An audit of the Political and Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA), International Business Development (IBD), Consular and Administration Programs was conducted in Dallas during the period November 4 to 8, 2002. The last audit of the Mission was conducted in August 1994 and the scope of the audit was limited to the Administration and the Consular Programs. The Mission's territory is comprised of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
The Head of Mission (HOM) has only been at the Mission for two months yet has made a very favourable impression with the staff. His effective leadership was immediately demonstrated in the manner in which he dealt with personnel issues affecting morale. Team building and an improved synergy is a priority with the HOM. Accountability Agreements need to be developed for all Program Managers. This will provide a baseline from which each manager can develop performance agreements with their staff to facilitate work planning and accommodate performance appraisals.
The PERPA Program focusses on priority areas identified in a results-based plan developed by the Geographic Bureau (NUR) and the Mission including issues such as advocacy, border relations and Trade Policy. There is no spare capacity to cover Cultural and Academic Relations. NUR has advised it is considering an enhanced representation in the US which may impact on adding incremental PERPA resources to Dallas and/or Houston.
The IBD Program is responsible for trade and investment promotion in one of the largest geographic regions in the US. Efforts need to be concentrated on activities to improve the management of the Program. The lack of effective communications and non-inclusive management decisions have resulted in a tense atmosphere within the Program. A positive transition will require the support of outside facilitators and could be done in conjunction with training on the New Approach and the National Quality Institute management framework.
The Consular Program is staffed by a knowledgeable and experienced Program Officer who has a very heavy caseload due to the large geographic area, the high number of Canadian prisoners and the increasing number of passport applications. Service standards cannot currently be achieved due to the workload. It is essential that management prepare a business case to support the need for an incremental Consular Assistant position.
The Administration Program is effective and service-oriented under the management of an experienced and knowledgeable Mission Administrative Officer (MAO). An annual training plan for all staff needs to be developed taking into account Mission priorities. Service standards are needed to ensure clients know the levels and timeliness of services to be delivered.
A total of 36 audit recommendations are raised in the report; 34 are addressed to the Mission and two are addressed to Headquarters (HQ). Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 36 recommendations, management has stated that 23 recommendations have been implemented. For each of the remaining 13 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
|PERPA and Consular||1||3||4|
Note: CBS who are in Houston and Wichita are employed with the Canada Space Agency.
|CBS Salaries (includes O/T)||630,608|