An audit of the Political, Economic Reporting and Public Affairs Program (PERPA), the International Business Development Program (IBD), Consular and Administration Programs was conducted in Santiago during the period of October 30 to November 3, 2000. The previous audit of the Consular and Administration Programs was a follow-up audit conducted in March 1994.
The Mission has benefited from recent management initiatives introduced by the new Head of Mission (HOM). There is an experienced management team in place and with the exception of the Administration Program, morale of staff is good and cooperation between Programs is effective. Strategic, operational and management priorities are set in the HOM's Accountability Agreement from which Program objectives have been developed.
There is a need for developing and utilizing work plans as a tool for management and a guide for staff in all Programs. Staff have expressed the desire for more communication to provide greater opportunities for interaction between staff and to foster teambuilding.
The PERPA Program is well managed and has a full and active agenda on both the Political and Economic Reporting side and the Public Affairs area. The Program is effectively utilizing the Post Initiative Fund and the Public Diplomacy Fund. The Program needs to develop specific work plans and to hold more operational meetings.
The IBD Program's workload is extremely heavy and the pressure constant as a result of numerous missions, enquiries and management of the five priority sectors as well as other sectors of interest. Moreover, as the Canada Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) becomes better known and with Chile now coming out of its first recession in fifteen years, demands on the Program are expected to increase.
The Program Manager should be less operationally oriented and provide more structure to managing the Program. This will involve better planning and prioritizing of work and moving away from a culture of addressing each and every demand. The Program will also need to more fully embrace the Trade Commissioner Service's New Approach which will allow staff to be more focussed on value-added work.
The Program should be making a business case to add two incremental support positions and the Info Centre should be realigned with the appointment of a full-time manager and a redistribution of duties.
The Consular Program provides timely and effective service. The Consular Officer and Assistant work with the DMCO, to whom they report. The current workload primarily comprises of issuing passports and handling requests for Citizenship documents and diplomatic or official passports. The Mission has two Honorary Consuls both of whom are working well with the Mission.
There are serious issues with respect to the management of the Administration Program. The Program is not focussed on the delivery of services to CBS and to Programs and inequities in service have been noted. Management of the Program is reactive and there is little evidence of sound management fundamentals, in particular with respect to planning and the lack of control in the areas of Finance and Physical Resources. Communications with the LES are not effective and consequently morale is low. The DMCO's responsibilities and workload should be reviewed to determine the continuing need for a CBS in this position.
With respect to housing, Departmental policies have been circumvented, TB guidelines have been exceeded and unnecessary expenses have been incurred.
Physical resources are generally not well managed particularly with respect to the condition and maintenance of Staff Quarters (SQs). Several issues arose with respect to the leasing of an SQ and corrective action is recommended. There are significant inconsistencies in the application of funds for the repair of SQs, creating a situation of "haves" and "have nots".
Knowledge of IMS by Program management is limited. Consequently, control over finances at the Mission is not effective.
Human Resources and Informatics run well but a number of recommendations have been made to improve overall effectiveness.
A total of 46 audit recommendations are raised in the report. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made as well as future action. Of the 46 recommendations, management has stated that 31 recommendations have been implemented. For each of the 15 remaining recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
|International Business Development||3||7||10|
|Assets||Crown Leased||Crown Owned|
|LES Salaries (N012)||$1,015,468|
|CB Overtime (N011/0104)||8600|