UNDP/ADM/99/59

 

UNDP/ADM/99/59
12 August 1999

To: All UNDP Country Offices
From: Deborah Landey
Director
Office of Human Resources, BPRM
Subject: Delegation of Authority to Resident Representatives to approve Rental Advances applicable to Internationally-Recruited Staff

      Within the framework of UNDP 2001, the Office of Human Resources has introduced over the past year a series of re-engineering and streamlining measures in the area of administration of staff member’s entitlements in order to better respond to the needs of the clients. I am now pleased to announce in this circular another step in this process: the delegation of authority to country offices to approve rental advances. Annex “B” provides an up-dated summary of the measures announced, including the current one.

 

SUMMARY

1)  Resident Representatives are authorized to approve rental advance requests in local
currency or in US dollars up to the equivalent amount of US$25,000 to be recovered
locally from the staff member over a period not exceeding 12 months or the duration of the
staff member's appointment, whichever is less.

2)  OHR will continue to approve rental advances in excess of US$25,000 or when rental
advances requests are to be recovered from the staff member over a period exceeding 12
months.

Effective date: 1 September 1999

1.    Background

       At some duty stations, staff members are required to pay their rents in advance in local currency or in a currency other than that of the duty station. Where the conditions of the local housing market warrant it and this is certified by the Resident Representative, an internationally-recruited Staff member serving at a country office may be granted a rental advance in cases where at least three months’ rent may have to be paid in advance for living accommodation.

2.   Current Procedures

      a) All requests for advances for pre-payment of rent are currently being submitted to the staff member’s Personnel Specialist in the Office of Human Resources. The requests include the amount of the rent, the number of months for which it is to be prepaid, the amount and currency of the advance requested, and where the advance should be paid. Rental advance requests in excess of US$I 5,000 are submitted with a copy of the lease agreement. The Office of Human Resources has been approving rental advance requests supported by the Resident Representatives when there is an indication that this is in line with the local housing market conditions.

      b) Rental advance in local currency. When the currency of the advance is requested in local currency, OHR authorizes the Resident Representative to pay the staff member the rental advance, charging the amount to a separate ARL to be reported in F5.02 under “Other ARL” showing details of the closing balance. The advance is then recovered locally over the period for which the rent is advanced. This period may not in any case exceed the duration of the staff member’s appointment.

      c) Rental advance in convertible currency. If the rental advance is requested in convertible currency, the advance is authorized by OHR, implemented by the United Nations Payroll Section and recovered from the staff member’s salary by regular payroll deductions over the period for which the rent is advanced. This period may also not exceed the duration of the staff member’s appointment.

3.    Revised Procedures

      a) In order to expedite payment to our clients, Resident Representatives are now authorized to approve rental advance requests up to US$25.000 for a staff member in the currency specified by the lease agreement (either in local currency or US dollars) to be recovered locally from the staff member over a period not exceeding 12 months. The period may not in any case exceed the duration of the appointment of the staff member. Rental advances approved locally by the Resident Representatives will not be recovered from the staff member’s salary by regular payroll deductions. Instead, the rental advance must be recovered locally on a monthly basis and in the currency in which it was made. Resident Representatives must ensure that the appropriate recovery is made in a timely manner. Staff members are responsible for making the necessary arrangements to reimburse the organization accordingly and for ensuring that a proper percentage of their salary is assigned to the duty station in the appropriate currency for repayment of monies due the organization.

       b) Country offices must contact the respective Personnel Specialist of BPRM/OHR in cases where a renewal of contract is pending! or when there is a problem in recovering the rental advance locally from the staff member.

      c) For all rental advance requests, Resident Representatives are expected to request the staff member to sign a written undertaking authorizing UNDP to recover any outstanding amount of rental advance from his/her salary by regular payroll deductions (in case of premature reassignment) and/or final emoluments (in case of premature separation). The Written Undertaking form is enclosed as Annex “A”.

      d) The Resident Representative’s own rental advance request should be approved by either the Deputy Resident Representative or the Operations Manager. When there are issues where headquarters’ review is deemed necessary, they can be submitted to the respective Personnel Specialist in OHR for advice with a copy of the lease agreement.

      e) SW administered by UNOPS must continue to address the request for rental advance to UNOPS Headquarters.

4.    Accountability

      a) Staff members are responsible for meeting their financial obligations to the Organization on a timely basis through regular monthly repayments.

      b) Resident Representatives are responsible for the follow-up and collection of advances approved by him/her as chargeable to the ARL. They are accountable for the following critical aspects of this delegated authority:

  • that the conditions of the local housing market warrant the granting of the rental advance (for this purpose, staff must submit a copy of the lease agreement to the Resident Representative’s office indicating the need for the rental advance and the currency of rent payment);

  • that the staff member signs the necessary rental advance request and written undertaking form (enclosed as Annex “A”);

  • that the administering unit of the country office sets up the appropriate recovery arrangement, charging the amount to a separate ARL to be reported in F5.02 under “Other ARL”;

  • that the Office of Human Resources is informed of any outstanding amount that needs to be recovered from the staff member’s salary by regular payroll deduction (in case of premature reassignment) and/or from the staff member’s final emoluments (in case of premature separation). Any outstanding obligations of staff members to UNDP country offices must also be reported in the Field Clearance Certificate.

5.    Rental advance requests in excess of US%25.000 or when recovery of rental advance is over a Period of more than 12 month

      a) OHR’s approval is required for the following requests:

  • rental advances in excess of US$25.000; or

  • rental advances requests to be recovered from the staff member’s salary over a period exceeding 12 months.

      b) Rental advance requests under these circumstances must be submitted to the respective Personnel Specialist in OHR for approval with a copy of the lease agreement. Details on the amount of the rent, the number of months for which it is to be prepaid, the amount and currency of the advance requested, and where the advance should be paid must also be provided to OHR with the rental advance request.

      c) A copy of the organigram is enclosed as Annex “C” to facilitate the identification of your respective Personnel Specialist.

Click-here to view the Annexes