It has been a while since we used this forum to report on progress made in Administration. These days we are busy preparing all the necessary papers for the upcoming meetings of the Management Advisory Committee and the ITER Council. Administration is responsible for almost half of the papers submitted. We also contribute to others and review all the papers issued. Facts and figures on budget and budget execution are being collated as we draft the budgets for the coming three years ensuring alignment with the ITER Project Baseline, and implement the 2010 budgets.
Over the last two weeks, the Financial Audit Board was on site. The Board examined the 2009 Financial Statements to ensure that they correctly reflected the financial activities of the ITER Organization and the financial position at the end of the year, and that the Statements were in compliance with ITER management regulations and international standards. In the Board's Management Letter to the ITER Council, it recommends further improvement on IT security, but also identifies a number of areas where good administrative progress has been made. I am very pleased to report that we have received an unqualified Audit Report which constitutes a "clean bill of health" for ITER's third accounting year.
The Human Resources Division recently posted 12 new positions. The e-recruitment tool, which was developed in collaboration with the Domestic Agencies and introduced at the end of 2009, has streamlined and automated the process and is allowing us to get new staff into place more quickly. The e-hiring tool is accessible from the IO website's pages which have been redesigned for the occasion.
Training programs offered to ITER staff during the year were well received. Last year we had more than 780 participations and nearly 10,000 training hours. Mandatory and corporate training is now available in many different areas including safety and security, engineering, computing and science issues, administration and communication and project management.
In order to come up with a solution to cover all associated risks regarding the insurance during the Construction and Assembly, IO and F4E have launched a joint Call for Tender, according to the IO procedures, for the Global Insurance Contract. All the Domestic Agencies were requested to nominate suitable companies and we received 32 nominations from the Members. The signature of this contract is expected in July.
On the subject of General Services, the team has been very busy preparing the move into JWS3, which we will share with F4E. It should be ready for occupation at the beginning of June. We are currently looking at how best to use the 100+ desks that the ITER Organization is going to occupy in that building.
The Administration Department recently started a campaign to drive down the costs of certain commodities and to look for cost-saving measures. We have already focused on mobile phones and managed to reduce overall costs by one-third. Comparable initiatives will be taken for other items such as printing, stationery, etc...
And, last but not least, we are happy to announce the arrival of Mingqin Ding, the Deputy-Head of ITER China with responsibility for administration and project controls. Mr. Ding will spend some time with us at ITER Headquarters looking at better integrated working between the Chinese DA and the ITER Organization. This is also a good opportunity for enhancing effective communication between the Chinese Domestic Agency and the ITER Organization.