Project Approval Sessions
The first project approval session for 2013 was completed in May 2013. 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 76 Concept Notes were submitted for funding and 39 standard projects were approved for funding at a total cost of $4.6 million. The second session for 2013 is currently underway and will be completed in September 2013. A total of 35 standard projects were approved for funding.
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 $5.4 million. An independent review of the pilot phase will be conducted in the first half of 2014 with the aim of reviewing the policy framework and procedures established for multi-year projects.
Evaluations of APEC projects
Members approved the draft framework and methodology for conducting long-term evaluations of APEC projects at the first Budget Management Committee Meeting (BMC 1) in 2013. Subsequently the draft framework was tested out in a pilot evaluation in May 2013. The results of the pilot evaluation were presented to members at the second BMC meeting (BMC 2) in 2013 and members approved the recommendations and next steps to implement future evaluations of APEC projects. A copy of the report can be found here.
Secretariat’s project information management and IT systems
The upgrade of the Project Database has been completed. The new system will be fully operational in October 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 2012, the BMC approved 103 (standard) projects at a total value of US$11.5 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 first approval session for 2013 will commence in February 2013.
The focus in 2013 will be to consolidate BMC-led project management reforms undertaken by the Secretariat. One main area of focus will be the work undertaken to promote monitoring and evaluations of APEC projects. The first phase of the consultancy to develop an appropriate monitoring and evaluation framework for APEC projects is underway and the pilot evaluation is due to be completed by the second BMC meeting scheduled for June/July 2013. This work is progressed through the Small Working Group on Evaluations (SWGE) which was established under BMC in mid-2012 and includes nine BMC members. The SWGE will also guide the Secretariat’s work in improving the selection of APEC projects through a review of the existing ranking and prioritisation system.
The pilot phase of multi-year projects is now complete and an independent review of the pilot is scheduled for mid-2013. Twelve multi-year projects have been selected under the pilot for APEC funding to date.
The information management capacities of the Secretariat’s Project Management Unit (PMU) will be strengthened through the newly upgraded project database. The database will be fully operational in March 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
Andrew LLOYD (Mr)