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Inspection of The Canadian Embassy Harare

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October 22 to 30, 2009

Table of Contents

Inspection Scope and Objectives

The scope of the Inspection included a review of Mission Management and the 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 Harare from October 22 to 30, 2009. The previous audit of these programs took place in 2001. The Embassy is a medium-sized mission with eight Canada-based staff (CBS) and 31 Locally-engaged staff (LES). In addition to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) programs, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is also represented.

The Mission in Harare has gone through a very difficult period due to the recent political and economic instability in Zimbabwe. This has impacted the work environment and personal lives of the CBS and LES. The Mission has responded well in dealing with the crisis and is now in the process of consolidating and stabilizing operations.

While much effort has been made to foster communications and improve morale, more inclusion and consultation is required to facilitate transparency and inter and intra-program cohesion. More oversight by the Committee on Mission Management (CMM) is also required to establish and communicate administrative policies and to improve client service.

The PERPA Program focusses on analyzing the local political environment and providing modest support to the CIC office in Pretoria. The Program provides strong support to the Head of Mission (HOM) and regular and valued reporting to Headquarters. The Program Manager (PM) is developing a comprehensive plan that integrates the Country Strategy and the Reporting Agreement with New Way Forward criteria in order to better align resources to competing priorities. A developmental plan should be considered for the new Public Diplomacy Coordinator and be based on redefined position responsibilities.

The IBD has an LES Trade Commissioner who reports to the PERPA Program Manager with functional guidance and support provided by the Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) in Johannesburg. An IBD plan is in place and is being adjusted to reflect input from the new PERPA PM and STC. The Hub and Spoke relationship with Johannesburg is working well and is appreciated, however, it should be formalized with documented roles and responsibilities.

The Consular Program is well managed. There is a documented workplan in place; service standards for passport, citizenship and notarial services are met; and an effective warden system has been implemented. Consular assets and the emergency cash parcel are properly secured and accounted for, and passport approval is performed by a CBS. More visits are required to the mission’s Honorary Consuls to review operations and assess performance. Services are offered in both official languages, however, not all signage or documents were bilingual. Service standards and fee schedules need to be posted for clients, and more efforts made to solicit client feedback.

The Administration Program has been severely challenged due to the recent economic situation and a major Official Residence project. Creative measures were used to successfully maintain operations under trying conditions. Efforts are now focussed on normalizing operations. A general workplan is in place, and there is frequent communication with staff and clients. Overall management, however, needs to be improved through team building efforts, constructive mentoring and performance review, and more focus on client service. More support and direction from the CMM in approving and communicating policies is required. Issues related to the common services model and CIDA budget shortfalls should be discussed with HQ.

A total of 64 inspection recommendations are raised in the report; 62 are addressed to the Mission and two are addressed to Headquarters. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 64 recommendations, management has stated that 19 recommendations have been implemented. For each of the remaining 45 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.

Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Embassy in Harare is a category two mission with eight Canada-based staff (CBS) and 31 Locally-engaged staff (LES) and is responsible for Honorary Consuls in Luanda, Angola and Gaborone, Botswana. The International Business Development (IBD) Program in Johannesburg provides the Mission with support on a hub and spoke basis.

1.1.2 The Mission has been coping with the Zimbabwean crisis for some time. Only recently, has this crisis been mitigated by the formation of the Unity Government and the adoption of the US dollar as currency. The crisis had affected all aspects of operations, requiring a creative and reactive environment to deal with unique and unusual circumstances. Mission Management and staff responded well in dealing with the crisis and the Mission is now in the process of consolidating and stabilizing operations.

1.1.3 The Mission governance structure includes a Committee on Mission Management (CMM); a Housing Committee; an LES Committee; a Contract Review Board; an Occupational Health and Safety Committee; an HIV/AIDs Committee; and an Employee Awards Committee. There is a need for more discussion at CMM on Mission-wide issues with clear decisions communicated along with appropriate context and rationale. Distribution of minutes to all staff will also facilitate trust and goodwill. A Security Committee should be established to oversee the Security function and provide support and direction to the Mission Security Officer (MSO). Priority should be given to addressing the recommendations from the recent security review.

1.1.4 Planning is program driven based on the Country Strategy objectives and previous year activities and initiatives. To support the development of plans, a two day all staff retreat was held in March 2009 to focus on team building, the departmental Transformation Agenda and the challenges and demands of the coming year. Plans for both the Political, Economic Relations and Public Affairs Program (PERPA) and the IBD Program are being reevaluated in response to the changing environment, and the arrival of a new PERPA Program Manager (PM) and the new Senior Trade Commissioner in Johannesburg.

1.1.5 The Mission has made great efforts to ensure adequate communication between Management and staff, including a monthly CMM, a weekly Operations Committee and regular meetings of program staff. The Head of Mission (HOM) also holds monthly meetings with LES and quarterly all-staff meetings. Despite these efforts, staff feel that communication needs to be more consultative and inclusive. Communication is seen as mostly one way, often resulting in perceived unilateral decisions. Mission Management should review with staff the Department’s HOM Guide on Improving Internal Communications at Missions (available on the Geoconcerto Intranet site) as a basis for establishing a dialogue on improving communications.

1.1.6 Morale in the Mission is generally low among the LES and with some CBS officers. Several factors have contributed to this situation including the hardships resulting from the recent economic situation, the lack of consultative and constructive communications as well as Administration’s focus on process and rules over client service. More involvement by the CMM in vetting and approving administrative policies and monitoring client service is required. Additional team building initiatives, perhaps with an external facilitator, would aid in clarifying problem areas and assist in relationship development.

1.2 Recommendations for the Mission

1.2.1 The CMM should approve administrative policies and communicate these to staff.

1.2.2 The Mission should hold a team building session with staff, focussing on communications.

1.2.3 The Mission should establish a Security Committee to provide direction and support regarding security issues.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

1.2.1 Implemented November 2010. Administrative policies are first discussed between the PM and their staff. The PM reports any comments to the CMM for discussion and approval. The MCO communicates policies to staff accordingly. Distribution of minutes to all staff will be discussed at an upcoming CMM.

1.2.2 Agree. In progress for first quarter fiscal year (FY) 2010-2011. The Mission held first ever all-staff team building session in March 2009. The session for 2010 is planned, pending funding availability.

1.2.3 Agree. In progress for April 2010. The Mission will be liaising with Security Operations and Personal Safety Division (ISR) for preparation of related terms of reference (TOR).

Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA)

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The PERPA Program is headed by a newly arrived Program Manager (PM) FS-04 who is supported by an FS-02 Political Officer and an LE-06 Public Diplomacy Coordinator. Program resources include $19,400 for travel, $3,500 for hospitality and $4,000 in post initiative funding (PIF). The LE-07 Trade Commissioner also reports to the PERPA Program Manager, while receiving functional direction from the Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) in Johannesburg.

2.1.2 The Program is in transition with a newly arrived PM and a recently hired Public Diplomacy Coordinator. The PM is in the process of developing management and communications structures. Weekly meetings are held that include the three PERPA staff, the IBD Trade Commissioner and the HOM Assistant. These meetings are intended to facilitate synergies between the various PERPA activities, the IBD Program and the HOM’s office. In addition to briefing on CMM items, an agenda is presented and discussed. The PM, with input from staff, is developing a comprehensive plan that integrates the Country Strategy, and the Reporting Agreement with New Way Forward principles. Once completed, this plan could become an example for other missions. As this plan is nearing completion, it may be useful to a have a retreat with staff and the HOM to confirm priorities, activities to be undertaken and expected results.

2.1.3 The focus of the PERPA Program continues to be on analyzing the local political environment, with particular attention on development assistance including preparations for high level international meetings on Zimbabwe. Other areas of interest are human rights, development/humanitarian environment, democratic reform, the constitutional process and progress towards elections. Little reporting is done for Botswana and Angola as the primary focus is on trade issues with the Regional Trade Commissioner in Kinshasa coordinating trade and investment for Angola. *** as Canada is the only G8 country without a mission there.

2.1.4 The FS-02 Officer spends 20% to 25% of his time on Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC) activities as well as a lesser amount backing-up consular activities. ***. This would allow more time to be spent on PERPA activities.

2.1.5 The Public Diplomacy Coordinator position needs to be reviewed in terms of alignment of Program activities with New Way Forward principles; the expectations as to the extent of operational support to be provided; and the impact of back-up duties for the HOM Assistant and the Receptionist. Given that the Public Diplomacy Coordinator is new, a developmental plan would provide support and focus for this employee in her first year, ***.

2.1.6 The Public Diplomacy Coordinator reports to the Political Officer. However, most of the direction and tasking comes from the Program Manager as would be expected in a small program. Once the position description is updated, the appropriate reporting relationship can be confirmed.

2.2 Recommendations for the Mission

2.2.1 The Public Diplomacy role needs to be clarified in line with the New Way Forward principles and operational support requirements.

2.2.2 A developmental plan should be put in place for the Public Diplomacy Coordinator.

2.2.3 Once roles and responsibilities are clarified, the reporting relationship of the Public Diplomacy Coordinator should be assessed.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

2.2.1 In progress for June 2010. The position description of the Public Diplomacy Coordinator will be reviewed to take in to account Government and Departmental priorities, as well as the current situation in Zimbabwe, while ensuring it is consistent with the New Way Forward principles. Although the focus will likely remain on the public diplomacy elements of the Public Diplomacy Program, an increased portion of the time allocation will require provision of administrative support to the Public Diplomacy and Political sections.

2.2.2 In progress for June 2010. A development approach has been in place since the position was filled, effective July 2, 2009. The Mission sought training opportunities in July 2009 for this new LES PERPA employee through Centre of Learning for International Affairs and Management (CFSD) but were advised that CFSD did not have the necessary financial resources for this fiscal year. Regular efforts by supervisors to provide development advice and guidance to the Public Diplomacy Coordinator ***. The Mission will ensure further development plans are elaborated in consultation with the employee during the Performance Management Program (PMP) process.

2.2.3 Implemented January 2010. Given the small size of the PERPA Section, the reporting relationship of the Public Diplomacy Coordinator has been revised accordingly and that position now reports to the PERPA Program Manager together with the Political Officer.

International Business Development (IBD)

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 The IBD Program reports to the PERPA Program Manager with day-to-day operations performed by an LE-07 Trade Commissioner (TC). The TC reports functionally to the Senior Trade Commissioner in Johannesburg. Program resources include $7,600 for travel, $1,500 for hospitality and $6,500 for Client Service Fund (CSF) projects.

3.1.2 The IBD plan developed at the beginning of the year is being adjusted to reflect input from the new PERPA PM and STC. The TC participates in the weekly PERPA Program staff meeting as well as the Johannesburg IBD Program staff meeting via teleconference.

3.1.3 The TC spends the majority of her time on networking, establishing contacts *** via a system of outcalls. The main sectoral focus is on mining, information and communications technology, and education. As documented in the TRIO system, the TC devotes 60% of her time to trade development activities, 20% to trade policy and market access, 10% to science and technology and 10% to investment. The Program maintains a list of alternative service providers and makes use of Business Mission Agreements.

3.1.4 With a new STC and PM in place, the Mission should formalize and document the IBD hub and spoke relationship with the mission in Johannesburg by identifying roles and responsibilities, accountabilities, required visits, etc. It is also important to ensure that the STC has input into the PMP process for the TC. This observation was also noted in the Pretoria Inspection Report.

3.2 Recommendation for the Mission

3.2.1 Document and formalize roles and responsibilities regarding the Hub and Spoke relationship with Johannesburg.

Mission Action and Timeframe

3.2.1 In progress for April 2010. The Mission is currently working on the preparation of a Hub and Spoke agreement in consultation with the STC in Johannesburg.

Consular

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The Consular Program is functioning well under the direction of the AS-06 Management Consular Officer (MCO), supported by an LE-07 Consular/Immigration Officer. It is estimated that the Consular Officer spends 30-40% of her time on Consular matters. Back-up is provided by the Administrative Assistant. The Consular Officer attends the weekly Administration Program meeting which includes all section heads. The Consular Program has objectives documented in the newly developed workplan.

4.1.2 The Mission oversees Honorary Consuls (HonCon) in Luanda, Angola, and in Gaborone, Botswana. The Mission has identified a replacement for the HonCon in Gaborone, ***, and will begin the appointment process shortly. The Consular Officer is in daily contact with the HonCon in Luanda, and the Mission is *** satisfied with the work performed. The HonCon highlighted the *** quality of support received from the Consular Officer.

4.1.3 The MCO has not yet visited either HonCon and neither he nor the HOM has met the HonCon in Luanda or his assistant. As a result, the inventory *** has not been verified recently. Performance reviews are not being done, and the HonCon and assistant have not visited Harare in many years. Consular staff and the HonCon mentioned the need for refresher training. A recommendation to this effect has been made to the Consular Policy and Advocacy Bureau (CLD) in previous Inspection Reports.

4.1.4 The Consular Contingency Plan for Zimbabwe is in the process of being updated, whereas those for Botswana and Angola are with the MCO for approval.

4.2 Client Services

4.2.1 The Mission provides approximately 150 passport services and processes approximately ten citizenship applications and 90 notarial requests yearly. There are 249 Canadian citizens in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database for Zimbabwe, 160 in Angola and 188 in Botswana. The Mission estimates that there are approximately 850 Canadians in the region.

4.2.2 The Program is meeting the service standards set by the Department and Passport Canada. However, service standards and fee schedules have not been posted in the reception area or the consular booth. As a best practice, a copy of the official receipt should be displayed with a notice to clients advising that they receive a receipt when payment is made. The Consular Officer is able to provide services in both official languages, however, not all of the signage or documents in the reception area were bilingual.

4.2.3 The Program has received positive feedback from clients, although the response rate has been low. Feedback forms are provided to clients with their passports and Canadian Citizenship Cards. However, forms were not available in the reception area. Consular staff should ensure all clients have access to feedback forms and are encouraged to fill them out. 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 Consular staff, the HOM and HQ.

4.2.4 The Mission maintains a network of ten wardens and contacts them bi-monthly. A text messaging system is in place to contact wardens and Canadians registered in ROCA.

4.2.5 Services received from the Consular Case Management Division (CNO) and Emergency Watch and Response Centre (CEC) are considered to be good. There have been two recent cases, however, where Passport Canada has returned passport applications as incomplete, when in fact all necessary information had been included. This has caused unnecessary delays in issuance to the client and some frustration on the part of the Mission.

4.3 Internal Controls

4.3.1 The Consular Officer, the MCO, the Administrative Assistant and the FS-02 Political Officer have passed the passport certification course. The authentication of citizenship and passport entitlement is conducted by either the MCO or the Political Officer, in-line with passport requirements.

4.3.2 The monthly passport reconciliation is performed by the MCO and the Consular Officer, with the HOM participating quarterly per Passport directives. Passport stock sent from Headquarters is received and verified by the MCO and another CBS. The Consular Officer is provided with passport stock on an as needed basis and uses *** to store Consular revenues, stamps and seals. During the course of the Inspection, the Team verified the passport inventory on hand ***.

4.3.3 Consular revenue is transferred to the Finance Section on an ad-hoc basis, ***. In accordance with the Manual of Consular Instructions, revenues should be transferred when fees collected reach the equivalent of $500 or once per week, if less than $500 (see recommendation 5.4.16).

4.4 Recommendations for the Mission

4.4.1 The MCO should visit the HonCons on a regular basis.

4.4.2 The inventory of ETDs held by the HonCons should be verified each time a Mission staff member visits.

4.4.3 The HonCon’s performance should be reviewed annually by the Mission, per the mandate letter.

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

4.4.5 All Consular posters and documents displayed in the reception area should be in both official languages.

4.4.6 Feedback forms should be placed in the reception area, and a locked drop box should be installed to receive client feedback forms.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

4.4.1 In progress. The new HonCon in Botswana was visited in October and November 2009. The next visit is planned for the official opening, March 2010. The HonCon in Angola to be visited no later than May 2010. Costs for travel to Angola are prohibitive so there may be budget implications.

4.4.2 Agree and implemented. Only the HonCon in Angola has ETDs and the inventory was confirmed by the Counsellor during his visit in February 2010.

4.4.3 Agree. In progress for April 2010. The annual performance assessment will be completed for the HonCon in Angola for FY 2009-2010. A mandate letter will be prepared for both HonCons for the next FY.

4.4.4 Implemented January 2010. Consular service standards, fee schedules and a copy of the official receipt are now displayed in the reception area and the Consular booth.

4.4.5 Implemented January 2010. All Consular posters and documents displayed in the reception area are now in both official languages.

4.4.6 Implemented. Feedback forms and a locked drop box were placed in the Consular booth. The key for the box is ***.

Administration

5.1 Overview

5.1.1 The Administration Program is managed by an *** MCO who is supported by a CS-02 Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) and a team of 16 office and non-office LES. The Program is using the 2004 Service Delivery Standards and intends to update them based on discussions held at CMM earlier in the year. Discussions with clients indicated that the Program was providing an acceptable level of service to Mission programs and staff, noting that the Official Residence (OR) refurbishment project has preoccupied the Property Section for the better part of the year. It should be noted that a lack of effective support and planning by headquarters (HQ) during the OR refurbishment placed a heavy burden on an already over-extended Mission. The MCO *** for the efforts he made in an attempt to mitigate the impacts locally.

5.1.2 While the MCO has a workplan in place, meets frequently with staff and discusses issues with clients, ***. Although staff cited challenges in the workplace over the last couple of years, there was a recognition of the *** work the MCO has undertaken to try and improve operations. *** that will involve more complex organizational structures and an increased presence of partner departments.

Environmental Challenges

5.1.3 Over the last few years, the Mission has operated in an extremely difficult environment that has seen significant changes in security, political and financial stability. Political unrest and hyper-inflation led to shortages of goods, impacting Mission operations as well as the personal lives of staff.

5.1.4 The Mission had to resort to importing many goods from South Africa using Mission drivers to ensure the Mission and its staff could continue to operate. Mission staff were also provided with special privileges, such as an allowance and access to duty free fuel due to the absence of a local supply.

5.1.5 Following the “dollarization” of the economy in early 2009, the economy stabilized, and the supply and costs of foodstuffs has virtually returned to normal. Since this time, the MCO has worked closely with the HOM to bring operations back into line with normal practices.

Program Management

5.1.6 Administration staff meetings are held weekly with minutes kept on an ad-hoc basis. When major issues require discussion, separate meetings are held. A plan was recently developed by the MCO to highlight the major items to be addressed over the coming year. While staff were not consulted during its development, they were consulted on the completed plan. Building upon this initiative, senior administration officers should be asked to develop a workplan to further define how they will help the Program achieve its objectives. Through staff meetings, these plans can then be used as the basis for discussions and updates to the MCO on progress. In future planning exercises, the MCO should seek to involve staff earlier and ensure that the process is inclusive.

5.1.7 ***.

5.1.8 Administration staff indicated a desire for more informal, day-to-day recognition or acknowledgement of their contributions. ***. In such circumstances, more frequent performance discussions, perhaps quarterly, would provide an opportunity for the PM to follow-up formally on areas identified for improvement while ensuring that the employee is provided a balanced perspective.

5.1.9 Mission policies are generally distributed to staff by email and are not formally documented. Discussions with staff cited a lack of consultation or advance notice of policy decisions. Particularly for contentious issues, Mission Management should discuss items with staff before decisions are made and provide them with advance notice before they are implemented.

Common Service Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

5.1.10 The Mission has faced some challenges during the implementation of the Common Service MOU. Program representation at the Mission is limited to PERPA, IBD, Consular and CIDA. While mobility tool costs related to PERPA and IBD programs are charged to their respective operational budgets, ***, and a decision was ultimately taken to charge the Common Service budget. While perhaps an acceptable short-term solution, efforts should be made to investigate the funding levels provided and, if deemed necessary, the Representation Abroad Secretariat (APD) should follow-up with CIDA HQ.

Recommendations for the Mission

5.1.11 The MCO workplan should be developed into an Administration workplan, in consultation with key staff members to further define their contribution.

5.1.12 In addition to the formal annual performance review, the MCO should hold regular informal performance review discussions with staff. As a best practice, these discussions could be held quarterly, or more frequently if required.

5.1.13 Mission policies should be documented and made accessible to all staff.

5.1.14 Management should ensure that changes to Mission policy are discussed with staff and that advance notice is provided before implementation.

5.1.15 The Mission should engage with Mission Client Services and Innovation (ASD) and APD regarding *** on Common Service expenditures.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.1.11 Underway and in progress for June 2010. Further consultation will take place for the preparation of next year’s Administration workplan.

5.1.12 In progress for June 2010. Quarterly informal performance discussion will be implemented by the MCO and by the LES with a supervisory role.

5.1.13 In progress for April 2010. The MCO workplan reads as follows: "Review, update, document and communicate efficiently all the Mission Common Service Policies." The ultimate goal being a complete inventory of Mission policies located on the shared-drive.

5.1.14 Agree and implemented. Anticipated policies changes are discussed and confirmed at the CMM. In future, PMs will be required to confirm discussion with their respective staff prior to final implementation.

5.1.15 Agree. In progress for February 2010. A message was sent to APD and Mission Client Services (ASM) for guidance.

5.2 Human Resources (HR)

5.2.1 The MCO is responsible for the HR function with the assistance of the Administrative Assistant. The Mission LES Handbook was updated in December 2008 due, in great part, to the time and effort invested by the MCO who worked closely with the International Platform Branch Human Resources Bureau (ALD). However, not all staff have received a copy of the new Handbook, mainly those who do not have email access.

5.2.2 The MCO is in the process of updating all job descriptions, as many have not been updated in several years. Job descriptions should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. As a best practice, they could be reviewed annually as a part of the PMP process. PMPs have been completed for all office staff in the Administration Program, and LES supervisors are in the process of completing them for all non-office staff.

5.2.3 Competition files reviewed were complete and standard procedures were followed. The MCO is using a Competition Hiring Report which is presented to the HOM and includes all of the required elements of the staffing process. The use of this document is seen as a good practice and should be continued for all competitions.

5.2.4 Training needs are currently identified through the PMP process and each manager is responsible for identifying training needs for their own staff. The CMM and staff have agreed to put in place a Training Committee with LES and CBS members who will pursue an informal approach to learning (i.e. brown bag lunches). However, the Mission should appoint a Training Coordinator and develop a Mission-wide Training Plan to facilitate budgeting and the coordination and prioritization of needs for all programs. The CMM should approve the plan and be regularly updated on its implementation.

5.2.5 The Mission needs to create an LES arrival/departure checklist. This will provide instructions for employees and other staff involved in this process on who to contact, and what is required. It will be important that key program areas, such as security and information management and technology, be consulted on the content. This will help ensure that contracts or letters of offer are signed in a timely manner and that new employees do not gain access to the Chancery, or the departmental network until their reliability status is obtained. *** benefit from a checklist to ensure that procedures are carried out consistently and documented when completed.

5.2.6 There are four vacant positions on the Mission organizational chart, but it was unclear as to whether or not they were funded. They include a Consular Assistant, Gardener, Driver, and Cleaner. The need for these positions should be reviewed with HQ in relation to the Common Services Model and either staffed or deleted.

5.2.7 At the time of the Inspection it was unclear how driver overtime was monitored and controlled. Confusion existed among drivers as well as the Administrative Assistant responsible for approval of the overtime sheets. Of particular importance was the time at which overtime commenced and ended. Additionally, passengers were not asked to sign vehicle logs, making it very difficult to substantiate driver overtime claims. The Mission’s transportation policy should clearly state circumstances related to driver overtime, for both office and personal use, and control mechanisms need to be put in place. These should be communicated to all staff.

5.2.8 Receptionist back-up responsibilities are performed on a rotational basis by staff at the LE-05 and LE-06 level. This works well during short periods, but is not an effective solution for long-term absences. It would be more effective to hire a temporary resource to replace the Receptionist during extended absences.

LES Committee

5.2.9 The HOM meets with the LES Committee when requested. Several meetings were held over the past year to discuss specific concerns. As a best practice there should be regularly scheduled meetings between management and the LES Committee throughout the year.

5.2.10 The Inspection Team met with members of the LES Committee. Issues raised included:

  • Low morale among most of the LES;
  • Atmosphere of mistrust in the Mission where LES do not feel they can discuss issues openly ***;
  • Lack of recognition of LES’ experience; and,
  • Lack of understanding of changes to the LES Handbook and other policies.

5.2.11 Mission Management, in consultation with the LES, should work to implement the new LES Management Consultation Board structure according to the terms of reference sent by Headquarters. This will be a good opportunity to determine the role the LES Committee will play in the new structure and to develop appropriate terms of reference.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.2.12 The Mission should ensure that all staff receive a copy of the new LES Handbook and any significant changes are clearly explained.

5.2.13 Job descriptions should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis, as a best practice, as a part of the annual PMP process.

5.2.14 The Mission should appoint a Training Coordinator and develop a Mission-wide training plan to be presented to CMM for approval on an annual basis.

5.2.15 An LES arrival/departure checklist should be created.

5.2.16 In consultation with the appropriate Headquarters divisions, the Mission should staff or delete vacant positions based on a review of the Common Service Model.

5.2.17 The Mission should monitor driver overtime and determine the terms under which drivers will be paid for both official and personal use. Decisions should be clearly communicated to all staff.

5.2.18 The Mission should consider hiring a replacement for the Receptionist during periods of extended leave.

5.2.19 The Mission should schedule regular meetings between Management and the LES Committee.

5.2.20 An LES Management Consultation Board should be created in consultation with the LES Committee.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.2.12 Implemented. A copy of the new Handbook was circulated to all LES in 2008 and again in 2009. Changes have been explained to all LES more than once including during a special meeting only on this issue chaired by the HOM. A form has been signed on March 29, 2010 by all non-office staff confirming receipt of the LES handbook.

5.2.13 Agree. In progress for June 2010. Managers will be reminded in accordance with Mission's HR plan target date.

5.2.14 In progress for March 2010. The CMM discussed this following the Inspection visit and determined that due to the Mission’s size, the PMP process is found sufficient for individual training while a Mission-wide training will be discussed and approved at the CMM directly. Managers will be required to propose possible Mission-wide training for next FY during a CMM in March 2010.

5.2.15 Agree. In progress for April 2010. Administration will liaise with other missions to query for a similar checklist and adapt it to the Mission in consultation with the LESMCB.

5.2.16 Agree. In progress for March 2010. The Mission is waiting to receive from APD the Proposed Position Profile (PPP) listing the recommended changes as per the information provided by the Mission.

5.2.17 In progress. Driver overtime (OT) is monitored. Terms for driver OT for official use will be clarified with them during a meeting with all drivers in February 2010. Driver OT for personal use of official vehicles will be part of an upcoming Mission policy on transportation, along with use of official vehicles, to be developed by end of June 2010.

5.2.18 This recommendation is not practical for cost, security and training reasons. Since September 2009, a roster of five non-officer level LES has been implemented to cover anticipated absences, reflecting practices in other missions. In the context of financial constraints, it is difficult to justify hiring someone to replace a staff member on annual leave.

5.2.19 Agree. In progress for February 2010 in accordance with new LESMCB requirements. Since the arrival of current HOM, she has chaired monthly meetings with all LES, required meetings with the LES Committee were held, met with groups of four LES for small ad hoc coffee meetings and all PMs meet on a weekly basis with their staff.

5.2.20 Implemented.

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The Property Section is managed by the MCO who is assisted by an LE-07 Property and Materiel Manager, four drivers, two cleaners and two gardeners. The Program is responsible for managing physical resource assets as per the table below.

Table 1: Property Section of Physical Resources
AssetsCrown OwnedCrown Leased
Chancery1-
Official Residence1-
Staff Quarters11-
Vehicles7-

5.3.2 The Property Section has been overwhelmed by the recent and lengthy refurbishment of the OR which resulted in a decreased level of client service. While clients have been understanding of the pressures, it will be important to ensure that a work plan is developed and put in place to address outstanding maintenance requests and other requirements, such as completion of Chancery and OR inventories. To minimize follow-up requests and client enquiries, the MCO should discuss the work plan at the CMM and share it with all clients. Regular updates should be provided, and clients should be advised in advance of any foreseen delays.

5.3.3 As mentioned above, the OR refurbishment process created several challenges for the Mission that could have been avoided through better support and planning from the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD). In particular, the lack of a coordinated design approach and an overall workplan led to last minute purchases, negotiating changes to specifications with contractors and, in some cases, having to get work redone. While funds were provided to hire ***, follow-ups conducted by Mission staff detected problems with the way in which work was completed and the materials which were used. Even the smallest of items, such as the HQ purchase of lamps and fans, created problems as 120 volt versions were sent to the Mission despite the fact that the local voltage is 220. When combined with the general lack of qualified contractors and the need to procure many of the required items through the Mission in Pretoria, the situation became untenable for all involved.

5.3.4 The Mission feels that it could have delivered the project effectively with existing resources, had ARD provided them with the appropriate support and planning. However, the question remains whether ***, is expected to handle a project of that scope while maintaining regular duties. In the case of Harare, the delivery of the OR refurbishment had a ***.

Management and Planning

5.3.5 The Mission’s Property Management Plan (MPMP) and Maintenance Work Plan (MMWP) are developed by the Property Manager who reviews them with the MCO prior to their submission to the HOM for approval. Other operational day-to-day plans, such as minor maintenance work, were not in place. These internal planning responsibilities were *** only highlighted recently through a discussion with the MCO related to the PMP process. With the need to address the backlog of work created by the OR refurbishment projects, as well as inventory issues, it will be crucial that the Property Manager has a sustainable workplan.

5.3.6 The Property Manager has a broad job package with responsibility for property, materiel, contracts and vehicle fleet management, as well as the supervision of Chancery gardeners and cleaners. In addition to the difficulties created by the OR project, the Property Manager is also dealing with some *** challenges. While the Property Manager has supervisory responsibilities, the MCO is ultimately responsible to ensure that staff are *** managed and difficult decisions or issues are explained ***. In the event that continued challenges are experienced, the MCO should consider whether or not to institute ***. The MCO should also consider meeting with non-office staff without their supervisors so that issues can be openly discussed.

5.3.7 The Mission’s SQ portfolio includes four surplus SQs. Two are leased *** and one is used as a secondary storage site. While the Mission does intend to dispose of some of the properties, the current property market is not conducive to selling. The Housing Committee is in place, and recommendations on allocations are made to the HOM. As a best practice, the Mission should ensure that terms of reference (TOR) for the Housing Committee are reviewed at the first meeting each year to ensure all members are appropriately advised of its role.

5.3.8 At present, formal annual SQ inspections are not conducted. While not all problems can be prevented, regular inspections and preventative maintenance (e.g. regular painting and air conditioning servicing, etc.) can keep requests to a minimum. Such maintenance can be planned in advance and grouped under individual contracts for work on several SQs. The Mission should contact the Contracting Policy, Monitoring and Operations Division (SPP) for further direction on simplifying contracting procedures.

5.3.9 Pre-departure inspections are not always conducted to identify damages beyond normal wear and tear (i.e. pet damage). Some instances have arisen where reimbursement should have been requested from departing CBS. A system should be put in place to ensure that future issues are identified and communicated to the MCO and the HOM for follow-up.

Internal controls

5.3.10 The Mission has not documented its procurement processes and does not have a TOR for the Contract Review Board (CRB). Staff and clients have no point of reference for contracting requirements which can result in inconsistencies and delays in the processing of contracts.

5.3.11 Contract files were well organized and included the request for contract (RFC), bid information, CRB decision and the signed contract. The Inspection Team identified an issue with the security services provided to the Mission as no contract was in place. As a result, payments have been made without proper documentation and authorization. Given the large value over multiple years, the matter should be reported to the Departmental Contract Review Board for investigation and corrective action. The Mission should document its internal procedures to improve overall contract management.

5.3.12 The Mission continues to experience challenges with regards to the use of the Materiel Management (MM) Module in the Integrated Management System (IMS). Recognizing the challenges experienced in many small missions, SPP has initiated a pilot project, where HQ facilitates the process by undertaking MM entries on behalf of the mission. The Mission in Harare would be a good candidate for this service.

5.3.13 The Mission stores assets ***. While the *** was not visited, a review was conducted of the assets stored in ***. The Inspection Team found that no inventories were in place and was unable to confirm that all assets were accounted for.

5.3.14 The Mission conducts its disposals using the services of local auctioneers. The auctioneers pick up items on request and provide a list to the Mission to confirm what was removed. Items are subsequently sold, and a detailed list of all items sold with the amount collected less the auctioneer’s commission is provided to the Mission to support the transfer of revenue into the Embassy’s bank account. A review of the files for the last three disposals indicated that required disposal reports were on file for two, and only one was signed by the HOM.

5.3.15 New CBS are provided a package by the Property Manager upon their arrival at post, which includes the SQ occupancy agreement and distribution accounts. However, it can take several months for CBS to review the documents and return signed forms back to the Property Manager, although CBS are required to sign these documents within 30 days of receipt. An inspection of the SQ and its furnishings should be undertaken by a Mission staff member and the CBS. This would help facilitate the timely receipt of these documents and ensure that the Mission and CBS are in compliance with policy.

5.3.16 Reliable internet service in Harare is only available via satellite. Installation costs are high ($3,000), and monthly service fees begin at 100 USD for the equivalent of 56 kbs download speed. Current HQ based policies and manuals are unclear on a mission’s capacity and authority to purchase equipment required for such services. The Mission has, however, installed two satellite units, ***. This decision has created feelings of inequality among other Mission staff.

5.3.17 Internet service fees for the SQ are paid by the CBS, whereas those associated with the OR are paid by the Mission. Per departmental policy, all CBS including the HOM, are responsible for paying service fees for personal use of the internet. Such fees are captured under the cost of living survey.

Mission note: As discussed with Statistics Canada, the Mission will submit revised cost of living forms related to this issue. The Mission is also monitoring the local market to assess if a full survey would be required next FY.

5.3.18 The Mission currently reimburses staff for 80% of their SQ gardening costs. While the Mission policy cites average property size as the basis for this rate, reimbursement to CBS for gardening costs must be done based on the actual lot size of their SQ. As per the Property Management Manual, staff can only be reimbursed for the portion of their lot which exceeds 660m2.

Recommendations for the Mission

5.3.19 A property workplan should be developed to address the backlog of work due to the OR refurbishment process.

5.3.20 Performance improvement plans should be considered for staff who are deemed to be performing at an unsatisfactory level.

5.3.21 The MCO should hold regular meetings with the non-office staff.

5.3.22 TOR for the Housing Committee should be reviewed at the beginning of each year to ensure members understand their roles.

5.3.23 Formal annual SQ inspections and pre-departure inspections should be conducted by the MCO and the Property Manager.

5.3.24 The Mission should contact SPP to obtain directions on simplifying contracting procedures.

5.3.25 Mission procurement procedures should be developed and communicated to all staff.

5.3.26 Terms of Reference for the CRB should be developed.

5.3.27 The security guard contract file should be reviewed and referred to the Departmental Contract Review Board.

5.3.28 The Mission should submit a request to SPP to take part in the pilot project for the entry of contracts in the MM module.

5.3.29 An inventory of assets held *** should be developed and maintained. Formal custodianship should be assigned to a staff member.

5.3.30 The Mission should ensure that all disposals are properly approved and that the disposal report is maintained on file.

5.3.31 Occupancy agreements and distribution accounts should be completed within the prescribed timeframes.

5.3.32 The Mission should consult with ASM to obtain direction regarding the provision of satellite dishes which are required for internet services.

5.3.33 The HOM should reimburse the personal use portion of internet fees incurred at the OR.

5.3.34 SQ gardening fees should only be reimbursed for those portions of lots which exceed 660 m2.

Mission Action and Timeframe

5.3.19 Agree. In progress for February 2010. A plan is to be developed by the Property and Materiel Manager in consultation with various stakeholders.

5.3.20 Agree. In progress for March 2010. The MCO to assist the Property and Materiel Manager accordingly.

5.3.21 Agree and in progress. Quarterly meeting to start in February 2010.

5.3.22 Agree and in progress. Next review scheduled for April 2010.

5.3.23 In progress for August 2010. A formal annual SQ inspection was done by the MCO in January 2010 and by the Property and Materiel Manager in February 2010 in preparation of a property workplan. Pre-departure inspections to take place as recommended during next posting cycle. The HOM visited all SQs in summer 2009.

5.3.24 In progress. The Mission has contacted SPP and requested a check list of best practices for guidance.

5.3.25 Agree and in progress for March 2010.

5.3.26 Agree and in progress for March 2010.

5.3.27 In progress for May 2010. The Mission has forwarded the existing contract and request for change for a new contract to Contracting Policy, Monitoring and Operations (SPP) for action in this regard. Awaiting further instruction and guidance from SPP accordingly.

5.3.28 In progress. The Mission has submitted a request to SPP and is awaiting response accordingly.

5.3.29 In progress for May 2010. Formal custodianship was assigned ***. Inventory to be developed and a contract in this regard will be offered *** in the next FY.

5.3.30 In progress for April 2010. The missing report will be completed and the missing HOM signature will be added on the two reports.

5.3.31 Agree. In progress for summer 2010. Files are now up to date and closer monitoring by the MCO will be performed during future posting cycles.

5.3.32 Implemented February 2010. The Mission has received clear direction from ASM with which it will comply.

5.3.33 Implemented April 2010. ***. The HOM will pay personal use portion of internet fees.

5.3.34 In progress for April 2010. The Mission will review the actual lot size of each SQ and reassess Mission's policy of using an average size across the board. Issue to be reviewed by CMM.

Recommendations for ARD

5.3.35 ARD should develop a standardized set of qualifications for individuals contracted to supervise major works at the OR or the Chancery.

5.3.36 ARD should organize temporary support during major property projects to ensure coverage of on-going property related activities in small missions.

ARD Action and Timeframe

5.3.35 ARD is actively working at developing tools that would help its staff to properly identify the level of responsibility and work tasking that would be expected from an individual that would be retained at a mission to assist ARD staff in the delivery of a given ARD real property project. The use of such a tool for the Harare OR project would likely have provided the local employee with a more structured work plan to function from. ***. ARD is considering refining in the coming months, the draft Site Liaison Office statement of work (SOW) template so that it may be used in future ARD projects at missions where local staff or locally hired CBS might be used as liaison officers for future real property projects.

5.3.36 ARD has helped/organized temporary support during major property projects to ensure coverage of on-going property related activities in small missions (eg: Abuja Chancery, OR and Annex, mission closings in Lilongwe, Capetown, etc) as long as the resources in ARD (funds and people) are available at the time of the project.

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 The Finance Section is managed by the MCO who is supported by an LE-07 Accountant and an LE-05 Assistant Accountant. The MCO is fully engaged in the day-to-day operations of the Finance Section.

5.4.2 The economic situation over the last few years, consisting of hyper-inflation and a fully cash-based society, created several operating challenges. For example, contractors required quick payment to protect themselves against inflation, which resulted in the need to process transactions quickly ***. As a result, the work was very reactive and usually of an urgent nature. As the economy begins to normalize, the Mission has and should continue to look for ways to introduce efficiencies and economies of scale.

5.4.3 At present, both the Senior Accountant and the Assistant Accountant provide documents for signature directly to the MCO. With the exception of LES salary payments, they do not verify or monitor each other’s work, ***. The Senior Accountant should conduct periodic spot checks on the work of the Assistant Accountant and make corrections before documents reach the MCO. Additionally, the Senior Accountant should be the primary point of contact for any issues raised concerning quality of work. This will reinforce her responsibilities to verify accuracy and address issues identified with support staff, alleviating the need for the MCO to address issues directly.

Management

5.4.4 The back-up responsibilities for the Senior Accountant are shared between the MCO and the Assistant Accountant, depending on the nature of the activities. ***, the Assistant Accountant should be provided with a development plan that incorporates improving knowledge in the handling of items, such as travel and hospitality claims, IMS reports, budgeting processes as well as FINSTAT reporting.

5.4.5 Mission service delivery standards date from 2004, and updates were discussed at CMM earlier in the year. Finance Section staff were, however, using a five-day service standard *** While quick turnarounds were necessary during the economic crisis, the Mission should move to institute longer turnaround periods for the payment of supplier accounts, while maintaining shorter periods for the reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenditures.

5.4.6 While the practice of having quiet hours for the Finance Section was in place, it was not respected by all staff. Staff often interrupt the accountants to ask basic questions or to address an issue which may have been important, but not necessarily urgent. In addition, the lack of scheduled activities, such as bank runs, results in frequent inquiries from staff. Quiet hours have been essential in other missions as a means to reduce the number of basic errors caused by a lack of focus. Implementing quiet hours has been shown to improve staff efficiencies, both in processing time and in the quality of monitoring. While some physical re-configuration will help reduce traffic through the Finance Section, more effort will be required from the MCO and Mission Management to ensure that the Quiet Hours Policy is properly respected.

Business Process Improvements

5.4.7 The following business process areas can be streamlined or regularized to improve operations and minimize workloads.

  • Payment Runs: At present, both the Senior Accountant and the Assistant Accountant are doing payment runs for their own transactions. Payment runs should not be conducted by the same individual who enters the transaction in IMS. In line with HQ instructions, the Assistant Account should enter transactions in IMS, with the Senior Accountant executing the payment runs.
  • Revenue Process: Revenues are transferred to the Finance Section on an inconsistent basis. In line with departmental requirements, revenues should be transferred when they reach $500, or once a week if less than $500.
  • Bank ***.
  • Petty Cash: The petty cash *** was reconciled, but it was only being replenished once fully depleted. This forces urgent action by the Finance Section and drivers to obtain additional funds from the bank. A standard service time for replenishment when 50-30% of the petty cash remains, would facilitate better management and reduce urgent requests.
  • Hospitality: There is a need to review hospitality ceilings given the stabilization of the local economy. Additionally, staff who have been allocated hospitality budgets should be provided with an advance and account for it quarterly. This would reduce individual transactions allowing the Finance Section to process hospitality claims on a quarterly basis. In-line with the Hospitality Policy, records should be maintained in the Finance Section and be separated into files by officer. In some cases (i.e. security concerns), certain documentation can be retained by the officer. However, the MCO and program manager must see all documents in order to properly sign-off on the reimbursement under the Financial Administration Act (FAA).

Internal Controls

5.4.8 A review of one month of accounts conducted by the Special Investigations Division (ZIVP) found only minor issues, and the on-site review by the Inspection Team did not highlight any major areas of concern. The MCO takes his accountabilities seriously and appropriately monitors operations.

5.4.9 The primary point of contact with the bank has been the Senior Accountant. It is important that all formal communications with the bank be conducted by the MCO, including the receipt of the monthly bank statement. The Senior Accountant had been receiving the monthly bank statement electronically, with the MCO included on the “cc line”. The bank is expected to institute a secure online bank statement and primary access should be restricted to the MCO and a CBS back-up.

5.4.10 The Mission was in the process of obtaining confirmation from the bank regarding the closure of its Zimbabwean dollar account. The Mission has, however, retained cheques from this now closed account.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.11 Finance Section staff should regularly check the quality of each other’s work and identify errors for resolution prior to submitting documents to the MCO for signature.

5.4.12 The Assistant Accountant should have a development plan that incorporates such areas as travel and hospitality claims, IMS reports, budgeting processes as well as FINSTAT reporting.

5.4.13 The Finance Section should redefine its service standards to facilitate prioritization of work.

5.4.14 Where possible, monthly billing and longer payment periods should be negotiated with frequently used suppliers to make payment processing more efficient.

5.4.15 The Quiet Hours Policy for the Finance Section should be enforced. Where necessary, the MCO should determine whether or not an issue is urgent enough to interrupt the work of the accountants.

5.4.16 Payment runs in IMS should be minimized and be performed by the Accountant.

5.4.17 Revenues should be transferred to the Finance Section when they reach $500, or once a week if less than $500.

5.4.18 *** should be minimized with request deadlines established and communicated to all staff.

5.4.19 The Program should establish a minimum balance for the petty cash and it should be replenished on a regular basis.

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

5.4.21 Staff conducting hospitality should be provided with quarterly advances, and hospitality claims should be maintained separately in the Finance Section.

5.4.22 The MCO should advise the bank that he is the official contact point and that all official communication, including the monthly bank statement should be sent directly to him.

5.4.23 The Mission should contact Financial Operations, International (SMFF) to seek guidance on disposing of the Zimbabwean dollar account cheques.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.4.11 In progress for February 2010. The staff have started random checks on each other's input on a regular basis or when the need arises.

5.4.12 In progress for February 2010. Such a plan has been completed through the PMP process but the following tasks will be added: audit one or two claims per month, reconcile the CAD bank account on ad hoc basis for training purposes and effective April 1, 2010, she will be involved in FINSTAT reporting process by forecasting some categories of expenditures such as utility bills.

5.4.13 In progress. Reinforced turnaround time of five working days for all payment requests. A complete review of finance Service Delivery Standards (SDS) will be included within the overall update of the Mission’s SDS planned for April 10, 2010.

5.4.14 Agree. In progress for April 2010. The Property and Materiel Manager and Administrative Assistant have been requested to advise our suppliers of new payment terms of a minimum of two weeks from receipt of invoice. By the end of April 2010, a complete review of the Mission's vendors will be conducted to determine optimum billing and payment patterns.

5.4.15 Agree. In progress for March 2010. The policy will be re-enforced/reviewed in March 2010 and the redesign of the Section in April 2010. Relocating the stationery office outside the Finance Section will facilitate this process.

5.4.16 Implemented February 2010. As the Accountant also performs document input, the proposed approach would not meet the purpose intended while increasing workload for the Accountant. The Mission recommends that payment runs be performed by both the Accountant and Assistant Accountant. The Accountant would do payment runs for the Assistant Accountant's input and vice-versa. The frequency of payment runs is done in accordance with SMFF recommendations.

5.4.17 Implemented November 2009. The staff were reminded of this procedure in July 2009 and compliance has improved since November 2009. On-going monitoring is performed by the MCO.

5.4.18 Agree. In progress for April 2010. Further discussion is underway as part of the update of Mission’s Service Delivery Standards.

5.4.19 Implemented April 2010. A minimum balance *** was establishment in November 2009 and is replenished accordingly. The Mission is reviewing the need to increase the petty cash.

5.4.20 In progress. Policy requirements of the revised official hospitality outside Canada will be implemented April 1, 2010.

5.4.21 Implemented November 2010. Advances are provided upon request and claims to be kept in the Finance Section as recommended.

5.4.22 In progress for February 2010. Bank will be reminded accordingly.

5.4.23 In progress for the end of February 2010. SMFF confirmed that cheques can be destroyed (shredded).

5.5 Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT)

5.5.1 The IM-IT function in Harare is provided by a *** CS-02 Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP). The FSITP reports to both the MCO and the Client Service Regional Manager (CSRM) located in Nairobi.

5.5.2 There is no IM-IT Committee in place at the Mission. While the current environment may not require such a committee, as a best practice the Mission should establish one to review and discuss IM-IT issues and improve the overall management of information. This will be a requirement under the Information Management Improvement Program (IMIP) when InfoBank is re-implemented at the Mission.

5.5.3 The Mission had a Locally-engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP) until the position was abolished in March 2009. The Mission was successful, however, in making a business case to bring the employee back on contract to facilitate hand-over to the new FSITP and complete special projects. While this was a positive step and service was maintained, the management of the Remedy System, assets, inventories and other tasks were not given the same level of attention. In particular, server back-up tapes are not stored properly and a large amount of old and obsolete assets are left ***, rather than being disposed.

5.5.4 Overall, clients are happy with the support that has been provided by the IM-IT team. The new FSITP has only had limited inquiries from staff as it is perceived that she has a significant amount of clean-up activities to undertake. It will be important, however, that these clean-up activities are addressed in a sustainable fashion so that clients can still receive and feel comfortable asking for support. It will be important for the FSITP to meet with clients to discuss both needs and services, which could be achieved by attending their respective staff meetings.

5.5.5 There is presently no on-site back-up to provide IM-IT services in the event of an absence. The FSITP is required to travel to Lusaka periodically, and the Mission may want to identify an individual to be trained to handle basic service requirements during these periods.

5.5.6 As previously mentioned, the FSITP is currently working through the process of accounting for assets and updating the Information Technology Asset Management System (ITAMS). The Mission also has a small loan-out inventory (i.e. laptops), and assets are assigned to an individual in Remedy when taken. Individuals borrowing IT assets should be asked to formally sign-out the piece of equipment and accept responsibility.

5.5.7 The Mission Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is dated 2007 and identifies *** as the alternate command post. The FSITP should review the IT infrastructure requirements at the alternate command post and recommend changes where appropriate. ***. Given the costs associated with higher levels of bandwidth, it is advisable that the Mission obtain written confirmation from the internet service provider that speeds can be increased, during a crisis, to an appropriate level within an acceptable period of time. Once the BCP is updated, the plan should be tested to ensure that the IT infrastructure is appropriate to support essential Mission services.

5.5.8 Essential systems are protected by uninterrupted power supplies (UPS). The UPS do, however, need to be tested by the FSITP to ensure the batteries are operating effectively.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.5.9 An IM-IT workplan should be developed, with time-lines, to ensure that priorities are addressed and sufficient time is allocated for proactive and reactive client support.

5.5.10 The Mission should consider establishing an IM-IT Committee.

5.5.11 A back-up resource should be identified and trained to provide basic IT coverage when the FSITP is absent.

5.5.12 The Mission should procure *** for the storage of server back-up tapes. When possible, the tapes should be stored *** location as a component of the Business Continuity Plan.

5.5.13 A formal sign-out procedure should be instituted for IT loan out assets.

5.5.14 The IT infrastructure requirements of the alternate command post should be reviewed and tested on a regular basis.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.5.9 Agree and in progress. An IM-IT workplan for next FY will be completed by end of March 2010.

5.5.10 The CMM discussed this following the Inspection visit and determined that due to the Mission’s size and with the preparation of an IM-IT workplan, such a Committee would be more of an administrative burden. IM-IT issues are already discussed during the CMM and Operations Committee meetings as required.

5.5.11 In progress for March 2010. The MCO and HOM Assistant will be provided basic instruction. Meanwhile, The Mission will keep monitoring backup requirement and use the Help Centre as required. If more IT training is required, the Mission will seek related funding from HQ.

5.5.12 In progress. In December 2009, the Mission ordered *** with expected arrival in April 2010. Location will meet departmental standards.

5.5.13 Implemented November 2009. Clients sign a printed remedy ticket which details the equipment on loan.

5.5.14 Agree. In progress for June 2010. The Mission is already reviewing the requirements for an alternate command post. Once established, the equipment would be tested on a regular basis

Appendix A : Mission resources Fact Sheet

Table 2: Mission Resources Fact Sheet of Physical Resources
Physical Resources
AssetsCrown OwnedCrown Leased
Chancery1-
Official Residence1-
Staff Quarters11-
Vehicles7-

Table 3: Financial Information
Financial Information 2009-2010
Total$2,164,938
Operating Budget (N001)$931,532
Capital Budget (N005)$60,290
CBS Salaries Budget (N011)$524,449
LES Salaries Budget (N012)$648,667

Appendix B : Organization Chart

Harare Organizational Chart


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Date Modified:
2012-11-14