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Vaud Civil Protection (PCi) should focus and optimize its operations, prioritize its missions and adapt its equipment, the Vaud Canton Court of Auditors recommended in a performance audit. , published on Wednesday. In the Covid crisis, PCi has strengthened its credibility, so this is the right time to implement reforms, he said.

“We have seen PCi’s ability to carry out missions that are not ordinary, especially during pandemics and health crises. It has now benefited from good image and recognized activities. At the same time, it has to deal with a challenge. staff reduction. So we need a reform and we are in a good time to do it “, explained Keystone-ATS Guy-Philippe Bolay, magistrate of the Court of Auditors in the Canton of Vaud.

Launched a year ago, the audit aimed to counteract the strengths and weaknesses of Vaud PCi in this context of Covid-19’s unique commitment during the period, to supporting the overactive health system. The idea is also to identify the key lines of the future of PCi.

Complex organization

As a reminder, civil protection is one of the five partners in the coordinated system of population protection. When there are serious incidents, it supports, strengthens or comforts other colleagues, namely the police, firefighters, public health and technical services.

Since 2004, this has been the responsibility of the cantons. In Vaud, its organization is complex. It is set up by ten Regional Civil Protection Organizations (ORPCs), modeled by districts, relatively autonomous, do not always have a clear line of governance and have very different facilities, summarizes the Court of Auditors in 64-page report on it.

The canton, for example, has no overall vision and therefore no idea of ​​the appropriate equipment available at the cantonal level, according to the audit. The ORPC system actually gives regions a lot of freedom to own equipment.

The staff is still low

Added to this is the entry into force on 1 January 2021 of a profound amendment to the federal law on population protection and civil protection (LPPCi), leading to a reduction in workers. “With the reduction in service after 14 years and the release of officers and non -commissioned officers from the age of 40, PCi Vaudoise has from 8,000 to 5,000 members.

These staff problems typically affect the North Vaud and Chablais regions, less Lausanne and the Lake Geneva region, the magistrate added. The Court of Auditors has thus pleaded for a reorganization of the four regions of the PCi, as in the case of severe commitment during the pandemic, with a single line of order. “It was a great experience and worked well,” Bolay said.

In addition, the reform carried out by the cantonal authorities, within the framework of a project called “Tetris”, will go in the direction of a cantonization and centralization of four battalions in the region, according to him. But the reform promises to be “complicated”, as the distribution of powers between municipalities and Canton will need to be reviewed, a question that has always been sensitive, he said.

Review the details

Finally, the Court sent the Civil and Military Security Service (SSCM) fifteen recommendations, all of which were accepted. They revolve around three areas for improvement: better organization, better trained (especially managers) and better staff, and clear and positive communication.

Red thread in optimizing the operation of PCi: to get a new “profile of services” to clarify the cantonal strategy. “The completion of this document is a priority in particular to determine the training to be provided and the required investment”, the Court of Auditors considered.

So we need to prioritize PCi’s missions and services tomorrow, stop the less appropriate, such as the presence of sporting events, Mr. Bolay said. Services and training should also take into account the risk priorities identified in the latest analysis published in Canton in 2022.

Modernize the alert system

With regard to very different material, which does not facilitate training or collaboration, the Court recommends better identifying it, making it easily accessible and ultimately harmonizing it. It also proposes to modernize the alert system, drawing inspiration from the tool available to firefighters.

In the meantime, Canton needs to strengthen ORPC’s existing weak controls, both operational and financial, the audit encouraged.

This article is published automatically. Source: ats

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