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The F&A Committee is responsible for budget, efficiency, effectiveness and governance of the organisation. To cover this broad remit, the F&A Committee operates a number of sub-groups. Some are permanent and ongoing, for example the Budgetary Sub-committee. Others are established for a period of time, in order to resolve or progress a particular issue. Current examples are the Working Group on Operational Effectiveness and the Intersessional Group on Strengthening IWC Financing.


In recent years the F&A Committee has led a number of structural and procedural changes.  The IWC meeting has moved from annual to biennial: a Bureau has been formed to oversee both the longer intersessional period and the broadening intersessional work programme; and a series of measures have been introduced to make the IWC a more transparent organisation.  New procedures introduced financial transparency, and an online archiving programme has been created to allow free and open access to much of the IWC's historic and scientific  archive.

Budgetary Sub-committee (BSC)

The role of the BSC is to develop budget proposals for the Commission.  The BSC encourages the widest possible engagement from the IWC community and works closely with the managers and key stakeholders of the IWC's three core funds: the Scientific Committee, the Secretariat and Meetings, to maximise efficiencies and ensure budgets are balanced.

The BSC is currently chaired by Australia and membership is through rotation of member governments with two seats allocated to Contracting Governments in each of the four capacity to pay groups, each serving for four years.

In 2022 the Commission endorsed a Budget Reform Strategy containing a wide range of measures to introduce best financial management practices and ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the IWC.     

Working Group on Operational Effectiveness (WG-OE) 

In recent years the WG-OE has developed proposals on a range of issues including use of the website, governance reform and voting rights.   

In 2022 the Commission endorsed organisational efficiencies related to Commission meeting structure and Bureau membership and transparency. The Commission also agreed WG-OE proposals to address the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on the ability of governments to pay their contributions – and the impact of these debts on their voting rights during the meeting.  

During the next intersessional period, the WG-OE will continue work on governance reform and voting rights.  The group has also been asked to develop a proposal to clarify the rules related to quorum and attendance. These proposals will be the first agenda item at the next meeting in 2024 and will be discussed before the Commission is asked to take any decisions.

Intersessional Group on Strengthening IWC Financing (ICG-SF)

The original mandate of the ICG-SF was completed in 2022.  Achievements included publishing Guidance on Ethical Fundraising, developing and piloting a process for allocation of funds and costing workplans.   A new mandate has been developed, focused on advising and supporting the Secretariat's external fundraising efforts. 

To read more about IWC funding click here.