The role of the NI Hub
The primary role of the NI Hub is to command, control and coordinate the response to civil emergencies over the COVID-19 response period in order to protect the security and prosperity of NI.
The purpose of the Hub is to compile all insights and information from each of the NI Government departments and communicate this to the NI Civil Contingencies Group (CCG NI) through a Situational Report (sitrep).
NI Civil Contingencies Group
The CCG (NI) discusses key issues and shares information that has been consolidated by the NI Hub to help inform strategic decision making by the departments. This is chaired by David Sterling, Head of the Civil Service and attended by Department Permanent Secretaries, the Hub Chief of Staff and agencies such as PSNI, Ambulance Service and Food Standards Agency alongside voluntary attendance by First Minister, deputy First Minister and Junior Ministers.
David Sterling, Head of the Civil Service said: “Managing the Covid-19 response across Executive departments and the wider public sector is crucially important in ensuring people are protected and supported during this emergency.
“Those volunteers who stepped up to staff the C3 structures and help the Executive with their response are a critical part of that work. They are working with an enormous volume of information from across departments which is interpreted and compiled within a very tight timescale each day. This work is invaluable to CCGNI and I extend my thanks to the teams for their commitment and hard work during these difficult times.”
Locations of NI Hubs
There are three Hubs, Castle buildings, Lanyon and Goodwood to enable the implementation of social distancing and to ensure backup teams.
Volunteers work a 12-hour rotating shift in a variety of roles including secretariat, statistics, operations co-ordination, sitrep, support, communications and departmental liaison. Key responsibilities include engagement with Departmental Operation Centres (DOCs) to ordinate the sharing of strategically significant information for the preparation of the daily sitrep for the CCG (NI) meeting the following morning.
Anthony Harbinson, Chief of Staff commented: “As well as the work of the Hub teams, we are also hugely grateful to the Departments and their teams who operate the Departmental Operation Centres and liaise with the Hub on a daily basis to ensure we have the relevant information required to support the sitrep.”