UNFCCC Reports Efficiency Gains for 2012-2013

UNFCCC2 May 2014: The UNFCCC Secretariat has published a report on efficiency gains made during the biennium 2012–2013 (FCCC/SBI/2014/INF.4), in advance of the 40th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 40). The document summarizes measures taken by the Secretariat to improve efficiency in a sustainable manner, describes the delivery of relevant outputs, and provides examples of specific efficiency gains, including cost savings and costs avoided.

The report describes the roll out of the efficiency programme, whereby the Secretariat conducted 13 ‘workouts,' which are designed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of Secretariat operations with an emphasis on net cost savings. The workouts, through a facilitation process, identified the root causes and constraints of the related process or operation, as well as solutions aimed at achieving significant and sustainable improvements and efficiency gains.

To facilitate efforts to improve efficiency, the following were developed and implemented: an online collaboration platform based on SharePoint; a benefits realization tracking system; online training material; a prioritization and selection process to channel ideas and proposals efficiently and effectively; and meetings with staff and management and internal newsletter articles to raise awareness and seek feedback on the efficiency programme.

The report describes the key criteria for selecting and prioritizing workouts and other improvement projects in the Secretariat and measures for their success, including: net financial benefits; positive impacts on accomplishing Secretariat goals; reduced risk and higher compliance with rules and regulations; higher levels of client satisfaction; and reduced lead time.

The report then identifies efficiency workouts and related initiatives undertaken in 2012–2013, including those that have already resulted in significant efficiency gains. It also outlines efficency workouts in an early phase of implementation, including those related to: staff travel; recruitment process effectiveness and efficiency; Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) fees and invoices; the Secretariat's internal decision-making process on workshops and meetings; arrangements for Compliance Committee meetings; submission and consideration of CDM methodologies; the tracking of payments to CDM experts; the engagment of external organizations and private entities; the prepartion of releases of the greenhouse gas (GHG) data interface; and correspondence management.

Other activities related to enhancing efficiency and cost effectiveness include: establishment of a documents focal points (DFP) team; the convening of Technology Executive Committee (TEC) meetings in Bonn, instead of elsewhere, and in conjunction with other meetings; enhanced use of virtual participation and social media tools; the use of SharePoint to distribute documentation to review experts; documentation on workflows for preparing documents, supporting sessions, organizing workshops and providing general team support within the mitigation, data and analysis programme; and the implementation of international public-sector accounting standards as of 1 January 2014. [Publication: Report on Efficiency Gains Made During the Biennium 2012–2013]