In order to take advantage of the Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS), a municipality must engage in a CEAS Partnership with the not-for-profit Business Network of Emergency Resources (BNET). BNET encourages all levels of government to engage in CEAS partnerships including, city, county or state entities. A CEAS Partnership is simply an agreement stating that the government entity wishes to engage BNET and the CEAS as their private sector credentialing mechanism. BNET welcomes the opportunity for governments to leverage the CEAS to promote various forms of public-private partnerships between government and the business community.
There are three (3) primary steps to creating a CEAS Partnership; these steps may occur concurrently; first, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) must be executed between BNET and Executive Branch of the government. The MOU institutes CEAS as the government's private sector access control system; it also establishes the relationship and responsibilities of both parties in the agreement. Second, a Plan of Administration (POA) is developed; the POA establishes the operational structure of the CEAS program and outlines specific responsibilities of the players including the participating private sector companies. The POA is, in essence, the governing document of the program. Finally, a Procedural Enforcement Document is created to establish how CEAS will be enforced in the field by law enforcement personnel. The Enforcement Document is developed by the responsible law enforcement agency and must be procedural in nature, meaning it becomes part of that agency's operational documents or department manual. It is vital that this document is detailed enough to instruct rank and file officers of their responsibilities during an activation of the CEAS program. BNET provides boilerplates for all three foundation documents.
The time it takes to launch a CEAS Partnership will vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The foundation documents will need to be reviewed by legal counsel and signed by the chief elected official of the government or their direct designee. Therefore, time will be a direct function of the jurisdiction's ability to review and sign the foundation documents in a timely manner.
Once a CEAS Partnership is created, businesses within the jurisdiction and their critical service providers outside the jurisdiction may enroll in the program. In order to enroll in the program, participating companies (Participants) must first sign a Participation Agreement, which clearly sets forth the rules regarding participation in the program and indemnifies the government jurisdiction. The Participant must also provide proof of insurance as described in the POA. Once submitted, BNET will permit the Participant to begin enrolling critical employees in the program.
As part of the CEAS Partnership, a CEAS Executive Advisory Board (EAB) will be established. The EAB will consist of members from both the government community and private sector users of the CEAS. The EAB meets on a quarterly basis to oversee the comprehensive implementation of the CEAS program within an operational jurisdiction. The EAB acts as program advocates, helps proliferate membership and provides guidance and planning assistance regarding the overall management of the program. The EAB is also an excellent mechanism for developing and sponsoring other public-private initiatives in the jurisdiction.