Ministers’ Deputies

CM Documents

CM(2013)113      25 September 20131



1185 (Budget) Meeting, 19-21 November 2013

11 Programme, Budget and Administration

11.3 Meeting report of the Budget Committee –
September 2013 session

Item to be considered by the GR-PBA at its meeting on 17 October 2013



The Budget Committee met in Strasbourg on 16 - 20 September 2013.

1. Opening of the meeting

1. Mr Åke Hjalmarsson, Chairperson, opened the meeting of the Committee. The list of participants appears in Appendix II. Mr Vladimir Iosifov (Russian Federation) and his substitute had presented their apologies for absence.

2. Adoption of the Agenda and Draft Annotated Agenda

2. The Committee adopted the Agenda as set out in Appendix I.

3. Examination of the report and the minutes of the May 2013 session

3. The Committee took note of the report and the minutes of its May 2013 meeting. The Committee expressed its satisfaction with the minutes and re-iterated their usefulness.

4. Recent developments concerning the Council of Europe – Statement by Ms Ute Dahremöller, Director General of Administration

4. The Director General of Administration provided the Committee with information in respect of developments that had taken place since the previous meeting of the Committee. She gave an update on the restructuring of the Directorate General of Democracy and the related transfer of certain activities between the Directorate General of Human Rights and the Rule of Law (DG I) and the Directorate General of Democracy (DG II). She underlined that this restructuring allowed the suppression of an A6 post.

5. She also informed the Committee about the latest developments concerning staff issues. Concerning the new contractual policy of the Council of Europe, she informed the Committee that the Committee of Ministers took note of the Secretary General’s proposals and that draft regulatory amendments should be presented in the near future with a view to their entry into force on 1 January 2014. She also mentioned that concerning the reform of the pension schemes and the modification of the ratio (employer/employee share) of the contribution rates in the coordinated pension scheme, the discussions were still on-going within the CCR.

6. The Committee had an exchange of views on these developments, in particular on the new contractual policy, which it addressed under Item 12.c (see paragraphs 65-66).

5. Presentation of the Decisions and Documents of the Committee of Ministers

7. The Committee took note of the latest decisions of the Committee of Ministers, notably of the appointment of Mr. Shahin Lauritzen as new Director of the Directorate of Programme, Finance and Linguistic services.

6. Programme and Budget 2012-2013

      a. Consolidated Financial Statements and Budgetary Management Accounts for 2012

Exchange of views with Mr Christophe Rosenau, External Auditor

8. The Committee held an exchange of views with the External Auditor. It welcomed the fact that an unqualified opinion on the Organisation’s consolidated Financial Statements and Budgetary Management Accounts had been issued for the sixth consecutive year.

9. Mr Rosenau presented the main findings and recommendations in the report of the External Auditor (CM(2013)100, page 60). The Committee also took note of the comments by the Secretary General (CM(2013)103) in reply to the recommendations.

10. The Committee noted that the External Auditor had made a number of recommendations in respect of complementing the information currently given in the Budgetary Management Accounts, such as information in respect of expenditure by category, and that the Secretariat had undertaken to respond positively to these recommendations in the Budgetary Management Accounts for 2013.

11. The Committee considered that the level of detailed information presented in the draft Programme and Budget should be enhanced. It asked the Secretariat to make specific proposals in this respect at its next meeting.

12. The Committee noted with satisfaction that the draft Resolution on the EDQM followed the recommendation of the Committee made during its 2013 May meeting (CM (2013)63, paragraph 32) to reimburse a total amount of €3 834 500 to member States, i.e. an additional €1.0 M as compared to the initial draft proposal.

13. The Committee noted that a new coding system for expenditure had been implemented for the preparation of the budget 2014 and that as from 2014 it would be possible to provide detailed information on actual expenditure for previous years on the same basis as the information presented in the Programme and Budget.

      b. Mid-term review 2013

14. The Committee examined the 2013 Interim Progress Review Report. The Committee recalled that last year it examined the first interim report, and felt that this exercise, which had been introduced in the Financial Regulations in 2011, provided a useful insight into the implementation of the Programme and Budget. Nevertheless, in view of the considerable workload required throughout the Organisation in order to produce this report, it thought that a more concise and targeted interim report would be more appropriate. The Committee welcomed the new format of the 2013 Interim Progress Review Report. It considered that this new format, as presented in document CM/Inf(2013)28, underlining the salient points in the budget and programme implementation was appropriate and should satisfy the needs of management and of the Committee of Ministers.

15. The Committee was of the opinion that Article 65 of the Financial Regulations should therefore be modified to specify in more detail the format of the Interim Progress review report (cf. item 11, paragraphs 53-59 below).

7. Programme and Budget 2014-2015

16. The Committee recalled the comments it made at its May meeting: “The Committee wished to draw to the attention of the Committee of Ministers the fact that the total level of contributions to the Ordinary Budget had been fixed by the Deputies on 7 May 2013 at €237 562 000, an amount which included the employer’s pension costs in the Ordinary Budget. This amount will have to be adjusted to take into account the detailed calculations of pension costs in the preparation of the draft Programme and Budget. Any difference between the pension costs included in the Priorities document for the Ordinary Budget and the pension costs resulting from the detailed calculation for the draft Programme and Budget would be compensated by an equal and opposite adjustment on direct contributions to the Pension Reserve Fund.”

17. The Committee welcomed the fact that the draft Programme and Budget had been prepared in line with these comments and that the detailed calculation of pension costs resulted in a net decrease of €116 300 in member States contributions to the Ordinary Budget (cf. Appendix IV) as compared to the amount included in the Priorities for 2014-2015. The Committee reviewed the calculation and took note of the technical explanations for the decrease.

18. The Committee further noted that the total of member States’ contributions for 2014 to the Pension Reserve Fund had decreased by €378 400 as compared to the amount announced in the Priorities for 2014-2015 mainly due to the increase in employers contributions included in the other budgets (and notably the Ordinary Budget), thus reducing the need for direct contributions from member States The Committee reviewed the methodology used for the calculation and took note of the technical explanations for the decrease.

Exchange of views with the Deputy Secretary General, Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni

19. The Deputy Secretary General presented to the Committee the draft Programme and Budget 2014-2015. She underlined that the document had been prepared in the difficult economic context that member States are facing and in line with the demanding parameters of the priorities for 2014-2015. She stated that while the contributions of member States to the Ordinary Budget respected the principle of zero nominal growth (and actually even declined for technical reasons); the staff/non staff ratio will decrease from 65.45% in 2013 to 65.39% in 2015. She informed the Committee that some elements which were not foreseen during the preparation of the Priorities have been taken into account for the preparation of the draft Programme and Budget. In this respect, she mentioned in particular the suppression of an A6 post which had allowed for the negative line “Agora scheme” to be reduced by a corresponding amount and the small increase in other receipts which had allowed for an increase in the joint programme provision.

20. The Deputy Secretary General recalled that reinforcing the Organisation’s operational capacity was a key priority of the Secretary General. She informed the Committee that he would shortly be making proposals to the Committee of Ministers to allocate €1.5 M from the balance account for health insurance (“Van Breda”) to joint programmes (cf. item 12c below).

21. Concerning the partial agreements, she brought to the attention of the Committee the fact that member States contributions to the Partial Agreement of the Secretariat of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) have been decreased by €419 000 following the decision of the Bank in Paris to cover the costs of three posts of the Partial Agreement Secretariat in Strasbourg.

22. Concerning the programmes, the Deputy Secretary General informed the Committee that a review, conducted by DPFL, DIO and an external consultant, of all the logframes had taken place bearing in mind the conclusions of the seminar on Results-Based Budgeting and revised common definitions.

23. Lastly, she informed the Committee that one of the aims of the new contractual policy was to increase flexibility and in this context to further balance the share of fixed-term contracts (CDDs) compared to indefinite-term contracts (CDIs). In order to achieve greater balance, she mentioned the probability that the moratorium on CDIs would continue except in some very specific and exceptional cases.

24. The Committee welcomed the fact that the draft Programme and Budget respected the parameters established in the Priorities 2014-2015. It also noted with satisfaction the decision of the Bank in Paris to cover the costs of the Secretariat of its governing bodies leading to a reduction in member States’ contributions to the Partial Agreement.

25. As far as the programmes were concerned, the Committee noted that significant efforts have been made across the Organisation to improve the content of the logframes. It noted that most objectives and expected results had been formulated from the beneficiaries’ perspective in order to facilitate a focus on the changes that are expected rather than on what is planned to be done or the outputs to be produced.

26. In this context, the Committee welcomed the fact that in line with its recommendation at its May meeting the objectives of the programmes are more clearly defined and presented in bold in the introduction to each programme. Whilst considering that there was an improvement, it felt that some objectives could be better formulated since they were mixing the objective and the means to achieve it. The Committee considered that the means of achieving the objective should rather be included under the performance indicators where appropriate. The Committee recommended that the logframes concerned be reviewed in the near future.

27. The Budget Committee will continue to pay close attention to the question of Results Based Budgeting in the future and in particular to the formulation of objectives, expected results and performance indicators.

28. Lastly concerning the new contractual policy, the Committee recommended that the Secretary General continue the operation of his moratorium on CDIs in order to achieve a better balance between CDIs and CDDs and greater flexibility for the Organisation. (cf. paragraphs 65-66).

General Comments on salary costs

29. The Committee noted that the CCR recommendation on the salary adjustment for 2014 was not yet finalised. However, the Committee drew the attention of the Committee of Ministers to the possibility of a negative adjustment. The Committee considered that in the event that there is a recommendation of a negative adjustment for 2014, the corresponding amount by which staff costs would reduce in the 2014 budget should not be allocated to activities but retained as a reserve.

Exchange of views with Mr Philippe Boillat, Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law – DGI

30. The Committee held an exchange of views with Mr Philippe Boillat, on the programme lines “Enhancing the effectiveness of the ECHR system at national and European level” and “Independence and efficiency of justice”. He informed the Committee of the progress to date of the process of the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights and the legal and financial implications of such an accession.

31. The Committee recommended the draft Programme and Budget 2014-2015 of these programme lines as they appear in CM(2013)130.

Exchange of views with Ms Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General of Democracy – DGII

32. The Committee held an exchange of views with Ms Snežana Samardžić-Marković on the programme line “Promoting democratic competences”. The Committee welcomed the efforts made within the Directorate General to improve the logframes and to clarify an area which was in the past difficult to understand. Ms Snežana Samardžić-Marković stressed that this was a continuing process of improvement and that the Directorate General would continue to put more focus on the results. The Committee recommended the draft Programme and Budget 2014-2015 of this programme line as it appears in CM(2013)130.

Eurimages

33. The Committee considered that the logframe for the Partial Agreement Eurimages was not satisfactory since neither the objective nor the expected results/performance indicators were adequately formulated. The Committee recommended that a revised version be prepared for consideration by the Committee of Ministers before the adoption of the Programme and Budget 2014-2015. A revised and improved version was subsequently presented to the Budget Committee during the meeting.

Exchange of view with Ms Ute Dahremöller

34. The Committee held an exchange of views with Ms. Ute Dahremöller on the investment plan 2014-2017 (CM(2013)130, pages 220-227) and notably on the unfunded projects that are presented on page 226 of CM(2013)130 and P-Bud(2013)33. The Committee invited the Secretariat to prioritise all investments, and to indicate a timetable for their implementation and propose how they should be financed. It recommended exploring other ways than grants from the Ordinary Budget for financing investments. It expressed its intention to review the issue of investments at its next meeting.

35. The Committee took note of the fact that the Secretariat was using a threshold of €100 000 to include projects in the investment plan but that this practice was not formalised in any official document. The Committee invited the Secretariat to include an explicit reference to this threshold in all relevant texts.

36. The Committee took note of the fact that the replacement of the Assembly Chamber voting system in the Palais de l’Europe was not currently funded and that this could present a risk to the smooth running of the Parliamentary Assembly sessions. The Committee took note of the proposal to finance this project with funds which would be made available within the 2013 Ordinary Budget. The Committee asked the Secretariat to prepare a detailed proposal that it would examine by silent procedure.

37. The Committee took note of the investment plan and recommended the grant from the Ordinary Budget to the special account for investments 2014-2015.

Programme and Budget of the EDQM 2014-2015

38. The Committee held an exchange of views with Ms. Susanne Keitel, Director of the EDQM and discussed with her the draft Programme and Budget for 2014-2015 and the further developments in respect of the EDQM contingency plan. This plan aims to mitigate the risks that could affect the continuity of the activities of the EDQM and the availability for the pharmaceutical industry of reference standards that are needed for the release of medicines to the market.

39. The Committee recalled that at its May 2012 meeting it had examined and welcomed a report on a Risk Analysis and Contingency Plan prepared by an external consultant. A second report had been commissioned and, on that basis, the contingency plan had been further developed. The plan involved the creation of contingency stock and its storage at a temporary site and the construction of a secondary site, possibly in Haguenau, north of Strasbourg.

40. It further noted that the contingency plan could be financed in full from the accumulated reserves of the EDQM and would involve no additional contributions from member States. The Committee noted that the total cost of the plan in the period 2014-2018 is estimated at approximately €11 M.

41. The Committee recognised the need for contingency measures in order for the EDQM to ensure business continuity in the event of a major disaster affecting the Strasbourg site. However, it considered that the contingency plan should be split into two distinct stages:

    · the building up of the contingency stock and its storage in rented facilities;
    · the possible construction of a permanent secondary site.

42. With regard to the first stage, the Committee noted that the EDQM would require 5 years (2014-2018) to create the contingency stock. Having regard to the initial costing of the creation of the stock and its temporary storage and to the fact that it would not require additional contributions from the member States, the Committee recommended that the EDQM be authorised to start building up the contingency stock in 2014 and 2015.

43. The Committee noted that the contingency plan is neither included in the draft Programme and Budget nor in the Investment Plan for the EDQM for 2014-2015. To be able to implement the first stage of the contingency measures, the Committee noted that it would be necessary to increase the grant to the investment plan by €1.7 M in 2014 (in addition to the €2.7 M currently included in the budget) and by €1.5 M in 2015, to be financed from its accumulated reserves. The Committee recommended that the investment plan and draft budget of the EDQM be amended accordingly. The effect of this recommendation on the draft EDQM budget is presented in Appendix V of this document.

44. However, with regard to the second stage of the plan, the Committee considered that the question of the construction of a permanent secondary site was not yet ripe for a decision. In this respect, it recommended that the Secretary General submit proposals to the Committee of Ministers once the reasons for the choice of the possible site had been further developed and justified and the construction cost more precisely estimated.

45. Subject to the amendments in respect of the budget mentioned above the Committee recommended the draft Programme and Budget for 2014-2015 and investment plan of the EDQM.

8. Internal Oversight

46. The Committee held an exchange of views with Mr. Ansgar Eussner, Director of Internal Oversight. He presented the 2012 annual report of the Directorate (CM(2013)91).

47. The Committee noted the main audit findings and results contained in the document and encouraged the Directorate of Internal Oversight to continue its valuable work. The Committee welcomed the fact that the draft Programme and Budget for 2014-2015 included proposals for the reinforcement of the Directorate with an additional position and additional operational resources.

9. Special accounts

48. The Committee examined document P-Bud(2013)30 on the situation of special accounts at 30 June 2013 and an updated situation at 31 August 2013. The Secretariat informed the Committee of the progress that had been made in closing programme lines, returning funds to donors and reallocating funds. The Committee noted with satisfaction the follow-up procedures that were in place and the results from this continuing exercise.

49. The Committee recalled that the "common programmes balance" line included in the "joint programmes" special account amounted to €742 K as at 31 December 2012. The Committee welcomed the fact that a proposal had been presented to the Committee of Ministers in document CM(2013)107 in line with its opinion that the common programme provision should be subject to a decision of the Committee of Ministers. The Committee noted that the proposal was to retain a €400 K provision for unforeseen financial responsibilities relating to joint programmes and to use the remaining amount for the preparation, implementation and follow-up of joint programmes subject to an annual decision of the Committee of Ministers.

50. The Committee recalled that the balance of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) special account included an amount relating to the transfer of the credit balance of EPAS’s first budget (2007). The Committee had recommended during its previous meeting that the remainder of the 2007 credit balance be returned to the enlarged partial agreement's member States (CM(2013)63, paragraph 12). It noted that this recommendation would be presented to the Statutory Committee of EPAS at its next meeting.

10. Administrative expenses levy on extra budgetary resources

51. The Committee welcomed the proposal to simplify the current administrative levy system  
(P-Bud(2013)23). It took note that the Secretariat estimated the costs for the Council of Europe to manage extra-budgetary resources at approximately 9% of these extra-budgetary resources. While considering that a levy rate of 9% should therefore be applied to all extra-budgetary resources, it recognised that the contracts with the European Union are subject to a maximum levy rate of 7% which is the standard rate applied by the European Union. The Committee noted that it would be difficult to modify the rate applicable to Joint Programmes. In view of this, the Committee considered that applying a different rate to other donors would not be accepted without sound justification. It therefore recommended the proposal to replace the current system with a uniform percentage levy of 7%, applicable to extra-budgetary resources as from 1 January 2014.

52. The Committee invited the Secretariat to explore further the possibility of increasing this flat rate to the actual rate of the costs generated by the management of extra-budgetary resources (estimated at 9%) and of applying differential rates (for example linked to the amount of the voluntary contribution) as is the case in some other international organisations.

11. Financial Regulations – Review of the application of the revised Financial Regulations

53. The Committee recalled that the Financial Regulations had been amended in 2011 to reflect the introduction of a biennial Programme and Budget and that when adopting the revised Financial Regulations the Deputies agreed to review the application of the these regulations at the end of the biennium 2012-2013.

54. The Committee examined the proposals contained in P-Bud(2013)26, which contained various draft amendments to the Financial Regulations.

55. The Committee made a number of drafting proposals, which will be reflected in the draft amendments to the Financial Regulations to be submitted to the Committee of Ministers (cf Appendix III). The Committee noted that it would examine the question of the appropriate level of detailed information to be presented in the draft budget document at its next meeting on the basis of proposals from the Secretariat and may come back to Article 20 c) of the Financial Regulations at that juncture if necessary (cf paragraph 12).

56. The Committee held a detailed discussion on the question of budget transfers (Article 28). It agreed some amendments to the current drafting of the Article which will be reflected in the draft amendments to be submitted to the Committee of Ministers.

57. The Committee recognised that the Secretary General needed to have flexibility for the implementation of the budget and recognised that within a zero nominal growth context flexibility should be maintained. It recalled that the Committee of Ministers approved the Programme and Budget at programme line level and set the conditions for transfers between programme lines at the time of the Programme and Budget’s approval. Currently, the Secretary General is authorised to make transfers within the three operational pillars, with the exception of transfers to and from the Court, the Assembly and the Congress, and within the support pillar. When transfers exceeded 10% of the programme lines concerned or €100 000, the Secretary General is required to inform the Committee of Ministers. Two such notifications had been made in 2012 and three in 2013.

58. The Budget Committee felt that the Committee of Ministers may wish to consider exercising its budgetary powers in relation to significant transfers between programme lines by setting more stringent conditions in Article 28 of the Financial Regulations. To this end, the Committee of Ministers could consider the following version of Article 28.

      1. For a given financial year the Secretary General shall be authorised, under the conditions laid down by the Committee of Ministers at the time of the approval of the budget to make transfers between programme lines within the operational pillars and between programme lines within the support pillar. The total of transfers between the programme lines concerned shall be less than 10% of the supplying or receiving programme line or €100 000.

      2. No transfer to or from the European Court of Human Rights, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities shall be made without prior authorisation by the Committee of Ministers.

      3. Notwithstanding the provisions in paragraphs 1-2 above the Secretary General shall be authorised to make transfers of a technical nature related to the charging of staff costs and the allocation of common provisions.

      4. All other transfers shall require the prior authorisation by the Committee of Ministers.

      5. When the Committee of Ministers approves the budget for a financial year it may decide on additional conditions for transfers to apply for that year.

59. In essence, this proposal would mean that the Secretary General would have to seek prior authorisation for transfers which currently he is required to inform the Committee of Ministers of after the transfers have been made. The purpose is to ensure that the priorities decided by the Committee of Ministers are not changed by the Secretary General during the implementation of the Programme and Budget by the use of significant transfers.

12. Human Resources

    a. Exchange of views with M Francis Dangel, Director of Human Resources

60. The Committee held an exchange of views with M Francis Dangel, Director of Human Resources.

    b. Statistics – staff

61. The Committee noted that the statistics presented (P-Bud(2013) 25) by the Director of Human Resources, in respect of staff joining and leaving the Organisation, indicated that the annual number of staff leaving amounted to approximately 100 – of which 40 of these were staff employed on the Ordinary Budget (excluding those leaving from the Court). The Committee noted that these figures indicated that a freeze on recruitment to posts made vacant following the departure of staff members could be used to reduce the number of staff employed within the Ordinary Budget by approximately 40 per year.

62. The Committee noted that in the draft Programme and Budget for 2014-2015, the number of staff would be reduced by some 20 in 2014 and 10 in 2015. Following the observations above, the Committee noted that in the event that additional staff savings were necessary during 2014-2015, these could be met by a full or partial freeze on the replacement of staff leaving the Organisation.

    c. Revision of the Contractual Policy

63. The Committee noted that a policy decision had been taken by the Committee of Ministers, (CM/Del/Dec(2013)1174/11.1) which allowed for the recruitment of staff on both contracts of unlimited duration (CDIs) and renewable contracts of fixed terms (CDDs) beyond five years linked to needs.

64. The Committee noted with satisfaction that a moratorium on the recruitment of CDIs has been in effect over the last few years. The Committee recalled its view that recruitment of CDIs should only be used on an exceptional basis and that the standard contractual basis for all new recruitments should be CDDs in order to achieve the desirable flexibility within the organisation The Committee considered that the renewal of CDDs should be closely monitored against specific parameters to ensure that flexibility is maintained.

    d. Use of the balance account in respect of health care cover (“van Breda”)

65. The Committee was informed that the Secretary General was considering making a proposal to utilise the amount in the balance account in respect of health care cover (€3.75 M) as follows:

      · to be allocated to the Joint Programme Reserve €1.5 M
      · to be reimbursed to staff members €0.75 M
      · to remain within the reserve in order to meet potential future liabilities €1.5 M

66. The Committee noted that this proposal would formalise the existence of the balance account for health care and that the maximum amount which would be held at any one time in the account would be the equivalent of 3 months (an amount of €3.65 M) of the total annual cost of health insurance, being nearly equal to the current balance of this account.

67. The Committee noted that this would allow the Secretary General to reinforce the operational capacity of the organisation in respect of Joint Programmes without increasing member States contributions (cf. paragraph 19). It also noted that the Secretary General’s proposal does not include any re-imbursement to member States.

    e. Reform of the Council of Europe’s pension schemes

68. The Budget Committee regretted that the CCR had not been able to reach a decision on the proposed revised split of employer and employee contributions to the Co-ordinated (First) Pension Scheme and noted that the situation would be reviewed following the next actuarial study which would revise the rate of contributions of staff to the scheme.

13. Exchange of views with the Rapporteur Group on Programme, Budget and Administration (GR-PBA)

69. The Chair of the Committee presented the main observations of the Committee in respect of the draft Programme and Budget 2014-2015 and other related issues to the Rapporteur Group.

14. Draft meeting report of the Budget Committee – September 2013 session

70. The Committee approved the report of the session as set out in document P-Bud(2013)29.

15. Date, place and agenda of the next meeting

71. The forthcoming meetings of the Budget Committee will take place from Monday, 2 June to Friday, 6 June 2014 and from Monday, 15 September to Friday, 19 September 2014 in Strasbourg.

16. Other business - 2013 budget of the enlarged Partial Agreement on the Co-operation Group to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking in drugs (Pompidou Group)

72. The Committee took note of proposed changes to the budget for 2013, as a result of the accession of Israel and decided to recommend them as the proposal conformed with customary practice.

Appendix I - Agenda

1.

Opening of the meeting

   

2

Adoption of the Agenda and Draft Annotated Agenda

   
 

- Draft Agenda

    P-Bud(2013)OJ2 rev3

 
 

- Draft Annotated Agenda

    P-Bud(2013)22 rev

 

3.

Examination of the report and the minutes of the May 2013 session

   
 

- Meeting report of the Budget Committee – May 2013 session

    CM(2013)63

 
 

- Meeting Minutes of the Budget Committee – May 2013 session

    P-Bud(2013)CR1

 

4.

Recent developments concerning the Council of Europe - Statement by Ms Ute Dahremöller, Director General of Administration

   

5.

Presentation of the Decisions and documents of the Committee of Ministers [May – September 2013]

    P-Bud(2013)24

 

6

Programme and Budget 2012-2013

   
 

a. Consolidated Financial Statements and Budgetary Management Accounts for 2012

    CM(2013)100

    CM(2013)100 Addendum CM(2013)101

    CM(2013)102

    CM(2013)103

 
 

- Exchange of views with Mr Christophe Rosenau, External Auditor

   
 

b. Mid-term review 2013

   
 

- Examination of the 2013 Interim Progress Review Report

    CM/Inf(2013)28

 

7.

Programme and Budget 2014-2015

   
 

- Draft Council and Europe Programme and Budget 2014-2015

    CM(2013)130

 
 

- Draft Programme and Budget 2014-2015 – changes in comparison with the Priorities document

    P-Bud(2013)31

 
 

- Draft Budget for 2014 by expenditure type – Ordinary Budget

    P-Bud(2013)34

 
 

- Draft Budget for 2014 by expenditure type – Partial Agreements

    P-Bud(2013)35

 
 

- Exchange of views with Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General

   
 

- Exchange of views with:

    Mr Philippe Boillat, Director General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs – DGI on the Enhancing the effectiveness of the ECHR system at National and European level and Independence and Efficiency of Justice

   
 

Ms Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General of Democracy – DGII on Promoting Democratic Competencies

   
 

- Exchange of views with Ms Ute Dahremöller, Director General of Administration: Investments

 
 

- Investment plan 2014-2017 – Ordinary Budget

    CM(2013)130, Appendix V

 

- Unfunded Investment Projects

    P-Bud(2013)33

 

- Replacement of the voting system of the Assembly Chamber of the Palais de l’Europe

    P-Bud(2013)32

 

- 2013 Investment projects report – information document

    P-Bud(2013)27

 

- Exchange of views with Ms Susanne Keitel, Director of the EDQM

 
 

- Pharmacopoeia – information document

    P-Bud(2013)28

 

- Pharmacopoeia - Medium Term Operational and Financial Strategy 2012-2015

 
 

- Pharmacopoeia - Annual Report 2012

 

8.

Internal Oversight

 
 

- Annual report of the Directorate of Internal Oversight

and Evaluation policy

    CM(2013)91

 

- Exchange of views with Mr Ansgar Eussner, Director

 

9.

Special accounts

 
 

- Analysis of the Special Accounts: Situation at 30 June 2013

    P-Bud(2013)30

10.

Administrative expenses levies on extra-budgetary resources

    P-Bud(2013)23

11.

Financial Regulations - Review of the application of the revised Financial Regulations

    P-Bud(2013)26

12.

Human Resources

 
 

a. Exchange of views with Mr Francis Dangel, Director of Human Resources

 
 

b. Statistics – staff

    P-Bud(2013)25

 

c. Revision of the Contractual Policy

    CM(2013)75

 

d. use of the "Van Breda" account

 
 

e. Reform of the Council of Europe’s pension schemes

 

13.

Exchange of views with the Rapporteur Group on Programme, Budget and Administration (GR-PBA)

 

14.

Draft meeting report of the Budget Committee – September 2013 session

 
 

- Meeting report of the Budget Committee – September 2013 session

    P-Bud(2013)29

15.

Date, place and agenda of the next meeting

 

16.

Other business

 

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS

Reference

Title of the document

P-Bud(2013)35 rev

Draft Budget for 2014 by expenditure type – Partial Agreements

CM(2013)37

Appointment of the External Auditor [1171 meeting]

P-Bud(2013)36

Budget information 2012-2015. European Directorate for the
Quality of Medicines and Healthcare (EDQM, Pharmacopeia)

CM(2013)107

Special accounts – proposed use of the “common programmes balance” [1181 meeting]

P-Bud(2013)37

EDQM contingency plan – creation of a secondary site for storage and
distribution of reference standards

P-Bud(2013)26 Corr

Review of the application of the revised Financial Regulations

P-Bud(2013)38

Revised table 19 – Convention on the elaboration of a European Pharmacopeia.
Replaces table 19 - page 65 Draft Programme and Budget CM(2013)130

P-Bud(2013)40

Revised logframe – Eurimages.This logframe replaces the one presented on page 143 of CM(2013)130

P-Bud(2013)41

Calculation of the level of contributions of member States to the Ordinary Budget

P-Bud(2013)42

Contribution to the Pensions Reserve Fund 2013/2014

Appendix II - List of participants

      Mr Christoph JACKWERTH

      (Austria)

       

      Ms Anne VAN NIEUWENBURG

      (Belgium)

       

      Mr Jean PARMENTIER

      (France)

       

      Mr Michael LAUMANNS

      (Germany)

       

      Mr Claudio DE ROSE

      (Italy)

      (17/09 until 20/09)

      Mr Bartosz BURACZYNSKI

      (Poland)

       

      Mr Vladimir IOSIFOV

      (Russian Federation)

      (apologised)

      Ms Marta QUINTIAN GOROSTEGUI

      (Spain)

       

      Mr Åke HJALMARSSON, Chair

      (Sweden)

       

      Mr Fikret DEMIR

      (Turkey)

       

      Ms Joycelyn BUCHAN, Vice-Chair

      (United Kingdom)

       

Appendix III – Financial regulations – Proposed amendments

The proposed amendments to the wording of the Financial Regulations are set out below:

Article 11

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, regarding the part financed with appropriations from the Organisation's budgets, by decision of the Committee of Ministers.

Article 17

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.

4. The Programme and Budget shall include a summary table of the budgetary authorisations of the budgets comprising the Programme and Budget, according to the structure adopted for the biennium.

Article 20

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 comprising the budgetary authorisations of the budgets of the Programme and Budget;

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, restated as necessary according to the budgetary structure proposed for the biennium;

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 Res(53)38 on the part of the Budget which concerns it.

Article 25

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 65;

c) the annual accounts provided for in Article 61 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 from/to operational pillars and from/to the support pillar referred to in Article 28 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.

Article 28

1. If need be, the Secretary General shall be authorised to make transfers within between programme lines within the operational pillars and between programme lines within the support pillar 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. In case Whenever the total of transfers between programme lines exceed 10% of the supplying and or receiving programme line or €100 000, the Committee of Ministers shall be immediately informed.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 28, paragraph 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 29

1. Budgetary appropriations uncommitted at the close of the financial year shall be cancelled and be dealt with in accordance with Article 68.

2. To ensure the full execution of the Programme in a biennium, the Secretary General may seek the Committee of Ministers' 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. Exceptional circumstances which result in principle from external factors beyond the control of the Organisation shall be assessed in the light of the need to ensure the full execution of the biennial Programme. They should not be recurrent or have any effect on the subsequent biennium. 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 shall be exceptional and can only be made under exceptional specifically identified 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 33

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. When the receipt is recognised, invoices may be raised directly by the Treasurer.

Article 36

1. 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 31. They shall enter into commitments, prepare and authorise settlement of expenditure and keep the relevant records.

2. Expenditure is recorded in the expenses of the Organisation. These include, according to the rules governing them, allocations and provisions, staff expenditure, purchase of goods and services, fees and travel expenses, miscellaneous expenses, financial expenses, debts written off, administrative arrangements, as well as advances on receipts and grants.

Article 40

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

1bis. The provisions of the above paragraph apply also to administrative arrangements concluded with an institutional partner in a non-profit framework to provide financing for a precise purpose which is defined contractually. 

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 €2 000 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 42:

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 January 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 41

1. Calls for international public tenders shall be issued on the basis of specifications or other appropriate documentation, 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 42 below in the conditions set out by the call for tenders. The opening of bids shall be supervised by the Internal Auditor.

Article 42 (amendment to French only)

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.

[…]

Article 43 (amendment to French only)

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.

Article 50 (amendment to French only)

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

Article 63

1. The budgetary management accounts shall include, for the financial year, a reconciliation of the budget outcome and the approved budget as approved defined in Article 17. They shall show:

2. The budgetary management accounts shall include for each budget comprising the Programme and Budget:

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 concerned;

c) a summary of transfers of appropriations during the financial year and observations on transfers exceeding the threshold as defined in Article 28;

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

e) the budget outcome of the prior year, restated as appropriate; and

f) a report on any other element which appears in Article 20 or was the subject of a specific decision when the budget was approved, including the salary ceiling and the tables of posts and positions.

Article 65

1. Starting with the first biennium, t 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, achieved and the resources utilised. This report shall include a summary of developments which could impact the achievement of expected results, a comparative table, by programme line, of the mid-term budget and the mid-term expenditure with explanations for the main variances, a summary of extra-budgetary resources and a summary of transfers with explanations of the main transfers.

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 shall outline for each programme line the results achieved and the resources utilised.

Article 66

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, in accordance with the Regulations on Appointments (Appendix II to the Staff Regulations), for a period of six years; his/her appointment is renewable once only; the 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

Article 68

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. Changes in the Organisation's equity, apart from those of a technical nature resulting from the application of accounting standards defined in Article 62 or of decisions already taken by the Committee of Ministers, shall be approved by the latter.

Appendix IV – Calculation of the level of contributions of member States to the Ordinary Budget

Appendix V - Revised Table 19 Budget of the Pharmacopoeia

1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue; it will be declassified in accordance with Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.



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