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Landmark decisions from Guadalajara
Financial Plan for the years 2012–2015
Photo credit: Shutterstock

The conference approved a Financial Plan for ITU for the years 2012–2015, covering two biennial budget periods. ITU’s main sources of income are the contributions from its Member States, Sector Members and Associates, made under a free choice system.

Like for every Plenipotentiary Conference, one of the key tasks of the Guadalajara Conference was to approve ITU’s Financial Plan for the next four-year period. But before a financial plan can be finalized and balanced with a realistic revenue forecast, the conference has to first determine in Swiss Francs the contributory unit payable by Member States.

So, on 5 October 2010, the conference set the definitive upper limit of the amount of the contributory unit at CHF 318 000 for the period 2012–2015. It then invited Member States to notify to ITU their definitive choice of class of contribution by 13 October 2010, on the basis of a revised scale (No. 468 MOD of the Convention). Some Member States announced a reduction in their contributions.

Based on the number of contributory units from Member States and from Sector Members as well as the number of Associates known at the time of the conference, the revenue forecast for the period 2012–2015 is CHF 632 007 000. This corresponds to a shortfall of CHF 23.2 million or 3.5 per cent; compared with the 2008–2009 and 2010–2011 budgets.

The Financial Plan, which reflects this shortfall, is integrated as Annex 1 to Decision 5 (Rev. Guadalajara) entitled “income and expenditure for the Union for the period 2012–2015”. In view of the unanticipated reduction of revenue resulting from the drop in classes of contribution from Member States and Sector Members, the Council is instructed to authorize a one-time withdrawal from the Reserve Account (while keeping this Account at a level above six per cent of total annual expenditure), in order to minimize the impact on staffing levels in the ITU biennial budgets for 2012–2013 and 2014–2015.

The Council shall, during each budgetary period, assess the changes that have taken place with regard to:

  • salary scales, pension contributions and allowances, including post adjustments, established by the United Nations common system and applicable to the staff employed by the Union;

  • the exchange rate between the Swiss franc and the United States dollar in so far as this affects the staff costs for those staff members on United Nations scales;

  • the purchasing power of the Swiss franc in respect of non-staff items of expenditure.

Revised Decision 5 instructs the Secretary-General, with the help of the Coordination Committee (ITU elected officials), to draw up and implement “a programme of appropriate revenue increases, cost efficiencies and reductions across all ITU operations so as to ensure a balanced budget”. It instructs the Council to take account of the impact of any cost-reduction programme on the staff of the Union, including the implementation of a voluntary separation and early retirement scheme, “where this can be funded from budgetary savings or through a withdrawal from the Reserve Account”.

The revised Decision also contains a list of “measures for reducing expenditure”, in particular requiring ITU to:

  • eliminate any duplication of activities;

  • centralize finance and administrative tasks;

  • harmonize seminars and workshops organized by the General Secretariat or the three Sectors to avoid duplication of the subjects covered and to optimize secretariat attendance;

  • coordinate with regional organizations with a view to sharing their resources and to minimizing the costs of participation in workshops, seminars and preparatory meetings for world conferences;

  • make savings from attrition, the redeployment of staff, and the review and possible reduction of grades of vacant posts;

  • implement new or additional activities through staff redeployment.

For new programmes or those having additional financial resource implications, a “value-added impact statement" should justify how the proposed programmes differ from current or similar programmes in order to avoid overlap and duplication.


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