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Audit of the Canadian Embassy, Brasilia

(April 2001)

Executive Summary

An audit of the Political, Economic Reporting and Public Affairs Program (PERPA), the Trade Policy Program, the Consular and Administration Programs was conducted in Brasilia during the period of October 23 to 27, 2000. The previous audit of the Administration and Consular Programs was a follow-up audit conducted in February 1994.

Mission Management

The Mission has gone through a difficult and challenging period due to several tragic personal situations. A new Head of Mission (HOM) arrived in September and efforts are continuing to find a replacement for the Management Consular Officer (MCO) who departed in July, 2000.

The Mission has a good accountability framework in place in terms of a Mission plan, documented objectives and strategies, Program work plans and an appropriate committee structure.

There is a need for greater coordination and cooperation between Programs. Productivity and collegiality can be improved by promoting cooperation and instituting team-building practices. Related to this issue, the Mission could benefit by improving communications within Programs and across the Mission with a view to ensuring that staff have the information to be effective. There is a potential resource saving to the Mission through reviewing the utilization and organization of its news clipping services. Better definition of the roles and duties of the Receptionist position and their integration with Mission Programs would enhance service to clients and Program effectiveness.

Mission Management - Detailed Report

Political, Economic Reporting and Public Affairs Program (PERPA)

The PERPA Program is well managed by an experienced Officer and supported by competent staff. The Program has an active agenda regarding political and economic reporting and the activities related to academic studies, cultural events and media relations. The Program has identified work objectives and strategies and these along with on-going demands are prioritized, communicated and assigned to staff. Work is coordinated and monitored through regular meetings and day-to-day interaction between staff and the Program Manager. Minor issues are being raised regarding a position classification and the reporting relationship of the Social Secretary.

PERPA - Detailed Report

Trade Policy Program

*** Nevertheless, the Program has managed to deliver on the other aspects of its work plan including developing strategy papers, supporting and attending fairs, organizing and participating in missions and conferences, and dealing with access issues and trade enquiries. Issues are being raised to encourage more communication and teamwork in order to provide support to staff through sharing responsibility and providing back-up. Also being raised is the requirement to provide staff with appraisals on an annual basis.

Trade Program - Detailed Report

Consular Program

The Consular Assistant is experienced and operating with little supervision from the acting MCO. Notwithstanding, there are no backlogs with the current workload that is primarily comprised of issuing passports, handling requests for Citizenship documents and issuing visas to holders of diplomatic and official passports. There is a need to designate an individual to officially serve as the back-up to the Consular Assistant.

Consular Program - Detailed Report

Administration Program

The Program has been operating without the benefit of a fully trained MCO for the past six months. The Deputy MCO has been acting in this position. While the Deputy has responded beyond expectations and has to be applauded for her efforts, the on-going absence of an MCO is diminishing Program effectiveness and affecting staff morale. Due to the acting MCO's lack of financial training and experience there are few checks and balances over the work of the Accountant and limited involvement by the acting MCO in supervising and controlling the Mission budget. It is critical that the Department take the necessary steps to staff this MCO position as quickly as is possible.

The Property Section is operating satisfactorily with the Chancery, the Official Residence (OR) and the Staff Quarters (SQ) being well maintained. The Chancery, however, is a "high maintenance" plant that demands considerable dollars to be spent annually. Given the Chancery's age and complexities with its sophisticated systems (air conditioning, lighting, etc.) and the major projects that are scheduled for the next few years, it is recommended that a Property Project Management Officer (PPMO) with the appropriate technical expertise, be assigned to the Deputy MCO position in the next posting cycle.

Administration Program - Detailed Report

Mission Resource Fact Sheet

Personnel (FTEs)

International Business Development134
Consular 11

Physical Resources

AssetsPrivate LeaseCrown LeasedCrown Owned
Chancery  1
OR  1
SQs* 24
Vehicles  6

*There is one employee couple

Financial Information 2000/01

LES Salaries (CV 017)$1,011,500
Operational (CV 014)706900
CB Overtime (CV 015)13300
Capital (CV 050)119200


Office of the Inspector General


Date Modified: