13 December 2016
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 134: Programme budget for the biennium 2016-2017: Global Service Delivery Model (GSDM).
2. At the outset the Group of 77 and China would like to thank Mr. Yukio Takasu, Under Secretary-General for Management, for introducing the Report of the Secretary-General on this agenda item, as contained in document A/71/417. The Group would also like to thank Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing the related report of that Committee, as contained in document A/71/666.
3. The Group of 77 and China consider that business transformation initiatives should be supported as long as they prove to be an improvement of service delivery to Member States and the mandate implementation. It is under this view that the Group approaches the current proposed framework for GSDM.
4. The Group also notes that the rationale for a new service delivery model for the Organization is aimed at responding to increasing complexities in the administrative structures, policies, procedures and delegations of authority in the Organization.
5. While acknowledging the report of the Secretary-General, the Group agrees with the ACABQ and is concerned that the report of the Secretary-General does not provide complete information for decision-making by the General Assembly, as requested by the General Assembly in its resolution 70/248A. The Group would have expected a concrete business case which includes an end-state vision, clear goals and objectives and a detailed cost-benefit analysis containing information on qualitative and quantitative benefits.
6. The Group of 77 and China would like to emphasize that the development of the model should fully take into account the experience and lessons learned from the ongoing and concluded business transformation projects including IPSAS, Umoja, human resources management reform, staff mobility, ICT strategy and Global Field Support Strategy.
7. The Group would like to reiterate that any new revised proposal should avoid duplication or overlapping of the functions and that it should be built, to the extent possible, on existing infrastructure and expertise, including those available at the offices away from headquarters and in field missions.
8. The Group notes that it is important to build on the synergies achieved during the implementation of the Global Field Support Strategy as recommended by the ACABQ in particular the organization of the end to end processes into service lines at the Regional Service Center. We emphasize the importance of first consolidating service delivery within peacekeeping missions and special political missions before extending this initiative to the entire UN Secretariat.
9. Furthermore, the Group recalls that paragraph 8 in section XIX of resolution 70/248 A emphasized that future proposals related to GSDM, including budget proposals related to qualitative and quantitative benefits from the development and implementation of the model, will be contingent on the presentation by the Secretary-General of clear benefit realization plans containing specific information on potential benefits to be achieved. In this regard, the Group also recalls that in its resolution 70/248A the General Assembly stated that GSDM should be limited to the provision of administrative support services.
10. The Group of 77 and China consider that the comments and recommendations of the Board of Auditors are also to be fully taken into account when approaching this matter. It is necessary to recall that the Board has highlighted the continued absence of an agreed and documented global estates strategy and the lack of key performance benchmarks and data on occupancy rates.
11. The Group also highlights that the Board of Auditor's report has clearly indicated evidences that the Secretariat does not have all the capability required to deliver current required level of organizational improvements. Among others, The Group is concerned that the Secretariat is reliant on professional service firms to implement the majority of central improvement initiatives, especially in organizational change management in projects such as Umoja. Thus, it is predictable that if urgent and comprehensive remedial actions are not taken further, change management initiatives such as GSDM will inherit such situation.
12. The Group is conscious of the fact that GSDM offers to relocate functions to what would be shared service centers. Nonetheless the Group is concerned and has doubt about how the Secretariat will ensure that when centralizing functions from offices away from headquarters the decision making power of this offices is respected and maintained in order to avoid an over centralized system that would weaken the authority of these offices.
13. With regard to governance, the Group would like to recall that strong leadership and effective project governance are essential element for the success of this complex, organization-wide business transformation initiative. The Group, therefore, urges the Secretary-General to ensure that the development of the model incorporates mechanisms for senior management ownership and accountability so as to guarantee successful delivery of the intended objectives.
14. Last but not least, let me convey once again our concern on the over expenditure tendency on change management initiatives. The Group would like to highlight that, while fully acknowledging the prerogatives of the Secretary-General as the chief administrative officer of the Organization, the work and resources of the Organization must be properly channeled towards the priorities set out by Member States as just reaffirmed in paragraph 4 of General Assembly resolution 71/6.
15. In conclusion, I would like to assure you of the Group's readiness to engage constructively on this important agenda item.
I thank you, Madam Chair.