(1) At its 11th session (1951: CC/A.11/SR.4 and CO-ORDINATION/R.93, section C.VII) CCAQ considered the question of distinguishing in a uniform way between "administrative" and "operational" expenses. It agreed that in those cases where it was necessary to make the distinction, as for predominantly operational organizations, the definition of "administrative" expenses developed by WHO and reproduced in No. 18 of its Official Records would be acceptable in principle.
(2) At the 12th session (April 1952: CO-ORDINATION/R.124, section IV.A.17) the Committee agreed that for the time being the development of standard definitions for general use was not practicable. A related report which the Secretary-General was making to ACABQ was annexed to CCAQ report.
(3) At the 13th session (September 1952: CO-ORDINATION/R.132, section C.VII) a working party considered the question, raised by UNESCO, of inter-agency comparisons of certain administrative costs.
(4) At the 15th session (1954: CO-ORDINATION/R.162, section B.d.11-13) the Committee considered the need for material which would provide comparisons between the organizations as regards administrative expenditures.
(5) In its second report (A/6343) the Ad Hoc Committee of Experts to Examine the Finances of the UN and the Specialized Agencies recommended that "all organizations should submit certain annexes to their budgets, one of which should give a breakdown of expenditures into administrative costs, operational costs, and general research and study costs". At the 40th sesion (September 1974: CO-ORDINATION/R.1054, paras. 26 and 27), UNESCO, which had prepared proposals for distinguishing between these types of expenditures at the request of its General Conference, sought the views of CCAQ on the possibility of common definitions. In the view of a number of participants the terms had been largely superseded by the terminology used for programme budgeting and medium-term planning.
(6) At the 51st session (September 1979) the Committee considered the interest of the UNDP Governing Council in an agreed definition of administrative and programme support costs. It recalled a position it had taken earlier at the same session, to the effect that the list of components of support costs developed by its Task Force on a Cost Measurement System corresponded substantially to the definition required for "programme support costs"; as for "administrative costs", work on a definition had been overtaken by the general acceptance of the term "programme support costs" - now shortened to "support costs" - and by the work of the same Task Force. In the Committee's view it would be difficult to agree to definitions opposing the terms "programme support costs" and "administrative services costs", one of which was commonly considered to be an integral part of the other (ACC/1979/R.69, paras. 38 and 39). See Section 20.2 and Handbook annex XI for the identification of technical and non-technical expenses in the framework of cost measurement.
(7) At the 68th session (March 1988) CCAQ discussed a request emanating from the FAO Council for review at the inter-agency level of the desirability and feasibility of a joint request to JIU to establish definitions and methodologies permitting "meaningful comparisons of programme delivery costs among international organizations". The Committee noted that the focus of discussion of this question in FAO had been on the regular programme, and that the Council had emphasized the close relationship between the definition of programme delivery costs and the nature of the organization and the type of activities considered. That very relationship, however, raised doubts about the validity of comparisons between programmes - even within a single organization - whose nature, structure, size, location and need for supporting services varied. The Committee hesitated to envisage the development at the inter-organization level of the definitions and methodologies envisaged in the request, since the comparisons to which they might lead would likely be of limited validity and thus of limited use (ACC/1988/5, paras. 52-56).