Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) and Critical Positions

Governor Gregoire's Directive 07-06, Pandemic Flu Preparation directed the “…Washington State Military Department and the Department of Information Services to distribute continuity of operation planning (COOP) guidelines to state agencies” and “each executive cabinet agency to use these guidelines to update or complete a plan to provide services to the public during a pandemic.” 

All agencies received guidelines for their COOP development and have either submitted a plan or are in the process of completing one.  As part of the planning effort, each agency identified:

  • The vital services it provides to the State of Washington, including those that support disaster recovery operations.
  • The actions it will take to ensure delivery of vital services during and following an emergency or disaster.
  • Which positions are designated as critical to providing vital services during and following an emergency or disaster.

Individual agencies are responsible for notifying staff that work in positions designated as critical, and for explaining their roles in the recovery process.  The state’s Position Description (PD) and Performance and Development Plan (PDP) forms are two options for communicating this information to staff.  Whatever the method, agencies should ensure that supervisors and employees both understand the expectations related to COOP and the importance of being prepared for incidents so that the state is set up to respond more quickly and efficiently. 

If you have questions about your agency’s COOP or critical positions, contact your human resources office for clarity.