IAEA Board of Governors: Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee
19 November 2018
Statement by Mr Jarrod Powell, Alternate Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA
Australian Statement on Agenda Item 3 – Evaluation of Technical Cooperation Activities in 2018
Thank you, Madame Chair.
Australia thanks the Director of the Office of Internal Oversight Services for his report "Evaluation of Technical Cooperation Activities in 2018" and for his explanatory remarks. The evaluations performed by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) ensure that Member States can be confident in the effective and efficient delivery of the Technical Cooperation Programme. In this regard, Australia considers the relatively modest proportion of TCF resources spent on OIOS’s TC-related evaluation activities – just 0.64% of the TCF target for 2018 – to be well worthwhile.
Our delegation has reviewed the report carefully.
In particular, we note that the OIOS report highlights the fact women continue to be underrepresented in Agency activities, including in the TC Programme. We commend the achievement of Sri Lanka in bucking this trend, achieving close to gender parity for scientific visits and fellowships in 2018.
Australia also notes the common finding that collaboration with other United Nations Organisations at the country level could further expand the impact of nuclear-related technologies. With the increasing number of unfunded footnote (a) projects, as highlighted under the previous agenda item, we reiterate the importance of partnerships with relevant organisations, including other United Nations Organisations, in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the TC Programme.
We welcome the fact that the Secretariat has accepted all recommendations issued by the three Country Level Evaluation and Audit exercises and the regional Africa evaluation, and look forward to their timely implementation.
On the implementation of previous OIOS recommendations, we are pleased to note that none of the 87 outstanding recommendations are considered to be overdue. However, we also note that these outstanding recommendations date back as far as six years, to 2012. Australia encourages greater transparency in OIOS reporting as to the basis of the timelines established for the implementation of its recommendations. This would facilitate better understanding amongst Member States of the reasoning behind the timelines as agreed, including those that may otherwise seem unnecessarily lengthy.
We also urge OIOS to deliver more detailed advice on the progress that is being made towards implementation of outstanding recommendations. Such increased transparency would ensure that Member States can remain confident in the value of OIOS evaluations and in the integrity of their outcomes, and would better position Member States to assist the Secretariat to identify potential efficiency gains in implementation.
Australia continues to support the important work of the OIOS. We look forward to engaging with OIOS on its future evaluation work plans.
With these comments, Australia takes note of the Office of Internal Oversight Services’ report “Evaluation of Technical Cooperation Activities in 2018”.