Report | Date: 2002-04-24 | Ministry of Justice and Public Security
Originally published by: Ministry of Justice and the Police
Statement on Safety and Security of Society
Report No. 17 to the Storting (2001-2002) on the Safety and Security of Society was presented to the Storting by The Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police on 5th of April 2002. The report, henceforth called the White Paper, is a comprehensive statement on the government’s proposals to reduce the vulnerability of modern society and how to increase safety and security in the years to come. The Storting’s recommendations on the White Paper will form the basis for the government’s process of initiating measures.
The basis for the White Paper
Civil and military co-operation
National administrative level
Regional administrative level
Local administrative level
National crisis management
The Rescue Service
Research on safety and security
The work on safety and security of society is based upon the principles of liability, decentralisation and conformity. Together these principles are the foundation for establishing efficient crisis prevention and crisis management.
- The principle of liability states corresponding responsibility either when dealing with a normal situation or an extraordinary situation. This principle applies to all public and private activities. In addition each citizen is responsible for his or her own safety. Responsibility for the functions of normal, everyday activities, will presumably improve the ability to handle critical situations. Thus, each Ministry is responsible for emergency planning within its own sector. However, the Ministry of Justice and the Police has been given a more distinct responsibility for co-ordinating the administration of work on safety, security and emergency planning within the civil sector in general.
- The principle of decentralisation states that the responsibility for crisis management should be handled at the lowest possible level.
The principle of conformity states that society must be able to operate in accordance with normal standards no matter what challenges it is exposed to, and that the structures of responsibility are maintained in extraordinary situations.
Safety and security of society is to be increased so that the citizens can feel safe. Basically, the society must be able to meet any threat and handle any situation that may occur.
Work on emergency planning must be given priority in times without any evident threats against society. Measures to improve safety and security have recently been purposely initiated. The objective has been to initiate measures to prepare society to meet any challenge and to secure emergency planning in general.
In order to get a thorough report on measures to increase safety and security of society, Prime Minister Bondevik’s first government appointed a commission lead by former Prime Minister Kåre Willoch; "The Commission on the Vulnerability of Society". The commission proposed a wide range of measures in its report, and the report is the essential basis for the White Paper. The commission’s report has brought about several measures in the field of safety and security of society.
In year 2000 Prime Minister Stoltenberg’s government appointed a commission lead by presiding judge Lars Jorkjend to examine how to make optimal use of resources within the operational rescue and emergency planning activity. The commission’s report has been a basis for the assessment of the future organisation of this activity.
Today’s situation on threats against society is complex. The society is not confronted with any single threat, hazard or vulnerability, but a variety of challenges that demand a corresponding variety of preventive and counter measures.
The terror attacks on 11 th> September 2001 demonstrate the vulnerability of modern society, and that such incidents in times of peace can cause just as much damage as acts of war. This change in the situation of threats and hazards where the society must be capable of dealing with a variety of challenges in addition to military threats, will be taken into account when arranging and giving priority to today’s work on security and safety. As a result of the terror attacks, it has been considered necessary to increase the national safety and security, particularly within the Police Security Service, the Civil Defence and emergency planning within the Health sector.
Work on safety and security of society must to a greater extent take into consideration the fact that not only nations are capable of causing great damage. When considering safety and security it is therefore important to give greater attention to the threats represented by terrorism and organised crime. Furthermore, as a result of this change, it is necessary to implement measures to increase safety and security towards natural and technological events. When assessing the vulnerability of society, one should consider the consequences of lapse in critical infrastructure, such as lapse in the distribution of power or lapse in telecommunication.
The wide range of hazards and threats against society represent substantial challenges for many sectors of society. The White Paper reviews the sectorial proposals given by the Commission on the Vulnerability of Society. In order to meet the threats against information- and communication-technology, a Centre on Information Security will be established. The emergency planning in the power industry will be improved. The emergency planning in the transportation sector is subject to an in depth review, and the changes within the trade and shipping sectors are under way. The evaluation and proposals presented by the Commission on the Vulnerability of Society concerning the threats against the petroleum sector have been subject to thorough assessments. This is also the case regarding the emergency planning within other important sectors of society, such as the health sector, social security, disease control, finance, food control, water supply and atomic energy.
The emergency planning in case of attacks by weapons of mass destruction is considerably intensified after 11 th> September 2001 and further measures will be considered. The plans for preparedness in case of the arrival of large numbers of refugees and people seeking political asylum are also being reviewed. Measures to improve the emergency planning in the information sector (press, broadcasting, etc) have been implemented.
The White Paper describes parts of the work on following up the reports after the Sleipner and Åsta transportation disasters and the report after the near catastrophe caused by the train crash at Lillestrøm railway station. Parts of the emergency planning on the Norwegian coastline are presented in the White
Paper. An assessment on the coordination towards improving society’s preparedness against natural disasters is also presented. Protection of property constituting our cultural inheritance and measures against organised crime are assessed within the emergency planning perspective.
The co-operation between civil and military forces has been altered after the end of the cold war. The preparations for civil support of the military forces remain. The acknowledgement that society can be confronted with serious threats, not connected to the threat of an invasion, requires that the principles for co-operation between the military forces and the police are evaluated and adapted to the new challenges. The co-operation between the military and the police is presented in the White paper.
Work on the safety and security of society is far-reaching and the work on emergency planning will be intensified on the national, regional and local administrative level. The coordination of this work will be improved. The Ministry of Justice and the Police will be given a more distinct coordinating role. Among other things, this involves responsibility for the security service in the civil sector. It is an aim that HQ Defence Command Norway - Security Staff (National Security Agency) reports to the Ministry of Defence, as superior authority, in cases concerning the military sector and to the Ministry of Justice and the Police, as superior authority, in cases concerning the civil sector.
The government has decided to establish a Directorate of National Protection consisting of the existing Directorate for Civil Defence and Emergency Planning and parts of the existing Directorate for Fire and Electrical safety. The purpose is to create the basis for a wider range of expertise within the field of safety and security. The government is also considering establishing a Centre for Emergency Planning and Training at the Air Force training centre at Stavern. This centre will also be suitable for administrative activities. Further questions concerning the location of the new directorate, will be clarified during the government’s discussion in general on governmental inspectorate bodies, among others the inspectorates on transportation safety. A common structure of authority from national to local level of administration of Fire, Rescue and Emergency planning, will result in a more efficient use of resources and is believed to give the Ministry of Justice and the Police a more distinct role concerning the collective emergency and rescue services. The Civil Defence is to be the operative part of the new directorate and will be divided into18 regional districts. The new directorate will be responsible for the education and training of Civil Defence forces, which in peacetime will be an important supplementary resource to the police and other emergency and rescue services, the regional and the local authorities. The police commissioners will be exempted from the positions as district commanders of the Civil Defence, but the opportunity to ask for assistance from the Civil Defence in rescue and emergency operations remains. It is an aim that the police to a greater extent ask the Civil Defence for support if necessary.
At the same time as the regional commissioners are exempted from their responsibility for the Civil Defence, their instructions for emergency planning will be revised in order to improve the co-ordination on the regional administrative level. The local authorities have improved their emergency planning in the recent years, primarily as a continuation of the preparations for the Y2K problem. The government advocates that the duties concerning emergency planning given to local authorities should be regulated by law, in accordance with the proposal presented by the Commission on the Vulnerability of Society.
The executive authorities must at all times be prepared to manage any crisis that may occur. Different crisis situations require the implementation of various measures and co-ordination of crisis management. A basis for crisis management is the corresponding responsibility when dealing with a normal situation or a crisis situation or war. It is necessary to make plans for a wide range of different emergency situations, so that any emergency situation that may occur is managed correctly.
More emphasis on planning and training in the work on the safety and security of society will be necessary in the years to come. The plans and training programs will be adapted to the situation on hazards and threats against society. The structures and functions of the executive administration during crisis management have been reviewed.
The services and co-operation between the Norwegian Police Security Service, HQ Defence Command Norway - Intelligence Staff and HQ Defence Command Norway - Security Staff (National Security Agency) have been reviewed. Establishing a permanent secretariat will increase the activities of The Co-ordinated and Advisory Board for the Intelligence and Security Services. The purpose of this is to produce joint and co-ordinated risk and threat assessments that can be the basis for emergency planning in the different sectors of society.
The international co-operation on civil crisis management has become more important in the recent years. The co-operation in NATO continues, and a closer co-operation with the European Union will be established. Norwegian contributions to crisis management in international operations have been purposefully developed. An international support team has been established by the Civil Defence. The development of civil contributions to crisis management in international operations will continue.
The Rescue Service will not be subject to significant changes concerning either activity or organisation. The Ministry of Justice and the Police will continue to have the responsibility for co-ordinating the administration of the Rescue Service.
The building of air-raid shelters will not be resumed, as the existing shelters are considered sufficient to cover the needs. The existing shelters will be kept in good repair. The civil defence measures that are part of the self-protection measures within the private sector will be sustained.
It is not considered necessary to establish permanent forces of conscripted within the Civil Defence and emergency planning in addition to the existing organisations. Conscripted in the Civilian National Service will continue to be at the disposal of the Civil Defence.
The training of the Police Reserve will be increased in the coming year. The Police Reserve will be reduced in numbers, but will be more prepared to meet future requirements.
When considering the structural changes in Norway’s defence, it is believed that the Home Guard has become more important with regards to emergency planning. It is, however, not considered necessary to establish new units with personnel to meet the challenges of a vulnerable society or other requirements for civilian and humanitarian support. The government wishes to stress the importance of co-operation with the non-government organisations.
Research papers from the Defence Research Institute have provided a significant basis for the progress in the work on safety and security of society in the recent years. It is an aim that reports, research, and threat assessments to a greater extent become subject to comprehensive review. The existing research programs at the Defence Research Institute will continue. In addition to this, the areas of research on safety and security of society will be further developed.
The financial consequences of the proposals presented in the White Paper will be considered as part of the government’s budget proposal. The administrative and financial consequences of some of the changes that are proposed are considerable, for example concerning the costs of building a new communication system for the emergency and rescue services. The Ministries that are responsible for implementing the proposed measures will also be responsible for giving these measures the necessary financial backing. However, the Ministry of Justice and the Police can initiate a process towards a joint budget proposal if this is considered necessary or more expedient. The proposed restructuring of the Civil Defence into 18 regional districts will presumably reduce costs.