The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Supervision Makes 13 Recommendations for Improved Crisis Management

The Swiss Ständerat's Geschäftsprüfungskommission (GPK-S) has assessed the collaboration between the federal government and the cantons during the coronavirus pandemic as mediocre. The distribution of competences was not always clearly regulated, leading to a need for improvement. The GPK-S has issued 13 recommendations to improve the cooperation between the federal and cantonal authorities.

The GPK-S report states that the competency distribution outlined in the Epidemiengesetz has generally been successful, and thanks to the joint efforts of the federal and cantonal authorities, Switzerland has managed to get through the crisis satisfactorily. However, the cantons were only partially included in the federal crisis management, and there were no clearly defined points of contact or guidelines, making it difficult to pass on information.

The GPK-S also noted that during the "special situation" in the autumn of 2020, problems arose and the cooperation reached its limits. The lack of a shared understanding of the roles had a negative impact on crisis management. After the return to the "normal situation" in April 2022, the federal and cantonal authorities were unable to agree on their respective responsibilities. The GPK-S therefore recommends that an additional situation be defined in the Epidemiengesetz.

The GPK-S also criticises the insufficient consultation of the cantons on the nationwide pandemic measures and the lack of information provided to the cantons about the measures taken. The GPK-S has issued thirteen recommendations to improve the division of tasks and strategic coordination in future crises, and to better involve the cantons in the nationwide measures to manage the crisis. The GPK-S also calls on the federal government to produce two further reports on contact tracing between the federal and cantonal authorities and the use of the army and civil protection to support the cantons.

©Keystone/SDA

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