Introductory note. Before 1 January 1957, "salary differentials" served the same purpose as post adjustments; the latter are sometimes referred to as "duty-station adjustments".

(1) A special CCAQ session was held in March 1957 (CO-ORDINATION/R.244) at which agreement was reached as regards the new system of post adjustments, which replaced the old "differentials" system, on guiding principles and procedure for fixing and altering post adjustments. The agreement, which forms Annex I to the above document, dealt with:

(i) initial adjustments at headquarters areas (para. 2.3 of Annex). These were being established by legislative action and a cost-of-living basis existed in all these areas for continuing administration of the system;

(ii) initial adjustments at field stations (paras. 4-18 of Annex). For these, the base was Geneva as of January 1956. To establish the initial adjustment for an area, the level of the cost-of-living in that area on the date of implementation of the new system (1 January 1957) was to be compared with the cost of living in Geneva as of January 1956. Existing ratios established on the New York May 1950 basis were to be converted to the new base (paras. 4-6 of Annex). For duty stations for which no ratios existed, para. 7 indicated the type of information which could be used in establishing the ratios, pending the implementation of surveys, the ratios in these cases to be fixed according to principles stated in paras. 8-10 of the Annex. The methods whereby changes in local price levels could be followed were dealt with in paras. 11-18 of the Annex;

(iii) review and revision of post adjustments: changes in the classification of headquarters areas being the subject of legislative action, this part of the Annex (paras. 19-29) covered only field stations. The agreement was to adopt a quarterly review arrangement on a provisional basis (para. 21 of the Annex). Subsequent paragraphs outlined the procedure to be followed in applying the quarterly system to stations for which a national monthly price index existed (para. 22 of the Annex), for stations where a periodic survey system existed (para. 23 of the Annex) and for other stations (para. 24 of the Annex). The UN Office of the Controller was to serve as the co-ordinating agency to receive cost-of-living survey reports and to obtain agreement among the organizations as to further action (paras. 27-28 of the Annex). CCAQ was to review annually post adjustments (para. 29).

(2) Agreement was also reached at the special session that:

(i) ACC, after consultation with ICSAB (report in CO-ORDINATION/R.262), should appoint an Expert Committee on Post Adjustments (ECPA) of three members(1) to make recommendations on the general administration of the post adjustment system and, where required, on the classification of duty stations;

(ii) arrangements for statistical work in connexion with post adjustment determination should be as set out in Annex II to the report. UN and ILO would be responsible for planning and carrying out all aspects of the statistical work, and the agreement determined the respective functions of the two organizations, the methods of procedure in determining price levels, etc.;

(iii) payment of post adjustments at the dependency rate should follow the basis of para. 21 of the report. UN made a reservation as regards regular staff assigned to missions (para. 22 of Annex).

(3) At the 19th session (March 1958: CO-ORDINATION/R.264, paras. 19, 20, 33 and 74) the Committee confirmed the principle that very small duty stations were to be classified at the base level in the absence of information to the contrary. It also proposed an amplification of the terms of reference of ECPA (see para. (2) above and paras. 20 and 33 of CO-ORDINATION/R.164).

(4) At the 20th session (April 1959: CO-ORDINATION/R.295, para. 9), regarding the classification of Geneva by WHO and ILO in Class 2 as at 1 January 1957, the Committee noted the subsequent developments and assumed that no action by it was now called for as regards para. 39 of UN General Assembly resolution 1221(XII), referred by ACC to CCAQ for study.

It also proposed that the membership of ECPA (see para. (2) above) be revised to provide for six full members in lieu of three full and three alternate members.

(5) Also at the 20th session (CO-ORDINATION/R.295) CCAQ noted that the decision of WHO Executive Board, taken in January 1959, "that as from 1 February 1959 minus post adjustments are to be suspended", was directly related to other elements of the system of remuneration under examination (review of post adjustment system, study of basic salary system) and decided to return to this matter at its next session.

(6) At the first part of the 21st session (April 1960: CO-ORDINATION/R.325, paras. 86-88) CCAQ agreed that arrangements for cost-of-living surveys were not adequate to deal with the large number of duty stations requiring continuous review. UN was asked to make proposals for an expansion of survey activity, taking into account the willingness of other organizations to share in the cost of additional staff if needed.

(7) At the second part of the 21st session (July/August 1960: CO-ORDINATION/R.336, para. 17) CCAQ decided that ECPA should be asked to examine the table of post adjustments, with particular reference to the element of regression. At the first part of the 22nd session (January and March 1961: CO-ORDINATION/R.351, para. 12) it was decided to inform ECPA fully about the salary review.

(8) Also at the 22nd session (first part) (CO-ORDINATION/R.351, para. 39) the Committee agreed that to speed up future review of post classifications:

(i) CCAQ would make a semi-annual review based on a report circulated in advance by UN Controller;

(ii) where a change was needed between these reviews, on the basis of cost-of-living surveys carried out by UN or ILO Statistical Offices, UN would announce the change and its effective date without prior consultation with the agencies, if there were no complications;

(iii) in complicated cases - as in a downward change due to currency revaluation - UN would use its discretion in deciding whether to consult the agencies, or at least those directly concerned.

UN agreed to consult ICAO in advance when any change affecting Bangkok, Cairo, Lima or Mexico City was contemplated.

(9) In consequence of the ICSAB proposal (see section 4.2.3) for new salary scales which would consolidate part of the existing post adjustments from l January 1962, and following an ECPA report of 1961 on the question of regression in the post adjustment table, CCAQ at a special meeting in July 1961 (CO-ORDINATION/R.373, para. 7) worked out a new table of adjustments, for application from 1 January 1962 if the new scales were adopted. Instead of being lump sums by grade, the new amounts varied by step: there was some regression as between lower and higher salary levels, but the amount of adjustment for any grade and step was the same for each 5 per cent cost-of-living difference - see UN document A/4823.

(10) At the second part of the 22nd session (July 1961: CO-ORDINATION/R.373, para. 23) CCAQ agreed that the study of post classifications in West Africa should take the form of "a rapid survey taking into account available statistical and other data", to be undertaken by UN. Results should be available for the semi-annual review.

(11) At the 23rd session (1962: CO-ORDINATION/R.391, paras. 37-42) CCAQ agreed that, in principle, the effective date of change should be the first day of the month following the date on which the average (over the required number of months) of the index figures reached the required figure.

For areas away from headquarters, where an index figure was not available every month, but only for specific dates, CCAQ thought that classification changes should be based on the single index figure. Such changes, when announced after the first of a month, should as a general rule be effective on the first of a month.

ECPA should be asked to study the effective date in cases where an index figure became available only some months after the month to which it related, since certain organizations would have difficulty if classification changes had to be retroactive.

(12) CCAQ noted that ECPA had been asked to examine the requirement that changes be based on a "nine-months average" index figure. There was general agreement that a shorter period would be reasonable. ECPA subsequently proposed that the nine-months average system should be replaced by a system under which changes would be made when the appropriate index had reached the required level and remained at or beyond that level for four consecutive months. The ECPA report is ECPA/S.4/11. Certain ACC observations on this report are at Appendix B, CO-ORDINATION/R.430. The UN General Assembly in 1962 failed to act on a proposal to adopt the proposed four-months rule.

(13) Also at the 23rd session (March 1962: CO-ORDINATION/R.391, para. 41) CCAQ reviewed the programme of cost-of-living surveys, and certain difficulties encountered in the post adjustment system. It agreed (CO-ORDINATION/R.391, para. 91) that among the items to which ECPA should be asked to give priority in 1963 were those of:

(i) action following currency revaluations, and problems arising from black markets, etc. in currency;

(ii) areas where some staff had cheap and other staff very dear housing;

(iii) minus adjustments;

(iv) differentiation between capital cities and outlying stations.

(14) UN was asked to prepare a detailed statement, for clearance by correspondence, showing what was the base date for the post adjustment system after the introduction of the new consolidated salary scales on 1 January 1962.

(15) At the 24th session (March 1963: CO-ORDINATION/R.430, paras. 28-32) CCAQ noted that, on the introduction of the new consolidated salary scales on 1 January 1962, all post adjustment indices, on the Geneva base of January 1956, were adjusted by a factor of 100 over 110. The new Geneva base date for the post adjustment system would therefore be the date when the index for Geneva reached 110 on the old base, namely, April 1960. It was agreed, therefore, that the new base of the salary system became Geneva in April 1960 as 100, at 4.34 Swiss francs to the United States dollar.

(16) Also at the 24th session, it was agreed that the proposed "four-months rule" (see para. (12) above) was still desirable. Approval for it had been given in ILO, UNESCO, FAO and WHO, but implementation was dependent upon action by UN General Assembly, which would again be sought at the eighteenth session (1963). Under the four-months rule, a post adjustment change would be due as from the beginning of the month following the four consecutive months during which the index was at or beyond the required five-point level.

(17) At its 26th session (1965: CO-ORDINATION/R.488, paras. 32-33) CCAQ agreed that as an experiment in 1965 a simplified procedure should be followed for determining post adjustments in offices where there were very few staff. This consisted of limiting the collection of prices to selected items of food and miscellaneous expenses, together with rents paid by staff members and perhaps rents of typical housing in the area concerned.

(18) At its 27th session (1966: CO-ORDINATION/R.532, paras. 40-43) CCAQ agreed that the membership of ECPA should remain at six, and that there would be advantage if a member of ICSAB were also a member of ECPA. It agreed also that ECPA should be asked to study the treatment of costs of owner-occupied housing in the rental component of post adjustment indices. It noted that ECPA would be asked to record the new index figures for headquarters duty stations on 1 January 1966, following the revision of salaries and the rebasing of the Geneva index (ECPA conclusions on these figures are in ECPA/S.8/11; they were accepted by ACC - see Annex C, CO-ORDINATION/R.604).

(19) It was also agreed (CO-ORDINATION/R.532, para. 48) at the 27th session that in future the cost-of-living survey programme could be dealt with by correspondence and would not appear on the CCAQ agenda unless there was need to discuss questions of a general nature.

(20) At its 28th session (March 1967: CO-ORDINATION/R.604, paras. 37-41) CCAQ agreed:

(a) that ACC statements on ECPA reports, which were usually agreed by correspondence, should be transmitted by ACC secretariat to the Secretary of ECPA, who would send copies to all organizations (Annex D, CO-ORDINATION/R.604);

(b) that where a cost-of-living survey indicated that the current post adjustment classification of a duty station (established on the basis of a previous survey) should be lowered, although there had been no change in factors affecting cost of living (for example, where the conclusion of the later survey, indicating the lower post adjustment index, stemmed from the use of more refined methods of calculating and treating cost-of-living data) the classification should not be lowered immediately, but should remain unchanged until such time as increases in the new cost-of-living index caught up with the "old" figure. ICAO reserved its position.

(21) At the same session CCAQ discussed (CO-ORDINATION/R.604, para. 41), the method of operation of ECPA. It noted that CCAQ seldom had an opportunity to review the papers to be submitted to ECPA. In so far as these were purely technical, statistical papers review was probably unnecessary, but CCAQ had observed that the papers sometimes made suggestions - as did ECPA reports - on points which were partly administrative in nature. Where this was so, CCAQ believed it to be essential that the organizations should have an opportunity to comment before ECPA reached its conclusions. CCAQ suggested that consideration be given to the possibility that ECPA should meet either immediately after CCAQ or immediately after ICSAB sessions, and in the same place. CCAQ members present at the session concerned could then review the papers, make any comments which seemed desirable, and if necessary appoint a spokesman or spokesmen to make representations to ECPA.

(22) At its 29th session (March 1968: CO-ORDINATION/R.669, para. 37) CCAQ agreed the text of an ACC statement (CO-ORDINATION/R.669, Annex F) on the report of the 9th session of ECPA. Most organizations concurred in ECPA's conclusion that there was inadequate justification for attempting to include data on house ownership in cost-of-living comparisons.

(23) At its 30th session (March 1969: CO-ORDINATION/R.733, para. 29) CCAQ agreed that although cost-of-living survey reports were not for general distribution to staff, there was no objection to permitting the responsible official making the reports available to staff who wished to see them.

(24) At its 11th session (April 1969: ECPA/S.11/15) ECPA recommended that from 1 May 1969 post adjustment indices should be published as whole numbers though calculated to the first place of decimals. Fractions of 0.5 or less (the second decimal place being ignored) should be rounded down; fractions of 0.6 or more should be rounded up. ACC accepted this recommendation provisionally pending further study of certain points.

(25) At its 31st session (March 1970: CO-ORDINATION/R.798, para. 34) CCAQ agreed that the ECPA recommendation that published indices should be in whole numbers was sound and required no additional safeguards.

(26) At the same session (March 1970: CO-ORDINATION/R.798, para. 36) CCAQ agreed to ask ECPA to review the justification for the four-months rule. ECPA, after making the review, advised that no change should be made (see ECPA/ S.12/9, paras. 47-53). CCAQ also agreed to seek ECPA's advice on the method of applying the four-months rule on the occasion of consolidating post adjustment into base salary. ECPA in due course recommended (see ECPA/S.12/9, para. 46) that:

"On the occasion of the consolidation of post adjustment into the base salary in the future, two principles should be observed. Firstly, where a four-months waiting period has been inaugurated in terms of the pre-consolidation index, that index should be used to determine the date of completion of that four months waiting period. In all other cases, the recalculated index should be used for purposes of fixing the new post classification under the four-months rule. Secondly, the reduction in post classification when the new base salary comes into effect for any duty station should not normally exceed the number of post adjustment classes consolidated into the base salary, assuming there has been no change in the payroll rate of exchange."

(27) ACC's statement on the report of the 11th session of ECPA (1969) is at Annex D, CO-ORDINATION/R.798.

(28) ACC's statement on the report of the 12th session of ECPA (1970) is at Annex F, CO-ORDINATION/R.863.

(29) At its 13th session (May 1971: ECPA/S.13/ll, paras. 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 47) ECPA expressed the view that the special index continued to be appropriate for the measurement of living costs of international staff in Geneva and the CPI index continued to be appropriate in New York. ECPA asked for additional data to allow it to appraise (a) suitable methods of calculation of medical care components; (b) whether the assumption was well-founded that non-respondents to rental surveys were likely to be those whose rents had not changed; (c) the use of car rental costs as an indicator of the costs of motor vehicles purchased by staff at different duty stations.

(30) Also at its 13th session (May 1971: ECPA/S.13/11, para. 39) ECPA recommended a method of applying the "four-months" rule when currency value was changed at infrequent intervals, and another method applicable when changes were frequent or when the currency rates were "floating".

(31) At its 13th session (1971: ECPA/S.13/11) and at a special session in January 1971 (ECPA/SPECIAL/4), ECPA made new recommendations for dealing with the effect upon remuneration of currency revaluations and devaluations. These involved the introduction in certain circumstances of partial post adjustments. CCAQ at its 35th session (March 1971: CO-ORDINATION/R.931, paras. 8-10 and Annex D), recommended, and ACC at its 56th session agreed on, acceptance of the recommendations on the understanding that the whole matter would be re-examined in the light of any changes in the post adjustment system resulting from the report of the Special Committee for the Review of the Salary System. IAEA reserved its position.

(32) The Special Committee (see section 2.2) made no recommendation on the subject of partial post adjustments, which continued to be applied. CCAQ agreed at its 37th session (March 1973: CO-ORDINATION/R.984, paras. 11-12) that, as recommended by ECPA, the system would have its main application in HQ areas, and that many field duty stations would have to be dealt with by review of all the circumstances involved. It also agreed to ask ECPA to study further the effect of exchange variations on out-of-area expenditure.

(33) ACC's statement on the 14th session of ECPA is at Annex C, CO-ORDINATION/R.984, (subject to amendment in line 1 of para. 7 - substitute "after considering" for "acting on").

(34) In its statement on the 15th session of ECPA (CO-ORDINATION/R.1031, Annex C), ACC concurred in the ECPA conclusion that simultaneously with the incorporation of additional classes of post adjustment into base salaries on 1 January 1974, the statistical base of the system should be moved to New York. Since 5 classes were incorporated, the new base of 100 for the post adjustment system became the cost-of-living level in New York in December 1969.

(35) In this same statement ACC expressed its continuing concern for the problem of out-of-area expenditures of field staff. ECPA gave further attention to the matter at its 16th session in 1974, based on additional data and suggestions from UN, but was unable to recommend any solution within the context of the post adjustment system (ECPA/S.16/13).

(36) ACC's statement on the 16th session of ECPA in 1974 (CCAQ/SEC/336(PER), Annex C) noted and accepted an adjustment in the Geneva Special Index to reflect the correct treatment of out-of-area expenditures, particularly when revisions are necessary as a result of changes in the exchange rate.

(37) Both ECPA, at its 16th session, and ICSAB, at its 22nd session, suggested to ACC that additional classes of post adjustment be incorporated into base pay on the occasion of the proposed revision of base scales on 1 January 1975 (see section 2.2, para.(7)).

(38) ECPA, at the same session recommended (and ACC accepted) two minor changes in the procedure for applying fractional post adjustments: (1) rounding of decimal index figures as for full class adjustments; and (2) accumulation of points for fractional adjustments.

(39) ECPA again at its 16th session expressed doubts as to the utility or desirability of reducing the 4-month waiting period for post adjustment changes but ICSAB at its 22nd session nevertheless urged a reduction in the waiting period in view of the very rapid rates of inflation being experienced. ACC in consequence proposed to reduce the period to three months (CCAQ/SEC/336(PER), Annex C).

(40) At its 41st session (March 1975), CCAQ reviewed the report of the resumed 16th session of ECPA on the subject of the Geneva index. CCAQ agreed that the ECPA recommendation for a correction (2.5% reduction) in the index should be implemented gradually over a period of 12 months beginning with the next available index figure (February 1975), (CO-ORDINATION/R.1087, paras. 42-44). However, ACC did not accept the CCAQ conclusion and no adjustment was made at that time, (CO-ORDINATION/R.1115, paras. 12-13). The matter came within the purview of ICSC as from its creation and that body requested its Chairman to take action to adjust the Geneva index at such time and in such manner as he deemed appropriate. This was done on 1 January 1976 (ICSC/R.23, para. 46).

(41) At the same session, CCAQ considered proposals by FAO and ILO respectively (a) to make post adjustment changes retroactive and (b) to delegate more authority to Resident Representatives for administration of the post adjustment system. CCAQ did not consider that it would be wise, or on the whole beneficial to staff, to make post adjustment changes retroactive. With the increased frequency of surveys at field duty stations there should be no undue delays in adjusting post adjustment classes there. It would not be desirable or practical to give effect to the ILO proposal (CO-ORDINATION/R.1087, paras. 48-50).

(42) As a result of the creation of the International Civil Service Commission (see section l.6) ECPA ceased to exist as at 31 December 1975. The ICSC, however, recommended to the General Assembly at its 30th session that a subsidiary body to the Commission, similar in composition and function to ECPA, be established (A/31/30, para. 10) and the Assembly so approved. In the interim, the members of what had been ECPA served as consultants to the Commission, as suggested by CCAQ (CO-ORDINATION/R.1087, para. 45).

(43) At the request of ACC, CCAQ(PER) met in a resumed 41st session in May 1975 to consider what urgent amendment to the post adjustment system could be proposed which would bring some relief to staff in areas particularly affected by currency revaluations. After examining several proposals, CCAQ recommended an interim supplemental post adjustment amount for staff without dependants at duty stations in classes above 4 (CO-ORDINATION/R.1103, paras. 10-36). ACC endorsed this to ICSC which accepted the idea but put it forward to the General Assembly in a more restrictive form (smaller amounts and only above class 7), (General Assembly, Official Records: Thirtieth session, Supplement No. 30 A.10030, para. 64). In that form it was approved by the General Assembly for application as from 1 January 1976.

(44) Also at the request of ACC, CCAQ at its 41st session examined and reported on the technical aspects of possible consolidation into base pay of additional classes of post adjustment, (CO-ORDINATION/R.1103, paras. 37-44). CCAQ considered these to be adverse and ACC, at its subsequent meeting in July 1975, decided not to pursue the matter for the time being.

(45) In a document on remuneration for the Professional category agreed by CCAQ at its Special Session No. 1 (January 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1133, para. 5 and Add.2) for presentation to ICSC (later cleared by correspondence), ACC made a number of proposals, including revised post adjustment rates and a reduction from four to three months in the waiting period for changes of post adjustment class.

(46) At its 3rd session (March 1976: ICSC/R.42, para. 39), in the course of its continuing review of the UN salary system, ICSC reached some tentative conclusions on the post adjustment system; draft ACC comments on these tentative conclusions were adopted by CCAQ at its resumed 43rd session (April 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1162/Add.l).

(47) At its 3rd session (ICSC/R.42, paras. 67-69) ICSC also established the Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions (ACPAQ), a subsidiary expert body of six members. Its terms of reference would be to make recommendations to the Commission on the general administration of the post adjustment system (particularly on questions of statistical methodology) and on the post adjustment indices appropriate for headquarters locations and - when so requested - field locations; and to advise the Commission on other post adjustment matters (see also UN document A/31/30, para. 10). The Chairman would be a member of the Commission.

(48) At its resumed 43rd session (April 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1162, para. 9), CCAQ approved a single percentage scale of post adjustment values developed jointly by the CCAQ and ICSC secretariats. The Committee also recommended to ACC the endorsement of the consolidation of four classes of post adjustment, concurrent with the proposed changes in the pay system (para. 12).

(49) However, at its 44th session (June/July 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1168, paras. 6-8) CCAQ agreed that its Chairman should suggest to ICSC the possible consolidation of five classes rather than four, in view of recent movements of the WAPA index. At the same session (CO-ORDINATION/R.1168, paras. l2 and 13) it accepted the validity of a proposal made in ICSC for a revised procedure of consolidation (ICSC/CRP.47/Rev.l).

(50) Also at its 44th session (CO-ORDINATION/R.1168, paras. 20-23) CCAQ gave attention to the transitional measures that might be required by the proposed reforms to the staff assessment scheme and the post adjustment system (see section 2.1, para. (10)).

(51) At the same session (CO-ORDINATION/R.1168, para. 25) CCAQ reaffirmed ACC's position in favour of reducing the waiting period from four months to three (see para. (45) above) but alternatively proposed that ICSC might deal with such situations on a discretionary basis. CCAQ also agreed (ibid., para. 26) to support the application of a four per cent rate for minus post adjustments.

(52) In its second annual report (1976 - UN document A/31/30, paras. 204-210) and on the basis of its review of the UN salary system, ICSC concluded that the staff assessment scheme - and not the post adjustment system - should be used for differentiating overall net remuneration of staff members with and without dependants. Equality of purchasing power should be maintained at all classes of post adjustment through post adjustment rates which should be, at each grade and step, a uniform percentage of net salary for staff with and without dependants (para. 211).

(53) The Commission further concluded (paras. 62 and 218) that the rate of post adjustment applied in minus classes should be four per cent of salary per class at all salary levels. It found "no convincing grounds" for a general reduction of the four-month waiting period.

(54) It recommended (A/31/30, Addendum) that five classes of post adjustment should be consolidated into base salary to restore pensionable remuneration to its normal par relationship to gross salary on 1 January 1977. In resolution 31/141 of 17 December 1976, the General Assembly decided to consolidate five classes, and to change the base of the post adjustment system to New York at 100 as at November 1973. ICSC also recommended revised post adjustment rates to enter into force from 1 January 1977 (paras. 67, 236 and 247 and Annexes VII and VIII). These were approved by the Assembly in resolution 31/141.

(55) ACC's comments on the Commission's report (CO-ORDINATION/R.1176, Annex III), adopted in draft form by CCAQ at its resumed 44th session (September 1976), were cleared by correspondence.

(56) A revised method of calculating the WAPA index was agreed by CCAQ at its 46th session (January 1977: CO-ORDINATION/R.1203, paras. 12-14).

(57) In its report to the Commission's 6th session (July 1977: ICSC/R.88), ACPAQ dealt with the implications of basing changes in post adjustment on index movements of 5 per cent rather than 5 points. At its 6th session, ICSC recommended a change to the 5 per cent formula from 1 July 1978, and a revised schedule of post adjustments to take into account that change (UN document A/32/30, paras. 45-57 and Annex II B). For CCAQ's views on policy issues raised by the ACPAQ report, see CO-ORDINATION/R.1237, paras. 23-26.

(58) At the second part of its 47th session (October 1977: CO-ORDINATION/R.1237/Add.l, paras. 3, 4 and Annex II), CCAQ adopted draft ACC comments on the recommended change in the post adjustment system (issued in final form as UN document A/32/362, paras. 3-11). Its conclusion was that the intended refinements would be offset by its drawbacks, the latter including its effects on the adjustment of pensions in payment, a subject which was still under study.

(59) The General Assembly adopted the Commission's recommendations (resolution 31/200 of 21 December 1977).

(60) For CCAQ's views on a number of policy issues raised by ACPAQ in its report to the 8th session of the Commission (ICSC/R.120), see CO-ORDINATION/R.1294, para. 43.

(61) At its 49th session (July 1978: CO-ORDINATION/R.1294, para. 42) CCAQ endorsed the Commission's conclusion that any attempt to modify the post adjustment system in order to prevent an undue widening of the margin between UN pay and that of the comparator civil service would introduce unnecessary complications into that system (ICSC/R.121).

(62) At its 12th session (July 1980) ICSC decided to recommend to the General Assembly that 30 points of post adjustment be incorporated into base salary (6th annual report, A/35/30, paras. 95-102). The General Assembly approved the recommendation, effective 1 January 1981.

(63) Beginning at its 11th session (March 1980) ICSC undertook a review of the functioning of the post adjustment system. It agreed to take a step by step approach, beginning with a description of the principles, purposes and present operation of the system. It set up a working group of ACPAQ to undertake studies aimed at improving the methodology for cost-of-living measurement.

(64) The General Assembly was provided with the description of the principles, purposes and operation of the system at its 35th session (A/35/30) (1980).

(65) At its 14th session (July 1981), ICSC approved a revised cost-of-living survey methodology.

(66) At its 16th session (July 1982), ICSC approved a recommendation of ACPAQ that in countries where local currency appreciation had taken place since the last place-to-place survey a remuneration correction factor should be applied. The post adjustment multipliers of affected duty stations would be adjusted effective 1 August 1982 (6th annual report, A/37/30, para. 145). (For CCAQ's views on this issue see ACC/1982/23, para. 22.) The Commission decided, two years later, that these adjustments would cease to be made as of 1 August 1984 (A.39/30, para. 170).

(67) At its 60th session (March 1984: ACC/1984/9, paras. 22-28), CCAQ prepared its position concerning a series of questions posed by the ICSC secretariat, the answer to which would assist the Commission in deciding whether to recommend to the General Assembly the consolidation into net base salaries of a certain number of points of post adjustment. After further study by CCAQ at its 61st session (July 1984: ACC/1984/16, paras. 13-17) the Commission eventually recommended the consolidation of 20 multiplier points of post adjustment (A/39/30, para. 137 and annexes III, IV, V) which was approved by the General Assembly effective 1 January 1985 (resolution 39/27, 4).

(68) ICSC considered the final results of place-to-place surveys which had been carried out in 1982 and 1983 in the headquarters duty stations and Washington at its 20th session (July 1984). It decided to adjust the index of New York, the base of the post adjustment system, upward by 9.6%, and to make consequential adjustments to the indices in the other duty stations (A/39/30, para. 165). ACC, in a statement to the 20th session of ICSC, urged full and immediate implementation of the results of the surveys.

(69) At a special session (October 1984: ACC/1984/22, paras. 8-9) CCAQ considered a report by two members of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU/REP/84/12) which called into question the level of remuneration of staff in the Professional and higher categories, and in particular queried the justification for the increase of 9.6% in the post adjustment in New York, which would have the effect of increasing the margin of UN over US pay. CCAQ prepared a statement for ACC to make to the General Assembly on the JIU report (Annex IV). (See also section 2.2, paras. (2) and (30)).

70) As a consequence of the upward adjustment of the post adjustment index by 9.6 per cent in New York, an increase of one class of post adjustment was granted in New York effective 1 August 1984. Similar adjustments became effective in duty stations where results of the place-to-place surveys called for increases. A second class was envisaged for New York on 1 December 1984, reflecting cost-of-living increase of 0.4%; on 30 November 1984, the General Assembly requested the Commission to take the necessary measures to suspend implementation of the increase in post adjustment for New York envisaged for December 1984, pending action by the General Assembly on the definition of the margin (resolution 39/27, 1(c)). The Chairman of the Commission decided to suspend implementation of post adjustment class 12 pending further consideration by the Commission. After consolidation of 20 multiplier points (para. 67 above) effective 1 January 1985, the post adjustment level in New York became class 7 and 2 points, or 43 multiplier points.

(71) At its 21st session (March 1985) the Commission agreed to recommend a range for the margin (10 to 20 percent above the comparator) with a desirable mid-point of 15 percent. The Commission also made proposals concerning the modalities of operation of the post adjustment system within the margin range (A/40/30, paras. 120-126). (See also section 2.2, para. 32).

(72) An additional class of post adjustment would normally have become due in New York effective 1 December 1985. It was also suspended, the level of the margin still exceeding the desirable mid-point of the margin range.

(73) Six staff members filed a case in the Administrative Tribunal of the United Nations in order to rescind the decision of the Secretary-General not to implement the post adjustment increase in December 1984. The Tribunal concluded on 9 June 1986 that the Commission's decision conveyed in the Chairman's cable of 11 December 1984 had no legal force because the requirements of rule 32 of the ICSC rules of procedure had not been complied with, but that the confirmation by ICSC at its session in March 1985 must be regarded as ratification by the Commission of the Chairman's decision of 11 December 1984 (UN Administrative Tribunal Judgment No. 370).

(74) At its 63rd session (July 1985), CCAQ endorsed the thrust of a proposal by ACPAQ that the freeze of post adjustment in duty stations other than New York should not apply at duty stations where the dollar remuneration of UN officials was below a certain percentage of the New York level of remuneration. The Committee believed, however, that the actual threshold percentage should be reviewed in the light of another proposal by ACPAQ for the establishment of a post adjustment floor in low and negative post adjustment duty stations (ACC/1985/14, paras. 17 and 18). The Commission did not accept the first of ACPAQ's proposals (A/40/30, paras. 138-9); with regard to the second, it requested ACPAQ to continue its study of the matter on a priority basis. The need for interim measures would be reviewed at the Commission's 23rd (March 1986) session (ibid., para. 140).

(75) The question of a post adjustment floor was again reviewed at CCAQ's 64th session (March 1986), when the Committee favoured a solution whereby remuneration outside New York should be no less than 60 percent of that applicable at the base city (ACC/1986/3, paras. 24-26). ICSC, at its 23rd session, requested ACPAQ to study the matter further, with a view to reaching a cost-neutral solution.

(76) At its 24th session (July 1986), the Commission decided on an approach proposed by ACPAQ designed to dampen extreme post adjustment levels, whereby the post adjustment index would consist of 3 separate elements : a) in-area portion, b) out-of-area portion; including 5 percent non-consumption expenditure and c) pension contribution portion. This decision was to be implemented with effect from 1 January 1987 (A/41/30, paras. 121-124).

(77) At its 24th session, ICSC also approved changes in the methodology for cost-of-living surveys, (A/41/30, para. 119 and ICSC/24/R.22, Annex III), based on recommendations by ACPAQ, which had reviewed the matter on the basis of a report by a tripartite working group. It furthermore approved the procedures relating to access to cost-of-living survey data and the consultation process between the secretariat of ICSC and the organizations and staff (ICSC/24/R.22, paras. 36-39).

(78) At its 24th session, the Commission also approved the application of a refined remuneration correction factor (see also para. (66) above), based on proposals by CCAQ at its 65th session (July 1986: ACC/1986/10, para. 22 and Annex III and Corr.1). This should be applied on an interim basis, with effect from 1 September 1986, at the six headquarters duty stations other than New York, as well as in

European countries with fully convertible currencies and in Japan (A/41/30, paras. 125-127). ACPAQ was requested to continue its study of the question of the separation of the effects of inflation and currency fluctuations in the post adjustment system with a view to the development of a long-term universal solution.

(79) Finally, at its 24th session, the Commission endorsed an ACPAQ recommendation that at duty stations where special measures had been applied but where post-devaluation inflation had been lower than expected, a part of the benefit provided by the special measures should be eliminated (A/41/30, para. 129).

(80) At its 25th session (March 1987: ICSC/25/R.18, paras. 85-87), the Commission endorsed proposals made by CCAQ making provision for a floor for the payment of net take-home pay in local currency. As from 1 April 1987, take-home pay would not fall below the level corresponding to the application of the exchange rate at the time of the last place-to-place survey minus 20 per cent. This temporary solution (April-August 1987) was extended by the Commission at its 26th session (ICSC/26/R.25, paras. 52-57), pending study of a long-term solution by a tripartite working group which would report to ICSC at its spring 1988 session. At the same time, the Commission decided that the currency fluctuation protection scheme should be modified to include a 20 per cent ceiling. The Commission also approved a revised methodology recommended by ACPAQ for computing the out-of-area price progression factor, as well as other recommendations of ACPAQ concerning revisions to the cost-of-living methodology (ibid, para. 43), and refinements in the special measures for high inflation, continuous and steady devaluation and abrupt and substantial devaluation (ibid, para. 60). On the basis of a study by ACPAQ, in response to a request by the General Assembly in resolution 40/244, ICSC concluded that post adjustment should be maintained, for the time being, at the base city, and so recommended to the General Assembly.

(81) Also at its 26th session, ICSC recommended, on the basis of proposals by CCAQ and by its own secretariat, measures designed to provide interim relief at duty stations with low and negative post adjustment classifications. These measures would take effect from 1 January 1988, pending a comprehensive review in 1988 of conditions of service in the field (see 10.1, para. (16)). The General Assembly approved these measures for application in 1988 and 1989, recognizing that this would not constitute an acquired right.

(82) At both its 68th and 69th sessions (February-March and July 1988), CCAQ looked at proposed measures to improve the operation of the post adjustment system across the board. It concurred with most of the recommendations on this subject arising from the 13th session of ACPAQ and, in particular, it urged approval with immediate effect of the recommendations of its working group on currency fluctuations. It did not support the recommendation that the periodicity of full place-to-place surveys be ten years rather than six (ICSC later decided on eight) and was concerned at ACPAQ's recommendation to reduce post adjustment classifications at duty stations where a survey produced a result substantially lower than the existing notional index. CCAQ also strongly supported the recommendations on Remuneration Correction Factor (RCF) and on floor protection and asked ICSC to review the decision to remove RCF protection as from the date of the survey results at Dakar, and to defer the surveys planned for Vienna and Geneva (autumn 1988) because of more pressing needs (ACC/1988/4, paras. 38-43; ACC/1988/12, paras. 33-39).

(83) The Commission reviewed these issues at its 28th session (July 1988) and took a series of decisions on (a) overall review of the post adjustment system; (b) cost-of-living methodology; (c) the effects of inflation and currency factors on the post adjustment system; and (d) the results of cost-of-living surveys in London, Montreal, Paris, Rome and Washington, DC (it approved the survey results for implementation as at 1 August 1988). Details of these decisions are spelled out in the Commission's report (A/43/30, paras. 32-43).

(84) At its special (1989) session (January: ACC/1989/2, para. 20), CCAQ agreed to a change in the procedure applied for the nomination of members of ACPAQ. Organizations with candidates to propose should send their names to the CCAQ secretariat, which would circulate them to organizations with a view to agreeing on a candidate or candidates.

(85) At the same session the Committee reviewed the implications of General Assembly resolution 43/226, which provided for the use of an average of successive yearly margins to manage the New York-Washington remuneration margin, and further stipulated that as an interim measure no two successive classes of post adjustment should be granted in New York within four months of one another (ACC/1989/2, paras. 15-17).

(86) The post adjustment system figured prominently in the comprehensive review undertaken by ICSC in 1989 of the conditions of service of staff in the Professional and higher categories, as called for by the General Assembly in its resolution 42/221. The working group set up by the Commission recommended a substantially revised and simplified system, major features of which were the elimination of regressivity and of the need for special measures to deal with high inflation and exceptional currency fluctuations (ICSC/30/R.4/Add.5). This proposal was strongly supported by CCAQ at its 71st session (July-August 1989: ACC/1989/14, paras. 54-56 and 122, 123), and almost all of its elements were subsequently adopted by ICSC or recommended by it to the General Assembly (A/44/30, paras. 41-51; for the background to the Commission's decisions, see paras. 198-266).

(87) The Assembly accepted most of the Commission's recommendations, but asked it to reconsider its decision that changes in post adjustment/cost-of-living allowances arising from cost-of-living changes should be granted at headquarters and other European and North American duty stations after a full 5 per cent movement or after a 12-month lapse since the last change, whichever came first (A/44/30, vol. II, para. 250 (a)). It went on to confirm that until surveys were carried out in locations where the index reflected in the post adjustment multipliers exceeded the post adjustment index, net remuneration would continue to be adjusted only to reflect currency fluctuations until the reverse relation applied. It instructed the Commission to complete as soon as possible a round of place-to-place surveys using the new methodology. The Assembly took no action on a Commission recommendation that the four-month waiting period between the granting of successive classes of post adjustment for New York (Assembly resolution 43/226; see para. (85) above) should be discontinued (for details, see the text of resolution 44/198).

(88) In 1990 the Commission, as requested by the Assembly, reconsidered the decision in paragraph 250(a) referred to in (87) above. It decided, with CCAQ support (72nd session: ACC/1990/4, paras. 32, 33; ACC/1990/10, paras. 21, 22) to reiterate that decision (A/45/30, para. 134).

(89) At both its 72nd and 73rd sessions (February-March and July 1990: ACC/1990/4, paras. 32, 34 and 35; ACC/1990/10, paras. 23-25) CCAQ reviewed proposals under discussion in ICSC to deal with significant differences between post adjustment indices and actual multipliers after implementation of a place-to-place survey (as requested in General Assembly resolution 44/198 D, para. 6). It supported the procedure eventually adopted by the Commission, which provides for a phased reduction of the differences by the elimination of one class of post adjustment at fixed intervals depending on the magnitude of the difference; where the latter is only one post adjustment class or less, the normal operation of the system should continue (for details see the Commission's report (A/45/30), para. 141).

(90) In the light of the comprehensive review referred to in (86) above, CCAQ at its 72nd session (ACC/1990/4, para. 64) considered the practice followed by some organizations of continuing payment, for a specified period, of the post adjustment classification of the previous duty station when a staff member was assigned to another with a lower post adjustment, but his family did not move there with him. It concluded that for the time being such arrangements should be left in place.

(91) At its 72nd and 73rd sessions (February-March and July 1990) CCAQ reviewed the work of ACPAQ, including the report of its 15th session. It felt that too many administrative or political issues, as opposed to technical ones, were being referred to ACPAQ, and that its mandate should be re-examined as part of the review of the functioning of its parent body ICSC. The Committee also urged a more dynamic approach by the ICSC secretariat in the use of external data in cost-of-living surveys, and the early introduction of the mini-survey process (ACC/1990/4, paras. 96-102; ACC/1990/10, paras. 38-40). The Commission at its 32nd session (July-August 1990) approved a number of recommendations of ACPAQ and decided to call a special session of the Committee in October to review the results of the headquarters and Washington, D.C. surveys carried out in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 44/198 (A/45/30, paras. 190-194).

(92) Following suggestions in CCAQ (74th session, March 1991: ACC/1991/5, paras. 25-29) that the planned sixteenth session of ACPAQ might not yet be really necessary, it was agreed following consultation that the session would go ahead with a revised agenda and would be limited to one week. At its 75th session (July-August 1991) CCAQ reviewed the ACPAQ report (ACC/1991/17, paras. 31-34); it also agreed to ask ICSC to study an FAO proposal that the four-month rule for post adjustment increases should be abolished, on the grounds that the new methodology resulting from the comprehensive review had made it redundant (ibid., paras. 35, 36). The Commission did not discuss that proposal in 1991 (A/46/30, vol. I, paras. 128-136).

(93) At the 74th session of CCAQ, following consultations with the ICSC Chairman and secretariat, a procedure was agreed for correcting the substantial loss of purchasing power of staff at some duty stations which, prior to 1 July 1990, had benefited from special measures for low and negative post adjustments. As part of that procedure place-to-place surveys would be carried out immediately in the duty stations most affected (ACC/1991/5, paras. 30-32).

(94) At its following (75th) session (July-August 1991: ACC/1991/17, para. 27) CCAQ noted that the use of the out-of-area index was distorting expenditure data at some locations; it reiterated and commended to ICSC its view that the index should not be applied at headquarters locations.

(95) For aspects of post adjustment methodology related to the management of the UN/US margin in salaries for the Professional and higher categories, see also section 2.2.

(96) At its 76th session (March 1992: ACC/1992/6, paras. 34-43) CCAQ reviewed and took a position on four aspects of the operation of the post adjustment system, the possible elimination of the four-month rule, the application of the out-of-area index in group I duty stations, the extension of the waiting period for adjustment of post adjustment, following abrupt and substantial devaluation, from two to four months and the reduction of the period during which gaps between pay and post adjustment indices should be closed. The Committee also took note of a computerized model for the cost-of-living differential between Washington, D.C. and New York, which was being developed by a private consultant firm, (ibid., paras. 44-45). ICSC decided to retain the four-month rule, to eliminate the out-of-area component for monthly reviews but maintain the component for the purpose of establishing relativities at the time of implementing cost-of-living adjustments and the results of place-to-place surveys with effect from 1 May 1992, to extend the waiting period following abrupt devaluation with effect from 1 April 1992 and established the conditions for implementing place-to-place survey results indicating gaps between the pay index and the PAI with effect from the same date (A/47/30, para. 62).

(97) At its 77th session (July 1992: ACC/1992/23, paras. 113-117) as a result of queries from WIPO, requested the ICSC secretariat to prepare a comprehensive briefing package and a manual on the working of the post adjustment system for the benefit of personnel specialists. It was promised for October 1992. CCAQ also welcomed the study by an outside consultant designed to measure the cost of living between Washington and New York which related to domestic expenditure patterns and therefore reflected data external to the common system it avoided any bias.

(98) At its 78th session (March 1993: ACC/1993/6, paras.41-45) the Committee reviewed its position on a proposed booklet on the operation of the post adjustment system. A handbook was also being prepared for technicians. The process had identified several points which needed to be referred to ACPAQ before being put in the booklet.

(99) The Committee also reviewed and took a position on three issues related to the measurement of housing within the post adjustment system, the simulation tests for excluding housing from post adjustment calculations in certain group B duty stations, the time-to-time updating of the housing component of the PAI and the use of external data (ibid. paras. 57-64). CCAQ also considered a note by FAO on a problem resulting from the massive devaluation of the Italian lire and the practice of many staff taking up to 30 per cent of their salary in a currency other the Italian lire. This resulted in a reduction in take home pay for staff and was causing recruitment difficulties. CCAQ decided not to oppose any action by ICSC, provided that the post adjustment methodology was not called in question, that the action was a temporary ad hoc measure and would stop when the circumstances no longer prevailed (ibid., paras. 140-141). ICSC decided on procedures to apply in calculating the losses in take-home pay due to devaluations of the local currency with effect from 1 April 1993 (ICSC/37/R.18, paras. 234-235).

(100) At the same session the Committee reviewed a paper responding to a request of the General Assembly (resolution 44/198 I G) on the organizations practices on the grant of expatriate entitlements of staff living in their home country while their duty station was in a neighbouring country and decided to urge ICSC to defer a decision on the question in order to allow more information on the staff regulations and rules of different organizations, their historical antecedents, their rationales and the legal implications of any changes in them (ACC/1993/6, paras. 66-69).

(101) At its 79th session (July 1993: ACC/1993/22, paras. 51-58) CCAQ took a number of positions for and against ACPAQ's individual recommendations. CCAQ could not accept ACPAQ's contention that there was no link between the rate of response to survey questionnaires and the confidence which staff members had in the system. It was important to provide staff members with the fullest information prior to the distribution of questionnaires and, at the completion of the surveys, with a full and complete explanation of the results. The Committee considered that the out-of-area expenditure survey, previously postponed because of the suspension of staff participation in the sessions of ICSC, should be carried out forthwith. CCAQ decided to urge that ACPAQ be given more time to allow thorough technical discussion. On the monthly updating of post adjustment indices, CCAQ, with one organization reserving its position, supported a proposal put forward by WIPO for conversion of the out-of-area index at the reference date (i.e. four months before the implementation date of the revised PAI) using the exchange rate prevailing at the same reference date, rather than that at the date of implementation. ICSC made a number of detailed decisions, inter alia, requesting its secretariat to revise the specifications of items for pricing and deciding on measures to improve response rates in household expenditure surveys (ICSC/38/R.19, para. 40). It also endorsed the procedures for adjusting and refining comparisons for field duty stations (ibid., para. 44) and decided that the use of post adjustment classes should be eliminated as of 1 January 1994 (ibid., para. 71). ICSC decided to refer the matter of the monthly updating of post adjustment indices to ACPAQ (ibid., para. 66).

(102) At this session (ACC/1993/22, paras. 59-63) CCAQ also reviewed ACPAQ's comments on two issues referred to it by the Commission, simulation tests for excluding housing from post adjustment calculations in respect of small duty stations for which obtaining data was difficult and time-to-time updating of the housing component of the PAI. Noting that little progress had been made in the separation of housing from the PAI and given other priority items confronting the ICSC secretariat, CCAQ considered that further study of this issue be suspended for the time being. On the question from when the local CPI should be used as an interim measure to update the housing index, CCAQ urged that the CPI data be used from the date of the latest technically valid housing survey or the date of the most recent place-to-place survey. As recommended by ACPAQ, the CPI data used should exclude, if possible, any element of subsidized housing. ICSC decided to review the housing costs at the base of the system before reverting to the first issue and on the second took a number of detailed decisions, as well as deciding that place-to-place housing cost comparisons at headquarters duty stations should be based on data from external sources from the next round of surveys (ICSC/38/R.19, paras. 50 and 57-62).

(103) At this session CCAQ considered a report by ICSC secretariat on the issue of expatriate entitlements of staff living in the home country and stationed elsewhere. CCAQ noted that there were elements of conditions of employment of the common system other than post adjustment established and administered, inter alia, on the duty station concept and stressed the need for a careful study of all the consequences that a change in approach might have on other elements of the conditions of employment (ibid., paras. 64-65). ICSC reported to the General Assembly that the harmonization of the practices of the organizations would require the revision of the Staff Rules and Regulations of either the specialized agencies headquartered in Geneva or of the United Nations and that should the Assembly wish ICSC to study the matter further it could do so on the Assembly's decision on which practice to follow (A/48/30, para. 143). The General Assembly (resolution 48/224 II D) took note of the conclusion of ICSC and requested ICSC to study the matter further with a view to harmonizing the practices of the other organizations with those of the United Nations.

(104) Also at this session the Committee considered a note by FAO requesting that ICSC consider modification of the special measure it had approved at its spring session in order to provide a more substantial response to address the post adjustment situation in Italy. CCAQ reaffirmed its position. Should similar circumstances prevail in other duty stations they should be eligible for application of the special ad hoc measure (ibid., paras. 122-123). ICSC decided to maintain the arrangements (ICSC/38/R.19, para. 109).

(105) At its 80th session (February 1994: ACC/1994/4, paras. 87-88) CCAQ, considering that the post adjustment system suffered most from a lack of credibility and that staff continued to be reluctant to participate in surveys, decided to request ICSC to include on its agenda an item on the implementation of the post adjustment system.

(106) At its 81st session (June 1994: ACC/1994/14, paras. 74-78 & 82-88) the Committee reviewed the report of ACPAQ's 18th session (and took positions on its findings on the use of external data, comparisons of the prices of cars, the choice of outlets, the time-to-time updating of the housing component in the PAI for headquarters duty stations, on the out-of-area component and the treatment of the out-of-area component in the monthly updating and the use of actual pension contributions). The Committee decided to request the Commission to set up a working group of organizations and staff representatives, together with the ICSC secretariat, to recommend measures that would streamline and improve the day-to-day operation of the post adjustment system. ICSC took note of ACPAQ's recommendations on external data and the consequent postponement of the round of surveys and decided to defer further discussion to its 41st session (ICSC/40/R.15, para. 68).

(107) Also at this session, the Committee considered ACPAQ's recommendations which outlined a possible technical approach for a methodology to implement the General Assembly's request "to ensure that place-to-place surveys conducted for all headquarters duty stations are fully representative of the cost of living of all staff working in the duty station" (resolution 48/224 II G). The Committee concluded that, before deciding on the technical way of dealing with the matter, the Commission should examine carefully the legal basis and the political implications of making a major change in the methodology for determining post adjustment (ACC/1994/14, paras. 79-81). ICSC decided to ask its secretariat to obtain legal advice on the issues involved (ICSC/41/R.19, paras. 224-225).

(108) At the same session the Committee took note of papers by the ICSC secretariat on the discontinuation as of 1 February 1994 of ad hoc measures to adjust the post adjustment classification for Rome and by FAO providing, inter alia, an explanation of the decision of its Director-General to continue to apply the special measures (ACC/1994/14, paras. 176-179). ICSC decided to discontinue the ad hoc measures for the Rome post adjustment and not to apply such measures at any other duty station until a consistent methodology had been developed (A/49/30, para. 390).

(109) At its 82nd session (April 1995: ACC/1995/5, paras. 84-93) the Committee confirmed its confidence in ACPAQ and the positive contribution of the Working Group on the Operation of the Post Adjustment System. In reviewing ACPAQ's report on the next place-to-place surveys, the Committee considered the technical and legal validity of any survey which did not have staff participation and decided to point out to the Commission that it should allow for a very thorough discussion of this matter. On other matters the Committee supported ACPAQ's recommendations relating to the use of Headquarters standardized weights for field duty stations, comparison methods, adjustment of common weights for field duty stations, time-to-time updating of Post Adjustment Indices at the base and the housing component. It also endorsed a proposal to maintain the current 10 per cent bands for out-of-area weights at Headquarters duty stations, except in the event of an abrupt and substantial devaluation, as well as devaluations which were not only abrupt, but also gradual and substantial. ICSC decided to use actual pension contributions in time-to-time adjustments with effect from the next adjustment of the global scale of pension able remuneration for Professional and higher level staff and decided to inform the General Assembly that this would not result in any shift in the burden of pension contributions from the staff to the Member States (ICSC/41/R.19, para. 199). ICSC decided that actual out-of-area weights rather than the 10 per cent band for all duty stations from 1 November 1995, except in Montreal and Rome and decided to establish a working group as requested (ICSC/41/R.19, para. 213 and annex VII).

(110) At the same session the Committee endorsed the recommendations in the report of the Working Group on the operation of the post adjustment system. The Committee also considered issues raised by ICAO and FAO dealing mainly with the treatment of out-of-area expenditures and decided to press ICSC to reconvene the Working Group[ which should, as a priority, review the grouping of duty stations into two (or more) groups or currency areas, other aspects relating to the treatment of out-of-area expenditures and other issues relating to the increasing complexity of operating the post adjustment system in the current economic climate] (ACC/1995/5, paras. 94-101). ICSC endorsed the technical findings of ACPAQ. (for ICSC's decisions on major policy questions see ICSC/41/R.19, para. 238) ICSC further decided that the Working Group on the Operation of the Post Adjustment System should be reconvened to identify and develop proposals for making improvements to the existing system (ICSC/41/R.19, para. 238).

(111) At the first part of its 83rd session (July 1995: ACC/1995/19, paras. 69-71) CCAQ considered the report of the Working Group and endorsed the Working Group's call for in-depth study of a number of technical issues dealing with international cost-of-living comparisons and for the examination of systems akin to the post adjustment system being applied by other similarly situated organizations. The Committee supported in principle the proposal to introduce a five per cent consumption element into the out-of-area component, to demonstrate solidarity with staff in duty stations that were more affected than others, such as Montreal and Rome. ICSC decided that the Working Group should reconvene and that an amount corresponding to 5 per cent of net base salary should be added to actual out-of-area expenditures for determining the out-of-area weight with effect from 1 January 1996 (ICSC/42/R.19, para. 46).

(112) Also at this part of the session the Committee, in the light of the General Assembly's requests in resolution 48/224 II G, considered an analysis of some of the legal and other aspects provided by a consultant retained by the ICSC secretariat, as well as the views of the ILO Legal Adviser on the consultant's report, in connection with the request of the General Assembly (resolution 48/224). In view of the delicacy of the matter, the Committee decided that it would express very serious concern for any precipitous action by ICSC or the General Assembly which might lead to expensive and time-consuming litigation across the common system (ibid., paras. 72-75). ICSC decided to ask the Assembly to decide whether to establish a single PAI based on separate pricing surveys conducted in the different areas where the staff resided or to establish separate indices for each place of residence on the basis of the conclusions reached by the Commission at its 41st session (A/50/30, para. 319). The General Assembly requested ICSC to establish in 1996 a single PAI for staff whose duty station is Geneva (resolution 50/208 I B).

(113) At its 84th session (April 1996: CCAQ(PER)/84/Rev.1, annex IV) CCAQ, noting current trends in human resources management towards greater flexibility, believed that the time had come to subject the monolithic post adjustment system to a critical analysis of its responsiveness to the needs of rapidly changing organizational structures and mandates. CCAQ supported recommendations of a working group on the operation of the post adjustment system on the use of external data on prices, the treatment of housing in post adjustment, the use of local currency denominated scales, the classification of duty stations and the handling out-of-area expenditures. CCAQ considered that the concept of spendable income was inconsistent with a multi-based post adjustment system like that of the common system and considered that there was no merit in pursuing the concept of spendable income or that of a cap, which was incompatible with the concept of parity of purchasing power. ICSC took note of the recommendations of the working group and approved the use of local currency denominated scales, on a pilot basis, by IAEA and any other interested organization. It decided that the working group should identify those elements of pay (expenditure) which should not be indexed for local price changes, evaluate their importance as a percentage of pay and study the appropriateness of applying the out-of-area index to some of those elements (ICSC/43/R.16, para. 121).

(114) Also at its 84th session CCAQ cautioned against the use of data that could be legally challenged in the updating of out-of-area weights at headquarters locations (CCAQ(PER)/84/CRP.1/Rev.1, annex IV). ICSC saw no basis for changing its decision, reached a year earlier with the support of ACPAQ, to use actual out-of-area weights and took note of ACPAQ's other recommendations on place-to-place surveys (ICSC/43/R.16, para. 141).

(115) CCAQ also expressed technical and legal concerns about the determination of a single post adjustment for Geneva and the surrounding areas of France (CCAQ(PER)/84/CRP.1/Rev.1, annex IV). With respect to the method of constructing a post adjustment index based on prices in Switzerland and France, ICSC decided to inform the General Assembly that a combination of factors mitigated against the establishment in 1996 of a single post adjustment index for Geneva reflecting the cost of living of all staff working at the duty station. ICSC would pursue consideration of the matter and would report at the earliest opportunity on its progress in resolving the various issues (A/51/30, para. 194).

(116) At its 86th session (April 1997: ACC/1997/6, paras. 73-83) CCAQ considered ACPAQ's report and supported its recommendations related to the movement of rents in the time-to-time updating of the post adjustment indices for headquarters and other group 2 duty stations and on rent data in London but had concerns about the recommendations relating to weights for dwelling types and residency patterns. CCAQ supported the other recommendations of ACPAQ. On the rental subsidy thresholds CCAQ supported the ad hoc solution recommended by ACPAQ but requested that ICSC undertake a review of the rental subsidy scheme. ICSC approved a number of ACPAQ's recommendations but decided to postpone two items on post adjustment at the base of the system and the constellation method of clustering duty stations to compare prices. It also requested its secretariat to review the basic principles and elements of the rental subsidy scheme (A/52/30, paras. 42 & 54).

(117) At the same session, CCAQ reviewed the matter of the construction of a single post adjustment for Geneva and noted a series of questions that remained unanswered and legal questions and issues that needed to be resolved before the technical issues could be addressed (ACC/1997/6, paras. 84-92). ICSC decided that the Chairman of ACPAQ and the ICSC secretariat should consult with organizations and staff in Geneva to obtain their views and comments, which should be presented to the UN Legal Counsel for an opinion (ICSC/45/R.13, para. 93).

(118) At its 87th session (July 1997: ACC/1997/13, paras. 40-43) CCAQ expressed appreciation for the approach taken by ICSC to consult the administrations and legal advisers of the Geneva-based organizations and took note of the comments of the UN Legal Counsel who had pointed out not only the legal aspects but also referred to the political, practical and administrative questions that remained and recommended carrying out a cost-benefit analysis before a final decision was made on the matter. The Committee strongly supported the Legal Counsel's view and pointed out that the measurement of the differences in the cost of living resulting from where the staff members resided rather than where they worked might lead to measurement of differences in different localities of a major urban area. This would be contrary to the expressed concerns to introduce greater simplicity into the processes which surrounded the management of human resources in the common system. ICSC, after considering the views of the organizations in Geneva and the UN Legal Counsel, decided to report to the General Assembly that it had identified four possible solutions to respond to the Assembly's request but that each raised problems. While it was technically possible to calculate a single post adjustment index based on prices of goods in Geneva and the neighbouring areas of France, a number of issues had to be borne in mind. ICSC therefore suggested that the Assembly might wish to request the Geneva organizations to bring the matter to the attention of their governing bodies and to request the Commission to carry out a study of the savings that would be realized from the implementation of a single post adjustment for Geneva (A/52/30, paras. 100-102). The General Assembly by resolution 52/216 I D welcomed the information provided by ICSC and noted that a number of new elements had been raised. It requested ICSC to review those elements and the way in which transitional measures would be introduced under any option that might make the application of the post adjustment system more equitable for all staff whose duty station was Geneva. It also requested that the matter be brought to the attention of the governing bodies of the common system.

(119) At its 88th session (April 1998: ACC/1998/5, paras. 33-34) CCAQ, believing that the concerns raised by the General Assembly with regard to the post adjustment at the base of the system had been overtaken by events, reiterated its concern that either setting the post adjustment class at New York at zero or having the salaries in New York adjusted by a mechanism other than the post adjustment system would either involve additional costs or result in a breakdown of the post adjustment system itself. ICSC decided to report to the General Assembly that it had concluded that the current system of net base salary plus post adjustment at the base was still the most appropriate way to ensure the post adjustment system remained within the approved range (A/53/30, para. 140). The General Assembly by resolution 53/209 I G took note of the ICSC's conclusion and requested it to continue to explore the feasibility of using outside data sources for the next round of place-to-place surveys. By the same resolution the Assembly, with respect to the establishment of a single post adjustment index at Geneva, requested ICSC to conduct a comprehensive review of the post adjustment system as a whole and to ensure that the post adjustment at each duty station was fully representative of the cost of living of all Professional and higher level staff at each duty station.

(120) At its 89th session (July 1998: ACC/1998/9, para. 43) CCAQ welcomed the inclusion in the agenda of ACPAQ of items on possible simplifications and on the issue of transparency. It welcomed the proposal to conduct the forthcoming ACPAQ session as a working group. ICSC approved the agenda with the addition of an item on the effect of exchange rate fluctuations on total compensation comparisons (A/53/30, para. 141).

(121) At its 90th session (April 1999: ACC/1999/5, para. 15) CCAQ took note of the report of ACPAQ's 22nd session and of the agenda for its next session, expressed concern at the introduction of aged rents in time-to-time adjustments midway between place-to-place surveys, which it did not consider to be statistically reliable, and, in connection with the next round of surveys, drew attention to the need to update the reference housing data in the light inter alia of changed circumstances in many organizations as a result of downsizing and restructuring exercises. ICSC decided to take note of recommendations of ACPAQ relating to a number of matters and to approve its recommendations with respect to domestic service and external data (ICSC/49/R.12, para 80).

(122) At the same meeting (ACC/1999/5, para. 16) CCAQ, noting that the question of removing the housing element from post adjustment had been under review for ten years, decided to urge ICSC not to pursue the question further as long as the current post adjustment system remained in place. ICSC decided not to pursue the issue of the separation of housing from post adjustment at small duty stations (ICSC/49/R.12, para. 96). In view of this decision and its call, in response to General Assembly resolution 53/209, for a concise report from its secretariat (ibid., para. 45) on the question of the Geneva post adjustment which could form the basis of its report to the Assembly on the subject, the Commission decided not to include these two items in the agenda of the 23rd session of ACPAQ, which it approved (ICSC/49/R.12, paras. 85-87 & annex VI). The Commission did report concisely to the Assembly and expressed the belief that the post adjustment system should be allowed to function for a meaningful period of time so that any future review would take place on the basis of experience with its operation (A/54/30, para. 37). The Assembly took note of the decision not to pursue the matter of separation of housing (resolution 54/238 I E) but reiterated its request for a comprehensive review of the post adjustment with indicative statistics on the various options (resolution 54/238 I D). ICSC decided to proceed with the previously agreed schedule of surveys and to ask its secretariat to make the necessary preliminary preparations on the Geneva matter taking into account its established work programme (ICSC/51/R.13, paras. 24-26).

(123) At its 92nd session (March 2000: ACC/2000/5, para. 11) CCAQ welcomed the report of ACPAQ's 23rd Session and in particular the initiatives that had taken place in the structuring of the meeting and the way in which the conclusions and recommendations had been summarized in the document. The Committee noted that a number of organizations had participated fully in the meeting of ACPAQ and had assisted in the development of the recommendations. The Committee supported the recommendations made by ACPAQ, especially in terms of the new index structure, the procedures for establishing expenditure weights and the maintenance of the methodology for Group II duty stations in respect of the exclusion of durable goods from price collection and decided to re-confirm the organizations' willingness to support and collaborate in the next round of place-to-place surveys. ICSC approved the recommendations of ACPAQ (A/55/30, para. 157). The General Assembly took note of ICSC's decisions (resolution 55/223 II F).

(124) At its first meeting in June 2001 (ACC/2001/HLCM/7, paras. 9-10) the Human Resources (HR) Network noted that the report of the twenty-fourth session of ACPAQ contained inter alia the findings of the most recent round of cost-of-living surveys at all headquarters duty stations. The 5-year review process reestablished the relationship between the base city and other locations which, in the period between comprehensive surveys, had been adjusted using local indices. The Network recognized that the methodology adopted by the Commission for conduct of these surveys had been scrupulously adhered to and reflected the proper purchasing power differentials between the base city and headquarters' locations. The meeting decided to urge the Commission to approve these results from 1 July 2001 under Article 11 of the Statute, which organizations would implement thereafter under Article 25 of the Statute. The Commission decided to note that the approved methodology had been applied in the 2000 round of surveys, to endorse the recommendations of ACPAQ and to approve the results of the place-to-place surveys as recommended by ACPAQ which should be taken into account to determine the related post adjustment classifications as of 1 July 2001 (ICSC/53/R.14, paras. 92-95).

(125) At its March 2003 meeting (CEB/2003/HLCM/12, para. 11) the HR Network congratulated the ICSC secretariat on improvements in computerization for processing cost-of-living survey data and revisions to the cost-of-living manuals. It agreed to urge the Commission to support the proposal to hold a meeting of ACPAQ in 2004 in order to resolve outstanding technical issues before the commencement of the new round of headquarters surveys which were expected to commence in 2005. The Commission decided to endorse the recommendations of ACPAQ as contained in the report of its 25th session and agreed that the Committee should hold its next meeting in 2004 (A/58/30, para 217).

(126) At its July 2003 meeting (CEB/2003/HLCM/20, para. 9) the HR Network endorsed the proposed agenda and expressed satisfaction at the collaborative and effective work between the ICSC secretariat, organizations and staff, which would lead to refinement and greater understanding of the post adjustment system. It was informed of the escalation of prices due to the introduction of the EURO which could lead to the need for interim place to place surveys to be undertaken in the Euro-zone countries. The Commission approved the provisional agenda except for item 3 "Alternative methods of calculating the out-of-area index" (ICSC/57/R.13, para. 41).

(127) At its March 2004 meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/14, para. 14) the HR Network expressed its appreciation to ACPAQ and the ICSC secretariat and endorsed the recommendations contained in the report of the 26th session of ACPAQ. It thanked the ICSC secretariat for the technological improvements that had been made, including automated tools for data collection, and recommended that any decision with regard to any consequent changes in the application of the post adjustment methodology for the 10 group II countries should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A country should only lose its "A" classification on January first of the year following the point when the UN system no longer had any developmental or humanitarian programme for the country in question. Some of the countries had only very recently been upgraded to the "A" category. It agreed to recommend to the ICSC that attention should be paid to reviewing those classification variables that affected the post adjustment system and that action should be taken as necessary. The trigger for any such individual country review should be the entry of that particular country into the single European currency. ICSC decided to endorse the recommendations of ACPAQ and also agreed that, in preparation for the next round of headquarters duty stations surveys, ACPAQ should hold its next meeting in 2005 (A/59/30, para. 282).

(128) At the same meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/14, para. 11) the HR Network considered the implications of the enlargement of the European Union on the operation of the Hardship and Mobility scheme and on the post adjustment. The discussion and the decision of ICSC are recorded in section 10.2, paragraph (48).

(129) At its July 2004 meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/25, para. 11) the HR Network noted the draft agenda for the 27th session of ACPAQ and expressed appreciation that the use of external data for the rental index was included, in response to the concerns expressed by the Network. It also noted that the introduction of the Euro zone could lead to increases to the post adjustments for those countries. The Network welcomed the participation of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)in the scheme. ICSC approved the provisional agenda for the 27th session of ACPAQ (ICSC/59/R.18, para. 137).

(130) At its February 2005 meeting (CEB/2005/HLCM/8, para. 12) the HR Network took note of the report of the twenty-sixth session of ACPAQ which dealt with a range of technical questions related to the 2005 round of place-to-place surveys and made a number of recommendations to ICSC. ICSC decided to endorse the recommendations of ACPAQ and agreed that the Committee should hold its next meeting early in 2006 to review results of the place-to-place surveys at headquarters duty stations (A/60/30, para. 253).

(131) At its July 2005 meeting (CEB/2005/HLCM/27, para. 8) the HR Network noted the proposed agenda for the twenty-eighth session of ACPAQ and noted that Mr. Roger Eggleston would serve as the independent observer of price collection in New York on behalf of both the administrations and staff associations. ICSC approved the provisional agenda (ICSC/61/R.18, para. 73).

(132) At the thirteenth session of the HR Network (CEB/2007/HR/8, paras. 33-37), the Commission (ICSC) decided:
(a) To endorse the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions (ACPAQ) in respect of the proposed simplifications of the post adjustment index structure;
(b) To request the secretariat to conduct an out-of-area survey to determine the out-of-area index and information on Internet purchases;
(c) To authorize the secretariat to negotiate with Runzheimer International specific proposals to improve the transparency and readability of its biennial report, but postpone any methodological modifications to 2010;
(d) To approve the Advisory Committee’s recommendation to use the cost estimation models developed by the secretariat to estimate the financial implications of changes in both the base scale for staff in the Professional and higher categories, and in the mobility and hardship scheme (see annexes I and II);
(e) To request the secretariat to develop a model to estimate financial implications of the education grant and present it at its sixty-sixth session.

(133) At its 14th session, the HR Network endorsed the recommendations below from the Commission:
(a) To endorse the recommendations of the Advisory Committee in respect of the proposed simplifications of the post adjustment index structure;
(b) To request the secretariat to conduct an out-of-area survey to determine the out-of-area index and information on Internet purchases;
(c) To authorize the secretariat to negotiate with the data provider’s specific proposals to improve the transparency and readability of its biennial report, but postpone any methodological modifications to 2010;
(d) To approve the Advisory Committee’s recommendation to use the cost estimation models developed by the secretariat to estimate the financial implications of changes in both the base scale for staff in the Professional and higher categories, and in the mobility and hardship scheme (see annexes IV and V);
(e) To request the secretariat to develop a model to estimate financial implications of the education grant and present it at its sixty-sixth session.

(134) At the 15h session of the HR Network in March 2008 (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/17, paras. 10-11), the Commission decided:
(a) To endorse the recommendations of the Advisory Committee in respect of the proposed simplifications of the post adjustment index structure by which the number of basic headings would be reduced from 104 to 84;
(b) To endorse the recommendation of the Advisory Committee that, for the 2010 round of surveys, the secretariat not use hedonic regression techniques to adjust the prices of electronic and other high-technology products, but that it keep abreast of developments in this area;
(c) To authorize the Commission secretariat to apply the new cost-of-living measurement methodology based on real-time comparisons with New York for the products involved, starting with the 2010 round of cost-of-living surveys;
(d) To endorse the recommendations of the Advisory Committee in respect of the increased use of the Internet as a source of price data at group I duty stations where local outlets have websites, and to encourage outlets that do not already have websites to create them;
(e) To endorse the recommendations of the Advisory Committee in respect of the proposed methodology for calculating the out-of-area index on the basis of a new list of 26 countries and using survey weights, as well as the proposed procedure for revising the survey weights and the list of countries over time;
(f) To endorse the revised template of the biennial report on the data provider’s study of the cost-of-living differential between Washington, D.C., and New York, and to request the Committee to review the structure of the 2008 report at its next session;
(g) To approve the Advisory Committee’s recommendation to use the cost estimation models developed by the secretariat to estimate the financial implications of possible changes to the education grant;
(h) To authorize the secretariat to conduct the proposed housing surveys at headquarters duty stations in 2008, for the purpose of updating rental subsidy thresholds at those duty stations;
(i) To endorse the recommendation of the Advisory Committee that the secretariat expand the list of organic/biological products to be priced in the next round of surveys to include all foods and beverages.

(135) At the HR Network’s sixteenth session (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/35, paras. 13-15), the Commission decided:
(a) To endorse the recommendations of the Advisory Committee in respect of the proposed simplifications of the post adjustment index structure, reducing the number of basic headings from 104 to 84;
(b) To endorse the recommendation of the Advisory Committee that, for the 2010 round of surveys, the secretariat should not use hedonic regression techniques to adjust the prices of electronic and other high-technology products, but should keep abreast of developments in this area;
(c) To authorize the Commission secretariat to apply the new cost-of-living measurement methodology based on real-time comparisons with New York for the affected products, starting with the 2010 round of cost-of-living surveys;
(d) To endorse the recommendations of the Advisory Committee in respect of the increased use of the Internet as a source of price data at group I duty stations where local outlets have websites, and to request the secretariat to continue its research on the use of the Internet as a source of price data;
(e) To endorse the recommendations of the Advisory Committee in respect of the proposed methodology for calculating the out-of-area index based on a new list of 26 countries and using survey weights, as well as the proposed procedure for revising the survey weights and the list of countries over time;
(f) To endorse the revised template of the biennial report of the data provider’s report on its study of the cost-of-living differential between Washington, D.C., and New York, and to request the Committee to review the structure of the 2008 report at its next session;
(g) To approve the Advisory Committee’s recommendation to use the cost estimation models developed by the secretariat to estimate the financial implications of possible changes to the education grant;
(h) To authorize the secretariat to conduct the proposed housing surveys at headquarters duty stations in 2008, for the purpose of updating rental subsidy thresholds at those duty stations;
(i) To endorse the recommendations of the Advisory Committee for the secretariat to expand the list of organic/biological products to be priced in the next round of surveys to include all foods and beverages.

(136) At its eighteenth session (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/46/Rev.1, paras.18-19), the HR Network welcomed the details provided on the proposed changes to the methodology for place-to-place surveys and endorsed the items on the ACPAQ provisional agenda and requested that the effect of exchange rates on net take-home pay be more closely monitored, as there are many questions on this matter from staff members, staff associations and member states.
The Commission decided:
(a) To request that suggestions and proposals from organizations and staff federations concerning the list of items and their specifications to be used in the 2010 round of surveys be submitted to the secretariat no later than the end of July 2009;
(b) To request its secretariat to finalize the list of items and specifications, as well as procedures and guidelines governing data collection in the 2010 round of surveys, and present them for review and final recommendations by ACPAQ at its next session;
(c) To approve ACPAQ’s recommendations regarding the modus operandi for implementing the new approach to cost-of-living measurement based on real-time price comparisons with New York, for use in the 2010 round of cost-of-living surveys, including the recommendation that the prices of items, subject to the new approach be collected via the Internet;
(d) To request its secretariat to continue to develop and enhance strategies to improve staff participation in future surveys;
(e) That no further investigation of the issues pertaining to Betriebskosten (maintenance/running costs for Vienna housing) and the effects of currency fluctuations on the remuneration of staff serving in field duty stations was warranted;
(f) To approve ACPAQ’s recommendation limiting the scope of the cooperation between its secretariat and Eurostat and IOS to the exchange of statistical information only;
(g) To approve ACPAQ’s recommendation that organizations and staff federations submit their recommendations regarding the structure and contents of the information packet of explanatory notes for human resources managers in writing by the end of July 2009;
(h) To agree with ACPAQ’s conclusion that the approved methodology for calculating and updating post adjustment classifications was being applied correctly and consistently for all duty stations;
(i) To request its secretariat to study the effects of modifications to the post adjustment classification with a view to aligning the review of the post adjustment classifications of all duty stations to that of New York, and present its findings for review and a final recommendation by ACPAQ at its next session; and
(j) To request its secretariat to study the impact of shortening survey rounds for Group I duty stations, with due consideration of the costs and benefits, and present its findings for review and a final recommendation by ACPAQ at its next session.

(137) At its twenty first session (CEB/2011/HLCM/HR/9, paras.33-35), the HR Network noted the Report of the 33rd session of ACPAQ (ICSC/72/R.6); Welcomed the high rate of participation from staff, and emphasized the need for continuous outreach requesting the ICSC for advanced warning for planning and explanations on methodology and requirements for the next round of surveys; Requested the ICSC Chairman to send out a communication to all staff to explain results of the survey and thank them for their participation.
The Commission decided:
(a) To approve the results of the 2010 place-to-place surveys for Geneva, London, Madrid, Montreal, Paris, Rome, Vienna and Washington, D.C., as recommended by the Advisory Committee;
(b) That the 2010 survey results for Geneva, London, Madrid, Montreal, Paris, Rome, Vienna and Washington, D.C., should be taken into account in determining their respective post adjustment classification with effect from 1 April 2011;
(c) That additional place-to-place surveys should be conducted for Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania in the middle of the present round of surveys.

1 The number was later increased - see para. (4). The terms of reference and working arrangements of ECPA, as of 1963, are set out in Annex 5 of Appendix C to the report of CCAQ's 24th session (CO-ORDINATION/R.430).