The Finance and Budget Network has completed the first stage of a project, due to be completed, on common treasury services. The project, which is funded by the High-level Committee on Management Plan of Action and led by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Health Organization (WHO), will provide detailed estimates of savings and specific proposals for harmonization in the area of treasury operations, with a focus on banking services, payments, currency management, investment management, external costs and fees and risk management.
In response to General Assembly resolution 64/289, the CEB secretariat, in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, has worked on the further development of a United Nations system-wide financial statistics database and reporting system. That project, also funded by the High-level Committee on Management Plan of Action, is intended to allow for system-wide reporting and comparison of revenues and expenditures. The first version of the new reporting system is expected to go live in early 2012.
During 2010, the United Nations system reached an important milestone on the reporting of financial data for inter-agency expenditures. That work, completed by the Finance and Budget Network under the leadership of WHO, has led to agreement by agencies on uniformed expense coding categories for inter-agency reporting, which are expected to go into full effect in 2012. The next phase of that work will target consensus on uniformed reporting standards to United Nations system donors.
In addition, an inter-agency working group on safety and security costs has successfully streamlined the budget review process of the jointly financed activities of the United Nations Security Management System, providing for a due review process to be held at the levels of the Inter-Agency Security Management Network and the Finance and Budget Network. The working group will continue to address the security cost-sharing arrangements by looking at various cost-sharing options.
Driven by the need to achieve more predictability and transparency in setting exchange rates, the Finance and Budget Network approved updated working guidelines for the United Nations operational rate of exchange. Revisions to the guidelines defined precise terms and a procedure for setting rates while more closely trailing the market spot rate as required for compliance with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).