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Rules of Procedure of the ICPO

 

 

RULES OF PROCEDURE

of the International Commission
for the Protection of the Oder against Pollution

laid down pursuant to Article 5(3) of the Convention on the International Commission for the Protection of the Oder
 


Article 1
Scope

 

On the basis of the Convention on the International Commission for the Protection of the Oder (hereinafter referred to as 'the Convention'), these Rules of Procedure shall apply to the work of the International Commission for the Protection of the Oder against Pollution (hereinafter referred to as 'the Commission') and of its working parties.


Article 2
Chairmanship of the Commission

(Article 6 of the Convention)

 

1. The chairmanship of the Commission shall be held for a period of three years by each Contracting Party delegation (hereinafter referred to as 'delegation') in turn. The chairmanship shall be held by the delegations in the order in which the Contracting Parties are listed in the preamble to the Polish version of the Convention (Republic of Poland, Czech Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, European Community). Each chairmanship period shall commence at the beginning of a year. The first chairmanship period of the delegation of the Republic of Poland shall expire at the end of 2001.

2. If a delegation should decline to assume the chairmanship, the chairmanship shall pass to the delegation which is next in line. A decision not to assume the chairmanship must be notified to the other delegations in writing no later than six months before the date from which the delegation concerned is due to hold the chairmanship. In such cases, the chairmanship shall pass to the delegation which is next in the order referred to in Article 2(1).


Article 3
Chairman

(Article 6 of the Convention)

 

1. The Chairman of the Commission (hereinafter referred to as 'the Chairman') shall be designated by the delegation holding the chairmanship during the period concerned. The Chairman shall be appointed prior to the assumption of, and for the duration of, the chairmanship. The delegation holding the chairmanship may also designate another Chairman during its period of chairmanship. This shall be notified to the other delegations without delay, indicating the date on which the Chairman's powers pass to the new Chairman.

2. The Chairman may request the delegations to inform him of progress made in implementing Article 1 of the Convention. He may at any time request the chairmen of the working parties to brief him on the progress made in implementing the working parties' work programmes.

3. The Chairman shall chair the ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the Commission and heads of delegation meetings.

4. The Chairman shall, with the assistance of the Commission secretariat, allocate for the purpose of conducting his business the financial and material resources available to him within the framework of the Commission's budget and, where appropriate, resources provided by the Contracting Party holding the chairmanship.

5. The Commission shall be represented by its Chairman. The Chairman shall, in respect of legal transactions in the context of day-to-day administration, delegate authority to the executive manager (Article 14(8)), insofar as such transactions fall within the scope of the approved budget.

6. Should the Chairman be unable to perform his duties, he shall be represented by another member of the delegation holding the chairmanship.


Article 4
Members of the Commission

(Article 5(1) of the Convention)

 

1. The heads of delegation shall notify to the secretariat the names and addresses of the heads of delegation and deputy heads of delegation appointed by the Contracting Parties pursuant to Article 5(1) of the Convention, and of the delegates and alternate delegates. This shall apply mutatis mutandis to each change in the composition of the delegation. The secretariat shall forward such notifications to the Chairman and the other heads of delegation.

2. The chairmen of the working parties shall take part in meetings of the Commission even if they are not members of the delegations.


Article 5
Experts

(Article 5(2) of the Convention)

 

If, for the consideration of specific issues, a delegation calls in experts for consultation at meetings of the Commission or at heads of delegation or working party meetings, the secretariat shall be informed thereof, and of the names of the experts and their fields of expertise. The secretariat shall inform the Chairman (with regard to meetings of the Commission and heads of delegation meetings) and/or the relevant working party chairmen.
Any costs thereby incurred shall be borne by the delegation concerned.


Article 6
Ordinary meetings

(Article 7(1) of the Convention)

 

1. The date, time and place of ordinary meetings in a calendar year shall be agreed in advance at the Commission's final ordinary meeting of the preceding year. The final ordinary meeting of the year should as far as possible be held before the fifteenth day of November. The Chairman shall, no later than two months before a meeting, send a written invitation and the draft agenda to the heads of delegation and the working party chairmen. The heads of delegation shall, within two weeks, inform the Chairman of any comments they have on the agenda and of any additions they wish to make to it. The Chairman shall, on this basis, draw up the provisional agenda.

2. The provisional agenda drawn up by the Chairman and the meeting documents shall be sent by the secretariat to the heads of delegation and the working party chairmen four weeks before the meeting. The heads of delegation shall forward the provisional agenda and the meeting documents to the other members of the delegations and to other persons participating in the meeting (e.g. experts).

3. No later than three weeks before a meeting, the heads of delegation shall confirm their participation to the secretariat and shall provide the secretariat with the names of the delegation members taking part in the meeting and of other participants.

 

Article 7
Extraordinary meetings

(Article 7(2) of the Convention)

 

1. Extraordinary meetings may be convened by the Chairman after consulting the heads of delegation or at the request of a delegation.

2. The head of the delegation seeking an extraordinary meeting shall request the Chairman to convene such a meeting and shall inform him of the proposed agenda. The Chairman shall convene the extraordinary meeting as soon as possible, after consulting the other heads of delegation. The extraordinary meeting shall be held no later than two months after the request has been made.

3. In emergencies, the Chairman may reduce the time limit for the despatch of documents by the secretariat to two weeks before the meeting. Article 6 shall also apply mutatis mutandis.

 

Article 8
Cooperation

(Article 13(1) of the Convention)

 

1. The Commission may decide to invite to its meetings observers from third countries and national or international organisations whose activities are connected with the protection of waters. Their participation may be restricted to particular items on the agenda. The Commission shall adopt rules governing the admission as observers of international and national organisations whose activities are connected with the protection of waters and with other tasks given to the Commission pursuant to Article 2(3) of the Convention.

2. The Commission may decide to send observers to meetings of national or international organisations and, where appropriate, seek observer status. In emergencies, such decisions may be taken by the Chairman.

 

Article 9
Written procedure

(Article 8(3) of the Convention)

 

1. The Commission may, outside its meetings, take decisions by means of the written procedure. This shall also apply to decisions concerning recommendations and proposals addressed to the Contracting Parties.

2. The written procedure may be initiated by the Chairman or by the executive manager, with the agreement of the Chairman, by distributing a draft decision for consultation. The written procedure shall also be initiated by the Chairman if a delegation so requests and the delegation concerned submits a draft decision signed by its head of delegation. With the agreement of the Chairman, the executive manager shall forward the draft decision of the delegation concerned to the heads of all other delegations without delay.

3. A draft decision shall be deemed to have been adopted as soon as all delegations have approved it, or if no delegation rejects it within two months of its being sent to them. In emergencies, the Chairman may set a shorter time limit by common accord. If there are no objections to the draft decision, the heads of delegation shall inform the secretariat of this as soon as possible. If the time limit set is insufficient for the necessary consultations within a delegation, the head of the delegation concerned shall inform the Chairman, and the Chairman shall extend the time limit and inform the other delegations accordingly. The Chairman shall inform the delegations of the result of the written procedure no later than one month following the adoption of a decision. If a draft decision is rejected under the written procedure, it shall be placed on the agenda for the next ordinary meeting of the Commission.

 

Article 10
Heads of delegation meetings

(Article 7(3) of the Convention)

 

1. The Chairman, the heads of the delegations and the executive manager shall take part in heads of delegation meetings. In addition to the heads of the delegations, up to two further members of each delegation and, if necessary, the chairmen of the working parties and further secretariat staff may participate.

2. Heads of delegation meetings shall be convened by the Chairman. Articles 6 and 7 shall also apply mutatis mutandis.

3. The purpose of such meetings between heads of delegation shall be to coordinate tasks with a view to achieving the objectives specified in the Convention and, if necessary, to determine the order of priority of work to be carried out. These meetings shall also provide a forum for discussing Contracting Parties' current concerns, resolving possible disagreements and, if necessary, preparing ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the Commission. The results of a heads of delegation meeting shall be submitted to the Commission at its next meeting. This shall not affect the Commission's powers of decision-making.

4. The heads of delegation may ask the Chairman to brief them, at their meetings, on the activities of the Commission and of the working parties.

 

Article 11
Working parties

(Article 9 of the Convention)

 

1. The Commission shall be responsible for setting up working parties, laying down their tasks in the form of terms of reference and a work plan and determining the number of members they have. The Chairman may, with the agreement of the heads of delegation, delegate certain tasks to the working parties. In emergencies, the Chairman may obtain their agreement retrospectively.

2. Heads of delegation shall inform the secretariat of the names and official addresses (including telephone and fax numbers and e-mail addresses) of the members of the working parties. In each case, one of the designated members shall be appointed as spokesman in the working party concerned. This shall also apply if the composition of a working party is changed. The executive manager shall notify the chairmen of the working parties appointed pursuant to Article 9(3) and the heads of the other delegations.

3. The Commission shall appoint the chairmen of the working parties. As far as possible, delegates shall be appointed as chairmen of the working parties. As a general rule, chairmen shall not speak on behalf of their delegations. The Commission shall appoint one working party member as vice-chairman. If a working party chairman is unable, at short notice, to attend a working party meeting, a heads of delegation meeting or a meeting of the Commission, he shall be represented by the deputy chairman.

4. The chairmen of the working parties shall report to the Commission at its ordinary meetings on the progress made by the working parties. The working parties shall, six weeks before an ordinary meeting of the Commission, forward to the secretariat written proposals for decisions, a specific work plan for the next calendar year and a general schedule of work for the following two years. Working parties shall review their terms of reference regularly and shall, where appropriate, propose amendments to the Commission

5. The provisions of these Rules of Procedure shall also apply mutatis mutandis to the activities of the working parties. If necessary, the Commission may additionally adopt uniform guidelines governing the working methods of working parties.

 

Article 12
Working party meetings

 

1. Working party meetings shall be convened by the executive manager in accordance with the calendar of meetings, in agreement with the chairman of the relevant working party. Working parties shall arrange their meetings in such a way as to ensure that preparations for meetings of the Commission are completed in good time. The annual calendar of meetings shall be drawn up in advance for each calendar year. Where necessary to comply with decisions adopted by the Commission or at heads of delegation meetings, the chairman of a working party may ask the executive manager to convene an unscheduled meeting of his working party.

2. The secretariat shall, in consultation with the chairman of the working party concerned, draw up draft minutes of working party and sub-working party meetings in Polish, Czech and German and shall forward them no later than two weeks after the meeting concerned to the members of the relevant working party, setting a time limit for comments of no more than four weeks. After this time limit has expired and/or as soon as objections have been resolved, the minutes shall be deemed to have been approved and shall be forwarded as approved to the members of the working party concerned, the chairmen of all working parties and the heads of delegation.

 

Article 13
Sub-working parties

 

1. The Commission may, for the purpose of performing specific tasks, set up standing or ad hoc sub-working parties under its working parties.

2. The activities of the sub-working parties shall be steered and coordinated by the working parties under which they have been set up.

3. Articles 11 and 12 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the activities of sub-working parties.

 

Article 14
Secretariat

(Article 11 of the Convention)

 

1. The secretariat shall assist the Commission, the Chairman and the working parties in the performance of their tasks. It shall prepare meetings and take part in them. The delegations shall correspond with the Commission via the secretariat. The secretariat shall ensure that documents are forwarded in good time. The secretariat shall ensure that documents are translated punctually and accurately and that interpretation is provided for meetings.

2. The secretariat shall be subordinate to the Chairman. It shall be headed by an executive manager. The executive manager and scientific staff shall be selected, following advertisement of the relevant posts in the Contracting Parties, by a selection board comprising the Chairman and designated representatives of the delegations and shall be appointed by the Chairman with the agreement of the Commission. The executive manager shall be a member of the selection board which selects scientific staff. The prior approval of the Commission shall also required in the case of terminations of service. The executive manager and the scientific staff of the secretariat shall be recruited on a fixed-term basis. With the agreement of the Commission, their contracts may be renewed once without the relevant posts being re-advertised.

3. The executive manager shall be responsible for internal supervision; he shall, with the agreement of the Chairman, lay down rules of employment and the necessary internal regulations for the secretariat.

4. Other members of the secretariat staff shall be recruited, placed in a higher grade and have their services terminated by the Chairman, acting on a proposal from, and in consultation with, the executive manager within the limits of the budget and establishment plan. The Commission shall be informed thereof.

5. Rules governing the remuneration of secretariat staff shall be laid down by the Commission.

6. The executive manager shall, at every ordinary meeting, report to the Commission on the activities of the secretariat and the implementation of the budget. The executive manager shall be responsible for preparing the draft budget and calculating the contributions to be made by the Contracting Parties and for managing the revenue and expenditure of the Commission.

7. Within two weeks after every meeting of the Commission and every heads of delegation meeting, the secretariat shall draw up the minutes (in German, Polish and Czech), which shall be signed by the executive manager after approval by the Chairman and forwarded without delay to the heads of delegation. The minutes shall be deemed to have been approved if no written objections have been received from a delegation within a period of two months. In the event of objections being raised, the minutes, including the items on which objections were raised, shall be finally approved at the next meeting of the Commission or, where the minutes of a heads of delegation meeting are concerned, at the next heads of delegation meeting or the next meeting of the Commission.

 

Article 15
Budget

(Article 15 of the Convention)

 

1. The Commission's financial year shall be the calendar year.

2. The Commission shall, acting unanimously, adopt its budget for the following year. The budget estimates drawn up by the executive manager shall be forwarded by the Chairman to the delegations by the thirty-first day of January of the year preceding the financial year to which the estimates relate. If the chairmanship of the Commission changes from the current year to the next, the estimates for the next year shall be drawn up by the Chairman and the executive manager in agreement with the head of delegation of the next Contracting Party to assume the chairmanship pursuant to Article 2.

3. The budget adopted by the Commission shall contain a clause indicating the meeting of the Commission at which the budget was adopted. It shall be signed by the executive manager and the Chairman. The Chairman shall forward a copy of the budget to the delegations and shall inform them of the amount of the contributions to be paid by the Contracting Parties pursuant to Article 15(2) of the Convention.

4. The Commission may, insofar as it is able to do so on the basis of reduced expenditure and additional revenue, constitute a reserve fund of up to 10% of the total amount of the budget. The purpose of the reserve fund shall be to ensure that the Commission remains solvent during the following year until the Contracting Parties' contributions or instalments have been received.

5. The Chairman shall inform the delegations in January, when presenting the annual statement of accounts for the preceding year, of any surpluses remaining after the annual replenishment of the reserve fund, and these shall be deducted from the next contributions due.

6. Budgetary resources shall be used economically and efficiently. The total amount of expenditure estimated in the budget shall not be exceeded. Expenditure on individual items in the budget may be exceeded by up to 20%, provided that the necessary savings can be made against other items. Appropriations for staff expenditure shall not be used to cover operating expenditure, or vice versa. If it is considered necessary to exceed expenditure on individual budget items by more than 20%, or to transfer appropriations between staff expenditure and operating expenditure, the Chairman shall put a relevant supplementary budget to the vote.

7. The contributions payable pursuant to paragraph 3 in conjunction with paragraph 5 shall be paid by the Contracting Parties into the Commission's account by the twenty-eighth day of February of the relevant financial year. Contracting Parties may pay their contributions in two instalments. The first instalment, which shall be transferred by the twenty-eighth day of February of the financial year, shall be at least 60% of the total contribution payable. The second instalment shall be transferred by the thirtieth day of June of the financial year. Delegations intending to pay their contributions in two instalments shall make their intention known when the budget is being adopted. If, owing to exceptional circumstances, in order to maintain the solvency of the Commission, there is a pressing need for all or part of the second instalment to be transferred at an earlier date, the Contracting Parties shall endeavour to comply immediately with a duly substantiated request by the Chairman to that effect. If, owing to its internal budgetary arrangements, it is absolutely impossible for a Contracting Party to meet the 28 February deadline, the time allowed for the transfer of its contribution, or the first instalment thereof, shall be extended to the thirty-first day of March of the relevant financial year. The Commission shall be informed of the need for recourse to any such extension of the time limit.

8. The Chairman and the executive manager shall use the appropriations as provided for in the budget which has been laid down, the latter on the basis of authority granted by the Chairman (see Article 3(4)).

9. The Commission shall appoint three auditors, proposed by the delegations, to serve for a term of three years. They may be re-appointed.

The annual statement of accounts for a given year shall be audited by the auditors by the end of March of the following year. The auditors shall submit a written report to the Commission by that date. The Commission shall, on the basis of the report, take a decision on the granting of discharge to the Chairman. The Chairman shall, on the basis of the discharge granted to him, grant discharge to the executive manager. Contracting Parties may at any time ask to inspect the account-books, supporting documents and substantiated documents on the secretariat's premises or to have them forwarded for inspection.

 

Article 16
Entry into force

 

The Rules of Procedure of 1 September 1999 shall cease to apply on 31 July 2002. These Rules of Procedure have been adopted by means of the written procedure and shall enter into force on 1 August 2002. The Polish, Czech and German versions of this text shall be equally authentic.

 

 


Last update: 2008.12.01