This document constitutes the Terms of Reference describing main functions, tasks, institutional structure, rights and responsibilities, and mode of operations of the Partnership Steering Committee (PSC) for the period of 2011-2015.
1. Main Functions
PSC provides Chairman, Co-chair and MARD, Viet Nam Administration of Forestry with advisory ideas on strategic and key issues of the forest sector and VFDS implementation in certain period.
PSC will made decision on priority issues and topics for FSSP forum and provide guidance and monitor FSSP CO operations.
More specifically its responsibilities include:
• PSC forms the principle forum to discuss and achieve increased harmonisation of policies and programs, effectiveness and efficiency in allocation of resources and sector monitoring, and thus assists MARD leaders, especially the Vice-Minister who is the FSSP Partnership Chair, in considering National Forest Strategy funding priorities and possible sources of support, and thereby identifies priority actions for the Partnership and suggests to the Partnership stakeholders the possibilities for a division of tasks among stakeholders;
• Via the FSSP Coordination Office, PSC obtains feedback from, and provides guidance to the Forestry Regional Networks, any working groups established under the Partnership and any other relevant committees; and
• PSC supervises and oversees the FSSP Coordination Office activities, including the reporting, annual work plans and budgets, and assigns tasks to the FSSP CO to help realise the PSC or Partnership objectives..
PSC is empowered to make decisions on the following issues:
• Approve annual Work Plan of the FSSP CO and the Budget for the Partnership and CO operations, which are financed through the CO Trust Fund;
• Approve the topics, agenda, and arrangements for the Partnership meetings;
• Recommend to the Partnership priorities for sector support, with suggestions on how different stakeholders can provide support.
3. Institutional structure
Members of the Partnership Steering Committee may include:
• PSC Chairman is FSSP Chairman (MARD Vice-Minister, VNFOREST Director General
• PSC Co-chair is FSSP Co-chair (representative of international partners) working on rotation basis (one – year term)
• Representatives from the Government of Viet Nam including 4 members from MARD (VNFOREST:1, International Cooperation Department:1, Planning Department: 2, Finance Department:1), 1 from MONRE, 1 from MPI, and 1 from Ministry of Finance
• Donor representatives: 2-3
• Representative of bilateral organizations: 1
• Representative of Multilateral organizations: 1
• Representative of international Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs): 1
• Representative of local NGOs: 1
• Representative of enterprises and associations: 1
• Regional Forestry Networks: 2
• FSSP CO representative - cum secretary of PSC: 1
4. Rights and responsibilities
• PSC Chairperson: The Vice-Minister will serve as the Chairperson of the PSC. As such, s/he is responsible for all PSC activities, maintaining the normal operations of PSC as promulgated in PSC TOR, and approval and signing of PSC documents. S/he can decide on the timing of the PSC meetings. At PSC meetings, s/he is in charge as Chairperson of the meetings, and gives the final conclusions at the end of the meetings. The Chairperson and Co-chairperson also have the right to decide about the application from international organisations that wish to become members, or signatories to the MOA. The PSC Chairperson is supported by the FSSP Coordination Office, the international Co-chairperson and all other PSC members.
• PSC Co-Chairperson: The international Co-Chairperson of the Partnership will serve as the Co-chairperson of the PSC. As such, s/he assists the Chairperson with all PSC activities, maintaining the normal operations of PSC as promulgated in PSC TOR, and endorses PSC documents to be submitted to the Chairperson for final approval and signature. The PSC Co-Chairperson works closely with the PSC Chairperson, and is supported by the FSSP Coordination Office and all other PSC members.
• PSC members: the central Government representatives are assigned by their institutions to participate in PSC. As such, they represent their institutions and do not serve in their personal capacity, and therefore serve as the liaison between the PSC and government departments. They should work actively to support the Partnership approach and to implement the National Forest Strategy.
• The other Vietnamese PSC members represent national non-governmental organisations, private sector, or regional networks represent groups of stakeholders. As such, they are then selected by their respective groups, and represent the interests of the entire group. The representatives are expected to regularly consult with their members, and discuss relevant issues prior to PSC meetings.
• The international PSC members are the international organisations that are signatories to the Memorandum of Agreement. An international organisation wishing to become a signatory to the MOA must submit a written application to the PSC Chairperson and Co-Chairperson, explaining their ongoing and planned activities to support the forest sector in Vietnam. The Chairperson and Co-Chairperson will have the right to decide about such applications. The international signatories will consult annually among themselves on the position of international Co-chairperson of the PSC.
• All PSC members have responsibilities to participate actively in PSC meetings, prepare before meetings if needed, and give comments on PSC documents if required by PSC Chairperson. Each voting PSC member has rights to vote on PSC decisions.
5. Mode of Operations
PSC Meetings: PSC meets at least once every six months. The operations of PSC, however, will be maintained on a continuous basis rather than only limited to meetings. Extraordinary meetings can be called by the PSC Chairperson.
Formal Decision-Making: any decision to be made in PSC meetings should receive at least one more vote than 50% of the total voting members. FSSP CO is in charge of drafting meeting minutes stating the precise wording of the decision, the number of votes cast and whether or not the decision was carried. This resolution will be approved by signature of the chairperson or co-chair and circulated to all PSC members.
The functioning of PSC should be reviewed periodically in an annual review meeting and recommendations should be made to improve its efficiency.