JIU/REP/2019/1 – Review of Management and Administration in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

The “Review of Management and Administration in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)” was included in the JIU Programme of Work for 2018. The objective of the JIU review was to provide an independent assessment focusing on governance, oversight, organizational structure, executive, financial, human resources and results based management and support services. It served as a follow-up to the previous JIU report (JIU/REP/2007/5), which the Council of ICAO considered at its 182nd session in 2007. Some of the findings of that report are still valid and were taken into account as appropriate.

The JIU report contains five recommendations, of which one is addressed to the Assembly, two to the Council and two to the Secretary General, as well as 22 informal recommendations for further improving management and administration practices at ICAO. The report highlighted the need to review the governance arrangements and related standing practices at ICAO.

The Assembly is invited to establish at its 40th session a Panel of eminent persons to review the governance structure of the ICAO and its capacity for more effective, accountable and transparent decision-making, including, inter alia, the delineation and allocation of responsibilities between the Council and the Secretariat as well as the President of the Council and the Secretary General, the triennial cycle of the Assembly and budget of the organization (recommendation 1).

ICAO made progress in strengthening the organization’s oversight structure. The ICAO Framework on Ethics, including the investigation function, was under review at the time of the preparation of the JIU report. The Council should ensure when reviewing and updating in 2019 the ICAO Framework on Ethics that the chief investigator prepares an annual report to the Council and has access to the EAAC to raise, as necessary, any issues related to the work of the investigation function (recommendation 2). The advisory and oversight mandate of the EAAC should extend to all oversight matters, including those pertaining to the investigations and ethics functions (recommendation 3). Progress has been made in strengthening the organization’s assurance and internal control framework and risk management process. Still, further measures are needed. It is suggested that a senior manager should be designated as chief risk officer. The Secretary General should conduct by the end of 2020 a comprehensive risk assessment in ICAO (recommendation 4). ICAO faces a number of human resources management challenges in terms of composition of its work force, equitable geographical representation, gender equality, succession planning and knowledge retention. While the organization has made progress in addressing those challenges, it is missing a strategic and holistic approach. ICAO should therefore develop and adopt a comprehensive human resources management strategy (recommendation 5).