An audit of the Political, Economic Reporting and Public Affairs (PERPA), the International Business Development (IBD), the Consular and the Administration Programs was conducted in Los Angeles during the period November 25 to December 6, 2002. The Mission is based in Los Angeles, California and is responsible for the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii and the Territory of Guam. There are two satellite offices, San Francisco and San Jose, which were audited concurrently and are the subject of a separate report. The previous audit of the Mission was conducted in June 1998.
The Mission has very active programs with heavy workloads and a large territory to cover. Improvements are required to the structure and operation of the management framework to ensure congruence between management, program and operational objectives, and associated workloads. Morale is low and teamwork needs to be strengthened through better communications and initiatives to foster confidence and trust. Staff relations issues continue to plague the Mission; however, recent efforts to address these issues have been effective and need to be continued.
The PERPA Program is well managed by an Officer with dedicated and capable staff. The program has comprehensive plans in place, itemizing an impressive workload, and produces a significant number of reports on its activities. Concerns are raised about the ability of the program to cope with the current level of work given the constant ad hoc demands placed on it. Assignment of PERPA planning and budgetary responsibilities to San Francisco is recommended and efficiencies can be realized through integrating the program's financial tracking and reporting efforts with the Department's IMS.
The IBD Program has experienced considerable changeover in CBS staff in the recent past. As well, supervision and coordination of the IBD operations in San Francisco and San Jose continue to be challenging. Recommendations are being made to ensure that comprehensive program plans are developed, including an integrated corporate liaison plan. Management attention is required to strengthen application of the New Approach, including the planned implementation of an InfoCentre, formal New Approach training for staff, strict adherence to WIN tracking and the use of HORIZONS tools and best practices. It is also suggested that TCS visit the Mission to assist with and reinforce the implementation of the New Approach.
The Consular Program is well managed by an Management Consular Officer (MCO). This is a large program serving five states and one territory. Service is being provided within established standards and assets are controlled and accounted for. Minor recommendations are raised to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
The Administration Program has improved considerably since the last audit. The program is managed by the MCO. There is a requirement to establish a formal Accountability Agreement for the MCO and to ensure that the MCO is sufficiently engaged in financial operations. More focus is needed to improve the program's interaction with clients. Also required are improved communications with the satellite offices, a review of the Hub and Spoke Agreement and provision of more systems support to these offices.
A total of 44 audit recommendations are raised in the report; 41 are addressed to the Mission and three 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 44 recommendations, management has stated that 35 recommendations have been implemented. For each of the remaining 9 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
|Administration and Consular||1||13||14|
|SQs (Private Leases)||0||9|
|Operating Budget (N001)||$2,905,294|
|LES Salaries (N012)||3,960,638|
|CBS Overtime (N011)||30,000|