ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations

268th Session
Geneva, March 1997
Programme, Financial and Administrative Committee PFA


Programme and Budget proposals for 1998-99

The Director-General's proposals for adjustments to the
Programme and Budget proposals for 1998-99

1. Following the discussion in the Committee the Director-General proposes to adjust the original proposals to reduce the overall level of the budget (as re-costed to take account of inflation) by the amount included to cover projected cost increases, i.e. $11,284,950. The adjustments are indicated below, in five categories, as follows:

  1. Reductions in the level of the budget in constant dollars for all major programmes equivalent to part of the provision for cost increases relating to non-staff costs.
  2. Reduction in staff travel under all major programmes by 10 per cent.
  3. Reorganization of General Management.
  4. Programme adjustments (technical programmes).
  5. Service and support departments: Reductions in non-staff costs.

A. Reductions in the level of the budget in constant dollars for
all major programmes equivalent to the provision for cost
increases relating to non-staff costs ($5.1 million)

2. The resources for the respective major programmes are to be reduced in real terms by the amounts provided in the original proposals for all cost increases except staff expenditure at standard cost, delegates' travel, and contractual commitments associated with operating expenses in external offices. The reductions by major programme, which necessarily imply real reductions in resources, are shown in column A of Appendix I.

B. Reduction in staff travel under all major programmes
by 10 per cent ($1.3 million)

3. The provision for staff travel throughout the Office is to be reduced uniformly by 10 per cent across all major programmes. In addition, under major programme 10 there is a reduction of $50,000, part of the provision for travel by ILO officials in external offices to assist the Conference secretariat each year. These reductions are shown in column B of Appendix I.

C. Reorganization of General Management ($2.3 million)

4. The Director-General proposes to delete the provision for three Deputy Director-General or Assistant Director-General posts. This also implies the elimination of the provision for three General Service positions and $114,000 under other costs. The reduction has been provisionally attributed to major programme 40; the actual reduction will be applied to the major programmes concerned.

D. Programme adjustments (technical sector) ($0.6 million)

5. Taking account of various views expressed in the course of the discussion in the Committee, it is proposed to add provision for a Meeting of Experts on Ambient Factors at the Workplace; to extend the Meeting on Labour Inspection and Child Labour to five days (instead of three days); and to make provision for six Employer and six Worker representatives (rather than the three originally proposed) for the International Conference of Labour Statisticians in 1998. On the other hand, it is envisaged to delete the work item on the labour and social implications of genetic screening under major programme 90 and the action programme on the contribution of industrial relations to regional economic integration under major programme 80. However, research will be carried out in collaboration with major programme 60 (Employment and training) on the labour and social aspects of regional economic integration. After considering the comments in the Committee on the work item concerning structural adjustment, employment and the role of the social partners, it is proposed to transform this item into an action programme. However, the formulation of the relevant text paragraph (60.16) will be sharpened and outputs defined in a more concrete fashion. Finally, it is proposed to reduce the provision for General Service support staff in certain departments. These various adjustments are reflected by major programme in column D of Appendix I and in more detail in Appendix II.

6. The need for a meeting of the Joint Maritime Commission in the 1998-99 biennium was recognized by several speakers during the discussion in the Committee. Taking account of the overall financial constraints and the sectoral nature of this meeting, it is proposed that the Committee on Sectoral and Technical Meetings and Related Issues should be invited to consider whether one of the 12 sectoral meetings already chosen should be delayed until the year 2000 in order to enable the Joint Maritime Commission to meet earlier. (The cost of a Commission meeting is similar to that of an average-sized sectoral meeting.)

E. Service and support departments:
Reductions in non-staff costs ($1.5 million)

7. In recent years there has been great pressure to realize economies and productivity gains in the service and support departments of the Office. The scope for further economies has now become very limited, in view of the need to avoid prejudicing the crucial contribution that the work of these departments makes to the technical work of the ILO, both at headquarters and in the regions.

8. However, some non-staff cost reductions have been identified. These are shown in column E of Appendix I. The reduction for major programme 160 (Personnel) implies the slower implementation of PERSIS in field offices. The reduction in the ILO Library will mean a reduced volume of acquisition of materials each year by the Library. The saving under major programme 220 (Relations, meetings and document services) is to be realized mainly by using more in-house staff for interpretation for sectoral meetings, and by reducing the provision for postage costs. The proposed reduction under the information technology and communications major programme will slow the modernization of computer systems in the Office, and make it difficult to resolve various technical problems, including the "Year 2000" problem. A reduction in the provision for ILO contributions to inter-agency bodies amounting to $220,000 has been made possible taking account of up-to-date information on cost-sharing arrangements recently received from the United Nations. Finally, no further reduction can be proposed under the heading for major programme 175 (Internal administration), which is already heavily affected by the programme reduction equivalent to the provision for cost inflation (see column A of Appendix I).

9. Following the recent discussion among the Officers of the Governing Body concerning the Appeals Board of the Conference, it is proposed to delete the provision for travel by members of the Board, realizing a reduction of $32,300.

* * *

10. As indicated in Appendix III, in consequence of these proposed reductions, the overall level of the budget for the biennium 1998-99 at 1996-97 costs will amount to $546,998,824, a decrease of 5.6 per cent compared with the budget approved by the Conference in June 1995. The effect of these adjustments on the distribution of resources among the various sectors of the Office is reflected in Appendix IV. After taking account of the revised estimate of cost increases, the budget for 1998-99 will amount to $557,795,050 at an exchange rate of 1.16 Swiss francs to the dollar. At the rate of exchange prevailing on 19 March 1997 (1.44 Swiss francs to the dollar), the re-costed budget would be equivalent to approximately $485,000,000.

11. The Committee may accordingly wish --

  1. to propose that the Governing Body recommend to the International Labour Conference at its 85th Session (June 1997) a provisional programme level of $557,795,050 estimated at the 1996-97 budget exchange rate of 1.16 Swiss francs to the US dollar, the final exchange rate and the corresponding US dollar level of the budget and Swiss franc assessment to be determined by the Conference;
  2. to submit to the Governing Body for proposal to the Conference at the same session a resolution for the adoption of the programme and budget for the 66th financial period (1998-99) and for the allocation of expenses among member States in that period in the following terms:
  3. The General Conference of the International Labour Organization, in virtue of the Financial Regulations, passes for the 66th financial period, ending 31 December 1999, the budget of expenditure for the International Labour Organization amounting to $....... and the budget of income amounting to $....., which, at the budget rate of exchange of ..... Swiss francs to the US dollar, amounts to ..... Swiss francs, and resolves that the budget of income, denominated in Swiss francs, should be allocated among member States in accordance with the scale of contributions recommended by the Finance Committee of Government Representatives.

Geneva, 20 March 1997.

Point for decision: Paragraph 11.

Updated by VC. Approved by NdW. Last update: 26 January 2000.