NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT COUNCIL HOLDS FIRST MEETING
The new National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) held its first meeting on Friday June 6th, 2003 at the Treasure Isle Hotel conference room.
The Council is set up under the Disaster Management Act 2003 to review and advise on national strategy for disaster management; review the state of disaster management in the territory and report at least once annually by June of each year to the Executive Council its findings; make recommendations to Executive Council on needs for improving the territory’s disaster management; promote comprehensive disaster management in the territory and receive reports from and review the work of committees which it has established.
The Council has similar functions to those set out for its predecessor, the National Emergency Advisory Council (NEAC). The specific requirements to report and make recommendations to ExCo are new and must be taken seriously since they are now the law. The requirement to promote comprehensive disaster management is also new.
The council has inherited a structure of sub-committees and a practice of holding one annual meeting at which reporting from the Office of Disaster Preparedness (ODP) now the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), the sub-committees and the various departments of government predominate. Members also received periodic reports by way of the newsletter put out by
“The NEAC’s posture was largely passive, the NDMC now has a statutory mandate and will have to be seen to be active in discharging it,” said former NEAC Chairman, Deputy Governor Mr. Elton Georges.
Another feature of the Disaster Management Act 2003 is that the Governor shall be the Chairman of the NDMC. Other members of the NDMC would include the Chief Minister, the financial Secretary, the Commissioner of Police, Chief Fire Officer, Director of Health Services, Director of Planning, Chief Environmental Health Officer, Director of Public Works Department, Director of Marine Services and representatives from other Ministries, Departments, statutory bodies and other volunteers.
The Disaster Management Act 2003 was passed in the Legislative Council April 17th, 2003 and became effective May 15th, 2003.
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