The International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) is an independent expert body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1974. Since its inception, the ICSC has redoubled its efforts to strengthen and maintain high standards in the international civil service, while balancing the needs and concerns of its major stakeholders.
The Commission is composed of fifteen members who serve in their personal capacity. They are appointed by the General Assembly for four-year terms, with regard for broad geographical representation. On some matters, such as the establishment of daily subsistence allowance (DSA) and post adjustment (i.e., cost-of-living element, hardship entitlements), the Commission itself may take decisions. In other areas, it makes recommendations to the General Assembly, which then acts as the legislator for the rest of the common system. Such matters include Professional salary scales, the level of dependency allowances and education grant.
In support of the work of the Commission, the ICSC secretariat performs the substantive and administrative work, such as performing studies, producing analytical papers and making recommendations on policies and practices related to human resources management. Headed by an Executive Secretary, the secretariat is comprised of more than 40 staff members whose work is divided among three divisions: Cost-of-Living, Salaries and Allowances, and Human Resources Policies Division, each headed by a division chief.
The ICSC is assisted by an expert subsidiary body, the Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions (ACPAQ), which provides technical advice on the methodology of the post adjustment system.