211. The Council noted the Programme and Budgetary Adjustments as submitted by the Director-General to the Programme and Finance Committees, amounting to $473 050 excluding the adjustments required in connexion with the further implementation of the reorganization. The Director-General was in a position to find this amount within the current budget of the Regular Programme.
212. The Council noted that the Programme and Finance Committees had agreed with the programme adjustments and that the Finance Committee had approved the between-chapter transfers necessary to effect the programme and budgetary adjustments, with the exception of those which appear to involve additional obligations for Member Nations in future years. At the recommendation of the Finance Committee, the Council approved budgetary transfers for fixed-term appointments for 7 Professional and 3 General Service posts. The cost of these posts in 1969 is $130 100. All of these posts were included in the Director-General's Programme of Work and Budget for 1970–71 at a biennial cost of $307 050.
213. The Council noted that the programme adjustments and budgetary transfers, which had been effected during the 1968–69 biennium, reduced the budgetary provision for Travel by about $83 000, lower than that authorized by the Conference. The total budgetary provision for Travel for the 1968–69 biennium stood at $2 522 330.
214. The Council further noted that as a result of the programme adjustments effected in 1968–69, the budgetary provision for Meetings exceeded by about $154 000 the total appropriation approved by the Conference. The Council noted, however, that the increase was chiefly related to the Conference, the Council and Council Committee sessions ($106 150). There were additional meetings in the Fisheries and Commodities programme totalling $56 250; the Council recalled that the Conference had indicated that exceptions might need to be made because of circumstances peculiar to these areas of work 1. The amount of $56 250 was offset by reductions in the meetings provision in other Divisions resulting in a net increase of about $48 000 in addition to the Conference, Council and Council Committee sessions.
1 Report of Fourteenth Conference Session, para. 621.
215. The Council recalled that the Fourteenth Session of the Conference had approved the list 2 of sessions and conferences to be financed under the Regular Programme but had recognized that in exceptional circumstances certain unscheduled sessions might be necessary. The Conference therefore had authorized the Director-General to make exceptions when in his view such action was necessary for the fulfillment of the Programme of Work as approved by the Conference, subject, however, to these exceptions being reported to the next session of the Council.
216. The Council noted that since the 37 unscheduled sessions approved up to 1 October 1968 were reported to its Fifty-First Session, 24 additional sessions had been approved. Of these three had been recommended by the Conference or Council or implied in their reports, 12 had been recommended by statutory bodies and 8 had been included in the programme adjustments approved by the Programme and Finance Committees in April 1969. Of this total of 24, eight were sessions of Study Groups of the Committee on Commodity Problems and one was a session of the Working Party of the Advisory Committee of Experts on Marine Resources Research. The Council noted that excluding the eight sessions for which budgetary adjustments had been approved, all these additional sessions were being financed within budgetary provision for meetings or involved no meetings costs to FAO.
217. The Council noted that to offset the 61 previously unscheduled sessions 65 approved sessions had been cancelled during the biennium. Of these, 18 were cancelled because the work of the body was deemed completed or had been handled at another session, ten were cancelled because the periodicity of the sessions was reduced from two to one per biennium and 14 were cancelled at the request of the host government or participating organization. The additional sessions approved since 1 October 1968 by the Director-General and the cancelled and postponed sessions are listed in Appendix E.
2 Revision of C 67/3 - Sup. 1 - Rev. 2.
218. The Council noted that the report submitted by the Director-General 1 had been changed in two respects: on page 4 the Session CO 856 listed as Category VI-5 should read VI-6 and on page 8 the Session AN 863 which had been changed to Category 2 should remain Category 3.
219. The Council was informed that in accordance with the recommendations of the Programme and Finance Committees 2, from 1970 an up-to-date schedule of meetings would be issued every four months.
1 CL 52/26.
2 CL 52/3.
220. The Finance Committee, at its Twenty-First Session had suggested that the Council might wish to give consideration to the desirability of recommending to the Conference that the requirement for submission to the Council of budgets of Article XIV Bodies be abolished by an appropriate amendment to the Principles adopted by the Ninth Session of the Conference with respect to Conventions and Agreements (Resolution 46/57 and Appendix D - Section VII - Vol. II of the Basic Texts). The Council had considered it desirable that prior to taking any action in this regard, the matter be referred to the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters (CCLM) for further study.
221. The Council's attention was drawn to the budget of the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Near East for 1970, as approved by the Commission at its First Session (February 1969) which contained expenditures for the travel of the Secretariat and for convening the sessions. It was suggested that the Director-General examine the possibility of the Organization bearing these costs as part of the expenditure of the Secretariat, as provided under Article XII of the Agreement establishing the above Commission. Some members drew the Council's attention to the recommendation of the Fourteenth Session of the Conference 3 on the importance of placing the essential work of locust control within the Regular Programme, and requested the Director-General to take appropriate measures to this effect.
3 Report of the Fourteenth Session of the Conference, para. 323.
222. In the Joint Report submitted to the Fifty-First Session of the Council by the Director-General and the Ad Hoc Committee on Organization 1 special attention was drawn to the following personnel matters because of “their important influence on policy formation and effective functioning of the Organization”:
inadequate representation of developing regions, in the higher positions at FAO Headquarters, particularly in positions which would ensure their participation in the formulation of the general policies of the Organization;
need to give priority in the appointment of Headquarters officers to those who have gained experience in developing the developed countries;
employment conditions of experts in the field;
difference in career prospects between Headquarters and field staff;
establishment of Selection Committees for the appointment of staff;
formation of rosters of pre-selected experts and consultants for short-term assignments;
increase in appointments at junior and intermediate professional levels;
provisions for in-service training;
provisions for rotation between field and Headquarters staff.
The Council had decided that these matters should be examined by the Director-General and the Finance Committee.
223. The Director-General duly reported to the Finance Committee, which considered that the submission represented satisfactory initial progress on both the immediate and the longer range measures. The Committee had further decided to continue following the action taken in these fields.
224. The Council discussed the individual items in the Director-General's report, set out in Appendix F with particular emphasis on efforts to facilitate and increase the rotation of staff between Headquarters and the Field, noting that the next Session of the Finance Committee would provide the Director-General with a report showing, division by division, the number of staff brought into Headquarters from the field and the number who had moved in the opposite direction. Some members considered that it was necessary to ensure more adequate representation of developing areas in key positions at Headquarters. Others, however, stressed the importance of maintaining the level of FAO's technical competence. The Council also considered the feasibility of enhancing the career concept in the employment of field project officers; the role of the newly established system of Selection Committees; increasing recruitment of staff at the P-1 through P-3 levels, and further development of the Junior Professional Career Training Programme; the importance of thorough briefing, extended language instruction activities, and a continuing programme of in-service training. In connexion with the Selection Committees, strong views were expressed for and against the proposition that these should be based on geographical representation.
225. The Council agreed with the Finance Committee that the Director-General's report indicated satisfactory progress in dealing with the personnel management questions raised in the Reorganization Plan, and approved his intention of proceeding further in the directions set out in his submission.
1 CL 51/9.
226. The Council at its Fifty-First Session had agreed that “Consideration should be given to meritorious promotions of outstanding technicians so that such technicians could be properly remunerated and retained by the Organization…” 1, and had noted that the Director-General would make proposals in this respect for consideration by the Programme and Finance Committees.
227. The Council was informed that the Director-General planned to submit detailed criteria, guidelines, and procedures for such promotions to the joint session of the two Committees in spring 1970. He would give due weight to the practice and experience of other agencies within the common system.
1 Report of Fifty-First Council Session, para. 94.
228. The Council noted that up to 15 June 1969 the following amounts had been received:
|1969||Comparative figures for 1968|
|Current Contributions||11 344 241||11 055 603|
|Arrears Contributions||923 330||261 302|
|12 267 571||11 316 905|
229. The Council noted that arrears of contributions at 15 June 1969 amounted to $939 043, and appealed to those Member Nations concerned to liquidate their obligations at the earliest possible moment. At the same time the Council concurred with the suggestion of the Finance Committee that the Regional Representatives be called upon to reinforce their efforts to collect outstanding commitments.
230. The Council noted that as the arrears due from Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Guinea, Haiti, Paraguay and the Yemen Arab Republic exceeded the contributions due from them for the two preceding calendar years, those countries would have no vote at the forthcoming session of the Conference, in accordance with Article III.4 of the Constitution.
231. In order to avoid this situation arising, the Council urgently appealed to those countries to regularize their position at the earliest possible moment, and certainly before the next session of the Conference. The position of the arrears of these countries was as follows:
|Prior to 1966||1966||1967||1968|
|Bolivia||19 676||8 878||10 968|
|Dominican Republic||8 134||9 532||10 968|
|Guinea||9 029||9 532||10 968|
|Haiti||6 577||9 532||9 532|
|Paraguay||6 646||9 532||9 532||10 968|
|Yemen Arab Republic||2 859||9 532||9 532||10 968|
232. While the arrears of contributions due from Guinea exceeded its assessments for the two preceding years, the Council was informed that the Government had indicated that a payment equivalent to $26 500 was in process of being paid. Receipt of this amount would ensure Guinea's right to vote at the forthcoming session of the Conference.
233. The Council noted that as at 31 May 1969 the actual expenditure and established commitments of the Organization in respect of the biennium 1968–69 totalled $52 045 971 against allotments issued of $60 011 000.
234. The Council noted that the Director-General had entered into a lease for rented premises as from 1 May 1969 for a period of six years and that the release of Building D, presently occupied by the Italian Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, was not expected to be available until approximately four years after the date that construction began on the new Ministry of Posts building.
235. The Council was informed that approximately 30 offices surplus to Secretariat needs not required in 1969 would be available to delegations during the 1969 Conference and Council Sessions.
236. The Council, noting the request raised by one member for the rental of office space on a long term basis to Permanent Representatives to FAO, requested the Director-General to ascertain the practice of other UN Agencies in this respect and to report this to the Twenty-Second Session of the Finance Committee and subsequently to the Council. The Director-General was also requested to make proposals to this Committee regarding the method of allocating rooms to delegations during the 1969 Conference and Council Sessions.
237. By Resolution 42/55 the Conference at its Eighth Session decided that the FAO Scale of Contributions would in future be derived directly from the United Nations Scale of Assessments as in force during the calendar year of the Conference session, and that such Scale should be applicable to the two following years.
238. The Council noted that the proposed Scale for 1970–71, as set out in Appendix E to this Report, included the assessment of Mauritius which attained independence on 12 March 1968 and became a full Member of the Organization as from that date. Other changes in the proposed FAO Scale for 1970–71 arose from differences in the United Nations Scales of Assessment for 1967 and 1969 from which the FAO Scales for 1968–69 and 1970–71 respectively were derived.
239. The Council therefore recommended that the Conference adopt the Scale set out in Appendix G subject to any changes that may arise due to the admission of new Members at the forthcoming session of the Conference, or any change that might arise in the United Nations Scale of Assessment for 1969.
240. The Council therefore submitted the following resolution to the Conference for its consideration:
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Scale of Contributions 1970–71
Having considered the Report of the Fifty-Second Session of the Council;
Decides to adopt for use in 1970–71 the Scale of Contributions set out in Appendix … which is derived from the United Nations Scale of Assessments for 1969.
241. One member, noting that the proposed assessment of his Government was substantially higher than that of 1968–69, observed that sudden increases of such a magnitude could create difficulties for the Member Nation so affected. He suggested that, in future, attempts should be made to avoid drastic upward changes in the assessment of any Member Nation and advised that his Government was raising the matter with the United Nations Committee on Contributions.
242. Remuneration of Staff in the Professional Category and Above. At its Fifty-First Session the Council had approved the implementation in FAO of changes in the salary and post adjustment rates of staff in the Professional category and above, and in Education Grant - as recommended by the International Civil Service Advisory Board (ICSAB) and the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) - to the same extent, and with the same effective date, as might be adopted by the General Assembly for the United Nations. The Council was informed that the General Assembly, on 21 December 1968, had authorized increases as of 1 January 1969 in salary rates and in maximum amount of Education Grant, as well as in post adjustments, and that accordingly the Director-General had put the same changes into effect for FAO staff in the Professional and Director categories as of the same date. These were:
The gross pensionable salaries of all staff in the Professional and Director categories were increased by approximately 9.8 percent, made up of a global increase of 5 percent on the previous rates, plus an amount derived from incorporation within the new gross rates of the equivalent of one hitherto non-pensionable “post adjustment” (a cost-of-living factor amounting to between 4 and 5 percent of net salary, depending on grade level).
The incorporation of one post adjustment within the new pensionable gross rates had been offset by a decrease of one post adjustment level in the duty station classification of most localities. Thus, Rome, as of 1 January 1969, went from Class 3 (plus 15 percent) to Class 2 (plus 10 percent) against the base of Geneva, as of 1 January 1966 = 100. The net or “take-home” pay increase for Professional staff ranged between 4.2 percent and 5.6 percent, reflecting differences in grade and dependency status.
The maximum reimbursement for Education Grant was increased from $700 to $1 000 a year. In addition, the flat sum payable for boarding costs in instances where they are not billed by the school were increased to $500 per school year, within the new $1 000 maximum.
243. Salaries and Allowances - Director-General and Deputy Director-General. The authority given by the Council for the Organization to follow the lead of the United Nations General Assembly in implementing the changes in remuneration did not extend to the posts of Director-General and Deputy Director-General. The Council noted that the legislative bodies of ILO, Unesco, and WHO had already approved identical adjustments, effective 1 January 1969, in the emoluments of their executive heads and deputy executive heads, in general line with the changes approved for the remuneration of the professional staff.
244. The Chairman of the Finance Committee explained in detail the considerations leading to the amounts approved by these three agencies as of 1 January 1969 for their executive heads and deputy executive heads.
245. In the light of these developments, the Council submitted for consideration by the General Committee of the Conference, the establishment for the Director-General, as of 1 January 1969, of a gross annual salary of $47 000 ($30 100 net), as compared to the present $43 000 gross ($28 100 net) with a post adjustment rate of $1 200 per class (dependency rate).
246. The Council also approved the establishment for the Deputy Director-General, as of 1 January 1969, of a gross annual salary of $37 500 ($25 225 net) as compared to the present $34 000 gross ($23 300 net) with a post adjustment rate of $996 per class (dependency rate).
247. In arriving at its recommendation, the Council took into account the views of the International Civil Service Advisory Board (ICSAB) that in determining the salaries and allowances of their top official posts, the organizations should act consistently. It also referred to the action by the Thirteenth Session of the Conference (1965) in approving increases in the emoluments of the Director-General equivalent to the measures taken by ILO, Unesco, and WHO.
248. The Council noted that the Finance Committee had approved the maintenance without change of the total amounts payable to the Director-General and the Deputy Director-General for salary and post adjustment, pending review by the Conference of the emoluments of the Director-General and by the Council of those of the Deputy Director-General.
249. Methods of Establishing Salaries for Professional Staff. The Council, recalling that ICSAB had requested the agencies in the United Nations Common system to work out the general outline and detailed methodology for a study of “world market rates” as a basis for future adjustments in the professional pay scales, noted that at its most recent session ICSAB had concluded that it would be undesirable to proceed with the survey, since the theory of world market rates was not capable of practical application in the context of the international organizations at the present time.
250. Rome Post Adjustment Classification. The Council noted that the adoption of the new Professional salary and post adjustment rates had resulted in the change of the duty station classification of Rome for post adjustment purposes, from Class 3 (plus 15 percent) to Class 2 (plus 10 percent). Since, as previously agreed by the Council, there would be no change in post adjustments from Class 2 to Class 3 until the special time-to-time cost-of-living index administered by ILO international civil servants in Rome reached 115, and since the Rome post adjustment was currently in the region of 109, it was unlikely that there would be a change in the duty station classification of Rome before mid-1970.
251. The Council was informed that, in line with the Council's consideration of the results of the last Rome/Geneva comparative survey, the Expert Committee on Post Adjustments (ECPA) had agreed that a new Rome/Geneva price comparison would be undertaken in the autumn of 1970, with a view to presenting the results to ECPA at its 1971 session.
252. Linguistic Balance. The Council was informed by the Finance Committee, that, with a view to ensuring better linguistic balance among the staff of the United Nations Secretariat, the General Assembly had passed Resolution 248OB (XXXIII) which not only authorized a substantial expansion in United Nations language training facilities, but also requested the Secretary-General to provide that, with effect from 1 January 1972, promotion from one grade to another, applicable to posts ranging from P-1 to D-2, for staff subject to geographic distribution, should be conditional upon adequate knowledge of a second official language. It also provided that staff who are qualified in two official languages would receive increments every ten months instead of every 12 months.
253. The Council was also informed that the implications of this decision for other organizations in the United Nations common system were being examined on an interagency basis: ICSAB had already agreed to deal comprehensively with this aspect of the matter in the light of further submission by the agencies.
254. In considering the action by the General Assembly, the Finance Committee had expressed the view that the application of such arrangements did not seem appropriate in an organization such as FAO in which technical competence is the primary consideration. One member of the Finance Committee who had been absent from its discussions on this subject, indicated that he could not have shared this view if he had been present. Differing opinions were expressed by members of the Council on the conclusion of the Finance Committee during a comprehensive discussion of the question of “language incentives”. The Council agreed on the desirability of providing greater scope for action to the Organization's staff by stimulating and facilitating increase in the knowledge and use of more than one official language. In this connexion, the Council welcomed the expansion of the Organization's language training programme and instruction facilities.
255. The Council also agreed that technical competence, as the key factor in recruitment and utilization of staff, could not but be enhanced by increased language versatility.
256. There were varying opinions, however, regarding the validity of linking promotion and within grade advancement to “adequate knowledge of a second official language”. The view was further expressed that such a linking would be discriminatory against staff members whose mother tongue was not an official or working language of the Organization.
257. The Director-General agreed that in the continuing interagency discussion on the complex question of linguistic balance and language incentives, he would take into full account the views expressed by the members of the Council and the matter would be pursued with the Finance Committee.
258. Second Annual Report of Budgetary Performance. The Council considered that the Director-General's Second Annual Report of Budgetary Performance to Member Nations presented a clear, concise and complete picture, in convenient form, of the pattern of expenditures in 1968, as compared to the budgetary provisions. The Council noted as particularly useful the comparison between expenditures and unobligated balance at the end of the first year of the biennium, as presented in Table II annexed to the Director-General's report.
259. Withdrawal from the Working Capital Fund. The Council considered the proposal made by the Director-General to cover the estimated extra cost of the increases in Professional staff remuneration and education grant by withdrawal from the Working Capital Fund. The estimates amounted to $485 000 in 1969, but the Finance Committee had decided that at this stage the withdrawal should not be in excess of $335 000, in view of some savings which appear to be available to the Director-General.
260. The Council, therefore, adopted the following resolution:
WITHDRAWAL FROM THE WORKING CAPITAL FUND
Noting that the salary and education grant increases recommended by the International Civil Service Advisory Board (ICSAB) had been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations for implementation as of 1 January 1969;
Recalling that the Council at its Fifty-First Session approved of such increases to the same extent and from the same date as might be approved by the General Assembly;
Noting further that the additional cost for such increases under the Regular Programme is estimated to be $485 000 in 1969 of which $150 000 is at present expected to be covered from savings within the 1968–69 budget;
Authorizes the Director General, in accordance with Financial Regulation 6.2 (a) to withdraw an amount of up to $335 000 from the Working Capital Fund to finance the additional expenditure; and
Requests the Director-General to make appropriate proposals to the next session of the Finance Committee for reimbursement of this withdrawal.
261. Use of Revenue from “Ceres - FAO Review” 1. On the recommendation of the Finance Committee, and on the understanding that expenditure charged to revenue for the development of “Ceres - FAO Review” will be kept within the amount of firm advertising commitments and sales, the Council approved additional expenditure for personal services including contractual services in the amount of $18 950. This amount is additional to that of $30 200 authorized by the Council at its Fifty-First Session, and to the amount of $13 000 for reproduction and mailing costs authorized under Conference Resolution 11/67. Thus, total expenditure charged to “Ceres” revenues in 1969 will be as follows:
|- Business Manager P-4||17 500|
|- Temporary Assistance||12 650|
|Travel, Business Office||4 000|
|Contractual Translation||8 400|
|Other Contractual Services||6 600|
|Reproduction and Mailing Costs||13 000|
|$ 62 150|
1 See also paras. 26 to 31 above.
262. Appointment of External Auditor. The Council shared the views of the Finance Committee that the External Auditor should in the future pay even greater attention to the effective use of the resources of the Organization, and should draw attention to any major inefficiencies noted during the course of the audit.
263. The Council agreed to re-appoint the Comptroller and Auditor-General of Great Britain for a further period of two years commencing with the accounts for the year 1970, and accordingly adopted the following resolution:
APPOINTMENT OF THE EXTERNAL AUDITOR
Noting that the Finance Committee recommended the re-appointment of the present External Auditor of the Organization;
Recognizing the effective services of the External Auditor;
Decides to re-appoint the Comptroller and Auditor-General of Great Britain as External Auditor of the Organization for a further period of two years commencing with the accounts for the year 1970.
264. The Council noted the other matters covered in the report of the Sixteenth Session of the Programme Committee.
265. The Council approved the proposals put forward by the Director-General for temporary rearrangement of seating arrangements in the Plenary Hall for the Fifteenth Session of the Conference which would be carried out at minimum expense, and adopted the following resolution:
SEATING ARRANGEMENTS IN THE PLENARY HALL
Recalling the request made to the Director-General to consider the possibility of improving the seating arrangements in Plenary for delegations and staff in order to remove the “classroom atmosphere” which has resulted from the present seating arrangements in the Plenary Hall and the agreement at its Fifty-First Session that no changes in the Plenary Hall would be effected for the Fifteenth Session of the Conference;
Recognizing the desirability of temporary improvements using existing furniture and equipment, such improvements to be carried out with the minimum expenditure;
Requests the Director-General to effect the proposed seating arrangements as shown in the scale plan presented to its Fifty-Second Session 1; and
Requests the Director-General to continue his negotiations with the Italian Government for the creation of a permanent solution.
1 CL 52/37.