No organisation can survive without the support of an efficient, administrative structure such as a Secretariat. But a high-quality Secretariat must be funded. Risk is inherent to most organisations: whether regulatory, financial or reputational, all risks must be properly assessed through regular or special audits and the identified risks must be then either eliminated or minimised.
The SCB is chaired by Mr Ger Jan van Ringen (Netherlands / IGZ). It is the smallest of all Sub-Committees and comprises only 3 Members. The Secretary, who is responsible for PIC/S’ Finances, attends all SCB meetings.
For historical and practical reasons, the Secretariat services for PIC and then PIC/S were entrusted to the Secretariat of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) between 1971 and 2003. The Secretariat’s main task was to deal with the services and meeting facilities for the Committee. The services were partly funded by EFTA and partly by PIC/S Members.
In 2004, PIC/S became an independent organisation with the status of an Association under the Swiss law and an independent Secretariat, which had to be financed. The Sub-Committee on Budget (SCB) was established the same year to propose a budget and draft financial rules. Between 2004 and 2013, the SCB operated under the supervision of the Executive Bureau. In 2014, it was placed under the authority of the PIC/S Committee and its mandate was widened: in addition to the preparation of the budget and the control of finances, the new “Sub-Committee on Budget, Risk & Audit” assesses regulatory risk, financial risk, reputational risk and risk management. In line with good governance practices, the SCB strives to minimise all risks to which PIC/S is exposed. It also appraises the performance of internal and external controls, review audit reports and ensure the implementation of recommendations. It ensures that PIC/S adheres to good governance practices.
The PIC/S budget is funded by two main revenue streams: around two-third of the income, necessary to finance the Secretariat, is provided by PIC/S Membership annual contributions while the rest comes from the sub-contracting of secretariat services to other organisations such as the Convention on the Control and Marking of Articles of Precious Metals (Hallmarking Convention).
PIC/S Participating Authorities contribute to the cost of the Secretariat in equal parts. The contribution amounts to CHF 8,100 a year. In 2005, the Secretariat had two permanent staff members and a budget of CHF 390,000. In 2016, it had 2.5 permanent staff members and a budget of CHF 620,000.
1. In line with good governance:
1.1 Assess regulatory risk, financial risk, reputational risk and risk management and make proposals / recommendation to minimise such risk
2. In line with PIC/S’ Financial Rules (PS/W 1/2004):
2.1 Establish a budget proposal to the PIC/S Committee
2.1.1 the regularity of the receipt, custody and disposal of all funds and other financial resources of PIC/S;
2.4 Avoid any duplication with the external auditor
3. Report back to the PIC/S Committee, as provided for in the Terms of References and the Financial Rules, and make proposals / recommendations