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Inspection of the Canadian Embassy Ankara - Turkey (Including the Consulate in Istanbul)

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March 21 - 30, 2011

Table of Contents

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Inspection Scope and Objectives

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

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

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

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

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Executive Summary

An Inspection of Mission Management, the Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs, Commercial Economic, Consular and Common Services programs was conducted in Ankara and Istanbul from March 21 to 30, 2011. A previous audit/inspection of these programs took place in 2006. The Embassy is a medium sized Mission with 20 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 41 Locally-engaged Staff (LES) and is responsible for departmental program delivery in Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. The Consulate in Istanbul has 2 CBS and 8 LES, including Export Development Canada (EDC).

In addition to DFAIT programs, the Mission also provides a platform for partners from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC), the Department of National Defence (DND) and (EDC). The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) also maintains a Regional Emergency Management Office (REMO) out of Ankara. There will soon be an Honorary Consul in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The Mission and its composite programs are all working towards the achievement of their individual mandates and there is an opportunity to move toward a more robust "whole-of-government" approach. The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) has become a forum for debating the finer points of policy, rather than the adoption of overarching strategies. The institution of a second-tier operations committee would allow for both strategy/policy development and approval functions to be formally defined and separated. Morale at the Mission can best be described as low, due to factors both within and outside of Mission control. Mission Management recently made several changes to long-standing benefits, which were seen to be unilateral and not well-communicated. In addition, the results of the Total Compensation Review were recently announced and have caused concern for the LES.

The Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs Program is *** managed by an *** FS-04 Counsellor ***. Morale in the Program is good and communications are effective. Roles and responsibilities are well defined. Reporting is timely and relevant with positive feedback from partner departments and HQ. The Program would benefit from the formalization and documentation of program and individual workplans.

The Commercial Economic Program is *** managed by an FS-04 Senior Trade Commissioner. The focus of the Program from mid 2009 until early 2011 has been on the successful opening of the Consulate in Istanbul (opened in December 2010). For more than one year preceding the opening of the Consulate, the STC was located in Istanbul, working out of his Staff Quarter. The FS-01 Trade Commissioner manages the day-to-day operations in Ankara. At the strategic level the Program has the proper orientation. The identification and pursual of Priority Sectors is based on a solid analytical footing. However, there is a need, both with respect to the management function and operations to clarify roles and responsibilities within the team and to re-evaluate ***.

The day-to-day operations of the Consular Program are functioning well under the AS-04 Deputy Management Consular Officer (DMCO) with oversight provided by the AS-06 Management Consular Officer (MCO). The Program benefits from having experienced and knowledgeable staff. Passport and Consular controls are generally in place, however, minor improvements should be made.

The Common Services Program is managed by an AS-06 Management Consular Officer (MCO), who is supported by an AS-04 Deputy MCO (DMCO). ***. A general lack of communications and direction has led to misunderstandings and inefficiencies.

A total of inspection 69 recommendations are raised in the report, 65 of which are addressed to the Mission and 4 to Headquarters. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 69 recommendations, management has stated that 42 have been implemented. For each of the remaining 27 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.

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Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Embassy in Ankara is a medium sized mission with 20 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 41 Locally Engaged Staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Partner departments represented at the Mission include Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), Public Safety Canada and the Department of National Defence (DND). The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) also maintains a Regional Emergency Management Office (REMO) out of Ankara ***.

1.1.2 In addition to the Embassy in Ankara, the Government of Canada recently opened a Consulate in Istanbul. Istanbul is Turkey's largest city and is an important location from a business, cultural and political sense. **. Canada was the last G20 nation to open a diplomatic mission in Istanbul. ***.

1.2 Mission Management

Table 1: Evaluation of Mission Management
Key Mission Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The Mission's strategic objectives are consistent with Government and DFAIT priorities and guide staff performance measurement objectives.X  
DFAIT programs have developed operational plans based on the objectives outlined in the country strategy and advice/guidance from Headquarters (HQ).X  
The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) is an effective forum to review and make decisions on mission policies and management issues. X 
The Locally-engaged staff Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) is an effective forum for dialogue between mission management and LES. X 
Mission Management ensures that employees remain informed of key priorities and administrative policy decisions. X 
Minutes of committee meetings, particularly CMM, are made available to all staff, as appropriate.X  
The Official Languages Policy is respected and promoted by mission management.X  
Canadian public service values and ethics are promoted and reinforced, and employees are aware of available support resources (values and ethics, staff relations, etc.).  X

1.2.1 The Mission and its composite programs are all working towards the achievement of their individual mandates. There have been many successful endeavours undertaken and strong results achieved on behalf of the Government of Canada. That said, room exists to move towards a more collaborative "whole-of-government" approach to strategy, reporting and operations.

1.2.2 The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) has been occupied by numerous administrative policy matters in recent years. It has lost its strategic focus and become a forum for debating the finer points of policy, rather than the adoption of overarching strategies. The institution of a second-tier operations committee would allow for both strategy/policy development and approval functions to be formally defined and separated.

1.2.3 Policy changes adopted by the CMM in recent months and years have not been communicated in an effective manner. The nature and communication of these changes has been perceived by LES to be paring back benefits that have been in place for many years. Examples of this include additional restrictions to the use of the Official Residence swimming pool, the removal of Chancery parking privileges to make room for storage space and the institution of a banked hours system for drivers whereby the Mission could release them early and then they would owe hours at a later date.

1.2.4 These policy changes were received negatively by LES staff. In the case of the removal of parking, LES offered to pay for parking to off-set the costs of off-site storage. These policy changes were discussed in the LESMCB, but staff remained dissatisfied because their requests for reversal of the CMM decisions were not accepted. Regardless of the validity of the policy changes enacted by the Mission, the communication strategies in announcing them were inadequate given other issues that were affecting employee morale. These policy changes were announced through email and little to no explanation was given as to why they were required. The LES Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) was not used effectively as a forum to air and address these issues as management was too directive in setting the agenda.

1.2.5 Morale at this Mission among LES was found to be problematic. This is due to a number of factors, some out of Mission Management's control. The worldwide Total Compensation Review that the Department has undertaken was recently concluded for Turkey. This exercise froze salaries and combined some existing benefits, that are common in Turkey, into existing salaries, resulting in a perceived loss. In addition, morale was particularly affected by the perceived demotions of several long-serving employees (as they were moved to lower steps in the new pay bands). This, combined with the previous policy changes simply added to already poor morale.

1.2.6 ***. There was also no evidence that mission discussions on values and ethics occur regularly and employees were unaware of internal or external recourse or dispute resolution mechanisms.

1.3 Management Controls

Table 2: Summary Evaluation of Management Controls
Key Management Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The Mission's committee structure meets minimum requirements based on size (Health and Safety, Security, Contract Review, etc.).X  
Mission committees are meeting regularly and effectively discharging their governance responsibilities. X 
Program managers are provided regular financial/budget updates to facilitate effective management and decision making. X 
Security policies and regulations are respected and promoted.X  
The quarterly reconciliation of passport inventory is properly completed and certified.X  
The mission's bank reconciliations are properly reviewed and signed-off 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 activities are properly documented, demonstrate value-for-money and align with mission objectives.X  
All employees have performance objectives set and annual reviews occur.X  

1.3.1 The control environment at the Mission is generally sound with some areas requiring improvement. Management exercises its control functions appropriately.

1.3.2 Management and oversight of the Mission's budget could be improved. Significant sums are spent on CBS overtime, particularly in the Common Services Section, and a number of initiatives that were in place before have been cancelled due to perceived budget pressures. However, prior to year end it became known that an effort had been undertaken to dispense of unused funds quickly.

1.3.3 The MCO frequently travels to Istanbul as he is the direct supervisor for Common Service and Consular employees located there. ***. Now that the Istanbul Consulate has been established and is fully functional, the Head of Office in Istanbul should assume responsibility for day-to-day management of the Common Service and Consular staff there, with the MCO providing advice, support and assistance as required.

1.4 Recommendations to the Mission

1.4.1 The Mission should establish an Operations Committee that is charged with Policy Development and operational coordination

1.4.2 The Mission should take immediate and tangible steps to re-engage with LES and to ensure that employees are aware of and have credible redress mechanisms to handle instances of improper behaviour.

1.4.3 The Mission should move towards a more robust budget management model that will allow for more balanced spending.

1.4.4 The Mission should ensure that LES are included in setting the agenda for the LESMCB.

1.4.5 Values and ethics training should be arranged to promote respectful workplace practices. Additionally, employees should be made explicitly aware of support resources and recourse mechanisms available to them.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

1.4.1 Implemented September, 2011. The Mission has decided to continue combining the functions of CMM and Operations Committee itself. Nevertheless, CMM agendas will more clearly distinguish between Mission administrative policy items for decision, and discussions of past, current and future operations. In addition, and further to our response to Recommendation 2.5.2, CMM has formally established a Reporting Committee with broader membership, that will meet monthly or more often if needed, to ensure sharing of information and cooperation among program staff.

1.4.2 In progress for October/November, 2011. ***. The LESMCB is being re-energised - see 1.4.4 below.

1.4.3 Implemented July, 2011. Cash payments for CBS overtime in the Common Services section have been eliminated, and the requirement for overtime has dropped precipitately since the team's visit due to the completion of the Istanbul Consulate project and the appointment of an Honorary Consul in Tblisi. The requirement will drop further with the arrival of the new Head of the Istanbul Consulate on August 10th. *** will now routinely take their overtime in compensatory time barring exceptional circumstances.

1.4.4 Implemented August, 2011. The LESMCB will be re-engaged and its membership bolstered by representation from the Official Residence staff. LES members will be encouraged to generate agenda items. Meetings will now be held monthly, and Minutes will be circulated to all staff. In addition, CMM has recently decided that all staffing boards should include a senior LES for all future competitions; while not directly relevant to the LESMCB agenda, this measure should help improve LES perceptions of the transparency and fairness of mission management.

1.4.5 In progress. See 1.4.2. above. The Department's Values and Ethics Division has agreed to visit to carry out this training, with dates to be determined.

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Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA)

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The PERPA Program is managed by an FS-04 Counsellor supported by an FS-03 First Secretary GSRP position, an FS-01 Second Secretary an LE-06 Political/Public Affairs Assistant and an LE-05 Political Assistant/Translator. All PERPA staff report directly to the Program Manager. The Program's budget is shown in the table below. The Program Manager is also responsible for the Security Function at the Mission with two MPSS reporting to him.

Table 3: Budget for the Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA) Program
Budget2010-2011
Operations$
Travel19,500
Hospitality4,200
Post Initiative Fund6,000
Canada Fund137,500
Total$167,200

2.1.2 The Program covers Turkey and Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. ***.

2.2 Planning and Program Management

Table 4: Evaluation of Planning and Program Management
Key PERPA Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
PERPA plans are aligned with the priorities and objectives outlined in the mission plan and informed by departmental and geographic bureau guidance and objectives.X  
PERPA plans outline intended outcomes and results are measurable. X 
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 Program is *** managed by an *** Program Manager who ***. Morale in the Program is good and communications are effective. Roles and responsibilities are well defined. Reporting is timely and relevant with positive feedback from partner departments and HQ. Workload has been increasing with greater interest and therefore more tasking from HQ and other departments.

2.2.2 Program activities are in line with the MPR and government and department goals and objectives. It would be useful however, for the Program to formalize and document program and individual workplans. This would include identifying known and recurring activities and also longer-term proactive initiatives. This will allow the Program to more objectively assess and adjust activities and resource allocation in response to opportunities and pressures. Expected results, resource requirements and time lines would be important elements to include.

2.3 Implementation

Table 5: A Summary Evaluation of Key PERPA Implementation Criteria
Key PERPA Implementation CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Strategic objectives and plans have been translated into individual or team work plans. X 
Activities and initiatives are aligned with the Mission's key priorities and with the principles of the New Way Forward PERPA Renewal initiative.X  
Program reporting is in-line with Mission and government objectives, timely and relevant.X  
The program develops and maintains a contact base that meets program's needs and objectives.X  
Relations with other mission programs facilitate program delivery. (i.e. public affairs). X 
The program facilitates a mission-wide coordinated approach to advocacy and the development of common messaging. X 

2.3.1 Improvement is required to coordinate sharing of information and efforts in areas of common interest for Mission programs. While partner departments and DFAIT program activities often overlap, there is little coordination of these activities or sharing information of potential interest. The Mission should identify areas where more cooperation is required and explore mechanisms to facilitate successful implementation.

2.3.2 Public affairs activities include generation of press releases on visits or special activities, updating the website, organizing media opportunities and managing the PIF fund and related projects. These activities are useful and effective, however a more coordinated and proactive approach with involvement across the Mission would better support advocacy objectives and common messaging. This would require input from all programs in developing an advocacy strategy and the identification of resource requirements, including hospitality usage.

2.3.3 The Program manages a Canada Fund of $137,500. An outside contractor has been engaged to manage the day to day operations. These duties include preparing a call letter for project submissions and vetting these for approval by the Mission through its Canada Fund Committee (the Committee sees all proposals). Once projects are in place, the contractor monitors project progress through visits and contact with project officials, ensures mid-term and final project reports are submitted and that payments approved by the HOM are made.

2.4 Performance Measurement

Table 6: summary evaluation of Performance Measurement
Key PERPA Performance Measurement CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The program has an established performance measurement system in place to monitor activities towards the achievement of objectives. X 
The program assesses performance against their strategy / objectives and plans, and provides a high-level assessment of performance through the MPR system at the end of the fiscal year.X  
Hospitality diaries demonstrate value-for-money and alignment with priorities.X  

2.4.1 The performance of the Program is currently impacted by the level of support positions and services carried out on behalf of other programs The Political Assistant/Translator provides translation and interpretation for all Mission programs. In the absence of a Protocol Assistant, direct support is provided to the HOM regarding organization of events, setting up appointments and arranging meetings. These activities not related to the PERPA Program interrupt on-going PERPA work and productivity. Given local language requirements and the size of the Mission, a business case should be submitted to HQ ***. This would give the Program greater capability by having LES expertise provide analysis and reporting and serve as the continuity between Program CBS rotations.

2.5 Recommendations to the Mission

2.5.1 The Program should develop a workplan that includes all activities, resource costs, assignments and expected results.

2.5.2 The Mission should initiate mechanisms to ensure information sharing between programs.

2.5.3 The Mission should prepare and submit to HQ a business case ***.

2.5.4 The Program should assess the benefits *** .

Mission Actions and Timeframes

2.5.1 In progress for October, 2011. The section will initiate internal discussions about developing a work plan and seek examples from other like-sized missions for examples of what they use in order to create a workplan suited to ANKRA's needs.

2.5.2 Implemented September, 2011. The Mission has created a Reporting Committee to improve coordination on reporting with membership composed of those who regularly report on developments in our countries of accreditation.

2.5.3 In progress for September. A case in support of a combined ***.

2.5.4 In progress for September, 2011. The Mission will conduct a bench marking exercise to determine if tasking to the incumbent exceeds ***.

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Commercial Economic (CE)

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 The Commercial Economic Program (CEP) in Turkey is managed by an FS-04 Senior Trade Commissioner (STC). The STC is supported by an FS-01 Trade Commissioner (TC), two LE-09 Trade Commissioners and two LE-05 Trade Commissioner Assistants (TCA). The STC, two LE-09 TCs, and one of the TCAs are resident at the Consulate in Istanbul. The FS-01 and the other TCA are resident at the Embassy in Ankara.

Table 7: Budget for the Commerical Economic (CE) Program
Budget2010-2011
Operations$30,212
Travel15,667
Hospitality11,667
Client Service Fund (CSF)30,000
Overtime18,865
Other Funding (Partners)93,000
Total$199,411

3.1.2 The focus of the Program from mid 2009 until early 2011 has been on the successful opening of the Chancery in Istanbul (opened in December 2010). For more than one year preceding the opening of the Consulate the STC was located in Istanbul, working out of his Staff Quarter. The project to open the Chancery was anticipated to be finished in mid-2010, which coincided with the expected departure date of the STC from Turkey.

3.1.3 The displacement of the STC from the Program in Ankara resulted in some challenges with respect to management and oversight of operations. The STC, and a recently hired (June 2010) LES Trade Commissioner were not able to access departmental electronic networks, including tools like TRIO to monitor performance. Additionally, metrics such as those provided by the TRIO Dashboard tool had not been implemented to allow for oversight from a distance. Additionally, the FS-01 was responsible for the day-to-day management of all Program LES. The impact of this will be noted in subsequent subsections.

3.2 Planning and Program Management

Table 8: Evaluation of key CE Program Management
Key CE Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Program objectives reflect departmental plans and priorities, including partner departments where applicable.X  
Performance targets are defined, clear and measurable.X  
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 At the strategic level, the Program has the proper orientation. The identification and pursual of Priority Sectors is based on a solid analytical footing. Consultations and engagement with relevant stakeholders, both internal and external to the department are regular and rigorous.

3.2.2 The annual business plans developed by the Program are thorough and reflect the areas of focus and expected activities in sufficient detail. These can therefore be used as a basis to monitor performance and strategic focus throughout the Fiscal Year.

3.2.3 There is a need, both with respect to the management function and operations, to clarify roles and responsibilities within the team. ***. In this case, there were key elements that were not understood and this caused some problems with activity recording within the TRIO system. This will be further elaborated below.

3.2.4 ***.

3.2.5 The TCA in Ankara has *** been designated as the budget coordinator for the Program and the InfoCentre Manager. These duties, and the *** responsibilities, were added to the job description within the past year. With these additions to the job description, the ***. As there has been an evolution of the systems and procedures in place, and an increased level of complexity in the assigned tasks, the need for such a review would be appropriate.

3.2.6 Communication within the Program can be characterized as strong. Regular staff meetings are held, along with Program retreats to discuss strategy and forward looking opportunities. Detailed minutes and records of decision are kept.

3.3 Implementation

Table 9: Evaluation of key CE Implementation Criteria
Key CE 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 staff PMPs.

X  
Activities and initiatives are aligned with the mission's key priorities.X  
The program utilizes TRIO to facilitate client relationship management. X 
TRIO use is monitored to ensure activities are reported appropriately and accurately reflect the work undertaken. X 
The InfoCentre function has defined objectives and responsibilities. X 

3.3.1 Written evidence provided by the STC to the Inspection team suggests that the Program is providing good service to clients for large scale events. This is not supported more broadly by empirical data, however, as the improper use of TRIO in recording client service requests has limited the collection of client input. The Program was not closing service requests within TRIO after five days, as per standard, but were leaving the service requests open within the system until the client interaction had terminated.

3.3.2 Survey results that have been received indicate a lower level of satisfaction than the global average. ***.

3.3.3 Clearly there is room for tighter control and monitoring with respect to the recording of client interactions in TRIO. To enable this, the TRIO Champion will have to be provided with sufficient time to focus on this role and all other Program employees will have to commit to using the system thoroughly and in accordance with prescribed standards. With the opening of the Istanbul Consulate, the time is certainly right for the Program to move forward with a commitment to putting in place a strong management foundation. This will allow for the proper recording and analysis of client interest to ascertain the status and trajectory of Canadian business interest in Turkey.

3.4 Performance Measurement

Table 10: Evaluation of CE Performance Measurement
Key CE Performance Measurement CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Tools and mechanisms are in place to measure and monitor performance of the program. X 
Program employees are involved in the performance measurement process. X 
Hospitality diaries are maintained in a fashion that demonstrates value-for-money and alignment with priorities.X  

3.4.1 The STC is involved in the performance measurement process at a strategic level. The selection of priority sectors, the engagement strategies within those sectors and the selection of potential outcall targets are areas where there has been a strong focus and oversight. Therefore, the program is measuring its performance at that same strategic level.

3.4.2 More oversight is required on an operational basis. The use of TRIO summary reports and TRIO dashboard performance indicators need to be ingrained into Program operations, as do the results of client feedback received through the surveys.

3.4.3 Throughout the report, the work associated with opening the Istanbul Consulate has been mentioned. This significant diversion has resulted in the issues noted in this section. The requisite pieces are now all in place and the Program, if freed of constraints, should be in a strong position to move forward in a stable and considered manner to implement a comprehensive and compliant Commercial Economic Program.

3.5 Recommendations to the Mission

3.5.1 The STC in Istanbul should manage the employees based in Istanbul.

3.5.2 ***.

3.5.3 The STC should stress and ensure that Program staff use TRIO in a regular and comprehensive manner.

3.5.4 The STC should use TRIO reporting capabilities and the TRIO management dashboard to evaluate Program performance.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.5.1 Implemented August, 2011. The new STC arrived on August 10. All employees based in Istanbul now report to him. PMPs of the three TD section employees based in Istanbul were transferred to the STC on August 2nd.

3.5.2 Implemented March, 2011. The elimination of the *** was implemented in March. *** job description will be reviewed by the new STC. Benchmark positions at levels 5 and 6 have been identified. The revised job description will be submitted to the Virtual Classification Committee.

3.5.3 Implemented August, 2011. Steps were taken prior to the Inspection and the incoming STC will continue monitoring staff's progress.

3.5.4 Implemented August, 2011. The new STC will use TRIO and Dashboard to performance manage the Program.

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Consular Program

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The Consular Program is managed by an AS-04 Deputy Management Consular Officer (DMCO) with oversight provided by the AS-06 Management Consular Officer (MCO). The DMCO is supported by an LE-08 Consular Officer and a part-time LE-05 Consular Assistant. The Program is responsible for the provision of Consular services in Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan and is responsible for passport data entry for Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The Program's budget is as follows:

Table 11: Budget for the Consular Program
Budget2010-2011
Operations$41,037
Travel$16,571
Hospitality$337
Overtime$10,037
Total$67,982

4.1.2 The Mission provides approximately 750 passport and 90 notarial services and processes approximately 100 citizenship applications annually. There are 249 Canadian citizens in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database. The estimated number of Canadians residing in the areas of accreditation is 3,300.

4.2 Program Management

Table 11: Evaluation of Consular Program Management
Key Consular Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Consular work is planned and prioritized.X  
The Consular Contingency Plan is up-to-date.X  
The Duty Officer Manual is up-to-date.X  
The Mission has ongoing dialogue with key local authorities to facilitate program delivery.X  
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 Day-to-day operations are functioning well. The Program benefits from having experienced and knowledgeable staff. In the past the MCO and HOM provided support to ensure effective communication between Consular staff and the DMCO. Meetings are now held every two days to discuss ongoing cases and the upcoming workload. The team also has a formal monthly planning meeting.

4.2.2 Staff have developed good contacts with local authorities and like-minded missions. Consular PMs from like-minded missions meet quarterly, however, no similar meeting exists for LES Consular Officers. The DMCO initiated the first annual Consular Officers meeting in 2009-2010, and a total of 18 Consular Officers from other missions attended. ***.

4.3 Client Service

Table 12: Evaluation of Consular Client Service
Key Consular Client Service CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Service standards, a fee schedule and a copy of the official receipt are posted in public areas in both official languages. X 
The program monitors adherence to service standards and makes adjustments where necessary.X  
The program has the capacity to provide services to Canadians in the official language of their choice.X  
The Mission promotes client feedback mechanisms and takes corrective action, when warranted.X  
The Mission has provided the Honorary Consul (HonCon) with a mandate letter which establishes their role, responsibilities and accountabilities and performance is reviewed annually.N/AN/AN/A
There is adequate liaison/support from the Mission for the HonCon.N/AN/AN/A

4.3.1 The Program is able to meet its service standards and strives to provide good client service. Both Officers have received all necessary Consular training to perform their job and provide back-up during absences.

4.3.2 A copy of the fee schedule was posted in the Consular booth, however, it was on the Officer's side and not accessible to clients. Service standards and a copy of an official receipt were not posted in the booth. These should be available to clients to ensure they know the fee for services and that an official receipt should be received for all services.

4.4 Internal Controls

Table 13: Evaluation of Consular Internal Controls
Key Consular Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
A certified CBS signs-off on all passports, except in extenuating circumstances with the approval of Passport Canada.X  
Client documents and personal information are properly stored and secured.X  
Completed passport application forms and related documentation are securely destroyed 60 business days following the end of the month that they were submitted.X  
There are adequate segregation of duties for staff handling revenues. X 
Official receipts are issued to Consular clients and revenue is recorded on a record of fees received form.X  
Revenues are transferred to the finance section once $500 is reached (once a week if less than $500). X 
Upon reciept of new passport stock, two CBS verify the receipt of all assets, sign and return the transmittal note.X  
The primary inventory of passport blanks (temporary and emergency), identification labels, observation labels, stamps and seals are securely stored according to official policy.X  
Removal of passport stock from secure storage 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 (passports issued, spoiled, returned to safe storage) and unused inventory is stored securely at the end of each day.X  
Inventory is physically counted, reconciled and signed-off at the end of each month by two staff, one of whom must be a CBS.X  
The quarterly reconciliation of passport inventory is properly completed and certified.X  
Official seals and stamps are properly inventoried, secured and access provided to designated staff only. X 

4.4.1 Passport and Consular controls are generally in place, however, minor improvements should be made. Consular and Passport revenues are collected by the Consular Assistant and Officer ***. The revenues are reconciled ***. Revenues should be transferred when $500 is reached or on weekly basis, whichever comes first.

4.4.2 ***.

4.5 Recommendations to the Mission

4.5.1 The Program should ensure that a copy of the services standards, a fee schedule and a copy of an official receipt are posted in the Consular booth in both Official Languages.

4.5.2 The Program should ensure ***.

4.5.3 The Program should ensure that ***.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

4.5.1 Implemented April, 2011.

4.5.2 Implemented April, 2011.

4.5.3 Implemented April, 2011.

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Common Services

5.1 Overview

5.1.1 The Common Services Program is managed by an AS-06 MCO who is supported by the DMCO (AS-04) and a team of 13 LES. The following table summarizes the discretionary resources available to the Program.

Table 14: Budget for the Common Services Program
Budget2010-2011
Operations$41,037
Travel16,571
Hospitality337
Overtime10,037
Total$ 67,982

5.1.2 The Program is responsible for providing common services to 61 employees spread over four DFAIT and four partner programs in both Ankara and Istanbul. There are two CBS and eight LES located in the Consulate in Istanbul.

Program Management

Table 15: Evaluation of Common Services Program Management
Key Common Services Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
An operational plan has been developed and incorporates key mission and international platform objectives, along with measurable expected results.X  
The program has documented and communicated administrative policies and procedures to guide management, staff and clients. X 
The Common Services program actively seeks to implement best practices, improve efficiencies and reduce operating costs. X 
Regular meetings with staff in the Common Services program are held to review priorities and to follow up the implementation of plans. X 

5.1.3 ***. A general lack of *** communication has been replaced by rumors and fragmented information leading to misunderstandings and miscommunication.

5.1.4 The Program has workload pressures in the Finance and Personnel areas. Incremental growth in Ankara and in Istanbul over the past few years has not resulted in any new positions being created in the Common Services Program to deal with increased workload. The establishment and ongoing operation of the new consulate including the addition of EDC resources have added to common service delivery pressures for the mission. While some of the burden in the Finance Section could be reduced by streamlining procedures (see Finance section), the Program has no designated staff to deal with an increasing HR workload. This burden falls to the MCO and DMCO although some support is provided by the Administrative Assistant.

5.1.5 Client service within the Ankara Mission could be improved by the Program by ensuring that clientele have been provided with proper guidelines and procedures related to services available. Outreach activities aimed at providing other programs with information regarding procedures, new initiatives, and general common service policies (travel claims, hospitality claims, PMP input, etc) would be a positive proactive initiative.

5.1.6 Program meetings are scheduled weekly for 1/2 hour during which the MCO discusses issues related to the CMM. The short time frame of this meeting, which includes *** does not provide staff with ample opportunity to raise relevant issues or to discuss planning. It would be in the Program's best interest to conduct specific/separate meetings with Section staff (Finance, Property, IM/IT, etc) . This would give the MCO and his staff an opportunity to interact and to share issues and ideas on a more frequent basis. These meetings should be agenda driven ***. As well, the MCO and or DMCO should arrange to meet with non-office staff (drivers, OR staff, handyman/GS) on a quarterly basis to ensure that they have a voice beyond their immediate supervisor.

Client Service

Table 16: Evaluation of Common Services Client Service
Key Common Services Client Service CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Service standards have been established and communicated to clients. X 
Services provided reflect fair and equitable allocation and access to common services for all mission programs.X  
A mechanism is in place to solicit and receive client feedback and corrective action is taken when warranted.  X
Any hub and spoke relationships are governed by an agreement outlining the roles and responsibilities of each mission. X 

5.1.7 Overall, client services were found to be effective although there are areas where improvements can be made.

5.1.8 The only service standards available to staff and clients are the generic standards that were developed in 2005. A review and update of these standards should be undertaken and communicated to clients.

5.1.9 As the Program has yet to fully install an electronic service order request *** clients do not have a formal avenue to address their concerns regarding services being provided.

5.1.10 While there is a draft hub and spoke service level agreement between the Ankara and Istanbul Missions, the finalization of this document is urgent given the many staff concerns regarding lack of clarity per job duties and objectives.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.1.11 The Mission should follow up with the Regional Service Centre (RSC) in London and AFO regarding their request for an ***.

5.1.12 The Program should develop policies and guidelines concerning services available to clients. Once completed, these should be circulated to all clients.

5.1.13 The MCO should ensure that regular meetings with specific agendas are conducted for all areas of the Program.

5.1.14 The MCO should ensure that non-office staff are provided with periodic access to him and or the DMCO. This should be done in a formal atmosphere with scheduled meetings.

5.1.15 Updated service standards should be developed for all sections within the Program. Once completed, they should be circulated to all staff within the Mission.

5.1.16 The Program should install the departmentally approved work order system.

5.1.17 The Mission should finalize the service level agreement between Ankara and Istanbul.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.1.11 Implemented August, 2011. A formal follow up email was sent to RSCEMA/APO in August. RSCEMA told mission that the ***.

5.1.12 Implemented August, 2011. This information was contained within the 2011 New Arrivals Handbook. We will update and circulate to all clients.

5.1.13 implemented. Meetings are being held as of August, 2011.

5.1.14 Implemented August, 2011.

5.1.15 In progress for completion by October 2011.

5.1.16 In progress for November. All CBS have access. Program Assistants are being trained but note that this application will not be supported in the future and the department will be rolling out a new application.

5.1.17 In progress. A Draft Financial Hub and Spoke Agreement exists but needs to be approved by HQ. Similar agreements for the other functional areas will also be developed by November, 2011.

5.2 Human Resources (HR)

5.2.1 The HR functions at the Mission currently fall within the responsibility of the MCO who is assisted by the DMCO and the Administrative Assistant. Over the past year, the Program has undertaken 12 staffing and six classification actions, driven mainly by the opening of the Consulate in Istanbul. A dedicated resource to assume the duties of an HR specialist is of particular urgency for the Mission as workload is increasing in this area. The Mission advises that a business case has been put forward to the RSC in London.

Management

Table 17: Evaluation of HR Management
Key HR Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Responsibilities for human resource (HR) activities have been clearly defined, delegated and communicated to all staff. X 
LES have been provided with the most recent version of the LES terms and conditions of employment.X  
The LESMCB is representative of Mission programs and levels and is utilized by both LES and mission management to facilitate communication. X 
An HR plan has been developed and submitted to headquarters (HQ). X 
A coordinated approach is taken with regards to training and a budget established.  X
Mechanisms are in place to monitor completion of employee's performance evaluations. X 
Employee and position files are complete and maintained separately.X  
Job descriptions are up-to-date and signed by the incumbent and the supervisor. X 
The mission records LES accrued leave, deductions and current balances.X  

5.2.2 Overall, HR management is conducted on an ad hoc basis. Responsibilities and associated activities have not been clearly defined and have resulted in an inconsistent level of service to clients. In particular, questions from LES concerning benefits and the application of the Total Compensation Review have not been clearly answered to the satisfaction of clients.

5.2.3 The Mission has an active LES Management Consultative Board (LESMCB) although it does not have a representative from the non-office staff or from a member of the LES located in Istanbul.

5.2.4 The Inspection Team met with LES members of the LESMCB and provided them with an opportunity to discuss issues related to general working conditions and Management support. Members began the meeting by advising that morale within the Mission was considered to be low by many LES. The following are issued raised by the members:

  • Information was sent to the Locally-Engaged Staff Bureau (ALD) concerning salaries and benefits however there was no acknowledgement of receipt or any opportunity for discussion
  • Issues regarding training opportunities - staff want to ensure that the process is transparent and needs are supported by management
  • Due to the withdrawl of certain priviledges (OR pool and Chancery parking access) at around the same time as changes resulting from the TCR were announced, staff feel like second class citizens

5.2.5 The Mission HR plan has not yet been finalized for fiscal year 2011-12. This should be completed and sent to ALD as soon as possible.

5.2.6 The Mission has not appointed a training coordinator and as such does not have a Mission-wide training program established. Although some staff are taking advantage of training offered, this is undertaken on an ad hoc basis.

5.2.7 Performance Management Plans (PMP) for staff within the Common Services Program are not up to date or, as in some cases, data has been entered into the system at the last moment, i.e. at the end of the process. ***.

5.2.8 Many job descriptions are either not current or do not reflect increased or supplementary duties that have been added over the past few years. This has resulted in a lack of clarity for some staff regarding their roles and responsibilities and an overlapping of duties between some employees.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Table 18: Evaluation of HR Processes and Internal Controls
Key HR Processes and Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Staffing actions are conducted in-line with the Locally-Engaged Staff and HQ Workforce Programs Bureau (ALD) guidelines. Written records supporting the process are maintained and contain required documents and approvals.X  
Classification actions are conducted in-line with ALD guidelines. Written records supporting the process are maintained and contain required documents and approvals.X  
Letters of Offer are signed by the appropriate authority.X  
New LES and CBS employees are provided with an information package on the working conditions, benefits and regulations pertaining to employment at the Mission.  X
Staff are aware of the Values and Ethics Code and have signed a document certifying that they have read and understood this code. Mission management informs staff of the requirements of the Code on an annual basis.  X
Mission signage is provided in both English and French and a bilingual Official Languages Co-ordinator has been appointed.X  
The mission has sufficient capacity to communicate with and provide services to the public, both orally and in writing, in both official languages.X  

5.2.9 Overall, HR processes and internal controls were lacking. This is in part due to the Program not having a dedicated resource to deal with HR issues.

5.2.10 The Mission has not developed a formal orientation package that would help guide newly hired employees through the many processes required during their first few days at the Mission. The Administrative Assistant does provide some information to new staff, however, a comprehensive and co-ordinated briefing is not given.

5.2.11 A review of staff files indicated that staff had not signed a document certifying that they have read and understood the information contained in the Values and Ethics Code. The Mission should bring this issue to the attention of all staff and prepare a form for signature that will certify that they have read and understand it. This can then be placed on the employee's file.

5.2.12 Competitions conducted recently have been well documented although the Mission should ensure that, for transparency purposes, LES are provided with a fair opportunity and encouraged to compete for all vacant positions within the Mission.

5.2.13 The Occupational Safety and Health Committee (OHSC) has met in session only once during the past year. The Mission should ensure that regular meetings are held and that employees throughout the Mission are aware of their access to this Committee.

5.2.14 As part of the total compensation review (TCR) that came into effect on April 1st, 2010, Drivers are now required to work 45 hours per week between Monday and Friday. The Mission has instituted a "balanced" hour policy whereby Drivers are scheduled to only work 40 hours per week with five hours being banked by the Mission and held in reserve in the event a Driver is requested to work overtime. The resulting effect is that Drivers may be called upon to work after hours or on the weekend but are not compensated for these hours until the banked hours are used. This policy is unfair and does not comply with Departmental policy governing terms and conditions of employment. ***.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.2.15 The Mission should follow up with the RSC in London concerning the need for an HR resource position.

5.2.16 The Mission should arrange for a member of the non-office staff and a member of the LES in Istanbul to be included as a member of the LESMCB.

5.2.17 The Mission should provide staff with an opportunity to voice their concerns regarding the withdrawal of certain privileges.

5.2.18 The Mission should complete the fiscal year 2011-2012 HR plan and submit it to ALD as soon as possible.

5.2.19 The Mission should appoint a training co-ordinator and prepare a Mission wide training plan for the new fiscal year.

5.2.20 The Mission should ensure PMP's are prepared and discussed with staff at the beginning of the reporting period.

5.2.21 All job descriptions should be reviewed and updated every five years or when their is a substantial change in duties.

5.2.22 The Mission should develop a formal orientation package for newly hired staff.

5.2.23 The Mission should have all staff certify that they have read and understood the Values and Ethics Code.

5.2.24 The OHS Committee should meet nine times per year and file reports annually.

5.2.25 The Mission should discontinue the policy of banking hours for the Drivers and have them work their 45 hours per week as per the Terms and Conditions of their employment.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.2.15 Implemented August, 2011. A formal follow up email was sent to RSC in August. The RSC informed the Mission that an HR position will not be authorized.

5.2.16 Implemented June. A separate LESMCB was established for ISTBL and a member of the OR staff is represented on the Ankara LESMCB.

5.2.17 Implemented August, 2011. It is mission policy that any concerns of LES such as withdrawal of certain privileges be tabled at the LESMCB.

5.2.18 Implemented. The 2011-12 HR Plan was approved by CMM and sent to ALD in June 2011.

5.2.1 In progress. The new DMCO arrives in August 2011 and the training plan will be developed for October, 2011.

5.2.20 In progress. The HR DMCO will coordinate and complete by April, 2012.

5.2.21 In progress. The HR DMCO will coordinate and complete by August, 2011.

5.2.22 In progress. The HR DMCO will coordinate and complete by October, 2011.

5.2.23 In progress. The HR DMCO will coordinate and complete by September, 2011. The Mission has also invited the Values and Ethics Officer to the Mission for briefings to staff (See 1.4.2).

5.2.24 In progress. The HR DMCO will coordinate and complete by September 2011.

5.2.25 Implemented April, 2011.

Recommendations to (ALD)

5.2.26 ALD, in consultation with Mission Management, should provide the LESMCB with answers to their questions concerning the TCR. Staff should be given the opportunity to ask questions concerning their benefits package.

ALD Action and Timeframes

5.2.26 In progress for October, 2011. A week after the launch of the updated LES Terms and Conditions of Employment for Ankara on June 11, 2010, ALD organized a video conference with Mission management and the Locally-engaged staff (LES) to explain the changes. Employees were encouraged to raise any further questions or concerns with Mission Management.

At the request of the employees, ALD organized another teleconference with Mission management and the LES on September 23, 2010 to address questions and concerns. ALD would be available to hold another conference call with LES in the fall of 2011.

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The Physical Resources functions at the Mission are the responsibility of the MCO who is assisted by the DMCO, the LE-07 Facilities Manager and the LE-06 Property/Materiel Coordinator. Both the Facilities Manager and the recently hired Property/Material Coordinator *** who should be given some latitude in managing the day-to-day operations of their respective sectors. Providing each of them with a spending authority limit for goods and services expenditures *** would *** free up time for the MCOs to devote on other issues.

5.3.2 The Section maintains the Crown-owned Chancery that was constructed in 2004, a Crown-owned Official Residence that has recently undergone a mid-life refit, and 16 Crown-leased Staff Quarters. Additionally, the Section maintains five official vehicles.

5.3.3 The Section was instrumental in providing hands-on guidance and support leading to the successful fit-up and opening in December 2010 of the new Consulate located in Istanbul. The Consulate now has dedicated resources in place to manage the day to day activities for the Property portfolio

Management

Table 19: Evaluation of Physical Resources Program Management
Key Physical Resources Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The Mission Property Management Plan (MPMP) and the Mission Maintenance Work Plan (MMWP) are up-to-date and approved by the appropriate authorities at Mission and HQ.X  
The appropriate authority allocates Staff Quarters (SQs) based on the recommendation of the Housing Committee.X  
The Chancery is well maintained and a maintenance schedule is in place.X  
The Official Residense (OR) is well maintained and a maintenance schedule is in place.X  
The Mission has an efficient process in place for receiving, processing and monitoring work orders. X 
Annual inspections are conducted to assess the state of the SQ and input into maintenance and acquisition planning.X  
The mission's multi-year Capital Acquisition Plan is approved by CMM annually. X 
Local procurement guidelines have been established. X 

5.3.4 The Physical Resources Section is functioning well. Work plans, maintenance schedules and associated contracts are in place and are key to ensuring that the Chancery, OR and SQ's are well maintained. PRIME input has been the responsibility of the DMCO in the past, however consideration should be given to having this function assumed by the Property/Materiel Coordinator.

5.3.5 The Mission has recently installed the departmentally approved service order request system on selected work stations. In order to take full advantage of this system, the Mission should quickly move forward to have the application installed Mission wide. This will provide the Section with an effective service order request system that will serve both staff and clients.

5.3.6 The Section has developed an expenditure plan that is used to identify current year capital purchases based on budget availability. A multi-year capital acquisition plan that identifies all potential purchases, regardless of available budget, would provide the Mission and clients with a forward planning tool. The multi-year plan should be tabled at the CMM and approved on an annual basis.

5.3.7 While the Property/Materiel Coordinator undertakes purchasing duties with due regard for value for money, a formal set of instructions should be developed by the Section to be used as a guideline rather than having to refer to the MCO prior to every purchase.

Client Service

5.3.8 Clients throughout the Mission were generally satisfied with the quality and timeliness of services provided by the Section. Staff Quarters visited by Inspection Team members were well furnished and in good condition.

5.3.9 ***. Given that *** is also a user of this account, consideration should be given to transferring this account to another member of the staff

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Table 20: Evaluation of Physical Resources and Internal Controls
Key Physical Resources and Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
An inspection is conducted by new SQ occupants and a mission representative within 30 days of occupancy, after which occupancy agreements and distribution accounts are signed.X  
A pre-established percentage of the costs for OR supplies for personal use is determined and the regular reimbursements to the Mission are made.  X
Costs of damages to staff quarters or furnishings, beyond normal wear and tear, are recovered from the occupant. X 
Records of assets located in the Chancery, OR and SQs, as well as those in storage, are maintained on an ongoing basis and verified annually. Assets are appropriately safeguarded and controlled. X 
Disposals are appropriately authorized and follow Departmental guidelines.X  
Vehicles logs are appropriately completed, demonstrating that use was for official purposes.X  
Vehicle logs and mileage are verified monthly by a CBS to reconcile usage to gas purchases as well as monitor vehicle performance.X  

5.3.10 Overall, internal controls were in place and effective. The Mission has developed an excellent data control system that tracks property related data such as utility expenses, leasing data, and maintenance requirements/schedules, and is used by both the Facilities Manager and the Property/Materiel Coordinator. This is viewed as a good practice.

5.3.11 The Mission undertakes all purchases for cleaning materiel, laundry detergents, and other consumable items for the OR. In some cases, the Property section was not informed of purchases made for the OR until after the bill was submitted. OR purchases need to be discussed with the Section to ensure that there is sufficient money to pay the bill and to coordinate disposals and acquisitions. In order to ensure that items consumed for personal /family needs are reimbursed, the MCO, in consultation with the HOM, should establish a percentage for these costs, based on usage.

5.3.12 While a review of assets is conducted by the Property/Materiel Coordinator when CBS vacate SQ's at the end of their assignment, no formal instructions are available to staff to ensure costs for damages or loss are dealt with appropriately. The MCO should provide guidance to the staff involved in this process.

5.3.13 Asset inventories for SQ's and the OR have been completed and signed off by the distribution account (DA) holder and the employee. However, when there are any changes to the inventory, such as replacement or additions of furnishings, these changes are simply being recorded on the original inventory and initialled by the DA holder. Both the DA holder and the employee should sign when any changes are made to an inventory.

5.3.14 The Chancery inventory of assets has been documented, although it is in an electronic format only. No member of the staff has signed as being the custodian for these assets. Items in on-site storage have also been inventoried, although no formal custodial responsibility has been assigned.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.3.15 The Mission should consider reducing the amount of support that is being provided to the Consulate in Istanbul and allow the staff in ISTBL to take on a greater role and responsibility for the Physical resources portfolio.

5.3.16 The Mission should consider having the Property/Materiel Coordinator assume responsibilities for PRIME data input.

5.3.17 The Mission should arrange to have the electronic service order request program installed Mission wide.

5.3.18 The Mission should develop a multi-year capital acquisition plan and have it approved by the CMM on an annual basis.

5.3.19 Local procurement guidelines should be established.

5.3.20 *** should be administered by another member of the Section staff.

5.3.21 The Mission should establish a percentage for reimbursement for personal use of consumables purchased for the OR.

5.3.22 The Mission should establish guidelines for staff regarding the procedures governing recovery for damaged or lost items.

5.3.23 The Mission should consider using form EXT182 (Materiel Transfer Adjustment Voucher) when changes are made to an original inventory.

5.3.24 Inventories of Chancery assets as well as items in on-site storage facilities, should be signed for by the DA holder.

5.3.25 Items purchased for the OR should be identified and discussed with the Property Section before acquisitions occur. Ideally there should be a procurement plan developed annually for the OR.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.3.15 Implemented April, 2011. The Common Services Officer in Istanbul is now responsible for the ISTBL chancery and all aspects of SQ management in ISTBL. ANKRA provides ordering/shipping, manages PRIME database inputs and advises ISTBL as required.

5.3.16 Implemented April, 2011. The Property/Materiel Coordinator is now responsible for PRIME data input.

5.3.17 In progress for September 2011.

5.3.18 In progress. The MCO will coordinate and complete by December 2011.

5.3.19 In progress. Local procurement guidelines will be developed with new Property & Materiel Coordinator by October, 2011.

5.3.20 Implemented July, ***.

5.3.21 Implemented. Reimbursement procedures were put in place in April, 2011.

5.3.22 Implemented. Procedures for reimbursement of lost or damaged items were put in place in April, 2011.

5.3.23 Implemented April, 2011. The Materiel Transfer Adjustment Voucher is now used for changes made to an original inventory.

5.3.24 In progress. Chancery inventories of assets as well as items in on-site storage facilities will be signed for by the DA holder starting in September, 2011.

5.3.25 Implemented August, 2011. A procurement plan is now in place for the OR.

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 The Finance Section is managed by the MCO with support of the LE-07 Senior Accountant and an LE-05 Junior Accountant. Both Accountants have been at the Mission for more than ten years and are able to provide back-up in most areas during absences.

5.4.2 As mentioned in section 5.1.4, the Finance section appears to be short- staffed, however, some streamlining could be done to reduce the workload. Examples of where efficiencies could be made include:

  • The Mission is not currently using acquisition cards for purchases. The use of these cards for smaller purchases would help reduce the work related to approvals and payments.
  • Social Security calculations, *** create an onerous workload due to the constantly changing regulations, ***.
  • All payments are executed using payment letters which are currently verified up to three times to ensure accuracy. The bank then issues an EFT to the payee. Automated data uploads to the bank would reduce the time needed to verify the accuracy of the payments.

Management

Table 21: Evaluation of Finance Management
Key Finance Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Financial procedures have been established to guide clients and finance staff.X  
The section employs methods to minimize disruption (eg. setting of "quiet hours" and controlling access to the finance section). X 
The section has explored alternate methods to minimize transactions and reduce reliance on cash (i.e. acquisition cards, electronic fund transfers). X 
Payment runs are kept to a minimum, but are sufficient enough to allow for good client service.X  
Roles and responsibilities ensure adequate segregation of duties.X  

5.4.3 The Finance section is closely managed by the MCO who signs Section 33 on most payments with the DMCO and HOM as back-up. Monthly Common Services meetings are scheduled, however, no regular Finance meetings are held. Meetings between the MCO and accountants would provide a formal mechanism to discuss planning and overall issues.

5.4.4 The Section does have quiet hours, however, they are not always respected. The MCO should ensure that staff are formally reminded of these quiet hours on a regular basis.

Client Service

5.4.5 The Section has not established service standards and clients are frequently requesting that payments be made immediately or on an urgent basis. Having set service standards would inform clients when they will be reimbursed for expenses and when payments to vendors will be made.

5.4.6 The Accountants provide Program Managers (PM) with regular budget updates. Depending on the time of the year, these are provided on a monthly, often weekly and, at year end, daily basis. Having service standards which inform PMs on the frequency of these reports or obtaining read-only access to the Integrated Management System (IMS) for all program assistants would reduce the work-load of the accountants.

5.4.7 The Senior Accountant is the only person at the Mission who has been trained to make LES pay entries. *** when pay files need to be inputted as no back-up has been identified or trained. In the event of an unforseen leave from the Mission, no one is able to perform this function and LES would not get paid.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Table 22: Evaluation of Finance Internal Controls
Key Finance Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
A Contract Review Board (CRB) is in place and operating effectively with clear terms of reference.X  
Contracting procedures have been documented and communicated to all staff involved in the contracting process.X  
Contracting files demonstrate compliance with policies and procedures.X  
The mission's bank reconciliations are reviewed and signed-off on a monthly basis.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  
A CBS receives the original monthly bank statement directly from the bank and reviews it prior to giving it to the accountant.  X
Official Receipts are provided to clients at the time of payment and to internal staff when funds are transferred (i.e. from Consular to Finance).X  
Reconciliations of any funds transferred within the mission are conducted in the presence of two staff.X  
Monthly reconciliations of immigration fees are completed and the EXT-1203 is signed by the appropriate authority.X  
Travel and hospitality claim processes ensure that policies and guidelines are adhered to and that the accountant verifies the completeness and accuracy of the claim. X 
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, internal controls are effective although some improvements can be made with respect to communication with the bank and timely revenue data entry.

5.4.9 The Senior Accountant currently receives bank statements and is the main contact for all communications with the bank. The MCO should be the main contact with the bank and receive all bank statements.

5.4.10 The Mission's bank offers a *** . For reconciliation purposes, the ***.

5.4.11 The Mission enters contracts in the Materiel Management (MM) module in IMS, ***. A back-up would ensure that the contracts are entered in a timely fashion.

5.4.12 A review of a sample of hospitality and travel claims found that some files where missing key documents and that hospitality files were not detailed enough to evaluate the outcome of the event. Regular outreach sessions, detailing how claims should be filled-out and what to attach as key documents would reduce errors and the time spent by the Finance Section correcting documents.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.13 The Section should consider streamlining work performed.

5.4.14 The MCO should ensure that staff are reminded of quiet hours and that they are respected.

5.4.15 Service standards should be created and distributed to all Mission staff.

5.4.16 The Section should ensure that a back-up person is identified and trained for inputting the monthly LES pay.

5.4.17 The Section should ensure that the MCO is the main contact person with the bank and that all statements and communication is forwarded to him.

5.4.18 The Section should ensure that ***.

5.4.19 A back-up person should be identified and trained for entering contracts in the MM module in IMS.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.4.13 Implemented. The Mission has worked with HQ and the RSC on a project to do electronic approvals and uploads directly to the bank, starting in August 2011. In May 2011 The Mission was able to move to automatic payments for utility bills. Quiet hours are being more rigorously enforced. Outreach is planned this fall for issues such as payment cycle, travel claims, hospitality and working with Istanbul to make sure payment requests contain all required documentation.

5.4.14 Implemented May, 2011 (per 5.4.13).

5.4.15 In progress. Service Standards will be developed and distributed to staff for October, 2011.

5.4.16 In progress for September, 2011. The Mission is consulting with HQ to determine how best to ensure segregation of responsibilities.

5.4.17 Implemented April, 2011. The MCO is the main contact person with the bank and all statements and communication are forwarded to him.

5.4.18 Implemented April, 2011. ***.

5.4.19 In progress for October, 2011. The new Property & Materiel Coordinator will be given this role and a candidate in ISTBL will also be identified.

5.5 Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT)

5.5.1 The IM-IT Section is managed by the MCO who is *** supported by an LE-08 Locally-engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP). Canada-based support to the Mission is provided by a Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) based in Athens. The Mission receives *** support from the FSITP as well as from the Regional Service Manager located in London but need to receive more on-site service. The Section provides services to 64 employees in both the Ankara (54) and Istanbul missions (10).

Management

Table 23: Evaluation of IM-IT Management
Key IM-IT Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
An Information Management/Information Technology (IM-IT) workplan exists and includes regional activities. X 
The CMM or an IM-IT Committee provides direction and oversight for the IM-IT function.  X
The liaison between the mission, HQ and regional manager is effective.X  
IM-IT requirements in relation to business continuity planning (BCP) have been defined, implemented and tested.X  

5.5.2 The Section is functioning well and is providing a high quality of service to its clients although there is no formal work plan in place for the Section. This makes it difficult for the MCO to properly assess workloads and assign priorities. A work plan would assist the LEITP and the MCO in monitoring work schedules, assigning priorities and identifying required resources.

5.5.3 There is no IM-IT committee in place to plan and forecast IT-IM related issues. Given the size of the Mission and number of IM-IT clients, a committee should be formed.

5.5.4 The Mission has not identified a member of the staff who could assume minor duties in the event the LEITP is absent from the Mission. The responsibility for changing back-up tapes is solely the LEITP's, *** to do so.

5.5.5 ***.

Client Service

Table 24: Evaluation of IM-IT 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  

5.5.6 The LEITP *** provide *** service to his clients. He makes *** use of the departmental system to action and monitor user requests. Staff throughout the Mission commented on ***.

5.5.7 Staff routinely make comments concerning services provided ***, however these comments are not seen by Mission Management or the LEITP as they are routed straight to HQ. A mechanism should be put in place whereby these comments could be filtered back to the Mission as they could be used to improve client service.

5.5.8 The recent introduction of the Global Case Management System, an Immigration processing system, appears to have negatively affected the bandwidth availability for the Mission and has led to a slowness in other applications such as IMS and TRIO. In order to alleviate some of this burden, regular reminders to staff regarding inappropriate use of the SIGNET system should be sent in order to limit non work related use.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Table 25: Evaluation of IM-IT Internal Controls
Key IM-IT Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Back-ups are performed routinely and tapes are stored in a secure location. X 
The Mission has appropriate secondary communications in place and those tools are tested regularly.X  
Standardized practices and processes are in place to facilitate management and sharing of corporate information across programs. (e.g. e-mail best practices, effective folder structures).X  
Controls are in place to ensure the Network Acceptable Use Policy (NAUP) is respected (SIGNET and digital subscriber line (DSL) connections).X  
Employees formally sign out IT assets (mobility tools) and are advised of their accountabilities.X  
Surplus IT assets are disposed with the appropriate approvals per departmental policy.X  

5.5.9 Overall, IM-IT processes and controls were effective. The LEITP maintains good records of assets on loan to staff.

5.5.10 Server back-up tapes are retained ***. The Chancery is large enough that another location could be identified and used for this purpose. ***.

5.5.11 *** is designated as the alternate command post location in case of emergency or any interruption of access *** is supplied with computers, a fax machine and internet connection. This equipment is tested regularly.

Recommendation to the Mission

5.5.12 A workplan should be developed by the LEITP in consultation with the MCO.

5.5.13 The Mission should create an IM-IT Committee.

5.5.14 The Mission should formally designate an employee to provide back- up support in the event the LEITP is absent.

5.5.15 The LEITP should participate in the development of a multi-year acquisition plan.

5.5.16 The LEITP, supported by the MCO, should send regular reminders to staff concerning the network acceptable use policy.

5.5.17 The Mission should purchase a ***.

Mission Action and Timeframe

5.5.12 In progress. A workplan will be developed in consultation with the ATHNS FSITP by September 2011.

5.5.13 Implemented August, 2011. A committee was created in August 2011 with a broad mandate to explore IT issues relative to the mission.

5.5.14 In progress. A LES has been identified and will be trained by the LEITP and through online courses, by September 2011.

5.5.15 In progress. The LEITP will work with the MCO, the ATHNS FSITP, other relevant staff, and other sections to identify needs and develop a multi-year acquisition plan for December, 2011.

5.5.16 Implemented August, 2011. Regular reminders will be prepared and sent out under the HOM's authority starting in August 2011.

5.5.17 In progress. Costs and appropriate location *** are being determined. To be completed by September 2011.

5.6 Istanbul Common Services

Overview

5.6.1 The Consulate in Istanbul opened in December 2010. The Common Services Program consists of an LE-07 Common Services Officer, an LE-05 Administrative Assistant, and a Driver/Messenger. The Program is responsible for providing common services to two CBS and eight LES employees and is currently operating under a draft service level agreement that is overseen by the Mission in Ankara. The budget for the Consulate is as follows:

Table 26: Budget for the Common Services Program for the Consulate in Istanbul
Budget2010-2011
Operations$894,805
Travel$7,530
Hospitality0
Overtime$34,869
Total$937,204

Management

5.6.2 The Common Service Program in Istanbul Program is functioning well. Morale within the office is considered to be good. Staff advised that they are receiving a good level of support from the Mission in Ankara. As the office is now up and running, much of the work from the Ankara end has been completed and as such there will be a need to revisit the reporting relationship that ISTBL has with ANKRA once the new Head of Office is in place this summer. A revised reporting relationship should allow staff in ISTBL to assume a more vigorous role, in particular, over the management of the property portfolio. This will also require the Head of Office to take on a more active role in providing supervision to program staff.

5.6.3 While Common Service staff are included by *** in the weekly program meeting that is held in Ankara, no formal meetings are held between staff and the Head of Office. This will be important as the Mission assumes a greater role in service delivery.

Client Service

5.6.4 ***. This will allow the Mission to take full advantage of the capacity that the Office Manager has to offer. More specifically, ***.

5.6.5 The Office Manager maintains ***. This account was verified during the inspection visit. The Mission should verify the account periodically ***. The Office Manager should ensure that ***. In the event that the Office Manager is absent from the Mission for an extended period (vacations) this account should be settled and reissued in the name of the Administrative Assistant.

HR Issues

5.6.6 The Inspection Team met with all LES members during the two day visit. Several issues were raised that should be discussed in an open forum in order to alleviate any misunderstandings or irritants.

  • As part of the TCR, the transportation allowance and meal allowance were rolled into the employees salary package, however, it is not clear to staff if these benefits were rolled into the salary package before or after salary levels were established.
  • Staff advised of an issue regarding direct deposit of advances and other official payments ***.
  • Staff located in Istanbul receive a salary differential due to the cost of living compared with Ankara. Staff feel that the differential amount is not sufficient as housing costs in Istanbul far outweigh the allowance provided.
  • ***.
  • There has not been a "meal rate" established for *** when he is in Istanbul but unable to take his meal (airport meets, receptions, etc).
  • ***.
  • Staff raised concern regarding the 1996 pension issue. Staff are not sure what formula is being used to calculate this lump sum payment. They cite problems with the entitlement calculation of the previous *** where one figure was provided by the Mission and when challenged, the figure was changed that provided a substantially different entitlement. Staff want to ensure that a formula is established and respected as there is a perception that this process is not being done fairly.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.6.7 Ankara and Istanbul should discuss a revised reporting relationship and division of duties for the property portfolio.

5.6.8 Periodic staff meetings for the Common Service Program should be conducted by the Head of Office.

5.6.9 *** should be revised to reflect a more vigorous role for the property portfolio.

5.6.10 ***.

5.6.11 The MCO should consult with staff in an attempt to resolve the issue involving direct deposit of advances and claims reimbursement or to clearly explain the Mission's actions in this regard.

5.6.12 ***.

5.6.13 The Mission should establish a local rate commensurate with actual and reasonable costs for meals while on duty within the city limits.

Mission Action and Timeframes

5.6.7 Implemented April, 2011 (see 5.3.15). The Common Service Officer in Istanbul is now responsible for the ISTBL chancery and all aspects of SQ management in Istanbul.

5.6.8 Implemented with the arrival of the new Head of Office in August 2011.

5.6.9 In progress. *** will be revised by September 2011.

5.6.10 Implemented August, 2011 ***.

5.6.11 Implemented April, 2011. The Mission policy has been clarified and communicated to staff.

5.6.12 Implemented April, 2011. ***.

5.6.13 Implemented June, 2011. Meals are reimbursed on a receipt basis.

Recommendations to ALD

5.6.14 ALD should provide a clear explanation to staff regarding how the transportation and meal allowances were rolled into their salary package.

5.6.15 ALD should provide staff with an explanation concerning how the salary differential allowance is calculated.

5.6.16 ALD should provide the Mission with the formula used to establish lump sum payments for members of the LES who are eligible for pension payments prior to December 1996.

ALD Action and Timeframe

5.6.14 Implemented. Explanations regarding transportation and meal allowances roll-in were provided during the teleconference call of September 23, 2010. The meal and the transportation allowances were originally integrated in the new General Support (GS) scale but not added to the employees' salaries before conversion to GS group. This was corrected and resent to mission.

5.6.15 Implemented. Where we have more than one mission within a country, ALD verifies if a significant difference in compensation exists between the various locations. If a difference exists, the private and public sector salary data for each of the locations is compared to ensure that employees are being compensated correctly. To establish a market differential, each level (LE) is compared against a national average and if a difference exists between a post and this average, a percentage is established and applied to the national scale. For Turkey, it was determined by data that Ankara was aligned to the national average and that Istanbul salaries were on average 8.8% higher than Ankara.

5.6.16 Implemented. The formula used to establish lump sum payments for LES who are eligible for pension payments is available in section 8.2.1, page 26 of the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Locally Engaged Staff of Turkey released in June 2010 and updated in January 2011.

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Appendix A : Mission Resources Fact Sheet

Table 27: Mission Assets including both Crown Owned and Crown Leased
Physical Resources
AssetsCrown OwnedCrown Leased
Chancery10
Official Residence10
Staff Quarters018
Vehicles***0
Table 28: Table of mission budgets for 2010-2011
2010-2011 BudgetsProgram BudgetCommon Services Budget
Operating (N001)$225,884$2,758,322
Capital (N005) $265,191
CBS Salaries (N011)$868,905$210,616
CBS Overtime (N010)$18,801$26,135
LES Salaries (N012)$834,350$1,423,720
Total$1,947,940$4,683,984

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Appendix B: Organization Chart

Ankara Organization Chart - Accessible version

Ankara Organizational Chart

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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:
2013-02-20