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Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

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Inspection of The Canadian Consulate General Shanghai

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March 15 - 19, 2010

Table of Contents

Inspection Scope and Objectives

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

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

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

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

Executive Summary

An Inspection of Mission Management, the Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA), International Business Development (IBD), Consular and Common Services programs was conducted in Shanghai from March 15 to 19, 2010. A previous audit of these programs took place in 2002. The Mission in Shanghai is an integral part of the China network of missions, and provides an operational platform for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Export Development Canada (EDC), as well as the provincial representatives of Ontario and Quebec. The Province of British Columbia is present in Shanghai, but not co-located with the Mission.

The Mission functions in a dynamic environment and benefits from a significant number of high level visits each year, which will be further amplified by events taking place around Shanghai Expo 2010. While these visits offer opportunities to advance key priorities, they are also resource intensive and can, at times, detract from other priorities. As a result, activities are largely reactive and staff have difficulty defining and implementing proactive agendas, particularly with regards to the PERPA and Common Services programs.

The Mission is *** managed, and the Head of Mission has placed a high degree of emphasis on improving operations and ensuring clear and consistent communication. The Mission's strategic objectives are consistent with those of the Government of Canada (GoC) and in line with the recent direction provided by the Canada-China Joint Statement. Issues with regard to Locally-engaged staff (LES) compensation and benefits are *** and have occupied a significant amount of Mission Management time to address. Key management controls are in place, with room for improvement in the development of a business continuity plan and more effective completion of hospitality diaries.

The PERPA Program coordinates a large and increasing number of official visits, develops links with Chinese leadership, organizes cultural, academic and public affairs activities and provides support to other Mission programs. With limited resources (one Canada-based and three LES), the Program should strengthen its planning process, prioritize work and ***. As discussed in the Beijing Inspection Report, there is also a need to more clearly define the PERPA dimension of the China Network approach, and to translate high level objectives into concrete and achievable objectives.

The IBD Program is functioning *** and serving clients in a fast paced and changing environment. As a part of the China Network, the Program also benefits from several best practices, including key performance indicators, virtual sector teams, training opportunities and the China InfoCentre located in Beijing. The Head of Mission should be engaged in outcalls in a *** strategic manner and improve the consistency of the Program's use of TRIO. Efforts to improve the effectiveness of the dialogue between the Global Business Opportunities Bureau and missions should continue in order to produce clear sector orientations and priorities.

The Consular Program is providing *** services to clients, but workloads are high and ***. More direction and involvement *** activities would help to improve the situation. Workload is currently four times as large as it was in 2003. The Mission has been provided with an additional resource to meet the increased demand, however, emergency staff had to be employed on a part-time basis over the last year to continue to provide timely service. While the Mission has requested additional resources, roles and responsibilities within the Program should be reviewed to ensure that they represent the best use of the resources provided.

The Common Services Program is servicing clients in a challenging environment, but does not possess the policies, procedures or service standards to do so in an efficient and consistent manner. This has created challenges ***. The Program should develop an action plan to address these areas, and take a coordinated approach to communication to facilitate delegation and follow-up on key deliverables. The Program is actively engaged in the identification of ***, and has reduced workloads by accommodating Canada-based staff in fully furnished and serviced staff quarters, removing the requirement for heavy involvement in related maintenance and asset management responsibilities.

A total of 77 inspection recommendations are raised in the report; all are addressed to the Mission. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 77 recommendations, management has stated that 37 recommendations have been implemented. For each of the remaining 40 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.

Mission Nanagement

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Consulate General in Shanghai is a medium-sized mission with 16 Canada-based staff (CBS) and 52 Locally-engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in the Chinese provinces of Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangsu and will soon take ***. As a part of the mainland China network of missions, the Head of Mission (HOM) reports to the HOM in Beijing. The Mission benefits from the presence of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Export Development Corporation (EDC), as well as the provincial representatives of Ontario and Quebec. The Province of British Columbia is present in Shanghai, but not co-located within the Mission.

1.1.2 The Mission oversees operating and capital budgets of $3.6 million and $76 thousand dollars respectively, and is responsible for the management of 16 Crown-leased properties. Through the provision of consular and immigration services to clients, the Mission collects between ***.

1.1.3 The Mission in Shanghai is playing an increasingly important role in the China network of missions and provides support to several high level visitors. It participates actively in the annual country-wide consultative process with Headquarters (HQ) and partners to define an overall China strategy. The strategic objectives outlined have been reinforced by the release of the Joint Statement by Prime Minister Harper and Premier Wen Jiabao, including the importance of frequent exchanges to promote the development of the Canada-China relationship, enhancing cooperation on trade and investment and fostering educational, cultural, business and people-to-people links. From an International Platform perspective, the "China Network" of missions is also working to identify areas where efficiencies could be gained through a regional approach to the delivery of common services.

1.1.4 The implementation of these priorities and strategies across missions is facilitated through ***, and further reinforced through key messages and China-wide HOM and Program Manager (PM) retreats. While these objectives have been articulated at the strategic level and are in place for the International Business Development (IBD) Program, there remains a need to define objectives in operational terms to facilitate delegation and follow-up on key deliverables for other programs.

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 HQ. X 
The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) is an effective forum to review and make decisions on mission and administrative policies.X  
Mission Management maintains an active and productive dialogue with the LES Management Consultative Board.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).X  

 

1.2.1 Overall, Mission Management was *** with a focus on improving operations and ensuring clear and consistent communication. The Mission's strategic objectives are consistent with those of the Government of Canada (GoC) and in line with the recent direction provided by the Canada-China Joint Statement. While operational plans have been developed for the International Business Development (IBD) Program, operations are approached in a more reactive manner in the Political Economic Reporting and Public Affairs (PERPA), Consular and Common Service Programs. Each would benefit from articulating key objectives, activities and expected results to help ensure that resources remain focussed on priorities. Specific findings and recommendations to this effect can be found in the respective sections of this report.

1.2.2 The CMM is an effective forum for decision making and has been used extensively by the HOM to address Mission Management issues. It also serves as an operational forum to discuss immediate activities and foster a team approach to program implementation. Membership includes the provincial representatives, including the non-co-located British Columbia. While a good practice to reinforce the whole-of-government approach, it is not recommended from a governance and Mission Management perspective. The preferred approach would be to form two groups; a bi-weekly or monthly CMM focussed on mission management issues and comprised of program managers only, and a weekly Operations Committee formed of all program managers and provincial/agency representatives.

1.2.3 Mission Management has maintained an effective dialogue with the LES community and intends to retain this relationship through the recently formed LES Management Consultative Board (LESMCB). The LESMCB was formed in February 2010, but had not yet met formally or established an ongoing schedule for meetings. Mission Management indicated that the delay was due to a series of high level visits and would be rectified in the near future.

1.2.4 The HOM makes a concerted effort to engage with staff and visitors in both official languages, and programs are capable of engaging clients in the official language of their choice. There is a need, however, to improve the French language *** and ensure that information posters and official signage are made available in both official languages.

1.3 Management Controls

Key Mission Management 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 mission management.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 
All employees have performance objectives set, annual appraisals occur, and a coordinated approach is taken to training and development. X 

 

1.3.1 Overall, mission management controls were operating effectively, with improvements required in the application of some practices, including documentation *** and the demonstration of value-for money with regards to hospitality.

1.3.2 Although the Mission indicated that the HOM participates in the quarterly reconciliation of passport assets as required by Passport Canada, copies of signed monthly reports were not kept on file. As a result, the Inspection Team was unable to verify that this was taking place. A recommendation concerning this issue is made in the Consular section of this report.

1.3.3 The Mission does not yet have ***, however, been equipped with the necessary information technology assets so that it could be used ***.

1.3.4 The Mission's established hospitality ceilings date from 2007 and have not been reviewed and updated on an annual basis by the CMM. The quality of hospitality diaries was inconsistent among Mission programs. In particular, there is a need for the IBD Program to improve the manner in which it completes hospitality diaries to ensure that stated objectives directly link to priorities and that evaluations of events demonstrate how those objectives were furthered and what follow-up activities should occur.

1.3.5 The Mission has worked with other mainland China missions to develop a coordinated Human Resources (HR) plan and has made the implementation of Performance Management Plans (PMPs) for all staff a priority. A review of the PMP system identified room for improvement, as 19 of the 70 staff did not have a PMP in progress for the current fiscal year. A Training Coordinator has been appointed, but the Mission has not yet developed a coordinated training plan or assigned a budget to facilitate its implementation.

1.4 Recommendations to the Mission

1.4.1 The Mission should ensure that all official signage and documents in public areas are available in both official languages.

1.4.2 French language training should be provided *** on a priority basis.

1.4.3 In coordination with other mainland China missions, the Mission should develop a ***.

1.4.4 Mission hospitality guidelines and ceilings should be reviewed and updated on an annual basis, and approved by the CMM.

1.4.5 Mission Management should ensure that all hospitality diaries are completed effectively and demonstrate clear linkages to mission priorities and that evaluations of events demonstrate how objectives were furthered and what follow-up activities should occur.

1.4.6 A Mission-wide Training Plan should be developed and a budget assigned for its implementation.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

1.4.1 All material in the public waiting area was found to be bilingual. Inside the consular interview booths, there was some unilingual material (i.e. consular fee table), which has since been posted in a bilingual format. Implemented.

1.4.2 French training is offered at the mission free of charge outside of regular working hours. *** does speak French and is taking courses both at the mission as well as at Alliance Francaise. Basic French phrases are now posted in writing as an aide-memoire for those covering receptionist duty. Implemented.

1.4.3 Mission concurs. Although the Personal Safety Contingency Plan includes a small section ***, Mission management has recognized that there is more that should be done in this area. A more *** will be developed, working with the Beijing plan. In progress, April 2011.

1.4.4 Mission concurs. Mission hospitality guidelines and ceilings were last updated in 2007. A review is underway. In progress, October 2010.

1.4.5 Mission concurs. This requirement has been communicated to all program managers who are required to review and approve their respective programs hospitality diaries and claims. HOM has also brought forward at CMM, to ensure appropriate care is taken by all. Implemented.

1.4.6 The Mission has had various plans and appropriate budgets in place, including a China-wide Training Plan, mission-specific Training Outside of Working Hours policy, the Organizational Learning Fund which covered a wide breadth of training from First Aid to Business Communication, French language courses for LES and CBS, as well as Foreign Language Training (Mandarin) for CBS and dependants. These have been consolidated under the leadership of recently appointed Mission Training Coordinator. Implemented.

Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA)

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The PERPA Program is led by an FS-03 Program Manager (PM) and supported by two LES officers (LE-08 and LE-07) and an LE-05 assistant. The LE-08 Officer is responsible for political and public affairs and the LE-07 Officer handles media and academic relations. The Program had also included an LE-08 Heritage Canada Officer working to coordinate and support Canadian participation at EXPO 2010. That position was transferred to the Canadian Pavilion at the end of the fiscal year.

2.1.2 The Program manages the public dimension of Canadian Government programs in East China, in particular in support of the IBD Program. Its key areas of activity are:

  • Coordinating high level visits, which have increased significantly in recent years;
  • Developing links with the Chinese political leadership in the region;
  • Organizing cultural and public affairs events; and,
  • Managing the academic relations program.

A key challenge for the Program will be to provide support to the Canadian presence at EXPO 2010 and the steady stream of high level visits it is expected to draw.

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 Country Strategy 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 The PM is *** communicates ***, sets ***. While the work environment is generally good, the physical layout of the Program's office space is not conducive to an effective working environment. At present, the three LES share one office with no separation.

2.2.2 The LES are competent and committed to *** Canadian interests. However, *** related to their responsibilities and have *** in the planning and conception of the projects and activities they are expected to manage. In principle, there is a weekly meeting of the Program but, since the fall of 2009, it has not generally taken place. Such a meeting would contribute to ***. Other team building exercises, such as a retreat, could be considered as a means to reinforce *** in the planning and implementation of activities.

2.2.3 For planning purposes, the PM uses various tools including the Country Strategy, the Joint Statement, the PMP process, the post initiative fund (PIF) reporting process and a "General Relations work plan" which lists major activities. Despite the existence of these documents, the Program has been in a reactive mode, and there has been little operational planning and prioritizing for proactive activities. This is due in part to the heavy load of visits and events and the need to respond to urgent demands from HQ, the HOM and clients.

2.2.4 A written, ongoing work plan for each individual of the Program would solidify the planning process and facilitate follow-up and evaluation of results. In addition to communicating expectations and providing feedback to staff, it could also serve as an important tool for engaging senior management in discussions regarding the relative priority of new initiatives/opportunities that arise during the year.

2.3 Implementation

Key PERPA Implementation CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Strategic objectives and plans have been translated into individual or team workplans. 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 
Relations with other mission programs facilitate program delivery (i.e. public affairs). X 
The program develops and maintains a contact base that meets programs needs and objectives.X  
Program reporting is in-line with Mission and government objectives, timely and relevant.X  
The Program is meeting the three categories of public diplomacy; communication of events, reinforcement of an image of Canada over the medium term; and building a longer term understanding and relationship with the country.X  
The program facilitates a mission-wide coordinated approach to advocacy and common messaging. X 

 

2.3.1 The Program has a good knowledge of the political leadership in the region and its implications for Canada, which allowed it to effectively support the HOM on arrival and develop effective programs for the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

2.3.2 The PERPA Program provides support to other Mission programs and to the mission in Beijing but, as noted earlier, it has been largely reactive due to the need to support a large number of high profile visits and activities. The Program and the Mission would benefit from a more systematic approach to supporting the IBD interests of Canada through media and public affairs activities.

2.3.3 Meeting the expectations *** has an ambitious vision of the role of the Mission, notably in the context of the network approach and the consolidation of a PERPA network. There is, however, a gap between the vision and the translation of this vision into concrete objectives, priorities and activities for the PERPA Program. There is a need for the HOM to provide guidance on simple practical steps to implement that vision.

2.3.4 At the time of the Inspection, *** did not yet have a plan in place related ***.

2.3.5 The Program managed a PIF allocation of $12,500 for the 2009-2010 fiscal year and used it to support cultural activities (film, literary, francophonie and jazz festivals) and the opening of the CCC offices. Some of these activities, however, do not demonstrate a strong alignment with the Mission's strategic priorities.

2.3.6 While the PM has a good knowledge of the New Way Forward (NWF) renewal initiative, *** and identify methods to incorporate its principles into planning and everyday operations, particularly with regards to public affairs.

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 outputs and objectives. X 
The PERPA Program assesses performance against their strategy / objectives and plans. X 
Hospitality diaries are maintained in a fashion that demonstrates value-for-money and alignment with priorities.X  

 

2.4.1 The Program uses the PMP process to establish and articulate specific objectives and results. This process is perceived as a routine exercise and, as a result, objectives and performance indicators are generic and do not identify specific priorities and activities. The PMP process is, however, largely centred around individual performance management and cannot be widely shared at the program, mission or departmental level. The recommended approach is to first document objectives, performance indicators and expected results at the program level, and subsequently ensure they cascade down into PMPs. The documentation of these objectives, indicators and results in a program level document will facilitate consultation and help ensure a balanced perspective between program and personal objectives.

2.5 Recommendations to the Mission

2.5.1 In any future *** renovation, the Mission should endeavour to provide PERPA staff with a more suitable work space.

2.5.2 The PM should ensure that staff are effectively involved in the conception, planning and development of projects.

2.5.3 Work plans should be implemented for PERPA staff and regular meetings held to facilitate increased delegation and empowerment of staff.

2.5.4 In consultation and cooperation with the mission in Beijing, the Mission should endeavour to translate the network approach and the consolidation of the PERPA network into concrete objectives, priorities and activities.

2.5.5 In close consultation with the HOM and the PERPA Program in Beijing, the PM should clarify the involvement of the Program in EXPO 2010 and identify a realistic number of activities and related funding that it could use to leverage the Canadian presence.

2.5.6 PIF activities should demonstrate alignment with the Mission's strategic objectives, and PIF reporting should clearly indicate the objectives and results of these activities.

2.5.7 The Program should reinforce its knowledge of the NWF and identify methods to incorporate its principles into planning and everyday operations, particularly with regards to public affairs.

2.5.8 Staff PMPs should incorporate specific objectives and performance indicators and be utilized to review performance on a regular basis.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

2.5.1 Mission concurs. *** are taking this recommendation into consideration. In progress, November 2011.

2.5.2 Mission concurs. Following up on the informal feedback received during the inspection in March, PERPA staff will be effectively involved in the design, development and implementation of projects. Implemented.

2.5.3 Mission concurs. Work plans for individual staff are being developed. Both the individual staff member and the PM will, through a collaborative process, develop the individual workplan. Formal regular program meetings have taken place when circumstances have permitted (pace of high level visits activity and events has affected meeting scheduling). Informal and ad hoc meetings take place regularly to allow staff to exchange information and advice, identify priority tasks, make decisions, and brainstorm on PERPA related work and PERPA support to mission-wide activities. In progress, December 2011.

2.5.4 Mission concurs. In consultation with Beijing, mission will translate the network approach and consolidate the PERPA network into concrete objectives, priorities and activities. In progress, December 2010.

2.5.5 Mission concurs. There has been extensive collaboration with Beijing for China-wide engagement on Expo and how to leverage Canada's presence at Expo to advance bilateral interests. In addition, several PERPA-specific events have been identified and planned, particularly those surrounding the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations celebrations. Finally, PERPA has taken a role of providing support to other mission programs in relations to visits and events tied to Expo. Implemented.

2.5.6 Mission concurs. Greater care will be taken to ensure that PIF activities are aligned with Mission's strategic objectives, and reporting will clearly indicate the objectives and results of these activities. Implemented.

2.5.7 Mission concurs. PERPA staff will take a refresher online course on the NWF, following which a planning session with HOM and PERPA staff will identify how best to incorporate NWF principles into daily PERPA work. In progress, November 2010.

2.5.8 Mission concurs. Staff PMPs will be revised to reflect specific objectives and performance indicators pertaining to individual performance expectations rather than a generic approach for all PERPA staff. In progress, November 2010.

International Business Development (IBD)

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 Shanghai is a key driver in the transformation of the Chinese economy into a major player in terms of international trade, innovation and foreign investment flows, both inward and outward.

3.1.2 According to the Mission's 2010-2011 IBD Business Plan, the East China area comprises 261 million people and is mainland China's wealthiest region on a per capita basis. The 36 cities in the Yangtze Delta region alone account for almost a third of China's international trade output. Given the importance of this region and its rising middle class, several Canadian companies are exploring new business opportunities to tap into this market. In fact, approximately 150 Canadian companies have representation in and around Shanghai. These and other clients look to the Mission for support in traditional and relatively new avenues, such as Canadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA) and technological exchange.

3.1.3 Adding to this complex and changing environment is the influential presence of the ***. These entities play an essential role in many decisions and, as such, the Mission has to maintain ***.

3.2 Planning and Program Management

Key IBD 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 IBD Program in Shanghai is comprised of a Senior Trade Commissioner (STC), four CBS and eight Trade Commissioners (TCs), and five Trade Commissioner Assistants (TCAs). In addition to the IBD operations in Shanghai, the Program also oversees the new Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) offices in Nanjing and Wuhan, and works closely with the co-located provincial (Ontario, Quebec) and EDC representatives.

3.2.2 The 2010-2011 IBD Business Plan is well developed and is currently being consulted on with HQ. The Program has identified nine priority sectors, a number which appears to be high. It is expected that consultations with HQ will help the Program refine its strategic focus. The key performance indicator (KPI) system led by Beijing has been incorporated and has simplified the Program's approach to measuring performance and results. It will be important that these are incorporated into staff PMPs for the new year and are balanced against key qualitative performance indicators. A key focus for the year is Shanghai EXPO 2010 which will begin in May. While it is expected to facilitate the achievement of some objectives, the high number of activities and senior level visits will also limit the Program's time to pursue other activities. A caveat to this effect has been made in the IBD Business Plan.

3.2.3 As observed in the Beijing Inspection Report, there should be a more *** dialogue between the China missions, the Geographic Bureau and the Global Business Opportunities Bureau (BBD) with regards to the definition of priorities to address different views related to areas such as transportation, automotive and information and communication technologies (ICT). Given China's inclusion as a priority market in the context of the Global Commerce Strategy (GCS) ***.

3.2.4 The Program benefits from effective formal and informal communications supported by weekly staff meetings *** set by the PM. The China network approach reinforces this communication through regular China STC *** and virtual teams that facilitate communication, coherence and collaboration across missions. As a best practice, the leadership responsibilities for virtual teams have been shared within the network, with Shanghai taking the lead on ICT, automotive and building products. With regards to training, the *** has sought to expand upon the HQ-based training (i.e. Global Learning Initiative, webinars, etc.) and guide China network staff through a series of hypothetical interactions with clients in a course on "the Art of a Trade Commissioner" to *** communicate the role of the TC and how the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) helps Canadian companies.

3.2.5 From an organizational perspective, the Program would benefit from a review of its structure and the level of management responsibilities undertaken by the CBS officers. This structure was put in place to limit the direct reports to the STC to five TCs, but some CBS indicated that time spent on management could be as high as 50%. While it is important for CBS to gain management experience, time spent with clients is also a priority. The linguistic profile of CBS positions and the investment in language training make this all the more important.

3.2.6 A review of IBD hospitality diaries indicated that there should be a clearer demonstration of value-for-money in the completion of the forms. Objectives were largely generic and not directly linked to the Country Strategy or IBD Business Plan. Evaluations of events also did not demonstrate how the objective was furthered or what follow-up activities were to occur.

3.3 Implementation

Key IBD Implementation CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Business plan objectives and those outlined in management's PMAs (Performance Management Agreement) /PMPs (Performance Management Program) appropriately cascade down into officer PMPs.X  
The program utilizes TRIO 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.Best Practice  

 

3.3.1 The Program is actively supporting the needs of Canadian clients and is working effectively with its local and regional partners. Both the STC and the HOM are *** engaged in Program delivery and provide support to officers when required. The PERPA Program has offered good support for major events, such as the openings of the new CCC offices, but their ability to proactively support the IBD Program has been limited by the high level of official visits to Shanghai.

3.3.2 The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) function at the Mission is led by a dedicated investment team. Interviews with other TCs, however, revealed that not all staff were comfortable handling investment related outcalls and tended to pass on those inquiries to the investment team for follow-up. Given that FDI attraction is a relatively new focus for China missions, the Program's officers would benefit from increased training on conducting investment outcalls. This should be done in collaboration with the Invest in Canada Bureau (BID) and an investment specialist with a view to expanding FDI attraction activities across sectors and improving communication and collaboration. Recent initiatives in this area by BID, particularly instructional videos, should help in this regard.

3.3.3 While the HOM is *** engaged, the Program should involve him in activities in a more strategic manner, particularly given the importance of hierarchy in China. A strategic outcall plan for the HOM and the STC would facilitate this objective. Furthermore, it will be important that the IBD Program continue to work closely with the EDC representative in Shanghai as this organization has recently adopted investment financing as a new business line.

3.3.4 The Program's use of TRIO was inconsistent, and efforts are required to ensure that all staff use it to record their activities in a timely manner. In particular, the new KPI approach will require a greater focus on TRIO input and this should be incorporated into the performance expectations of staff. It should be noted that the TRIO *** has been out-of-service since December 2009, slowing the response time of the application and frustrating users.

3.3.5 As discussed in the Beijing Inspection Report, the IBD Program is supported by the China IBD InfoCentre located in Beijing. The InfoCentre provides assistance to all China missions and should be viewed as a best practice. In particular, it provides the following key services:

  • Receives, responds and assigns approximately 80 service requests on a weekly basis, that are sent to the common email address for all China missions (infocentrechina@international.gc.ca);
  • Creates and maintains standard responses for certain inquiries and identifies areas where the program could consider developing specific content for the Virtual Trade Commissioner (VTC) site to address repeat inquiries;
  • Monitors the content of the VTC and reports on popularity of documents; and,
  • Produces monthly KPI reports and TRIO tips that are shared with staff via the program managers and the individual mission's TRIO Champion.

3.4 Performance Measurement

Key IBD 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 Building on the leadership of the IBD Program in Beijing, the Program has an effective performance measurement framework in place, which has been clearly communicated to staff and used regularly to assess performance and recognize the efforts of staff. Program, sector and officer performance is rigorously tracked and reported through a system of KPIs utilizing data from TRIO and the VTC website. The KPIs include new clients, services delivered, business leads, information downloads and commercial successes. Many of the officers stated that the KPIs have changed the way they work and improved their focus on results. The Inspection Team was very impressed by this approach which is a best practice.

3.4.2 The focus on KPIs does, however, introduce the risk that the Program and its officers will favour the activities which yield immediate results and may not place sufficient emphasis on those activities which could provide greater successes over the long term. One particular area is relationship building with government officials which is important in gaining market access and resolving trade irritants. The challenge remains that relationship building does not generally lead directly to an immediate result or KPI (except for reactive issues such as troubleshooting). Such efforts have to be sustained over time to set the basis for future commercial successes and facilitate the resolution of market access issues. Some room should be left within the KPI framework to ensure that the team continues to see value in maintaining a solid network of contacts in the Chinese government. As the Program moves forward with the inclusion of KPI targets in PMPs, it will be important to retain key qualitative indicators as well.

3.4.3 A discrepancy was noted in the performance information used at HQ as a result of inaccurate figures on the human resources within the Program. The number of staff reported on the dashboard (12.4) is significantly lower than the actual number of staff in the Program (18), leading to inflated results on a per officer basis and inaccurate comparisons between missions. The numbers in the IBD Dashboard originate from the Business Line Utilization (BLU) field of Peoplesoft. Discussions with the Strategic Trade Planning and Performance Management Division (PDC) indicated that this issue has been identified in other missions and is likely affecting data comparability at a general level. When such discrepancies are identified, PDC works with missions and HQ stakeholders to address the issue.

3.5 Recommendations to the Mission

3.5.1 The IBD Program should review its organizational structure and allocation of priority sectors to ensure that CBS managers' responsibilities are appropriately balanced with their roles as Trade Commissioners.

3.5.2 The Program should consult with Beijing regarding investment outcall training.

3.5.3 The Program should develop a strategic investment outcall program, that includes the involvement of the HOM and STC.

3.5.4 The STC should regularly reinforce the use of TRIO through monitoring, discussions with staff and its inclusion in staff PMPs.

3.5.5 Not withstanding the KPI system in use by the Program, the IBD Program should also monitor the IBD Dashboard, used by HQ to monitor activities and help assess performance, to ensure that the information provided to Senior Management is accurate and comparable (i.e. number of staff in the Program).

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.5.1 Mission concurs. Shanghai has initiated consultations with PDC on possible changes to the Program's organizational structure. The mission's ongoing Transformation initiative, simpler KPIs and reporting requirements should also help to address the balance between managerial/administrative work and IBD work for CBS. The number of priority sectors was reduced from 13 in 2009-10 to nine priority sectors this planning session. Efforts to further focus resources will need to be aligned with the ***. In progress.

3.5.2 Mission concurs. Shanghai has consulted with Beijing. Training on planning, preparing, executing and following up on outcalls is underway. This training attempts to capture all aspects of the integrative trade spectrum, including FDI. Shanghai TCs will participate in investment outcall training this fiscal year, coordinated by Beijing. In progress.

3.5.3 Mission concurs. A more systematic quarterly outcall plan will be developed with specific references to HOM/STC participation. Target for implementation is 2011:Q1, after Shanghai Expo. In progress, November 2010.

3.5.4 STC began reviewing TRIO tracking with all staff on a weekly basis in April 2010. (Previously, TRIO reviews were held monthly.) These meetings allow for discussions on best practices as well as the quality and frequency of inputs. CBS are encouraged to enter their own tracking as much as possible. Numerical IBD targets for all staff were added to PMPs this planning cycle. Targets are the same as those in the Program's IBD Plan. Implemented.

3.5.5 At Shanghai's request, PDC has updated the Program's BLU profile in HRMS, correcting IBD Dashboard measures that depend on this information. Implemented.

Consular

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The Consular Program is managed by an AS-04 Deputy Management Consular Officer (DMCO) with oversight by the Management Consular Officer (MCO). The DMCO is supported by an LE-08 Consular Officer and two Consular Assistants (LE06, LE-05). However, the LE-06 position has been staffed at the LE-05 level with commensurate duties provided. The Program is also receiving support from two part-time emergency employees.

4.1.2 Shanghai is the 13th busiest mission passport operation in the world, providing approximately 2,550 passport services, and processing approximately 270 citizenship applications and 770 notarial requests yearly. There are 660 Canadian citizens listed in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database, although the estimated number of Canadians residing in Shanghai is between 10,000 and 15,000.

4.2 Program Management

Key Consular Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The Mission Consular Contingency Plan is up-to-date.X  
The Mission has ongoing dialogue with key local authorities to facilitate Program delivery.X  
The Duty Officer Manual is up-to-date and contains a list of hospitals, doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc., to whom clients can be referred.X  
Regular staff meetings are held 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 providing good services to clients, but workloads are high and *** within the Program. Due to responsibilities related to Physical Resources, HR and facilitating a series of high level visits, the *** attention to the management of the Consular Program.

4.2.2 While bi-weekly meetings of all Consular staff and the DMCO are scheduled, the ***. Staff also expressed a desire for more one-on-one communication ***.

4.2.3 The Consular workload is currently four times as large as it was in 2003 and, while an additional FTE was provided, the Program is experiencing difficulty maintaining operations. To cope, the Mission has employed two individuals on an emergency employment basis (part-time) for more than a year. While the increase in workload was noted, improvements to internal operations and the division of roles and responsibilities are required before any resource assessment can be made. In particular, the *** and there needs to be a better division of roles and responsibilities established between ***.

4.2.4 The *** alternate job packages on a monthly basis, dealing with passport services and notarial/citizenship applications. While both positions are staffed and tasked with similar duties, one is in fact *** . Although the current situation facilitates job sharing and back-up for those duties, it does not represent the best use of the resources provided. Additionally, during an absence of ***. Instead *** assuming some of her responsibilities when workloads warrant. This will help ensure that client service levels are maintained, during busy periods and when certain staff are absent.

4.2.5 Once the above issues are addressed, the Mission will be in a better position to assess its requirements and engage with HQ in a discussion concerning additional program resources.

4.3 Client Service

Key Consular Client Service CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Service standards are made available to clients in both official languages.  X
The Program monitors adherence to Consular 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 

 

4.3.1 The Program is meeting client service standards as set by the Department and Passport Canada. Like other missions in China, arrest and detention cases consume a great deal of time for the Consular Program. Chinese imposed rules regarding Consular access stipulate that detainees can only be met in person by a diplomat and can not be contacted by the Mission via telephone or mail. At the time of the Inspection, Shanghai had *** Canadians detained in its region. Although the Mission has been able to meet its service standards for prison visits of one per quarter, this has contributed to *** has to spend on day-to-day operations.

4.3.2 The Program utilizes an electronic system to track the number of clients waiting to be served. Each staff member has an electronic board in their office which allows them to monitor this information and adjust services accordingly. While this system facilitates queue management of clients, the Mission should investigate the use of the *** that is currently in use in Guangzhou. *** allows staff to monitor services required and wait times, facilitates revenue management and reduces the risk of errors by automating certain processes.

4.3.3 While the Program is able to provide trilingual services to clients, documentation in the Consular reception area and privacy booth was not always available in both official languages. Service standards, fee schedules and a copy of the official receipt are also not posted in the waiting area.

4.3.4 The Program has received positive feedback from clients, although the response rate has been low. Feedback forms are available in the reception area and staff should actively encourage clients to complete these forms by providing them at the time of service. As no drop box is available in the lobby for clients to deposit forms, a low response rate may be attributable to a clients apprehension about providing feedback forms directly to staff.

4.3.5 The Program receives many general inquiries every day by telephone and email (up to 40 per day) which are normally answered within 24 hours. Although staff utilize standard email responses they should also be referring clients to the Mission website where a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) could be posted.

4.4 Internal Controls

Key Consular Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
A trained CBS with substantial control of the passport program is assigned overall responsibility to oversee regulatory compliance with Passport Canada's policies and procedures.X  
A certified CBS signs-off on all passports, except in extenuating circumstances requiring the function to be conducted by an LES with the approval role in PMP.X  
Completed passport application forms and related documentation are held for 60 business days following the end of the month that they were submitted and then securely destroyed.X  
Upon receipt of new passport stock, two CBS verify the receipt of all assets, sign and return the transmittal note. Form PPT 300 - Passport Receipt Form - to Foreign Operations (PPSP).X  
The primary inventory of passport blanks (temporary and emergency), ID labels, OBS labels, stamps, and seals are stored in according to official guidelines.X  
Movement of assets is recorded on an inventory log and initialled by the CBS custodian and the employee receiving the asset.X  
LES are allocated an appropriate working inventory that is controlled by a daily log (passport #s 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 
There are adequate segregation of duties for staff handling revenues.X  
Client documents and personal information are properly stored, secured, and disposed.X  
Official receipts are issued to Consular clients and revenue is recorded on the EXT 119 (Record of Fees Received Passport Consular Services).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 
Official seals and stamps are properly inventoried, secured and access provided to designated staff only. X 

 

4.4.1 Overall, controls governing passport and consular activities were in place. The Program receives payment for services *** and funds are transferred to the Finance Section ***. The use of a cash register and use of credit/debit cards, bank drafts or direct deposit for payment would help to reduce ***. Additionally, Consular services are provided late into the afternoon, and staff do not always have enough time to provide a detailed reconciliation to the Finance Section along with the funds transferred. On these occasions, ***.

4.4.2 A working stock of passport assets ***. Although a verification of working stock is performed weekly ***.

4.4.3 Although the Mission indicated that monthly inventory reconciliations are performed by two CBS, with the HOM participating on a quarterly basis, copies of the signed reports were not maintained on file at the Mission. As a result, the Inspection Team was unable to verify that this key control was operating effectively.

4.4.4 It was observed during the Inspection that ***.

4.4.5 Consular seals are properly secured and staff are given access when needed ***.

4.5 Recommendations to the Mission

4.5.1 The Mission should revisit the responsibilities *** and establish priorities related to the management of the Consular Program.

4.5.2 *** including regular staff meetings, increased consultation on decision making and more involvement of supervisory staff in day-to-day activities.

4.5.3 The Mission should review work flows, job descriptions, position levels and back-up requirements to ensure that the assistant positions are tasked in the most effective manner.

4.5.4 Bilingual copies of Consular service standards, fee schedules and an official receipt should be posted in the waiting area.

4.5.5 The Program should ensure that client feedback forms are provided to clients at the time of service, a lock box controlled by the MCO is installed for clients to deposit forms, and feedback is shared with Consular staff, the MCO, HOM and HQ.

4.5.6 The Program should increasingly refer clients to the Mission website for general inquiries, while at the same time working to improve the availability of information on the website.

4.5.7 The Program should explore alternate forms of payment by clients for Consular services in an attempt to reduce the use of cash.

4.5.8 The Program should ensure that sufficient time is set aside for Consular staff to ***.

4.5.9 Working stock provided to the ***.

4.5.10 The Mission should ensure that copies of the signed passport inventory reconciliations are maintained on file.

4.5.11 ***.

4.5.12 *** should be developed and verified on an annual basis.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

4.5.1 The Administration/Consular work stream continues to be overstretched and overburdened. This is particularly evident given the increasing number of High Level Visits coming to Shanghai which places increasing demands on already stretched resources. This was further supported by the Common Services Review, the findings of *** . In the absence of these positions being formally approved for creation, the workload has had to be reallocated in an effort to ensure short to medium term pressures could be dealt with in the attempt to ensure services and standards are maintained as much as possible. The mission will *** under these conditions and re-visit the situation on an ongoing basis. The mission anxiously awaits the creation of the positions recommended under the Common Services Review. In progress, October 2010.

4.5.2 Mission concurs. While meetings were being held on a monthly basis to discuss new departmental policies and procedures, discuss ongoing issues, and any other outstanding matters, if staff were unavailable, meetings were rescheduled to the next available date. Going forward, will ensure regular staff meetings and improved consultation and communication within the program, including greater engagement of supervisory staff. Implemented.

4.5.3 Mission concurs. Mission has undertaken to review work flows, job descriptions, position levels and back-up requirements of the consular section. Following the departure of *** a competition was held to staff the consular assistant position at the appropriate LE-06 level. Daily consular window responsibilities of the two consular assistants have also been changed to ensure a better balance of the passport, citizenship and notary services workload. Implemented.

4.5.4 Mission is unaware of any consular directive or policy that required the posting of a copy of an official receipt, but has nonetheless done so. Bilingual fee schedules and consular service standards have been posted in the consular booths. Implemented.

4.5.5 Mission does not concur. In 2008, Mission developed a wallet size business card with Consulate contact details, ROCA information, as well as the e-link to the client feedback online forms. The consulate e-mail address is also clearly displayed at the lobby entrance. Mission will continue to pursue green approaches to receive client feedback (i.e. online), and does not intend to implement paper feedback system or lock box approach.

4.5.6 Mission concurs. We will work with other China missions to come up with a common set of FAQs and other useful information that can be posted on all China mission websites to help ensure a consistent level of service to all consular clients across China. In progress, April 2011.

4.5.7 The mission has been surveying consular clients in order to try and best determine the alternate forms of payment which will be most widely acceptable to the clients. Based on the results plus through discussions with service providers, the mission recently undertook to implement a cashless payment system. The mission however has since been directed by SMF to halt any implementation as this issue must be dealt with at the HQ level; we will await further advice on next steps. In progress.

4.5.8 Mission concurs. The consular section will shift from afternoon only to morning only service hours starting September 2010. This will allow enough time each day for the assistants to reconcile their ***. In addition, Mission has implemented the ***system as of May 2010, and each consular assistant can now print a receipt reconciliation report immediately at the end of each day. In progress, September 2010.

4.5.9 Mission concurs. Working stock provided to ***. Implemented.

4.5.10 Mission concurs. A photocopy of the signed passport inventory is now kept at the Consulate as well as in Infobank. Implemented.

4.5.11 Mission concurs. This has been communicated to consular staff and a broadcast e-mail has been sent to all staff advising them of the ***. Signs highlighting the *** have been posted on consular doors. *** when considering office space and layout. Implemented.

4.5.12 Mission concurs. An inventory of official seals and stamps has been developed and verified in August 2010. An ***inspection and verification will be completed. Implemented.

Common Services

5.1 Overview

5.1.1 The Common Services Program is managed by an AS-06 MCO who is supported by a team of two CBS and 11 LES. The Program is responsible for providing common services to 69 employees in four DFAIT and four partner and provincial programs. The Program also provides Information Management and Information Technology (IM-IT) support to the mission in Guangzhou. The following table summarizes the resources available to the Program.

 TotalCBSLESLES Non-Office
General8233
HR1-1-
Physical Resources1-1-
Finance2-2-
IM-IT211-
Total14383

Program Management

Key Common Services Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The Common Services Program has developed an operational plan that incorporates key mission and international platform objectives, along with measurable expected results. X 
The Common Services Program actively seeks to implement best practices, improve efficiencies and reduce operating costs. X 
There are regular staff meetings in the Common Services Program to review priorities for the period and to follow up the implementation of plans. X 

 

5.1.2 The Common Services Program operates in a busy environment, servicing clients and supporting a consistent stream of high level Canadian officials. It does so, however, in a reactive fashion and is not always supported by documented policies, procedures and service standards to guide clients and assist staff in delivering the service. As a result, services and direction given to staff have been ***. While the Program has been successful in promoting some efficiencies and reducing costs through the leasing of fully serviced apartments, there are further opportunities that can be explored. These are addressed in greater detail throughout the Common Services section of the report and include the implementation and use of acquisition cards, establishing a mechanism for CBS to reimburse personal costs for SQ services and the development of written guidelines for procurement procedures.

5.1.3 The new PM arrived in the summer of 2009, *** which did not include a substantive overview of Mission operations. The situation was further complicated by a lack of key program files that could have provided background information on specific issues.

5.1.4 *** although ***, including the establishment of policies and procedures, implementation of client service standards, as well as positive movement regarding LES benefits issues.

5.1.5 A higher level plan has been established for the 2010-2011 fiscal year to outline key priorities and activities designed to support the overall effectiveness of Common Services Program delivery and to effect better client service. This is a good step, although the team would benefit from developing work plans for all sections within the Program. Given the number of external pressures (i.e. high number of visits), a workplan would assist in identifying workload pressures, setting realistic goals for staff, and ensuring key responsibilities are met.

5.1.6 The MCO meets regularly with the DMCO and the Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP), but does not consistently meet with other members of the Common Service Team as a whole. The MCO does meet with individual LES members on an ad-hoc basis ***.

5.1.7 One issue of concern involves back-up receptionist duties (lunch-time, unplanned absences, scheduled vacation leave, etc.) which has affected ***. During some known absences, the Mission has used program assistants as replacements instead of hiring temporary staff. While effective for unplanned or short absences, using program resources on a longer term basis may not be the best use of these resources. Staff should also be provided with clear instructions concerning the requirement for them to participate in these duties and a scheduling system put in place. The Mission may wish to consider modifying job descriptions of affected staff in order to address this issue.

Client Service

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

 

5.1.8 All Sections within the Program are generally providing adequate client services, however, there is a need to be more proactive and client focussed. As mentioned previously, the Program does not have any established service standards in place and, therefore, it is difficult to assess the performance of the Program concerning client service delivery. Although the Program has implemented a service request system, clients have not yet been provided access. As such, the Mission cannot take advantage of the client feedback tool that is part of the electronic system.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.1.9 The HOM should ensure that handover notes are listed as an objective/deliverable in PMPs for all CBS involved in the Common Services Program.

5.1.10 Workplans should be developed for all areas of the Common Services Program.

5.1.11 The Program should develop mission common service policies and procedures in consultation with the other China Network missions.

5.1.12 The Program should develop service standards for approval by the CMM, communicate them to clients and subsequently monitor program performance.

5.1.13 The MCO should schedule regular formal meetings with all Program staff.

5.1.14 A quarterly roster should be developed for the back up of the Receptionist and sent to affected staff by the MCO or DMCO ***.

5.1.15 The Mission should arrange to hire emergency or contract staff to address anticipated absences of the Receptionist, where possible.

5.1.16 The electronic service request system should be rolled out to all staff and the feedback mechanism be implemented to monitor client satisfaction.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.1.9 Mission concurs. At the appropriate point in the rotation cycle, the HOM will ensure that handover notes are listed as a deliverable in the PMPs of all CBS. Implemented.

5.1.10 Mission concurs. While an overall work plan has been in place for the entire Common Services Program, including Consular, and the MCO meets with CBS under his supervision to review the plan on a regular basis, management will work to ensure that work plans are developed for each specific area. In progress, October 2010.

5.1.11 Considerable communication has been carried out between all China missions on this subject. A common Mobile Device Policy has been implemented at all missions, and work is underway on a common vehicle policy, hospitality guidelines and so on. In progress, April 2011.

5.1.12 There are Service Standards that were adopted by the CMM in 2004 and have not been updated since then. These will be updated in concert with all China Missions. In progress, October 2010.

5.1.13 Mission concurs. While the MCO has had ad-hoc meetings with all staff of the program, there will be a concerted shift to set up regular meetings with staff from each work stream within the program. Implemented.

5.1.14 Mission concurs. In progress, October 2010.

5.1.15 Mission concurs. In progress, October 2010.

5.1.16 *** has been used on a trial basis within the administration section. *** that have been identified. These are known to HQ, but no timeline has been given for fixes. To meet this recommendation, *** will be nevertheless be rolled out mission wide and clients apprised of the *** and possible work around solutions. In progress, October 2010.

5.2 Human Resources (HR)

5.2.1 HR functions at the Mission are the responsibility of the MCO who is assisted by an LE-06 HR/Administrative Assistant *** and has relied on training and advice received from the mission in Beijing. The amount of HR work has been limited, as there have been no staffing actions, classification requests, grievances or complaints to deal with over the past year.

5.2.2 The Mission is faced with several issues concerning ***. The LES Handbook was last updated in 2002, a major concern for staff as several changes to the Chinese labour law have occurred over the past eight years. Additionally, concerns were raised with regard to the level of compensation and comparability among missions in China. As recommended in the Beijing Inspection Report, the particular nature of the LES groups, labour contracts with the Diplomatic Service Bureau (DSB) and changing labour environment necessitate a *** . Other like-minded missions in China have already taken steps to address the situation and should be consulted as a part of the TCR process.

Program Management

Key HR Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Responsibilities for the human resource 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 LES MCB 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 HQ.X  
A Mission training coordinator has been appointed and budget established. X 
Mechanisms are in place to monitor completion of employee's performance evaluations, CBS and LES. X 
Personnel and position files are complete and maintained separately.  X
Job descriptions are up to date and signed by incumbent and supervisor.  X
The Mission records LES accrued leave, deductions and current balances.X  

 

5.2.3 As discussed in Mission Management, the Mission is guided by an overall HR plan which was developed in consultation with the other mainland China missions. A Training Coordinator has also been appointed recently, but the Mission has not yet developed a Mission-wide (coordinated) training plan or assigned a budget for its implementation. At the time of the Inspection, PMPs were in progress for 51 of 70 staff members at the Mission. The Mission has made this a priority to ensure all staff have current PMPs.

5.2.4 A review of HR files was conducted and identified issues with regards to position and personnel files, as well as job descriptions. Aspects requiring improvement are identified below.

  • Position files: Eight position files were missing *** and, of the files reviewed, many did not include an organization chart, signed job descriptions, or copy of the EXT-145 form for position classification.
  • Personnel files: Several personnel files did not include documentation regarding reliability status (31), oath of office (35), or the original letter of offer (10).
  • Job descriptions: Most job descriptions are out of date, with thirty dating back to fiscal year 2001-2002, the time of the last full review. Twenty job descriptions are missing and five were not signed by the incumbent.

5.2.5 Leave and attendance files for LES are maintained by the HR/Administration Assistant who uses *** to track leave requests and balances. The Mission should consider introducing an electronic system for managing these files. Additionally, leave and attendance/overtime request reports were maintained on the personnel file, rather than in individual leave and attendance files.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Key HR Processes and Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The Mission maintains written records of each staffing action in-line with the requirements established by ALD. 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 
Classification action files demonstrate adherence to departmental procedures and contain the required documents and approvals.X  
Employees concerned are advised in writing of the Classification Committee's decision and of their rights to grieve.X  
Staff are aware of and comply with the Values and Ethics Code and have signed a document certifying that they have read and understood this code. Staff should be reminded 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 

 

5.2.6 In some instances, HR processes were not documented and internal controls were lacking. The MCO meets with the HR Assistant on an informal basis to discuss issues and provide direction as required. A review of six competition files found an ***. In some cases, interview scoring grids were not present, a copy of the advertisement or poster was not included, job descriptions were missing, rationale for the competition was not evident, and the area and method of selection was not on file.

5.2.7 Arrivals and departures checklists as well as the personnel checklist provided only basic information and should be expanded to meet the needs of clients (i.e. more substantial information and guidance).

5.2.8 As stated in Mission Management, improvements are required with regards to official languages in the areas of official signage and information posters in public areas and the French language ***.

5.2.9 The Inspection Team met with the LES Committee, as the LES MCB was not yet fully operational. The LES are appreciative of the support that the HOM has provided over the past months in raising their compensation and benefits concerns with HQ. Other key issues were raised included:

  • The lack of a contract between the Mission and the DSB. This issue had been raised with Mission Management almost three years ago although staff have yet to receive a clear answer or guidance to address their concerns;
  • Comparability of compensation in China related to the cost of living;
  • Consistency of practices in regards to overtime compensation and lack of consultation in the selection of Mission statutory holidays; and,
  • Clarification/detail on how the TCR process will be undertaken and the markers that will be used.

5.2.10 *** issues concerning overtime rates of pay, uniform policy, and meal rates while on duty over lunch time and on overtime. Such issues are not addressed in the current Handbook and no standard practices exist at the Mission.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.2.11 The Mission should identify the *** as a candidate to attend the *** course in Canada.

5.2.12 HR files should be reviewed for accuracy and consistency, using the ALD checklists for staffing, position and employee files.

5.2.13 The Mission should maintain a central file for all job descriptions and ensure that they are reviewed at least once every five years or when major changes occur.

5.2.14 The Mission should investigate the implementation of an electronic attendance and leave tracking system.

5.2.15 The Mission should review arrivals and departures checklists in consultation with staff and provide more information where required.

5.2.16 In the absence of local labour law or direction within their own Handbook with regards to driver allowances when working during meal periods, the Mission should consult with like-minded missions to determine what their policies are, consult with ALD, and apply as required.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.2.11 Mission concurs. No such course offering in English has been announced over the past year. When the CFSI announces the next *** will be put forward for consideration by the CFSI. In progress.

5.2.12 Mission concurs. This is currently underway. In progress, October 2010.

5.2.13 Mission concurs. Program Managers have been advised of al Job Descriptions that require immediate updates. In progress, October 2010.

5.2.14 Mission does not concur, and believes that this should be departmental priority and not one devolved to the mission.

5.2.15 We are unaware of any such issues or complaints. That said, we will undertake a review of checklists to ensure they are up to date and complete. In progress, September 2010.

5.2.16 Mission concurs. This is being done and some past practices have been halted while others are awaiting review as part of the Total Compensation Review process currently underway. In progress, April 2011.

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The Physical Resources Section is managed by the AS-04 DMCO who is assisted by an LE-06 Property Assistant. The DMCO holds weekly meetings with the Property Assistant and the Events Logistics Assistant who supervises the three drivers.

5.3.2 The Chancery is currently located on two floors of an office building, ***. The Mission's *** SQs are all fully serviced, and the majority of furnishings and appliances are provided by the landlords. This has greatly reduced the number of work requests and Mission involvement in this area.

Program Management

Key Physical Resources Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The MPMP and MMWP are up-to-date and approved by the appropriate mission and HQ authorities.X  
The appropriate authority allocates SQs based on the recommendation of the Mission Housing Committee.X  
The Chancery is well maintained and a maintenance schedule is in place. X 
The Official Residence (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 and include direction on obtaining supplier discounts. X 

 

5.3.2 The Section is *** managed, although a workplan is not yet in place. There is, however, a plan to use "task manager" for work planning for recurring tasks and maintenance.

5.3.3 The Chancery is at capacity and is located in an office complex in an older district of the city. The building where the Consulate is housed is 30 years old and showing signs of its age. The visitor reception and client waiting area is small, resulting in periods where there is standing room only and ***. Most other consulates and many businesses have moved their offices to the new central business district. ***. In the short term, a plan to upgrade the current office is required, as it is starting to show its age and is in need of refurbishment.

5.3.4 A key area of concern for the Mission is the SQ portfolio as CBS expressed *** regarding the suitability and location of some SQs (ie. young couples in complexes suitable for families and in neighbourhoods without amenities). The HOM SQ in particular, although of a good quality, cannot be easily used for official events as it is located far away from the downtown area. This poses inherent challenges to effective program delivery.

5.3.5 Although all purchases are pre-approved by the MCO and local procurement practices are generally understood by the responsible staff members, there are no written guidelines in place. This could lead to inconsistency in the process followed and in the documents maintained on file. Developing a standard document would provide staff clear guidelines and ensure greater transparency in the procurement process.

5.3.6 As part of the development of a China-wide procurement strategy, a review of purchasing options could be performed to identify the most cost effective location for regularly purchased or big-ticket items in order to obtain better value-for-money for all missions. For example, some items such as printing of business cards is much cheaper in Guangzhou than in other cities in China.

Client Service

5.3.7 As discussed in Section 5.1 of this report, service standards are not in place. Although most service requests are actioned quickly, the lack of service standards for Property services makes it difficult to manage client expectations. The MCO meets with each CBS employee shortly after his arrival to discuss client services and holds one-on-one sessions with PMs to discuss services and get feedback. The lack of a formal feedback mechanism, such as that provided by the departmentally approved work request system, hampers the Section's ability to monitor ongoing client satisfaction.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Key Physical Resources 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 signed. X 
A percentage of the costs for OR supplies has been established and regular reimbursements are made.X  
Costs of damages resulting from occupant negligence are recovered.X  
Records of assets in storage are maintained on an ongoing basis and verified annually. The Mission maintains a dollar value of stored assets.  X
Chancery, OR, and SQ assets are appropriately safeguarded, inventoried, 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

 

5.3.11 The Property Assistant meets with all new CBS upon their arrival, however, occupancy agreements and distribution accounts are often signed several months later. A review of files indicated all were signed except for those of the HOM. A follow-up meeting scheduled shortly after the CBS' arrival would allow both parties to review assets and sign the forms together, as well as discuss any work requirements at the SQ.

5.3.12 A Management decision made in 2009 to use only furnished and serviced SQs has reduced the requirement to buy and maintain inventories of furniture. While stored assets have been reduced to two small store rooms ***, it is important that all inventories are up-to-date to ensure all assets are accounted for.

5.3.13 ***. Access to SQ keys should be restricted to ***, and any distribution of SQ keys should be authorized by the SQ occupant and the MCO or DMCO.

5.3.14 Two disposal sales were held last year to empty the contents of an off-site warehouse when it was decided to lease furnished/serviced apartments. Disposal records reviewed were incomplete, making it difficult to assess the Mission's compliance with policies and procedures. The following two issues were identified:

  • Authorization to conduct the sale was given by the STC rather than by the HOM or HQ approval authority, as required; and,
  • *** contrary to departmental policy and introducing a potential conflict of interest situation.

5.3.15 Official vehicle logs are maintained by the drivers, but a review of the logs and mileage driven is not performed by the supervisor. In addition, the monthly Vehicle Operating and Maintenance Report (EXT-159) is not verified and signed by the DMCO.

5.3.16 The drivers are responsible for replenishment of Mission gas cards and there is little involvement by the LES supervisor in monitoring or reconciling usage. Although drivers have been provided with uniforms, the Inspection Team observed that drivers were not dressed appropriately and did not project a good image of Canada.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.3.17 Building cleaners should be provided with a clear list of duties that can be monitored to ensure an acceptable level of cleanliness for the Chancery is maintained.

5.3.18 Annual inspections of all SQs should be performed.

5.3.19 PMs and SQ occupants should be consulted for input into the multi-year capital acquisition plan. The plan should be approved by the CMM on an annual basis.

5.3.20 Local procurement guidelines should be developed and include instructions on obtaining supplier discounts.

5.3.21 Duties previously performed by the cleaner position should be formally assigned to other staff members,*** who can perform some of these duties in their spare time.

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

5.3.23 Complete inventory records should be in place for all Mission assets and access to store rooms should be restricted.

5.3.24 Access to SQ keys should be restricted.

5.3.25 Mission disposal processes should be reviewed and updated to ensure that:

  • The HOM or appropriate HQ authority provides the approval for the disposal;
  • Any staff involved in the selection of assets for disposal or the disposal sale itself are not allowed to participate; and
  • The disposal records are properly maintained.

5.3.26 Vehicle usage and fuel purchases should be more closely monitored, including:

  • Monthly DMCO verification and approval of the Vehicle Operating and Maintenance Report (EXT-159);
  • Monthly reconciliations of fuel purchases and mileage driven.

5.3.27 Mission drivers should be required to wear their uniforms at all times while on duty.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.3.17 Mission concurs. Mission will follow up with building management who are responsible for cleaning staff. In progress.

5.3.18 Annual inspections have been done by the LES property assistant. Between the HOM, DMCO and MCO, all SQs have been visited in a 12-month period. According to the Property Manual, this is sufficient. Implemented.

5.3.19 SQs are furnished by the landlords in Shanghai. There is thus no clear need for SQ occupants to be consulted on the capital acquisition plan. Program Managers are consulted at CMM for any Capital needs that they may have. The complete plan has always been approved by the HOM. This will now be presented to the CMM. Implemented.

5.3.20 Staff involved in purchasing have reviewed and continue to follow Chapter 3 of the materiel management module. Staff are always encouraged and coached on how to ask for discounts locally. The Mission will consult with Beijing on their guidelines for possible local implementation. In progress.

5.3.21 Job descriptions of *** and others will be updated to reflect the redistribution of cleaner duties. In progress.

5.3.22 Occupancy Agreements and Distribution Accounts are given to CBS on the occupancy date. Mission will follow up to ensure documents are signed in a timely manner. In progress.

5.3.23 Mission concurs. Access to store rooms has always been ***. Implemented.

5.3.24 Mission concurs. SQ keys are kept in a key press located ***. Access has now been restricted to only the DMCO, MCO or HOM. Implemented.

5.3.25 The Mission will be more mindful of ensuring there are no real or perceived conflicts of interest with any future asset disposals. Given the unique circumstances of the disposal sale in which the ***, interpretation of the guideline is/was correct and the Mission believes disposal processes are appropriate, adequate and up to date. With respect to the HOM signing off, the STC authorized the disposal/sale in his capacity as Acting Consul General (in the absence of HOM) rather than as STC. A review of record keeping for such disposal sales has been undertaken and such records shall be scanned and saved in InfoBank. Implemented.

5.3.26 Mission concurs. The process has ben reviewed and will be actioned and monitored accordingly. In progress.

5.3.27 New uniforms have been purchased and the dress code has been communicated to the drivers and is now being implemented.

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 The Finance Section is managed by the MCO, with day-to-day operations carried out by the LE-06 Accountant and the LE-04 Assistant Accountant. The Mission has an annual budget of approximately $4.7 million in operational, capital, overtime and LES salary funds. There are approximately 3,000 payments issued annually, and revenues collected from consular and immigration services total approximately ***.

5.4.2 The Mission has reduced its reliance on cash operations as the majority of immigration revenue is collected on behalf of CIC through a Visa Application Centre (VAC) and deposited directly into the ***. The use of cash in Shanghai is significantly higher than in Beijing. This is in part due to the fact that the Mission ***. The number of ***, with Shanghai issuing over *** cash payments per year, whereas Beijing issues less than***.

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 
Acquisition cards are used, where appropriate, to minimize burden on petty cash accounts, cheque issuance and electronic fund transfer (EFT) requirements.  X
Payment runs are kept to a minimum, but are sufficient enough to allow for good client service.X  
Where appropriate, the mission uses Electronic Funds Transfers (suppliers, LES salaries). X 
Immigration refunds are arranged through cheque or EFT.X  

 

5.4.3 ***. As a result, clarifications are required on an ad-hoc basis and often challenged by clients. This diverts time away from other activities and can lead to strained relationships with clients.

5.4.4 While quiet hours are set and respected, instances were witnessed where ***.

5.4.5 An acquisition card is not in use at the Mission. As a result, staff have used their own credit cards to make a purchases and subsequently sought reimbursement from the Mission.

5.4.6 While EFTs are used for immigration refunds, the Mission continues to rely heavily***.

Client Service

5.4.7 Local finance policies and procedures are not updated and thus have not been communicated to clients. Service standards are also not in place, leading clients to frequently contact Finance staff regarding the status of their claims, vendor payments and to discuss other related financial issues.

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 
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 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  
Hospitality claim processes ensure that policy and guidelines are adhered to and that the accountant verifies the completeness and accuracy of the claim. X 
Hospitality files are maintained centrally in Finance, as per the hospitality guidelines. X 
A process is in place to ensure the consistent and appropriate review of travel claims. 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

 

5.4.8 Overall, there is a need to improve financial controls in the Mission with regards to the items listed above.

5.4.9 The Mission has a CRB in place that meets virtually to approve contracts. Occasional in-person meetings are not held and thus do not provide members with the opportunity to discuss any issues or questions with regards to the terms of reference, contracting regulations, or internal processes. For example, instances were noted where clients require quick turnaround times on contract approvals, disrupting the work of CRB members and distracting attention from other priorities. Establishing standardized approval timeframes would provide members with increased ability to manage their workloads, and properly inform clients regarding the need to plan ahead and respect timelines required for proper review. For example, the departmental CRB requires a minimum of ten days to return a decision.

5.4.10 A review of the contracting process revealed that bids were routinely accepted by e-mail and not in a sealed envelope. ***. In one instance, it was also noted that a new bid was accepted several months after the original call for bids had been made. This issue was raised with Mission Management and action was taken to address it.

5.4.11 A review of contracting files indicated that supporting documents were not consistently held on file and that CRB approvals were sometimes provided by only one or two of the members, instead of the three required. Missing documents included the request for proposal and all received bids. It was also noted that, in many instances, a supplier's contract was used instead of the departmentally approved contract form. Additionally, the Mission does not have a formal contract in place for the provision of ***.

5.4.12 Bank reconciliations are completed by comparing IMS entries with the entries on the bank statement, which is obtained on-line by the Accountant and not the MCO. There is, however, no review of the supporting documentation. ***, this increases the risk that an improper entry will not be corrected.

5.4.13 The asset and liability report is reviewed only as part of the year-end procedures and not monthly as required. It is important to review this report to identify any overdue accounts and record the transfer of responsibility for advances or emergency cash parcels (ECP). For example, the ECP was still under the name of the previous MCO. In addition, *** or reviewed for necessity. At the time of the Inspection, several staff had petty cash accounts or standing advances, but were not keeping them separated from their own personal funds. As a result, the Inspection Team was unable to reconcile cash on hand and receipts provided to substantiate the use of advanced funds.

5.4.14 In some instances, staff were approving travel requests without the proper authorities and mis-interpreting the provision of Section 34 authorities. The authority to approve travel is only delegated to the program manager level. In addition, a new signature card is not always signed when someone is in an acting capacity.

5.4.15 As noted in Section 4.4 of this report,*** are not always provided to staff at the time***. As Consular services are provided late into the afternoon, staff ***. On these occasions, *** until such time as the Consular Program provides ***.

5.4.16 As stated in Mission Management, hospitality unit cost ceilings have not been updated since 2007 and are not considered to be reflective of the current costs of events. As a result, some employees do not adhere to the rates and conduct events that exceed the established guidelines. A review of diaries also found that the objective and evaluation of the event provided did not demonstrate value-for-money and clear linkages to priorities. It should be noted that the review of hospitality was hampered by the fact that claims are not centrally stored within the Mission. Generally speaking, these claims should be filed separately from the monthly accounts to facilitate review.

5.4.17 The lack of guidelines for completion of travel claims results in a high number of questions regarding entitlements and the approval of expenditures by managers that are subsequently denied by the Finance Section. A review of claims highlighted numerous issues relating to:

  • Claims where audited amounts were adjusted, but the original amount was paid;
  • Use of incorrect per diem rates;
  • Exchange rate errors in favour of the claimant;
  • Missing vehicle logs and overtime forms to substantiate driver meal entitlement; and,
  • Missing statutory declarations.

5.4.18 Lease agreements for the serviced apartments include amounts for various services such as, cable, internet and telephone. However, there is no mechanism in place for CBS to consistently reimburse the Mission for these services. As these costs are considered a personal responsibility, the Mission should develop an appropriate cost recovery formula to ensure that all CBS are paying their share as required.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.19 Local financial policies and procedures should be documented, approved by the CMM and communicated to clients.

5.4.20 ***.

5.4.21 The Mission should explore opportunities to decrease the amount of ***, in particular:

  • The use of an acquisition card;
  • EFT payments to CBS; and,
  • Acceptance of debit or credit card payments for consular services.

5.4.22 The contracting process should be strengthened and ensure that:

  • All bids are received in a sealed envelope and opened only after the deadline has expired and in the presence of at least two staff members;
  • The approved departmental form is used, where possible;
  • Approvals from all CRB members, or alternates in the event of an absence, are recorded on file;
  • A timeline is established for receipt of a CRB decision; and,
  • Periodic formal meetings are held to review the CRB terms of reference and discuss general contracting issues.

5.4.23 A contract register along with the complete contracting file should be held in a central location and properly secured.

5.4.24 ***.

5.4.25 Access to the *** bank statement should be provided to selected CBS, as well as the Finance Section.

5.4.26 The bank statement should be reviewed by a CBS, normally the MCO, before it is transferred to the Accountant for processing.

5.4.27 *** focussed on reporting and monitoring activities.

5.4.28 The Mission should review the asset and liability report on a monthly basis and take appropriate action for any amounts overdue.

5.4.29 The Mission should review the necessity of its petty cash and standing advances and ***are conducted.

5.4.30 Delegated staff should be advised of their level of authority and what types of transactions they can/cannot approve. For those staff who regularly assume acting positions, consideration should be given to completing Acting Specimen Signature cards that can be activated when required.

5.4.31 Hospitality claims should be stored in a central location within the Finance Section.

5.4.32 The application of the Travel Policy should be clarified, in particular for different circumstances related to meal entitlements.

5.4.33 Meal claims provided by the drivers should be accompanied by a copy of the overtime claim and the signed vehicle log.

5.4.34 The Finance Section should ensure that any claims with missing or
inadequate information are not approved and returned to the approving manager for follow-up.

5.4.35 A Mission policy should be developed to address CBS reimbursement for personal utilities and services included in SQ lease agreements.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.4.19 The mission will consult with Beijing on their recently developed procedures and adapt them for local implementation. In progress.

5.4.20 Mission concurs. This has been communicated to the finance staff and we will be sure to follow up on a routine basis. ***. Signage has been installed indicating *** to the area. Implemented.

5.4.21 CBS may now only receive payment by EFT, except in urgent situations approved by the MCO or HOM. We have taken steps to accept credit card and debit card payments for consular services, but we have been directed not to pursue this any further pending further guidance from HQ. We are proceeding to implement the use of acquisition cards. Implemented.

5.4.22 Mission concurs. All recommendations will be implemented, and a China-wide CRB review/audit committee will be set up. In progress.

5.4.23 Mission concurs. All contracts will be centrally held by the Accounting section. In progress.

5.4.24 Mission concurs and this is now being done. Implemented.

5.4.25 Mission concurs. This is now being done with electronic versions being also sent to the DMCO and MCO. Implemented.

5.4.26 Bank statements are now simultaneously received *** and accounts. Implemented.

5.4.27 Mission concurs. Will follow up to ensure training is provided in the near future. In progress.

5.4.28 This requirement is not documented, but Mission has nonetheless implemented as a best practice. Implemented.

5.4.29 The mission has taken steps to improve fund oversight. Verification of the post cash account held by accounting is done monthly by the MCO and a signed report is included with each monthly bank reconciliation report. The number of petty cash accounts has been reduced from ***. Periodic spot checks will be carried out by the DMCO or MCO. Implemented.

5.4.30 Mission concurs and will implement. In progress.

5.4.31 Mission concurs and has implemented the recommendation. Implemented.

5.4.32 This is being worked on as part of a China-wide policy initiative. In progress.

5.4.33 Mission concurs. Greater emphasis will be placed on the enforcement of this. Implemented.

5.4.34 Mission concurs. This is routinely done. Implemented.

5.4.35 Mission concurs. Details are currently being finalized. In progress.

5.5 Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT)

5.5.1 The IM-IT Section is managed by a CS-02 (FSITP) and supported by an LE-07 Locally-engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP). The Section provides services to users in Shanghai and on-site and remote support to the mission in Guangzhou. The FSITP also performs the duties of Communication Security (COMSEC) Custodian, with the MCO as his back-up.

Management

Key IM-IT Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
An IM/IT workplan exists and includes regional activities.  X
Where required, an IM-IT Committee has been established to provide direction and program input. 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  

 

5.5.2 The Section is *** managed and is providing quality and timely services to clients. It has also assisted in reducing expenditures by recommending a change to ***, resulting in savings of approximately 40 and 65% ***.

5.5.3 An IM-IT workplan has not been developed as the Section is guided by a request-based system. A workplan would assist in planning priorities, organizing the Section and would also provide the FSITP and the MCO with a basis to analyse workload issues.

5.5.4 An IM-IT Committee has been created but has not met in several months. This Committee would provide an important forum for assessing the Mission's IM-IT requirements, introducing and implementing new practices and providing input into the Mission budgeting process.

5.5.5 The Mission has not developed a ***, equipped with necessary equipment and is tested routinely. A recommendation to address this issue has been made in the Mission Management section of this report.

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 help-desk/client service tools and maintains relevant data.X  
Issues identified at regional missions under the ITPs responsibility are monitored and consultations occur regularly with the appropriate authority.X  

 

5.5.6 The Section is proactive in its approach to client service and the FSITP has developed reference guides for new and incoming staff, which is seen as a good practice.

5.5.7 As with other common services, standards have not been developed for the IM-IT Section and communicated to clients. While clients are receiving a high level of service, having specific standards in place and communicating them to clients will assist the Section in managing expectations.

5.5.8 Client feedback concerning IM-IT services is provided through the Remedy system. The Mission has not, however, received an indication from HQ as to whether or not comments have been received. This feedback would be an important part of program management and improved client service delivery.

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 safe location.X  
The Mission has appropriate secondary communications in place and those tools are tested regularly.X  
The Mission has a consistent approach in place for the management of electronic and paper records and compliance to legislation, policies and standards.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 DSL connections).X  
Employees formally sign out IT assets (cellular telephones, laptops, etc) and are advised of their accountabilities.X  
Surplus IT assets are disposed with the appropriate approvals per departmental policy.X  

 

5.5.9 Overall, key IM-IT processes and internal controls are effective. InfoBank is used extensively within the Mission and PMs are supportive in ensuring that staff are provided the time to take training. An Information Manager, reporting directly to the MCO, is the InfoBank Champion and arranges training sessions when required. InfoBank "tips" were sent out by the Information Manager in the past, however, this practice was stopped by previous Mission Management. The Mission should consider re-instating this process and consolidating all tips in a file in InfoBank.

5.5.10 Reminders on the NAUP are sent to staff on a regular basis. In addition, all new staff sign as having read the NAUP. Bandwidth problems are still prevalent and are thought to relate to certain staff members' usage of the system. The MCO should follow up with the Information Management and Technology Bureau (AID) and program managers to determine if the usage is official or not.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.5.11 The Section should develop an IM-IT workplan.

5.5.12 The IM-IT Committee should be reconstituted and regular meetings should be scheduled.

5.5.13 The Mission should consider reinstituting the process of the IM-IT Section providing regular tips for InfoBank usage.

5.5.14 The Mission, in consultation with AID, should review bandwidth consumption to determine if the usage is personal or work related and corrective action taken where warranted.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.5.11 This had been part of a higher level Admin program work plan, but an IM-IT specific plan will be implemented. In progress, October 2010.

5.5.12 Mission concurs and this is done. Meetings have already been held. Implemented.

5.5.13 This is an Info Manager responsibility (not FSITP) and will be done. In progress, October 2010.

5.5.14 This is already done on a routine basis. Sites have already been blocked/restricted to prevent bandwidth blockage. Implemented.

Appendix A : Mission resources Fact Sheet

Table : Mission Resources Fact Sheet of Physical Resources
Physical Resources
AssetsCrown OwnedCrown Leased
Chancery-1
Official Residence-1
Staff Quarters-14
Vehicles4-

 

Table : Mission Resources Fact Sheet Financial Information
2009-2010 BudgetsProgram BudgetCommon Services Budget
Total$818,822$3,886,582
Operating (N001)$ 125,461$ 3,502,218
Capital (N005)-76,149
CBS Salaries (N011)20,0009,300
LES Salaries (N012)673,361298,915

Appendix B : Organization Chart

Shanghai Organizational Chart - Accessible version

Shanghai 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
MFO
- Mission Financial Officer
MM
- Module Materiel Management Module
MMWP
- Mission Maintenance Work Plan
MOU
- Memorandum of Understanding
MSO
- Mission Security 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
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:
2012-11-09