251. The Council endorsed the proposals of the Director-General concerning the format and method of presentation of the Programme of Work and Budget 1972–73 as presented in document CL 55/36, having regard to the views and recommendations of the Programme Committee at its Seventeenth and Eighteenth Sessions, and of the Finance Committee at its Twenty-Third and Twenty-Fourth Sessions.
252. The Council noted that the programme-budget format for the regular funds was based on the Areas of Concentration. It noted further that UNDP and other extrabudgetary funds would be included to provide a complete picture of integrated objectives of FAO, even though Conference action would be on the Regular Programme only.
253. The Council recognized that the introduction of programme budgeting in FAO was still in its early stages, and that further revisions would be needed as the system was more fully developed in the future. It underlined the opportunities this offered for establishing an order of priorities in programmes and recommended that the Programme Committee and the Finance Committee should review the draft Programme of Work and Budget along the same lines.
254. The Council recommended the inclusion of a table showing the allocation of Agency Overhead Funds to organizational units in the 1972–73 Programme of Work and Budget. The Director-General was ready to provide an Annex setting forth Agency Overhead Funds from all sources by Departments and Divisions for the 1970–71 biennium in the 1972–73 Programme of Work and Budget but omitting Annex VIII (UNDP/SF-Agency Costs - Approved as of 1 January 1969 Budgetary Provision) of the 1970–71 document.
255. The Council noted that an Organizational Annex would be provided in the 1972–73 Programme of Work and Budget for information purposes. It noted that this Annex would include for each Department/Division the usual organization chart and establishments table showing any shifts in staffing patterns, and a table showing all the sub-programmes allocated to each Division. Shifts in resources would be indicated in narratives, and there would also of course be an Introduction to the whole Programme of Work and Budget dealing with the major issues involved therein, including the needs of the developing countries.
256. The Council also noted that the summary of recommendations of Regional Conferences held in 1970 was now available in a separate document 1, and that therefore Annex XI (Summary of Recommendations of Regional Conferences held in 1968) of the 1970–71 Programme of Work and Budget need not be included in the 1972–73 document.
257. The Council recommended that the following amendment to the Financial Regulations be adopted by the Conference at its Sixteenth Session (new language underlined -language to be deleted shown in brackets):
3.3 The budget estimates shall be presented on a programme-budget basis and divided [by function] into Chapters and programme objectives, and where necessary into programmes and sub-programmes [sub-chapters; chapters and sub-chapters shall be divided by object of expenditure into articles and where necessary into subarticles]. The budget estimates shall include the programme of work for the financial period, such information annexes or explanatory statements as may be requested on behalf of the Conference or the Council and such further annexes or statements as the Director-General may deem appropriate.
1 CL 55/15.
258. The Council concurred with the views of the Programme Committee that there should be one integrated document including both the Regular Programme and field activities of FAO, and dealing with FAO's activities on a programme and not an organizational basis.
259. The Council also agreed to the proposed outline for the presentation of the document but considered that there might be some flexibility especially during the transition to the new pattern.
260. The Council noted the Reports of the Programme and Finance Committees on the progress in implementing the recommendations of the outside management consultants for improvements in the efficiency of the internal management of the Organization. It noted in particular the new organizational arrangements resulting in a substantial reduction in secretarial posts and considered that similar improvements should be sought in the clerical and professional areas.
261. The Council agreed to the Director-General's proposal to transfer the European Regional Office from Geneva to Rome and to amalgamate it with the former Area Service for Europe, North America and South-West Pacific. The Council noted that the staffing of the regional offices had been surveyed and substantial savings from reductions in General Service staff had been effected.
262. The Council noted that the Director-General had presented to the Finance Committee a proposal for the special upgrading, on a personal basis, of certain staff members of outstanding merit who for various reasons were not able to progress in their careers under the Organization's normal promotion system. It noted the Committee's reservations on implementing the scheme in the absence of a satisfactory staff evaluation system. Several members expressed concern that no such evaluation system was in force throughout the Organization.
263. The Council requested the Director-General to submit to a future session proposals for a scheme of special personal upgradings based on the discussion in the Council and appropriate consultations with the Finance Committee and ICSAB.
264. General Service Salary Survey. The Council examined the Report of the Twenty-Fourth Session of the Finance Committee on the General Service pay dispute which had analysed the situation with great clarity. It particularly noted the very substantial increases in pay which had occurred since the last salary survey took place in 1964–65. It also heard the recommendations of the Director-General, and the views of the Staff Council.
265. The Director-General pointed out that the Guiding Principles contained ambiguities, which had led to the Staff Council objecting to the methods adopted in the 1969 survey, whereas the Finance Committee were now objecting to various interpretations made in the Report of the Joint Working Party on Salaries. He felt however that there were two factors justifying an increase in the scale: first, that the 1969 survey had omitted banks, one of which the Joint Working Party had found to be a very good employer; second, earlier surveys had been conservative in matching grades in FAO against jobs outside. He felt there was sufficient evidence available in the Report of the Joint Working Party to justify an increase of 8.33 percent in the scale.
266. The Staff Council representatives generally agreed with the Director-General, while considering that the noninclusion of banks in the survey had been a minor point.
267. A majority of the Council expressed regret that members of the staff of an Organization devoted to the interests of humanity as a whole should have gone on strike. Several members of the Council referred to the salaries paid to similar categories of local staff in their Embassies in Rome, which were lower than those paid to FAO staff. They recognized that the staff of FAO should be treated fairly, but that the Member Nations also should be treated fairly. Several members urged that the salaries of General Service staff should be determined, as are the salaries of the Professional staff, by international machinery.
268. In view of the importance of staff/management relationship and personnel management matters, it was suggested that a special ad hoc committee of the Council should be set up to examine in depth the entire staff/management relations problem.
269. Many members referred to what they termed the state of malaise in the Organization. They felt that the strike, which was unfortunate, was only a symptom of deeper causes of discontent and disaffection. It was suggested that the Council hold during its next session in June 1971, a special meeting in camera to discuss administrative matters relating to recruitment, training, placement, in-service training and promotion of the employees and any grievance machinery, and other related matters in the administration of the Organization.
270. The Council concluded that:
the present salaries were at a level which enabled the Organization to recruit and retain all the staff it needed in the General Service category without difficulties; moreover the staff had the benefit of 5 percent increases in salary every time the salary/wages index moved 5 percent, which ought to ensure that they kept in step with Italian salaries;
the arguments presented in the Joint Working Party Report and by the Director-General for further increases in pay were not acceptable, for the reasons set out in the Finance Committee Report;
the cost to the Organization of the increases which had already taken place and were expected to take place under the present arrangements which linked the staff with the salaries/wages index was too high; the effect on the next budget was serious; it would be even more serious if the proposals either of the Joint Working Party or of the Director-General were accepted;
the Guiding Principles would need revision because of the difficulties in interpreting them, which had contributed to the problems which had arisen; and since these difficulties were leading to a state of affairs in which the Organization might be paying much higher salaries than was necessary in order to obtain appropriately qualified staff;
the Finance Committee's first recommendation, the conduct of a new survey, would be expensive, difficult to organize and the discussion which would take place within the Organization over its conduct as well as the results which it produced could lead to further disturbance of the staff morale;
another course should be adopted along the lines of the alternative suggested by the Finance Committee; this would be to continue the present salary scale, adjusted periodically according to the movements of the salaries/wages index, until the ICSAB had considered and made recommendations about the Guiding Principles, and a new survey based on these principles was completed;
at its next session in June 1971, it would examine personnel problems, and particularly staff/management relations;
the governing bodies of the Organization, the Conference and Council, should be regularly kept informed of the state of the staff/management relationship;
the Director-General's proposal to add three incremental steps to the top of the General Service salary scale for grades 1 to 5 inclusive, with a two-year waiting period for each of these steps, should be implemented; it was noted that the estimated cost per biennium would be $50,000.
271. The Council requested that the members of the Staff Council explain to the staff the reasons why it was unable to go along with the proposals of either the Director-General or the Joint Working Party, and expressed the hope that the staff would understand the situation.
272. Professional and Higher Categories. The Council, having examined paragraphs 98 to 103 of the Report of the Twenty-Fourth Session of the Finance Committee, authorized the Director-General to implement the same changes in the gross and net salary scales of FAO staff in the Professional and Higher categories, and with the same effective dates, as are adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
273. The Council approved the Director-General's proposals to amend Staff Regulations 301.033 and 301.0331, on Education Grant, to read as follows:
“Subject to maximum amounts as established by the Council the Director-General shall also establish terms and conditions under which an education grant shall be available to a staff member serving outside his recognized home country, whose dependent child is in full-time attendance at a school, university or similar educational institution.”
“Eligibility for payment of the grant shall begin at the beginning of the scholastic year following the child's 5th birthday and shall continue until the end of the scholastic year in which the child's 21st birthday occurs.”
274. Grading of Regional Representatives. The Council examined the proposal of the Director-General to grade at the level of Assistant Director-General (ADG) the posts of Regional Representatives for Africa; Asia and the Far East; Latin America; and the Near East. As the Santiago post was already graded at the ADG level, and the Regional Representative for the Near East had the grade of ADG on an ad personam basis, implementing the proposal only involved the upgrading of two D-2 staff members to ADG.
275. The Council also noted the reservations of the Finance Committee with regard to this proposal, expressed at its Twenty-Third Session.
276. Several members expressed the view that the hesitations of the Finance Committee were justified on the grounds that, whereas in some regions both the level of the functions of the post and the quality of the incumbent might warrant a grading of ADG, this might not necessarily be the case in other regions. They therefore advocated that each case be examined with caution and on its own merits.
277. Most members, however, upheld the Director-General's contention that the level of responsibilities of all the posts in question fully justified the ADG rank, and that furthermore, uniformity of grading was essential to highlight the great responsibility which must be borne by the incumbents of these important posts.
278. The Council therefore approved the proposal of the Director-General to grade at the ADG level the posts of the Regional Representatives for Africa, Asia and the Far East, Latin America and the Near East.
279. Grading of Associated Regional Officers. There was considerable discussion on the proposal of the Director-General to upgrade a selected number of Associated Regional Officer posts from P-4 to P-5. Some members expressed the opinion that the deferral and re-study recommended in the Finance Committee Report should be upheld and that no immediate action should be taken, especially as they felt that such upgradings represented an escalation in grades, which was already evident both at Headquarters and in the Regions. Some members felt that the Council could have arrived at a decision more easily had the reasons behind the Director-General's proposal been more adequately expressed in the paper before the Council. Other members supported the Director-General's proposal on the grounds that it was important to improve the technical competence in the Regional Offices so that the benefits of improved project identification and implementation would be available to Member Nations. The Council noted the view expressed by a few members that these upgradings should be taken as part of the review, reorganization and delegation of functions and authority to Regional Offices. Some members, however, felt that this raised some wider issues and should not be linked with the proposed upgrading of posts.
280. The Council approved the proposal of the Director-General on the basis of the Director-General's assurance that the present incumbents of the posts to be upgraded would not be automatically upgraded, but that there would be a proper selection; only those considered fully qualified for the upgraded functions would be promoted. The Council noted that the comments made by various members with regard to the scope and extent of functions, volume of work, etc., would be kept in mind when effecting the promotions and that the Council would be further informed on the matter at its June 1971 Session.
281. The Council took note of the Annual Report for 1969 and agreed with the comments by the Finance Committee. It considered the presentation to be good and the table attached to it to be of value reflecting the changes over the year between the budgetary provisions and the performance.
282. Status of Contributions and Contributions in Arrears. The Council noted that up to 20 November 1970, the following amounts had been received:
283. Details of contributions in arrears as at 20 November 1970 were as follows:
Arrears Position as at 20 November 1970
|Member Nations||1966 and prior||1967||1968||1969||Total|
1 Represents arrears instalments and current assessments overdue under Conference Resolution 33/65. Excludes instalments to be paid in 1971 and future years.
284. With regard to the amounts due from Bolivia, the Council noted that the Government had notified the Director-General, by Note dated 7 September 1970, that payment of US $51,129.38 will be effected during their current fiscal period.
285. Recognizing the importance of receiving contributions when due, particularly during the current biennium when the Organization will be called upon to meet exceptionally heavy unbudgeted expenditures, the Council appealed to Member Nations in arrears to remit these amounts at the earliest possible moment and requested all Member Nations to ensure that current contributions were settled in the years of assessment.
286. Status of 1970–71 Expenditure. The Council noted that as at 31 October 1970, the cash expenditure ($24,500,000) and unliquidated obligations ($6,900,000) recorded in the books of the Organization in respect of the biennium 1970–71 totalled $31,400,000 against allotments issued of $35,000,000 (approximately 50 percent of the 1970–71 budget appropriations).
Regular Programme - 1968–69 (C 71/5)*
United Nations Development Programme - Technical Assistance Sector - 1969 (C 71/6)*
United Nations Development Programme - Special Fund Sector - 1969 ( 71/7)*
Freedom-from-Hunger Campaign - 1969 (C 71/8)*
European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease - 1969 (C 71/9)*
World Food Programme - 1969 (C 71/10)*
Trust Funds - 1969 (C 71/11)*
287. The Council reviewed the above accounts taking note of the Finance Committee's comments when it approved the Auditor's Report. The Council noted that an appropriate resolution enabling the adoption of these accounts by the Conference would be submitted to its 1971 pre-Conference (Fifty-Seventh) Session.
* FAO Conference document (Sixteenth Session of the Conference).
288. The Council noted that the total unbudgeted increases in staff remuneration would amount to approximately $3,300,000 for 1970–71.
289. It noted furthermore that an amount of about $1,650,000 would be forthcoming from savings derived from economies that were being effected throughout the Organization in order to meet part of this cost. The Council agreed with the recommendation of the Finance Committee that the balance of the cost, i.e., an amount of up to $1,650,000, be withdrawn from the Working Capital Fund.
290. The Council noted that, when the amount to be withdrawn from the Working Capital Fund was finally known, the method of reimbursement would be reviewed by the Finance Committee at a future session.
291. The Council adopted the following resolution:
WITHDRAWAL FROM THE WORKING CAPITAL FUND
Noting that unbudgeted increases in remuneration of Professional staff resulting from changes in post adjustments and basic salary scales and of Headquarters General Service staff remuneration in the 1970–71 biennium are expected to be of the order of $3,300,000;
Further noting that the Director-General had agreed to absorb $1,650,000 by economies within the approved Budget;
Authorizes the Director-General, in accordance with Financial Regulation 6.2(a), to withdraw an amount of up to $1,650,000 from the Working Capital Fund to finance additional expenditure resulting from increases in remuneration of Professional and Headquarters General Service staff;
Requests the Director-General to make appropriate proposals for reimbursement of the amount withdrawn to a future session of the Finance Committee.