Other financial questions relating to staff entitlements

(A)     Timeliness of initial salary payments to field staff

(A1)     At the 52nd session (March 1980) CCAQ agreed that the organizations should seek to identify and eliminate the structural causes of delays in the issue of salary payment instructions upon the appointment of field staff, and that they should consider providing newly-appointed field staff with provisional salary payment instructions if they were not already doing so (ACC/1980/16, para. 41).

(B)     Uniformity of practice at field duty stations

(B1)     At the 67th session (September 1987) it was agreed that the timing of salary payments in Mexico should be co-ordinated, preferably on the basis of the practice of UNDP, whose staff received the local-currency portion of their emoluments on the arrival of salary payment instructions, towards the middle of each month, and the convertible portion at the end of the month. In connection with problems that had arisen in Viet Nam, it was noted that one of the causes was from differences of policy and practice in personnel administration between organizations. The CCAQ secretariat, in consultation with other inter-organization secretariats as necessary, was requested to examine measures that might be taken to arrive at similar conditions of employment for all staff serving at the same duty station (ACC/1987/12, paras. 19-21). See Section 10.1 for related matters.

(C)     Overpayments and underpayments

(C1)     At the 23rd session (1962: CO-ORDINATION/R.391, para. 114) CCAQ discussed whether the practice whereby staff could not claim more than twelve months' arrears in respect of unclaimed entitlements should be applied in the converse case of recovery of overpayments. It was agreed that each organization should continue its existing practice.

(C2)     At the 34th session (October 1971: CO-ORDINATION/R.903, para.39) CCAQ reviewed the same question and agreed that the matter should continue to be left to individual organizations.

(C3)     The question of time limits for the submission of claims and the recovery of overpayments, raised at the 63rd (September 1985) session of CCAQ(FB) by FICSA, was referred to CCAQ(PER), which at its 64th session (February 1986: ACC/1986/3, paras. 110 and 111) requested the CCAQ secretariat to study it and report back.

(C4)     Suggestions on this subject were submitted at the 66th sessions of CCAQ(PER) (March 1987) and CCAQ(FB) (March-April 1987). The former considered that individual organizations should continue to determine their own procedures for dealing with overpayments and underpayments to staff; it was noted that some organizations would treat such cases on an ad hoc basis (ACC/1987/4, paras. 95 and 96). CCAQ(FB) agreed that a measure of flexibility was warranted in this area and endorsed the conclusion of CCAQ(PER) (ACC/1987/6, para. 15).

(D)     Compensation for losses of staff property

(D1)     At the 19th session (March 1958: CO-ORDINATION/R.264, para. 81) CCAQ discussed the question of liability for losses of staff property, due for example to governmental requisition, natural disaster or civil disorder. It considered that staff members concerned should submit their claims to their organization, which would decide whether the loss was occasioned by service with it and, if it so decided, would claim reimbursement from the government.

(D2)     At the 27th session (March 1966: CO-ORDINATION/R.532, para. 73) CCAQ noted that it was the practice of organizations, expressed in their staff rules, to pay compensation to staff members whose personal property was lost or damaged through civil commotion, war or natural disasters in field areas. CCAQ agreed that the maximum limit for such compensation might be increased to $4,000 in the case of staff without dependants in the area and $6,000 for others.

(D3)     For arrangements concerning the protection of staff and property, see Section 14.5

(E)     Conversion of staff holdings of local currencies

(E1)     At the 45th session (September 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1174, para. 37), it was agreed that the organizations would apply to their project staff generally the criteria proposed by UNDP in respect of the conversion of local currency held at the time of separation or transfer, as set out in the annexes to CCAQ/S.45/R.4(FB) (UNDP/ADM/FIELD/221/Rev.1 and Add.1). It was also agreed that practices which would have the effect of circumventing established arrangements for the conversion of local currency at the time of separation or transfer should be avoided.

(E2)     At the 46th session (March 1977: CO-ORDINATION/R.1211, paras. 57 and 58) the Committee returned to this question. It was agreed that:

     (a)     Conversions of accumulated salary and allowances within the rules in force could be delegated to Resident Representatives;

     (b)     Conversions of the proceeds of the sale of an automobile could be authorized by the Resident Representative in accordance with guidelines now accepted and below a specified ceiling of, say, $3,000;

     (c)     Conversions of the proceeds of necessary and essential household goods could likewise be authorized by the Resident Representative within a ceiling of, say, $2,000;

     (d)     An overall ceiling for conversions under the three foregoing headings might be set at $4,000 in each case, while applications in excess of this amount would be referred to UNDP headquarters.

These arrangements were to apply where a UNDP imprest account was to be used; similar arrangements would in principle apply where organizations' own funds were to be used, however, in view of the agreement at the beginning of paragraph E1 above.

(E3)     At the 47th session (September 1977: CO-ORDINATION/R.1238, para. 41), recalling the agreements that it had already reached, the Committee agreed that conversions into convertible currency of the proceeds of the sale of household goods on transfer should be authorized where this would facilitate settlement in a new duty station.

(E4)     At the 49th session (September 1978) CCAQ asked UNDP to study the possibility of increasing above the existing limit of $5,000 the authority of Resident Representatives to approve the conversion of local currencies on departure from field duty stations (CO-ORDINATION/R.1307, para. 44). UNDP reported to the 50th session (March 1979) that its consultations had led it to a negative conclusion (ACC/1979/R.11, para. 49).

(E5)     At the 52nd session (March 1980) the Committee was informed that UNDP was considering authorizing Resident Representatives to approve the conversion of larger amounts of local currency on the departure of staff from field duty stations, and fixing maximum amounts to be converted with the authorization of UNDP Headquarters in normal circumstances and in emergency situations. It was recognized that the limits set by UNDP, although they related only to conversions involving the use of its own bank accounts, set a standard that it was also desirable to follow in other cases (ACC/1980/16, para. 33). This view was reaffirmed at the 59th session (September 1983: ACC/1983/21, para. 31).

(E6)     At the 61st session (September 1984), in abolishing the requirement for obligatory payments of entitlements in local currency at duty stations where the local currency was regarded as fully convertible, CCAQ agreed that no facility for the conversion of local-currency holdings would be offered to staff on their departure from such duty stations (ACC/1984/17, para. 37). In a cable of December 1988, sent in consultation with UN, UNDP recalled and reaffirmed this position, but notified its agreement to extending to duty stations with 100 per cent exceptions to the standard formula for the currency of salary payments its then existing maximum conversion facilities of up to $6,000 for proceeds from the sale of household goods and the same amount for proceeds from the sale of automobiles.)

(E7)     At the 70th session (March 1989) the Committee confirmed its agreement of 1984 that facilities for converting currency holdings of international staff leaving field duty stations should not be provided in countries whose currencies were considered fully convertible for the purpose of salary payments; they could, however, be provided in countries with currencies not regarded as fully convertible but where, in the light of prevailing economic conditions, 100 per cent of emoluments was paid in convertible currency (ACC/1989/7, para. 41).

(E8)     At the 76th session (March 1992) UNDP informed the Committee that from 1 April 1992 it would increase as follows the amounts authorized for currency conversions upon departure of staff from field duty stations:

     (a)     automobiles: limit increased from $6,000 to $8,000;

     (b)     household furnishings and equipment: limit for staff members with dependants at the duty station increased from $6,000 to $10,000.

The Committee recalled its earlier agreement that such limits fixed by UNDP would be regarded as a standard for all organizations (ACC/1992/11, para. 30).

(E9)     At its 82nd session (February 1995), CCAQ(FB) decided to abolish the standard formula for the currency of salary payments. Realizing that the standard formula was closely linked to the issue of convertibility of local currency upon departure of staff member from a duty station, CCAQ(FB) decided to review this matter at its next session (ACC/1995/6, paras. 5 - 8).

(E10)     CCAQ(FB) considered this matter again at its 83rd session (August - September 1995) and decided to defer a decision to its next session. In the meantime, the present system would be maintained and UNDP was requested to review the limits in the UNDP guidelines and to make proposals at the next session for any necessary changes in these (ACC/1995/20, paras. 32 - 34).

(F)     Debts of former staff members

(F1)     At the 53rd session (September 1980) the Committee reviewed the practices followed where organizations received claims for private debts contracted by staff no longer employed by them. It was agreed that, although each case had to be examined individually, as a general rule private debts should be regarded as a matter between the parties concerned. Although the organizations should take every measure to assist legitimate creditors in securing payment, they were not bound by such claims (ACC/1980/32, para. 36).


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