The Public Sector Cooperation Agreement (PSCA) provides arrangements for the Environment Agency (EA) and an Internal Drainage Board (IDB), Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), District Council (DC) or other Risk Management Authority (RMA) to deliver flood risk maintenance works and similar activities by a partnership approach. This is a major step forward in securing efficient work practices at a local level. The agreement places both parties on a sound legal basis to deliver work as agreed – either party may undertake work for the other.
The first PSCA was signed in October 2013. By February 2016, there were 45 PSCAs in place, comprising 42 between EA/IDBs, 1 between EA/County Council, 1 between District Council/EA, and 1 between Navigation Authority/IDBs. There are 25 others currently in development and EA intend to agree additional PSCAs where there are potential benefits.
Based on section 13(4) of the Floods and Water Management Act 2010, a PSCA can cover any maintenance or similar activity such as inspections, obstruction removal, weed control, grass cutting, tree work, vermin control, dredging, pump operation etc. It also provides for mutual RMA support in managing flood incidents. In some cases it can be used for capital asset improvement or replacement works.
The Benefits of PSCAs
Updated PSCA and User Guide
A fully updated version of the PSCA Agreement Template and User Guide were published in March 2016 by the Environment Agency and ADA. Newly created agreements will use the format of the new PSCA template. Existing agreements that are in place already will be varied to the new PSCA template format this summer to ensure national consistency, but can continue to be used until the variation occurs. The Environment Agency will be in touch with existing agreement partners shortly.
Changes in the updated documents include:
The documents are available from the downloads section of the ADA website and for EA staff on the EA Easinet pages.
For further information regarding PSCAs please contact Ian Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org), who can help set up new agreements and oversee the variations to existing PSCAs.