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Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

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Inspection of the Canadian Embassy Paris

(PDF Version, 1.31 MB) *

October 18 – 27, 2010

Table of Contents

Inspection Scope and Objectives

The scope of the Inspection included a review of Mission Management and the Political Economic, Commercial Economic, Consular and Common Services programs. The inspection objectives were to:

  • Assess the effectiveness of the leadership and management practices of the Head of Mission (HOM) and the Mission Management team;
  • Review the alignment of plans and activities, and program integration to Government of Canada and departmental objectives and priorities;
  • Assess the adequacy of management controls and systems, procedures and the reliability of information for decision making and accountability purposes;
  • Determine the extent of compliance with legislation, regulations and operating policies;
  • Evaluate the use of resources to determine that they are judiciously used and if value-for-money is received; and,
  • Make recommendations, where warranted, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Mission and its programs.

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

During the Inspection, inspection issues and lines of enquiry were further refined from information gathered through interviews with the Head of Mission and program managers, a meeting with Locally-engaged staff (LES) representatives of the LES Management Consultative Board, 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 Relations and Cultural Centre, Public Affairs, and Commercial Economic, Consular and Common Services programs was conducted in Paris from October 18 to 27, 2010. A previous audit of these programs took place in 2004.

The Embassy in Paris is a key mission with 50 Canada-Based Staff (CBS) and 158 Locally Engaged Staff (LES). It is responsible for Program delivery in France and Monaco and provides support to five partner departments, a provincial representative and permanent delegations to two multilateral organizations.

The Mission has a clear vision of its mandate in France and pursues the objectives of the Government of Canada in a concerted manner. There is good cooperation between programs and the whole of government approach to the delivery of government priorities works very well.

This is a complex Mission and one of the busiest in the world. It has developed a good network of contacts in the French society and supports frequent high-level bilateral visits to advance Canadian political and business interests in France and internationally. At the time of the Inspection, the Embassy was involved in supporting the Prime Minister's attendance at the Francophonie Summit in Montreux. It was also actively preparing for the additional responsibilities associated with France hosting the G8 and G20 meetings in 2011. The 2012 French presidential election will also add to the workload, as the Mission will want to be well positioned to provide regular reporting on the different issues of the campaign.

The Mission benefits from good management and a healthy work environment. Mission governance practices are effective, supported by a sound committee structure and participation from all Mission programs. There are frequent communications and a good level of cooperation between programs. Solid management practices and key controls are in place and operating effectively. For the most part, reports on hospitality activities are well documented and demonstrate alignment with strategic objectives, generally showing appropriate evaluations of results. The Official Residence (OR) is well used for hospitality events, not only by the Head of Mission, but also by Program Managers.

There are plans to combine Public Affairs with the Political Relations Program in the summer of 2011. As part of this transformation, the Mission should consider placing the Canadian Cultural Centre under the direction of Public Affairs and locating its manager at the Centre to provide more harmonized management on site and synchronization with the Embassy.

The Commercial Economic Program benefits from the stable and long-standing commercial relationship that Canada and France enjoy. The Program delivers on its mandate thanks to its comprehensive plans at both the strategic and operational level and its knowledgeable and motivated staff.

The active Consular Program is managed effectively and provides a good level of service to Canadians. The Deputy Management Consular Officer (DMCO) who provides day-to-day management of the Program, has established a good network of contacts. She has initiated an exchange program with the host government's Consular Emergency Centre which promotes the exchange of best practices and reinforces partnerships.

The Common Services Program is client service oriented and functioning well. High-level priorities and objectives have been established and some sections have put work plans in place that guide both management and staff. There has been an increasing workload for the Program with no additional incremental resources. This is primarily a result of additional work related to the frequent official visits and greater human resources demands. The Human Resources Section has on average 40 staffing actions per month, which include additional contractors and emergency and term employees.

Efforts have been made by the Common Services Program to modernize service delivery through active pursuit of a transformation agenda. Initiatives implemented have allowed the Program to manage a greater volume of requests within the Mission budget while achieving cost savings. Changes resulting from the Departmental Transformation Agenda will have an impact on the Mission. In particular, the Central Agency (CA) will need to clarify the role of the Regional Service Centre and the type of services that it could provide to the Mission in accordance with this mandate.

The report sets out a total of 59 recommendations resulting from the inspection, 52 of which involve the Mission and 7 of which involve HQ. Management has responded to each recommendation by specifying action or decisions that had already been taken and by indicating future measures. Among its 59 recommendations, Management has indicated that 29 of them have been implemented. It has also indicated plans under way or actions planned for each of the 30 remaining recommendations.


Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Embassy in Paris is a key mission with 50 CBS and 158 LES. It is responsible for departmental program delivery in France and Monaco, and provides support to the missions to the Permanent Delegation of Canada to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (PESCO) and the Permanent Delegation of Canada to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (POECD). The Mission also provides administrative support to five partner departments and one provincial representative office.

1.2 Mission Management

Key Mission Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The Mission's strategic objectives are consistent with Government and DFAIT priorities and guide staff performance measurement objectives.X  
DFAIT programs have developed operational plans based on the objectives outlined in the country strategy and advice/guidance from Headquarters (HQ).X  
The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) is an effective forum to review and make decisions on mission and administrative policies.X  
The Locally-engaged staff Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) is an effective forum for dialogue between mission management and LES.X  
Mission Management ensures that employees remain informed of key priorities and administrative policy decisions.X  
Minutes of committee meetings, particularly CMM, are made available to all staff, as appropriate.X  
The Official Languages Policy is respected and promoted by Mission Management.X  
Canadian Public Service values and ethics are promoted and reinforced, and employees are aware of available support resources (values and ethics, staff relations, etc.).X  

1.2.1 The Mission has, overall, implemented effective management practices. Issues were noted in some programs with regard to the translation of strategic objectives into operational plans.

1.2.2 Some Programs had developed workplans that demonstrate alignment with strategic priorities and have appropriately defined resource requirements and time lines. As a lack of aligned workplans was not endemic, these findings will be addressed in the appropriate section of this report.

1.2.3 While the Mission does not have an Official Languages Coordinator, staff dealing with the public are able to provide service in both official languages. Review of signage throughout the Chancery, in particular the areas where members of the public are received, identified adequate signage in both official languages.

1.3 Management Controls

Key Management Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The mission's committee structure meets minimum requirements based on size (Health and Safety, Security, Contract Review, etc.).X  
Mission committees are meeting regularly and effectively discharging their governance responsibilities.X  
Program managers are provided regular financial/budget updates to facilitate effective management and decision making.X  
Security policies and regulations are respected and promoted under the leadership of the Mission. X 
The appropriate authority participates in the quarterly reconciliation of passport inventory and signs for the assets on hand.X  
The appropriate authority reviews and signs-off on the mission's bank reconciliations on a monthly basis.X  
The Mission has a plan to ensure the continuity of operations in the event of a major disruption or catastrophic event (i.e. Business Continuity Plan). X 
Mission Hospitality guidelines are reviewed and updated annually by CMM.X  
Hospitality diaries are properly supported, demonstrate value-for-money and are used in alignment with Mission objectives. X 
The appropriate authority ensures that all employees have performance objectives set and that annual appraisals occur.X  

1.3.1 Overall, Management has effectively implemented key management controls at the Mission. Exceptions were noted, however, in areas related to safety and *** as well as hospitality.

1.3.2 While Management does promote good security practices, it was observed on a number of occasions that ***.

1.3.3 The Mission is aware that it does not have an approved Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place. While it has identified sites from which it can operate should the need arise, it will also have to formalize processes and procedures to address situations should some or all of the Chancery be unavailable. The Mission should continue to develop the BCP and ensure that it is regularly tested.

1.3.4 The inspection team examined the hospitality diaries and found that there are good controls and processes in place. The hospitality ceilings were recently approved by the Committee on Mission Management (CMM) in accordance with the policies. A thorough process was followed in order to determine the unit cost for non-catered events held at the OR, and the Intendant in charge of the OR constantly reviews them in order to ensure that they are still accurate. Evaluations of events could be improved in certain cases.

1.3.5 The Mission is using the OR extensively, in order to support the activities of the Head of Mission (HOM) and all Program Managers. In a couple of instances, permission has been granted for the OR to be used by third parties on a cost recovery basis. These parties are requested to sign a written agreement outlining all the details of the event, and the amount they will be required to pay.

1.3.6 In some instances, though, the connection between hospitality events and Mission and Program objectives was not clearly demonstrated. Hospitality diaries also, in some cases, did not provide sufficient detail in the evaluation to support the utility of the event in relation to objectives.


Recommendations to the Mission

1.4 Recommendations

1.4.1 The Mission must ensure that *** processes are respected and promoted.

1.4.2 The Mission should continue to develop the BCP and ensure that it is regularly tested.

1.4.3 The Mission should ensure that hospitality diaries demonstrate alignment with Program objectives and that the evaluations are appropriately documented.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

1.4.1 The Management Committee discussed the issue. The members validated the procedures and reiterated their commitment to the Mission's *** issues. Reminders were issued to all staff. An additional *** was assigned to the ***. Completed

1.4.2 The BCP draft prepared last October was reviewed in light of the additional information received from CEP and discussion with CSRA. The document will be submitted to the Committee on Mission Management for final approval. In progress

1.4.3 The Mission is implementing measures to strengthen good controls and processes currently in place. These measures include employee information and training sessions and a compilation of the best examples from the diaries to guide employees and managers. Close follow-up will be provided by program heads and the Deputy Head of Mission. In progress


Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA)

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The Political Relations (PR) Program is overseen by an EX-02 Program Manager (PM), who is supported by an EX-01 section head, five CBS and 12 LES. The Program comprises a Political Relations Section and the Canadian Cultural Centre (CCC).

2.1.2 The Mission also has a Public Affairs (PA) Program, overseen by a substantive EX-01 in an EX-02 position, who is supported by 14 CBS, with operations conducted at two locations. The Chancery houses the Public Affairs and the Youth Mobility Program, and the Canadian Cultural Centre houses the staff working on University Relations.

2.1.3 The PR Program is responsible for the management of the bilateral relationship with the host country, as well as multilateral relations involving La Francophonie. It is preparing for additional responsibilities associated with France hosting the G8 and G20 meetings in 2011. The Program is also ensuring that it will be well positioned during the 2012 French presidential election.

2.1.4 The Mission plans to amalgamate the PA Program into the overall PR Program in the summer of 2011. The classification of the PA section head will be reduced from EX-02 to EX-01 and this position will report to the EX-02 Political Relations PM.

2.1.5 The CCC is a venue of cultural expression that continues to be important in French society and is key in the Mission's networking strategy . The Centre went through a period of transition during which it reviewed its activities and realigned them with departmental transformation objectives.

2.1.6 It is recommended that the Mission amalgamate the CCC into PA to allow the two sections to operate in a way that leverages the skills and networks that each has developed. Locating components of the Public Affairs Program at the CCC will help integrate the units concerned and foster more consistent and effective management on site and in connection with the Embassy.

2.1.7 Consolidation of the PA Section at the CCC would also free up some of the Chancery premises to alleviate existing space constraints. The consolidation would also optimize the use of the available meeting space at the CCC.

2.2 Planning and Program Management

Key PERPA Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
PERPA plans are aligned with the priorities and objectives outlined in the Mission Plan and informed by departmental and geographic bureau guidance and objectives.X  
PERPA plans outline intended outcomes and results are measurable.X  
Officer roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and have been communicated to all staff.X  
Internal communications within the program effectively support program delivery.X  


2.2.1 In order to address its own strategic planning needs, the Mission developed a "Stratégie d'engagement" document, which was provided to HQ. Thereafter, it was transferred to the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) System template under tight time lines.

2.2.2 The Mission may wish to develop an umbrella PERPA plan to properly coordinate the operational plans of the three sections of the Program and reinforce their interdependence.

2.3 Implementation

Key PERPA Implementation CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Strategic objectives and plans have been translated into individual or team work plans. X 
Activities and initiatives are aligned with the Mission's key priorities and with the principles of the New Way Forward PERPA Renewal initiative.X  
Program reporting is in-line with Mission and government objectives, timely and relevant and reflects New Business Model principles.X  
The program develops and maintains a contact base that meets programs needs and objectives.X  
Relations with other mission programs facilitate program delivery.X  
The program facilitates a mission-wide coordinated approach to advocacy and the development of common messaging. X 

2.3.1 While both the PR and PA programs have demonstrated strong operational plans, complete with performance measures and resource allocations, the Cultural Section's plans remain in need of further development.

2.3.2 The PERPA Program has developed a working group at the operational level that coordinates and leverages section activities within the Program. The "Unité de Promotion des Intérêts" (UPI ) meets periodically to keep section officers informed of the events and activities that other sections are undertaking. It allows greater coordination of efforts and permits other sections to leverage their colleagues' events wherever possible. This group should be encouraged to expand to other programs in the Mission (Commercial, Economic, Consular, etc) as part of a whole-of-mission approach to Program delivery.

The Political Relations Program

2.3.3 For the most part, the Program has implemented operational planning that will assist it in achieving Mission objectives. Documentation of the plans, with identification of key elements, will allow for more effective partnering within the section and with other Programs.

2.3.4 Where formal reporting is not necessary, short "post mortem" reviews by officers could be attached to hospitality diaries reflecting objectives, key performance indicators and results. This information could be transferred to the operational plan to consolidate results in a single place.

La Francophonie

2.3.5 The Program also comprises a section dedicated to La Francophonie, which marked its 40th anniversary in 2010. The Government of Canada is the second-largest donor after France, contributing approximately $40 million per year to the International Organization of La Francophonie and Francophone institutions.

2.3.6 The section consists of two officers, who work independently from the Political Relations Program, and is effective in the delivery of its mandate. At a recent conference an observer noted that a significant number of Canadian inputs made it into final documents, as a result of the work of the officers from the section.

2.3.7 The nature of the section's work is primarily reactive to the agenda of the multilateral organization or official visits related to the organization. Since requests often arrive unexpectedly, operational planning will allow for more effective prioritization of activities and recognition of opportunities to leverage contacts and events.

The Canadian Cultural Centre

2.3.8 The overall plan for the Cultural Centre defines three priorities: supporting the Mission's priorities, the 40th anniversary of the CCC, and staying within budget. The first priority is consistent with the Mission's objectives. However, neither of the other two stated priorities is aligned with those of the Mission or Government. While the 40th anniversary of the CCC is a key event, it should not be considered to be a priority objective in the plan. Management within budget is sound financial management that should be inherent in every operational plan, and not identified as a unique priority.

2.3.9 While most officers at the CCC have notional plans of the events they would like to undertake, there is little formalization of operational plans. The plans should be established by each officer in order to ensure that there can be adequate project management of events and initiatives. They will also serve as a tool to share information between sections of the PERPA Program, and between programs in the Mission. The UPI will be an appropriate venue to share these plans and coordinate the project management of events and activities.

2.3.10 The reporting by the Cultural Centre has shown an improvement since the arrival of the PM. A shift has occurred, resulting in an understanding that reporting is not simply activity based, but needs to be performed in relation to the objectives of the Mission and to demonstrate how the planned events further them. To assist officers in this regard, the planning process should be explicit in terms of managing for results and the definition of key performance indicators.

The Public Affairs Program

2.3.11 Each section of PA has established operational plans with performance measures. In addition, every employee has an individual work plan, which is discussed regularly with the manager with reference to their Performance Management Program (PMP). There is, however, no overarching plan for the Program.

2.3.12 The Academic Relations group will need to establish priorities in concert with the Program Manager and examine new approaches to information sharing with the public in order to better manage the demands. While greater use of information technology will facilitate this, the group should continue to ensure representation at some conferences and information fora according to Program priorities.

2.3.13 The Youth Mobility Program (YMP) benefits from effective planning and coordination of its activities. Members of the team understand their role and responsibilities. The regular engagement of emergency employees to manage the annual peak period is well planned and managed. Paris can serve as a model for other missions responsible for implementing this program.

2.3.14 The YMP will, however, need to undertake more regular financial comparison of receipts and reimbursements. Thousands of refunds are made on an annual basis, although no regular reconciliation is performed by the PA Program or the Finance Section.

2.3.15 During the course of the inspection, a reconciliation was performed which showed discrepancies. Upcoming changes to the application process will drastically reduce the number of reimbursements required in the future. It is still recommended that reconciliations be done every three months.

2.4 Performance Measurement

Key PERPA Performance Measurement CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The PERPA program has an established performance measurement system in place to monitor activities towards the achievement of objectives.X  
The PERPA program assesses performance against their strategy / objectives and plans, and provides a high-level assessment of performance through the MPR system at the end of the fiscal year. X 
Hospitality diaries demonstrate value-for-money and alignment with priorities. X 

2.4.1 While the Program has identified performance criteria in both the MPR and section operational plans, the criteria are essentially activity based as opposed to results based. Clear links must be established between the priority oriented objectives of the program and the success criteria by which results will be assessed.

2.4.2 Hospitality diaries do not consistently link the event to defined Government, Department, or Mission priorities. However, within the PA Program, and the hospitality diaries of one CCC officer, there were often appropriate definitions of objectives, links to priorities, and results-based management evaluations of the events. These should be used as an example within the Mission.

2.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

2.5.1 The Mission should consider the amalgamation of the Canadian Cultural Centre and the Public Affairs Centre.

2.5.2 The Program should develop a Political Relations strategic plan that is aligned with the MPR system and that outlines priorities related to activities, outputs, and intended results.

2.5.3 The Political Relations Program should ensure that all sections develop work plans that are aligned with the MPR and identify performance assessment criteria, deliverables, and resource implications.

2.5.4 The Mission should examine the possibility of expanding UPI participation to all Mission programs.

2.5.5 The Academic Relations group should establish priorities in concert with the Program Manager and examine ways to better manage information sharing.

2.5.6 The Youth Mobility Program should perform regular financial reconciliations.

2.5.7 The Program should ensure appropriate completion of hospitality diaries to ensure that event objectives are linked to priorities.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

2.5.1 Reorganization efforts were undertaken in February 2011 to amalgamate certain sections of the PA and the CCC. There is now a permanent CBS manager at the CCC. Completed

2.5.2 The MPR 2010/11 has been completed and the results inserted. For the 2011/12 year, the strategic plan will reflect all sections of the Mission. Completed

2.5.3 The section work plan has been developed based on the priorities defined in the MPR for France and the PMP for each employee has been aligned with the section's MPR work plan. Completed

2.5.4 The UPI has invited all sections of the Embassy to participate following consideration of this option since its creation in September 2010, as it wanted to proceed by stages in order to properly consolidate its efforts. Completed

2.5.5 The Academic Relations Group is preparing a strategic plan (that includes scholarship programs, management of the 18 Canadian studies centres, as well as the Understanding Canada program) in consultation with the officer in charge of new technologies to ensure optimum use of electronic tools. A strategic plan to improve delivery of the Edu-Canada program has been in operation since April 1, 2011. In terms of information sharing, one team member is active in the UPI and the team is exploring other options. In progress

2.5.6 The staff of the Youth Mobility Program has introduced quarterly reconciliations (including the MCO and the director of financial services) to improve receipt and disbursement of funds. Following consultations with Common Services, a new procedure has been implemented, which has led to an 80% decrease in the number of financial transactions involving reimbursements. The practices are now consistent with departmental standards. Completed

2.5.7 Measures such as employee information and training sessions will be implemented and close follow-up will be provided by program heads and the Minister-Counsellor. In progress


Commercial Economic Program (CEP)

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 Canada and France enjoy a stable and long-standing commercial relationship. France is Canada's eighth largest trading partner and third in Europe with bilateral trade exceeding $9 billion in 2008. Almost one half of Canadian exports to France are from high-tech sectors.

3.1.2 Investment and science and technology relationships are also strong. France is Canada's fourth-largest foreign investor, with direct investment stock of over $18.5 billion. Cumulative Canadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA) in France also represents about $18.5 billion, signalling a mutually beneficial relationship.

3.1.3 A Declaration of Enhanced Partnership between France and Canada was signed in 1997, launching a new era of cooperation in the commercial domain. This declaration launched a series of activities that are captured in the biannual report of the France-Canada Joint Economic Commission. This bi-annual report details actions taken in the field of economic, industrial and commercial exchanges resulting from the Declaration, and associated action plans, which are revised on an ongoing basis.

3.1.4 The Program is led by an EX-2-level Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) and consists of 5 CBS and 19 LES. One of the CBS is an EX-01 representative from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) who works with European counterparts on related issues. The heads of the three component sections are EX-01 level, including a counsellor managing the Economic Section, and there is one FS-01 developmental position. The LES ranks consist of 10 officer positions, 2 intermediate level positions and 7 assistant positions.

3.2 Planning and Program Management

Key CE Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Program objectives reflect departmental plans and priorities, including partner departments where applicable.X  
Performance targets are defined, clear and measurable.X  
Officer roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and have been communicated to all staff.X  
Internal program communication effectively supports program delivery. X 

3.2.1 The management function within the Program provides *** leadership and cohesion among its component sections. The *** are all *** leaders who are *** by staff and make *** contributions to the operations of the Program.

3.2.2 Employees interviewed felt that management expectations were sufficiently clear, that lines of communication are generally open and effective and that leadership within the Program was exercised through an appropriate mix of engagement, empowerment and support. That said, some did express a desire for more regular communications concerning developments in HQ or other Programs at the Mission.

3.2.3 While the management structure in place contributes to an effective Program, there is a considerably high ratio of EX-level positions relative to the number of staff to supervise. Three EX employees from DFAIT may be generous in comparison with other similar programs abroad, or most work units of similar composition at HQ. The current composition of three EX-level and one FS-level position also does not allow for mid-level or CE staff to be posted to this Mission.

3.2.4 With respect to the LES profile, there is a high number of LE-09 Officer-level positions within the Program. While there is an LE-07 and LE-08 position, there are no positions that could be considered developmental within the Program.

3.2.5 Additionally, the work profile of the assistants in the program deals mostly with administrative support. In most other CE programs, a Trade Commissioner Assistant's profile includes a significant client service component.

3.2.6 The LE-08 position that manages *** for the Program would appear to be over-classified, given the responsibilities of the position. Consideration should be given to adding some direct client support work, perhaps in non-priority sectors.

3.2.7 The Counsellor from the Canadian Space Agency is currently receiving 0.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) administrative support from a Program resource. The Program should confirm whether arrangements in place between the CSA and DFAIT provide for this level of support.

3.2.8 Planning and consultation processes employed by the Program are comprehensive. Employees are all aware of their key interlocutors and stakeholders related to their sectors. The Program's strategy and action plans are well developed and serve to inform the reader of the orientation of the Program within its sectors. There exists, however, the need to more fully articulate both results achieved in the previous year and expected results for the upcoming one.

3.2.9 Some apprehension was expressed by certain staff members with respect to what they perceived as an overly complex and burdensome planning process emanating from HQ. Some of this perception was probably warranted, as previously there were a number of points of contact and entities involved in providing comments on the strategy and associated action plans. This situation has been recognized and addressed at the HQ level and steps are under way to streamline the process going forward.

3.3 Implementation

Key CE Implementation CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Business Plan objectives and objectives outlined in the Performance Management Agreement (PMA) and in the division's PMP appropriately cascade down into officer PMPs.X  
Activities and initiatives are aligned with the mission's key priorities.X  
The use of TRIO by staff is monitored to facilitate client relationship management. X 
Staff use of TRIO is monitored to ensure activities are reported appropriately and accurately reflect the work undertaken. X 
The InfoCentre function has defined objectives and responsibilities. X 

3.3.1 The Program is delivering on its mandate and staff are knowledgeable, motivated and well connected with stakeholders, including those in regional offices and the sector practice groups. Activities undertaken by the Program are clearly supporting Canadian clients. The strategic focus of the Program is appropriate and targeted and translates into tangible activities.

3.3.2 The Program actively assumes leadership for multi-mission initiatives under the Integrative Trade Strategy Client Service Fund window. Through this experience, the Program found the funding and decision-making processes to be time consuming and rigid, and had concerns with regard to the timeliness of project approval decisions from HQ and funds delivery. Efforts are currently under way to address missions' needs and the needs of HQ with respect to this process, are well advanced and should serve to improve ease of program delivery while respecting the due diligence requirements of HQ.

3.3.3 There is a need to enhance the use of TRIO within the Program. While some employees are using the system comprehensively, most users are under reporting. This situation results in below-average metrics being reported and limits the STC monitoring activities and of the InfoCentre in monitoring service standard adherence and client relations.

3.3.4 Staff noted that consistent use of TRIO is affected by system issues. Specifically in the afternoons, the system becomes very slow and unresponsive. This is obviously a barrier to consistent and effective utilisation. Bandwidth availability was reviewed and deemed to be sufficient. Therefore, the situation is potentially caused by an increase in demand on the database as users in HQ and North America come online.

3.3.5 The InfoCentre provides good service to staff. There is an opportunity for them to become more involved in the monitoring of adherence to service delivery standards through TRIO and in producing summary reports to management.

3.4 Performance Measurement

Key CE Performance Measurement CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Tools and mechanisms are in place to measure and monitor performance of the program. X 
Program employees are involved in the performance measurement process. X 
Hospitality diaries are maintained in a fashion that demonstrates value-for-money and alignment with priorities.X  

3.4.1 There is ongoing discussion at the strategic level around performance and areas of focus, but there is room for enhanced oversight of ongoing activities. The lack of entries into TRIO means that this tool and the associated metrics that it can produce are not effective for proper Program management. It also limits the client interaction that HQ and other missions can view.

3.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

3.5.1 The structure of the CE Program should be reviewed with a view to creating developmental positions that would allow for enhanced employee career progression.

3.5.2 The Program should review the job description of the LE-08 *** position.

3.5.3 The Program should review the job descriptions for the LE-05 Assistant positions to determine whether they are in line with the typical Trade Commissioner Assistant profile.

3.5.4 The Program should use the TRIO tool on a regular basis. A defined role for the InfoCentre in promoting enhanced and compliant usage should be developed.

3.5.5 The Program should review the Memorandum of Understanding for the Canadian Space Agency position to determine the anticipated level of service and the costs associated with the relevance of cost recovery.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.5.1 Deliberations regarding the structure of the CE Program will be completed by July 1st, which will allow for structural changes as staffing actions are carried out. In progress

3.5.2 The review of the job description for the LE-08 position will be completed by July 1st. In progress

3.5.3 The review of job descriptions for the LE-05 Assistant positions will be completed by July 1st. In progress

3.5.4 All Trade Commissioner Service staff in the CE Program use TRIO. Following a retirement in January, the InfoCentre's role has increased in support of the use of TRIO. Optimal use of TRIO within the technical limits of the system is a priority of the program's business plan. In progress

3.5.5 The Memorandum of Understanding with the CSA is currently being reviewed. In progress

Recommendation to the Europe and Eurasia Bureau (GUD)

3.5.6 GUD should examine the structure of the CE Program to determine whether the current complement of an EX-02, three EX-01s and one FS-01 is optimal for program delivery and developmental perspectives.

GUD Action and Timeframe

3.5.6 GUD accepts the recommendation, and to ensure optimal program delivery and developmental perspectives, will include a review of the structure of the CE Program in the Department's next strategic and operational review.


Consular Program

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The Consular Program is managed by an AS-06 Deputy Management Consular Officer (DMCO), under the direction of an EX-02 Management Consular Officer (incumbent position EX-01). The DMCO/Consular is supported by an LE-09 Senior Consular Officer, an LE-07 Consular Officer and six LE-05 Consular Assistants, one of whom is designated as part-time. The Mission has six Honorary Consuls working in Lille, Lyon, Nice, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Toulouse and Monaco, and also has consular responsibility for the French territories of French Guyana, Guadeloupe and Martinique.

4.1.2 The Mission provides approximately 4,000 passport services and processes approximately 800 citizenship applications and 650 notarial requests yearly. There are 1,230 Canadian citizens in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database. The estimated number of Canadians residing in France is 50,000.

4.1.3 The LE-09 Senior Consular Officer's passport approver role was removed in August 2010, in accordance with the Government Security Policy and Passport Canada regulations that stipulate only certified CBS should be verifying and approving applications. This has added to the workload of the DMCO and has had an impact on the LE-09 Senior Consular Officer's supervisory role, since he can no longer monitor errors or issues in the Passport Management Program (PMP).

4.2 Program Management

Key Consular Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Consular work is planned and prioritized.X  
The Consular Contingency Plan is up-to-date.X  
The Duty Officer Manual is up-to-date.X  
The mission has ongoing dialogue with key local authorities to facilitate program delivery.X  
Staff meetings are held regularly to communicate new directives, set priorities, plan program and operational direction, and to ensure staff are aware of case management issues.X  

4.2.1 The Program is managed effectively with a good level of service provided to clients. There are appropriate processes, procedures and controls in place. Consular work is well planned and priorities are established. The LE-09 supervisor has developed a comprehensive list of tasks that function as the section's workplan. Roles and responsibilities are clearly assigned and understood, and all staff have performance management plans in place. Communication is open, and regular staff meetings take place. Teamwork and morale are positive.

4.2.2 Paris is one of the busiest missions in the world with a high volume of passport and citizenship applications. The Program maintains that the current workload is manageable if the section is fully staffed, but any absence creates additional pressures. Many employees indicated that they would often forego breaks in order to meet workload demands.

4.2.3 A decision was made by HQ not to provide fingerprinting in our Canadian missions. Although this service has resulted in an increased workload, the Mission has continued to offer it to clients, as it would appear that the fingerprinting cannot be obtained through any other provider.

4.2.4 The Mission manages a high number of consular cases related to mental health issues that often require medical, financial or repatriation assistance. These cases demand a lot of attention and are labour intensive. The Mission appears to manage these cases well. However, staff have voiced concerns over the lack of consistency in responses received from HQ. Staff suggested setting up a specialized unit within the Consular Case Management Division (CNO) where a more integrated, consistent and cohesive approach to providing guidance and directions to missions could be offered.

4.2.5 The DMCO has established a good network of local contacts and has regular meetings with her counterparts from like-minded missions. She has also met with local airline representatives and airport contacts. An exchange program has been initiated between the host government's Consular Emergency Centre and the Department's Emergency Watch and Response Centre. An employee from each Ministry/Department spent a month working in the other country's Department/Ministry to familiarize themselves with the nature of the operations, share best practices and reinforce partnerships. This initiative is a good practice.

4.3 Client Service

Key Consular Client Service CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Service standards, a fee schedule and a copy of the official receipt are posted in public areas in both official languages. X 
The program monitors adherence to service standards and makes adjustments where necessary.X  
The program has the capacity to provide services to Canadians in the official language of their choice.X  
The mission promotes client feedback mechanisms and takes corrective action, when warranted.X  
The mission has provided the Honorary Consuls (HonCons) with a mandate letter which establishes their role, responsibilities and accountabilities and performance is reviewed annually.X  
There is adequate liaison/support from the mission for the HonCon.X  

4.3.1 The Program is meeting client service standards as set out by both the Department and Passport Canada.

4.3.2 All Consular staff are able to provide services to clients in both official languages. A computer with Internet service is available for client use in the consular waiting area, and phones have been installed in the private booths. While the Mission has a wide range of information pamphlets, they are not available in the waiting area. Service standards, fee schedules and a copy of the official receipt are also not posted in the waiting area.

4.3.3 The Mission actively requests feedback forms from consular clients. A review of the forms submitted demonstrated that the Mission provides a high quality of consular services. Comments received from community members during a lunch hosted by the Inspector General indicated a high level of satisfaction with the Consular Program.

4.3.4 The Mission uses registered mail to send passports and citizenship cards to clients, and the associated 4 euros for each delivery is absorbed by the Mission. Since the fee for passport or citizenship card services outside of Canada does not include a mail option, the additional cost should be borne by the client, or the mail service should not be provided. Elimination of this service could result in annual savings to the Mission of at least $15,000.

4.3.5 An annual meeting of all honorary consuls (HonCons) is held to discuss areas of common of interest and share good practices. They receive information and presentations from key members of the Mission, including the Head of Mission (HOM) and Deputy HOM. A member of the Inspection Team met five of the HonCons at this year's annual meeting which took place at the beginning of the Inspection visit. The HonCons indicated their satisfaction with the communication and support received from the Mission. Annual mandate letters are provided to each HonCon and performance reviews are conducted. The HonCons are very knowledgeable, professional and active in their communities. While the Mission shares a document with the HonCons, outlining the broad mission objectives and priorities, there is further opportunity to enhance the annual mandate process by consulting each Program Manager for input and ensuring that the HonCon mandates align with Mission priorities.

4.3.6 An agreement letter should exist between the Mission and the HonCon defining the expenses and amounts that will be reimbursed on a monthly basis. This information has been communicated informally in the past. The lack of written agreements is a common issue in missions whose HonCon operations have recently been reviewed.

4.4 Internal Controls

Key Consular Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
A certified CBS signs-off on all passports, except in extenuating circumstances with the approval of Passport Canada.X  
Client documents and personal information are properly stored and secured.X  
Completed passport application forms and related documentation are securely destroyed 60 business days following the end of the month that they were submitted.X  
There are adequate segregation of duties for staff handling revenues.X  
Official receipts are issued to Consular clients and revenue is recorded on a record of fees received form. X 
Revenues are transferred to the finance section once $500 is reached (once a week if less than $500), a reconciliation is completed in the presence of the transferring employee and an official receipt is issued.X  
Upon reciept of new passport stock, two CBS verify the receipt of all assets, sign and return the transmittal note.X  
The primary inventory of passport blanks (temporary and emergency), identification labels, observation labels, stamps, and seals are stored according to official guidelines.X  
Movement of assets is recorded in an inventory log and the CBS custodian and the employee receiving the asset initial the log.X  
LES are allocated an appropriate working inventory that is controlled by a daily log (passports issued, spoiled, returned to safe storage) and unused inventory is stored securely at the end of each day.X  
Inventory is physically counted, reconciled and signed-off at the end of each month by two staff, one of whom must be a CBS.X  
The appropriate authority participates in and signs-off on quarterly passport inventory reconciliations.X  
Official seals and stamps are properly inventoried, secured and access provided to designated staff only.X  

4.4.1 Controls on passport and consular activities were effective and in compliance with policies and procedures. There is appropriate separation of duties with no duplication of tasks; service standards are respected;. personal information pertaining to passport applications is safely handled and stored securely; and destruction procedures for passport applications are followed.

4.4.2 The passport stock was counted during the Inspection and the inventory was verified. Passport assets are appropriately secured, and a consular assistant keeps and is responsible for an adequate supply of stock for day-to-day work. She takes inventory of passport asset material using an electronic spreadsheet, saved on the shared drive accessible to all consular employees. There is no formal transfer of responsibility of the inventory when the Consular Assistant plans to be on leave, thus making it difficult to hold someone accountable should passport stock go missing.

4.4.3 When required, emergency travel documents (ETDs) are shipped *** to HonCons which is not in accordance to the policies and porcedures for the transport ***.

4.4.4 The Mission has good controls for consular revenue collection. Each transaction is recorded by one individual into the ***. Official receipts are immediately given to clients when they pay by cash. If a payment is made by cheque, however, an official receipt is provided only at the end of the process when they have received the service.

4.4.5 Some clients obtain passport service information directly from the Passport Canada website, where the fees are displayed in Canadian currency. As a result, some clients submit fees in euro equivalency using exchange rates which do not always correspond to the exchange rate used by the Mission. The Mission has implemented a practice to accept payments received that are either 5% higher or lower to avoid returning cheques by mail. When such cases happen, the value of the service recorded is being reduced or increased. While it may be a cost and time-saving practice, the Mission does not have the authority to modify the price of services.

4.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

4.5.1 The Mission should investigate options for the provision of fingerprinting services by local service providers and communicate the list to clients seeking this service. If the service is not available locally, the Mission should consult with HQ to determine the alternatives.

4.5.2 The Mission should ensure that information pamphlets are available in the waiting area. Service standards, fee schedules and a copy of the official receipt should also be posted in the waiting area.

4.5.3 The Mission should offer passport and citizenship card mailing services on a cost recovery basis only.

4.5.4 The Mission should prepare and sign a written agreement with each HonCon to confirm which amounts will be paid on a monthly basis.

4.5.5 The electronic inventory spreadsheet of passport material should be maintained by one individual. When the employee is absent, the responsibility should be transferred to another employee.

4.5.6 The Mission should follow the norms for the transport of ETDs as required in the policies and procedures ***.

4.5.7 An official receipt should be provided to all clients whenever a payment is received, whether by cash or cheque.

4.5.8 The Mission should consult CNO and SMFF regarding the 5% payment variance accepted by the Mission for consular/passport services and seek guidance on the appropriate approach to the issue.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

4.5.1 Review of possible options with local private providers. The French police cannot do fingerprinting unless it is in connection with an active investigation. If our efforts are inconclusive, we will consult HQ for possible options in Canada. In progress

4.5.2 Service standards, the fee schedule and information pamphlets are available to clients in the waiting area and are checked regularly. Completed

4.5.3 In consultation with CLP and in view of the practices in all missions abroad, an assessment of mechanisms that could be put in place to recover the cost of mailings will be considered. In progress

4.5.4 A monthly expense report is provided and signed by our six honorary consulates. A written agreement could be drawn up and signed: such a practice should be standardized for all consulates. A discussion was held with consular management dealing with policy and the next consular manual should include a standard model for our consulates worldwide. In progress

4.5.5 The passport inventory is maintained by one individual. A form for transferring responsibility has been created in the event that this employee is absent. This system has already been implemented. Completed

4.5.6 The mission will follow the policies regarding the movement of ETDs. Completed.

4.5.7 Official receipts are issued to all clients for all services provided by consular services. Completed

4.5.8 The Mission will consult CND/CLD and SMFF by the end of June 2011 to validate the approach taken.

Recommendations to Consular Operations Bureau (CND) and Consular Policy and Advocacy Bureau (CLD)

4.5.9 CLD should explore options to grant LES in supervisory roles "view only" access in the Passport Management Program.

4.5.10 CND should ensure that clear and consistent guidance and direction is provided to missions in the management of cases dealing with mental health issues.

4.5.11 Guidelines and a template for a written agreement between the Mission and the HonCons defining the expenses and amounts to be reimbursed should be developed and provided to missions. CLD should ensure that such agreements are in place.

CND/CLD Actions and Timeframes

4.5.9 All LES who work in the passport program in Paris have access to the PMP system (data entry) except for the approval option, which is reserved for Canada-based staff only. We can easily modify the access level to give supervisors "view only" access.

4.5.10 The Bureau recognizes that mental health issues can be extremely complex to manage. CNO will continue to support and guide the Mission in that regard.

The Consular Policy Manual will include more detailed guidelines for managing mental health cases. As well, discussions are being held on how to provide additional training for consular officers at HQ and abroad, on managing the impact on consular affairs (including cases of mental health) and consular officers, and on tools that need to be developed to better manage these cases.

4.5.11 Operational budgets for HonCons are the responsibility of the Geographic Area Management Advisor (GLA). CLD has no control over or responsibility for these budgets. However, we are working in close cooperation with GLA to analyze operational expenses for all of our HonCons. This analysis may lead to a financial model that can be used to develop parameters for eligible expenses. These would only be general parameters, since each consulate headed by an HonCon meets specific needs within an environment that differs from country to country.

Recommendations to Passport Canada Foreign Operations (PPDM)

4.5.12 PPDM should consider providing additional wording or a mission hyperlink on their passport fee website instructing clients to view the Mission website for passport fees in local currency.

PPDM Action and Timeframe

4.5.12 Passport Canada's website is the authority on information concerning Passport Canada. Passport Canada has initiated a review of the information on passport fees posted on our website with a view to making it clearer and easier to understand. The necessary changes will be made over the next two months.


Common Services

5.1 Overview

5.1.1 The Common Services Program is managed by a substantive EX-01 MCO in an EX-02 position, who is supported by a team of 10 CBS and 41 LES. The Program is responsible for providing common services to 12 programs with approximately 230 employees. Staff are at the following locations: the Chancery, the Canadian Cultural Centre (CCC), the Permanent Delegation of Canada to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (PESCO), the Permanent Delegation of Canada to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (POECD) and four Official Residences (ORs).

Program Management

Key Common Services Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
An operational plan has been developed and incorporates key mission and international platform objectives, along with measurable expected results. X 
The program has documented and communicated administrative policies and procedures to guide management, staff and clients.X  
The Common Services program actively seeks to implement best practices, improve efficiencies and reduce operating costs.X  
Regular meetings with staff in the Common Services program are held to review priorities and to follow up the implementation of plans.X  

5.1.2 From an operational standpoint, the Program is functioning well. Section managers are knowledgeable and competent in their respective areas, and with the support of the MCO, effectively manage their day-to-day operations. The MCO ensures that she is aware of the main issues and becomes involved when required. She is described as ***. That said, during the inspection, the team did note certain deficiencies in the Financial Section. Given the complexity and scope of the challenges the section faces, the ***.

5.1.3 The MCO holds weekly Program meetings with the six section managers as well as weekly bilateral meetings with each. Overall, communications are good and sections cooperate well, although some improvements could be made with regard to communication with the staff of the ORs. The employees of individual sections have confidence in their respective managers and, as a result, there is good morale.

5.1.4 The Program is facing several challenges that affect program management and service delivery. Internal labour relations have consumed the attention of not only the Common Services Program, but that of Mission Management over the last few years.

5.1.5 Periodic public transportation strikes, which make it difficult for staff to get to work and frequent absences owing to vacation days (5-7 weeks per year), have an impact on the capacity of the Program. In addition, the number of high-level official visits and the number of emergency employees hired by the Mission have added to the pressure.

5.1.6 There is an increasing workload associated with contractors, emergency and term employees (primarily for the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Youth Mobility programs) with a high volume of staffing actions each month. There are no incremental resources to support the provision of related HR, Security, Finance and IM-IT services. The IM-IT Section also noted that an estimated nine person weeks are utilized every year for high-level visits.

5.1.7 The Mission has provided input to the Common Service Model (CSM) in February 2010 and is awaiting feedback from the Regional Service Centre (RSC) with regard to additional resources. In particular, the CSM indicated the need for an additional HR professional position which would greatly assist the Mission in managing in the complex local environment. The role of the RSC and services it will provide need to be clarified, especially as it will directly impact the Mission's Finance Section once the Canada-based FI accountant position is replaced by an LES position.

5.1.8 The Program has made efforts to modernize the delivery of common services over the last few years by actively pursuing a transformation agenda. It has implemented initiatives in order to better manage the Mission budget and has been successful in gaining significant savings. Many sections have well documented procedures and policies which are available on the Mission intranet site. While high-level priorities and objectives for the Program have been developed and some sections have workplans in place, others would benefit from the development of documented workplans to guide managers and staff.

Client Service

Key Common Services Client Service CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Service standards have been established and communicated to clients.X  
Services provided reflect fair and equitable allocation and access to common services for all mission programs.X  
A mechanism is in place to solicit and receive client feedback and corrective action is taken when warranted. X 
Any hub and spoke relationships are governed by an agreement outlining the roles and responsibilities of each mission. X 

5.1.9 The Program is proactive and client service oriented and in general, clients were satisfied with services received. Service standards were updated and approved by the CMM in January 2010. Informal feedback is sought from clients regarding services, however, in a mission of this size, formal feedback should be obtained to accurately monitor the level of client satisfaction.

5.1.10 While the relationship with PESCO and POECD offices is good, the service agreements are outdated and need to be reviewed to ensure that roles and responsibilities are clear and client expectations are managed.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.1.11 The Program should implement a formal feedback mechanism to monitor client satisfaction.

5.1.12 Service agreements between the Mission and the PESCO and POECD offices should be updated.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.1.11 The bi-monthly meetings of the management committees provide a forum for formal and official feedback from all of the programs served. The messages sent to all employees by Common Services regularly invite employees to provide feedback. A minimum of six annual meetings are held with the LES Management Consultation Board. The Mission also notes the implementation in 2010 of a yearly survey on common services in the missions, coordinated by the International Platform Branch.

5.1.12 These two agreements date back to 1999 and 2001 respectively. The agreements can be reviewed with assistance from the geographic branch responsible for bilateral missions. In progress

Recommendation to AFD

5.1.13 The role of the RSC and services provided should be clarified, particularly with regard to the Mission's Financial Section, when the FI (CBS) is replaced by an LES.

AFD Action and Timeframe

5.1.13 The RSCEMA maintains ongoing dialogue with the HOMs of all missions in the region, including Paris, to define the role of the RSC and provide updates and conduct consultations on changes planned to common service delivery in the regions. In terms of financial service delivery, the senior financial officer position in Paris was made an LES position in summer 2010, based on a number of factors, particularly the risk profile for the Mission and the pool of qualified financial professionals available. The position was filled by a qualified LES financial professional in February 2011 and the employee is being provided with training and support. No changes are planned for this position with the implementation of the regional service delivery model.

5.2 Human Resources

5.2.1 The HR functions at the Mission are the responsibility of the***/HR and General Services. The *** is on *** and is a *** in an *** position. ***. Although *** has only been in the position for four months, *** has quickly grasped the complex local and mission environment. *** was able to participate in training on local labour law in France shortly after *** arrival. In addition to HR responsibilities, the *** is responsible for general/visits services and the mail/diplomatic courier services, travel, relocation and FSDs.

5.2.2 HR services are provided to 12 programs and approximately 230 employees. In the past two years, the Section has managed 30 competitions and 3 classification actions, as well as hiring 136 emergency employees in 2009. To date in 2010, there have been 75 emergency employee staffing actions. The section has no specialist with official HR certification. Such a qualification would be beneficial in an environment with complex local labour legislation. The LE-07 Staffing Officer only recently attended training at HQ.

5.2.3 The Mission has experienced challenging and serious labour relations issues in the past few years with regard to compensation and benefits. Significant efforts were made by Mission Management and LES and the International Platform Branch Human Resources Services Bureau (ALD) in areas of communication, consultation and collaboration with the LES on the Terms and Condition Review. The Mission served as a pilot in the early stages of the project. Now that progress has been made, it is important that continued dialogue and good relations are maintained to support management decision making.

5.2.4 An LES Management Consultative Board (MCB) with representative staff from different programs is in place and meets at least six times per year. The LES members of the LESMCB raised several issues with the Inspection Team. Some of the things they would like to see are as follows:

  • More effective and transparent communication with Mission Management and ALD regarding the Total Compensation Review, the Mutuel de santé plan and the "Relève du temps de travail" holiday schedule;
  • Timely posting of competition notices so that employees have enough lead time to apply.

Program Management

Key HR Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Responsibilities for human resource (HR) activities have been clearly defined, delegated and communicated to all staff.X  
LES have been provided with the most recent version of the LES Handbook.X  
The LESMCB is representative of Mission programs and levels and is utilized by both LES and mission management to facilitate communication.X  
An HR plan has been developed and submitted to headquarters (HQ).X  
A coordinated approach is taken with regards to training and a budget established. X 
Mechanisms are in place to monitor completion of employee's performance evaluations, CBS and LES.X  
Employee and position files are complete and maintained separately. X 
Job descriptions are up-to-date and signed by the incumbent and the supervisor. X 
The Mission records LES accrued leave, deductions and current balances.X  

5.2.5 HR management is ***.The DMCO meets bi-weekly with the HR Section and has developed a comprehensive workplan. He also meets with staff who provide diplomatic mail and general services, and support for official visits. Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and staff have PMPs and updated job descriptions. Most staff interviewed are ***. Morale is good; however, some staff indicated that with three distinct sections within the *** portfolio, they do not feel as if they are one unit. Team spirit could be improved by holding periodic meetings with all staff.

5.2.6 The Mission had a PMP completion rate of 91% at the time of the inspection. The DMCO plans to improve the annual process to ensure complete compliance. Training needs are determined within each Mission program as well as identified in the PMP system. A small training budget has been established, although there is no Mission Training Coordinator or mission-wide training plan. A global training plan would further enhance management of training and facilitate budgeting as well as the coordination and prioritization of needs for all programs. The CMM should approve the plan and be regularly updated on its implementation.

5.2.7 Separate employee and position files are maintained using internal file checklists. The employee files reviewed were well documented; however, position files were not as well maintained and require improvement.

5.2.8 Job descriptions are reviewed and updated prior to holding a competition for a position. A total of 55 have been updated in the past two years. While this is a good practice, the Mission should ensure that a more systematic review takes place every five years or when major changes occur. As a best practice, some missions review the accuracy of job descriptions as a part of PMP discussions and make revisions where warranted.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Key HR Processes and Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Staffing actions are conducted in-line with ALD guidelines. Written records supporting the process are maintained and contain required documents and approvals.X  
Classification actions are conducted in-line with ALD guidelines. Written records supporting the process are maintained and contain required documents and approvals. X 
Letters of Offer are signed by the appropriate authority.X  
New LES and CBS employees are provided with an information package on the working conditions, benefits and regulations pertaining to employment at the Mission.X  
Staff are aware of the Values and Ethics Code and have signed a document certifying that they have read and understood this code. Mission management informs staff of the requirements of the Code on an annual basis.X  
Mission signage is provided in both English and French and a bilingual Official Languages Co-ordinator has been appointed. X 
The mission has sufficient capacity to communicate with and provide services to the public, both orally and in writing, in both official languages.X  

5.2.9 Overall, HR processes and internal controls are in place and operating effectively. There are documented staffing policies. Procedures and tools are available on the Mission intranet for managers and staff. Competition files are well maintained and standard procedures have been followed. Classification files, however, require improvement as key documents have not been not found on file and it was difficult to assess the compliance of the classification process.

5.2.10 Orientation and departure guides for CBS have been developed. The section is working on modifying the LES orientation checklist used internally by the HR Section, for inclusion into the CBS Orientation/Departure Checklists. There is strong support for spousal employment, and the Mission is proactive in hiring spouses in this regard. Some of the practices/documents/tools below were seen as good practices:

  • Staffing Guide for Managers;
  • Tool to calculate overtime;
  • Tool to calculate salary costs for emergency employees hired by the Mission; and,
  • Competition notices and results are posted on the intranet

HOM and DHOM Residence Staff

5.2.11 Most of the staff at the HOM and DHOM residences advise that they have little or no formal contact with the Mission, the MCO or any of the DMCOs. Communications could be improved by having periodic meetings with the responsible DMCO so that OR staff can discuss issues that they may be reluctant to raise with their immediate supervisors.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.2.12 A Mission Training Coordinator should be appointed and a mission-wide training plan and budget should be developed.

5.2.13 An Official Languages Coordinator should be appointed.

5.2.14 The Mission should ensure that job descriptions are reviewed at least once every five years or when there is a substantial change to position duties.

5.2.15 The Mission should reconcile their checklists for file contents with the ALD documentation checklists to ensure consistent and appropriate information is maintained on files.

5.2.16 The Mission should ensure that regular contact is maintained with OR staff.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.2.12 A training coordinator has been appointed. An organizational training plan will be developed and submitted to the Committee on Mission Management. In progress

5.2.13 An Official Languages Coordinator has been appointed. Completed

5.2.14 A cyclical review process for job descriptions will be implemented. Multi-year plan

5.2.15 More attention will be focussed on the documentation of classification files and reconciliation with ALD lists will be performed. In progress

5.2.16 Quarterly meetings will be proposed to the OR manager and staff to address topics of interest and answer questions. Annual plan

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The Physical Resources Section is managed by an AS-06 DMCO/Property & Materiel who is assisted by 7 office and 8 non-office LES (support staff). The Section is responsible for providing services to four different sites: Chancery, Canadian Cultural Centre, POECD and PESCO offices, and for maintaining 53 staff quarters (SQs) and 4 Official Residences (OR). The Mission vehicle fleet comprises 13 vehicles, 4 of which are dedicated to the Physical Resources Section.

5.3.2 Staff are competent and hard working and try to obtain the best value for money. Several initiatives undertaken by the section have resulted in significant cost savings for the Mission:

  • strategy to reduce SQ rents by renegotiating existing leases and by adopting new criteria when renting new quarters;
  • reducing the costs of painting during relocation;
  • limiting the use of hotel stays during relocation;
  • signing new service contracts with better rates; and,
  • reducing the number of internal moves.

5.3.3 The section is operating well and clients are well served. However, improvements could be made by formalizing processes and procedures to enable management and staff to supervise work more efficiently and clarify staff accountabilities. Carrying out the work is largely dependent on the competencies and knowledge of the responsible individuals. As a result, absences of key staff could lead to inconsistencies in the processes followed. The need for more formalized planning, processes and controls is outlined in the following paragraphs.

5.3.4 Given the state of the aging Chancery, a refit is now required. A number of projects were put on hold owing to the possible Chancery move. Now that the move has been cancelled, a long-term plan should be developed by the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD) to address deficiencies.

5.3.5 The Crown-owned OR is centrally located centrally in the city. It is well appointed and maintained by a staff of eight LES. The Residence is used frequently for official events. A Building Condition Report was recently completed detailing work which will need to be completed over the next few years, as some systems are outdated. Plans to renovate the kitchen are in the design phase and are expected to be completed in the next two years.

Program Management

Key Physical Resources Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The Mission Property Management Plan (MPMP) and the Mission Maintenance Work Plan (MMWP) are up-to-date and approved by the appropriate authorities at Mission and HQ.X  
The appropriate authority allocates SQs based on the recommendation of the Housing Committee.X  
The Chancery is well maintained and a maintenance schedule is in place. X 
The OR is well maintained and a maintenance schedule is in place. X 
The Mission has an efficient process in place for receiving, processing and monitoring work orders. X 
Annual inspections are conducted to assess the state of the SQ and input into maintenance and acquisition planning. X 
The Mission's multi-year Capital Acquisition Plan is approved by CMM annually. X 
Local procurement guidelines have been established. X 

5.3.6 Morale and communication are very good within the section. Roles and responsibilities are clearly understood. Staff are professional and client service oriented. ***. He holds weekly staff meetings with office staff and the Chief Technician to discuss outstanding work orders, priorities and objectives. Communications and team cohesion could be further enhanced by having periodic all-staff meetings that include maintenance staff or by giving these employees the opportunity to meet directly with the DMCO.

5.3.7 Although elements of a workplan exist and informal mechanisms are in use, a documented workplan is not in place. A formal plan would enable managers to more effectively monitor work and plan future resource requirements. A full-day retreat was held last year to discuss lessons learned and priorities for the coming year. Relocation activities are planned effectively and service contracts are in place for all regular maintenance requirements. This information could easily form the basis of the comprehensive workplan and documented maintenance schedules for the OR and Chancery.

5.3.8 SQs are inspected thoroughly as part of the relocation process. While an annual fire safety review is performed, regular SQ inspections, which would provide valuable input into the planning process, are not conducted. This creates the risk that maintenance projects or materiel requirements will be overlooked or go unfunded and does not allow purchases to be done with appropriate lead time. These inspections would also identify any preventative work requirements and any potential issues with the SQ or furnishings.

5.3.9 An annual capital acquisition plan is in place which is developed with input from staff in the section, finalized by the MCO and presented to the CMM for discussion and approval. Multi-year planning coupled with regular SQ inspections would facilitate budget management and ensure that material items are replaced when necessary.

5.3.10 Work orders are received using an organizational mailbox which is managed by the Client Service Assistant. While this system is operating well, information must be manually entered and updated into a spreadsheet which is used by managers and staff to monitor work requests. The Department's approved electronic work order system has been purchased by the Mission but, as it could not be used by staff at the POECD offices, it was not implemented. While the use of the electronic system would require that work requests from POECD staff be transferred manually, the benefits would outweigh this inconvenience. Use of the electronic system would greatly assist with overall management of client requests and provide more effective and efficient monitoring and feedback mechanisms.

5.3.11 Eight SQs were visited as part of the Inspection. All were in good condition and the CBS were satisfied with their housing. The successful implementation of new SQ lease ceilings and sizes, along with proactive renegotiation of most leases have resulted in significant reductions in lease costs. Recent SQ acquisitions, although smaller than older SQs, were found to be functional, well located, and of an appropriate standard. The Mission effectively manages 15-20 relocations per year. During the last relocation season, the Mission was able to avoid the use of hotel stays in all but one case, resulting in cost savings.

5.3.12 The DMCO/Property has visited most of the SQs; however, he has not yet had an opportunity to view all CBS accommodations. This will be important to ensure that suitability and comparability is maintained. The Mission should also ensure that the Military Police Security Service member (MPSS) is involved in reviewing new SQs prior to leasing so that a proper assessment of security considerations can be conducted.

5.3.13 The Mission Housing Committee (MHC) is very active and makes recommendations to the HOM. It works very well and includes representatives from various mission programs. The MCO in place has been on the committee as a voting member for years. Actually, the MCO should not be a full voting member, since this role could present a potential conflict of interest.

5.3.14 While informal local procurement guidelines are generally understood by the responsible staff members, there are no written guidelines specifically for the Mission. This could lead to inconsistency in the process applied and in the documents maintained on file. Developing a standard process document would provide staff with clearer guidelines with regard to their accountability and ensure greater transparency in the procurement process.

Client Service

5.3.15 Clients are satisfied, for the most part, with the services received from the section and client feedback is always sought before bills are paid. Communication with the staff at the Canadian Cultural Centre could be improved, particularly when work on it is planned. That way, the CCC could also benefit from more specific advice on inventory controls and the identification of items for disposal.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Key Physical Resources and Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
An inspection is conducted by new SQ occupants and a Mission representative within 30 days of occupancy, after which occupancy agreements and distribution accounts are signed. X 
A pre-established percentage of the costs for OR supplies for personal use is determined and the regular reimbursements to the Mission are made.X  
Costs of damages to staff quarters or furnishings, beyond normal wear and tear, are recovered from the occupant.X  
Records of assets located in the Chancery, OR and SQs, as well as those in storage, are maintained on an ongoing basis and verified annually. Assets are appropriately safeguarded and controlled. X 
Disposals are appropriately authorized and follow Departmental guidelines. X 
Vehicles logs are appropriately completed, demonstrating that use was for official purposes. X 
Vehicle logs and mileage are verified monthly by a CBS to reconcile usage to gas purchases as well as monitor vehicle performance. X 

5.3.16 The officer responsible for SQs meets all new CBS upon their arrival at their SQ. A follow-up meeting should be scheduled shortly after the CBS' arrival to allow both parties to review SQ assets and sign the forms, as well as discuss any work requirements. The SQ Checklist could also be provided to the occupant at this time for completion within three months. This would assist the Mission to identify and correct problems with the accommodation.

5.3.17 The Mission maintains an inventory of wine as well as other alcohol at the OR for hospitality purposes. Reconciliation of purchases with consumption is meticulously kept up to date.

5.3.18 The *** reimburses the Mission a fixed monthly amount to cover *** personal expenses at the ***. This amount is not prorated to the number of days *** is present at the *** nor to the numerous official events held.

5.3.19 The DMCO has been working since his arrival to ensure that inventories are completed or updated, as the case may be, for all Crown assets, as most inventories were not maintained consistently in the past. The section is using a bar code system for all new stock and as inventories are updated. Completion of inventories has been identified as a priority for the section and is indicated on the PMPs of certain staff members. SQ inventories are progressing well and next steps, will be to update the chancery and OR inventories. The section's creation of a "tapis-othèque" is a effective way to manage their inventory of carpets using a central bank of information with photos and measurements.

5.3.20 The Mission's disposal of surplus assets is conducted using the services of a local auction house. Items are subsequently sold and proceeds, less the auctioneers' commission, is paid to the Mission. A review of the files indicated that *** approval was not provided nor was the disposal report (EXT369) completed.

5.3.21 Official vehicle logs are not filled out consistently by all drivers. Currently, vehicle logs are being submitted to the Finance Section, but no monthly reconciliation of fuel purchased to mileage driven is conducted. Additionally, the Vehicle Operating and Maintenance Report (EXT-159) is not being verified and signed by a CBS. It is not clear who is responsible for these tasks.

5.3.22 Files for maintenance and repairs of vehicles are not being consistently maintained. It was only with difficulty that total maintenance costs for a vehicle were determined. It is unclear how, and if, any cost analysis has been performed. For example, a vehicle purchased in 2005 for 19,000 euros has already incurred 10,000 euros in repairs, which may indicate this vehicle should probably be sold. Vehicle maintenance is currently the responsibility of the driver assigned to each vehicle. However, with a fleet of 13 vehicles, a documented maintenance schedule may be a more effective way to monitor work.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.3.23 A written workplan for the section should be developed as well as a maintenance schedule for the Chancery and OR.

5.3.24 The section should implement the Department's electronic service request system.

5.3.25 Processes surrounding the development of the multi-year capital acquisition plan and maintenance plans should be expanded to include annual inspections of SQs.

5.3.26 The MCO should be a non-voting member of the MHC or should not participate.

5.3.27 Local procurement guidelines should be developed at the Mission.

5.3.28 The Property Section should schedule a meeting with newly arrived CBS within 30 days of occupancy, to sign the occupancy agreements and distribution accounts as well as to discuss any SQ issues.

5.3.29 *** reimbursement for personal use of ***supplies should be reconciled with actual expenditures on a regular basis.

5.3.30 The Mission should ensure that future disposal sales are approved by the appropriate authority (HOM or HQ in some cases as per Chapter 7, Annex A the Materiel Management Manual) and that the disposal report (EXT369) is completed.

5.3.31 A CBS member should be designated with the responsibility to verify mileage driven against fuel purchased for official vehicles on a monthly basis and vehicle logs should be completed by each driver.

5.3.32 A maintenance schedule for vehicles should be developed and maintenance and repair costs should be monitored on a monthly basis.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.3.23 A property management plan* approved by the MCO and the HOM and validated by HQ is in place and is updated annually. There is a maintenance plan, which is validated by ARAF and the management committee at the beginning of each fiscal year. The Mission intends to work together with the International Platform Branch to validate a format for a work plan, given that the objective of the International Platform Branch is the standardization of processes and tools in missions abroad. *Mission Property Management Plan. Completed

5.3.24 The Mission will assess the options for departmental systems available in 2011/2012. In progress

5.3.25 Between 15 and 20 SQs are thoroughly inspected each year and informally inspected when repairs and/or SQ visits are carried out. As a complementary measure, the Mission plans to establish a checklist that can be used as a tool for periodic visits to SQs so a systematic inspection can be performed. In progress

5.3.26 The current MCO and the two preceding MCOs were voting members in accordance with the approved statutes of the MHC. You will note that decisions are made by consensus and not by vote, and that this issue had been raised during the 2004 audit. The DMCO/Property is a non-voting member. We will review the composition of the committee and the statutes in the fall during the annual update of all 10 of the Mission's committees. In progress

5.3.27 The Mission follows the Department's procurement policies and procedures and does not feel the need to adapt them to local practices. Not applicable.

5.3.28 A meeting is scheduled with the DMCO for all new arrivals the week following their arrival to discuss their housing and explain how to submit their service request. The Mission will ensure that the signed occupancy agreements are received within 30 days. Already in place

5.3.29 Reimbursement is based on the analysis of average annual consumption for a household and includes Statistics Canada data. This process was validated in 2009/10 with Finance at HQ. The data from the Finance Section is reconciled annually with the data from the staff responsible for the ***. In progress

5.3.30 There have been two sales since the inspectors' visit and the EXT369 form has been duly completed and signed by the HOM. Completed

5.3.31 All drivers already complete a log detailing their travel. The respective supervisors will check this log and perform a reconciliation with fuel receipts. In progress.

5.3.32 A maintenance schedule for all of the vehicles has been set up. Completed

Recommendation to the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD)

5.3.33 ARD should work with the Mission to develop a comprehensive plan to address concerns with the chancery.

ARD Action and Timeframe

5.3.33 In cooperation with the Mission, ARD will develop a long-term maintenance plan for the Chancery by the end of the 2011/2012 fiscal year.

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 The Finance Section is overseen by an FI-03 Financial Manager who has been at the Mission on temporary duty since July 2010. She is supported by an LE-07 Financial Analyst who is acting in the vacant LE-09 Senior Accountant position, an LE-06 Assistant Accountant and four LE-05 Assistant Accountants. There is also an LE-07 Contracting Officer in the section.

5.4.2 The section is undergoing a difficult period of transition. In June 2010, in addition to the departure of the FI-03 Financial Manager upon completion of his four-year assignment, the LE-09 Senior Accountant ***. These two events coincided with the implementation of an HQ decision to move the FI-03 position to the Regional Service Centre (RSC) and replace it with an LE-09. While the Mission was proactive and held two competitions early in the year to fill the LE-09 position, neither was successful. This has necessitated the presence of an FI-03 on temporary duty who will remain at the Mission until April 2011. The new structure will also see the creation of an additional LE-08 position to support the original LE-09 and to thus ensure that the number of positions remains the same.

5.4.3 These major changes in the structure of the Finance Section increase the risk in a critical function. It will be important that the section receive adequate support from HQ and the RSC during this period. ***. While there are key processes and procedures in place and staff are competent, there is an over-reliance on the FI and perhaps too much autonomy placed on the Contracting Section.

5.4.4 The section operates in a complex environment processing a high volume of financial transactions (more than 20,500/year) and serves 10 programs in addition to the POECD and PESCO missions, for a total of 12. Fourteen fund centres must be managed. Budget management is a challenge and workload is an issue, as the section is short staffed. The Financial Manager reviews all documents and signs Section 33. Currently, none of the staff has an accounting designation and ***.

Management

Key Finance Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Financial procedures have been established to guide clients and Finance staff.X  
The section employs methods to minimize disruption (eg. setting of "quiet hours" and controlling access to the finance section).X  
The section has explored alternate methods to minimize transactions and reduce reliance on cash (i.e. acquisition cards, EFTs).X  
Payment runs are kept to a minimum, but are sufficient enough to allow for good client service.X  
Roles and responsibilities ensure adequate segregation of duties.X  

5.4.5 There are several useful documents found on the Mission intranet site and in use by the section. While a number of key processes and procedures are in place, improvements can be made to reinforce some areas. The Financial Manager is working on streamlining processes to gain more efficiencies and is in the process of developing tools, in consultation with HQ, to help with travel claims and acquisition card monitoring and reporting.

5.4.6 A workplan with daily and monthly tasks is in place to help staff and individual staff members understand their roles and responsibilities. Regular meetings are held with the staff, and morale is good. The FI-03 Financial Manager is making a concerted effort to include and involve staff more in section operations. This provides staff with a good learning opportunity and will lead to improved functioning of the section. However, these initiatives will be even more important ***.

5.4.7 The primary concern raised during the inspection is the need for increased *** involvement. In particular, some issues surfaced owing to a certain lack of processes and control structures to monitor finance functions. While some of the problems are attributable to the turnover experienced in June, the situation requires that ***.

Client Service

5.4.8 Overall, the Finance Section is providing a good level of service. Service standards have been established and communicated to all clients, and the section provides ongoing communication and training sessions with clients when new procedures/policies are introduced. Clients have expressed satisfaction with the section.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Key Finance Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
A Contract Review Board (CRB) is in place and operating effectively with clear terms of reference.X  
Contracting procedures have been documented and communicated to all staff involved in the contracting process. X 
Contracting files demonstrate compliance with policies and procedures. X 
Bank reconciliations are completed monthly and are properly reviewed and authorized by the appropriate authorities.X  
The asset and liability report is reviewed on a monthly basis by the appropriate authority.X  
Section 34 is exercised by individuals who possess the appropriate delegation of authority.X  
Section 33 is exercised by individuals who possess the appropriate delegation of authority.X  
The appropriate authority receives the original monthly bank statement directly from the bank and reviews it prior to giving it to the accountant.X  
Official Receipts are provided to clients at the time of payment and to internal staff when funds are transferred (i.e. from Consular to Finance). X 
Reconciliations of any funds transferred within the mission are conducted in the presence of two staff.X  
Monthly reconciliations of immigration fees are completed and the EXT-1203 is signed by the appropriate authority.X  
Travel and hospitality claim processes ensure that policies and guidelines are adhered to and that the accountant verifies the completeness and accuracy of the claim.X  
Hospitality files are retained in administration, as are hospitality guidelines.X  
A process is in place to ensure that, where applicable, CBS reimburse the mission for any services of personal nature received at their staff quarters (television, internet, telephone, etc.).X  

5.4.9 While key controls and processes are in place, there is a need to improve and reinforce certain aspects of financial operations.

5.4.10 A Contract Review Board (CRB) is in place. However, it functions virtually, which limits interaction and discussion among members. In-person meetings, at least quarterly, would provide an opportunity to discuss Terms of Reference (TOR), contracting regulations and changes, method of reviews and to review contracts signed in the last period. In general, contracting practices at the Mission are understood by the responsible staff members, although documentation held on file varies greatly depending on the person managing the process. Development of documented procedure, maintenance of files and provision of clear guidelines to staff would ensure consistency in processes followed.

5.4.11 A review of contracts was performed and revealed that the new security contract had not been signed even though the competitive process had been completed in August 2010. The successful company had been informed and services were provided. Delays were owing to a disagreement in the terminology of the contract to be signed, but no CBS was aware of this situation.

5.4.12 The extensive use of the OR for functions and official events has led the Mission to develop its own system to manage hospitality expenses. Great efforts have been made to reduce expenses associated with events held at the OR. However, the complexity of the operation and the number of events make it very challenging to monitor and reconcile expenditures by event. Many purchases are made in bulk and unit costs are charged to users. Some expenses are paid by the OR staff while others are paid directly by the Mission. No comprehensive report was being produced detailing all expenses associated with events held at the OR. Different mechanisms to improve procedures were discussed with the Mission during the inspection.

5.4.13 Traditionally, the Mission has been paying a 'gratuity' to each SQ concierge during the Christmas period. There is no requirement for this payment in the lease agreement.

5.4.14 While periodic spot checks of the petty cash are performed, a review of three petty cash accounts revealed one instance where a custodian could not substantiate the proper use of funds and was sharing the petty cash with other staff members. Another petty cash contained a surplus of 45 euros which had been held since 2007. This petty cash was accessible by two staff members.

5.4.15 A third count of a petty cash account was ***, and an attestation had been made that the funds remaining and receipts for goods and services were reconciled correctly. The spot check by the Inspection Team on the following day revealed discrepancies in this account.

5.4.16 In an effort to be more efficient, the DMCO/Consular has pre-signed Section 34 for all monthly honorarium payments to be made to the HonCons. According to the Financial Administration Act, Section 34 can only be signed once services have been rendered.

5.4.17 Official receipts are used when receiving funds from immigration and consular staff; however, they are not used when payments are received from CBS.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.18 *** should implement ***.

5.4.19 The CRB should hold periodic in-person meetings. Contracting procedures should be documented and files maintained in a consistent manner. Work performed by the Contracting Officer should be more closely monitored.

5.4.20 The Mission should produce comprehensive quarterly reports detailing all the expenses associated with events held at the OR and clearly identify to which budget the expenses were billed, or if the event was billed to a third party.

5.4.21 Payment of gratuities to concierges should cease.

5.4.22 Petty cash holders should be reminded of their roles and responsibilities for managing their petty cash. The need for additional petty cash accounts should be reviewed. All petty cash should be securely safeguarded with only custodians having access to their own petty cash.

5.4.23 The DMCO/Consular should sign Section 34 for HonCons monthly.

5.4.24 Official receipts should be provided every time funds are received.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.4.18 A transitional plan for the Finance Section including a time frame and the areas of support requested was submitted by the *** in spring 2010 in anticipation of the CBC position becoming an LES position. The degree of oversight, particularly of the ***, has increased since the transition in accordance with the new expectations announced in October by senior management. The report evaluation table sets out most of the criteria for management, process and internal controls observed throughout the year, which is noteworthy, given that the inspection was held just three and a half months after the arrival at the Mission of an accounting manager assigned on a temporary basis. Implementation in progress

5.4.19 The CRB is planning in-person meetings on a semi-annual basis, or more frequently if necessary. Contracting procedures have been updated and improved. The Contracting Officer's work has been monitored more closely since his office was moved in October to the Financial Services floor. Completed

5.4.20 The Mission is reviewing this recommendation in cooperation with the staff responsible for the financial centre and the OR . New follow-up tools were recently put in place. An advisory and ongoing support function is being provided to the OR. In progress.

5.4.21 The Mission has to compensate the concierges because this is a basic operational expense and a security issue. This aspect was validated by SWD during their visit to Paris and approved and documented in the management committee minutes of November 26, 2010. Not applicable.

5.4.22 The Mission has reminded petty cash holders that petty cash must be securely safeguarded in a place that only the petty cash holder can access. Spot checks done in April 2011 did not reveal any anomalies. The Mission does not feel that additional petty cash accounts are required. Completed

5.4.23 The DMCO/Consular signs honorarium payments for HonCons on a monthly basis. Completed

5.4.24 An official receipt is now issued each time money is received in Finance. Completed

5.5 Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT)

5.5.1 The IM-IT Section is managed by a CS-03 Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) who is designated as the Team Leader. He is supported by a CS-03 FSITP, as well as an LE-08 and two LE-07 Locally Engaged Information Technology Professionals (LEITPs). The section provides services to approximately 200 clients located in two separate buildings. It also provides support to our POECD and PESCO missions, our mission in Lisbon, as well as to official visits to smaller missions in Europe.

5.5.2 Official visits to Paris and other EU missions result in an estimated nine person weeks of extra work in the IM-IT Section. Furthermore, the Mission manages the creation and deletion of approximately 200 accounts per year to deal with emergency employees and other non-permanent users.

Management

Key IM-IT Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
An Information Management/Information Technology (IM-IT) workplan exists and includes regional activities. X 
The CMM or an IM-IT Committee provides direction and oversight for the IM-IT function.X  
The liaison between the mission, HQ and regional manager is effective.X  
IM-IT requirements in relation to business continuity planning (BCP) have been defined, implemented and tested. X 

5.5.3 While the section does not have a formal IM-IT workplan, the overall management of the section is effective. IM-IT support is predominantly reactive in nature and the Mission makes good use of tools such as the Remedy help desk system to manage delivery. Essential information, such as cyclical replacement, would help the section populate a workplan but is not always communicated from HQ.

5.5.4 The Mission is in the process of developing a formal Business Continuity Plan (BCP), and ***. The section has also prepared travel kits that include wireless networking gear and laptops that are ready to deploy to support official visits or business continuity from another location.

Client Service

Key IM-IT Client Service CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Problems experienced by the user are generally resolved within a reasonable time frame.X  
The mission is using the required tools and maintains relevant data.X  

5.5.5 The IM-IT Section is client service oriented and makes use of tools and processes to ensure that user needs are met in a timely manner, (and it provides a high level of service to the Mission). Although an IT support mailbox exists, some staff are still contacting ITPs directly with requests, which can disrupt other support activities or delay the provision of services.

5.5.6 It was noted that BlackBerry Enterprise Server outages have occurred in the past year. As no Information Technology Professional is available during quiet hours, staff should contact the departmental help desk to request assistance. A project is being undertaken to provide 24/7 monitoring at HQ of email servers.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Key IM-IT Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Back-ups are performed routinely and tapes are stored in a fireproof media safe in a secure location. X 
The mission has appropriate secondary communications in place and those tools are tested regularly.X  
Standardized practices and processes are in place to facilitate management and sharing of corporate information across programs. (e.g. e-mail best practices, effective folder structures).X  
Controls are in place to ensure the network acceptable use policy (NAUP) is respected (SIGNET and digital subscriber line (DSL) connections).X  
Employees formally sign out IT assets (mobility tools) and are advised of their accountabilities.X  
Surplus IT assets are disposed with the appropriate approvals per departmental policy.X  

5.5.7 Overall, IM-IT processes and controls were effective. Still, the storage of backup tapes needs improvement.

5.5.8 The Mission securely stores backup tapes from the Chancery on-site in a media safe;. however, the safe has reached its full capacity and a number of tapes are left ***. Backup tapes at the *** and *** locations are kept *** which increases the risk of loss or damage.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.5.9 The Mission should develop an IM-IT work plan that addresses recurrent activities or projects.

5.5.10 The Mission should develop a formal Business Continuity Plan, including the identification of an alternate command post.

5.5.11 The Mission should store backup tapes in accordance with the Manual of Security Instructions.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.5.9 The Mission has set up an IM-IT work plan. Completed

5.5.10 This recommendation is addressed in section 1.4.2, given that a section on IT is an integral part of the BCP. Completed

5.5.11 The Mission is taking protective steps by obtaining a new safe for the Embassy, having the safe in the *** repaired, and passing the recommendations on to our *** office so it can also acquire a safe. An " *** storage plan will be implemented to better satisfy standards, in accordance with the Manual of Security Instructions.

 


Appendix A : Mission Resources Fact Sheet

Physical Resources
AssetsCrown OwnedCrown Leased
Chancery3 (OECD, CCC, CH)1 (Miollis Street)
Official Residence22
Staff Quarters449
Vehicles130

 

2009-2010 BudgetsProgram BudgetCommon Services Budget
Operating (N001)$1,057,602$ 8,288,360
Capital (N005)-$185,090
CBS Salaries (N011)--
LES Salaries (N012)$5,500,696$6,354,415
Total$6,558,298$14,827,865

Appendix B : Organization Chart

Accessible Organization Chart - Paris

Paris Organizational Chart

Appendix C: Frequently Used Acronyms

BCP
Business Continuity Plan
CBS
Canada-based Staff
CMM
Committee on Mission Management
COMIP
Consular Management Information Program
CONPLAN
Contingency Plan
CRB
Contract Review Board
CSF
Client Service Fund
EFT
Electronic Funds Transfer
DMCO
Deputy Management Consular Officer
FSITP
Foreign Service Information Technology Professional
FTE
Full Time Equivalent Position
FY
Fiscal Year
GCS
Global Commerce Strategy
GVC
Global Value Chains
HOM
Head of Mission
HONCON
Honorary Consul
HQ
Headquarters
HR
Human Resources
HSZ
High Security Zone
IBD
International Business Development
ICT
Information Communication Technologies
IM-IT
Information Management - Information Technology
IMS
Integrated Management System
LEITP
Locally-engaged Information Technology Professional
LES
Locally-engaged Staff
LESMCB
LES Management Consultation Board
MCO
Management Consular Officer
MPMP
Mission Property Management Plan
NAAP
North American Platform Program
OR
Official Residence
OZ
Operations Zone
PERPA
Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs
PIF
Post Initiative Fund
PM
Program Manager
PMA
Performance Management Agreement
PMP
Human Resources – Performance Management Program
PMP
Consular – Passport Management Program
PRIME
Physical Resources Information - Mission Environment
ROCA
Registration of Canadians Abroad
S&T
Science and Technology
STC
Senior Trade Commissioner
STC
Senior Trade Commissioner
SQ
Staff Quarter
SZ
Security Zone
TC
Trade Commissioner
TCA
Trade Commissioner Assistant
TCS
Trade Commissioner Service
TRIO
The TCS’ Client Relationship Management System
ZID
Office of the Inspector General
ZIV
Inspection Division

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Date Modified:
2012-11-14