316. The Council noted the comments made by the Finance Committee on the Annual Report for 1971 as appended to the Committee's report and agreed with the Committee's comments. The report showed the nature of budgetary transfers for the 1970–71 biennium and confirmed the fact that the Director-General had stayed within the budgetary limitations.
317. The Council appreciated the thorough review of this matter which had been conducted by the Programme Committee and endorsed the comments and suggestions which had been made by it.
318. It stressed the desirability of encouraging greater participation of sub-contractors, universities and institutes. It noted that statistics showed that the great majority of contracts were awarded to subcontractors from a small number of countries. It emphasized the need to proceed to a more equitable geographical distribution and pointed to the growing capacity of developing countries to make available services and expertise which were more closely linked to the needs of certain countries.
319. The Council expressed satisfaction that the Programme Committee intended to again review this subject at its autumn 1973 session, and noted that the Finance Committee also intended to review the system of contracting at its spring 1974 Session. The Council proposed that the Finance Committee might also review the related question of contracts for purchase of supplies and equipment.
320. The Council stressed the need for careful procedures in the selection of sub-contractors which would give full consideration to the rights and responsibilities of Governments and the Executing Agencies, the principle of competitive bidding which would assure high-quality work at the lowest possible cost, and the need for awarding contracts on the widest possible geographical distribution.
321. As regards the payment of travel costs of Council Members, the Council felt that any decision to discontinue completely the payment of travel costs had to come from the Conference and agreed that the matter should be considered again in the light of the estimates on the actual costs incurred by the Organization being prepared for the next Session of the Finance Committee.
322. Although the Finance Committee had recommended that any decision on the class of travel should also await the above estimates, the Council decided to take action immediately and approved that henceforth, with the exception of the Chairman of the Council, all Members of the Council and the Programme and Finance Committes, should travel economy class, with no distinction in terms of distance.
323. As regards the travel of senior officials of the Organization, the Council noted that the current practice was based on the United Nations Common System. Despite this, the Council expressed the opinion that, as was the case for Council, Programme and Finance Committee Members staff below the rank of Deputy Director-General should travel economy class at all times, and urged the Director-General to reconsider this matter and to raise it with the appropriate organs of the UN system.
1 CL 59/7, CL 59/22, CL 59/CW/FEP, and CL 59/PV/19.
2 See para. 60 above.
324. The Council also took note of the other matters covered in the reports of the Twenty-Seventh and Twenty-Eighth Sessions of the Finance Committee, the Twenty-First and Twenty-Second Sessions of the Programme Committee and the Joint Reports of these Committees.
325. The Council decided that the Seventeenth Session of the Conference would be convened in Rome from Saturday 10 November to Thursday 29 November 1973, which was after the Ramadam.
326. The Council decided that its Sixtieth Session would be convened in Rome from 11 to 22 June 1973.
1 CL 59/PV/18.