54. This chapter summarizes the main achievement of the Organization during the biennium. It follows the structure of the Programme of Work and Budget 1996-97. In addition to describing the achievements, some coverage is given of work that could not be completed. Tabular information is provided at the Major Programme and Programme level on the Appropriation and expenditure for the Regular Programme and the extent of Field Programme delivery related to Trust Funds and UNDP, Extra-budgetary Emergency activities and the Technical Cooperation Programme and the SPFS. For the technical programmes, tabular information is also provided on planned outputs and on those introduced during programme implementation to respond to changing circumstances and to meet requests for assistance from Member Nations. As indicated earlier, to supplement this report, the outputs and their implementation status have been placed on the FAO Internet site (http://www.fao.org/unfao/bodies/pir/), together with links to PWB 1996-97 and to the responsible division, so that more detailed information on programme implementation can be obtained, if desired.
|Regular Programme||US$ `000|
|Over/(Under) Spending, US$ `000||993|
|Over/(Under) Spending, %||6%|
55. This Major Programme covered support to Governing Bodies' meetings and services to
other FAO meetings, as well as use of Headquarters conference facilities for consultations
by accredited Government representatives and for non-FAO meetings. Indicators of activity
are given in
|Interpretation provided (days)||8 470||9 043|
|Translation (million words)||29||22|
|Circular Letters (policy level communications)||60||92|
|Circular Letters (other communications)||1 060||808|
|Agreement Letters re: FAO Meetings||80||73|
|Amendments to correspondence channels (pages)||870||600|
|Duration of conference/Council sessions (days)||42||32|
56. A major effort was made to achieve savings and increased efficiency in governance. The number of days that the Governing Bodies (Conference and Council) met in 1996-97 was 25% less than in 1994-95, with savings estimated at US$ 4 million. Furthermore, the adoption by the FAO Conference of Resolution 13/97 on the Review of FAO Statutory Bodies abolished 16 bodies and set in train action that could lead to the possible abolition of a further 95 bodies.
57. An overall reduction in the length of meeting documentation saw an effective reduction of approximately 25 percent in the number of words translated, and corresponding savings of about US$ 2.4 million. The number of interpretation days provided for servicing meetings of all categories increased by over 6.7 percent compared to 1994-95, due mainly to the World Food Summit (WFS) and its preparatory process. Additional needs were met through use of contract staff.
58. The expanded use of Headquarters conference facilities for consultations by accredited Government representatives including negotiating bodies outside normal working hours and for non-FAO meetings, resulted in an increase of over 30 percent in overtime hours performed by the regular staff servicing these facilities. Related costs for non-FAO meetings were, of course, recovered. The number of policy level letters to Heads of State or Government ministers grew by over 50% because of the need to keep national authorities informed about the Organization's activities in a period which included the World Food Summit. In contrast, reductions in the number of other circular letters and agreement letters to host Governments, primarily related to meetings, reflected both the effort to convene less meetings and progress in the decentralization of meetings.