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Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

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Inspection of the Canadian Embassy Bamako

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November 2 - 5, 2009

Table of Contents

Inspection Scope and Objectives

The scope of the Inspection included a review of Mission Management, Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs, International Business Development, Consular and Administration programs. The inspection objectives were to:

  • Assess management controls and systems, procedures and activities that make up the programs;
  • Determine the extent of compliance with legislation, regulations and operating policies;
  • Assess the reliability and adequacy of information available for decision-making and accountability purposes;
  • Ensure resources are judiciously used and that the Department is receiving value-for-money; and,
  • Make recommendations, where warranted, to improve the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of programs.

The focus and extent of on-site work was based on an assessment of materiality and related risk. This was done through communication with Headquarters (HQ) bureaux, including briefings by line management and the functional bureaux, review of relevant HQ and Mission documentation, past audit findings, and an analysis of recurring trends and systemic issues.

During the Inspection, inspection issues and lines of enquiry were further refined from information gathered through interviews with the Head of Mission and program managers, a meeting with the Locally-engaged staff Committee, individual interviews with staff, and results of other documentation reviewed. The level of inspection work was therefore based on issues and information identified and gathered at all levels, HQ, Mission Management and Mission operations.

Executive Summary

An inspection of Mission Management, the Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA), International Business Development (IBD), Consular and Administration Programs was conducted in Bamako from November 2 to 5, 2009. The Embassy is a small-sized mission with ten Canada-based staff (CBS) and 22 Locally-engaged staff (LES). In addition to all Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) programs, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Department of National Defence (DND) are also represented.

The Mission benefits from *** leadership, engaged program managers and dedicated staff at all levels. There is good inter-program cooperation and, according to the staff, morale is generally high. The Mission governance structure is operating effectively, but would benefit from greater participation from CBS.

The Mission has operated in a difficult environment over the past year with the hostage crisis and subsequent Ministerial visits, which resulted in diverted resources and new priorities. Now that the crisis has been resolved, there is a need to re-establish regular program operations and ensure that operational plans are in place to achieve Mission objectives.

Overall, the Mission is functioning well, and DFAIT program planning documents reflect departmental and Government of Canada (GoC) priorities. The PERPA and IBD Programs are managed directly by the Head of Mission (HOM) and, though the team is small, regular meetings would improve communications among its members and provide a formal mechanism to delegate tasks and followup on activities. With the addition of a new CBS political position in December 2009, the Mission should reorganize the reporting relationships to reflect a more traditional small-mission structure. The PERPA and IBD programs are delivering results and working to implement objectives in their areas of accreditation. The development of a PERPA Plan and the refinement of the existing IBD Plan will better position the Mission to achieve and demonstrate results.

The Administration Program is well managed, but would benefit from the creation of short, medium and long-term planning documents in order to prioritize projects, assign resources and monitor progress. Given the expected growth of the Mission, workload pressures will have to be monitored, and it will be important to ensure that adequate processes, procedures and staff are in place to support the Mission.

A total of 84 inspection recommendations are raised in the report; 83 are addressed to the Mission and one is addressed to Headquarters (HQ). Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 84 recommendations, management has stated that 43 recommendations have been implemented. For each of the remaining 41 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.

Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Canadian Embassy in Mali is a small mission with ten Canada-based staff (CBS) and 22 locally-engaged staff (LES). The complement of CBS staff includes six from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and two from the Department of National Defence (DND) who work with “Ecole de Maintien de la Paix de Bamako”. While Mali is one of Africa’s poorest countries, it has made significant progress in democratization and good governance. As Mali has been designated as a CIDA country of concentration, the implementation of the CIDA Program takes up a significant part of the Mission’s resources.

1.1.2 The hostage crisis which occurred during 2008-2009, had a significant impact on the Mission and required a diversion of resources. It also resulted in a substantial increase of staff workloads. The Mission managed the crisis efficiently and continued to provide effective services to Canadians. With the crisis now resolved, the Mission is in a position to evaluate the consequences of recent events on Canadian interests and review the Country Strategy to establish long-term objectives and priorities.

1.1.3 The Head of Mission (HOM), an FS-04 in an EX-01 position, arrived at the Mission in October 2008 ***. Her first year was marked by the events described above which, while difficult, also provided an opportunity to develop high level government contacts. The HOM has demonstrated *** leadership, and an open and respectful management style that is appreciated by her staff.

1.1.4 The Mission’s activities are guided by the Country Strategy and are regularly reviewed by the Committee on Mission Management (CMM). Objectives had been incorporated into the Performance Management Programs (PMPs) of certain staff. However, not all Mission programs have adopted this tool. PMPs are a requirement for all staff.

1.1.5 There are two key challenges to Mission Management and Program delivery: the organizational structure and a lack of resources. The structural challenge relates to the fact that the HOM position is classified at the EX-01 level, whereas the CIDA Head of Aid is presently at the EX-02 level. ***.

1.1.6 CIDA's large presence and its contribution to the country has created a favourable climate for Canada-Mali relations ***. The Mission has not, however, been able to fully leverage these advantages due to the lack of resources within the Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA) and International Business Development (IBD) programs. The situation should improve with the recent creation of a CBS political position in December 2009. Consideration is also being given to the creation of an LES position in 2010.

1.1.7 The Mission's governance structure is made up of the CMM, the Occupational Health and Safety Committee, the Housing Committee, the Classification Committee, the Security Committee and the Contract Review Board. However, there should be a more equitable participation of CBS on committees. An LES Management Consultative Board (LESMCB) is also in place and meets regularly.

1.1.8 There is a good level of communication and cooperation between Mission programs. Overall, morale in the Mission was highlighted as good, and relationships between CBS and LES are excellent. Communication is strongly supported by the HOM who meets with all staff individually and as a group, and ensures that CMM minutes are distributed to all employees. The Mission also maintains close and productive links with the Africa Bureau (GFD) and the West and Central Africa Relations Division (GFB).

1.1.9 The HOM has been actively involved in networking activities with political and governmental authorities in Mali. The HOM’s enhanced staff quarter (SQ) has been used extensively to receive ministers, parliamentarians, senior public officials, high-ranking military personnel and leaders of public institutions and non-governmental organizations.

1.1.10 A review of hospitality records revealed that a significant number of events were held where Canadian public servants made up the majority of guests, in part due to the high number of Canadian officials who visited the Mission during the hostage crisis. These occurrences have decreased over the last few months and the HOM is aware that hospitality funds must be focussed on building and maintaining networks of local contacts to support strategic objectives and priorities of the Government of Canada as well as the Department. These networks should comprise well-informed and influential individuals in the country of accreditation or participants in the work of not-for-profit and/or international organizations. In addition, the objective, purpose and evaluations of events in the hospitality diaries should demonstrate more clearly their alignment with the Country Strategy and that value-for-money was achieved.

1.1.11 The Crown-leased Chancery is at threshold and is not configured in a manner which is conducive to an effective work environment. This will create challenges in the short-term as DFAIT and partner departments are considering assigning additional resources to the Mission. In consultation with the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD), a plan should be developed to ensure that the Mission is able to meet current and future needs (see paragraph 4.3.4).

1.1.12 The ability of staff to work and speak in their language of choice is openly supported by the HOM. ***, the Mission is able to provide services to clients in both official languages, when necessary. The Mission should ensure, however, that all posters and internal signage are displayed in both official languages.

1.2 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

1.2.1 The Mission should review the Country Strategy.

1.2.2 The Mission should ensure that all employees in the Mission have PMPs.

1.2.3 The HOM should ensure equitable participation by CBS on Mission committees and should appoint members yearly.

1.2.4 Mission Management should ensure that hospitality diaries provide clear linkages to strategic objectives and evaluations that demonstrate value-for-money.

1.2.5 The Mission should ensure that all posters and internal signage are displayed in both official languages.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

1.2.1 In progress for April-May 2010. No major modifications were required for the “voluntary revision” in 2009. The Country Strategy and Reporting Agreement will be updated in the next revision cycle to be launched in April-May 2010.

1.2.2 In progress for May 2010. CIDA has maintained Employee Reviews for all employees that do not have PMPs. They have been informed and have agreed to create and maintain DFAIT PMPs for these staff in the future and will participate in the end of fiscal year (FY) PMP exercise for this year that has its deadline in May 2010.

1.2.3 Implemented March 2010. The Mission addressed committee distribution at the March 2, 2010 CMM.

1.2.4 Implemented December 2009. This will be done in the future including for HOM, PERPA, MCO, etc. Old hospitality diaries have been amended to include more information on links to strategic program objectives.

1.2.5 In progress for April 2010. The Mission has completed a review and will begin adding the English signage.

Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs and International Business Development Programs

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The PERPA and IBD programs are managed directly by the HOM, supported by an LE-09 Officer who devotes 60% of his time to IBD and 40% to PERPA work. In the IBD area of his functions, he receives the advice and support of the Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) posted in the mission in Dakar. The PERPA and IBD programs are also supported by an LE-05 Assistant, who devotes approximately 20% of her time to these programs, and spends the remainder of her time supporting other Mission programs. The table below provides and overview of the financial resources available to both programs.

Table 1: The PERPA Program
PERPA and IBD Funding 2009-2010
Total$30,000
Post Initiative Fund (PIF)$4,000
Client Service Fund (CSF)$3,000
Travel$13,000
Hospitality$10,000

2.1.2 The objectives for the PERPA Program are to increase Canada’s influence in Mali and to support stability, security and democratic development in the country. Mali is one of the least developed countries in Africa and, based on recent United Nations Human Development Index data (from 2007), it ranks 178th out of 182 countries, and, according to World Bank statistics on per capita income at purchasing power parity, it ranks 194th out of 210 countries. Despite these challenges, it enjoys a great deal of political stability, plays a positive role in regional security and has made significant progress in the areas of democracy, human rights and good governance. It is one CIDA’s countries of concentration, receiving $89 million in aid in 2007 2008. The Mission is making efforts to promote higher education in Canada, given the economic impact of Malian students in Canada, estimated at $7 million in 2008.

2.1.3 ***. Canadian mining companies have invested approximately $500 million in Mali in recent years, and the IBD Program provides support to them as needed. The IBD Program is also involved in activities to promote international education and corporate social responsibility. The Mission should continue to analyze developments in the Malian market and periodically assess the relevance of the priority sectors established in the Business Plan.

2.2 Program Management

2.2.1 The crisis situation lead to an influx of temporary duty staff and had a major impact on PERPA management and priorities. It is also expected to continue to affect relations with Mali in the years to come.

2.2.2 While the HOM meets individually with the two employees on a regular basis, there is no regular IBD/PERPA Program meeting. The physical separation between offices also complicates communication and does not facilitate team work.

2.2.3 These circumstances aside, the PERPA and IBD programs have, for many years, been dealing with the less-than-optimal situation: in addition to the HOM, there is only one LES officer, and administrative support is limited. The reactive environment and the LE-09 Officer’s divided responsibilities between IBD and PERPA have made strategic planning difficult. The Department’s decision to create an FS-03 Political Officer position (who is expected to arrive in December 2009) in Bamako, should improve the situation. The FS-03's role in management of both programs will need to be further defined by the Mission, in consultation with Headquarters (HQ).

2.2.4 From a PERPA and IBD perspective, the Assistant *** is not involved in program planning and implementation. Contact with the LE-09 Officer, ***, is limited, ***. Support to the programs is insufficient given that the Assistant only works 20% of the time for the IBD and PERPA programs. *** the Assistant spends 80% of her time supporting the CIDA and DND programs. It should be noted, however, that the Assistant position is funded by DFAIT, whereas the HOM Assistant position is funded by CIDA.

2.3 Planning

2.3.1 Planning for PERPA and IBD Program activities is based on the Country Strategy approved in March 2008, as well as on the PMP, which is up to date. In addition, the Mission drafted a Reporting Agreement (April 2008) and a Business Plan for the IBD Program and revised it in September 2009.

2.3.2 Now that the hostage crisis is over, the PERPA and IBD programs are expected to operate under normal conditions. The Mission must identify concrete activities that will allow it to implement its priorities. A review of the Country Strategy and Reporting Agreement could be useful in this context and timely with the arrival of the new FS-03 Political Officer.

2.4 Implementation

2.4.1 Despite its limited resources, the Mission is very active in political relations and public affairs. In addition to managing the hostage crisis, the Mission successfully organized visits of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Personal Representative for La Francophonie. In 2008 2009, the PIF was used for promotional material, for meetings with students, for an education fair and for activities related to International Women’s Day.

2.4.2 With regards to the IBD Program, the Mission focussed its efforts on supporting Canadian mining companies established in Mali, and the Client Service Fund was used to organize a workshop on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and to help fund the education fair. The Mission is planning similar activities in 2009 2010. The LE-09 Officer uses TRIO to record services, ***. For example, all the data for April to October 2009 was recorded during the last week of October 2009. This does not allow the HOM or HQ divisions to analyse the trends and effectively monitor the implementation of the IBD Program in Mali.

2.4.3 It should be noted that the hospitality and travel budgets are essentially those of the HOM. The HOM has, however, offered to make a small hospitality budget available to the LE-09 Officer for targeted activities, which should encourage this Officer to develop his contact network and engage in IBD promotion activities.

2.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

2.5.1 The Mission should continue to analyse developments in the Malian market and periodically assess the relevance of the priority sectors established in the Business Plan.

2.5.2 The HOM should hold regular Program meetings with PERPA and IBD staff.

2.5.3 The Mission should define the management role of the new FS-03 Officer with regards to PERPA and IBD activities.

2.5.4 In consultation with the Representation Abroad Secretariat (APD) and with CIDA, the Mission should clarify the funding of the LE-05 HOM Assistant and LE-05 Assistant positions and allocate responsibilities accordingly.

2.5.5 The Mission should review the Country Strategy and the Reporting Agreement.

2.5.6 The Mission should ensure that data is entered into the TRIO system on a regular basis.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

2.5.1 Implemented February 2010. The planning/revision cycle took place and a new 2010-2011 Business plan was developed.

2.5.2 Implemented January 2010. Since the arrival of new Program Manager, weekly “team meetings” are held with PERPA and IBD staff. Monthly meetings with the HOM are also planned.

2.5.3 Implemented January 2010. The job description was developed for the FS-03 Officer. Following the visit of the Director of the Africa Commercial Relations Division (GFC), a system of shared supervision (between Regional Trade Commissioner based out of Dakar and the new Program Manager) was established for IBD activities. Adjustments will be made if needed.

2.5.4 In progress - awaiting response from HQ . As the positions are funded at essentially the same levels, the Mission has requested an administrative switch to reflect the reality of the use of these two positions and has flagged the issue in reporting. The HOM Assistant will continue to have to be funded through the International Platform as the Geographic has advised that they will not fund a local administration assistant to the HOM at a Category 3 mission. The position does do common service work like assisting with events and keeping the petty cash.

2.5.5 In progress for April-May 2010. No major modifications were required for the “voluntary revision” in 2009. The Country Strategy and Reporting Agreement will be updated in the next revision cycle to be launched in April-May 2010.

2.5.6 Implemented January 2010. The IBD Officer has been instructed to use TRIO. Supervision from the new Program Manager will ensure it is done.

Consular Program

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 The Consular Program is managed by the Management Consular Officer (MCO) (AS-05) with support from a Consular/Immigration Assistant (LE-06) who is responsible for daily operations. ***.

3.1.2 It is estimated that the Consular/Immigration Assistant spends 75% of his time on visa processing. However, this position is entirely funded by DFAIT. DFAIT should discuss with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) the funding of this position, which mainly supports their program.

3.1.3 The Consular/Immigration Assistant meets with the MCO every week, ***. In September 2009, at the request of the MCO, he prepared a work plan which outlines the main responsibilities and activities of the Program.

3.2 Client services

3.2.1 The number of Canadians in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database varies between 250 and 300 according to the cyclical arrival of interns working in non-governmental organizations (between three and six months). The Mission, however, estimates that there are approximately 500 Canadians living in Mali of which half are dual nationals.

3.2.2 The Mission receives and reviews passport applications for onward transmittal to the mission in Abidjan, where the passports are processed. On average, one passport application is sent to Abidjan per week. The Mission occasionally issues emergency travel documents (ETD). Five ETDs were issued in 2008 and, to date, none in 2009. The Assistant keeps copies of all files for six months prior to destruction. According to Passport Canada directives, the Mission should not keep copies of passport and ETD files for more than 60 days after the date of issuance.

3.2.3 The fee schedules for Consular services are not displayed in the public area of the Embassy nor are the service standards. As a best practice, a copy of the official receipt should also be displayed with a notice to clients to ensure that they receive an official receipt when payment is made. Although the Consular/Immigration Assistant is able to provide services in both official languages, ***. It was also noted that not all of the signage or documents in the reception area were bilingual.

3.2.4 The Mission has a warden system in place across the country. In the past, communication with wardens occurred monthly. However, due to the recent hostage crisis, these meetings were not held during the first nine months of 2009. The Mission has recently re-established the network, and the first meeting of wardens with the HOM and MCO, took place in October 2009.

3.2.5 ***.

3.2.6 The Consular/Immigration Assistant should ensure all clients have access to feedback forms and are encouraged to fill them out. Forms should be made available in the public area of the Embassy and provided to clients with their passports and other documents. As some clients may be uncomfortable providing feedback forms directly to staff, a locked box should be installed in the reception area for clients to deposit forms. The box should be controlled by the MCO and feedback shared with the Assistant, the HOM and HQ.

3.3 Internal controls

3.3.1 ***. The Mission should investigate the possibility of having the Immigration electronic system *** installed at the Mission to improve controls and streamline *** reconciliation processes.

3.3.2 For most of 2009, Passport Canada did not regularly receive the Mission's month-end inventory reports. Inventory reconciliation must be conducted monthly by two employees, at least one of whom must be CBS, and quarterly by the HOM and the Program Manager. Since September 2009, this situation has been corrected.

3.3.3 The Duty Officer Manual was revised in October 2009 and the Consular Contingency Plan (ConPlan), dated November 2007, is currently being updated. The Mission should finalize this revision as soon as possible.

3.3.4 *** . An inventory should be created and verified annually.

3.3.5 *** had only been checked twice in the last year, whereas they should be verified quarterly by two CBS.

3.4 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

3.4.1 The Mission should destroy files relating to passports and ETDs after 60 days.

3.4.2 Consular service standards, fee schedules and a copy of the official receipt should be displayed in the reception area and the Consular booth.

3.4.3 The Mission should provide training ***.

3.4.4 A locked drop-box should be installed in the waiting room for client feedback forms and be controlled by the MCO. Feedback should be shared with the Consular/Immigration Assistant, the HOM and HQ.

3.4.5 The revenues for Immigration and Consular services should be transferred when fees collected reach ***.

3.4.6 The Mission should investigate the possibility of having the Immigration electronic system POS+ installed.

3.4.7 The Mission should finalize the ConPlan and ensure that a copy is sent to HQ.

3.4.8 ***.

3.4.9 *** should be verified quarterly by two CBS.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.4.1 In progress for April-May 2010. This policy is now in place. The old documents are being destroyed, a process that should be sped up by the Operations Zone scanner the Mission has ordered.

3.4.2 Implemented December 2009. These have been posted.

3.4.3 Implemented November 2009. ***.

3.4.4 Implemented December 2009. Boxes have been put up in the booth and the reception area.

3.4.5 Implemented December 2009. ***.

3.4.6 In progress for April 2010 upon receipt of the equipment. CIC headquarters has agreed to roll out *** to the Mission. CIC has sent the equipment, and it will be installed and implemented when it arrives.

3.4.7 Implemented January 2010. The ConPlan was finalized with the exception of one table, and a copy sent to HQ.

3.4.8 Implemented December 2009. ***. An inventory has been created. The Mission also contacted the Consular Policy and Initiatives Division (CLP) for historical data but has not received a response.

3.4.9 Implemented October 2009. The *** is now consistently verified by two CBS each quarter.

Recommendation to the Area Management Office - Consular (CFA)

3.4.10 CFA, in consultation with the Representation Abroad Secretariat (APD), should review the ownership of the position and determine whether funding can be recovered from CIC for their use of the Consular/Immigration Assistant position, or whether CIC should consider the allocation of a dedicated resource.

CFA Action and Timeframe

3.4.10 In progress. The position was originally financed by CIDA. In the fall of 2009, the position was bought back, and the total ownership was converted to the Consular Branch. Further to consultation with APD, there is currently no mechanism to permit reimbursement, in whole or in part, of costs related to part-time work assumed by fully-owned DFAIT positions on behalf of other federal or partner departments. We will continue to consult with APD and monitor the situation.

Administration Program

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The Administration Program is well managed by an MCO who is supported by a team of 16 office and non-office LES. The MCO who arrived at the Mission only two months before the Inspection visit, ***.

4.1.2 The MCO has daily meetings with his direct reports. Communications and teamwork within the Program were effective. Regular all-staff meetings would further improve communications within the Program. The MCO should also consider meeting with non-office staff, without their supervisors, so that issues can be openly discussed.

4.1.3 Overall, clients indicated that they receive good services from the Program. Though service standards were reviewed in 2007, many have fallen out of use in the last year. Mission policies, while generally distributed to staff by email, are not documented and readily accessible in a central location. Improvements in these two areas will allow staff to better plan and prioritize their work and manage client expectations.

4.1.4 In his *** time at the Mission, the MCO has developed a good understanding of Program operations and is developing plans and ensuring processes are in place. An extensive list of work to be done had been compiled and will form the basis of the Program and MCO workplans. In consultation with staff, objectives and plans for the Finance and Property Sections had already been established. It will be important that the Program workplan clearly prioritizes projects, assigns resources and establishes reasonable time lines.

4.1.5 The Program does not have an administrative assistant position. In a one MCO post, the lack of administrative support forces the MCO to spend time on routine administrative tasks. A support resource to perform general administrative and Human Resources (HR) functions and to provide assistance to the Finance Section is justified. In addition, the MCO spends approximately three to four hours per week on Citizenship and Immigration Canada related work which diverts his time from his DFAIT management responsibilities.

4.1.6 The Mission has rapidly expanded from a micro-mission to a classic mission with ten CBS and 22 LES. New Canada-based staff positions are expected next year, with the potential of additional positions as a result of CIDA decentralization. The Mission and HQ will need to continue to monitor workload demands on the Program. The Common Service Model (CSM) has recently been sent to the Mission for completion and will provide the opportunity to review existing resources, ensure job descriptions and position levels are accurate, and assess current and future common service requirements.

4.1.7 The Mission has operated in a difficult environment over the last year. In response to the hostage crisis in Niger, the number of staff at the Mission temporarily doubled, though no additional LES administrative support was provided. The Mission also had to manage a Ministerial visit following the resolution of this high profile case in May 2009. The crisis and diversion of resources to this new priority resulted in systems falling out of use and processes not being followed. Now that the situation has normalized, it will be necessary to ensure that adequate processes, procedures and staff are in place to support the Mission and its increased administrative requirements.

4.1.8 A review of administrative processes and procedures identified a need to clarify accountabilities and ensure that employee classifications and titles are reflective of the work expected. In particular, the following positions (detailed in the Property Section) should be reviewed:

  • The two LE-07 positions;
  • The LE-03 HOM driver/dispatcher position; and,
  • The handyman position which has been staffed as a cleaner.

Recommendations to the Mission

4.1.9 The MCO should institute regular meetings with all staff and periodically meet separately with the non-office staff.

4.1.10 Service standards should be updated.

4.1.11 Policies and procedures should be documented and readily available to staff and clients.

4.1.12 The Program and MCO workplans should incorporate resource allocation and time lines.

4.1.13 The Mission, in coordination with APD and the Mission Client Services Division (ASM), should review the common service resource requirements and allocations as per the CSM and projected growth for 2010.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

4.1.9 Implemented March 2010. A staff meeting will be held the first Thursday of the month and will include the three Program Admin Assistants.

4.1.10 In progress for May 2010. APD recently released the new Interdepartmental Memorandum of Understanding for Common Services and the template for service standards is in progress. The Mission will wait for the release of the new template prior to updating the 2007 service standards.

4.1.11 In progress for August 2010. The MCO is working with the newly transferred Locally-engaged Information Technology Professional put into place both public folders and reorganize the shared drive.

4.1.12 In progress for April 2010. The MCO workplan is in progress and when completed will be linked to individual staff workplans and to the Mission budget. The latter will also be done for the program budgets as part of a program budget allocation exercise once budgets for 2010-2011 are known.

4.1.13 Implemented October 2009. The Common Service Model report was submitted, and a DMCO and local administration assistant positions were suggested by the Model. There has been no confirmation by ASM if they will be funded next fiscal year (FY). Getting them is particularly relevant given the five additional positions (including four CBS) that are at Committee of Representation Abroad (CORA) for the Mission for next FY. The Mission is following closely.

4.2 Human Resources

4.2.1 The Human Resources function at the Mission is the responsibility of the MCO who is assisted by the LE-07 Accountant/HR Assistant. The Accountant/HR Assistant prepares the LES payroll, assists with recruitment exercises, participates on recruitment and classification boards, and provides information to LES on benefits. The Mission also has a Community Coordinator contract with a CBS spouse.

4.2.2 The MCO is the Mission Training Coordinator. A list of training needs has been compiled through the PMP learning objectives, but there is no Mission-wide training plan. The MCO advised that the budget will be reviewed to identify an amount for training. As PMPs have not been in place for partner department LES, it is important to ensure that all training requirements are incorporated into the training plan.

4.2.3 The authorization of the 2007 LES Handbook was postponed to conform with the Total Compensation Review initiative announced by the International Platform Branch Human Resources Services Bureau (ALD). Although the official version of the LES Handbook is dated 1997, the Mission has been providing the 2007 version to new employees. ALD should be consulted to confirm whether the 2007 version can be issued or whether the previous version is to be disseminated to new staff until the Total Compensation Review is conducted in 2010.

4.2.4 The MCO is currently working on the HR Plan and has developed a draft workplan which includes HR activities such as leave verification, EXT 208 Locally Engaged Staff Employment and Pay Certificate submission, Human Resources Management System (HRMS) data reconciliation, etc. The plans will be finalized by December 2009.

4.2.5 There is no standard procedures document in place which would provide clients with a clear understanding of the staffing process. Documenting the process would give clearer guidance and assure consistency in the staffing process. The Mission should also make sure, as a best practice, that CBS spouses and dependents are advised of job opportunities.

4.2.6 The Mission does not have a check list which would assist newly hired staff transition during their first few weeks at the Mission. This checklist would assist both management and the staff member in ensuring all procedures are met and information provided.

4.2.7 A review of the organization chart and the ALD LES position list revealed several discrepancies in position numbers, levels, titles and ownership. A number of positions previously funded by CIDA were converted to DFAIT-funded positions in July 2009. However, the final authorization and EXT-145 LES Position Data Form were not on file. The Mission should reconcile the position information, and the organization chart should be updated and provided to ALD for confirmation with their database.

4.2.8 A selection of LES personnel files held by the Accountant/HR Assistant were examined. The files have been separated into position and employee files. However, inconsistent information is maintained on the files. Employee medical files are retained separately by the Accountant/HR Assistant. Although the job descriptions had not been updated in several years, the tasks for some positions were reviewed and updated by the MCO in July 2009 on separate documents. The Mission should ensure that all job descriptions are reviewed regularly, ideally as part of the annual PMP process and when substantial changes occur. The EXT-208s were up-to-date and kept in the Finance Section, but they were not always found in the employee files.

4.2.9 A selection of classification and competition files were found to be incomplete. The Mission staffed two CIDA positions in the past year and used consultant services to complete the process. There were no files maintained in the Administration Section for these staffing actions. As a result, the Inspection Team was unable to fully assess the Mission's compliance with policies and procedures in recent staffing processes. However, a review of older staffing files demonstrated that staffing procedures were followed, although the documentation retained on the files varied. The classification files contained only copies of the EXT 145, job description and notification memorandum to the HOM. The Classification Committee should be comprised of CBS, with LES HR staff involved in a support capacity only.

4.2.10 The Accountant/HR Assistant is using a spreadsheet, kept on the shared drive, to track leave. This document contains personal leave information and access to the document should be restricted to HR staff and managers.

4.2.11 The Inspection Team met with the LES Committee which was recently reestablished in accordance with the Terms of Reference for the LES Management Consultation Board (LESMCB). There is a good representation of the different programs and position levels. The LESMCB meets with the HOM and MCO and feels that LES concerns are taken into consideration and addressed. Minutes are distributed to staff. The following issues were discussed:

  • Orientation for new employees and training for LES;
  • Career development and progression;
  • Medical plan and education benefit; and,
  • Private pension scheme options and departmental assistance.

Other meetings with LES revealed that some employees do not understand and had concerns about the LES benefits package.

4.2.12 The Inspection Team met with a group of CBS spouses. The spouses indicated that they were very satisfied with the services provided by the Mission. The main concern raised was spousal employment. There are a number of spouses on leave without pay (LWOP) from the Government, who would like more assistance to facilitate tele-work arrangements with their home departments. Although there are job opportunities available outside the Mission, it is concentrated in certain fields and professions, and the pay is low compared to Canada. One spouse had not received an orientation or security briefing, as she arrived in the MCO transition period, and had questions about security and emergency medical procedures.

4.2.13 CBS also raised concerns about health care and emergency health instructions. Some foreign missions in Bamako have their own clinic facilities or obtain emergency and ambulance services through an arrangement negotiated with a local clinic. The Mission should explore the possibility of accessing the local facilities or those of other missions. It should also consult the Foreign Service Directives Policy and Monitoring Division (AEF) and the Occupational Health & Safety Division (HSS) to determine whether the Mission meets the criteria for a mini-clinic contract nurse. The Mission could also arrange to have first aid training provided to the staff.

Recommendations to the Mission

4.2.14 The Mission should finalize the HR Plan.

4.2.15 Staffing procedures should be documented and communicated to all staff.

4.2.16 The Mission should prepare a check list to assist newly hired staff transition during their first few weeks at the Mission.

4.2.17 A Mission-wide training plan should be developed and presented on an annual basis to the CMM for approval and funding.

4.2.18 In coordination with the CSM implementation, the Mission should review all job descriptions to ensure that the tasks, levels and titles accurately reflect the duties of the positions.

4.2.19 Job descriptions should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

4.2.20 The MCO should ensure employee files containing personal information are kept secured and ensure complete records are retained on each file.

4.2.21 The Mission should ensure that all staffing and classification actions are appropriately documented and records maintained in the Administration Program.

4.2.22 The Classification Committee should consist of three CBS members.

4.2.23 Access to the LES leave records spreadsheet on the shared drive should be restricted to HR staff and managers.

4.2.24 The Mission should consult ALD for confirmation of which LES Handbook version to disseminate to new staff.

4.2.25 An information session for LES should be held to discuss and explain LES benefits and to provide an update on the Total Compensation Review.

4.2.26 The Mission should maintain a databank of spousal resumes and ensure all spouses are informed of employment opportunities.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

4.2.14 Implemented November 2009.

4.2.15 In progress for March 2010. A staffing procedures document has been produced by HQ. It is very complete, and it will be shared with all staff. It is currently available on the Intranet. The Mission will be using this document for all future competitions. Future competitions will be advertised and explained to all staff.

4.2.16 In progress for July 2010. The MCO will work on a document with the LESMCB, and plan an official mentorship arrangement for new employees with an established LES.

4.2.17 In progress for May 2010. The Mission will put in place a Training Committee and has planned a budget for 2010. Employees will submit requests to the Committee and, where the training is appropriate, the committee will recommend it be funded to CMM. Official language training is in place and available to all staff.

4.2.18 In progress for June 2010. The review of all job descriptions will be done prior to the implementation of the CSM as part of the yearly PMP exercise.

4.2.19 In progress for June 2010. Job descriptions will, in the future, be reviewed annually as part of the PMP process.

4.2.20 Implemented December 2009. EXT 208s have been added, performance reviews are kept in the MCO’s safe and the rest kept in the Accountant/HR Assistant’s safe.

4.2.21 In progress. The Mission is aware of the requirement and will ensure all staffing and classification actions are well documented in future.

4.2.22 Implemented March 2010. The Classification Committee membership was discussed at the March 2, 2010 CMM.

4.2.23 In progress for March 2010. The MCO and LEITP are in the process of reorganizing the shared drive. The files will be restricted as part of this process.

4.2.24 Implemented January 2010. The Mission confirmed with ALD that only the old Handbook should be disseminated to staff until the Total Compensation review is completed.

4.2.25 In progress for April 2010. The Accountant, HQ and MCO are working on a pensions document. Total compensation has been discussed at an all staff meeting.

4.2.26 Implemented December 2009. Spouses are being kept apprised of opportunities as they arise.

4.3 Physical Resources

4.3.1 The Property Section is managed by the MCO with the assistance of a Property Assistant (LE-07), a Materiel Assistant (LE-07) and a Dispatcher (LE-03). The Section also has four drivers, two cleaners and three guards. The Property Assistant attended the Property Conference held in Cairo in October 2009. ***.

4.3.2 In-line with the CSM, the Property Section should have an LE-07 Property Manager supervising an LE-05 Material Assistant rather than two LE-07 positions. This streamlines/simplifies the reporting relationship to the MCO and improves coordination of the Section. Once the CSM is implemented and the change occurs, the MCO will have to monitor supervisory relationships carefully and provide coaching and training where necessary. In July 2009, the roles and responsibilities of the two positions were clarified. This has improved morale and ensured that work is performed more effectively. There is still a need, however, for the changes to be re-communicated to clients, and for the staff to adhere to the new division of duties.

4.3.3 Two other positions in the Property Section should be reviewed to ensure levels, job duties and titles are consistent. The LE-03 Driver Dispatcher spends the majority of his time working as a driver (see paragraph 4.3.17) and one of the two cleaners is filling a handyman position but does not perform any handyman duties.

4.3.4 The Mission's property portfolio includes a Crown-leased Chancery and ten Crown-leased Staff Quarters (SQ) (including the HOM's SQ), which are a mix of stand-alone villas and townhouses. The Chancery is housed in a two storey building on an island site which is shared with the CIDA Program Support Unit and the British Liaison Office. Common entry and exit points to the compound are used, and the grounds are also shared by all parties. The Chancery is at threshold, and the current layout is not optimal. Although there may be some opportunity to create additional offices within the existing space, this would not be ideal and would entail reconfiguring a hallway/open area or using the kitchen/multi-media room. A member of the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD) was to visit the Mission in October 2009 to assess the options for expansion, in line with the potential growth of the Mission over the next year and possible CIDA decentralization.

Planning

4.3.5 Currently there is no maintenance workplan nor a multi-year capital acquisition plan. This creates the risk that maintenance projects or materiel acquisition needs could be overlooked or go unfunded. The Section should be proactive and consult PMs regarding their program needs and CBS regarding SQ needs in order to develop plans. The plans and associated budgets should then be presented at the CMM for discussion and approval.

4.3.6 Although both the HOM and MCO have visited all SQs, and regular visits are made throughout the year, no comprehensive annual inspection of SQs is performed. Annual inspections of properties would provide valuable information which could feed into the maintenance and capital acquisition plans.

4.3.7 The Inspection Team visited five SQs, which included the HOM's SQ. The HOM’s enhanced SQ may be overly large compared to the rest of the portfolio. So is the one occupied by the senior DND officer. The housing portfolio would benefit from greater respect for comparability between SQs, as well as the expectations of a Category 3 mission. While an enhanced SQ may be justified for the HOM, it must remain in line with the remainder of the portfolio. In addition, all the SQs in the portfolio have at least seven rooms resulting in most CBS being over-housed. This situation seems to be a common issue in this part of the world because the choice of housing is often quite limited. While occupants were satisfied with their SQ accommodation, caution should be exercised to avoid size/space "creep". The Program should ensure that the SQ portfolio is regularly reviewed and adheres to Departmental size/space guidelines. If under/over-housing is required, justification should be noted and maintained on file.

4.3.8 Service requests and work orders are sent to Administration by e-mail and are actioned by the Property Assistant and the Materiel Assistant. The Mission is planning on purchasing the Departmentally approved work order system which will improve controls, as well as assist with analysis and reporting.

Internal Controls

4.3.9 SQ occupancy agreements are in place, although some had only been signed recently. Most distribution accounts, however, had not yet been completed. According to the Property Manual section 7.3.3, CBS should be provided with a maximum of 14 days to sign the occupancy agreements, and distribution accounts should be finalized no later than 30 days after initial occupancy. CBS should be provided the material upon arrival, and a follow-up meeting should be scheduled with Property Section staff to inspect the SQ and facilitate the review and signing of the documents. This would also provide an opportunity to discuss any work requirements.

4.3.10 Crown asset disposals of surplus materiel is conducted through auctions open to LES and employees of other foreign missions. Files reviewed for the last auction held in September 2009, were well documented and demonstrated HOM approval. LES involved in the disposal process were unaware that they are not allowed to participate in the auction due to potential conflict of interest.

4.3.11 The Mission has several storage rooms at the Chancery and also leases off-site storage space where furniture, electrical appliances and other goods are stored. The Mission has recently received a shipment of furniture and appliances from HQ which has not yet been allocated ***.

4.3.12 The Property Section uses a form to track deliveries and work performed at SQs. Occupants must fill out the form providing an assessment of the work performed. Only if a satisfactory rating is received are contractor invoices paid. This is a good practice to monitor quality of work performed by contractors, and to ensure feedback from SQ occupants.

Contracting and Procurement

4.3.13 The Mission has not documented its procurement processes and does not possess a terms of reference for the Contract Review Board (CRB). While discussions with Property Section staff showed a good understanding of processes, the lack of documented procedures could introduce inconsistencies into the process and increase risk during staff absences.

4.3.14 The CRB is active and presently reviews all contracts with a value of $5,000 and above. In addition, the Mission has a bids Evaluation Committee which makes recommendations to the CRB and is considered a good practice. The Committee, comprised of the MCO, the Property Assistant and the Accountant, evaluates each bid using a point system and pre-determined selection criteria for the project.

4.3.15 Contract files were generally well organized, and all of the main steps in the process were documented. However, the following two items were identified as areas to address:

  • A Statement of Work (SOW) is not prepared by the Mission before bids are solicited. Only after proposals are received does the Mission choose a SOW from one of the bidders and requests the others to re-submit their quotes accordingly; and,
  • Contract amendment forms are not used consistently.

4.3.16 The Mission is continuing to experience challenges with regards to the use of the Materiel Management (MM) module in IMS. The Mission has, however, been invited to take part in the pilot project initiated by the Contracting Policy, Monitoring and Operations Division (SPP), where HQ facilitates the process by undertaking the MM entries on behalf of missions. The Mission has not yet made use of this service.

4.3.17 Goods are ordered by the Materiel Assistant and are then received by him or a Chancery Cleaner. The receipt of assets should be segregated with at least two staff involved in the process.

Drivers and Vehicle Management

4.3.18 The LE-03 Dispatcher position spends 80% of his time working as the HOM Driver. Driver positions are considered to be non-office staff and are classified at the LE-00 level. The Mission should update the Dispatcher job description and submit it to the Classification Committee. The Dispatcher only spends a limited amount of time in the office and relies on the Property Assistant to provide back-up during absences. Roles and responsibilities for supervision of the drivers should be clarified as staff raised concerns regarding scheduling and communication flow with the Dispatcher.

4.3.19 Although clients cited the need for more drivers, according to the CSM, the Mission is over-resourced with its current compliment of four drivers. Work adjustments, such as reducing the number of bank runs, could assist in reducing the driver workload.

4.3.20 Driver overtime is not adequately monitored and controlled. Of particular importance is the time at which overtime commences and ends. Passengers are not asked to sign vehicle logs making it difficult to substantiate driver overtime claims. In addition, one school run and three staff runs are performed each morning and evening. A regular schedule has not been established for the staff runs, which would assist with monitoring and controlling driver overtime. Some staff are picked up individually, and CBS often decide on a day-to-day basis what time they will return home and make arrangements with drivers directly. A Mission Transportation Policy should be developed and communicated to all staff.

4.3.21 Official vehicle logs are maintained by drivers for all vehicles and are reviewed by the MCO. Although the Dispatcher verifies mileage driven and reviews the logs regularly, no monthly reconciliation of mileage driven and fuel purchased is performed. In addition, the Vehicle Operating and Maintenance Report (EXT 159) is not being completed for the MCOs verification and signature.

4.3.22 The Dispatcher is responsible for distributing duty free fuel coupons and receives payment from CBS.***. In order to reduce risk *** and ensure adequate segregation of duties, the responsibility for *** should be performed by the Accountant/HR Assistant.

Recommendations to the Mission

4.3.23 A workplan for the Section should be developed and a budget established for the maintenance function.

4.3.24 The Mission should develop a multi-year capital acquisition plan at the beginning of the fiscal year and present it to the CMM for discussion and approval.

4.3.25 The Mission should institute annual SQ inspections and utilize the results to develop a proactive maintenance plan and input into the capital acquisition plan.

4.3.26 The Mission should ensure its SQ portfolio adheres to Departmental size/space guidelines and standards of comparability.

4.3.27 All CBS staff should sign their occupancy agreements and distribution accounts within two weeks of their receipt.

4.3.28 The Mission should acquire and implement an electronic work order management system.

4.3.29 Property staff and the CBS should conduct an inspection of the SQ within 30 days of arrival, to facilitate timely completion of distribution accounts.

4.3.30 The Mission should ensure that anyone involved in disposal activities do not participate in auctions.

4.3.31 ***.

4.3.32 The Mission's procurement processes should be documented to help guide staff and clients.

4.3.33 Terms of Reference for the Contract Review Board should be developed.

4.3.34 SOW for contracting should be prepared at the start of the process and provided to bidders.

4.3.35 Contract amendment forms should be used for all contract changes.

4.3.36 The Mission should contact SPP to participate in the MM pilot project.

4.3.37 Two Mission staff should be involved in all receipt or transfers of goods and assets.

4.3.38 The job descriptions of the Dispatcher and Cleaner/Handyman positions should be updated and changes made to ensure positions are correctly classified.

4.3.39 The Mission should develop a Transportation Policy which covers overtime claims and usage.

4.3.40 The Mission should institute a regular schedule for staff runs.

4.3.41 The Vehicle Operating and Maintenance Report should be completed monthly and submitted to the MCO for reconciliation and signature.

4.3.42 ***.

4.3.43 The Accountant/HR Assistant should receive payment directly from CBS for fuel coupons.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

4.3.23 In progress for May 2010. A provisional budget has been identified as part of the 2010-2012 budget exercise. Monthly visits to the SQs are being used to create a workplan for the next month. Once funding for large projects through the Physical Resources Bureau Mission Maintenance Workplan is assigned, a workplan will be developed to ensure these larger projects go forward.

4.3.24 Implemented January 2010. A two-year capital plan has been developed. The Mission plans to have a five-year plan in place by April 2010.

4.3.25 In progress for May 2010. An initial inspection will be done in May 2010 in preparation for posting season. Future inspections will be done in early December as part of MMW and yearly budget exercise.

4.3.26 Implemented. The Mission will attempt to find properties that are more in line with housing guidelines and dispose of oversized houses, keeping in mind the difficulties of the current market and Mission expansion.

4.3.27 In progress for June-September 2010. The Mission will undertake to do this for the next posting cycle.

4.3.28 In progress for April 2010. The Department approved work order system has been acquired and is being set up by the LEITP.

4.3.29 In progress for June-September 2010. The Mission will ensure that this is done for all future arrivals.

4.3.30 In progress. Those involved in future disposals will not participate.

4.3.31 In progress for July 2010. The Mission is planning an inventory process that should begin early in the next FY and will be fully implemented in summer 2010.

4.3.32 In progress for July 2010. Agreed and will attempt to provide for the next posting season.

4.3.33 Implemented March 2010. The Terms of Reference were completed and approved at the March 2, 2010 CMM.

4.3.34 Implemented December 2009. This is now being done consistently.

4.3.35 Implemented November 2009. This was done for amendments associated with the new house acquired for the PERPA CBS and will continue to be done.

4.3.36 Implemented November 2009. The Mission is participating but is occasionally having trouble with SPP keeping up to service standards.

4.3.37 In progress for March 2010. A policy will be instituted to ensure that two staff members are present for the transfer and receipt of goods.

4.3.38 In progress for September 2010. The Mission will revise the job description for both positions as part of the PMP exercise in June 2010. These will be taken to the Classification Committee and evaluated. If deemed necessary, the position will be reclassified. The Mission will keep APD and ASM apprised of the situation as it develops.

4.3.39 In progress for June 2010. The Mission has a Transportation Policy which covers usage but not overtime. The Mission will revise the policy.

4.3.40 Implemented December 2009. The HOM and Head of Aid combine runs whenever possible.

4.3.41 Implemented February 2010. The EXT 159 form is being completed.

4.3.42 Implemented December 2009. ***.

4.3.43 Implemented December 2009. The Accountant or Materiel Assistant (during the absence of the Accountant/HR Assistant) are receiving the payments directly.

4.4 Finance

4.4.1 The Finance Section is managed by the MCO who is assisted by the Accountant/HR Assistant. Preparation of LES pay and some filing are performed by the Materiel Assistant. There is currently no back-up in place for the Accountant/HR Assistant, and therefore overtime is always required *** to clear the backlog of work. The MCO meets with the Accountant daily.

4.4.2 The MCO is effectively monitoring budget performance, and updates are regularly discussed with the HOM. Budget allocations were undertaken by the MCO with the help of the Accountant/HR Assistant and some input from the Property Section. However, PMs were not fully involved in the process. To improve transparency, PMs should be consulted in the budget allocation process and recommendations should be brought to the CMM for discussion and approval at the beginning of each fiscal year. Budgets should also be periodically reviewed at the CMM.

4.4.3 PMs are provided with financial expenditure reports for travel and hospitality upon request. As a best practice, reports should be provided on a monthly basis. Operational budgets for different DFAIT programs (Consular, IBD, PERPA, HOM) have not yet been established which would ensure that PMs are accountable and can plan and prioritize accordingly for those items not covered under Common Services. Budgets have also not been established for maintenance and Information Technology purchases. These would assist staff in developing plans and monitoring their spending.

4.4.4 Hospitality ceilings in use are from 2007 and should be updated annually. Currently, all hospitality files are kept with the HOM. In line with policy, records should be maintained in the Finance Section and be separated into files by officer. All claims should be audited carefully to avoid duplicate payments and to ensure invoices support the claim. There was one case where the ceiling amount was claimed for an event held in a restaurant rather than the actual cost of the event.

Processes and Documentation

4.4.5 Mission accounts from May 2009 were reviewed by the Special Investigations Division (ZIVP) as part of the Inspection process. The findings indicated that further attention should be paid to processes and documentation. The items below were noted in particular.

  • ***
  • Lack of supporting documents:
    • reimbursement for medication did not include a detailed bill nor dit it indicate whether it was claimed under the Departmental medical plan;
    • boarding passes and itineraries were missing from travel claims;
    • rationale as to why costs were shared with CBS for SQ renovations was not included;
    • supporting documents for check payments were missing; and,
    • bank deposit slips were not attached to the IMS documents.
  • The MCO and the HOM should not be signing for their own expenses/payments. In these situations the CIDA PM should be given Section 34 or 33 to be used only for expenses for which the HOM or MCO personally benefit.
  • A photocopy of the bank statement was included with the reconciliation instead of the original.

Workflow and Efficiencies

4.4.6 As the Finance Section does not have quiet hours, the Accountant/HR Assistant is routinely interrupted by clients seeking assistance. In addition, the lack of scheduled activities such as bank runs, results in frequent inquiries by staff to determine if and when an event is to occur. Quiet hours have been useful in other missions as a means to reduce the number of basic errors caused by a lack of focus. This practice has improved staff efficiencies, both in processing time and in the quality of monitoring.

4.4.7 Although bank runs are made *** for Mission requirements,***. This will allow both the Accountant/HR Assistant and Dispatcher to more efficiently plan and coordinate their work.

4.4.8 At present, the Finance Section uses service delivery standards from 2007. The Accountant/HR Assistant is providing services to clients which surpass the standards. However, she is processing transactions as they are received and works on a reactive basis. Service standards should be updated, and the Mission should move to institute monthly billing and longer turnaround periods for the payment of supplier accounts, while maintaining shorter periods for the reimbursement of out of pocket expenditures. This will allow the Accountant/HR Assistant to better plan and prioritize her work and manage client expectations.

Internal Controls

4.4.9 While there is regular contact between the bank and the Accountant/HR Assistant, the MCO has not yet met with the bank representative. The MCO should be introduced to bank officials as the person responsible for Mission finances. The bank statement should be delivered to, opened and reviewed by the MCO, and then passed to the Accountant/HR Assistant to complete the reconciliation process.

4.4.10 A direct deposit system for Immigration revenues should considered as has been done at many missions. It reduces the risks related to handling revenue, and would reduce some transactional workload. ***. Direct deposit would reduce cash handling, and the need for drivers to perform additional bank runs. The use of bank drafts could also be considered.

4.4.11 The Mission is still using manual cheques which increases the chance of errors being committed. In consultation with HQ and the bank, the Mission should look into implementing the use of computer generated cheques.

4.4.12 ***.

Recommendations to the Mission

4.4.13 A back-up system to replace the Accountant/HR Assistant during extended leave periods should be implemented.

4.4.14 The CMM should review and approve the budget at the beginning of the fiscal year and monitor it periodically. Input should also be solicited from the PMs.

4.4.15 Financial expenditure reports should be provided to PMs on a monthly basis.

4.4.16 Operational budgets should be allocated for DFAIT programs, maintenance and IT purchases.

4.4.17 Hospitality ceilings should be updated and reviewed annually by the CMM, taking into consideration the new Hospitality Abroad Policy which will come into effect April 1, 2010.

4.4.18 Hospitality claims should be maintained in the Finance Section and kept separate from the monthly Mission accounts.

4.4.19 The audit of hospitality claims should ensure that the amounts claimed are accurate and that supporting documents are included.

4.4.20 The number of payment runs in IMS should be reduced.

4.4.21 All supporting documents for financial transactions should be attached to the IMS document.

4.4.22 The Mission should ensure that signing authority is not exercised by individuals for their own payments.

4.4.23 Original bank statements should be included with the monthly bank reconciliations.

4.4.24 The Mission should implement quiet hours for the Finance Section.

4.4.25 The number of bank runs should be minimized and staff advised of service standards and deadlines for services such as CBS personal draws.

4.4.26 Services standards should be reviewed and updated.

4.4.27 The Mission should negotiate monthly billing and longer payment terms with frequently used vendors.

4.4.28 The MCO should meet the bank representative as soon as possible, ensure that he is known as the official contact point regarding Mission finance issues, and request that the monthly bank statement be sent directly to him.

4.4.29 The Mission should consider implementing a direct deposit system for Immigration revenues.

4.4.30 In consultation with HQ and the bank, the Mission should consider implementing the use of computer generated cheques.

4.4.31 ***.

4.4.32 ***.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

4.4.13 In progress - waiting for HQ response. The Materiel Assistant has been identified as the back-up, and training has been requested.

4.4.14 Implemented January 2010. Done as part of budget exercise and will be reviewed bi-annually next year.

4.4.15 Implemented December 2009. Expenditure reports are being provided.

4.4.16 In progress for May 2010. This has been done for IT and maintenance as part of the Common Service budget planning exercise. Program budgets will be allocated when budgets are finalized for 2010-2011.

4.4.17 In progress for March 2010. Ceilings have been reviewed and approved. Unit costs for non-catered home-based hospitality will be in place by the end of the FY.

4.4.18 Implemented January 2010. Hospitality claims are being moved to the Finance Section. Current claims are staying there rather than going back to the HOM Assistant

4.4.19 Implemented October 2009. Audits are now being done on all claims.

4.4.20 Implemented January 2010. Many payment runs were being performed because the Accountant/HR Assistant was constantly distracted. With the implementation of quiet time for the Accountant/HR Assistant, she is trying to reduce the number of payment runs. This will become easier if the Mission is able to move to printed cheques.

4.4.21 Implemented November 2009. The MCO or PM verifies supporting documents as does the Accountant/HR Assistant.

4.4.22 Implemented September 2009. Since the arrival of the new MCO, no one has signed for their own payments

4.4.23 Implemented December 2009. They have not been sent with the bank reconciliation because the Mission rarely received them the same month the bank reconciliation is due. They are sent to Foreign Operations and International Banking Division (SMFF) when they are received. They are now received directly by the MCO at the Mission.

4.4.24 Implemented December 2009. Quiet hours have been implemented for the Accountant/HR Assistant from 10:00-13:00 hrs.

4.4.25 Implemented December 2009. ***.

4.4.26 In progress for May 2010. APD recently released the new Interdepartmental MOU for Common Services; the template for service standards is in progress. The Mission will wait for the release of the new template prior to updating the 2007 service standards.

4.4.27 Implemented December 2009. The Mission has tried, but generally it is not possible in this environment. Regular suppliers are paid at the end of the month for the work performed in that month but would not accept to wait an additional 30 days for payment.

4.4.28 Implemented December 2009. The MCO met with the bank, and the statements will be sent to him.

4.4.29 In progress for August 2010. A direct deposit system is not possible, however, the Mission discussed with CIC and the bank, and is implementing a move to bank drafts only.

4.4.30 In progress - waiting for HQ response. The Mission has requested sample paper used for the cheque printer from HQ to show the bank and the cheque printer. Cheques in Mali must be printed by one of two state authorized printers.

4.4.31 Implemented February 2010. This is now being done.

4.4.32 Implemented January 2010. ***.

4.5 Information Management and Information Technology (IM-IT)

4.5.1 The MCO oversees the IM-IT function with primary support provided by the Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) located in Dakar and Client Service Regional Manager (CSRM) located in the mission in Nairobi. The Mission had expressed dissatisfaction with IM-IT service provided in the past, as visits were infrequent and requests not actioned promptly. An LE-08 Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP) position has, however, been authorized for redeployment to the Mission from the mission in Dakar. Arrangements had not been finalized at the time of the Inspection.

4.5.2 The Inspection Team met with the new regional FSITP during his first trip to the Mission. A team from Ottawa was also at the Mission to upgrade the IT platform from a micro to classic mission configuration. The FSITP advised that remote assistance is used where possible and that the service standards allow for quarterly visits to address routine maintenance and upgrades, and for other visits as required for urgent matters. He indicated that the MCO *** which, along with the new LEITP position, will greatly assist and improve the Mission's IM-IT operations.

4.5.3 The Mission has been experiencing frequent SIGNET and MITNET outages due to the unreliable local infrastructure. New cabling was installed during the FSITP's visit, and this is expected to improve the stability of the system.

4.5.4 There is no IM-IT workplan or service standards which would facilitate the management of the IM-IT function. An IT purchase plan and budget should also be identified.

4.5.5 An Emergency Response Team is identified in the Personal Safety Contingency Plan, but there is no Business Continuity Plan (BCP). ***. A Business Continuity Plan should be developed to define essential services and identify the infrastructure required to provide them. The location of the ACP should be reviewed and subsequently equipped with the appropriate IT infrastructure. Once the BCP and equipment are in place, an emergency exercise should be conducted to ensure the infrastructure is adequate. ***.

4.5.6 InfoBank has not been implemented, and the Mission uses the shared drive to store information. There is no IM-IT Committee, and there are no Mission-wide IM standard practices in place. The establishment of such a Committee would be useful to ensure that the IM-IT needs of the Mission are adequately addressed. The MCO indicated that the shared drive required some clean-up and that further organization is required. The Mission should establish local IM procedures and appoint an employee with the responsibility to provide guidance on IM practices. Consulting with the Information and Knowledge Management Division (AIM) regarding such practices would be useful.

Recommendations to the Mission

4.5.7 The Mission should develop an IM-IT workplan and IM-IT service standards in consultation with the CSRM and FSITP.

4.5.8 An IT purchase plan and budget should be established.

4.5.9 The Mission should review the BCP and ACP and ensure that the appropriate IT infrastructure for the ACP is in place. ***.

4.5.10 The Mission should establish local IM procedures and appoint an employee to provide guidance on IM practices.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

4.5.7 In progress for October 2010. The MCO has begun working with the LEITP on both a personal and IM/IT workplan.

4.5.8 In progress for January 2011. The MCO will work with the LEITP to have an IT budget plan in place for the next cycle (2011-2012 Mission budget exercise).

4.5.9 In progress for December 2010. The Mission will review the BCP as part of its review of other security documents. The Mission has purchased a SIGNET Remote Access laptop, ***.

4.5.10 In progress for July 2010. The LEITP is working on the implementation of public folders and the clean up of the shared drive. She has also worked with staff to clean up hard drives by transferring information to DVD as a form of long-term storage and deleting personal and unnecessary files.

Appendix A: Mission Resources Fact Sheet

Table 2: Mission Resources Fact Sheet of Physical Resources
Physical Resources
AssetsCrown OwnedCrown Leased
Chancery-1
Official Residence--
Staff Quarters-10
Vehicles6-

Table 3: Financial Information in Bamako
Financial Information 2009 - 2010Program BudgetCommon Services Budget
Total$180,532$1,623,142
Operating Budget (N001)$36,321$1,032,571
Capital Budget (N005)-$165,169
CBS Salaries Budget (N011)$111,800$69,286
LES Salaries Budget (N012)$32,411$356,116

Appendix B: Organization Chart

Bamako


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Date Modified:
2012-11-14