Hundred and Twenty-seventh Session
Rome, 22 – 27 November 2004
Report of the Ninety-second Session of the Programme Committee
PART I – IMPLEMENTATION OF FAO’S STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK
Major Programme 2.1: Agricultural Production and Support Systems
Major Programme 2.2: Food and Agriculture Policy and Development
Major Programme 2.3: Fisheries
Major Programme 2.4: Forestry
Major Programme 2.5: Contributions to Sustainable Development and Special Programme Thrusts
CHAPTER 3: COOPERATION AND PARTNERSHIPS
CHAPTER 4: TECHNICAL COOPERATION PROGRAMME
Programme Implementation Report 2002-03
4 – 15
|Medium Term Plan 2006-11||
16 – 46
|Review of Programmes||47|
|Priority Setting in the Context of Programme Planning||47|
|Programme Evaluation||48 - 59|
|The Evaluation of FAO’s Decentralization
A synthesis of the recent evaluations of FAO’s total activities in Afghanistan and southern Africa, including emergency and rehabilitation work
|Policy and Operational Framework of the Technical Cooperation Programme||60 - 65|
|UN Joint Inspection Unit Reports||66|
|Any Other Business||67 - 71|
1. The Committee submits to the Council the following report of its Ninety-second Session.
2. The following Members were present:
H.E. E. Wermuth (Netherlands)
H.E. M. Arvelo (Dominican Republic)
Mr A.R. Ayazi (Afghanistan)
Mr B.J. Hughes (Australia)
Mr J. Melanson (Canada)
Mr G. Nair (India)
Mr F.B. Zenny (Jamaica)
Ms W. Dikah (Lebanon)
Mr R. bin Khalid (Malaysia)
Mr G.G. Lombin (Nigeria)
Ms M. Mohapi (South Africa)
3. The Agenda and Timetable for the meeting were approved.
4. The Committee welcomed the changes to the format of the document and noted that they took due account of earlier guidance from the Membership and reflected the progress made by FAO in the application of Results Based Budgeting (RBB) principles.
5. The Committee expressed general satisfaction at the reported achievements in the 2002-03 biennium, including close to full utilization of budgeted resources. It recognized that the Zero Real Growth decision of the Conference on the PWB 2002-03 had obviated the need for reductions to programmes which had been necessary in the previous biennia. The Committee received clarification on unplanned activities in particular to meet unforeseen requests from Members. Among other aspects, it also received clarification on the changing context of the work of the Investment Centre under Major Programme 3.2. In noting the distribution of outputs delivered among various types, the Committee observed with some concern the apparent low share of training activities. It also felt that the section on the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) could have contained more detailed information on implementation of the programme, including for instance on the beneficiary countries, and requested the Secretariat to take action in this regard in the next PIR.
6. The Committee was advised of current positive trends under the field programme. While the hitherto very substantial Oil-for-Food Programme in Iraq had to be terminated, there had been an expansion of other emergency-related activities and Trust Fund support was also growing for non-emergency field programmes, with especially promising prospects of cooperation with the European Union.
7. The Committee recalled that the prime purpose of the PIR was to meet accountability requirements to Members, in full complementarity with evaluation reports, the contents of which were summarized in another Conference document, the Programme Evaluation Report (PER). It also recalled the basic differences in timeframe and coverage between the two documents. On the one hand, the PIR provided comprehensive coverage of the programme by addressing all FAO activities in a given biennium and covering both resources utilization and output production versus the plans endorsed in the approval of the Programme of Work and Budget. On the other hand, the PER and evaluation studies in general were selective, addressed longer time horizons (i.e. usually six years or more) and dealt with matters such as relevance to FAO’s Strategic Objectives, efficiency of output achievement, achievement of outcomes and the extent to which benefits realized are likely to be maintained.
8. Moreover, the Committee also recognized that the assessment of “impact” (i.e. benefits to the ultimate beneficiaries) versus “outcomes” (i.e. the use to which outputs were put by the primary user) required considerable in-depth analysis and involved substantial cost. As such impact assessment was a technique to be applied to large programmes only where it was both feasible and potentially cost beneficial. FAO’s evaluation approach is to examine the extent to which outputs and their outcomes feed into a line of causality which can reasonably be expected to yield enduring benefits.
9. The Committee recalled that planned outcomes were defined as part of entity design in the six year medium-term planning process and therefore that effectiveness in the achievement of outcomes was appropriately covered in evaluation reports, either as carried out independently by the Evaluation Service or by programme managers under the auto-evaluation regime supervised by the Evaluation Service. Auto-evaluation was in its first year of implementation in 2004 and required continued support to the programme managers if it was to effectively cover the Organization’s programme on a six-year review cycle as intended. The Committee concluded that in the context of the PIR, progress towards the achievement of outcomes should be reported where appropriate, for instance, on the basis of the auto-evaluation reports.
10. The Committee expressed concern that the document was too large and noted that the need to keep the PIR to a reasonable size precluded inclusion of the vast amount of related analytical material. In addressing various sections of the document, the comments made and suggestions for changes given by Members, particularly with the intent of minimizing perceived duplication, are summarized below.
11. As regards the section reporting on activities implemented during the last biennium of relevance to FAO’s Strategic Objectives, there was a general feeling that inclusion of this type of narrative in the PIR was not appropriate. In the first instance, the effective realization of these Strategic Objectives required prolonged effort by the Organization and was undoubtedly best measured through evaluations targeted at each Objective. Secondly, the attempt in the PIR to convey cause/effect relationships between the necessarily limited and short-term outputs delivered in a given biennium and the broad Objectives set out in the Strategic Framework was not very meaningful.
12. Concerning Regional Dimensions, the Committee considered that the related PIR section as it stood now was too brief and too general in nature, while entailing at the same time some duplication with the subsequent “Summary of Programme Implementation”. It agreed that the regional dimensions of programmes were still of keen interest to Members. One possible avenue for improvement was to seek to combine the two sections. If kept separate, another avenue was to enrich the contents of the section on regional dimensions by referring to the outcomes of key activities and to important field projects.
13. Many Members encouraged shortening of the “Summary of Programme Implementation”, while making it less mechanical in its approach and meeting the above expectation of an increased outcome orientation in future editions of the document. Posting of some of its contents on the FAO Web site or putting it in Annexes could be studied, while still maintaining the relevance of this section to the accountability nature of the PIR.
14. In the light of the above comments, the Committee looked forward to receiving proposals regarding possible further improvements to the format of the PIR, which would also be compatible with the general aim of reducing the size of documentation for Governing Bodies. It agreed that it would be especially pertinent to consider these proposals together with the report on auto-evaluations that it was scheduled to review in 2005, as this would facilitate the Committee’s assessment of how the contents of auto-evaluation reports could be used to enhance the PIR.
15. The Committee endorsed the PIR 2002-03 for transmission to the Council.
16. The Committee examined the Medium Term Plan 2006-11 (MTP), bearing in mind the separate programme review of Chapter 3 of the Programme of Work and Budget (PWB) scheduled under item 4 on its agenda. It agreed, therefore, to have only one discussion of Chapter 3 and to combine the comments made in the context of the review with observations regarding proposals under the same Chapter 3 in the MTP.
17. The Committee welcomed the several improvements made to the document. It appreciated in particular the application for the first time of Results Based Budgeting principles to the non-technical and technical cooperation areas (i.e. all PWB headings outside Chapter 2 Technical and Economic Programmes and Major Programme 3.1 Policy Assistance). This had resulted in the full coverage of all budgetary chapters in the MTP using the same conceptual approach. The Committee also endorsed the more effective adherence to the concept of a rolling plan in this third version, by providing details only on new or substantially revised entities. In noting the additional benefits in terms of enhanced focus and reduced size, the Committee urged continued application of the rolling approach to the Plan in future versions. It recalled that more detailed information was, as usual, available for consultation on FAO's Internet Web site.
18. The Committee appreciated the brief presentation of the main challenges for FAO at the beginning of Part I. It observed that this Part was mostly aimed at describing how the proposed medium term programme of work would support the implementation of the 12 Strategic Objectives and the six Strategies to Address Cross-Organizational Issues (SACOIs) outlined in the FAO’s Strategic Framework 2000-2015. The Committee agreed that this enhanced presentation facilitated understanding of the links between the Strategic Framework and the MTP.
19. The Committee endorsed the proposed changes to the Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIAs), especially the addition of a new PAIA to address the implications of HIV/AIDS in areas of FAO’s mandate, as had been recommended by some Members at earlier sessions. The Committee recalled that it was to receive a review of the PAIAs in the current biennium.
20. The Committee noted that, as in the previous versions, indicative resource projections had been included in the Plan. It recognized that the proposal was for Real Growth (RG), while it was also possible to appreciate resource levels under Zero Real Growth (ZRG) conditions. It received clarification on the proposed real growth rate of 2.2% per annum, which as per normal practice in the MTP, was exclusive of the eventual impact of cost increases (inflation) which were to occur in future years. The Committee recognized the rationale for linking the proposed rate of real growth in resources for FAO to real GDP growth foreseen for a group of important contributor countries.
21. While several Members felt that the 2.2% p.a. growth rate proposed was excessively low, other Members felt that the proposed resource levels were unrealistic in the light of past experience. The Committee recognized that it would not be possible to arrive at a consensus at this stage. In any event, the Committee was generally satisfied about the major substantive thrusts in the MTP.
22. The Committee addressed the issue of “unprogrammed resources”, which had been highlighted in paragraphs 159 to 165. It received clarification on the amounts shown under a line entitled “programme reserve” in the applicable resource tables. The Committee was advised that these reflected the resources available for eventual succeeding activities in the biennia 2008-09 and 2010-11, stemming from the scheduled completion of technical projects at the end of the preceding biennia, i.e. 2006-07 or 2008-09. These were deliberately shown in this manner, so as not to pre-judge the results of auto-evaluations of the concerned entities.
23. The Committee agreed to support option 2, as explained in paragraph 163, i.e. essentially the confirmation of the present practice. It stressed in this connection the added importance of auto-evaluations and welcomed the efforts in the Secretariat to make this a credible tool systematically covering all entities in a phased manner and as objectively as possible, e.g. by recourse to external advice. The Committee observed that the term “programme reserve” was probably more accurate than “unprogrammed resources” since the corresponding resources were effectively held in reserve under the attendant programme to which the entity/ies belonged.
24. The Committee recalled that it had discussed the issue of priority setting in the context of programme planning at previous sessions, although no definitive conclusions had been reached. In fact, a separate item on priority setting was on its current agenda, but discussion was subsumed with the examination of the MTP proposals in view of the obvious links between the two.
25. The Committee welcomed the explanations on the use of three criteria of relevance to establishing relative priorities; that is, relevance to the Strategic Framework, focus on Members’ expressed priorities and FAO’s comparative advantage. It recalled that these criteria were part of a broader set which had originally been established by the Council, and which were applied by programme managers during entity formulation. However, as the questions associated with these criteria had been redesigned, all existing and new entities were scored by their respective departments. The Committee welcomed the generally positive correlation between the results of scoring of entities based on these three criteria and the resource changes proposed. The Committee received additional clarifications on the information provided. It was advised by the Secretariat that where the correlation had not been positive, management had satisfied itself that there were adequate justifications.
26. The Committee was appreciative of this further application of the criteria by the Secretariat as it provided assurance to Members that the priorities included in the MTP did, in fact, reflect the needs of the Members at large. It reiterated in this connection the basic soundness of the established criteria and agreed that it would need to return to the issue of priority setting at its next session, in order to seek to conclude the protracted discussions carried out so far. Important issues in the discussion of priority setting were whether resources were too thinly spread across various activities and whether current entities had sufficient critical mass to lead to effective results. The Committee recalled that the discussion at the next session would be facilitated by the scheduled consideration of a report on the first batch of auto-evaluations expected to be completed by that date, which would also seek to explain the related process.
27. The Committee stressed the importance of capacity building and of giving full attention to regional priorities, especially in water resources development. Some Members questioned the adequacy of the proposed resource allocations to the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR). They also reiterated the need to follow the guidance of the 17th Session of COAG (2003) as regards work on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), which may require adjustments to the MTP. The emphasis given to close linkages between normative and field activities was appreciated.
28. The Committee received clarifications on the internal decision-making process, whereby the concerned Programme Managers were regularly reviewing external contexts, leading to eventual restructuring of existing programme entities and/or creating new ones. Additional information was provided on specific points, such as the continued importance of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) work.
29. The Committee noted the priority given to capacity building under this Major Programme, highlighting more particularly CODEX-related work on food safety. It concurred with the introduction of a set of inter-related Programme Entities addressing food security challenges in light of the transforming food economy, while noting the small initial resource allocation levels. It also endorsed the planned work on follow-up to World Food Summit commitments and the Millennium Development Goals.
30. The Committee recalled the major contributions of M.P. 2.2 to priority areas of FAO while being concerned about the potentially negative impact of past reductions in Regular Programme allocations. The Committee was advised that this was being partly compensated by the availability of extra-budgetary funding. The Committee also took note of expanding opportunities and benefits resulting from increased partnerships with external institutions.
31. The Committee endorsed the overall thrust of M.P. 2.3, in particular the attention given to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS), aquaculture and the continued emphasis on supporting Regional Fisheries Bodies.
32. The Committee sought clarification about activities related to inland fisheries and aquaculture and small-scale fisheries development. It noted that the structural changes introduced to Programme 2.3.3 Fisheries Exploitation and Utilization were linked to a recent evaluation that it had considered.
33. The Committee noted that the Major Programme had undergone a major restructuring in the previous biennium and that, therefore, no further structural change had proved necessary for the MTP 2006-11. It appreciated the increased attention given to regional forestry commissions and to activities with direct impact at country level.
34. The Committee expressed support for the new entities under Programmes 2.5.1 and 2.5.3, while acknowledging that existing entities under 2.5.2 would inter alia support the new PAIA on HIV/AIDS.
35. The Committee was advised that an internal review of Programmes 2.5.1, 2.5.2 and 2.5.3 had been carried out, assisted by an independent panel of external experts. This may result in departmental restructuring, while a more precise programme realignment would be fully reflected in the PWB 2006-07.
36. The Committee reiterated the importance of policy advice for countries to create an enabling environment for agricultural development and food security. While observing with satisfaction that strengthening of this programme was a prominent feature of the MTP, it recalled its recommendation so that Programme 3.1.2, Policy assistance to various regions, could benefit as soon as possible from resources from eventual efficiency savings to compensate for budget cuts.
37. The Committee stressed the need to ensure due synergy between the normative work of the technical departments and the outreach function of policy assistance to countries. The role of the Policy Assistance Division (TCA) was fully endorsed in this respect, together with its contributions to capacity building. The Committee was advised that the Policy Task Force recommended by the 2001 Evaluation on Policy Assistance had been reactivated. It noted with satisfaction the emphasis placed on adequate country information as a basis for policy advice and better targeting of field programme development activities.
38. The Committee encouraged further efforts be made by the Organization to follow up the Rome Declaration on the harmonization of work of UN entities to ensure coherence at country level.
39. The Committee was advised of the steps being taken so as to provide sufficient resources for policy work linked to the implementation of the voluntary guidelines to the Right to Food by concerned countries.
40. The Committee appreciated that the level of resources available in the past to the Investment Centre Division (TCI) had been restored in the MTP 2006-11. It was reassured that the foreseen increase in the level of external income was based on firm trends, including a return to normal in the level of cooperation with one of the major regional banks. The Committee noted that TCI may further adjust the structure of Programmes 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 with a view to strengthening planning, target setting, financial monitoring and reporting under these programmes.
41. The Committee recognized the complementary roles of the above programmes in the management of FAO’s activities in the field and commended the significant progress made in improving field operations arrangements and delivery. The Committee was informed of the current coverage and future expansion of the Field Programme Management Information System (FPMIS).
42. In view of the need to improve FAO’s response capacity, the Committee expressed interest in receiving a document on planned enhancements to administrative procedures linked to emergency activities.
43. The Committee was informed that practically all FAO Representatives had assumed operational responsibility for national projects in their countries of assignment, and that gradual progress was being made in strengthening FAO Representations to assume broader responsibilities. It was also apprised of the fact that all FAO country offices now had to conform to UN security standards and that the Office for the Coordination of Decentralized, Operational and Normative Activities (OCD) had been designated as focal point for field security matters in FAO. It noted the changes to the programme structure under M.P. 3.4, including an entity covering these security aspects. The Committee recalled that it would pursue examination of the country offices under item 6: “Evaluation of FAO’s Decentralization”.
44. The Committee reiterated the important assistance that the Programme provided to beneficiary countries. Many Members expressed strong support for the increased allocation in the MTP, although still falling short of the target in Conference Resolution 9/89. Some Members noted, however, that it would have been preferable not to preclude the outcome of the discussion of TCP under item 7. Members welcomed the significant improvements in TCP approval levels and delivery during the past biennium.
45. The Committee noted that this part was essentially focused on a selective presentation of the issues of importance to each region, as assessed by the respective FAO’s Regional Offices or highlighted by the FAO Regional Conferences. While this was of interest, there was a general feeling that ways should be found to make this part of the document more informative – if retained as separate – especially since the links with the proposed entities and activities in Part II was not apparent. Alternatively, the section could be integrated into Part II thus ensuring adequate linkage.
46. The Committee took note of this part of the document, including the specific mandate of the Finance Committee to advise on the proposals.
47. These items were covered under Item 3 (Medium Term Plan 2006-11).
48. The Committee welcomed the depth and independence of the evaluation of FAO’s decentralization. The report was comprehensive in identifying and addressing the very complex and inter-linked series of issues for the Organization in strengthening its institutional performance. It contained a wealth of analysis, suggestions and ideas, in addition to the formal recommendations. The Committee, thus, emphasized its appreciation of the evaluation team’s work. The Committee commended management for its role in working with the evaluation team and for its positive and constructive response with a view to building on the evaluation to improve services to Member Countries.
49. The Committee also appreciated the Synthesis of Findings of two FAO Internal Evaluations of Work at Country Level (southern Africa and Afghanistan). It noted that these had formed useful inputs to the information base for the decentralization evaluation and that country programme evaluations should be continued as a useful source of lessons in addition to programme and thematic evaluations.
50. The evaluation of decentralization addressed in a very timely way the Organization’s contribution to Member Country development at both national and regional levels. This was a critical central function of the Organization in addressing its mandate and the goals of the World Food Summit and the Organization’s Strategic Framework. The Committee emphasized that while decentralization was not an end in itself, further enhancing the effectiveness of the decentralization initiated in 1994/95 was key to assisting Member Countries to attain these goals, while also ensuring the Organization’s unity and coherence.
51. In view of the depth of the decentralization evaluation report and the short period which both the membership and FAO management had had in which to consider it, the Committee concentrated its debate on the broad themes of the evaluation, including the conceptual basis for decentralization within the evolving national context in developing countries. The Committee concurred with the main identification of problems in the report and while more time was needed to consider the detail of proposals, there was general agreement with the overall thrust of the proposed decentralization strategy.
52. Members emphasized that FAO had to be more rapid and flexible in response to requests for advice at national level and that work at the policy and strategy level had become increasingly important. Decision making on bilateral and multilateral development cooperation was increasingly decentralized and based on development strategies agreed with the governments, including PRSPs and UNDAFs. FAO needed to strengthen its capacity to respond and be an advocate for agriculture and rural development in strategy formulation and as a partner in implementation. Increased capacity for dialogue, effectiveness and authority at country level would enable FAO to play a greater role in implementing internationally financed programmes. Some Members of the Committee felt that, if FAO could not strengthen its response in this way, it could gradually be marginalized by other institutions. Several Members also emphasized the need for FAO to be flexible in the modalities it adopted depending on national and regional needs, and to be responsive in adjusting to changing circumstances.
53. The Committee suggested that, to the extent possible, FAO’s decentralized capacity should be more proportionately matched to: 1) the needs of countries, particularly in terms of rural poverty and food insecurity, and/or 2) those countries and areas of work where it could expect most impact. In this regard, some Members felt that FAO need not try to provide universal country office coverage for developing countries. Other Members emphasized, however, that country office coverage was a real need and expressed caution on the proposed extension of multiple accreditation of FAORs. Some Members also expressed reservations as to whether technical groups based on communication hubs would provide the most effective modality to improve technical support in the regions.
54. The Committee agreed on the need for increased decentralization of authority to improve responsiveness, efficiency and effectiveness while strengthening and deepening the Organization’s unity and coherence. This extended to financial delegations and to authorities to provide assistance, receive funds and to enter into cooperation with others. This required, however, the necessary capacity including competencies and adequate monitoring and control systems. In this context, some Members noted a need to move away from a central control culture and place a greater emphasis on personal responsibility and ex-post compliance monitoring.
55. The Committee emphasized the importance of decentralized staff competencies and performance, noting the importance of ensuring that the necessary competencies were in place both among national and international staff.
56. In a wide ranging and rich debate, among the additional points made were:
57. The Committee welcomed FAO management’s proposal to develop for consideration by the Ninety-third session of the Committee a comprehensive response to the evaluation and action plan for strengthening the effectiveness of the Organization through decentralization. This response would address the objectives of the decentralization and include:
58. In welcoming management’s initial reaction, the Committee noted that aspects of implementation of the decentralization to date had been hampered by resource constraints. Management was urged to make clear where additional resources would be required for one-time and for recurrent costs and the envisaged benefits in-terms of FAO services to Members. The Governing Bodies could then address the proposals on their merits. In this context it was noted that proposals would be progressively incorporated in the Programme and Work and Budget for consideration by the Governing Bodies.
59. The Committee agreed to carry out a detailed discussion of the findings and recommendations of the evaluation report, and then to consider the comprehensive management response and action plan at its next meeting. The two Team Leaders of the evaluation would be invited to be present at the session as resource persons for this in-depth discussion.
60. The Committee expressed its appreciation for the open approach outlined by the Secretariat in the paper presented to the Committee and agreed with the proposed consultative process. The Committee underscored the importance of the ongoing Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) review process as an opportunity to strengthen the Programme’s value and impact for Member Countries.
61. Many Members stressed the critical value of the Programme for developing nations and reaffirmed the Programme’s core objective to provide “unprogrammed short-term, flexible assistance” in response to the “unforeseen needs of developing countries”. In this regard, Members supported the proposal aimed at ensuring that the TCP could respond to the needs of governments in the most effective, efficient and strategic manner possible, through strengthened dialogue between FAO and governments at the country-level.
62. Members made recommendations to guide the consultative process, including the need to revisit TCP Criteria regarding, for example, the maximum size (US$ 400,000) and duration (24 months) of TCP projects, opportunities for the further devolution of a range of TCP-related functions and responsibilities to decentralized offices, the value of linking TCP support to co-financing opportunities and exploring opportunities to increase the involvement of NGOs and the private sector. Members requested the Secretariat to include concrete proposals on TCP eligibility criteria with a view to better targetting.
63. The Committee agreed to the Secretariat’s suggestions regarding the development of preliminary proposals for strengthening the TCP, for discussion at the Ninety-third Session. It welcomed the proposal that the Evaluation Service should undertake an independent review of certain aspects of the TCP, including recommendations for strengthening its effectiveness. This independent review would be provided to the Committee for its consideration at its next session and would also be made available to the Organization’s management in sufficient time for it to take account of the findings and recommendations in preparing its preliminary proposals for consideration at the same session. The Evaluation Service Review would be based on:
64. FAO management will consider, in addition to the Independent Review by the Evaluation Service, the results of in-depth consultation within the FAO secretariat and a detailed analysis of procedures, and, taking into account the above advice of the Programme Committee, prepare a series of proposals for consideration by the Committee.
65. In order to accommodate the work on the TCP review, the Evaluation Service would adjust its work programme, postponing one evaluation for presentation at the Ninety-fourth Session.
66. The Committee took note of these two documents.
67. The Committee recalled the need for timely delivery of the documents to Members in all the required languages, i.e. at least 28 days before the session commences. It also stressed that in order to facilitate consultations with other Members and feedback from the concerned authorities which should be able to analyse the documents with due care, it was increasingly important to ensure their release on FAO’s Internet Web site at the same time as the delivery of the hard copy documents. The Committee, therefore, regretted the serious delays experienced at this session in the despatch of documents and in the timely availability of all language versions, as well as their absence from the Web site.
68. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Committee acknowledged that the sharp rise in the volume of words being produced for the Committees did put more pressure on Secretariat to produce the documents on time with some members citing declining resources in the area of translation as adding to the problem.
69. The Committee was advised that as part of an effort to counteract this, a new document production system had been introduced which was precisely aimed at ensuring the simultaneous availability of the printed and the Web versions of the documents and part of the reason for the delay was teething problems linked to this new system. The Committee was assured that such problems were unlikely to recur in the future.
70. The Committee also discussed the number of agenda items that it was routinely considering at its meetings to ensure that it was able to devote adequate time to each item. In this context, it reviewed the items provisionally listed for consideration at its May 2005 session which, in addition to the standing items on its agenda, would be:
71. The Committee concluded that it would be able to deal with the agenda as planned.
1 PC 92/1 – PC 92/INF/1