Ministers’ Deputies

CM Documents

CM(2011)66        13 May 20111



1117 Meeting, 29 June 2011

11 Administration and logistics

11.2 Draft revised Financial Regulations of the Council of Europe

Item to be prepared by the GR-PBA on 19 May 2011



Foreword

In May 2010, the Secretary General informed the Deputies that he proposed to introduce a biennial programme and budget at the Council of Europe2.

Following the favourable reception given to this initiative3, he submitted to the Deputies in September 2010 a document concerning the implications of the introduction of a biennial budget at the Council of Europe4.

On the basis of that document and the opinion of the Budget Committee5, the Deputies in November 2010 agreed in principle with the Secretary General's proposal to move to a biennial programme and budget with effect from 2012; and invited the Rapporteur Group on Programme, Budget and Administration (GR-PBA) to report back to them on the subject, after having examined, in the light of an opinion from the Budget Committee, the draft amendments which would be required to the Financial Regulations to be submitted by the Secretary General on the basis of his proposals, using in particular the OECD system as a reference point, and in the light of the Budget Committee’s comments6.

In order to follow up these decisions, the Secretary General presented to the Deputies in February 2011 a document on the policy orientations concerning the consideration and implementation of the biennial programme and budget7, namely: adoption of the programme and budget, final adoption of the budget for the second year, the carry forward of appropriations, and transfers of appropriations between different programme and budget votes.

The Deputies agreed in principle to these orientations, as they appeared in the Secretary General's document, noting that detailed modalities for the adoption of the budget for the second year would be examined in the framework of the adoption of the revised Financial Regulations8.

On this basis, the Secretariat has prepared a draft revised version of the Financial Regulations comprising the amendments needed for the introduction of a biennial programme and budget. The revision of the Regulations also afforded an opportunity to make other amendments to take account of recommendations made by the external auditors, changes in practice and other technical adjustments.

The draft was circulated to members of the Budget Committee for consultation and subsequently revised and submitted to the Budget Committee for consideration at its May 2011 meeting (document P-Bud(2011)13). At its meeting, the Budget Committee proposed a number of amendments. They are set out in the Budget Committee meeting report (document CM(2011)69, Appendix IV). The Secretariat informed the Budget Committee that it agreed with the amendments proposed by the Committee concerning Art.2bis§1 and 2, Art.4§3, Art.7, Art.8§2, Art.11§1, Art.12§1 and 5, Art.16§1, Art.17, Art.19§1, 2 and 3, Art.24, Art.24bis, Art.26, Art.27§2[new], Art.28, Art.29§6 and 8, Art.30§1, Art.30bis, Art.31§2, Art.31bis§1[New], 2 and 3, Art.40§1, Art.54, Art.67§1, Art.68bis§ 1 and 2, Art.71§5, Art.72§3, and Art.74§2. These amendments have been included in the current document.

The Secretariat could not agree to the proposed amendments by the Budget Committee concerning Art.23, Art.27§1 and 3 and Art.31§1 as they are not in line with the decisions already taken by the Committee of Ministers which state that “ [the Deputies] agreed in principle to the policy orientations regarding the biennial Programme and Budget, as they appear in document SG/Inf(2011)3 rev, noting that the detailed modalities for the adoption of the Budget for the second year would be examined in the framework of the adoption of the revised Financial Regulations […]” (cf. CM/Del/Dec(2011)1106/1.6 of 16 February 2011). For further details see the Appendix to this document.

The draft revised Financial Regulations proposed by the Secretariat appear hereafter. In order to facilitate examination of the proposed amendments, the text is presented in two columns, with the current provisions and the amendments shown in parallel. In order to make them easier to read at this stage, the numbering of the articles is retained. It will be adjusted subsequently.

The amendments made by the draft Financial Regulations may be grouped in three categories:

1. Substantial amendments subsequent to policy orientations,

2. Substantial amendments resulting from recommendations by the auditors or with a view to modernisation of the functioning of the Organisation, and

3. Technical adjustments.

1. Substantial amendments subsequent to policy orientations

These amendments appear in document SG/Inf(2011)3 and are summarised below.

a) Adoption of the budget: In the course of year N-1, the Secretary General proposes a biennial programme and budget for adoption by the Committee of Ministers before the end of year N-1, according to the following modalities: (Article 27)

    · the programme for the biennium,

    · the budget for year N,

    · the provisional budget for year N+1.

b) Adoption of the budget for the second year: During year N, until 1 November, the member states and the Secretary General may request the re-opening of the debate on the budget for year N+1. If no such request is made, the Committee of Ministers takes the decision to approve the budget. A decision to re-open the debate and to approve the budget for year N+1 is taken in accordance with the rules of the Committee of Ministers. (Article 27)

c) Carry forward of appropriations: Inter-biennium carry forward is not authorised, unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise. Intra-biennium carry forward is authorised by a specific decision of the Committee of Ministers, after an opinion by the Budget Committee, where activities could not be implemented for unforeseeable reasons and they constitute an important element of the programme of the biennium. (Article 31bis)

d) Transfer of appropriations: The procedure decided by the Committee of Ministers for the 2011 programme and budget should be continued in the context of the biennial programme and budget. Consequently, the Secretary General may make transfers between the operational pillars (1, 2 and 3), since they are all within the same vote, except transfers to and from the European Court of Human Rights, the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the Commissioner for Human Rights, which would require prior authorisation by the Committee of Ministers. The Committee of Ministers shall be regularly informed about transfers between the operational pillars. (Article 31)

2. Substantial amendments resulting from recommendations by the auditors or with a view to modernisation of the functioning of the Organisation

a) Amendment of the provisions relating to interest on unpaid amounts, which will henceforth be due from 1 July (Article 12);

b) Introduction of the concepts of framework agreement and partnership agreement in the framework of the provisions relating to public contracts, so as to comply with the recommendations of the external auditors (Article 43);

c) Revision of the intervention threshold of the Tenders Board, which is raised from € 50 000 to 55 000, given that no adjustment of the threshold had been made since 2006 (Article 43);

d) Introduction of a € 2 000 threshold below which three quotes for purchases are no longer required, in order to reflect the recommendations of the internal working group on simplification of administrative procedures (Article 43); and

e) Bringing forward from 10 May to 31 March of the date of presentation of the annual accounts to the external auditor, in order to meet the request of all the supervisory bodies (Article 65, paragraph 2).

3. Technical adjustments

These are mainly rectifications of factual errors or other purely technical or editorial amendments.

FINANCIAL REGULATIONS AND SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

PART I – GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

These Regulations set forth the rules to be observed:

    - for the establishment and approval of the Organisation's budget;

    - for assessing member states' contributions;

    - in the management of the funds placed at the disposal of the Secretary General to ensure the functioning of the Council of Europe;

    - in preparing the financial statements and the budgetary management accounts of the Organisation.

Article 2

The Secretary General is responsible to the Committee of Ministers for the sound administrative and financial management of the Organisation. He or she shall ensure the efficient administration of the Organisation and the economic use of the resources entrusted to him or her. To this end he or she will put in place a governance system, including notably: risk management, internal control, internal audit, performance indicators and evaluation of results.

Article 3

The budget of the Organisation is the document by which the Committee of Ministers authorises the receipts and budgetary expenditure of the Organisation for one financial year and its financing.

However, where exceptional circumstances require engagements in respect of periods extending beyond one financial year, the Committee of Ministers shall give the necessary authorisation and shall appropriate in successive budgets the funds proper to each of them in accordance with the budgetary procedure laid down in these Regulations.

Article 4

All receipts and all expenditure of the Organisation shall appear in the budget.

However, the Committee of Ministers may, in such manner as it shall determine, create accounts for specific purposes (special accounts) having their own resources. The purpose of these accounts must conform to the aims of the Council of Europe as set forth in the Statute.

It may also authorise the direct allocation of certain receipts to specific items of expenditure.

Article 5

In case of need, the Committee of Ministers shall make the supplementary budgetary appropriations found to be necessary and shall simultaneously decide how these are to be covered.

Any proposal which may involve new budgetary charges shall be submitted to the Committee of Ministers for approval, accompanied by an estimate of these charges and a statement of the means by which it is proposed to meet them. Every new budgetary charge must be approved by the Committee of Ministers.

Article 6

The financial year shall begin on 1 January and end on 31 December of the same calendar year.

Budgetary appropriations uncommitted at the close of the financial year shall be cancelled. In special cases the Committee of Ministers may nevertheless, on the advice of the Budget Committee, authorise such sums to be carried over to the following budget, under the procedure set out in Article 27 below.

Article 7

The Secretary General shall keep the accounts of the Organisation in the manner prescribed in Articles 65 to 68 below and shall render an account of his or her management as set out in Part V of these Regulations.

Article 8

The budget shall be established and the accounts kept in euros.

If the operation of the budget is disturbed by exchange variations, the Secretary General shall submit to the Committee of Ministers a report indicating any steps he or she proposes to meet the situation.

PART II – FINANCE – RECEIPTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS –

WORKING CAPITAL FUND

Article 9

The income of the Organisation shall consist of obligatory contributions, voluntary contributions and miscellaneous income.

Article 10

The total amount of contributions from member states shall be assessed so as to cover the appropriations authorised in the budget of the Organisation, as defined in Article 19 below, after deduction of the estimated amount of other receipts.

The amount of obligatory contributions shall be apportioned among the member states in accordance with Article 38b of the Statute, each state's contribution being calculated by the method decided upon by the Committee of Ministers.

Article 11

Contributions shall be payable in euros. However, the Secretary General may, at the time of calling for contributions, request a member state to pay all or part of its contribution in its national currency to meet the Organisation's requirements of that currency.

In that case, the rate of exchange of the euro as fixed by the European Central Bank on the date of calling for member states' contributions shall apply.

Article 12

Every member state shall pay at least one third of its contribution in the course of the first two months of the year.

The balance shall be payable before the end of the period of six months referred to in Article 39 of the Statute.

The Committee of Ministers shall be notified of the list of member states whose contributions have not been paid in conformity with the above provisions.

Member states that have not paid their entire contribution before the end of the period of six months referred to in Article 39 of the Statute will be required to pay a simple monthly interest of 0.5% on the amounts remaining unpaid on the last day of each of the following 6 months, and of 1% on the amounts remaining unpaid on the last day of each month thereafter.

If a contribution remains unpaid in whole or in part at the close of the financial year, the budgetary receipts account shall be credited with the amount of the contribution called, the unpaid amount being debited to a debtors account.

On the occasion of the presentation of the annual accounts, the Committee of Ministers shall be informed of the position of the amounts of unpaid contributions.

Article 13

Voluntary contributions, donations and legacies to the Organisation may be accepted by the Secretary General, who may also conclude contracts with third parties for the joint financing of activities. However, the Committee of Ministers will be informed by the Secretary General whenever the voluntary contribution, donation or legacy or joint financing arrangements has been made for a specific purpose, and in advance when it is conditional or when its use may involve the Organisation in financial outlay.

The amounts of any such benefaction shall be carried to a treasury suspense account pending a decision by the Committee of Ministers on the purpose for which it is to be used and on the relative procedure.

Voluntary contributions, donations and legacies accepted, and joint financing arrangements contracted by the Secretary General shall be allocated to the relevant budget article. Appropriations which have not been committed before the end of the financial period shall be automatically carried forward to the following financial years until the termination of the activity for which the amount was intended, at which point any remaining appropriation will be allocated in accordance with the instructions of the donor or by decision of the Committee of Ministers.

Article 14

In order to ensure that the Organisation shall at all times have available to it the funds necessary for its operation, there shall be placed at its disposal a Working Capital Fund constituted by payments from the member states. Each member state shall be credited with the sums it pays into this fund.

The amount of the fund shall be fixed by the Committee of Ministers according to need. At the same time, the share of each member state shall be determined on the basis of the percentage of its contribution to the budget of the then current year.

In the case of definitive withdrawals from the fund, the Committee of Ministers shall take the necessary steps to reconstitute it.

Article 15

If, in the course of the financial year, cash resources become exhausted, the Secretary General shall make the arrangements necessary to provide for essential expenditure. He or she shall report on his or her action to the Committee of Ministers and the Budget Committee.

Article 16

Any new member shall pay, in respect of the financial year in the course of which its instrument of accession is deposited, a contribution whose amount shall be determined by the Committee of Ministers. Such contribution shall be recorded as a receipt to the current budget.

At the same time, the Committee of Ministers shall fix the amount which the new member is to pay to the Working Capital Fund.

These amounts shall be payable within six months and subject to the late payment interest in Article 12.

Article 17

The contribution of any associate member shall be determined by the Committee of Ministers in conformity with Article 38 of the Statute. Such contribution shall be recorded as budgetary receipts.

Article 18

The Committee of Ministers shall examine the financial consequences of the withdrawal or suspension of a member in pursuance of Articles 7 and 8 of the Statute and shall make the appropriate arrangements.

PART III – BUDGET

Chapter 1 – Structure – Presentation – Adoption

Article 19

The budget of the Organisation shall comprise:

- the General Budget (comprising the Ordinary, Extraordinary, European Youth Foundation and Pensions budgets);

- the budgets of the partial agreements (pursuant to Resolution (93) 28 of the Committee of Ministers);

and any budget subsidiary to the General Budget, or to the partial agreements’ budgets.

Article 20

General Budget

The General Budget shall comprise such expenditure of the Organisation as is to be shared among all the member states and the various receipts to be set off against it.

Article 21

Budgets of the partial agreements

The budget of a partial agreement shall comprise the supplementary expenditure entailed by the agreement, to be shared by the participating states, and the various receipts to be set off against it.

It shall provide for a contribution to the administrative expenditure contained in the General Budget, and a contribution to the Pension Reserve Fund.

The amount of the contribution to the administrative expenditure shall be determined on the basis of the budgeted costs to be covered in the coming year. The contribution to the Pension Reserve Fund shall be determined as a function of the actual pension contributions of the employees of the partial agreement.

Article 22

Subsidiary budgets

Budgets subsidiary to the General Budget or the partial agreements may be established by the Committee of Ministers.

Article 23

Each year the Secretary General shall prepare a draft budget for the following year and submit it to the Committee of Ministers before 1 November, together with the opinion of the Budget Committee instituted under Article 29 of these Regulations.

Article 24

The draft budget shall contain:

a) a table showing budgeted expenditure divided into votes, heads and sub-heads according to their purpose and nature;

b) a table showing budgeted receipts in their various categories;

c) a table of posts mentioning grades and major administrative entities of the posts existing under the budget as at 30 June of the current year together with the new table of posts proposed for the new financial year and; a table of positions mentioning grades and major administrative entities of the positions existing under the budget as at 30 June of the current year together with the new table of positions proposed;

d) tables showing details of the budget of expenditure and receipts giving a comparison with the budget for the current financial year and the budgetary management accounts for the financial year last ended;

e) objectives and expected results for each major administrative entity;

f) a summary table of budgeted expenditure by category of expenditure;

g) an introductory statement of general aspects of the draft budget, giving in particular a comparison with the preceding budget, information on the budgetary implications of current trends in the Organisation's activities and their possible effects on future budgets;

h) the opinion drawn up by the Parliamentary Assembly, in pursuance of the first paragraph of Resolution (53) 38, on the part of the budget which concerns it.

Article 25

In accordance with the first paragraph of Article 4 above, the draft budget shall cover all foreseeable expenditure for the year to come.

Budgets shall be formulated in the light of experience and in particular based on forecast scales and prices.

Article 26

If necessary, the Secretary General may, in the course of the financial year, submit supplementary appropriations proposals for the approval of the Committee of Ministers.

Such proposals shall take the form of an amending budget proposing ways and means of meeting them. This budget shall be presented, considered and approved in the same way as the initial budget.

Article 27

In presenting the draft budget, the Secretary General may request the Committee of Ministers to permit the carry-over to it of appropriations in the current budget which relate to any programmes whose execution has suffered delay due to fully justified exceptional circumstances. They shall not be made in respect of appropriations for normal running expenses.

Article 28

The draft budget of the Organisation shall be approved by the Committee of Ministers before the beginning of the financial year to which it relates.

If the budget cannot be adopted by that time, then, pending approval, the Committee of Ministers shall authorise the Secretary General to incur expenditure on a monthly basis of an amount not exceeding one twelfth of the previous year’s total budget and to call contributions from each member state amounting to one third of its contribution to the previous year’s budget, to be paid by 28 February.

Chapter 2 – Budget Committee

Article 29

There shall be a Budget Committee comprising eleven experts with recognised competence in the administrative and financial fields, appointed by the Committee of Ministers for a renewable term of three years.

Five experts shall be appointed upon nomination by the five member states paying the highest contribution to the General Budget of the Organisation.

Six other experts shall be appointed upon nomination by the governments of the other member states.

Eleven alternate members shall be appointed by the Committee of Ministers, under the same conditions, in respect of each state whose candidate is appointed titular member.

The members of the Budget Committee shall act in the capacity of independent experts and advisers to the Committee of Ministers.

The function of the Budget Committee shall be to give the Committee of Ministers its opinion on financial and administrative matters in the Council of Europe, including:

a) the annual draft budget, proposals for supplementary appropriations and, in general, any projects involving new expenditure;

b) problems relative to the Working Capital Fund;

c) the transfers from one vote to another referred to in Article 31 of these Regulations;

as well as any other problem of an administrative or financial nature referred to by the Committee of Ministers or the Secretary General.

The recommendations of the Budget Committee shall be given in a report. If the Committee is not unanimous on any question, the report shall set forth the differing opinions expressed.

The Secretary General shall give to the Budget Committee whatever assistance and documentation it may require in good time to facilitate the accomplishment of its duties. In particular, he or she shall forward to the Committee for information the accounts for the previous year together with the relevant report of the External Auditor set up under Article 78 of these Regulations.

The rules of procedure of the Budget Committee shall be laid down in internal regulations approved by the Committee of Ministers.

Chapter 3 – Operation of the Budget

Section 1 – General provisions

Article 30

The approval of the budget by the Committee of Ministers shall constitute authority for the Secretary General to proceed to the collection of receipts, in particular to call upon the member states to pay their contributions and to incur and settle expenditure within the limits of the appropriations.

Article 31

In case of need, the Secretary General may effect transfers within each vote of the budget, subject to the conditions and limitation fixed by the Committee of Ministers at the time of its approval. Transfers from one vote to another may be made only with the authorisation of the Committee of Ministers after receiving the opinion of the Budget Committee.

The Secretary General is authorised to make vote to vote transfers of appropriations when the requirement for such transfers arises from the redeployment of permanent posts effected by the Secretary General under the powers conferred on him by Resolution (81) 6 and on the basis of the annual budget decisions to make vote to vote transfers of appropriations between the various sub-heads covering staff expenditure, to deal with any budgetary problems arising from the charging of staff expenditure to a variety of heads of the budget.

Article 32

The operation of the budget shall be subject to the principle of separation of the function of officials with the power to authorise expenditure from that of treasurer. To this end, the Secretary General shall appoint, for each budgetary period, high ranking officials in charge of Administrative Entities as commitments officers, to whom he or she shall delegate in writing the power to authorise expenditure. The Secretary General shall also appoint an official to the office of Treasurer.

Article 33

The commitments officers referred to in Article 32 shall be responsible in the name of the Secretary General for the sound financial management of budget appropriations, for seeing that all financial transactions comply with the Financial Regulations, and shall ensure that adequate internal control procedures in respect of sound financial management are in place within the sectors falling within their responsibility. In particular, with regard to the attribution of expenditure to appropriations, the commitment of funds to achieve programmes and objectives, the determination of sums due to the Organisation and the issue of receipts and payments orders. They shall, as necessary, delegate in writing, these functions to cost centre managers and define the limits and conditions under which they shall exercise them.

Article 34

The safe custody and handling of the funds and securities of the Organisation shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer. He or she shall also undertake the other responsibilities provided for in these Regulations, particularly in the matter of payment of expenditure and the collection of receipts.

Article 35

The Secretary General shall appoint an internal auditor responsible for evaluating and contributing to the improvement of risk management, control, and governance processes. The Internal Auditor verifies that internal control is implemented in accordance with the provisions of the current regulations and that appropriate administrative and financial procedures are implemented.

This appointment shall be for a fixed period of six years, renewable once, and shall become effective only after approval by the Committee of Ministers.

The Internal Auditor shall report directly to the Secretary General who will inform the Committee of Ministers. The functions of Internal Auditor are incompatible with any function other than the activities of his or her department.

The Internal Auditor shall conduct audits in conformity with generally accepted internal auditing standards, in particular those of the Institute of Internal Auditors, and in conformity with the Internal Audit Charter issued by the Secretary General.

Section 2 – Determination and collection of budgetary receipts

Article 36

For the provision of any service by the Organisation to a third party, the commitments officer, or cost centre manager by delegated authority, shall ensure that an invoice is raised and that it is transmitted to the Treasurer for inclusion within the accounting records of the Organisation.

Invoices may be raised by the Treasurer him or herself, whenever the recognition that a sum is due to the Organisation, or the determination of its amount, falls within the scope of his or her functions.

Article 37

The Treasurer shall enter the amount in the accounting records and proceed to collection.

Any amount which he or she considers to be irrecoverable shall be classified as doubtful pending a decision as to write-off by the Committee of Ministers in accordance with Part V.

Article 38

A receipt shall be issued for every cash payment made to the Organisation and a copy transmitted to the Treasurer.

Section 3 – Management of appropriations

Article 39

The commitments officers, or cost centre managers by delegated authority, shall, within the limits and conditions of the powers delegated to them, manage the appropriations for which they are responsible under Article 33. They shall enter into commitments, authorise settlement, and keep the relevant records.

A. Engagement and procurement

Article 40

In these Regulations “commitment”, is to be understood to mean any act having the effect of financially committing the Organisation towards a member of the staff or a third party or a provider of a recharged service within the Organisation.

All commitments must be subject of a reservation of funds in the accounting management system prior to the act that gives rise to the expenditure.

Only the commitments officers, or cost centre managers by delegated authority, may perform the act of commitment providing they act in accordance with these Regulations.

Article 41

Commitments officers, or cost centre managers by delegated authority, shall ensure that commitments remain within the limits of the appropriations which they are managing by delegation of the Secretary General.

Article 42

In the case of insufficient appropriations for expenditure of a legally binding nature, the Secretary General may authorise payment and shall then immediately commence the appropriate procedure as laid down in the Financial Regulations to regularise the budget.

Article 43

Contracts for the supply of goods or services shall be put out to international competitive tender.

However, contracts may be negotiated directly under a competitive procedure:

a) where the total expenditure foreseen does not exceed €50 000 excluding value added tax. In these cases, the commitments officer or, by delegation, the relevant cost centre manager shall nevertheless take care to obtain the best terms, by consulting at least three suppliers when possible, and keeping a written record of such consultation or, when this applies, of the reasons which rendered it impossible.

b) where expenditure is in respect of the acquisition of intellectual services for an amount up to €5 000 and when the basic criterion of choice is the technical expertise of the contractor, the consultation of three experts is not required;

c) where the tender procedure has elicited no offers or has failed to produce acceptable prices;

d) where, in the opinion of the Tenders Board referred to in Article 45:

i) for unforeseen reasons of urgency not attributable to the department concerned, the tender procedure cannot be followed; or

ii) technical imperatives or considerations of fact or law require that a particular supplier be employed.

    In either of these cases, the commitments officer or, by delegation, the cost centre manager must take care to obtain the best possible technical and financial terms.

The maximum amounts stipulated in sub-paragraphs a and b of this article shall be automatically revised, by decision of the Secretary General, on 1 July every third year, on the basis of the euro zone consumer prices index, to take account of price trends.

Article 44

Tenders shall be invited on the basis of a specification, which shall be forwarded to all competitors and shall include the nature of the services, the clauses which are to appear in the contract, the deadline for submission of bids and the guarantee which the Organisation requires.

Competitors shall send their offers under sealed cover and/or by e-mail to the Tenders Board instituted by Article 45. The opening of the tenders shall be supervised by the Internal Auditor.

Article 45

There shall be a Tenders Board, composed as laid down by decision of the Secretary General who will inform the Committee of Ministers in advance of its composition.

The duties of the Tenders Board shall be:

- to decide how widely the invitations to tender should be spread;

- to decide on the most appropriate means of publication;

- to scrutinise the evaluation of the tenders received;

- to decide based on the recommendation of the commitments officer on which

tender should be accepted.

The Tenders Board may be consulted on any other problem relating to competitive tendering or to the drafting or performance of the contract.

Article 46

All contracts shall be concluded in writing and shall include a detailed specification of the goods or services to be supplied.

B. Preparation for settlement of expenditure

Article 47

The order to pay is the act by which the commitments officer or cost centre manager by delegated authority orders the Treasurer to settle expenditure.

Article 48

The Treasurer may settle without such prior authorisation the amounts calculated in accordance with currently valid scales. In these cases, the payment document shall constitute authorisation.

Article 49

Preparation by the commitments officer, or cost centre manager by delegated authority, for settlement of expenditure involves in particular:

- verifying and certifying the existence of the creditor’s rights;

- verifying and certifying that goods and services have been delivered in conformity with the conditions of the contract;

- certifying the amount payable.

The settlement of any expenditure shall require the submission of supporting documents, in particular the order to pay shall include:

- the object of the expenditure;

- the purchase order number;

- the authorisation of the commitments officer or, by delegated authority, the cost centre manager or the person authorised by him or her to approve expenditure;

- the claim for payment for the creditor;

- the sum to be paid (in euros or some other currency);

- the name and address of the creditor and full information on the way in which payment is to be effected;

- the payment terms;

- confirmation that goods and services have been delivered.

If the original documents have to be retained for the Commitment’s officer’s records, certified copies may be substituted.

Article 50

The order to pay, or the payment document, may include a number of creditors if the expenditure is all of the same kind. In such cases, the particulars required under Article 49 shall appear in an appended statement.

Section 4 – Settlement

Article 51

Settlement is the final act discharging the Organisation from its liabilities to its creditors.

The Treasurer shall effect the settlement of expenditures within the limit of available funds.

Article 52

Before proceeding to payment, the Treasurer shall satisfy him or herself as to in particular:

- the regularity of the order to pay;
- the regularity of the submitted supporting documents;
- the correct designation of the creditor;
- any retentions to be effected in respect of advance payments or for other reasons.

Article 53

Should the Treasurer observe any irregularity in the order to pay, he or she shall refer the matter to the commitments officer before any payment is made.

If the commitments officer, against the opinion of the Treasurer, maintains that the payment should be made, the Secretary General shall decide. Where, nevertheless, the Secretary General authorises payment, this order shall be executed by the Treasurer who shall draw the attention of the External Auditor to the matter.

Article 54

On the basis of satisfactory evidence that they are warranted, the Treasurer may make partial advances on expenditure if internal regulations or the terms of contracts so provide.

PART IV – MANAGEMENT OF FUNDS – FIXED ASSETS – STOCKS AND STORES – ACCOUNTING

Chapter 1 – Management of funds

Article 55

The funds of the Organisation shall be banked.

The Treasurer shall arrange for interest to be earned on funds for which no immediate employment is foreseen.

Article 56

For the payment of current petty expenses, or where the business of a department necessitates the decentralisation of certain payments, the commitments officer may have cash advances made on imprest, and shall regulate the use of such advances. Imprest holders shall account through the commitments officer to the Treasurer for their transactions and shall submit to him or her all necessary statements and vouchers.

To this end, the Treasurer may open bank accounts in the name of the Organisation.

Chapter 2 – Fixed Assets

Article 57

A fixed asset is a resource controlled by the Organisation from which future economic benefits are expected to flow, and whose cost can be measured reliably.

Fixed assets are held to contribute in the long-term to the production of goods and rendering of services, for rental to others, or for administrative purposes. These assets are expected to be used by the Organisation during more than one reporting period.

Article 58

Numerical inventories shall be permanently kept of all fixed assets, owned by the Organisation.

Each commitments officer shall make proper arrangements for the care and custody of all fixed assets acquired and charged to the budget of his department, and shall arrange for periodical checks of such inventories at least once a year at year end.

Article 59

On receipt of fixed assets, the serial numbers of the entries in the inventories shall be physically recorded on the item and be shown in the documentation required for the process of settlement.

Sales of used fixed assets shall be suitably published and according to the applicable internal rules.

Article 60

Each commitments officer shall provide such information in relation to fixed assets as is required for accounting, costing and financial records.

Article 61

The cession, the scrapping or the disappearance through loss, theft, or any other cause whatsoever of fixed assets listed in the inventories, shall be notified to the Directorate of Finance by the competent commitments officer, and the accounting records shall be amended accordingly.

Chapter 3 – Stocks and Stores

Article 62

Stocks and stores are resources controlled by the Organisation in the form of materials or supplies to be consumed in the production process, or in the rendering of services. These assets are held for sale or distribution in the ordinary course of operations; or in the process of production for sale or distribution.

Article 63

The procurement and issue of consumable articles shall be supervised in such a manner as to permit control of their consumption. Commitments officers shall arrange for periodical stock takings and evaluation of stocks and stores acquired and charged to the budget of their departments at least once a year at year end.

Article 64

Each commitments officer shall provide such information in relation to stocks and stores as is required for accounting, costing and financial records.

Chapter 4 – Accounting

Article 65

The Directorate of Finance shall keep the annual accounts of the Organisation in euros and shall consist of:

a) the financial statements of the Organisation;

b) budgetary management accounts, by which the Secretary General shall report on the final outturn of the budget approved by the Committee of Ministers.

These accounts shall be made available to the External Auditor before 10 May of the year following the financial year to which the accounts refer.

Article 66

The financial statements of the Organisation shall be prepared in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

The principles adopted and the manner of their application shall be set forth in the note on accounting policies accompanying each period’s financial statements.

The financial statements shall include:

    - a statement of financial position;

    - a statement of financial performance;

    - a statement of cash flow;

    - a statement of changes in net assets/equity;

    - accounting policies and explanatory notes.

Article 67

The budgetary management accounts shall reconcile the budget outcome to the approved budget, and shall show:

a) in the case of income:

    - calls for the obligatory contributions due from states for the budget period;

    - invoices raised in respect of goods or services delivered to third parties during the budget period;

    - other income received during the budget period;

b) in the case of expenditure:

    - expenditure in relation to the budget period when goods were delivered or services rendered to the Organisation;

c) a summary of transfers of appropriations during the budget period;

d) the balance of unspent appropriations to be cancelled at the end of the year.

A reconciliation between the financial statements and the budgetary management accounts shall be made available as an appendix to the accounts of the Organisation.

Article 68

All accounting records shall be conserved for a period of ten years.

PART V – EXTERNAL AUDIT AND APPROVAL OF ACCOUNTS

Article 69

The accounts prepared in pursuance of Articles 65 to 68 shall be submitted to the External Auditor as provided in Part VI of these Regulations.

Article 70

After consideration of the report of the External Auditor and of any comments by the Secretary General, the Committee of Ministers shall, before 31 December of the following year, give discharge to the Secretary General in respect of his or her management for the financial year in question. The credit balance of the financial year shall be returned to the member states. The Committee of Ministers may however, decide to allocate all or part of the credit balance to the financing of the Organisation’s needs.

PART VI – EXTERNAL AUDITOR

Article 71

The External Auditor shall be the supreme audit institution of a member state, as properly represented according to national legislation of this member state, and shall be appointed by the Committee of Ministers for a period of five years, not renewable.

The External Auditor may not otherwise be removed during its tenure of office, except by the Committee of Ministers, upon the proposal of one or more member states.

For the purpose of conducting a local or special examination, the External Auditor may engage the services of the supreme audit institution of another member state.

The External Auditor shall be completely independent and solely responsible for the conduct of the audit.

The Organisation shall afford to the External Auditor such facilities and technical assistance as it may consider necessary for the performance its duties.

Article 72

The audit shall be conducted in conformity with generally accepted international auditing standards.

The audit shall be conducted at the headquarters of the Organisation and any other premises of the Organisation as deemed necessary.

The External Auditor and its staff shall have free access to all vouchers, books, documents and files which it considers necessary to examine for the purpose of the audit. It may ask the Organisation's officials for any information it thinks necessary. The External Auditor and its staff shall not disclose any information of a confidential or restricted nature, which has been made available and shall not make use of it except in direct connection with the performance of the audit. The External Auditor may draw the attention of the Committee of Ministers to any denial of information, which in its opinion was required for the purpose of the audit.

Article 73

The duties of the External Auditor shall be to satisfy itself that the financial statements present fairly in all material aspects the financial position and the results of operations and cash flows of the Organisation and have been prepared in accordance with IPSAS; and that the budgetary management accounts present fairly in all material respects the financial records and transactions of the Organisation and have been prepared in accordance with the Financial Regulations and any other rules or applicable directives laid down by the Committee of Ministers. The External Auditor will make observations with respect to the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the financial procedures, the accounting system and the administration and management of the Organisation.

In carrying out verifications the External Auditor shall in particular satisfy itself that:

- the annual accounts are in accordance with the accounting records of the Organisation;

- the accounting system and the annual accounts cover all financial transactions effected by the Organisation in the course of the year;

- budgetary expenditure has been in conformity with the purposes of, and within the limits of, the appropriations as shown in the budget, amended as appropriate;

- any special funds created and any receipts applied to special purposes, in pursuance of Article 4, second and third paragraphs, have been administered in accordance with the rules governing them;

- transactions are vouched for by appropriate supporting documents;

- certificates of funds and securities placed on deposit are periodically obtained from the depositaries and that periodic certificates of verification of cash in hand are held;

- inventories are kept in good order and are subject to proper supervision;

- internal controls, including internal audit, are adequate and reliable.

Article 74

The External Auditor shall express and sign opinions on the financial statements and the budgetary management accounts no later than 30 June following the financial year to which they relate, which shall:

- identify the accounts examined;

- describe the nature and scope of the audit; and

- address, as appropriate, whether:

    a) the financial statements present fairly the financial position of the Council of Europe at the end of the financial year and the results of its operations in that year; and the budgetary management accounts properly reflect the financial records and transactions of the Organisation;

    b) the financial statements were prepared in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards and the stated accounting policies set out in the notes to the financial statements; and the budgetary management accounts were prepared in accordance with the Financial Regulations and any other rules or applicable directives laid down by the Committee of Ministers;

    c) the accounting principles were applied on a consistent basis from year to year;

    d) transactions were in accordance with the Financial Regulations and budgetary authorisations.

The External Auditor shall present, by 30 June at the latest, a report to the Committee of Ministers, in which it shall set forth its views and observations on the annual accounts and any other matter referred to in Articles 73 and 74 above.

The report shall include:

    a) the nature and scope of the External Auditor's examination and of any changes in the nature and scope of such examination, including whether it has obtained all the information and explanations required;

    b) matters affecting the completeness or accuracy of the annual accounts such as:

    - any income or receivables which have not been properly accounted for;

    - expenditure not properly substantiated;

    c) other matters to be brought to the notice of the Committee of Ministers, such as:

    - cases of fraud or presumptive fraud;

    - wasteful or improper expenditure of the Organisation’s financial or other assets (notwithstanding that the accounting for the transactions may be correct);

    - expenditure likely to commit the Organisation to further outlay on a large scale;

    - any defect in the general system or detailed regulations governing the control of receipts and expenditure or of supplies, equipment and materials of the Organisation or of those for which the Organisation is responsible;

    - expenditure not in conformity with appropriations, as amended by duly authorised transfers between appropriations;

    - expenditure in excess of appropriations, as amended by duly authorised transfers;

    d) the accuracy or otherwise, as determined by stocktaking and examination, of quantitative records relating to supplies, equipment and material of the Organisation or for which the Organisation is responsible; and

    e) transactions accounted for in a previous financial year, concerning which further information has been obtained, or transactions in a later financial year concerning which it is considered desirable that the Committee of Ministers should be informed at an early stage.

The External Auditor shall not include any observations in the audit report without first affording the Secretary General an opportunity to comment on the matter under observation. Audit comments arising during the examination of the accounts shall be immediately communicated to the Secretary General and the Treasurer.

The External Auditor's report shall be transmitted to the Committee of Ministers together with the audited annual accounts.

The external audit report shall be presented to the Committee of Ministers by the head of the supreme audit institution appointed as External Auditor or, in the case of unforeseen difficulties, by another high official holding an equivalent function of representation.

PART VII – FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 75

The Secretary General shall make the arrangements necessary to the implementation of these Regulations and shall issue the relevant operational directives.

Article 76

These Financial Regulations shall enter into force on 1 January 2007.

The provisions of the preceding Regulations and the directives issued for their implementation are hereby abrogated with effect from the same date.

* * *

EXTERNAL AUDITOR

PROCEDURE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF THE EXTERNAL AUDITOR

1. Duration of term of office

The External Auditor shall be appointed to audit five financial years.

2. Presentation of candidates – Timetable

- in principle, a new External Auditor should be appointed at a December meeting of the Deputies which precedes the first year of the new External Auditor’s term of office;

- the Secretariat shall notify governments of the upcoming appointment of an External Auditor before 30 June of the last financial year on which the outgoing External Auditor is to report and candidatures should be deposited with the Secretariat before 15 October of that year;

- at the last meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies in September, the Secretariat will remind them of this time limit and inform them of candidatures already received;

- a document listing the candidatures received by 15 October shall be issued immediately after that date; it will set out the candidate supreme audit institutions and the Secretariat’s appraisal of the criteria detailed in paragraph 3 below;

- if an External Auditor does not complete its full term of office of five years, the procedure for the appointment of a new External Auditor for another five-year period should be initiated without delay.

3. Selection criteria

The selection process shall be guided primarily by quality of audit service, professional expertise and experience in auditing international organisations. Audit fees will be considered only after satisfactory appraisal of the quality aspect.

The candidatures shall include the following, in one of the official languages of the Organisation:

- details of national legislation ensuring independence of the supreme audit institution in its own country;

- details of the national and international activities of the supreme audit institution, with an indication of the range of audits completed and the audit specialities that could be of benefit to the Council of Europe;

- a copy of the last annual report of the supreme audit institution;

- a description of the audit approach, the number and level of staff to be involved in the audit;

- indication of the level of proficiency in one of the official languages of the Organisation;

- an estimate of the total number of auditor-days which would be devoted to the audit per year;

- a proposed audit fee (expressed in euro) covering the audit related salaries, support costs and travel costs.

The Audit Committee shall provide an advisory opinion to the Committee of Ministers on the candidatures received of their conformity with the selection criteria.

4. Voting procedure

- if only one candidate is proposed to fill the vacancy, its appointment can be made without a vote unless there is an objection;

- in the case of two or more candidates being proposed to fill the vacancy, the Deputies start the selection (or elimination) procedure by holding an indicative vote by secret ballot. Subsequent procedure is then decided in the light of the outcome of the indicative vote, or subsequent indicative votes by secret ballot if they appear to be necessary;

- the ballot papers used for the secret indicative votes referred to in the preceding paragraph shall list the candidates in alphabetical order of member state. The chairperson will indicate during the meeting at which moment the Secretariat should distribute the ballot papers.

* * *

BUDGET COMMITTEE

PROCEDURE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS

OF THE BUDGET COMMITTEE

1. Duration of term of office

The term of office of members of the Budget Committee ends on 31 December of their third year in office.

2. Presentation of candidates – Timetable

- in principle, members should be appointed at the December meeting of the Deputies which precedes the first year of their term of office;

- the Secretariat shall notify governments of vacancies before 30 June of the last year of the term of office and candidatures should be deposited with the Secretariat before 15 October of that year;

- the document concerning the notification shall contain all appropriate information, namely a) a reminder of the provisions of Article 29 of the Financial Regulations, b) a list of member states indicating the respective rates of contribution to the Ordinary Budget, these rates being those in force on the first day of the terms of office for which the vacancies are notified, c) a list of states of which the experts who have already sat on the Budget Committee were nationals;

- at the meeting of the Deputies in September, the Secretariat will remind them of the time limit for the deposit of candidatures and inform them of candidatures already received;

- a document listing the candidatures received by 15 October shall be circulated as soon as possible after that date;

- if a member does not complete his full term of office of three years, the proposal for a replacement for the remainder of the period should be submitted without delay to the Committee of Ministers by the state which proposed the member whose term of office has been interrupted.

3. Voting procedure

- if the number of candidates in respect of either of the two categories of states is equal to the number of seats to be filled, their appointment as members may be made without a vote;

- should the number of candidates exceed the number of seats to be filled, the Deputies shall begin the selection procedure by holding an indicative vote by secret ballot. In expressing their preferences, the Deputies shall bear in mind the desirability of some renewal among states whose experts sit on the Budget Committee and of a reasonable participation in the Budget Committee of experts commensurate with the level of the rate of contribution of the states of which they are nationals. Subsequent procedure shall be decided in the light of the outcome of the indicative vote or subsequent indicative votes by secret ballot if they appear to be necessary;

- the ballot papers used for the secret indicative votes referred to in the preceding paragraph shall list the candidates and distinguish, where necessary, those presented by the five states paying the highest contributions to the budget from those presented by other states. Candidates shall be listed in alphabetical order, the state from which they come being mentioned in parentheses;

- alternate members of the Budget Committee are appointed in respect of each state whose candidate is appointed a titular member, insofar as the states concerned nominate candidates for alternate members.

DRAFT REVISED FINANCIAL REGULATIONS AND SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE9

PART I – GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

These Regulations set forth the rules concerning:

- the programme and budget of the Council of Europe (hereafter the Organisation);

- member states’ contributions and other income;

- the management of the funds placed at the disposal of the Secretary General to ensure the functioning of the Organisation;

- the financial statements and the budgetary management accounts of the Organisation;

- the Budget Committee, the External Auditor, the Internal Auditor, the Audit Committee and the Organisation's Treasurer.

Article 2

The Secretary General is responsible to the Committee of Ministers for the sound administrative and financial management of the Organisation. He or she shall ensure the efficient administration of the Organisation and the economic use of the resources entrusted to him or her. To this end he or she will put in place a governance system, including notably: risk management, internal control, internal audit, performance indicators and evaluation of results.

Article 2bis

1. The Programme and Budget shall set the Organisation's objectives along with expected results and performance indicators and authorise the budgetary receipts and budgetary expenditure of the Organisation.

2. The financial year shall last one year extending from 1 January to 31 December of the same calendar year. As from 1 January 2012, the Programme and Budget will cover two consecutive financial years (hereafter the biennium).

3. The Secretary General shall propose, and the Committee of Ministers shall approve, the Programme and Budget in accordance with the present Regulations.

Article 3

[deleted]

Article 4

1. All receipts and all expenditure of the Organisation shall be shown in the budgets of the Organisation.

2. However, the Committee of Ministers may, in such manner as it shall determine, create accounts for specific purposes (special accounts) having their own resources. The purpose of these accounts must conform to the aims of the Council of Europe as set forth in its Statute.

Article 5

[deleted]

Article 6

[deleted and moved as 31bis]

Article 7

The Secretary General shall have the accounts of the Organisation kept in the manner prescribed in Articles 65 to 68 below. He or she shall render account concerning his or her management as set out in Part IV of these Regulations.

Article 8

The Programme and Budget shall be established and the accounts kept in euros.

PART II – FUNDING – INCOME AND CONTRIBUTIONS –

WORKING CAPITAL FUND

Article 9

The income of the Organisation shall consist of obligatory contributions, voluntary contributions and miscellaneous receipts.

Article 10

1. The total amount of obligatory contributions for each financial year shall be assessed so as to cover the appropriations authorised in the Programme and Budget of the Organisation for the same financial year, as defined in Article 19 below, after deduction of the estimated amount of miscellaneous income.

2. The amount of obligatory contributions for each financial year shall be apportioned among the member states in accordance with Article 38b of the Statute, each state's contribution being calculated in the manner decided by the Committee of Ministers.

Article 11

1. Obligatory contributions shall be payable in euros. However, the Secretary General may, at the time of calling for obligatory contributions, request a member state to pay all or part of its contribution in its national currency to meet the Organisation's needs for that currency.

2. In such cases, the euro exchange rate as determined by the European Central Bank on the date of calling for member states' contributions shall apply.

Article 12

1. Each member state shall pay at least one third of its obligatory contribution in the course of the first two months of the year.

2. The balance of the contribution due shall be payable before the end of the period of six months referred to in Article 39 of the Statute.

3. The Committee of Ministers shall be notified of the list of member states whose contributions have not been paid in accordance with the above provisions.

4. Member states that have not paid their entire contribution before the end of the period of six months referred to in Article 39 of the Statute shall be required to pay simple monthly interest of 0.5% on amounts remaining unpaid on the first day of each of the following 6 months, and 1% on amounts remaining unpaid on the first day of each month thereafter.

5. The receipts account shall be credited with the amounts of contributions called. If a contribution remains unpaid in whole or in part at the end of the financial year, the unpaid amount shall remain recorded in a debtors account.

6. The Committee of Ministers shall be informed of the situation regarding unpaid contributions in accordance with a time-table that it shall determine and, in any case, on the presentation of the annual accounts.

Article 13

1. Voluntary contributions, donations and legacies to the Organisation may be accepted by the Secretary General, who may also conclude contracts with third parties for the joint financing of activities. However, the Secretary General shall inform the Committee of Ministers when voluntary contributions, donations or legacies or joint financing arrangements are made for a specific purpose and, in advance, when they are conditional or when their use may involve the Organisation in financial outlay.

2. The amounts of such voluntary contributions, donations and legacies shall be recorded in a suspense account pending a decision by the Committee of Ministers on their allocation and the manner in which they are to be used.

3. Voluntary contributions, donations and legacies and joint financing arrangements agreed to by the Secretary General shall be allocated to the relevant budget or special account. Where they are allocated to special accounts, unspent appropriations shall be automatically carried forward to the following financial year until the termination of the activity for which they were intended, at which point any remaining balance will be allocated in accordance with the donor's instructions or by decision of the Committee of Ministers.

Article 14

1. In order to ensure that the Organisation shall at all times have available the funds necessary for its operation, a Working Capital Fund constituted by payments from the member states shall be placed at its disposal. Each member state shall be credited with the sums it pays into this fund.

2. The amount of the fund shall be determined by the Committee of Ministers according to requirements. At the same time, the share of each member state shall be determined on the basis of the percentage of its contribution to the budget of the then current year.

3. Should definitive withdrawals be made from the fund, the Committee of Ministers shall take the necessary steps to reconstitute it.

Article 15

If, in the course of a financial year, cash resources become exhausted, the Secretary General shall make the arrangements necessary to provide for essential expenditure. He or she shall report on his or her action to the Committee of Ministers and the Budget Committee.

Article 16

1. Any new member shall pay, in respect of the financial year in the course of which its instrument of accession is deposited, a contribution of an amount to be determined by the Committee of Ministers. This contribution shall be recorded as a receipt for the current year.

2. At the same time, the Committee of Ministers shall fix the amount which the new member is to pay into the Working Capital Fund.

3. These amounts shall be payable within six months from the date of the call for contributions and shall bear late payment interest, as set out in Article 12.

Article 17

The contribution of any associate member shall be determined by the Committee of Ministers in conformity with Article 38 of the Statute. Such contributions shall be recorded as receipts.

Article 18

The Committee of Ministers shall examine the financial consequences of the withdrawal or suspension of a member in pursuance of Articles 7 and 8 of the Statute and shall make the appropriate arrangements.

PART III – PROGRAMME AND BUDGET

Chapter 1 – Structure – Presentation – Adoption

Article 19

1. The Programme and Budget of the Organisation shall include the general budget and the budgets of the partial agreements and shall consist of pillars, sectors and programme lines.

2. The general budget shall comprise the expenditure and receipts of the Organisation. It shall include the ordinary budget, the extraordinary budget, the budget of the European Youth Foundation and the pensions reserve fund and any subsidiary budgets thereto.

3. The Programme and Budget shall include information in respect of estimated voluntary contributions for each financial year of the biennium.

Article 20

[deleted]

Article 21

[deleted]

Article 22

The subsidiary budgets provided for in Article 19 may be established by the Committee of Ministers.

Article 23

Every two years the Secretary General shall prepare a draft Programme and Budget for the biennium and submit it to the Committee of Ministers before 1 November of the year preceding the biennium concerned, together with the opinion of the Budget Committee.

Article 24

The draft Programme and Budget shall contain for each financial year of the biennium:

a) a table showing expenditure by pillar, sector and programme line, and corresponding votes, heads and sub-heads;

b) objectives, expected results, performance indicators and resources for each programme line;

c) tables showing by category of expenditure and receipts, the approved expenditure and receipts for the previous financial year, and the budgetary management accounts for the financial year last ended;

d) the salary ceiling along with the salary ceiling for the previous financial year and the expenditure in relation to the salary ceiling for the financial year last ended;

e) a table of posts and a table of positions, by grade and by major administrative entity, and as at 30 June of the year preceding the biennium;

f) information in respect of the pension reserve fund;

It shall also include:

g) a description of general aspects of the draft Programme and Budget for the biennium and the methodology used in the preparation of the budget, and their impact on trends in the Organisation's activities including a comparison with previous years and their budgetary implications;

h) the opinion of the Parliamentary Assembly in accordance with Resolution (53) 38 on the part of the budget which concerns it.

Article 24bis

The budgets of the partial agreements and any subsidiary budgets thereto shall be drawn up in accordance with the applicable regulations. These budgets shall comprise the supplementary expenditure entailed by an agreement, to be shared among the participating states, and the various receipts to be set off against it. For each financial year of the biennium they shall provide for a contribution to the pension reserve fund and an annual lump-sum contribution to administrative expenditure foreseen under the ordinary budget, determined on the basis of the amount of administrative expenditure included in the budget for the second financial year of the previous biennium.

Article 25

[deleted]

Article 26

If necessary, the Secretary General at his or her initiative or at the request of the Committee if Ministers shall, in the course of a financial year, submit to the Committee of Ministers for approval proposals for supplementary appropriations, including a statement of the ways and means by which it is proposed to meet them,

for the financial year concerned in the form of an amending budget. The Committee of Ministers shall decide on these proposals after seeking an opinion from the Budget Committee.

Article 27

1. The Committee of Ministers shall approve the programme for the biennium and the budget for the first financial year, as well as the budget for the second financial year on a provisional basis, before the beginning of the biennium.

2. Before the 30 June of the first financial year the Secretary General shall submit to the Committee of Ministers an adjusted draft Programme and Budget for the second year, together with the opinion of the Budget Committee.

3. The Committee of Ministers shall approve the budget and if applicable the revised programme for the second financial year before 1 November of the first financial year in the biennium, unless it decides otherwise.

Article 28

If the Programme and Budget cannot be adopted in accordance with the previous article, the Committee of Ministers shall authorise the Secretary General to incur expenditure on a monthly basis of an amount not exceeding one twelfth of the previous financial year’s budget and to call contributions from each member state amounting to one third of its contribution to the previous financial year’s budget, as provided for in Article 12.

Chapter 2 – Budget Committee

Article 29

1. There shall be a Budget Committee comprising eleven experts with recognised competence in the administrative and financial fields, appointed by the Committee of Ministers for a renewable term of three years.

2. Five experts shall be appointed upon nomination by the five member states paying the highest contributions to the general budget of the Organisation.

3. Six other experts shall be appointed upon nomination by the governments of the other member states.

4. Eleven alternate members shall be appointed by the Committee of Ministers, under the same conditions, in respect of each state whose candidate is appointed titular member.

5. The members of the Budget Committee shall act in the capacity of independent experts and advisers to the Committee of Ministers.

6. The function of the Budget Committee shall be to give the Committee of Ministers its opinion on financial and administrative matters in the Council of Europe, including:

a) the draft Programme and Budget, proposals for supplementary appropriations and, in general, any projects involving new expenditure;

b) the progress review reports provided for in Article 68bis;

c) the annual accounts provided for in Article 65 and the report of the external auditor for the previous financial year;

d) human resources and pension systems issues;

e) problems relative to the Working Capital Fund;

f) the transfers from one vote to another referred to in Article 31 of these Regulations;

g) any other matter of an administrative or financial nature referred to it by the Committee of Ministers or the Secretary General.

7. The recommendations of the Budget Committee shall be given in a report. If the Committee is not unanimous on any question, the report shall set forth the differing opinions expressed.

8. The Secretary General shall supply the Budget Committee with any assistance and documentation it may require, in good time to facilitate the accomplishment of its duties.

9. The rules of procedure of the Budget Committee shall be laid down in internal regulations approved by the Committee of Ministers.

Chapter 3 – Operation of the Budget

Section 1 – General provisions

Article 30

1. The approval of the Programme and Budget for a given financial year by the Committee of Ministers shall constitute authority for the Secretary General to proceed to collect receipts and, in particular, to call upon the member states to pay their contributions and to commit and settle expenditure of that financial year within the limits of the appropriations, without prejudice to the provisions of Article 30bis.

Article 30bis

To ensure full implementation of the programme, the Secretary General shall be authorised to commit budget appropriations for the second year in the biennium as from 1 October of the preceding year, within a limit of five per cent per programme line, until the budget for the second year has been approved.

Article 31

1. If need be, the Secretary General shall be authorised to make transfers within each vote of the budget for a given financial year, under the conditions laid down by the Committee of Ministers at the time of that budget's approval. Any other transfer shall require the Committee of Ministers' prior approval.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 31 para 1, the Secretary General shall be authorised to make transfers of a technical nature, notably those related to the charging of staff costs and the allocation of common provisions.

Article 31bis

1. Budgetary appropriations uncommitted at the close of the financial year shall be cancelled and be dealt with in accordance with Article 70.

2. To ensure the full execution of the programme in a biennium, the Secretary General may seek authorisation to carry forward to the second financial year budgetary appropriations for the first financial year concerning activities which are behind schedule due to exceptional circumstances, with a view to implementing these activities. Authorisation for this carry-forward shall be given by the Committee of Ministers after seeking an opinion from the Budget Committee.

3. Any carry-forward of budgetary appropriations from one biennium to the subsequent biennium can only be made under exceptional circumstances, upon authorisation by the Committee of Ministers following a request by the Secretary General and after seeking an opinion from the Budget Committee.

Article 32

The operation of the budget shall be subject to the principle of separation of duties between officials with the power to authorise expenditure and the Treasurer. To this end, the Secretary General shall appoint, for each financial year, high ranking officials as commitments officers, to whom he or she shall delegate in writing the power to authorise expenditure. The Secretary General shall also appoint a high ranking official to the office of Treasurer.

Article 33

The commitments officers referred to in Article 32 shall be responsible on behalf of the Secretary General for the sound financial management of budget appropriations; they shall verify that all financial transactions comply with the Financial Regulations and shall ensure that adequate internal control procedures are in place within the sectors coming under their responsibility. This shall concern, in particular, the charging of expenditure against appropriations, the commitment of funds to achieve programmes and objectives, the determination of sums due to the Organisation and the issue of collection and payment orders. They shall, as necessary, delegate these functions in writing to cost centre managers and determine the limits and conditions under which the latter shall exercise the functions thereby delegated.

Article 34

The safe custody and handling of the funds and assets of the Organisation shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer. He or she shall also undertake the other responsibilities provided for in these Regulations, particularly in matters of payment of expenditure and collection of receipts.

Article 35

[deleted]

Section 2 – Determination and collection of budgetary receipts

Article 36

1. For any service provided by the Organisation to a third party, the commitments officer, or cost centre manager by delegated authority, shall ensure that an invoice is raised and registered in the accounting records of the Organisation.

2. Invoices may be raised directly by the Treasurer.

Article 37

1. The Treasurer shall ensure that the relevant amount is entered in the accounting records and proceed to its collection.

2. Any amount receivable which the Treasurer considers to be irrecoverable shall be classified as doubtful in the accounting records pending a decision by the Committee of Ministers.

Article 38

A receipt shall be issued for all cash payments made to the Organisation and a copy thereof shall be transmitted to the Treasurer.

Section 3 – Management of appropriations

Article 39

The commitments officers, or cost centre managers by delegated authority, shall, within the limits and conditions of the powers delegated to them, manage the appropriations for which they are responsible under Article 33. They shall enter into commitments, prepare and authorise settlement of expenditure and keep the relevant records.

A. Engagement and procurement

Article 40

1. In these Regulations “commitment” is to be understood to mean any act having the effect of financially committing the Organisation towards a member of staff, a third party or provider of internally billed goods or services.

2. All commitments must be covered by a reservation of funds in the accounting management system for the estimated amount of the expenditure.

3. Commitments may be entered into only by commitments officers, or cost centre managers by delegated authority, providing they act in accordance with these Regulations.

Article 41

Commitments officers, or cost centre managers by delegated authority, must ensure that commitments remain within the limits of the appropriations for which they have been delegated management authority by the Secretary General.

Article 42

In the event that appropriations are insufficient to meet expenditure of a legally binding nature, the Secretary General may authorise payment and shall then immediately commence the appropriate budget regularisation procedure as laid down in the Financial Regulations.

Article 43

1. Contracts for the supply of goods, services or works to the Organisation and framework or partnership agreements shall be concluded following an international public call for tenders.

2. However, contracts may be negotiated directly with suppliers under a competitive bidding procedure where the total expenditure foreseen does not exceed €55 000 excluding tax. In this case the commitments officer or, by delegation, the relevant cost centre manager shall nevertheless take care to obtain the best terms, by consulting at least three suppliers when possible, and keeping a written record of such consultation or, where applicable, of the reasons why it was impossible.

3. Similarly, contracts may be negotiated directly with suppliers:

a) if the expenditure concerns a purchase for an amount of less than € 2 500 excluding tax, or less than € 5 000 excluding tax for intellectual services where the basic selection criterion is the service-provider's technical expertise;

b) if the competitive bidding procedure has elicited no offers or has failed to produce acceptable prices; 

c) where in the opinion of the Tenders Board, referred to in Article 45:

    i) for unforeseen reasons of urgency not attributable to the department concerned, the competitive bidding procedure cannot be followed; or

    ii) technical imperatives or considerations of fact or law require that a particular supplier be employed.

    In either of these cases, the commitments officer or, by delegation, the cost centre manager must take care to obtain the best possible technical and financial terms.

4. The amounts stipulated in paragraphs 2 and 3 of this article shall be revised automatically, by decision of the Secretary General, on 1 July every third year, on the basis of the Eurozone consumer price index, so as to take account of price trends. They shall be rounded to the nearest thousand euros.

Article 44

1. Calls for international public tenders shall be issued on the basis of specifications, which shall be forwarded to all competitors and shall include the nature of the services, the clauses which are to appear in the contract, the deadline for submission of bids and the guarantees which the Organisation requires.

2. Competitors shall submit their bids under sealed cover and/or by email to the Tenders Board established under Article 45 below in the conditions set out by the call for tenders. The opening of bids shall be supervised by the Internal Auditor.

Article 45

1. There shall be a Tenders Board, composed as laid down in a rule of the Secretary General, who will inform the Committee of Ministers in advance of its composition.

2. The duties of the Tenders Board shall be to:

- decide how widely public calls for tenders should be published;

- decide on the most appropriate means of publication;

- assess the bids received;

- decide which bid should be accepted on the basis of a recommendation by the commitments officer.

3. The Tenders Board may be consulted concerning any other problem relating to public tendering or to the drafting or performance of a contract.

Article 46

All contracts shall be concluded in writing and shall include a detailed description of the goods or services to be supplied or the works to be performed.

B. Preparation for settlement of expenditure

Article 47

A payment order is the act whereby the commitments officer or, by delegation, the cost centre manager orders the Treasurer to settle expenditure. Responsibility for a payment order shall lie with the commitments officer.

Article 48

The Treasurer may settle amounts calculated in accordance with currently valid scales without having received a payment order. In such cases the payment document shall constitute authorisation.

Article 49

1. Preparation of a payment order by the commitments officer, or the cost centre manager by delegated authority, involves verifying and certifying:

- the existence of the creditor’s rights;

- the accounting information submitted to the Treasurer, in particular the financial year to which the expenditure relates:

- that the goods have been received, the services delivered or the work carried out before the end of the financial year in question and in accordance with the terms of the contract, and

- the amount payable.

2. With a view to the settlement of any expenditure, the payment order must include the following:

a) the object of the expenditure;

b) the purchase order number;

c) the authorisation of the commitments officer or, by delegated authority, the cost centre manager or the person authorised by him or her to approve expenditure;

d) the claim for payment by the creditor;

e) the amount payable;

f) the name and address of the creditor and full information on the way in which payment is to be effected;

g) the payment terms;

h) the date of acceptance of the goods, services or works and confirmation that they are as ordered.

3. If the original supporting documents in respect of the above elements have to be retained for the commitments officer’s records, certified copies may be substituted for payment purposes.

Article 50

[deleted]

Section 4 – Settlement of expenditure

Article 51

Settlement discharges the Organisation from its liabilities to its creditors.

The Treasurer shall effect the settlement of items of expenditure within the limit of available funds, without prejudice to the provisions of Article 15.

Article 52

Before making a payment, the Treasurer shall verify:

- the regularity of the payment order;

- the regularity of the submitted supporting documents;

- the correct designation of the creditor;

- any amounts to be retained in respect of advance payments or for other reasons.

Article 53

1. Should the Treasurer note an irregularity in the payment order, he or she shall refer the matter to the commitments officer before any payment is made.

2. Where the commitments officer upholds the payment order despite a converse opinion by the Treasurer, the Treasurer shall refer the matter to the Secretary General for decision. Should the Secretary General confirm the payment order, it shall become executable by the Treasurer and shall be brought to the attention of the External Auditor.

Article 54

The Treasurer may make advance payments if internal regulations or the terms of contracts so provide.

PART IV – MANAGEMENT OF FUNDS – FIXED ASSETS – INVENTORIES –

ACCOUNTING

Chapter 1 – Management of funds

Article 55

1. The funds of the Organisation shall be banked.

2. The Treasurer shall arrange for interest to be earned on funds for which no immediate use is foreseen and shall inform the Tenders Board of the arrangements made to ensure that financial investments are selected on a competitive basis.

Article 56

1. For the payment of routine petty expenses, or where the business of a department justifies the decentralisation of certain payments, the commitments officer may have cash advances made on imprest and shall regulate the use of such advances. Imprest holders shall render account for their management through the commitments officer to the Treasurer and shall submit to him or her all necessary statements and vouchers.

2. To this end, the Treasurer, or any other person to whom he or she has specifically delegated the authority to do so, may open bank accounts in the name of the Organisation.

Chapter 2 – Fixed Assets

Article 57

1. A fixed asset is a resource controlled by the Organisation from which future economic benefits are expected to flow to it and of which the cost or fair value can be measured reliably.

2. Fixed assets are held to be used in the long term for the production of goods and the supply of services, for rental to others, or for administrative purposes. These assets are expected to be used by the Organisation during more than one financial year.

Article 58

1. Commitments officers shall keep inventories of all fixed assets owned by the Organisation.

2. They shall make the necessary arrangements for the care and custody of all fixed assets acquired and charged to their respective budgets. They shall perform physical inventories of such assets periodically and at least once a year at the financial year end.

Article 59

1. On receipt of fixed assets, the corresponding inventory registration numbers shall be physically recorded on each item and be entered in the documentation required for the expenditure settlement process.

2. Sales of used fixed assets shall be suitably advertised in accordance with the applicable internal rules.

Article 60

Commitments officers shall provide such information concerning fixed assets as is required for accounting and costing purposes and the related supporting documents.

Article 61

The disposal, the scrapping or the disappearance through loss, theft, or any other cause whatsoever of fixed assets listed in the inventories shall be notified to the Treasurer by the competent commitments officer.

Chapter 3 – Inventories

Article 62

Inventories are resources controlled by the Organisation in the form of materials or supplies to be used in the production process, consumed, sold or distributed.

Article 63

The procurement and issue of consumables, such as office supplies, shall be monitored in such a manner as to permit the control of their consumption. Commitments officers shall arrange for periodical physical inventories and for the determination of the carrying amount of inventories acquired and charged to the budget of their departments at least once a year at the financial year end.

Article 64

Each commitments officer shall provide such information concerning inventories as is required for accounting and costing purposes and the related supporting documents.

Chapter 4 – Reporting

Article 65

1. The Secretary General shall keep the annual accounts of the Organisation. They shall be denominated in euros and shall consist of:

a) the financial statements of the Organisation;

b) the budgetary management accounts, whereby the Secretary General reports on the final outcome for the budget period, as approved by the Committee of Ministers.

2. These accounts shall be made available to the External Auditor before 31 March of the year following the financial year to which they refer.

Article 66

1. The financial statements of the Organisation shall be prepared in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

2. The principles adopted and the manner of their application shall be set forth in the note on accounting policies accompanying the financial statements each year.

Article 67

The budgetary management accounts shall include for the financial year, a reconciliation of the budget outcome and the budget as approved. They shall show:

a) under receipts:

    i) the states' obligatory contributions for the financial year;

ii) invoices raised in respect of goods or services delivered to third parties during the financial year;

iii) any other income received during the financial year;

b) expenditure incurred during the financial year;

c) a summary of transfers of appropriations during the financial year; and

d) the balance of unspent appropriations at the financial year end.

Article 68

The Treasurer shall keep accounting records, in hard copy or digital form, for a period of ten years.

Article 68bis

1. Starting with the first biennium the Secretary General shall present to the Committee of Ministers before 15 September an interim progress review report for the ongoing financial year, this report should outline for each programme line the results achieved and the resources utilised

2. The Secretary General shall present to the Committee of Ministers before 31 March a progress review report on the implementation of the Programme and Budget of the previous financial year, this report should outline for each programme line the results achieved and the resources utilised.

PART IVbis - INTERNAL AUDIT

Article 68Ter

1. The Secretary General shall appoint an Internal Auditor responsible for evaluating and contributing to the improvement of risk management, control, and governance processes. The Internal Auditor shall verify that internal control is implemented in accordance with the provisions of the current regulations and that appropriate administrative and financial management procedures are put in place.

2. He or she shall be appointed for a period of six years, renewable once; this appointment shall become effective only after approval by the Committee of Ministers.

3. The Internal Auditor shall report directly to the Secretary General who shall inform the Committee of Ministers. The office of Internal Auditor shall be incompatible with any function other than the activities of his or her department.

4. The Internal Auditor shall conduct audits in conformity with generally recognised internal auditing standards, in particular those of the Institute of Internal Auditors, and in conformity with the Internal Audit Charter issued by the Secretary General.

PART V – APPROVAL OF THE ACCOUNTS

Article 69

The accounts prepared pursuant to Articles 65 to 68 shall be submitted to the External Auditor as provided in Part VI below.

Article 70

After consideration of the External Auditor's report and of any observations by the Secretary General, the Committee of Ministers shall, before 31 December of the following year, give discharge to the Secretary General in respect of his or her management for the financial year in question. A surplus in the budgetary management accounts of a financial year shall be returned to the member states unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise.

PART VI – EXTERNAL AUDITOR

Article 71

1. The External Auditor shall be the supreme audit institution of a member state, as properly represented according to the national legislation of this member state, and shall be appointed by the Committee of Ministers for a non-renewable term of five years.

2. The External Auditor may not be removed from office during its tenure except by the Committee of Ministers, upon the proposal of one or more member states.

3. For the purpose of conducting a local or special review, the External Auditor may engage the services of the supreme audit institution of another member state.

4. The External Auditor shall be completely independent and shall have sole responsibility for the conduct of the audit.

5. The Organisation shall afford to the External Auditor such facilities and technical assistance necessary for the performance of its duties.

Article 72

1. The audit shall be conducted in conformity with generally accepted international auditing standards.

2. The audit shall be conducted at the headquarters of the Organisation and any other premises of the Organisation as deemed necessary.

3. The External Auditor and its staff shall have free access to all vouchers, books, documents and files which it considers necessary to examine for the purpose of the audit. It may ask the Organisation's officials for any information deemed necessary. The External Auditor and its staff shall not disclose any information of a confidential or restricted nature, which has been made available to them, and shall not make use of it except in direct connection with the performance of the audit. The External Auditor may draw the attention of the Committee of Ministers to any denial of information, which in its opinion was required for the purposes of the audit.

Article 73

1. The duties of the External Auditor shall be to obtain assurance that the financial statements present fairly in all material respects the financial position and the results of operations and cash flows of the Organisation and have been prepared in accordance with IPSAS. The External Auditor shall also verify that the budgetary management accounts present fairly in all material respects the financial records and transactions of the Organisation and have been prepared in accordance with these Financial Regulations and any other rules or applicable instructions issued by the Committee of Ministers. The External Auditor shall make observations with respect to the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the financial procedures, the accounting system and the administration and management of the Organisation.

2. In carrying out these verifications the External Auditor shall in particular obtain assurance that:

a) the annual accounts are in accordance with the accounting records of the Organisation;

b) the accounting system and the annual accounts cover all financial transactions effected by the Organisation in the course of the year;

c) all budgetary expenditure has been made in conformity with the purposes of, and within the limits of, the appropriations as shown in the budget, amended if need be;

d) any special funds created and any receipts allocated to special purposes, in pursuance of the second and third paragraphs of Article 4, have been administered in accordance with the rules governing them;

e) transactions are vouched for by appropriate supporting documents;

f) certificates of funds and securities placed on deposit are periodically obtained from the depositaries and periodic certificates of verification of cash in hand are established;

g) inventories are kept in good order and are subject to proper controls;

h) internal controls, including internal audit, are adequate and reliable.

3. Audit comments on any matter arising during the examination of the accounts shall be immediately communicated to the Secretary General and the Treasurer.

Article 74

1. The External Auditor shall formulate opinions on the financial statements and the budgetary management accounts no later than 31 May following the financial year to which they relate, which shall:

- identify the accounts examined;

- describe the nature and scope of the audit; and

- address, as appropriate, whether:

    a) the financial statements present fairly the financial position of the Council of Europe at the end of the financial year and the results of its operations for that year; and the budgetary management accounts properly reflect the financial records and transactions of the Organisation;

    b) the financial statements were prepared in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards and the accounting policies set out in the notes to the financial statements; and the budgetary management accounts were prepared in accordance with the Financial Regulations and any other rules or applicable instructions issued by the Committee of Ministers;

    c) the accounting principles were applied on a consistent basis from year to year;

    d) transactions were in accordance with the Financial Regulations and budgetary authorisations.

2. The External Auditor shall present, by 31 May at the latest, a report to the Committee of Ministers, in which he or she shall set forth his or her observations on the annual accounts and any other matter referred to in Articles 73 and 74 above.

The report shall include:

a) the nature and scope of its examination and of any changes in the nature and scope of such examination, including whether all the information and explanations required have been obtained.

b) matters affecting the completeness or accuracy of the annual accounts such as:

    - any income or receivables which have not been properly accounted for;

    - expenditure not properly substantiated;

c) other matters to be brought to the notice of the Committee of Ministers, such as:

    - cases of fraud or presumptive fraud;

    - wasteful or improper use of the Organisation’s financial or other assets (notwithstanding that the accounting records for the transactions may be correct);

    - expenditure likely to commit the Organisation to further outlay on a large scale;

    - any defect in the general system or detailed regulations governing the control of receipts and expenditure or of supplies, equipment and materials owned by the Organisation or for which the Organisation is responsible;

    - expenditure not in conformity with appropriations, as amended by duly authorised transfers between appropriations;

    - expenditure in excess of appropriations, as amended by duly authorised transfers;

d) the accuracy or otherwise, as determined by physical inventories and examinations, of the accounting records relating to the supplies, equipment and materials owned by the Organisation or for which the Organisation is responsible; and

e) transactions accounted for in a previous financial year, concerning which further information has been obtained, or transactions to be accounted for in a later financial year concerning which it is considered desirable that the Committee of Ministers should be informed at an early stage.

3. Before reporting to the Committee of Ministers, the External Auditor shall afford the Secretary General the opportunity to provide explanations in respect of observations included in the audit report.

4. The External Auditor's report shall be transmitted to the Committee of Ministers together with the audited annual accounts.

5. The external audit report shall be presented to the Committee of Ministers by the head of the supreme audit institution appointed as External Auditor or, in the event of unforeseen difficulties, by another senior official representing the institution.

PART VIbis - AUDIT COMMITTEE

Article 74bis

1. There shall be an Audit Committee set up by the Committee of Ministers.10

10 Resolution CM/Res(2011)1 adopted on 12 January 2011.

PART VII – FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 75

The Secretary General shall make the arrangements necessary to the implementation of these Regulations and shall issue the relevant operational directives.

Article 76

1. These Financial Regulations shall be applicable with effect from ... [date of adoption by the Committee of Ministers].

2. The provisions of the preceding Regulations and the directives issued for their implementation are hereby abrogated with effect from the same date.

* * *

EXTERNAL AUDITOR

PROCEDURE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF THE EXTERNAL AUDITOR

1. Duration of term of office

The External Auditor shall be appointed to audit five financial years.

2. Presentation of candidates – Timetable

- In principle, a new External Auditor shall be appointed at a December meeting of the Deputies which precedes the first year of the new External Auditor’s term of office;

- The Secretariat shall notify governments of the upcoming appointment of an External Auditor before 30 June of the last financial year on which the outgoing External Auditor is to report and candidatures shall be filed with the Secretariat before 15 October of that year;

- At the last meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies in September, the Secretariat shall remind them of this time-limit and inform them of candidatures already received;

- A document listing the candidatures received by 15 October shall be issued immediately after that date; it will set out the candidate supreme audit institutions and the Secretariat’s appraisal of the criteria detailed in paragraph 3 below;

- If an External Auditor does not complete his or her full term of office of five years, the procedure for the appointment of a new External Auditor for another five-year period shall be initiated without delay.

3. Selection criteria

1. The selection process shall focus primarily on the quality of audit services, professional expertise and experience in auditing international organisations. Audit fees will be considered only after a satisfactory appraisal of the quality aspects.

2. The candidatures shall include the following, in one of the official languages of the Organisation:

- details of national legislation guaranteeing the independence of the supreme

audit institution in its own country;

- details of the national and international activities of the supreme audit institution, with an indication of the range of audits completed and the audit specialities that could be of benefit to the Council of Europe;

- a copy of the last annual report of the supreme audit institution;

- a description of the proposed audit approach and the number and level of staff to be involved in the audit;

- an indication of the level of proficiency in one of the official languages of the Organisation;

- an estimate of the total number of auditor-days which would be devoted to the audit per year;

- a proposed audit fee (expressed in euros) covering the audit related salaries, support costs and travel costs.

3. The Audit Committee shall provide an advisory opinion to the Committee of Ministers on the conformity of the candidatures received with the selection criteria.

4. Voting procedure

- If only one candidate is proposed to fill the vacancy, its appointment can be made without a vote unless there is an objection;

- In the event that two or more candidates are proposed to fill the vacancy, the following voting arrangements are applicable: 11

- Voting shall be by secret ballot,

- The candidate or candidates obtaining the simple majority of votes within the meaning of Article 10.4 of the Rules of Procedure for the Meetings of the Ministers’ Deputies (ie, half of the number of the Deputies entitled to vote, plus one) and the largest number of votes shall be declared elected,

- If one seat, or more, remain(s) vacant after the first vote, there will be a second round of voting. The candidate(s) having obtained the highest number of votes will be declared elected;

- The ballot papers used for the secret indicative votes referred to in the preceding paragraph shall list the candidates by alphabetical order of the member state. The Chairperson shall indicate at which moment during the meeting the Secretariat should distribute the ballot papers.

* * *

11 In accordance with the Deputies’ decision of 17 November 2010 (cf. CM/Del/Dec(2010)1098/1.5).

BUDGET COMMITTEE

PROCEDURE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS

OF THE BUDGET COMMITTEE

1. Duration of term of office

The term of office of members of the Budget Committee shall end on 31 December of their third year in office.

2. Presentation of candidates – Timetable

- In principle, members should be appointed at the December meeting of the Deputies which precedes the first year of their term of office;

- The Secretariat shall notify governments of vacancies before 30 June of the last year of the term of office and candidatures shall be filed with the Secretariat before 15 October of that year;

- The document concerning the notification shall contain all appropriate information, namely a) a reminder of the provisions of Article 29 of the Financial Regulations, b) a list of member states indicating the respective rates of contribution to the Ordinary Budget, these rates being those in force on the first day of the terms of office for which the vacancies are notified, c) a list of states of which the experts who have already sat on the Budget Committee were nationals;

- At the September meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, the Secretariat shall remind them of this time-limit and inform them of candidatures already received;

- A document listing the candidatures received by 15 October shall be circulated as soon as possible after that date;

- If a member does not complete his full term of office of three years, the proposal for a replacement for the remainder of the period should be submitted without delay to the Committee of Ministers by the state which proposed the member whose term of office has been interrupted.

3. Voting procedure

- If the number of candidates in respect of either of the two categories of states is equal to the number of seats to be filled, their appointment as members may be made without a vote;

- Should the number of candidates exceed the number of seats to be filled, the following voting arrangements are applicable: 12

- Voting shall be by secret ballot,

- The candidate or candidates obtaining the simple majority of votes within the meaning of Article 10.4 of the Rules of Procedure for the Meetings of the Ministers’ Deputies (ie, half of the number of the Deputies entitled to vote, plus one) and the largest number of votes shall be declared elected,

- If one seat, or more, remain(s) vacant after the first vote, there will be a second round of voting. The candidate(s) having obtained the highest number of votes will be declared elected. In expressing their preferences, the Deputies shall bear in mind the desirability of some renewal among states whose experts sit on the Budget Committee and of a reasonable participation in the Budget Committee of experts commensurate with the level of the rate of contribution of the states of which they are nationals.

- The ballot papers used for the secret indicative votes referred to in the preceding paragraph shall list the candidates and distinguish, where necessary, those presented by the five states paying the highest contributions to the budget from those presented by other states. Candidates shall be listed in alphabetical order, the state from which they come being mentioned in parentheses;

- Alternate members of the Budget Committee shall be appointed in respect of each state whose candidate is appointed a titular member, insofar as the states concerned nominate candidates for alternate members.

12 In accordance with the Deputies’ decision of 17 November 2010 (cf. CM/Del/Dec(2010)1098/1.5).

Appendix

Position of the Secretariat on the amendments proposed by the Budget Committee with regard to Art. 23, Art. 27§1 and 3, and Art.31§1

Document SG/Inf(2011) 3 FINAL, as agreed by the Committee of Ministers, included in particular the following two proposals :

      (…)

      1) Adoption of the Budget

      The Statute of the Council of Europe requires that “In accordance with the Financial Regulations, the budget of the Council shall be submitted annually by the Secretary General for adoption by the Committee (Art. 38.c)”.

      Secretary General’s proposal:

      In year N-1 the Secretary General proposes a biennial Programme and Budget for approval by the Committee of Ministers, before the end of that year, of:

        - the Programme for the biennium,

        - the Budget for year N,

        - provisionally the Budget for year N+1.

      (…)

      4) Transfer of appropriations

      According to Article 31 of the Financial Regulations “In case of need, the Secretary General may effect transfers within each vote of the budget, subject to the conditions and limitation fixed by the Committee of Ministers at the time of its approval”. In the 2011 Budget, vote 1 comprises the operational pillars (1, 2 and 3) and vote 2 the support pillar (4).

      The current procedure provides a limited measure of flexibility which is necessary for efficient implementation of the programme, especially as the Organisation through its programme should respond more efficiently to political priorities set by the Committee of Ministers. It should also be noted that the Secretary General does not dispose of a contingency reserve, which would allow allocation of resources to urgent action.

      Secretary General’s proposal:

      The procedure decided by the Committee of Ministers for the 2011 Programme and Budget should be continued in the context of the biennial budget: the Secretary General can operate transfers between the operational pillars (1, 2 and 3), since they are all within the same vote, except to and from the European Court of Human Rights, the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the Commissioner for Human Rights, which would require prior authorisation by the Committee of Ministers. The Committee of Ministers shall be regularly informed about transfers between the operational pillars.

Accordingly, the Secretariat had prepared revised formulations for Art.23, Art.27§1 and 3, and Art.31§1 as follows, which was submitted to the Budget Committee:

      Article 23

      Every two years the Secretary General shall prepare a draft programme and budget for the biennium and submit it to the Committee of Ministers before 1 November of the year preceding the biennium concerned, together with the opinion of the Budget Committee.

      Article 27

      1. The Committee of Ministers shall approve the programme for the biennium and the budget for the first financial year, as well as the budget for the second financial year on a provisional basis, before the beginning of the biennium.

      2.(ex 3) A majority of member states, as defined by the applicable rules, or the Secretary General may request the re-opening of the debate on the budget for the second financial year before 1 November of the first financial year of the biennium.

      3.(ex 2) The Committee of Ministers shall approve the budget and if applicable the revised programme for the second financial year before 1 November of the first financial year in the biennium, unless it decides otherwise

      Article 31

      1. If need be, the Secretary General shall be authorised to make transfers within each vote of the budget for a given financial year, under the conditions laid down by the Committee of Ministers at the time of that budget's approval. Any other transfer shall require the Committee of Ministers' prior approval.

      2. The Secretary General shall be authorised to make vote to vote transfers of appropriations, under conditions determined by the Committee of Ministers, in particular when such transfers become necessary as a result of redeployments of permanent posts decided by the Secretary General under the powers conferred on him by Resolution (81) 6 and, on the basis of the annual budget decisions, to make vote to vote transfers of appropriations between the various heads covering staff expenditure, to deal with any budgetary problems arising from the charging of staff expenditure to a number of budget sub-heads.

The Budget Committee proposed the following amendments to the Secretariat’s proposal:

      Article 23

      Every two years the Secretary General shall prepare a draft Programme and Budget for the biennium, for each financial year of the biennium and submit it to the Committee of Ministers before 1 November of the year preceding the biennium concerned, together with the opinion of the Budget Committee.

      Article 27

      1. The Committee of Ministers shall, before the beginning of the biennium, approve the Programme and Budget for the first financial year of the biennium as well as and the Programme and Budget for the second first financial year , as well as the budget for the second financial year on a provisional basis. year and the budget for the first financial year, as well as the budget for the second financial year on a provisional basis, before the beginning of the biennium.

      [New 2] Before the 30th June of the first financial year the Secretary General shall submit to the Committee of Ministers an adjusted draft Programme and Budget for the second year, together with the opinion of the Budget Committee.

      2.(ex 3) A majority of member states, as defined by the applicable rules, or the Secretary General may request the re-opening of the debate on the budget for the second financial year before 1 November of the first financial year of the biennium.

      3.(ex 2) The Committee of Ministers shall approve the Programme and Budget and if applicable the revised programme for the second financial year before the beginning of the financial year to which it relates.1 November of the first financial year in the biennium, unless it decides otherwise.

      Article 31

      1. If need be, the Secretary General shall be authorised to make transfers between within each vote of the budget programme lines to an amount not exceeding ten per cent of the supplying and receiving programme line, or €100 000 in a up to a for a given financial year., under the conditions laid down by the Committee of Ministers at the time of that budget's approval. Any other transfer shall require the Committee of Ministers' prior approval.

The reasons behind these proposals as set out in the Budget Committee’s report are the following:

      38. The Budget Committee wishes to draw the attention of the Committee of Ministers to the following explanations concerning the changes proposed by the Budget Committee regarding articles 27 and 31:

      Article 23 and 27:

      39. The Programme and Budget is one document where programmes and resources are integrated, there is no separate financial budget part that could be indentified and separately approved.

      40. The programme lines are defined by both expected results and resources, therefore the integral programme and budget for a financial year must be approved simultaneously.

      41. Consequently the Committee proposes that before the biennium the Committee of Ministers shall approve the programme and budget for the first year and approve the programme and budget for the second year on a provisional basis.

      42. During the first year the Committee of Ministers shall approve – finally - the programme and budget for the second year.

      Article 31

      43. The issue of transfers of appropriations between programme lines relates to the distribution of budgetary powers between the political body – the Committee of Ministers – and the Executive - the Secretary General.

      44. The programme and budget is approved by the Committee of Ministers at the level of programme lines. The programme and budget priorities of the Committee of Ministers are reflected in the resources allocated to each programme line.

      45. The Secretary General must have some room for manoeuvre during the implementation of the programme and budget, however the authority the Secretary General is given in the secretariats draft financial regulations is - in the view of the Committee - too wide and wider than is the practise in other international organisations.

      46. They would allow the Secretary General to make transfers of such a magnitude that they could disrupt the political priorities of the Committee of Ministers

      47. Therefore the Committee - as an advisory body to the Committee of Ministers – proposes more restrictive rules that the Committee of Ministers could consider in order to maintain its leading and sovereign role.

The Secretariat considers that the proposed amendments by the Budget Committee concerning Art.23, Art.27§1 and 3, and Art.31§1 contradict the text agreed upon by the Committee of Ministers in its decision CM/Del/Dec(2011)1106/1.6 of 18 February 2011 which states that “ [the Deputies] agreed in principle to the policy orientations regarding the biennial Programme and Budget, as they appear in document SG/Inf(2011)3 FINAL noting that the detailed modalities for the adoption of the Budget for the second year would be examined in the framework of the adoption of the revised Financial Regulations […]”

The new draft revised Financial Regulations as proposed by the secretariat, including most of the comments by the Budget Committee therefore do not include these three amendments.

1 This document has been classified restricted until examination by the Committee of Ministers.

2 See CM(2010)42.

3 See CM/Del/Dec(2010)1084/1.8.

4 See CM(2010)125.

5 See CM(2010)137.

6 See CM/Del/Dec(2010)1099/11.2.

7 See SG/Inf(2011)3final.

8 See CM/Del/Dec(2011)1106/1.6.

9 The additions to the text are underlined.



 Top

 

  Related Documents
 
   Other documents