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Chapter 6: Common Services

(all amounts in US$ 000)
  Major Programme 2004-05 Programme of Work ZRG 2006-07 Programme of Work ZNG 2006-07 Programme of Work RG 2006-07 Programme of Work Trust Fund
60 Common Services 52,486 46,398 42,880 46,398 0
Total 52,486 46,398 42,880 46,398 0
Programme Change from 2004-05 Programme of Work at Chapter level (6,088) (9,606) (6,088)  
Percent Change (11.6%) (18.3%) (11.6%)  

Substantive thrusts under ZRG conditions

492.     Under the management of the Administrative Services Division (AFS), this chapter covers the cost of common services, including mail and pouch, document distribution, archives and records, procurement, and buildings maintenance. It also covers similar costs for common services in the Regional and Subregional Offices. While AFS will still manage the protection of people, property and premises at headquarters, and related coordination with government authorities, US$ 7.2 million in resources have been transferred to Chapter 9 Security Expenditure.

493.     AFS operates in a climate of high service level demands, rising headquarters facility management costs, and has endured increases in utilities and air conditioning costs well above average inflation levels, generating severe resource pressures.

494.     Procurement functions have expanded considerably, due to emergency-related work, and the current high level of activities is expected to continue. There is understaffing in the monitoring, vendor and registry support areas as a result of expanded activities, potentially exposing the Organization to inadequate controls. AFS will continue to assist decentralized offices in the implementation of procurement activities. It will also take a new role of institutional building and training, assisting concerned countries in strengthening their procurement capacity, in the context of important unilaterally-funded programmes and projects.

495.     Documents, central records and communications user services will continue to focus on the enhancement of the Digital Records Management System, capable of operating across the FAO local and wide-area networks. These initiatives have resulted in some restructuring of the registries, with further changes planned for the next biennium. Work will also be done on the automation of the publications distribution process, through the adoption of new printing technology and different outsourcing of services.

496.     Building maintenance includes the cost in the first instance of utilities and ongoing maintenance requirements including cleaning, renovation and refurbishment. It also includes one-off major maintenance for the buildings and for ancillary technical installations, although the budgetary provision for major maintenance works and upgrading of the infrastructure remains inadequate following successive budget reductions. An additional amount of US$ 1.7 million has been provided in the budget to address some of the maintenance needs. At the same time, efforts will continue to generate savings. There would still be significant gaps left, which could create difficulties. For infrastructure improvements, reliance is being placed on the support of the Italian Government, as well as governmental and corporate donors.

Zero Nominal Growth Impact
497.     ZNG would entail serious maintenance shortfalls leading to interruptions of service (e.g. air conditioning). Some maintenance cycles, which could not be fully respected in the past, would have to be interrupted with the risk of shortening the life cycle of equipment and incurring longer term higher capital costs for replacements. In addition, AFS would have to further reduce the frequency of cleaning activities, with social and health associated risks, implement a drastic reduction in office moves, eliminate the purchase of new furniture and seek maximum recovery of costs in all circumstances. This inability of the Organization to meet its obligations regarding ordinary maintenance could place an undue burden on the host country. It could also place the Organization in the position of not being able to comply with the basic health and safety standards established by law.

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