Ninety-seventh Session of the Finance Committee
Rome, 17 - 22 September 2001
Statistics of Personnel Services
1. The Director General, as in previous years, presents to the Finance Committee statistics on personnel services in graphs and corresponding tables 1 to 10.
2. The first three graphs/tables provide data on the evolution of posts, grouping them into three major groups, as follows: a) Posts approved by the Conference in the Programme of Work and Budget (PWB), b) Posts established outside the PWB with a duration of more than one year, and c) Temporary posts with a duration of less than one year.
3. Graphs/tables 4 to 9 provide statistics on demographics over the period 1994 to 2001. Data on staffing refer to staff holding fixed-term or continuing appointments.
4. Table 10 provides information on the number of contracts of short-term staff and non-staff human resources during the past one year.
Chart/Table 1: Evolution of Posts from PWB 1998/99 to PWB 2000/01
Table 1 compares the approved PWB 2000-01 posts with those actually established as at 30 June 2001. The grand total shows that the PWB 2000-01 included 35.5 more posts than were actually established as at 30 June 2001. The higher overall number of PWB posts is mainly attributed to subsequent downsizing in the Regional Office Operations Branches and in the Field Operations Division (TCO) due to the on-going restructuring of Field Operations. Other differences in post counts are due to delays in the establishment of certain new posts and final adjustments to the Management Support Service structure implemented at Headquarters. It is noted that all such variations between the PWB 2000-01 and PERSYS are duly reflected in the PWB establishment proposed for the 2002-03 biennium.
Chart/Table 2: Posts established outside the PWB for more than one year
Chart/table 2 provides information on posts with a duration of more than one year which have been established outside the PWB. The majority of these posts are field project and APO posts, and an increasing number of Headquarters posts funded by groups of projects. The increase of general service staff under the heading `Pool Accounts' from 118 to 158 is mainly due to the enlargement of the Temporary Assistance pool.
Chart/Table 3: Temporary posts with a duration of less than one year
Chart/table 3 shows temporary posts with a duration of less than one year. These posts are used as buffers for temporarily locating staff who are being transferred or separated in order to allow their old posts to be filled again or abolished, and/or their new posts to be vacated or established. They are also used to temporarily assign specific tasks to staff members outside the scope of the actual post. Temporary posts filled with short-term staff have not been included in this chart/table, as they are included in table 10. As can be seen from the chart and table on general service posts, the use of this type of temporary posts for redeployment of staff assigned to regular programme activities has been reduced from 56 to 11.
Chart/Table 4: Evolution of staff
Chart/table 4 reflects the implementation of the downsizing of the Organization as a
whole and the decentralization of activities from Headquarters to other established
offices. Between 30 June 1994 and 30 June 2001, the size of the staff was reduced in total
by 1,468 staff from 5,314 to 3,846 (27.6%), including 506 professional and above (25%) and
962 general service staff (29%). The staff in the Regional and Sub-regional Offices has
increased by 196 from 360 to 556 (54%), in the professional and higher categories from 132
to 250 (89%) and in the general service category from 228 to 306 (34%).
The decrease of staff in the professional and higher categories from 612 to 190 (69%) and a similar decrease of general service staff from 616 to 275 (55%) reflects a significant reduction of field project operations.
Chart/Table 5: Staff turnover - Appointments and Separations
Chart/table 5 provides information on the number of staff members on fixed-term or continuing contracts appointed to, or separated from posts in the professional and higher, APO and NPO categories. The table shows that from 1 January 1994 to 30 June 2001, 1,412 staff members were appointed to such posts while 2,115 separated, resulting in a decrease of 703 in the total size of the staff. The previous chart/table (4) showed a reduction of staff in professional and above categories of 506. The difference between the two figures is explained by staff initially appointed on short-term contracts whose appointments were later converted to fixed-term, general service staff promoted to the professional category and some staff moves from WFP to FAO which are considered as transfers and not as appointments.
Chart/Table 6: Number of staff by location and gender
One of the important human resources policy objectives of the Organization is to increase the number of female staff in the professional category. Chart/table 6 shows the evolution of staff by gender and location, grouping together professional and above, APO and NPO. Despite the overall reduction of staff by 506, the table shows a net increase of 24 female staff at all locations from 348 to 362, reflecting an increase from 17% to 24% of female staff across the Organization, and from 21% to 28% at Headquarters.
Charts/Tables 7 & 8: Average age and length of service, and average age -Trend
Chart/table 7 provides information on the average age of current staff and on the
average age at the dates of appointment and separation, as well as the current average
length of service and that at separation. The data relate to staff at Headquarters and
decentralized offices in the professional and higher categories holding fixed-term or
continuing appointments. APO, NPO and field project staff are excluded from this analysis.
The difference between the average age at appointment and at separation is 8 years at
senior level and 9.6 years at professional levels. (Senior levels 51.6 years on
appointment and 59.6 years on separation, professionals 42.7 years on appointment and 52.3
years on separation.) The average length of service of senior level staff at the date of
separation is 16 years, that of professional staff 14.3 years.
Chart/table 8 shows that the average age of staff has remained constantly at a high level over the period 1994 to 2001. The fluctuations in average age on appointment and separations in the senior level staff category is due to the small population of staff in this category.
Chart/Table 9: Projection of staff retirements and separations
Based on the staffing situation as at 30 June 2001, two scenarios are projected: (1) staff reaching the mandatory retirement age of 62 years; (2) staff reaching the age of mandatory retirement (62) or the age of 55 with 25 or more years of contribution in the UN pension plan (which is usually considered as a reasonable option for leaving the Organization on early retirement, having in mind the provisions of the UN Pension Plan). Chart/table 9 shows that 75% of the senior level staff (D-1 to DDG), 40% of the professional staff (P-1 to P-5) and 28 % of the general service staff on board as of 30 June 2001 will have reached the mandatory retirement age of 62 years by the year 2010. The high rate of projected retirements at the senior level is explained by the relatively high average age of staff in this category.
Table 10: Number of short-term staff- and non-staff human resources contracts issued by location
Table 10 reports on the number of short-term staff and non-staff human resources contracts issued during the periods from 1 June 1999 to 30 June 2000 and from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001. The figures are broken down by location (FAO Headquarters and Outside Headquarters) and staff category. A notable increase in the use of such resources can be observed. This allows the Organization to quickly adapt to the changing requirements.