How were the revenue and expense categories chosen?
The CEB undertook at yearlong consultation with all UN organizations. The new categories for reporting revenue and expense were not imposed by the CEB. It was agreed, by consensus, that using high level revenue categories as established under IPSAS would be a more transparent and less onerous method of reporting income. Regarding expenses, there was strong agreement that any changes should reduce the burden of reporting, system-wide. Use of the categories proposed meets several needs including those of DESA (to reduce burden) and to improve transparency.
What is the difference between an assessed agency and a voluntary agency?
An agency is considered to be “assessed” when it receives funding based on a scale of assessment, as contributory units or as otherwise required in a treaty document, a Convention or other basic instrument of the organization. (Examples include the UN itself, FAO, ICAO and ITU). An agency is considered to be “voluntary” if there is no statutory requirement for any government to pledge or provide funding. Examples of voluntary organizations are UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA.
Will the DESA report be the same at the CEB Report?
The DESA report will use the CEB database for its report. However, the DESA report only focuses on the categories of expense for Development Assistance and Humanitarian Assistance. The DESA report analyses trends in these areas while the CEB report does not.
What do the expense categories mean?
Previously, expenses were reported by funding source. This approach gave the reader of the report no visibility as to the work of the UN or how the money was being spent at the agency level. All that could be compared was the size and funding envelopes of each agency. By agreeing to five major programme themes, we are able to provide more transparency to the expense data system wide.
What other improvements has the CEB made?
The CEB has also collected expense data by location which will allow for reporting (on the Web) of expenses by country and region. We are also working towards reporting, system-wide, on expenses grouped by headquarters location, regional office location and country level. The CEB works continuously to improve the reporting of financial statistics on its Web site with a view towards reducing the size of the paper report in future.
Is the CEB still collecting information manually?
No, the CEB has modernized the data collection process. Organizations are able to establish standard queries in their financial systems to feed the CEB reporting requirements. Data is transferred to the CEB as a series of Excel spreadsheets.
Why has the CEB changed the categories of reporting for revenue and expense?
With the substantial increase in bilateral funding to all organizations, the concept of a “core” Budget has become less relevant. Under RBM regimes, all revenues (and expenses) are targeted towards the goals and objectives of an organization.
How do the previous categories for revenue align to the new categories?
Generally speaking, core (or budgetary) revenues for assessed agencies reflected the total assessed contributions for a year and for voluntary agencies reflected the sum of funds received which were not specified as to their use. For both types of agencies, non-core (or extra-budgetary) revenues reflected the sum of contributions received which were specified as to use.
What about organizations such as UNCTAD, UNHCHR and UNECE?
These organizations are reported within the total revenues and expenses of the UN itself.