Ministers’ Deputies
    CM Documents

    CM(2007)160 19 October 20071
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    1012 Meeting, 27-29 November 2007
    11 Administration and Logistics


    11.2 Meeting report of the Budget Committee – October 2007 session

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    1. The Budget Committee met in Strasbourg on 8-12 October 2007.

    2. The Committee considered the following items:

      I. Opening of the meeting

        - report of the September 2007 meeting
        - minutes of the September 2007 meeting

      II. Exchange of views with the Secretary General, Mr Terry Davis
      III. Examination of the 2008 draft budgets
      IV. Examination of the EDQM’s investment programme for 2008
      V. Creation of an Audit Committee
      VI. Exchange of views with the Group of Rapporteurs on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (GR-AB)
      VII. New rules for the reimbursement of experts
      VIII. Any other business

    3. The agenda of the meeting appears at Appendix I and the list of participants at Appendix II.

    I. OPENING OF THE MEETING

    Report of the September 2007 meeting

    4. The Committee took note of the report of the September 2007 meeting.

    Minutes of the September 2007 meeting

    5. The Committee asked the Secretariat to modify 3 paragraphs of the minutes of the September 2007 meeting, the latest version of which will be submitted to them at a later date.

    II. EXCHANGE OF VIEWS WITH THE SECRETARY GENERAL, Mr TERRY DAVIS

    6. The Committee held an exchange of views with the Secretary General.

    7. The Secretary General explained that the draft budget had been drawn up in accordance with the general principles set out in his document "Priorities for 2008 - Budgetary Implications" (CM(2007)49), particularly the Zero Real Growth principle. He pointed out that these principles had been approved by the Ministers' Deputies at their 1001st meeting, on 5 July 2007.

    8. The amount of € 1.9 M had been included in this document for the next stage of the enhancement programme for the Court in 2008, whereas the amount needed to finance the 75 new posts requested by the Court was € 3.1 M. The draft budget for 2008 now reflected the Court's revised proposals for the creation of 47 posts at a cost of € 1.9 M.

    9. The Secretary General reported that the planned merger of DG I and DG II had taken place. On the other hand, the Deputies had not yet completed their examination of the DG III/DG IV restructuring, which, unlike the first operation, would not lead to significant savings.

    10. He also drew the Committee's attention to some recent developments which altered the budgetary context.

    Salary adjustment rate

    11. The draft budget had been based on a rate of 1.8% for the salary adjustment, but the CCR’s final recommendation was only 1.0%. He therefore proposed a reduction by the amount thus saved (approximately € 1.1 M) in the budget of expenditure and a reduction by this same sum in the 2006 positive balance allocated to the budget of receipts. The amount of € 1.1 M could be kept in reserve for subsequent allocation to the budget of receipts in the 2009 budget.

    12. In respect of the Partial Agreements, he proposed to reduce member states contributions to take account of the reduction in the required provision for salary adjustment.

    13. Revised budgetary tables, showing the effect of these proposals can be found at appendix IV to this report.

    European Court of Human Rights

    14. The Secretary General pointed out that the fact that Protocol No. 14 had not come into force entailed additional expenditure of approximately € 200 000 as a result of the replacement of a number of Judges of the European Court of Human Rights. He proposed that this one-off expense could be covered from the expected increase in interest earned from the Organisation's short term cash balances.

    15. He told the Committee that new proposals relating to pensions and medical cover for the Judges of the Court were under examination, and that the Committee would be consulted on this subject through the silent procedure.

    Partial Agreements

    Partial Agreement on Social and Public Health

    16. The Rapporteur Group for Social and Health Questions (GR-SOC) would take a decision at its next meeting on the continuation of certain activities of the Partial Agreement.

    European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity (North-South Centre)

    17. The Secretary General told the Committee that France had decided to withdraw from this Partial Agreement. In order to avoid increasing the burden on the remaining member states, he intended to present a revised budget reduced by the amount of the French contribution, which was approximately € 200 000.

    18. The Secretary General also took this opportunity to thank the Budget Committee for its work.

    III. EXAMINATION OF THE 2008 DRAFT BUDGETS

    19. In accordance with the methodology adopted for the examination of the draft budget for 2006 and 2007, the Committee invited certain budget holders to the meeting in order to present their budget proposals for 2008. The specific comments formulated by the Committee concerning the budgets of the major administrative entities invited by the Committee are detailed below.

    General Comments

    Establishment of the ceiling for the draft budget

    20. The Committee welcomed the fact that the Committee of Ministers had taken a decision on the level of the ceiling of the budget in July as this allowed the Secretary General to prepare the draft budget for 2008 with a firm instruction as to the level of total contributions of member states, based upon zero real growth. The Committee noted that the approval of the ceiling in line with the adopted budget calendar is good budgetary practice and hoped that this situation would continue in future years.

    Basis of the preparation of the draft budget

    21. The Committee noted that the draft budget had been prepared in accordance with the priorities document and had only been amended slightly to take into account new information, such as the budgetary appropriations which were necessary following the non-ratification of protocol 14, without any increase in member states’ contributions.

    Reduction in the amount required within the budget in respect of the Salary Adjustment for 2008.

    22. The Committee noted that following the recommendation of the CCR on the salary adjustment for France should be 1.0% for 2008, the amount required in the budget for 2008 in respect of the salary adjustment could be reduced by an amount of approximately € 1.1 M. The Committee noted that the original budget proposals were that the full amount of the 2006 credit balance (€ 4 176 700) should be allocated to the budget of receipts in order that the zero real growth principle could be respected and that the Committee of Ministers had approved this proposal at the Deputies meeting on 5 July 2007. As detailed above, the Secretary General informed the Committee that he now proposed to reduce the amount of the 2006 credit balance which would be allocated to the 2008 budget of receipts by € 1.1 M and to keep this amount in a reserve for subsequent allocation to the budget of receipts in the 2009 budget.

    23. Bearing in mind that the level of the credit balance in 2006 was unusually high, coupled with the fact that it was already clear that there would be a full year effect in 2009 of € 1.495 M due to the decisions to be taken in respect of the Court enhancement programme for 2008 (€ 1.96 M) and that the contributions to the Pension Reserve Fund were likely to increase, following the results of the actuarial study to be carried out during 2008, the Committee, in order to be realistic for a gradual evolution in contributions had no objection concerning this proposal but noted that another possibility would be to reduce contributions by € 1.1 M in 2008.

    24. The Committee took note of the proposal that within the budgets of the partial agreements and the Pension Reserve Fund both the amount for the salary adjustment and consequently member states’ contributions would be reduced.

    Negative Reserve and unspent appropriations.

    25. The Committee noted that the draft budget included a negative reserve of € 2.8 M as in previous years.

    26. The Committee once again reiterated its opposition to this practise and recalled the comment it made in its 2006 report:

    27. “The Committee reiterated its position in respect of the negative reserve, stating that it felt that given the considerable efforts that had been and were being made in the 2006 and 2007 budgets to make economies within the budget it was no longer prudent to effectively over budget even if the Organisation was not allowed in reality to spend more than the net total of the authorised budget of expenditure. The Committee wondered whether it would not be more appropriate to freeze certain projects at the beginning of the year and then only allow them to take place should funds become available during the course of the management of the budgetary appropriations during the year.” (CM(2006)184 para. 20)

    28. The Committee noted that the issue of the negative reserve had also to be considered in conjunction with the level of unspent appropriations in the budget which in 2006 amounted to approximately € 6.6 M.

    29. The Committee noted that out of this amount , € 4.5 M related to Vote II – the Programme of Activities. The Budget Committee considered that this demonstrated a significant weakness in the preparation and execution of Vote II and recommended that , in future, budget proposals concerning the Programme of Activities should be subject to a more detailed examination and follow up. In effect the non execution of a programme meant an inefficient use of the contributions of member states and a closer analysis of this non execution should be made at the end of the financial year in order to find out the reasons for it.

    30. These observations made the Committee feel that it should recommend a strengthening of the follow up of the implementation of programmes and the accompanying level of execution in order that at a central level, an appreciation of the state of implementation of the Programme and the Budget is available.

    Efficiency Gains

    31. The Committee welcomed the fact that the Secretary General’s proposals for 2008 included savings achieved by efficiency gains. The Committee recommended that in future budgets, measurable efficiency gains are also made by the Court. The Committee noted however, that efficiency gains had mainly been made in non staff expenditure. It recommended that in the future, efficiency gains should be spread more evenly between both staff and non staff expenditure.

    Changes in Structure to the Programme of Activities

    32. The Committee wished to draw the attention of the Committee of Ministers to the fact that the restructuring of the Programme and the directorates general which had taken place during 2008 meant that it was very difficult to compare the 2007 budget allocations with those proposed for 2008. In this respect the Committee aligned itself with the comments of the External Auditor in his report on the 2006 financial statements (Recommendation 4 CM(2007)100 part 2):

    33. “We recommend [...] the Council plan ahead in order to achieve a stable and consistent budget structure with a presentation that allows for year on year comparison.”

    Logframes

    34. The Committee welcomed the fact that there had been a rationalisation of logframes resulting in a reduced number of logframes in certain areas (e.g. Directorate General of Administration and Logistics, Directorate of Communication, Congress). The Committee expressed the opinion that there was still a lot of work to be done in improving the content of Logframes and that in particular expected results should concentrate on the impact of activities of the Council of Europe and should not be just a catalogue of the activities themselves. The Committee also recommended that actual results in previous years, as measured by performance indicators, should be presented as was already the case for logframes of the Directorate General of Administration and Logistics (see meeting report September 2007 (CM(2007)152). This recommendation reinforced the necessity to have stable budget structures.

    New Staff Policy

    35. The Committee welcomed the fact that the new staff policy introduced in 2007 foresaw that the standard recruitment levels of staff for beginning of career posts would be B1 and A1 as opposed to B2 and A2, as was the case in the past.

    Staff Expenditure Ceiling

    36. The Committee noted that 2007 was the first year in which a staff expenditure (permanent and temporary) ceiling had been set by the Committee of Ministers and that during the year guidelines had been established by the GT-SA as to how the ceiling should be calculated and these guidelines had been approved by the Committee of Ministers.

    37. The Committee also noted that in the day-to-day management of the budget, the Secretary General had implemented internal controls in order to ensure that the staff ceiling, as approved by the Committee of Ministers, would be respected.

    38. In the opinion of the Committee, the staff expenditure ceiling for year N should be based upon real expenditure, i.e. the actual expenditure in the year N-1, and not on the budgeted expenditure, otherwise the utility of the ceiling was reduced. The ceiling should, however, take account of specific features of the year for which the budget is established. The Committee recalled its recommendation that the salary ceiling should correspond with the ceiling of the number of employees (full-time equivalents).

    39. The Committee would come back to this question in the light of the application of the ceiling for the first one or two years.

    Voluntary Contributions

    40. In examining the Programme of Activities for 2008 and the financial statements for 2006, the Committee noted that there was a significant amount of projects managed by the operational directorates which were either financed by voluntary contributions or carried out within the framework of joint programmes with the European Union. The Committee wished to draw to the attention of the Committee of Ministers the importance of ensuring that there exists within the Secretariat an infrastructure both in terms of supervisory staff and logistical and office resources for the implementation of the programmes for which the financing is foreseen. The Budget Committee recommended that a healthy balance should exist between these programmes and the programmes of the Council of Europe and that operational directorates should give priority to those activities included within the Programme of Activities. Furthermore, the same rigour in terms of management that is applied to the programmes of the Council of Europe should be applied to these additional programmes.

    Directorate of Strategic Planning

    41. The Committee held an exchange of views with the Director of the Directorate of Strategic Planning who presented the Programme of Activities to the Committee. He explained that in line with the wishes of the Committee of Ministers and the Budget Committee, the presentation of the programme of activities had been changed in order to focus on the main objectives and performance indicators for the Programme of Activities and to provide a more consistent layout. The presentation of the chapters and lines of action was now fully in line with the priority areas of action identified at the Warsaw Summit and each programme was referenced to the Action Plan accordingly.

    42. The Committee noted that the unspent balance in 2006 relating to the Programme of Activities amounted to € 4.5 M, the Director of Strategic Planning outlined that there were a number of reasons for these under spends such as cancellations of meetings/seminars by member states late on during the financial years and that the issue of identifying the precise reasons for under spends in certain activities needed to be examined further. The Committee was informed that in the preparation of the draft budget for 2008, adjustments had been made to appropriations for certain programmes where there had been consistent levels of under spending of appropriations in previous years.

      Directorate General IV
      (Directorate General of Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport)

    43. The Committee held an exchange of views with the Director General of DGIV and reviewed the budget proposals contained in the programme of activities and the budgets of the Youth Centre and the Youth Foundation.

    44. The Committee took note of the fact that the Secretary General had made proposals to restructure DG III and DG IV and that these proposals are currently being examined by the Committee of Ministers.

    45. The Committee took note of the fact that the refurbishment of the Strasbourg Youth Centre would commence at the end of 2007 and it was planned to re-open the centre in June 2008.

    Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs

    46. The Committee had an exchange of views with the Director of Standard Setting and reviewed the budget proposals contained in the draft Programme of Activities for the Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Affairs. The Committee took note that this was the first time that the Directorate General presented budget proposals as the Directorate had only been created recently.

    Directorate General of Democracy and Political Affairs

    47. The Committee had an exchange of views with the Director General of the Directorate General of Democracy and Political Affairs.

    48. He explained to the Committee that the year 2008 would be one of transition following the re-organisation earlier in the year after the creation of the new Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs which had seen the Directorate General of Political Affairs take on certain new responsibilities and also transfer certain responsibilities elsewhere.

    Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights

    49. The Committee held an exchange of views with the Director of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights. The Committee noted that it was proposed to reinforce the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights with 4 permanent posts in 2008, by means of the reallocation of posts and appropriations within the Ordinary Budget.

    Vote IV – European Court of Human Rights

    50. The Committee had an exchange of views with the Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights who presented the budgetary proposals for 2008 and gave the Committee the latest information in respect of applications and caseload (see Appendix V).

    51. The Committee took note that the budget proposals included the creation of 47 posts within the Court with an average recruitment date of 1 October 2008 (€ 1.96 M) and also noted that the Court would not ask for any additional posts in the budget for 2009, so as to allow the Registry to take stock and carry out an assessment of the measures taken up to now.

    52. In order to take into account the effect in the financial year 2009 of the recruitments of October 2008 (€ 1.495 M), an amount of € 1.1 M had been earmarked for this in the 2008 budget.

    53. The Registrar also informed the Committee that 87 of the positions currently within the Court had been created during the enhancement programme with an end date of December 2008. Given the current caseload it was clear that the Court would not be in a position to reduce the number of staff at the end of 2008. Accordingly in order that recruitment procedures or existing contractual arrangements with staff members were not hampered by any uncertainty over whether or not these positions would exist in 2009, the Court wished to already have the approval of the Committee of Ministers that these positions be extended for a further year, i.e. to the 31 December 2009.

    54. The Committee took note that the non-ratification of Protocol 14 meant that there would be additional one-off expenditure in 2008 in respect of the removal and installation expenses of a number of judges.

    55. The Committee also took note of the proposal (as detailed in CM(2007)130 Volume 1 Addendum 2) to carry forward once again appropriations (€ 127 000) in respect of the recruitment for certain positions which had been created in 2007, but where staff were not expected to arrive until 2008.

    56. On the basis of the information provided, the Committee was able to recommend the approval of the draft budget proposals for 2008 and in particular, the creation of 47 posts on the Court and 3 posts within the Directorate General of Administration and Logistics. The Committee also recommended the approval of the proposals for the carry forward of appropriations and that the 87 positions which had been created with an end date of 31 December 2008 be extended for one year.

    57. The Committee wished to bring the attention of the Committee of Ministers to the fact that the creation of posts at the Court, not only meant an increase in respect of salary costs of the post holders but also resulted in one-off expenditure in the year of recruitment in relation to information technology and office equipment, not only for the Court, but also for the Directorate General of Administration and Logistics (see remarks in paragraph 31).

    Vote VI – Directorate General of Administration and Logistics

    58. The Committee welcomed the approach taken within the DGAL to monitoring performance indicators using the “balanced scorecard”. In respect of the logframes, the Committee also welcomed the efforts made relating to detail and relevance, the reduction in the number of logframes and the indication of results achieved in 2006 when appropriate.

    Department for Information Technology

    59. The Committee took note of the presentation made by the Head of the Department for Information Technology, who emphasised that the operating and investment budgets came within the context of the Department’s Strategic Plan, which had been prepared in 2006 for a four-year period.

    60. It had no particular comments to make on the operating and investment budgets for which this Department was responsible.

    Vote VIII – 2008 Investment programme

    61. The Committee took note of the medium-term investment plan and the 2008 investment programme. It was told that the plan had been reworked in order to follow its recommendations of October 2006. The part showing renewals or adjustments in accordance with the regulations had thus been separated out, so that investment projects proper were distinct. Project descriptions had also been revised and made more precise and detailed.

    62. The Committee noted that the 2008 investment programme totalled € 5.4 M. It observed that certain projects had had to be delayed so that fire safety work in the Palais de l’Europe could continue to be financed.

    63. Lastly, the Committee noted the fact that procedures for purchases and competition existed that met the recognised standards in this field.

    64. The Committee was in a position to recommend the draft investment programme as presented in the draft budget.

    Proposed renovation of B Building

    65. The Committee was informed of the situation of B Building, which has been emptied of virtually all its occupants in the course of summer 2007 and that the cost of renovating the building had been estimated at € 7.5 M at June 2007 prices.

    66. Furthermore, the Committee was informed that the European Parliament had approached the Council of Europe Secretariat with a view to a possible partial occupation of the building once renovated, on the basis of a long-term administrative arrangement, with a financial contribution which would cover a substantial proportion of renovation cost.

    67. The Committee also took note in this respect of the opinion expressed by the CAHB at its meeting on 28 and 29 September 2007 which “had endorsed the Secretariat’s proposals for the renovation of B Building as presented. [The CAHB recommended] that the Committee of Ministers instructs the Secretary General to complete negotiation with potential tenants”.

    68. The Committee considered the financial aspects of such an operation which could involve the financing of the renovation of B Building, through an external loan to be repaid in part through the investment budgets of the Organisation as from 2009. According to the Secretariat, this would not entail additional contributions to the Ordinary Budget of the Organisation.

    69. Given the probability of developments concerning office space requirements of the Council of Europe in the medium term, and without prejudging their actual evolution, but having regard also to the needs expressed by the European Parliament in the short term, the Budget Committee endorsed the principle of the operation.

    70. Two members expressed a reservation considering that such an investment should be justified having regard to the foreseeable future needs of the Council of Europe in terms of office space.

    71. The Committee asked that the legal implications of the possible administrative arrangements between the Council of Europe and the European Parliament be carefully considered by the Legal Advisor of the Organisation.

    72. The Committee would examine in 2008 the detailed budget consequences of the arrangement should the operation be approved by the Committee of Ministers and/or the negotiations progress further.

    Translation and Interpretation budgets

    73. The Committee took note of the presentation made by the Head of the Budget, Accounting and Linguistic Services Department concerning developments in the linguistic services’ budgets.

    74. The Committee was specifically informed about the savings achieved through a renegotiation of the agreements with the association (AIIC) that represented the interpreters paid on a daily basis, for the Interpretation Department, and staffing reductions in the Translation service (10 posts or positions between 2003 and 2008, for an equivalent volume of translation).

    Pensions

    75. The Committee took note of the presentation made by the Head of the Budget, Accounting and Linguistic Services Department concerning developments in the Pensions Fund and in the contributions called to the Pensions Reserve Fund. It was pointed out that contributions for 2008 were based on the findings of the actuarial study conducted in 2005, whereas those for 2009 would result from the study to be conducted in 2008, and which might lead to an increase in the amounts due from member states.

    Rates of various retainers, honoraria and allowances for 2008

    76. The Committee recommended that the experts’ daily allowance rate should be increased from € 169 to € 172 (+1.8%), but recommended that the adjustment to other daily allowances should be made, not by applying a percentage of 1.8% but by taking into account the same amount of increase, i.e. € 3.

    IV. EXAMINATION OF THE EDQM’s INVESTMENT PROGRAMME FOR 2008

    77. Lack of time at its September 2007 meeting had left the Committee divided about the use of the EDQM’s surpluses for the 2006 financial year (€ 6.6987 M). This situation was reflected in paragraphs 26 and 27 of its meeting report (CM(2007)152).

    78. The Committee resumed work on this question at its October meeting and examined the EDQM’s proposals for an investment plan for the period 2008-2012. Following a discussion, the Committee unanimously recommended that a sum of € 2.8345 M be reimbursed to member states, and that a sum of € 3.8642 M be allocated as receipts to the new special investment account, the creation of which it recommended at its September meeting.

    79. The Committee was also able to recommend the Pharmacopoeia’s investment programme for the 2008 financial year, as detailed in the document P-Bud(2007)16, and expressed the intention of returning to the 2009-2012 plan at its May 2008 meeting.

    V. CREATION OF AN AUDIT COMMITTEE

    80. At the September 2007 meeting of the Committee, the Internal and External Auditors had recommended the creation of an Audit Committee. The Secretary General had included this proposal in his draft budget for 2008. At that meeting the Committee had decided to return to this subject at its October meeting on the basis of a document which was then being drafted (Proposal to establish an independent Audit Committee - CM(2007)150).

    81. The Committee noted that the proposal would not affect the roles and responsibilities of either the Internal or External Auditor nor would it affect the responsibilities of the Committee of Ministers or the Secretary General in respect of their control functions.

    82. On the basis of this document and of the details provided by the Internal and External Auditor, the Committee was in a position to recommend the setting up of an Audit Committee, but nevertheless wished the new Committee’s role and composition to be more precisely defined. To this end, the Committee proposed to apply to the draft terms of reference which appear on page 3 of document CM(2007)150, the amendments shown in bold type in Appendix III to the present report. These refer to:

      · the composition of the Committee,
      · the establishment of this Committee for an initial probationary period of 3 years,
      · the advisory role of the Committee to the Committee of Ministers,
      · the independence of its members.

    83. However, one member considered that the Audit Committee should only deal with matters relating to internal audit and its existence and operation should be foreseen in the Financial Regulations.

    VI. EXCHANGE OF VIEWS WITH THE GROUP OF RAPPORTEURS ON ADMINISTRATIVE AND BUDGETARY QUESTIONS (GR-AB)

    84. The Committee held an exchange of views with the Group of Rapporteurs on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, during which the Chairperson of the Budget Committee outlined the main findings and recommendations of the Committee in respect of the Draft Budgets for 2008.

    VII. NEW RULES FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPERTS

    85. The Committee took note of the proposed changes to the rules for the reimbursement of experts and had an exchange of views with the Director of Finance on the subject.

    86. The Committee was able to approve the revised proposals as set out in document (CM(2007)163).

    VIII. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

    Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport

    87. The Committee took note that the first meeting of the Governing Board of this newly established Partial Agreement was taking place during the same week as the meeting of the Budget Committee. Accordingly it had not been possible to prepare a draft budget for 2008 for the Partial Agreement in time for the Budget Committee to consider and make recommendations on the 2008 Draft Budget. The Committee noted that it would be requested to give its opinion on the Draft budget for 2008 for the Partial Agreement in the course of the next few weeks by use of the silent procedure.

    Dates of 2008 meetings

      · 19-21 May 2008
      · 8-11 September 2008
      · 13-17 October 2008

    Appendix I

    BUDGET COMMITTEE

    October session 2007

    Monday 8 October at 9 a.m. – Friday 12 October 2007

    Room 7, Palais de l’Europe

    DRAFT AGENDA

    Item 1 Opening of the meeting

      - report of the September 2007 meeting

        CM(2007)152: Meeting report of the Budget Committee – September 2007 session

      - minutes of the September 2007 meeting

        P-Bud(2007)CR2: Budget Committee - Minutes of the September 2007 session

    Item 2 Exchange of views with the Secretary General, Mr Terry Davis

      CM(2007)49: Priorities for 2008 – Budgetary implications

      CM/Del/Dec(2007)1001/1.6: Priorities for 2008 – Budgetary implications

      CM(2007)130 Vol. I and CM(2007)130 Vol. II

    Item 3 Examination of the 2008 draft budgets

      CM(2007)130 Vol. I: Ordinary Budget - Vote I to Vote IX; Subsidiary Budgets - Services, Subsidiary Budget of the European Youth Centres, Subsidiary Budget for Publications, Extraordinary Budget, Pensions, Budget of the European Youth Foundation

      CM(2007)130 Vol. I Addendum I: Appendix V: Budgetary Perspectives 2009 and 2010

      CM(2007)130 Vol. I Addendum II: General Budget – Activities postponed from 2007

      CM(2007)130 Vol. II: Draft Programme of Activities for 2008 (Vote II)

      P-Bud(2007)13: Budgetary tables by accounting code

      P-Bud(2007)14: Summary tables by accounting code

      CM(2007)49: Priorities for 2008 – Budgetary implications

      DD(2007)396: Court #2038657 – Revised budget requests for 2008

      Memorandum from Mr Manuel Lezertua to the Secretary General dated 4 July 2006 concerning the strengthening the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights (“CHR”)

    Item 4 Examination of the EDQM’s investment programme for 2008

      P-Bud(2007)15 Corrigendum: Transfer of Excess Receipts for 2006 to EDQM Investment Fund

    Item 5 Creation of an Audit Committee

      CM(2007)150: Proposal to establish an independent Audit Committee

      The Power of Three : Understanding the roles and relationships of internal and external auditors and audit committees

    Item 6 Exchange of views with the Group of Rapporteurs on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (GR-AB)

      CM(2007)130 Vol. I: Ordinary Budget - Vote I to Vote IX; Subsidiary Budgets - Services, Subsidiary Budget of the European Youth Centres, Subsidiary Budget for Publications, Extraordinary Budget, Pensions, Budget of the European Youth Foundation

      CM(2007)130 Vol. I Addendum I: Appendix V: Budgetary Perspectives 2009 and 2010

      CM(2007)130 Vol. I Addendum II: General Budget – Activities postponed from 2007

      CM(2007)130 Vol. II: Draft Programme of Activities for 2008 (Vote II)

      CM(2007)130 Vol. III: Draft Budget of the Partial Agreements

      P-Bud(2007)13: Budgetary tables by accounting code

      P-Bud(2007)14: Summary tables by accounting code

      CM(2007)49: Priorities for 2008 – Budgetary implications

      DD(2007)396: Court #2038657 – Revised budget requests for 2008

      Memorandum from Mr Manuel Lezertua to the Secretary General dated 4 July 2006 concerning the strengthening the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights (« CHR ») (English only)

    Item 7 New rules for the reimbursement of experts

      CM(2007)163: Rules for the Reimbursement of Experts

    Item 8 Any other business

    Additional Information Documents:

    Title of Document

    CM(2007)157: Ad Hoc Committee of Experts on Buildings (CAHB) - Meeting report (Strasbourg
    Ad Hoc Committee of Experts on Buildings - Meeting of 27 and 28 September 2007 - B Building
    CM(2006)146 vol 1 Appendix IV: analysis of appropriation by type 2007/2006
    CM (2007) 130 vol I Revised table page iv: Revised Draft Budget 2008 – comparison of contributions with 2007
    CM(2007)130 vol 1 corrigendum: Draft Budget for 2008 – Volume 1
    CM(2007)100 corrigendum revised: Financial statements of the Council of Europe for the year ended 31 December 2006 and report of the External Auditor
    Appendix 1 modified version 10.10.2007: Proposed revised rules concerning the reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses to government experts and other persons travelling at the charge of Council of Europe budgets
    General comments “extracts of the Meeting report of the Budget Committee – October 2007 session”

    Appendix II

    BUDGET COMMITTEE

    October session 2007

    (8-12 October 2007)

    LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

STATES MEMBERS
Austria Mr Bruno WALDERT
Belgium Ms Anne VAN NIEUWENBURG
France Ms Marie-Chantal MUSSET (Chair)
Germany Mr Michael LAUMANNS (Substitute)
Italy Mr Claudio DE ROSE
Poland Ms Magdalena KAKOL (Substitute)
Romania Mr Stefan PETRESCU
Russian Federation Mr Nikolai LOZINSKY (Substitute)
Sweden Mr Åke HJALMARSSON
Turkey Mr Fikret DEMIR
United Kingdom Ms Joycelyn BUCHAN

    Appendix III

    Extract from CM(2007)150 Proposal to establish an independent Audit Committee

    Appendix (to the draft Resolution)

    Terms of reference of the Audit Committee of the Council of Europe
    1. Guiding principle
    An Audit Committee shall be established by the Committee of Ministers for a trial period of three years to exercise an independent appraisal function, providing the member States with assurances that the Organisation’s controls are in place and operating properly. It shall perform this function through independent reviews of the work carried out by the Council of Europe’s system of internal and external controls of the Council of Europe, (including Internal Audit, External Audit and the administration and management of the Organisation). It shall also advise the Committee of Ministers and Secretary General. The work of the Audit Committee shall be conducted in accordance with internationally accepted best practices and in compliance with Council of Europe policies, rules and regulations.
    At the end of a period of 30 months, the Committee of Ministers will decide whether to place the Audit Committee on a permanent footing.
    2. Role of the Committee
    The Audit Committee shall have a consultative function and advise the Committee of Ministers and Secretary General on
    (i) the adequacy, efficiency and effectiveness of the Organisation’s system of internal and external controls, including the internal audit functions, the external audit functions and the implementation of audit recommendations;
    (ii) on all corporate governance issues relating to the system of internal and external controls and its performance;
    (iii) on any matters of policy requiring corrective action and improvements in the area of controls, including appraisal of policies, procedures, audit, investigation and risk management.

    3. Membership of the Committee

    The Audit Committee shall be composed of three members who shall be senior audit professionals of high standing in the international audit community with who possess at least three years’ experience as head of high-level professionals responsible for internal and/or external audit functions in the public sector. The members of the Audit Committee shall act in the capacity of independent experts and advisers and be fully independent of the Council of Europe and national governments of the Council of Europe member States. The Committee of Ministers shall appoint two members of the Audit Committee upon proposal of member states and one member upon proposal of the Secretary General. The members of the Committee shall elect the Chairperson. Other parties may be requested to attend the meetings of the Committee for specific agenda items but they shall not be members of the Committee.

    4. Terms of appointment
    The members shall serve for terms of three years which may be extended for a further period of two years.
    5. Rules and procedures
    (i) The Audit Committee shall meet for its regular sessions at least twice a year. Additional meetings may also be scheduled on an ad hoc basis as necessary. The Chairperson of the Committee shall determine the timing of meetings and the need for any additional meetings in the course of the year. He/she shall also set the agenda of the meetings, taking into account relevant requests of the Committee of Ministers. The Audit Committee shall be able to call upon Council of Europe officials and request meetings with other parties as it deems necessary to obtain information relevant to its work. In particular, the Internal Auditor and the External Auditor shall be readily available to respond to inquiries and make presentations to the Committee. In performing their functions, the members of the Committee shall neither seek nor receive instructions from any government authorities. They shall act fully independently of any individual Council of Europe bodies and structures, and shall be guided solely by their expertise and professional judgement, with due regard to the relevant decisions of the Committee of Ministers.
    (ii) The annual work programme and related budget of the internal and external audit functions shall be brought to the attention of the Audit Committee.
    (iii) The Audit Committee shall adopt recommendations on a consensual basis. In the case of dissent among Committee members, the conclusions of the Chairperson in charge of the meeting, together with the dissenting opinion, shall be presented in the subsequent Committee report.
    6. Access to documents
    The Audit Committee shall have access to all records and documents of the Organisation, including audit reports, investigations, and work documents of the Internal Auditor as well as the reports and management letters from the External Auditor. Committee members shall sign non-disclosure statements at the beginning of their tenure.
    7. Reporting
    (i) The Audit Committee shall submit an annual report to the Committee of Ministers. The report should focus on matters of principle such as the functioning of the internal control system, good governance issues, and how audit recommendations are implemented.
    (ii) The Audit Committee may also submit ad-hoc reports to the Committee of Ministers as necessary.
    (iii) The Secretary General shall be given the opportunity to comment on all reports prior to their submission. Comments of the Secretary General, which he/she deems necessary, shall be incorporated in the relevant reports.
    8. Resources
    (i) The Audit Committee shall be provided with administrative and secretarial support as and when required.
    (ii) Members of the Audit Committee shall be reimbursed travel and subsistence costs in accordance with Council of Europe administrative rules and regulations; they will receive no fees from the Council of Europe.

    Appendix IV

    REVISED TABLE PAGE iv. CM(2007)130, Vol 1

REVISED TABLE SUMMARY BY VOTE – Page xviii. CM(2007)130, Vol 1

    REPLACES PAGE xxiii. CM(2007)130, Vol 1

    Appendix V

    EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

    Pending applications

    1)  Additional information relating to the Task Force Divisions in 2007 / Output of the Task Force as at 30/9/2007

    Since the setting up of the Task Force Divisions in the course of 2007, the number of cases processed by the three divisions is as follows:

    Number of applications giving rise to a final judgment: 168
    Number of applications declared inadmissible: 153
    Number of applications struck out of the list: 42
    Number of applications declared admissible: 25
    Number of applications communicated to a Government: 140

    Total number of applications processed: 528

    2)  Note on the prolongation of 87 positions (valid until 31/12/2008)

    41 of these positions were created under the 2003-5 three-year programme (GRAB(2002)10 rev - which provided for a total of 138 positions, of which 97 were subsequently permanentised). A further 46 were created in 2006 (under the 2006-8 programme).

    It should be noted that the 37 positions created in 2007 are due to expire on 31/12/2009.

Positions 2002-2006: (term 2008) 87    
GRADE Number GRADE Number GRADE Number GRADE Number
A of L of B of C of
  posts   posts   posts   posts
               
               
        B3 87    
               
               
               
  0   0   87   0
    TOTAL NUMBER OF POSTS: 87    
               
Positions 2007: (term 2009) 37    
GRADE Number GRADE Number GRADE Number GRADE Number
A of L of B of C of
  posts   posts   posts   posts
A5 0     B5 1    
               
A4 3 L3 1 B4 4    
               
A2/A3 9     B3 19    
               
  12   1   24   0
    TOTAL NUMBER OF POSTS: 37    

    EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

    PENDING CASES
    01/10/2007

    Total number of pending cases: 104,150

    EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

    STATISTICS
    1/1 – 30/9/2007
    (compared to the same period 2006)

1. Applications lodged [round figures (50)]

2007 (estimation)

2006

+/-

Applications lodged

40350

38350

+5%

     

2. Applications allocated to a judicial formation   (Committee/Chamber) [round figures (50)]

2007

2006

+/-

Applications allocated

30650

29500

+4%

3. Interim procedural events

2007

2006

+/-

Applications communicated to respondent Government for observations

2442

2303

+6%

Applications declared admissible

962

1085

-11%

- in separate decision

93

229

-59%

- in judgment on merits

869

856

+2%

4. Applications disposed of

2007

2006

+/-

Judicially

19777

22068

-10%

- by final judgment

1399

1194

+17%

- by decision (inadmissible or struck off)

18378

20874

-12%

Administratively (applications not pursued - files destroyed)

7907

8692

-9%

5. Pending applications [round figures (50)]

1/10/2007

1/1/2007

+/-

All applications

104150

89900

+16%

Applications not allocated to a judicial formation

26800

23400

+15%

Applications pending before a judicial formation

77350

66500

+16%

- Chamber (7 judges)

26400

22950

+15%

- Committee (3 judges)

50950

43550

+17%

Note 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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