Project Approval Sessions
The first project approval session for 2014 was completed in June 2014. The selection process was undertaken in accordance with the ranking and prioritization system for APEC projects approved by the Budget Management Committee (BMC) in 2010. A total of 125 Concept Notes were submitted, with 27 projects approved for funding valued at US$3 million. The second project approval session for 2014 commences in August and will be completed in December 2014.
The pilot phase of the multi-year projects (MYP) which commenced in Session 3, 2011 is now complete with 12 projects funded to date at a total value of US$5.4 million. An independent review of the pilot phase will be conducted in 2014 with the aim of reviewing the policy framework and procedures established for multi-year projects.
Evaluations of APEC projects
A new framework for monitoring and evaluating APEC projects was agreed at BMC2, 2013 and is in the process of being implemented. The aim of the new framework is to better assess the effectiveness of APEC projects. A copy can be found here.
APEC project information management and IT systems
The upgrade of the Project Database has been completed. The new database became fully operational in late 2013.
In 2013, the Budget and Management Committee has embarked on a financial realignment exercise to promote transparency in financial management, improve/clarify the governance of the APEC Secretariat, support financial stability of the APEC financial system, and promote predictability and sustainability of project funding. Relevant measures approved by Senior Officials include: updating financial reporting tools, reviewing the authority of the Executive Director in financial/human resource management and administration of the APEC Secretariat, using part of the retained earnings in the Administrative Account to support projects, setting an aspirational target for the funding level in the Trade and Investment Liberalisation and Facilitation Account and the APEC Support Fund with a planning horizon of three years, together with a cap on the value of projects approved per session or per year, starting from 2014.
Streamlining project financial processes
In 2013, the BMC approved changes to the Guidebook on APEC Projects (Edition 8) to streamline project financial procedures. The streamlined procedures have been reflected in the prevailing version of the Guidebook. The BMC also agreed to conduct a trial to devolve financial authority to Project Overseers in reprogramming of approved project budget.
In 2013, BMC approved 115 (standard) projects at a total value of US$14 million. These include activities which aim to promote trade facilitation; increase access to finance; strengthen small, medium and micro enterprises; improve knowledge and information sharing in areas such as climate change, agricultural productivity and energy efficiency; improve human resource development; support structural reform and regulatory frameworks; and promote capacity building.
The focus in 2014 is to consolidate BMC-led project management reforms undertaken by the Secretariat. One main area of focus will be to implement a monitoring and evaluation framework, the aim of which is to better assess the effectiveness of APEC projects. BMC is also investigating how to strengthen the process for assessing and prioritizing project proposals for funding. The pilot phase of multi-year projects is now complete and an independent review of the pilot is scheduled for 2014. Twelve multi-year projects have been selected under the pilot for APEC funding to date. An updated edition (9th edition) of the Guidebook on APEC Projects was released in March 2014.
The information management capacities of the Secretariat’s Project Management Unit (PMU) have been strengthened through a newly upgraded project database. The database became fully operational in late 2013.
Ferdy PIAY (Mr)
Counsellor and Deputy Director
Directorate of Asia Pacific and African Intra Regional Cooperation
SHI Wei (Mr)
Department of International Economic Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Chelsea WONG (Ms)
Director of Finance