Can Canada’s Government Operations Centre Evolve Its Emergency Management Capabilities?

Forest fire

In October 2016, Canada Public Safety published an audit reviewing the federal government of Canada’s crisis response center. The evaluation pointed out that needed change was necessary to stay capable or responding to and managing emergency events such as national security threats and natural disasters. The audit assessed the policies, processes, controls, and protocols the Government Operations Centre (GOC) uses to handle emergency events. These events range from flooding and industrial accidents to acts of terrorism and cyber events.

The Public Safety Canada audit found persistent problems – even after a 2010 review revealed widespread confusion and uncertainty about the operation center’s mandate and its ability to fulfill its role. One of the primary issues highlighted in the audit was that outdated technologies – including the GOC’s main software system – are hampering work and effectiveness. While the technology currently installed is intended to help share incident data and information among federal, provincial and territorial operations centers, it is certified only to manage unclassified information.

I would like to point out first and foremost, that this problem is not unique to Canada. There are many other countries and agencies that face confusion and uncertainty about how to manage emergency operation center mandates or how to properly manage planned and unplanned events. They may also have issues of securely sharing classified information between organizations. And that’s because many of these countries have inadequate emergency management technologies in place. Like Canada’s GOC, they need of better, more secure ways of communicating and collaborating during major planned and unplanned events.

One solution that can help emergency operation centers overcome these challenges is Intergraph Planning & Response. For government agencies needing a solution that can handle major events in a coordinated and collaborative fashion, Intergraph Planning & Response is an application for emergency operations centers and mobile command staff to manage major events. Users of Intergraph Planning & Response can coordinate information and resources to manage emergency operation center mandates using a communications module among their own agency as well as with other organizations at the strategic and tactical level. Also, since it has highly configurable rules and workflows, organizations and agencies using the solution can take advantage of pre-defined operational templates that work with existing emergency management plans – whether on paper, Microsoft SharePoint, or using another software solution.

If you would like more information about Intergraph Planning & Response’s application modules, visit our product page. If you’re in British Columbia, Canada, and would like to see a live demo of Intergraph Planning & Response, register for our complimentary Emergency Management Roadshow on March 1st.


Pamela Van Asseldonk
About Pamela Bernier
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