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Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions

An independent body established by the United Nations (UN) to provide expert advice and recommendations on post adjustment issues.
Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions
Headquarters
United Nations Headquarters, New York
Year stablished
1946
Summary

The Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions (ACPAQ) is an international committee established to provide guidance and recommendations on post adjustment matters within the United Nations (UN) system. Post adjustment refers to the process of determining the cost-of-living and other conditions in different duty stations around the world and making adjustments to the salaries of UN staff members accordingly.

ACPAQ is composed of representatives from various UN agencies, funds, and programs, as well as staff associations. Its primary role is to review and analyze data related to living costs, exchange rates, and other factors that affect the post adjustment classification of duty stations. The committee examines and compares the conditions in different locations to ensure that UN staff members receive a fair and equitable compensation package.

The recommendations provided by ACPAQ are based on comprehensive analyses and consultations with experts in the field. The committee takes into account various factors such as the cost of goods and services, housing, education, health care, and the overall economic situation in each duty station. These recommendations are crucial for maintaining a consistent and fair system of remuneration for UN personnel working in diverse locations worldwide.

The work of ACPAQ contributes to promoting fairness, transparency, and equity in the compensation system of the UN. By ensuring that the salaries of UN staff members are adjusted appropriately to reflect the cost-of-living variations in different duty stations, ACPAQ plays a significant role in attracting and retaining qualified professionals from around the globe to work for the UN and its associated agencies.


History

The history of the Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions (ACPAQ) can be traced back to the establishment of the United Nations itself. The issue of adjusting salaries and allowances for UN staff members working in different duty stations has been a matter of concern since the early years of the organization.

In 1946, the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) was created to address various human resources matters within the UN system, including the adjustment of salaries. However, it wasn't until 1953 that the ICSC established the Committee on Post Adjustment to specifically focus on the post adjustment issue.

Over the years, the Committee on Post Adjustment underwent several transformations and refinements to enhance its effectiveness and efficiency. In 1973, it was renamed the Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions (ACPAQ) to better reflect its role as an advisory body.

ACPAQ's mandate expanded over time to include not only the analysis of cost-of-living data but also the examination of other factors such as exchange rates, inflation, and economic conditions affecting duty stations worldwide. The committee developed methodologies and guidelines to ensure a fair and consistent approach to post adjustment classification.

In 1994, the ICSC established a tripartite composition for ACPAQ, comprising representatives from management, staff associations, and the ICSC itself. This composition aimed to foster a balanced and inclusive decision-making process, taking into account the perspectives of all stakeholders involved.

Since its inception, ACPAQ has been actively engaged in providing recommendations on post adjustment matters to the ICSC and the UN General Assembly. Its expertise and analysis play a crucial role in determining the appropriate salary adjustments for UN staff members working in different duty stations, considering the variations in living costs and economic conditions.

Throughout its history, ACPAQ has continuously adapted to changes in the global economic landscape and evolving standards of fairness and equity. Its work remains vital in ensuring that UN staff members receive adequate compensation for their service, regardless of their duty station, thereby supporting the UN's mission of promoting international peace, development, and cooperation.


Goals and Purpose

The Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions (ACPAQ) is dedicated to achieving several important goals within the United Nations (UN) system. Its primary objective is to ensure that UN staff members receive fair and equitable compensation for their work, regardless of their duty station. To achieve this, ACPAQ conducts thorough analyses of various factors, including living costs, exchange rates, and economic conditions, in order to recommend appropriate adjustments that accurately reflect the realities of different duty stations.

One of ACPAQ's key aspirations is to establish consistency and transparency in the methodologies used to determine post adjustments. By providing clear guidelines and criteria, the committee aims to promote a uniform approach in evaluating and classifying duty stations. This consistency not only enhances transparency but also ensures that staff members understand the rationale behind the salary adjustments they receive.

ACPAQ is committed to accurately assessing the cost of living in different duty stations. It conducts comprehensive analyses of data related to goods, services, housing, education, healthcare, and other essential aspects to provide reliable and up-to-date information on the cost-of-living variations across duty stations. This information is crucial for determining appropriate compensation levels that reflect the true economic realities faced by UN staff.

Collaboration with relevant stakeholders is a fundamental principle for ACPAQ. The committee engages with management, staff associations, and the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) to gather different perspectives and ensure that decisions are balanced and representative of the interests of all parties involved. By fostering a collaborative environment, ACPAQ aims to make informed recommendations that are widely accepted and supported within the UN system.

Furthermore, ACPAQ recognizes the importance of its role in recruitment and retention efforts. By ensuring that salaries and allowances are adjusted appropriately to reflect the realities of different duty stations, the committee helps attract and retain qualified professionals from around the world. This contributes to the effectiveness and efficiency of UN operations and reinforces the organization's ability to fulfill its mandate.

To further enhance its goals and objectives, ACPAQ can consider implementing a regular review mechanism. This mechanism would allow for the continuous assessment of the effectiveness and impact of its recommendations, ensuring ongoing improvement and adjustment of methodologies based on feedback from UN staff members and other stakeholders.

Additionally, ACPAQ should prioritize comprehensive data collection efforts to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information used in post adjustment analyses. Strengthening partnerships with external research organizations and leveraging advanced data collection methodologies can further enhance the committee's ability to provide accurate and relevant information to support its recommendations.

In summary, the Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions (ACPAQ) is dedicated to achieving fair and equitable compensation for UN staff members across duty stations. Through consistency, transparency, accurate data analysis, stakeholder collaboration, and a focus on recruitment and retention, ACPAQ plays a vital role in maintaining a robust compensation system that supports the UN's mission and ensures the well-being of its dedicated workforce.


Impact

The impact of the Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions (ACPAQ) within the United Nations (UN) system is significant and far-reaching. Its work has several notable impacts:

Fair and Equitable Compensation: ACPAQ's recommendations ensure that UN staff members receive fair and equitable compensation for their work, regardless of their duty station. By analyzing living costs, exchange rates, and economic conditions, the committee helps establish appropriate post adjustments that accurately reflect the realities of different duty stations. This ensures that staff members are fairly compensated for the variations in the cost of living and economic conditions they experience.

Consistency and Transparency: ACPAQ's efforts to establish consistent methodologies and guidelines for determining post adjustments promote transparency within the UN system. Staff members can understand and trust the rationale behind the salary adjustments they receive. The consistent approach also fosters a sense of fairness and equal treatment across duty stations, enhancing morale and overall job satisfaction.

Recruitment and Retention: ACPAQ's work directly impacts the recruitment and retention of qualified professionals within the UN. By ensuring that salaries and allowances are adjusted appropriately, the committee helps attract and retain talent from diverse backgrounds and geographical locations. This is crucial for maintaining a skilled workforce that can effectively address the complex challenges faced by the UN and its associated agencies.

Global Workforce Mobility: ACPAQ's recommendations facilitate global workforce mobility within the UN system. By providing accurate information on living costs and economic conditions in different duty stations, the committee enables staff members to make informed decisions about their assignments. This promotes the mobility of UN personnel, allowing them to gain valuable experience and contribute their skills to various parts of the world where they are most needed.

Financial Stewardship: ACPAQ's work also impacts financial stewardship within the UN. By carefully analyzing data and conducting thorough assessments, the committee ensures that the UN allocates its resources wisely and efficiently. The recommendations help strike a balance between providing competitive compensation to staff members and maintaining fiscal responsibility.

Organizational Effectiveness: ACPAQ's recommendations play a vital role in enhancing the overall effectiveness of the UN and its associated agencies. By providing fair and equitable compensation, the committee helps motivate and retain talented staff members. This, in turn, contributes to the successful implementation of the UN's mandates, programs, and initiatives, leading to improved outcomes in areas such as peacekeeping, development, humanitarian assistance, and human rights.


References
Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions
Headquarters
United Nations Headquarters, New York
Year stablished
1946