An audit of the General Relations (GR), the International Business Development (IBD), the Consular and Administration Programs was conducted in Budapest during the period June 5 to11, 2001. A previous audit took place in August, 1994. The Mission is accredited to both Hungary and Slovenia and is the Hub to the Spoke Missions of Zagreb and Sarajevo providing support to their trade, investment and administrative activities.
The Mission is experiencing management difficulties. The management team is not working together as a cohesive unit, the MCO position has been vacant since the fall of 2000, and there is a need for more communication at all levels. Recommendations are being raised regarding more regular CMMs, effective use of work plans and development of communication strategies.
The GR Program requires improved management. Staff require objectives and work plans that outline activities, expected results and due dates. Some staff are experiencing difficulties in carrying out their work, but the style in managing these difficulties needs to be improved if they are to be corrected. The Mission has a very active Public Affairs Program which is impressive.
The IBD staff are dedicated, experienced and hard-working officers. The Program Manager is a long serving professional Trade Commissioner who is held in high regard by his staff and local business contacts. The Program Manager is renewing the Program for the region. He has developed an ambitious plan that calls for an active out-call program to re-establish old and acquire new contacts. The success of the plan will draw heavily upon effective integration and communications between all parties in the region. The Trade Commissioner needs to communicate more frequently and effectively to the HOM.
The Consular Program is operating effectively under the management of the DMCO and an experienced and dedicated Consular Officer. Assistance is provided to the Spoke Missions of Sarajevo and Zagreb as stipulated in the Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between the Spokes and the Hub (Budapest).
The Program was operating without a full-time MCO for eight months until the new MCO arrived in June, 2001. The absence of an MCO has placed considerable strain on the Administration Program which is reflected in the issues raised in this report. Program planning needs to be strengthened and roles and responsibilities need to be adjusted. Communications within the Program and with clients would benefit from regular Program meetings, the development of service standards and increased dialogue with other Programs.
Greater compliance with Departmental administrative policies is required relating to the employment status of certain LES, hospitality guidelines, the hiring of contractors and financial procedures concerning signing authorities and account verification.
A total of 55 audit recommendations are raised in the report, 54 are addressed to the Mission and one is addressed to HQ. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 55 recommendations, management has stated that 44 recommendations have been implemented. For each of the 11 remaining recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
|International Business Development||1||5||6|
|LES Salaries N012||$497,692|
|CB Overtime N011/0104||7,900|