An audit of the General Relations (GR), the International Business Development (IBD), the Consular and Administration Programs at the three missions (New Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh) in India was conducted from October 12 to 25, 2007. In addition, the Audit Team visited the Consulate in Chennai and the Trade Office in Bangalore, and interviewed staff of the Canadian Cooperation Offices (CCO) in Kathmandu, Nepal and Thimphu, Bhutan and the Honorary Consulate in Kolkata. A previous audit of New Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai and Bangalore took place in April-May 2003.
Overall the missions in India are operating effectively with strong management teams and staff. The Government of Canada considers India to be one of the key priorities for the Department. A major challenge for our missions is, and will be, managing the interest from various stakeholders both in terms of visits management and in future growth. The Department needs to develop a plan for Canadian official representation in India in the medium to long-term.
The Political/Economic Section performs well with the challenges encountered from a heavy visits workload, and large territory with a wide range of issues to cover. The Section is supported by an engaged Head of Mission (HOM) and Deputy HOM (DHOM) who provide advice, access to senior local officials, and who are both actively involved in the political reporting activities of the Mission. The quality of reporting is high and day-to-day operations of the Section are appropriately focussed on visits and the stated political/economic priorities.
Though the Public Affairs Section has organized successful events and developed a good contact network, there is a lack of understanding of how the work of the Section can be used as a tool to further various program objectives across the Mission. In order to achieve its full potential, the Section needs to take a more proactive approach and foster better communication and coordination with stakeholders in New Delhi and the other missions in India. A comprehensive plan, which clearly sets public affairs objectives and goals for the Mission, should be developed. Once this plan is in place, the structure of the Section should be examined to ensure it is appropriate for the given objectives.
The International Business Development Program in India is a complex commercial operation across six offices country-wide. These offices are well integrated and each contributes to the achievement of the IBD plan. The Audit Team identified four main areas that the Program, in conjunction with Headquarters (HQ), could improve in the overall management and implementation of the program:
Canada's commercial interests in India are increasing. This is reflected in the India Country Strategy objective to increase Canada's trade presence in India through the establishment of *** new trade offices and expansion of the trade presence in Kolkata over the next two years. The relatively recent expansions into Bangalore and Chennai will provide the Program with lessons learned to ensure that future expansion plans include adequate administrative support and clear reporting relationships between the offices and the Program Manager in New Delhi.
The Deputy Management/Consular Officer (DMCO) position oversees both the Consular Program and the Human Resource (HR) Section. New Delhi has concerns that with recent staffing increases and proposed future growth, the responsibility of these two functions under one manager will be unsustainable as workload on the HR side expands. With the changeover of all four Management/Consular Officer (MCO) positions (plus the Mission Security Manager), the new Consular/Administration/Security management team are using this opportunity to examine policies and systems with an aim to simplify and streamline processes while maintaining client service standards. This may allow for some internal reallocation of duties as efficiencies are found but the Mission will continue to monitor the DMCO's workload levels. A key change in the Consular Program will have the DMCO, ***, exercise passport entitlement authority, including review of original documentation.
Mumbai now has an MCO since the creation of this position in the summer of 2007. The Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) between New Delhi and Chandigarh and Mumbai will need to be reviewed and up-dated given the plans for these missions to become more autonomous in carrying out certain functions, which should also relieve some of the workload pressure in New Delhi. Given rising property costs and accessibility to more services and goods, a review of the Physical Resources delivery model as well as the property portfolio is needed to ensure that the missions are structured and equipped to represent Canada in both the medium and long term.
A total of 73 audit recommendations are raised in this report; 71 are addressed to the Mission and two are addressed to Headquarters (HQ). Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 73 recommendations, management has stated that 38 recommendations have been implemented. For each of the remaining 35 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
The scope of the audit included a review of Mission Management and the General Relations, International Business Development, Consular and Administration Programs.
The audit objectives were to:
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 bureaux, including briefings by line management and the functional bureaux, review of relevant HQ and mission documentation, 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 HOMs and Program Managers, a meeting with the Locally-engaged Staff (LES) Committee, individual and group interviews with staff, and other documentation reviewed. The level of audit work was therefore based on issues and information identified and gathered at all levels, HQ, mission management and mission operations.
|Physical Resources India|
|Assets||Crown Leased||Crown Owned|
|1 The compound houses a recreational building, a service building including a full plant (see paragraph 5.3.1 for more details.)|
|Financial Information 2007-2008|
|New Delhi (including Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru)|
|Operating Budget (N001)||6 109 646 $|
|Capital Budget (N005)||387 434 $|
|CBS Salary Budget (N011)||2 029 500 $|
|LES Salary Budget (N012)||4 378 251 $|
|Financial Information 2007-2008|
|Total||$1 608 277|
|Operating Budget (N001)||909 965 $|
|Capital Budget (N005)||112 960 $|
|CBS Salary Budget (N011)||200 000 $|
|LES Salary Budget (N012)||385 352 $|
|Human Resources India|
|Total for the country||66||347||413|
|General Relations (including the CDMA Office)||6||6||12|
|International Business Development||5||10||15|
|Citizenship and Immigration Canada||25||124||149|
|Canadain International Development Agency||1||3||4|
|Department of National Defense||2||-||2|
|Royal Canadian Mounted Police||1||1||2|
|Office of the Solicitor General||1||1||2|
|Export Development Canada||1||1||2|
|Province of Ontario||1||1||2|
|International Business Development||1||2||3|
|International Business Development||1||3,5||4,5|
|Export Development Canada||-||1||1|
|Province of Quebec (currently vacant)||1||2||3|
|International Business Development||-||2||2|
|International Business Development||-||2||2|
|Citizenship and Immigration Canada||5||18||23|
1.1.1 As an emerging economy, India has been highlighted as one of Canada's foreign policy priorities. This interest in expanding the relationship with India also extends to the provinces and other federal departments and agencies. As the pressure to grow Canada's presence in India increases, there is an immediate need to determine and plan what Canadian official representation should look like in 10 to 15 years. Any expansion plans for India will need to include an analysis of the appropriate support resources required to properly manage activities.
1.1.2 New Delhi makes great efforts to foster coordination and communication between sections, programs and all missions, following a truly ‘whole of government' approach. Communications and program coordination between New Delhi and the other offices is functioning well. The missions in India have been able to accommodate a heavy visits management workload. However, better advanced planning and focus by future visitors would enable the missions to be more effective.
1.1.3 Overall operations in the country are running well under strong leadership by the HOM and DHOM. Since the last audit the DHOM, as well as having assumed a role in the General Relations Program, has been functioning as Head of Chancery. This has allowed the HOM more opportunity to focus externally to promote Canada's profile and the government's agenda. The classification level of the DHOM position may warrant review. Consideration should be given to having the MCO report to the DHOM as in many other large missions.
1.1.4 The mission in New Delhi has a solid and well functioning committee structure in place. The Committee on Mission Management (CMM), comprised of all Program Managers, meets weekly to discuss on-going and upcoming events and the minutes of these meetings are provided to all staff via the Intranet site. As a best practise the Mission should implement regular Executive Committee meetings with a more focussed membership in order to discuss strategic and administrative matters. All-staff meetings are held as required given the limited meeting space for the number of staff. Other committees include Training, Security Crisis, Provident Fund, Contract Review Board (CRB), Health and Safety, Housing, Classification, LES Committee, Club Canada Executive, Cafeteria Committee and the CANZA (multi-country store) Committee.
1.1.5 In a number of sections, there was *** was being displayed by some *** supervisors. Staff indicated that there was a lack of understanding of the mechanisms available to raise such concerns to higher levels of management. Management needs to take the necessary steps to ensure lines of communications are open and well advertised so that concerns can be followed up, and that all supervisors receive proper training and coaching.
1.1.6 As is discussed in section 5.3, with proposed growth, increasing costs and changes in the market place, a review of the Physical Resources delivery model as well as the property portfolio is needed to ensure that the missions are equipped to deliver in both the short and long term.
1.1.7 Staff expressed interest in expanding the environmental practices the Mission(s) undertake. As found at other missions, the Mission(s) may wish to consider creating an environmental committee to promote best practices, provide education and identify areas for improvement/change.
1.1.8 The Mission, in conjunction with Asia South and Pacific Bureau (RAD), should develop a plan outlining Canadian official representation in India in the medium to long-term.
1.1.9 Review the role of the DHOM with respect to the Administration/Consular/Security Programs.
1.1.10 Regular Executive Committee meetings to discuss strategic and administrative issues should be held with distribution of minutes to all staff as appropriate.
1.1.11 Regular meetings of the CBS Section Heads with lower level staff should be instituted to ensure that staff are made aware of management priorities and that roles and responsibilities are clear.
1.1.12 Supervisory skills courses should be included in the mission-wide annual training plan being developed.
1.1.13 The Mission(s) should consider the feasibility of creating an environmental committee to promote environmental practices.
1.1.8 In consultation with RAD, a process to engage in medium to long-term planning for Canadian official representation in India will commence before the summer of 2008, (i.e. likely May 2008 when we have a clear picture of the level of representation for 2008 following the completion of current staffing exercises). This planning, involving also the India Trade team in country and in Ottawa, will take into account the various processes at play, including proposals put forward by other government departments and provinces in CORA, the conclusions of the Global Commerce Strategy and Department-wide reviews of representation abroad, evolving strategies for Canada's relations with India and indeed recommendations found elsewhere in the audit of the Canadian Missions in India.
1.1.9 The DHOM's role has been reviewed and the de facto practice of the MCO (responsible for Administration/Consular/Security Programs) reporting to the DHOM will be formalized in the organizational charts and wherever else required. In tandem with this, as suggested in the audit and confirmed by RAD, a reclassification of the DHOM's position to EX-03 will be initiated. In progress to be completed for April 1, 2008.
1.1.10 Implemented. A first meeting of the Mission Executive Committee has been held and subsequent meetings will be held on a regular basis. Discussions which result in decisions, in the form of policy documents or HOM messages to staff, will be distributed as appropriate.
1.1.11 Implemented. This practice is in place in our Sections.
1.1.12 Training on Supervisory Skills and on Team Building is scheduled for March 2008. Reinforcement courses on Harassment Prevention and Ethics and Values are being incorporated in the Annual Training Calendar for fiscal year 2008-09. Furthermore, other related training will be discussed with Locally Engaged Staff Services Bureau (HLD) during their visit scheduled for March 2008.
1.1.13 The Mission will create an Environment Committee, something it has been eager to do for some time. However, to avoid "committee overload" (there are ten ongoing committees) efforts will be made to attract a committed membership from amongst those who generally do not serve on Mission committees. The DHOM will initially chair the Environment Committee, which will also require the participation of the Property Section. Planned date prior to summer 2008.
1.1.14 Along with India, Bhutan and Nepal are also part of the accreditation territory. In the Country Strategy, New Delhi highlighted ***, with Bhutan opening up to tourist activity and the limited facilities available. Currently, the Canadian Cooperation Office is the main contact point for DFAIT in Bhutan.
1.1.15 Political reporting and Consular functions in Nepal are carried out by 30 percent of a PM-06 Development Officer and an LE-07 Consular Officer located in the Canadian Cooperation Office in Kathmandu. These positions, along with associated expenses are funded by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT). The status of this representation has never been officially confirmed. ***. The Asia South and Pacific Bureau needs to evaluate the Mission's proposal to designate the DFAIT portion as the Office of the Canadian Embassy so that appropriate steps are taken.
1.1.16 In conjunction with the Mission and other relevant HQ bureaus, RAD should finalize the decision on the designation of the Kathmandu operations.
1.1.16 The Mission Board will need to address the operational needs of our representation in Kathmandu and its appropriate designation.
2.1.1 The Political/Economic Section includes a Program Manager (FS-04, substantive FS-03), two CBS Officers (FS-02 and FS-01, filled by an FS-03 and FS-02 respectively), two LES Officers (LE-07 and LE-09) and an Administrative Assistant (LE-06). Overall, it is a well functioning section, with a heavy workload of official visits, and a wide range of issues and large territory to cover, all of which stem from India's designation as a priority country. The Section is supported by an engaged HOM and DHOM who provide advice, access to senior local officials, and who are both actively involved in the political reporting activities of the Mission. Various groups at HQ indicated that the quality of political/economic related activities and reporting was high, and that a good working relationship with officers at the Mission was in place.
2.1.2 Management of the Section and its operations is generally handled by the Program Manager (PM). The DHOM position, which now has direct responsibility for both the Political/Economic and Public Affairs Sections as well as general mission operations, has been beneficial to all programs involved and is an appropriate organization structure for the Mission. Within the Section, there is a good level of formal and informal communication. Staff reported receiving adequate direction, supervision, and support from the PM, especially in light of the demanding workload.
2.1.3 Strategic planning in the Section is based upon the Country Strategy document. Team and individual objectives based on this document are clearly outlined using the Performance Management Program (PMP) process, and staff understand their roles and the priorities of the Section. A comprehensive reporting contract has been developed by the Mission and HQ which flows directly from stated priorities in the Country Strategy. It is well understood by staff and provides a good guide on required reporting.
2.1.4 Day-to-day operations of the Section are appropriately focussed on visits and political/economic priorities. Staff are routinely out of the office meeting contacts, and attending events in support of their reporting and advocacy work. Focussed, issue-based visits to the various regions in India and the accredited countries of Bhutan and Nepal occur on a regular basis and more frequently as conditions warrant. Travel budgets are adequate and managed well. Staff are generally unaware of the amount they can spend on hospitality or how best to use it, and as a result much of the budget is unspent. In addition to giving each officer a hospitality allotment, the PM should coach staff how to use and properly report on hospitality activities.
2.1.5 Given the size of the Mission, managing contacts and local networks can be challenging. In the absence of a corporate solution, the Section has been using its own system in Outlook to manage its contacts. It has been successful, though not all staff use it to the same degree, and consequently it is not comprehensive. The PM should make contact management a priority for his staff so that valuable contacts are quickly and easily accessible to the Section in the event a staff member is not available.
2.1.6 The Section should develop a plan to ensure all staff are using its contact management system.
2.1.7 The PM should ensure all Section staff are aware of their hospitality allocations and provide coaching on its effective use.
2.1.6 Implemented January 2008. Staff has been reminded by e-mail and at a Section meeting of the need to: a) enter all contacts into the Section's Contact Management System on a systematic basis; b) to update as necessary every time there is extensive/substantive contact (i.e. meeting and or substantive phone call); add codes as/if necessary to facilitate quick compilation of contacts in various fields. Staff will be reminded on a regular basis of these requirements.
2.1.7 Implemented January 2008. Staff has been reminded of the balance of the hospitality allocations for this fiscal year during a Section meeting at the end of January 2008, and the PM will subsequently call a focussed staff meeting to discuss and plan its effective use. Coaching will then be provided by the PM on a one-on-one basis as required. Planned for April 2008. Subsequently at the beginning of each fiscal year, staff will be informed of their hospitality allocations and those for all members of the Section in writing and also in the course of a meeting focussed on hospitality planning.
2.2.1 The Public Affairs (PA) Section is managed by a CBS (FS-02 in an FS-01 position) who supervises three LES (two LE-08 and one LE-07). The Section has organized many successful events and collectively its staff have developed effective contact networks. Discussions with both the Section and key stakeholders throughout the Mission revealed, however, that there is a lack of understanding of how the work of the Section can be used as a tool to further advance various program objectives. In addition to better marketing itself as a service throughout the Mission, the Section needs to take a more proactive approach and foster better communication and coordination with stakeholders in the New Delhi mission and the other missions in India in order to achieve its full potential.
2.2.2 The absence of a forum to discuss public affairs and advocacy activities, both at a Mission-wide and individual program level, has affected the Section's ability to effectively engage its clients. Collaboration with other sections is currently done on an ad hoc basis, which has been more successful with certain sections than others. Heavy workload, often as a result of official visits, constrains many sections from regularly working with Public Affairs. A common sentiment was that individuals see public affairs as a tool, but are too busy to use it. By creating a Public Affairs Committee composed of key representatives from various Mission programs, the Mission can efficiently incorporate public affairs/diplomacy activities into the ongoing work of various sections, where beneficial, and encourage better communication. The Committee should meet on a regular basis, as required, which would allow for more proactive work on the public affairs side without overburdening the already busy programs.
2.2.3 A formal discussion on the best organizational structure for the Section has not yet occurred, though informally several variations have been considered by senior management. Before any restructuring, it is important that recommendations such as the Public Affairs Committee be implemented so that the true value of the function is realized. At that time, senior management (in collaboration with the Committee) will be in a better position to evaluate what is and is not needed in the Section, and can make well informed decisions on restructuring including appropriate classification levels for staff. Regardless of the outcome of that analysis, it is clear that an Assistant is needed to relieve the administrative burden of the current PM and three Officers, and this should form part of any proposal to realign the Section.
2.2.4 The level of the CBS managing the Section should also be reviewed by senior management and HQ as part of the above exercise. The position is classified at the FS-01 level, which equates to a junior officer generally on a first posting who would not be responsible for an entire section or managing several LES as is the case in New Delhi. Contingent on the outcome of the re-organization, the classification of the position may need to be adjusted to better reflect the level of responsibility and supervisory requirements of the job, as well as comparative positions in other large missions.
2.2.5 The basis of strategic planning in the Section has been the departmental Public Diplomacy Planning framework and reporting tool and the Mission's events calendar. However, this does not cover all the advocacy, cultural, and academic activities of the Section, and as a result is not adequate in terms of providing overall direction and purpose to the Section/Mission. The Section, in close consultation with Mission management and key stakeholders, should work to develop a comprehensive plan flowing from the Country Strategy which clearly sets public affairs objectives and goals for the Mission.
2.2.6 The Mumbai Consulate General also has a public affairs resource (LE-08) who handles a variety of public affairs activities, mainly focussed on the high number of official visits and significant education marketing/academic affairs activities. The position reports directly to the HOM in Mumbai. Informally, coordination occurs between Locally-engaged (LE) Officers on the education marketing file, though there was an absence of a formal reporting relationship or coordination with New Delhi. To ensure a cohesive approach to public affairs in India without duplicating work, the ongoing relationship between New Delhi and Mumbai on public affairs should be clarified. Including the Mumbai Public Affairs Officer in the New Delhi Public Affairs Section retreat was a positive step, but further coordination is required.
2.2.7 The Mission should create a Public Affairs Committee composed of representatives from key programs. The Committee should meet on a regular basis to discuss public affairs requirements, upcoming events, and opportunities.
2.2.8 A representative from the PA Section should attend other section retreats.
2.2.9 The Section should meet with other programs and sections in the Mission to discuss ways to serve each group effectively. This could be done through attendance at staff meetings/retreats, presentations, etc.
2.2.10 The Mission should develop a public affairs strategy that is in line with the Country Strategy.
2.2.11 Formal communication and coordination mechanisms should be developed between New Delhi and Mumbai to ensure an efficient and effective approach to public affairs in India.
2.2.7 Implemented February 2008. A Public Affairs Committee is now operational. It is led by the GR PM, with the Head of Public Affairs acting as the main resource person. A first meeting of the Committee was held on February 5, 2008, and was aimed at reviewing public affairs needs of the Mission and discussing what configuration of the PA section would be best suited to address these needs. GR, PA, IBD, CIC and CIDA sections are represented on the Committee, which will meet on a bi-weekly basis in its initial phase. Frequency of meetings will be re-assessed in April 2008.
2.2.8 Planned for September 2008. The Head of Public Affairs, or his representative, will be invited to future section retreats of key programs (GR, IBD CIC and CIDA). Representatives from these sections will also be invited to participate in the Public Affairs Section's retreat. Retreats usually take place in the autumn, so this commitment cannot be fully implemented before that time.
2.2.9 To be completed May 2008. Public Affairs will develop a presentation based on findings of the Public Affairs Committee which it will present to staff meetings of GR, IBD, CIC and CIDA in the spring (April-May 2008), with the intent of fostering a dialogue on ways Public Affairs can support their objectives. Public Affairs will then feed input received during these meetings into a separate presentation to be presented at section retreats in the fall. Public Affairs have now instituted a formal calendar of attendance at the staff meetings of these various sections.
2.2.10 To be completed May 2008. A Public Affairs Strategy will be developed by the Head of Public Affairs in consultation with the Public Affairs Committee and relevant divisions at HQ. Once the strategy has been sanctioned by Mission management, it will be used as a guide throughout the year. The Strategy will be updated on a yearly basis alongside the Country Strategy.
2.2.11 Implemented February 2008. A bi-weekly coordination call has been set up between Public Affairs teams in New Delhi and Mumbai. Mumbai will consult New Delhi when planning its programme for the next fiscal year. The Public Affairs Committee will give consideration to adding sector-specific country responsibilities to Mumbai in the area of Public Affairs.
3.1.1 Canada's trade team in India is located in six cities - the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi, the Consulates General in Mumbai and Chandigarh, the Canadian Trade Office in Bangalore, the Canadian Consulate in Chennai, and a minimal trade presence at the (Honorary) Consulate of Canada in Kolkata. The India Country Strategy 2007-2008 identifies a plan to open*** more trade offices in ***, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad in addition to increasing the trade presence in Kolkata.
3.1.2 Bilateral trade between Canada and India reached $3.6 billion in 2006. Canadian exports to India increased 54 percent from 2005 to 2006 to $1.7 billion and Canadian imports from India increased 7.4 percent to reach $1.9 billion in 2006. Two way investment between the two nations has increased at a slower than desired pace with Canadian foreign direct investment of $204 million in 2006 and Indian direct investment in Canada of $145 million. However, the official figures do not capture the full extent of investment related transactions as there are significant investment flows between the two nations that are made through third countries.
3.1.3 With the Indian economy moving along the reform path, there is continuing optimism about India's growth prospects. With a forecast of a seven percent annual growth rate during the next 20 years, India is likely to emerge as one of the world's most powerful economies. The Government of Canada considers India to be a priority market and is committed to strengthening trade relations. As the economy expands, Canadian companies are increasing trade and investment links in India and with opportunities for commercial activities increasing, Canada is planning to increase its trade presence in India.
3.2.1 The IBD Program in India is headed by an EX-02 Minister-Counsellor in New Delhi. In addition to Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade commercial staff there are representatives from partner departments and agencies and provincial representatives co-located at some of the missions. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has one Canada-based Officer and one Locally-engaged Assistant position (to be hired) co-located in New Delhi and Export Development Canada (EDC) has one Canada-based Officer in New Delhi with one Locally-engaged Assistant and one Locally-engaged Officer in Mumbai. One provincial representative from Ontario is co-located in New Delhi and Quebec has one vacant Canada-based Officer position in Mumbai with two Locally-engaged program assistants. Currently, the EDC Section in Mumbai is operating without an approved Memorandum of Understanding with DFAIT.
3.2.2 The following table provides a breakdown of DFAIT and other commercial resources by mission.
|Mission||DFAIT LES||ERP du MAECI||POther Dept/Agency/prov/CBS||Other Dept/Agency/prov/LES|
|New Delhi||4||11||3||2 (1 vacant)|
|Mumbai||2||3||1 (vacant)||3 (2 vacants)|
3.2.3 The Mission, in conjunction with HQ, should finalize the Memorandum of Understanding with EDC.
3.2.3 There is currently a generic MOU with EDC and New Delhi which Mumbai refers to when required. We will use the current template existing with EDC and New Delhi to establish a separate MOU with Mumbai that outlines the roles and relationship between the two parties. This will be completed by 31 March 08.
3.3.1 Trade and investment is a very important component of the overall 2007-2008 India Country Strategy, which sets out the missions' objectives for the coming year. Further developing the Canada-India trade and investment links are also a priority of the Government of Canada and the Department. In this context it is imperative that higher level priorities are aligned with the Country Strategy, International Business Development plan and individual work plans.
3.3.2 The India Market Plan (IMP) was approved in September 2007 and lays out six priority sectors and expected outcomes based on the implementation of the multi-year market plan for India. The IMP was in development for over three years under various names and has recently been published. The next India IBD business plan should be based on this high level strategic guidance to bring focus and clarity to the activities undertaken by the Program.
3.3.3 Prior to the publication of the India Market Plan, the Country Strategy laid out five to six clear short term objectives for the IBD Program in India. The overall objectives outlined in the Country Strategy provide the general raison d'etre for commercial activities in India. However, they did not correspond directly to the priority objectives articulated in the current IBD plan for India. Moreover, the focus on 12 priority sectors in the IBD plan for India does not match with the six priority sectors outlined in the India Market Plan.
3.3.4 In this context, the IBD plan currently employed is based on a whole of India approach and each trade office contributes to the overall planning of key activities within each sector. Each office has key objectives that it must meet to contribute to the overall implementation of the IBD plan. Mumbai now has its own separate business plan, recognizing the differences between the regions.
3.3.5 There is an opportunity for the IBD Program to strengthen the development of individual work plans laid out in each employee's Performance Management Program (PMP) to better match with the IBD plan and Country Strategy. In their present form, the PMPs and the IBD business plan are activity based planning documents and can be strengthened to demonstrate how activities link to program objectives and results.
3.3.6 The IBD Program in India has an annual retreat to discuss how each officer and office can improve their planning, operations and performance. The retreat generally takes place in August or September. Ideally the retreat should be aligned with the missions' planning process, which occurs earlier in the year, to take into account strategic objectives and to develop an action plan to meet the successful achievement of these objectives. Public Diplomacy colleagues from New Delhi and Mumbai should also participate to identify areas of synergies.
3.3.7 The Country Strategy identifies an expansion plan to open *** new trade offices in India and strengthen Canada's trade presence in Kolkata over the next two years. While a time line has been established for the opening of these offices and proposals have been written for Kolkata and Hyderabad, there is no overall strategy document and implementation plan which identifies how the offices will be established, as well as what the reporting relationships and main objectives will be.
3.3.8 The issues related to the most recent program expansion into Chennai and Bangalore provide some key lessons for the Program to take into account in the establishment of these new offices. The original plans for the expansion into the current offices in Chennai and Bangalore originally identified a need for a trade officer working from home with basic equipment. Since these offices have been in operation, this has grown to include an office with one Locally-engaged IBD Officer and one Locally-engaged IBD Assistant in Bangalore and the upgrading of the office in Chennai to a Consulate with one Canada-based Officer, one Locally-engaged IBD officer and one Locally-engaged IBD Assistant.
3.3.9 However, the current structure in Chennai and Bangalore has not allowed for the maximum impact of having a trade program presence in these key cities. The lack of office administrative staff, transportation support and infrastructure has significantly decreased the amount of time staff are able to undertake commercial activities. As such, the opening of new offices should include not only program staff but adequate administrative support, capital assets and appropriate connectivity. This is the key to ensuring that program resources are used for their intended purposes and that these missions are effectively administered.
3.3.10 Currently, the Bangalore office reports to the Consulate General in Mumbai on trade related issues and to New Delhi for administrative matters. With the addition of an MCO in Mumbai, the relationship might change with administrative support to Bangalore migrating from New Delhi to Mumbai. Chennai, Chandigarh and the (Honorary) Consulate in Kolkata report directly to the IBD Program Manager in New Delhi. As new offices open across India, the reporting structure should ensure proper coordination of activities across all sectors and regions in this large country. Continuation of the hub and spoke model should be considered as long as the hub post has the capacity and resources to make it a successful relationship. New Delhi should continue its coordination role with respect to the management of the overall commercial program in India.
3.3.11 The IBD plan should be results oriented with targeted outcomes that focus on key objectives and priority sectors and be linked to the India Market Plan and Country Strategy. The priority sectors and key objectives should cascade from the higher level planning documents down to individual PMPs.
3.3.12 Reporting relationships between all offices in India should be examined.
3.3.13 The IBD retreat should ideally take place as part of the mission(s) annual planning process to ensure alignment with the development of the Country Strategy.
3.3.11 To be completed April 2008. With the IMP now in place, we will use it to guide the development of the Country Strategy and of PMAs and PMPs for all IBD staff beginning in fiscal year 2008-2009. Key objectives will be set for the team, with targeted results for individual officers as appropriate with outcomes identified for overall commercial program.
3.3.12 To be completed May 2008. The reporting relationships will be reexamined in the context of the planned expansion under the GCS and proposals for further resources guided by the findings of this audit. The question of reporting relationships and resource expansion will be the subject of a IBD management meeting by April-May 2008, involving IBD CBS, with a plan submitted shortly after to HOM and HQ.
3.3.13 This has been identified as an ideal arrangement in the past, but the reality of the heavy visits/events season in India (especially November through March) makes a retreat to coincide with the planning process difficult. The retreat normally takes place in late August-early September after the summer holiday season and the arrival of new CBS, but before the surge in workload that begins in late September. With the arrival this year of a new IBD PM, this approach makes sense to continue for 2008, and a recommendation will be made to consider the possibility of holding the retreat in April starting in 2009. Coordination on the planning process among the team and missions will continue to be done virtually.
3.4.1 The IBD Program in India is complex and challenging to manage given the number of trade offices across the country. Program management ensures that each office in India contributes to the planning process and each office has clear activities that it must undertake in the coming year. Currently, all trade offices across India are integrated into a whole of India trade approach.
3.4.2 In general, the IBD Program has good communications however, there is room for improvement. While the New Delhi Program Manager has weekly staff meetings with trade personnel located in New Delhi, Chandigarh and Chennai, these meetings do not include staff from Mumbai and Bangalore. In addition no records of decision are kept which is important given two offices are not part of these meetings. Moreover, each section head does not hold formal meetings with staff in their section to outline key expectations or review performance of the section on an on-going basis.
3.4.3 The Commercial Section has identified a need to review classification levels of the Locally-engaged trade assistants currently at the LE-04 level. The Program, in conjunction with HQ should finalize this process to ensure that trade assistants are at the appropriate level given their current workload and job descriptions.
3.4.4 While the PMP process is relatively new, the Program Manager has instituted a process to ensure that each member of the team has personal performance objectives as well as a learning and development plan. As the PMP process develops, the Program Manager and section heads should ensure that individual PMPs are aligned to the overall trade objectives as set out in higher level planning documents.
3.4.5 The Commercial Section in New Delhi has a defacto Deputy Program Manager, who has responsibilities for planning and corporate issues as well as acting duties when the Program Manager is absent. This fact is not clear to other employees, which results in difficulty / confusion for the staff and the Deputy Program Manager. The position is currently classified as FS-02 and an official request has been submitted to Ottawa to re-classify the position to FS-03.
3.4.6 Records of decision of all staff meetings should be maintained and distributed to all staff.
3.4.7 The Mumbai and Bangalore offices should participate in at least one weekly meeting per month with the other trade offices in India.
3.4.8 Section heads should hold weekly meetings with staff.
3.4.9 The official status and classification of the Deputy Program Manager in the New Delhi Commercial Section should be clarified and communicated to all staff.
3.4.6 Implemented January 2008. In order to improve communications among all members of the India trade team and with HQ, a weekly update is being prepared by the IBD PM that is distributed to all members of the trade team in India, as well as key program managers and HQ divisions. This has been modified to include a section on key points/decisions from the weekly staff meetings.
3.4.7 This will start February 2008.
3.4.8 Implemented January 2008 for those that had not already been doing so.
3.4.9 Effective February 2008, the incumbent will have, on internal lists, the title New Delhi Deputy Program Manager. The classification of the position will be considered in the context of the broader discussion (in April-May 2008) of the expansion of the IBD Program and reporting relationships among the offices (see also response to 3.3.12).
3.4.10 The organization chart in Mumbai is in the process of being reviewed. It is proposed that all trade staff report to the CBS Trade Commissioner in order to alleviate the management burden on the Consul General and clarify the reporting relationship for LES. The CBS Trade Commissioner occupies an FS-01 position and is on a first posting. A re-classification of the position has been requested and is under review. These issues should be carefully examined, particularly if more resources are to be added to the Mumbai Commercial Section. The arrival of the CBS Trade Commissioner in Mumbai *** and a better understanding of the mandate and priorities for the commercial team.
3.4.11 The Mumbai organization chart and classification of the CBS Trade Commissioner should be examined.
3.4.11 Reclassification of the CBS Trade Commissioner position from an FS-01 to FS-02 has now been approved. The Mumbai organization chart is being modified to reflect this reclassification, to clarify the reporting relationship for LES, and to alleviate the management burden on the Consul General. Both LES Trade Commissioners will report directly to the CBS Trade Commissioner. The LES Trade Assistant will have a reporting relationship to both of the LES Trade Commissioners, with the CBS providing oversight on this reporting arrangement. The LES Senior Trade Assistant will report to both the Consul General and CBS Trade Commissioner. The organization chart will be reviewed, as required, with expected additions of one new CBS and two LES trade positions.
3.5.1 Achieving the IBD Program's objectives at this point in time is a challenging endeavour. As interest in the Indian market increases, heavy demand is placed on staff in coordinating visits from the federal and provincial levels of government as well as from business and non-government organizations. Coordinating and assisting incoming visitors is taking away from the total amount of time that trade officers are able to dedicate to progressing all of the trade objectives of the Program. For example, New Delhi managed 36 incoming visits and 17 outgoing visits within the last year. This issue is particularly significant in Mumbai and Bangalore, which receives many of the same visitors as New Delhi but with only a fraction of the resources.
3.5.2 The Program has identified this as a challenge and has recently produced a best practice guide to managing visits which is now placed on the DFAIT web site. This was a proactive approach to try to alleviate some of the challenges in managing and coordinating visits from Canada. The guide could be updated to clearly establish parameters within which visiting delegations could plan their visits. HQ should share this guide with the provincial and partner department contacts so as to clarify planning trips and manage expectations. In addition, there is great opportunity for the Regional Offices in Canada and HQ to be more engaged in the visits process prior to the visiting delegations contacting the Program for more detailed support and information.
3.5.3 In addition, the use of Business Mission Agreements (BMA) could be improved in New Delhi and Mumbai to clearly articulate the services that will be provided to incoming delegations to India. With the high number of visits over the last year, New Delhi has used only three BMAs. This was also an audit observation in the 2003 audit report. The missions could direct interested parties to the Regional Offices in Canada and HQ in order to set out the objectives of the visits and what dates they would like to come. Once objectives and dates are established, then the Program could take over based upon the agreed upon BMA.
3.5.4 Overall, trade officers in New Delhi, Chandigarh and Chennai are dedicating an average of 26 percent of their time to administrative and other duties not solely focussed on implementing commercial objectives and activities. In terms of time allocated to the IBD Program, this ranks second to trade development (51%) and far above investment (8%), trade policy / market access (8%), and science and technology (7%). In Mumbai, commercial staff are dedicating about 50 percent of their timet to non-trade work including administrative and public affairs activities. This high level of administrative, consular and public affairs work leads to a situation where staff are focussed on reactive work and thus diminishes their ability to be more proactive.
3.5.5 All trade resources employed by the Program should be spending the majority of their time on proactive work. Currently this is not the case. Visits, other administrative and corporate work take away from the time trade officers can be proactive within their sectors. Overall, trade staff in New Delhi, Chandigarh and Chennai are spending about 64 percent of their time on core services - key contact search (23%), visits information (21%), market prospects (17%), troubleshooting (15%), local company information (14%) and face to face briefings (10%). In order to increase proactive commercial work, the IBD Program Manager should establish outcall targets for all staff in their PMPs to ensure that they are establishing and maintaining contacts within their sectors.
3.5.6 Currently, there are no commercial reporting agreements or arrangements in place for either New Delhi or Mumbai. By establishing reporting agreements with HQ, the trade team in India could provide focussed, relevant and timely reports to HQ on issues of strategic and tactical performance that can inform decision makers. The Program Manager has already developed a strategy for how trade team India could provide timely reports to Ottawa on matters of importance without significant time and resource allocation. Implementing this strategy could provide for improved two way communications between the missions and HQ on key commercial activities in India.
3.5.7 The IBD Program in India should focus more effort on investment opportunities. Prior to the arrival of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada representative, a CBS officer in New Delhi was dedicating 50 percent of his time to agricultural issues. With the addition of the AAFC representative the Section Head responsible for investment should increase efforts in this area. Moreover, the addition of a CBS MCO in Mumbai should allow the Trade Commissioner there to focus more on investment attraction in the financial capital of India.
3.5.8 The Commercial Section in New Delhi has a dedicated Science and Technology (ST) Officer in place to implement the Canada-India 2005 Science and Technology Agreement. The CBS Officer responsible for ST has done a good job in progressing Canada-India ST objectives, fostering bilateral research projects and moving the discussions to commercialization of research and development. The Officer has done this through outreach activities and by speaking at seven conferences over the course of the past 11 months.
3.5.9 The current Info Centre in New Delhi is not providing the full services that an Info Centre could bring to assisting staff across India. Currently the Info Centre is staffed by an LE-05 and an LE-04 on a part time basis. The Program should establish an Info Centre managed by an LE-07 with the two LES assistants on a full-time basis in order to increase the level of service provided to all offices in India. Currently, the basic Info Centre in place is not providing services to missions outside New Delhi.
3.5.10 Education marketing is conducted by trade personnel in New Delhi (one dedicated LE-09 trade advisor), Mumbai, Bangalore and Chandigarh as well as by the Public Affairs sections of the New Delhi and Mumbai offices. The Program should clarify the roles of the commercial and public affairs sections in its education marketing requirements and further refine efforts in this area. Clarification could take the form of developing an education outreach plan that outlines the key activities, objectives and results expected of each of the programs and offices in the implementation of this very important sector.
3.5.11 The New Delhi office makes good use of its Client Service Fund (CSF) and has a good planning and implementation structure for managing this resource. However, the Mumbai office did not use its full CSF allocation in 2006-2007 and has only expended 13 percent of its CSF allocation in 2007-2008. With the schedule of incoming visits over the course of the next five months, Mumbai will be in a difficult position to make use of this resource and there is a potential that the office will not use its full allocation once again.
3.5.12 TRIO was implemented at the missions throughout India in July 2007. While some are having little difficulty using this tool there is a general consensus that more training and support is required to maximize the benefits of this tool by staff in India.
3.5.13 Some trade commissioners have made use of the International Business Opportunity Centre (IBOC) in the past. However, results have been minimal. Most have stopped using this mechanism as leads were not disseminated to the right companies and they prefer using their own contacts.
3.5.14 The Program Manager should ensure that commercial staff increase proactive work and develop a strategy to decrease the amount of time they are spending on administrative and other duties.
3.5.15 The IBD Program should establish a full service Info Centre that provides the required support to all missions across India.
3.5.16 The Program Manager should establish outcall targets for all staff as part of the PMP process.
3.5.17 The New Delhi office should increase the use of BMAs in the planning of incoming visits from Canada (see also recommendation 3.5.21).
3.5.18 The Program should establish for all missions in India clear objectives and targets related to increasing investment opportunities in India.
3.5.19 The Program should develop a clear strategy and objectives that leverages education marketing activities of all trade offices and public affairs offices in India.
3.5.14 In progress. The planning process and PMP's will continue to focus on proactive work by the team. Beyond the PMP process, the key to having the staff focus on proactive client service is managing the time spent on non-core incoming visits and requests, as well as to minimize the non-trade activities of the staff. BMA's will be used to try to manage the effort involved with incoming visitors, very few of which are developed as proactive exercises by the Mission. The Info Centre will be strengthened to minimize overlapping and often non-core work among the missions (see 3.5.15) and the assistants in general will be given greater responsibility for more routine tasks which will free up the officers to be more proactive. Further training as necessary will be provided to staff on contracting and other financial issues so as to speed those processes to the extent possible given accountability requirements. The list of outside service providers will be upgraded and refined, with a view to providing credible alternatives for supporting major incoming visits that fall outside service strengths of the trade team.
3.5.15 In spring 2008 (likely April 2008) a request for an LE-08 Info Centre Manager will be put forward as part of the expansion plans for the India IBD Program. Discussion has already begun with HQ regarding the possibility of using GCS funds for this and other positions (beyond those specifically mentioned in the GCS submission). As flagged to the Audit Team, this is a challenge that will need to be addressed as part of ongoing efforts to lessen the overlapping work in the different offices. The current under-strength of the Info Centre was identified as a barrier to strengthening these services.
3.5.16 This will be done in the fiscal year 2008-2009 PMP process (April 2008), with care taken to ensure that there is as least as much emphasis on the quality of the outcall (and any necessary follow-up) as on the number of outcalls. Best practices will be sought from other missions and HQ to maximize benefits of outcalls.
3.5.17 In progress. The India IBD Program will make every effort to use BMA's or similar agreements (for example, some partner departments's prefer financial agreements in their own format, or in some cases where demands are small, a simple exchange of e-mails may suffice). Indeed, this is always requested for visits that will be calling on the team's resources. However, In order for this effort to be most effective, it is important that HQ and the regional offices play a much more proactive and robust role in the negotiation of these documents. The Mission will work to ensure South Asia Commercial Relations (WSA) and appropriate regional office involvement at the early stages of negotiations. The India missions, led by New Delhi, put together a best practices guide for incoming visits which can be used as a pre-qualification requirement these visits. However, this needs to be seen as a required filter rather than something optional for incoming visitors looking to rely on Mission resources. There will also have to be an organizational willingness to refuse assistance to incoming visitors until the BMA or a similar document has been completed, otherwise there is no negotiating leverage for the missions to ensure BMA's are developed and signed in a timely way. BMA's will continue to be developed on an all-India basis for visitors visiting the territory of more than one mission.
3.5.18 This will be done as part of the planning for fiscal year 2008/09 (April 2008). The arrival of the AAFC officer in Delhi and MCO in Mumbai should allow the First Secretary (Commercial) and the Consul General, respectively, to spend more time on investment files than in the past. During the trade retreat last year, input from sectoral officers was sought in order to identify tools and/or training required to improve the investment activities, and specific items were identified (outcall planning tool, promotional material). The Investment Officer at the Mission will work with WSA and the Investment Branch in order to ensure appropriate material is available to officers. In addition, clear objectives and targets will be integrated in individual officer's PMP, as appropriate in light of the sectors covered. Investment planning will be adjusted to better reflect the market realities of mergers and acquisitions, as well as Canadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA).
3.5.19 There is considerable strategic cooperation in this area already within the Mission, but the existing delineation of responsibilities for education between the IBD and Public Affairs sections will be clarified and codified. With this in hand, and bearing in mind the new resources from Ottawa, more robust planning for education marketing will be put in place for fiscal year 2008-2009 (April 2008). The new framework from PCET/EduCanada will help guide these efforts.
3.5.20 The Mumbai office should establish a planning and implementation schedule to make maximum use of the CSF resources provided.
3.5.21 The Mumbai office should increase the use of BMAs in the planning of incoming visits from Canada (see also recommendation 3.5.17).
3.5.20 January 2008, Mumbai developed a document for planning and implementation of CSF resources. Despite a very busy schedule of unanticipated incoming visits and events over the course of the remainder of the fiscal year, the Mission expects to spend approximately 93% of its CSF allocation in 2007-2008. Any remaining funds will be transferred to the New Delhi CSF.
3.5.21 In progress. The Mission realises the importance of using BMA's for Incoming visits. Mumbai will work closely with the Regional Offices in Canada and HQ in order to set out objectives and dates of the visits. When incoming delegations expect to visit more than one city in India, Mumbai will work closely with New Delhi to develop the BMA. It is suggested that, in most situations, only one BMA should be prepared for incoming visits that will visit more than one city.
3.5.22 WSE should contact the missions to determine what additional training/support is needed in order to derive the maximum benefits that the implementation of TRIO has to offer.
3.5.22 A discussion and an agreement has already taken place between New Delhi and WSE regarding New Delhi's training/support needs. WSE will offer to DELHI additional training during fiscal 2008-2009. As to minimize the travel costs, this additional training session will be combined with TRIO deployment to either Islamabad, Ho Chi Minh or Auckland.
4.1.1 The Consular Program is functioning well under the direction of the Management-Consular Officer (MCO) (EX-02), with day-to-day management by the Deputy MCO (DMCO) (AS-06). The team also includes a Senior Consular Program Officer (LE-09) and two Consular Assistants (LE-06), with one of the Receptionists providing backup during staff absences. The Program oversees an Honorary Consul in Kolkata as well as providing consular services to Canadians through the Canadian Cooperation Offices in Kathmandu and Thimphu.
4.1.2 While the DMCO position was created with the expectation of workload being evenly divided between the Consular and Human Resource (HR) portfolios, in reality HR workload pressures consume approximately 70 percent of his time. The Mission had requested an additional DMCO position in its Country Strategy but this request was not approved. Following discussions with the MCOs in New Delhi, Chandigarh and Mumbai, there was agreement that both Chandigarh and Mumbai MCOs would play larger roles in both functions. As noted in paragraph 5.1.8, the Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) will need to be reviewed and up-dated once the new roles and responsibilities have been determined. As well there may also be room within internal resources to shift some functions, i.e. to the Registry Supervisor, to alleviate some workload pressures.
4.1.3 Following the summer 2007 posting cycle, four of the five Administration-Consular-Security section heads as well as the MCO arrived at the Mission. The new team is currently taking stock of their functional areas with the aim of establishing a work-plan by December 2007. As well as the development of a Consular Program work-plan, the DMCO has also identified the key objective of staff completing the mandatory passport entitlement training by February 2008. Since his arrival the DMCO has initiated bi-weekly Consular meetings where minutes are taken.
4.1.4 Annually, the Mission provides an average of 2,150 passport services and handles 260 citizenship applications and 290 notarial requests. The Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) system indicates there are 2,000 registered Canadians assigned to the 50 wardens in the country's warden network. Consular case management is challenging given the size of the country, the bureaucratic regulations, concerns with documentation validity and an estimated 157,000 visitors per year.
4.1.5 In conjunction with the DMCO, the *** has been designated to approve passport applications and has been tasked with this function. In accordance with the instructions from Passport Canada, a Canada-based Staff (CBS) *** verify all original application forms and citizenship documentation prior to issuance.
4.1.6 Overall controls are in place and assets are adequately safeguarded. The inventory of passport assets is reconciled monthly by the DMCO and quarterly with the HOM. As a best practice, the Mission should ensure that two CBS participate in all monthly reconciliations of passport inventory as well as for the receipt of passport inventory and that both sign the forms.
4.1.7 The passport entitlement function should be exercised by an appropriately designated CBS Officer.
4.1.8 Two CBS should participate in the monthly reconciliation of the passport inventory and the receipt of passport inventory and both sign the forms.
4.1.7 Planned for April 2008. This practice will be implemented as soon as the CBS have taken the course. It needs to be recognized, however, that this requirement will add significant time pressures to the already overtaxed DMCO-Consular/Human Resources position, as noted elsewhere in the audit report. It is estimated that between 45 minutes and one hour per day will have to be allocated to this activity. The addition of a CBS Consular Officer in the summer 2008, should it materialize, will address this challenge. In addition, our DMCO-Finance has agreed to undergo training. Once he passes the examination, we can add an additional CBS to the passport signing roster.
4.1.8 Planned for April 2008. We plan to seek authorization to clear the expatriate Registry Supervisor CBS spouse at the appropriate security level to sign passports. As noted, our DMCO-Finance has also agreed to undergo training and pass the examination so we can add a CBS to the passport signing roster.
4.1.9 While processes and procedures within the Program are good, improvements can be made by implementing the following recommendations.
4.1.10 The Program should display services, service standards and fees in both official languages in the Consular booth/waiting area.
4.1.11 The Program should obtain client signatures for the receipt of citizenship cards for those being picked up at the Mission.
4.1.12 The Program should ensure that all Consular related work is included in the COMIP monthly reports.
4.1.13 When appropriate, the Program should include the staff in Mumbai, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Kathmandu in its bi-weekly meetings.
4.1.14 The Program should examine the feasibility of providing staff in Kolkata and Kathmandu with hospitality funds in order to create and maintain Program contacts.
4.1.15 The Mission should review the petty cash requirements for the Kathmandu operations to determine if the amount is appropriate.
4.1.10 This has now has been implemented and periodic checks will be done to ensure this practice is continuously respected.
4.1.11 This practice has been implemented.
4.1.12 This practice has been implemented.
4.1.13 The practice of holding monthly conference calls with these offices commenced on February 6, 2008.
4.1.14 We have confirmed to Kathmandu that funds will be placed at their disposal to conduct representational activities in support of the Consular Program (April 2008). For Kolkata, we have provided funds to purchase gifts for important contacts and will be re-examining the situation when the set-up of the new Trade Office is determined.
4.1.15 The petty cash will be reduced by half as per Kathmandu's request (February 2008).
4.1.16 In Mumbai, the addition of the AS-05 MCO position in the summer of 2007 is already having a positive impact on the Mission in all the functions under its purview (Consular, Administration and Security). The MCO is reviewing the current structure and systems and is identifying policies and procedures that need to be formalized and standardized, i.e. hospitality diaries, transfer of petty cash duties, consular revenue processing procedures, etc.
4.1.17 The Mission is in the process of redistributing the Human Resources duties to the LE-07 Consular Officer from the LE-07 Office Manager's to provide comparable job packages and workload levels. There is also a plan for the Consular Officer to assume responsibility for notarial services once the process for the delegation of signing authority has been completed. The Mission will also be evaluating workloads and capacity to determine if there is any merit in approaching Passport Canada and New Delhi to discuss becoming a passport issuing office.
4.1.18 The Program should display services, service standards and fees in both official languages in the Consular booth/waiting area.
4.1.19 The MCO should review and approve the revenue reconciliation forms at least monthly.
4.1.20 Staff should use official receipts when transferring funds internally within the Mission.
4.1.18 The Mission is in the process of obtaining and displaying this information and will complete this task in February 2008.
4.1.19 The Office Manager has been directed to ensure that these forms are given to MCO on a monthly basis for review effective January 2008.
4.1.20 January 2008, this change was implemented and the Office Manager will now issue official receipts to Consular Officer for consular revenue. As well it will be used when the Receptionist begins to handle petty cash.
4.1.21 The Consulate in Chandigarh has undergone significant changes since the decision to upgrade the office to a full Consulate General in 2002. The Consulate, providing mostly immigration services (with 23 of the 39 full time equivalent (FTEs) staff devoted to this function), also provides a full range of consular services and administrative support services. With the busy CIC Program finding qualified emergency staff and juggling annual leave has been challenging but the Mission is coping well and the team is able to serve its clientele. The team is headed by an experienced MCO (AS-05), a Consular Program Officer-Officer Manager (LE-09) and is also supported by a Consular-Administration Program Assistant (LE-06). The Section is very busy as they are managing relatively active consular and administrative programs.
4.1.22 The Program should promote the completion of client survey forms in order to obtain more feedback on the quality of services provided.
4.1.23 The Program should secure the wet seal during off-hours.
4.1.25 The Program should ensure that all Consular related work is included in the COMIP monthly reports.
4.1.22 October 2007, the Program placed client survey forms at the Consular Reception and after rendering a consular service, refers all consular clients to such forms and encourages their completion.
4.1.23 October 2007, the seal in question has been secured.
4.1.24 Requested refresher training in Individual Learning Plan (where training needs are incorporated annually) which was incorporated into consolidated Mission Training Plan prepared October 2007. ***
4.1.25 Implemented December 2007. The Program will ensure that monthly reports accurately record all consular related work.
5.1.1 New Delhi is Canada's largest mission in the world with a staffing compliment of over 350 personnel. Administrative support is provided by the Program in New Delhi to DFAIT programs and to the partner departments located in the Mission (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Canadian International Development Agency, Department of National Defence, Royal Canadian Mounted Police,***, Export Development Canada and the Province of Ontario). As well support is provided to Chennai and certain functions via MOUs with Mumbai and Chandigarh. As both Mumbai and Chandigarh now have their own MCOs in place, these MOUs will need to be reviewed and up-dated as these missions become more autonomous and re-align their roles and responsibilities.
5.1.2 The summer relocation season of 2007 saw all four MCO positions change incumbents however arrivals and departures were appropriately scheduled in order to reduce any adverse affects on program delivery. The Program is deemed to be well managed given the challenges of working in a difficult environment.
5.1.3 The MCO is planning to launch a Work Smarter Campaign within the High Commission which is designed to relieve internal clients from bureaucratic red tape and should also assist in reducing pressures and stress on overall management services staff. Refining staffing procedures, the introduction of an integrated Human Resource (HR) management system (IPL) and an integrated Property Management system, and a review of the visits management program are all expected to provide a more reactive and speedier response to clients.
5.1.4 Mission Management had highlighted in the 2007/08 Country Strategy document the requirement for an additional CBS DMCO position to assume the full time responsibility for the Consular Program. At present, the incumbent DMCO is responsible for both the HR and Consular portfolios however the Mission advised that the workload is increasing and reaching a point beyond the capabilities of one officer. The Mission has been advised by the Mission Resource Management Division (RSR) that no new resources can be provided at this time. In response, the Mission has requested that an LES position be created to assume a portion of the increased workload by converting two vacant “blue collar” positions. RSR is currently assessing this possibility however any final decision would not be taken until the completion of the 2008/09 Country Strategy review. Meanwhile, it is suggested that the Mission attempt to either redistribute workload to other administration staff or to create a short term contract for an HR Assistant in order to alleviate immediate workload pressures. It is also expected that with the MCOs in Chandigarh and Mumbai assuming greater roles in admininstration and HR issues, this should somewhat reduce the workload pressures on New Delhi staff.
5.1.6 Given that the CBS Facilities Manager and the CBS Financial Management Officer positions are both staffed with specialists, this somewhat restricts the ability of the MCO to assign other administrative, HR and consular tasks to them during busy periods. While the requirement and benefit to staff these positions with specialists are recognized, it would better serve the Mission if the incumbents of these positions could be provided with basic training in other areas of administration and consular affairs so that they could provide backup and peak period assistance as required.
5.1.7 As at many missions, all programs noted increasing workload due to enquiries from CIC clients. To manage processing requirements within the CIC Section, their staff do not receive phone calls and encourage the use of fax, email and the CIC website. However, not all clients have access to the internet nor find the information required, and so try to source information from the Receptionists or their internal Mission contacts.
5.1.8 Once roles and responsibilities for the MCOs and the missions in Mumbai and Chandigarh have been refined the MOUs should be up-dated.
5.1.8 To be completed April 2008. A Management/Consular Program retreat with Chandigarh and Mumbai will be held in March 2008 in New Delhi to review all aspects of the relationship between New Delhi and these Consulates, with the objective of having the "spokes" have as great a degree of autonomy as possible.
5.1.9 In Mumbai, the Administration Program provides administrative services to DFAIT programs, Export Development Canada, the Province of Quebec and to the mission in Bangalore. As there is significant interest by many parties in being situated in Mumbai, as growth occurs, Administration support resources will need to be monitored to ensure they keep pace as well. Depending on how the existing office space is configured, there may be room to accommodate as many as eight additional work spaces should there be a requirement.
5.1.10 As in the Consular Program, the newly arrived MCO will be able to relieve some of the workload pressures on New Delhi by assuming more responsibility for certain functions such as staffing and budget management. Currently the MCO is reviewing practices to determine which systems and procedures needed to be adjusted given this new position.
5.1.11 With a 70 percent staff turnover ratio in the last two years, staffing activities (recruitment, training and integration) have been a priority for the Mission. In order to assist CBS, the Mission Report should be up-dated.
5.1.12 The following specific issues were raised by the Mumbai LES with the Audit Team:
5.1.13 The Mission Report should be up-dated.
5.1.13 The Mission had begun work on this and it is 50% completed. The Mission will hire someone on contract to finalize the changes with a view to completing by March 2008.
5.1.14 In Chandigarh, the Administration Program provides administrative services to both DFAIT and CIC staff. The team is well structured and provides timely service and sound advice. The current compliment of staff is well equipped to take on additional responsibilities from New Delhi, such as budget management, staffing actions, reporting, etc. The Mission has been operating for almost three years within a newly renovated Chancery. The Consulate General occupies a four story building which is well laid out and maintained. With some re-configuration, particularly of the secure area (which occupies half of a floor and has several empty offices) the Mission could easily accommodate another half dozen or so staff. As the only foreign mission in a city with few resident foreigners, no international schools and very limited cultural or entertainment options available in Chandigarh, assigning CBS there will continue to be a challenge.
5.1.15 The following specific issue was raised by the Chandigarh LES with the Audit Team:
the classification level of the Locally-engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP).
5.2.1 Day-to-day management of the HR function is overseen by the AS-06 DMCO with the support of the LE-09 HR Manager and two HR Assistants. The Mission receives funding from SERV (Services Centre) for a six month Community Co-ordinator contract and self-funds a second contract for the remainder of the year to carry out duties to improve the sense of community. A mini-clinic is also located within the Mission staffed by a full-time nurse and a part-time contract doctor.
5.2.2 The Mission sought guidance in dealing with funds raised in holding melas (vendor fairs) on the High Commission compound. After consultations with a number of HQ units, it was determined that the current practice of using the profits from booth rental fees at these events to fund Mission activities will need to stop. There is no policy that allows for Mission properties to be used for commercial purposes. As well, there is a risk of creating a potential conflict of interest situation where government property is used for personal gain. Should the Mission decide to continue to hold such events, it should be done on a cost recovery basis only and any excess revenues generated be donated to charity.
5.2.3 The Mission has a Training Committee and the LE-08 Head-Visits and Training Unit is co-ordinating program input into a Mission-wide training plan. All programs are to provide input into the training plan and recommendations concerning approval and budgeting are provided to mission management. The Property Management section should be encouraged to ensure all staff training and professional development needs are included in the overall Mission-wide training plan. The Mission has recently completed the construction of a multi-purpose room over the Canada Club building which is designed to serve as the primary facility for Mission training activities. The Mission has indicated that a greater training focus will be placed on supervisory skills training, cultural sensitivity awareness, harassment prevention, team building and client services.
5.2.4 The Classification Committee (and the Contract Review Board (CRB)) meet in a virtual format. From time to time the committee members should meet as a group to ensure terms of reference and policies are being appropriately applied and adhered to.
5.2.5 While the Health and Safety Committee meets monthly and posts their minutes on the Mission's Intranet site, there were a number of instances were LES were not aware of the types of issues that should/could be raised with the Committee. The Committee may wish to remind all staff of it's mandate and role as it had done in the fall with the CBS.
5.2.6 The HR Section deals with a large number of staffing issues every year ranging from classification actions to administering competitions. Overall the unit functions well considering the workload which it faces. CIC expressed concern that this increasing workload (particularly for its Program) could become problematic with regard to the unit's ability to provide quick service.
5.2.7 For some positions, competing staff must provide proof of successful completion of an international English language test (IELTS) which is administered through the British Council (there is a IRP 7,000 fee to take this test) and this is considered quite expensive for some staff. The Mission should explore funding on a one time basis the fees associated for this test. This will encourage staff to compete for positions which require successful completion of the ISL test.
5.2.8 There is a perception by some staff that the competition process is not transparent as criteria and statements of qualification have changed without rationale being provided to staff. For some there is also a perception that management prefers to staff vacant positions from the outside, though evidence indicates that numerous competitions are filled by internal candidates. These perceptions could be alleviated by keeping staff informed of any changes in process i.e. why qualifications for positions have been upgraded or changed.
5.2.9 The LES Committee in New Delhi (and with representatives from the other missions by conference call) meets as required with the Management team. Minutes of the meetings are posted on the Mission's Intranet site. The Audit Team met with the Committee who raised the following issues:
While there are generally good communications between Mission Management and staff, it would be useful for the Committee to establish a predetermined schedule of meetings with management. This ensures regular contact and provides opportunities for issues to be raised and discussed.
5.2.10 Some CIC support staff members had voiced their concerns regarding workload pressures and payment for work which is classified at a higher level. Comments of having to work through tea and lunch breaks without compensation in order to complete their daily file processing as well as performing duties which are classified at a higher level were their main concerns. These staff members should be encouraged to address their issues with their immediate supervisor in order to establish sustainable work levels. Job descriptions should be reviewed to ensure work which is being tasked is in line with current job description. Staff should be appropriately compensated for any overtime which is authorized in advance.
5.2.11 CBS and spouses appear to be very well served by Mission administration and by the Community Liaison Coordinator. The Mission Report and the Spousal Employment Report have both been updated as of 2007. Service Delivery Standards have been updated as of 2006. The Mission has developed arrival and departure checklists and guides to assist new arrivals settle into routine quickly and to assist departing staff arrange for their moves back to Canada or to their next assignment on cross posting.
5.2.12 For outgoing personal effects shipments, the Mission standard is to loose load effects into sea containers which raises the risk of loss and damage. Two employees returning from the Mission to HQ in the summer of 2007 experienced problems with their shipments as a result. The Mission should consult with SERV in order to establish clear guidelines regarding packing and container requirements and to ensure risks associated are minimized.
5.2.13 New Delhi may face difficulty in attracting some CBS employees, as those wishing their children to be educated at the American Embassy School (AES) of New Delhi cannot be guaranteed a placement in this school prior to assignment. The Mission has been in contact with the AES administration and is encouraged to continue these efforts in order to secure a certain number of places within the school for future CBS dependants. Regular reporting outlining efforts should be prepared by Mission and sent to HQ in order to provide an assessment and update on this issue.
5.2.14 A schedule of regular meetings should be formalized between the LES Committee and management.
5.2.15 The Mission should cease the current practice of using the profits from melas' booth rental fees to fund social activities.
5.2.16 The Classification Committee and the Contract Review Board should have members meet from time to time in person, not always virtually.
5.2.17 The Health and Safety Committee should provide regular reminders to all staff of it's mandate, role and processes.
5.2.18 The Mission should explore funding on a one time basis the fees associated for the IELTS English language test for LES.
5.2.19 The HOM/MCO should establish a schedule of regular meetings with the LES Committee, preferably on a quarterly basis.
5.2.20 A plan for the review and update of all staff job descriptions should be developed to ensure concurrence between the actual duties being carried out and the position descriptions.
5.2.21 The Mission should consult with SERV in order to establish clear guidelines regarding packing and container requirements.
5.2.22 Regular up-dates on the status of space at the American Embassy School (AES) of New Delhi should be prepared by Mission and sent to HQ.
5.2.23 The few remaining PMP/appraisals *** need to be completed by the programs.
5.2.24 The Mission should translate the LES Handbook into the local language(s).
5.2.14 Implemented. The LES Committee determined at its meeting in early October 2007 to increase the frequency and regularity of its meetings. This was re-affirmed during the subsequent meeting in late November 2007, when it was agreed to meet quarterly. The next meeting is late February 2008.
5.2.15 Implemented. This practice has stopped and funds were handed over to a charity. In future, we will charge a fee only to cover direct costs of holding events.
5.2.16 January 2008, the respective chairs were reminded. The Classification Committee did meet recently in person.
5.2.17 Minutes of the Health and Safety Committee will continue to be posted on the Mission's Intranet site and reminders as suggested will be sent twice a year.
5.2.18 Agreed, to be implemented April 2008.
5.2.19 The DHOM chairs quarterly meetings of the LES Committee with Mission management. The HOM has also initiated a series of periodic meetings with LES from various sections on a rotating basis.
5.2.20 The Mission will launch this exercise in April 2008.
5.2.21 The Mission will consult with SERV before the relocation season (spring 2008).
5.2.22 A comprehensive survey will be conducted in February 2008, and will include other international schools in addition to the American Embassy School (AES). To be completed March 2008.
5.2.23 There are nine reports outstanding and the Section has sent formal reminders to employees and their supervisors and will follow-up closely. To be completed March 2008.
5.2.24 The Mission agrees, particularly given the number of employees who are not fluent in either English or French. However, the Handbook will undergo a complete revision this year, following the scheduled Benefits Review and we will want to wait for the revision before undertaking this project (likely in 2009).
5.3.1 The Chancery is located on an 11.86 acre plot of land as allocated to Canada by the Government of India in 1959. The Canadian Government purchased this land, on a perpetual lease, for $208,000. The Chancery was initially constructed at a cost of $5 million and has been expanded over the past 35 years, to its current capacity of 8,500 square metres, at a value of approximating $26 million. The compound houses the Chancery, a service building (including a full plant to support the compound's water, electricity and air conditioning requirements), a full service garage, a recreational building (including a swimming pool and tennis facilities), a Duty Free shop, Staff Quarters (SQs) for 30 CBS, a domestic quarter for 36 individuals (of which some are allotted to LES for operational purposes) and a full medical clinic with a certified doctor (on contract) and a LES registered nurse. The property that houses the Official Residence (OR) was sold to the Canadian Government at a total cost of $160,000, in 1951. Since then, the OR has undergone major renovations at a cost approximating $1.2 million. SQs are segregated into four blocks and have been subject to a redevelopment project at a cost of $12 million.
5.3.2 In addition to the on-compound SQ assets, the Mission leases 26 off-compound SQs at an annual cost of approximately $1.5 million. The Mission has a fleet of 36 official vehicles, of which 12 are sedan-style cars used for official transportation. The others are a mix of service vehicles, utility vans, delivery trucks and courier scooters. The Mission maintains a large store area for furniture, equipment (including mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and vehicle parts) and office supplies. Many spare parts must be kept on hand to service the Canadian systems and equipment that are installed on the compound. The estimated value of the inventory on hand is approximately $2.3 million.
5.3.3 Based on information provided by Cushman Wakefield Global Real Estate Solutions the Mission estimates the notional value of our assets in New Delhi (including land, buildings, SQs and the OR) to be approximately $1 billion.
5.3.4 The Program has appropriate processes and controls in place as evidenced by:
5.3.5 The management of Physical Resources is the responsibility of the Facilities Manager (PPMO), an AS-06, reporting to the MCO. The PPMO has considerable experience and his background allows him to effectively oversee and manage the complex functioning of the Mission's real property systems. The Section has over 85 employees (with a corresponding salary budget of approximately $725,000) and an annual operating budget of approximately $4 million. Given the importance and complexity of the various real property systems that are in place, this position has been and should continue to be staffed by a technical specialist. The PPMO is assisted by a General Services Manager (LE-09) and numerous other staff that have both the required training and experience, as demonstrated by their knowledge and confidence regarding their roles and responsibilities. Meetings take place with the MCO as required, and the PPMO meets his senior staff every day to discuss projects and issues. The Mission Property Management Plan is current and has been filed with HQ. Work Orders
5.3.6 An extremely effective work order registration and tracking system has been designed in-house using MS Access. The system functions very well, providing various detailed reports on activities by property, total costs and labour time. Over 5,800 work order requests were received last fiscal year. This system is considered a departmental standard and best practice and is currently being used by other missions. However, work orders are only approved by the DMCO at the end of the day, and therefore there is a possibility that work is completed without proper prior approval.
5.3.7 A formal process should be implemented to ensure that work orders are approved by the appropriate level prior to the commencement of the work.
5.3.7 The Mission agrees and already changed our practice in January 2008.
5.3.8 The Section has a solid understanding of managing the maintenance program. They will be well situated to implement the anticipated SAP materiel management module. However, the sheer volume and relative complexities of managing the compound should be taken into consideration when implementing the new system.
5.3.9 Mission physical resources staff report that, historically, it has been more cost effective to have maintenance staff on strength rather than to contract for required services. However, over the last few years, the Mission has outsourced several functions, including: major renovations, minor repairs (such as re-fitting of staff quarters, painting, vehicle maintenance/repairs and minor plumbing/electrical repairs), minor maintenance requirements (such as; generator maintenance, grounds maintenance and custodial services) as well as requirements for specialized services. The functional supervisors are responsible for managing and monitoring the various projects and activities that are outsourced. This approach appears to be consistent with other like-minded missions in India. The Audit Team met with representatives from ***, all of whom reported that they have, or were in the process of outsourcing the majority of their physical resources operations.
5.3.10 Based on interviews with program staff, a review of a sample of work orders, a review of the amount of overtime worked by the group and a review of the activities of those workers on standby, it would appear that the physical resources staff carry out only minor works and repairs. These include minor plumbing issues (fixing leaky faucets), minor electrical issues (changing light bulbs), minor carpentry work (building of book shelves and filing cabinets) and minor maintenance tasks (lock changes on doors, oil changes on the fleet of vehicles, etc.). It is not clear to the Audit Team whether the full contingent of 85 personnel is required to maintain Mission operations at an appropriate and satisfactory level.
5.3.11 In consultations with HQ, an A-based review of the Physical Resources Section's resource requirements should be conducted. The review should include a forward looking strategy that incorporates possible growth requirements, alternative program delivery options and the achievement of economies of scale, where possible.
5.3.11 The Mission agrees and has initiated such a review. The A-base review could benefit considerably from HQ resources and expertise, and the Mission is seeking to identify and procure these services for this important project. ZIV Comment: RAD is organizing a New Delhi post-audit follow-up visit in spring 2008 with a number of functional specialists including those from Human Resources and Physical Resources to examine issues such as this.
5.3.12 Canada's presence in India has grown by more than 30 FTEs (full-time equivalent positions) over the last three years alone. Based on discussions with Senior Management, it is anticipated that Canada's presence in India will only increase over the coming years. The country strategy for India indicated that the Chancery is “too small to appropriately accommodate the existing staffing compliment”. It further states that “no additional personnel should be accepted until appropriate space is identified'.
5.3.13 It is the Audit Team's opinion that the Mission's current capacity can indeed accommodate limited growth. More specifically, the Mission could re-allocate existing office space within the Chancery. Currently there are 14 offices/workstations not being used (not including those vacant in the Immigration section and at the basement level). In addition, there are six conference/training rooms, some of which could be transformed into additional office space, if required.
5.3.14 Other options also exist. Depending on the level of growth the Mission could:
5.3.15 A feasibility analysis of the options available to the Mission relating to expanding the current office space and associated cost efficiencies should be explored as part of the A-base review.
5.3.15 The Mission has already started collecting data. We see our efforts as preparatory work for the first visit in April 2008 of the NAD post-audit follow-up (Physical Resources Bureau (SRD)) team members tasked to establish a master plan for New Delhi.
5.3.16 Property prices have increased significantly with a noted 70 percent increase in land prices during the past year. The average lease for an off-compound SQ in New Delhi is approximately $6,000 per month. Mission administrative staff report that rents are expected to increase by perhaps up to 50 percent over the course of the next few years. As most SQ lease agreements expire over the course of the next five years, the estimated increase in rental fees could be significant.
5.3.17 Property prices in Mumbai are higher in comparison to both New Delhi and other regions of India. As an example, the most recently acquired SQ lease was let for $15,000 per month whereas the total cost of the property portfolio in Chandigarh (six SQs and the OR) costs approximately $13,000 per month.
5.3.18 The anticipated rise in annual rents and the associated cost of growth will make it increasingly difficult for the Mission and the Department to realize savings. New initiatives will be required to generate savings or to limit (to the extent possible) requirements for incremental resources.
5.3.19 As part of the A-base review, a feasibility analysis of the cost benefits of building, buying or leasing Staff Quarters should be conducted.
5.3.19 The Mission will be collecting data and intends to commission a study on the planned development of the New Delhi NCR. We hope to do this with a local company before discussing with the SRD master plan team scheduled to arrive April 2008. It is hoped that the SRD master plan team will benefit from our initial leg work and can complete such a feasibility analysis, as others will need to take the lead on this project as it exceeds New Delhi's capacity for such work.
5.3.20 The Mission maintains two large storage areas *** of the Chancery that are managed by Mission Materiel Management personnel. ***
5.3.21 Although the Mission maintains a detailed capital replacement plan, it is not clear whether the level of inventory on hand appropriately reflects the requirements of the Mission. Furthermore, the following observations were noted:
5.3.22 A detailed review of the required inventory levels of the Mission should be conducted. The review should also include an assessment of the need for and feasibility of implementing:
1 Just In Time (JIT) is an inventory strategy implemented to improve the management of an organisation's inventory by reducing in-process inventory and its associated costs. The process is driven by a series of signals that tell management when inventory levels are approaching replenishment levels, which reduces inventory storage costs.
5.3.23 The annual inventory count should be conducted by an independent party. In addition, the PPMO should conduct periodic “surprise” counts of a sample of items.
5.3.22 The Mission agrees the time has come to conduct a review of our procurement sources and practices and have already started the exercise. The development of a bar coding system is currently ongoing.
5.3.23 Agreed. An inventory count by an outside party is planned for March 2008. Last fiscal year an inventory count was conducted by students. The PPMO has started surprise counts and this will be done on a quarterly basis if not more often.
5.3.25 Mumbai has been highlighted as the primary location for both DFAIT and partner department programming expansion. While there is some capacity to accommodate limited staff growth, decisions will need to be made soon on the role Mumbai will play in the overall strategy for India, so that property plans can be developed. The Mission is also pursuing with HQ the possibility of creating a multi-purpose room in the Chancery in order to maximize the use of hospitality funds and limit time lost in travelling through Mumbai's congested traffic.
5.3.26 With the arrival of the new MCO, there are a number of issues the Mission plans to address with the landlord of the multi-tenant building in which the Mumbai Chancery is housed, in order to ensure the appropriate level of functionality, safety *** . The Mission needs to restructure the Distribution Account process so that it is the HOM that signs on behalf of the employer. In order to streamline the work order process, the Mission should consult with New Delhi on the feasibility of using their system or other options such as the off-the-shelf product being used in Warsaw.
5.3.27 The HOM should be the one to sign the Distribution Accounts.
5.3.28 The Mission should consult with New Delhi on ways to streamline its work order process.
5.3.27 Implemented January 2008. Effective immediately, the Office Manager will ensure that all future distribution accounts are signed by HOM and is checking all relevant files and will ensure HOM has countersigned any which lack HOM signature.
5.3.28 This request has been sent to New Delhi and we will follow up with the aim of implementing the use of the new work order form by March 2008.
5.3.29 The office space in Chandigarh is very functional and is geographically well situated. The annual lease for the space is $225,000 per year and will be subject to renewal at the end of this fiscal year. It is anticipated that the increase in the lease rate will be somewhere in the region of 30-45 percent.
5.4.1 The New Delhi Finance Section is headed by a Financial Management Officer (FMO) at the FI-02 level. He is supported by five experienced employees. The MCO, as the Senior Financial Officer, complements the Section by carefully reviewing monthly financial reports and closely examining accounts at month-end. The FMO's focus is on overseeing financial operations, streamlining accounting procedures and making greater use of technology. The Section meets regularly to review workload issues and discuss priorities.
5.4.2 Accounting operations are significant. Responsibilities include controlling a budget of approximately $13 million and accounting for annual revenues of over $25 million. Eighty percent of the operational budget ($5.3 million) is dedicated to Property related expenses. Revenues are primarily derived from the collection of Immigration fees. The Mission has two bank accounts: a convertible Rupee account; and a non-convertible Rupee account. The New Delhi Mission is the only one in India with any official bank accounts and undertakes all the payments for the other missions. Volume of bank transactions in these accounts average about 470 per month.
5.4.3 The last audit in 2003 recommended the introduction of an automatic banking payment function. The Mission has obtained approval from Financial Management Services (SMFF) to proceed with the implementation of electronic funds transfer (EFT). Due a number of circumstances, the Mission has not been able to implement this change as fast as anticipated. The FMO is in regular contact with the bank and it is expected that the EFT payment capability should be in place by the end of the 2007-2008 fiscal year although it could be introduced as soon as January 2008.
5.4.4 The Section provides on a regular basis various financial reports to Program Managers to keep them informed of the status of their budget and expenses.
5.4.5 The Section is responsible for all financial transactions of the other missions in India. The spoke missions sign documentation under Section 34, and forward it on to New Delhi on a regular basis for payment processing. New Delhi signs under Section 33, does the IMS input and processes the payments. The spokes have IMS view access only. The only exception is Chandigarh where IMS input is done, however the payment process is still conducted in New Delhi.
5.4.6 Adequate controls over revenues are in place. Most applicants pay Citizenship and Immigration Canada fees directly to the ***, which has a branch within the New Delhi compound. Others pay by mail and the CIC Cost Recovery Clerk submits these drafts directly to the Bank. CIC forwards documentation to the Finance Section for input into IMS. There is no CIC cash handled by the Finance Section.
5.4.7 Recovery of expenditures including cable, telephone charges, utilities and rental of vehicles/drivers is also well controlled and effectively managed. Revenue accounts for the month of June 2007 were reviewed. All revenues were accounted for and were deposited at the bank.
5.4.8 At the moment, the Consular Section collects revenues and brings the money *** to the Finance Section. *** As the Mission's bank has a branch on the compound, the Consular Section should directly deposit the money at the bank. This would serve to speed up the process and the Finance Section would only need to do the IMS input from the bank deposit slip accompanied by the relevant documentation.
5.4.9 Processes and controls are in place to adequately monitor all disbursements of expenses undertaken by the Mission. Section 34 and 33 are signed by authorized personnel. As some partner departments use somewhat different processes compared to DFAIT regarding signing authorities (i.e. not requiring section 34 from their mission staff), an agreement was made whereby the partner department program manager will note on invoices that goods/services were received and the MCO would sign off under section 34 authority.
5.4.10 At times, invoices received for approval for section 34 by program managers in New Delhi and at the spokes are not always processed and forwarded to the Finance Section on a timely basis. When the due date has passed, suppliers charge late payment penalties which are expensed against the New Delhi budget. It is anticipated that the introduction of EFT payments will assist in meeting the payment deadline. In the meantime, the FMO will charge these penalties directly to the program managers' or spokes' budget, which should act as incentive for the speedy processing of invoices.
5.4.11 Hospitality expenses were reviewed. In order to complete the files, the supporting documentation of the proof of payment needs to be included, particularly for events at the Canada Club. While the invoice is submitted to justify the claim, proof of payment was not always evident. The Mission should make arrangements with the Canada Club to have their invoice stamped ‘PAID' once the transaction is complete. The HOM makes primary use of the Official Residence for his hospitality purposes.
5.4.12 Employees of the Finance Section expressed interest in training in the following topics: budgeting, contracting, current accounting practices, specialized training for assistant accountants and french language. These requests should be included in the PMP process, so that they can be incorporated into the Mission's formal training plan being developed.
5.4.13 The Consular Section should directly deposit all consular revenues at the ***.
5.4.14 Hospitality expenses should be supported by a proof of payment including services provided by the Canada Club.
5.4.13 This practice has been implemented.
5.4.14 February 2008 the Club notified the Section that they have created accounts for each specific program for their official activities and that they provide the bill shortly after the event. We will remind our officers to have the bills stamped as “Paid”.
5.4.15 With the creation of the new MCO position in Mumbai, the missions and the Mission Resource Management Division (RSR) have agreed that next fiscal year Mumbai will have its own reference levels. This will provide the management team greater flexibility with their budget allocation decisions.
5.4.16 The Mission is currently addressing the following issues:
5.4.17 Reporting to the MCO, day-to-day accounting responsibilities are under the responsibility of the Accountant/Program Assistant (LE-05). The Accountant/Program Assistant currently spends 55 percent of her time on finance related duties (including all IMS input) a significant increase since assuming the position in 2004. At that time, approximately ten percent of her time was devoted to this function. The Mission is up-dating the position's job description for presentation to the Classification Committee.
5.4.18 Financial reports are provided to managers on a regular basis. While financial controls in place are appropriate, improvements could be made by implementing the following recommendations.
5.4.19 The Mission should only be submitting to the bank the deposit slip and the deposit rather than all internal CIC substantiation documentation. That documentation (along with the deposit slip) should be forwarded to the Finance Section in New Delhi instead.
5.4.20 Mission staff should use official receipts when transferring funds internally between each other (i.e. when the Receptionist transfers money to consular staff).
5.4.19 Agreed. Corrective action was taken January 2008.
5.4.20 Agreed. January 2008, official receipts are now issued by staff when transferring money internally.
5.5.1 The Information Technology Section in New Delhi is comprised of two Foreign Service Information Technology Professionals (FSITP) (CS-03 and CS-02) and three Locally-engaged Information Technology Professionals (LEITP) (LE-07). The Section is managed by the CS-03 Program Manager (PM), though the Regional Manager (CSRM) is also situated in Delhi. Overall, the Section is functioning well and comments from staff throughout the Mission were positive regarding the level of service provided by the Section. Staff are client-service oriented, technically competent, and work well together as a team.
5.5.2 In the summer of 2007 the Section lost one of its FSITP resources as a result of realignment exercises at HQ, bringing its CBS complement down to the current two FSITPs. A consensus among the staff was that there was little immediate impact on the operations of New Delhi as a result of the reduction. However, the Section's ability to meet the demands of missions in the region without an FSITP has been affected. This will be further exacerbated once the CSRM position is cut next summer. In an effort to partially offset the loss of the FSITP, an additional LEITP at the LE-08 level has been approved. This position will supervise the three LE-07s and report directly to the PM. Though this additional position will not be able to perform the same infrastructure and secure communications duties as an FSITP, it can take on some of the non-core activities currently performed by the PM such as budget management. Capacity in the IT Section should be carefully monitored, especially as additional staff and offices are added to their responsibility. As noted in the International Business Development section, administrative requirements, including IT, need to be planned in advance of the creation of new positions and offices.
5.5.3 With guidance from HQ and the CSRM, the IT Section has lead an initiative to create a Mission-wide Information Management Committee. Though still in its early stages, the Committee has had several meetings and has agreed upon a pilot file structure which the Political and Economic Section has agreed to test. Maintaining and building momentum for this important exercise will be key, and will require support from senior management at the Mission. In addition, the Section should ensure meetings are well-structured and use the experiences of the Political Section to build interest and buy-in from other Sections. Lessons learned from this exercise should also be shared with HQ to refine the process for its use at other missions.
5.5.4 Though not always full used in the past, staff are making an effort to improve input in the Remedy system as a means of managing and tracking work. Given the use of this data at HQ in determining workload, the PM should continue to encourage staff to enter work performed in the system.
5.5.5 The Remedy system should be used consistently to track requests.
5.5.5 Implemented for any request necessitating more than a phone call or