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DHS-Federal Continuity Directive 1

DHS-Federal Continuity Directive 1

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...in case Dr.Strangelove comes crashing thru the roof...
...in case Dr.Strangelove comes crashing thru the roof...

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Agency leadership is responsible for establishing, promulgating, and maintaining orders of
succession to key positions. It is critical to have a clear line of succession to office established in
the event an agency’s leadership becomes debilitated or incapable of performing its legal and
authorized duties, roles, and responsibilities. The designation as a successor enables that
individual to act on behalf of and exercise the powers of a principal in the event of that
principal’s death, incapacity, or resignation. Orders of succession enable an orderly and
predefined transition of leadership within the organization. Orders of succession are an essential
part of an agency’s 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 agency can perform its essential functions while remaining a viable part of the Federal
Government during the course of any emergency.

As a minimum, orders of succession must do the following:

1. Establish an order of succession for the position of agency head. There should be a
designated official available to serve as acting head of the agency until that official is
appointed by the President or other appropriate authority, replaced by the permanently
appointed official, or otherwise relieved.

a. Geographical dispersion, including of regional, field, or satellite leadership in the
standard agency line of succession, is encouraged and ensures roles and responsibilities
can transfer in all contingencies.

b. Where a suitable field structure exists, appropriate personnel located outside of the
subject region should be considered in the order of succession.

2. Establish orders of succession for other key agency leadership positions, including but not
limited to administrators, regional or field directors, key managers, other key mission
essential personnel or their equivalent positions. Orders of succession should also be
established for devolution counterparts in these positions.

3. Describe orders of succession by positions or titles, rather than by the names of the
individuals holding those offices. To ensure their legal sufficiency, coordinate the
development of orders of succession with the agency’s general counsel.

4. Establish the rules and procedures designated officials must follow when facing the issues of
succession to office.

5. Include in the succession procedures the conditions under which succession will take place,
in accordance with applicable laws and agency or department directives, the method of
notification; and any temporal, geographical, or organizational limitations to the authorities
granted by the orders of succession.

6. Include orders of succession in the vital records and ensure they are available at all continuity
facilities in the event the continuity plan is activated.

7. Revise orders of succession, as necessary, and distribute the revisions promptly as changes




8. Develop and provide a duties and responsibilities briefing to the designated successors to the
position of agency head, when named, and other key positions, on their responsibilities as
successors and on any provisions for their relocation. Designated successors must receive
annual refresher briefings.



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