The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

FCTC reporting procedure updated

WHO chief Margaret Chan delivers a speech at COP5.A key responsibility of Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is to report progress on implementing the Convention*. Via these reports – which are completed in questionnaire format – Parties can share information on their successes and about the obstacles that they face.

Reporting also improves information-sharing and can lead to better monitoring of the tobacco industry's activities.

The FCTC Secretariat is now offering Parties the chance to participate in instructional webinars on reporting. (See information here). What follows is a short summary of the reporting procedure:

Question 1 – What changes to the reporting procedures were adopted at recent sessions of the FCTC Conference of the Parties (COP)?

Deadline to submit the reports: COP4 decided that there would no longer be rolling submission dates based on a Party's date of ratification. All Parties need to submit implementation reports six months prior to the upcoming COP session. The current deadline is 15 April 2014.

Format of the questionnaire. A unified format of the reporting questionnaire was adopted. All countries, regardless of how long they have been Parties to the FCTC, should use this format.

Voluntary module. An additional – voluntary – questionnaire was introduced to collect information on implementation of adopted Guidelines. .

Question 2 - Who submits the reporting questionnaire, and how?

The questionnaire should be submitted by a designated person, likely a tobacco control focal point. The mandatory part of the questionnaire and detailed instructions can be found here. At the bottom of the page, you will find a link to a password-protected page for completing the optional questionnaire online.

Each Party's tobacco focal point should have been sent instructions on the reporting procedures in April and November of 2013.

Question 3. How long does it take to fill in the questionnaire?

According to the information provided during the FCTC webinar, it takes roughly four hours to fill in the mandatory questionnaire. That is once all the information has been collected. The collection of information required to answer over 350 questions will take much longer. During the webinar, the Secretariat advised Parties to start collecting information as soon as possible.

Question 4. What is done with the submitted information?

The Secretariat will use the information from Parties' reports to complete a Global Progress Report for consideration by the Sixth Conference of the Parties in October 2014. This information is later uploaded to the FCTC website and is publicly accessible.

In the absence of an enforcement clause, Party reports are the best tool available to track progress toward full implementation of the FCTC. It is important to urge your governments to take the reports seriously (including to submit them on time), take advantage of open-ended questions to add detail, and to make sure to answer the optional questionnaire on the implementation of Guidelines.

*The text of the Convention (Article 21) requires Parties to submit periodic implementation reports to the Conference of the Parties (COP), through the Secretariat. It does not specify the periodicity of reporting or its format, but mandates the COP to take these decisions.

See also:

Previous article: Parties reports still outstanding.

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