Developed a new accounting structure to comply with the 1998-99 budget structure, and enable the Office of Internal Oversight and Productivity and the program managers to access the financial data.
Processed, on time, the 1997 distribution of Madrid and Hague fees to Member States (24 million Swiss francs) as well as the monthly distribution of individual fees related to the Madrid Protocol.
Closed WIPO, UNDP, WIPO (Closed) Pension Fund, and UPOV accounts. Prepared financial reports in a timely manner and forwarded the accounts to the external auditors. Developed a new user-friendly format for the WIPO Financial Management Report.
Supported the new Domain Names activity by developing a completely new financial structure using a new accounting platform and preparing a new, fully automated computerized system; it is currently being tested.
Prepared a detailed plan for the replacement of the current 12-year-old finance information system and made the following improvements:
- Developed a PCT fees interface (currently being tested), as well as automated PCT fees accrual.
- Moved UNDP accounting to a new system.
- Began testing a new payroll system.
- Began the development of an interface between the Finance and Hague computer systems.
- Collaborated with the internal and external auditors to develop terms of reference for a special security audit; began tender process.
Investment Service and Management of Funds
The funds available for investment consist principally of the working capital funds and reserve funds of the PCT, Madrid and Hague Unions, the Special Reserve Fund for Additional Premises and Computerization (apart from 10 million Swiss francs, invested in the CAM building), and the Separation Reserve. These funds totaled over 300 million Swiss francs at the end of 1997. The amounts available at any time from the on-going operations of WIPO (including amounts to be paid to Member States under the Madrid and Hague Agreements and funds on deposit from applicants) are also available for investment. These funds are all placed in interest-earning accounts.
Main Activities and Results
Completed a comparison of the investment policies prevailing in other UN agencies;
Organized meetings with representatives of several financial institutions and external consultants, from Geneva and elsewhere, and sought advice from two of WIPO’s main banks (Crédit Suisse and Swiss Bank Corporation). Following those meetings, requested tenders from three management consulting firms with suitable financial expertise, to prepare guidelines for WIPO’s future investment policy and for the Investment Advisory Committees. Those tenders are being evaluated.
All possible funds continued to be invested.