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Inspection of the Canadian Embassy Rabat

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April 2 - 8, 2009

Table of Contents

Inspection Scope and Objectives

The scope of the Inspection included a review of Mission management and the Political Economic, 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 HOM and Program Managers, a meeting with the LES 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 (PE), International Business Development (IBD), Consular and Administration Programs was conducted in Rabat from April 2 to 8, 2009. The Mission was last audited in October 2000.

The Embassy in Morocco is a medium sized mission with 13 Canada based staff (CBS) and 55 Locally engaged staff (LES). The Mission also oversees the work of an Honorary Consul in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Mission plans were in line with Government of Canada and departmental objectives and priorities. The Head of Mission (HOM) plays a very active role in all programs. The Mission's programs are well integrated and communication is strong.

The Political Economic Program has been undergoing a transition to become more focussed on political/economic reporting and analysis. Traditionally its focus and strength had been in the area of public affairs and cultural promotion. This transition is underway, but will require ongoing efforts to come to fruition.

The IBD Program has benefited from a stable staff complement over recent years. The current Program Manager (PM) has undertaken a thorough analysis of priority sectors and reduced their number from five to four. A concerted effort should be deployed to monitor all sectors on an ongoing basis. The recent introduction of TRIO has changed roles and responsibilities of staff. This will require a redefinition of job profiles and work flows.

The Consular Program plans to monitor consular workload given the increasing demands and more complex cases. The Contingency Plans should be reviewed annually. The Consular Policy and Advocacy Bureau (CLD) needs to verify with Passport Canada if a note could be added to their website stating which missions (that require passports to be delivered by diplomatic bag) might not meet the 15 day service standard. Consular services, such as emergency passport services are also provided to Australian citizens in the Mission's two countries of accreditation.

The main challenge for the Administration Program is serving clients in three locations: the main Chancery, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Annex and the meeting/storage villa, even though all are in close proximity. While in the last few years there have been a number of projects to try to improve functionality and safety, there is still a need to have the new chancery project move forward. With the creation of a Deputy Management Consular position in 2006 and a Military Police Security Services position in 2008, the Management Consular Officer is realigning roles and responsibilities among the Program's CBS. A number of in house applications have been developed to assist various programs such as transportation scheduling, leave reporting, scheduling CIC appointments, telephone call tracking and a Consular cash register.

A total of 65 recommendations are raised in the report; 61 are addressed to the Mission and four are addressed to Headquarters (HQ). Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 65 recommendations, management has stated that 48 have been implemented. For each of the remaining 17 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action. This Inspection Report was finalized on July 28, 2009 and approved by the Departmental Evaluation Committee on September 2, 2009.

Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Embassy in Rabat is a medium sized mission with 13 Canada based staff (CBS) and 55 Locally engaged staff (LES). The Mission's areas of accreditation includes Morocco and Mauritania which has an Honorary Consul (HonCon) in Nouakchott.

1.1.2 The Mission highlighted the *** services provided by the HonCon to both the Mission and clients. In the past few months, work has been done on the HonCon's office to make it more functional and secure. The HonCon however, is not provided with an annual letter of instruction nor an annual performance review.

1.1.3 The Mission has the required committee structure in place. The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) meets bi weekly and there is an expanded bi monthly all CBS CMM. Minutes of the CMM are posted on the Mission's shared drive which can be accessed by all staff. Required Mission Management committees are in place: Contract Review Board (CRB), Classification, Housing, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), Official Languages and LES committees. In addition, the Head of Mission (HOM) has established Mission specific Awards and Social committees.

1.1.4 The HOM has made internal communications a priority. Nine out of 13 CBS changed over during the 2008 posting season so, in order to bring the new team up to speed and to discuss Mission strategy and operations, a CBS retreat was held in September 2008. This retreat was beneficial as there were five new officers on their first posting at a mission.

1.1.5 In general, many LES have been with the Mission for some time, which allows for the retention of corporate knowledge, but it can create challenges for some to adapt to change. The HOM chairs a quarterly all staff meeting which includes the Official Residence (OR) staff.

1.1.6 Based on the Country Strategy, there is effective planning, and the HOM plays an active role in performance monitoring. As will be further outlined in the Physical Resources Section, the main preoccupation for the Mission is, and will be, the construction of a new chancery to address issues with functionality, health and safety.

1.1.7 Designated staff within the Mission have the capacity to provide services to clients in both official languages as well as in Arabic. The majority of signage in the Chancery are in both official languages, but a few signs require a translation.

1.1.8 The HOM will be departing in summer 2009. The Office of the HOM consists of the AS 02 HOM Assistant, three OR staff and a Driver.

Recommendations to the Mission

1.1.9 The Mission should provide an annual set of instructions and objectives to the HonCon so that annual performance assessments can be completed.

1.1.10 The Mission should ensure all signage is in both official languages.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

1.1.9 Implemented. The Mission has prepared a list of objectives and sent them to the Honorary Consul.

1.1.10 Implemented. Bilingual signs were posted where missing (i.e. in Mission washrooms).

Political Economic Program

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The Political Economic (PE) Program in Rabat is managed by an *** FS 03 Program Manager (PM) who is supported by two LES officers, an LE 08 Public Affairs Officer and an LE 06 Program Officer. The Program is responsible for Morocco and Mauritania.

2.1.2 The Program's 2008 2009 budget allocations are as follows:

Table 1: Program's 2008 2009 budget allocations
Program Funds2008-2009
Travel$5,000
Hospitality$4,000
Overtime$2,660
Total$11,660

2.1.3 The Program's main functions are political reporting, public affairs/cultural events and visit support. Since the arrival of the current PM the focus has shifted almost exclusively to political analysis and reporting. There are a few signature public affairs/cultural events in which the Program still gets involved, however, those represent a small amount of time and effort in comparison to the political analysis/reporting element.

2.2 Management of the Program

2.2.1 Efforts to change the mindset and focus of the Program and its staff have been the primary undertaking since the arrival of the current PM. The Program's LES had a long history in delivering cultural and public affairs programming and as such were not predisposed to political analysis and reporting.

2.2.2 The process for reorienting the Program has consumed *** time and effort on the part of the PM. Job descriptions for the two LES have been rewritten; approval for these will be sought once the next HOM arrives at post (expected in summer of 2009) and training opportunities have been identified. Sustained time, effort and patience (over approximately the next year) will be required to bring the Program to where it is envisioned.

2.3 Planning

2.3.1 Program planning is largely based on the Country Strategy and Reporting Agreement. As mentioned earlier, the Program participates in certain signature events each year, the main ones being the Semaine de la Francophonie and the Salon d'Education. The Program typically collaborates with other French speaking countries in Rabat for Francophonie events. The Salon d'Education is a joint undertaking between the International Business Development (IBD), Political/Economic and Immigration Programs at the Mission, with the IBD Program taking the lead.

2.3.2 Planning specific to the public affairs/cultural events is undertaken in advance of the events each year. Given that there is a history of participation in these events, the amount of planning required is minimal.

2.3.3 The Reporting Agreement is the primary working document for the Program. Since arriving, the PM has been seeking to inform and position himself in the community to be able to provide in depth and comprehensive reports on the subjects identified. He has met with almost 200 contacts in the area and has travelled within Morocco and Mauritania. In this respect, plans are underway to enable him to fulfil this aspect of his job at a more in depth level over the course of his tenure in Rabat. He has also begun to task his staff with projects and activities that can help him satisfy the requirements of the Reporting Agreement.

2.3.4 New Way Forward/PE Renewal principles were generally understood by Program staff. The completion of training modules and a commitment to remaining aware of new principles and procedures would help to solidify this understanding. Implementation of the core components of the initiative can also assist in redefining the work of the Section in official terms and aid in the validation of job descriptions for Program staff.

2.4 Implementation

2.4.1 The Program has continued to perform its core functions during this transition phase. Reporting has been on topic and at a frequency that reflects expectations laid out by Headquarters (HQ). The frequency and quality should continue to increase as the PM becomes more knowledgeable on the intricacies of the country/region and develops more personal contacts.

2.4.2 The Program has been participating regularly in the Semaine de la Francophonie events in recent years. As there are fewer resources available for public affairs and cultural work generally, it must ensure that it is getting good value for money spent. As such, it may be time to evaluate the effectiveness of participating in this event and look for other possibilities.

2.5 Communication

2.5.1 Since his arrival, the PM has taken concerted steps towards improving communication. Program staff meetings, a calendar of events for the Program and bilateral meetings with staff are helping to create a sense of teamwork within the Program and reinforce roles and responsibilities in conjunction with the changed focus of the Program.

2.6 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

2.6.1 The Program should evaluate the effectiveness of ongoing participation in Semaine de la Francophonie events.

2.6.2 Program staff should complete all available training related to the New Way Forward/PE Renewal initiative.

2.6.3 The Program should develop a strategy to fully implement the principles of the New Way Forward into operations. It should also ensure that rewritten job descriptions are reflective of the key elements of the New Way Forward.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

2.6.1 In progress for January 2010. Participation in the celebrations in March 2010 may be reduced; decision on involvement to be made in January 2010.

2.6.2 Noted and in progress for when the staff is back to a full complement.

2.6.3 In progress for October 2009. The Section is reviewing its staff configuration and position descriptions in preparation for the upcoming retirement of one of its LES. The direction of the Section and the manner in which the New Way Forward will be implemented will depend on how the staff complement changes. These questions are under review by GMD (Middle East and Maghreb) and the Program expects to have a better idea in the coming weeks.

International Business Development Program

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 The International Business Development (IBD) Program in Rabat is managed by an FS 03 Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) ***. The STC arrived in summer 2008. He is supported by two LE 09 Trade Commissioners, and two Trade Commissioner Assistants (TCA) (LE 06 and LE 05).

3.1.2 Canadian exports to Morocco amounted to approximately $305.1 million (M) in 2008. Export figures are on an upward trend ($168.9M in 2006 and $243.5M in 2007). Morocco is Canada's 51st largest export market. Imports from Morocco totalled $147M in 2008. When figures for the two previous years are included the trajectory shows no trend ($170.1M in 2006 and $218M in 2007). Morocco is the 72nd largest exporter to Canada.

3.1.3 The competitiveness of Canadian companies in the Moroccan market is affected by Free Trade Agreements in effect between Morocco and the EU and Morocco and the United States.

3.2 Planning

3.2.1 The STC has taken concrete steps towards thoroughly reviewing and re rationalizing priority sectors. The result was a reduction from five to four priority sectors from 2008 2009 to 2009 2010 (current priority sectors are bio industries, aerospace, education and capital projects) . This type of analysis should be conducted annually with a view to validating current priority sectors and re evaluating all non priority ones. Tasking the LES staff with reporting on non-priority sector activities and opportunities at fixed intervals can help to ensure that these sectors receive appropriate surveillance and ongoing consideration, and that staff does not become fixated on priority sectors.

3.2.2 While staff expressed a high level of understanding of their expected results and the objectives for their areas of responsibility, a greater sense of overall purpose could be achieved. Activities and focus tended to be individual and not reflective of a broader purpose or objective. Steps toward fostering a team atmosphere and approach should be implemented that reinforce broader Mission and team objectives.

3.3 Implementation

3.3.1 The Program focusses mainly on its priority sectors and has its activities focussed on strategies to develop these sectors. The two LES Trade Commissioners work autonomously on their sectors with the support of the STC where advantageous.

The TCAs support the Program in various ways, most notably as TRIO champion (LE 06) and logistical coordination (LE 05).

3.3.2 TRIO was recently installed in the Mission. All Program employees have received training and all have begun to implement the tool. The LE 06 TCA has been assigned the role of TRIO champion. As this represents a major change in her job profile, an updating of her job description is necessary. All other Program staff should have their job descriptions reviewed as some are considerably dated and do not take evolutions in the job into account.

3.3.3 The Mission should seek ways to leverage the capabilities of TRIO to improve organization and operation. The STC should establish a network of similar sized IBD programs to identify and eventually implement best practices in this area. Doing so could also help to establish a network of contacts for the TRIO champion.

3.3.4 The Salon d'Education is a significant element of the Program's annual work. Although it is managed by the IBD Program, it involves efforts from the Mission's Political Economic and Immigration Programs. As it is a major undertaking, involving thousands of attending students and a significant number of Canadian universities, project management requirements are considerable. Due to the scale of the event and the participation of multiple Mission programs, a formal project plan would help to identify roles and responsibilities, key time lines and budgetary implications.

3.4 Performance Measurement

3.4.1 Once TRIO is fully implemented, its use as a performance management tool should be augmented. The generation of quarterly reports on activities is a useful way for the STC to engage in a dialogue with officers concerning performance and future priorities.

3.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

3.5.1 A formal process for the annual vetting of priority sectors should be implemented with Program officers providing an analysis of all potential sectors.

3.5.2 To foster teamwork and reinforce broader Mission and departmental objectives, the Program should identify ways to implement a planning approach that derives Program strategies and activities from these broader objectives.

3.5.3 Job descriptions for all Program staff should be evaluated for currency and updated as necessary.

3.5.4 Strategies to use TRIO for ongoing performance measurement should be implemented. In developing strategies, the Program should consult with missions that have had TRIO for a longer duration to identify ways to maximize its potential contribution to operations.

3.5.5 A project plan should be developed for the annual Salon d'Education that outlines roles and responsibilities of all involved parties and provides information on time lines and major budgetary implications.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.5.1 Implemented. Priority sectors for 2009/2010 were discussed and vetted with officers, HOM and GMC (Middle East and North Africa Commercial Relations). They will be reviewed in February 2010 following the same process.

3.5.2 Implemented, as highlighted in the 2009/2010 Business Plan.

3.5.3 Implemented, and will be updated according to any further changes.

3.5.4 Implemented. The TRIO champion met with her Paris counterpart in May 2009 to boost TRIO best practices. TRIO and Dashboard are used monthly to monitor performance and fine tune strategy.

3.5.5 Implemented. The plan outlining the roles and responsibilities was implemented and disseminated in January 2009 (with amendments to the responsibilities compared with the previous version). A draft budget was included in the "initiative" section of the IBD plan in February 2009, though it now has to be modified pending recent education cuts from Headquarters / Edu Canada International Education Promotion (PREP). Time lines were set up in April 2009 and have so far been respected.

Consular Program

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The Consular Program is overseen by the AS 06 Management Consular Officer (MCO), with day to day management exercised by a *** AS 04 Deputy MCO (DMCO). The team includes an *** LE 07 Consular Officer and an LE 06 Property and Materiel Assistant (with 40% of her time devoted to Consular). There is also an Honorary Consul (HonCon) in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Emergency passport services are also provided to Australian citizens in the Mission's two countries of accreditation. A spouse is being trained as a back up and to help one or two days a week during peak seasons.

4.1.2 Consular service standards are met. In 2008, the Mission provided 532 notarial services and handled 142 citizenship applications. Consular cases *** can be protracted and complicated given differences between the Canadian and Moroccan legal system. The Program has been experiencing an increasing number of cases arising from Internet romances. The Mission is monitoring Consular workload given new demands and more complex cases.

4.1.3 Fees are communicated to clients but should be posted in the Consular booth in both official languages. Client feedback forms are made available in the waiting area, however no feedback forms were submitted in the last fiscal year. The Mission should examine ways to encourage responses, such as including feedback forms with passport and citizenship card applications when provided to clients.

4.1.4 The Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) system indicates there are 1,051 Canadians registered, but it is estimated that there are over 4,000 Canadian citizens in the country. The Mission should provide ROCA information with passports and citizenship cards (CCCs) to encourage registration using the new self service registration system. The Mission has an active warden network (14 wardens and three deputies), and Consular staff meets with them twice a year which reinforces communication. The wardens should also be encouraged to promote the registration of Canadians using the self service registration system.

4.1.5 Although the Mission covers a relatively calm territory, the Consular Program recognizes the importance of contingency planning. The last official version of the plans dates back to 2007 for Morocco and 2008 for Mauritania (though the Mauritanian plan still needs to be sent to HQ). The Duty Officer Manual is up to date and is available on the shared drive.

4.1.6 The Mission's Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP) has created a Consular revenue processing system for accepting Consular fees. This system is a Microsoft Access based program and is easy to use. Information is pre-programmed in the system and the Consular Officer simply has to select the applicable services and collect the fees. The system allows the Mission to run numerous types of reports including weekly and monthly activity reports for different services rendered. As it is a useful tool, the system could be used by other missions to reduce the time spent on reconciliations and reduce the risk of errors.

4.1.7 The DMCO has not been provided hospitality allocation. The provision of hospitality would help establish and maintain a network with the local authorities and other contacts.

4.2 Passport Services

4.2.1 In 2008, the Mission provided 937 passport services. The past few years have been busy for the Program as it faced a number of challenges related to the decision by the Canadian Border Service Agency to no longer accept Moroccan passports and a Canadian Citizenship Card to enter Canada. This decision *** resulted in hundreds of dual nationals needing to request emergency and temporary passports.

4.2.2 Passports are approved by certified CBS in accordance with Passport Canada (PPTC) regulations. The DMCO completes the monthly inventory reconciliation, and it is approved quarterly by the HOM. The monthly reconciliations and the receipt of stock however are not completed in the presence of another staff member. There should always be two staff present when performing these activities, and both should be signing the forms. To further improve the security of Consular assets, the Mission needs to complete an inventory of seals/stamps and regularly conduct a reconciliation. The HonCon should also complete and submit inventories and reconciliations, and staff should verify them whenever visiting Mauritania.

4.2.3 The transfer of passport inventory *** is tracked informally. An official log for transfer of passports should be created for all stock movement from the vault to the DMCO's office and to the Consular Officer's office with both provider and recipient signing off.

4.2.4 The Mission normally processes passport applications the same day they are submitted. As the Moroccan government does not allow official documents to go through the postal/courier service within its borders, the Mission has to receive passports in diplomatic bags. As a result, the usual 15 working day service standard for passport delivery for applications has not always been met. Due to this, the service standard communicated to clients by the Mission is 25 days (whereas on PPTC's website the service standard is 15 days). Headquarters (HQ) should verify with PPTC if a note could be added to their website stating that some countries might not meet the 15 day standard ***.

4.3 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

4.3.1 The Consular fee schedule should be posted in the Consular booth in both official languages.

4.3.2 The Mission should provide feedback forms with the passports and CCCs.

4.3.3 The Mission should provide ROCA information with passports and CCCs to encourage registration using the new self service registration system.

4.3.4 The Mission should ensure that the two Contingency Plans are reviewed, updated and sent to HQ annually.

4.3.5 A hospitality allocation should be provided to the DMCO.

4.3.6 The Mission should ensure that two staff members (at least one a CBS) participate in the monthly reconciliation of passport inventory and the receipt of new passport stock, and that both individuals sign the forms.

4.3.7 The Mission should complete an inventory of seals/stamps and conduct regular reconciliations.

4.3.8 Mission staff should verify the HonCon's inventories when visiting.

4.3.9 ***

Mission Responses and Timeframes

4.3.1 Implemented.

4.3.2 Implemented. Feedback forms are now distributed with all passports and CCCs.

4.3.3 Implemented. ROCA information is now distributed with passports and CCCs.

4.3.4 Implemented. Updated plans for Mauritania and Morocco were sent to the Policy and Contingency Planning Division (CEP) in June/July 2009.

4.3.5 Implemented. The allocation for Consular hospitality has been issued in the name of the DMCO.

4.3.6 Implemented and in place as of the June 2009 reconciliation.

4.3.7 Implemented. The inventory has been finalized, and will be verified quarterly and on change of any incumbent.

4.3.8 In progress for the next visit. The HonCon no longer holds a supply of emergency passports, but a verification of the office and any government property will be conducted on visits.

4.3.9 Implemented. ***.

Recommendation to the Consular Policy and Advocacy Bureau (CLD)

4.3.10 CLD should verify with PPTC if a note could be added to their website stating which missions might not meet the 15 day PPTC service standard (for those that have a diplomatic bag deliver the passports).

CLD Action and Timeframe

4.3.10 CLD consulted with Passport Canada who have indicated they will not be adding a note to their website regarding missions who may not meet the 15 day service standard. Service standards are not a guarantee but rather a goal to be achieved under optimal operating conditions.

Administration Program

5.1 Overview

5.1.1 The Administration Program is managed by the MCO who is assisted by the DMCO and 27 LES. The Program provides services to the following partner departments: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Public Safety Canada. The MCO also has the responsibility of Mission Security Officer. The DMCO supervises the Receptionist and the Drivers.

5.1.2 The Mission's Service Standards were last established in 2007 and reapproved in 2008. The Administration Program is planning to prepare its portion in a more accessible format and distribute it to clients. Overall, clients highlighted that they receive good services from the Program.

5.1.3 As will be further highlighted in section 5.3, the main challenge for the Program is serving clients in three locations: the main Chancery, the CIC Annex and the meeting/storage villa even though all are within walking distance. While in the last few years there have been a number of projects to try to improve functionality, safety and security, there is still a need to have the new chancery project move forward as soon as possible.

5.1.4 Two Program meetings have been held since the arrival of the MCO in fall 2008. While staff indicated that overall morale in the Program is good, regular meetings would provide opportunities to discuss intra function issues. The MCO should also hold periodic meetings with non office staff so that concerns can be discussed (which they may be reluctant to raise with their immediate supervisors).

5.1.5 A work plan was developed by the previous MCO and current HOM for the Program which has been adapted for and added to by the current MCO. New projects identified include: increasing the number of contractors/suppliers used, establishing a transportation policy and developing a housing guide.

5.1.6 The DMCO position was created in 2006, and its first incumbent will be leaving the Mission in summer 2009. The initial role played by this position was in Consular, Security and project work. The creation of the Military Police Security Services (MPSS) position in summer 2008 has allowed the MCO and DMCO to focus on their other functions. While Consular will remain the core responsibility, the MCO is examining how to provide the DMCO with more exposure to the other functions ***.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.1.7 Regular all Administration staff meetings should be implemented.

5.1.8 The MCO should hold periodic meetings with the non office staff.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.1.7 Implemented and ongoing. Monthly meetings have been placed on the calendar already for the next 12 months.

5.1.8 Implemented and ongoing. The DMCO to hold monthly meetings with drivers; MPSS to hold monthly meetings with guards; MCO to hold quarterly meetings with all non office staff.

5.2 Human Resources

5.2.1 HR are managed by the MCO with support from the Senior Administration Officer (LE 08). A reorientation of wages and benefits is under way as the result of a change in the marker organizations.

5.2.2 An LES committee was formed close to three years ago with the assistance of senior management. Its function is essentially to prepare the quarterly senior management meetings (MCO and HOM) with all the LES. This formula is working well and satisfies both parties.

5.2.3 Staffing records are generally complete. The MCO ***, notably by restoring best practices such as communication of monthly information on the leave status of each LES, which permits LES and their manager to manage vacation and compensatory time so as to avoid accumulations and forced reimbursements at year-end.

5.2.4 The growth of the Mission because of the addition and expansion of programs in recent years, as well as the future move of the Chancery and departures to retirement, will require an analysis of administration resources. Spouses are invited to submit their résumés, and some contracts have been awarded to them.

5.2.5 The Mission Report dates from 2007 and contains many errors. The post allowance index and hardship level seem appropriate. The Mission has no official welcome guide for CBS and their families. There was a Community Coordinator last year, but he will not be available in 2009.

5.2.6 Each employee has a personal training plan detailing past and future training. These plans may be consulted for general planning purposes at the Mission level. Courses on specific software and English-language courses are planned in the near future for certain employee groups.

5.2.7 Many employees want to improve their English, but do not necessarily take advantage of the opportunities available to them, which in any case are limited since the predominant language of work is French. The official languages committee will be able to consider the overall learning and use of English for integration and improvement purposes in the context of the language courses already planned.

5.2.8 Employees are encouraged to take internships, and some have opportunities for acting employment. Specifically, OR staff have taken development internships in ambassadors' residences and in certain restaurants in Rabat.

5.2.9 The Mission retains the services of a nurse who is hired on a contract that is renewed annually. The nurse would like to see regional seminars held on various subjects of a medical nature for medical staff of the Canadian and other embassies.

5.2.10 It is felt that the processes and procedures in place for the Program are satisfactory, but that certain improvements could be made, in line with the recommendations.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.2.11 The Mission should analyze the Program's resources and modify and fill positions to meet current needs.

5.2.12 The Mission should state the right to grieve in the formal communication to LES not selected in a staffing process.

5.2.13 CBS should not participate in any aspect of a selection process in which their spouse is a candidate.

5.2.14 Contracts awarded to spouses should be reviewed by the Procurement Committee.

5.2.15 The Mission should update the Mission Report, have it translated into English, and see that it is given annual follow-up.

5.2.16 The Mission should develop an official welcome guide for CBS and their families.

5.2.17 The Administration Section should organize an information session for CBS on the changes to the FSDs effective April 1, 2009.

5.2.18 The Mission should designate a training champion.

5.2.19 The Mission should create a budget and a comprehensive long-term strategy on the learning and use of English as an official language.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.2.11 In progress for December 2009. The Mission is in the process of analyzing the financial impacts of the changes regarding non-office positions.

5.2.12 Noted and in progress. This notice will be included in all notifications to candidates not selected from this point forward.

5.2.13 Noted, implemented and ongoing.

5.2.14 Implemented and ongoing. The current CRB reviewed the terms of reference in December 2008, and confirmed that all spousal contracts, all contracts exceeding $5,000, and a spot selection of lesser value contracts would need to pass through the CRB for review and approval. All three spousal contracts issued since have been Committee approved; one contract involved a CRB member's spouse, and that member did not participate in the examination or decision.

5.2.15 Implemented. The guide will be renewed each year prior to posting season. Where a Community Coordinator is in place, as is the case this year, he/she will be tasked with this.

5.2.16 Implemented. The Mission has a fairly complete welcome kit which includes a practical guide (13 pages), a pre-posting message, a health guide (30 pages), a commercial guide to Rabat with map, a list of telephone numbers and an arrival road map. In addition, this year for the first time the Mission will be providing CBS with a housing guide and an official transportation guide. Previously these materials were in French only, but now they are all available in both official languages. The Mission has also promulgated a policy on hospitality expenses.

5.2.17 Implemented. The Information session was held on July 15, 2009.

5.2.18 Implemented.

5.2.19 In progress for December 2009. English courses will begin in September; a budget has been allocated for English training initiatives, and the official languages committee has been instructed to develop a plan.

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 Assets and properties are managed by the MCO, with the support of the Senior Administration Officer (LE 08),*** . There are three gardener positions plus one vacant position, one maintenance position and one vacancy for the technician position. Finally, a maintenance employee hired on contract through an agency rounds out the workforce. Furthermore, a materiel assistant (LE 06) devotes 60 percent of her time to the Program. The assistant's work description does not indicate the Consular Services component, which takes up about 40 percent of her time; when the Consular Affairs section is very busy with passports, she sometimes has to set aside her property-related work.

5.3.2 The MCO completes the Mission Property Management Plan (MPMP), which contains up-to-date information on the Program. Service standards were approved by Mission management in fall 2008, but they are not well known or applied with respect to properties.

5.3.3 The Mission includes a Chancery, an Annex which houses the Citizenship and Immigration program, and a house that serves multiple purposes, including storage. These are all located within a radius of under 500 metres. The Chancery is not appropriate for program delivery. Numerous minor modifications have been made to fit up offices in this house, but this is a health and an operational challenge. For example, the bathrooms are dilapidated, the soundproofing is inferior,*** , the RCMP offices are particularly poorly situated and inadequate, etc. Additional washbasins were recently added on each floor, offering some modest improvement to hygienic conditions.

5.3.4 A very large lot has been obtained upon which to build a new chancery. Construction has yet to begin, and could take up to three years because of recurring obstacles. Being conscious of these obstacles, the Mission is making efforts in concert with Headquarters to initiate construction of this new chancery within a respectable time.

5.3.5 The Official Residence and 12 residential quarters complete the properties, all of them leased. The team visited three residential quarters and the OR. On the whole, the Staff Quarters (SQ) visited are considered to be well maintained and appropriate for housing a family. Although the savings involved are modest, the Mission has nonetheless commenced an initiative to divest itself of its few houses that are not optimal.

5.3.6 The OR is a fine house in a select neighbourhood located a reasonable distance from the Chancery. It is appropriately furnished and set off by its manicured gardens. Receptions can be held both indoors and outdoors (about 400 people). Its main shortcomings are its small number of divisions and the poor soundproofing between the hospitality and kitchen areas and the private apartments on the upper floor. The residence is suitable almost in its entirety, and no purchase is desired by the Mission. One possibility would be to build a new OR on the site of the new Chancery.

5.3.7 During the visit to the OR, the team noted that there was only one smoke detector per floor, and the one on the top floor had no battery. False alarms could be relatively frequent owing to the proximity of the kitchen.

5.3.8 The Program has established criteria for suitable residential quarters, but the real estate agent invariably proposes unsuitable houses to the employees. In 2008, the Mission visited 50 to 100 possible quarters, which seems prohibitive. The Mission should continue to closely monitor the market so as to limit the influence of real estate agents and make optimum use of their services.

5.3.9 The housing committee visits all quarters and makes its recommendations to the HOM. The committee apparently does not make recommendations on matching quarters with CBS.

5.3.10 Vehicle management seems adequate. Most of the vehicles were acquired in the same year. As it will be difficult to repeat this, it will be necessary to space out the renewal of these vehicles.

5.3.11 Requests for driver services are placed using an original, secure system which is managed by the receptionist. Drivers are mainly responsible for one vehicle. They ensure that maintenance checks are conducted regularly and that vehicles are in good general condition. They monitor kilometres travelled, but do not complete the gas consumption log.

5.3.12 In general, the Mission takes care of materiel and does not store items unnecessarily. Furnishings are repaired when necessary, and CBS are aware of their responsibilities. They sign the occupancy agreement and housing inventory. Because of the large number of new CBS last year, this process took a few months. CBS have sometimes had to pay costs for damages, but this practice is not consistent, and damage caused by household pets is not reckoned.

5.3.13 The Mission held an auction in late 2008 in accordance with good practices. However, form EXT369 has to be signed by the HOM.

5.3.14 The administration keeps a short list of technical services providers. The work tends to take time, and time taken is not proof of quality. It is not customary to ask for several quotes before allocating a job or purchasing common items. Certain recurring services, e.g. relating to electricity, plumbing or fumigation, are not provided under a service contract.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.3.15 The Mission should update the work description of the materiel assistant.

5.3.16 The Mission should clearly communicate the few standards pertaining to property management and ensure that they are observed.

5.3.17 The Mission should develop a strategy for the property portfolio and continue to divest itself of certain substandard houses when the leases expire.

5.3.18 In the OR, the Mission should install an operational smoke detector in or close to the master bedroom.

5.3.19 The housing committee should clearly inform the HOM of proposed matches.

5.3.20 The Mission should develop a strategy for cyclical replacement of its official vehicles as part of a long-term N005 plan, and review the need to offer CBS a recreational vehicle.

5.3.21 The Mission should introduce a system to monitor vehicle gasoline consumption, conduct a CBS-approved monthly analysis, and archive it appropriately.

5.3.22 The Mission should take the necessary measures to close inventories and have contracts signed within four weeks after possession has been taken of the residential quarters.

5.3.23 There should be a rigorous annual and pre-departure inspection of the residential quarters, with particular attention paid to damage caused by pets.

5.3.24 The HOM should approve the sale of all Mission assets and sign the appropriate form.

5.3.25 The Mission should systematically request two or three quotes in order to test new suppliers, and prepare contracts for recurrent services for annual periods.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.3.15 Implemented. Updated position description was presented to employee for review on July 3 and signed on July 8, 2009.

5.3.16 Implemented. The Administration Section has formulated and distributed the section's service standards in a succinct and clear format (instead of the interdepartmental agreement, which is very long). We are already using a task list shared on Outlook to check that service times fall within the standards. This procedure will shortly be replaced by the Crow Canyon system.

5.3.17 Implemented. The Mission strategy for the property portfolio has been printed and approved by the Head of Mission. To better comply with the standards, the Mission divested itself of two houses in 2008, and there are plans to give up another one this summer and another in 2010.

5.3.18 Implemented.

5.3.19 Implemented. While there is only one CBS turning over this year who will require housing, the Committee has nonetheless met and provided the HOM with its recommendations.

5.3.20 Implemented. Replacement dates of all official vehicles have been forecast in a table tracking the age and kilometrage of the vehicles. Replacement is staggered over three fiscal years; no replacement is forecasted for the recreational vehicle, and it will be reviewed in line with the Platform Branch's initiative to rationalize vehicle fleets.

5.3.21 Implemented. We have created a spreadsheet on which data on each vehicle can be entered and which generates a comparative report on the fleet's consumption. This report will be approved and signed each month by the MCO and archived in the section's files.

5.3.22 In progress for upcoming arrivals. The Mission has already posted a calendar date for inventory inspection for the CBS arriving this summer.

5.3.23 Implemented. The MCO's annual inspection of all residential quarters took place in November. The service requests manager made an appointment with the CBS leaving this summer for the departure inventory/inspection. Any problems will be raised with the MCO for action.

5.3.24 In progress for upcoming sales. Noted, and the HOM will sign all sales documentation in future.

5.3.25 Implemented. The Mission is working on a long list of service providers in Rabat, including companies not known to the Embassy and companies recommended by other embassies. The MCO has met with his counterparts in other missions to discuss contract sharing, and the group was very enthusiastic. The contracts committee is very aware of this matter and has become very strict on the request for tender process.

Recommendations to the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD)

5.3.26 ARD, in concert with the HOM who will assume his duties in summer 2009, should develop a plan to meet the Mission's long-term needs with respect to the OR.

5.3.27 ARD should ensure that the necessary resources are made available to the new chancery project, in particular the dispatching of a project officer to oversee construction and ensure the project runs smoothly.

Measures taken by ARD

5.3.26 The new OR project in Rabat is on our priority list, and its implementation will commence as soon as resources are available.

5.3.27 A project officer in Rabat has already been arranged.

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 Financial management of the Mission is the responsibility of the MCO, who is assisted by an LE 07 Accountant and an LE 05 Assistant Accountant. The Accountant ***, while the Assistant has ***. The Mission would like to know the results of the comprehensive classification initiative for accountants.

5.4.2 The office is open every day from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Service standards are satisfactory. The Mission has two local currency bank accounts. One is convertible and the other is not.

5.4.3 It was impossible to trace the agreement concluded between the Mission and the bank. The Mission should contact the bank to review this agreement. After analysis of the financial records, we noted the following:

***

5.4.4 The inspection team examined all Mission revenues for the months of September 2008 and January 2009. We found that they had all been deposited in the appropriate accounts. Petty cash and accountable advances were also verified: they are in order.

5.4.5 The process in place for collecting immigration revenue funds was also inspected. It is appropriate, apart from the following situation: The Immigration section is located in the Mission Annex. ***.

5.4.6 The inspection team discussed with the Immigration Program manager the possibility of clients paying the fees for services they would like to receive directly to the bank. The Program manager was initially receptive to the idea. The whole matter will have to be evaluated.

5.4.7 There was a review of the mechanism in place for the collection of consular receipts. It was found to be appropriate. However, we noted ***.

5.4.8 At the request of Headquarters, the Mission returned $35,000 to it during fiscal year 2008B2009. Budgets are reviewed every month when the FINSTAT report is produced. Financial information is also provided to the sections on an ad hoc basis. The generation of monthly reports adapted to the needs of each section is one of the objectives of the Finance Section. At present, reports are produced regularly on hospitality, travel and leave expenses. The Mission had intended to produce more elaborate reports on LES pay. The Mission inquired regarding use of the IPL software, but was told to wait for the end of the pay systems central review process.

5.4.9 The Mission does not produce reports on its assets and liabilities. The Mission has sought the assistance of the Beirut accountant to formalize various types of financial reports.

5.4.10 The review of contracts showed that everything is generally in order. However, particular attention will have to be paid to the following:

  • the signing of certain contracts after the commencement of work;
  • the Procurement Committee should look at the contracts awarded to spouses and dependents, to validate the processes;
  • the Committee should do spot checks of contracts under $10,000 to verify that processes are being properly followed; and
  • advance payments should be limited: for example, why pay 50 percent at the beginning if, at the end of the work, there is no holdback or final payment.

5.4.11 The Mission finds the MM module frustrating to use, because programming errors are frequent and require a lot of time to resolve, resulting in lost time and delays in executing tasks.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.12 ***.

5.4.13 ***.

5.4.14 The Accountant should produce monthly financial reports for the managers.

5.4.15 ***.

5.4.16 We suggest that the Immigration Program manager contact his counterpart in Beirut to obtain information on the system used in that mission, which is very effective.

5.4.17 ***.

5.4.18 The Mission should consider concluding longer-term, i.e. multi-year contracts, with a renewal option for one or two years. Examine the possibility of using a standing offer agreement (SOA), which would be a means of diversifying suppliers for the services required.

5.4.19 The Procurement Committee should also look at contracts granted to spouses and dependants in order to validate the processes.

5.4.20 The Committee should do spot checks of contracts under $10,000 to ensure that processes are being properly followed.

5.4.21 Advance payments should be limited.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.4.12 In progress for September 2009. ***.

5.4.13 Implemented.

5.4.14 Implemented. The Accountant spent a week in June in working sessions with the accountant from Beirut to create reports to be issued to the managers. In consultation with certain managers, it was agreed that quarterly reports are sufficient for their needs. The first quarterly reports were distributed in July 2009.

5.4.15 Implemented. ***.

5.4.16 In progress for September 2009. The MCO and the manager of the Immigration Program will work on the fees issue after the peak season at Immigration. The MCO is familiar with the system, as he was posted in Beirut, and we will call upon our colleagues for any questions during our research.

5.4.17 In progress for August 2009. ***.

5.4.18 In progress for November 2009. A Request for Proposals has now been issued for a contract for guard services for two years, plus a renewal option for a third year. Many other contracts are being reviewed by the contracts committee.

5.4.19 Implemented. See 5.2.14. This practice is in place, and all contracts granted to spouses are subject to approval by the committee.

5.4.20 Implemented. All contracts over $5,000 are submitted to the committee for approval; the committee reviews the list of all contracts issued during the year, and all contracts are open for discussion.

5.4.21 Implemented. Normally, advance payments are not authorized.

5.4.22 When we examined the Mission accounts for the periods of September 2008 and January 2009, we noted a few processes that should be changed in the interest of improved internal control. To that end, we recommend the following changes:

Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.23 Official administrative correspondence between the Mission and third parties should be addressed to the MCO, or at least should go through his office before any action is taken. The same should apply for all transfers of funds, i.e. the MCO should be copied on all exchanges of correspondence.

5.4.24 The Mission should attach the appropriate documentation to payments: e.g., for rent, attach the part of the lease that concerns the terms and conditions of payment; same thing for contracts, etc.

5.4.25 Certain travel expense claims are not correctly filled out; we therefore suggest that the MCO, with the assistance of Accounting staff, provide training/instructions on how to complete a travel claim. In addition, the Mission could remind staff that online training on the Travel Directives can be found on the intranet, under Travel.

5.4.26 The Mission should affix the embassy seal to transfer orders pertaining to payments to suppliers or Mission staff.

5.4.27 At present, amounts collected in Canadian dollars are deposited at the bank. Since there are bank fees for cash deposits, and since the Mission loses money on the exchange rate, we ask that the Mission forward these amounts in cash to the cashier's office in Ottawa.

5.4.28 We have noted that part of the hospitality funds is sometimes used by Program managers for staff meetings, a practice that is contrary to policy. It should be ensured that in future such expenses do not recur.

5.4.29 At present, the Accounting Section waits to receive all amounts owing concerning reimbursements for personal telephone calls before issuing an official receipt to each client and then making the deposit. The official receipt must be issued as soon as the money is received, and the deposit must be made more quickly.

5.4.30 The Mission should strike out (manually) lines left blank on overtime reports and all reports of the same nature.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.4.23 Implemented. Noted: all correspondence for the section is now delivered directly to the MCO for sorting.

5.4.24 Implemented. Noted: all CBS with signing authority have been reminded that they must see justification for all payments that they approve, and the accountants have adopted the habit of attaching copies of contracts to payments.

5.4.25 In progress for October 2009. A general session on finance (signing authority, travel and hospitality claims) will be held with the new team in the fall.

5.4.26 Noted and implemented.

5.4.27 Implemented. Amounts collected in cash are now sent in the bag, as suggested.

5.4.28 Implemented. Noted: this point is particularly underscored in the new hospitality policy.

5.4.29 Noted and implemented.

5.4.30 Implemented. Noted: all the managers have been informed.

5.5 Information Management-Information Technology (IM-IT)

5.5.1 The Mission's IM IT function is delivered by the MCO and an LE 08 Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP). The Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) is located in Tunis and the Client Service Regional Manager (CSRM) is in Nairobi.

5.5.2 The LEITP has a client service approach and conducted a survey to determine client satisfaction. He has been proactive in developing applications to assist various programs, such as for transportation scheduling, leave reporting, scheduling CIC appointments, telephone call tracking and a Consular cash register. Work has also begun on a Mission Intranet site.

5.5.3 The LEITP is organized and makes use of the Remedy system as a means to manage and track work for larger scale requests but does not use it consistently for minor requests such as password resets. The LEITP indicated that it sometimes takes longer to input the information than to resolve the problem. As Remedy is the departmental tool that is used to monitor mission activities, provide input to planning documents for central agencies and develop business cases for resource needs, it is important that all activities be entered.

5.5.4 The Mission is looking to establish a formal on site backup for the LEITP's absences. The required paperwork is being processed for a CBS spouse to take on this function. Currently informal assistance is provided by one of the CIC LES employees.

5.5.5 The MCO plans to establish an IM IT budget for fiscal year 2009 2010, and, in anticipation of this, the LEITP has started tracking recent purchases. He is also developing proposals for items that could improve efficiency and security, such as a machine to produce in house identification cards.

5.5.6 As with other missions, there was a concern with the limited communication from AShop@DFAIT@ regarding the status of ordered IM IT items. At times, it took several months for missions to learn that it was not possible to be supplied with items or that items could not be shipped within the fiscal year.

5.5.7 Pending the installation of the Departmental service request software, the Mission has been making use of its organizational boxes and public folders for property service requests.

5.5.8 InfoBank (the Departmental IM software) has not yet been installed at the Mission. The Administration and Consular programs have developed a file structure to organize their documents and have worked to cull the shared driver prior to the transfer to the new system.

5.5.9 The FSITP and Mission plan to reorganize the MITNET Service Room (MSR) and Designated Computing Centre (DCC) rooms and dispose/relocate equipment as appropriate.

5.5.10 Client Relations and Marketing (AIEC) will be providing updates to the Mission on the following areas:

  • the status of the Departmental human resource management software system project;
  • specific procedures for the destruction of IT equipment; and
  • guidance on local purchases of radio systems, if the units provided by HQ cannot be.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.5.11 The Mission should ensure that all IM-IT related work is entered in the Remedy system.

5.5.12 In preparation for migration to InfoBank, the Mission should ensure that files are organized and that disposals occur where required and permitted by policy.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.5.11 Noted and in progress. The LEITP has taken the recommendation on board, and the MCO will follow up periodically to ensure things are functioning efficiently. The Mission remains conscious of the need for flexibility and judgement for minor tasks when the entry in Remedy is more time consuming than the task itself, but recognize that multiple stakeholders use the data for a variety of purposes.

5.5.12 Implemented. The Section undertook a major reorganisation of shared files in early 2009 in order to improve consistency and efficiency for users. A yearly review and clean-out will ensure that the system remains efficient. Other sections have also undertaken their own cleanup projects, notably the PE and IBD folders. All DFAIT folders are up to date. Partner departments use the shared drive to differing degrees, but discussion has taken place in CMM and all program managers have been reminded to keep filing structures updated.

Recommendation to the Information Management and Technology Bureau (AID)

5.5.13 AID should review Shop@DFAIT's client communication strategy regarding IM-IT order status.

AID Action and Timeframe

5.5.13 Procurement, Contracting and Asset Management (AICP) has recently introduced new functionality on Shop@DFAIT to improve order tracking. Clients can now check the status of their order on line.

Appendix A: Inspection Scope and Objectives

Table 2: Inspection Scope and Objectives of Physical Resources
Physical Resources
AssetsCrown LeasedCrownOwned
Chancery1-
Annex1-
Storage1-
Land-1
Official Residences1-
Staff Quarters12-
Vehicles-7

Table 3: Inspection Scope and Objectives of Financial Information
Financial Information 2008-09
Operating Budget (N001)$1,197,138
Capital Budget (N005)$104,127
CBS Salaries Budget (N011)$500,500
LES Salaries Budget (N012)$1,717,068
Total$3,518,833

Appendix B: Organization Chart

Organization Chart


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Date Modified:
2012-11-22