The Executive Office
The Executive Office is responsible for all financial, personnel, and general administrative matters concerning the Department. With about 1,200 staff in the Department in New York and many temporary language professionals hired each year (between 100 and 200 are working each month), the biennial budget amounts to over 360 million US dollars.
The core functions of the Office include the following:
- To assist the Under-Secretary-General and senior staff of the Department in the development and implementation of the financial, personnel and administrative framework;
- To support programme managers in the preparation of the proposed programme budget and financial performance reports;
- To certify the incurring of obligations and expenditures against the funds allocated to the Department;
- To coordinate the full range of staff and human resource issues, i.e. performance appraisal, staff recruitment and promotion, training and career development, and personnel administration of staff ensuring consistency in the interpretation and application of the Staff Regulations and Rules and related personnel policies and directives;
- To represent the Department in intergovernmental bodies that deal with administrative, budgetary and financial matters;
- To maintain contact with other Secretariat bodies, in particular the Office of Human Resources Management, the Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts, and the Office of Central Support Services;
- To provide guidance to staff and management on all staffing matters and policy issues;
- To maintain contact with the Department’s Executive Offices at the United Nations Offices at Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi as regards staffing matters and global administrative concerns in order to standardize work methods and to implement good practices.
Within all of that, the two major concerns of the Office are the staffing and the budget of the Department. Taking into account the fact that the Department’s permanent capacity is below what is needed to provide the full range of services required by the Member States, the Executive Office works closely with programme managers to determine things such as: how many people, and in what timeframe, will be needed to accomplish the work that has been assigned to the Department; how to source and recruit the best people for the posts; what new initiatives can be funded in order for our staff to work better, smarter, and faster; and, of course, how much will all of that cost given scarce resources.
Because the Department is a multilingual, multicultural and multinational body, just like the United Nations itself, the 23 staff of the Executive Office must have the skills at hand (tact, patience, understanding) to deal with individual concerns as well as the labyrinthine administrative landscape. Staff regulations and rules must be administered in a flexible but fair manner. The efforts of the Office enable the Department to ensure a steady and stable workforce, and to make available adequate resources to accomplish its extensive programme of work.
Most simply put, the Executive Officer and the staff of the Office make sure that the workings of the Department work.
Last Update: 23 May 2011 / Angie ADUSEI