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Overview of the Operations Function in the GAVI Secretariat

30 May 2000

A. Introduction

  1. The purpose of this document is to provide a brief overview of the operations function in the GAVI Secretariat to the GAVI Board members, and to obtain their endorsement of this arrangement. This paper will not cover issues related to the management of the Vaccine Fund, which will be covered in other documents.
  2. At the meeting of the GAVI Proto-Board in Seattle in July 1999, UNICEF offered to host the GAVI Secretariat in the UNICEF Office for Europe in Geneva. This offer included the utilisation of the UNICEF infrastructure and systems.
  3. It is proposed that the Secretariat follow the UNICEF rules and regulations for its administrative, financial and human resource management. However, as the Alliance is a unique and separate entity, there may be a need to make adaptations or exceptions to these rules and regulations, in order to meet particular needs of the Alliance. In such cases, the Executive Secretary will present a proposal to UNICEF and the Working Group for endorsement. Such exceptions will be reported to the Board in a "Log of Administrative adaptations and exceptions for the GAVI Secretariat".
B. Work Plan and Working Group
  1. The Secretariat will collaborate with the Working Group to prepare an annual work plan, to be submitted for approval to the GAVI Board. The members of the Working Group will be responsible for implementation of the plan.

C. Financial Management

  1. The GAVI Board has agreed that each member of the Alliance will contribute US$ 300,000 annually for the functioning of the Secretariat. The Executive Secretary is accountable for the utilisation of these funds according to the appropriations approved by the GAVI Board.
  2. The funds are administered as a trust account within UNICEF and therefore are not considered to be income to UNICEF. Funds are disbursed through UNICEF Geneva at the request of the Executive Secretary.
  3. To facilitate management of the funds, it is proposed to pool the contributions into one reporting, financial and auditing system.
  4. The accounting unit is the Unites States dollar. The equivalent in United States dollars of other currencies is established on the basis of the United Nations operational rates of exchange.
  5. Expenditures are accounted for on an accrual basis, except for those relating to staff entitlements which are accounted for on the basis of cash disbursements only. UNICEF has agreed that the normal Cost Recovery for incremental indirect costs will not be levied against the Secretariat funds. This applies the various financial transactions, including bank charges.
  6. The UNICEF Comptroller is the only authorised source to provide a certified financial report. This would be done as soon as the UNICEF books are closed. Certified financial reports would be available within 60 days of the closing of the books for the financial year. As soon as these reports are released, the Executive Secretary will submit them for approval to the Board. The Secretariat will be able to access utilisation reports at any time.
  7. It is proposed to follow a fiscal cycle starting on 1 January of each year; budgets will therefore be approved by the GAVI Board in the Autumn session preceding the new fiscal year.
  8. The Executive Secretary will regularly communicate to UNICEF concerning the Table of Authority, for the approval of GAVI transactions.

D. Administrative Management

  1. Procurement of office supplies and furniture, handling of official travel are performed according to UNICEF rules and regulations, within budgetary appropriations.
E. Human Resources Management
  1. The GAVI Board approved six posts for the Secretariat. Staff members working in the Secretariat are basically working on two types of UNICEF contracts (Fixed-term appointments and on a reimbursable loan basis).
  2. The Executive Secretary is to be appointed by the Executive Director of UNICEF based on a Board-directed selection process. The Executive Secretary isresponsible for the appointment of the Secretariat staff. UNICEF recruitment procedures will be followed with regards to advertisement of posts. In the case of profession staff, a review panel will include at least two members of the Working Group.
  3. UNICEF Special Service Agreements contracts are issued for consultants.
F. Audit
  1. The Secretariat will be subject to Internal Audit review by the Office of Internal Audit of UNICEF. Audit reports will be addressed to the UNICEF Executive Director with copies to the Executive Secretary. The UNICEF Executive Director will then inform the Board.
G. Management Facilities Provided by UNICEF.
  1. The Secretariat is grateful to UNICEF for hosting its offices within the Regional Office for Europe in Geneva and for being able to benefit from the Common Services facilities provided by its IT, Operations and HR Sections.
  2. The Secretariat will absorb the cost telephone calls and the purchase of its equipment and office supplies.
  3. Once the Board endorsement is received, it is proposed that the Chairperson of the GAVI Board and the UNICEF Executive Director formally signs this Overview of the Operations Function in the GAVI Secretariat.


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