Documents Planning Unit
The upstream work of the Section is in the hands of the Documents Planning Unit. It interacts with all author departments within the Secretariat, the conference management teams of intergovernmental bodies, and Permanent Missions to see to it that manuscripts are submitted predictably. Based on the slotting system, which was instituted in 2002, it prepares workload forecasts for processing units within the Department to serve as the basis of capacity planning, the goal of which is to ensure the most efficient use of resources.
The Unit functions as the clearing-house for documents to be considered by the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and their subsidiary bodies in New York. It reviews the resolutions adopted and decisions taken by intergovernmental bodies and verifies that all pre-session parliamentary documents – those required for the consideration of deliberative bodies during their sessions – are prepared and submitted in conformity with the legislative mandates. The mandate is the “reason for being” of the document: the request from an intergovernmental body for information on a particular topic that it wishes to examine at a given session and on the basis of which it takes action.
The steps in that process, or the links in that chain, are the following:
- Compilation of a list of all mandates for documentation for each legislative body;
- Identification of the actions and/or author department for each document;
- Assignment of a submission date for each document after negotiations with the author department;
- Monitoring of all documents until they have been submitted for processing;
- Receipt and verification of manuscripts, after which they are forwarded to the Documents Control Unit.
The database of the Unit, the Documents Information Manager or DIMO, has been designed as a management tool to monitor submissions. Should a forecast manuscript not reach the Unit on the targeted date, for example, enquiries will be made as to the reasons for the delay and remedial action will be suggested if that is deemed necessary. The Unit also provides chairpersons of intergovernmental bodies with up to date document service reports before the beginning of the session either in the form of official notes or electronic messaging.
The following are among the tasks of the Unit:
- Weekly reminders to author departments of expected submissions;
- Waiver management and re-scheduling for manuscripts that are beyond approved page limits or whose submission is delayed;
- Annual report on documentation;
- Task force on documentation (for all departments and for the Fifth Committee).
- Daily watch list for processing units within the Department, alerting the Documents Control Unit of any document that has spent more than 28 days in the pipeline.
Last Update: 15 February 2012 / Ruth RAMIREZ