ASC Department of Civilian Affairs

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The ASC Department of Civilian Affairs (ASCDCA or DCA), otherwise known as Civ. Affairs or the Civilian Affairs Department, is a Department of the Castle of the Unitary Government of Cyberia that is concerned with all things directly affecting the civilian population of the country. This includes citizens, naturalized citizens, and immigrants; all legally designated as "civilians" as opposed to soldiers or other military personnel. The DCA is perhaps best known for housing the largest police agency, Public Security, as well as other emergency services.

History

With the need to separate military police from civilian police, the High Castle eventually granted the creation of a new civilian-focused department, one that would handle most direct approaches to government interaction with civilians. However, the fruition of this new granted department did not come for many years. The duties of the newly granted department were more or less fulfilled by the existing Department of Justice. Then, in the year of 2037, the grant was finally put to work. This department formed itself around the basis of serving the civilian population, as opposed to the military population, giving good care and quality of life in ways more suited to non-military types.

Office of the President of Civilian Affairs

See also: Unitary Government of Cyberia ยง Offices of the Presidents

The assistant executives of the Office of the President in the Civilian Affairs Department are most responsible for keeping their President on their toes about many issues regarding civilian-government interaction that is not handled by other departments. Of course, they cannot speak on behalf of those other departments, however they can lend an ear to the ailments and grievances of the general civilian population, and communicate ways to soothe these complaints as the intermediary between the two entities.

Major Responsibilities

Emergency Response Services

Emergency Response Services (ERS) are available to the general public as provided by the Department of Civilian Affairs by many means, the best-known of which is through dialing 9-1-1 at any phone connected to the telephone network. The services are often displayed to the public as the common three at once; fire, medical, and police, all of which are staffed and operated by the Cyberian government.

Public Education

Government-funded public education is offered to all guardians of minors of the civilian population. It is free of upfront charge, as it is funded by taxation and fine collection. Public schooling lasts up to thirteen years, depending on if parents choose to enroll their child(ren) into kindergarten, which comes before the first grade of schooling out of twelve in total. Each school year is comprised of a minimum of 180 uninterrupted weekdays (as opposed to weekends), with seven hours (0700-1400) of instruction each, totaling 1260 minimum hours of instruction per year. There are very little if any no-school days; only in circumstances of emergency or other such event preventing a large body of students from attending. Grades 1-8 are commonly referred to as primary or "elementary" school, while grades 9-12 are referred to as secondary or "high" school. The typical age for first-time enrollment is 6 years old in the first grade, however parents have the option to enroll their children in public schools as early as 4 years old. Students enrolled in government-funded public schools are required to wear school uniforms resembling non-camouflaged CMF uniforms consisting of rugged blue jackets and black pants of the same material.

Public Military Education

Parents of eligible adolescents have the option to enroll them into what is known as Alternative Military Academy (AMA) in lieu of high school. These military academies are boarding schools which provide students with four years of a more strict lifestyle and higher expectations than high school. Public military education is expressly designed to prime adolescents for enlistment, though it is not a requirement that graduates of AMA enlist.

Civilian Labor

Civilian labor laws are influenced majorly by the Department of Civilian Affairs, and ratified by the Department of Justice. These laws include regulations regarding workplace health and safety, minimum wage, overtime hours and payment, child labor, unemployment, and more.

Naturalization of Immigrants

After acceptance into the country by the ASC Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Civilian Affairs plays the largest role in the naturalization of immigrants who plan to reside permanently in the Antarctic State from a different country. The DCA provides classes and tests on language, culture, and other societal norms, before granting immigrants with Cyberian citizenship.

Elections

The DCA is responsible for running all elections that involve civilian input in government affairs. Most notably of these affairs is the election of the many Presidents of the Cyberian government branches.

Postal Service

The government-owned and operated AS Postal Service (ASPS) is the only mail service allowed to access civilian mailboxes for both letters and small parcels. Large parcels are also able to be sent through government post to people's doorsteps, however they are more commonly sent through non-government, privatized parcel services.

Census Taking

The DCA takes a nationwide census of the AS population once every five years. The data collected in these censuses includes age, height, weight, sexual orientation, and other physical and mental attributes. The provision of this information by the general public is optional, however it is important for all persons to at least acknowledge their residence in the country for the purposes of an accurate census. Information that is identifiable in a person is generally left out, such as name, phone number, or address.

Major Divisions

Census Bureau

The Census Bureau (CB), more specifically the component of the CB named the Survey Corps, is responsible for collecting and processing all census data in the country, and doing their best to minimize over and undercounts. A second subdivision of the CB, the Permanent Record Office (PRO), stores census data indefinitely for further use in pattern recognition and projections.

Electoral Office

The Electoral Office (EO) is where all elections concerning civilian-government affairs. It is where the Presidential elections are held every four years. The EO is also where the civilian population can exercise its right to petition the AS government for there to be a public vote on any issues the public may be concerned about. If a petition reaches enough registered signitors, it reaches a second phase where it can take one of two forms; it can take the form of an initiative, where the public can vote to request for the AS government to consider writing a new law into regulation; or it take the form of a referendum, where the public can vote to request the government to consider changing or removing an existing law.

Emergency Fire Service

The Emergency Fire Service (EFS) is responsible for responding to emergencies regarding out-of-control fires in civilian and military sectors alike. EFS personnel are interestingly officially referred to as "Phoenix People". They are physically trained quite often and are generally given hypothetical environments with real fires to train in. They are also available to help in other, non-fire based incidences, such as search & rescue operations, and disaster relief. The EFS is funded wholly by taxes, fines, and donations.

Emergency Medical Service

EMS or Emergency Medical Service are provided to the general population from the government through fast medical response to incidences by trained servicemen. EMTs, or Emergency Medical Technicians as they're called, are dispatched to injured persons by ambulance or medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) helicopter, both if which are brimming with contingency medical supplies in the transport of invalids to the nearest hospital emergency room. Like the EFS, the EMS is funded wholly by taxes, fines, and donations.

Labor Division

The Labor Division is a component of the DCA tasked with establishing regulation regarding various labor concerns such as occupational safety and health, wage and hour standards including tipping, child labor, unemployment, retirement, etc.; as well conducting inspections for violations of previously mentioned regulations. The Labor Division of the DCA has the right to randomly inspect a workplace for violations. The general public also can give anonymous or non-anonymous tips to the Labor Division that may lead to an investigation.

Public Safety and Health Service

The DCA's Public Safety and Health Service (PSHS) is responsible mostly for implementing the government's baseline healthcare system, where those who cannot afford or otherwise do not pay for privatized health insurance are provided a basic form of it. The PSHS is also responsible for taking and routing 9-1-1 calls to the appropriate dispatchers of emergency services, and also calling back those who hang up before a reason is given.

A portion of the general public voices concerns on the very long waiting times and other low-utility actions of baseline aid. The DCA usually responds to these concerns with statements detailing the inefficacy of providing comprehensive health services to a population of 500+ million without also implementing tax hikes.

Public Security Service

Main article: Public Security

The Public Security Service (PSS) is a very large police force that is wholly owned and operated by the government. Their activities are broken up into sections pursuing different tasks numbering 0 to 9; 10 in total. Section 1 is most widely known, as they are what most every civilized country would immediately recognize as an organized police force operating solely in the civilian sector; i.e. Section 1 are the ones writing citations, responding to low-level crime scenes, and other police duties that don't call for a higher level of soldier.

Public Education Service

The Public Education Service or PES is where the government funds public schools and also regulates the way they may operate and educate youth. A notable example is, all government funded public schools must have their students wear specific school uniforms, which is like that of an uncamouflaged blue soldier jacket and black pants of the same rugged material. Alongside granting funding, the PES also conducts periodic examinations of schools that they fund to ensure that the proper needs are met, especially what mandatory classes youth must take such as math and accounting. By contrast, private schools aren't necessarily examined, however their students must go through a number of required teachings in order to be considered for a graduation of secondary schooling by the PES; the provision of these classes is the responsibility of the private school in question.

The DCA also cooperates with the Defense Department in the operation of Alternative Military Academies or AMAs, where minors may be enrolled for four years. AMAs are primarily boarding schools that act as alternatives to high schools, and are expressly designed to prime and prepare students for enlistment in the Cyberian Military Forces. A secondary component of AMAs is termed Reserve Officers' Training Corps, or ROTC, where officer cadets are held to a higher standard of mental prowess, and only attend for eight weeks, thus generally only attending later in the AMA life, or attended without prior AMA enrollment. Where AMAs in general are designed to prime students for enlistment, ROTC is specially designed to prime students for commissioning for officer positions. Enrollment in ROTC is available to both minors and college-aged adults, though the two groups are separated and the younger group is dubbed JROTC, or Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Graduation of AMA can result in quicker promotion once enlisted. Graduation from (J)ROTC doesn't necessarily result in quicker promotion in officer ranks, however it allows the cadet to skip Officer Training School (OTS). Parents of minors can enroll their children in an AMA instead of a public high school and will receive a tax credit in return for as long as the minor displays acceptable or exceeding behavior for the duration of the stay.

Office of Immigration and Naturalization

The Office of Immigration and Naturalization (OIN) is responsible for taking in immigrants accepted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and putting them through the process of naturalization, which is the process by which an immigrant is acclimated to the Cyberian culture and customs, and granted citizenship in the Antarctic State. The OIN conducts standardized teaching and testing of all incoming non-citizens under clearance from the DFA.

Office of the Post

The Office of the Post, otherwise known as "the Post Office" or officially Antarctic State Postal Service (ASPS), is a component of the DCA that handles the receiving, sorting, transport, and mailbox delivery of all letters and other small parcels for the civilian population. This is in contrast to the Office of Military Post, which is a component of the Defense Department, only serves the military, and operates over a much broader range of items. Interestingly, only the Office of the Post and the Office of Military Post have access to residential mailboxes, as opposed to private companies.

Office of Transportation

The Office of Transportation (ASOT) is a division best known for the impoundment of vehicles, as well as influencing traffic, roadworthiness, and aviation laws, and granting drivers and civilian pilots their government-issued licenses. They also administrate the operation of public transportation and the funding of it through various tiers of ticket fare. The ASOT is in control of public bus systems, metro rail systems, inter-city train systems, and other topics of public transport.

Patent, Trademark and Copyright Office

The Patent, Trademark and Copyright Office (the Oxford comma is dropped in the official title), otherwise known as the PTC Office, is responsible for managing requests for protection of intellectual property (IP), including granting patents and trademarks, and influencing laws made to protect intellectual property. The PTC Office keeps a permanent record of all additions, deletions, revisions, and attempts at said changes to its IP database, which is freely available for viewing to the public on the internet.