251. The Council noted that at the end of the 1972–73 biennium there was a cash surplus of $2 685 345. $2 595 290 of this surplus had been transferred to the Suspense Account established under Conference Resolution 6/73, to meet unbudgeted extra costs and cash needs which might arise in 1974–75 from movements of currency, exchange rates and inflationary trends. The Council concurred with the Finance Committee's recommendation that the balance of the 1972–73 cash surplus (after the transfer of $2 595 290 to the Suspense Account) amounting to $90 055 be withheld to the end of 1975, for disposal along with the amount transferred to the Suspense Account, in whatever way the Conference should decide in November 1975.
252. The Council noted that due to the comparatively low rate of expenditure during the period January to August 1974, the cash flow had been satisfactory, notwithstanding the fact that the timing of receipts of contributions had generally been later than in the past.
253. As shown in Appendix G, contributions due and payable at 20 November 1974 totalled $7 097 395, of which $537 516 represented assessments due for 1973 and earlier years. These figures excluded amounts payable by four Member Nations in 1975 and future years in accordance with various Conference Resolutions.
254. While the overall contribution position at 20 November could be considered satisfactory, there had been a general slow-down in the rate of collection of current contributions in 1974 as compared to the previous five years.
255. The Council appealed to Member Nations to settle outstanding contributions promptly and make arrangements for early payment of assessments due in 1975, as required under Financial Regulation 5.5.
256. The Council noted from the Report of the Thirty-First Finance Committee Session that the Government of Pakistan had requested that, as a consequence of the admission of Bangladesh to membership of FAO at the Seventeenth Conference Session, the assessed contribution of Pakistan for 1973 ($170 538) be reduced by $18 800, being the amount assessed on Bangladesh for 1973.
257. In this connexion, the Council further noted that the UN General Assembly at its Twenty-Eighth Session had, on the recommendation of the United Nations Committee on Contributions, adopted a resolution reducing the contribution of Pakistan to the United Nations for 1973 by the amount Bangladesh was called upon to contribute towards the 1973 expenses of the United Nations activities in which it participated.
258. The Council, having considered the request of the Government of Pakistan, concurred with the Finance Committee, and accordingly recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:
1 CL 64/LIM/1, CL 63/3 paras 80, 86–92, 93–95, CL 64/5 paras 201 and 205, 203–210, CL 64/PV/17.
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
CHANGE OF ASSESSMENT - 1973
Noting the request of the Government of Pakistan to the effect that its assessed contribution for the year 1973 be reduced by the amount of contribution for that year payable by Bangladesh.
Noting also that the General Assembly of the United Nations at its Twenty-Eighth Session had adopted a Resolution whereby the contribution of Pakistan to the United Nations for 1973 had been reduced by the amount Bangladesh was called upon to contribute towards the 1973 expenses of the United Nations activities in which it participated,
Decides to reduce the amount of the contribution for 1973 assessed on Pakistan by $18 800, being the amount assessed on Bangladesh as its contribution for 1973.
259. The Council noted that under the provision of Financial Regulation 6.1(b), China, which had resumed its place in the Organization as of 1 April 1973, would have no share in the cash surplus of the 1972–73 biennium, not being included in the Scale of Contributions adopted by the Conference for that biennium.
260. The Council concurred that there was justification to allocate the 1972–73 cash surplus in a manner which would have the effect of reflecting the position that would have existed had China been included in the 1972–73 Scale of Contributions, for the period 1 April – 31 December 1973. This would ensure the allocation of an appropriate share of the surplus to China and do justice to those Member Nations which would have seen their contributions reduced if China had been in the Scale of Contributions for that period 2.
261. The Council accordingly recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
ALLOCATION OF CASH SURPLUS
Noting that Financial Regulation 6.1(b) provides that any cash surplus in the General Fund at the close of any financial period shall be allocated among Member Nations in accordance with the Scale of Contributions applicable to that period,
Noting that a cash surplus of $2 685 345 arose in the 1972–73 biennium of which $2 595 290 was temporarily transferred to a Suspense Account established under Conference Resolution 6/73 to meet unbudgeted costs in 1974–75,
1 CL 64/5 paras 217–221.
2 One member reserved the position of his Government as to the method of allocation of the surplus, which departed from the provisions of Financial Regulation 6.1(b) to the extent of excluding the maximum and minimum contributors from part of this allocation.
Noting that $1 487 250 of that surplus was due to the payment of its contribution for 1973 by a Nation having resumed its place in the Organization as of 1 April of that year,
Noting that, as that Member Nation was not included in the Scale of Contributions approved by the Conference for 1972–73, it would under the terms of Financial Regulation 6.1(b) have no share in the 1972–73 cash surplus,
Recognizing that had that Member Nation been included in the Scale of Contributions adopted for 1972–73, its rate of assessment and those of other Member Nations excluding the maximum and minimum contributors, would have been reduced,
1. Decides, notwithstanding Financial Regulation 6.1(b), to allocate among Member Nations included in the 1972–73 scale as well as the Member Nation which resumed its place in the Organization as of 1 April 1973, but excluding the maximum contributor and the minimum contributors, the sum of $1 487 250,
2. Further decides to allocate among Member Nations, according to Financial Regulation 6.1(b), the balance of the cash surplus remaining after allocation of the sum of $1 487 250 referred to above, except that the Member Nation which resumed its membership from 1 April 1973 shall also be allocated a share of that balance, proportionate to the part of the 1972–73 biennium, following the resumption of its place in the Organization.
(a) Volume I - Regular Programme 1972–73
(b) Volume II - United Nations Development Programme 1973
(c) Volume III - World Food Programme 1973
262. The Council reviewed the above Accounts and noted with appreciation the work done by the External Auditor in his examination of them and the comments made in his Report thereon.
263. The Council expressed concern about the number of problems referred to in the External Auditor's Report and stressed the need to maintain financial control in a number of areas. Amongst the problems referred to by the External Auditor were the procedures for the settlement of education grant claims and the payment of dependency allowances. The Chairman of the Finance Committee informed the Council that the Director-General was taking action in those areas in which the Report of the External Auditor had suggested that the existing procedures should be re-assessed. The Chairman assured the Council that the Finance Committee would review progress at its Spring 1975 Session.
264. The Council noted that $800 000 of Regular Programme funds had been applied towards absorption of a deficit which had arisen on the UNDP Agency Cost Account. The Council noted that the deficit on Agency Costs had arisen because expenditure on the Regular Programme as well as on Agency Cost budgets had increased substantially in 1973 because of inflation and adverse exchange rate developments. The Director-General had therefore found it necessary to make economies wherever possible but, because of the incidence of vacancies and expiration of contracts, it had not been possible to achieve economies in such a way that deficits in individual programmes could be avoided. On an overall basis the Organization had, however, managed to live within available resources, in spite of the increased costs and of a loss on Agency Cost income resulting from a fall in programme delivery. The Council concurred with the recommendation of the Finance Committee that the Conference approve such use of Regular Programme funds.
1 CL 64/5 paras 228–245, CL 64/PV/17.
265. The Council noted that the Intergovernmental Committee of the World Food Programme had received at its Twenty-Sixth Session (Rome, 24–30 October 1974) the comments made at the Thirty-Second Finance Committee Session 1 on the accounts of the World Food Programme for 1973 and the External Auditor's report thereon.
266. The Council noted that a consolidated draft resolution, to cover the adoption by the Conference of the Audited Accounts of the Regular Programme 1972–73, the United Nations Development Programme 1973 and the World Food Programme 1973, together with the Accounts to be examined by the Council at its pre-Conference Session, would be submitted by the Council to the Eighteenth Conference Session.
267. The Council recognized that there was a need to provide acceptable and reasonable flexibility in the regulations governing the reporting to the Finance Committee of budgetary transfers under the Organization's programme budgetary system. It concurred with the Finance Committee's proposal that transfers between sub-programmes should be reported to the Finance Committee only if they were transfers from one Division to another and if the amount involved for each transfer exceeded $10 000.
268. The Council therefore recommended that the Conference approve amendments to the Financial Regulations as set out in the following draft resolution:
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
AMENDMENT TO THE FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
Noting the need to provide acceptable and reasonable flexibility in a programme budgeting system,
Noting the Report of the Sixty-Fourth Council Session,
Decides that Financial Regulation 4.4(a) be amended as follows (Deletion in square brackets [ ], additions underlined):
“4.4(a) Transfers within the same chapter of the budget may be effected by the Director-General [, who shall report thereon to the Finance Committee.]. He shall report such transfers to the Finance Committee in instances where funds are moved from one Division (or equivalent unit) to another and where, in addition, the amount involved in each such transfer exceeds a specific sum established in accordance with the provisions of Financial Regulation 10.1(a) and of the General Rules of the Organization”.
269. The Council noted that the Working Group on Currency Instability established by the UN General Assembly in December 1973 had submitted its report, and that the Finance Committee had reviewed it at its Thirty-Second Session (October 1974). The Council was informed that after the Committee's Thirty-Second Session, the Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly had discussed the Working Group's report and that it had noted in substance:
that currency fluctuations and inflationary pressures were likely to continue and that there would probably be no early return to fixed values,
that no generally agreed alternatives to policies already being utilized in the United Nations and the Agencies had been found,
that payment by Member States in accordance with Financial Regulations and elimination of the UN short-term deficit would resolve many of the currency problems faced by the UN, and in turn obviate in large measure the need for solutions.
1 WFP/IGC 26/25 paras 101–106.
2 CL 63/3 paras 99–100.
3 CL 64/5 paras 246–248.
270. The Fifth Committee had suggested that the UN General Assembly ask the Secretary-General to keep these problems under review in consultation with his colleagues in ACC, taking into account the results of the study of the Working Group, the views expressed during the Fifth Committee's session and other views that might be expressed by or received from Member States and to report to the UN General Assembly at its Thirtieth Session. It had also suggested that the Secretary-General be requested to ensure, in keeping these problems under review, that programmes and activities concerning developing countries were not adversely affected.
271. The Council was informed that the Finance Committee would review the Working Group's recommendations in detail at its next session, when the UN General Assembly's comments would be available to it.
272. The Council noted that the Finance Committee would continue its examination of these issues in the light of developments in the host country, bearing in mind that a large share of the Organization's expenditure was paid in Lira. It recognized that the problems arising from currency instability and inflation were different from country to country and that therefore these problems were not amenable to a uniform solution.
273. The Council pointed out that among suggested options it had been proposed that early payment of assessments would contribute to solving the problems in some measure and that this option was indeed relevant. It noted that the Finance Committee had consistently stressed the importance of timely payment of contributions.
274. The Council was informed that for the calendar years 1972 and 1973 total interest earnings on all funds administered by the Organization was slightly more than $10 million, such income being credited to the Regular Programme, World Food Programme and Trust Funds as appropriate. It was expected that total earnings during 1974 and 1975 would be considerably in excess of this figure.
275. The Council noted the substantial increase in money management responsibilities (including foreign exchange matters) and the resultant increase in workload.
276. The Council further noted that the Finance Committee had agreed with the Director-General that flexibility as to providing means for ensuring the maximization of interest income was highly desirable not only from the Organization's point of view but also that of Member Nations and donors in general.
277. In this connexion the Council was informed that the Finance Committee had explored the possibility of charging the cost of any strengthening of the unit concerned to Miscellaneous Income, since such additional costs could be viewed as expenditure incurred to create and maintain income rather than as an increase in operating costs. The Committee had concluded, and the Director-General concurred that it would be more appropriate to provide for the necessary staffing in the next Programme of Work and Budget. The Council agreed with this conclusion.
1 CL 64/5 paras 211–216.
278. The Council noted the comments of the Finance Committee on the Director-General's proposal to increase the Representation Allowance of the Deputy Director-General from $3 700 (established in 1966) to $6 000 per annum. It noted that this increase was required to compensate for the effects of inflation and the increased representational responsibilities of the Deputy Director-General during the absences of the Director-General, and indicated that this increase should apply only to the present Deputy Director-General. The Council agreed that this increase should be made effective as of 1 January 1975.
279. The Council noted that the Finance Committee would carry out a review of the overall budgetary provisions for hospitality at its next session.
280. The Council, in considering the items concerning Personnel Matters, bore in mind that they related to both the Professional and General Service categories, which had different conditions of employment. Since staff costs represented 75 per cent of the Regular Programme budget subscribed to by Member Nations, the Council took its decisions in the light of the purposes of the Organization, the responsibilities of both Professional and General Service staff, the need for effective personnel, and the necessity to ensure that the staff was adequately remunerated for its services.
281. The Council noted the Report of the Thirty-Second Session of the Finance Committee which had, at the request of the Council, undertaken a detailed review of the Agreement between the Director-General and the Joint Action Committee (JAC) and also, at the request of the Council, reviewed the broad staff/management relations climate. In its report, the Finance Committee pointed out that in the meantime a continuing dialogue had been established between the Director-General and the JAC which had led to constructive relations in discussing staff/ management issues.
282. The Council was informed that the JAC had concentrated its principal efforts on the immediate issues arising from the Agreement. It was considered advisable by both the staff and the Director-General that the longer-term issues be left for discussion until clarification of the question of staff representation. The Director-General, for his part, had established a staff relations post in the Personnel Division, and he would continue to give great attention to this matter. The Council was informed of the action taken to improve management/staff relations including the whole question of staff representation and to the handling of staff problems, with a view to preventing a repetition of confrontation, and specifically to identifying the causes of potential conflict at an early stage. The Council welcomed these assurances and stressed the need to continue to give maximum attention to staff/management relations. While the fluidity of the present situation made it difficult to draw definite conclusions, the Council was pleased to be informed of an improved climate of relations in the Organization.
1 CL 64/5 paras 288–289.
2 CL 64/5 paras 8–91 and 290.
283. In considering its approach to this subject, the Council considered that of the matters specifically requiring Council attention, as identified by the Finance Committee, the question of agreed methodology for a survey to establish General Service salary scales was basic to the settlement of several of the other outstanding matters and to continued harmony in management/staff relations concerning General Service staff. The Council considered that it had a responsibility to ensure that the methodology agreed between the Director-General and the staff conformed to policy guidelines laid down by the Council. The Council was informed that substantial progress had been made in arriving at an agreed methodology involving joint participation of management and staff, but that final agreement depended upon decisions it would take on specific policy matters. Considering the importance of the Organization's problems, and in particular the need to prepare as rapidly as possible the next Programme of Work and Budget, the Finance Committee would meet in an extraordinary session during January 1975. At this session, it would examine, among other items, the management/staff agreement on survey methodology in accordance with the Terms of Reference in Appendix H. In this manner, it would be possible for the survey to be completed, its results analysed, and a salary schedule recommended to the Council for approval at its mid-1975 Session.
3 CL 64/5 paras 24–26 and 61–72, CL 64/PV/19.
284. The Council decided that, in its consideration of methodology, the Finance Committee should be guided by policy directives given by the Council, and should decide on behalf of the Council such other questions of policy that might arise.
285. Concerning the policy guidance to be followed by the Finance Committee:
The Council considered the contrasting points of view of members. Some members were of the opinion that Commissary benefits were measurable and as such should be dealt with as “a fringe benefit” under the arrangements described in the Guiding Principles. Other members considered that the Commissary benefits were discretionary benefits accorded by the host country, through the Organization, to the individual staff member, and as such should not be considered a “general” benefit suitable for inclusion in the calculations under the heading of fringe benefits. The Council decided that Commissary benefits should be taken into account when determining General Service salary scales 1,
With respect to the income tax factor, the Council noted that there was general agreement on the present rate of adjustment applied to General Service salaries, but that further adjustment might be required as a result of the survey findings, particularly since additonal information as to the application of fiscal legislation was to be expected before completion of the survey. The Council decided that salaries should be adjusted by an income tax factor reflecting local practice,
The Council also decided that governmental institutions and Embassies should be considered when establishing the list of outside employers to be surveyed.
1 During the discussion one member indicated that the existing situation concerning commissary privileges for the staff went beyond the provisions of the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, and that such a situation should not be allowed under cover of Headquarters Agreements with host governments or other UN system agreements.
286. The Council recalled that at its Sixty-Third Session it had accepted the Director-General's recommendation to continue to apply the percentage adjustments contained in the May Agreement with the JAC, pending a review of the matter by the Finance Committee and decision by the Council.
2 CL 64/PV/19.
287. In its Report 3 the Finance Committee had covered in detail the elements which must be considered in arriving at rates for the interim adjustment to the salary scales pending determination of a new scale. It had concluded that the percentage adjustments recommended by the Ad Hoc Panel on General Service Salaries should be applied. However, after examining all the aspects of the question, and noting that conditions had changed considerably since the Ad Hoc Panel's survey, the Council decided that:
the salary scales which would result from the survey to be undertaken in accordance with the methodology to be presented to the Finance Committee in January 1975, should be applied with effect from 1 December 1974 (with appropriate adjustments to reflect Wage Index movements between 1 December and the time to which the salary data utilized in the survey referred),
should the remuneration of any staff member fixed under the new salary scales be less than the amount that had already been paid to him from 1 December 1974 under the interim adjustment, that staff member would not be required to reimburse the Organization.
During the interim period, the rates of adjustments as previously decided by the Finance Committee and set out in its Report to the Council 1, would be operative with the first adjustment to the salary scale which fell due from 1 December 1974.
3 CL 64/5 paras 44–60.
288. The Council noted that the Director-General had recommended that the practice of conversion of fixed-term appointments to permanent appointments after three years of service should be confirmed as the Organization's policy; that this would be consistent with sound employment policy and that the inherent flexibility of the General Service category would keep the adoption of this practice from causing difficulties in the event of programme changes. The Council was informed, however, that the policy of conversion after three years' service had been in effect prior to the financial crisis of 1972, and that consequently this was a reversion to prior practice rather than a new policy.
289. The Finance Committe had reported that it felt that such a policy would serve the interests of the Organization provided there was a clear distinction drawn between continuing and fixed-term posts, and provided unsatisfactory employees were separated from the Organization. It was also of the opinion that the whole question of the tenure of appointment for General Service staff needed careful review. As a result, the Council approved the Finance Committee's recommendations that:
it accept on an interim basis the continuation of the conversion to permanent of the appointment of fixed-term staff members after three years' continuous and satisfactory service, provided that the number of such conversions did not exceed 58. In this connexion the Council noted that the Finance Committee had been advised that between 1 August 1974 and April 1975 the appointments of 58 General Service staff at Headquarters and the Regional Offices would be eligible for conversion to permanent under this policy 3,
for the future, management be asked to distinguish clearly between continuing posts and genuinely short-term or fixed-term posts,
the Finance Committee be authorized to study this matter further at its Thirty-Fourth Session, with a view to recommending to the Council criteria for conversion to be applied in the future.
1 CL 64/5 paras 18–23.
2 CL 64/5 paras 27–29 and 73–76, CL 64/PV/19.
3 CL 64/5 para 27. The Council noted in this connexion that CL 64/5 para 73, third sub-paragraph, did not correctly reflect the relevant terms of the May Agreement, which, while setting time-limits for granting permanent appointments to staff who had completed at least three years' service, also envisaged immediate discussions on conversion to permanent after two years' service. In effect, the paragraph reflected the recommendation by the Director-General, which was supported by the Finance Committee, that the possibility for conversion after three years' service be extended.
290. The Council noted that the Finance Committee had shared the view of the Director-General that the problems of Professional staff were more complex because of the greater number of non-continuing functions involved and the greater degree of specialization required. It agreed with the views expressed by the Finance Committee that some anomalies existed whereby Professional staff were retained on fixed-term contracts for many years. With this in mind, the Council decided that:
the appointments of Professional staff at Headquarters and Regional Offices with seven years or more continuous service should normally be converted to permanent, provided the criteria accepted by the Thirty-First Finance Committee Session were met 2,
(b) for the future, management be asked to distinguish clearly between continuing posts and genuinely short-term or fixed-term posts,
(c) the appointments of Professional staff in the field should normally be converted to programme appointments after ten years' service, provided the criteria for conversion established in Manual Section 370 were met.
291. The Council further requested the Finance Committee to undertake a detailed review of this matter at its Thirty-Fourth Session and to recommend, for determination by the Council, criteria for the conversion to be applied in the future, taking into account the practices of other organizations adhering to the UN common system.
292. The Council noted the Finance Committee's acceptance of the Director-General's recommendation that, as a result of the abolition of the G-1(A) grade which was previously used for determining eligibility for payment of dependency allowance for working spouses, eligibility for payment of this allowance should now be established at 80 percent of the entry point to the G-1 grade, thereby maintaining the ceiling at approximately its former level.
293. The Council also noted that the Finance Committee had questioned the policy of paying the allowance to working spouses, which at the present time included approximately 200 staff members at an approximate annual cost of $40 000, and that the Committee had requested the Director-General to make a study of the justification for the payment of the allowance and prepare recommendations for consideration by the Committee at its Thirty-Fourth Session.
294. The Council noted that, in reviewing the payments made to General Service staff, one of the items which came to the attention of the Finance Committee was the payment of language allowances for knowledge of more than one of the working languages of the Organization, and that the payment was made on the basis of a language test but not on the basis of use of the language. The Council further noted that the Committee had requested the Director-General to review the criteria for determining the language allowance and report back to the Committee at its Thirty-Fourth Session.
1 CL 64/5 paras 30–31 and 77–81
2 CL 64/5 para 78.
3 CL 64/5 paras 40–41 and 91.
4 CL 64/5 paras 42 and 91.
295. The Council recalled that, at its Sixty-Third Session (July 1974), it had requested the CCLM and the Finance Committee to examine, inter alia, the “issues bearing on management/staff relations” arising from the Agreement reached between the Director-General and the Joint Action Committee of the staff on 31 May 1974 1.
5 CL 64/5 paras 32–35 and 82–87, CL 64/18 paras 18–27, CL 64/LIM/9, CL 64/PV/19.
296. The Council further recalled that, on the eve of the strike in May 1974, the staff had appointed a Joint Action Committee for the purpose of negotiations with management and that, in the Agreement of 31 May 1974 between the Director-General and the Joint Action Committee 2 that Committee had been recognized as the sole bargaining agent of the staff for an interim period of three months and that this mandate had subsequently been extended pending clarification of the representational situation.
297. The Council was informed that, in addition to the Joint Action Committee, the following four staff representative groups had emerged, none of which had as yet been formally recognized by the Director-General:
the Unione Sindacale (or Trade Union) of the General Service staff, open to all General Service staff serving at Headquarters,
the Non-Local Association, open to non-local General Service staff at all duty stations,
the Association of Professional Staff, open to Professional staff members serving at Headquarters,
a Field Staff Association, full membership of which was open to all Professional staff serving at field duty stations and Regional and Liaison Offices.
298. The Council was further informed that these four new groups had formally requested recognition by the Director-General and that these requests could be considered only upon adoption by the Council of an amendment to Article VIII of the Staff Regulations which, in its present version, provided for a single Staff Council to represent all staff. The staff had, however, voted by a large majority on 23 September 1974, to dissolve the existing Staff Organization formed around the Staff Council. In view of this indication that the staff wished to organize its system of representation in a manner different from that of a single all-representative Staff Council, it appeared necessary for the Director-General to be empowered to recognize more than one staff representative body, provided such bodies met the requisite criteria; an authority which he did not have under the existing Staff Regulations.
299. In accordance with the Council's request referred to in paragraph 295 above, the CCLM had therefore drawn up a draft amendment to the Staff Regulations, taking into account the provisions of other UN organizations and having regard to the situation which had emerged in FAO concerning staff relations.
300. The Finance Committee had considered the matter subsequently and had generally endorsed the draft amendment drawn up by the CCLM. Nevertheless, while the CCLM had considered it unnecessary to specify in the new text that staff representative bodies would have inter alia the function to “negotiate” with the Director-General, and showed preference for the term “discuss”, the Finance Committee had been informed that the staff representatives attached great importance to this word which had been included in the initial Secretariat draft agreed to by them. The Finance Committee had concluded, after having heard the explanations of the Chairman of the CCLM, that it would seem possible to avoid any negative implications of this word which might reflect an undesirable spirit of confrontation - which was a fundamental concern of CCLM - if the scope and limits of the concept of negotiation were clearly established by the Council when adopting the new Staff Regulation.
1 CL 63/REP para. 52.
2 CL 63/6, Appendix III, para. 1.
301. The Council concurred with the draft amendments prepared by the Finance Committee and decided to approve the following amendments to Article VIII of the Staff Regulations (Deletions in square brackets [ ], additions underlined):
|301.081||[A Staff Council, elected by the staff and responsible to the staff, shall be established for the purpose of ensuring] In accordance with the principle that the staff has the right to organize for the purpose of safeguarding and promoting its interests, one or more representative staff bodies recognized by the Director-General shall maintain continuous contact [between the staff and the Director-General] and negotiate with the Director-General with respect to the terms and conditions of employment of the staff and general staff welfare. [The Council shall be entitled to make proposals to the Director-General for improvements in the situation of staff members, both as regards their conditions of work and their general conditions of life].|
|[301.0811]||[The Staff Council shall be composed in such a way as to afford equitable representation to all levels of the staff].|
|[301.0812]||[Election of the Staff Council shall take place annually under regulations drawn up by the Staff Council and agreed to by the Director-General].|
|301.0811||Negotiations between recognized staff representative bodies and the Director-General shall be subject to the understanding that the Director-General will retain, under the provisions governing his constitutional responsibility, the right of final determination in matters within his authority.|
|301.0812||In negotiations with such staff bodies, the Director-General shall not commit himself to any final decision whenever such decision rests with the governing bodies of the Organization or would deviate from the common system of the United Nations; in such cases, the Director-General shall strive for agreed positions to be forwarded to the competent organs of the Organization or of the common system.|
|301.0813||Recognized staff representative bodies shall not have the right to engage in “negotiations” with any of the governing bodies but the Council may, in exceptional circumstances, grant them access to Council meetings to present their views, provided their application for such access is endorsed by the Director-General.|
|301.082||The Director-General, in deciding whether to recognize any group as a representative staff body, will take into account whether:|
|The Director-General [shall] may, in agreement with recognized staff bodies, establish joint administrative machinery, with staff participation [through the Staff Council] to advise him regarding personnel policies and general questions of staff welfare and to make to him such proposals as it may desire for amendment of the Staff Regulations and Rules.|
302. At its Sixty-Third Session, the Council had requested that the Finance Committee and the CCLM consider the appropriateness of the present recruitment area for General Service staff, and, more particularly, whether it would be appropriate that the Staff Rules be amended so that at Headquarters a local staff member should be any person recruited in Italy, regardless of nationality 2. The Director-General had submitted to both the CCLM and the Finance Committee 3 a document setting out three possible approaches to this question, without recommending the adoption of any particular one. The CCLM had identified one further alternative for consideration 4, but decided that it was preferable that the various policy aspects of the question be considered by the Finance Committee in the first instance.
303. After considering the various possible approaches submitted to it, the Finance Committee had concluded that none provided a fully satisfactory solution to the problem, and that the only effective approach would be to regard all General Service staff as local, whatever their nationality or place of recruitment. This approach, in effect, would abolish non-local status for the future, but should contain the proviso that entitlements held by present non-local staff would not be affected. This approach was considered to have the advantage of being simple, while at the same time satisfying the objectives of the Council in raising this issue. It was noted that this approach was followed by the UN in New York.
304. The Council, realizing a change of policy of this scope would require for its implementation the introduction of new procedures, decided that:
it shall be the policy of the Organization to consider all General Service staff, whatever their nationality or place of recruitment, recruited after 31 January 1975, as local staff 5,
the Finance Committee should consider the implications of this policy at its Thirty-Fourth session,
the entitlements of non-local staff already employed as of 31 January 1975 would be continued by the Organization during their continuous service.
305. The Council's attention was drawn to the question whether Staff Rule 302.40643, to the effect that the provisions relating to the recruitment of staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible, did not apply to the recruitment of staff in the General Service category, was consistent with Article VIII-3 of the Constitution which read as follows: “In appointing the staff, the Director-General shall, subject to the paramount importance of securing the highest standards of efficiency and of technical competence, pay due regard to the importance of selecting personnel recruited on as wide a geographical basis as is possible”.
1 CL 64/5 paras 36–39 and 88–90, CL 64/PV/19.
2 CL 63/REP para 52.
3 CL 64/18 para 14.
4 CL 64/18 para 17.
5 A proposal that the Finance Committee be authorized to defer the implementation of this policy, if it judged that serious difficulties were involved, was rejected by roll-call vote (CL 64/INF/17).
6 CL 64/LIM/6, CL 64/18 paras 10–17.
306. In its consideration of this matter, the Council concluded that the essential question was not so much the constitutionality of Staff Rule 302.40643, but the policy followed in recruiting General Service Staff.
307. In particular, the Council considered that such recruitment shall not entail discrimination against qualified candidates from any Member Nation.
308. After discussion, the Council decided that the following polices would, in future, govern the recruitment of General Service staff:
The recruitment of General Service staff in future shall be open to qualified persons from all Member Nations of the Organization,
Preference should continue to be given to recruitment of General Service staff from within commuting distance of the duty station,
Recruitment of General Service staff would not be subject to the system of geographic distribution as applied to the Professional category,
Any Staff Regulation or Staff Rule which is inconsistent with this policy should be revoked or modified as necessary.
309. The Council requested the Director-General to broaden the recruitment base for General Service staff and the Finance Committee to look at any recruitment implications arising from this decision and to report to it on those implications. In addition, the Council requested the Finance Committee to study and report on the implications of this decision, taking into account the practices of the other organizations adhering to the UN Common System.
310. The Council recalled that at its Sixty-First Session it had considered the Reports of the Finance Committee and the CCLM concerning the progress made towards the establishment of an International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), and that the Seventeenth Conference Session had adopted a resolution authorizing the Director-General to effect FAO's acceptance of the Statute of the ICSC, provided that the draft Statute was approved by the UN General Assembly without, in the Director-General's opinion, any substantive change.
311. The Council noted that the UN General Assembly at its Twenty-Eighth Session had adopted a proposal of the Fifth Committee that consideration of the establishment of an International Civil Service Commission be deferred until its Twenty-Ninth Session, in order to give the governments of Member States more time to study the question.
312. Since the results of the discussion of the Twenty-Ninth Session of the UN General Assembly were not known as of the date the Council considered this matter, it requested the Director-General to present to its mid-1975 Session a progress report on the International Civil Service Commission.
1 CL 64/22.
313. The Council noted that the International Civil Service Advisory Board (ICSAB) would make the following proposals to the UN General Assembly for adjustments to Professional salaries and entitlements as from 1 January 1975:
6 percent increase in salaries, with or without incorporation of two classes of Post Adjustment,
increase of the children's dependency allowance from $300 to $450 per annum,
changes in assignment allowance payable at duty stations outside Europe and North America from (present):
|without dependents||with dependents|
|P-1 and P-2||$ 800 per annum||$1 000 per annum|
|P-3 and P-4||$ 950 per annum||$1 200 per annum|
|P-5 and above||$1 100 per annum||$1 400 per annum|
|without dependents||with dependents|
|P-1 to P-4||$1 600 per annum||$2 000 per annum|
|P-5 and above||$1 900 per annum||$2 400 per annum|
314. The reasoning behind the ICSAB proposals was to restore the purchasing power of salaries and allowances eroded by inflation and to compensate for the higher costs of installation of Professional staff at certain duty stations.
315. The estimated costs to the Organization's Regular Programme Budget 2 for the above increases in 1975 would be:
$1 350 000 of the Regular Programme Budget, including additional expenditures in respect of Post Adjustment, separation payments and Pension Fund contributions for the 6 percent increase of salaries,
$390 000 in the event that two classes of Post Adjustment were incorporated into base salaries,
$150 000 for the increase in children's dependency allowance,
$10 000 for the increase in assignment allowance.
The Council endorsed the Finance Committee recommendation that the proposed changes be implemented upon endorsement and in the measure approved by the UN General Assembly.
1 CL 64/5 paras 249–251.
2 These figures exclude WFP staff, Headquarters and Regional Office staff charged to Agency Costs, and also field project personnel.
316. Under the authority delegated to it by the Eighth Conference Session, the Council appointed
Mrs. Mirla Paniza de Bellavita, Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Panama to FAO, Rome, and
Mr. Javed Salim Khan, First Secretary (Agriculture), Permanent Representative of Pakistan to FAO, Embassy of Pakistan, Rome,
as Members of the FAO Staff Pension Committee representing the Conference, replacing Mr. J. Ayala-Lasso (Ecuador) and Dr. A.M. Kesseba (Egypt) for the unexpired term ending 31 December 1975.
317. The Council expressed its appreciation of the services that Mr. Ayala-Lasso and Dr. Kesseba had rendered as Members of the Committee.
1 CL 64/25.