269. The Council noted the contents of the document CL 51/34 together with the comments of the Fifteenth Session of the Programme Committee 5.
270. The Council agreed that the new format and style of presentation used in The Work of FAO 1966–67 in “concise graphic and tabular form” was a substantial improvement over similar reports of the preceding biennium. It agreed that the future presentation should be characterized by descriptions of greater depth and objectivity of the major activities and an analysis of the results achieved and problems and difficulties encountered in implementation. The Council was also in general agreement that no radical change appeared to be necessary in the form of the document.
271. The Council agreed that there should be a clearer reference to important activities in the approved programme which could not be carried out during the biennium, and on the other hand, to new activities actually undertaken which were not included in the programme presented.
272. The Council endorsed the Committee's view that The Work of FAO 1966–67 was not adequately used by the Technical Committees of the 1967 Conference when they were considering the work of the various divisions in the 1966–67 biennium. This document should therefore be included as a separate item in the Agenda of the Conference. The presentation of work carried out by divisions and departments of the Organization should not repeat the contents of the paper which would be the only basis for the review of work carried out in the course of the biennium.
5 CL 51/5, paras. 101 – 112.
273. The Council considered the proposal of the Director-General for the preparation of the next biennial report on the Organization's field activities 1.
274. It noted a number of suggestions made by the Programme Committee at its Fourteenth Session which were designed to give a more concrete and detailed substance to the evaluation of these activities.
275. The Council therefore approved the proposed outline as amended by the Programme Committee and stressed the particular importance of providing the Conference with adequate and up-to-date data on such items as fellowships, field personnel and any country studies as would be possible in the time available.
276. The Council accepted the following recommendations of the Programme and Finance Committees regarding changes in the format of the 1970–71 Programme of Work and Budget:
1 CL 51/4
2 See paras. 220 – 223 above, 283 – 287 and 348 below.
To eliminate the table of Branch expenditures in the narrative of the divisional sub-chapters and substitute for it, on an experimental basis, an additional table at the end of each applicable sub-chapter showing the branch expenditures as well as including branch staffing information in the organization charts which appear at the end of each sub-chapter.
To present, as recommended by the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee of 14, a “Geographic Annex” showing by region or country the number of experts and expenditures for 1968–69 and 1970–71 with respect to UNDP/SF, UNDP/TA, Trust Funds (including FFHC) and UNICEF.
To show in a “Meetings Annex” meetings costs by division over two biennia, including travel of staff to meetings.
To eliminate Annex VIII “Summary of UNDP/TA Field Project Costs,” Annex IX “Summary of UNDP/SF,” Annex X “Trust Funds” and Annex XI “Trust Funds under FFHC,” since the basic information contained in these annexes is contained in other documents submitted to the Conference.
To regroup the chapters of the Budget as follows:
Governing Bodies and Executive Direction
Office of General Affairs and Information
World Food Congress
Administration and Finance Department
Fellowships and Junior Professional Trainees
Technical and Economic Programme
Plant Production and Protection Division
Economic and Social Department
Regional and Country Services
277. The Council considered a proposal that the list of publications in the Programme of Work and Budget contain greater detail than at present and requested that a more detailed presentation be developed by the Secretariat and included in the Director-General's Programme of Work and Budget for 1970–71. This presentation would be reviewed in due course by the Programme and Finance Committees and the Council.
278. The Council noted the Programme and Budgetary Adjustments as submitted by the Director-General to the Programme and Finance Committees, amounting to $815 150 excluding adjustments to cover the budget deficit for 1966–67 1. The Council further noted that the Committees had agreed with the adjustments as being generally in line with the proposals the Conference requested the Director-General to bear “in mind for implementation in the event of savings occurring during the coming biennium” (1968–69).
1 Para.1 of CL 51/5
279. At the recommendation of the Finance Committee, the Council approved the following transfers within the framework of these Programme and Budgetary Adjustments which appear to involve additional financial obligations for Member Nations in future years:
Junior Professional Training Programme ($34 300). This amount is in addition to $100 000 approved by the Fourteenth Session of the Conference (November 1967) to initiate this programme by reducing in this amount the total travel funds of the Organization. The additional amount is required to finance the costs of a training officer and secretary for 18 months in this biennium as well as for payment to trainees.
280. The Council also noted that the Programme and Finance Committees had agreed with further Programme and Budgetary Adjustments which the Director-General had submitted in order to implement the reorganization, which involved under the Regular Programme a total movement of funds of about 4.5 percent of the total biennial budget and 6 percent of the professional staff, or 52 professional posts, and a net increase of 8 professional posts under the Special Fund Agency Overhead Budgets.
281. The Council noted with some concern that as a result of the programme and budgetary transfers referred to in para. 278 above, the travel provisions had been increased by $16 150 and budgetary provisions for meetings had been increased by $134 139. However, about one half of the increase for meetings was in connexion with the Conference, the Council and Council committees, and the Ad Hoc Committee on Organization. The balance was intended for meetings to be held in cooperation with other international organizations or meetings which the Conference at its Fourteenth Session decided could be held if savings should be found.
282. The Council noted the additional sessions to the list approved by the Conference 1 which had been approved by the Director-General under the authority delegated to him by Conference Resolution 21/67. It expressed its concern over the increasing number of meetings, and recommended that the Director-General should review more critically proposals for additional sessions in the future.
283. While 28 sessions approved by the Conference had been cancelled or postponed, a total of 37 additional sessions had been approved by the Director-General, thus making a net increase of 9 sessions. Of the additional sessions, 5 involved Commodity Study Groups of the Committee on Commodity Problems and 3 involved subsidiary bodies of the Committee on Fisheries, for which the Conference recognized the Director-General might need to make exceptions because of the circumstances peculiar to these areas of work 2. The Council noted that 7 of the additional sessions had been approved by the Programme and Finance Committees, and that transfers from other budgetary codes had been effected to finance these sessions.
284. The Council requested that future reports should list any changes in attendance at approved sessions, in addition to reporting the additional sessions approved by the Director-General and the reasons for convening them. It further requested that information be furnished as to why previously approved sessions had been cancelled or postponed.
285. The additional sessions approved by the Director-General are listed in Appendix E to this report.
1 Revision of C 67/3 - Sup. 1 - Rev. 1.
2 Para. 621 of the Report of the Fourteenth Session of the Conference.
286. Following the recommendations of the UN Ad Hoc Committee of Fourteen 1, the Director-General submitted his first Annual Report of Budgetary Performance to Member Nations. The report had been circulated to Member Nations as an attachment to the Report of the Finance Committee, in order to avoid separate distribution. It was suggested that in future, reference be made to this important document on the cover sheet of the document which circulated the Annual Report to Member Nations.
287. The Council noted the usefulness of the report which presented a clear, concise and complete statement of the use, in the course of the 1966–67 biennium, of the budgetary resources under the Regular Programme.
288. The Council expressea some concern at the occurrence of a budgetary deficit in 1966–67 even though this represented a very small percentage of the overall budget and had occurred as a result of a set of extraordinary circumstances which had been fully explained to the Finance Committee. It also noted that a cash surplus of over $1 million had arisen at the end of 1966–67, and that budgetary adjustments had been proposed by the Director-General and approved by the Finance Committee so that the deficit would be absorbed during the current biennium, with the result that the total 1966–67 cash surplus would be distributed to Member Nations. Thus, no additional burden would be placed upon Member Nations. The Council concurred with the action which had been taken to absorb the deficit.
289. The Council also noted that the Director-General was taking steps to prevent the recurrence of a deficit by tightening administrative, budgetary and financial control, including particularly the introduction throughout the Organization of the divisional certifying officer procedure, the provision for strict accountability of officers receiving allotments to stay within the allotments, and the development of adequate work plans by divisions with a periodic central review to ascertain compliance with budgetary provisions and programme directives.
290. In endorsing the proposed action by the Director-General, the Council noted that the Finance Committee had requested that a report be presented to it at a subsequent session, explaining in detail how the new arrangements were working.
291. The Council noted that up to 18 October 1968, the following amounts had been received:
|Current contributions||22 805 177||83.1%||20 339 898||84.8%|
|Arrear contributions||601 589||54.1%||1 074 027||67.9%|
|23 406 766||21 413 925|
1 See paras. 220, 276 – 277 above and 348 below.
292. Details of contributions in arrears as at 18 October were as follows:
|Arrears Position as at 18 October 1968|
|Member Nations||1963 and prior||1965||1966||1967||Total Arrears|
|5 736||(1963)||-||-||8 878||29 073|
|Costa Rica||-||-||1 303||9 532||10 835|
|Dominican Republic||-||-||8 653||9 532||18 185|
|Ecuador||-||-||607||16 681||17 288|
|El Salvador||-||-||-||9 465||9 465|
|Guinea||-||16||9 532||9 532||19 080|
|Haiti||-||7 090||9 532||9 532||26 160|
|Eungary1||79 998||(1952 and prior)||-||-||-||79 998|
|Mali||-||-||-||5 705||5 705|
|Mauritania||-||-||261||9 532||9 793|
|Mexico||-||-||-||72 609||72 609|
|Nicaragua||-||-||4 120||-||4 120|
|Pakistan||-||-||-||59 799||59 799|
|Panama||-||-||9 465||-||9 465|
|Paraguay||-||7 105||9 532||9 532||26 169|
|Peru||-||-||-||28 484||28 484|
|Uruguay||-||-||30 979||30 979||61 858|
|Yemen||-||3 378||9 532||9 532||22 442|
|100 193||17 595||93 416||299 913||511 117|
1 to be paid in annual instalments in accordance with Conference Resolution 30/67.
293. With regard to the amount due from Bolivia, the Council noted that, inclusive of its 1968 assessment, $25 631.69 was now owing in accordance with the terms of the special arrangement proposed by the Government of Bolivia for the settlement of its obligations, as approved by the Thirteenth Session of the Conference (Resolution 33/65). Of this amount, $11 770.69 was payable in 1967.
294. The Council also noted with concern that the arrears position of Costa Rica and Uruguay was such that their positions as members of the Council would be in jeopardy as at 1 January 1969, in accordance with General Rule XXII.7, unless those Member Nations took early steps to regularize their positions.
295. Recognizing the importance to the Organization of receiving contributions when due, the Council appealed to all Member Nations in arrears to settle their outstanding obligations at the earliest possible date.
296. The Council noted that against an approved estimate of $680 000 for interest on investments and bank interest for the 1968–69 biennium, the Finance Committee now estimated that such earnings may amount to $1 250 000.
297. The Council at its Forty-Eighth Session had concurred with the Programme and Finance Committees that “the charge (normally 12 percent) levied by the Organization to cover technical and administrative services on Trust Fund projects does not constitute adequate reimbursement of the cost of such services, and that as a consequence the Regular Programme Budget, bears an undue portion of such costs.” The Council had therefore agreed that the Director-General should increase from 12 percent to 14 percent the charge for new Trust Funds administered by the Organization and that as regards existing Trust Funds (including Associate Expert Trust Funds), there should be a gradual transition from 12 percent to 14 percent aiming at a uniform application of the 14 percent rate by the end of the 1968–69 biennium.
298. At the current session of the Council the governments participating most actively in the Associate Experts programme conveyed to the Council their strong reservations regarding an increase of 14 percent in the particular case of Associate Expert Trust Funds. The Council was informed that neither the United Nations nor Unesco, the two major users of Associate Experts after FAO, intended to increase their existing 12 percent overhead charge to 14 percent.
299. While recognizing that the 14 percent standard charge does not fully cover the total overhead costs incurred by the Organization in operating Trust Funds, the Council nevertheless felt it necessary in the case of the Associate Experts programme, to reconsider the situation taking into account such factors as the increasing participation by Associate Experts in development assistance programmes; the possibilities of the scheme as a useful means of training the experienced staff who would be needed in the future; the importance which the main contributing countries placed upon maintenance of the current 12 percent charge; and the continuing application of a 12 percent charge by the other major participating agencies.
300. The Council therefore decided that, in terms of paragraph 219 (ii) of the Report of its Forty-Eighth Session, Associate Experts Trust Funds might at the Director-General's discretion be considered as constituting “special contributions to implement the Organization's Programme of Work” and that in such event the Director-General should continue to apply a 12 percent, rather than a 14 percent overhead charge for such Funds.
301. The Council examined the above accounts, and approved the External Auditor's Reports thereon. It noted that an appropriate resolution enabling the adoption of these accounts by the Conference will be submitted to it at its 1969 pre-Conference session.
302. United Nations Development Programme - Special Fund Sector, 1967. The Council noted the observations of the External Auditor concerning late delivery of equipment by a supplier, and errors in regard to ports of consignment caused by faulty marking of cases. This gave rise to losses, and the Council noted that a claim had been lodged with the supplier in question.
1 CL 51/5 and CL 51/5 Corr. 1.
303. The Council also noted the Finance Committee's recommendation that there should be an early review of the purchasing procedures of the Organization.
304. The Council, recognizing the serious threat of the plague of the desert locust to the economy of a great many Member Nations situated in its invasion area, considered the proposal of the Director-General for establishing an Emergency Fund for Initial Control Activities Against the Desert Locust as a valuable means through which effective assistance may be rendered to Member Nations during emergency outbreaks. The Council agreed with the suggestion of the Finance Committee that the emergency fund previously established within the Working Capital Fund for the control of livestock disease should be extended to cover also the desert locust. The Council accordingly recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:
1 Agenda item 29; see also paras. 238 – 242 above.
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Authority for the Director-General to Undertake Emergency Action for the Control of Livestock Diseases and to Carry out Initial Control Activities against the Desert Locust in Emergencies
Having examined the proposals of the Director-General to establish an Emergency Fund for Initial Control Activities Against the Desert Locust;
Noting with concern the serious resurgence of the desert locust plague and that the developing countries are facing serious losses as a result thereof;
Recalling that the Conference at its Thirteenth Session by Resolution 35/65 had authorized the Director-General, after consultation with the Chairman of the Finance Committee or another member of that Committee designated by him, and in the light of the recommendations of an advisory panel of technical experts, notwithstanding the provisions of Financial Regulation 6.3, to withdraw up to $500 000 from the Working Capital Fund, to finance initial emergency measures for the control of outbreaks of livestock diseases under emergency circumstances, which constitute a potential epizootic threat to livestock of other countries;
Decides to authorize the Director-General to withdraw up to $750 000 from the Working Capital Fund:
to finance initial emergency measures for the control of outbreaks of livestock diseases under emergency circumstances which constitute a potential epizootic threat to livestock of other countries;
to finance initial control activities against the desert locust in emergencies;
Provided that not more than $500 000 may be withdrawn in any one biennium for either the initial emergency measures for the control of outbreaks of livestock diseases, or for initial control activities against the desert locust, and that no expenditure will be incurred until the Director-General has consulted with the Chairman of the Finance Committee or another member of that Committee designated by him, and with the appropriate advisory panel referred to in this resolution;
Decides that the advisory panel established by the Director-General under Article VI.4 of the Constitution pursuant to Resolution 35/65, and comprising three experts of acknowledged competence in epizootiology and three alternates, each being a national of a different Member Nation, be maintained;
Requests the Director-General to establish, under Article VI.4 of the Constitution, an advisory panel comprising three experts of acknowledged competence in desert locust control with three alternates, each being a national of a different Member Nation;
Requests further the Director-General to report to the Council or to the Finance Committee, whichever meets first, immediately after funds have been withdrawn from the Working Capital Fund in accordance with this resolution; and
Decides that this resolution shall supersede Resolution 35/65 adopted at its Thirteenth Session.
305. The Emergency Fund may be used for the purchase of insecticides and equipment (not including aircraft) after an emergency situation had been established, as well as for the provision of technical personnel and transportation and other purposes to meet urgent requirements. The Council, while recognizing that in many cases it would be inappropriate to press for repayment from countries receiving assistance from this source, urged Member Nations to treat such assistance as a repayable loan, whenever possible, in order to derive maximum benefits for the Emergency Fund. The Council also called attention to the need for establishing terms of reference for the advisory panel to be established in connexion with the Emergency Fund.
306. Distinguishing between measures to combat the current plague, which it noted would probably last a number of years, and future emergencies against which the Emergency Fund was designed to make provisions, the Council recognized that the primary responsibility for locust control rested with individual governments and regional organizations, and emphasized the need for long-term planning for combatting the desert locust, as detailed in the Report of the Twelfth Session of the FAO Desert Locust Control Committee. The Council noted that existing available resources of these governments and regional bodies would be insufficient to cope with the immediate situations.
307. The Council noted the estimate made by the Twelfth Session of the FAO Desert Locust Control Committee 1, that US$ 4 628 400 will be needed during the coming 12 months over and above what can be provided by the governments in the invasion area and by the regional bodies. Accordingly, the Council requested the Director-General to appeal to all potential donors including governments, commercial firms and the UNDP for immediate assistance.
308. Recognizing the increasing and important role of FAO in coordinating this international effort, the Council agreed that under the concentration area “War Against Waste,” locust control work should receive adequate priority in the allocation of available resources and that a full report on the desert locust situation should be submitted to the Fifty-Third Session of the Council.
309. The Council had before it a report by the Director-General 3 on the progress of the FAO Coin Plan. The aims of the plan, as stated by the Director-General, are to put into everyday circulation for a generation objects with designs and texts promoting food and agricultural development, to raise funds from “seigniorage” for such development, and to provide a particularly appropriate reminder of the financial sacrifices which the richer peoples of the world must make in order to help the less privileged raise themselves out of hunger and want.
1 Paras. 41 – 44 of the Report of the Twelfth Session of the FAO Desert Locust Committee
2 Agenda item 29.
3 CL 51/36.
310. To date over twenty countries had decided to take part in the plan, while some thirty more were sympathetically considering participation. Certain members stated that their governments would not participate in the plan.
311. Among the States which had already issued coins was the Vatican. The Permanent Observer of the Holy See took the occasion to present to the Chairman of the Council and to heads of delegations a set of the eight newly issued Vatican coins.
312. The FAO side of the plan was being financed from a $30 000 revolving fund created from the 1963 Stamp Plan proceeds. It was expected to restore this, as well as to create a new trust fund for identifiable development projects from the sale of coins and from “seigniorage” donated by governments.
313. The Council approved the recommendations of the Finance Committee on the use of proceeds 1. It also expressed its appreciation to those governments which had decided to donate coins or “seigniorage” to FAO.
314. The Council was informed that FAO was the only major Organization in the United Nations family which did not contribute to the cost of medical coverage for retired and disabled staff and their dependents, and for the survivors of staff who died in service or after retirement, and noted the proposal of the Director-General to provide protection from early 1969 to former staff members and their families on the same basis and subject to the same conditions as the other major Organizations.
315. The Council further noted that the Director-General's proposal would encompass the following existing health plans:
The Italian national health plan (ENPDEP), which was available to staff stationed in Italy, and in which 89 percent of the Headquarters' staff participated;
The Major Medical Benefits Plan (MMBP), which was available to Headquarters and Regional Office staff;
Family Health Insurance Plan (FAMIP), which provided worldwide coverage especially for the benefit of field project staff;
Local plans at regional offices and field missions.
1 CL 51/6 - Part II, para. 110.
2 Agenda item 29.
316. The Council examined the following forecast made by the Director-General of the additional costs to the Regular Programme for such an extension of the health protection:
|1969||$ 6 000|
|1970–71||$ 15 500|
|1972–73||$ 20 000|
|1974–75||$ 31 000|
|1976–77||$ 46 500|
The Council was informed that an equal share of the overall costs would be borne by former staff members or their survivors.
317. The Council approved the Director-General's proposal, endorsed by the Finance Committee, and took note that the additional expenditure in 1969 would be met from existing budgetary provisions for common service costs, and that the estimated costs for 1970–71 would be included in the budget estimates for that biennium.
318. The Council noted that the revised estimate transmitted by the “Ente Nazionale di Previdenza per i Dipendenti di Enti di Diritto Pubblico” (ENPDEP) considerably reduced the amount of the deficit forecast, and that the under-provision in the 1968–69 Regular Programme budget for ENPDEP coverage was now estimated at $51 000. This budgetary deficit would be met by the saving resulting from the delayed introduction of the wage index adjustment in Rome salaries.
319. The Council noted that the Finance Committee did not feel that it could endorse the proposal of the Staff Council Representative that the Organization should also absorb the staff members' share ($26 000 of the ENPDEP deficit), and that the Committee had endorsed the Director-General's proposal to accept the ENPDEP offer to renew the agreement through 31 December 1970, which would mean an overall increase in contribution rates of approximately 36 percent.
320. The Council noted that the periodic review of the level of family allowances for staff in the General Service Category in Rome had been completed and, as proposed by the Director-General and endorsed by the Finance Committee, approved the revised amounts of:
Lit. 138 000 for a dependent spouse
Lit. 144 000 for each dependent child
Lit. 66 000 for each secondary dependent
321. The Council, during its discussion on the Joint Report by the Director-General and the Ad Hoc Committee on Organization 2 had noted the Director-General's proposal to commission a review of the internal management of the Organization within the framework of the structure approved by the Council 3.
322. The Council was informed that because of the importance that the Director-General attached to increasing the efficiency of the Organization as quickly as possible, he proposed to obtain outside management advice on a sector by sector study of the Organization, particularly directed toward improving its methods, systems, procedures and practices. As indicated in the report of the Twentieth Session of the Finance Committee, the Director-General was considering using the consulting services of the firm that had carried out a survey of the World Food Programme. The firm had advised that it could complete the FAO assignment over the period November 1968 – July 1969. To this end the Director-General had recommended, with the endorsement of the Finance Committee, that an amount of up to $150 000 be withdrawn from the Working Capital Fund to finance this expenditure for which there was no budgetary provision in the 1968–69 biennium.
1 Agenda item 29.
2 See Appendix F to this report.
3 See para. 91 – 99 above and 330 – 333 below.
323. Several questions were raised by members in the debate. In reply to a member who had asked why the FAO assignment had not been put out to tender, the Director-General explained that this was a consulting firm of international reputation which had been selected for the study of the World Food Programme from a broad selection of tenders in view of its lower standard rates and because it had quickly completed a satisfactory study in that case and already had knowledge of the workings of FAO.
324. As regards the question why the budgetary resources now available to the Organization could not be used to finance the study without resorting to the Working Capital Fund, the Chairman of the Finance Committee called the attention of the Council to the fact that the Organization was already faced with about $840 000 of additional demands against its budgetary resources for 1968–69 1. The exact extent to which these would materialize, and to which the Organization was in a position to absorb them would be considered by the Committee at its Spring session in 1969.
325. As regards consolidation, it was suggested that the study provided an opportunity to review the number of units in the Organization. While recognizing that advice given on procedures might throw up useful ideas on the consolidation of units, most members considered that the task of consolidation was the responsibility of the Programme and Finance Committees and the Director-General.
326. With reference to the Organization and Methods Branch, Management Services Division, the question was raised whether some small economies to offset the cost of engaging the outside consulting firm could not be obtained by delaying the establishment of the Division and of the Branch until the results of the studies became available. Furthermore, the firm could be asked to make concrete proposals on the type of organization and methods service which FAO should have. In addition, since the firm already had some knowledge of FAO, perhaps the cost of the study could be reduced to less than $150 000.
327. On the other hand it was also suggested that the Management Services Division which had just been created within the new structure of the Organization, should be requested to initiate the study. The Organization could then undertake to prepare a document specifying the terms of reference and scope of the studies, as well as the approximate cost foreseen, $150 000 or more, and circulate it for tenders. The results should then be studied by the spring session of the Finance Committee in 1969, for submission to the Fifty-Second Session of the Council. The delay involved would be a short one in the life of the Organization.
328. The Director-General emphasized that he had taken the initiative to make this proposal because of the importance that the attached to effecting an early increase in the Organization's efficiency. Owing to the small size of the Organization and Methods Branch in relation to the task to be done, it was necessary to have outside assistance if the Organization's efficiency was to be improved speedily. The consulting firm, in collaboration with the Division's staff, would go through the Organization sector by sector, and improvements, which the firm had estimated would take 12 to 18 months to implement, would be put into practice as soon as possible after each sector of the study was completed. The Director-General wished to have the results available by the Summer of 1969 in order to inform the Finance Committee and, if necessary, to be able to make adjustments to the Programme of Work and Budget before it went to the 1969 Conference. Any recommendations arising out of the study which might have a bearing on reducing the number of organizational units in order to effect consolidations would be submitted to the Programme and Finance Committees.
1 Para. 275 of this report.
329. The Council, by 21 votes to 1 with 6 abstentions, adopted the following resolution:
MANAGEMENT CONSULTING ADVICE
Considering the importance of increasing the Organization's efficiency and the benefits to be derived therefrom by Member Nations;
Noting that the Director-General in line with recommendations made by him and the Ad Hoc Committee on Organization (CL 51/9), proposed to engage outside consulting services to make a sector by sector study to improve FAO's methods, systems, procedures and practices;
Noting further that there is no budgetary provision in the 1968–69 biennium to cover the costs of such outside consulting services which are estimated to be of the order of $150 000;
Authorizes the Director-General to withdraw an amount of up to $150 000 from the Working Capital Fund to finance this expenditure in accordance with Financial Regulation 6.2(a); and
Requests the Director-General to make appropriate proposals concerning the reimbursement of this withdrawal to the next session of the Finance Committee.
330. The Council was informed that the Finance Committee had considered the actions to be taken on certain personnel matters, as suggested in paragraph 11 of the Joint Report by the Director-General and the Ad Hoc Committee on Reorganization 2.
331. With respect to “provisions for in-service training,” the Council noted that progress had been made in both current activities and in planning future activities.
332. The Council also examined the Director-General's proposals for Staff Selection Committees covering initially Headquarters and Regional Office posts through P-5.
333. The Council noted that the Finance Committee would consider at its next session the other matters which it had been requested to examine with the Director-General, in accordance with paragraph 11 of the Joint Report by the Director-General and the Ad Hoc Committee on Reorganization 2.
334. The Council noted that the Secretary-General of the United Nations had submitted to the General Assembly, on behalf of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (which includes the heads of all agencies under the United Nations common system of salaries, allowances, and other conditions of service), proposals for adjustments in the basic salary scale of staff in the Professional Category and above; he had also proposed, in the light of the substantial increase in educational costs, that the maximum payable for Education Grant for each eligible child should be increased from $700 to $1 000.
1 Agenda item 29; see also paras. 91 – 99 above.
2 See Appendix F to this report.
3 Agenda item 29.
335. The Council noted further that the proposals of the Secretary-General and the heads of the Specialized Agencies were based upon the recommendations of the International Civil Service Advisory Board (ICSAB), which has been reviewing for some time the basis of remuneration of staff in the Professional Category and above. As a result of detailed studies, ICSAB has confirmed the principle of relating changes in such remuneration to the movement of a composite international salary index, reflecting the movement of salaries in selected national civil services.
336. ICSAB had also concluded that, besides measuring the movements in salaries by the index referred to above, a survey of world market rates for types of Professional staff employed by the United Nations should be conducted in 1970. The purpose of such a survey - which would be repeated at four or five year intervals - would be to establish the level of remuneration which the United Nations agencies needed to offer to attract appropriately qualified people.
337. ICSAB recommended that in the meantime an interim salary adjustment was necessary. The composite international salary index provided ICSAB with evidence that, on the basis of salary movements since 1964, a five percent increase in gross salaries (equivalent to about 4.6 percent on net salaries) was justified.
338. In addition to proposing that an increase should be effected in the maximum amount of the Education Grant, ICSAB also recommended a modification in the rule governing cessation of Education Grant payments. It suggested that the grant should be payable for a period not to exceed four years of fulltime attendance at a university or equivalent institution; the grant would in any case cease when the student attained a recognized first degree.
339. In approving the ICSAB proposals on salary and Education Grant, ACC had added the recommendation that one existing five percent cost-of-living “post adjustment” should be incorporated within the new gross salary scale. This action would be offset by a reduction of one post adjustment level at all duty stations; it would therefore have very little effect upon take-home pay, but it would increase the salary on which pension is calculated.
340. In the report of its Forty-Ninth Session, the Council had noted that the Finance Committee would regularly review, and inform the Council of the outcome of, the interagency exploration through ICSAB of the remuneration for the Professional Category and above, in view of the significant administrative and budgetary implications which might arise, and that any substantive changes in the present system would require the approval of the Council. The Committee has done so and has endorsed the ACC proposals.
341. The Council was informed that if the ICSAB recommendations were approved by the United Nations General Assembly to take effect from 1 January 1969, the estimated net costs to the FAO Regular Programme of implementing the recommendations from that date would be approximately $580 000 during the present biennium.
342. Since the remuneration of FAO staff in the Professional Category and above is based on the common system followed by agencies in the United Nations family, the Council, as recommended by the Finance Committee, approved the implementation of the salary and Education Grant proposals to the same extent and with the same effective date as may be adopted by the General Assembly for the United Nations. The Council noted that the Director-General would submit to the next session of the Finance Committee his proposals for meeting the cost in the present biennium.
343. The Council approved three changes, recommended by the Finance Committee, to the Staff Regulations of the Organization:
Assistant Directors-General. The Director-General proposed that henceforth, in line with existing practice in the United Nations and the major Specialized Agencies, appointments to the rank of assistant director-general should be on a fixed-term basis for periods not to exceed five years, subject to prolongation or renewal. Such a policy would create no general problem in the case of persons recruited from outside FAO though a problem would arise if an FAO staff member holding a permanent or indefinite appointment, or a fixed-term appointment with more than five years to run, were to be promoted to assistant director-general.
The Director-General considered, and the Finance Committee agreed, that since it would be inappropriate for an officer who had held the rank of an assistant director-general to revert to a lower rank in the event that his appointment as assistant director-general should expire, his employment with the Organization should cease at the end of his employment as assistant director-general.
The Council concurred with the Director-General's proposal and approved the introduction of the following new Staff Regulation 301.045:
“Assistant director-general shall receive fixed-term appointments for periods not to exceed five years, subject to prolongation or renewal. If a staff member holding another type of appointment, or a fixed-term appointment with an unexpired term of more than five years, accepts a post with the rank of assistant director-general, his appointment status or fixed-term appointment shall be modified, as a condition of his acceptance, in order to be consistent with this provision.”
Termination for Health Reasons. The Director-General pointed out that a problem arising with increasing frequency during recent years was the employment status of staff members, who, without being incapacitated for work, were for physical, mental or emotional reasons unsuited to the positions to which they had been assigned and for whom no other posts commensurate with their qualifications were available within the Organization.
Termination for health reasons was normally limited to persons who would become entitled to a disability pension under the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund; however, such an approach was normally not warranted in cases where the staff were not permanently disabled, but only physically or psychologically unsuited for assignments. The alternative - separation for “unsatisfactory service” - might unjustifiably prejudice the staff members' future chance of employment.
In the light of these circumstances and following the general approach applied in similar cases by WHO, the Council approved the introduction of the following new Staff Regulation 301.0914, effective 1 January 1969:
“301.0914. The Director-General may, on the advice of the Organization's Medical Officer, terminate the appointment of a staff member who holds a confirmed permanent, indefinite or fixed-term appointment, if he considers that the staff member is unable to perform the duties assigned to him, because of physical or mental limitations, and that although the staff member would have been suitable for another post in the Organization commensurate with his qualifications, no such post is vacant.”
1 Agenda item 29.
The Council noted that the new Staff Regulation would be implemented by relevant Staff Rules, as required, governing conditions for payment of suitable termination indemnities and providing appropriate safeguards for the rights of staff members similar to those applicable in cases of termination for health reasons under Regulations 301.091 and 301.0912.
Appeals Committee. The FAO Appeals Committee recommended to the Director-General certain changes in its terms of reference, as defined by Staff Regulation 301.111, with a view to achieving greater precision; to providing for the appointment of two alternate Chairmen; and to establishing a special procedure to apply when neither the Chairman nor the Chairmen were available. The Council agreed that Staff Regulation 301.111 be amended to read as follows:
“301.111. The Director-General shall establish a Committee within the Organization to advise him in cases of appeal by individual staff members regarding a grievance arising out of disciplinary action or arising out of an administrative decision which the staff member alleges to be in conflict, either in substance or in form, with the terms of his appointment or with any pertinent Staff Regulation, Staff Rule or administrative directive. The Committee shall consist of two members nominated by the Director-General, two members elected by the staff as a whole, and an independent Chairman appointed by the Council. The Council shall appoint two alternate Chairmen to serve when the Chairman is unavailable; if the Chairman and the alternate Chairmen are unavailable, the remainder of the Committee may select an ad hoc Chairman who shall not be a staff member.”
344. Following its approval of revised Staff Regulation 301.111, providing for the appointment of two alternate Chairmen of the FAO Appeals Committee, the Council appointed His Excellency Mr. Alister Donald McIntosh, Ambassador of New Zealand to Italy, an alternate Chairman of the Committee.
345. The Council noted that Building D was not expected to be available before 1973. While appreciative of the efforts of the Italian Government, the Council expressed the hope that the Director-General would continue to pursue the question of the earliest possible release of this building. The Council noted that the Director-General had proposed to rent, from 1 January 1969, a building sufficiently large both to allow the re-grouping of all staff presently housed in two outside locations and to accommodate the additional staff foreseen for 1968–69 and, hopefully, for 1970–71. The building being considered would also leave space for the further accommodation of approximately 200 persons.
346. The Council also noted that the Director-General proposed to utilize for this purpose in 1969 the amount of $412 320 included in the 1968–69 budget for additional accommodation, and the amount of $100 000 being held in reserve from savings in the regular budget as well as contributions from UNDP Agency costs and other non-Regular Programme sources. The Council noted further that this would require an increase in expenditure on accommodation of approximately $550 000 in 1970–71, but that in any event the cost of present rented accommodations was expected to require an additional $150 000 in that biennium.
347. The Council endorsed the recommendation of the Finance Committee to authorize the Director-General to enter into a lease for the proposed new premises. Several members enquired whether it would not be possible to utilize any excess space available to sub-let office accommodation for Permanent Representatives to FAO or to make available space for delegations during Conference and Council periods. The Council requested the Director-General to look into the matter in the light of the comments and suggestions made and to report back to the Council, through the Finance Committee.
1 Agenda item 29.
348. One member of the Council asked that a reservation be recorded, to the effect that the recommendations of the Committee of Fourteen had been incompletely followed: the Council had not discussed in any detail the level of the budget which the Director-General intended to propose to the next session of the Conference. The Director-General had submitted to the Council only an approximate percentage increase. It was recognized, however, that the absence of debate on this matter was due to the fact that it was the first time that the Council was reviewing it in the light of the report of the Ad Hoc Committee of Fourteen. His delegation would request that the matter be more closely examined in 1970, before the preparation of the Programme of Work and Budget for the biennium 1972–73 2.
349. The Council was informed that, as of 30 September 1968, i.e. after the appearance of the first three regular issues, net revenue from CERES, the FAO Review, amounted to $43 200. Pursuant to Conference Resolution 11/67, the Council authorized the immediate use of an amount of $ 30 200 out of this revenue, as recommended by the Finance Committee. This amount would defray the cost of employing for twelve months a business manager ($18 400) and a research assistant ($6 700), and also of certain contractual services (translation, photography, travel - $5 100).
350. The Council noted the other matters covered in the reports of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Sessions of the Finance Committee, and endorsed the Finance Committee's conclusions thereon.
351. The Council noted the other matters covered in the reports of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Sessions of the Programme Committee, and endorsed the Programme Committee's conclusions thereon 6.
1 Agenda item 29; see also paras. 220 – 223, 276 – 277 and 286 – 290 above.
2 See CL 51/PV-21.
3 Agenda item 29.
4 Agenda item 29; see documents CL 51/5, CL 51/5 - Corr. 1 and CL 51/6 - Part II.
5 Agenda item 31; see documents CL 51/5, CL 51/5 - Corr. 1 and CL 51/6 - Part I.
6 Freedom from Hunger Campaign: (a) Review of Contractual Arrangements with Non-governmental Organizations; and (b) Establishment of a Sub-Committee of the FFHC Advisory Committee of Non-governmental Organizations (see paragraphs 11 and 64 – 68 of CL 51/6 - Part I).