Appointment, probation and promotion Appointment, probation and promotion

State: Public Add to folder Actions View Edit Properties Sharing GEO Location Versions Ownership Configure Setup Invite Recycle Register Assign Members Groups Updates Analytics Inventory Test Log Hide Menu You are here: UN System Chief Executives Board Publications Management Handbook Human Resources Patterns Of Employment Appointment, probation and promotion Appointment, probation and promotion Introductory note : All organizations have in their constitutions a provision on the lines of Article 101 of the Charter of the United Nations, which says, inter alia: "The paramount consideration in the employment of the staff... shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity. Due regard shall be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible." CCAQ discussions on appointment, probation and promotion of staff are summarized below.

(1) At its 2nd session (July 1948: CO-ORDINATION/PREP/57, para. IV) the Committee discussed the principles of geographical distribution as applied by UN and agreed that these principles would not necessarily be suitable to all agencies.

(2) At its 9th session (July 1950: CC/A.8/SR.1 and CO-ORDINATION/R.83) the Committee agreed that agencies, without departing too far from the standard personal history form, could make such minor changes to it as they considered necessary.

(3) At the 13th session (September 1952: CO-ORDINATION/R.132, para. 62) in connection with a request made by the UN Commission on the Status of Women for detailed employment data on women staff members, it was pointed out by several agencies that employment of women must necessarily be a matter primarily for executive heads.

(4) At the same session (ibid., paras. 23-25) CCAQ adopted guiding principles concerning the application of certain staff rules. These are set out in paras. 25-52 of section IX of R.132 and relate, inter alia, to tenure of appointment (paras. 25 and 26) and period of probation (paras. 27 and 28).

(5) At the 14th session (April 1953: CO-ORDINATION/R.142, paras. 37-40) the Committee discussed the text of the new staff regulation on probationary periods which UN Secretariat proposed to adopt, and suggested to UN a text for its proposed new staff rule.

(6) At the 18th session (March 1957: CO-ORDINATION/R.245, para. 28) CCAQ discussed the status of national civil servants who were serving in an international secretariat.

(7) At the 19th session (March 1958: CO-ORDINATION/R.264, paras. 36-61) CCAQ agreed that posts in the General Service category should normally be filled through local recruitment or recruitment from a neighbouring area.

(8) At its 30th session (March 1969: CO-ORDINATION/R.733, paras. 72-73) CCAQ discussed appointments to posts the cost of which was shared by organizations because the incumbents served all of them (jointly financed budget). It agreed that, except as provided in para. (9)(f) below, such staff should preferably have contracts subject to UN staff regulations and rules with such modifications as might be desirable in view of the nature of the post. Insofar as these modifications did not conform to normal UN procedures or rules ACC should request the Secretary-General of UN to permit them. The appointment should be made by the Secretary-General but the special conditions should include a directive from him to the official concerned to give equal consideration to the views and needs of all the organizations concerned.

(9) CCAQ also agreed that (a) When an appointment to an inter-organization post is contemplated, a job description should be agreed among the organizations. Wherever possible the incumbent should be sought from among the staffs of the organizations. The vacancy should be advertised in all organizations concerned for at least one month. (b) Selection - whether from among existing staff of organizations, or from outside candidates - should be made by the inter-organization body concerned (for example CCAQ) subject to ACC approval. (c) When the official appointed already held an appointment in a United Nations organization, the inter-organization appointment should be treated as a secondment under the Inter-organization Transfer Agreement. (d) Any promotion of the staff member (either to the post on appointment after secondment, or in the post after appointment) should be agreed by the inter-organization body concerned; in the case of senior staff ACC approval should be obtained. (e) Where the official concerned had held no appointment in any organization, his transfer or secondment from the inter-organization post to a post in any one of the organizations would be subject to the prior approval of the appointing authority of the specific organization concerned. (f) In a particular case requiring only a relatively short-term secondment the organizations might agree that the official concerned should remain on the payroll of and under contract to his parent organization. In such a case the directive in para. (8) should be given to him by his own Executive Head.

(10) The above proposals dealt with posts in which all organizations in the United Nations common system were interested. Mutatis mutandis the principles should also be applied to posts in which only a group of these organizations was interested.

(11) At its 47th session (1969: CO-ORDINATION/R.751 or relevant extracts in CCAQ/SEC/38(GEN)), ACC endorsed these proposals subject to any decisions it might take when it reviewed the ACC machinery as a whole.

(12) At its 31st session (March 1970: CO-ORDINATION/R.798, para. 25 and Add.8) CCAQ agreed the text of a report to ICSAB on tenure of appointment. It also agreed the text of a factual report to the Board on promotion policies (see ICSAB/XVIII/R.10 and R.11).

(13) At its XVIIIth session (July 1970: ICSAB/XVIII/1, paras. 71-78) the Board considered the report on tenure and made certain recommendations concerning the use of fixed-term contracts. It also considered reports on promotion policies (ICSAB/XVIII/1, paras. 85-92).

(14) At its 37th session (March 1973: CO-ORDINATION/R.984, paras. 86-87) CCAQ discussed the desirability of part-time employment. It agreed that a common policy was not necessary but that any organization which could with advantage systematically employ part-time staff should do so. Pay and fringe benefits need not follow the same pattern as those of regular staff, but should not exceed the appropriate proportion of the full-time rate.

(15) In connection with General Assembly approval of an amendment of the Pension Fund regulations to provide for participation of part-time staff, CCAQ, at the 41st session (March 1975), in agreement with the Secretariat of the JSPF, drafted a definition of part-time for inclusion in the Administrative Rules of the Fund (CO-ORDINATION/R.1087, para. 90).

(16) At the same session, CCAQ, at the request of ACC, considered the matter of employment of the disabled. It was agreed that this did not lend itself to inter-agency action but each organization should establish an inventory of its posts suitable for disabled persons together with specifications of the physical requirements of each (CO-ORDINATION/R.1087, paras. 80-83).

(17) CCAQ also examined, at its 41st session (March 1975), the situation as regards employment of women in the organizations. It noted that the proportion of females to males was not acceptable either in total or by grade level. Organizations reported on steps they were taking to review the situation and agreed to provide UN with the necessary data for a report to the General Assembly (CO-ORDINATION/R.1087, paras. 84-89).

(18) Organizations' policies and practices as regards tenure were also the subject of extensive discussion at the 41st session. While recognizing that diversity of needs among the organizations precluded a uniform approach, CCAQ nevertheless laid down certain minimum undertakings which should apply in all organizations (CO-ORDINATION/R.1087, paras. 92-95).

(19) At its 50th and 51st sessions (1979: ACC/1979/R.2, ACC/1979/R.2 (Part II) and ACC/1979/R.55) CCAQ reviewed the organizations' practice with regard to a career service and the grant of permanent and fixed-term appointments, the purpose of the review being to advise ICSC on the organizations' position. The diversity of experience and constitutional requirements in each organization was such that CCAQ confined itself to expressing the view that it would be difficult to establish the proportion of career and non-career staff on the basis of an identification of continuing versus non-continuing jobs, or to use such a classification for determining when to grant permanent contracts rather than temporary ones. Nor did CCAQ favour the introduction of different conditions of service for non-career staff.

(20) At its 58th session (March 1983: ACC/1983/9, paras. 63-65) CCAQ endorsed the suggestion of the ICSC secretariat that organizations recognize three broad categories of appointment: short-term, fixed-term and permanent. Further refinement of these categories would have to take account of the requirements of each organization.

(21) In its ninth annual report (A/38/30, paras. 142-147) it is recorded that ICSC endorsed the above categorization, and requested its secretariat to propose criteria for harmonizing the granting of career appointments in the organizations. It also recommended that organizations normally dispense with the requirement for probationary appointment following a period of satisfactory service in fixed-term contracts.

(22) At its 60th and 61st sessions (March 1984: ACC/1984/9, para. 72; and June-July 1984: ACC/1984/16, para. 69) CCAQ prepared presentations to ICSC on promotion policy, especially promotion from the General Service category to the Professional category. In its 10th annual report (A/39/30, paras. 221-223) ICSC enumerated a number of conclusions and recommendations to organizations on matters relating to promotion policy.

(23) At its 63rd session (July 1985: ACC/1985/14, paras. 84-85) CCAQ discussed the different types of appointment and concluded that it would appear premature to recommend adoption of the definitions of types of appointment proposed to the Commission in document ICSC/22/R.16.

(24) At its 41st session (1986: 41/206, IV) the General Assembly invited each organization of the common system to collect statistics on the relative time spent in grade by men and women and invited the Commission to co-ordinate proposals to be made by organizations for removing obstacles to equality in promotion prospects between men and women.

(25) In the light of the additional steps built into the Professional salary scale approved by the General Assembly in resolution 44/198, CCAQ at its 72nd session (February-March 1990: ACC/1990/4, paras. 65-71) unanimously decided that staff who at 30 June 1990 would have been for two years or more at levels P-2/XI, P-3/XIII, P-4/XII, P-5/X, D-1/VII and D-2/IV should move respectively to levels P-2/XII, P-3/XIV, P-4/XIII, P-5/XI, D-1/VIII and D-2/V, effective 1 July 1990. It further suggested that organizations which required only one year's service instead of two at D-1/IV to qualify for step V might bring their regulations or rules into line with general practice, and that those which granted additional steps beyond the top of the salary scale for merit and for long service might review the practice in the interest of a uniform salary structure.

(26) In response to the wishes of several organizations, CCAQ at its 73rd session (ACC/1990/10, para. 119) agreed to invite ICSC to confirm the Committee's conclusion in (25) above affecting staff who at 30 June 1990 would have been for two years or more at the top of their grade. However, the Committee was critical of proposals before ICSC that the General Assembly request the legislative bodies of WHO and ILO to bring their salary scale into line with those of other organizations, since in its view they raised the fundamental issue of the relationship between the Assembly and those bodies (73rd session, July 1990: ACC/1990/10, paras. 26-31). The Commission, after lengthy discussion, recommended that the Executive Heads of ILO and WHO bring the matter of additional steps in both the Professional and the General Service scales to the attention of their legislative bodies, and recommend that rewards to staff be provided not through the extension of salary scales but by the payment of one-time non-pensionable cash awards to reward merit. It further recommended that WIPO eliminate its provision for one extra step in grades P-1 to P-5 (A/45/30, paras. 143-162; see also section 2.14).

(27) At its 91st session (July 1999: ACC/1999/13, para. 9) CCAQ, in consideration of the development of a strategic framework for HR management, did not agree with the idea that contractual arrangements were a core area, as indicated in the draft report of the Working Group, and would so advise ICSC for reasons given in section 15.4, para. 18. ICSC, after CCAQ had withdrawn its objections, decided to continue to consider contractual arrangements to be a core area (A/54/30, para. 161).

(28) At its first meeting (June 2001: ACC/2001/HLCM/7, paras. 17-18) the Human Resources (HR) Network noted that this element was referred to in the Framework for HR Management adopted by ICSC in 2000 as: "core, to the extent that the compensation package is common across organizations." The first guiding principle in support of this element read: "contractual arrangements should be flexible so as to respond to organizational needs." Moreover, the determination and usage of contracts was legislated for within each organization's staff rules and regulations to meet their particular requirements and in some cases headquarters or other agreements. For the organizations, the pursuit of the study on contractual arrangements was directly linked to the reform of pay and benefits as it was clear that there might be different ways of packaging pay according to the particular contractual arrangements under which staff might be serving. The Network decided to propose that the Commission pursue this work in conjunction with that on the reform of pay and benefits. ICSC decided to integrate its work on this subject into the review of the pay and benefits system and requested its secretariat: (a) to update the statistics in the study, (b) take further inventory of both the various types of contracts in use with numbers of staff on them, (c) to collect information on the administrative policies of the organizations and selected national civil services on career versus time-limited appointments and (d) to propose a catalogue of contracts which organizations could select or adapt (A/56/30, para. 78).

(29) At its September 2001 session (ACC/2001/12, para. 14) HLCM took note of the recommendations made to it inter alia by the HR network towards attaining sustainable employability, including: (a) undertaking an analysis of current policies and practices regarding job titles across the system, (b) exploring the feasibility of moving towards titles which were more comparable, compatible to the world outside the United Nations family and therefore more meaningful to that world and (c) requesting organizations to undertake consultations on a new policy for considering all candidates for vacant posts from UN system organizations on a par with applicants from within the organization that posted the vacancy. It concurred with the approaches being pursued by the secretariat within the framework of the Committee's overall work programme and requested the secretariat to include in addition, within the framework recommended by the HR network, consideration of the recognition of promotion while on secondment, job design specifications which should be more results orientated and the reasons why inter-agency mobility was not more highly prized.

(30) At its March 2002 session (CEB/2002/3, para. 22) HLCM welcomed information provided in documents CEB/2002/HLCM/R.2 and R.2/Add.1, which highlighted the individual nature of current arrangements for geographical balance in different organizations, and requested the secretariat to continue to disseminate information in respect of (a) changes in organizations' practices in respect of geographical balance and (b) the global picture, in terms of geographical representation, across all organizations of the UN system.

(31) At its April 2002 meeting (CEB/2002/HLCM/8, paras. 13-14) the HR Network reviewed a document prepared by the ICSC secretariat (ICSC/54/R.4) with respect to the contractual arrangements of the organizations. The Network expressed concern for a number of short-comings noted conceptual gaps in the document. It considered that such a complex issue must be reviewed within the context of organizations' reform agenda and the 1998 policy statement of the executive heads that "reforms must uphold and strengthen the fabric of the international civil service within the framework of each organization's particular structure and personality." It emphasized the important linkages with the review of pay and benefits system in so far as over-all conditions of employment were an important feature of ensuring that UN system organizations were attractive and competitive employers. The Network considered that the Commission should primarily focus on providing guidance on what should be the minimum conditions of service for employing staff in keeping with the first guiding principle in support of the element under the Framework that "contractual arrangements should be flexible so as to respond to organizational needs." It decided to inform the Commission that it would be premature to consider the conclusions in the document and to urge that it deliberate in an informal setting at its upcoming session as provided for under its new working arrangements. The Commission concluded that, while there was a need to take into account recent and current changes in contractual arrangements, it was important to establish a more consistent framework by reducing the number of different contracts and by standardizing their description. It therefore requested that its secretariat work in close cooperation with the organizations: (a) to prepare an in-depth analysis of the current situation reflecting the comments of the Commission, the needs of the organizations and the need of the staff for clarity, (b) to provide, to the extent possible, more complete and structured information for its 55th session and (c) to suggest a new policy on contractual arrangements, with a clear justification of the recommended approach (ICSC/54/R.12, para. 82).

(32) At its July 2002 meeting (CEB/2002/HLCM/14, para. 4) the HR Network expressed appreciation for the intensive consultations which the ICSC secretariat had undertaken with the organizations and stressed that contractual arrangements must meet the organizations' diverse business needs and the nature of work to be performed and, most importantly, were governed by changing financial realities and the views of each organization's legislative body. It noted that a number of organizations had already streamlined their contractual arrangements and supported, in general, the various types of arrangements set out by the ICSC secretariat. It also supported the need for indefinite appointments and probationary periods but continued to stress the need for flexibility in these areas, especially in terms of the time conditions. It decided to urge the Commission to adopt a general framework on what should be the minimum conditions of service for employing staff. Rather than to adopt a more prescriptive approach, this would be consonant with the first guiding principle under the HR Framework that "contractual arrangements should be flexible so as to respond to organizational needs." It believed that, among the principles in this framework, reference should be made to improved transparency and fairness and to the need for some mechanism to ensure accountability of management, including regular review, monitoring and reporting. ICSC deferred consideration of the matter to 2003 (A/57/30, para. 6).

(33) At its July 2002 meeting (CEB/2002/HLCM/14, para. 15) the HR Network was informed by the Secretary of HLCM of a request made at a meeting of the ICT Network in May 2002 (CEB/2002/HLCM/10, para. 39) that attention be paid to the recruitment and retention of specialized ICT staff and the possibility of non-management career tracks for ICT specialists.

(34) At its December 2002 video-conference (CEB/2002/HLCM/1, paras. 5-7) the HR Network, in view of the priority given by the General Assembly to contractual arrangements bearing in mind their close linkage to the review of the pay and benefits system, recognised that they must give their views on the matter. Recalling that contractual arrangements had to be flexible to respond to organizational needs and the views of each organization's governing body, the Network considered that ICSC should adopt a general framework on what should be the minimum conditions of service for employing staff rather than adopt a more prescriptive approach.

(35) At its January 2003 meeting (CEB/2003/HLCM/4, paras. 16-17) the HR Network, in discussing a document prepared by ICSC secretariat, reiterated the concerns it had expressed on the document prepared for ICSC's 55th session, which would be taken up at its 56th session, in terms of certain imprecisions and the document's conclusions and requested organizations to provide the ICSC secretariat urgently with their comments on or updated information for the document and agreed that FAO, in collaboration with WHO and the CEB secretariat, should prepare a short policy document on the matter for presentation to the Commission.

(36) At its March 2003 meeting (CEB/2003/HLCM/12, paras. 6-7) the HR Network recalled that the ICSC Statute represented a carefully crafted balance between the authority of the central organs of the common system and that of the autonomous organizations that had voluntarily entered into the common system compact. Some articles of the ICSC's Statute gave the Commission itself decision-making authority, others conferred de facto decision-making powers on the UN General Assembly on behalf of the common system, whereas others gave the Commission the role of advocating best practice which, historically, had been the case for contractual arrangements. Many organizations, but by no means all, had work requirements that operated at three different levels that could be broadly characterized as strictly short-term, medium/limited term and ongoing. To recruit and retain the workforce needed to perform assignments at those three levels, different contractual arrangements with attendant benefit schemes were used. While it was only reasonable to assume certain basic minimum standards were adhered to, there was not always an ideal fit between work performed and contractual arrangements used. Difficulties, for example, could arise with the predictability of continued funding. In the context of developing the ICSC Framework for HR Management, contractual arrangements had been recognized as core "to the extent that the compensation package [was] common across organizations." This did not imply that contractual arrangements should be dealt with under a different article of the Statute, it simply recognized that different organizations should not be employing people in broadly similar situations and paying them markedly differently.

(37) Turning to the ICSC document on contractual arrangements (ICSC/56/R.4), the Network expressed appreciation for the extensive consultations and the visits to organizations which had been undertaken by the ICSC secretariat in connection with the review of contractual arrangements and noted that there was no reference in the document to the linkage with compensation, which was the rationale for considering contractual arrangements as a core element in the HR Framework adopted by ICSC. It also noted that organizations' choices as to the type of contractual arrangements reflected their particular needs and constraints, which were in turn governed by programme priorities established by their legislative organs as well as by funding realities. The Network noted that while the revised document responded to some of the organizations' concerns, the conclusions in the document remained unduly prescriptive in that they stated that all organizations should use "three types of appointments which would be common to all organizations of the common system." This would run counter to the Commission's stated intention of recognizing "the need for flexibility in contractual arrangements." It noted with appreciation the inclusion of a set of minimum standards but felt that these were more in the nature of practice guidelines. As such, the organizations would welcome them, subject to certain adjustments (e.g. inclusion of congruence with organizations' mandates, structures and practices) but opposed the establishment of a maximum five year time frame for conversion to indefinite appointments, because such decisions were within the prerogative of governing bodies and executive heads, as were the conditions under which appointments should be granted.

(38) The HR Network therefore decided to request the Commission to: (a) reaffirm the principles stated in the Framework for Human Resources Management that contractual arrangements (i) should be responsive to organizational needs, (ii) should, for those longer-term staff who might be expected to have a career in the international civil service, be compatible across organizations in the area of compensation and benefits to facilitate inter-organizational mobility and (iii) should, for those without career expectations in the international civil service, recognize the need for compensation equity; (b) confirm, subject to (ii) and (iii) above, the validity of the existing contractual tools; and (c) revert to the issue of contractual arrangements as necessary in the context of the revision of the pay and benefits package. The Commission deferred consideration of the item.

(39) At its July 2003 meeting (CEB/2003/HLCM/20, para. 5) the HR Network recalled that on several occasions in recent years it had drawn attention to what could be described as a tension between the core and non-core aspects of contractual arrangements as expressed in the Framework for HR Management. It observed that almost all organizations had reviewed or were in the process of reviewing their contractual policies. Many had already streamlined their contractual arrangements. It expressed appreciation for the time and collaborative effort of the ICSC secretariat, which had led to the delineation of a general framework and of useful guidance to organizations in maintaining their role as socially responsible employers. It considered that the framework and recommendations flowing therefrom were recommendations - not prescriptions - and therefore could endorse them. It decided, nonetheless, to propose four amendments to the terms of ICSC/57/R.3, para. 73 (c) to help clarify the text as follows: (a) to introduce the words "to executive heads" in the first line to make clear to whom the recommendations were addressed; (b) to add "or continuing" after "indefinite" in sub-para. 73 (c) (i) to help clarify that this refers to a concept of indefinite which differs from that which has been used in some organizations up until now; (c) to add "a possible" before the word "option" in the first line of sub-para. 73 (c) (ii) to make it clear that not all fixed term appointments are subject to conversion to indefinite/continuing appointments; and (d) to add in the same sub-para. 73 (c) (ii), after "appointments of limited duration," the words "and other similar arrangements" to take account not only of Appointments of Limited Duration (ALDs) but also arrangements such as those in place in IAEA.

(40) The Commission concluded (A/58/30, paras. 104-105) that, while there was a wealth of information available on the present situation in the organizations of the common system, more work was needed before making a recommendation to the General Assembly. In order to reach that position, and taking into account the need for allowing continued flexibility to organizations, the Commission requested its secretariat to prepare, in collaboration with the organizations, for its 59th session, a model contract for each of the following three categories proposed, namely, (a) continuing appointments; (b) fixed-term appointments; and (c) temporary appointments; with sub-groups under each category that would clearly distinguish the key characteristics. Details on the conditions of employment, such as the duration of tenure; mobility requirements; the necessity for a probationary period; the procedures for progression to other contract types; the compensation package; social security and health insurance provisions and procedures for extension and/or termination should be provided for each sub-group.

(41) At its 7th session (March 2004: CEB/2004/3, paras. 37-38) HLCM received an update on organizations' policies and practices on the question of equitable geographic representation (CEB/2004/HLCM/R.7 and CEB/2004/HLCM/R.7/Add.1); UNESCO, WHO, FAO, WFP and UNU had updated their information since the last time such information had been reported in March 2002. The General Assembly had requested the CEB to consider this question and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its 59th session. The Committee asked to be kept abreast of developments on this issue on a regular basis in view of the need to inform the General Assembly on the status of ongoing inter agency work on the question.

(42) At its July 2004 meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/25, paras. 6-8) the HR Network recalled that on several occasions in past years, it had drawn attention to what could be described as a tension between the core and non core aspects of contractual arrangements as expressed in the Framework for Human Resources Management (see paras. (28), (31), (34), (37) and (39) above) and that it had considered "the framework and recommendations flowing there from" as "recommendations not prescriptions". Therefore, at the time, the Network had endorsed the recommendations of the Framework, contained in document ICSC/57/R.3, which should serve as non prescriptive guidelines that would allow organizations the flexibility to adapt them to their own programmatic, operational and financial requirements. Bearing in mind the described background, and recalling the previous good collaboration with the ICSC secretariat on the issue of contractual arrangements, the HR Network: (a) expressed its disappointment and concern that the Framework proposed in document ICSC/59/R.6, rather than offering guiding principles to the organizations of the common system, was now of a highly prescriptive nature that did not reflect the agreements reached in 2003 and was seen as limiting rather than encouraging, the flexibility and ability of organizations to respond to the requirements of their respective financial and managerial organizational realities in an effective and efficient manner; (b) emphasized that implementation of the proposed arrangements would imply changes to existing staff rules which were approved by each organizations' respective governing body; and (c) noted with regret that there had been no opportunity for consultation and collaboration between the ICSC secretariat and the Network on the proposed Framework. While recognizing that time constraints on the part of the ICSC secretariat might have been responsible for this lack of consultation, the Network was unanimous in its view that further deliberations on this topic could not usefully proceed without the benefit of a full consultative and collaborative process.

(43) In the context of these concerns, the Network considered the following issues to be of particular relevance: (a) Link of appointment type with funding source. The document proposed that continuing appointments should normally be extended "to established or core staff who are performing functions funded from the organization's regular budget" and that "staff whose positions are funded from temporary or extrabudgetary funds should not be included in this category". The Network considered this proposal inconsistent with the needs and realities of the common system organizations, particularly for those who were funded exclusively from voluntary contributions. The Network strongly underscored the need to preserve organizational flexibility regardless of the funding source of posts; (b) Link of appointment type with duration and tenure. While the Network had previously agreed to the three appointment categories as general guidelines, the arrangements proposed in document ICSC/59/R.6 were seen as prescriptive and as curtailing organizational flexibility; (c) Termination of continuing appointments. The Network expressed its strong concern over the proposal that "termination procedures Y may be initiated Y on the basis of Y major programme changes which render the staff member's competencies irrelevant in the organization". The Network emphasized that a change in skill and competency requirements could not be considered as the only grounds for termination of contracts; in addition there are many other reasons not mentioned in the document for which organizations may consider termination of contracts (e.g. medical grounds, disciplinary action, etc.). The Network therefore requested the ICSC secretariat to recommend to the Commission that the document be withdrawn from the agenda of its 59th session, and that ICSC pursue further consultations with organizations to revert to a framework that serves as flexible, non prescriptive principles and guidelines to be adapted by organizations according to their operational realities.

(44) ICSC noted that the question of contractual arrangements had been on its work programme for several years and that significant progress had been made in categorizing contracts across organizations. It decided to: (a) report to the General Assembly that there was now a model within which to apply some definition to the varying contractual arrangements across the United Nations common system; (b) request its secretariat to refine the model in collaboration with organizations and staff and to provide a revised version as well as information on the distribution of all staff in the organizations by contractual category to the Commission at its 60th (spring 2005) session; and (c) provide a final report on the question of contractual arrangements to the General Assembly at its 60th session (ICSC/59/R.18, para. 107).

(45) At its February 2005 meeting (CEB/2005/HLCM/8, para. 8) the HR Network expressed its appreciation to the ICSC secretariat for the positive and constructive spirit in which it had pursued the consultations on contractual arrangements which had ensured collaboration on this matter and agreed that, as a result of the consultative process, many of the concerns expressed by organizations on earlier occasions had been taken into account. The proposed model was now broadly acceptable to the Network as a framework for contractual arrangements. While it had been understood at the HR Network meeting that the draft before the HR Network was in its final stage, the Commission decided to further review and amend it. ICSC then adopted it as "the framework of guidelines for contractual arrangements as amended" and decided to submit its final report to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session (A/60/30, para. 129 and annex IV). 1 ICSAB also issued reports on Recruitment Methods and Standards for the United Nations and the Specialized Agencies (CO-ORDINATION/CIVIL SERVICE/2/Rev.1 - 1950) and Standards of Conduct in the International Civil Service (CO-ORDINATION/CIVIL SERVICE/5 - 1954, see section 11.1 for details).

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