Contingent-owned equipment

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Contingent-owned equipment, or COE, consists of the major equipment and self-sustainment capabilities that are deployed as part of military and police contingents in United Nations peace operations. Troop- and police-contributing countries (T/PCCs) are reimbursed for COE under rates and conditions established by the General Assembly on the basis of recommendations of the Working Group on Contingent-Owned Equipment, which meets every three years.

The contingent-owned equipment deployed with each contingent, along with the applicable reimbursement rates, is spelled out in a memorandum of understanding negotiated between the T/PCC and the United Nations as part of the force generation process.

The applicable COE reimbursement rates, policies and procedures are contained in the COE Manual; the latest version is the 2017 edition.

Types of contingent-owned equipment

All COE falls under one of two types, which are reimbursed in different ways: major equipment, or equipment used by a contingent to support the mission mandate (e.g. vehicles, and self-sustainment, or equipment used by the contingent to support itself (e.g. catering, laundry, office supplies). Some categories of equipment can be reimbursed as either major equipment or self-sustainment based on how it is used, e.g. electrical and medical equipment.

Major equipment

Major equipment is reimbursed per item or set of equipment using a monthly rate calculated based on the total cost of the equipment and its estimated useful life. If the contingent is responsible for maintenance (i.e. a wet lease), a maintenance factor is included in the reimbursement rate. Otherwise, the UN is responsible for maintenance (i.e. a dry lease). The reimbursement rate also includes a no-fault incident factor, which addresses costs that may be incurred in dealing with damage resulting from no-fault incidents. No reimbursement is paid on account of equipment that is not present or serviceable. [1]

Self-sustainment

In the MOU, the UN and the T/PCC agree on which categories of self-sustainment will be provided by the UN and which by the contingent. For those categories provided by the contingent, reimbursement is paid on a per-person, per-month basis if the agreed service is provided to UN standard. [2]

Factors

Reimbursement rates also take into account a number of factors that provide additional reimbursement. These include

  • Mission factors[3]
    • Extreme environmental conditions factor (maximum of 5% bonus to major equipment or self-sustainment rates)
    • Intensified operational conditions factor (maximum of 5% bonus to major equipment or self-sustainment rates)
    • Hostile action or forced abandonment factor (maximum of 5% bonus to self-sustainment rates or half of the maintenance rate for major equipment)
  • Incremental transportation factor [4]
    • Calculated based on the distance between port of embarkation for in the T/PCC and the port of entry of the mission area, to account for the costs of maintaining supply lines for spare parts, consumables, etc. Applies to the maintenance rate for major equipment only.

Loss or damage

Loss or damage due to no-fault incidents is covered under the no-fault incident factor.

Loss or damage due to hostile action is covered under the hostile action or forced abandonment mission factor for low-value loss/damage. For high-value single incidents or cumulative losses, the T/PCC can file a claim with the UN.[5]

COE Working Group

The COE Working Group meets for a two-week session every three years and makes recommendations to the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly on the basis of issue papers submitted either by Member States or the Secretariat. These recommendations are contained in a report transmitted in a letter from the Chair of the Working Group to the Chair of the Fifth Committee. In recent years, the COE Working Group has divided its work amongst three sub-working groups, one covering major equipment, one covering self-sustainment and one covering medical issues (given the level of specialized expertise required).

Resolution Date Working Group WG report SG report ACABQ report Notes
49/233A 23 Dec 1994 A/48/945 and Corr.1 A/49/664 and Add.1 Established project plan for Phase I-V
Phase II A/C.5/49/66
50/222 10 May 1996 Phase III A/C.5/49/70 A/50/807 A/50/887 Established the COE system from 1 July 1996
54/19A 22 Nov 1999 Phase IV A/C.5/52/39 A/53/465 A/53/944
54/19B 14 Jul 2000 Phase V A/C.5/54/49 A/54/795 A/54/826
55/274 14 Jun 2001 Post-phase V A/C.5/55/39 and Corr.1 A/55/815 A/55/887 Established triennial review of reimbursement rates
59/298 22 Jun 2005 2004 A/C.5/58/37 and Corr.1 A/59/292 A/59/736
62/252 20 Jun 2008 2008 A/C.5/62/26 A/62/774 and Corr.1 A/62/851
65/292 30 Jun 2011 2011 A/C.5/65/16 A/65/800 A/65/830
68/282 30 Jun 2014 2014 A/C.5/68/22 A/68/830 A/68/867
71/296 30 Jun 2017 2017 A/C.5/71/20 A/71/802 A/71/872
2020 A/74/689 A/74/698 No agreement reached by working group on changes to rates

COE Manual

Officially the “Manual on Policies and Procedures Concerning the Reimbursement and Control of Contingent-Owned Equipment of Troop/Police Contributors Participating in Peacekeeping Missions”. The COE Manual is issued after the General Assembly has taken action on the recommendations of the COE Working Group and reflects the updated policies, procedures and rates related to COE, as well as the text of the model memorandum of understanding.

Early editions of the COE Manual were compiled by the Government of Norway. In its resolution 59/298, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation of the ACABQ, in paragraph 12 of A/59/708, “…to distribute the updated Contingent-Owned Equipment Manual as an official document of the United Nations…”.

See also

References

  1. COE Manual, chapter 3 and annex A
  2. COE Manual, chapter 3 and annex B
  3. COE Manual, chapter 7
  4. COE Manual, chapter 4
  5. COE Manual, chapter 6