CEB member organizations continued to participate actively in the review and follow-up of specific recommendations emanating from oversight reports by the Joint Inspection Unit, the Board of Auditors and the Office of Internal Oversight Services. Priority attention is given to maintaining the highest levels of transparency and accountability, strict compliance with established rules and regulations and enhancing the capacity of the United Nations system for oversight and audit.

The main focus of oversight in the programme area is on strengthening programme management and accountability within the system. Relevant oversight reports have focused on (a) the extent of utilization within the United Nations system of results-based management concepts and practices; (b) the evaluation of factors relevant to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, starting with the goal of universal primary education; and (c) linkages between headquarters and field activities in respect of poverty reduction strategies and programme implementation. In the management area, reports have included those entitled “Review of the headquarters agreements concluded by the organizations of the United Nations system: human resources issues affecting staff” (see A/59/526) “Harmonization of the conditions of travel throughout the United Nations system” (JIU/REP/2004/2) and “Procurement practices within the United Nations system” (see A/59/721). CEB regularly presents its collective views on the system-wide reports of the Joint Inspection Unit to the General Assembly.

During 2004, collective views of organizations of the system and related coordination efforts were shared with the Office of Internal Oversight Services in the context of its report on the theme “Linkages between headquarters and field activities: a review of best practices for poverty eradication within the framework of the Millennium Declaration” (E/AC.51/2005/2), prepared in accordance with a request of the Committee on Programme and Coordination (A/59/16, para. 399). The Office of Internal Oversight Services report examined the effectiveness of headquarters/field linkages and identified best practices that should be promoted. The Office of Internal Oversight Services advanced several recommendations that complement the work programme and ongoing initiatives of CEB, including enhancing collaboration among inter-agency coordinating bodies, introducing a more strategic approach to system-wide knowledge management networks and increasing information exchange between country teams and non-resident agencies and regional commissions.