696 Meeting, 3 February
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.