163. The representative of the Secretariat said that the Secretariat had reported in great detail in previous sessions of the Council on this unfolding work and therefore would simply update the main elements that were relevant. Document IP/C/W/543 set out the state of play and described the various directions that the work could pursue. All of this work was undertaken strictly within the procedures and the decisions already established by the Council and simply amounted to ways of more efficiently using resources to manage this now immense wealth of information that had been notified.
164. The work that was under way included clarifying in a new useful way the best format for the input of notifications and the establishment, in cooperation with WIPO, of a joint portal to facilitate the submission of texts, where the two Organizations had joint competence. That had been reported on in the past, but it was now fully operational and the partnership with WIPO was a particular benefit of this arrangement. A transparency toolkit was now available on the WTO website to facilitate understanding of notification procedures, to facilitate the submission of up-to-date notifications and to provide better access to notified materials that were available online. The Secretariat had also incorporated both the notification procedures and the practical use of notified materials into a wide range of technical cooperation activities, putting these materials in the hands of beneficiaries to make them more useful tools. The Secretariat had implemented pilot projects to supplement the traditional paper-based circulation of such information as contact points through the creation of more accessible formats, in this case, a drop down list for greater ease of access. That pilot project paved the way for a more comprehensive approach to making the material available online. The future work and the ongoing work and its current directions would depend on available resources, especially the availability of necessary IT resources, because it was moving into a more IT-intensive phase. The envisaged work included improving online access to and searchability of the notified materials, including addressing the backlog of materials that currently remained in difficult to access formats, as well as developing possible links with other elements of the Secretariat IT infrastructure to provide a more accessible, better integrated and user-friendly interface for access to and use of notified materials. The Secretariat was currently working on the groundwork of these next steps, coordinating in-house, because it was very much a cross-Secretariat programme. He therefore proposed to update the Council at the October meeting.