Geneva hosted last 22-23 February the first meeting of the ITU Council working group (WG) on Human and Financial Resources, which results from a decision made at the last Council session to merge two former WGs that focused on financial regulation and human resources management.
The discussions basically focused on a document submitted by the ITU secretariat concerning trends affecting the organisation’s members, given that in the last decade the number of sector members fell by 17 percent, resulting in a 30 percent drop in revenues. In this regard, also stressed was the implementation of a proactive strategy meant to attract more members, as well as closer contact with industry, to better understand what they expect to obtain from participation in the ITU. The fact that 90 entities currently enjoy payment exemption was also considered; there may be a need to review the conditions for granting those exemptions. It was thus decided that work must continue on this matter, with a view to deciding on eventual reforms to reorganise member contributions, advantages and categories.
The ITU's ethics official also spoke at the meeting, describing a set of training actions that stress individual responsibility for ethical behaviour.
Likewise important is a change to article 7 of the Financial Regulation which regularises an inconsistency between what is set out in that document and ITU practice. It derives from the fact that agreements made by the ITU, contrary to what is determined by the Regulation, do not envisage provisions associated to interest in case of non-payment. The agreements made clearly state that the Union will not assume any commitment until financing has been totally assured, whereby there is no need to envisage interest.
The group also examined decisions with financial impact made at the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12), with costs on the order of 1,100,000 Swiss francs (about 912,000 euros) expected. The 2012 session of the ITU Council should study efficiency mechanisms that enable implementation of those decisions.
The group's next meeting, at a still undetermined date, should review recommendations to make to the 2012 ITU Council session.