US embassy cable - 02ROME468

FAO: HELMS-BIDEN - CURRENT STATUS

Identifier: 02ROME468
Wikileaks: View 02ROME468 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2002-01-30 16:10:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: AORC KUNR KUNR FAOAORC FAO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ROME 000468 
 
SIPDIS 
 
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - TEXT 
 
FROM U.S. MISSION TO UN AGENCIES IN ROME 
 
STATE FOR IO/EDA, IO/S/SC, AND L/UNA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: AORC, KUNR, KUNR, FAOAORC, FAO 
SUBJECT: FAO: HELMS-BIDEN - CURRENT STATUS 
 
REF:  (A) STATE 9952, (B) 11/23/01 EMAIL PODOLSKY/ 
 
HEILEMAN, (C) 1/16/02 EMAIL HEILEMAN/PODALSKY, (D) 01 
STATE 178759, (E) 00 ROME 3137 
 
1. THIS CABLE SUMMARIZES THE CURRENT STATUS OF WHERE FAO 
STANDS REGARDING HELMS-BIDEN PROVISIONS ON (A) THE 
INSPECTOR GENERAL FUNCTION, (B) PROGRAM EVALUATION, AND 
(C) SUNSET PROVISIONS.  MISSION REQUESTS DEPARTMENT'S 
GUIDANCE IF ANY FURTHER ACTION IS REQUIRED BEFORE A 
RECOMMENDATION COULD BE MADE TO THE SECRETARY THAT FAO 
HAS MET THE TRANCHE THREE REQUIREMENTS. 
 
INSPECTOR GENERAL 
----------------- 
2. PER REF A, FAO HAS ADEQUATELY MET ALL H-B REQUIREMENTS 
REGARDING THE INSPECTOR GENERAL FUNCTION. 
 
PROGRAM EVALUATION 
------------------ 
3. FOLLOWING ARE RESPONSES TO THE QUESTIONS POSED IN REF 
B.  THEY SUMMARIZE THE INFORMATION PROVIDED BY FAO'S 
OFFICE OF PROGRAM, BUDGET, AND EVALUATION THAT WAS 
FORWARDED TO THE DEPARTMENT IN REF C. 
 
-- A. ARE "AUTO-EVALUATIONS" REQUIRED FOR PROGRAMS OTHER 
THAN TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC PROGRAMS? 
 
IN PRINCIPLE ALL PROGRAMS, OTHER THAN FIELD PROJECTS, ARE 
SUBJECT TO AUTO-EVALUATIONS.  HOWEVER, GUIDELINES ARE YET 
TO BE DEVELOPED FOR AUTO-EVALUATIONS OF OPERATIONAL 
PROGRAMS AND ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES -- FAO EXPECTS TO 
HAVE THEM COMPLETED BY AUTUMN.  THE TECHNICAL AND 
ECONOMIC PROGRAMS, ABOUT 45 PERCENT OF FAO'S PROGRAM 
BUDGET, ARE THE FIRST PRIORITY.  FIELD PROJECTS, AS 
OUTLINED IN THE DG'S BULLETIN, ARE SUBJECT TO INDEPENDENT 
TRI-PARTITE EVALUATIONS OR TO "THEMATIC EVALUATIONS." 

(NOTE: DEFINITIONS OF THESE VARIOUS TYPES OF PROGRAMS ARE 
FOUND IN THE CHARTS OF REF C.) 
 
-- B. WHAT ARE CONTINUING PROGRAM ACTIVITIES? 
 
PARAGRAPH 62 OF THE MEDIUM TERM PLAN DEFINES THE THREE 
TYPES OF ACTIVITIES UNDER A SUBSTANTIVE FAO PROGRAM: 
TECHNICAL PROJECTS (SET ACTIONS WITH A DURATION OF UP TO 
SIX YEARS), CONTINUING PROGRAMS (A PRODUCTION OF OUTPUTS 
WHICH ARE NOT OF A TIME-BOUND NATURE, SUCH AS THE 
COLLECTION OF STATISTICS), AND TECHNICAL SERVICE 
AGREEMENTS (SERVICES WHICH CANNOT BE PROJECTED FAR IN 
ADVANCE SUCH AS TECHNICAL ADVICE TO A COUNTRY). 
 
-- C. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ANNUAL ASSESSMENT 
AND AN AUTO EVALUATION? 
 
AN ANNUAL ASSESSMENT IS FOR IN-HOUSE MONITORING BY THE 
WORKING-LEVEL OFFICERS INVOLVED.  AN AUTO EVALUATION IS A 
MORE FORMAL PROCEDURE WHICH LEADS TO RECOMMENDATIONS BY 
PROGRAM MANAGERS TO SENIOR MANAGEMENT REGARDING THE 
PROGRAM'S FUTURE.  AS A MORE FORMAL PROCEDURE, THE AUTO 
EVALUATION PROCESS WOULD INVOLVE "EXTERNAL INPUTS" (E.G., 
CONSULTANTS OR MEMBERS OF PEER GROUPS SUCH AS IFAD OR AN 
NGO).  IT WOULD NORMALLY BE CARRIED OUT AT LEAST ONCE 
EVERY SIX YEARS, AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT ACTS ON ITS 
RECOMMENDATIONS AS PART OF THE MEDIUM TERM PLAN 
PROCEDURE. 
 
-- D. AS REQUESTED, SECTION 107.11 FROM THE ORGANIZATION 
STAFF MANUAL, DEFINING THE ROLE OF THE EVALUATION 
SERVICE, WAS FORWARDED TO IO/S IN REF C. 
 
-- E. WILL FUTURE FAO PROGRAM EVALUATION REPORTS (PER) 
ADDRESS AUTO EVALUATIONS? 
 
A SYNTHESIS OF AUTO EVALUATION REPORTS PREPARED EVERY 
BIENNIUM WILL BE SUBMITTED TO THE DIRECTOR GENERAL AND TO 
THE PROGRAM COMMITTEE.  ONLY A SUMMARY OF THIS DOCUMENT 
WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE PER.  AS A PROGRAM COMMITTEE 
DOCUMENT, HOWEVER, THE SYNTHESIS WILL BE AVAILABLE TO ALL 
MEMBERS THROUGH THE INTERNET.  THE COMMITTEE'S VIEWS ON 
THE SYNTHESIS WILL BE INCLUDED IN ITS REPORT TO THE 
COUNCIL. 
 
-- F. HOW WILL THE DG REPORT RESULTS OF AUTO EVALUATIONS 
AND PROPOSE TO CHANGE/TERMINATE PROGRAMS? 
 
GUIDELINES REQUIRE THAT AUTO EVALUATIONS INCLUDE SPECIFIC 
PROPOSALS FOR THE NEXT MTP PERIOD.  TECHNICAL PROJECTS 
WILL LAPSE UNLESS PROPOSALS PUT FORWARD A CASE FOR 
CONTINUATION.  PROPOSALS MUST INDICATE WHETHER CONTINUING 
PROGRAMS SHOULD BE CONTINUED, MODIFIED, OR TERMINATED. 
 

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 ROME 000468 
 
SIPDIS 
 
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - TEXT 
 
FROM U.S. MISSION TO UN AGENCIES IN ROME 
 
STATE FOR IO/EDA, IO/S/SC, AND L/UNA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: AORC, KUNR, FAO 
SUBJECT: FAO: HELMS-BIDEN - CURRENT STATUS 
 
THE SYNTHESIS GOING TO THE PROGRAM COMMITTEE WILL LIST 
ALL THESE PROPOSALS. 
 
-- G. THE PROGRAM COMMITTEE RECEIVES INDEPENDENT 
EVALUATION REPORTS THAT IT SELECTS.  CAN IT ALSO SELECT 
INDIVIDUAL AUTO EVALUATION REPORTS FOR A CLOSER REVIEW? 
THE VOLUME OF AUTO EVALUATION REPORTS PREPARED EACH 
BIENNIUM, AND THE COST OF TRANSLATING THESE INTO FIVE 
LANGUAGES, MAKES IT IMPRACTICAL TO PROVIDE THESE TO THE 
PROGRAM COMMITTEE.  (159 TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC PROGRAM 
AUTO EVALUATIONS WILL HAVE TO BE PRODUCED, MOST OF THEM 
PROBABLY BUNCHED TOWARD THE END OF THIS FIRST SIX-YEAR 
MTP PERIOD.)  THE COMMITTEE RECEIVES ONLY THE SYNTHESIS 
OF ALL AUTO EVALUATIONS.  IN PRINCIPLE, THE COMMITTEE 
COULD ON AN "EXCEPTIONAL BASIS" REQUEST A COPY OF AN AUTO 
EVALUATION, BUT AS AN INTERNAL FAO DOCUMENT IT WOULD 
REMAIN THE DG'S PREROGATIVE TO ACCEDE TO SUCH A REQUEST. 
 
-- H. HOW WOULD THE PROGRAM COMMITTEE MAKE 
RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE FAO COUNCIL ON IMPROVING OR 
TERMINATING PROGRAMS? 
 
THE COMMITTEE HAS TWO MEANS BY WHICH TO COMMENT:  MAKE 
RECOMMENDATIONS THROUGH ITS REPORTING ON THE SYNTHESIS OF 
AUTO EVALUATIONS, AND/OR USE THE MEDIUM TERM PLAN TO 
EXPRESS IT'S VIEWS ON PROGRAM PRIORITIES. 
 
SUNSET (U.S. POLICY) 
-------------------- 
4. THE UNITED STATES MISSION CONTINUES TO SEEK ACTION BY 
FAO IMPLEMENTING SPECIFIC TERMINATION DATES FOR ALL 
PROGRAMS, SO THAT PROGRAMS WILL NOT BE RENEWED UNLESS AN 
EVALUATION DEMONSTRATES ITS CONTINUED RELEVANCE AND 
EFFECTIVENESS -- A.K.A., SUNSET PROVISIONS.  OVER THE 
PAST SEVERAL YEARS OUR VIEWS HAVE PLAYED A ROLE IN THE 
FAO'S MOVES TO DEVELOP A FAMILY OF NEW PLANNING, 
BUDGETING, AND ACCOUNTABILITY DOCUMENTS.  THE TWO CORE 
DOCUMENTS, THE STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK AND THE MEDIUM TERM 
PLAN 2002-2007 (MTP), REFLECT A SIGNIFICANT SHIFT TOWARD 
SUNSETTING AND RESULT-BASED BUDGETING.  THE MTP APPROVED 
AT THE NOVEMBER 2000 COUNCIL DEFINES FORTY-FIVE PERCENT 
OF THE FAO'S TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC PROGRAMS AS TECHNICAL 
PROJECTS, MEANING THEY HAVE A DURATION OF NO MORE THAN 
SIX YEARS AND CANNOT BE EXTENDED UNLESS EVALUATIONS 
CONFIRM THEIR EFFECTIVENESS.  AS DESCRIBED ABOVE, OTHER 
TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC PROGRAMS ALSO REQUIRE AN 
EVALUATION TO DETERMINE RELEVANCE AND EFFECTIVENESS AT 
LEAST ONCE EVERY SIX YEARS.  THIS REPRESENTS A MARKED 
IMPROVEMENT OVER THE 2000-01 FAO PROGRAM OF WORK AND 
BUDGET BUT WE CONTINUE TO SEEK A STRENGTHENING OF SUNSET 
PROVISIONS. 
 
5. CONTINUING DISCUSSIONS WITH FAO OFFICIALS AND WITH 
OTHER FAO MEMBERS SUGGEST THAT THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO 
DO THIS IS THROUGH SEEKING CONTINUED STRENGTHENING OF THE 
MTP AND THE EVALUATION PROCESS.  MANY FAO MEMBERS ARE 
LEERY OF OUR MOTIVATION, BELIEVING THAT WE SEEK 
SUNSETTING NOT AS A STEP TOWARD BETTER MANAGEMENT BUT AS 
A MEANS OF REDUCING OUR CONTRIBUTION.  A RESOLUTION 
CALLING FOR AN IMMEDIATE TERMINATION DATE ON ALL PROJECTS 
IS UNLIKELY TO CLEAR EITHER FAO'S FINANCE COMMITTEE OR 
COUNCIL, AND WILL MAKE SOME MEMBERS MORE SUSPICIOUS OF 
ANY EFFORT TO IMPROVE THE MTP.  IN RESPONSE TO A QUESTION 
FROM THE U.S. PERMREP ON SUNSETTING AT THE MAY 2000 JOINT 
PROGRAM/FINANCE COMMITTEE, THE DIRECTOR OF FAO'S OFFICE 
OF PROGRAM, BUDGET AND EVALUATION URGED THAT MEMBERS SHOW 
PATIENCE IN PUSHING FOR CHANGE (REF E). 
 
6. THE MISSION WILL CONTINUE PRIVATELY TO STRESS TO 
MEMBERS THE MANAGERIAL BENEFITS OF SUNSET PROVISIONS, AND 
THE FACT THAT FAR FROM REDUCING FAO'S BUDGET, THESE 
IMPROVEMENTS ARE LIKELY TO MAKE DONORS MORE WILLING TO 
CONTRIBUTE.  WE WILL CONTINUE TO DISCUSS INFORMALLY A 
SUNSET RESOLUTION AMONG DONORS IN THE GENEVA GROUP.  IT 
SHOULD BE NOTED THAT BOTH THE 1999 AND THE 2000 ANNUAL 
GENEVA GROUP REPORTS INCLUDED A PUSH FOR BETTER RESULTS- 
BASED BUDGETING ON THE GROUP'S "TO-DO" LIST.  THE 2001 
REPORT, CURRENTLY BEING DRAFTED, WILL DO LIKEWISE. 
HEILEMAN 
 
> 
2002ROME00468 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED 


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