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Audit of the Canadian Embassy, Amman

(October 2005)

Executive Summary

An audit of the General Relations (GR), the International Business Development (IBD), the Consular and the Administration Programs was conducted in Amman from October 7 to 13, 2004. The Consular and the Administration Programs were last audited in October 1996.

The Mission is well managed with an HOM who has raised Canada's profile through successful engagement in the community. He is well regarded by staff and provides strong support to programs. A strong management structure is in place including effective communication mechanisms. Some improvements in planning are required along with more staff meetings and communication between Programs. More time will be required of the HOM in working with the Consular and the Administration Programs to resolve outstanding issues and to align the proper level of resources with changing and increasing demands. Significant among these demands are supporting current and future operations in Iraq, security concerns in Jordan, and the new chancery project.

The General Relations Program is providing well balanced reporting. Plans are in place and are constantly updated based on changing demands and priorities. The Mission's recently increased focus on Public Affairs and Cultural programming requires a more strategic approach to related objectives, results and resourcing. Such an approach should be developed in conjunction with Headquarters.

The IBD Program in Amman is managed by a Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) resident in Damascus. The Program is highly reactive with the two local officers only providing core services and covering local events and activities in response to requests. There is no day-to-day IBD supervision of their activities in Amman. A more rigorous plan needs to be developed that involves the STC in Damascus, and completely covers activities in Jordan and Iraq. This plan then needs to be reflected in accountability agreements with all the Officers concerned. Also required are provisions for stronger management and administrative oversight by both the STC in Damascus and the Mission.

The Consular Program will need to have tasks reassigned to improve the distribution of work between the Consular and the Administration Programs and to enhance client service values. Performance objectives and workplans need to be developed for all staff, and training is required for the Vice-Consul.

The Administration Program has been refining processes and dealing with performance issues. Recent Mission growth has adversely affected Administration's current capacity to provide services, and will detract from its ability to provide future support to Iraq. A case needs to be made for the addition of a Deputy Management Consular Officer. Location and security issues suggest that options for a new Official Residence should be examined.

A total of 31 audit recommendations are raised in the report. Of these, 28 are addressed to the Mission and 3 to HQ. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 31 recommendations, management has stated that 23 have been implemented. For each of the remaining 8 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.


Scope, Objectives, Mission Resources

Audit Scope and Objectives

The scope of the audit included a review of Mission Management and the General Relations, International Business Development, Consular and Administration Programs. An Appendix to this report lists, by Program, the specific areas that were examined during the audit.

The audit objectives were to:

  • assess management controls and systems, procedures and activities that make up the program;
  • determine the extent of compliance with legislation, regulations and operating policies;
  • assess the reliability and adequacy of information available for decision-making and accountability purposes;
  • ensure resources are judiciously used and that the Departments are receiving value-for-money; and,
  • make recommendations, where warranted, to improve the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of program.
Physical Resources
AssetsCrown LeasedCrown Owned
Chancery11*
Official Residence01
Staff Quarters130
Vehicles04

*Land purchased for construction of a new Chancery.

Financial Information 2004/05

Operating budget (N001)$1,272,668
Capital Budget (N005)131,800
CBS Salaries Budget (N011)20,000
LES Salaries Budget (N012)620,981
Total$2,045,449

Organization Chart

Organization Chart


Mission Management

1.1 The Mission has a solid management process in place including: weekly Program Manager meetings to discuss current and future events and share information between programs; Committee of Mission Management meetings held every two weeks with a prepared agenda and minutes; and Housing, Occupational Safety and Health, Contract Review Board and LES Committees to deal with specific areas of Mission operations. The HOM is accessible to all staff and encourages interaction by walking around and taking an interest in all aspects of Mission operations.

1.2 A Performance Measurement Agreement is in place for the HOM based on the Mission's Business Plan and the Branch Business Plan. Program goals and objectives are set based on departmental and Mission objectives, and performance appraisal criteria. The extent of documented planning varies among Programs and is commented on in the relevant sections of the report. More attention to planning and follow-up are required in both the Trade and the Administration Programs. Increasing workload in Administration may necessitate a DMCO position. This could in part be funded by realigning the duties of the General Relations CBS Assistant to free up a position.

1.3 Communications are effective and relations between CBS and LES are good. More frequent and structured all-staff meetings would improve information sharing between programs, and provide a sense of inclusion, particularly with respect to lower level staff. An additional best practice would be to share CMM minutes with all staff.

1.4 The Management/Consular Officer (MCO) is *** on a one year contract. Specific terms and conditions differed considerably from similar present and past situations in other missions. The Management and Assignment Services Bureau (HMD) indicated that in the future, the Amman MCO's contract will be the standard.

1.5 LES performance appraisals have not regularly been completed. The Mission has been authorizing the increments based on messages from Program Managers but the completed appraisals have not always been forthcoming. The Mission is ceasing this practice and will insist that appraisals be submitted prior to any pay actions. The timely completion of staff appraisals should be included as one of the yearly objectives on which Program Managers are evaluated.

1.6 The MCO is the training coordinator for the Mission. Mission Programs, on an ad hoc basis, capitalize on training opportunities that are made available through HQ but there is no formal, overall Mission training plan linked to Mission objectives. A Mission training plan would aid the budgeting exercise.

Recommendations for the Mission

1.7 All-staff meetings should be held on a regular basis.

1.8 CMM minutes should be circulated to all staff.

1.9 Annual performance appraisals need to be completed for all staff and include performance objectives and training needs.

1.10 Develop a formal Mission-wide annual training plan.

Mission Actions and Time Frames

1.7 At the Mission's all-staff retreat on March 7, 2005, it was agreed that all staff meetings will be held on a monthly basis commencing in April 2005.

1.8 The current format for CMM minutes will be revised and all staff will be copied on the minutes beginning March 2005. Where necessary, a separate note will be prepared for protected information.

1.9 The Mission will proceed with full utilization of the Performance Management Program (PMP).

1.10 The learning coordinator was tasked with developing a more formal annual plan for the 2005/2006 period and the plan completed June 21, 2005.


General Relations Program (GR)

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The General Relations Program is headed by an experienced Program Manager who is supported by a FSDP Second Secretary and Vice Consul, a Policy Planning/Communications Officer (LES-09), and fifty percent of a CBS Assistant's time. The Program Manager is also responsible for security, supported by a CBS Head of Security Services.

2.2 Management of the Program

2.2.1 The Program is well managed with well defined roles and responsibilities tied to Departmental strategic objectives and the HOM's PMA. There is a task- based workplan for the Program that is reviewed weekly by all staff and used by the PM to monitor activities and make adjustments as required. Communications are effective, with meetings at the beginning of the week to establish priorities and a follow-up meeting later in the week to assess progress. The Program effectively prioritizes its workload knowing that not all of its intended workplan can be accomplished. This minimizes the use of overtime and successfully allocates limited resources to the most important work.

2.2.2 Workload is divided between Officers with the PM handling Middle East peace projects and overseeing the work of the other Officers. The Second Secretary and Vice Consul is responsible for Iraq, human security and human rights as well as backing-up the MCO in the Consular Program. The Policy Planning/Communications Officer is responsible for domestic politics and public and cultural affairs.

2.2.3 Training for the Policy Planning/Communications Officer is required. A political and economic reporting course is scheduled for this year. Consular training has also been identified for the Vice Consul (see recommendation 4.1.2).

2.3 Public Affairs

2.3.1 Public Affairs activity and profile have increased with greater engagement by the HOM in this area. This has resulted in raising the Mission's profile and at the same time has increased expectations of the Mission to follow through on activities and initiatives in which it is involved. In response, the Mission has been able to leverage PIF (Post Initiatives Fund) resources through outside sponsors; however, the existing resource base is limited. The Mission needs to develop a strategic approach (in conjunction with HQ) as to Public Affairs and Cultural programming that will identify intended targets and the related benefits to be derived. This will allow priorities to be established and thereby determine whether existing resources are sufficient.

Recommendation for the Mission

2.3.2 The Mission should develop a strategy for Public Affairs and Cultural programming.

Mission Action and Time Frame

2.3.2 The Section completed a strategy for the 2005/2006 FY which was forwarded to HQ on May 31, 2005.


International Business Development Program (IBD)

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 The IBD Program in Amman consists of two LES Commerce Officers who report to the Trade Program Manager resident in Damascus. There is approximately one and one half officer level resources devoted to IBD activities with one half of the Junior Officer's time devoted to administrative duties and logistical support for the Amman Mission. There is no day-to-day supervision of the Trade activities of the two COs by Amman.

3.2 Management of the Program

3.2.1 The IBD Program has operated for some time with its Program Manager, the Senior Trade Commissioner (STC), resident in Damascus. This has created management challenges in providing direction to the Program and in sustaining required monitoring and follow-up of operations and results.

3.2.2 Currently, IBD staff operate without individual work plans or specific targets (e.g. outcalls, reporting). The only documented activities are related to the Client Services Fund with $25,000 directed to projects. The Program would benefit from a more proactive program of outcalls focussed on identifying opportunities and gathering market intelligence. To ensure that staff efforts are maximized, there is a need to monitor individual performance and output on a regular basis. By periodically taking stock of the IBD activities and results of the two Commercial Officers (e.g. through WIN entries, outcalls completed and reports produced), the STC can hold these officers responsible for their activities, outputs and measured individual performance. Due to the physical location of the STC in Damascus, the Officers are working independently on a day-to-day basis. Even administratively, there is confusion about submitting leave slips, maintaining office hours and assignment of non-trade related activities. This can be addressed by assigning administrative responsibility to another PM in Amman.

3.2.3 The need for a Performance Management Agreement between the STC in Damascus and the HOM in Amman covering IBD activities in Jordan and Iraq is raised in the IBD Section of the Damascus Audit Report.

3.2.4 There is no specifically identified budget for the Program. Operating expenditures for travel, hospitality, training, etc. are derived from Damascus. Consideration needs to be given to allocating a separate budget for the Program.

3.2.5 From a longer-term perspective, a regional trade strategy needs to be developed that identifies areas where increased attention will best serve Canada's interests. In this respect the STC intends to hold a regional retreat that would involve all the IBD personnel in Amman, Damascus and Beirut, hopefully with HQ participation. Such an initiative should be encouraged. A major consideration will be coverage of Iraq, including incremental resources and linkages to missions in the region (see the Audit Report on Damascus which also addresses this issue in reference to a wider regional context that includes Beirut).

Recommendations for the Mission

3.2.6 The Mission, in conjunction with HQ and Damascus, should develop a regional trade strategy including coverage of Iraq.

3.2.7 An annual trade plan should be developed for all IBD activities in Amman that identifies objectives, outputs, results and corresponding resource and reporting requirements.

3.2.8 An Accountability Agreement should be established for each Commercial Officer, linked to the STC's Accountability Agreement, that includes the expectations and criteria upon which their performance will be evaluated.

3.2.9 Mechanisms for providing administrative management/oversight need to be developed to compensate for an off-site PM.

Mission Actions and Time Frames

3.2.6 At the MENA HOMs meeting, the Geographic Bureau (GMD) informed that it was preparing a regional trade strategy paper. The Mission will actively contribute to and support finalization of the strategy.

3.2.7 An annual trade plan has been prepared, using such input as the material provided for Canada's International Market Access Priorities Report (CIMAP).

3.2.8 The Mission supports the recommendation and will use the new PMP, to be rolled out April 2005, to set objectives and results expected for the trade section officers.

3.2.9 The CMM will consider the possibility of assigning daily management/oversight responsibilities to the new DMCO on arrival in Fall 2005.


Consular Program

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The Consular Program is managed by an experienced Management/ Consular Officer (MCO) (AS-06) with a full-time Consular Assistant (LE-06) and an Administration Assistant (LE-05) handling notarial duties and acting as backup for the Consular Assistant. The Second Secretary (Political) has been designated as Vice-Consul for the Mission in the context of her responsibilities for Iraq and for developmental purposes. This is the first posting for the Vice-Consul, and she had not received consular training before arriving in Amman. The Program also covers Iraq with one Canadian in Baghdad to provide assistance.

Recommendation for the Mission

4.1.2 The Vice-Consul should have training on the CAMANT software package and should attend the specialized consular training course. The Mission should also develop an on-the-job training plan that would involve her participation in the passport count, passport verification and case management activities.

Mission Action and Time Frame

4.1.2 Training for the Vice-Consul on consular responsibilities has been organized for March 2005 in Amman. Training opportunities for CAMANT are being explored. The Vice-Consul is already involved in case management activities, particularly as they relate to Iraq, including passport verification.

4.1.3 The Mission will be reassigning tasks to improve the distribution of work within both the Consular and the Administration Programs. The Mission will be examining such options as:

  • having the Consular Assistant handle the notarial clients, which will stop the Administration Assistant from having to run up and down the stairs numerous times a day. This should be more efficient as only one cash register will need to be reconciled and it will thereby allow the Consular Assistant more time to ensure that such things as the monthly passport inventories are submitted on a timely basis;
  • having the Receptionist enter the data for the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) in order to improve the utilization of her time; and,
  • having the Administration Assistant enter the data for passports. Decreasing interruptions resulting from the foregoing measures should allow the Administration Assistant more time to concentrate on her other duties.

Recommendations for the Mission

4.1.4 The Mission should review job responsibilities for Consular and Administration staff in order to achieve a more efficient and effective allocation of duties.

4.1.5 The Mission should establish workplans for the staff with specific and accountable objectives and goals.

Mission Actions and Time Frames

4.1.4 Some consular tasks, such as notarial duties, have been assigned to the Receptionist. The Administrative Assistant, located two floors away from the consular area, will be much less involved in daily consular responsibilities. A spouse has been contracted to assist the consular section in filing/photocopying, freeing up the Consular Assistant for passport-related duties.

4.1.5 The Mission will use the new PMP, that will commence in April 2005, to set objectives and results expected for all staff in the Section.

4.1.6 The Audit Team was accompanied by a Co-ordinator, Data Quality Analyst from the Passport Office who reviewed the Mission's passport processing systems and provided to staff a briefing on the upcoming Mission Passport Print Solution Project. As this project will change the service standards for passport delivery from five working days to match those in Canada of ten days, the Mission will need to develop a communication plan for its clients when the new system is implemented in 2005.

4.1.7 Other measures to improve efficiency and to enhance controls are recommended below.

Recommendations for the Mission

4.1.8 The classification of the Consular Assistant at LE-06 should be reviewed by the Mission's Classification Committee.

4.1.9 Construct a Consular interview booth in the reception area to provide more secure and private facilities for initial contact with clients.

4.1.10 Install a UNICAM lock on the Consular Assistant's office door to provide greater security for files and the cash register.

4.1.11 Upon receipt of the passport inventory, two Canada-based Staff (CBS) should do the count and sign the form. The Passport Office will be reviewing the form to add a place for the second signature.

4.1.12 For the monthly passport inventory count, two CBS should do the count and both sign the form. The Passport Office will be reviewing the form to add a place for the second signature.

Mission Actions and Time Frames

4.1.8 The classification of this position was reviewed by the Classification Committee and on March 18, 2005, following HOM approval, was reclassified to LE-08.

4.1.9 A Consular booth has been constructed and is in use.

4.1.10 The Department no longer provides UNICAM locks. A wall was constructed to form a new office for consular files, and additional cabinets with locks were provided for safeguarding files. As well, a heavy-duty shredder was purchased to destroy obsolete or unnecessary consular/passport documents.

4.1.11 The Mission will implement once the new forms are provided.

4.1.12 Mission will review the passport count process with the arrival of the new DMCO in the Fall of 2005.


Administration Program

5.1 Management of the Program

5.1.1 The Administration Program is headed by a *** Management/Consular Officer (MCO) on a one-year contract. The MCO has been refining processes and procedures and dealing with staff performance issues. The Mission plans to re-distribute work within both the Consular and the Administration Programs to improve efficiencies and address performance issues.

5.1.2 Managers and staff are generally satisfied with services provided; however, the Program is stretched and has not had the commensurate support staff to accompany the Mission's recent growth of a second Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Officer, a second Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Officer and Assistant, and a new RCMP Officer and Assistant. As the situation in Iraq evolves further, additional pressure will be placed on Administration. The Mission and Headquarters (HQ) will need to monitor closely the tasking and resource requirements that may lead to a need for a Deputy Management/Consular Officer (DMCO) to cope with increasing workload.

5.2 Human Resources (HR)

5.2.1 The Human Resources function is managed by the MCO. The LE-05 Administrative Assistant assists the MCO with duties such as tracking leave, but for the most part the MCO delivers this function and responds to HR inquiries. While the HR files are generally complete, it would be useful for the MCO and Administrative Assistant to re-organize the filing system for easier access.

5.2.2 There is a good use of spousal employment at the Mission with a number of short-term contracts open to interested spouses. Currently the Mission is finalizing the process to hire a Community Co-ordinator.

5.2.3 For the next benefit review, the Mission's LES Committee expressed interest in bringing forward issues such as allowances and the pension fund. Once the benefits review is scheduled, the Mission should ensure that their benefits survey will cover these particular issues to establish that they are standard practice amongst local employers. The staff are looking forward to the finalization of the LES Handbook in order to provide for a clearer interpretation of issues.

5.2.4 The Mission has an active Health and Safety Committee that has raised issues such as carpet cleaning and air conditioning odours for the Mission to address.

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The Section is managed by the Property Manager (LE-07) under the direction of the MCO. Since his arrival at the Mission, the MCO has noted a number of performance issues and other irregularities in the Section. Though many of the basic tasks are being done, and Mission staff are generally satisfied with the service received, deficiencies exist in a number of areas.

5.3.2 The Property Manager has only a basic working knowledge of computers and, as a result, many of the property tasks requiring computer skills have been transferred to other Mission staff such as the Accountant (LE-07) and the Receptionist (LE-04). Other tasks such as annual inspections of Staff Quarters (SQs) have not been done.

5.3.3 Files exist for each of the vehicles and SQs, but there are no files to support the acquisition process for these assets. The Property Manager was unable to provide any documentation for other options that were considered before recommendations were made to the Housing Committee/Management. This also occurred for other property related contracts. There is no documentation indicating other alternatives, or rationale for ones that were deemed to be inappropriate. For some contracts, he stated that he chose a vendor based on previous work for the Mission and reputation, and did not feel it was necessary to look elsewhere.

5.3.4 The Property Manager maintains a good control system for the use of gasoline coupons by Drivers. Amounts of fuel used are tracked and monitored for each vehicle, and Drivers must sign out each booklet of coupons they take. However, there is no oversight of this process by the MCO.

Recommendation for the Mission

5.3.5 The MCO should monitor the system and controls in place to ensure that all gasoline coupons are duly accounted for.

Mission Action and Time Frame

5.3.5 The MCO now monitors the system on a random basis, ensuring accountability.

5.3.6 The Handyman is providing very good service to CBS for their SQs, but is extremely overworked, especially during posting season. The Mission is considering various solutions to this problem, including hiring a contractor for the busy times, and creating a new position that would include Handyman and Driver duties.

5.3.7 Driver overtime at the Mission is extremely high. In the previous fiscal year, overtime between the three drivers amounted to over 1,700 hours. This trend is continuing in the current year, and may surpass last year's total. Drivers are often working extremely long days, which is a safety concern among staff. As per paragraph 5.3.6, the Mission is currently considering a position that would be half Driver and half Handyman, which would help alleviate workload issues in both Sections.

Recommendation for the Mission

5.3.8 The Mission should perform a workload analysis on the usage of Drivers. If warranted, the Mission should prepare a business case for an extra Driver.

Mission Action and Time Frame

5.3.8 A workload analysis has been conducted and, on the basis of that information, the Mission has requested provision of a driver/handyman position. The request is under consideration by GAM. The Mission is also exploring reliable and secure alternatives for the transport of CBS on FSD travel, much of which occurs outside of office hours. Regular public taxis are not an option due to safety and security concerns.

5.3.9 The two Mission Cleaners spend a significant amount of time preparing food and beverages for staff at the Mission. This practice is taking time away from their actual duties and causing some staff to complain that cleaning and upkeep of the Mission is not as effective as it should be.

Recommendation for the Mission

5.3.10 The Mission should ensure that duties of the Cleaners are limited to cleaning responsibilities and do not include personal services to staff.

Mission Action and Time Frame

5.3.10 Memoranda have been circulated to all staff reminding them that the cleaners are not to conduct personal services for them. The cleaners and their supervisor have been clearly reminded of this.

5.3.11 The Official Residence (OR) was purchased in 2002 through a lease to buy option on the property. Though it functions reasonably well as an OR, its location on a busy road and very close proximity to apartment buildings raises a number of security concerns. One solution to address most of the security issues is to relocate to a new OR. If a reasonable price can be obtained for the sale of the OR, and another suitable property is available, consideration should be given to selling the current OR. Support from the Physical Resources Bureau (SRD) should be sought to provide an assessment of the viability of relocating the OR.

Recommendation for SRD

5.3.12 SRD should research the real estate market in Amman for price and availability of OR properties, and obtain an estimate of the market value of the current OR.

SRD Action and Time Frame

5.3.12 SRD is developing options to find a relocation alternative in the short-term. Funding has been approved and an action plan is being developed.

5.3.13 A site has been purchased for a new Chancery to address the security and space issues of the current building. The site is the former Japanese Embassy, and is located on a main road, backing on a residential neighbourhood. An adjacent lot will be acquired under a long term lease, to be used for parking and storage. SRD, in conjunction with the Mission, is currently considering various options for developing the site. The initial plan was to dismantle the building to its framework and rebuild, making the necessary additions and adjustments. Another alternative is to demolish the building completely and build a new structure using the successful Ankara chancery model. Each option is being analyzed by SRD in terms of suitability and cost efficiency. Given the limited resources in the Administration Section, a site manager for either option would be needed.

5.3.14 The following procedural recommendations are noted for action to correct deficiencies in the Section.

Recommendations for the Mission

5.3.15 The Mission should institute annual inspections of all SQs.

5.3.16 The Mission should develop a work order system and set of service standards for the Section.

5.3.17 The Handyman and the Mission Security Manager (MSM) should be included in the initial inspection of potential SQs so that the Housing Committee can be alerted of any maintenance or security issues before a property is selected.

5.3.18 The Mission should take an inventory of items in the storage facility and the pack-up kits. A system to monitor and keep inventory records up to date should also be developed.

Mission Actions and Time Frames

5.3.15 Annual inspections of all SQs will be conducted. Forms have been devised to allow CB staff to enumerate both the good and bad points of their accommodation, as seen from the viewpoint of the occupant. This will assist in the identification of problems as well as guide the Housing Committee members on the matter of retention or disposition of units.

5.3.16 The Mission has a system in place for work orders but this applies for large jobs. Small requests are processed by email. The Mission is reviewing the work order system used by the mission in Damascus for potential application in Amman. The review by the LEITP should be completed by the end of October 2005. Service standards established in April 2004 will also be reviewed for any changes that need to be made.

5.3.17 The Handyman and MSM will be included in initial inspection of potential SQs.

5.3.18 An extensive and complete inventory has been done as a result of a spousal employment contract. The Mission now has a complete inventory of all items, and has developed check in/out systems for hospitality, pack-up kits, etc.

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 The Finance Section is managed by the MCO, who supervises the Accountant (LE-07). The Accountant is very knowledgeable and has a good working relationship with the MCO. The Section is generally well managed but is experiencing difficulty keeping up with workload. Nevertheless, staff at the Mission report receiving excellent service from the Accountant, and most functions are being performed as required. The Area Management Office - Africa and Middle East (GAM) recently conducted a reference level re-balancing exercise and, as a result, the Mission returned $100,000 from its budget this year.

5.4.2 The Accountant is extremely overworked. She is performing some non-accounting duties, and with the addition of new CBS at the mission, her workload is increasing. As a result, the Mission is behind in some payments and in several bank reconciliations. There is currently no backup for the Accountant, making it difficult for her to take leave without service suffering. An emergency contract for support in the Section began shortly after the Audit visit. The intent is initially to help the Accountant clear some of the backlog in the Section. Eventually, the Mission would like to see this position regularized as an Assistant Accountant/Property Assistant to provide support and backup.

Recommendation for GAM

5.4.3 GAM should continue to pursue funding sources for the creation of an Assistant Accountant/Property Assistant at the Mission.

GAM Action and Time Frame

5.4.3 This position has been authorized and funded.

5.4.4 A review of a sample of Mission expenditure transactions revealed that Section 34 payment authority is not being performed. When an invoice is received, it is reviewed by the Accountant and then entered in IMS for the payment run. Each payment is given Section 33 approval by the MCO, and the accompanying cheques are signed by two authorized CBS. At no point is the payment given Section 34 approval as required by the Financial Administration Act, certifying that goods or services have been received. The Audit Team drew this missing procedure to the MCO's attention and received assurance that the Mission will perform this duty on all future expenditures.

Recommendation for the Mission

5.4.5 The Mission should develop a process to ensure Section 34 authority is signed for all invoices.

5.4.6 Mission staff with Section 34 signing authority should be apprised of their responsibilities in exercising this authority, as documented by Financial Management Services (SMFF).

Mission Actions and Time Frames

5.4.5 Section 34 is now being signed on all payments as required by the FAA. In addition, the Mission will discuss with Ottawa the possibility of having an LES review all the goods/services purchased to ensure they have been received/performed. This would enhance accountability procedures.

5.4.6 Staff are being reminded on a periodic basis of Section 34 responsibilities.

5.4.7 The Mission currently has a cash parcel and is considering whether it is still needed. This issue will be discussed at an upcoming Committee on Mission Management (CMM). As the parcel is still registered in the name of the former MCO, the Mission will be contacting Headquarters shortly to officially transfer it to the present MCO.

5.4.8 Revenues for Immigration services are presently processed at the Mission. In an effort to reduce cash processing, the Mission is discussing with its bank the possibility of having customers pay for Immigration services directly at the bank. Clients would then bring the deposit slip from the bank to the Mission as proof that payment was made. This would reduce the cash handling required at the Mission with respect to Immigration funds.

5.5 Information Management

5.5.1 Information Technology (IT) support is provided by a Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP) under the supervision of the MCO. The regional Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) is based in Tel Aviv, and provides support to the Section in Amman.

5.5.2 Mission staff report that they receive good support from the LEITP. The LEITP is in the process of updating the Mission's profile in ITP World, as well as updating the SIGNET user list to reflect the active users at the Mission. He is currently preparing for the arrival of SIGNET 3 at the Mission, which is slated for late November of 2004. There is no IT training plan at the Mission, and given the upcoming introduction of SIGNET 3, a plan would be beneficial for all users.

Recommendation for the Mission

5.5.3 The Mission should conduct a survey of IT training needs after the implementation of SIGNET 3 and integrate the results into the Mission wide training plan.

Mission Action and Time Frame

5.5.3 The Mission conducted a survey of IT training needs (April 2005) and integrated this into the Mission learning plan. IT training will principally have to be conducted by distance training courses or outsourced locally, since the sole FSITP in Amman is overworked (a large and growing Mission and new OCTEL duties) and does not have time to offer more than one-on-one specific task training.

5.5.4 The Mission has suffered from insufficient SIGNET bandwidth, which has caused all remote applications, such as IMS and Outlook, to run extremely slowly. With the addition of new staff and applications, there has been a further deterioration. Since the audit field work, the Information Management and Technology Bureau (SXD) has scheduled the Mission to receive a bandwidth upgrade, which would double its current bandwidth. This increase will be greatly appreciated by SIGNET users at the Mission.

5.5.5 A new switchboard has been delivered to the Mission, but as of yet there has been no one sent to install this equipment. The Mission is eager to have this in place to improve its ability to manage incoming calls.

Recommendation for SXD

5.5.6 SXD should arrange to have a technician sent to Amman to install its new switchboard system.

SXD Action and Time Frame

5.5.6 An SXTV (Voice Services and Switching Section) resource visited the Mission in February 2005 to upgrade the PBX system.

Appendix

The following tables indicate the areas of each Program that were reviewed to determine compliance to policies and procedures and to assess efficiency and effectiveness. For each Program listed, reference can be made to the specific audit guides on the Office of the Inspector General (ZID) Intranet site containing the detailed audit criteria and audit procedures applied during the audit.

The focus and extent of on-site work is based on an assessment of materiality and related risk. This is done through communication with HQ bureaux, including briefings by line management and the functional bureaux responsible for each of the areas listed below, review of relevant HQ and mission documentation and past audit findings and an analysis of recurring trends and systemic issues.

During the audit, audit issues and lines of enquiry are further refined from information gathered through interviews with the HOM and Program Managers, a meeting with the LES Committee, individual interviews with staff, and results of other documentation reviewed.

The level of audit work for a given area is therefore based on issues and information identified and gathered at all levels, HQ, mission management, and mission operations. Accordingly, not all areas receive equal attention. More work and time are devoted to material and high risk issues, particularly those of interest to management. Occasionally, due to time limitations or other factors, it is not possible to provide audit coverage for all areas. Areas not covered are noted in the Scope and Objectives Section of the report.

Mission Management

  • Accountability Agreements
  • Communications
  • Strategic and Operational Plans
  • Hub and Spoke Relations
  • Program Integration and Coordination
  • Other Government Departments
  • Committee Structure
  • Performance Measurement

General Relations Program (Political/Public and Cultural)

  • Management of the Program
  • Media Relations
  • Program Planning
  • Cultural Affairs
  • Political Reporting
  • Performance Measurement
  • Economic Reporting

International Business Development Program

  • Management of the Program
  • Investment
  • Program Planning
  • Science and Technology
  • New Approach Framework
  • Trade Policy and Market Access
  • Trade Development
  • Performance Measurement

Consular Program

  • Management of the Program
  • Citizenship Services
  • Service to Canadian Citizens
  • Honorary Consuls
  • Passport Processing
  • Admission to Canada

Administration Program Management

  • Management of the Program
  • Services Standards
  • Program Planning
  • Communications
  • Policies, Systems and Procedures
  • Performance Measurement

Human Resources

  • Management of the HR Function
  • Classification
  • Staffing
  • Pay and Benefits
  • Staff relations
  • Training and Development
  • Official Languages
  • Health and Safety
  • Community Program Activities
  • Import of Goods

Physical Resources

  • Mission Property Management Plan
  • Official vehicles
  • Chancery
  • Inventories
  • Official Residence
  • Materiel Management
  • Staff Quarters
  • Recreational Property
  • Maintenance
  • Disposals

Finance

  • Budget Process
  • Reconciliations
  • Control Framework
  • Banking
  • Expenditure Authority and Payment
  • Cash Accounts
  • Receipt and Deposit of Money
  • Advances
  • Transfers (COs, IOs and SOs)
  • Petty Cash
  • Cost Recovery
  • Currency Conversion
  • Contracting
  • Hospitality

Information Technology

  • Training
  • Capacity
  • Equipment Configuration
  • Contingency and Back-up
  • Systems
  • Web Sites
  • Service
  • PSAT

Office of the Inspector General

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Date Modified:
2012-09-20