Inter-agency collaboration in the financial and budgetary areas has received renewed attention in the work of CEB through the Finance and Budget Network of the High-Level Committee on Management. The focus has been on:

  • Accounting standards within the United Nations system, including the review of the United Nations system accounting standards and other international accounting standards with a view to recommending a standard that could eventually be adopted by all United Nations organizations;
  • Fraud prevention, as a follow-up to a report of the Board of Auditors to the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly (A/59/5, vol. II, chap. II) which, inter alia, requested that the United Nations system establish a corruption and fraud prevention mechanism. Work is being pursued with the objectives of sharing policy documents and other guidance on fraud prevention, including advice and materials used in management training, and of developing a common framework for risk assessment and a shared definition of fraud, its types and categories;
  • Results-based budgeting. During 2004, the High-Level Committee on Management considered the results of a study that reviewed different levels of results-based budgeting readiness within the system in terms of, among other things, existing internal results-based management frameworks, information systems, budget management, internal accountability frameworks and internal leadership. The common objective of implementation strategies for results-based budgeting will be to provide a strong framework for accountability, and at the same time put in place means for presenting to both donor partners and recipient countries the competing priorities that United Nations organizations face, and their resource requirements to achieve the mandated outcomes or results. Against this background, the High-Level Committee on Management adopted a common framework for results-based budgeting that can be adapted by each organization of the United Nations system in line with its own requirements;
  • Simplification of inter-agency financial reporting; policies on support costs and methodological studies on how to report United Nations system spending on security;
  • The relationship between regular and voluntary funding. Renewed attention is being given within the system to the development of common approaches to address the impact on management and programming of the changing relationship between regular and voluntary funding. A common concern is that the shift in the balance between regular and supplementary funding in favour of the latter may lead to a distortion of programme implementation if regular funding is inadequate to cover a critical mass of budgetary support for basic infrastructure and core activities. In the same context, a common policy has been elaborated for dealing with contributions to which donors attach conditions that affect procurement and staff recruitment.