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 GENERAL STANDARDS TO GOVERN THE OPERATIONS OF THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT

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GENERAL STANDARDS TO GOVERN THE OPERATIONS OF THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT[1]

CHAPTER VII

BUDGET EXECUTION

            Article 99.  Criteria.  The Secretary General shall execute the program-budget in keeping with the resolutions of the General Assembly, with these General Standards, and with any regulatory provisions that may be issued for this purpose. 

            The Secretary General shall ensure that, in each fund: 

a.  The obligations during a year do not exceed the estimated income from quotas and other revenues during the year, unless the Member States, through the appropriate political body, provide prior approval for exceeding that amount; and

b.  The expenditures during a year do not exceed the income during the year and other available resources.   

            Article 100.  Appropriations and Obligations.  Appropriations shall be available to meet the obligations incurred during the year for which they were approved.  However, and only to the extent necessary to liquidate obligations pending at the close of the year for which they were approved, the appropriations mentioned may be extended, but not beyond December 31 of the following year, on which date they shall expire irrevocably.

            Appropriations for partnership for development activities shall be made available to meet the obligations contracted within the time frame established in Article 17, paragraph k) of these Statutes, and shall be disbursed in accordance with the provisions of paragraph l) of said Article 17. However, and only to the extent necessary to liquidate obligations pending at the end of the year for which they were approved, the appropriations mentioned may be extended, but not beyond December 31 of the following year, on which date they shall expire irrevocably. Once this deadline has passed, funding for the continuation of activities as approved by the Management Board in accordance with the provisions of Article 23, shall be the object of new appropriations and subject to the availability of funds in the corresponding account.

 

            Any funds unexpended at the close of the execution period shall lapse into the account from which they came and shall be made available for reprogramming.[2]

            In the case of FEMCIDI, in accordance with its Statutes, resources from voluntary contributions made by the Member States shall be appropriated and obligated prior to December 31 of the year in which the contributions are received, and the obligations shall be liquidated prior to December 31 of the following year.

            For the purposes of this article, obligations shall be understood as those arising from any agreement, contract, purchase order, or other document concluded with a natural or legal person under which the General Secretariat is legally obligated to disburse funds to the corresponding natural or legal person in order to execute approved activities, in keeping with the provisions of the Charter, the resolutions of the General Assembly, and these General Standards.  The obligations shall be recorded on the date on which the commitment becomes legally binding.

            Unused appropriations may only be re-appropriated if they are fully funded with cash at the time they lapse into the Reserve Subfund. Unused appropriations unfunded at the time they lapse may not be used for any purpose. For programs specifically funded with unused appropriations, the Secretariat must show the Permanent Council that at the time the appropriations lapsed they were fully backed with cash. If that cannot be shown, then the Secretary General must ask the Permanent Council for specific authority to disburse from current funds.[3]

            Article 101.  Special Appropriations, Unforeseen Situations, and Judgments of the Administrative Tribunal.  When the General Assembly is not in session, the Secretary General shall request from the Permanent Council the special appropriations which he deems indispensable to deal with situations unforeseen in the approved program-budget, and shall propose specific sources for their funding.  In the event the Permanent Council approves such special appropriations, it shall determine the source of their funding.  

            When any organ of the OAS considers taking a decision that would have unforeseen budgetary or financial consequences, the General Secretariat shall present an estimate of expenditures and a report on the availability and sources of the funds needed.  

            As for any judgment of the Administrative Tribunal that may have budgetary consequences in excess of one percent of the budget of the Regular Fund, the Secretary General shall obtain from the Permanent Council prior authorization as to the manner of payment, and shall inform the Council of the source proposed for its financing.

            Should it be necessary to make a special budgetary appropriation against the OAS Development Cooperation Fund (OAS/DCF) for activities unforeseen in the approved programming of partnership for development activities, the Management Board shall decide the approval of said appropriation on the recommendation of the Executive Secretary for Integral Development/Director General. Such recommendation shall be accompanied by a statement identifying the source of the resources available for programming.[4]

            Should it be necessary to make a special budgetary appropriation against FEMCIDI to deal with situations or activities unforeseen in the programming of partnership for development activities, the Secretary General, through the Executive Secretary for Integral Development, shall request authorization to do so from CEPCIDI, which shall determine the source of the necessary resources.  These special obligations must be planned so as to be expended no later than December 31 of the year in which the obligation is authorized, on which date the special appropriation shall expire irrevocably.

            Article 102.  Purchase of Equipment, Supplies, and Conference Language Services.[5]  The purchasing of equipment, office furniture and specific supplies and general supplies, as well as the contracting of printing services, shall be done by competitive methods.  

            The Secretary General may make exceptions for purchases in amounts of less than US$30,000 in those cases in which he considers those methods are not beneficial to the interest of the Organization.  

            The Secretary General may make exceptions to the use of competitive methods when the amount of the purchase is US$30,000 or more only in emergencies, such as disaster relief, emergency repairs, and other measures urgently needed to protect life or property.  

            The Secretary General shall inform the Permanent Council, within 30 days, of all purchases in the amount of US$30,000 or more in which competitive methods were not used, and the reasons therefor.  

            The General Secretariat shall give preference to contracting interpreters and translators locally, insofar as possible, when selecting such personnel for conferences away from headquarters, provided they meet the necessary established requirements.[6]  

            All purchases will be subject to post-audit by the Office of the Inspector General.  

            Article 103.  Ex gratia Payments.  The Secretary General may make such ex gratia payments as he deems wise or necessary to the interests of the Organization, and he shall present an account of them to the General Assembly when he reports to it on the financial condition of the Organization.

            Article 104.  Transfers Between Chapters.[7] For any fiscal period, the Secretary General has the authority to transfer Regular Fund resources from one Chapter of the Program-Budget to another, subject to the following conditions:

a.  The following transfers shall require the prior approval of the Permanent Council:

i.  Transfers that exceed five percent of the total Regular Fund resources approved for the Chapter from which those resources are withdrawn;

ii.  Transfers that exceed five percent of the total Regular Fund resources approved for the Chapter to which those resources are to be transferred; or

iii.  Transfers that involve substantial alteration of any approved program.

b.  For each transfer made under the preceding Section “a,” the Secretary General shall submit a Special Report in writing to the Permanent Council within fifteen days following the date of the transfer.  That Report shall justify the transfer on the basis of the current mandates which warrant it.  Failure to submit that Report by the close of the fifteen-day period will immediately extinguish the Secretary General’s authority to make such transfers for the remainder of the fiscal period without the Permanent Council’s prior approval.

            Article 105.  Transfers Within a Chapter.  The Secretary General has the authority to redirect resources from the Regular Fund within a program and, if such redirection does not essentially alter the nature of the program receiving or delivering the funds, also has the authority to make transfers between programs within each chapter.  

            In the case of activities financed by the Regular Fund that involve direct services to the Member States, he shall justify such transfers to the CAAP, on the basis of current mandates from the General Assembly, the Permanent Council, or CIDI, as appropriate.  The Secretary General shall inform the Permanent Council of these transfers within thirty days.  

            Article 106.  Information that should be Recorded For Execution.[8] Budgetary accounting shall record the fund, the budgetary account, the object of expenditure, and the category of activity for any appropriation, obligation, or payment.  

            Article 107.  Notification and Payment of Quotas and of Pledges of Voluntary Contributions. Within forty-five days following approval of the program-budget by the General Assembly, the Secretary General shall transmit to the governments of the Member States the corresponding decisions with the information on their quota assessments and on pledges made to OAS/DCF.  

            The Regular Fund quotas and the pledges to the OAS DCF shall be annual.  Regular Fund quotas shall be paid within the deadlines established during the year in question, and shall be considered due on the first day of the corresponding fiscal period.  Pledges to the OAS DCF shall be made and paid within the deadlines established in the Statutes of the OAS/DCF.  

            Although the pledges to the OAS/DCF are voluntary, each Member State, in making its pledge, assumes the commitment to pay it, and once the payment has been made, is entitled to use the OAS/DCF resources, as established in the OAS/DCF Statutes.  

            Article 108.  Payment of Quotas.  Income from quotas shall be credited against the balance pending from the earliest fiscal period for which money is owed to the corresponding fund, unless, by way of exception, the Permanent Council, with a prior recommendation from the CAAP, stipulates that they be applied to another year.  

            Article 109.  Cash Flow.  Pending receipt of anticipated income into the Regular Fund, expenditures shall be met with resources from its Reserve Subfund, as indicated in Article 72(b).

            Article 110.  Loans.  When the General Assembly is not in session, the Secretary General must be authorized by the Permanent Council to negotiate and contract any loans.  

            Article 111.  Accounting System.  The Secretary General shall establish, in accordance with these General Standards, suitable provisions and procedures to ensure effective financial management, the exercise of economy, and the best use of all the resources administered by the General Secretariat, and he shall inform the General Assembly thereof.  

            These provisions and procedures shall include an appropriate accounting system, based on: generally accepted accounting principles, these General Standards, and the Budgetary and Financial Rules.  

            Article 112.  Accounting Records.  The General Secretariat shall keep such accounting records as are necessary, and in its financial reports it shall show:  

a.  The income, obligations, and expenditures of all the funds;

b.  The situation as to the appropriations, in such a way as to permit comparison with the approved program-budget, by fund, fiscal period, program, project, and instruments of direct technical cooperation services, as well as by object of expenditure, including:

i.  The original budget appropriations;

ii.  Appropriations modified by the Councils or the General Assembly;

iii.  Transfers made by the Secretary General in accordance with his discretionary powers or those resulting from a functional restructuring; and

iv.  The amounts allocated, obligated, and expended against those appropriations; and

c.  The assets, liabilities, and balances of funds of the Organization.  

            The Secretary General shall also provide whatever other additional information which may be necessary to show the financial condition of the Organization.  

            Article 113.  Closing of Accounts.  The General Secretariat shall close accounts at the end of each year.  The resulting financial statements shall be delivered to the Board of External Auditors for its review within the first quarter of the following year.  Within that same period, the General Secretariat shall present to the Permanent Council a report that clearly shows the status of assets, liabilities, and balances in each fund; changes in fund balances; the status of the collection of quotas and of pledges; and the availability of the appropriations.



[1].  Adopted by the General Assembly through resolution AG/RES. 123 (III-O/73) and amended through resolutions AG/RES. 248 (VI-O/76), AG/RES. 256 (VI-O/76), AG/RES. 257 (VI-O/76), AG/RES. 301 (VII-O/77), AG/RES. 359 (VIII-O/78), AG/RES. 404 (IX-O/79), AG/RES. 438 (IX-O/79), AG/RES. 479 (X-O/80), AG/RES. 671 (XIII-O/83), AG/RES. 672 (XIII-O/83), AG/RES. 731 (XIV-O/84), AG/RES. 791 (XV-O/85), AG/RES. 842 (XVI-O/86), AG/RES. 981 (XIX-O/89), AG/RES. 1036 (XX-O/90), AG/RES. 1137 (XXI-O/91), AG/RES. 1321 (XXV-O/95), AG/RES. 1322 (XXV-O/95), AG/RES. 1. (XXV-E/98), AG/RES. 3 (XXVI-E/99), AG/RES. 1725 (XXX-O/00), AG/RES. 1839 (XXXI-O/01), AG/RES. 1873 (XXXII-O/02), AG/RES. 1909 (XXXII-O/02), AG/RES. 2059 (XXXIV-O/04), AG/RES. 2156 (XXXV-O/05), AG/RES. 2157 (XXXV-O/05), AG/RES. 2302 (XXXVII-O/07), AG/RES. 2353 (XXXVII-O/07), AG/RES. 2754 (XLII-O/12), AG/RES. 2755 (XLII-O/12), AG/RES. 2756 (XLII-O/12), AG/RES. 2778 (XLIII-O/13), AG/RES. 2817 (XLIV-O/14), AG/RES. 1 (XLVIII-E/14), AG/RES. 2889 (XLVI-O/16) and by the Permanent Council through resolutions CP/RES. 652 (1033/95), CP/RES. 703 (1122/97), CP/RES. 761 (1217/99), CP/RES. 910 (1568/06), CP/RES. 919 (1597/07) and CP/RES. 1062 (2069/16) pursuant to the authority conferred by the General Assembly in resolutions AG/RES. 1319 (XXV-O/95), AG/RES. 1382 (XXVI-O/96), AG/RES. 1603 (XXVIII-O/98),  AG/RES. 2257 (XXXVI-O/06) and AG/RES. 1 (L-E/15), respectively.

[2].  The text in italics temporarily replaces the text below in strikeout pursuant to Resolution CP/RES. 787 (1267/01).  The text in italics is identical to the text of the corresponding sections of Article 23 of the FEMCIDI Statute as temporarily approved by CEPCIDI in Resolution CEPCIDI/RES. 67 (LXVI-O/01).  Resolution CP/RES. 787 provides, in essence, that the suspension of the text in strikeout and its replacement by the text in italics will remain in force until CIDI decides to approve the text in italics for the corresponding sections of Article 23 of the FEMCIDI Statute.  In its 2001 and 2002 annual meetings, CIDI decided to defer the final decision thereby maintaining the text in italics temporarily in force for Article 23 of the FEMCIDI Statute.  This, in turn has extended the suspension of the corresponding text in Articles 100 and 101 for an equal term, and, therefore, the replacement text still remains in force. CP/RES. 787 provides that if CIDI decides to finalize the replacement text, then the Permanent Council will ask the General Assembly to approve that same text for more permanent incorporation into Articles 100 and 101 of the General Standards.

[3].  Paragraph added as a result of resolution AG/RES. 1839 (XXXI-O/01) of the General Assembly adopted at its thirty-first regular session in June 2001.

[4].  See the explanation regarding the text in italics and in strikeout for Article 100 at footnote 2 above.

[5].  Heading modified by resolution AG/RES. 1 (XXV-E/98) of the General Assembly adopted at its twenty-fifth special session in November 1998.

[6].  Paragraph added as a result of resolution AG/RES. 1 (XXV-E/98) of the General Assembly, adopted at its twenty-fifth special session in November 1998.

[7].  Article amended by resolution AG/RES. 1 (XXV-E/98) adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-fifth special session in November 1998, by resolution AG/RES. 1839 (XXXI-O/01) at its thirty-first regular session in June 2001, and by resolution AG/RES. 1 (XL-E/10) at its fortieth special session in September 2010.

[8].  This can only be implemented upon the required modifications of the systems with respect to entry by category of activity.