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G E N E R A L      S E C R E T A R I A T

EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 00-2 Corr. 1
SUBJECT:
MODIFICATION OF STAFF RULES

 

THE SECRETARY GENERAL,

   In the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by Article 109 and 113 of the Charter of the Organization of American States ("OAS") and Articles 4, 8, 12, and 14 of the General Standards to Govern the Operation of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States ("General Standards"); and

CONSIDERING:

    That Staff Rule 113.4 provides that the Secretary General, by way of Executive Order and without the approval of the political bodies, may amend Staff Rules not having budget implications, provided such amendments are consistent with the General Standards;

    That by Resolution AG/RES. 725 (XXX-O/00), the OAS General Assembly ratified modifications to the General Standards and Staff Rules 110.4 and 110.7, which had been previously adopted by the Permanent Council by way of CP/RES. 761 (1217/19), and which had entered into force on January 1, 2000, relating to the selection and rights of non-career service staff members;

    That in adopting those modifications, the political bodies also modified Staff Rules 110.7 and 110.4, each of which has budgetary implications.

    That other Staff Rules not having budgetary implications must be updated to reflect those modifications, as well as to reflect changes in the organization of the General Secretariat and administrative practices which have entered into force since the Staff Rules were last published by way of Executive Order 96-2 (February 29, 1996).

RESOLVES:

    1. To adopt the modifications to the Staff Rules set out in Annex A of this Executive Order.

    2. To instruct the Department of Human Resource Services to notify all staff members of those modifications and the Department of Legal Services to make the corresponding modifications to the Staff Rules as published in the Organization's Web Site.

    3. To establish that this Executive Order shall enter into force on the date it is signed, and that the modifications set out in Annex A supersede all prior rules, regulations, and practices to the contrary.



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Date: 4 December, 2000

Original: English

Attachment: Annex A

 

ANNEX A

MODIFICATIONS TO STAFF RULES FOR IMPLEMENTATION

OF THE CHANGES IN THE GENERAL STANDARDS

ADOPTED IN CP/RES. 761 (12/17/99),

WITH SECTION ANALYSIS

(New text is in italics; text eliminated from 1996 Rule is in strikeout)

Rule 104.1 Types of Employment

(a) Employment in the General Secretariat shall be of one of the following types:

(i) Permanent staff members, who shall make up the career service;
(ii) Staff members on contract for a limited time;
(iii) Staff members in positions of trust, appointed at the discretion of the Secretary General to hold the posts so defined in Rule 104.4. Such appointments shall last as long as the Secretary General is in office and the appointees enjoy his confidence;
(iv) Local professional staff members with professional degrees contracted as specialists to work in accordance with the labor laws of the country in which they provide services as determined by the Secretary General, as specified in Rule 104.18; and

(v) 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

(vi) Associate staff members are persons temporarily appointed primarily to perform functions of a professional, technical, administrative, or scientific nature, in accordance with agreements or contracts concluded with other institutions participating in programs of common interest, or to provide services ad-honorem with the authorization of the institutions to which they belong, as specified in Rule 104.17.

SECTION ANALYSIS

    The only change made in Section (a) of the Rule is the addition of a new category of staff member – Temporary Support Personnel – approved by the Permanent Council in Resolution CP/RES. 761 (1217/99) and ratified by the General Assembly in Resolution AG/RES.1725 (XXX-O/00). The text of the new paragraph (v) of this Section is a verbatim copy of the new paragraph (e) of Article 17 of the General Standards so approved. Further explanation of this new category of staff is set out in the new Article 22 of the General Standards, which is also repeated in the new Staff Rule 104.19.

Rule 104.19 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 TSPs 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 (UNDP) 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.

SECTION ANALYSIS

     This new rule is a verbatim copy of the new Article 22 of the General Standards, which sets out the basic characteristics of Temporary Support Personnel. Of particular importance is subsection (f), which clarifies that the staff rules are not applicable to this class of employees, unless otherwise specifically stated in the corresponding contract or an Executive Order issued by the Secretary General specifying in greater detail their emoluments and other entitlements.

Rule 104.3(d)

              (d)   Contracts for a limited time are of four kinds:

    (i)   Short term, when the duration is less no more than a year three years and the staff member is not appointed by way of the selection process set out in Staff Rule 104.5. No staff member may serve for more than three years under one or more short term contracts, regardless of whether the service is non-consecutive. Short term contracts can be extended, but in no case may the total of their original length plus the extension or extensions reach a total of one year of service.

    (ii)  Special Observer Contracts ("SOCs"), which are short-term contracts specifically governed by the provisions set out in Appendix C of these Rules.

    (iii) Long term, when the duration is between one and five years and the staff member is appointed by way of the selection process set out in Staff Rule 104.5; however, any contract between one and five years not financed by the Regular Fund and for which the competition has been waived pursuant to Staff Rule 104.5(d) is also a long term contract. Any extension of a long-term contract, although for less than one year, carries with it the rights of a long-term contract.

    (iv)  Part-time, when the duration is for a fixed term agreed upon but the staff member is required to serve the General Secretariat for half of the normal daily working hours at the duty station.

SECTION ANALYSIS

     This rule was redrafted to accommodate several changes to the General Standards adopted by the Permanent Council by way of CP/RES. 761 and ratified by General Assembly in Resolution AG/RES. 1725. Those changes are set out in the Article 41 of the General Standards. In pertinent part, Article 41 extends from under one year to three years the time under which the Secretary General may appoint a staff member without competition to a post funded by the Regular Fund under a contract for a limited time.

     The Permanent Council adopted this change based on a proposal of the Secretary General to extend the short-term contract from less than one year to less than two years. In accepting that proposal, the Permanent Council decided to extend the period for a period up to three years, to accommodate the anticipated needs of the new International Agency for Cooperation and Development.

     Staff Rule 104.3(d), as presently drafted, divides contracts for a limited time into short term contracts, long term contracts, special observer contracts, and part-time contracts. Because the difference between a long-term contract and a short-term contract is defined under that rule as predicated upon the length of the contract and whether the contract, if funded by the Regular Fund, was awarded by way of competition, the changes adopted in the new Article 41 require modification of that Rule.

     Under the amended version of Rule 104.3(d), a short term contract is now defined as a contract for less than three years, not filled by competition. In contrast, a long term contract is a contract between one and five years which is filled by competition; however, in those cases in which the contract for over one year is funded by voluntary funds, it will qualify as a long term contract even if there has been no competition, provided the competition requirement has been waived under the applicable procedure set out in Staff Rule 104.5(e). The waiver of the competition for long-term contracts not funded by the Regular Fund is nothing new. It existed under Staff Rule 104.5(c) and the former Article 40 of the General Standards.

     The delineation between short term and long term contracts remains important under the Staff Rules because a number of benefits are predicated upon whether a contract is short term or long term. The Secretary General’s proposal to extend the length of the short term contract (contracts not awarded through competition) had made clear that the extension of the short-term contract to just under two years (three years as finally adopted) would not imply additional costs because "the benefits for short-term contracts will remain unchanged." It further stated: "Staff members hired under the short-term mechanism will not be entitled to the benefits of long-term contractees unless they are given a long term contract after having been selected for it by competition." See "Personnel Policy Reform with Comments from the Staff Association," GETC/FORMOEA-29/98, at p. 3. One of the reasons for adopting that policy was the conclusion that the denial of the benefits of long-term contractees to short-term contractees under the extended short-term contract would be an incentive for Directors and the contractees to opt for appointment through competition, which is the preferred mechanism for appointment for complying with Article 120 of the Charter.

     The new definition of "short term" contract also incorporates the prohibition set out in the new Article 41 of the General Standards that no person during his/her lifetime may serve under short term contracts for more than a total of three years in posts financed by the Regular Fund. The purpose is to assure that individuals do not remain in the organization indefinitely under a series of short term contracts thereby circumventing the competition requirement for long term appointments.

     The new definition of long term contracts contains a provision that establishes that when a long term contract is extended for less than one year, the extension will be considered a long-term contract rather than a new short term contract. This provision reflects a long-standing and logical practice in the General Secretariat. Incorporating it into the rules should help to put staff members on long term contracts at greater ease.

Staff Rule 104.5 Competition for Filling Vacant Posts

a.   Except as provided in Section (b) below, the Secretary General shall fill all vacant posts in the General Secretariat by the competitive selection process set out in this Rule. (a) Except as stipulated in paragraphs (b) and (c) below, all selections to fill vacant posts shall be made through competition, with the advice of the Advisory Committee on Selection and Promotion referred to in Rule 104.2 (b) (iv).

b.  The Secretary General may fill the following posts without competition: No Competition shall be required to fill.

    (i)  Positions of Trust;

    (ii)  Posts to be filled by staff members under contract for a limited time for up to three years; Posts through short-term contract, provided that the contract does not extend the continuous service of the staff member beyond 11 months.

    (iii)  Posts by extending at the same grade, the limited time contract of an incumbent who has already been selected for that post or for another of that grade through competition;

    (iv)  Posts financed by funds other than the Regular Fund and which are filled by staff members under contract for a limited time when a competition is not convenient.

    (iv)  Posts filled through the transfer, in accordance with Rule 105.2, of a staff member who has already been selected through competition for a post of the same grade or whose new post falls under any other of the exceptions stipulated in this or the next paragraph.

c.  The determination of whether a contract for a limited time financed by the Regular Fund for between one and three years requires a competition shall be made by the Director of Human Resource Services on a case by case basis, upon the request of the Director of the dependency requesting the appointment. Normally, those requests shall be granted for contracts for work on special projects or activities having a definite beginning date and termination date and which do not commence before or expire after those dates. The requesting Director must include in the request a statement as to why the Director believes the appointment without competition is in the interest of the General Secretariat, together with information on the corresponding project or activity sufficient to enable the Director of Human Resource Services to take the appropriate decision. The Department of Human Resources may waive the requirement of competition for contracts that are for less than three years and are not financed by the Regular Fund but by special and voluntary funds and other contributions, provided that the respective Assistant or Executive Secretary first certifies to the Director of the Department of Human Resources that it is not feasible to hold a competition.

d.  The determination of whether a contract for a limited time financed by funds other than the Regular Fund for between one and five years requires a competition shall be made by the Director of Human Resource Services on a case by case basis, upon the request of the Director of the dependency requesting the appointment. Normally, those requests shall be granted, provided the requesting Director explains to the satisfaction of the Director of Human Resource Services why the holding of a competition is not convenient, in light of the interests of the General Secretariat.

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

(f)(d) When the Department of Human Resources Services receives a request to fill a vacant post through competition, it shall publish an announcement of the vacant post. That announcement shall be based on specifications drawn up by the director of the Department or Office concerned. Before publishing the announcement, the Department of Human Resources shall review, analyze, and, if necessary, correct these specifications, to ensure that they are in accord with the Classification Standards and with the personnel policies of the General Secretariat. The announcement shall be published not less than 21 30 days before the closing date for submitting applications. in the case of posts in grades G-1 through G-7, and in all other grades when the competition is restricted to internal recruitment, and not less than 45 days before the closing date in all other cases.

(g)(e) Once the period indicated in the announcement of the vacant post has ended the Department of Human Resources shall send to the director of the Department or Office involved a list of the candidates, indicating which of them appears to fulfill the requirements specified in the announcement, and the documentation pertaining to each. After a review of the information received, and after such interviews as he may deem necessary, the director shall, within 30 60 days, recommend the candidate he believes should be selected and, if possible, one or two additional candidates whom he also considers suitable. That recommendation shall be sent through the proper channels to the Department of Human Resources, so that it may be presented to the Advisory Committee on Selection and Promotion along with any observations and recommendations that the Department of Human Resources may consider appropriate.

(h)(f) The Department of Human Resources shall convoke a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Selection and Promotion ("the Committee") established under Staff Rule 104.2(b)(iv), or the corresponding sub-committee of that ACSP, to take place within 30 five working days after receipt of the recommendation from the pertinent area.

(i) The Committee shall review the information and recommendations presented to it and make its own recommendation to the Secretary General with such explanations as may be warranted. The Committee’s recommendation shall be presented to the Secretary General by the Chairman of the Committee within five working days after a decision has been reached.

(ii)  For this purpose The Chairman of the Committee ("the Chairman") or the Secretary General, by way of Directive, may designate a subcommittee for the purpose of expediting and facilitating the Committee’s work. Any subcommittee so designated must , provided that it includes, but is not limited to, at least one representative of the area concerned the President of the Staff Association or his/her representative, and one staff member chosen at random. and at least two other staff members who are at least at the grade of the post under consideration Except for the President of the Staff Association, these persons staff members of the Committee must hold positions classified at a grade equal to or above that of the vacancy being filled.

    (iii)  If a subcommittee is charged with the work of the Committee under this Rule, that subcommittee shall present its recommendation to the Chairman within five working days after taking a decision. The Chairman may, at his/her discretion, send the subcommittee’s recommendation directly to the Secretary General with the Chairman’s observations or refer the case to the full Committee for its recommendation. If the matter is referred to the full Committee after prior evaluation by a sub-committee, the Chairman shall present the recommendations of both the sub-committee and the full Committee to the Secretary General within five days of the full Committee’s decision. If the Chairman decides not to refer the matter to the full Committee, he/she shall present the subcommittee’s recommendation to the Secretary General within five days of receiving it; however, the Secretary General may remand the matter for a recommendation of the full Committee prior to making the selection.

(i)(g)  Competitions shall be open to both internal and external candidates except when, in the opinion of the Director of the Department of Human Resources, a sufficiently large number of suitable candidates is available among the existing staff. In that case, and also when a vacancy results from the reclassification of an occupied post, the competition may be restricted to internal candidates. The Department of Human Resources shall seek to encourage broad participation by qualified candidates.

(j)(h) At any stage of the process prior to his final decision, the Secretary General may cancel a competition.

(k)(i) For purposes of these Rules, the following posts shall be considered vacant: a post not occupied by an incumbent duly appointed in accordance with these Rules; a reclassified post occupied by an incumbent who has not been appointed to that post for a period of a year or more by way of the competitive selection process required under Staff Rules 103.7 and 104.6 and Articles 18(c) and 40 of the General Standards; however, an unoccupied post which is "frozen" or not filled for budgetary reasons is not to be considered a vacant post.

SECTION ANALYSIS

     Sections (a)-(e) of this Rule replace sections (a)-(c) of the prior rule. The redrafting reflects the modifications to the competition requirements set out in the new Article 41 of the General Standards. Article 41 now allows appointments to Regular Fund posts without competition for periods of up to three years. Prior to that Article, such appointments were permitted only for periods less than a year. Sections a and be have been adjusted to reflect that change.

     Article 41 reaffirms that the preferred means of appointment is through competition, even though the Secretary General is authorized to make direct appointments without competition to certain kinds of posts, including those to be filled by a contract for less than three years. That reaffirmation required the Secretariat to develop procedures and standards to determine when the competition requirement should be waived for a contract. Those procedures are set out in the new sections (c) and (d). Those sections provide that in the case of contracts funded by all funds, that decision will be made by the Director of the Department of Human Resources Services, based on a written request showing that the waiver of the competition is in the interest of the Secretariat and providing all other information the Director Needs to make the decision. In the case of contracts financed by the Regular Fund, the waiver will only be granted where the appropriate justification is made, the contract is for work to be performed on a special project or activity, and the contract does not begin before that project or activity, or expire after it. In the case of contracts funded by funds other than the Regular Fund, the requesting Director shall also have to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Director of Human Resource Services, that the waiver is "convenient," as required by the express language of Article 41.

     The new article (e) sets out the prohibition in Article 41 against hiring anyone under contract for more than three years without a competition, regardless of whether the contracts are consecutive or nonconsecutive. The intent of that prohibition is to prevent any person from serving under a contracts for limited time funded by the Regular Fund for a total of more than three years without being selected by competition so as to assure a more faithful application of Article 120 of the Charter.

     The remaining sections of this Rule, except for the former section (f), which is now section (h), remain unchanged. Nonetheless, they have been renumbered to reflect the addition of the new articles (d) and (e).

     Section h (formerly section (f)) has been changed to conform with the Secretary General’s decision to form two subcommittees, the sub-committee described in the document "Personnel Policy Reform with Comments from the Staff Association," GETC/FORMOEA-29/98 (22 Sept. 1998), and the Special Subcommittee created under Directive 00/1, for selecting the staff of the Secretariat to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The modification recognizes that the Secretary General, as well as the Chair, has the authority to name a sub-committee. Like its predecessor provision, it includes the President of the Staff Association, or his representative, and other staff members; however, in the proposed rule, the other staff members need not be appointed "at random". Section h also includes a more detailed procedure, with a time line, for transmitting the Subcommittee’s decisions to the Secretary General or for further review by the full Committee, at the request of the Chair or the Secretary General.

Rule 110.2 Expiration of Contract and other Non-Career Appointments

(a) All contracts for a limited time shall expire automatically, and without notice or indemnity on the expiration date specified in them, and without indemnity, except as otherwise provided under Staff Rule 110.7.

(b) The termination of a staff member's services during the probationary period is subject to the provisions of Rule 104.10.

(c) Separation from service as a result of the expiration of any contract or any other non-career appointment shall not be regarded as a termination within the meaning of the General Standards and the Staff Rules.

SECTION ANALYSIS

     Section (a) of this Rule has been modified to take into account the decision of the Permanent Council and General Assembly to provide for an indemnity upon the expiration of a contract where the contracted staff member has served under continuous contracts for a limited time for more than three years. See AG/Res. 1725 (XXX-O/00)The right to that indemnity is more fully described in Staff Rule 110.7. Prior to that decision, no indemnity was payable upon expiration of contract, regardless of years of service.

Staff Rules 110.4 and 110.7

Section Analysis

     The new texts for Staff Rules 110.4 and 110.7 have already been adopted by the Permanent Council in Resolution CP/RES. 761. All that remains to be done is to insert the approved text into the Staff Rules. Nonetheless, the new texts are reprinted below:

     Staff Rule 110.4[Last Paragraph]

    Every staff member whose services are terminated under this Rule 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.

(v)  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.

     Rule 110.7 Termination Indemnity

(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 1st, 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.

(b)  The indemnity shall be calculated on the salary on the date on which the staff member's services are terminated. For purposes of indemnity, periods of six months or more after the first year shall be considered a full year.

(c)  The amount of accumulated service shall include the total period of continuous service rendered by the staff member to the General Secretariat, whatever his type of appointment. Continuity of service shall not be considered interrupted because the staff member has had one or several periods of special leave without pay or with partial pay. However, when these periods have exceeded one month, the leave shall not be credited as time of service in calculating any indemnity; on the other hand, periods of less than one month shall not be deducted from the time of accumulated service.

(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 his services are terminated during the probationary period, in accordance with Rule 104.10;

(ii) When he resigns;

(iii) 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);

(iv) 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;

(v) When he is dismissed for serious misconduct; or

(vi) When he is retired in accordance with the provisions of the Retirement and Pension Plan.

Staff Rule 110.10(a)(i) Last Day for Pay Purposes

(a)  At the time of his separation from service, a staff member shall receive the salary, allowances, and benefits to which he is entitled in accordance with the following provisions:

(i) Upon resignation, the date shall be either the date of the expiration of the notice period or such other date as the Secretary General accepts. Staff members shall continue to perform their duties during the notice period except when the resignation takes effect upon the completion of maternity leave or following sick or special leave. During the notice period, annual leave will be granted only for brief periods, which shall in no case include the last day of service.

SECTION ANALYSIS

     In recent years, it has been convenient for both the Secretariat and the staff to allow staff members who resign to take annual leave they have accumulated or are otherwise due on their last day of employment. Thus, in the practice, the Secretariat has consistently exempted staff members from the final clause of Staff Rule 110.10(a)(i), which requires staff members who resign from service to be present at work on their final day of service. The numerous exceptions routinely granted to this provision prove that the it no longer serves a useful purpose, does not further the interests of the Secretariat, and should be eliminated.

Editorial Modifications

1.  Wherever it occurs in the Staff Rules, the term "Department of Human Resources" is hereby changed to "Department of Human Resource Services" to reflect the reorganization of the Secretariat for Management by Executive Order No. 99-4.

2.  The references to the Articles of the General Standards in these Rules is hereby changed to reflect the new numeration of those Articles resulting from the amendments to the General Standards adopted under CP/RES. 761 and AG/RES. 1725.