Ministers' Deputies / Rapporteur Groups
GR-AB
Rapporteur Group on Administrative and Budgetary Questions

GR-AB(2006)31 14 November 20061
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Draft annotated agenda
Meeting of 16 and 17 November 2006

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1. Draft Budgets for 2007

General Budget:
Ordinary Budget, Subsidiary Budgets – Services, Subsidiary Budget of the European Youth Centres,
Subsidiary Budget for Publications, Extraordinary Budget, Pensions, Budget of the European Youth Foundation
(CM(2006)146 vol1, CM(2006)146 vol1add1rev, CM(2006)146 vol1add2, CM(2006)146 vol2, CM(2006)146 vol2add, CM(2006)146 vol2add2, CM(2006)49 add and GR-AB(2006)24)

1.1. The GR-AB is invited to continue its examination of the draft budgets for 2007. The Chair intends to continue with the Ordinary budget and then move on to the examination of the other draft budgets mentioned above in the same order as in GR-AB(2006)24.

1.2. As regards the draft Ordinary Budget for 2007, and in response to the Chair’s request, the Secretary General will distribute proposals for savings for an amount of €1.25 million, equivalent to the provision for the non-reimbursement of subsistence expenses for governmental experts.

1.3. The Chair further recalls that discussions on the draft Ordinary Budget were interrupted at the meeting of 7 November before examination of Vote VIII “Investment Expenditure” and Vote IX “Receipts”. He also notes his intention to continue discussion of the provision for salary adjustment (under Vote VII “Other expenditure”) in the context of the remuneration adjustment method (item 2 below).

Reports of the September and October 2006 Sessions of the Budget Committee
(CM(2006)165 and CM(2006)184)

1.4. Delegations might like to comment on aspects of the reports not covered in the budget debate, with a view to recommending the following draft decision:

      The Deputies took note of the meeting reports of the September and October 2006 sessions of the Budget Committee, as they appear in documents CM(2006)165 and 184.

2. Remuneration adjustment method
(CM(2006)134, GR-AB(2006)20 and GR-AB(2006)27, DD(2006)524)

2.1. The Co-ordinating Committee on Remuneration (CCR) has submitted its recommendation for a revised method in its 171st report (CM(2006)134). The CCR invites Governing bodies to adopt the remuneration adjustment procedure, set out in the attached Annex [to the 171st report] and its relevant Appendices, with effect from 1 January 2007. As regards the affordability clause (Article 8), the CCR recommends either:

- to insert the current affordability clause:

      “As regards Article 8, in case of exceptional budgetary difficulties, the Committee of Ministers has the right to decide that the annual adjustment recommended by the CCR can be reduced or not awarded at all, or phased in or postponed till later in the calendar year. The Committee of Ministers also maintains the right to implement an adjustment superior to that recommended by the CCR. Any such decision shall be based on a proposal by the Secretary General or the Committee of Ministers and must:

- be based on the justifiable budgetary circumstances,
- respect general legal principles in this domain, especially the principle of proportionality,
- be established openly in consultation with the Staff Committee.”;

- or to amend it, taking into account in the drafting of such a clause the general principles of law in this domain and in particular the existence of exceptional or unforeseen budgetary circumstances, the principle of proportionality and the necessity for the Governing body concerned to properly justify its position. In addition, the body for the representation of staff should be involved in the procedure in compliance with the statutory provisions in force in each Co-ordinated Organisation.

2.2. The group held a preliminary exchange of views on this item at its meeting on 26 September 2006. Summing up the discussion at that meeting, the Chair noted that unfortunately not many delegations had taken the floor. However, he felt that the exchange of views confirmed his impression that a majority of delegations supported staying in the coordination framework and preferred to explore possibilities for more flexibility within this framework. He noted that there was one concrete proposal (DD(2006)524 (Switzerland)) and that interest had been expressed in exploring the new flexible remuneration management clause and examining the affordability clause for greater flexibility. He invited delegations to reflect further on the affordability clause. He further invited the Secretariat to look at the concrete proposals set out in document DD(2006)524 (Switzerland) and provide a written opinion. At the same time, he also asked the Secretariat to provide information on what would happen if the Committee of Ministers did not adopt the revised method before the end of the year, together with a simulation of the impact of the revised method. He informed the group that he intended to come back to this item at the GR-AB meeting on 7 November.

2.3. Comments from the Legal Advisor have subsequently been distributed in document GR-AB(2006)27. It is also recalled that document GR-AB(2006)20, in response to a request made at the group’s June meeting sets out an overview of the principles arising out of international administrative case-law as regards the power of discretion of international organisations in the field of salary adjustment.

2.4. The group is invited to continue its examination of this item with a view to the adoption of the revised method, together with an appropriate affordability clause.

3. Co-ordinating Committee on Remuneration (CCR) - Turkey: special adjustment of remuneration at 1st August 2006 – 174th Report
(CM(2006)157)

3.1. Application of the salary adjustment method (139th Report by the CCR - CM(2002)138) provides that the Chairman, on behalf of CCR, may submit to Councils a recommendation providing for a special adjustment of remuneration when the cost-of-living trend in a country shows an increase of at least 5% since the date of effect of the last adjustment.

3.2. Inflation having increased by 5.8% in Turkey between 1 January 2006 and 31 July 2006, the Chair of the CCR recommends to Councils on behalf of the CCR that remuneration for all categories of staff in Turkey be adjusted, with effect from 1 August 2006, to take full account of this change. Currently there are 5 project staff members paid on the Turkish scale, financed through a joint programme with the European Commission. The total budgetary cost of this special adjustment is estimated at € 10 000 (full-year) which will be covered by appropriations already provided for by the joint programme.

3.3. The GR-AB is invited to examine this item with a view to recommending to the Deputies the following draft decisions:

    The Deputies

    1. took note of the 174th report of the Co-ordinating Committee on Remuneration (CCR), as it appears in document CM(2006)157;

    2. decided that, as a special adjustment, salary scales for Turkey, as adjusted at 1 January 2006, be increased by 5.8% with effect from 1 August 2006;

    3. noted that by application of the 150th report by the Co-ordinating Committee of Government Budget Experts (CCG), dated 4 April 1978 (CCG(78)4), pensions will be increased in the same proportion and on the same date as the remuneration of the staff to whom the CCR's 174th report applies;

    4. noted that, in accordance with the interpretation given to paragraph 3 of the 34th report by the CCG dated 25 October 1965 (CCG(65)5), the remuneration of auxiliary staff serving in the Co-ordinated Organisations will be adjusted in accordance with the provisions of the CCR's 174th report.

4. Unpaid contributions at 30 June 2006
(CM(2006)185)

4.1. Contributions are payable not later than six months after the date of notification by the Secretary General of the contributions due (Article 39 of the Statute). Article 12 of the Financial Regulations further states that the Committee of Ministers shall be notified of the list of member states whose contributions remain unpaid at the end of this period.

4.2. It is also recalled that at the 95th Session of the Committee of Ministers (10 November 1994) the following decision was adopted:

      “... apart from exceptional circumstances having prevented a member state from fulfilling its obligation, Article 92 of the Council of Europe’s Statute will be applied to any state which has failed to fulfil all or a substantial part of its financial obligation for a period of two years.”

4.3. It is recalled that this is a regular item on the agenda of the GR-AB; the question was last examined by the GR-AB at its meeting on 13 December 2005.

4.4. Further to the above, the Group is invited to pursue consideration of unpaid contributions to the various budgets and funds of the Council of Europe as at 30 June 20063, as set out in document CM(2006)185, and recommend the following draft decision to the Deputies:

      The Deputies took note of the situation concerning unpaid contributions to the to the various budgets and funds of the Council of Europe as at 30 June 2006, as set out in document CM(2006)185.

5. Any other business

-

6. Date of the next meeting

Tuesday, 12 December 2006 at 3 p.m.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set up in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.
Note 2 "the Committee of Ministers may suspend the right of representation on the committee and on the Parliamentary Assembly of a member which has failed to fulfil its financial obligation during such period as the obligation remains unfulfilled".
Note 3 For the 2006 financial year, contributions – for states members on 1 January – should have, in principle, been paid by 30 June 2006.


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