Employment of local personnel

(1)     At its 24th session (1963: CO-ORDINATION/R.430, paras. 98-99), CCAQ considered a United Nations proposal that local personnel employed on Special Fund projects should wherever practicable be engaged not as officials of the executing agency, under the conditions of the staff rules, but on special conditions closer to those of the local government concerned. It agreed that it was desirable that the staffing arrangements of Special Fund projects should be such that, when the time came, the local government could take over the projects as a going concern with a minimum of disruption in the staff arrangements. Accordingly, CCAQ agreed that locally available staff required for these projects, regardless of the source of funds from which the projects were financed, should be employed either by:

     (a)     the local Government itself; or

     (b)     an organization which was a separate legal entity (such as an institute or a corporation) established by the executing agency or the local government, or by agreement between the two; or

     (c)     the executing agency, if neither (a) nor (b) was feasible.

Under (b) and (c) special conditions of service would be drawn up for the personnel concerned, which would not make them subject to the normal Staff Rules and Regulations.

(2)     At its 52nd session (Part II, March 1980: ACC/1980/10, paras. 25-28) CCAQ agreed that the use of national professionals and Extended General Service Levels reflected the different needs of organizations, but there was a need to introduce more order, rationality and harmonization into this area.

(3)     At its 53rd session (July 1980: ACC/1980/17, paras. 29-30) CCAQ considered specific proposals concerning the policy to be developed in respect of local or national professionals. Its conclusions were recorded in a statement made to the 12th session of ICSC (July 1980: ACC/1980/17, Annex V). The fundamental criterion had to be that national professionals be employed only for functions at field offices which by their very nature required national knowledge and experience and so could not be carried out as effectively by international professionals.

(4)     At its 12th session (July 1980) ICSC agreed to permit the employment of such staff under certain conditions, and to keep the situation under review. Statistics were requested from CCAQ to show the number and nature of such staff employed in the organizations, with an indication of any intention by organizations to employ such staff (A/35/30, para. 310).

(5)     At its 54th session (March 1981: ACC/1981/7, paras. 71-75) CCAQ tentatively agreed to a methodology for determination of salaries of national officers proposed by UN, UNDP and UNICEF. At the same session, CCAQ took note of the report of a working party on national experts (ACC/1980/PER/37) which had agreed on a draft service agreement to be used in the employment of such personnel. CCAQ also agreed to ask ACC to refer the possible development of a "reimbursable loan" formula to CCSQ(OPS). In the meantime, the final text of the draft service agreement would be agreed by correspondence.

(6)     At its 56th session (March 1982: ACC/1982/5, paras. 53-55) CCAQ took note of a progress report from UN, UNDP and UNICEF on the development of a methodology of salary determination for local or national professionals, ie. National Officers.

(7)     At its 64th session (spring 1986: ACC/1986/3, paras. 73-80), CCAQ reviewed certain aspects of conditions of service of National Professional Officers (NPOs) on the basis of a paper by the ICSC secretariat. The Commission, at its 23rd session, recognized the need for NPOs in some development programmes and projects. It also recognized the evolution of that group of staff as necessary, but reiterated the limited conditions it had specified at its 12th session (see para. (4) above). It also considered that the category could be used in countries where there were United Nations information centres. The organizations concerned should develop a draft job classification standard and classification structure, as well as a proposed salary survey methodology, for consideration by the Commission at its 25th session (A/41/30, para. 164).

(8)     At its 67th session (summer 1987: ACC/1987/10, paras. 96-97), CCAQ endorsed arrangements for the classification of National Professional Officers and a salary survey methodology for NPOs. These were approved by ICSC at its 26th (summer 1987) session (A/42/30, paras. 230-231).

(9)     Also at its 67th session (ibid, paras. 99-101), CCAQ reviewed proposals by CCSQ(OPS) for the harmonization of agency procedures in the employment of National Professional Project Personnel (NPPP). CCAQ endorsed the idea of collecting more comprehensive data within each organization on the use of national experts, but felt that the establishment of a common data base was not yet appropriate. It agreed that the Committee should participate in future work on this subject through its secretariat, in consultation with organizations having a direct interest in the matter. (Secretariat note: the conclusions of CCSQ(OPS) on this subject at its October 1987 session were circulated to organizations by the Secretary's memorandum of 30 October 1987).

(10)     At its 68th session (February-March 1988), CCAQ agreed to a proposal by CCSQ(OPS) that a joint working group of that Committee and CCAQ(PER) be set up to review personnel and operational aspects of the use of National Professional Project Personnel (NPPP), on the basis of a revision of the relevant section of the UNDP Policies and Procedures Manual (ACC/1988/4, paras. 117-120).

(11)     At its 69th session (July 1988: ACC/1988/12, paras. 118-121) CCAQ took note of the conclusions and recommendations of the joint working group referred to in (10) above, including a proposed model service contract and associated guidelines. With the United Nations and UNESCO reserving their positions, it endorsed the contract and guidelines, amended at the suggestion of the ILO, subject to adaptation to organizations' individual procedures.

(12) At its twelfth session (CEB/2006/HLCM/17, para.7) the HR Network noted, the positive outcomes of documents ICSC/63/R.12 and ICSC/63/CRP.4/Add.8; the continued relevance of the 1994 criteria for the employment of National Professional Officers (NPOs); that decentralisation in organisations had resulted in regional offices coming into being, expanding the NPO’s reach.  The Commission decided to:
    (a) Reaffirm the criteria set out in 1994 for the employment of National Professional Officers, updated to reflect the use of the new job evaluation system in the classification of positions in the category, as indicated in the annex.
    (b) Remind organisations that all staff in the National Professional Officer category must meet the criteria for employment.
    (c)     Reject the notion of a regional NPO.
    (d) The Commission requested its secretariat to:
        (i)    Review the contracts and associated benefits of National Professional Officers to assess the degree of harmonisation.
      (ii)    Review the application of the salary survey methodology in National Professional Officer salary  surveys, with due regard to the criteria concerning appropriate linkages between the     General Service and National Professional Officer categories at the same location.
       (iii)    Make recommendations, if required, taking into account the decision made by the Commission in its 1994 annual report (A/49/30) for adjustments to the methodology.
 Provide a report to the Commission at its 67th session (July 2008).

(13) At the HR Network’s eighteenth session (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/46/Rev.1, paras.65-66), WHO presented the issue of National Professional Officers (NPO’s) who are the single group of staff excluded from any language incentives. The Network agreed that this matter merited a review, but that ultimately this was within the realm of the ICSC who would then make a recommendation to the General Assembly. The Network also noted that practices among organizations were mixed, and agreed to request ICSC to review the entire situation of NPOs.

(14) At its twentieth session (CEB/2010/HLCM/HR/35, paras.90-94), the HR Network agreed to send the proposal on national staff to the FB Network for comments.

  • Human Resources Network (HRN)