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Inspection of the Canadian Joint Delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Brussels

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(June 2008)

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

An inspection of the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) programs of the Canadian Joint Delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was conducted in Brussels from February 25 to 29, 2008. Canada’s involvement in NATO has grown in recent years with its leadership role in Afghanistan and the growing importance of NATO relations with Russia and Ukraine. The NATO partnership programs have also increased in importance as outreach continues beyond European borders through the Mediterranean Dialogue and the more recent Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. As the Alliance reforms, it will continue to be a key element of Canada’s foreign and defence policy, and an important component of our relationship with the United States.

The Joint Delegation is effectively pursuing Canada’s objectives in NATO. It benefits from strong and coordinated leadership, facilitating cooperation at all levels. Plans are established and appropriately reflect the Government of Canada’s objectives. Internal communication facilitates operations, and a sound committee structure is in place. The Mission is also represented on key committees run by the bilateral mission in Belgium, along with our mission to the European Union. To facilitate cooperation, and provide a forum for joint planning and decision making, the three heads of missions in Brussels should meet regularly to discuss common issues. As the common administrative support structure evolves, this will provide an important mechanism to monitor, discuss and improve the provision of support to all three missions.

To ensure continued and improved effectiveness, the Department should address five key areas.

  • Resources:The Missions Political resources are no longer sufficient to meet the established priorities and demands placed on the delegation by NATO and headquarters (HQ).
  • Communication: Momentum should be maintained to continue improving the flow of key Afghanistan-related communications to NATO officers.
  • Long-term Interests: The Department’s short-term focus on the Mission in Afghanistan should not come at the expense of longer-term strategic issues of primary importance to our allies.
  • Multilateral Organization Positions: Within an environment of limited resources, having Canadians on the international staff of multilateral organizations improves influence over decision making and provides excellent development opportunities. A more coordinated approach to promoting opportunities in all international organizations is needed to ensure that these memberships are properly leveraged.
  • Administrative Support: Determine whether the Mission is better served by a full-time junior Management Consular Officer (MCO) on site, or the coordinated support of administrative resources at the bilateral mission and the oversight of a senior MCO.

A total of 18 recommendations are raised in the report, 14 of which are addressed to the Mission and the remainder addressed to HQ. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating the actions already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Based on the management responses, all 18 recommendations have been implemented.

Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 An Inspection of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) programs of the Canadian Joint Delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was conducted in Brussels from February 25 to 29, 2008. The last audit occurred in 2000. The Mission is medium-sized, with 46 staff from DFAIT and the Department of National Defence (DND).

1.1.2 The Canadian Mission to NATO (BNATO) is a joint delegation with representation from DFAIT and DND. The delegation has operated jointly since 1994 and is seen as a model by many member countries. The Mission is led by a Head of Mission (HOM) who is the Permanent Representative and Ambassador to NATO. Although the Military Representative reports to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), he and his staff are fully integrated members of the delegation who work in concert with DFAIT staff to promote Canadian interests within the Alliance. The relationship between DND and DFAIT is *** and is reflected in Mission accomplishments and a *** working environment. The effective working relationships of delegation staff have been promoted and reinforced by the cooperation and leadership of the HOM and the Military Representative.

1.1.3 The Mission’s planning cycle is built around the NATO calendar with several weekly committee meetings as well as one summit, and two defence and two foreign minister meetings annually. Plans are driven by Canada's strategic objectives for NATO, established within the framework of the foreign and security policy priorities of the Government, the objectives of DFAIT and the Business Plan of the International Security Branch. Plans are also complemented by DND’s three ***. These objectives have been articulated in the HOM’s performance management agreement (PMA), cascading to the Deputy HOM (DHOM) and the Head of the Political Section. Performance Management Plans (PMPs) were being finalized with all DFAIT staff for 2008. Goals and objectives are reinforced through a delegation retreat, usually in the fall, to introduce new staff to mission priorities and to plan ahead for the coming year.

1.1.4 Mission operations are supported by a sufficient level of formal and informal communications. DFAIT and DND senior management meetings are held each Friday and all-staff meetings occur each Monday, chaired by the HOM. The HOM also meets with the Management Consular Officer (MCO) weekly, as well as with senior staff and issue experts in advance of all North Atlantic Council meetings (at least twice per week). The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) and the Occupational Health and Safety Committee meet approximately every month, with minutes circulated to staff. The Mission is also represented on key committees run by the bilateral mission in Belgium (BRU), along with our mission to the European Union (BREU).

1.1.5 While communication within the delegation is good, management continues to look for ways to improve the flow of information. New mechanisms put in place to further facilitate cross-delegation communication following the fall 2007 retreat proved unsustainable given the high level of external committee meetings. The delegation continues, however, to explore new opportunities to improve operations and the joint approach.

1.1.6 Given the joint nature of the delegation, both the HOM and the Military Representative have worked together to provide common administrative goals for 2008. The goals are designed to meet the challenges of operating in NATO during a period of dynamic change, including improving budget management, identifying administrative efficiencies and determining how to meet evolving demands within a limited resource envelope.

1.1.7 The DFAIT delegation includes a DND-staffed Defence Support Section. As this is a DND function, the inspection was limited to overall cooperation and support from DFAIT programs.

Political Program

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The Political Program works with the HOM, DHOM and the military delegation to facilitate *** representation of Canada on the North Atlantic Council and other decision-making bodies of the Alliance. Together with the other 25 allies, they develop and implement policies, programs and activities. Emphasis is placed on Canada's security and defence priorities, particularly in relation to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. The delegation works to maintain and develop transatlantic cooperative relations and actively contributes to the implementation of Canadian foreign policy on security and defence.

2.2 Program Management

2.2.1 The Political Program is led by an EX-01 Counsellor and supported by three Canada-based Officers (FS-03, FS-02, FS-01), one LES Political and Public Affairs Officer and an AS-01 Administrative Assistant. Resource levels within the Program have remained constant since the audit in 2000. The Section *** from the regular involvement of the HOM and the DHOM, who are directly involved in key files, such as Afghanistan. Communication within the Section is facilitated by its small size and a good level of informal communication. Formal meetings are held as required.

2.2.2 The Section has a *** team approach to the achievement of objectives, and officers regularly back-up one another on committees. Prior to the arrival of the head of the Political Section ***, performance objectives had not been set for staff. Efforts have been made to rectify the situation and PMPs were in place at the time of the Inspection. Officers and the Section Head recognized that this exercise, while initially time consuming, was valuable and will involve substantially less time to maintain over the coming years. Building on the objectives set within PMP, the Section Head should also work with staff to establish a proactive agenda for the use of hospitality funds, which have been modest to date. While it is recognized that high workloads and the relatively inexpensive NATO dining facilities keep expenditures down, the Program and officers would benefit from a proactive and strategic plan for the use of hospitality funds in pursuit of their objectives.

2.2.3 The Section’s administrative assistant spends the majority of her time navigating the NATO security clearance process for visitors or Canadians working for the organization. This work has grown to occupy approximately 50 percent of the individual’s time. A further 25 percent of the position’s time is allocated to providing support for the DHOM, leaving little time to effectively support the Political Section. There is a need to revisit the job package to determine how to ease or eliminate the burden of security clearances, as well as analyse the division of responsibilities between the HOM assistant and the assistant to the Political Section.

Recommendations to the Mission

2.2.4 Building upon the framework in PMP, officers in the Political Section should establish a proactive workplan to guide the use of hospitality funds in pursuit of Mission objectives.

2.2.5 The Mission should revisit the allocation of duties to the Political Section Assistant.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

2.2.4 A Political Section 2008-2009 strategic hospitality workplan has been elaborated drawing both on general principles and on individual objectives identified in the PMP. Effective May 21, 2008.

2.2.5 In consultation with the two assistants concerned, the responsibilities for administrative support for the DHOM have been transferred to the HOM Assistant. Responsibilities for handling DND-related security clearances are in the process of being transferred to one of the assistants in the Military Section. Effective May 2008.

2.3 Headquarters Support and Guidance

2.3.1 The Mission’s primary point of contact at Headquarters (HQ) is the International Security Bureau (IDD) and the Defence and Security Relations Division (IDR). These groups serve as the primary liaison with key groups such as the Afghanistan Task Force (FTAG). Two concerns were raised by the Mission with regard to support from HQ; ensuring that the Mission is included in important communications on Afghanistan and ensuring that Canada is also engaged on issues of importance to our allies.

2.3.2 As Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan has become a central focus of the Department’s work, the network of missions and parties involved has grown and become more complicated. This increased complexity requires a structured approach to communications and the flow of information. Although FTAG established distribution lists in the fall of 2007, key officers in BNATO and BREU have not been consistently included on pertinent communications. In select cases they have been made aware through messages forwarded by third parties. As the central coordination point for all Afghanistan-related work, FTAG is well positioned to provide continued leadership on communications through the development and maintenance of distribution lists. While efforts have been made, the observations above indicate that further effort is required.

2.3.3 Concerns were also raised regarding the Department’s focus on Afghanistan and the resulting impact on the Mission’s ability to engage on other issues of importance to allies. These areas include files related to Russia, Ukraine, missile defence, the Mediterranean Dialogue, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, energy security, cyberdefence and NATO reform. It should also be noted that NATO serves as a key forum for the development of our relationship with our closest ally and partner, the United States. Failure to engage more knowledgeably on these issues may represent lost opportunities to leverage Canada’s *** status to move these and other issues forward. This is important, as in order to engage allies on Canadian issues, the Mission must be able to engage on issues of importance to our allies. In order to do so effectively, the Department may need to reinforce its HQ policy capacity in this area.

Recommendation to FTAG

2.3.4 As government structures evolve to better coordinate Canada's Afghanistan involvement, FTAG should continue to develop and maintain working practices, including distribution lists that ensure that all appropriate officers and missions are included on pertinent communications and reporting.

FTAG Action and Timeframe

2.3.4 In March 2008, FTAG sent out a revised list of core contacts for Afghanistan to all relevant DFAIT divisions, partner departments and missions.

2.4 Workload and Resources

2.4.1 The workload within the Mission and the Political Section is *** and constant. Officers spend a significant amount of time representing Canada at key NATO committees where attendance is not optional. Such committee meetings often involve three to five hours in session, followed by additional time required to properly report on events. As the number of member countries increases, meetings are becoming longer, and as topics become more complex, the time required to properly prepare has increased. Current resource levels do not provide officers with sufficient time to develop the depth of knowledge required ***. In fact, the shortness of resources has led to responsibility for one committee being assigned to the MCO. While this does enhance the job package, it does not reflect the rationale for having an MCO on site. It will also cause complications as the Department seeks to improve its administrative support structure for all three missions in Brussels, as the MCO will be required to focus on administrative functions.

2.4.2 The table below provides a cross-section of different sized political delegations at NATO compared to Canada’s.

Table 1: Political delegations at NATO
Political Officers (Based on figures provided by NATO)
Canada5
Norway7
Bulgaria8
Poland9
Slovakia10

2.4.3 The Section’s size has made it difficult to meet the growing demands of committee work and key files, such as Afghanistan. The heavy travel requirements placed on the HOM also impact back-up responsibilities of all staff. These factors have combined to limit the availability of time for vacation and training. While the situation may be manageable over the short term, it is not sustainable over the long term. By continuing to operate in such an environment over a four-year posting, the Department may be unnecessarily putting valuable resources at risk for burnout.

2.4.4 As stated in 2.3.3, the growing focus on Afghanistan is effectively focussing resources on immediate priorities. It is important, however, that sufficient resources are present to address Canada’s longer term strategic interests. The limited direction on non-Afghanistan files further impacts sufficiency of resources. Without positions around which to centre research and analysis efforts, officers are presented with wide-ranging and dynamic subjects. While improvement in this area will help ease pressures, the need for increased resources remains evident.

Recommendation to the Mission

2.4.5 The Mission, in consultation with IDD and the International Security Branch (IFM), should develop a business case for the addition of Canada-based resources to appropriately support the pursuit of strategic objectives and ensure a sustainable work environment.

Mission Action and Timeframe

2.4.5 A business case was prepared and submitted to IDD on June 23, 2008.

2.5 Staffing International Positions

2.5.1 At present, Canada is well represented at senior levels, with Canadians holding the positions of Chairman of the Military Committee, Secretary to the North Atlantic Council and the Assistant Secretary General for Executive Management. The cyclical nature of staffing, however, necessitates a continued focus to ensure that Canadians are in positions that help influence how decisions are made and provide support for this important organization. As noted in the 2000 Audit Report, the Mission would like to see a more strategic and focused approach to securing senior-level positions in all multilateral organizations. In a time of strategic review and resource realignment, it is of increased importance to recognize the value of these positions as extensions of the Department’s resources abroad. Canada does contribute significant amounts annually to international organizations and should ensure that these investments are effectively leveraged through strategic representation on the international staff.

2.5.2 There is a need to explore the broader issue of representation in multilateral organizations from a DFAIT and Canadian government perspective. These opportunities should be seen as a career development mechanisms and as a valuable intelligence source in support of Canadian interests. Within DFAIT, this issue should be addressed in the context of the Department’s career development initiatives and human resource strategy.

Recommendation to the Assignments and Executive Management Bureau (HFD) and the United Nations and Commonwealth Affairs Division (GIO)

2.5.3 A strategy should be developed to address Canadian representation on international staff of multilateral organizations. Key opportunities identified by missions should be communicated to partner departments and incorporated into the annual position advertisements within DFAIT.

HFD and GIO Action and Timeframe

2.5.3 Canada’s approach to the employment of Canadians in international organizations is under consideration by the Committee of Senior Officials, chaired by the Clerk of the Privy Council. Consideration is being given to a more strategic approach to efforts to identify significant senior-level positions that Canada could target, and to the identification of high-quality candidates. DFAIT would play a leading role in close cooperation with Canadian missions and other key interested departments in identifying target positions. It has been recognized in the Committee of Senior Officials (COSO) process that the re-creation of an expensive comprehensive system to address candidacies at all levels (along the lines of the former PSC program) is no longer necessary and would, in any case, be unlikely to have any significant impact, given the development of more open and transparent hiring processes in most international organizations. Since international positions do not follow the DFAIT assignment cycle, few would fit within DFAIT’s structured position advertisements. Selected key international openings do fit, however, and are being advertised within DFAIT through broadcast messages.

Administration Program

3.1 Management of the Function

3.1.1 Administration for BNATO is headed by an MCO (AS-05) who is assisted by an office manager, a receptionist (shared by two *** employees), an administrative assistant, a driver, and a foreign service information technology professional (FSITP). The MCO spends 15 percent of his time on program duties related to the NATO civil security file, and is also responsible for a Canada-based registry supervisor and LES assistant.

3.1.2 Responsibility for overall administration services is shared between the MCOs at BNATO and BRU. BNATO is responsible for the Official Residence (OR) and deals directly with NATO administration for issues related to the Chancery. At present, the MCO dedicates a substantial amount of time to OR maintenance and chancery issues. BRU provides all other property services, financial processing and supports the security function through their Military Security Guard (MSG). The MCO has *** by championing the use of the PMP, establishing an Occupational Health and Safety Committee and facilitating *** working relationships with DND staff.

3.1.3 It is the opinion of the Inspection Team that general administration would benefit from more direct and frequent support from BRU. This opinion is based on factors impacting the provision of efficient and effective administrative services to BNATO, particularly infrastructure ***. The MCO position at BNATO is usually filled by a junior officer who would not have *** experience to properly address complex issues and high-ranking clients. The need *** was demonstrated *** in addressing administrative policy compliance by former senior officials at the Mission.

3.1.5 As a result of the issues noted above, the MCO is currently preoccupied with OR issues. Responsibility for the BNATO OR should be transferred to the bilateral mission as it already has the systems, staff and procedures in place to manage the other two ORs in Brussels and staff quarters (SQs) for all three missions. Similar arguments can be made regarding most human resource (HR) *** functions. Incomplete documentation *** regarding recent staffing actions suggest that HR functions would benefit from BRU’s expertise. ***.

3.1.6 The Department should evaluate whether the MCO position at BNATO would serve the Mission better as a member of BRU, providing the senior BRU MCO with responsibility for administration in all three missions. While the position would move to BRU, primary liaison responsibilities and a part-time presence at BNATO could remain. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), currently in draft, would have to be revised to ensure that service standards are incorporated. Meetings of the three HOMs, referred to in section 1.1.2 above ***, would then serve as a key mechanism to monitor, control and correct the provision of common support services to all missions. Consideration will need to be given as to how best to cover the NATO civil security file, which is currently the responsibility of the MCO.

Recommendation to Mission Client Service Division (ASM) and the Area Management Office for International Security Branch and Global Issues Branch (IAM)

3.1.7 The Department should evaluate whether the MCO position currently at BNATO would be better placed in BRU, with BRU responsible for all administrative functions in Brussels.

ASM and IAM Action and Timeframe

3.1.8 ASM supports the realignment of the MCO BNATO position under the supervision of the MCO in BRU and expects the position to be fully dedicated to the delivery of the common service program in all three missions in Brussels (BRU, BREU, BNATO). In order to ensure a smooth transition for both missions under this new model, we propose a starting date of January 1, 2009 for the MCO/BNATO to be converted to a Deputy MCO and thus be reporting to the MCO in BRU. ASM will work closely with the MCO in BRU, in consultation with IAM, to ensure that the realignment of common service responsibilities between the BRU and BNATO missions is performed quickly, efficiently and successfully.

3.2 Human Resources (HR)

3.2.1 The Mission’s HR function is managed by the MCO with the support of the Office Manager (LE-06). BNATO is responsible for staffing competitions, implementing PMPs and maintaining employee files. BRU provides overall policy guidance and manages the payroll and benefits for all Locally engaged staff (LES). In addition, authority for position classification rests with the BRU Classification Committee.

3.2.2 The Section is generally viewed as providing *** support to Mission programs. However, NATO’s unique context presents a challenging environment to manage, given the requirement for most LES to possess a *** security clearance. As a result, many of the LES are ***.

3.2.3 Recruiting long-term LES is challenging due to these security requirements. In an attempt to recruit high-calibre candidates for a senior-level position, the Mission *** allowed qualified candidates from Canada to participate in a competition. While the Mission’s desire to attract quality employees is understandable, recruiting LES from Canada is in direct contravention of departmental regulations. For all future competitions, the Mission will need to restrict the area of selection to individuals residing in Belgium.

3.2.4 A review of staffing action files revealed that the required documentation was not always on file. Competition files should clearly demonstrate that all phases of the staffing process have taken place. A scoring grid that indicates the successful candidate is a particularly important component. The Mission was in the process of creating separate employee and position files at the time of the Inspection.

3.2.5 LES job descriptions were updated in 2006, and the Mission is in the process of conducting a follow-up review. Annual appraisals were not consistently completed for all LES and, while implemented in some sections, PMP has not been rolled out mission-wide. Performance management has been particularly challenging for LES working under some ***. The MCO will need support from the CMM to ensure full implementation of the PMP is a priority for the Mission.

3.2.6 Working in collaboration with BRU, BNATO is in the process of developing a mission-wide training plan. While the MCO and Officer Manager have taken a number of *** steps, they have found it challenging to develop long-term training plans for many of the LES, given the high turnover. As a result, they are exploring various training options that will be more attractive to short-term employees.

3.2.7 The Office Manager, who is actively involved in the provision of HR services, has not received any HR-specific training. Providing the Office Manager with such training should be a priority in the coming fiscal year.

Recommendations to the Mission

3.2.8 The Mission should not recruit individuals residing in Canada for LES positions.

3.2.9 Competition files should clearly demonstrate that all phases of the staffing process have taken place.

3.2.10 Performance Management Plans should be in place for all DFAIT employees at the Mission, including LES ***.

3.2.11 HR specialist training should be provided to the Office Manager.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.2.8 The Mission will only hire individuals who reside in Belgium. Given that the Mission faces an ongoing shortage of qualified candidates with the required security clearance to work inside NATO HQ, the MCO is awaiting guidance from the Locally Engaged Staff Services Bureau (HLD) on how to allow individuals outside Belgium to participate in LES competitions ***. Without such flexibility, the Mission will not be able to staff all LES positions. Effective March 2008.

3.2.9 The Mission has developed a checklist to ensure that all documentation pertaining to the hiring process (from the competition poster through to the final decision of the selection board) is included in each competition file. Documentation for previous competitions that was stored in different locations (e.g. electronically) will be put in one file. Effective March 2008.

3.2.10 PMPs will be in place for all staff by the end of June 2008.

3.2.11 The MCO will ensure that the Office Manager’s name is put forward for the next in-Canada HR specialist course.

3.3 Physical Resources

3.3.1 *** standard of service to its clients. Preventative maintenance plans and schedules are in place for the Chancery as well as the Crown-owned OR. The Chancery is leased from NATO and is located at NATO HQ. NATO is currently preparing for construction of a new HQ building, although occupancy is several years away. SQs for BNATO staff are managed by BRU.

3.3.2 An inventory of assets for the Chancery has recently been updated. However, a review of accommodation files for the OR indicates that the occupancy agreement and asset inventories have not yet been signed off by the HOM. The Section was in the process of completing the inventory of assets at the time of the Inspection. Once finalized, the HOM should sign both the inventory and the occupancy agreement.

3.3.3 The Mission has undertaken several minor maintenance and furnishing projects at the OR since the arrival of the HOM *** One project involved the installation of hardwood flooring in certain locations within the family living quarters located on the second floor of the OR at a cost of $15,000. Carpets previously located in these areas were in an unsatisfactory condition due to damage caused by household pets *** and the Mission decided to replace them with hardwood flooring. The contract for this project was not sent to the Contract Review Board (CRB) for review and approval. Although there was some urgency to commencing and finishing the project as soon as possible, the awarding of the flooring contract should have been passed through the CRB for review and approval.

3.3.4 Members of the Inspection Team paid a visit to the OR. Aside from the issue noted above, the OR is being properly maintained. A project is planned to renovate the kitchen facility, and the Mission is liaising with the Physical Resource Bureau (SRD) in an effort to select the most appropriate design, with work expected to commence early in the new fiscal year. The Mission should also liaise with HQ to determine perimeter requirements.

Recommendations to the Mission

3.3.5 The Mission should remind all Canada-based staff (CBS) of their obligations regarding damages to household furnishing, equipment, and property. Any wilful or negligent damage caused by members of the household, guests or pets should be assessed and the CBS requested to reimburse for damages that are deemed to exceed normal wear and tear.

3.3.6 The Mission should ensure that all contracts are sent to the CRB for review and approval prior to signature and commencement of a project.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.3.5 In conjunction with BRU (who manages all residences apart from the BNATO OR), the Mission will ensure that all staff (including the HOM) sign the Occupancy Agreement so that they clearly understand their obligations. A reminder will also be sent to all staff before the end of May 2008, and this message will be redistributed each fall following the posting season.

3.3.6 The Mission CRB ((MCRB), composed of members from all three missions in Brussels) has decided that all personal services contracts over $5,000, and all goods and construction contracts over $15,000, will be referred to the MCRB. All BNATO contracts since November 2007 have been approved according to this procedure.

3.3.7 The official vehicle inventory consists of four vehicles. These vehicles are well maintained and a replacement program is in place to ensure future year maintenance and repair costs are kept to a minimum. While logs for gas/repairs and maintenance are being maintained, driver logs of individual trip usage are not being kept. As such, no formal record exists that could be used by administration to reconcile official vehicle usage with operating costs.

Recommendations to the Mission

3.3.8 Official vehicle trip logs should be maintained for all vehicles.

3.3.9 The MCO should ensure that these logs are completed and reviewed on a regular basis in order to reconcile official vehicle usage with operating costs.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.3.8 The MCO and Office Manager have informed drivers of the requirement to maintain official vehicle trip logs for all vehicles.

3.3.9 The MCO will review the vehicle logs on a quarterly basis.

3.3.10 No formal system is in place to ensure that the HOM is paying for personal use of cleaning and other consumable items that are purchased by the Mission for use at the OR. The Mission, in consultation with the HOM, should establish a fair percentage of reimbursement for these items to ensure that private usage costs are being recovered.

3.3.11 Cable/satellite and Internet costs for the OR are currently being paid for in full by the Mission. These charges are the responsibility of the occupant and, as such, should be reimbursed in full to the Mission on a monthly basis.

Recommendations to the Mission

3.3.12 The Mission, in consultation with the HOM, should establish a fair percentage of reimbursement for consumable items purchased on behalf of the OR to ensure that private usage costs are being recovered.

3.3.13 The Mission should ensure that costs associated for cable/satellite and Internet charges at the OR are reimbursed by the HOM.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.3.12 The MCO is working with his counterpart at BRU to devise a formula that can be used for all three ORs. This system for recovering funds will be in place by the end of June 2008.

3.3.13 The HOM is now paying for cable television charges at the OR, and IDD has approved for the Mission to cover internet expenses.

3.4 Finance

3.4.1 Financial services for BNATO are provided by BRU. For findings and recommendations related to that function, please consult the BRU Inspection Report.

3.5 Information Technology (IT)

3.5.1 The Mission’s information technology services are provided by a Foreign Services Information Technology Professional (FSITP) (CS-02) who reports to the MCO. Back-up support, during extended absences, is provided by the FSITP (CS-02) at BRU.

3.5.2 Providing IT services in the NATO context is challenging due to the high demand for *** communications. The situation is further complicated by the fact that there are a number of non-Signet systems, which the Mission must use in order to communicate with their NATO colleagues. The primary example is MINERVA, a NATO developed system to facilitate communication between delegations. Unfortunately, NATO does not provide support services for MINERVA users, and as per departmental IT policy, the IT Section is not required to provide support services to non-Signet systems. As a result, the Mission is often without an IT resource to resolve MINERVA-related issues.

3.5.3 As a stop-gap measure, the Mission has entered into a number of personal service contracts for the provision of MINERVA support. The contracts are short-term solutions, and, each time they expire, the Mission must search for a new resource, which often takes several months. In the interim, the Mission is often left without support and loses any corporate memory for MINERVA. As some missions are reliant on non-Signet systems, a process may need to be put in place to address exceptions to standard IT policy when warranted. The Information Management and Technology Bureau (AID) will need to explore this issue further in order to evaluate the appropriate level of support to these systems.

3.5.4 IT clients expressed *** the IT section. While some of these *** stem from issues relating to MINERVA, others were regarding ***. The Mission’s Administration Section is in the process of reviewing its service standards. IT services standards should be a priority in this exercise to ensure that effective standards are in place, and are respected by all parties. Once the new standards are finalized, they should be communicated to all clients through the CMM to ensure a common understanding.

Recommendation to AID

3.5.5 AID policy regarding service to non-SIGNET systems should be reviewed to allow for exceptions when warranted.

AID Action and Timeframe

3.5.5 AID will contact NATO IT officials to evaluate the support requirements for the MINERVA system, with a view to providing formal FSITP support of the platform. To be completed June 2008.

Recommendation to the Mission

3.5.6 IT service standards should be reviewed to ensure effective and efficient client service.

Mission Action and Timeframe

3.5.6 The MCO will meet with the FSITP before the end of May 2008 to review the IT section of the Mission’s service delivery standards.

Appendix A: Inspection Scope and Objectives

The scope of the Inspection included a review of mission management and the Political and Administration programs.

The Inspection objectives were to:

  • assess management controls and systems, procedures and activities that make up the programs;
  • determine the extent of compliance with legislation, regulations and operating policies;
  • assess the reliability and adequacy of information available for decision-making and accountability purposes;
  • ensure that 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 HQ bureaus, including briefings by line management and the functional bureaus, review of relevant HQ and mission documentation, past inspection findings, and an analysis of recurring trends and systemic issues.

During the Inspection, issues and lines of inquiry were further refined from information gathered through interviews with the HOM, Military Representative, individual interviews with staff, and results of other documentation reviewed. The level of inspection work was therefore based on issues and information identified and gathered at all levels, HQ, mission management and mission operations.

Appendix B: Mission Resources Fact Sheet

Table 2: Mission Resources Fact Sheet of Physical Resources
Physical Resources
AssetsCrown OwnedCrown Leased
1 The delegation pays an annual service fee to NATO for the use of the Chancery space.
Chancery-11
Official Residence1-
Staff QuartersManaged by BRU
Storage Facilities--

Table 3: Mission Resources Fact Sheet Program Funds
2007-2008 Reference Levels
Total$2,277,600
Operating Budget (N001)$393,500
Capital Budget (N005)$24,700
CBS Salary Budget (N011)$911,800
CBS Overtime$18,000
LES Salary Budget (N012)$929,600

Appendix C: Organization Chart

Organization Chart


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Date Modified:
2012-10-17