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OEA/Ser.P
AG/RES. 1725 ((XXX-O/00)
5 June 2000
Original: Spanish 

RESOLUTION

PERSONNEL POLICY REFORM

(Resolution adopted at the first plenary session, held on June 5, 2000)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

CONSIDERING the report presented by the Special Joint Working Group of the Permanent Council and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development on the Strengthening and Modernization of the OAS (CP/doc.3334/00);

RECALLING:

That the General Assembly, through resolution AG/RES. 1603 (XXVIII-O/98), "Modernization of the OAS and Renewal of the Inter-American System," established the Special Joint Working Group of the Permanent Council and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (GETC), "for the purpose of identifying the aspects with regard to which it is necessary to foster and intensify the process of strengthening and modernizing the OAS by defining strategies, procedures, and concrete actions with a view to promoting a comprehensive renewal of the inter-American system, on the basis of the dialogue of foreign ministers and heads of delegation of the General Assembly";

That the General Assembly, through the aforementioned resolution AG/RES. 1603 (XXVIII-O/98), authorized the Permanent Council to adopt such organizational and structural measures as it considered suitable in pursuit of the aims set forth in that resolution, including the adoption ad referendum of decisions requiring authorization from the General Assembly, and to report on its efforts to the Assembly;

That through resolution AG/RES. 1685 (XXIX-O/99), the General Assembly renewed the mandates contained in resolution AG/RES. 1603 (XXVIII-O/98);

That prior to the aforementioned resolutions, the General Assembly, through resolution AG/RES. 1596 (XXVIII-O/98), had instructed the General Secretariat "to improve the Organization’s existing employment mechanisms where necessary, focusing in particular on increasing transparency and simplifying the various hiring mechanisms of the Organization," and to present to the GETC a proposal on the administrative, budgetary, human resource, and management needs of the Organization; and

That the General Assembly, through resolution AG/RES. 1596 (XXVIII-O/98), also requested the Permanent Council to prepare, with the assistance of the General Secretariat, a study with recommendations on the career service policy of the General Secretariat, for review by the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth regular session; and that the General Assembly, through resolution AG/RES. 1647 (XXIX-O/99), instructed the Permanent Council to continue its study of the General Secretariat’s career service policy and other personnel policy matters, and to adopt such measures as might be appropriate, ad referendum of the General Assembly;

BEARING IN MIND:

That the Permanent Council assigned the topic of personnel policy reform [AG/RES. 1647 (XXIX-O/99)] to the Special Joint Working Group of the Permanent Council and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development on the Strengthening and Modernization of the OAS;

That, pursuant to the aforementioned resolutions, the Secretary General submitted documents GETC/FORMOEA-29/98, GETC/FORMOEA-52/98, and GETC/FORMOEA-131/99 rev. 4 on proposed amendments to the Organization’s personnel policy, as well as documents CP/doc.3187/99, CP/doc.3198/99, and GETC/FORMOEA-150/00 on the career service;

That Staff Rule 113.4 stipulates that the Secretary General "may amend the Staff Rules, provided that such amendments are consistent with the General Standards"; however, he must "inform the Permanent Council of any changes or modifications to the Staff Rules; and any such change or modification having budgetary implications shall enter into force only with the Permanent Council's approval";

That the Permanent Council, at its meeting of December 15, 1999, approved ad referendum of the General Assembly the amendments to the General Standards to Govern the Operations of the General Secretariat, by way of resolution CP/RES. 761 (1217/99), and, at the same meeting, also approved the proposed amendments to the Staff Rules that had budgetary implications; and

NOTING that the Secretary General has initiated consultations with General Secretariat staff representatives, exploring the possibility of presenting a common position on the matter of the career service,

RESOLVES:

1. To approve the amendments to the General Standards to Govern the Operations of the General Secretariat, which the Permanent Council adopted on December 15, 1999, ad referendum of the General Assembly, by way of resolution CP/RES. 761 (1217/99), which is attached hereto.

2. To support the initiative of seeking a common position on the part of the General Secretariat and the representatives of its staff concerning the Organization’s career service and to request the Secretary General to make efforts to present a proposal on the matter as soon as possible.

3. To instruct the Permanent Council to complete the study of possible changes in the career service and related aspects of personnel policy, and to adopt, ad referendum of the General Assembly, such amendments to the General Standards and the Staff Rules as are necessary in order to implement a career service system and a personnel policy more in keeping with the needs and interests of the Organization and with the principles established in the Charter.

4. To instruct the Secretary General to maintain, without prejudice to the future of the career service, the freeze on all vacant slots in the career service until such time as the General Assembly takes a definitive decision.

APPENDIX I

OEA/Ser.G
CP/RES. 761 (1217/99)
15 December 1999
Original: Spanish 

PERSONNEL POLICY REFORM 

THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES,

CONSIDERING the report on personnel policy reform submitted by the Chair of the Special Joint Working Group of the Permanent Council and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development on the Strengthening and Modernization of the OAS;

RECALLING:

That the General Assembly, through the resolution "Modernization of the OAS and Renewal of the Inter-American System" [AG/RES. 1603 (XXVIII-O/98)], established the Special Joint Working Group of the Permanent Council and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (GETC), "for the purpose of identifying the aspects with regard to which it is necessary to foster and intensify the process of strengthening and modernizing the OAS by defining strategies, procedures, and concrete actions with a view to promoting a comprehensive renewal of the inter-American system, on the basis of the dialogue of foreign ministers and heads of delegation of the General Assembly";

That the General Assembly, through the aforementioned resolution, AG/RES. 1603 (XXVIII-O/98), authorized the Permanent Council to adopt such organizational and structural measures as it considers suitable in pursuit of the aims set forth in that resolution, including the adoption ad referendum of decisions requiring authorization from the General Assembly; and to report to that organ on the work carried out;

That through resolution AG/RES. 1685 (XXIX-O/99) the General Assembly renewed the mandates contained in resolution AG/RES. 1603 (XXVIII-O/98); and

That prior to the aforementioned resolutions, the General Assembly, through resolution AG/RES. 1596 (XXVIII-O/98), had instructed the General Secretariat "to improve the Organization’s existing employment mechanisms where necessary, focusing in particular on increasing transparency and simplifying the various hiring mechanisms of the Organization" and to present to the GETC a proposal on the administrative, budgetary, human resource, and management needs of the Organization; and

BEARING IN MIND:

That pursuant to the aforementioned resolutions, the Secretary General submitted documents GETC/FORMOEA-29/98 and GETC/FORMOEA-52/98 on proposed reforms to the Organization’s personnel policy, in order to modernize current systems and facilitate the hiring of personnel under competitive terms and conditions;

That the GETC has thoroughly examined and reviewed the proposals presented by the Secretary General and has adopted the recommendations indicated in the appendix to this resolution;

That Staff Rule 113.4 stipulates that the Secretary General "may amend the Staff Rules, provided that such amendments are consistent with the General Standards;" however he must "inform the Permanent Council of any changes or modifications to the Staff Rules; and any such change or modification having budgetary implications shall enter into force only with the Permanent Council's approval"; and

That the GETC proposals attached as an appendix require amendments to the General Standards to Govern the Operations of the General Secretariat and to the Staff Rules, which must be approved by the Permanent Council,

RESOLVES:

1. To adopt ad referendum of the General Assembly the amendments to the General Standards to Govern the Operations of the General Secretariat contained in the appendix to this resolution.

2. To adopt the proposed amendments to the Staff Rules that have budgetary implications.

3. To request that the Secretary General take the necessary steps to ensure that the amendments to the General Standards and to the Staff Rules enter into force on January 1, 2000.

4. To underscore the interest expressed repeatedly by the member states regarding the need for a transparent hiring policy that reflects the mandates in Article 120 of the OAS Charter and that guarantees compliance with the standards and regulations governing the operation of the General Secretariat.

5. To request the Secretary General to report to the Permanent Council each quarter on the hiring of personnel, including appointments to positions of trust.

6. To highlight the work carried out by the GETC and thank that Group for its efforts.

APPENDIX II 

PERSONNEL POLICY REFORM

I. LENGTH OF CONTRACTS

A. Article 40 of the General Standards is amended as follows:

Article 40. Selection to fill vacant posts. The following provisions shall govern selection of staff members to fill vacant posts, in accordance with articles 113 and 120 of the Charter:

a. Except as provided in Section b. below, the Secretary General shall fill all vacant posts in the General Secretariat by competition, with the advice of the Advisory Committee on Selection and Promotions referred to in Article 18.

b. The Secretary General may fill the following posts without competition:

(i) Positions of Trust;

(ii) Posts to be filled by staff members under contract for a limited time for up to three years; and

(iii) Posts financed by funds other than the Regular Fund and which are to be filled by staff members under contract for a limited time for a period of more than three years, when a competition is not convenient.

Any person who has served under contracts for a limited time financed by the Regular Fund for a total of three years is ineligible to continue serving the General Secretariat under such contracts, unless that person is selected through competition.

II. INDEMNITIES

A. Articles 56 and 57 of the General Standards are amended as follows:

Article 56. Separation indemnity. Except as provided in Article 57, the General Secretariat shall provide a separation indemnity to all members of the career service and to all other staff members who are separated from service after having been employed continuously for more than three years under contracts for a limited time. Such indemnity shall be calculated and paid in accordance with the pertinent Staff Rules.

Article 57. Inapplicability of indemnity provisions. A separation indemnity shall not be paid when:

a. A staff member’s services are terminated during the probationary period of Article 42 of these Standards;

b. A staff member resigns;

c. A staff member under contract for a limited time is separated from service by way of termination or expiration of contract before completing more than three years of service under contracts for a limited time;

d. A staff member’s appointment to a position of trust is terminated or otherwise expires in accordance with Article 20;

e. The staff member’s services are terminated or the staff member is dismissed for serious misconduct, including, but not limited to:

(i) Abandonment of post;

(ii) Having made serious false statements related to the staff member’s employment; and

f. The staff member is retired in accordance with the provisions for compulsory retirement of the Retirement and Pension Plan.

B. Staff Rule 110.7 is amended as follows:

a. Except as provided in paragraph (d) below, members of the career service and all other staff members with more than three years of continuous service under contracts for a limited time are entitled to a separation indemnity upon separation from service, in accordance with the following provisions:

(i) Career staff members shall receive an indemnity of one month of basic salary per year of service up to a maximum of nine months.

(ii) The maximum separation indemnity payable to a staff member who is contracted under a contract for a limited time shall be six months of basic salary, and shall be computed as follows:

a. When the contract expires without renewal, one week of basic salary for each year served; and

b. When the contract is terminated prior to its expiration date, one month of basic salary for each year remaining until the expiration date, and one week of basic salary for each year of service.

(iii) A Staff member whose long term contract began before January 1, 2000 and has since been renewed without interruption may, upon separation from service, choose between the separation indemnity provided under Staff Rule 110.7 and Article 53(d) of the General Standards effective as of December 31 1999, and the separation indemnity provided for under this Rule.

d. No indemnity shall be paid to a staff member when this is prohibited by the General Standards and, specifically, in the following cases: ...

(i) When a staff member’s appointment to a position of trust is terminated by the Secretary General or expires, in accordance with Staff Rule 104.1 (a) (iii).

(ii) When a staff member under a contract for a limited time is separated from service by way of termination or expiration of contract before completing more than three years of continuous service under contracts for a limited time./

III. SUPPORT STAFF AWAY FROM THE HEADQUARTERS

A. Insert a new Paragraph "e" to Article 17 of the General Standards, which shall state:

e. Temporary Support Personnel who are contracted locally and to the extent feasible, in accordance with the conditions of the duty station in which they serve, for the sole purpose of providing support services to temporary projects, observer missions, and other temporary activities carried out by the General Secretariat in the Member States.

B. Insert a new Article 22 of the General Standards, which shall state:

Article 22. Temporary Support Personnel. Appointments of individuals as Temporary Support Personnel ("TSP") shall be governed by the following provisions:

a. TSPs are not funded by Regular Fund resources; however, under exceptional circumstances as determined by the Secretary General, they may be funded under a specific temporary project supported in part by the Regular Fund. The General Secretariat shall include in the amount budgeted for each TSP the necessary reserves for all benefits required under the local laws of the duty station, including, but not limited to, termination benefits, accumulated vacation, and termination notice.

b. Periods of employment under a TSP shall not be counted for determining eligibility for career service nor for any other purpose.

c. TSPs shall not be participants in the OAS Retirement and Pension Fund; however, they shall participate in the social security system provided under the laws of the duty station. In the event such participation is unfeasible, TSPs shall be provided a monthly lump sum payment equal to the value of the required contributions to the national social security system, or, alternatively, and as determined by the Secretary General, TSPs shall participate in the Provident Plan or other retirement-savings plans established by the General Secretariat for temporary employees and in insurance programs provided by the General Secretariat for temporary employees.

d. Salaries for TSP shall be established in accordance with market conditions at a level no lower than the amount paid for work of a similar nature under the corresponding national legislation of the duty station, and no greater than the salaries paid by the United Nations Development Program for work of a similar nature.

e. The following Articles of the General Standards shall not apply to TSPs, unless otherwise stated in their individual employment contracts: Article 18 (Career Service); Article 35 (Classification of Posts); Article 37 (Salaries); Article 40 (Medical Examination); Article 41 (Selection to Fill Vacant Posts); Article 43 (Probationary Period); Article 45 (Vacations); Article 46 (Leave); Article 47 (Social Security); Article 48 (Travel, Installation, and Repatriation expenses); Article 54, last paragraph (Separation from Service - Notice), and Article 57 (Separation Indemnity)./

f. Unless otherwise provided by Executive Order or the express terms of the Contract Document under which a TSP is contracted, the Staff Rules shall not apply to TSPs.

IV. TERMINATION NOTICE

A. Article 53 of the General Standards is amended as follows:

All staff members whose services are terminated under this Article shall be entitled to a termination notice given prior to the effective termination date. Notice period shall be sixty days for career staff members. For all other staff members, the notice period shall be no less than seven days and no more than sixty days prior to the effective termination date, as determined by the General Secretariat and stated in the staff member’s Document of Appointment.

B. Staff Rule 110.4 is amended as follows:

Every staff member whose services are terminated under this Article shall be entitled to prior notice of the effective termination date as follows:

(i) For career staff members, the notice period shall be sixty days prior to the effective termination date.

(ii) For all other staff members, the notice period shall be no less than seven days and no more than sixty days prior to the effective termination date, as determined by the General Secretariat and stated in the staff member’s Document of Appointment.

(iii) The notice period shall not be considered interrupted for any reason.

(iv) In lieu of actual days of notice, the General Secretariat may instead pay the Staff Member the salary and benefits that correspond to the days of notice not given.

For all staff members under long term contracts as of December 31, 1999, the termination period will be the same as that provided to members of the career service

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