and the Director of OMB in: (1) the exercise of the telecommunications functions and responsibilities and (2) the coordination of the planning for and provision of national security and emergency preparedness communications for the Federal Government under all circumstances, including crisis or emergency, attack, and recovery and reconstitution.|
|National Continuity Policy – Establishes a comprehensive national course of action for the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations.|
|National Essential Functions (NEFs) –The eight functions the President and the Nation’s leadership will focus on to lead and sustain the Nation during a catastrophic emergency. NEFs must be supported through continuity capabilities. (NEFs are a subset of Government Functions).|
|National Exercise and Evaluation Program (NEEP) – The National Exercise Program utilizes the NEEP to evaluate homeland security-related exercises and make improvements for the future.|
|National Exercise Program (NEP) –The NEP is the Nation’s overarching exercise program formulated by the National Security Council/Homeland Security Council, and executed by the Federal Interagency. The NEP serves as the principal mechanism for examining the preparation of the Federal executive branch and adopting policy changes that might improve such preparation.|
|National Incident Management System (NIMS) – The NIMS standard was designed to enhance the ability of the United States to manage domestic incidents by establishing a single, comprehensive system for incident management. It is a system mandated by HSPD-5 that provides a consistent, nationwide approach for Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity, including acts of catastrophic terrorism.|
|National Preparedness Goal – A requirement of HSPD-8 to define standards for preparedness assessments and strategies, and a system for assessing the Nation’s overall preparedness to respond to major events, especially those involving acts of terrorism. The Goal establishes measurable priorities, targets, and a common approach to developing needed capabilities. The Goal includes seven priorities for national preparedness: two overarching priorities and five priorities to build specific capabilities.|
|Normal Operations – Refers to the broad functions undertaken by an organization when it is assigned responsibility for a given functional area; these functions include day-to-day tasks, planning and execution of tasks.|
|Notification List – A list of key individuals who are to be contacted, usually in the event of a disaster. Notification lists normally contain phone numbers (including emergency contact information), and addresses, which may be used in the event that telephones are not operating.|
|Observers – Observers are not exercise participants; rather, they observe selected segments of the exercise as it unfolds, while remaining separated from player activities. Observers view the exercise from a designated observation area and are asked to remain within the observation area during the exercise. A dedicated group of exercise controllers should be assigned to manage these groups. In a discussion-based exercise, observers may support the development of player responses to the situation during the discussion by delivering messages or citing references.|
|Occupant Emergency Plan (OEP) – A plan that establishes procedures for safeguarding lives and property. It focuses on initial response actions to protect the safety of personnel, and consists of site specific evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures.|
|Orders of Succession – Provisions for the assumption of senior agency leadership positions during an emergency when the incumbents are unable or unavailable to execute their duties. They allow for an orderly and predefined transition of leadership.|
|Originating Facility –The site of normal day-to-day operations; the location where the employee usually goes to work.|
|Player – Players have an active role in preventing, responding to, or recovering from the risks and hazards presented in the exercise scenario, by either discussing (in a discussion-based exercise) or performing (in an operations-based exercise) their regular roles and responsibilities. Players initiate actions that will respond to and/or mitigate the simulated emergency.|
|Preparedness –The range of deliberate, critical tasks, and activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the operational capability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents. Preparedness is a continuous process involving efforts at all levels of government and between government and private sector and non-governmental organizations to identify threats, determine vulnerabilities, and identify required resources. It is also the existence of plans, procedures, policies, training, and equipment necessary at the Federal, State, and local level to maximize the ability to prevent, respond to, and recover from major incidents. The term "readiness" is used interchangeably with preparedness.|
|Prevention –Actions taken to avoid an incident or to intervene to stop an incident from occurring, and involve actions taken to prevent the loss of lives and property. Prevention involves applying intelligence and other information to a range of activities. Prevention also includes activities undertaken by the first responder community during the early stages of an incident to reduce the likelihood or consequences of threatened or actual terrorist attacks.|
|Primary Facility –The site of normal day-to-day operations.|
|Primary Mission Essential Functions (PMEFs) – Those department and agency mission essential functions, validated by the National Continuity Coordinator, which must be performed in order to support the performance of National Essential Functions (NEFs) before, during, and in the aftermath of an emergency. PMEFs need to be continuous or resumed within 12 hours after a continuity event and maintained for up to 30 days or until normal operations can be resumed.|
|Program Management – The continuous cycle of planning, training, evaluating, and implementing corrective actions.|
|Readiness Reporting System (RRS) –Department of Homeland Security’s program to collect and manage continuity capability data and assessments of executive branch departments and agencies and their status to perform their Priority Mission Essential Functions (PMEFs) in support of the National Essential Functions (NEFs). The RRS will be used to conduct assessments and track capabilities at all times under all conditions, to include natural disasters, man-made incidents, terrorism, and war.|
|Reconstitution – The process by which surviving and/or replacement agency personnel resume normal agency operations from the original or a replacement primary operating facility.|
|Recovery – The implementation of prioritized actions required to return an organization’s processes and support functions to operational stability following an interruption or disaster.|
|Recovery Point Objective (RPO) –The point in the data flow to which an organization must recover via backups or other recovery methodologies. This is one of two prime criteria used to determine the strategy required for the recovery of particular information.|
|Recovery Time Objective (RTO) – The period of time within which systems, applications, or functions must be recovered after an outage (e.g. one business day). This is one of two prime criteria for the development of a recovery strategy. This value also represents the maximum duration for an interruption which might be tolerated without recourse to recovery activities.|
|Recovery or Resumption Strategy –Pre-determined process or procedures selected by an organization to recover or resume its essential or critical business processes or functions immediately following an interruption or disaster.|
|Response – Focuses on activities that address the short-term, direct effects of an incident. Response includes immediate actions to save lives, protect property, and meet basic human needs. Response also includes the execution of emergency operating plans and procedures, and of incident mitigation activities designed to limit loss of life, personal injury, property damage, and other unfavorable outcomes.|
|Rights and Interest Records – Records that are critical to carrying out the agency’s essential legal and financial functions, and records vital to the protection of the legal and financial rights of individuals who are directly affected by the agency’s activities. Included are records having such value that their loss would significantly impair the execution of mission essential agency functions, to the detriment of the legal or financial rights and/or entitlements of the agency or of the affected individuals. Examples include accounts receivable, contracting and acquisition files, official personnel records, Social Security, payroll records, retirement, and insurance records; and property management and inventory records.|
|Risk Analysis –The process by which risks are identified and evaluated.|
|Risk Assessment – The identification and assessment of hazards.|
|Risk Management – The process use to identify, control and minimize the impact of uncertain events. Risk management methodologies are sometimes referred to as risk analysis – most require an assessment and understanding of three basic concepts: the consequences of not protecting valuable assets (i.e., people, information, and facilities); the threat environment (as it relates to a particular business or concern); and, the level of vulnerabilities to the relevant threats.|
|Shelter-in-Place –This is a precaution aimed to keep you safe while remaining indoors. Shelter-in-place means selecting an interior room with no or few windows, and taking refuge there.|
|Staff –Those personnel, both senior and core personnel, that provide the leadership advice, recommendations, and the functional support necessary to continue mission essential functions.|
|Support Function – Business activities or information, which could be interrupted or unavailable indefinitely without significantly jeopardizing critical functions of an organization.|
|Tabletop Exercise (TTX) – Involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting. They can be used to assess plans, policies, and procedures or to assess types of systems needed to guide the prevention of, response to, or recovery from a defined incident.|
|Telecommuting Locations –Those locations equipped with computers and telephones that enable employees to work at home or at a location closer to their home than their main office.|
|Telework – The ability to work at a location other than the official duty station, using portable computers, high-speed telecommunications links, and mobile communications devices.|
|Test –An evaluation of a capability against an established and measurable standard. Tests are conducted to evaluate capabilities, not personnel.|
|Test, Training, and Exercises (TT&E) – Measures to ensure that agency’s continuity plan is capable of supporting the continued execution of its mission essential functions throughout the duration of continuity event.|
|Trusted Agent –Trusted agents are the individuals on the exercise planning team who are trusted not to reveal the scenarios details to players prior to the exercise being conducted.|
|Virtual offices – A location or environment where an employee performs work through the use of portable information technology and communication packages.|
|Vital Databases – Information systems needed to support essential functions during a continuity situation or event.|
|Vital Records – Records or documents essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of an organization during and after an emergency and also those records essential to protecting the legal and financial rights of that organization and of the individuals directly affected by its activities. Two basic categories of vital records are emergency operating records, and rights and interest records.|
|Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) – Weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people. Weapons of mass destruction can be high explosives or nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons.|
|Work-at-Home –When an employee carries out their work duties at their residence rather than their official duty station.|
|BCP||Business Continuity Plan|
|BIA||Business Impact Assessment|
|BPA||Business Process Analysis|
|BRP||Business Resumption Plan|
|CAP||Corrective Action Program|
|CBP||Critical Business Process|
|CIP||Critical Infrastructure Protection|
|COG||Continuity of Government|
|COGCON||Continuity of Government Readiness Condition|
|COOP||Continuity of Operations|
|DRP||Disaster Recovery Plan|
|EOC||Emergency Operating Center|
|ECG||Enduring Constitutional Government|
|ERG||Emergency Relocation Group|
|ESA||Essential Supporting Activity|
|FEMA||Federal Emergency Management Agency|
|FOC||FEMA Operations Center|
|HSAS||Homeland Security Advisory System|
|HSPD||Homeland Security Presidential Directive|
|ICS||Incident Command System|
|IMP||Incident Management Plan|
|MEF||Mission Essential Function|
|NCR||National Capital Region|
|NCS||National Communications System|
|NEEP||National Exercise and Evaluation Program|
|NEF||National Essential Function|
|NEP||National Exercise Program|
|NIMS||National Incident Management System|
|NRP||National Response Plan|
|NSPD||National Security Presidential Directive|
|OEP||Occupant Emergency Plan|
|PMEF||Primary Mission Essential Function|
|RRS||Readiness Reporting System|
|RPO||Recovery Point Objective|
|RTO||Recovery Time Objective|
|TT&E||Test, Training & Exercise|
|WMD||Weapon of Mass Destruction|
| Homeland Security Presidential Directives |
1. Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-5, Management of Domestic Incidents, dated February 28, 2003
2. Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-7, Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization, and Protection, dated December 17, 2003
3. Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-8, National Preparedness, dated December 17, 2003
| Executive Order Executive Order |
12656, Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities, dated November 18, 1988, as amended
| National Communications Directive |
National Communications System Directive 3-10, Minimum Requirements for Continuity Communications Capabilities, dated July 25, 2007
| Federal Continuity Directive |
Federal Continuity Directive 2 (FCD 2), Federal Executive Branch Mission Essential Function and Primary Mission Essential Function Identification and Submission Process, dated February 2008 and Draft Update June 2012.
| National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) |
NIST Special Publication 800-34, Contingency Planning Guide for Information Technology (IT) Systems, dated July 2010
NIST publication: http://csrc.nist.gov.
| Other Publications |
1. National Response Plan (NRP), dated December 2004
2. National Incident Management System (NIMS), dated March 1, 2004
3. IRM 10.8.60, Information Technology (IT) Security, Disaster Recovery Policy and Guidance, relating to "IRS Critical Business Processes"