IMPLEMENTATION OF RULES
The Secretary General has authorized the Assistant
Secretary of Management to implement the following Rules for Temporary Conference Service
Contracts set out in Attachment A.
This Administrative Memorandum specifically rescinds and
derogates Administrative Memorandum 54 and its five revisions; it further rescinds and
derogates all rules, regulations, instructions, and practices of the General Secretariat
that are inconsistent with it.
III. ENTRY INTO FORCE
This Administrative Memorandum, together with the
attached Rules, shall enter into force on the date it is signed.
James R. Harding
Assistant Secretary for Management
Date: December 8, 1997
RULES FOR TEMPORARY CONFERENCE SERVICE CONTRACTS
1.1 "GS/OAS" is the General Secretariat of the Organization
of American States.
1.2 "Independent Contractor" is a person defined under Staff
Rules 104. 1 (c) and 104.16, and who is not a GS/OAS Staff Member.
1.3 "Temporary Conference Service Contract" or
"TCSC" is a contract with an independent contractor to provide translation,
interpretation, editing, transcription, or other conference-related services.
1.4 "Conference Service Providers" are free-lance independent
contractors qualified to provide the General Secretariat with conference-related services
under a TCSC. They include translators, interpreters, transcribers, editors, and other
specialists skilled and experienced in providing those services.
1.5 "PASAF" or "Plan of Activities and Request for
Allotment of Funds" is an activities plan for projects which must be submitted to the
Department of Program Budget for the allocation of project funds as a precondition for the
obligation of those funds.
1.6 "The Secretariat for Conferences and Meetings" or
"SCM" is the dependency of the Office of the Assistant Secretary General
described in Executive Order 97-2.
1.7 "Obligations" are, as stated in Article 94 of the General
Standards to Govern the Operations of GS/OAS, sums of money for orders placed, contracts
awarded, agreements signed, and transactions concluded during a given period for which
funds must be earmarked and an expenditure executed in the future.
II. GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF SCM AND PURPOSE OF RULES
2.1 Pursuant to Executive Order 97-2, SCM is the dependency of the
General Secretariat responsible for the identification, contracting, evaluation, and
coordination of persons providing conference-related services under a TCSC.
2.2 The purpose of these Rules is to define in greater detail the
responsibilities of the SCM and other dependencies of the Secretariat in administering
TCSCs; to establish the general criteria of eligibility for TCSCs; to set out the
necessary guidelines for assuring that TCSCs do not establish a de facto
employer/employee relationship between the General Secretariat and free-lance conference
services providers; and to outline the procedures for processing TCSCs.
III. RECRUITMENT: THE ROSTER
3.1 The SCM is responsible for preparing a roster of technically
qualified free-lance translators, interpreters, and other specialists available to provide
conference-related services under short notice under a TCSC. SCM shall actively promote
the recruitment of a broad cadre of qualified candidates for inclusion in the roster, and
shall enlist the cooperation and efforts of other dependencies of the General Secretariat
in this endeavor. SCM shall consider and interview qualified candidates, including those
proposed by other dependencies of the General Secretariat and those identified as a result
of their exceptional service in international meetings.
3.2 Only those persons whose names appear on the approved roster will
be eligible for a TCSC.
3.3 Nationals of any country who satisfy the eligibility standards set
out in this Administrative Memorandum shall be placed on the roster. Qualified nationals
of the OAS Member States shall be given first preference, in equal conditions, over
candidates from other states, for selection from the roster; qualified nationals of the
OAS Permanent Observers shall be given preference, in equal conditions, over candidates
from non-OAS Member States.
3.4 SCM shall develop objective standards for including candidates on
the roster. Those standards, shall be based, in part, on the following factors: years of
professional experience; membership in professional associations; performance on a
proficiency text administered by SCM or a recognized international organization or other
reliable examining authority; and compliance with the other requirements set out in these
Rules and other applicable rules and regulations of the General Secretariat.
3.5 SCM will continually update the roster, and shall make the roster
and all such updates available to the Department of Human Resources, the Department of
Program Budget, and other dependencies of the General Secretariat that request them. SCM
shall remove names from the roster at the request of the Director of Human Resources.
IV. EVALUATION OF CONFERENCE SERVICE PROVIDERS
4.1 In collaboration with the Department of Human Resources, SCM shall
develop a performance appraisal system that will permit an objective evaluation of the
services provided by persons working under a TCSC.
4.2 SCM shall evaluate all persons working under a TCSC at least once a
year in accordance with the performance appraisal system so developed.
4.3 Any conference service provider whose services are deemed
unsatisfactory as a result of the performance appraisal system so developed shall be
eliminated from the Roster.
V. LIMITATIONS AND PROHIBITIONS
5.1 No person shall be issued a TCSC without first presenting
satisfactory evidence of a valid visa which permits that person to provide
conference-related services in the duty station.
5.2 No person shall be issued a TCSC for any purpose other than for
providing conference-related services or providing similar services to Americas
5.3 No person who is a relative of a staff member (as defined in Staff
Rule 104.14(a)) who participates in the process of awarding or administering TCSCs or of a
staff member who occupies a post above the P4 level shall be issued a TCSC; however, the
Assistant Secretary for Management may authorize in writing an exception for any case in
which (i) the exception request is presented in writing; and (ii) the General
Secretariat's interest in permitting the exception, in his judgment, outweighs any
potential for actual or perceived conflicts of interest.
5.4 No person contracted under a TCSC is entitled to overtime pay. Any
GS/OAS staff member or other person who requires a conference service provider to work
overtime and therefore causes the General Secretariat to incur a liability for the payment
of overtime compensation shall be liable to GS/OAS for the amount of any such overtime
compensation paid by GS/OAS to that conference service provider and shall fully indemnify
GS/OAS for that amount.
5.5 Every person working under a TCSC shall initial the following
statement in the contract form:
5.6 Except for translators, interpreters, and editors, who shall be
contracted in accordance with the customary practices in the duty station for contracting
the services of free-lance persons in those professions, no natural person retained to
provide conference-related services on GS/OAS premises shall be contracted under a TCSC
for more than eight weeks of full-time service (at least 24 hours per week) within any
three month period.
5.7 The SCM shall be responsible for verifying and enforcing compliance
with the foregoing provisions of this Part V of these Rules.
VI. COMPENSATION UNDER THE TCSC
6.1 Except in those special circumstances where it is not feasible, the
TCSC shall provide for payment at pre-established rates by the word or by the page for
translation and transcription services; and payment by the specific task for other
services. Nonetheless, when it is necessary to pay for services in accordance with an
hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or annual rate, the TCSC shall provide for such payment at
the corresponding pre-established rates.
6.2 The Secretariat of Conferences and Meetings, in consultation with
the Department of Human Resources and in accordance with Staff Rule 104.16, shall
establish compensation rates, taking into account: (a) the nature of the services to be
performed, i.e., the complexity, difficulty, and degree of expertise required; (b) the
time required to undertake the work and the market rate for comparable work; and (c) the
necessity of obtaining the service required for the lowest possible cost.
6.3 Compensation paid at an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or annual
rate to conference service providers for work to be performed on GS/OAS' premises for more
than twenty working days in any twelve month period, regardless of whether such work is
part-time or intermittent, shall include:
a. A net fee computed in accordance with the factors set out in Article
b. An amount equal to what the independent contractor must contribute
to social security (including retirement, unemployment insurance, and worker compensation
insurance) with respect to that net fee under the laws of the duty station or the
contractor's country of residence, whichever is applicable;
c. An amount equal to what the independent contractor must contribute
with respect to the net fee for health insurance under the laws of the duty station or
contractor's country of residence (whichever is applicable), or if there is no such legal
requirement and health insurance is not included in the applicable social security system,
an additional 3% of that net fee as a health insurance allowance;
d. An amount equal to the statutory value of vacation leave required
under law with respect to the net fee earned, and if there is no such requirement for
annual leave in the duty station, an additional 3% over the net fee.
The TCSC must itemize the amounts to be paid for each of the
aforementioned elements of compensation as well as any other payments agreed to by the
6.4 Article 6.3 will not apply to translators and interpreters, and
editors, whose compensation shall be negotiated and established under Article 6.2 and in
accordance with customary practices for contracting such free-lance professionals in the
6.5 As independent contractors, conference service providers are not
entitled to compensation under the GS/OAS salary scales for staff members; nor are they
entitled to the staff benefits provided under the General Standards and Staff Rules.
VII. PROCESSING PAYMENT FOR SERVICES
7.1 An area requesting services from a conference service provider
under a TCSC must:
a. Include the conference services in its approved Program-Budget and
b. Request the services at least 30 days in advance by submitting the
SCM the corresponding request for services, including a budget estimate for the services
7.2 SCM shall:
a. Provide assistance to all areas requesting conference services in
the preparation of estimated budgets for those services to be in included in the
corresponding PASAF and requesting documents; and
b. Generate, prior to the delivery of the services requested, the
administrative actions and obligations necessary to cover and pay for those services.
7.3 For the General Assembly, the Permanent Council, CIDI, and their
subsidiary bodies, SCM shall accept and process a miscellaneous action request for
services submitted for the whole year, supported by a PASAF and subject to quarterly
7.4 The Secretariat shall issue payment to the conference service
provider based on the following documentation: the obligation document, the duly executed
TCSC Contract Form; and certification by the SCM Director.
7.5 SCM shall issue a monthly report to the Department of Financial
Services for payment and shall make that report available electronically to all interested
parties within the General Secretariat and to the Member States upon their request.
VIII. GENERAL PROVISIONS
8.1 SCM shall distribute to every GS/OAS staff member involved in the
TCSC contracting process a copy of these Rules and every such staff member so receiving
these Rules will sign a document acknowledging receipt of same.
8.2 Any staff member who causes financial damage to the General
Secretariat by malice, culpable or gross negligence, or failure to observe these Rules
shall be responsible therefor and shall be required to make restitution to the General
Secretariat as specified under Staff Rules 101.3 and 103.20.
8.3 Unless otherwise expressly stated herein or in subsequent
administrative issuances of the General Secretariat, the provisions in the Rules for
Performance Contracts adopted under Executive Order 86-1, as amended, shall not apply to
services provides retained under a TCSC.
8.4 These Rules may be amended by an Administrative Memorandum or an
8.5 The Assistant Secretary for Management may, upon receipt of a
written request from SCM, issue exceptions to these Rules, provided that: (a) the request
sets out distinct circumstances that justify the exception; (b) the request will not
generate undue liabilities for the General Secretariat; and (c) the Assistant Secretary
for Management determines that the exception is in the best interests of the General
Secretariat. This authority to make exceptions is delegable only to the Chief of Staff and
Director of Human Resources, under a temporary written delegation of authority from the
Assistant Secretary for Management.
IX. TRANSITORY PROVISION
9.1 Pending the development and implementation of the Performance
Appraisal System specified in Article IV of these Rules, SCM shall periodically evaluate
the performance of each conference service provider on the roster at least once a year in
accordance with reasonable objective criteria and shall maintain copies of those
evaluations available for reference when selecting candidates from the roster. Persons
whose services are deemed to be unsatisfactory shall be eliminated from the roster.