CM(2000)3...(696/11.1)...Opinion of the Budget Committee on the Scheme for compensation for the loss of employment

 

 

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696 Meeting, 3 February 2000
11 Administrative questions

11.1 Opinion of the Budget Committee on the Scheme for compensation for the loss of employment

 

CM(2000)3 10 January 2000



 

The outline of a scheme by the Secretary General concerning the compensation of staff for loss of employment or termination of service was announced to the Rapporteur group on Administrative and Budgetary Questions on 10 November 1999 (GR-AB(99)10) and further details were provided at a later meeting (GR-AB(99)21). The total cost of the scheme is estimated to be € 2.75 - 3 M.

Subsequently, in the 691st meeting of the Deputies it was decided to invite the Budget Committee to consider the proposal and to report back as soon as possible. As this was after the Committee last met for it's principal sessions in October/November 1999, members were consulted by means of the written or silent procedure.

For the reasons stated below, the Budget Committee considered that the proposals were justified in the context of the present restructuring of the General Secretariat of the Council of Europe. Furthermore, the Committee agreed with the proposed method of financing the implementation of the measures by means of an internal loan funded from cash surpluses. The loan would be repaid over a period of five years in equal instalments not exceeding € 0.61M per annum. The Committee also noted that until the loan was repaid, a yearly appropriation of € 0.14 M would be inscribed in the Budget within the agreed ceiling and, that the required annual balance (€ 0.47 M) would be provided by re-allocations in the staff related expenditure, without increasing the total volume of the Budget.

The proposal raises two principal issues: human resource management and the financing of the scheme. The Committee finds the proposed method of financing acceptable, but wishes to recall some aspects on the management side.

For some time, the Budget Committee has opposed new recruitment and proposed redeployment with the aim of increasing productivity. Nevertheless, it has always been aware that re-deployment meant in effect re-cycling existing skills. It was for this reason that for some years now, it has been advocating an external staff review and welcomed the fresh approach outlined for the OPTIMUM project i.e. to address both the quantity and quality staffing problems by re-assessing the workload, the numbers and skills required to meet that workload and then by comparing that with the numbers and skills available.

The outcome of the study should form the basis of an overall planned projection for human resource requirements. The Committee recommends that the redundancy scheme should be properly managed e.g. not voluntary; functional selection; fair, reliable, credible selection procedures; staff confidence. The whole operation should be part of a long term plan which should be made available as soon as possible. Until that plan is established, the Budget Committee considers that there should be a simultaneous temporary freeze on permanent and indefinite appointments.

The Budget Committee recommends acceptance of the proposed scheme and the proposed method of financing with the proviso that the scheme is implemented within the framework of an approved plan for the management of human resource requirements.



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