Ministério da Administração Interna (Ministry of Internal Affairs) - Gabinete do Secretário de Estado Adjunto e da Administração Interna (Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Internal Affair
Decision 91/396/EEC of the Council of the European Communities, of 29 July 1991, on the introduction of a single European emergency call number, required Member States to ensure that the number 112 was introduced as the single European emergency call number, providing for measures that ensured that calls to this number are adequately answered and handled.
The Portuguese Government deemed the implementation of this public service throughout the national territory to be a priority, as a fundamental element to adjust emergency and public safety services to the needs of citizens, having Decree-Law no. 73/97, of 3 April, defined the regime that applies to the establishment and management of the 112 number as the national emergency number, having preferential access to the various emergency services.
Subsequently, in order to increase the quality of service provided, the European Union established the obligation to ensure that emergency services were provided with call geo-location functionalities, an element which is particularly relevant as far as calls from the mobile network are concerned, as the caller may not be sure of his/her location, specially under emergency situations. Portugal complied with this obligation in July 2007, as a result of an improvement procedure carried out by determination of the Ministers of Internal Affairs and for Health (Order no. 5126/2007, of 16 March), on the basis of recommendations issued by ICP - Autoridade Nacional das Comunicações (ICP - ANACOM).
The approval of basic choices for the operational reorganization of the 112 single emergency call number, through Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 164/2007, of 12 October, provided a significant boost to the definition of a new strategy for the organisational and functional structure of the future 112 Service, in the implementation of which the “112.pt” project was launched.
The establishment of a group of experts from several bodies, under the coordination of the Ministries of Internal Affairs and for Health, enabled the outline, in full articulation with ICP – ANACOM, of the main aspects that will allow the reinforcement of services of the national emergency number, in its legal, organic and operational components.
In this period, the coordination of entities and bodies taking part in the implementation, management and application of the project was also improved, including Portuguese representatives in international structures that are involved in the setting of technical specifications and other relevant options.
Joint Order no. 28 668/2008, of 7 November, of the Ministries of Internal Affairs and for Health, established the Centro de Instalação do Serviço 112 - CI-112- (112 Service Installation Centre), the main mission of which is to ensure the management and operation of the new 112 Service, answering points being warned in a staged manner, according to the new operational model of the 112 Service.
In compliance with Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 164/2007, of 12 October, the mentioned Order determined the articulation between the CI-112 and the group of experts of the “112.pt” project, with a view to prepare initiatives intended to activate answering points and the new operational model of the 112 Service, namely proposals for the deployment of operators and supervisors, staff training and transition between the current and future model of operation of the Service.
Whereas Decree-Law no. 73/97, of 3 April, defines in article 3 thereof that the operation of the emergency call centres are entrusted to security forces, in compliance with provisions set out in an order to be issued by the Minister of Internal Affairs;
Whereas the CI-112 must be urgently provided with the structure and conditions required for the operation of the “112.pt Sul” Operational Centre, until the future organisational and functional model is defined in the appropriate statutory instrument;
For the purpose of an immediate operation of the “112.pt Sul” Operational Centre, in pursue of powers delegated to me by the Minister of Internal Affairs:
I hereby determine as follows:
1 – The tasks of the head of the “112.pt Sul” Operational Centre shall be performed by the CI-112 coordinator, in addition to tasks for which he is already responsible.
2 – It is incumbent on the head of the “112.pt Sul” Operational Centre:
a) To manage the activity of the 112.pt as necessary to accomplish its tasks, defining the broad lines of such activity and laying down the respective priorities;
b) To ensure the necessary means to answer all calls made to the 112 single European emergency call number, according to the integration of the different PSAP in 112.pt operational centres;
c) To articulate the action of 112.pt operational centres with structures responsible for providing emergency answer and relief;
d) To ensure the handling and assessment of emergency calls to the 112 number, according to guidelines approved by the competent bodies, in compliance with protocols concluded between bodies involved in the provision of assistance and relief;
e) To ensure that the request for assistance or relief is transmitted to bodies with responsibilities for their provision, contributing, where appropriate, for the coordination between such bodies;
f) To define the procedures and internal rules of operation of 112.pt operational centres;
g) To define and promote disclosure and awareness campaigns on the 112 call number, in order to rationalise its use and to decrease the number of unnecessary calls;
h) To ensure compliance with obligations undertaken by the Ministry of Internal Affairs as regards answering the 112 single European emergency call number, ensuring its functioning and operation;
i) To perform all other measures required to accomplish the tasks assigned to 112.pt operational centres.
3 – So long as its own organisational structure is not defined, the model of the 112.pt operational centre shall be composed by:
a) A head of centre;
b) A deputy head of centre;
c) Seven operation supervisors;
d) Sixty call centre operators;
e) One administrative support element;
f) One technical element of information and communication systems.
4 – The first four heads of centre and deputy heads of centre shall be appointed by order of the member of the Government responsible for the area, and shall carry out their duties for a two-year period, under the law.
5 - Call centre operators and 112.pt operational centre supervisors shall be selected and recruited among elements of the Guarda Nacional Republicana (National Republic Guard) and of the Polícia de Segurança Pública (Public Safety Police), providing services according to the legal regime on internal mobility, for a two year period, maintaining all their rights and other benefits of services they integrate.
6 – The service undertaken in the 112 operational centre shall be deemed to be provided in the original location and category, without prejudice to the special legally valid conditions, resulting from the nature, working hours and conditions of the operational centre.
7 – The administrative and technical staff shall be ensured by forces and services under the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
8 – For the purpose of concession of the respective subsidies, tasks performed by supervisors and call centre operators of 112.pt operational centres are deemed to be similar to the effective provision of operational service.
9 – In its scope of action, the head of a 112.pt operational centre may request the cooperation of services and bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
10 – The functioning budgetary burden resulting herefrom shall be borne by forces and services that ensure the staff providing services in the «112.pt», communications being ensured by the budget of the Polícia de Segurança Pública.
11 – The administrative and logistic support shall be provided by the General-Secretariat of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
12 – This order takes effects as from 29 June 2009.
29 June 2009. - The Assistant Secretary of State for Internal Affairs, José Manuel dos Santos de Magalhães.