Management of property (Policy Compendium)

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Financial Regulations and Rules >> V. Utilization of Funds >> D. Property Management >> Management of property

This policy was issued on 4 June 2015 under ST/AI/2015/4. It is being reviewed to align with the new delegation of authority framework and the new management architecture.

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Section 1: General Provisions

1.1 The purpose of the present instruction is to set out the authority, responsibility and procedures for the management and control of property of the United Nations at all offices, departments and locations of the Secretariat, including the maintenance of records of the property of the United Nations and its verification and disposal.

1.2 With regard to financial accounting for theproperty of the United Nations, the present instruction is to be applied, together with the applicable accounting standards as set forth in the relevant information circular, as issued from time to time by the Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts.[1]

Section 2: Authority and responsibility

2.1 In accordance with financial rules 101.1 and 105.20, the Under-Secretary-General for Management has delegated authority and responsibility for the management of the property of the United Nations to the Assistant Secretary-General for Central Support Services.

2.2 In accordance with financial rule 101.1, the Assistant Secretary-General for Central Support Services may further delegate to the heads of departments or offices or other appropriate officials of the Secretariat the responsibility to perform property management functions in accordance with the Financial Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and the present instruction.

2.3 The heads of departments or offices or other officials of the Secretariat to whom such responsibility has been delegated shall be responsible and accountable for the management and control of all property of the United Nations in their custody in accordance with the provisions of the applicable Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and the Financial Regulations and Rules of the United Nations, as well as the present instruction. The responsibilities of such heads of departments or offices or other officials of the Secretariat include the receipt, recording, valuation, safekeeping, physical verification, and appropriate use and disposal of the property of the United Nations.

2.4 Each head of department or office or other official of the Secretariat to whom such responsibility has been delegated may, in turn, designate staff to ensure the proper utilization and safecustody of the property of the United Nations and to ensure that the accuracy of property records is maintained in accordance with the present instruction.

2.5 While overall responsibility for the management of the property of the United Nations shall reside with each such head of department or office or other official, each staff member is responsible for the proper care, use and security of property assigned for his or her use in the exercise of official duties, in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (q).

Section 3: Types and categories of property

3.1 Property of the United Nations is either “tangible property” or “intangible property” over which the United Nations exercises dominion and control, whether as a result of an acquisition, a gift or devise or an agreement for its short-term or long-term use. In some cases, tangible property of the United Nations may also have intangible property rights concurrently associated with the tangible property itself.

3.2 “Tangible property” of the United Nations consists of either:

(a) Immovable property, which is property that takes the form of land and/or any buildings or other structures erected thereon, whether owned by the United Nations or used under a lease or other licence, together with any plant, equipment, structures, landscaping or other objects that are permanently affixed to the land or appurtenant to such land, including easements and other rights associated with such land;
(b) Moveable property, which is any property that has a physical formand that cannot otherwise be defined as immovable property (as defined in sect. 3.2 (a)), whether such property is owned by the United Nations or used under a lease or other licence, and includes, without limitation, equipment, machinery, vehicles, communication and information technology equipment, furniture and fittings, and expendable items that are not an integral part of or otherwise affixed to immovable property and that can be used elsewhere if uninstalled from their previous locations.

3.3 “Intangible property” of the United Nations, whether owned by, licensed to or otherwise acquired and used by the United Nations by right, consists of any property that does not have a physical form and commonly consists of intellectual property, such as patents, copyrighted materials, trademarks and other legally protected marks and identifiers (including names, acronyms, armorial bearings, flags and logos), whether developed by:

(a) Staff members as part of their official duties and activities, in accordance withstaff rule 1.9;
(b) Contractors or consultants, for the exclusive use of the United Nations, pursuant to the terms of the applicable contracts or other agreements;
(c) Third parties and provided to, made available to or otherwise used by, the United Nations under the applicable agreements governing such use.

Section 4: Financial accounting for property

4.1 Pursuant to financial rule 105.20, the Under-Secretary-General for Management shall establish policies and procedures for the financial accounting for the property of the United Nations.4.2Property of the United Nations, whether tangible or intangible, may be classified as “capitalized property” or “non-capitalized property”:

(a) “Capitalized property” is property that meets the requirements for recognition as a financial asset in accordance with the applicable United Nations accounting standards and, as such, is subject to the valuation and accounting procedures set forth in the relevant information circular;
(b) “Non-capitalized property” is property that does not meet the requirements for recognition as a financial asset in accordance with the applicable United Nations accounting standards and, as such, is not subject to the valuation and accounting procedures set forth in the relevant information circular.

4.3 All capitalized property of the United Nations shall be subject to the valuation and accounting procedures set forth in the relevant information circular, as issued from time to time by the Department of Management.

4.4 All non-capitalized property and expendable property of the United Nations shall be subject to the recording and tracking procedures set forth in the relevant information circular, as issued from time to time by the Department of Management.

4.5 For the purposes of the present instruction, “expendable property” is tangible property that is consumed in use, is transformed or absorbed into any substance during use or otherwise loses its identity when in use.

Section 5: Maintenance of property records

5.1 Pursuant to financial rules 105.20 and 105.21, the Under-Secretary-General for Management shall establish policies and procedures for the maintenance of property records as follows.

5.2 Except as set forth in section 5.3, information relating to the control, custody, care, use, maintenance, issuance and financial accounting for the property of the United Nations shall be maintained in the records relating to the property of the United Nations. Such information shall be monitored throughout the life cycle of the items of property concerned.

5.3 Property records are not required to be maintained for expendable property, but may be maintained when, in the discretion of the head of department or office concerned, verification and control of such expendable property is necessary for the efficient management of that department or office, or for the protection of the legal interests of the United Nations (e.g., when the use or consumption of the property is subject to the terms of an agreement with a third party).

Section 6: Verification and control of property

6.1 Pursuant to financial rule 105.21, the Under-Secretary-General for Management shall establish policies for the verification and control of property as follows.

6.2 Unless as provided otherwise (see sects. 6.3 to 6.5), all property of the United Nations shall be monitored and controlled throughout the life cycle of each item of property, from receipt to disposal. Physical verification of the property of the United Nations shall be conducted regularly and as deemed necessary to ensure adequate control over the property.

6.3 Expendable property shall be monitored and controlled until it is issued for use or consumption. A physical verification may be performed when, in the discretion of the head of department or office concerned, such verification is necessary to ensure adequate control over the property and accountability.

6.4 For capitalized property, the physical verification shall be performed at least once during each financial year. The findings of the verification process shall be reconciled with the property records.

6.5 For intangible property, the verification shall be conducted at such times, with such frequency and using such methods as are necessary and appropriate, or as may be required by an agreement with a third party in order to ensure the appropriate use and custody of the intangible property. Appropriate control systems for intangible property shall be put in place.

6.6 Property of the United Nations that has been issued by a department or office to staff members for use outside United Nations premises shall be monitored to ensure that it is properly accounted for and that related records are maintained.

6.7 Property of the United Nations issued to, made available to, or otherwise used by, a staff member shall be returned to the United Nations, through, if possible, the issuing department or office, when required by the issuing department or office, upon the staff member’s separation from service, or, if required, upon his or her reassignment or transfer to another department or office. In the case of any such reassignment or transfer, final confirmation that the property has been returned shall be obtained from the head of department or office to whom the staff member reports at the time the property concerned is returned.

Section 7: Write-off and disposal of property

7.1 To the extent that the advice of the Headquarters Property Review Board or a local property survey board established pursuant to financial rule 105.22 is required:

(a) Items of tangible property that are surplus to operational requirements, unserviceable or obsolete and are not encumbered by any third-party rights shall be promptly identified, written off and disposed of in accordance with financial regulation 5.14, financial rules 105.23 and 105.24 and related administrative issuances;
(b) Loss, damage, impairment or other discrepancy in respect of items of property shall be written off in accordance with financial rule 106.7 and related administrative issuances.

7.2 To the extent that the advice of the Headquarters Property Review Board or a local property survey board established pursuant to financial rule 105.22 is not required, write-off and disposal of property shall be implemented by the official with the requisite delegation of authority to do so.

Superior regulations and rules

Associated guidance

  • 2006.22 DPKO Property Management Manual

References

  1. ST/AI/2015/4