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Audit of the Canadian Missions in Brazil

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The Embassy of Canada Brasilia

The Office of the Embassy of Canada Recife

The Consulate General of Canada Sao Paulo

The Consulate General of Canada Rio de Janeiro

The Government of Canada Trade Office Belo Horizonte

(November 2007)

Table of Contents


Executive Summary

An audit of the General Relations (GR), the International Business Development (IBD), the Consular and Administration Programs at the three missions (Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) in Brazil was conducted from September 13 to October 2, 2006. In addition, the Audit Team briefly visited the Trade Office in Belo Horizonte and interviewed staff of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Office in Recife. Brasilia was last audited in October 2000 and Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in February 2000.

Missions in Brazil experienced a significant change to their reporting relationships in June 2006 when the Department instituted a global policy mandating that Consulates and Consulates General report directly to their responsible Embassies or High Commissions, rather than to Headquarters (HQ) (with the exception of the United States and Hong Kong). At the time of the audit, no direction had yet been communicated to the missions to clarify the reporting relationships or roles and responsibilities of the missions and heads of mission. This situation did not pose a problem in Brazil because the heads of mission enjoy a *** working relationship and have established a *** working environment based on *** cooperation and the achievement of objectives. However, the new reporting relationship will still require definition, and policies must be implemented with respect to budgets and resources, for example. The missions noted the important role Bilateral Commercial Relations Asia and Americas (WMA) should play in this process as they are viewed as an essential stakeholder. While it is hoped that the new approach will bring greater consistency to the manner in which Canada’s affairs are conducted, it also has the potential to create confusion and frustration should instructions and guidelines not be clear.

Currently, a portion of each missions’ travel budgets, initially earmarked for routine business (involving both the trade and general relations sections), are being used to facilitate semi–annual meetings between the Ambassador, heads of mission and heads of section. While there is no argument that these meetings are essential to the ongoing *** synergy and *** cooperation among the missions, without additional funds from HQ, other travel activities of various sections are thereby reduced. Additionally, given the recent change in the reporting relationship between the Consuls General and the Ambassador, it would be desirable for the missions to consider an integrated management approach whereby resources would be allocated more flexibly based on need, and used more strategically across the missions to achieve greater impact.

The GR Section in Brasilia is responsible for general relations for the entire country and in this capacity, officers posted in Brasilia work *** with their colleagues in Sao Paulo. There is currently no dedicated GR coverage in Rio de Janeiro. The section head in Brasilia is responsible for allocating budgets across all missions, based on priorities and projects chosen for each mission. Currently, the majority of GR resources (both positions and financial) are allocated to Brasilia and it is felt that key opportunities in different areas of the country, particularly in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, are being ***. Canada has taken a renewed interest in Brazil of late, making the nation one of its four priority countries for foreign policy concentration. With its *** working relationships, the GR section is well–placed to take advantage of this newfound priority status.

Brazil is South America’s economic powerhouse and is a major commercial priority for Canada. With International Business Development programs in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro which is supported by Belo Horizonte, as well as an active Economic and Trade Policy program in Brasilia, Canada has a *** team in place to seek out and take advantage of new investment and business development opportunities as they arise. Brasilia, as well as being responsible for Economic and Trade Policy promotion, reports on economic issues, science and technology, and government procurement. Between Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, officers cover a myriad of sectors ranging from Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Energy, Forestry, Pulp and Paper, Agriculture, Agrifood and Environment to Oil and Gas and Mining and Minerals. Communication between section heads and officers is good ***. Several best practices for IBD and Economic and Trade Policy programs have been identified as a result of this audit.

The Consular Program in Brazil is *** managed by the two Canada–based staff (CBS) Management and Consular Officers (MCOs) and their deputies in Brasilia and in Sao Paulo, by a Locally–engaged staff (LES) in Rio de Janeiro, and with the aid of the Honorary Consul in Belo Horizonte. There is also an Honorary Consul in Rio de Janeiro providing assistance to the IBD Program, which is unusual given that there is a Consulate General in the city; however, the benefits of maintaining this *** resource outweigh its minimal costs. Both Brasilia and Sao Paulo are operating under the new Mission Passport Print Solution (MPPS), which has been successfully implemented. Processing times are currently *** standard.

The MCOs in Brasilia and Sao Paulo *** display *** leadership within their Administration programs and missions as a whole. Program staff *** work *** as a team. Human Resources, Finance, Physical Resources, Information Technology and other support services are delivered ***. Processes and control structures are *** established and files are up–to–date. There is a need to establish a Memorandum of Understanding between Brasilia and the spoke CIDA Office in Recife.

A total of 138 audit recommendations are raised in the report; 121 are addressed to the missions and 17 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 138 recommendations, management has stated that 107 recommendations have been implemented. For each of the remaining 31 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 (GR), the International Business Development (IBD), Consular and Administration Programs.

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 decisionmaking and accountability purposes;
  • ensure resources are judiciously used and that the Department is receiving value–for–money; and,
  • make recommendations, where warranted, to improve the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of programs.

The focus and extent of on–site work was based on an assessment of materiality and related risk. This was done through communication with Headquarters (HQ) bureaux, including briefings by line management and the functional bureaux, 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 were further refined from information gathered through interviews with the Head of Missions (HOMs) and Program Managers, meetings with LES Committees, individual interviews with staff, and results of other documentation reviewed. The level of audit work was therefore based on issues and information identified and gathered at all levels, HQ, missions’ management, and missions’ operations.

Mission Resources Fact Sheet

Physical Resources – Brazil

AssetsCrown LeasedCrown Owned
Brasilia  
Chancery1
Official Residence1
Staff Quarters94
Plot of Land1
Vehicles8
Recife  
Office1
Staff Quarter1
Vehicle
Sao Paulo  
Chancery1
Official Residence1
Staff Quarters10
Vehicles8
Rio de Janeiro  
Chancery1
Staff Quarters2
Vehicles1
Belo Horizonte  
Office1
Vehicle

Financial Information 2006/07 – Brazil

Brasilia 
Operating Budget (N001)$1,481,646
Capital Budget (N005)$175,205
CBS Salaries Budget (N011) including overtime$697,524
LES Salaries Budget (N012)$1,398,493
Total$3,752,598
Recife 
Funding part of Rio de Janeiro’s Reference Levels
Sao Paulo 
Operating Budget (N001)$3,303,433
Capital Budget (N005)$119,660
CBS Salaries Budget (N011) including overtime$429,400
LES Salaries Budget (N012)$1,747,703
Total$5,600,196
Rio de Janeiro 
Operating Budget (N001)$747,328
Capital Budget (N005)$25,000
CBS Salaries Budget (N011) including overtime$0
LES Salaries Budget (N012)$395,100
Total$ 1,167,428
Belo Horizonte 
Funding part of Rio de Janeiro’s Reference Levels

Physical Resources – Brazil

BrasiliaCBSLESTotal
HOM Office268
General Relations358
Trade Policy235
Consular11
Administration43034
Canadian International Development Agency134
Department of National Defence22
Royal Canadian Mounted Police112
Mission Total154964
RecifeCBSLESTotal
Canadian International Development Agency112
Mission Total123
Sao PauloCBSLESTotal
HOM Office156
Political–Economic Reporting and Public Affairs112
International Business Development31215
Consular22
Administration21416
Citizenship and Immigration Canada31215
Canada Border Services Agency112
Export Development Canada112
Mission Total124960
Rio de JaneiroCBSLESTotal
HOM Office11
International Business Development123
Consular11
Administration44
Export Development Corporation11
Mission Total2810
Belo HorizonteCBSLESTotal
International Business Development22
Mission Total22
Country Total30108138

Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Brazil management team is a *** example of the type of integrated country–wide administration that Headquarters is attempting to foster in DFAIT’s overseas network. All of the missions in Brazil have *** management teams that work *** together, a group of *** officers – both locally–engaged and Canadian – and *** operating practices, procedures and controls.

1.1.2 Not only do the Heads of Missions (HOMs) function *** as a group, but their teams also work *** together. Programs support each other in a coordinated and cohesive fashion, promoting a whole–of–government approach. The Ambassador has reinforced the importance of collaboration among missions and has avoided the “silo effect” by promoting a common vision for his team. An example of *** teamwork was displayed in the development of the country–wide strategy for Brazil. Tri–post meetings for heads of mission and/or section heads are held regularly and have proven successful in facilitating both program and budget coordination among the missions. These meetings are crucial to maintaining ongoing cooperation and a sense of team spirit among the missions; however, they use up a large portion of the missions’ travel budgets. Attention is needed from Headquarters (HQ) with regards to providing supplemental funding to support regular all–mission meetings in Brazil.

1.1.3 The need for increased coordination among the missions has been augmented by the recent HQ decision to have Consulate Generals report to Embassies. While the Brazil approach is proving successful, this is largely due to the *** working relationships between the HOMs. The HQ policy was released without sufficient background as to how this reporting relationship would work in practical terms, and there is a need for clearer instruction under this new reporting regime. With all three HOMs due to depart ***, there are no guarantees that the quality of working relationships will be maintained, further highlighting the need for HQ guidance. To ease the transition for the Brazil program, steps should be taken to stagger the departure dates of the three HOMs.

Recommendation to Strategy and Services Bureau (RSD)

1.1.4 The roles and responsibilities of the new reporting structure of Consulates and Consulate Generals to Embassies should be more clearly articulated, and these details communicated to all missions.

RSD Action and Timeframe

1.1.4 The roles and responsibilities of the new reporting structure were clearly articulated and communicated to the missions through a number tools developed by Bilateral Relations (RGM). These tools include the Performance Management Agreements (PMAs), HOM mandate letters and country strategies. Although, the tools were released late in fiscal year 2006/07, Regional Strategy Division (RSS) is taking steps to ensure that the mandate letter will be sent to HOMs in a timely manner this year.

Recommendation for the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau (RLD)

1.1.5 RLD should consider providing the missions with additional travel funding to support their ongoing collaborative efforts.

RLD Action and Timeframe

1.1.5 Given the size of Brazil and the presence of three missions in the country, RLD agrees that regular tri–post meetings are crucial to maintaining ongoing co–ordination between the heads of mission and the program managers. In preparation for the 2008–2009 fiscal year, RLD will review the three missions' budgets and assess the possibility (in consultation with RSD) of allocating supplemental funding for travel inside the country. The decision will be shared with the missions as early as possible before 01 April 2008, in order to allow effective planning for travel during the first months of the fiscal year.

Recommendation to EX – Assignments Division (HFE)

1.1.6 HFE should closely monitor the timing of the turnover of the three HOMs and if possible stagger their departures so as to provide continuity.

HFE Action and Timeframe

1.1.6 Instead of having all three HOMs depart ***, we have received Deputy Ministers’ approval to have the HOM in Brasilia replaced in the summer *** and a replacement candidate was identified. Rio de Janeiro HOM will be replaced *** and Sao Paulo HOM assignment will likely be extended so that he should be replaced ***.

1.1.7 The three missions have dedicated much time and effort to the development of the Brazil Strategy document. While the document is extremely comprehensive, it is based upon a significant investment in financial and human resources, with the anticipated creation of 52 FTE (full–time equivalent) positions by 2010. ***, it is unclear whether Brazil will remain in the forefront of foreign policy planning. Furthermore, with the current environment of cuts to representation abroad, it is unlikely that the level of growth forecasted in the Strategy document will be realized in the near future.

1.1.8 Another issue of concern from a continuity perspective is the upcoming CBS turnover in Sao Paulo. Seven of the ten CBS, including all the Program Managers, are due to depart in the summer of 2008. There is a strong need to manage this significant turnover in order to minimize potential upheaval on the Mission’s operations. The current management team is *** regarded by the Locally–engaged Staff (LES) and has made great strides ***. It will be important to ensure that this large rotation does not have any detrimental effects on the progress made and that the incoming CBS are able to build a strong team with the LES.

Recommendation to the Assignment and Pool Management Division (HFP)

1.1.9 HFP should closely monitor the timing of the turnover of the CBS in Sao Paulo in order to stagger some of the departures in an effort to minimize the impact of such a large staff turnover on LES.

HFP Action and Timeframe

1.1.9 HFP has worked with Latin America and the Caribbean Commercial Relations (WOL) and the Consular Bureau to identify an employee couple (trade Foreign Service officer (FS) and Deputy MCO (DMCO)) to replace the departing employee couple (trade FS and DMCO). Early language training has been arranged and they are expected to arrive ***, to overlap with their predecessors. In addition, an exception has been made to our assignments policy to allow an extension for the second trade FS to remain an additional year in order to minimize the impact of transition.

1.1.10 As with many missions, the Brazilian team feels it would benefit considerably from an increased number of visits on the political level from senior government officials. These visits could be leveraged to build Canada’s image and to help drive the advocacy priorities. A higher level of political interest would be instrumental in furthering bilateral relations and giving the missions increased credibility in dealing with local interlocutors. In addition, the cancellation of a *** visit prior to the audit required *** management by the Embassy’s political section, as many *** viewed this as an indication of the importance Canada places on its relationship with Brazil.

1.1.11 The missions’ last approved LES Handbook was published in 1996. Both management and staff are cognisant of the resource constraints within the Locally–Engaged Staff Services Bureau (HLD) that continue to delay the up–dating of Handbooks for missions. However, this should be a priority for senior management given that the LES community make up more than 50% of departmental staff. Echoed by many of their colleagues abroad, LES are frustrated with the perceived lack of *** focus on this issue. Following the audit, the Audit Team was informed that $900,000 had been allocated from the Contingency Reserve towards the completion of Employee Handbooks.

Recommendation to HLD

1.1.12 HLD should direct the Missions to undertake a comprehensive benefits survey in preparation for a full update of the handbooks, as soon as possible.

HLD Action and Timeframe

1.1.12 A comprehensive benefits review was conducted in January 2007. Analysis of data collected from markers was done by HLD and proposals for amendments/changes were sent to missions in May 2007. HLD is now in the process of finalizing the Handbook.

1.1.13 The Director of Values and Ethics (ZVE) accompanied the Audit Team to Brazil and made a number of well received presentations concerning the Values and Ethics Division and the services offered. As a best practice, missions could incorporate a value and ethics session each fall as part of their rotation process, so all staff (new and old) can be updated on policies and procedures. The new management teams are cognisant of protecting employees by preventing potential harassment situations in the workplace. During the values and ethics presentations mission management was encouraged to be vigilant in fostering open communication with the LES in order to ensure that any potential harassment situations are reported at the outset before issues escalate.

Recommendations to Brasilia, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro

1.1.14 Values and Ethics overviews should be incorporated into the Missions’ staff arrival process.

Brasilia Action and Timeframe

1.1.14 Missions agree and will implement as of 2007 rotation cycle. A copy of ZVE presentation will be included in ‘Welcome Kit’, staff will be briefed upon arrival and HOM will continue to reinforce at all–staff meeting.

Sao Paulo Action and Timeframe

1.1.14 As above.

Rio de Janeiro Action and Timeframe

1.1.14 As above.

1.1.15 Portugese language capabilities are generally *** among CBS staff; however, interacting with civil society, organizations and enterprises in Brazil is next to impossible without fluency in Portugese. Furthermore, it is difficult to recruit bilingual or trilingual local staff, which results in much work being done in Portuguese. HQ would better serve the Mission by identifying candidates for postings at an earlier stage so they could be selected and placed in language training, for a period to be determined by Canadian Foreign Service Institute (CFSI), 12 to 24 months before departing on posting. CBS dependents should also have the opportunity to attend language classes either prior to arrival or immediately following, as the level of their language proficiency has a major impact on their daily living. All efforts should be made to provide language training to all employees and dependents prior to or during their assignment.

Mission Comment
Since the Centre for Language Training (CFSL) no longer cost–shares foreign language training at missions, Brasilia no longer has the resources to offer language training to all CBS and dependents.

1.1.16 In functions such as Finance and Consular, LES staff have received the introductory courses, which have increased their knowledge base and improved their performance on the job. As staff develop experience in these functions and as policies evolve, there is a requirement for mid–career training. Missions have been using regional conferences as a forum for informal discussion of best practices, common challenges and recent policy updates; however, this is not an adequate substitute for formal training. A formal training package should be developed and could be delivered as part of the regional conferences, in Canada, or online.

Mission Comment
The missions in Brazil believe CFSI training is critical and will continue to enroll as many staff as possible in training offers.

Recommendation to CFSI

1.1.17 CFSI should explore the development of mid–career training programs for experienced LES staff in such functions as Consular and Finance.

CFSI Action and Timeframe

1.1.17 The Centre for Corporate Services Learning (CFSS) is in the process of reviewing the entire training program for Financial Management. The training needs of experienced mid–career Locally–engaged finance staff are being included in the review.

1.1.18 Both Brasilia and Sao Paulo have *** committee structures, including LES Committees, Housing Committees, Health and Safety Committees (which also examine environmental issues), Contract Review Boards, Classification Committees and Canada Club Committees. In all three Missions, the Committees on Mission Management (CMM) meet weekly and with the exception of Sao Paulo, there is an expanded monthly CMM to which all CBS and LES are invited. Minutes are distributed to all staff, HQ and the other missions in Brazil. Brasilia may wish to follow Sao Paulo’s example to establish a formal Training Committee, which is a best practice that the Audit Team strongly encourages.

1.1.19 The Reciprocal Employment Agreement authorizing CBS dependents to work in Brazil recently expired. Both governments are interested in renewing this agreement, but have not yet found a common methodology to do so. Every effort should be made to renegotiate this agreement *** since it will have a direct impact on the number of candidates applying to these missions in the coming years.


General Relations Program

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 As an increasing key political and economic player in both the region and globally, Brazil was identified as one of four priority countries for Canadian foreign policy. While Brazil’s top foreign policy priority is South America, it has also extended its involvement beyond its immediate neighbours. This has been demonstrated through its leadership role in the United Nation (UN) mission to Haiti, in which Canada has also been heavily involved. Brazil is seeking to play a much larger role in the UN and has positioned itself as a porte–parole for developing countries.

2.1.2 The General Relations Program is managed out of Brasilia, where there are eight positions dedicated to Political and Economic Reporting and Public Affairs (PERPA). In Sao Paulo, there are two GR positions, which cover Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. While the seat of government is located in Brasilia, Sao Paulo offers a wide range of key interests for Canada from a public diplomacy and media standpoint. Sao Paulo is rich in opinion leaders, business decision makers and media. It also houses the bulk of Brazil’s non–governmental organizations (NGOs), leading think tanks and important cultural and educational institutions.

Resources

2.1.3 With the majority of GR resources allocated to Brasilia, opportunities in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are limited. As will be discussed further in the report, there is a need to expand networks of contacts within the particular areas of focus identified in the Country Strategy. There is also a need to ensure additional coverage of Rio de Janeiro. The GR Section in Sao Paulo is not resourced with any administrative support. The Audit Team recommends that all three missions reevaluate the allocation of resources within the country to ensure optimal use of GR resources and appropriate coverage of each city and related region. It is the Audit Team’s view that resources *** to facilitate improved coverage of Rio de Janeiro by Sao Paulo.

Recommendation for the Mission

2.1.4 The three Missions should re–evaluate the resource allocation within the country to ensure that full advantage is taken of the opportunities presented in each city and related region.

Mission Action and Timeframe

2.1.4 Re–evaluation of overall country resources against needs and opportunities is underway, and some actions have already been taken. The *** hiring of an intern will provide *** administrative support to the Public Diplomacy (PD) Section in Sao Paolo. Support for PD activities in Rio de Janeiro will also be *** improved through the contemplated transfer of an assistant position from Belo Horizonte to Rio de Janeiro to provide administrative support on the ground (reference to response 2.3.6), complementing the coverage provided by Sao Paulo officers. The Program does not anticipate transferring additional GR resources among the missions at this time, ***. Any such transfer would require additional funding (i.e. overhead) from HQ.

2.2 Brasilia

Overview

2.2.1 The GR Program in Brasilia is headed by an EX–01 Program Manager (PM) who oversees a staff of two CBS Officers (FS–01 and FS–02), three LES Officers and two LES support staff. The Program Manager is responsible for overall management of the Pprogram and coordination with Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The two CBS Officers focus on the Brazilian Foreign and Domestic Policy, the Organization of American States (OAS)/United Nations (UN) and other multilateral organizations, the Public Diplomacy (PD) strategy and parliamentary relations. The three LES Officers are responsible for monitoring and analysing the domestic political situation, cultural and academic relations, and media relations respectively. The two Assistants provide general and administrative support to the Section.

Management of the Program

2.2.2 The Section has *** defined roles and responsibilities for each member of the team, with work plans developed for specific projects and activities. Strategic focus is derived from the Country Strategy which is well understood by staff and reflected in work objectives. Communications are good with weekly staff meetings and a PM and HOM *** to staff.

2.2.3 The Section has implemented the Performance Management Program (PMP) and appraisals have been completed for each staff member. Job descriptions, however, were outdated and should be reviewed. The Section has made *** use of training opportunities for staff through numerous HQ training initiatives.

2.2.4 The incumbent in the FS–02 CBS Officer position should be provided with opportunities to assume a supervisory role, either directly or as the leader of a portfolio, to ensure appropriate professional development. This will provide good experience for a future role as program manager.

2.2.5 Hospitality funds are ***–utilized by the CBS PERPA Officers within the Section. Each CBS PERPA Officer should be allocated a hospitality budget to increase pro–activity and to further encourage the use of hospitality funds to achieve portfolio objectives.

Planning

2.2.6 While the Country Strategy details overall strategic objectives for the delivery of the GR program, there is a need for an implementation plan that builds on the strategy. This should detail planned activities and projects, expected results as well as target audiences and partners and should be based on available resources. Such a plan will increase linkages between Public Diplomacy (PD) activities and the objectives set out in the Country Strategy as well as among programs.

2.2.7 As part as the Whole of Government approach, the Section should raise awareness and create opportunities amongst all programs in Brazil for use of PD and show the added value of PD as an instrument to advance Canada’s interests. This will provide an opportunity to build on synergies between programs and missions within Brazil.

2.2.8 The Section has a good approach to contact development. *** should be done to expand these networks in Brazil and in Canada, within the particular areas of focus identified in the Country Strategy. The areas of focus include: human rights, governance, cultural diversity, public security, counter–terrorism and the environment. While the Mission in Brasilia can do some of the work in its region of Brazil, Sao Paulo will be in an ideal position to develop contacts in its region, where one can find numerous opinion leaders, business decision makers, NGOs and leading think tanks. Advantage should be taken of such opportunities. The same applies to Rio de Janeiro, which is an important centre for international conferences and conventions.

2.2.9 The Mission’s political reporting is timely ***. There is a good appreciation of the Section’s outputs by HQ. The Mission was selected for “report of the month” by the Bilateral Relations Branch in fall 2006.

2.2.10 An active academic relations program is in place in Brazil with 16 Canadian studies centres in Brazilian universities and other education centres. The Mission ensures *** collaboration with these studies centres and promotes increased knowledge and understanding of Canadian foreign policy priorities. Canada has become the number one study destination abroad for Brazilians, with over 12,000 students enrolled in Canadian institutions in 2006.

Canada Fund

2.2.11 With the probable transfer of the Canada Fund from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), the Mission should develop a transition plan to assume responsibility for the management of this fund.

Recommendations for the Mission

2.2.12 Job descriptions should be updated.

2.2.13 The FS–02 CBS Officer should be given opportunities to assume a supervisory role.

2.2.14 Hospitality budgets should be allocated to both CBS PERPA Officers, and consideration should be given to extending the budget to include LES officers in the future.

2.2.15 An implementation plan should be developed based on the Country Strategy and available resources, which should detail expected results, activities/projects, target audiences and partners.

2.2.16 The network of contacts in Brazil and in Canada should be expanded.

2.2.17 A transition plan should be developed to prepare DFAIT for responsibility for management of the Canada Fund.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

2.2.12 As per response in 5.2.9, job descriptions will be updated primarily through the PMP system.

2.2.13 Practical supervisory opportunities are being given to the incumbent through a stronger coordinating role in the public diplomacy program and in major events organization. ***, formal supervisory relationships are not judged to be opportune.

2.2.14 All officers in the GR section will be given individual hospitality allocations as of the start of the fiscal year. Program Manager will retain overall responsibility for the use of and reporting on the hospitality budget.

2.2.15 The Mission as a whole takes seriously its commitment to resultsbased management. Objectives, target audiences, activities and expected results are already an integral part of the Country Strategy, for all programs, and will be monitored throughout the year.

2.2.16 Contact development and networking in Brazil are an integral part of individual officers’ responsibilities, and this was reinforced by the Program Manager at a Planning Retreat on April 10, 2007. The individual hospitality allocations envisaged should also serve to strengthen this function. Officers returning to Canada for training or other purposes will be encouraged to also devote time to network development at home. However, *** expansion of networks in Canada by Brazil–based officers will not be possible without a significant increase in travel allocations.

2.2.17 While the transfer of responsibility for management of the Canada Fund is now not envisaged before 2008–2009, the fund is already being co–managed in practical terms by CIDA/GR, in line with the guidance received from the two headquarters.

2.3 Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro

Overview

2.3.1 Up until September 2006, the Mission had one FTE (LE–09) dedicated to public affairs and media relations. Given the importance of Sao Paulo to public diplomacy and media issues in Brazil, a CBS PERPA position (FS–03) was created in September 2006. This new position is responsible for political reporting, academic relations, public diplomacy and media support to Mission programs. The PERPA Officer reports to the PERPA Manager in Brasilia, with *** operational linages and dayto– day reporting with the HOM in Sao Paulo.

Management of the Program

2.3.2 The Mission is currently in a period of transition with respect to the delivery of the GR Program, as it relates to Sao Paulo. It is in the process of redefining the role of the media officer and defining the new role of the CBS position. A draft of the new Officer’s responsibilities and objectives had been developed and submitted to the HOMs for review and approval at the time of the audit. The new CBS Officer has previous experience at the Brazil desk in HQ, which will provide the Program with *** knowledge of the region and of Public Diplomacy and advocacy principles.

2.3.3 Given the new CBS position in Sao Paulo, the expanded job package of the LES Media Officer and the PD projects that will now be generated in Sao Paulo, the Section will require additional resources to allow for administrative support to the Program. As per recommendation 2.1.4, Brasilia and Sao Paulo should re–assess the allocation of resources between the two Missions. The new job package of the CBS position in Sao Paulo should stipulate that at least 25 percent of the PERPA Officer’s time be devoted to Rio de Janeiro in order to appropriately ensure a Canadian presence and develop a network of contacts in the region.

2.3.4 As soon as a training opportunity becomes available, the Media Officer should be registered for a Public Diplomacy course which will provide the knowledge and skills necessary to allow the officer to assume more responsibility with respect to the PD projects.

Recommendations for the Mission

2.3.5 Public Diplomacy training should be provided to the Media Officer.

2.3.6 The Mission in Rio de Janeiro should be provided with the required resources to adequately develop networks of contacts in the region.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

2.3.5 Media officer in Sao Paulo will be given the opportunity to take public diplomacy training the next time it is offered by headquarters.

2.3.6 The Public Diplomacy Section in Sao Paulo will work with Rio de Janeiro to further develop the network of public diplomacy contacts in the region. The transfer of an administrative assistant position from Belo Horizonte to Rio de Janeiro, with responsibilities *** for providing support in the public diplomacy area, should assist greatly in this endeavour.

Planning

2.3.7 In order to enhance Canadian influence with key public and private Brazilian decision–makers and influencers, and given the importance of the civil society in Sao Paulo, the Section should develop a network of contacts locally to build on the existing network of contacts in Brasilia. The Mission should focus on the particular areas identified in the Country Strategy.

2.3.8 Internally, with the addition of resources in the GR Section, it is now in a *** position to expand its media relations and communications program to work more closely with other sections of the Mission. This will ensure increased awareness and appreciation of Canada in Brazil and help reach key decision–makers and connections. As in Brasilia, the Section should raise awareness amongst all programs in the Mission for use of PD funds and show the value–added of PD as an instrument to advance Canada’s interests.

Recommendation for the Mission

2.3.9 A network of Public Diplomacy contacts should be developed in Sao Paulo.

Mission Action and Timeframe

2.3.9 Network development is an integral part of the PD officer’s job package and will be reinforced in objectives for the coming year through the PMP system. ***.


International Business Development Program

3.1 Overview and Strategic Issues

3.1.1 Brazil is identified as a priority country (together with the G8, China and India) for Canada’s commercial agenda. Brazil is an economic power – the largest economy in South America and the third largest in the Americas (after the US and Canada), and one of the largest in the world. The country has reasonable infrastructure and a large workforce. Brazil has a population of approximately 185 million – 50 million of which form a significant upper and middle class consumer block. Opportunities for Canadian involvement exist across many sectors. Growth in exports and investment continue to climb however the Brazilian market remains challenging. Bureaucracy ***, tariffs and import regulations continue to present challenges, and the environment is highly competitive. It is also interesting to note that Brazil, in the areas of export and investment, has an economy that very much mirrors Canada’s, making both countries global competitors in a number of commercial sectors.

3.1.2 Brasília, the nation’s capital, is principally a government and policy city with few resident corporate offices. The Economic Program in Brasília was originally established as an international business development program (IBD) for north–eastern Brazil with all the associated tools, structures, and expectations. Over time, however, all the trade promotion responsibilities have been transferred to Canada’s other offices across the country (Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte) which has changed the strategic focus of the Brasília program: it has very clearly become a full Economic and Trade Policy (EC) Program. In addition, the Program is responsible for economic reporting, monitoring science and technology, and government procurement. ***. No major concerns were observed in the operations of the Program though some minor administrative items need reviewing and correcting.

3.1.3 The São Paulo region is the financial engine of Brazil’s economy and its principal commercial centre. The Mission has a large Commercial Section that is adequately resourced to carry out its mandate. São Paulo is the main trade promotion office in the country. The team is *** headed by a *** Trade Commissioner and IBD Program Manager. ***.

3.1.4 Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s second commercial city and the main centre for its oil and gas industry. The city is also important as a location for trade fairs, conventions, and international events. The team is headed by a *** Trade Commissioner and Commercial Program Manager.

3.1.5 Belo Horizonte, state capital of Minas Gerais, is the third most important commercial city in Brazil after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It is an important commercial centre for mining and mineral exploration. The remote office, reporting to the Trade Commissioner in Rio de Janeiro, is well located to cover an important Brazilian state and is situated in a more than ideal office tower co–located with other consulates and industry offices. Thus, it provides good value for money for Canada.

3.1.6 The Department considers Brazil to be a priority country and is in the process of developing a Brazil Commerce Strategy which has the ambitious goal of doubling Canadian exports to Brazil by 2012. The Strategy has been developed to take a more comprehensive view of the market. A number of priority sectors have been identified and national responsibility for specific priority sectors has been assigned to each office. This has led to the creation of silos which are reinforced given the individual planning and focus of each office. More of a “whole–of–Brazil” approach needs to be taken. Resources are generally not shared and cooperation and coordination among the offices need to be improved. For example, a number of national events and conventions occur in Rio de Janeiro but are not being leveraged effectively because they fall into the sectors or areas of responsibility of one of the other offices. IBD work does also not always take into account trade policy implications and more efforts need to be made by the other offices to coordinate with the Brasília team.

3.1.7 One major challenge facing the Program is the low level of communication – direction–setting and feedback – from HQ and what appears to be indecision on major files. This continues to be a significant frustration for the missions and HQ needs to address this at all levels.

3.1.8 The Commercial and Economic Program in Brazil is delivered by a team of six CBS and 18.5 LES positions in four locations: Brasília, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. This does not include the Heads of Mission in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, who also spend a fair portion of their time on commercial relations.

 CBS OfficersLES OfficersLES AssistantsTotals
Brasilia1 x FS–04
1 x FS–01
2 x LE–091 x LE–055.0
São Paulo1 x EX–01
1 x FS–03
1 x FS–01
6 x LE–09
1 x LE–08
1 x LE–06
1 x LE–05
3 x LE–04
15.0
Rio de Janeiro1 x FS–031 x LE–090.5 x LE–052.5
Belo Horizonte1 x LE–091 x LE–052.0
Totals6.011.07.524.5

3.1.9 A common IBD team for Brazil should be created and fostered. Silos will be broken down and this will help improve priority setting, resource allocation, and coordination of the Brazil Commercial Program as is envisioned in a unified Brazil Commerce Strategy. The Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) position in São Paulo should be given full responsibility for coordinating and leading IBD initiatives across Brazil. The Trade Commissioner position in Rio de Janeiro should report to the STC in São Paulo. The Trade and Economic Policy Program has no IBD responsibilities and should continue reporting to the HOM in Brasilia.

3.1.10 While the Brazil Commercial Program has adequate human resources, it is lacking sufficient financial resources to achieve the goals being established in the Strategy. IBD budgets for the Brazil Commercial Program are not centralized and each office is given its own allocations. This goes against the idea of creating a unified country approach and is not the most efficient way to allocate funds across the priority sectors for the Brazil market. Budgets are also limited and funds that could be used on an under–resourced project in a higher priority sector in one office may remain tied up on a much lower priority project in another. The IBD budgets should be centralized to encourage more coordinated activity and ensure that funds are better balanced across the offices. Resources for Brasilia’s economic policy acitivities, which are not IBD focussed, should be negotiated directly with HQ.

Program Funds

 Brasilia
(Economic)
São Paulo
(Commercial)
Rio de Janeiro*
(Commercial)
Totals
CSF***$ 8,750$ 94,500$ 36,750$ 124,750
Travel$ 15,000$ 92,500$ 35,560 **$ 128,075
Hospitality$ 10,000$ 17,000$ 6,950 **$ 33,950

Per Officer

 Brasilia
(4 officers)
São Paulo
(10 officers)
Rio de Janeiro*
(3 officers)
Brazil Average
(17 officers)
CSF***$ 2,188$ 9,450$ 7,167$ 7,338
Travel$ 3,750$ 9,250$ 11,853 **$ 7,534
Hospitality$ 2,500$ 1,700$ 2,317 **$ 1,997

* Note: Funds for the satellite office in Belo Horizonte are included in Rio de Janeiro’s figures.
** Note: Funds for Rio de Janeiro are closely integrated with HOM/Mission funds.
***Note: Client Service Fund (a results–based program intended to provide missions with a source of funds to undertake value–added initiatives that contribute to Canada’s global competitiveness).

3.1.11 The significant variations in average funds per officer for each location indicate that funds need to be re–balanced overall. Given that Brazil is a priority market, has a large economy, and has a significant Commercial Program, there are solid arguments to justify an increase in the Brazil CSF account. Ideally, to ensure that there are sufficient program funds to initiate projects, the average CSF to officer ratio for Brazil should be closer to the São Paulo average. This would mean an overall CSF increase from $124,750 to an upper limit of $160,650 (28%) though 20–25% could be sufficient. This would put Brazil in line with the funding amounts received by the other G–8 and Russia, India, China (BRIC) market missions.

3.1.12 Travel funds also need to be re–balanced. Taking into consideration that the sectors handled by Rio de Janeiro (Oil/Gas and Electric) and Belo Horizonte (Mining) are generally much more geographically concentrated, the Office in Rio de Janeiro should not have the largest travel budget. The officers in Brasilia are geographically isolated and the officers in São Paulo have sector responsibilities which span a large portion of the country. Travel funds should reflect the immense geographic size of Brazil, the distance from regional conferences and fairs, and the market’s remoteness from Canada. Officers should be travelling more to explore opportunities in areas of the country other than the South–East. There are also limited flight options to Canada making travel costs prohibitive. This makes it difficult for officers to return to Canada for training and seminars, to participate in trade exhibitions and to accompany Brazilian commercial delegations.

3.1.13 It is not clear to the public (consumer) that the focus of the Brasilia Office is Economic and Trade Policy promotion, not International Business Development (as is the focus of our Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte Offices). This confusion, caused in part by efforts to standardize the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) and Commercial Programs worldwide, as well as by the availability of certain marketing and promotional materials to clients of the Brasilia Office, has led to many misdirected inquiries and client dissatisfaction in some cases. It is recommended that all systems such as websites, directories, the Virtual Trade Commissioner, Officer titles and reporting relationships to HQ should reflect the Economic and Trade Policy orientation of Brasilia’s Program. The email system should be changed so that the Economic and Trade Policy identifier (EC) is being used in place of the Trade Promotion identifier (TD). All Brasilia publications geared to the public should be corrected so that industrial sectors are no longer listed and that staff in Brasilia are identified as Economic and Trade Policy Officers and not as Business Development Officers.

3.1.14 Headquarters should consider adjusting the reporting relationship for the Brasília Commercial Program so that it no longer reports to the Geographic Bureau (WOL), but to the Trade Policy and Negotiations Branch. Most of the Program’s tasking comes from this branch and it would be a more natural fit given the synergies with other programs fully committed to policy issues.

3.1.15 The importance and scale of the Brazil Commerce Program should attract talented senior officers. It is important to have the people on the ground with the appropriate skills to ensure Canada can fully benefit from potential opportunities. The CBS currently serving in the Brazil Commercial Program are *** trade commissioners/commercial program managers. In fact, *** on their first postings as trade commissioners. A network of peers, beyond Brazil, needs to be established in the region to support more junior officers and provide a forum of discussion for allofficers. This virtual group should also include individuals from HQ. The Manager’s Support Unit at HQ (WTS) is also a good point of contact for peer support.

3.1.16 It must also be recognized that there is a different skill set required for a trade commissioner and a trade policy officer. In order to be more strategic about staffing the programs, HQ should identify suitably experienced candidates at least one to two years in advance. Language skills are also very important. Identifying candidates early on is critical if sufficient Portuguese language training, which is absolutely essential for a posting to Brazil, is to be provided.

Recommendations to WOL

3.1.17 HQ should improve the level of communication – direction setting and feedback – with the Mission.

3.1.18 HQ should consider a 20–25 percent increase to the CSF account for Brazil.

3.1.19 HQ should consider a moderate increase to the Commercial Program Travel Budget for Brazil, as well as a re–allocation of funds to reflect the geographic reality of Brazil.

3.1.20 HQ should consider adjusting the reporting relationship of the Program so that it reports to the Trade Policy and Negotiations Branch, as is the practice for other Economic and Trade Policy Programs abroad.

3.1.21 A network of peers amongst the Trade Commissioners in the region, as well as at HQ, should be established to share leaning and experiences and to provide peer support.

WOL Actions and Timeframes

3.1.17 In the past six months HQ has worked to improve the information and direction–setting flow with posts in Brazil. In early October 2006, a Brazil specialist, was brought into the Division and assigned the lead on the Brazil desk. Both the desk officer and the Director participated in the January 2007 tri–post planning meeting to ensure that the Commerce agenda was integrated fully into the country plans. In February 2007, a regional IBD planning meeting with all southern cone posts was held in Buenos Aires with the Director General and Director in attendance. The objective was to develop the framework for a cohesive regional approach to the 2007–08 business planning cycle that recognized the importance of Brazil while leveraging the opportunities that a dominant economy like Brazil brings to the other posts in the region.

HQ was also instrumental in coordinating the development of the 2007–08 IBD plan for Brazil, providing guidance and advice throughout the process, particularly on the identification of priority sectors. Feedback on the plans submitted by the three missions was substantive and was the result of a comprehensive analysis by WOL in close consultation with posts and related HQ Divisions on specific subject matters.

HQ also consulted closely with the missions at every stage of the development of the Brazil Market Plan, as mandated in the Global Commerce Strategy (GCS). The missions were also consulted extensively on the resource request related to the Treasury Board Submission following Cabinet approval of the GCS.

WOL believes that the level of communication has improved significantly over the past three quarters and has resulted in a smoother and more substantive communication flow between HQ and Brazil posts

3.1.18 As a result of WOL's close management of CSF fund spending across the region, particularly in the last quarter, we were able to ensure not only that no monies were lapsed, but also that funding could be re–allocated as needed. Brazil was a net beneficiary and received $181,524 in additional CSF funding.

Brazil's base CSF allocation for the current year is $140,000, which represents a 21 percent increase over last year's initial allocation. We anticipate fully that the re–allocation exercise of the second half of this fiscal year will provide any additional monies that Brazil might require to ensure delivery on IBD objectives.

3.1.19 See RLD response for 1.1.5.

3.1.20 It is a key function of the Bilateral Commercial Relations Branches to integrate all dimensions of the commerce agenda, and the relationship to trade policy reporting on this is an integral and holistic one. On Brasilia, we would request that the section be named the Commercial/Economic section as this more clearly reflects the scope of its mandate.

Mission Comment
Mission plans to keep the Latin America and the Caribbean Commercial Relations Division (WOL) and the Brazil, Southern Cone and Inter–America Relations Division (RLS) as primary contact points.

3.1.21 WOL agrees with the audit suggestion regarding a regional network of peers to provide a forum of discussion where officers can share lessons learned, best practices and experiences and provide peer support to include HQ officers. We believe this is a model that has application across DFAIT's network of posts and not just in priority countries. We will engage relevant functional Divisions to explore appropriate mechanisms.

Mission Comment
The missions believe it would be valuable if regional IBD Program Manager meetings were organized yearly by HQ in order to facilitate this network of peers. Recommendations to the Missions

3.1.22 The Missions should consider giving the STC position in Sao Paulo overall responsibility for the IBD programs in Brazil.

3.1.23 The Missions should adjust the reporting relationship of the Trade Commissioner position in Rio de Janeiro so it reports to the STC in Sao Paulo.

3.1.24 The Missions should consolidate the Brazil Commercial Program budgets.

3.1.25 Brasilia, in consultation with HQ, should adjust all client–oriented publications, websites, e–tools and corporate systems so that they reflect the economic and trade policy focus of the Program in order to minimize confusion of clients seeking Trade Commissioner Service support.

3.1.26 Staffing for CBS positions in Brazil should be done more strategically to ensure Canada is able to maximize potential market opportunities.

3.1.27 Portuguese language skills are essential and more effort should be made to ensure CBS officers arrive at post with sufficient language skills necessary to perform their jobs.

Missions Actions and Timeframes

3.1.22 The STC position in Sao Paulo assumes overall responsibility for the IBD program in Brazil effective 01 September 2007.

3.1.23 The direct reporting relationship will be adjusted accordingly.

3.1.24 The STC in Sao Paulo will be responsible for the IBD budget (CSF and IBD travel) which will be prepared jointly with the Trade Program Manager (TPM) in Rio de Janeiro and allocations will be transferred to the TPM in Rio de Janerio.

3.1.25 The BRSLA–TD designation was changed to BRSLA–EC as recommended. A broadcast message informing of the change and underlying reasons for it was sent to all employees at headquarters, at missions, and at regional offices but has since been returned back as per directions of Senior Departmental Management at HQ. A review of other client–oriented tools is under way and will be completed in the spring.

3.1.26 Incumbent of STC position must have demonstrated solid management of HR resources and strong interpersonal skills. Staffing of present STC was done with full concurrence of Deputy Ministers (DMs). Other staffing for CBS was done with the full concurrence of Global Operations and Associate Chief Trade Commissioner (WMX). Language requirements are also being taken into consideration for any future postings.

3.1.27 Missions continue to strongly support this recommendation, though, responsibility for implementation lies with HQ. WMM Comment WMM concurs and recognizes the importance of ensuring sufficient Portuguese language skills for CBS officers going to post. This is already addressed in the HR and assignment process at HQ.

3.2 General Issues

3.2.1 There are a number of issues that are common to all the Commercial Program Offices in Brazil. These issues relate to strategic planning, program management and administration.

3.2.2 A significant amount of time was devoted to developing the Brazil Commerce Strategy and supporting documents to guide the IBD officers in developing their sectors. The 15– to 25–page market profiles provide a *** market overview of each sector, the trends in the industry, challenges, and areas of potential opportunity. *** which of the dozens of niches within a sector the team should be seeking to exploit given its limited budget and resources.

3.2.3 A number of actions, events and initiatives are indicated in sector work plans and in the IBD planning template, all very tactical documents. However, it is difficult to determine a link between the strategies and the actions being undertaken by the team on the ground. It is important to demonstrate that planned events are linked to sectoral strategies and support each other in contributing to the overall goal. Officers who are working on horizontal files should integrate their work more closely with that of the frontline sectoral officers to ensure that the bulk of the Science and Technology and Investment activities are aligned. Planning documents must set a clear direction for the team and provide realistic and achievable targets.

3.2.4 Although responsibilities and objectives have been set for each officer in the Performance Management Program (PMP), individual portfolio work plans (PWP) for each priority file should be established. The IBD officers in Brazil should develop these plans to serve as intermediary documents to link the sector “strategy” and the “tactical” IBD activity plans. Such plans, with a focus on establishing clear objectives, a series of supporting activities and expected results, could assist officers in better achieving Program targets.

3.2.5 Though all officers are doing some outcalls, they still spend a significant amount of their time in the office. The Program needs to act more strategically and officers should increase the amount of focussed outcalls in order to gain market intelligence and cultivate a network of contacts in their areas of responsibility. The inclusion of an outreach/outcall strategy as part of each officer’s work plan would allow the Program to more effectively use its resources to identify results.

3.2.6 Brazil has recently gained extra resources for Public Diplomacy. The Program Managers need to ensure that the Commercial and Economic Programs work more closely with the PD team. Communication is important to position the Commercial Program, and promote Canadian strengths and capabilities. Some PD initiatives may be mutually beneficial to the Program, as well as other clients in the missions, in realizing the commercial agenda. It may be helpful to reinforce consistent messaging if the Public Affairs unit were to follow the best practice established in Washington of providing all of the missions’ employees with booklets containing advocacy talking points.

3.2.7 Hospitality funds are generally not used to their full potential in support of Program activities. These funds should be used strategically in conjunction with an outcall strategy to gather market– and policy–related intelligence and to cultivate networks of contacts in the territory. Funds should be used to support smaller, more targeted, events. It is not common across Brazil for individual officers to have their own allocations. The Junior CBS and the LES Trade Commissioners should each be given a set amount as their individual allocation to conduct their own hospitality events so they can develop and maintain networks related to their files. Not only will their core Trade skills be further developed, but officers will also be exposed to strategic planning and budgeting. Managers will need to ensure that staff are appropriately coached on how to effectively plan and carry out strategic hospitality functions.

3.2.8 The completion of hospitality diaries needs to be improved so that links to the Program’s strategic objectives, evaluations of events, and the potential follow–ups resulting from the events are clearly indicated. This is important in demonstrating that the hospitality funds are being well spent. As individual officers are given their own hospitality allocations, it will become important to ensure that they establish their own diaries and that the diary forms are properly completed.

3.2.9 The Program is not generally using the Trade Commissioner Assistant positions to their full potential. A very dated model was observed whereby assistants are working as secretaries, performing routine administrative, clerical and logistical tasks. In fact, there are opportunities where the assistant positions could play more value–added roles in assisting the officers with their priority sectors by doing research, assisting with correspondence, and other tasks. In addition, the Assistant positions could be used to handle some of the lower–priority inquiries about the more reactive sectors.

3.2.10 Most communication in the Program is done informally, although each office has regular weekly team meetings to discuss plans, their implementation, and ongoing operations. Individuals keep minutes of meetings, however, in order to help promote coordination and create more of a forward–looking approach to the meetings, the Program should keep records of decisions made at each meeting. These records should be circulated amongst the Brazil Commercial Program offices as well as other programs in the missions and the appropriate divisions in HQ.

3.2.11 Annual appraisals have been completed for all staff. The PMP has been well implemented in Brasilia, partially implemented in São Paulo, and encountered some technical problems in Rio de Janeiro. It is important that managers have regular discussions with their staff on objective–setting and performance feedback to assist them in completing the annual appraisals.

3.2.12 Job descriptions for all Officers and Assistants should be reviewed to ensure they are up–to–date and reflect current responsibilities. Team members should review their job descriptions which should then be signed by the manager and the employee. Originals should be given to the Human Resources section and employees should keep a copy for their own records. Organizational charts should also be updated to ensure that they reflect actual reporting relationships.

3.2.13 A number of new LES Officers and Assistants have been hired over the last few years. These staff members should receive the introductory training offered by CFSI as soon as possible.

3.2.14 The Program should develop a comprehensive training plan to ensure that trade staff are developing the professional and technical skills required to do their jobs and to manage their sector portfolios.

3.2.15 Brazil’s WIN Export tracking numbers are extremely high and out of sync with those of peer posts. The data integrity of the client service database should be checked. Policies on what should be entered into the database need to be reinforced. Only when a value–added client service has been provided should it be tracked in WIN Exports. Creating this best practice is important before the Department’s new client relationship management application, TRIO, is introduced. The integrity of the data also has important operational implications as these client service tracking numbers are used by the Trade Commissioner Service for resource allocation decisions. Erroneous data can unduly influence the decision making process.

3.2.16 Export Development Canada (EDC) has two offices in Brazil. The presence of these offices has greatly benefited the Trade Commissioner Service and they receive *** support from EDC. EDC takes a completely different approach to client interaction, opportunity development, networking and hospitality. There are opportunities to work more closely with the EDC team in developing networks and advancing specific projects. The Trade Commissioners could also learn from some of EDC’s own best practices.

Recommendations to WMM

3.2.17 HQ should reinforce the policies that determine what officers should be entering into the client service tracking systems.

3.2.18 HQ should devise a new methodology for making resource allocation decisions.

3.2.19 All new Trade LES should receive introductory training offered by CFSI as early as possible in their careers. HQ should ensure that funding is made available to facilitate this training.

WMM Actions and Timeframes

3.2.17 With full implementation of TRIO we are now able to refine information and reporting requirements. This will be implemented for the 2008–2009 business plans.

3.2.18 WMM implemented a new methodology for the current year involving economic analysis and business opportunities identified by missions.

3.2.19 The goal is to ensure training in the first year of employment. At least two, and usually three, courses are held each year depending on the number of staff that need to be accommodated.

Recommendations to the Missions

3.2.20 The Program should develop individual work plans for each priority sector portfolio. These plans should link with the strategy documents and clearly indicate objectives, activities and expected results.

3.2.21 Officers should be encouraged to spend more time out of the office. The Program should include an outreach/outcall strategy and hospitality plan in each portfolio work plan that identifies why contacts are being targeted and how they link to Program objectives.

3.2.22 The Program should plan to develop its communication and cooperation with Brazil’s Public Diplomacy Program.

3.2.23 Hospitality funds should be used more strategically. Each CBS and LES Officer in the Program should be given their own hospitality allocation to help gather policy/market intelligence and to further develop a network of contacts. The Program Manager should ensure that staff are being coached on increasing their use of strategic hospitality and that diaries are established and completed correctly.

3.2.24 The role of the Assistants in the Program should be reviewed to ensure they are providing the best possible value to the operation.

3.2.25 Records of decisions made should be kept for each team meeting. They should then be circulated to the entire Brazil Commercial Program, other programs in the Missions, and appropriate divisions in HQ.

3.2.26 Managers should ensure that all employees receive annual objectives, regular performance feedback and annual appraisals.

3.2.27 The Programs should update all job descriptions and organizational charts to accurately reflect current responsibilities and reporting lines.

3.2.28 The Programs should develop a comprehensive training plan.

3.2.29 The Programs should only enter value–added client service interactions into WINexports. This best practice should be developed before TRIO is introduced.

3.2.30 The Programs should work more closely with EDC in developing economic opportunities for Canada in Brazil.

Missions Actions and Timeframes

3.2.20 Plans exist for our priority sectors. We will review and ascertain that objectives, activities and expected results are linked. This is being done systematically through the Performance Management Program (PMP); there are general objectives established at the section level and specific ones at the individual level. As foreseen in the PMPs the objectives will be reviewed individually by fall 2007.

3.2.21 Officers to submit outreach/outcall strategy and hospitality plans by 31 May 2007. Outreach plans have been implemented in Rio de Janeiro and are in the final stages of development in Sao Paulo where they will be reviewed with the HOM in fall 2007. Minimal travel resources have been a major limiting factor to achieve this goal.

3.2.22 Limited Public Diplomacy Program as of 01 April 2007. This will require further prioritization among programs which is underway .

3.2.23 Each LES will receive an allocation for 2007. Hospitality money will be allocated based on individual outcall strategies (as per response 3.2.21). A memo was sent allocating specific hospitality targets to officers linked to the development of a network of contacts linked to collective and individual objectives. An effort is being made to link Section’s objectives to hospitality diaries.

3.2.24 Assistant’s job descriptions have recently been reviewed and agreed upon based on HQ standards.

3.2.25 Trade staff meeting notes are kept and circulated to everyone recommended as well as to regional offices.

3.2.26 Managers ensure that employees receive annual objectives, regular performance feedback and annual appraisals. This recommendation is systematically achieved through use of the Performance Management Program (PMP).

3.2.27 Job descriptions for Trade have been updated. Organizational charts currently reflect reporting lines.

3.2.28 A more comprehensive training plan can be developed only if funded. However, given the present funding levels we are always searching for training offered by CSFI and other groups in HQ that would benefit our officers.

3.2.29 Program is following the guidelines from HQ on this matter. Brasilia forwards all IBD related requests to the Sao Paulo Info Centre for processing and response. New guidelines are being developed for service entries into TRIO. Anticipated completion for August 2008.

3.2.30 We are and will continue to work very closely with EDC.

3.3 Issues specific to the Office in Brasilia (Economic and Trade Policy) Brasília (five staff): one CBS Program Manager (FS–04), one CBS Trade Policy Officer (FS–01), two LES Trade Policy Officers (LE–09), and one LES Assistant (LE–05).

3.3.1 The focus of the Brasília Commercial Program is Economic and Trade Policy (EC). In addition, the Program is responsible for economic reporting, science and technology, and government procurement. The Program is active in a number of highprofile market access cases, trade disputes and negotiations as they relate to the Canada–Brazil bilateral relationship. These include agricultural issues (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), wheat tariffs, etc.), bilateral negotiations related to free trade and air agreements, as well as bigger picture free trade and science and technology cooperation agreements.

3.3.2 Economic reporting is traditionally a function that is performed by the General Relations Program of medium–sized missions. In Brasília, however, the function is being performed by the Commercial Program as the reporting function relates very closely to trade dispute and market access files handled by the team. The Program does *** reporting on a number of critical topics. Cooperation with the General Relations Program *** and common files are worked on as a team. In order to avoid any potential problems in the future, the arrangement that the Commercial Program is responsible for economic reporting should be formalized.

3.3.3 The Program is led by an *** Program Manager. He places an emphasis on the importance of team work whereupon team members contribute to the files of others allowing cross–fertilization and an informal back–up system. *** the Program is *** supported by the Head of Mission.

3.3.4 The Program estimates that 90% of its time is spent on trade policy and market access issues. The remaining 10% is spent on troubleshooting and assisting visiting Canadian government representatives, partners and, from time to time, Canadian companies.

3.3.5 Strategic planning is *** done given the reactive environment. Planning documents set broad–based objectives and milestones. Resources are generally *** aligned with existing priorities and a vision is in place of how to address new and emerging priorities. Demands from HQ and partner departments are diverse and uncoordinated. Deadlines for responses are tight and work volume is both heavy and constant, yet appears manageable. However, if demands continue to increase, or if the Brazil Commerce Strategy is approved, Canada’s commitment of resources to Brazil will need to be reexamined.

3.3.6 One employee is following a flexible–hour work schedule. This is currently an informal arrangement between the employee and the manager. It is important to formalize this arrangement given the rotational nature of the management team. The employee’s HR file should include the appropriate approvals for working flex–hours and the adjusted monthly time–sheets.

Recommendations to the Mission

3.3.7 The Mission should respect that economic reporting is a function that best rests with the Trade Policy side of the Mission. This arrangement should be formalized so that it does not become an issue for debate during future rotations of mission management.

3.3.8 The Program should formalize flex–time arrangements and ensure that HR files include the appropriate approvals and adjusted monthly time–sheets.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.3.7 A memorandum establishing that the Section has responsibility for economic reporting is to be prepared, submitted to the HOM for his approval/signature and sent to the GR and TD program managers and to file by summer 2007.

3.3.8 A memorandum was prepared and signed by the Program Manager and employee in question formalising the flex–time arrangement.

3.4 Issues specific to the Office in Sao Paulo (International Business Development)
São Paulo (15 staff): one CBS Program Manager (EX–01), two CBS Trade Commissioners (1 x FS–03, 1 x FS–01), seven LES Trade Commissioners (6 x LE–09, 1 x LE–08), and five LES Assistants (1 x LE–06, 1 x LE–05, 3 x LE–04).

3.4.1 The city of São Paulo and the surrounding region are considered the economic engine of Brazil. There is a large resident Commercial Program in Sao Paulo that is adequately resourced to carry out its mandate. The Program is headed by a *** Trade Commissioner and Commercial Program Manager, a senior EX on secondment from another government department. ***. The team of LES *** have demonstrated ***, even during difficult periods. The Program is *** supported by the Head of Mission.

3.4.2 The São Paulo team is responsible for five of the eight priority sectors identified in the Brazil Commerce Strategy: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT); Forestry, Pulp and Paper; Agriculture and Agrifood; Environment; and Cultural Industries. The Program is sufficiently resourced to allow one officer for each priority sector. Two officers are currently working on ICT which may no longer be necessary. The remaining officers have been assigned responsibility for the other nonpriority/ reactive sectors that are usually handled by Trade Commissioner Assistants. None of the CBS officers are working on what could be considered priority files. The Program Manager has no portfolio responsibilities. One of the junior Canadian positions is responsible for Aerospace and Defense – a deemed non–priority sector. The second Junior CBS officer’s main responsibility is managing the Infocentre, a function traditionally performed by an LES Assistant. Priorities need to be re–examined and resources need to be better aligned so they can be used more effectively.

3.4.3 The Cultural Industries file is currently being handled as an emerging priority sector by the Senior Trade Commissioner Assistant. A proposal existed to upgrade the Senior Trade Commissioner Assistant position to handle the Cultural Industries file. There are opportunities to maximize the use of existing officer positions by assigning additional work or emerging priority files to a Junior CBS Officer or another LES Officer. The Audit Team is not in favour of creating any incremental Officer positions given the number of IBD Officer positions that already exist within the Section. The Cultural Industries file should be assigned to another officer that has existing capacity within his/her job package.

3.4.4 The Program was previously structured as two pillars with each Junior CBS Trade Commissioner responsible for a group of LES Officers and Assistants. A recent restructuring altered the reporting lines. This change in reporting relationships has led to a flatter organization but has inadvertently reinforced the silos, as all of the LE–09 officer now report to one CBS. *** in the Section and minimal overlap in portfolios as clusters of officers do not exist.

3.4.5 As a result of the restructuring and other changes over the past few years, the two Junior CBS Trade Commissioner positions currently have very different job packages. One position has three LES Officers reporting to it, responsibility for Aerospace, Defence and Security, as well as horizontal involvement on the Science and Technology portfolio. The other CBS position has no significant sectoral responsibility but is managing the InfoCentre. This is not only poor use of a CBS resource, but it does not allow the *** Officer an opportunity to develop the IBD and management skills essential to becoming a Trade Commissioner. The job package of the Junior CBS position should be reviewed.

3.4.6 A number of position reclassification actions are outstanding for São Paulo. If they are approved there would be no net change in the number of positions but the profile for São Paulo would become:

 CBS OfficersLES OfficersLES AssistantsTotals
São Paulo1 x EX–01
1 x FS–02
1 x FS–01
6 x LE–092 x LE–06
4 x LE–05
15.0

3.4.7 The LE–04 Program Assistants (EXT305595, EXT00308755, EXT00305591) remain under–classified and the downgrade of the presently vacant EXT00308451 position from LE–08 to LE–05 remains unresolved. It is the usual practice for Trade Commissioner Assistant positions to be at the LE–05 level where they are performing secretarial/administrative tasks as well as working closely with their assigned officer on sectoral files and undertaking some reactive sectoral work of their own. Sao Paulo has been trying for a number of years to establish the support positions at the new LE–05 standard. This issue has lingered far too long ***, especially since a number of new LE–05 positions have been created in other offices and programs in Brazil. Even though a number of requests have been submitted to HQ by São Paulo and the Mission has funds within its budget to offset these position upgrades, HQ still has not granted permission for the reclassifications to proceed. HQ should immediately respond to São Paulo’s request so that this long–standing issue can be resolved.

3.4.8 São Paulo is seeking to have the Senior Trade Commissioner Assistant position (EXT00308480) upgraded from an LE–05 to an LE–06. It is the finding of the Audit Team that this proposal should also be given permission to proceed; however, the job description should not have such a heavy weighting on sectoral responsibilities. The Senior Assistant position should have more responsibility for overall office and budget management and administration. This position should not be used as a Junior Trade Commissioner, particularly when an officer position, such as the Junior CBS position, remains under–tasked.

3.4.9 Once the Assistant positions are reclassified they should be reallocated across the Section. The reporting lines on the organizational chart should be adjusted to try to achieve a 2:1 Officer:Assistant ratio. This would allow the Assistants to work more closely with Officers on their files.

3.4.10 São Paulo has also requested to upgrade the LE–06 Infocentre Officer position (EXT00309968) to the LE–07 level. Part of the rationale for this request rests on the fact that it was to become the manager of the Infocentre. This responsibility has been given to the FS–01 CBS position (EXT00005615). The Audit Team finds that the LE–06 position should not be upgraded and should remain at the LE–06 level. Furthermore, the Section should consider reducing the number of management levels in the section by having the LE–04 position (EXT00305591) that currently reports to the LE–06 report directly to the FS–01 CBS position.

3.4.11 The Section’s Officer positions are all at the LE–09 level. When vacancies occur, new officers should be hired at the LE–07 level. These steps will help create more opportunities for career progression in the Program. Future consideration could be given to having a new LE–07 Officer report to the FS–01 CBS to help that position gain some management experience.

3.4.12 The Infocentre, located in São Paulo, provides steady and strong support for all four Brazil offices in dealing with enquiries from clients and partner–clients. It does not appear, however, that the InfoCentre’s research and information management services are being used to their full potential by Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte. In keeping with the concept of an integrated Brazil Commercial Program, São Paulo should implement initiatives which would ensure that InfoCentre services are being used equally and optimally by all four offices.

Recommendations to the Mission

3.4.13 The Program should review the allocation of sectors and ensure that resources are aligned and used effectively.

3.4.14 The job package of the Junior CBS Trade Commissioner should be reviewed to include significant IBD work and responsibilities which in turn will ensure proper skill development.

3.4.15 The Program should review the job package of the STC Assistant position so it does not have such a high sectoral weighting. The Program should then proceed to upgrade the classification of the STC Assistant position to LE–06.

3.4.16 The Program should continue its review of the value–added roles of Assistant positions and the InfoCentre.

3.4.17 The Program should proceed with its plan to delete the LE–08 position, upgrade the LE–04 Trade Commissioner Assistant positions to LE–05 and regularize the remaining assistant positions. This would ensure that the Sao Paulo profile is more aligned with the global standard. The Program should also realign the assistant positions across the Section.

3.4.18 The Program should not proceed with upgrading the LE–06 InfoCentre Officer position as the management responsibilities no longer exist. The Program should also consider modifying the reporting relationship of the InfoCentre Assistant so the position reports directly to the Junior CBS Trade Commissioner position.

3.4.19 When an LE–09 position becomes vacant, the Program should consider staffing it at the LE–07 level and having the new officer report directly to the Junior CBS Trade Commissioner position.

3.4.20 The Brazil InfoCentre should implement initiatives to help ensure that InfoCentre services are being used to their full potential by clients across all four offices.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.4.13 The Program has reviewed the allocation of sectors and ensured that resources were used effectively. The Cultural Industries sector has become a priority sector, therefore it was reallocated to an officer that has Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) responsibilities as well. Resources (CSF) are used only for priority–emerging sectors.

3.4.14 The job package of the Junior CBS Trade Commissioner was reviewed and he was given additional responsibilities in a priority sector, apart from his supervision of the Info Centre and being responsible for the file on Infrastructure and Transportation.

3.4.15 When the Program reviewed the STC Assistant job package it used the standard job descriptions available on our intranet. The position is now classified as an LE–06.

3.4.16 We will continue to review the value–added roles of the Assistants.

3.4.17 Program agrees with the recommendation on re–classification. All planned reclassifications were finalized and the LE–09 position was deleted. With the resulting three assistants available for trade commissioners we were able to have one assistant with a 2:1 ratio (heavier sectors) and the other two have a 3:1 ratio. We could realign all of the assistant positions to a 2:1 ratio only if Sao Paulo were to add another assistant position.

3.4.18 The upgrade of the LE–06 InfoCentre position to LE–07 has already taken place. The Sao Paulo InfoCentre is evolving to become the regional InfoCentre for the Southern Cone, a change that brings with it added responsibilities for the now LE–07 Research Assistant as well as an increased workload. The LE–05 InfoCentre Assistant now reports directly to the Junior CBS Trade Commissioner, but maintains a close working relationship with the Research Assistant.

3.4.19 Program will re–assess this recommendation when an LE–09 position becomes vacant.

3.4.20 Agree. Trio is now being implemented in Brazil and as a result, interaction between Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and the Sao Paulo InfoCentre will evolve over the next few months to take advantage of the opportunities for pro–active assistance from the InfoCentre given by the new system. A conference call will also take place with Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte in fall 2007 to introduce the InfoCentre to the new officer and serve as a refresher to experienced staff.

Brasilia, having a trade policy mandate, has a limited need to interact with the InfoCentre. There nevertheless, exists a working relationship of mutual referrals with Brasilia when a trade policy or trade promotion enquiry is redirected to the appropriate post. In the recent months, coordination for interim replies has been much improved between the two missions.

3.5 Issues specific to the Office in Rio de Janeiro (International Business Development)

Rio de Janeiro (2.5 staff): one CBS Trade Commissioner and Program Manager (FS–03), one LES Trade Commissioner (LE–09), and one half of an LES Assistant (LE–05) position which is shared with the HOM.

3.5.1 The Rio de Janeiro Program is responsible for three of the eight priority sectors identified in the Brazil Commerce Strategy (Oil and Gas, Mining and Minerals, and Electric Power). The satellite office in Belo Horizonte, which reports to Rio de Janeiro, is responsible for the Mining and Minerals portfolio. The Program is sufficiently resourced to allow one officer per priority sector identified. Oil and Gas and Mining and Minerals are two of the most important sectors to the Brazilian economy. Currently the Electric Power portfolio is regarded as an emerging priority sector and is being handled by the CBS Trade Commissioner.

3.5.2 The CBS Trade Commissioner is also the Commercial Program Manager for Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. Formerly a Management and Consular Officer, *** on *** posting as a Trade Commissioner and as a Program Manager. The HOM needs to spend more time with *** has received support from the PM in São Paulo, but would also benefit from a network of peers in the region.

3.5.3 The Program Manager needs to *** coach them on developing their portfolios and networks of contacts. The *** Officer for the Oil and Gas sector, ***, needs to receive sufficient coaching to integrate as part of the team and develop the sector in a focused manner. Regular daily communication occurs with Belo Horizonte but more direction should be provided.

3.5.4 A number of LES positions have been filled recently. It is important that these new Officers and Assistants receive the core training at HQ.

3.5.5 The Program has submitted a business case for an additional officer position to handle the Electric Power portfolio. Electric Power is recognized as an emerging sector that has a limited range of opportunities. The Audit Team did not find enough evidence to support an additional officer position being created in Rio de Janeiro at this time. There are currently sufficient staff in the Program to explore potential opportunities in the assigned sectors. ***. If significant opportunities emerge, the business case for an incremental officer position could be resubmitted.

3.5.6 The Program currently has to share an assistant position with the HOM. The Rio de Janeiro Program is of sufficient size to warrant having a full Trade Commissioner Assistant position. This position could be used to provide some back–up on the Oil/Gas sector and support on the Power sector.

Recommendations to the Mission

3.5.7 The CBS Trade Commissioner should *** to her staff.

3.5.8 The CBS Trade Commissioner should develop a plan to spend more time identifying and developing opportunities in the Electric Power sector.

3.5.9 The Program should withdraw its case for an incremental officer position and instead resubmit a business case for a full LE–05 Trade Commissioner Assistant position.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.5.7 The Program Manager (PM) provides regular CMM minutes in addition to daily phone calls and emails with specific attention and direction to the LES staff in Belo Horizonte (and Rio de Janeiro).

3.5.8 CBS PM was given this responsibility in the beginning of 2006 and has accomplished a number of results such as preparing an extensive sector strategy on the power sector in collaboration with partners, etc. The most recent plan is dated March 2007. However, it will need to be updated by the new PM considering that since April 1, 2007, Mission work has been focussed on activities related to the Pan Para American Games, official visits, etc .

3.5.9 Various opportunities in the power sector are identified in the sector strategy. As the evaluation period has only been over a short period this will be monitored.

3.6 Issues specific to the Satellite Office in Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte (two staff): one LES Trade Commissioner (LE–09), and one LES Assistant (LE–05).

3.6.1 The Office in Belo Horizonte is a spoke of the Rio de Janeiro Program, and is managed remotely by the CBS Trade Commissioner, whose work is made more complex in terms of communication, organization and human resource management due to this arrangement. The satellite office was opened primarily to serve the interests of Canadian companies active in the Mining and Minerals sector.

3.6.2 The Office is located in the headquarters building of the Federation of Industries of the State of Minas Gerais (FIEMG). The building’s other tenants include consulates and trade offices from various countries, along with an exhibition hall. This location is ideal for interacting with Brazilian mining and mineral companies and associations. Not including travel and hospitality funds, the operating costs of the office are approximately $20,000 per annum, providing value for Canada. However, if the Program feels there are resource pressures in other regions of Brazil, the Belo Horizonte operation should be re–examined to see if its continued operation can be justified.

3.6.3 The Officer stated that he has capacity to pursue an additional priority sector. In the past, this office covered three main sectors (Mining, Power, and Security). Even though a number of Canadian security companies are resident in Belo Horizonte, the other sectors previously assigned to Belo Horizonte were reallocated to allow the Office to spend more time focussing on the opportunities for Canadian firms in the Mining sector. The Manager should ensure that the Officer is spending more time working strategically and conducting outreach in order to identify new niches in the Mining sector that could be exploited by Canadian firms. Any opportunities in the Security portfolio could be approached as a product or service to Brazilian mining companies.

3.6.4 The Office is currently considering a proposal from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to host one of their officers in the Belo Horizonte office for a number of months. The NRCan Officer would benefit the Office by bringing additional expertise on Canadian mining companies and could also help the LES Trade Commissioner to identify new opportunities with existing companies and resources. NRCan would benefit by gaining additional experience in Brazil’s mining industry. NRCan and Brazil have worked together in the past to develop mining policies and have cooperated on technical issues. A strong relationship between partners could help foster commercial relations between Canada and Brazil. The Program should finalize and submit this proposal. The Audit Team encourages HQ to support and endorse this initiative.

3.6.5 The Trade Commissioner Assistant position is being used for clerical duties. The Assistant should be used to support the Officer in more value–added sector development related responsibilities. The Manager in Rio de Janeiro should address this issue so the job package provides better value to the Program. Should the Program decide this option would be more beneficial, the Assistant position could be transferred to Rio de Janeiro to meet their growing demand for a full–time Assistant position. Other options would need to be explored to provide secretarial support for the Officer in Belo Horizonte; one option being contracted services from an Executive Centre.

3.6.6 The Office does not have full SIGNET access which limits its use of some of the key tools for Trade Commissioners. It is hoped that when TRIO replaces WIN Exports the number of access problems will be reduced. If not, the Mission should pursue with the Information Management and Technology Bureau (SXD) having the Office upgraded to a higher SIGNET standard.

Recommendations to the Mission

3.6.7 If resource pressures are being felt, the Program should reexamine the business case for having an office in Belo Horizonte to ensure that the best value for money is being achieved.

3.6.8 The Program Manager in Rio de Janeiro should ensure that the Officer in Belo Horizonte is spending more time working strategically and conducting outreach in order to identify new niches in the mining sector.

3.6.9 The Program should submit its proposal to HQ to have an exchange officer from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) resident in the Belo Horizonte office.

3.6.10 The Program Manager in Rio de Janeiro should ensure that the Trade Commissioner Assistant position in Belo Horizonte is being used to provide the greatest possible value to the Program.

3.6.11 If necessary in the future, the Mission should pursue with SXD having the Office upgraded to a higher SIGNET standard.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.6.7 Resource pressures are being strongly felt in Rio de Janeiro and business case to re–deploy one position to Rio de Janeiro and keep an LES officer position in a new Honorary Consul office will be made after PanAm Games in July/August 2007.

3.6.8 Effective April 2007 PM will prepare outreach/outcall plans for each LES officer and will prepare dedicated liaison travel budget between Rio de Janeiro/Belo Horizonte.

3.6.9 To date there has been no contact from NRCAN since the informal exchange of ideas regarding interest in pursuing this initiative.

3.6.10 Position to be re–deployed to Rio de Janeiro effective September 2007.

3.6.11 SXEC (Client Relations) visited and concurs with this recommendation.

3.7 Brazil IBD Program Best Practices

3.7.1 The size of the team in Brazil, and the *** experience among LES and CBS have helped establish a number of best practices over the years. These best practices should be shared with the other Commercial Program Offices in the country and also globally with other Trade Commissioners.

3.7.2 The Brasília Economic and Trade Policy (EC) Program has taken some innovative steps regarding professional development of its staff by hosting seminars and video presentations featuring outside speakers. These presentations have covered a range of topics, particularly those focussed on trade and economic policy priorities and institutions. The methodology for conducting this training could be a best practice that should be shared with other Programs via Horizons, the Trade Commissioner Service’s Intranet site.

3.7.3 The Office in Belo Horizonte keeps a database of companies that are potential service providers, agents, and other partners for Canadian firms. This tool is very helpful in the provision of some of the core services and aids in the Office’s matchmaking and networking. The Office also keeps an Active Client List (ACL) so they are always aware of the Canadian commercial activities in their area of responsibility. This document also helps to keep the Trade Commissioner in Rio de Janeiro, the Public Affairs unit, the Heads of Mission and HQ up–to–date. The management team in Rio de Janeiro should work with the Office in Belo Horizonte to perfect these documents and share them with the rest of the team in Brazil before the best practice is posted on Horizons.

3.7.4 A new LES Trade Commissioner was *** hired in Rio de Janeiro. In the introductory material prepared by her manager is a sector map which indicates all the organizations and key contacts for her new portfolio. It is also helpful in identifying gaps where new organizations and contacts need to be identified. This idea should be integrated into the Portfolio Work Plan and Outreach/Outcalls strategies.

Recommendations to the Missions

3.7.5 The Brasilia EC Program’s creative training methodologies should be documented as a best practice and be shared with other Programs in Brazil and globally via Horizons.

3.7.6 The Belo Horizonte Office’s database of potential service providers and partners for Canadian firms, as well as their Active Client List initiative, should be refined and documented as best practices to eventually be shared with other Programs via Horizons.

3.7.7 The Rio de Janeiro Office’s sector map should be adopted as a standard and integrated component of the portfolio work plan and outreach/outcall strategies.

Missions Actions and Timeframes

3.7.5 Brasilia–IBD will prepare an information package detailing its training objectives, material and references and share it with colleagues via Horizons (the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) intranet site). In addition, a general email to other sections in Brasilia and other missions in the region will be sent. These actions will be completed by summer 2007.

3.7.6 The Active Client List is kept up–to–date by the officers in Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo for their sector. It will be shared with HQ, circulated to all HOMs and will document best practices in Horizon. A review of the need for an Active Client List is underway given the implementation of TRIO by the fall. Effort will be made so as not to duplicate work.

3.7.7 Agree. Every officer in the sectors under the responsibility of Rio de Janeiro/Belo Horizonte has been asked to prepare an office sector map in order to identify where they need to focus their effort on developing new key contacts.


Consular Program

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 In both Brasilia and Sao Paulo, the Consular Program is *** managed under the general direction of the Management and Consular Officers (MCOs) with the Deputy Management and Consular Officers (DMCOs) providing daily supervision. In Rio de Janeiro, management is structured such that the HOM is the Consular Program Manager and Sao Paulo is responsible for passport processing and is available for advice as needed. A recommendation to formally identify the MCO in Sao Paulo as the Consular Program Manager for Rio de Janeiro was accepted by the HOM and has been implemented. This will allow Rio de Janeiro to *** draw upon Sao Paulo’s resources and integrate the Rio de Janeiro Consular Assistant into the Sao Paulo Consular Section, allowing her to stay better informed through participation in staff meetings. There is an Honorary Consul in Rio de Janeiro who deals primarily with Trade–related issues and is not involved in the Consular Program. The Honorary Consul in Belo Horizonte deals with *** consular cases, but his workload is *** coordinated through the Mission in Rio de Janeiro.

4.1.2 The Senior LES Consular Officers in both Brasilia and Sao Paulo ***, having received extensive in–Canada training as well as distance training on the implementation of the new Mission Passport Print Solution (MPPS). As a result, they require ***. While the Sections are generally busy, they are not overworked and have sufficient resources to handle their current work load.

4.1.3 Brazil has a very extensive and effective warden system that allows the Missions to maintain contact with Canadians throughout the country. While the Missions have identified a need for a wardens’ conference, budgetary constraints have prevented this from taking place. In order to avoid a reduction in morale and effectiveness, the Missions must prioritize needs in order to develop a training plan that will target specific wardens with particular requirements. This will allow the Missions to bring together key groups of wardens for training in the near future, while others may be targeted over the longer term, or met on a “one off basis” by CBS who are visiting the regions on official business.

4.1.4 The majority of consular services provided to clients outside of Brasilia are paid for through cheque correlis and vale postals. Sao Paulo clients also use cheque correlis as a form of payment. Cheque correlis function much like money orders, and are handled by the local postal system. The Audit Team supports their continued use.

4.1.5 When vale postals are used there can be a considerable delay in receipt of payment. In the past, Brasilia provided services as soon as the post office issued the vale postal on behalf of the client, although the Mission had not yet received the payment. While this practice allows for excellent client service, the Mission is assuming significant financial risk by providing services prior to actual receipt of payment. As a result, it is strongly recommended that the Mission reevaluate vale postals as a form of payment and discourage their use to the extent possible.

4.1.6 When Brasilia’s Consular Section is notified that a cheque correlis or vale postal has been received on their behalf, *** and then submits it to the Section. Upon receipt of cheque correlis and vale postals, ***. In order to protect ***, receipt of the correlis cheques, vales postals and any other form of payment should always be verified and signed off by both parties, ***. This scenario is mirrored in Sao Paulo with the handling of the cheque correlis.

4.1.7 Revenues for consular and passport services are submitted to the Finance Section ***. Consular staff prepare and submit a reconciliation along with the revenues, however the reconciliation of consular revenues needs to be reviewed by the DMCO or MCO prior to submission to the Finance Section.

Recommendation to Brasilia, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro

4.1.8 The three Missions should work in tandem to develop a priority list for meetings with the wardens in their regions, as well as a cost– sharing agreement for a pilot warden conference. If funding is available, a pilot warden conference should be organized for the priority wardens before fiscal year end.

Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro Action and Timeframe

4.1.8 Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro held Brazil’s first Warden Conference in Sao Paulo in March 2007. Conference served as a training platform for 32 wardens. HOMs and consular staff from all three missions were also present as well as Belo Horizonte Honorary Consul.

Recommendations for Brasilia and Sao Paulo

4.1.9 Receipt of consular revenues in the form of cheques correlis and/or vale postals should be verified and signed off by both staff members involved in the exchange of funds.

4.1.10 The reconciliation of consular revenues should be reviewed by the DMCO or MCO prior to submission to the Finance Section.

Brasilia Actions and Timeframes

4.1.9 Exchange of consular funds is now signed off by both staff members. Implemented as of April 2007.

4.1.10 MCO or DMCO to review reconciliation of consular revenues prior to submission to Finance Section as of April 2007.

Sao Paulo Actions and Timeframes

4.1.9 Since the local post service discontinued the cheques correlis and vale postal have excessive wait times for confirmation of the reception of payments, Mission will have to change the options of payment for clients who send their passport applications by mail. From now on, the Mission will only accept certified cheques (“cheque administrativo”) issued by banks.

4.1.10 DMCO reviews consular revenues reconciliation once a week, ***, prior to submission to Finance.

Recommendation for Brasilia

4.1.11 The Mission should minimize the acceptance of vale postals as a form of payment for Consular services to the extent possible.

Brasilia Action and Timeframe

4.1.11 As of April 2007, Mission website and consular documentation will reflect desirability of other forms of payments. However, Brasilia cannot eliminate completely the acceptance of ‘vale postals’ since it is the only form of payment available in many remote locations in Brazil. Clients will be notified that using ‘vale postals’ will adversely affect service delivery time.

4.2 Brasilia

4.2.1 Daily consular, passport and citizenship operations are carried out by the Consular Officer (LE–07), under the supervision of the DMCO. An active warden system is in place consisting of 30 wardens in the region and 750 registrants. Although there is only one full–time LES resource dedicated to the consular functions, the Program is adequately resourced for its yearly workload of approximately 140 passports, 70 citizenship applications, 85 notarizations and a moderate ongoing consular case load.

4.2.2 The physical configuration of the Consular reception area impedes the provision of services to clients. At present there is only a consular counter and no booth, so clients who wish to discuss private matters ***. In addition, there are no public washrooms in the reception area.

4.2.3 The Mission Passport Print Solution (MPPS) was successfully implemented at the Mission and staff are pleased with the new system, with passports being received by clients within seven working days. The Section processes approximately ten passport applications per month, the majority of which are received by mail. The Consular Officer completes the initial data input into the Passport Management Program (PMP) and reviews the supporting documentation. The DMCO reviews all of the documentation and provides the formal approval.

4.2.4 With the implementation of the MPPS only a minimal stock of passports is maintained at the Mission. A reconciliation of the passport stock was undertaken during the audit and no discrepancies were revealed. The quarterly inventory is completed by both the HOM and DMCO, but for all other months the DMCO completes and signs off on the inventory alone. As a best practice, the passport inventory should always be undertaken in the presence of two CBS, as recommended by Passport Canada (PPTC). The Consular Officer keeps copies of all passport applications, proof of citizenship, and other documentation, creating a large volume of files dating back ten years. The implementation of the MPPS has eliminated the need for maintaining paper files.

Recommendation for Brasilia

4.2.5 Passport applications, copies of proof of citizenship and other documentation should be shredded regularly.

Brasilia Action and Timeframe

4.2.5 Archives pre–dating 2001 have been destroyed in April 2007 and Mission will keep archives for five years. Brasilia has much “repeat business”: Canadians living in Brazil and applying for a passport every five years. Previous passport applications and other documentation are frequently consulted for additional IDs when applications are judged incomplete by the Consular Section. The decision to keep archives for five years is consistent with other section (e.g. finance) and was taken in consultation with the MCO and HOM. Keeping documents for only 90 days would not be efficient operation–wise.

4.3 Sao Paulo

4.3.1 The Consular Section in Sao Paulo issues on average 45 passports a month and completes 50 notarizations. At present there are two full–time resources responsible for daily consular, passport and citizenship operations a Consular Officer (LE–07) and a Consular Assistant (LE–06). There are 728 Canadians registered with the Mission. The number of registrants has dramatically decreased in the past year with Rio de Janeiro becoming a full Consulate General, as it now registers the Canadians in its jurisdiction. Sao Paulo has an active warden system consisting of 26 wardens.

4.3.2 While there is already *** informal communication among staff in the Consular Section, there is currently no mechanism for formal communication. Regular meetings, if scheduled at appropriate intervals, would enhance the already positive communications and assist the DMCO to establish herself as the day–to–day manager of the Section. Rio de Janeiro should also be involved in these meetings to help the Consular Assistant keep abreast of important decisions, news and policy changes.

4.3.3 The Section issues citizenship cards regularly to its Canadian clients. However, when the cards are received by the clients, there is no formal record of receipt. In the future, the Section should implement the best practice of having clients sign a photocopy of the citizenship card in order to confirm receipt of the card.

4.3.4 The Mission has a sizable reception area in which to receive Consular clients, as well as a Consular booth for privacy. The service standards and consular fees for consular services were not posted in either area. Service standards and fees, in both official languages, should be posted in the Consular reception area. The Mission may also wish to consider posting the service standards and fees in Portuguese.

4.3.5 The Consular Section is currently exploring various options for collecting formal feedback from its consular clients, as the current system functions on an ad hoc basis. Developing a formal system should be a priority for the Section over the coming months so that it can be implemented before fiscal year end. Collecting formal client feedback will assist the Mission in identifying any deviations from their service standards.

4.3.6 The Mission was operating under the new MPPS at the time if the audit. The MPPS is generally working well; however, there were some issues regarding the quality of the photos reproduced in the passports. Passports arrive from Canada within seven to eight days, which is well within the 15 day service standard.

4.3.7 When passport applications are received by the Section, the Consular Assistant reviews them and creates a file in the Passport Management Program (PMP). The Consular Officer subsequently reviews the application as well as the supporting documentation. ***. The DMCO and/or MCO *** review the passports and supporting documentation once the passports have been received from Canada. Given that the Mission has two full–time CBS who are accredited to the Consular Program, the passport entitlement function should be exercised by a CBS Officer ***, in accordance with the best practices of the Department.

4.3.8 When the Mission collects passport fees, clients are issued a receipt; however, the Mission is using a secondary receipt system in place of official receipts. Although some *** exists over the practice of issuing official receipts for passport services, there is no problem with issuing official receipts for all revenue received by the Section. Therefore, it is recommended that the Section issue official receipts for passport revenues in order to streamline their processes.

4.3.9 Although internal controls surround the Passport function, the Section should be verifying guarantors on passport applications as directed by Passport Canada.

4.3.10 With the implementation of the MPPS earlier this year, the Mission’s old passport stocks were returned to Ottawa. The remaining passport stocks were reconciled, and no discrepancies were found. While the HOM signs the passport inventory along with the DMCO quarterly, the DMCO is the only CBS who signs the other inventories. As a best practice, all Passport reconciliations should always be signed off by two CBS.

Recommendations for Sao Paulo

4.3.11 The receipt of all citizenship cards by clients should be documented.

4.3.12 A formal client feedback system should be developed and implemented to aid the Consular Section in improving its program delivery.

4.3.13 The Consular Section should establish regular section meetings that include Rio de Janeiro via teleconference.

4.3.14 Official receipts should be issued for passport revenues in place of the non–official receipts that are currently being used.

4.3.15 Guarantors should be verified appropriately.

4.3.16 As a best practice, two CBS should always be present and sign off the monthly passport inventory count.

4.3.17 Service standards and fees should be posted in both official languages. Mission should also consider posting service standards and fees in Portuguese.

4.3.18 The passport entitlement function should be restricted to CBS only.

Sao Paulo Actions and Timeframes

4.3.11 For clients who pick up their citizenship card in person, a copy will be made and signed by the individual. When the citizenship card is sent by Sedex, a copy will be made before sending and the Sedex slip will be attached.

4.3.12 Client feedback forms are now available to the public.

4.3.13 DMCO leads Consular Section staff meetings including Rio de Janeiro by conference call.

4.3.14 Reference to the Manual of Consular Instructions is very clear on the use of official receipts. Section 5.11.3 reads “Official Receipts (EXT 25, see Annex K) are never issued to the general public for fees received for passport services”. Official receipts have been issued when Statutory Declarations are submitted, and non–official receipts for Passport fees.

4.3.15 All guarantors are verified as per passport policy.

4.3.16 Mission will endeavour to have two CBS present monthly and will continue to have HOM countersign quarterly.

4.3.17 Service standard and fees are posted in English, French and Portuguese in the consular booth.

4.3.18 DMCO approves all passport applications in the system. ***.
ZIV Comment
Passport Canada has clarified that according to Government of Canada Security Policy only CBS are allowed to have the entitlement function. As a result, the Foreign Operations Division of Passport Canada will review MPPS profiles and make any necessary adjustments.

Recommendations for PPTC – Passport Foreign Operations Division

4.3.19 The profiles of LES Consular staff in Sao Paulo should be reviewed and revised as appropriate in COSMOS.

PPTC Action and Timeframe

4.3.19 Foreign Operations Division will review MPPS profiles and make the necessary adjustments as of the spring.

4.4 Rio de Janeiro

4.4.1 The Consular Section in Rio de Janeiro reports to Sao Paulo and provides a full range of services to its clients, and although it is not mandated to issue passports, it accepts passport applications on behalf of the office in Sao Paulo. The current practice is that the revenues received for consular services are deposited directed into a bank account in Rio de Janeiro, ***. In the future all consular revenues received in Rio de Janeiro, including those received for passport services, should be directly deposited into the Mission’s bank account. Rio de Janeiro deals primarily with routine consular requests and refers complicated cases to Sao Paulo. There are approximately 482 ROCA registrants in the region.

Recommendations for Rio de Janeiro

4.4.2 All consular revenues received in Rio de Janerio, including those received for passport services, should be directly deposited into the bank account.

Rio de Janeiro Action and Timeframe

4.4.2 A new process was implemented as of 01 April 2007 and consular revenues are now directly deposited into Rio de Janeiro bank account.


Administration Program

5.1 Overview

5.1.1 The MCOs are mirroring the HOMs collaborative “team” approach to Brazil’s Administration Program by coordinating on all issues which impact the Brazilian missions as a whole. This coordination has fostered a *** relationship between the Missions, *** which had existed under previous administrations. In addition, the MCOs have been discussing ways to harmonize policies as much as possible for all the missions in Brazil, for example in Human Resources.

Brasilia

5.1.2 Brasilia’s Administration Section is managed by the MCO (AS–06) and supported by two CBS (AS–04 DMCO and CS–02 FSITP) and 22 LES. The MCO displayed a *** understanding of the challenges facing the Section. Communications within the Section were generally good, and staff indicated that ***. The staff expressed a desire to have occasional all–staff meetings for an overview of priorities and upcoming projects.

5.1.3 Administration support is provided to DFAIT Programs, partner departments located in Brasilia (Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Department of National Defence (DND) and CIDA) and the Office in Recife. The Mission identified a need to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Recife, formalizing the roles and responsibilities of the two offices. Mission staff indicated that the Section is providing *** services. Service standards were developed in 2005, and they will be reviewed and updated regularly.

Recommendations for Brasilia

5.1.4 The Mission should establish regular, occasional all–staff meetings.

5.1.5 The Mission should finalize the MOU with the Office in Recife.

Brasilia Actions and Timeframes

5.1.4 Property & maintenance meetings are held on a quarterly basis. Section will also initiate all–staff meetings in April 2007.

5.1.5 Mission places priority on this item. A formal MOU will be drafted in fall 2007 to better reflect new service standards. Recife will undergo substantial changes and CBS office manager will be replaced by an LES. MOU will be drafted along the lines of San José –Tegucigalpa hub and spoke MOU.

Sao Paulo

5.1.6 In Sao Paulo, the Administration Section is managed by the AS–06 MCO and supported by an AS–04 DMCO and 14 LES. Being the MCO’s second tour at the Mission, he brings with him a *** understanding of both the Office and the Brazilian environment. The MCO is also the Mission’s co–ordinator for activities involving the Pan–American Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2007.

5.1.7 Administration support is provided to the Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro, the Consulate in Belo Horizonte, regular DFAIT programs and to the partner departments located in Sao Paulo (Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Export Development Canada (EDC)). The MOU with Rio De Janeiro was recently reviewed and updated, and has assisted the Mission in defining roles and responsibilities of the offices. Mission staff indicated that the Program is client service– oriented. Administration service standards were updated in August 2006.

5.1.8 Communications within the Section are generally positive and staff indicated that ***. Section meetings are held with office staff; however, it would be useful to hold occasional all–staff meetings to allow non–office staff to participate. Given the working relationship with the spoke Mission, the Program should look at periodically including staff from Rio de Janeiro by conference call.

5.1.9 The DMCO *** has been in Sao Paulo for only a short time. The MCO is developing a work plan for this employee to provide mentoring and exposure for her to the various MCO functions, committees, etc.

Recommendations for Sao Paulo

5.1.10 The Mission should ensure non–office staff have the opportunity to meet as part of the all–staff meetings and/or with Section management on a regular basis.

5.1.11 Sao Paulo’s Administration Section should ensure that pertinent staff from the spoke mission are regularly included in all–staff and Section meetings by conference call.

Sao Paulo Actions and Timeframes

5.1.10 MCO held a post–inspection all–staff meeting. However, there is little value–added to including non–office staff in routine meetings discussing priorities and projects. All staff are included when relevant and necessary.

5.1.11 Rio de Janeiro is included as much as possible, and Sao Paulo DMCO sits in on Rio de Janeiro CMM by conference call.

Rio de Janeiro

5.1.12 The Administration Program in Rio de Janeiro is delivered by an LE–06 Administrative Assistant who is directed by the MCO in Sao Paulo. The Administrative Assistant position was created approximately one year ago, and administrative rigour and service levels have improved considerably during this period. An MOU has been drafted between the two missions and support from Sao Paulo was categorized as very good. The MCO is accountable to the HOM for the Program, and therefore the HOM should have input into the MCO’s PMP.

5.1.13 The Administrative Assistant *** would benefit *** from additional training at this time. The Administration Section in Sao Paulo should organize a training session in which the Rio de Janeiro Administrative Assistant would receive function–specific training (i.e. Human Resources, Finance, Physical Resources, etc.), as well as be provided with policy manuals including all the key forms and templates. Although the position is not an office manager level, the incumbent would also benefit from taking the in–Canada Office Manager training course.

Recommendations for Rio de Janeiro

5.1.14 The Rio de Janeiro HOM should have input into the PMP of the MCO in Sao Paulo.

5.1.15 Rio de Janeiro should co–ordinate with the Administration Section in Sao Paulo to organize a training session for the Rio de Janeiro Administrative Assistant.

5.1.16 The Mission should request Office Manager training for the Administrative Assistant.

Rio de Janeiro Actions and Timeframes

5.1.14 This will be accomplished using the third–party tool in PMP.

5.1.15 Rio de Janeiro Administative Assistant was in Sao Paulo in March 2007 for a training session on all aspects of her position.

5.1.16 MCO will nominate Rio de Janeiro Administrative Assistant for Office Manager training during the next delivery of the course in Ottawa.

5.2 Human Resources (HR)

5.2.1 Brasilia and Sao Paulo have been rolling out the PMP and while there are a number of frustrations with its implementation (for example, the setting up of teams), the Missions believe it will be a useful tool. In Rio de Janeiro there have been technical impediments to the rolling out of PMP and a solution needs to be found. If the technical problems are not corrected, alternative solutions need to be identified such as converting the PMP form into a word–processing document. Brasilia identified the need for clarity on what is meant by the use of the PMP for rotational CBS staff for “other staffing purposes”. Staff do not want to unintentionally penalize their employees or themselves by not using the PMP as intended by HQ.

5.2.2 A number of LES position descriptions in both Brasilia and Sao Paulo need to be reviewed to ensure they match current tasking and levels of responsibility. As a best practice, it is recommended that managers review position descriptions with employees when reviewing the PMP, and that both the manager and employee sign the position description after this review. The organization charts for both missions also need to be updated to ensure that they accurately reflect current reporting relationships.

Brasilia

5.2.3 HR in Brasilia is managed by the MCO with the support of the LE–05 HR Assistant who also supervises the LE–03 Materiel Clerk. Until last year the HR Assistant provided support to the Finance Section.

5.2.4 Brasilia’s HR Section has started the process of reorganizing personnel files to ensure both position and employee files are up–to–date. Letters of Offer, currently being signed by the MCO, should be signed by the HOM. A promised LE–06 RCMP Assistant position, and its funding, have been outstanding for two years awaiting the action of the Common Services Abroad Planning and Co–ordination (SMC) and Mission Resource Management (RSR) Division. The Mission is also in the process of creating a Common Service Abroad (CSAC) non–office maintenance position, which was approved in the Country Strategy review.

5.2.5 The Mission in Brasilia actively encourages training for staff (either locally or through HQ), but there is no formal Mission training plan linked to program objectives. A Mission–wide annual training plan would assist in prioritizing training requirements and coordinating funding.

5.2.6 Some recruitment exercise files were found to be incomplete. Correspondence related to recruitment action should be on file and should contain all relevant documents related to the exercise, including the statement of qualifications, advertisements, all screened–in applications, methodology applied to arrive at the short list, selection tools used and supporting documents, all interview and test notes from board members, the recommendation to the HOM, and the final approval of the HOM. Maintaining these files is necessary to keep the staffing process as transparent, efficient and fair as possible. These files should also demonstrate that internal candidates have been informed of their right to grieve staffing actions.

5.2.7 The LES Committee in Brasilia meets regularly with the HOM and the MCO, and played an active role in the health plan and meal allowance reviews. The Audit Team met with the Committee who noted that communications had improved in the last few years, but would like to see more cross–program communication and increased communication with non–office staff. Other topics discussed concerned:

  • out of date LES Handbook and the need for a benefits review;
  • mission growth has not seen a commensurate increase in support resources, which impacts workload and the ability to find time for training;
  • physical structure: need for reorganization, and some health and safety concerns with the Chancery such as lack of wheelchair access;
  • job descriptions require up–dating; and,
  • training: staff felt training was mostly self–directed and would like more input from managers/supervisors.

Recommendations for Brasilia

5.2.8 The HOM should sign all letters of offer.

5.2.9 Position descriptions should be regularly updated as duties change.

5.2.10 The organization chart should be updated to ensure reporting relationships are accurately reflected.

5.2.11 A Mission–wide annual training plan for all staff should be developed.

5.2.12 Complete files should be maintained for all staffing actions.

5.2.13 The right to grieve should be communicated in writing to all internal staffing candidates.

Brasilia Actions and Timeframes

5.2.8 Mission will implement as of next staffing exercise.

5.2.9 Noted and implemented. Job descriptions will be updated as duties change, exercise to be finalized during annual appraisal–PMP exercise.

5.2.10 Organisation chart reviewed by MCO and signed by HOM in January 2007.

5.2.11 Audit has underlined Mission’s full support for training and developing employees. MCO to link all existing training initiatives into a Mission–wide training plan in the spring.

5.2.12 Noted and done. HR assistant went to HQ for training in March 2007. Complete filing maintained and reviewed periodically as of April 2007.

5.2.13 Noted. To be implemented as of next staffing exercise.

Sao Paulo

5.2.14 HR in Sao Paulo is managed by the MCO (AS–06) with the assistance of the LE–07 Personnel and General Services Officer who also supervises the Receptionist, Messengers and Cleaners.

5.2.15 The majority of staff had appraisals completed up to March 31, 2006 except for seven which had not been completed since 2004. The outstanding appraisals are due for staff who have reached the top of their increment level. The assumption was that since the individuals had reached their highest salary increment, appraisals were no longer required. Appraisals are required for all staff as a means of accurately assessing performance and are not simply a tool to justify or deny salary increments. The Mission makes good use of its Training Committee to evaluate training requests.

5.2.16 Overall the Mission’s personnel files were well maintained, with only a few issues to address. Sao Paulo is working to update its files on reliability checks (RCs), to eliminate those no longer working at the Mission and to ensure that the 10–year review is completed. The Mission keeps separate employee and position files but should have a separate file for each position rather than grouping some together. There is a need to ensure that internal candidates are informed in writing of their right to grieve staffing processes. The Audit Team would also suggest that the Mission continue the practice of providing post staffing board feedback to internal candidates as a best practice.

5.2.17 The LES Committee in Sao Paulo meets regularly with the HOM and the MCO. When the Audit Team met with the Committee it was noted that morale had improved in the last year. Other topics discussed concerned:

  • the out–of–date Handbook and the uncertainty of benefits and responsibilities with the transition to Brazilian labour law;
  • a benefit review is required so that items such as dental plans and private pensions plan can be considered; and,
  • additional benefits for long–serving staff such as another week of vacation following 10 years of service (when the majority reach the top of increment step).

5.2.18 In some cases, senior local staff are in management positions and others are supervising colleagues. Some of these individuals are in *** management positions and may have management styles that differ from those of Canadian managers. The Mission would benefit from requesting supervisory training for new managers and senior staff who coach and mentor colleagues.

Recommendations for Sao Paulo

5.2.19 Position descriptions should be regularly updated as duties change.

5.2.20 The organization chart should be updated to ensure reporting relationships are accurately reflected.

5.2.21 Appraisals should be completed for all staff, including those at the maximum step of their pay levels.

5.2.22 As the Mission is already translating a number of documents into Portuguese, it should continue with this practice and have the RC documents translated as well.

5.2.23 Internal candidates should be informed in writing of their right to grieve staffing processes.

5.2.24 Position files should be maintained for each position and should be separate from employee files.

Sao Paulo Actions and Timeframes

5.2.19 Managers are reminded that position descriptions should be reviewed regularly. Several have been updated since the inspection visit.

5.2.20 Organization chart is updated by Personnel Officer upon receipt of changes from Program Managers. HOM signs updated version on a regular basis for file purposes. Most recent versions sent to Mission Resource Management Division (RSR) and Locally Engaged Staff Services Bureau (HLD) on 12 February 2007.

5.2.21 PMP will be completed for all LES as of summer 2007.

5.2.22 Mission will translate documents if/as resources permit, however, as these documents must also be forwarded to HQ for files, it is obviously preferable to have the forms and responses in an official language.

5.2.23 Notices to unsuccessful candidates will include reference to the grievance process in future.

5.2.24 Separate files now exist for each position.

Rio de Janeiro

5.2.25 A review of HR in Rio de Janeiro found many recommendations mirroring those identified in Brasilia, for example the need to properly document staffing actions. Other pressing issues include the out–of–date LES Employee Handbook and a need to roll out PMP at the Mission.

Recommendations for Rio de Janeiro

5.2.26 PMP should be rolled out as soon as possible and objectives set for all employees.

5.2.27 Staffing files should be properly organized to clearly document all aspects of staffing actions.

Rio de Janeiro Actions and Timeframes

5.2.26 Rio de Janeiro is using PMP for appraisal period ending 31 March 2007; all appraisals were completed in July 2007.

5.2.27 This issue was reviewed during Administrative Assistant training program (see response 5.1.15).

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The Physical Resources portfolio is *** run across the Brazilian missions; however, missions lack adequate office space to accommodate their existing programs. A redistribution of the positions across the Brazilian missions may provide some relief, but in Sao Paulo expansion is the only viable solution. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the property strategy at the missions and Headquarters is based on significant expansion which was forecast under the previous Government; however, with the new Administration there is no indication to suggest that the expected growth will occur in Brazil. In fact, the recent announcement of budget restraints would suggest that the contrary is far more likely. As a result, the Brazilian property portfolio has stagnated, since there is no funding for this “projected” expansion. This has left the missions in a quagmire, as none of their existing space issues are being addressed because they are tied to planned expansion projects which may never be realized. In order for the missions to properly address their actual deficiencies, both Headquarters and the missions must focus their property planning on existing accommodation issues and not potential unrealized growth.

Recommendation for the Physical Resources Bureau (SRD)

5.3.2 In concert with the missions, SRD should proceed with an agreed and funded plan to address the existing space issues in the three Brazilian Chanceries.

SRD Action and Timeframe

5.3.2 The Property Strategy Section (SRSK) has visited Brazil and is fully aware of the space concerns. Currently an expansion project in Sao Paulo has commenced with a projected completion date set for April 2008. The recent establishment of an Assistant Deputy Minister and Executive Coordinator of the Americas Strategy may impact on future growth in our three missions in Brasil. When firm decisions are made with respect to the reallocation of resources in Brazil, SRD will work closely in concert with the Missions to address existing space issues.

Brasilia

5.3.3 The Physical Resources portfolio is *** run under the general direction of the MCO and daily management of the DMCO. They are assisted by a Property/Materiel Officer (LE–06), a Customs Clerk (LE–05) and a Maintenance Supervisor (LE–05). In addition there are a number of support staff including four gardeners, three cleaners and two plumber/electricians.

5.3.4 The Crown–owned Chancery, purpose–built in 1976, is architecturally impressive. Although the Chancery was refurbished in 2004, there are a number of *** health and safety deficiencies that limit the functionality of the space for effective program delivery. The Official Residence (OR) is also Crown–owned and was purchased by the Canadian Government in 1973. There is a good mix of well maintained and allocated Crown–owned and Crown–leased Staff Quarters (SQs). The Housing Committee is effective and has played a strong role in ensuring the SQ profile is in tune with the needs of the Mission. One Crown–owned SQ (SQ 6350026), which was the original official residence, is considerably oversized; however, a significant project was recently undertaken to upgrade this property which has decreased maintenance costs. The costs of maintaining this property should be tracked in the medium term and it should be identified for eventual disposal.

5.3.5 During the pre–tour briefings, the Physical Resources Bureau’s (SRD) concerns focussed on the planned Chancery annex and the Official Residence. Under the previous Government, Brazil was highlighted as a priority country for DFAIT. As a result, a large number of full–time positions were forecast to be created at all of the Brazilian Missions over the subsequent four years. The Chancery Annex project was developed by SRD, in consultation with the Mission, as an answer to the projected growth issue as well as a number of other outstanding deficiencies. However, with the change in Government, the Department’s priorities have also changed and there is no longer indication that Brazil’s portfolio will need to grow significantly, yet there are a number of outstanding deficiencies that must be addressed in the immediate future. The Audit Team toured the Chancery compound and noted the following deficiencies:

  • configuration of the Chancery reception, lack of public washrooms and consular booth;
  • insufficient common space for photocopiers, etc.;
  • awkward office configuration, e.g. split sections and staff separated from their own files;
  • needed expansion of RCMP work space;
  • fire alarm system is not functioning; and,
  • a range of deficiencies ***.

In collaboration with the Mission, SRD should focus on addressing these deficiencies, which, if left unchecked, will affect program delivery.

5.3.6 The Audit Team toured the Official Residence (OR) and found it to be suitable and functional. The Mission Property Management Plan (MPMP) states that the OR is not suitable in terms of representational requirements and personal living space, but the Audit Team questions this assessment. The private living space, while small for a large family, is suitable for smaller family configurations. The Audit Team does not see the need for a significant project at this site. As part of the 2007 refurbishment plan, the construction *** will need to be completed.

5.3.7 The Mission has a plot of vacant land (PRID 6350024) that was intended as the future site of a new OR. Unfortunately, due to limited access from the adjacent street, it is not feasible to build an OR on this site. However, the site is oversized for a regular SQ, so its use for compound housing or another alternative would need to be explored in consultation with SRD. Given that the land is currently appraised at 1.5 million reals (approximately $850,000), the land should be targeted for disposal if no realistic plan for its development is established.

5.3.8 Mission staff, both CBS and LES, are *** with the services provided by the Property Section. They have implemented a straightforward system for maintenance requests. All requests are sent by email to the general mailbox of the Property Section. The emails are opened and filed by the Consular receptionist who, in turn, notifies the Property/Materiel Officer (LE–06) and Maintenance Supervisor (LE–05) of any requests. The Property Officer and Maintenance Supervisor use a collaborative approach in managing maintenance requests, reviewing most requests jointly and discussing the appropriate response.

5.3.9 Mission purchasing is delegated amongst a variety of individuals. Orders for stationary supplies are coordinated by the Human Resource Assistant, while inventories are handled by the Mail Clerk. Major procurement orders, whether local or through Canada, are coordinated by the DMCO, with the Property/Material Officer (LE–06) playing a limited role in purchasing and the inventory. The material and purchasing services would be more efficient if there were centralized under one position. This would provide for a more efficient “one stop shopping” approach for clients.

Recommendations for Brasilia

5.3.10 In the next planning cycle, the missions should accurately reflect Brazil’s current situation (i.e. no further growth) in all property planning documents such as the Mission Property Management Plan (MPMP) and the Property Maintenance and Operations Section (SRSF) five year work plan.

5.3.11 A joint Regional Security Abroad (ISRA)/SRSF visit should be considered to assist the Mission in improving the functionality ***. It is the opinion of the Audit Team that these deficiencies can be addressed without the construction of an Annex. The Mission should proceed with investigating the feasibility of extending the Operations Zone (OZ) through the construction of a wall within the compound.

5.3.12 The maintenance costs of SQ 6350026 should be tracked over the short– term, and the SQ should be considered for eventual disposal following the departure of the current occupant.

5.3.13 The Mission’s vacant land (PRID 6350024) should be targeted for disposal unless a realistic proposal for its development is implemented.

5.3.14 Roles and responsibilities with regard to materiel and purchasing need to be clarified and overall responsibility should be centralized under one position.

5.3.15 The Mission should consider bulk purchases where feasible and limit the number of vendors in order to decrease the number of transactions and increase efficiency.

5.3.16 As per HQ instructions in December 2004, the Mission should enter all contracts greater than $5,000 into the Automated Contracting System (ACS), part of the Materiel Management (MM) module in IMS.

5.3.17 While disposals appeared sound, the HOM had not signed off on them.

Brasilia Actions and Timeframes

5.3.10 Notwithstanding potential future growth, Mission has already surpassed threshold as per June 2003 space study and eight new office positions have been created since. Mission is pursuing consultations with Property Strategy Section (SRSK) and the Property Maintenance and Operations Section (SRSF) for additional funding in order to solve lack of space problems.

5.3.11 The addition of a Security Manager *** helped Administration to improve security of the compound. Final recommendations *** are being implemented. Mission is in contact with Regional Security Abroad (ISRA) and SRSF and would welcome a visit.

5.3.12 Mission has invested significant capital in 2005 to do major renovations in SQ and maintenance costs are now significantly lower as a result. Mission plans to keep house as no major fit–up is foreseen for the next 15–20 years and it is cost–efficient to keep the property.

5.3.13 Local government prohibits building anything else than a single dwelling on that lot. Property evaluation is completed and Mission is exploring process for approval of sale with Brazilian Government. Disposal will be arduous and time–consuming due to moratorium in place.

5.3.14 As of June 2007, the LE–06 Property Officer was given the complete portfolio of procurement from Canada. The LE–05 Maintenance Supervisor remains in charge of purchasing tools/materials needed for local maintenance. The LE–03 Mail Clerk was given overall portfolio for local procurement. His job description has been altered and the HR committee will consider a position reclassification in fall 2007.

5.3.15 Brasilia has a very fragmented market in maintenance tools & utilities, breaks in supply frequently occur and practice of standing offers for suppliers is limited to smaller shops. Going to bigger ‘one–stop–shops’ would obligate staff to ask for petty cash on every occasion. Past experience has demonstrated that current vendor list is more efficient for both property and finance sections.

5.3.16 Mission will start as soon as applicable and will train staff appropriately.

5.3.17 Noted and implemented as of April 2007.

Sao Paulo

5.3.18 The Physical Resources portfolio is under the general direction of the MCO and daily management of the DMCO. They are assisted by a Property/Materiel Officer (LE–07) and a Property/Materiel Assistant (LE–06). While the Section is *** managed, the space constraints at the Chancery have become a major issue and will have a serious impact on the morale of a number of programs if not addressed in the immediate future. A space study conducted by SRD, in consultation with the Mission, demonstrated a space shortage in the Chancery of 300 square metres. Approximately 200 square metres of this shortage can be clearly linked to current need, primarily stemming from growth in the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Program. At the time of the audit field work, there was an opportunity for the Mission to secure space on another floor of the Chancery tower, pending agreement on funding from CIC, the Geographic Bureau (RSD) and SRD. This matter appeared to have been resolved shortly following the audit field work, with RSD indicating that the Mission and SRD had been instructed to proceed with negotiations to lease the additional space.

5.3.19 Roles and responsibilities in the Property Section need to be more evenly distributed given the creation of the Property Manager position last year. The integration of the additional position *** and roles and responsibilities of the Property Manager and Property Assistant were revised after a number of months. The change in responsibilities resulted in the Property Assistant being responsible for all day–to–day maintenance and material management issues. The Property Manager became responsible largely for procurement from Canada (which is avoided if at all possible due to customs delays) as well as contracting support. The reporting relationship between the two positions was also discontinued at that time. The current division of work is unbalanced, with a heavy load placed on the Property Assistant, who deals with the majority of the client service requests and work orders. The workload will eventually need to be rebalanced, possibly along the lines of a traditional split with one employee handling maintenance and the other handling materiel management.

5.3.20 The OR has undergone extensive work in the past two years, much of which was extremely disruptive to the HOM. The final results are impressive however, and have resulted in a functional property which is effectively and appropriately used by the HOM for hospitality activities.

5.3.21 A sample of SQs were visited and found to be suitable and well maintained. SQs are allocated according to the recommendations of the Housing Committee. There have been a number of Accommodation Deficiency Adjustments (ADAs) this year, which have been for temporary deficiencies and have been resolved. While maintenance issues are dealt with quickly, a preventive maintenance plan should be developed, including annual inspections of all Mission properties. It is particularly important that the OR, a Crown–owned property, be inspected thoroughly at least annually.

5.3.22 While physical inventory controls are in place, distribution accounts need to be completed. A capital replacement plan should also be developed to assist the Mission in planning their annual capital expenditures.

5.3.23 The disposal process was examined, and found to be transparent and with *** MCO oversight. A private auctioneer is used and the MCO is involved in identifying the assets for disposal, as well as the acceptable minimum bid. However, during the file review the disposal report forms (EXT369) with HOM approval could not be located.

5.3.24 The Mission is not currently recording contracts in excess of $5,000 in the materiel management module of IMS, however, an employee has been identified to take on this role and training is scheduled for the fall of 2006.

Recommendations for Sao Paulo

5.3.25 In the next planning cycle the missions should accurately reflect Brazil’s current situation (i.e. no further growth) in all property planning documents such as the Mission Property Management Plan (MPMP) and the Property Maintenance and Operations Section (SRSF) five year work plan.

5.3.26 The Mission should develop a preventive maintenance work plan, including annual inspections of all Mission properties.

5.3.27 The Mission should develop a capital goods replacement plan.

5.3.28 The Mission should ensure that all distribution accounts are complete.

5.3.29 EXT369 forms should be completed and HOM sign–off obtained for all disposals.

Sao Paulo Actions and Timeframes

5.3.25 MPMP reflects requirement for space, however, subsequent to inspection visit, a lease was signed for additional space to relieve pressure in Sao Paulo.

5.3.26 Mission is currently working on a preventative maintenance work plan that will be implemented during the current fiscal year.

5.3.27 Mission will use the information available in the distribution accounts to develop a capital goods replacement plan and will implement during this fiscal year.

5.3.28 Mission completed the distribution accounts for the Chancery, the Official Residence, all Staff Quarters and the Mission Depot in September 2006.

5.3.29 Process in place for all auctions/disposal actions since October 2006.

Rio de Janeiro

5.3.30 Rio de Janeiro’s property needs are handled daily by the Administrative Assistant, who is directed by the MCO in Sao Paulo. The MCO or DMCO visits Rio de Janeiro to deal with property–related issues, among other things, on a monthly basis

5.3.31 As mentioned, there is a need for the MPMP to more accurately reflect Canada’s current anticipated growth in Brazil. The Chancery has reached its threshold, and although there are presently no plans to relocate to a new building, the Mission should keep abreast of the local commercial rental market in the event that circumstances change. The Chancery distribution account is outstanding and needs to be completed.

5.3.32 The Mission has been actively pursuing an alternative to SQ 6360007, the SQ of the Commercial Program Manager, but has not yet found a suitable replacement below the budgeted rent ceiling. This SQ has a history of maintenance problems, and with the lease expiring in January 2007, the Audit team supports the Mission’s planned disposal. In the absence of a Mission Property Section, a local service provider was contracted to attend to the maintenance needs of this SQ. This is a best practice in small missions such as Rio de Janeiro, providing a cost–effective method of servicing clients when internal capacity is not available.

Recommendations for the Rio de Janeiro

5.3.33 In the next planning cycle the missions should accurately reflect Brazil’s current situation (i.e. no further growth) in all property planning documents such as the Mission Property Management Plan (MPMP) and the Property Maintenance and Operations Section (SRSF) five year work plan.

5.3.34 The Chancery distribution account should be completed.

5.3.35 The Mission should find a replacement for SQ 6360007.

Rio de Janeiro Actions and Timeframe

5.3.33 The MPMP was updated to reflect the current situation in February 2007.

5.3.34 The Mission completed the Chancery distribution account in April 2007.

5.3.35 After visiting over 80 properties in the past 18 months, Mission has found an acceptable apartment and the lease was singed on April 26, 2007.

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 The Missions’ bank has recently changed ownership and the services provided by the new entity are being closely monitored. The MCOs have been discussing ways to streamline processes and are examining the feasibility of consolidating bank accounts to reduce the number within the country (from seven in total).

Brasilia

5.4.2 Brasilia’s Financial Management Officer (FMO) is the MCO (AS–06), and he is assisted by an LE–07 Accountant and LE–05 Assistant Accountant. The Office in Recife, to which the Mission provides Finance support, uses a standing advance for payments not processed directly by the Mission. In order to increase efficiency, the Mission and the Office should review payments to see if a greater percentage could be moved to the Mission, allowing the Office to operate under more of a petty cash regime.

5.4.3 The Mission’s Contract Review Board (CRB) consists of the HOM and the MCO. A best practice would be to expand the membership to include two other CBS, while the HOM would provide a final review. This would allow different perspectives to be brought to discussions, and the CRB to continue during staff absences.

5.4.4 Mission accounts are *** organized and appropriate processes and controls are in place. Signing authorities are properly exercised and there is sufficient segregation of duties to ensure an appropriate level of control. Bank reconciliations are up–to–date and appropriately reviewed by the MCO and the HOM. Budgets are monitored closely for reporting purposes and for the planning of free balances. The Section provides all Program Managers a monthly report relating to travel and hospitality while other reports are requested on an ad hoc basis.

5.4.5 While processes and procedures within the Mission are considered effective, improvements can be made by implementing the following recommendations.

Recommendations for Brasilia

5.4.6 The Mission should review the payments made by the Office in Recife, and where possible transfer the process to the Mission in Brasilia.

5.4.7 The Mission should expand the membership of the CRB to include two more CBS.

5.4.8 As cancelled cheques are not returned by the bank, the Mission should photocopy all signed cheques in the interim and investigate with the bank the possibility of using duplicate cheques.

5.4.9 As an additional control step in the bank reconciliation process, the original bank statement should be delivered to the MCO directly, and not to the Finance Section.

5.4.10 The lease payments for SQs that extend over the end of the Fiscal Year should not be expensed immediately. These should be set up as prepaid assets and the portion which applies to the new fiscal year should be expensed in that year.

5.4.11 While vendor changes and SA documents/reports are approved prior to entry, these should still be reviewed and approved monthly by the MCO.

5.4.12 The Finance Section should retain original Hospitality file documentation and officers should retain photocopies rather than the reverse, as is the current practice.

5.4.13 Hospitality diaries should include more detail regarding the purpose of the event, its contribution to the Program’s objectives, and the final assessment of the event.

5.4.14 The Mission should develop a mechanism such that the HOM may reimburse his/her personal share of items such as cleaning supplies, cable and internet.

Brasilia Actions and Timeframes

5.4.6 Bills of significant value such as rental and condo fees are paid directly by the Mission. Standing operational advance in Recife is covering local costs that cannot be paid at distance, such as public utilities, local maintenance, cleaning, acquisition of supplies, etc.

5.4.7 Mission has already expanded the CRB to include the DMCO and another CBS.

5.4.8 Action taken as of April 1, 2007, cheques will be photocopied after they are signed and will be filed in the accounts section with Payment Voucher and all supporting documentation. Bank confirms that they are not allowed to return cancelled cheques to the mission. Mission requested duplicate cheques to be issued to the Mission. Bank unable to produce new cheques until summer 2007.

5.4.9 Action taken as of April 1, 1007. Mission has contacted the bank to request that the bank statement is forwarded directly to MCO. Also, the bank's branch operating at the Mission three times a week can produce/print bank statements as per MCO's request.

5.4.10 Action taken as of March 2007

5.4.11 MCO reviews and approves all non–cheque documents entered in IMS, such as SAs, DZs and SDs. Input forms are prepared for those entries; at month end, a report on all entries affecting FC63500 is produced for MCO verification.

5.4.12 Action taken as of April 1, 2007. CBS was notified of the audit recommendation and originals will be kept by the Finance Section.

5.4.13 Action taken as of April 1, 2007. CBS notified of the audit recommendation.

5.4.14 Action taken as of October 1, 2006. Percentage was determine in conjunction with the Audit Division (ZIV) and is now reimbursed by HOM.

Sao Paulo

5.4.15 Sao Paulo’s FMO is the MCO (AS–06), and he is assisted by an LE–07 Accountant and LE–05 Assistant Accountant. Sao Paulo provides Finance support to the Missions in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.

5.4.16 Appropriate processes and controls are in place in Sao Paulo’s Finance Section as evidenced by:

  • Signing authorities are properly exercised;
  • Sufficient segregation of duties exists to ensure an appropriate level of control;
  • Bank reconciliations are up–to–date and appropriately reviewed by management;
  • Budgets are closely monitored and reported to Program Managers;
  • Effective controls are in place over the receipt and payment of funds; and,
  • Mission accounts are well organized.

5.4.17 While processes and procedures within the Mission are considered effective, improvements can be made by implementing the following recommendations.

Recommendations for Sao Paulo

5.4.18 As cancelled cheques are not returned by the bank, the Mission should photocopy all signed cheques in the interim and investigate with the bank the possibility of using duplicate cheques.

5.4.19 As an additional control step in the bank reconciliation process, the original bank statement should be delivered to the MCO directly and not to the Finance Section.

5.4.20 While Section 33 is signed for SA documents prior to entry, the Mission should obtain a second signature on documents.

5.4.21 Hospitality diaries should include more detail regarding the purpose of the event, its contribution to the Program’s objectives, and the final assessment of the event. All related documentation must also be included.

5.4.22 For official receipts:

  • the Finance Section should issue official receipts in the name of the individual submitting a deposit for processing, rather than in the name of the individual’s section.
  • whenever cash changes hands, an official receipt should be provided, or two signatures should be obtained on the exchange document after the cash has been counted.
  • the appropriate copies of the official–unofficial receipts should be provided along with the consular reconciliation form.

5.4.23 The Mission should develop a mechanism such that the HOM may reimburse his/her personal share of items such as cable and internet.

Sao Paulo Actions and Timeframes

5.4.18 Mission uses carbon–copy cheques since October 2006.

5.4.19 The bank’s electronic system has limited space in the address field, and the addressee cannot differ from the name of the account holder (Consulate General of Canada). Therefore, they cannot implement this recommendation. However, all correspondence from the bank which is not identified as related to the personal account of another CBS is delivered directly to the MCO, regardless of content, to ensure the bank reconciliation is received by him (or the DMCO in his absence).

5.4.20 Second signature is now obtained for all SA documents on the Section 34/33 report.

5.4.21 Officers are providing additional detail on hospitality reports, together with full supporting documentation.

5.4.22 Official receipts are being issued in accordance with departmental rules.

5.4.23 HOM has reimbursed cable TV since arrival and a portion of internet costs monthly since audit visit, as per recommendation.

Rio de Janeiro

5.4.24 The Administrative model at the Mission in Rio de Janeiro is a simple one, with only one LES dedicated to Administration (Administrative Assistant, LE-06) and a small Mission to support. One area which could be streamlined to increase efficiency and better comply with financial policy is the payment process. Rio de Janeiro currently makes most payments from its local bank account through manual cheques. Section 34 is signed off in Rio de Janeiro, a manual cheque is written, and then the original documentation is sent to Sao Paulo for Section 33 approval and IMS processing. In the past year, the number of manual cheques issued has increased from approximately ten per month to more than 45 on average. It is recommended that payments normally be made by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from Sao Paulo, only using the Rio de Janeiro bank account for exceptional items.

5.4.25 A review of hospitality and travel claims indicated that more care needs to be taken in ensuring original documentation is attached to support and validate expenditures. Similarly, better evaluations of hospitality events are needed to sufficiently demonstrate value for money and to offer a more coherent assessment of each specific hospitality activity, so officers who may plan similar events in the future have accurate information from which to made decisions.

Recommendations for the Rio de Janeiro

5.4.26 The normal method of making payments should be by EFT from Sao Paulo following Section 34 approval in Rio and Section 33 approval in Sao Paulo.

5.4.27 Mission management should be more vigilant in reviewing hospitality and travel claims to ensure that original documentation is attached, expenditures are valid and a more detailed evaluation is provided.

Rio de Janeiro Actions and Timeframes

5.4.26 Tighter guidelines on what payments may be issued in Rio de Janeiro were implemented 01 April 2007 to reduce transactions from this account. The guidelines for the use of the Rio de Janeiro bank account include the following provisions: “All routine payments to Rio de Janeiro vendors, including expenses of the Trade Office in Belo Horizonte, will be made from Sao Paulo, including, but not limited to: rent, utilities, service contracts and emergency employment... Only exceptional payments will be issued from the Rio de Janeiro account, and may be authorized in the following situations: overdue accounts on which fines are charged per day past the due date; payments which must be made on an immediate basis due to health, safety or security concerns; and vendors for whom no banking information is available.”

5.4.27 Officers are providing additional detail on hospitality reports, together with full supporting documentation. The HOM and MCO review all hospitality reports.

5.5 Information Technology (IT)

Brasilia

5.5.1 Information Management and Information Technology operations are carried out by the Mission’s Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) (CS–02) and a Locally–engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP) (LE–07). The FSITP also provides support to Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. The LEITP provides general system administration support to Belo Horizonte given that they do not have full SIGNET access. The FSITP makes regular visits to all of his missions of responsibility.

5.5.2 Mission staff indicated satisfaction with the services received from the IT team, and communications and systems administration services are well maintained. The LEITP handles the majority of system administration (SIGNET)–related requests while the FSITP, whose background is in telecommunications and who has not yet received Enhanced Support Model Abroad for Information Technology (ESMAIT) training, is more communications (MITNET) focussed. This division of duties appears to work well for the Mission.

5.5.3 The Mission does not have a formal IT training plan in place, although training is provided as required. To be more proactive in this regard, the Mission could make better use of the LEITP, who currently spends significant time coaching users, to play a more active role in identifying gaps in users’ IT training and knowledge. This additional role would not impact consistent delivery of the LEITP’s core services.

5.5.4 Infobank has been deployed at the Mission; however, it is used sporadically since Other Government Departments (OGDs) are not part of the system. Ideally, Infobank would be used to house Mission policies, procedures and key documents of common interest. Given the number of OGD personnel in Brasilia, only documents that pertain directly to DFAIT are saved on Infobank, limiting its functionality for the Mission.

Recommendation for Brasilia

5.5.5 The LEITP should be encouraged to play a proactive role in the development of the Mission’s training plan through the identification of gaps in users’ IT training and knowledge.

Brasilia Action and Timeframe

5.5.5 As of January 2007, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte have been re–assigned from being Sao Paulo's outposts to Brasilia's areas of responsibilities on the system administration side. Brasilia LEITP has begun to send SIGNET best practices to clients and will continue to do so. In addition, a comprehensive training plan (including IT) is being developed with the objective of starting implementation in fall 2007. Program managers will be asked to identify particular needs for specific employees to which the LEITP can offer support. Should the need arise for a more in–depth training on specific applications, the Mission would consider hiring a consultant for group sessions.

Recommendations for the Information Management Improvement Program (SXKB)

5.5.6 SXKB should explore the feasibility of developing an Infobank model that better services the needs and access requirements of OGDs.

SXKB Action and Timeframe

5.5.6 Actions already taken to address the recommendation:

1. Worked with CIDA to get current agreement on the use of the InfoBank system for CIDA employees abroad.
2. Worked with CIC to get current agreement on the use of the InfoBank system for CIC employees abroad.
3. New Information Management Improvement Program implementation strategy includes CIDA and CIC in overall deployments.
4. All OGDs now receive InfoBank when the Information Management Improvement Program is implemented in their mission.
Follow–upn action:
1. Continue ongoing discussion with OGDs through current Information Management and Technology Bureau (SXD) governance committees.

Sao Paulo

5.5.7 Information Management and Information Technology operations are carried out by the Mission’s LEITP (LE–08), under the general direction of the MCO. Overall, users are satisfied with the services they receive from the IT Section, ***. The LEITP also provides system administration support to Rio de Janeiro with the assistance of a SIGNET Support Assistant (SSA), the Administrative Assistant.

5.5.8 While the LEITP is generally busy, his workload is manageable. The LEITP could handle several additional users should some of the forecasted FTEs materialize, however should the growth go above a certain threshold, workload levels may need to be revisited. In the immediate future, the Mission requires a formal back–up to the LEITP as one has not yet been identified.

5.5.9 Several of the Mission’s IT systems, such as the Information Technology Asset Management System (ITAMS) and the Remedy Trouble Ticket System, are not fully up–to–date. While there are justifications for some of the outstanding tickets in Remedy, many of the items should be closed. Given the current backlog, the LEITP will need to devote considerable time to clearing these items. The systems should be updated on an ongoing basis as new events occur and are finalized. Regular updating of the these systems should be included in the LEITP’s PMP objectives.

5.5.10 It was observed that too many staff had access ***. In addition to housing *** is also located in this room, increasing the number of employees who require access. If/when the planned CIC expansion occurs, space should be set aside to accommodate ***. A significant amount of materiel is also being stored in *** and needs to be removed. Access *** should be restricted ***.

5.5.11 Infobank has been deployed at the Mission and Sao Paulo has faced the same challenges as Brasilia regarding its ongoing functionality. One issue of a technical nature are the problems experienced in saving QuattroPro spreadsheets.

Recommendations for Sao Paulo

5.5.12 The Mission should identify and train a back-up for the LEITP.

5.5.13 The backlog in the Missions ITAMS and the Remedy system should be cleared. In the future the LEITP should adhere to the best practice of updating ITAMS as items are purchased/disposed and closing Remedy Tickets upon resolution. In addition, regular updating of the these systems should be included in the LEITP’s PMP objectives.

5.5.14 Materiel being stored in the *** should be removed.

5.5.15 Access *** should be restricted ***.

Sao Paulo Actions and Timeframes

5.5.12 Backup position for LEITP identified, training pending.

5.5.13 Backlog has been cleared as per SXSZ (IT Technical Support).

5.5.14 Materiel not related to the function of LEITP removed from ***.

5.5.15 Access *** restricted. Due to technical issues, there is no fixed timeline to remove *** equipment. We have been informed by CIC HQ that an IDACS-protected room with limited access (i.e. no LES) and 24/7 air conditioning is required. No such room exists apart from the ***. We will attempt to have this addressed as part of our mission expansion project, which is currently underway.


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Date Modified:
2012-11-01