An audit of the International Business Development (IBD), General Relations, Consular and Administration Programs was conducted in Rabat during the period October 16 to 20, 2000. A previous audit was conducted in 1994.
The Mission, which operates in a challenging environment, is well managed by a solid team of individuals with a diversity of experience. The Head of Mission (HOM) is very proactive and provides solid leadership for the Mission. LES are of a high quality. The Mission's budget is sufficient. The Mission has experienced a very heavy visitor load this past year and has coped admirably.
The Program is managed by a new FS-02 *** and is supported by an experienced LES Public Affairs Officer. The Program would benefit from the development of a plan which details the vision of Canada's future relationship with Morocco, to link to the HOM's accountability accord and to delineate roles within the Program and for other Mission Managers.
The International Business Development (IBD) Program is well managed by an experienced Program Manager. Trade activity between Canada and Morocco is modest but growing and is likely to provide more opportunities as the new regime follows through with proposed modernization of the economic, social and political infrastructure of the country. However, Morocco is and will continue to be very Euro-centric, which will continue to make the role of the IBD Program Manager a challenging one. The Mission has a growing clientele, which is being served in accordance with the "New Approach", with common sense adjustments to the model as dictated by the environment within which it is operating.
The Consular Program is well managed. There are approximately 1000 Canadians registered in Morocco. The Mission also provides services to Australian citizens.
Effective administrative services are provided to all staff, and the level of client satisfaction is quite high. The MCO and his team are managing the Program well. The implementation of published service standards would strengthen the relationship with clients. The Mission's properties are managed effectively but significant property decisions will need to be made. The Chancery offices (main building and annex) are full to capacity, and do not provide quality work space. Further growth of the Mission may necessitate a new Chancery. The Mission needs to continue its efforts to find staff quarters that fall within guidelines. A recommendation to replace the Official Residence has been implemented and a new residence was occupied in September 2001.
This report contains 28 recommendations, 23 directed at the Mission and 5 directed at Headquarters. Based on responses received, 19 recommendations have been implemented and 9 are in process.
|Chancery||0||1 + Annex|
*One Recreation Vehicle
|Operating Budget (N001)||$750,040|
|LES Salaries (N012)||856401|
|CBS Overtime (N011)||13500|
1.1.1 As a well managed small-sized Mission, Rabat needs to ensure its management and administrative infrastructure remains efficient. The Mission has an active CMM and Housing Committee. The Mission does, however, need to establish two other required committees - a Health and Safety Committee and a Contract Review Board. Recommendations pertaining to these committees are contained within the Administration Section of this report. Additionally, a Classification Committee needs to be created and meet as required.
1.1.2 While the HOM's Accountability Accord serves as a planning document for the Mission, we have recommended that both the GR Program and Administration and Consular Programs prepare annual plans to guide their activities in a proactive fashion.
1.1.3 The Mission budget is sufficient, and the Mission has been a good corporate citizen by returning capital funds this year. The Mission has some financial flexibility as it has two positions which have been vacant for over a year. The Mission is planning to delete these two positions and use the funding to create another administrative position.
2.1.1 The General Relations (GR) Program is managed by an FS-02 ***. At the time of the inspection/audit, she had been at the Mission only two months. She is supported by an experienced Public Affairs Officer (LE-08) who is responsible for Cultural and Public Affairs as well as many aspects of the HOM's social program.
2.1.2 Since the arrival of the Program Manager, the Mission had been very occupied with a large trade delegation from Quebec and an even larger Canadian trade delegation, led by MINT. These events have left little time for the Program Manager to deal with the normal workload, including planning and organizing.
2.1.3 No plans or other documentation (e.g., Hand-Over Log), aside from a diary, were left by the previous Program Manager and little time has been available since the new Program Manager's arrival for planning and organizing, although, a calendar of events has been prepared.
2.1.4 The HOM's Accountability Accord provides a good starting point for the development of plans, in that it contains objectives and priorities for the GR Program. Also, the HOM is very proactive and provides strong leadership in the GR area.
2.1.5 The political, social and economic environment in Morocco is undergoing considerable modernization under the leadership of the new government. Although much of the impetus of these changes stems from Morocco's desire for acceptance by the European Union, these changes will present opportunities for both the GR and IBD Programs along many fronts. For example, the thrust to privatise Moroccan state-owned businesses and the insistence that future contracting will be on an open bidding basis will make it a much more attractive and transparent market for Canadian exporters and investors.
2.1.6 The process of developing a plan for the GR Program would not only provide an opportunity to devise ways in which the Mission might plug into the wave of reforms being championed by the new government but, equally important, also provide the Program Manager with a means of sharing her vision of Canada's future relationship with Morocco with the HOM, peer Program Managers and with her subordinate.
2.1.7 A thorough planning process would clearly delineate the objectives and priorities of the Program, along with success criteria. It would provide an opportunity for the Program Manager to sort out who does what with the HOM, peer Program Managers and her subordinate. It would also facilitate the allocation of the Post Initiative Fund (PIF), paying particular attention to events which need funds towards the end of the fiscal year. To the degree that the plan contains clear objectives and success criteria, the plan would also facilitate the development of an accountability accord between the HOM and the Program Manager and/or Part C of the Program Manager's Appraisal.
2.1.8 The HOM, in conjunction with GMD, should ensure that a Hand-Over Log is prepared by departing Program Managers.
2.1.8 The Hand-Over Log is being prepared by the departing GR/PA Program Manager using the Intranet site (July 2001) as a guide.
2.1.9 GMD, perhaps jointly with other Geographics, should prepare a template Hand-Over Log for General Relations Program Managers (see Horizons Intranet site - Post Support Tools: Best Practices for an example).
2.1.9 GMD is entirely in agreement with this recommendation on the understanding that use could be made of the Guidelines published on the IntraNet by the Trade Commissioner Service (Hand-Over Log) which could be adapted to the specific requirements of the Mission. We will be developing such a log with the Mission to be used in the next changeover.
2.1.10 The Program Manager should develop a plan for the GR and PA Programs.
2.1.10 The completion of the two major visits plus the Inspection visit allowed the HOM and Program Manager to devote priority attention to the planning of the GR and PA Programs.
2.1.10 Responsibilities and objectives have been agreed to between the Program Manager and the HOM, for both the GR and PA Programs. Their successors will review these arrangements and revise/update them as they deem necessary.
2.1.11 The Public Relations Officer does not have a current job description and her responsibilities have been supplemented over time, to the point where a new look at what the role of the Officer should (and should not) be would be beneficial. In particular, it would be an opportunity to ensure that the talents and experience of the Public Affairs Officer are used to the best advantage.
2.1.12 The preparation of a new job description would be a good time to discuss respective roles and responsibilities of the Public Affairs Officer, Program Manager and the HOM's Secretary. The review of the job description would be best done in conjunction with the planning process. Given the wide-ranging scope of the role, from HOM to sectoral to Program to whole Mission, it would also be a good opportunity to discuss cross-program and domain issues in terms of who is expected to do what to best contribute to the Mission's performance.
2.1.13 The Public Affairs Officer's function would benefit from having a small allocation from the hospitality fund.
2.1.14 The job description of the Public Affairs Officer should be reviewed and updated.
2.1.15 The Mission should consider providing the Public Affairs Officer with a small allocation from the hospitality fund.
2.1.14 The PA Officer's job description has been updated, following comparisons made with about ten job descriptions received from other missions having similar LES positions.
2.1.15 This recommendation will be considered by the new Program Manager in consultation with the new HOM.
2.1.16 The Post Initiative Fund (PIF) instructions found at the Mission are outdated and in need of revision to ensure they reflect current circumstances.
2.1.17 The GR Program has little systemic support of the type provided to its IBD counterparts (e.g., a clear delineation of what services it should and should not provide to its various clients, systems, procedures and data bases, work tools, support units, etc.) from its Geographic and Functional "godfathers". The GR Program could achieve much more with its limited resources if it had such support. The Inspector General presented this issue to the Departmental Audit and Evaluation Committee earlier this year.
2.1.18 The PIF instructions should be updated.
2.1.18 Action will be taken to update the instructions for the PIF. This may provide the opportunity to orient the use of these funds towards best practices in the conduct of public affairs by being more prescriptive with respect to eligible expenditures.
3.1.1 The IBD Program is well managed by an experienced Program Manager (FS-02), ably supported by two Commercial Officers (LE-09), a Commercial Assistant (LE-06) and a Secretary (LE-05). Each of the Commercial Officers is assigned a portfolio of commercial sectors to service.
3.1.2 The Mission has had to integrate its ongoing activities with the hosting of many delegations (five in the last two years), the most recent being an environment sector delegation, led by DMT, a large Trade Delegation from Quebec of approximately 40 businesses, led by the Finance Minister, and an even larger Federal Government Trade Delegation, led by MINT.
3.1.3 As French is Morocco's preferred language when dealing with the rest of the world, a specific challenge that the IBD Program faces is to encourage commercial contacts with English as well as French speaking businesses. The Program must also promote Canada's business interests in an environment which, for historical reasons, is centred on Europe and the EU in particular. In addition, the rather opaque (until very recently) commercial environment in Morocco has often discouraged Canadian businesses from even attempting to do business there. This may change considerably in the near future, as the new regime is championing the modernization of the country on the economic (e.g., privatisation of government-owned enterprises, modernization of financial institutions, open bidding on contracts), social and political fronts.
3.1.4 The IBD Program has launched a number of initiatives aimed at improving Canada's participation in Morocco's commercial environment, including: a Guide for Canadian Exporters and Investors, "Doing Business and/or Setting Up a Business in Morocco"; market studies for key sectors; encouragement of the participation of Canadian businesses in European Trade Fairs (e.g., Agricultural Trade Fair in Paris), where they are more likely to be seen by North African commercial interests; a relationship with the Islamic Development Bank, as an alternative to EDC; articles in CANADEXPORT; a Canadian Business Club; etc. The content of the Guide is very comprehensive as regards doing business in Morocco, in comparison with some encountered at other missions.
3.1.5 The content of a Guide for Canadian businesses on the implications of doing business in the host country should be made more consistent and inclusive by the provision of a template, which may be adapted to local needs.
3.1.5 A template has been obtained from two "best practices" posts (Havana and Jakarta), and could be forwarded to the Mission for adaptation.
3.1.5 GMD agrees that, while time-consuming, a Guide for Canadian Businesses such as that prepared by the Mission is extremely useful by addressing many aspects of exporting or investing that are of concern to companies. Reports like this are being completed for missions that do not have one, but the reports are not standardized. This should be done under the auspices of the T-Branch to ensure consistent format, content and level of detail across the entire Trade Commissioner Service. We would be pleased to consult with the T-Branch and other stakeholders to develop a template for the guides.
3.1.6 The IBD Program has a set of objectives, which have been carried over from the previous fiscal year. These reflect quite well the HOM's objectives for the IBD Program, as expressed in his Accountability Accord, and those of the Geographic, quite well. The IBD team meets regularly to ensure that current priorities are taken into account and the intention is to update the objectives once the aftermath of the recent trade delegations has been dealt with. A number of proposals have been submitted for use of the PIBD Fund, half of which were funded (budget limitations prevented more being funded).
3.2.1 The "New Approach" is being implemented in a common sense manner, in accordance with the guidelines provided. Given that many Canadian businesses are not yet familiar with the New Approach, coupled with their continued reluctance to venture into unfamiliar territory which is still seen to be difficult terrain to navigate, in commercial terms, and given that the full range of alternative sources of services for visiting businesses is not always available, a certain amount of leeway is given in the services provided by the Mission. In particular, where there is an opportunity to pursue sectoral objectives, as part of a specific initiative by one or more businesses, the Mission is more willing to provide a broader range of services.
3.2.2 Notwithstanding, the Mission takes every opportunity to inform Canadian businesses of the nature and implications of the New Approach and maintains a database of contacts for sources of alternative services. It is also reorienting its activities to concentrate on outreach and advocacy, providing market prospects and intelligence and related proactive activities. Outreach activity would be greatly facilitated by sector information kits on Canadian companies that are active in the respective sectors. The Program Manager should pursue this issue with TCD, which is already looking into it.
3.2.3 The list of contacts provided by the IBD Program for the purpose of the TCS Client Survey was only 50% as long as the previous year's, yet the actual number of contacts has been increasing steadily. The reason for the apparent decrease is the different interpretation of "contact" by the current Program Manager from that of his predecessor. The definition of what constitutes a contact has been clarified by TCD.
3.3.1 Frequent use is made of Export Services at HQ (e.g., PSU, IBOC). The WIN On-line system, currently being used by the Mission for entering contacts, is considerably slower and has less functionality (e.g., no local database) than its predecessor from the end user's point of view. This is a prevalent problem for the Mission IBD Programs, which TCD is well aware of. Plans are being made to replace the current version of the system with a web-based one which is expected to be more responsive and functionally complete.
4.1.1 The Consular Program is well managed by the MCO, with daily operations the responsibility of the Consular Assistant (LE-06). The Mission is also responsible for the provision of Consular Services to Australian citizens. Approximately 25 percent of the MCO's time is spent on the Consular Program. The Consular Assistant is very experienced and dedicated to the Program and provides a high quality of service. Most of her time is spent on consular cases, with approximately ten percent of her time spent on other administrative tasks. The Mission recently requested that HQ grant her delegated signing authority. There are no Honorary Consuls in Morocco.
4.2.1 The Consular Assistant provides effective services to Canadian citizens. She operates very efficiently and provides high quality client service in both official languages as well as in Arabic. Service standards for consular services are posted in the reception area. The Consular Assistant has access to a wicket from her office that connects directly to the reception area. There is no Consular booth at the Mission that could enhance the privacy to discuss cases without the Consular Assistant having to bring the clients into her office.
4.2.2 There are approximately 1,000 Canadians registered with the Mission, mostly in Rabat and Casablanca, and nine wardens have been identified in Moroccan districts where there is a Canadian presence. There is currently one Canadian in prison in Rabat and the Mission has a current list of contacts for all eventualities. The Mission updated its contingency plan for Morocco in the summer of 2000.
4.3.1 Passport and Consular services are being delivered in an effective and timely manner. According to recent COMIP reports, the Mission issues an average of 25 to 30 passports per month. Passport supplies *** were reviewed and reconciled during the audit. ***
4.3.3 The Canadian community in Morocco asked to have access to a list of specialists such as lawyers, doctors, dentists to which they can refer. The Mission will take action in sending a newsletter to all registered Canadians which will include a list of contacts.
4.3.4 Control and security of passports was found to be appropriate. ***