152. The Council noted the Programme Committee's recommendation for approval of the Programme and Budgetary Adjustments in the 1970–71 biennium which were presented to the Nineteenth Session of the Committee (Rome, April - May 1971) 2.
153. The Council noted further that the Finance Committee called attention in the Report of its Twenty-Fifth Session (Rome, April 1971) 3 to the establishment of five fixed-term posts in 1970–71 to be financed from within-chapter transfers and contingencies, which would expire at the end of 1971, and to the fact that the continuance of such posts in the next biennium is proposed in the draft Programme of Work and Budget for 1972–73. After hearing the explanations of the Director-General, the Council, in approving the creation of these posts on a fixed-term basis in 1971, expressed the view that any appointments appearing to involve continuing commitments for Member Nations should not be made in the future prior to consultation with the Finance Committee, and to Council approval where necessary.
154. The Council continued its review of the activities of selected divisions of the Organization by considering a report on the activities and programmes of the Personnel Division, the first in a series of reviews of the units of the Administration and Finance Department. In accordance with a decision of the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Council 5, the preliminary review of this report had been carried out by the Finance Committee 6. It concurred with the Finance Committee's views, subject to the following remarks.
155. The Council stressed the urgency of introducing into the Organization a fair, rational, and scientific, system of staff evaluation as a means of ensuring the most effective use of the manpower available. It concurred with the view of the Finance Committee that such a system was essential if a really satisfactory method of promotion was to be evolved, and requested the Director-General to report to a future session on the progress made in implementing a staff evaluation system.
156. The Council endorsed the proposals of the Director-General with regard to the training of staff in modern management techniques, languages, and other fields in which such training would be of direct benefit to the Organization. It was suggested that the need for training might to some extent be reduced by the adoption of a policy of fixed-term appointments for a greater number of staff, who should not in general require training to the same extent as staff permanently on the rolls of the Organization.
157. It welcomed the fact that considerable savings had accrued from manpower surveys of secretarial posts, and that such surveys were to be made of clerical posts, and requested the Director-General to extend the survey programme to other areas and levels.
1 CL 56/PV-8 and CL 56/PV-18.
2 CL 56/3 para. 126.
3 CL 56/3 paras. 195–196.
4 CL 56/PV/13 and CL 56/PV-14.
5 Report of the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Council, para. 130.
6 CL 56/3, paras. 246–254.
158. The Council, noting that the report on the activities of the Personnel Division made no reference to long-term projections of personnel needs, suggested that such projections, which would have to be made jointly by the Personnel Division and the operating divisions, could serve a useful purpose, not only for the Organization but also for Member Nations which, on the basis of such projections, could themselves prepare long-term training programmes for their nationals with a view to qualifying them for service with the Organization.
159. With regard to the problem of recruitment in general, the Council expressed concern that completely satisfactory recruitment methods, leading to the reduction of delays, had not yet been established. A satisfactory recruitment and promotion system must be objective; it must not only be fair but must be seen to be fair. Member Governments could, however, the Council felt, play an important role in facilitating recruitment for the Organization.
160. The Council emphasized the need, in recruiting staff to ensure that they were proficient in any of the unlimited working languages of the Organization and, to the extent possible, had a good working knowledge of at least one other working language; after recruitment the Organization should make every effort to assist staff in enhancing their proficiency in other working languages.
161. The Council noted with satisfaction the establishment, by the UN General Assembly of a Special Committee for the Review of the United Nations Salary System. It requested the Director-General to convey to the Special Committee the Council's views on the results which it hoped the Committee would achieve, including, in particular, the hope that the recommendations of the Special Committee would lead to a considerable simplification of the present complicated United Nations system of salaries, allowances and other benefits, and an enhanced efficiency of the UN system generally. It concurred with the view of the Finance Committee, expressing satisfaction that the Special Committee's terms of reference included an examination of the basis for determining General Service levels and expressing the hope that arrangements would be made so that General Service salaries, like Professional salaries, could be determined at a central point on a “common system” basis, thus contributing to the solution of a problem which has caused difficulty in many agencies. It also felt that it would be very desirable for the Special Committee to make a detailed study of the problems relating to the non-resident's allowance.
162. The Council studied with interest a report by the Director-General 2 on the activities of a Special Committee on Management/Staff Relations set up within the Organization, under the chairmanship of Ambassador Brynolf Eng of Sweden, to make proposals for the improvement of relations between the management and the staff of the Organization. It expressed appreciation of the very important work of Ambassador Eng and the other committee members, and noted that they were continuing their work.
163. The Council heard a statement by the representative of Italy to the effect that his government had found it possible, under a very liberal interpretation of Article XIII of the Headquarters Agreement between the Host Government and the Organization, to contribute to the solution of the difficult problem of the FAO Commissary by extending the use of Commissary facilities to locally-recruited General Service staff, and that an inter-ministerial working group was currently studying the limitations and means of implementing this policy. It hoped that the problem of exemption of non-local General Service staff from payment of the Italian registration taxes on leases, which was presently under study in the Italian Ministry of Finance, would receive an equally satisfactory solution, and expressed appreciation to the Italian Government for its sympathetic approach to questions which had created a serious morale problem for the Organization.
1 CL 56/PV-14.
2 CL 56/22.
164. The Council concurred in general with the views of the Director-General and of the Finance Committee 1 on the recommendations of the Special Committee on Management/Staff Relations. It noted that the implementation of many of these recommendations was the sole responsibility and prerogative of the Director-General, who was required to seek Council approval only when they had budgetary implications. It nonetheless wished to formulate its views both on the general question of management/staff relations and on several specific points raised by the Committee's recommendations.
165. The Council considered that since even minor grievances could have a serious effect on morale, every effort should be made to solve problems before they had assumed major proportions; this was true in particular of the problems of the field staff. The Council emphasized the need to intensify all efforts which tend to provide a framework for the conduct of human relations between staff of all categories and all nationalities, on the one hand, and the administration on the other, as well as communications between all levels in order to ensure a continuing dialogue and the effective participation of all staff in the management of the Organization. In this regard the Council was certain that the Director-General would succeed in creating an atmosphere of confidence and cooperation. Noting that the Director-General considered this report to be in the nature of a “progress report”, it requested him to keep it informed at future sessions of further progress.
166. After a preliminary examination of the suggestion that a post of Ombudsman be established within the Organization, some members shared the doubts of the Finance Committee as to the value of the proposal in the present context, while others felt that it could be useful. However, in view of the lack of a clear idea of the effective place that such an officer would occupy within the Organization as well as of his terms of reference, a more detailed study might be considered. If, after study, in consultation with the Staff Council, the Director-General wished to put forward a firm proposal to set up such a post, the Council would be prepared to examine the scheme in detail.
167. The Council stressed the need to make the Staff Council a body truly representative of all the staff, and felt that the presence of a proportionate number of representatives of the field staff was necessary to achieve this end.
168. The Council shared the concern of the Finance Committee that the recruitment of field personnel by the Organization was not being carried out on a regular and systematic basis. It emphasized the need for a uniform procedure of recruitment and selection based on a system of advertising field posts, and expressed regret that such a system had thus far been implemented by only one of the operating divisions. While it recognized that the implementation of such a system on an Organization-wide basis was a difficult task, it observed that the present practices had very considerable defects, and accordingly urged the Director-General to press vigorously toward a more objective and uniform approach to the problem.
169. With regard in particular to the advertising of posts, both in the press and specialized media, and through the normal vacancy announcement procedure, the Council suggested that delays might be reduced by wider and more timely announcements.
170. The Council regretted the delays in clearing experts by receiving governments, but agreed that a clearance procedure was necessary. It was suggested that delays might be minimized in some instances by use of sub-contracting of projects in lieu of the recruitment of personnel by the Organization. The Council concurred with the policy of the Director-General to submit for government clearance only the name of the one expert whom he considered to be best qualified to carry out the mission, submitting another name only if the government had good grounds for rejecting the candidate originally proposed.
1 CL 56/3, paras. 255–266.
2 CL 56/PV-14.
171. While it expressed satisfaction that progress had been made in implementing a scheme of rotation of staff between Headquarters and the field, the Council urged the Director-General to pursue actively the development of rotation within the framework of an organization-wide programme. The experience gained at Headquarters by field staff, and vice versa, would enable them to carry out their future tasks with enhanced effectiveness. The Council considered, however, that while field experience was important, it could not be considered as an essential qualification for all Headquarters posts. It also considered that a rotation scheme might help to solve the problem of career security of field staff. The Council agreed that the measures suggested by the Director-General and concurred to by the Finance Committee could assist in overcoming difficulties inherent in any rotation scheme, but emphasized that such difficulties were regularly encountered and solved in national foreign services.
172. The Council noted with interest that the Administrator of UNDP was exploring the possibility of establishing a field allowance for experts, and requested the Director-General to report to it any further developments in this area.
173. Status of Contributions and Contributions in Arrears. The status of contributions as of 9 June 1971 was as follows:
|Total outstanding 1 January 1971||Received||Balance outstanding at 9 June 1971|
|Current 1971 Contributions||31 981 242||15 832 331||16 148 911|
|Arrears of Contributions present Member Nations||2 249 020||1 057 654||191 366|
Instalments to be paid in 1972 and future years in settlement of arrears
|149 077||-||149 077|
|34 379 339||16 889 985||17 489 354|
1 CL 56/PV-8.
|Arrears of Contributions|
|Member Nations||1967and Prior||1968||1969||1970||Total|
|Argentina||-||-||-||50 142||50 142|
|Burundi||-||-||-||2 205||2 205|
|Chad||-||-||4 335||12 776||17 111|
|Chile||-||-||45 970||92 626||138 596|
|Congo, Peoples' Rep. of||-||-||-||1 738||1 738|
|Costa Rica||-||-||1 392||2 176||3 568|
|Cuba||-||473||450||76 656||77 579|
|Dominican Republic 1||9 466||10 968||10 968||12 776||44 178|
|Ecuador 1||-||5 012||16 452||12 776||34 240|
|El Salvador||-||-||-||12 776||12 776|
|Guatemala||-||-||-||6 643||6 643|
|Guinea||-||-||169||12 776||12 945|
|Haiti 1||13 761||-||10 968||12 776||37 505|
|Honduras||-||-||-||1 808||1 808|
|Israel||-||-||-||9 763||9 763|
|Mali||-||-||10 473||12 776||23 249|
|Nicaragua||-||-||-||12 776||12 776|
|Panama||-||-||-||10 808||10 808|
|Paraguay 1||25 710||10 968||10 968||12 776||60 422|
|Peru||-||-||32 426||-||32 426|
|Turkey||-||-||-||98 905||98 905|
|U.S.A.||-||-||105 766||271 061||376 827|
|Uruguay||-||-||34 030||35 134||69 164|
|Yemen Arab Republic 1||7 923||10 968||10 968||12 776||42 635|
|Yemen, Peoples' Dem. Rep. of||-||-||-||12 776||12 776|
|Minor Exchange Difference||-||-||-||581||581|
|56 860||38 389||295 335||800 782||1 191 366|
1 Member Nations affected by Article III.4 of the Constitution (see para. 174 below).
174. The Council noted with concern that, as shown in the foregoing paragraph, five Member Nations would lose their voting rights at the forthcoming Conference Session in accordance with Article III.4 of the Constitution, as their present arrears exceeded the assessments due from them for the two preceding Calendar Years. The Council urgently appealed to the Member Nations concerned to pay the amounts required prior to the Conference Session, so that this situation would be avoided.
175. The Council, recognizing the importance to the Organization of receiving contributions promptly when due, called on all Member Nations to settle their outstanding obligations at the earliest possible date.
176. The Council was informed that the Government of the Yemen Arab Republic had indicated its intention to remit US $18 000. This amount, however, was US $891 short of the sum needed to ensure its Conference vote.
177. The Council was pleased to note that towards the end of 1970 Bolivia had remitted $54 642.69, and that as a consequence all amounts due up to 31 December 1970 in accordance with Conference Resolution 33/65 had been paid.
178. Status of the 1970–71 Expenditure. The Council noted that as at 30 April 1971 obligations totalling $62 975 496 had been incurred against the appropriations for the 1970–71 biennium of $70 568 000, leaving unobligated an amount of $7 592 504. Of the total amount of obligations incurred of $62 975 496, an amount of $41 621 916 had been liquidated by disbursements. The 1970–71 appropriation of $70 568 000 still required adjustment by an amount of up to $1 650 000, authorized for withdrawal from the Working Capital Fund under Resolution 5/55 adopted at the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Council.
179. Withdrawals from the Working Capital Fund (Cost of Emergency Desert Locust Control Operations) 1. The Council noted that, pursuant to Resolution 17/69 of the Fifteenth Session of the Conference, the Director-General had authorized the withdrawal of up to $50 000 from the Working Capital Fund, on the recommendation of the Advisory Panel of Experts and after consultation with the Chairman of the Finance Committee, for initial expenditure on an aerial survey, provision of insecticides and control measures in the Spanish Sahara. An expenditure of about $8 500 had been incurred for the survey, and it had not been found necessary to undertake control operations.
180. The Council also noted that the Finance Committee had requested that the Director-General should explore the possibility of the amount in question being reimbursed by the Government of Spain and that, taking into consideration the strategic importance of the potential breeding areas in the Spanish Sahara, he should draw the attention of the Spanish Government and of OCLALAV (Joint Anti-Locust and Anti-Aviarian Organization) to the possibility of developing closer cooperation in matters of survey and control in the overall interest of the countries concerned with the Desert Locust.
181. The Council was informed that in a recent communication, the President of the Spanish National FAO Committee had informed the Director-General that the Government of Spain had extended to OCLALAV its assistance in the form of personal services, materials and transportation, and that it had also made a contribution of $2 400 to the International Desert Locust Trust Fund.
182. The Council expressed its satisfaction with the response received from the Government of Spain to the Director-General's request.
183. By Resolution 42/55 the Conference at its Eighth Session had 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.
184. Subject to any adjustments that might arise from the admission of new members, the Council therefore recommended that the Conference adopt the scale set out in Appendix F to this Report, which had been derived directly from the United Nations Scale for 1971–73.
185. The Council therefore recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:
1 CL 56/PV-18.
2 CL 56/PV-8.
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Scale of Contributions 1972–73
Having considered the Report of the Fifty-Sixth Session of the Council;
Adopts for use in 1972–73 the Scale of Contributions set out in Appendix F, which is derived directly from the United Nations Scale of Assessments for 1971–73.
186. The representative of one Member Nation, 1 noting an increase of close to 43 per cent in its rate of assessment for 1972–73 over 1970–71, stated that this proposal would create enormous difficulties for his government and that a review of the way in which the FAO scale was determined would be highly desirable.
187. The Council noted the recommendation of the Programme and Finance Committees that a number of important problems relating to the organizational structure and the respective functions of the offices of the SAA/FAO Country Representatives and of the FAO Regional Representatives should be studied in depth at an appropriate time 3. Some members suggested that action to reinforce the Regional Offices should be withheld until the results of that study were available.
188. The Council noted that the Director-General had adopted a policy of gradually introducing initial staff appointments on a fixed-term basis prior to possible permanent appointments, and concurred with the suggestion of the Programme and Finance Committees that further consideration be given to the use of fixed-term appointments as a means of providing additional programme flexibility. It requested the Director-General to study the possibility of establishing as part of the basic recruitment policy of the Organization a system under which certain posts should be offered on a fixed-term basis only; to determine the criteria which could be used for defining which posts of the Organization should come within the scope of this policy; to use these criteria for identifying the posts in question; and to submit to the Council at a future session, through the Programme and Finance Committees, the findings of this study.
189. The Council noted with concern that the results of the 1970 survey on the impact of the field programme on the Regular Programme had reconfirmed the main conclusions of previous surveys, to the effect that while the Regular Programme share of total resources had progressively decreased to about one fourth, the Regular Programme still provided over two thirds of Headquarters and Regional Office costs, both for Regular Programme activities and for the management and operation of field programmes; and that while Headquarters and Regional Office staff continue to devote half of their time to other than Regular Programme matters, such programmes contribute only one third of Headquarters and Regional Office expenditures.
1 CL 56/PV-8, pp. 40 and 41.
2 CL 56/3 and CL 56/PV-14.
3 See paras. 66–71 above, and 204 below.
190. The Council noted with interest the information relating to Junior Professional Training. It requested that in future provision should be made to conduct such training in French and Spanish, as well as English.
191. The Council noted that as a result of a decision taken at its Fifty-Fifth Session 2, the salary scales of the Professional and Director categories would, effective 1 July 1971, be increased by 8 percent of gross levels after consolidation of two classes of post adjustment, as approved by the UN General Assembly for the staff of the Organization. As a consequence of this salary adjustment, and in line with the action of other UN agencies, the Council decided to adjust the salary of the Deputy Director-General from $37 500 ($25 225 net) to $44 500 gross ($28 850 net) per year, and to fix his post adjustment rate at $1 140 per year, these changes to take effect as from 1 July 1971. As regards the salary of the Director-General, the Council recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Salary of the Director-General
Noting that, in accordance with decisions of the General Assembly of the United Nations and the FAO Council the salaries in the Professional and Director categories had been increased by 8 percent gross, after incorporation of two classes of post adjustment, effective 1 July 1971;
Decides that, effective 1 July 1971, the salary of the Director-General shall be increased from $47 000 ($30 100 net) to $56 000 gross ($34 600 net) per year, and that the post adjustment rate of the Director-General shall be $1 380 per year.
192. The Council reviewed the arrangements whereby, in accordance with Resolution No. 69 of the Seventh Session of the Conference (1953), 1 percent of the total sales of the Staff Commissary was paid to the Organization in reimbursement for facilities and indirect services made available by the Organization to the Commissary. It noted that for the year 1970 an amount of $20 093.26 had been received, and was informed that this amount was appreciably higher than the cost of services rendered by the Organization. It noted further that there was no financial provision in the budget for any contribution to welfare, sports or other social activities of the staff.
1 CL 56/PV-18.
2 Report of the Fifty-Fifth Council Session, para. 272.
193. It therefore considered that, starting with the year 1971, the reimbursement to the Organization should be reduced from 1 percent to the equivalent of 0.5 percent of total sales, and that 0.5 percent of total sales should be transferred to the Staff Welfare Fund for the financing of social and sporting activities. It accordingly recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Having noted that for the year 1970, in accordance with Resolution No. 69 of the Seventh Session of the Conference, the Staff Commissary transferred an amount of $20 093.26 to the Organization in payment for facilities and indirect services made available to the Commissary during that year;
Desiring to make provision for a contribution for social, sports or other staff welfare activities;
as of 1 January 1971 to reduce from 1 percent to 0.5 percent of the total sales of the Staff Commissary the amount to be paid, as an expense of the Commissary operation, to the Organization in reimbursement for facilities and indirect services made available to the Commissary; and
in addition, that the equivalent of a further 0.5 percent of total sales of the Commissary be paid to the Staff Welfare Fund for social and sports or other staff welfare activities; and
that any net profits of the Commissary shall continue to be transferred to the Staff Welfare Fund as heretofore, for use in accordance with policies and procedures to be developed jointly by the Director-General and the Staff.
194. The Council noted that the Finance Committee had reviewed instances where reductions and waivers of project servicing costs on Trust Funds had been agreed to by the Director-General in accordance with the Policies laid down by the Council. It noted that as a result the Organization had received some $300 000 less than it would have received if the 14 percent levy had been applied in all cases. It agreed that the Finance Committee should review any further cases of waiver or reduction.
195. The Council noted that the Finance Committee had expressed its agreement with the Director-General's proposal that the consulting actuaries' recommendations concerning the funding and coverage of the Compensation Plan Reserve Fund be accepted.
196. The Council concurred with the Finance Committee's recommendation that the amount included for the purpose of the Fund in the budget estimates for 1972–73 be reduced by $50 000, 1.
197. The Council considered the Annual Report attached as Annex I to the Report of the Twenty-Fifth Session of the Finance Committee 2, now being a regular feature, as a useful presentation of the actual pattern and out-turn of 1970 expenditures as compared with the original budgetary provision. The Council noted the comparison between expenditures and commitments as against the unobligated balance, being aware that it was necessary to provide for higher expenditure in 1971 than in 1970, because of the greater impact of salary and other cost increases in 1971.
198. The Council approved the proposals for the strengthening of interpretation services 1, and noted that they would be financed by a shift in resources not incurring any significant additional budgetary commitments. It also noted that the Director-General wished to put these arrangements into operation in good time for the Sixteenth Session of the Conference.
199. Subject to the comments made above, the Council took note of the other matters covered in the reports of the Twenty-Fifth Session of the Finance Committee, the Nineteenth Session of the Programme Committee and the Joint Report of these Committees.
1 See paras. 200–218 below.
2 CL 56/3.