Agenda item 140
Administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing
of the United Nations peacekeeping operations
Budget for the Office of Internal Oversight Services under the support account for peacekeeping operations for the period from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009
Report of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee
The present addendum provides a clarification of the comments made by the Independent Audit Advisory Committee in document A/62/814 with respect to the proposed restructuring of the Office of Internal Oversight Services Investigations Division and the related budgetary implications.
1. In response to comments the Independent Audit Advisory Committee received on its report on the budget for the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) under the support account for peacekeeping operations (A/62/814), the Committee is submitting the present addendum to clarify the intent of the Committee with respect to the proposed restructuring of the OIOS Investigations Division and the related budgetary and operational implications.
2. The Committee wishes to reiterate that it believes the “hub and spoke” structure referred to in paragraphs 23 to 25 of the above-mentioned report has strong conceptual merit for the Investigations Division and has obvious advantages over the current structure. Under this approach, a limited presence might exist at selected field locations (e.g. peacekeeping missions), while a larger number of persons would be based at hubs for deployment to various missions on the basis of need and risk.
3. The Committee therefore suggested in paragraph 26 of its report that OIOS consider a phased approach with respect to transferring investigator positions currently in the missions and re-establishing them as posts in the regional hubs. Specifically, the Committee believes that in phasing in the hub and spoke approach, OIOS should request the establishment of posts only in the hubs where there is certainty, based on the caseload and other factors, that there will be a long-term need for those posts (at least five years). Importantly, while OIOS should ensure the long-term need for any positions converted from general temporary assistance to posts, any related employment agreements should comply with applicable United Nations employment policies and practices. Under this approach, some investigator positions funded under general temporary assistance should be retained in the budget for 2008/09 to meet the short-term needs in the “spokes”, that is, the missions.
4. For 2007/08, the authorized resources of OIOS under the support account for the Investigations Division comprised 12 established posts (7 Professional and 5 General Service) in the peacekeeping missions. They were supplemented by 36 positions (26 Professional and 10 General Service) funded under general temporary assistance, which are also located in the missions. In addition, there are 27 positions in the regional hubs that are funded under general temporary assistance (20 Professional and 7 General Service). In total there were 75 positions located in the missions and the hubs.
5. Following discussions with the Independent Audit Advisory Committee at its recently concluded session, the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services advised the Committee that at least 7 of the existing resident investigator posts in the missions and 18 of the current 36 investigator posts funded under general temporary assistance would meet the criteria for being re-established in the hubs if a phased approach were adopted. Therefore, OIOS has advised the Committee that it proposes to convert the 27 positions under general temporary assistance to posts and to retain them in the regional hubs. In summary, according to OIOS, the proposed restructuring would result in a total of 73 positions, a reduction of 2 from the 2007/08 authorized staffing resources, comprising 52 established posts in the regional hubs (42 Professional and 10 General Service), 5 established posts in the peacekeeping missions (all General Service) and 16 positions funded from general temporary assistance in the peacekeeping missions (11 Professional and 5 General Service).
6. On that basis, the Committee believes that the General Assembly should consider authorizing the conversion and re-establishment of 52 posts in the hubs for 2008/09 on the basis of justification to be provided by OIOS. Importantly, the Committee recommends that OIOS provide in the next budget a more complete analysis of how many established posts and general temporary assistance positions it will need and will use in future years.
7. The Committee notes its comments in paragraph 25 of its report with regard to the absence of complete financial information on the proposed restructuring of the Investigations Division. The Committee now understands that preparing such costing information will require OIOS to work in close cooperation with the Peacekeeping Financing Division, Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts. The Committee encourages those offices to work together in a constructive and cooperative manner to complete the analysis in a timely manner.
8. The members of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee respectfully request the General Assembly to consider the present addendum to its report on the proposed budget of OIOS for 2008/09 under the support account for peacekeeping operations.
(Signed) David M. Walker
Chairman, Independent Audit Advisory Committee