November 2 - 5, 2009
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:
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.
An Inspection of Mission Management, the Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA), International Business Development (IBD), Consular and Administration programs was conducted in Maputo from November 2 to 5, 2009. The previous audit of these programs took place in February 2001.
The High Commission is a small-sized mission with ten Canada-based staff (CBS) and 15 Locally-engaged staff (LES). In addition to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada programs, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is also represented.
Mozambique is the fourth largest recipient of Canadian development assistance after Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Haiti. Canada, through CIDA, is also providing direct budget support to the government. Canada therefore plays a major role in supporting the democratization of this former Portuguese colony ***.
The Head of Mission (HOM), who was the former Head of Cooperation, is beginning the second year of his assignment. The HOM has taken an active role in supporting the rapid growth in the CIDA Program, particularly as regards the acquisition and fit-up of new staff quarters (SQ).
The main challenge for Mission Management is the stabilization and consolidation of practices, policies and procedures following a period of rapid growth. The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) needs to elaborate a whole-of-government approach ***. This will also require improved communications and a formalized system for the engagement of all CBS with the HOM.
The PERPA and the IBD Programs are directly managed by the HOM with the support of one LES Officer and the LES HOM Assistant. IBD programming has been highly reactive due to limited staff resources but has the benefit of Hub support from the Senior Trade Commissioner and her team in Johannesburg. The PERPA Program is less defined and would benefit from more prescribed direction from Headquarters (HQ) including a Reporting Agreement to guide the Mission’s efforts.
The Consular Program is a small operation in Maputo providing assistance to clients with passports processed in Pretoria. The Program recently took over responsibility for Consular support for the Honorary Consul (HonCon) in Malawi. However, the HonCon is also supported by Pretoria and Lusaka, for passport and IBD services respectively, which at times causes confusion for all parties concerned. More visits to the HonCon and formal goals and objectives are required.
The Administration Program has had to cope with a rapidly expanding CIDA foot print focussing on acquiring and fitting-up SQs and reconfiguring space in the Chancery. Systems and controls need to be reviewed and updated to ensure that there is proper segregation of duties and that procedures in place conform to Government and Departmental policies and regulations. A new LES position will provide support to the Finance function and should also be used to assist with the Human Resource workload. Contracting and control over assets need to be improved and inequities in the housing portfolio should be rectified. Supervisory controls regarding financial processing have to be strengthened and recent year-end irregularities should to be brought to the attention of Headquarters for follow-up.
A total of 35 inspection recommendations are raised in the report; 33 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 35 recommendations, Management has stated that 17 recommendations have been implemented. For each of the remaining 18 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
1.1.1 The Canadian High Commission in Maputo is predominantly a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) operation, headed by a non-rotational single assignment EX-02 officer from CIDA in an EX-01 position. The Head of Mission (HOM) is supported by an AS-05 Management Consular Officer (MCO) and an EX-01 Head of CIDA. The Mission has experienced a period of rapid growth, with the tripling of the CIDA footprint over the past few years. This has placed heavy demands on the Administration Program.
1.1.2 The Mission’s main focus is on development with eight of the ten Canada-based staff (CBS) in the CIDA Program. With recent Mission expansion and greater Canadian profile in Mozambique, ***. This will require consultation with Headquarters (HQ) to clarify the Mission’s mandate ***.
1.1.3 Until recently, the Committee on Mission Management (CMM) served as the only forum for addressing Mission issues that would normally fall to other committees. As the Mission has now grown from six to ten CBS, a Housing Committee and a Contract Review Board have been established and a Health and Safety Committee will soon be put in place. It is also suggested that a Security Committee be formed to ensure security issues receive adequate attention and to specifically oversee the recent recommendations resulting from the HQ security review. Elections were last held in February 2009 to create a Locally-engaged staff (LES) Committee. Meetings are held annually with the HOM and as needed with the MCO. Several issues have been raised including the functioning of the medical plan, regularization of the contract cleaners’ positions and scheduling regular LES meetings with Management.
1.1.4 Morale in the Mission is good amongst the CBS despite a difficult environment and the effects of rapid growth. Access to good schooling, above average housing and the proximity of South Africa for required breaks contribute to a positive posting. Morale amongst LES could be improved and would benefit from more formalized management attention to staff relations and communications issues mentioned above. The Mission would benefit from a team building exercise to discuss organizational change and communications.
1.2.2 The Mission should hold a Mission-wide team building session to discuss organizational change and communications.
1.2.1 The HOM has now consulted with the Head of Aid, the CIDA HQ Regional Director General for Mozambique, and the Director of Eastern and Southern Africa Relations (GFA) ***. Work is ongoing and will be finalized when the new HOM arrives in 2010-2011. In progress for November 2010.
1.2.2 The new HOM and new MCO will arrive at the Mission in August 2010. A Mission-wide team building will be more appropriate and effective under the new management team. In progress for December 2010.
1.2.3 Headquarters should reinstate HOM mandate letters and reporting agreements.
1.2.3 HOM mandate letters and reporting agreements have been suspended for some years, not just for African missions but across the Geographic Group as a corporate decision. GFD does not believe it would be appropriate for the Bureau to reinstate these planning tools in isolation from other geographic regions. GFD understands from Strategy and Services (GLB) that the new online planning tool, which will replace the country strategies, will fill this gap. HOM mandates, in particular, will be based on priorities which will be identified in the online tool. In progress for 2011.
With regard to a reporting agreement for the Mission more specifically, in the absence of a CBS political officer, GFD demands on political reporting from the Mission are deliberately kept to a minimum. The Mission is tasked to provide reports on an as-needed basis (for example around national elections, Mozambique's role at the height of the Zimbabwe crisis, etc.). GFD believes that this arrangement is an accurate reflection of the resources currently available at the Mission.
2.1.1 The HOM is the defacto Program Manager for both the Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA) and International Business Development (IBD) programs, supported by an LE-09 Officer and an LE-05 HOM Assistant. The LE-09 Officer takes the lead on trade activities and plays a supporting role for the HOM on PERPA initiatives. Resources for the PERPA Program include $19,000 for travel, $3,800 for hospitality and $5,000 in post initiative funding. Resources for the IBD Program include $27,000 for travel, $4,200 for hospitality and $5,500 in client service funding.
2.1.2 Plans are in place for both programs that highlight goals and objectives and identify initiatives and upcoming activities for both the Officer and the HOM. There is also a more formal IBD plan that is developed under the guidance of the Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) in Johannesburg as part of the Hub and Spoke relationship. There is a formal agreement between the two missions outlining the respective roles and responsibilities. The Officer participates in weekly staff meetings with the Johannesburg IBD team via conference call and receives much appreciated support and advice.
2.1.3 Progress during the year is monitored through updates to CMM. Where required, changes are noted and plans are adjusted. Performance is linked to overall objectives and the workplan for the year through the Performance Management Process (PMP).
3.1.1 The Consular Program is functioning well under the direction of the MCO who is supported by an LE-05 Administration Assistant and an LE-04 Receptionist. The Administrative Assistant handles passport and consular assistance, whereas the Receptionist facilitates visa and notary services. The Mission does not issue passports or visas, rather serving as the liaison point with the responsible programs in Pretoria. The Contingency Plan was updated in September 2009, but still requires some further refinement with regards to the lists of wardens provided.
3.1.2 The Program recently took over Consular responsibilities for the Honorary Consul in Malawi. IBD and passport activities in Malawi are the responsibility of Lusaka and Pretoria respectively. Neither the Mission in Maputo, nor the Honorary Consul in Malawi were clear on the relationship and the related responsibilities. No discussions had been held with the other missions involved. Ideally, an Honorary Consul would be supported by one mission to bring coordination and coherence to tasking, support and the performance of annual assessments. If this relationship cannot be consolidated, a lead mission should be identified to develop a coordinated objective letter for the Honorary Consul and to perform the annual appraisal. This letter should clearly indicate the process by which conflicting priorities can be addressed.
3.1.3 The Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database indicates that there are 289 Canadians in Mozambique. The Mission estimates the actual number of Canadians in the area to be around 450, taking into account travellers and those who choose not to register. While no warden conference has been held, a Consular outreach trip was undertaken in 2008, in cooperation with the United States Embassy, to visit four provinces and hold town hall meetings with Canadian and American citizens. COMIP (statistical data base) reports are completed on a monthly basis by the MCO, Receptionist and the Administrative Assistant. The Mission’s CAMANT (case management system) records are presented in the table below. Concerns were raised by the Case Management Division (CNO), however, with regards to the accuracy of CAMANT data, stating that the Mission requires frequent reminders to access the system to view messages and input information.
|1 2009 statistics represent data as a September 28, 2009|
3.2.1 Service standards are met, but they are not posted in the reception area, nor is the fee schedule. A copy of an official receipt to be issued to clients should also be posted. The Mission does have the capacity to serve clients in English, French and Portugese.
3.2.2 The Program displays client feedback forms in the lobby, but receives limited feedback. The Program should continue to solicit client feedback and ensure that forms are provided with other documents given to clients. To ensure clients can submit comments confidentially, a lock-able drop box should be installed in the reception area and controlled by the MCO.
3.2.3 As the relationship is new, only the HOM has had the opportunity to meet the Honorary Consul in Malawi. The Program should ensure that a visit every six months is incorporated into Program plans.
3.3.1 Consular *** are received by either the Receptionist or the Administrative Assistant and transferred to the Accountant immediately, who provides an official receipt. Given the small size of the Program and the difficulties associated with proper segregation of duties, this is an acceptable practice.
3.3.2 The Mission has an inventory of *** emergency travel documents (ETDs). ***. Additionally, the Mission should verify who has the authority to sign ETDs as a back-up to the MCO, ***. These passport inventories should be reconciled monthly by two CBS, with the HOM participating quarterly. The Mission’s *** should also be inventoried and appropriately secured when not in use.
3.4.1 The Mission should review its warden list and update the Contingency Plan (CONPLAN) accordingly.
3.4.2 In consultation with the missions in Lusaka and Pretoria, the Mission should liaise with the HQ Geographic Bureau to determine a lead mission to coordinate the relationship with the Honorary Consul (HonCon).
3.4.3 The Honorary Consul should be provided with formal objectives and an annual performance report.
3.4.4 The CAMANT data base should be updated regularly.
3.4.5 Consular service standards, a fee schedule and a copy of an official receipt should be displayed in the reception area.
3.4.6 A locked drop box, controlled by the MCO, should be installed in the waiting area where feedback forms can be deposited.
3.4.7 Yearly visits to the Honorary Consul should be incorporated into Program plans.
3.4.9 Monthly passport inventory reconciliations should be undertaken by two CBS, with the HOM participating quarterly.
3.4.10 The inventory of ETDs held by the Honorary Consul should be verified each time a Mission staff member visits.
3.4.1 The current CONPLAN was submitted to the Policy, Emergency Planning and Training Division (CEP) in September 2009. The Mission will review the warden list and make updates as necessary. In progress for March 2010.
3.4.2 With the complex Lilongwe office closure in September 2009, and transfer of Consular oversight from the mission in Lusaka to the Mission, there were three missions simultaneously corresponding with the HonCon in Malawi on separate issues. However, Maputo is now the lead mission. Implemented December 1, 2009.
3.4.3 In September 2009, the mission in Lusaka forwarded to the MCO a statement of work for the HonCon. The MCO will use this document as the basis for an evaluation at year-end and then create objectives for the new Fiscal Year (FY). In progress for April 2010.
3.4.4 The CAMANT database will be updated regularly. Implemented January, 2010.
3.4.5 The Mission has posted laminated copies of these documents. Implemented February 20, 2010.
3.4.6 The Mission will purchase a drop-box and lock for this purpose. In progress for March 2010.
3.4.7 Both the HOM (in October 2009) and the MCO (in January 2009 - during lead-up to Lilongwe office closure) have visited Malawi and met with the Honorary Consul. Our target is two visits a year and this has been satisfactory given that the Mission has been accredited for only a few months. Implemented October 27, 2009.
3.4.9 The Mission will strictly adhere to the policy of dual verification and quarterly verification by HOM. In progress.
3.4.10 The Mission will undertake to verify ETD inventory on the next trip. In progress for April 2010.
4.1.1 The Administration Program is managed by a MCO who is supported by ten staff and two contract cleaners. The Program has been challenged by the rapid growth in the Mission size over the past 18 months. Priority was given to acquiring and fitting-up five new SQs, increasing useable space in the Chancery and implementing arrival procedures for new staff.
4.1.2 The Program is small and most communication is handled informally. To establish priorities and ensure coordination between sections, regular Administration Program meetings should be held to review plans, progress and the achievement of objectives. The MCO should also periodically hold meetings with non-office staff.
4.1.3 Given the workload and Mission growth, some systems have not been updated and therefore are not adequate to support the expanded operations and increased administrative requirements, including necessary controls to ensure appropriate regulations and policies are followed. This has lead to irregularities regarding year-end payments processed for future year expenses, purchases made where refunds and redeemable coupons were not accounted for, and fair and transparent disposal of surplus assets.
4.1.4 The Program needs to realign roles and responsibilities to ensure both segregation of duties between staff and appropriate oversight by the MCO and the HOM. Additionally, more attention should be paid by the *** Mission Management to the budgeting process.
4.1.5 The MCO should hold regular meetings with Administration Program staff.
4.1.6 The Mission should ensure expenditure cut-off dates are established and that financial authorities are clearly delineated.
4.1.5 Noted and formalized monthly Administration meetings will be scheduled. In progress for March 2010.
4.1.6 The Mission and Financial Operations, International (SMFF) have clarified financial authorities and informed all stakeholders on the proper processes and cut-off dates. Implemented January 2, 2010.
4.2.1 The HR function at the Mission is the responsibility of the MCO. Due to recent growth, the Mission is at the point where a support resource is required to assist the MCO with day-to-day personnel support such as organizing staffing competitions, maintaining leave records and providing advice and assistance to staff. A new position has been approved and created to assist with the Finance function. This position should be utilized to cover both Finance and HR activities.
4.2.2 An LES Committee has been in place since February 2009. The Mission, in consultation with the LES Committee, will need to implement the new LES Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) structure. During a meeting with the Inspection Team, the Committee identified several issues:
The medical plan issue has been under review by Mission Management and the LES Human Resources Bureau (ALD) and decisions are being considered regarding conversion to a self-funded plan ***. The employer/employee relationship regarding the *** needs to be resolved through consultation with ALD.
4.2.3 The duties of the new LES Finance position should also include responsibility for HR support.
4.2.4 The Mission should implement the new LESMCB and ensure that regular meetings are held.
4.2.5 The status of the *** regarding potential employer/employee relationship should be reviewed and resolved.
4.2.3 The LES Assistant Accountant position was rejected by the Committee on Representation Abroad (CORA) for 2009-2010. The Mission has re-submitted the position request for 2010-2011. In progress.
4.2.4 The current LES Committee will transition to an LESMCB in the new FY. In progress for April 2010.
4.2.5 ***. As the Mission has grown, new cleaning staff have been contracted from a janitorial company. Solutions are being considered. In progress for June 2010.
4.3.1 The Property Section is managed by the MCO with the assistance of an LE-07 Property Manager and an LE-05 Property Assistant. The Mission manages one Crown-owned Chancery, nine staff quarters (SQs) and three vehicles. Much effort has been made by the Section over the last eighteen months to lease and fit-up five new SQs.
4.3.2 With most of the growth related work now complete, the Mission needs to revisit its internal procedures to ensure compliance with policies and an effective segregation of duties. With the possibility of further Mission growth on the horizon, it will be necessary that systems are in place to facilitate operations, while maintaining essential controls. In particular, the Mission should work towards:
4.3.3 While overall procurement and contracting processes and files have improved, notably with the introduction of a Contract Review Board (CRB), there remains a need to refine processes to ensure proper segregation of duties. At present the majority of the contracting process is handled by the ***. All bids should be delivered to the MCO in a date stamped envelope and kept secure until the closing date. Subsequently, bids should be opened in the presence of two individuals, including one CBS, and recorded on a bid sheet. Unsuccessful bidders should be notified in writing of the results of the competition. Careful attention should be given to ensure that contracts are processed transparently and that files demonstrate that proper procedures were followed.
4.3.4 Improvements are required with regards to the receipt of goods. ***. Where possible, the Mission should ensure that the responsibilities for ordering, receipt and payment are exercised by different individuals. Some major purchases of appliances from a large chain store showed evidence of the use of discount vouchers resulting in a difference between the cheque provided and the final price paid. The Mission is currently in the process of investigating these instances. In cases such as these, any discounts provided by frequently used suppliers should be negotiated in advance and properly recorded in the quoted price.
4.3.5 Inventories do not exist for ***. Additionally, key tombstone information was missing from the PRIME (property) database, including occupant names, family size and required number of rooms.
4.3.6 The Mission has conducted two asset disposal exercises over the course of the last two and a half years; one for a large number of goods and a second for a Mission vehicle. The second disposal (2008) file was reviewed and demonstrated that appropriate procedures were followed. While a file for the first disposal (2007) was not available, a copy of the bid sheet was reviewed. ***. Procedures were not properly followed with regards to bids, since they were opened *** as they were received. While no evidence of wrongdoing was found, the breakdown of controls could have allowed results to be manipulated. Bids on disposal auction items should be received and stored by the MCO until such time as the sale is closed. Subsequently, bids should be opened and recorded in the presence of at least two individuals. At no time should anyone involved in the purchase, maintenance or decision to dispose of an asset be allowed to bid.
4.3.7 The Chancery in Maputo is made of two houses that have been joined to provide working space. CIDA growth has resulted in Mission expansion and the Mission is identifying options to accommodate future growth.
4.3.8 The housing portfolio meets the needs of the Mission, with the acquisition and fit-up of five new SQs over the course of the last 18 months. Four of the nine SQs were visited as a part of the Inspection, including the HOM’s SQ. It should be noted that as a Category Three mission, the HOM is not entitled to an official residence. The previous HOM’s SQ was identified for replacement under the previous HOM due to adjacent construction and resulting security issues. *** , was actively involved in the identification of the replacement SQ with the support of HQ. While the Mission had sought and received HQ concurrence for the SQ selected based on local availability and the need to increase visibility related to the dramatic increase in the size of the Canadian Aid Program, the Inspection Team found the HOM’s SQ to be out-of-line to the rest of the portfolio, both in size and the cost to the Crown. At present, the HOM SQ is leased at a cost $7,900 USD per month, whereas the remainder of the SQs range from $4,000 to $5,500 USD. While an enhanced SQ may be justified for the HOM, it should remain comparable to the remainder of the portfolio. The housing portfolio in Maputo should respect the requirement for comparability amongst SQs, as well as the expectations of a Category Three mission. When over-housing or under-housing situations occur, justification should be retained on file.
4.3.9 A key role of a Housing Committee, in addition to recommending allocations to the HOM, is to help ensure suitability and comparability of the SQ portfolio. The Housing Committee became inactive prior to June 2008, with housing related issues addressed at CMM. The Mission has since re-established the Committee and should ensure that it is included in SQ portfolio management and makes recommendations to the HOM on SQ allocations.
4.3.10 The Mission has good arrival procedures from a property perspective, meeting early on with occupants to advise of key processes, contact points and the invitation to highlight any aspects of the SQs requiring attention. As the function normalizes, it will be important to schedule annual SQ inspections as an input mechanism to the Program’s plans for basic preventative maintenance and capital acquisition requirements. Additionally, pre-departure inspections should be conducted to identify any necessary work and any damages that are above normal wear and tear (i.e. pet damage) that require reimbursement.
4.3.11 Given the local environment, the Mission does allow for the rental of Mission vehicles and drivers for personal use. Concerns were raised, however, with the consistency of rates being paid to drivers by CBS. The Mission should develop a formal transportation policy that includes vehicle rental rates and sets the basis of payment when hiring drivers for personal use. As in other missions, it should be managed by the Administration Program, using vehicle logs signed by the passenger to invoice the CBS with rental costs payable to the Mission and driver costs payable to the driver.
4.3.12 The Mission should develop procurement guidelines and procedure documents to guide staff on basic processes and segregation of duties.
4.3.13 For competitive contracts, all bids received should be date stamped, held by the MCO until the close of the bidding period, and opened in the presence of at least two individuals.
4.3.14 Contracting files should demonstrate adherence to Departmental policies, procedures and controls.
4.3.15 The Mission should ensure that any discounts received from frequently used suppliers is negotiated in advance and reflected on the quote received.
4.3.17 All occupants should sign their occupancy agreements and distribution accounts within two weeks of their arrival at Mission.
4.3.18 PRIME should be updated to reflect all key tombstone information.
4.3.19 The Mission should develop basic disposal procedures and ensure that any future exercises avoid conflicts of interest and respect appropriate segregation of duties.
4.3.20 The Housing Committee should take on an active role in ensuring comparability within the SQ portfolio and in making recommendations on future allocations to the HOM.
4.3.21 Annual and pre-departure SQ inspections should be conducted and fed into preventative maintenance and capital acquisition plans.
4.3.22 The Mission should develop a transportation policy and guidelines on the rental of official vehicles for personal use, including rates for the drivers.
4.3.23 The Mission should liaise with the Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) in Pretoria for the implementation of the work-order system purchased last year.
4.3.12 Prior to the Inspection visit, SMFF conducted a "Mission Financial Review”. As part of the follow-up to that process, the Mission clarified procurement and payment procedures for both goods and services. Input from IG visit has also been incorporated in the document and information has been disseminated to stakeholders. Implemented December 1, 2010.
4.3.13 Any goods or services valued at over $5,000 must be approved by the Contract Review Board. In recent years, the Mission has had almost no contracts over $25,000. Bids are requested for all, but the most general and minimal value goods and services, and are submitted directly to the MCO either by sealed envelope (via the Receptionist) or through email. These bids are then reviewed by two individuals. Implemented December 15, 2009.
4.3.14 Procurement check-lists and more education for all individuals involved in the procurement/payment process have improved the completeness of contracting files. Implemented December 1, 2009.
4.3.15 All discounts are to be reflected in the quotations and approved by the appropriate signing authority in advance of purchase. The Mission has also ordered acquisition cards for the Property Section to stream-line procurement and eliminate confusion. Implemented December 1, 2009.
4.3.16 A custodian will be named immediately. However, given the general upheaval encountered during the current period of growth, this is a significant project that requires a period of stability and settling to implement. It is hoped that the next FY will offer a reprieve from continuous expansion. In progress for May 2010.
4.3.17 The two week limit will be strictly observed. Implemented December 1, 2009.
4.3.18 PRIME data has been updated and approved by the MCO and the HOM. Implemented January 29, 2010.
4.3.19 Disposal procedures and segregation of duties are in place and will be strictly adhered to. Implemented December 1, 2009.
4.3.20 The Housing Committee was established in fall 2009, and terms and conditions reviewed, updated and signed. The Housing Committee has already made several general recommendations to the HOM, and these have been agreed to. Implemented December 1, 2010.
4.3.21 The Property Section and MCO visit Staff Quarters consistently, but a formalized inspection process will be implemented, and will feed into capital and maintenance plans. Implemented December 1, 2010.
4.3.22 The Mission is developing a comprehensive transportation policy. In progress for April 2010.
4.3.23 The Mission is anxious to get our work-order system functioning (software was purchased in 2008). The FSITP has been asked about the installation of the system. The response is that the mission in Pretoria will be installed first and then the system rolled out to Maputo. In progress for July 2010.
4.4.1 The Finance Section consists of an LE-07 Accountant, working under the supervision of the MCO. The Accountant is responsible for all aspects of the Mission’s financial processing of revenues and expenditures. The Accountant *** and carries out her duties and responsibilities ***. A new LE-05 Assistant Accountant position is scheduled to be in place by December 2009. As a full-time position is not required for the existing workload in Finance, it is recommended that this position also perform HR support duties (see recommendation 4.2.3).
4.4.2 More involvement *** and oversight by Mission Management is required to help support the Accountant in ensuring that expenditures are processed in accordance with Government of Canada and Departmental policies and regulations. A review of expenditures revealed that year-end payments were authorized by Management for expenditures occurring in the new year. In one case, the Mission was still holding a cheque in October 2009, that was originally issued in April 2009. As mentioned in the Property Section of this report, supplier discounts were not properly accounted for despite expenditure approval by Management for these items. The Corporate Finance, Planning and Systems Bureau (SMD) should be notified regarding the transactions processed at year-end in order to determine follow-up action required.
4.4.3 The Accountant is performing account verification procedures, however, the certification is not always documented. The application of an account verification stamp on all invoices would facilitate the documentation of this control. Account verification is required under Section 34 of the Financial Administration Act and gives the officer who exercises Section 33 authority assurance that payments are in accordance with account verification criteria. It also gives the Accountant a basis for seeking clarification regarding questionable expenditures before exercising Section 34 certification. To ensure transparency, such clarifications should be documented on the expenditure file for future reference.
4.4.4 The Accountant directly receives the monthly bank statements from the bank and is also the primary contact with the bank. The Mission should ensure that all official communication with the bank is limited to the MCO or his alternate.
4.4.5 Account verification certification should be evidenced for all transactions and clarifications and exceptions documented.
4.4.6 The Mission should ensure that the MCO or his alternate is the primary contact with the bank for all official communications.
4.4.5 The Mission and SMFF have worked together to improve account verification procedures as well as to educate all stakeholders. For example, the Mission is implementing an electronic funds transfer (EFT) system and has granted Section 33 authority to two CIDA officers to ensure signing responsibilities are adequately covered during absences. Implemented January 15, 2010.
4.4.6 The MCO and the HOM are the primary contacts at the bank. Implemented December 1, 2010.
4.4.7 SMD should review the transactions and context regarding the unauthorized year-end payments and determine the follow-up action required.
4.4.7 SMFF visited the mission in the fall of 2009 and explained the year-end requirements to the finance staff. The MCO attended the mandatory year-end conference call this March to ensure that this situation will not reoccur in future. SMFF will pay particular attention to the Maputo accounts this year-end. In progress for April 2010.
4.5.1 Maputo receives IM-IT support through the mission in Pretoria, with some functions being performed on-site by the MCO or the Signet Support Assistant (SSA), an LE-09 CIDA Officer. As a standard procedure, staff are expected to call the IM-IT Help Desk for all support requirements. The support provided by the mission in Pretoria is considered to be effective, although challenging as visits only occur once every few months.
4.5.3 The Mission has a small inventory of loan-out assets, such as laptops, but no formal process is in place to ensure that assets are formally signed out by staff. As a means to acknowledge responsibility, a sign-out sheet could be implemented, and be signed by the staff member. Other missions have experienced issues where assets were lost or stolen, but no evidence was on file to hold individuals accountable.
4.5.4 The Mission should verify whether or not the existing ***. In the event that it is not, a suitable replacement should be acquired.
4.5.5 As a best practice, server back-up tapes should be stored at an off-site location, ***.
4.5.4 ***. In progress for April 2010.
4.5.5 One of the two fireproof safes will be in the ***. In progress for April 2010.
|Official Residence||Not Applicable||Not Applicable|
|Financial Information 2009-2010||Program Budget||Common Services Budget|
|Operating Budget (N001)||$49,709||$989,915|
|Capital Budget (N005)||-||$217,013|
|CBS Salaries Budget (N011)||$129,400||$84,500|
|LES Salaries Budget (N012)||$53,044||$289,512|