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273.      The main achievements of the Organization during the biennium, as well as any significant work that could not be completed, are summarized here. The structure of the Programme of Work and Budget (PWB) 2002-03 is followed. Tabular information is provided at the major programme and programme levels on resources available for the programme of work and on expenditures incurred against it. Where applicable, the table also includes data on Field Programme delivery, separately for "Extrabudgetary Trust Funds (TFs) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)", "Extrabudgetary emergency project delivery", "Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP)" and the "Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS)".

274.      As part of the effort to reflect in the PIR the results-based principles governing FAO’s programme management processes, the implementation highlights for the technical programmes (Chapter 2 and Major Programme 3.1) are presented within the general context of the objectives and outcomes outlined in the Medium Term Plan (MTP) 2002-07.

275.      Since the MTP covers a six-year period whereas this document only deals with the first two years of that period, the results or achievements reported are not generally at the same level or order of magnitude as the major outputs and outcomes in the MTP. However, it is anticipated that the six-year auto-evaluation cycle will fully address outcomes and the objectives of entities at the MTP level. Tabular information on the status of outputs planned in the PWB, plus new outputs introduced during programme implementation to respond to changing circumstances and requests for assistance in Member Nations, is provided in Annex I.

276.      To supplement this report, a fully comprehensive list of outputs, including all of those published in the PWB 2002-03, and their implementation status are posted on the FAO Internet site ( for more detailed information on programme implementation.

PWB Chapter 1: General Policy and Direction

Major Programme 1.1: Governing Bodies

Regular Programme





Programme of Work



Adjustments to Programme of Work arising out of Budgetary Transfers



Final Programme of Work



Expenditure against Final Programme of Work



Variance of Expenditure (Over)/Under Final Programme of Work



Budgetary Transfers as percent of Programme of Work




277.      This Major Programme covers support to meetings of the Governing Bodies, services to other FAO meetings and use of headquarters conference facilities for consultations by accredited government representatives and for non-FAO meetings. Indicators of activity are given in Table 1.1-1.






Interpretation provided (days)




Translation (million words)




Circular letters (policy-level communications)




Agreement letters re FAO meetings




Amendments to correspondence channels (pages)




Duration of Conference/Council sessions (days)




278.      In keeping with Conference recommendations, efforts continued throughout the biennium to achieve savings and efficiency in the governance process and to streamline work processes. The period was characterized by intense activity, mainly in preparation for the World Food Summit: five years later (WFS:fyl), originally scheduled for November 2001 but subsequently postponed to June 2002. Special efforts were made to assist delegations with language requirements beyond those of the official working languages. For example, translation of documents and interpretation at one of the round tables was provided for the Russian language, and the Secretariat met requests for interpretation into Italian, Russian, German and Portuguese. Preparations were also undertaken for the Thirty-second Session of the Conference of FAO, held in November 2003, incorporating new features such as Ministerial Round Table discussions and side events.

279.      The overall volume of translation carried out for meetings, other FAO documents and publications decreased by four percent as measured by the number of words translated. The translation service continued to implement computer-assisted translation tools and new technologies in areas such as remote translation for major meetings away from headquarters, workflow control, document distribution and archiving.

280.      The number of interpretation days provided for meetings of all categories increased by one percent compared with 2000-01, a reflection of an increase in the percentage of meetings held at headquarters (where more meetings are interpreted into all FAO languages) as compared to the field. Improved scheduling of meetings and greater use of interpreter exchange arrangements with other UN agencies facilitated the provision of these services.

281.      The number of policy-level circular communications to heads of state/government and ministers nearly doubled during the biennium, mainly as a result of the preparation for the rescheduled WFS:fyl.

Major Programme 1.2: Policy, Direction and Planning

Regular Programme





Programme of Work



Adjustments to Programme of Work arising out of Budgetary Transfers



Final Programme of Work



Expenditure against Final Programme of Work



Variance of Expenditure (Over)/Under Final Programme of Work



Budgetary Transfers as percent of Programme of Work




282.      This Major Programme covers the work of offices in the Office of the Director-General (ODG), including the:

Programme 1.2.1: Director-General's Office

283.      This programme covers the immediate Office of the Director-General and the Deputy Director-General including the Cabinet and the Special Advisor to the Director-General dealing primarily with high-level relations with the Host Government.

284.      The team, led by the Director-General, attends to the core management of the Organization at the highest level.

Programme 1.2.2: Programme Planning, Budgeting and Evaluation

285.      The programme, carried out by PBE, continued to assist in policy matters related to the Organization’s objectives, programme formulation and budget monitoring and control. Evaluation of the Organization’s activities is also carried out within this programme, but as a substantially independent activity in accordance with governing body guidance.

286.      In the area of systems support for programme planning and budgeting, the Programme Planning, Implementation Reporting and Evaluation Support System (PIRES) was developed and three modules were released for corporate use. PIRES was used by divisions and PBE to prepare the Medium Term Plan (MTP) 2004-09, the Programme of Work and Budget (PWB) 2004-05, and the Programme Implementation Report (PIR) 2000-01. Work on modules for setting and transmitting allotments, work planning and annual assessments was initiated in 2003 for release of functional modules in early 2004.

287.      The programme planning, budgeting and monitoring process, and the associated MTP, PWB and PIR documents presented to the Governing Bodies, continued to evolve as they increasingly reflect the implementation of Results Based Budgeting (otherwise referred to as the New Programme Model) as described under the Strategy to Address Cross-Organizational Issues (SACOI) on Continuing to Improve the Management Process. Guiding principles for pre-evaluation monitoring, annual assessment and periodic auto-evaluation were issued in 2002 and gradually adopted by technical and economic programmes, providing the basis of this PIR 2002-03.

288.      With regard to the SACOI on Enhancing Inter-Disciplinarity, support to the main thrust of that strategy - the 16 Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIAs) - has resulted in clear programme proposals which were progressively refined from the MTP to the PWB. Reporting by the PAIAs (completed in 2004) demonstrated substantial achievements as described in the section on Progress Towards Implementation of the Strategic Framework.


289.      The evaluation regime endorsed by the Governing Bodies in 1999 was further strengthened. At its September 2003 session, the Joint Meeting of the Programme and Finance Committees agreed a number of measures to enhance the effectiveness and independence of evaluation, which were subsequently endorsed by the Council. These included formation of an internal Evaluation Committee, chaired by the Deputy Director-General, recognition of the greater substantive independence of the Evaluation Service and formalization of reporting channels to the Governing Bodies.

290.      Major programme and thematic evaluations were submitted to the Programme Committee, Council and Conference, including the first evaluation of one of FAO’s Strategic Objectives (A3 Preparedness for, and Effective and Sustainable Response to, Food and Agricultural Emergencies) and a major joint evaluation with WHO of the Codex Alimentarius and other FAO/WHO food standards work. Other evaluations that were reviewed by the Governing Bodies included: "Agricultural Statistics in the Context of FAOSTAT", "Crop Production" and "Fisheries Exploitation and Utilization".

291.      Results of these evaluations and four others, along with the reports of the independent peer review panels (where they were held) and the responses of FAO senior management and the views of the Programme Committee as reflected in their reports, were issued in the biennial Programme Evaluation Report 2003 which was submitted to, and well received by, the Conference at its 32nd Session.

292.      In addition to the above evaluation reports, monitoring and follow-up of evaluation recommendations was strengthened internally and through enhanced oversight by the Programme Committee. Work in progress included a major evaluation of FAO's decentralization and the commencement of the pilot introduction of auto-evaluations which are carried out by programme managers but which are subject to technical quality control by the Evaluation Service. The auto-evaluation system forms an essential element in the results based programming and budgeting system and should cover all programme entities during the course of their life, feeding into decision-making on their continuation, modification or termination as applicable.

293.      While thematic and programme evaluation became the major thrust of evaluation work, support to individual project evaluations continued, including participation in evaluation missions (Table 1.2-1). Internal evaluations covering the totality of FAO’s work in a particular geographical area (emergency and development) were completed for Afghanistan and southern Africa.


Work carried out by the Evaluation Service (selected indicators)




Project evaluations and reviews supported (without evaluation staff participation)




Project evaluations and reviews with evaluation staff participation




Evaluations reported in the PER to the Governing Bodies




Internal programme reviews and evaluations




Programme 1.2.3: Audit and Inspection

294.      Through the Office of the Inspector-General (AUD), the programme has responsibility for internal audit and inspection, evaluating the adequacy and effectiveness of the Organization's system of internal control, financial management and use of assets as well as investigating misconduct and other irregular activities. Accordingly, the scope of audit embraces the role of inspection and managerial control within the concept of comprehensive auditing and includes investigations and other special assignments for senior management. AUD continued to provide independent advice to the Director-General and to senior management both at headquarters and decentralized locations on a wide range of issues, and to participate in various committees and working groups. The budget of the programme also covered the fees of the external auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, with whom AUD liaises and coordinates to ensure complementarity and avoid duplication of work.

295.      AUD consists of three groups: Special Assignments and Investigations, Decentralized Activities and Headquarters Activities. The Special Assignments and Investigations group was responsible not only for special inquiries, inspections, special audits and investigations as well as tender panel operations at headquarters, but also for the audit of the Oil-for-Food Programme in Iraq, where a dedicated auditor had been outposted. The Decentralized Activities group, which included auditors outposted to each of the four major Regional Offices and a management unit at headquarters, had prime responsibility for all audits and investigations at the Regional, Subregional, Liaison and Country Offices. The headquarters group conducted comprehensive audits covering the Administration and Finance Department and technical departments.

296.      In 2003 the Audit Committee (Internal) was established to advise and provide assurance to the Director-General that the internal audit, inspection and investigation functions at FAO are operating efficiently and effectively. The Audit Committee, which consists of five internal and two external members under the chairmanship of the Deputy Director-General, has taken an active interest in the work of AUD, reviewing selected reports and recommendations in depth and providing advice on various aspects, including AUD’s work plan.

297.      A revised audit planning methodology incorporating a systematic risk assessment was developed in 2003. This approach combines the result of the risk assessment with AUD’s cumulative institutional knowledge of the Organization, and was used to develop the 2004-2005 work plan for AUD. In this way AUD adds maximum value for its FAO clients while providing reasonable assurance to the Audit Committee on how well FAO is managing its strategic, operational, stakeholder and financial risks.





Headquarters reports issued:

Special reviews, audits and investigations



Field reports issued:

Regional and Sub-regional Offices




FAO Representatives




Field projects




Total reports



Other activities:

Tender panel operations



298.      Audits, reviews and investigations were conducted on a wide range of activities in the field and in headquarters (Table 1.2-2). Of particular significance in the field were the Oil-for-Food Programme, Afghanistan operations and new arrangements for the field programme. However regular audits of Regional Offices, Subregional offices, FAO Representations and field projects continued. In headquarters, matters of note included letters of agreement, authors’ contracts, internal controls over the use of the Organization’s resources and the financial situation of the Investment Centre. Investigations of irregularities took place both at headquarters and decentralised locations. AUD’s Annual Reports, addressed to the Director-General and presented to the Finance Committee, provide greater detail on AUD’s activities.

299.      Follow-up and audit resolution received particular attention during this biennium and a marked improvement in implementation rates was experienced towards the end of 2003.

300.      The level of tender panel operations remained constant as compared with the previous biennium, as procurement activities under the Oil-for-Food Programme in Iraq continued for much of the biennium, combined with more frequent and wider testing of the market.

Programme 1.2.4: Legal Services

301.      In line with its constitutional mandate, the Legal Office (LEG) ensured that FAO activities were carried out on a sound constitutional and legal basis, consistent with the Basic Texts and the status of FAO as an intergovernmental organization of the UN system. It provided legal services required for the management of the Organization, at national and international level.

302.      Legal advice was provided to the Director-General, to the technical and administrative departments and to Governing Bodies of the Organization. The Legal Office serviced the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters (CCLM). It also provided legal services to the World Food Programme (WFP) Secretariat and its Executive Board. Many of LEG’s activities were related to international legal affairs, including:

303.      During the biennium attention was given, in particular, to:

304.      The Legal Office also provided a lead and services on certain interdepartmental issues, in particular regarding the right to food, and continued to assist more than 15 internal committees as well as various interdepartmental working groups (NGO/CSO, Strategic Framework, Biotechnology, etc.) and the Panel of Eminent Experts on Ethics in Food and Agriculture.






Technical functions

Meetings attended for liaison on international conventions




Basic texts prepared or amended for conventions where the Director- General exercises depositary functions




Servicing of legal instruments for which the Director-General is the depositary




Administrative functions

Written legal opinions (including e-mail)




Appeals/submissions prepared for the Director-General, the Appeals Committee (in collaboration with AFH) and the ILO and UN Administrative Tribunals




Interventions for legal proceedings involving the Organization




Programme 1.2.5: Programme and Operational Coordination

305.      OCD responsibility under this programme is to ensure coordination between headquarters and decentralized offices. Other OCD activities are reported under Major Programme 3.4 and Programme 3.5.3. This programme dealt with:

Major Programme 1.3: External Coordination and Liaison

Regular Programme





Programme of Work



Adjustments to Programme of Work arising out of Budgetary Transfers



Final Programme of Work



Expenditure against Final Programme of Work



Variance of Expenditure (Over)/Under Final Programme of Work



Budgetary Transfers as percent of Programme of Work



Field Programme





Extrabudgetary TF and UNDP delivery



Extrabudgetary emergency project delivery



TCP delivery



Total Field Programme delivery



Ratio of Field to Regular Programme delivery



Technical Support Services, professional staff cost



Programme 1.3.1: External Relations and Coordination

Inter-agency coordination

306.      The Unit for Relations with the UN System (SADN) continued to provide policy advice on inter-agency coordination matters both to ODG and to departments/units involved in UN system-wide coordination/cooperation arrangements. The Unit prepares the participation of the Director-General at meetings of the UN system Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), which groups the Executive Heads of UN system organizations, including WTO and the Bretton Woods institutions. SADN represents FAO at meetings of CEB sherpas, with responsibilities for preparation and follow-up of the CEB sessions.

307.      The unit also continued to represent the Organization at meetings of the High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP), the main preparatory body of the CEB. Since the UN Development Group (UNDG), which supports country-level coordination, has increasingly addressed policy issues, SADN monitored UNDG meetings in close cooperation with the Technical Cooperation Department to ensure coherent FAO positions.

Policy advice on UN System issues of relevance to FAO

308.      During 2002-2003, provision of advice on UN system policy issues generally increased in response to a growing demand for information on how FAO activities fit into the “larger picture” of priority policies and exercises of the United Nations, (Millennium Development Goals, UN Reforms, HIV/AIDS and food security) and how these might shape FAO initiatives such as the Anti-Hunger Programme and the International Alliance Against Hunger, among others (Table 1.3-1). SADN responded or coordinated responses to external requests for FAO contributions mainly to UN system reports and exercises, in particular the annual reports of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly, as well as to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on a wide range of issues.







Response to UN system requests:

ECOSOC and General Assembly





Various UN




Policy Advice to FAO:

Policy advice to FAO Units on UN system issues









UN System documentation and meetings

309.      The unit facilitated and coordinated FAO representation at external meetings organized by UN system organizations, with a view to implementing FAO policy regarding attendance at external UN meetings, aiming to ensure optimal use of travel funds and a coordinated approach to representation (see Table 1.3-2). The number of invitations to new meetings decreased by 19% over the previous biennium, while 14% fewer new meetings were attended.

310.      The electronic retrieval, distribution and storage of UN-system documentation is an ongoing function of the Documents and Reference Centre in SADN, which responds to internal requests for documents. Since May 1999, with the advent of the UN Optical Disk System, UN-system documents and publications relevant to FAO are downloaded electronically and forwarded by e-mail to FAO focal points, including field offices. UN-related electronic news items are also screened and those of interest to FAO are circulated daily to relevant staff.







UN meetings:

No. of invitations received





No. of invitations attended




UN documentation:

No. of documents received, distributed throughout FAO, and stored





UN news items electronically retrieved and distributed within FAO




311.      This programme also hosts the budget for "Contributions to the Inter-agency Coordination Mechanisms" which includes FAO's share of the costs of bodies such as the UN Standing Peacekeeping Force (UNSPF), the High-Level Committee of the CEB, the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and the Office of the United Nations Security Coordinator (UNSECOORD).

Office of World Food Summit Follow-up (SADDW)

312.      SADDW promoted and monitored, in collaboration with FAO departments and Rome-based agencies, the establishment and functioning of the International Alliance Against Hunger (IAAH) at the national and global levels. The IAAH is a recent initiative consistent with the Declaration of the World Food Summit: five years later. In collaboration with various FAO units, the Office prepared documentation and communications for 2003 World Food Day observance on “Working Together for an International Alliance Against Hunger”. Brochures and special communications were shared with countries’ officials and organizations, requesting their consideration to establish National Alliances.

313.      The Office has organized with the Rome-based agencies, including the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) and non-governmental organizations, an IAAH Working Group, providing new impetus to their collaboration and cooperation.

Programme 1.3.2: Liaison Offices

314.      This programme covers the Liaison Offices with the United Nations (LONY in New York and LOGE in Geneva); with North America (LOWA in Washington, DC); with the European Union and Belgium (LOBR in Brussels); and with Japan (LOJA in Yokahama). LONY and LOGE assisted decision-making at FAO headquarters by following developments in the UN system and representing the Organization at intergovernmental and inter-agency meetings in their respective cities; by assisting in the liaison with intergovernmental, non-governmental and private institutions; assisting in public information and public relations activities in general, including requests for information; and providing briefings for visiting FAO officers. LOWA, LOBR and LOJA continued to assist FAO headqarters in formulating and implementing policies and maintaining communications and cooperation with the governments and local organizations in their respective cities.

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