Last year, CERN and its Council were confronted with evidence of a major funding shortfall for the completion of the LHC Project. In response, the Council asked the Director-General to propose a plan to redeploy CERN's resources. In parallel, the Council established an External Review Committee (ERC) under the chairmanship of Dr R. Aymar.
At its 122nd meeting on 21 June 2002, CERN's Council discussed both the report of the ERC and the Management's plans to redeploy 500 MCHF and CERN human resources to support the LHC Project.
The Council expressed its gratitude for the immense and high quality work done by the ERC. It also noted with satisfaction the ERC's conclusion that the LHC Project is technically sound and progressing well. The Council decided to accept the ERC's recommendations, on a wide range of issues, including the LHC and non-LHC programmes, managerial structure and human resource policy, considering them as a well-balanced set of measures for the future of CERN.
The Council was pleased to note that the ERC's recommendations are coherent with the reports of CERN's internal Task Forces, the new LHC Status Report and the Medium-Term Plan presented by the Management at this meeting.
The Management will prepare, for September 2002, an Action Plan and a time-table aiming at coherent detailing and implementation of the recommendations in a short time-frame.
The Council established an Implementation Group to make further proposals in September 2002 on the introduction of an Independent Audit Committee.
The Management will prepare, for December 2002, a proposal for the revision of the 1996 LHC financial framework, with the completion of the LHC as the all-out priority for the Organization until the start of the operation in 2007. The revision will include the Cost-to-Completion for the LHC Project, the resources for the non-LHC Programme, as well as a new overall long-term financial framework and staff plan for the Organization.
The Council believes that the ERC report and the Management proposals are an important step towards solving the problems identified and re-establishing an atmosphere of trust.