ISRP-SIRP International Service for Remunerations and Pensions - Service International des Rémunérations et des Pensions




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How Co-ordination works

The co-ordination system today operates in the legal framework of the Regulations concerning the Co-ordination System (cf. 154th Report by the CCR Chairman), adopted in identical terms in 2004 by a consensus vote of all the member countries represented in the Governing bodies of the six Co-ordinated Organisations, and of the Rules of Procedure of the CCR, adopted by that committee in 1994.
The main role of the CCR is to make recommendations to Governing bodies of the Co-ordinated Organisations and to advise them. The basic principle is that recommendations, in the form of reports, are made by consensus by the CCR. Every effort should be made to reach agreement with the CRSG. If, following two meetings between the CCR and the CRSG, no consensus can be reached, the CCR will issue a report which will reflect the reasons for disagreement, and set out the dissenting opinions of the CRSG and the comments of the CRP.  If no consensus among CCR delegates can be reached after two CCR meetings on a subject, a report is issued by the Chairperson. This spells out the positions that have the widest support in the CCR.  

Recommendations by the CCR are submitted with comments by the CRSG and CRP.  It is worth recording that the jurisprudence of the administrative tribunals or appeals boards of the six Co-ordinated Organisations shows that the six Governing bodies do indeed commit themselves for several years when they adopt recommendations by the CCR which cover a period of several years (such as a pluri-annual salary adjustment method). However, the CCR produces recommendations that can be adopted, modified or rejected by Governing bodies. What Governing bodies, which are sovereign bodies, actually do with the recommendations does not fall within the CCR’s mandate, but is an internal issue within each Co-ordinated Organisation.

Co-ordination has changed since it was first established and particularly so over the past twelve years. Member countries are more acutely aware of their common interests and of the need for tighter control over the development of salary and pension costs at a time when most members are committed to restrictive national budget policies, and a majority therefore favours budget stringency in international organisations. At the same time, the managers of the six Co-ordinated Organisations no longer share identical objectives or confront identical problems: as some organisations continue to expand, others have had to scale back activities in response to budget constraints or structural changes.
While the CCR has tried to ensure that its recommendations to Governing bodies have reflected policies in member countries, the CCR has also responded to Governing bodies’ need for more flexibility in managing staff remuneration, by introducing a more open approach to allowances through the Regulations and proposed in the autumn of 2011 a new salary adjustment method which injects more flexibility into the salary systems of the Co-ordinated Organisations (211th  Report by the CCR).

The advantages of the co-ordination system are indisputable. Member countries do not need to participate in decision-making processes or meetings in each of the organisations. Managing technical work separately within each organisation would lead to supplementary costs, because of the need to employ specialised staff or external resources. Member countries benefit because the system relieves Governing bodies of the technical work implied in adjustments to remuneration and pensions, and of consultation with staff on these matters. Management benefits because they are able to avoid pressures which are not based on an overall logical view of the remuneration system from their individual Budget Committees. The staff favours the system because it maintains a forum in which their viewpoints on remuneration and pension matters can be voiced both to management and to member country representatives.

Copyright SIRP 2013

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