CL 124/16


Hundred and Twenty-fourth Session

Rome, 23 – 28 June 2003

Report of the Hundred and second Session
of the Finance Committee
Rome, 5 – 9 May 2003

Table of Contents


Matters requiring attention by the Council

Report of the Hundred-and-second Session of the Finance Committee



- Annual Report on Budgetary Performance and Programme and Budgetary Transfers 5 - 11
- Financial Highlights 14 - 17



UN Joint Inspection Unit Reports:
- Support Costs Related to Extrabudgetary Activities in Organizations of the United Nations System

36 – 38
- Review of Management and Administration in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 39 - 40


- Capital Budgeting 41 - 48
- Innovative Models for Leveraging Resources in Support of the Field Programme 54 - 59


- Summary Programme of Work and Budget 2004-2005 61 - 68
- Split Assessments 69 - 77
- Scale of Contributions 78 - 82


- Methodology for the Determination of Equitable Geographic Distribution 90 - 93


- FAO’s New Field Security Policy 96




5 – 9 May 2003



1. The Committee submitted to the Council the following report of its Hundred-and-second Session.

2. The following representatives were present:


Mr Humberto Oscar Molina Reyes (Chile)


Mr Anthony Beattie (United Kingdom)

Ms Ryuko Inoue (Japan)

Mrs Lamya Al Saqqaf (Kuwait)

Mr Adnan Bashir Khan (Pakistan)

Mr Alassane Wele (Senegal)

Mr Lothar Caviezel (Switzerland)

Ms Perpetua M.S. Hingi (Tanzania)

Ms Lucy Tamlyn (United States of America)

3. Mr. Anthony Beattie (United Kingdom) was elected unanimously Vice-Chairperson for 2003.

4. The Committee noted that Ms Ryuko Inoue had been designated to complete Japan’s term on the Finance Committee, Mrs. Lamya Al Saqqaf had been designated to complete the State of Kuwait’s term on the Finance Committee and Mr. Lothar Caviezel had been designated to complete Switzerland’s term on the Finance Committee. The Committee further noted that Ms Lucy Tamlyn had been designated to replace Ms Carolee Heileman as the representative of the United States of America at this 102nd Session of the Finance Committee.

Financial and Budget Reports


5. In accordance with Financial Regulation 4.6, the Committee reviewed the Director-General’s Thirty-sixth Annual Report on Budgetary Performance and Programme and Budgetary Transfers, based on the unaudited accounts for 2002.

6. The report summarized the actual financial performance of the Regular Programme against 50% of the budgetary appropriations for 2002-03, showing overall net expenditure of US$329.9 million, which represented expenditure of 50.1% of the US$651.8 million appropriation for 2002-03.

7. The Committee reviewed the likely scale of transfers between budgetary chapters and the detailed explanations provided by the secretariat. It noted that the official request for transfers would be presented in the September 2003 session.

8. The Committee recognized that the main variance from budget concerned the forecast shortfall in support cost income, which was largely attributed to the continuing change in the volume and mix of the Organization’s extra-budgetary programmes. The Committee urged the secretariat to adequately plan for the risk and the impact of reduced income earnings.

9. The requirement of a budgetary transfer from Chapter 4 to Chapter 3, which occurred as a result of a modification in accounting policies applied to the recovery of TCP and SPFS support cost reimbursements, was noted.

10. The Committee expressed its concern over the deficit incurred under Major Programme 3.2 by increased activities of the Investment Centre (TCI). The secretariat clarified that steps were being taken to keep the biennial impact to a minimum, and noted that TCI’s budget proposals for 2004-05 were being re-examined to ensure their viability.

11. The Committee considered the Thirty-sixth Annual Report on Budgetary Performance and Programme and Budgetary Transfers:


12. The Committee took note of the information provided in doc. FC 102/4 on FAO Interim Accounts at 31 December 2002.


13. The Committee took note of the information provided in doc. FC 102/5 Report on Investments 2002.


14. The Committee reviewed the Financial Highlights paper which covered the first twelve months of the current biennium and a working paper on the status of assessed contributions as at 2 May 2003.

15. The Committee noted the key messages to be drawn from discussion of the Financial Highlights paper were that:

16. The Committee was informed of the main views and recommendations of the Organization’s Advisory Committee on Investments as expressed during the recent meeting in April 2003. The following salient points were noted:

17. With regard to potential implications for the financial position of the Organization in the event of a suspension of the “Oil-for-Food” Programme in Iraq, the Committee was informed of the status of implementation of the Programme and probable funding scenarios for the remainder of the year 2003. The Committee was also informed that, since the FAO’s administrative and management costs relating to the "Oil-for-Food" Programme were funded entirely through this Programme, in the event of suspension of such programme there would be no financial implications for the Regular Programme budgetary resources in 2003.

Oversight Matters


18. The Inspector-General introduced the Annual Activity Report of the Office of the Inspector-General, and drew the attention of the Committee to the establishment of an Audit Committee. The Inspector-General reviewed the various sections of the report with brief explanations.

19. The Deputy Director-General, Chairperson of the Audit Committee, briefed the Finance Committee on the establishment, composition and functions of the Audit Committee.

20. The Committee welcomed the creation of the Audit Committee and took note that it will have four sessions each year. The Committee noted that it would receive an annual report on the work of the Audit Committee.

21. The Committee discussed the report of the Inspector-General and obtained clarifications from the Inspector-General, Deputy Director-General, Legal Counsel and External Auditor where needed. The issues which were discussed were:

22. The committee analysed the report of the Inspector-General and took note of the contents and the various issues discussed.


23. The Committee reviewed the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the External Auditor as set out in the Report of the External Auditor on the Financial Statements for the 2000-2001 Biennium.

24. The Committee noted that, in accordance with standard practice, the Progress Report included the preliminary comments of the current External Auditor and that review of progress in implementing the recommendations would be a standing item on the Committee’s agenda.

25. The Committee noted that recommendations were being implemented in line with or indeed in advance of the timelines suggested by the External Auditor. The Committee, however, requested that more precise deadlines for the implementation of recommendations be provided in future reports.

26. The Committee confirmed the usefulness of the Progress Report as a tool to monitor the implementation of external audit recommendations and stressed the importance of achieving full and timely implementation of those recommendations relating to internal control.


27. In introducing Finance Committee document FC 102/9, the Director, External Audit, stated that he had decided to audit the management of TCP projects under Major Programme 4.1 as included in Chapter 4 of the PWB 2002-03. This decision was based mainly on the concerns expressed by the Finance Committee members regarding slow delivery of TCP projects, inherent risks in field operations, added risks due to decentralization of operational responsibilities to the field offices, financial significance of the programme due to the allocation of significant resources in the PWB in the biennium 2002-03 as well as the concerns expressed in the previous External Auditor’s Report regarding the high rate of deferred income from this programme due to slow delivery.

28. As the overall implementation process of TCP projects had not been audited in the previous biennia, the present audit would address the foregoing concerns.

29. The proposed audit would cover issues relating to selected aspects of management of TCP implementation including project formulation and approval, budgetary control and accounting, project implementation and monitoring and performance reporting. Evaluation studies of TCP projects would provide input to the audit.

30. Results of the audit would be provided to management by the end of October 2003.

31. The Committee expressed agreement with the proposal and requested that the External Auditor present his report on the audit findings to the Finance Committee at its May 2004 Session rather than wait for their inclusion in the Long Form Audit Report on the biennium accounts 2002-2003 which would be presented at the September 2004 Session. This was subject to verification by Legal Counsel in September 2003 that such a way of proceeding was consistent with the relevant Financial Regulations.

32. The Committee also requested the External Auditor to prepare his proposal for value-for-money audit topics for the next biennium and to present this document at the September 2003 session.


33. The Committee considered document FC 102/10 which was submitted to it under this agenda item and took note of paragraph 4 of the Charter of the Office of the Inspector-General, as referred to in the document, which stated: “the Director-General shall appoint a technically and professionally qualified individual as Inspector-General after consultation with the Finance Committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization.”

34. The Committee noted that this was the first time that this provision was being applied and discussed the nature and form of the consultation in this context. The Legal Counsel indicated that the purpose of such consultation was to seek the views of the Finance Committee.

35. In conclusion, the Committee noted the selection procedures followed by the Director-General. The Committee also took note of the name and qualifications of the candidate chosen for appointment by the Director-General following this consultation with the Committee, after the retirement of the current Inspector-General on 31 August 2003.


36. The UN Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) Report 2002/3 “Support Cost Related to Extra-budgetary Activities in Organizations of the UN system” was introduced to the Committee by Mr Armando Duque, the Chairperson of the JIU. Mr Duque noted that the report had been the product of extensive consultations with concerned UN system organizations and that FAO had participated actively in the process. He noted that the findings and recommendations had generally been accepted by members of the Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) and that FAO had endorsed 10 of the 12 recommendations, while agreeing with the thrust of the other two.

37. The Committee congratulated the JIU on the high quality of the document and the secretariat on being in general in harmony with and responsive to the recommendations made in the report. Concerning Recommendation 1, on which the FAO had expressed a reservation, the Committee welcomed the FAO’s assurance that extrabudgetary resources should only be accepted consistent with the policies, aims and activities of the Organization.

38. The Report and the Director-General’s comments thereon were endorsed for transmission to the Council.


39. Further to its consideration of this matter at the Joint Meeting with the Programme Committee, the Finance Committee reviewed the recommendations in the Report that dealt with issues within its competence. With a view to the future treatment of these recommendations, the Committee decided as follows:

Recommendation 6 – The Council may wish to approve the proposals included in the Medium Term Plan 2004-2009 for the introduction of capital budgeting to ensure sufficient and stable funding for the further development of corporate administrative systems.

Recommendations 8 – FAO Representatives should be provided with adequate human resources and guidance to fulfil their responsibilities, and the Director-General should, in particular: ... (b) Ensure that the selection of FAO Representatives is an open and fair process which duly takes into account previous experience acquired in the Organization/United Nations system...

Recommendation 10 – The Director-General should:

    1. Establish a task force composed of human resources management specialists and programme managers with a time-bound mandate to prepare a comprehensive plan of action for the reform of human resources management policies and practices;
    2. Consider allowing staff representatives full participation in, or at least direct access to, this task force;
    3. Resume meeting personally with representatives of recognized staff associations at reasonable intervals.

Recommendation 11 – In the short term, and in order to:

Recommendation 12 – In order to improve gender balance among the Secretariat’s Professional staff and conform to policy statements by the United Nations system Chief Executives Board, the Director-General should modify relevant staff rules and sections of the Manual that forbid the employment of spouses of staff members.

Recommendation 13 – The Council may wish to consider recommending to the Conference a modification of the Financial Regulations of the Organization so as to institute limits on the term of office of the External Auditor.

40. The Committee agreed that the JIU Report provided valuable recommendations for improving FAO management and administration, particularly in FAO field offices. The Committee reiterated the request made at the Joint Meeting with the Programme Committee for an in-depth management response to the recommendations.

Financial Policy Matters


41. The Finance Committee reviewed the document on Capital Budgeting, in which its approval in principle was sought for the establishment of a facility aimed at allowing the Organization to better manage activities which involve capital expenditure. This facility would consist of two separate but inter-related elements:

42. The Committee was reminded that for purposes of the facility, capital expenditure was defined as being expenditures on tangible or intangible assets with a useful life in excess of FAO’s financial period of two years and which generally required a level of resources which could not be funded within the appropriation for a single biennium

43. The Committee noted that the proposed facility and procedures surrounding it provided for:

44. The secretariat clarified that the Committee’s endorsement would only allow initiation of the process for the establishment of the facility; it would not be an authority to spend. The Committee observed that capital expenditure proposals would first be presented in the Medium Term Plan and subsequently in Chapter 8 of the Programme of Work and Budget, allowing the members ample opportunity to review and make decisions as they considered appropriate.

45. It noted that the actual funding of the facility was proposed to derive from Regular Programme budgetary provisions, income from the net interest earnings, and voluntary contributions.

46. The Committee was informed that detailed project proposals and funding estimates were not available at this time and that the necessary data would need to be built up with experience.

47. The Committee was not ready to endorse the precise modalities of the facility as proposed, but requested the secretariat to prepare revised proposals, taking into account:

48. The secretariat was also requested to prepare a draft resolution and the changes needed in the Financial Regulations for eventual consideration by the Finance Committee, the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters, the Council and the Conference.


49. Review of Project Proposals to confirm Compliance with FAO’s Mandate (doc. FC 102/13) was received for information.


50. The Committee welcomed the decision of the Director-General to be consulted on the establishment of a Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities and supported the proposal.

51. The Committee noted the extra-budgetary nature of the Special Fund established under Financial Regulation 6.7 and observed that the financial risks were fully covered. It recognized that the Special Fund enabled the Organization to react swiftly in emergency situations, offered flexibility, met donor expectations, enabled FAO to play a more effective role in the UN system and allowed the Organization to increase its effectiveness in responding to emergency situations.

52. The Committee was informed that the Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities would be set-up during the course of this year with a target of US$2 000 000 by the end of 2003.

53. The Committee anticipated the presentation of a first report on the utilization of the Special Fund during its session in May 2004. At that time, further reporting on the Special Fund would be reviewed.


54. The Committee reviewed the Innovative Models for Leveraging Resources in Support of the Field Programme paper, which presented two separate issues:

55. The Committee noted the importance of the models proposed as providing an instrument for leveraging resources for the development of the field programme.

56. The proposal in Part A was received with satisfaction and endorsed by all members. Members expressed full support for the proposal, in view of the increasing role played by national entities, and the implementation of the national execution modality by other UN agencies, first of all UNDP. Its application in FAO was therefore strongly supported and there was general agreement that the Organization would benefit from its introduction. It was noted that support cost income would not be affected to the extent that the national execution modality took such costs into account, as per established practices.

57. The proposed Amendment to Financial Regulation 6.7 was endorsed by the Committee. The Committee, when endorsing the proposal in Part A, indicated that the proposed Amendment to Financial Regulation 6.7 would be reviewed by the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters and submitted to the Council for transmission to the Conference for approval.

58. The Committee also noted Part B of the document, concerning the audit regime applied under World Bank-funded projects, for which the External Auditor’s final opinion had been requested. The External Auditor mentioned that he had not been given the opportunity prior to the discussion to review the matter and would need to consult his head office. He underlined that this document introduced a new proposal for audit of the notes to accounts of FAO on the financial status of projects financed by the World Bank and that since this proposal involved additional work, the External Auditor would require more details to consult his office to react to this proposal. The Committee agreed that the discussions on this point would continue between the External Auditor, the secretariat and the Bank, and that an information note would be provided to the Committee on the results of such consultations.

59. The Committee noted the important step forward that the proposal concerning the arrangement with the World Bank would represent in the development of the field programme. It also noted that similar moves towards the streamlining of audit arrangements were under discussion throughout the international development community, notably in fora concerned with efforts to achieve the harmonization of administrative arrangements, in which FAO's interests were also represented. Most recently and specifically, discussions with IFAD had indicated that an audit approach similar to that presently proposed for the World Bank could be expected to meet with the approval of IFAD Governing Bodies.


60. The Committee took note of the information provided in doc. CFS 2003/INF/10.

Budgetary Matters


61. The Committee reviewed the proposals for the Summary Programme of Work and Budget (SPWB) 2004-05, contained in document CL 124/3, concentrating its consideration on the Budgetary Framework and the proposals for Chapters 5 (Support Services) and 6 (Common Services). Concerning the Budgetary Framework, particular attention was given to cost increases, amortization of the accrued liability for after-service medical care and risk assessment.

62. The Committee noted that the SPWB included presentation of two scenarios which were stated before the provision for cost increases as:

Some members indicated that they would like to see a zero nominal growth scenario be prepared.

63. The Committee reviewed the methodology adopted by the secretariat for calculating cost increases. It noted that apart from the exclusion of the currency effect on HQ-based general operating expenses, no change had been made in the methodology, but that the calculations had benefited from the new forecasting model introduced in 2002. It noted that on the basis of the exchange rate adopted for the PWB 2002-03, cost increases for 2004-05 were estimated to be 3.4 percent per annum (US$33.6 million), on top of which US$14.1 million was sought to match the required amortization of the accrued liability for after-service medical care, for a total of US$47.7 million. The Committee’s attention was drawn to the fact that US$2.1 million, relating to the increase in FAO’s share of the costs of the jointly funded activities of the Office of the UN Security Coordinator (UNSECOORD) for security of field staff, had also been included under cost increases.

64. The Committee noted the potential impact on cost increases of exchange rate fluctuations and, in particular, that the figure of US$47.7 million would rise to approximately US$104 million at the current rate of exchange (i.e. € 1 = US$1.10). It noted that the secretariat was proposing split assessments as a means to address exchange fluctuations both within and between biennia. The Committee recalled that it would be considering split assessments under a separate agenda item and therefore deferred discussion on this topic.

65. Without prejudice to agreement on the overall budget size, the Committee considered the cost increase calculations to be consistent with the agreed methodology. The secretariat confirmed that the cost increase assumptions would be critically reviewed and revised in the full Programme of Work and Budget (PWB) to reflect the latest developments for each item.

66. The Committee emphasized the importance of resolving the accrued liability for after-service medical care. It agreed that the problem would be exacerbated with time if action were not taken. It recognized that investment income, which had been used to partially fund the liability in the past, was not likely to be sufficient to eliminate the future liability, given the scale of under funding. Several members expressed the view that the best alternative for resolving the situation would be to approve the secretariat’s proposal for a biennial estimate of US$14.1 million for inclusion in the PWB starting from 2004-05 and continuing for the subsequent eleven biennia (depending on investment performance and subject to actuarial recalculation). The Committee agreed to consider the matter again at its September meeting with a view to making a definitive recommendation to the Council and accepted the secretariat’s offer to prepare an issue paper explaining the history and current status of after-service medical care liabilities. The Committee agreed that for purposes of preparation of the PWB 2004-05, the proposed US$14.1 million be included, with the caveat that the matter was still under review by the Finance Committee.

67. The Committee was satisfied with the programme and budgetary provisions for Chapter 5 and 6. It appreciated that the proposals reflected the staffing levels recommended by external management consultants, who had reviewed the staffing requirements for the Finance Division (AFF) and the Information Systems and Technology Division (AFI) to effectively carry out their work. Its attention was drawn to the concerns recently expressed by the Advisory Committee on Investments that the Treasury Branch’s capacity to manage investments might need to be further strengthened and requested the secretariat to make proposals in this regard, including the consideration of the possible application of investment income for this purpose, to its meeting in September.

68. Members of the Committee expressed divergent positions on the budget level for the next biennium, but it was noted that this particular aspect would be discussed at the Joint Meeting of the Programme and Finance Committees.


69. The Committee recalled that the Report of the 100th Session of the Finance Committee to Council had noted that “there was general agreement that the approved Programme of Work should be protected to the maximum extent possible from the effects of fluctuating exchange rates.” It recalled that, on the advice of experts, the US dollar should remain as the functional currency of FAO. The Committee also recalled that the split assessment methodology was recommended by a major international consulting firm with expertise in this area as being “the single most effective hedging strategy” available to the Organization to protect the Programme of Work from exchange rate fluctuations.

70. The Committee welcomed the secretariat’s update of the results of the latest analysis of the split between US dollars, Euro and other currencies in the Organization’s historical expenditures and budget. It was reminded of the current approach to minimizing the exchange rate risk during the biennium and between biennia and the respective advantages and disadvantages. Most members believed that these approaches were not sustainable in the long run if the principle of protecting the Programme of Work was to be upheld. It also reviewed the implications of split assessment for budget presentation and the revised appropriation, as well as the revisions to the call for funds, the treatment of arrears and the changes to the Basic Texts which would be required. The Committee felt that the in-depth exchange of views that took place on the issue was very useful.

71. Although the split assessment methodology as presented in the document would establish a legal obligation in two currencies for all members, the Committee was reassured that members could nonetheless pay the assessed contributions in any freely convertible currency which would then be converted into US dollars and Euro and credited according to the ratio approved by the Conference.

72. The Committee noted that present and proposed European Union members accounted for 38% of assessed contributions and requested information on the possibility of having EU members assessed in Euro only and other members in US Dollars only. It was informed that this option had been considered a less satisfactory solution as regards its effectiveness in protecting the Programme of Work and that the Special Reserve Account would remain exposed to the impact of currency fluctuations, since the requirement for Euros was currently 44%.

73. A view was expressed that the split assessment approach was burdensome for members and that organizations should be responsible for managing their resources in the economic environment in which they operate. The secretariat’s proposal was deemed to lack transparency as the approved budget, stated in consolidated US dollars, against which performance would be measured, would not be known until January in the first year of the biennnium for which it had been approved. The member holding this view felt that all members should be fully aware of the exchange rate impact in US dollar terms and should consider this along with cost increases and programme changes when establishing the budget level. The member concerned was asked to circulate its delegation’s preferred approach for review by the other members.

74. The Committee was informed that the current exchange rate of US$1.10 = € 1 represented a US$71.1 million increase in US dollars terms, although it implied no increase in Euro terms. If the PWB were required to absorb in full such an exchange rate fluctuation, the consequence would be a major reduction in staffing capacity. If the relationship US$/€ were to reverse during the biennium, the exchange rate fluctuation would have the opposite effect on purchasing power for the 2006-07 biennial budget. The secretariat restated its objective as eliminating the effect, whether loss or gain, of US dollar: Euro exchange rate fluctuations.

75. The Committee recognized that significant progress had been made on the issue. The majority of members broadly shared the view that split assessment represented an effective way forward to protect the PWB from exchange rate fluctuations. It was advised by the secretariat that decisions on the matter could be postponed but that uncertainties would reduce the options available to the Organization to find means to protect the PWB from the effects of currency fluctuation. Meanwhile, it agreed that the secretariat should proceed with the necessary preparatory activities so that the new approach could be implemented if so decided.

76. However the Committee felt that, as it was the first time that it had been confronted with a concrete split assessment methodology for implementation, it needed more time to fully appraise its implications and consult with respective governments in order to ensure that the best methodology was eventually selected. The Committee requested the secretariat to prepare an additional methodology that protected the PWB against exchange rate fluctuations within the biennium, but that did not shield member states from information on the impact of exchange fluctuations between biennia and to compare this to the secretariat’s methodology.

77. The Committee agreed on the importance of reaching a consensus view for transmission to Council, which it would endeavour to achieve during discussions at its September Session.


78. The Committee reviewed and accepted the proposed Scale of Contributions for the biennium 2004-2005 (see Annex II) set out in document FC 102/19 and endorsed the following draft resolution for transmittal to Council and Conference:




Having noted the recommendations of the Hundred and twenty-fourth Session of the Council;

Confirming that as in the past, FAO should follow the United Nations Scale of Assessments subject to adaptation for the different membership of FAO;

Decides that the FAO Scale of Contributions for 2004-05 should be derived directly from the United Nations Scale of Assessments in force during 2003;

Adopts for use in 2004 and 2005 the Scale as set out in Appendix __ of this report.

79. The Committee also discussed a working paper which contained a recent request from the Government of Argentina for a reduction in Argentina’s contribution to the FAO Budget for the calendar year 2003, along the lines of a similar reduction adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution 57/4B of 20 December 2002. It noted that the UN action did not have automatic implication for the apportionment of the expenses of the specialized agencies, as only the FAO Conference had authority to decide assessments for the Organization.

80. Members recognized that the UN action arose in the context of admission of new members and therefore the effect of reducing Argentina’s assessment for 2003 was counterbalanced by adjustments necessary to admit the new UN members.

81. In the case of FAO, a reduction in 2003 for Argentina would need to be distributed to the membership on a pro-rata basis, and retro actively since FAO’s scale for 2003 had been adopted by the Conference in November 2001.

82. Some members pointed out that other countries with difficult economic conditions usually postponed payments, a simpler option than seeking adjustment to assessment rates. The Committee therefore decided to note these matters for Council’s information.




83. The Committee considered the five Commission budgets jointly. Clarification was requested from the Legal Counsel on the necessity for the Committee to approve the budgets.

84. The Legal Counsel confirmed that the budgets required reporting to the Finance Committee, in accordance with Financial Regulation 6.7 and the relevant provisions of the agreements concerned concluded under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution.

85. One member requested that substantial differences between the contributions to/budgets of the Commission Trust Funds made in the previous biennium and the biennium under consideration, should be highlighted in the working paper.

86. The Committee reviewed and approved the budgets nem. con., as presented.

Human Resources Matters


87. The Committee took note of the information provided in document FC 102/23 on progress in human resources management issues. It noted that, as it had requested, base line information, projected time lines and performance indicators had been included in the report.


88. The Committee took note of the information provided in document FC 102/24 on the evolution of posts and various staffing trends.


89. The Committee took note of the information provided in document FC 102/25 on the work of the ICSC and UNJSPB and in particular of the new conditions of service for staff in the professional and higher categories and in the general service category that had financial implications for FAO.

Organizational Matters


90. The secretariat introduced the report and summarized the current methodology for equitable geographic distribution as detailed in paragraphs 11-15 of document CL 124/15. In this regard some members pointed out the severe under-representation of some regions.

91. The Committee recalled that the Council had decided that the current formula, including the system of desirable ranges based on the assessed contribution percentage of each member state to the regular programme, should be reviewed. Considering the various comments made by its members, the Committee agreed that it could not make a recommendation at this stage and requested the secretariat to study the matter further including clarifications of the methodology used by the UN and the outcome of the WHA deliberations on this issue, considering the importance of consistency with other UN organizations.

92. The Committee requested the secretariat to submit, by September 2003, a revised proposal which would indicate as well the advantages and disadvantages of each option. The report should also provide a table showing the impact of each option on the representation of all the member states.

93. The Committee decided to inform the Council at its next session that the issue had been discussed at the 102nd session of the Finance Committee and that further review of the options for the methodology should be conducted prior to submitting a recommendation to the Council.


94. The Committee took note of the information provided in doc. FC 102/27.

Other Matters


95. The Committee was informed that the Hundred-and-third Session was scheduled to be held in Rome from 19 to 20 May 2003. Furthermore, the Committee was informed that the Hundred-and-fourth Session was tentatively scheduled to be held in Rome from 15 to 19 September 2003. The final dates of the session would be decided in consultation with the Chairperson.


96. Under Any Other Matters, the Committee reviewed the Information Note on FAO’s new Field Security Policy as recently promulgated by the Director-General and took note of the report of the Secretary-General outlining a framework for accountability for the United Nations field security management system which was brought to the attention of FAO’s Governing Bodies at the request of the UN General Assembly. The Committee was also informed that the implications of this new policy and of the framework, including future budgetary requirements, would be reflected in the full PWB.


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