Communications in incidents and emergencies

Within the government, the Prime Minister's Office is responsible for the general coordination of disturbances. The authority in charge of the situation must ensure consistent communications – both internally and in good cooperation with the other actors involved. If the scope of the situation extends to several branches of government or requires Government level measures, the Prime Minister's Office may take a coordination role in communications. The administrative branches managing the situation must ensure that the Government Communications Department and other cooperation partners involved have access to up-to-date and adequate information on any implemented or planned communications activities.

Even during emergencies, central government communications is based on the legislation for normal conditions, which is supplemented by certain provisions in the Emergency Powers Act and the State of Defence Act. The general principle is that the direct management of central government communications is vested in the Prime Minister’s Office. As a rule, each branch of government is responsible for enhanced communications within its own field of operations. Preparedness is raised and capacity is heightened as steadily as possible when the situation becomes more severe.

When the severity of the situation so requires, the government may set up a cooperation group for coordinating communications among various authorities. In such events, the Prime Minister's Office is responsible for the coordination of communications among the different branches of government. In practice, the responsibilities are carried out by the Government Communications Department. As the situation deepens, responsibility for communications may have to be transferred, either in part or in full, from the specialised authorities to the Prime Minister's Office.

In large-scale disturbances and emergencies during normal times, a Government Command Centre, based on coordinated action among ministries, can be established to support management at government level. The communications capacity of the Command Centre may strengthen as necessary. The Command Centre’s communications is organised under the Director of Government Communications.