Executive and Administrative Offices

OCHA’s Executive Office is responsible for the organization’s administrative functions and, along with the Administrative
Office, provides administrative support and guidance to staff members. The Executive Office in New York and the
Administrative Office in Geneva work closely together and are primarily concerned with: finance and budget;
human resources; and staff development and training. The Executive and Administrative Offices were strengthened in
2007 in line with the substantial growth in OCHA’s financial resources as well as its human resources. In 2008, there
will be particular emphasis on improving accountability, delegation of responsibilities and management processes.

The Executive Office is OCHA’s internal authority on policy issues, interpreting United Nations Staff and Financial
Regulations and Rules and providing overall guidance on related administrative instructions and procedures.
The Executive Office supports senior management in formulating development initiatives, including training and
development strategies, succession planning, staff mobility and rotation, rostering and other ways to enhance OCHA’s
effectiveness. This support includes providing timely and accurate reports to senior and middle management. The
Executive Office coordinates departmental programme budgets and presentations to legislative bodies, and
manages the Trust Fund for the Strengthening of OCHA and the Special Account for Programme Support (which
funds administrative activities in New York).

The Administrative Office (table) manages the Trust Fund for Disaster Relief (the main source of funding for field activities) and the Special Account for Programme Support (which funds administrative activities in Geneva). It provides dedicated administrative support to OCHA’s field offices through its Field Support Section. It manages the receipt and expenditure of funds, management and donor reporting, guidance to field staff and desk officers on the availability and use of funds, support in the procurement of goods and services, and the recruitment, deployment and administration of field staff. In addition, it provides support to the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

In relation to finance and budget, the Executive and Administrative Offices will continue to ensure proper accountability and management of OCHA’s financial resources, including the management of trust funds (see Annex II). In addition, it will ensure that proper and accurate recording of financial transactions conforms with United Nations Financial Rules and Regulations and the Institute for International Public Sector Accounting Standards. With a view to improved accountability and better defined delegation of authority, the finance area will work with senior managers to develop timely management reports. During 2008, there will be a continued review of processes and procedures for greater streamlining and further
delegation to managers where possible.

In 2007, the Executive and Administrative Offices, in collaboration with the Information and Technology Section, undertook a feasibility study for an integrated administrative and financial system for OCHA field offices that would serve as a repository for integrated financial, human resources and administrative information on field offices and allow access to information about field activities on a real-time or near real-time basis. The resulting Field Management System Project will be developed and implemented in OCHA’s field offices in the coming two years.

In relation to human resources, existing mechanisms and tools will be strengthened, while services will be improved to
meet increasing demands at headquarters and in the field.

In 2008 the Staff Development and Learning Section will focus on management and leadership training and the implementation of a uniform induction programme for all staff joining OCHA at headquarters and in the field. The Section will assist staff in planning training and development opportunities as well as providing career development advice.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

Objective: Application of better financial management tools
Outputs Indicators
Management reports accessible to field and headquarter staff. Realistic and properly prepared cost plans completed. Improved administrative controls and practices established. Improved client orientation in services delivery. One financial operating system for all OCHA field offices. Improvement in processing of field requests and accurate cost estimates for budget planning. Frequency of cost plan revisions. Improved compliance rates in implementing audit reports. Increased client satisfaction. Percentage of field offices with financial operating system.

Accountable and transparent human resources planning and management
Outputs Indicators
Staff recruitment and entitlements administered more efficiently. Human resources tools implemented and refined. Guidance and policy materials for headquarters and field administration further developed. Delegation of authority for the administration of field staff successfully implemented.
Cooperation with UND P in the administration of field offices improved. New staff provided with basic OCHA training. Programme manager review of staff training needs undertaken. Roster of pre-screened candidates used to fill international field posts.
OCHA Staff and Contact Management System used for human resources management. Number of guidance documents updated. Number of days for deployment of staff to emergencies. Percentage of new staff provided with uniform induction. Establishment of database to record staff training.
Percentage of field posts filled through roster.