Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

international.gc.ca

Inspection of the Canadian Embassy Dakar, Senegal

PDF Version (1.11 Mb) *

February 14 - 18, 2011

Table of Contents

Note: Personal and sensitive information has been edited from these reports (shown in the reports as "*"), consistent with the provisions of the Privacy and Access to Information Acts.

Inspection Scope and Objectives

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

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

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

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

Executive Summary

An Inspection of Mission Management, the Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs, Commercial Economic, Consular and Common Services programs was conducted in Dakar from February 14 to 18, 2011. A previous audit/inspection of these programs took place in 2006.

The Embassy in Dakar is a medium-sized mission with 18 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 29 Locally Engaged Staff (LES), delivering programs in Senegal, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, the Gambia, and Cape Verde. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Department of National Defence (DND) also are present at the Mission.

The Mission has more than doubled from the 21 personnel who were there in 2004, and the staffing complement is expected to reach 55 in the summer of 2011. This has placed pressure on the physical resources of the Mission, necessitating creative use of meeting rooms to house the work stations of the new positions. Additional space, in the form of an Annex, has been secured. This will, however, create new challenges for the Mission as it manages the delivery of Common Services in two distinct physical locations.

Overall, Mission Management is sound with an effective governance structure in place. The Inspection identified issues in need of improvement regarding security management as well as inter-cultural sensitivity.

The Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA) Program is led by an FS-03 Program Manager (PM), who is supported by one Canada-based Staff PERPA Officer and two LES. The Program is *** managed with clear strategic direction, results based management and clear roles and responsibilities. It will benefit from greater operational planning and a more formal communications structure.

The Commercial Economic (CE) Program, led by an FS-04 Program Manager, is comprised of two LES Trade Commissioners (TC) and an LES Trade Commissioner Assistant (TCA). The PM is newly arrived, but has established *** communication practices within the team in Dakar as well as throughout his regional network of TCs. The Program should develop more detailed workplans to provide direction to staff and more effective monitoring of activities and results.

An *** AS-06 Management Consular Officer (MCO) leads the Consular Program. He is supported by an LES consular Officer, and provides services to all the countries of accreditation, as well as passport services to Mauritania and more recently on an interim basis, to the Ivory Coast. The Program is also providing Consular services to Australian nationals in the countries of accreditation. The Program should update the contingency plans ***, and ensure that Consular Program assets such as the inventory of *** are appropriately inventoried and stored.

The MCO is also responsible for the management of Common Services at the Mission, and has the support of an AS-04 Deputy Management Consular Officer (DMCO) a Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP), and 12 LES. The rapid growth of the Mission has been the biggest challenge to the Program.

As noted in other Programs at the Mission, the development of an operational plan will assist in identifying priority activities. The MCO will need to review the responsibilities of the DMCO to ensure that there is a good balance between developmental needs and those of Program management and delivery.

The Common Services Program should pay greater attention to the management of Physical Resources, particularly for maintenance and procurement processes. The Program benefited greatly from a visit by the Financial Operations, International Division (SMFF) in September of 2010. A number of their recommendations have been implemented, with the remainder in progress. However, there is a need for further control over contracting in terms of both the operation of the Contracts Review Board and the completeness of contracting files.

*** to Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT) services to improve client service and ensure the service request system is used. IM-IT considerations should be factored into any BCP, and both the BCP and the secondary communications systems tested regularly.

A total of 51 inspection recommendations are raised in the report; 49 are addressed to the Mission and two are addressed to Headquarters. Management has
responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 51 recommendations, management has stated that 30 have been implemented. For each of the remaining 21 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.

Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Embassy in Dakar is a medium-sized mission with 18 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 29 Locally Engaged Staff (LES). The recently arrived Head of Mission (HOM) is a substantive EX-02 in an EX-03 position who is on his second posting as a HOM. The Mission is responsible for departmental program delivery in Senegal, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, the Gambia, and Cape Verde. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Department of National Defence (DND) also are present at the Mission and delivering programs in their areas of accreditation. The Mission has one Honorary Consul (Hon Con) who is based in Guinea.

1.1.2 The Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) in Dakar has regional responsibilities, managing staff not only in Senegal but also Burkina Faso, Mali and the Ivory Coast. The Mission also provides Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT) support to the Embassy in Burkina Faso.

1.2 Mission Management

Key Mission Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The Mission's strategic objectives are consistent with Government and DFAIT priorities and guide staff performance measurement objectives.X  
DFAIT programs have developed operational plans based on the objectives outlined in the country strategy and advice/guidance from Headquarters (HQ).X  
The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) is an effective forum to review and make decisions on mission 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 Overall Mission ***, however, specific areas are identified where there are opportunities for improvement.

1.2.2 The extensive committee structure provides the Mission with effective fora to address key issues. The Locally-engaged Staff Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) is elected by all LES. It was observed though that the CIDA and CIC staff, who form a large section of the Mission's LES complement, are not represented on the LESMCB.

1.2.3 Values and Ethics are promoted by the Mission through discussion in town hall meetings. Lack of sensitivity *** has been raised as an issue which contributes to a divide between LES and CBS. The reinforcement of core Public Service values, as well as inter-cultural awareness discussions for CBS, would be beneficial to the Mission.

Official Languages

1.2.4 The Mission has sufficient capacity to communicate and provide services to the public in both official languages, both verbal and written. Although the Mission has not yet appointed an Official Languages Coordinator, official languages are respected and promoted, and English language training is provided to many staff members. All signage throughout the Mission and in the public areas is bilingual.

1.3 Management Controls

Key Management Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The Mission's committee structure meets minimum requirements based on size (Health and Safety, Security, Contract Review, etc.).X  
Mission committees are meeting regularly and effectively discharging their governance responsibilities.X  
Program managers are provided regular financial/budget updates to facilitate effective management and decision making.X  
Security policies and regulations are respected and promoted. 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 While the Mission has overall effective internal controls, it requires improvement in areas such as *** hospitality.

1.3.2 The Mission is making progress on the implementation of recommendations from the visit of the Regional Security Abroad Unit (CSRA). It will need to continue to implement these as resources allow, and ensure that procedures, standards, and guidance are developed. Improvements will also be needed in areas of work planning and business continuity planning.

1.3.3 As noted in section 5.4.11 of this report, the Mission hospitality policy and rates have not yet been updated. In general, while there was proper documentation of hospitality activities, there were some instances where Programs did not complete diaries with sufficient detail. These observations have been addressed in their respective sections.

1.4 Recommendations to the Mission

1.4.1 An Official Languages Coordinator should be appointed.

1.4.2 Staff should be reminded of Values and Ethics, the Code of Conduct and inter-cultural sensitivity on an annual basis.

1.4.3 The Mission should ensure that security recommendations from inspections continue to be implemented.

1.4.4 The Mission should ensure that the Business Continuity Plan is up to date and tested.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

1.4.1 Implemented July 2011 - An official languages coordinator has been appointed.

1.4.2 In Progress for Nov-Dec 2011 - ZVE will visit DAKAR in Nov-Dec; this visit will be used to remind all staff, including incoming staff, of values and ethics.

1.4.3 In Progress for Dec 2011 - An MPSS will be assigned to DAKAR this summer and will review and implement all security recommendations that lie within the power of the mission.

1.4.4 Implemented July 2011 - 2011 Mission Plan completed.

Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA)

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The Program is managed by an FS-03 Program Manager who is supported by an FS-02 Second Secretary, an LE-09 Public Affairs Officer and an LE-05 Political Assistant.

2.1.2 The Program has five countries of accreditation (Guinea, Cap Verde, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau) and had developed an extensive visits plan. Recent cuts resulted in the Program significantly reducing its travel to the regions for a period of six months, until supplementary funds were made available by Headquarters for planned travel.

2.2 Planning and Program Management

Key PERPA Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
PERPA plans are aligned with the priorities and objectives outlined in the mission plan and informed by departmental and geographic bureau guidance and objectives.X  
PERPA plans outline intended outcomes and results are measurable.X  
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 Strategic planning for the PERPA program is aligned with the priorities of the department and the government of Canada. Appropriate consultations were done by the Mission in the formulation of input into the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) template. General management of the Program is effective, although there are opportunities for improvement in the area of internal communication.

2.2.2 While the Program has regular meetings, formal records of decisions are not maintained. Informal communications within the program effectively support operations. The PM and the CBS PERPA Officer are situated in the Security Zone, however, both officers are often in the Operations Zone working with program staff. The effective informal communications may act as a compensating control, supporting internal communications, and are largely dependent upon the individuals.

2.2.3 Greater formality in the structure of internal communications should give assurance that, regardless of the individuals, processes are in place to support adequate internal communications. In order to ensure that information is clearly shared and retained, the Program should maintain regular records of key decisions.

2.3 Implementation

Key PERPA Implementation CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Strategic objectives and plans have been translated into individual or team work plans. X 
Activities and initiatives are aligned with the Mission's key priorities and with the principles of the New Way Forward PERPA Renewal initiative.X  
Program reporting is in-line with Mission and government objectives, timely and relevant.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 Overall, program activities and initiatives are aligned with the MPR, and objectives have not been translated into work plans. The Program maintains appropriate levels and quality of reporting, and coordination with partners.

2.3.2 The PM indicated that the individual's PMPs are being used as work plans. PMP objectives are not action oriented enough to be sufficient to act as a work plan. Some Program staff have, however, developed project work plans with activities that support the strategic objectives outlined in the MPR. The Program should make use of these as models in order to develop individual or team work-plans.

2.3.3 The Program participates in a whole of mission and whole of government approach to program delivery. For events surrounding the International Day of La Francophonie, the Program is working with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to more effectively promote Canadian messaging. The Program has also supported other mission programs (for example, Consular during a visit to Guinea) when travelling to other countries of accreditation, providing the Mission with greater value for money.

2.4 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 PERPA Program makes use of both quantitative and qualitative performance measures in managing for results. One of the qualitative Key Performance Indicators (KPI) identified by the Program is feedback from Headquarters on reports. The Program noted that communications with the Geographic desk officer were valuable. Although feedback is received from this source, more feedback from all HQ stakeholders on the value of the reports would be helpful to ensure that the Program optimally manages for results and that it is delivering products of value aligned to HQ expectations.

2.4.2 Hospitality diaries did not always have sufficient information to demonstrate alignment with Mission priorities or the results gained from the expenditure.

2.5 Recommendations to the Mission

2.5.1 The Program should develop individual or team work plans.

2.5.2 The Program should ensure that hospitality diaries contain sufficient information to show alignment with Mission priorities and the results achieved.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

2.5.1 In Progress for June 2011 - a 2011-2012 work plan for public affairs is being developed

In Progress for 2011-2012 - templates of work plans for specific activities will be produced and implemented.

2.5.2 Implemented April 2011 - More descriptive information will be included in the hospitality diaries to better show alignment with Mission priorities and results achieved.

Commercial Economic (CE)

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 The Commercial Economic (CE) Program is managed by an FS-04 Senior Trade Commissioner (STC), who has a regional role. The team in Dakar is composed of an LE-09 Trade Commissioner (TC), and an LE-05 Trade Commissioner Assistant (TCA). In addition to the five countries of accreditation for the Mission, the STC's regional role includes program delivery in seven other countries through staff at three other posts (Ouagadougou, Bamako and Abidjan).

3.2 Planning and Program Management

Key CE Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Program objectives reflect departmental plans and priorities, including partner departments where applicable.X  
Performance targets are defined, clear and measurable.X  
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 Program has planning processes in place, and the HOM is *** engaged and involved in the Program. Strong internal communication is evident both within the Dakar team and the wider regional CE team.

3.2.2 The current STC did not change the priority sectors established by his predecessor in the Commercial Economic Plan (CEP). However, he did undertake environmental scans to validate the selection and identify emerging sectors.

3.2.3 The almost $7 billion in investments in the extractive sector of West Africa is a significant driver in the Canadian-African economic relationship. The STC has noted opportunities for matchmaking along the supply chain and growing responsibilities in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with this increased presence.

3.2.4 The Program transitions from the CEP to the Action Plan well, defining initiatives that will support the strategic objectives. The Action Plan, however, does not contain sufficient detail to enable it to be used as an operational work plan. The Program should develop team or individual work plans that define, at a minimum, action plan objectives and activities, the time lines, key performance indicators, deliverables and resource needs. It should be noted that the STC is developing a strategic outcall plan, which could serve as a component of an overall workplan.

3.2.5 While roles and responsibilities are generally understood, the job description of the TC has not been reviewed recently to ensure that tasks assigned to the officer are aligned with the job description.

3.2.6 The Program has internal communication practices that effectively support the delivery of objectives in the CEP. Weekly meetings for the Dakar team and monthly *** ensure that staff are kept informed of activities and key information. The PM held a retreat soon after his arrival, which allowed both Dakar and regional staff to meet and develop a unified vision. Participants indicated that the retreat has improved communication, not only between the regional TCs and Dakar, but also between the regional TCs.

3.3 Implementation

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.N/AN/AN/A

3.3.1 The Program has ensured alignment between the objectives of the CEP and PMAs and the individual performance programs. While it does make use of the TRIO tool for monitoring and facilitating client relationship management, there may be possible opportunities for improvement.

3.3.2 While all staff have received TRIO training, the application is not used as effectively as the STC wishes. The team recognizes the power of the tool, but its slowness inhibits regular use.

3.3.3 Due to the size of the Program in Dakar, there is no formal InfoCentre.

3.4 Performance Measurement

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

3.4.1 The performance measurement processes for the CE program are in place and operating effectively.

3.4.2 It was noted earlier in this report that the job description of the TC had not been updated recently. The STC had, however, ensured that the descriptions of accountabilities in the Performance Management Program (PMP) accurately reflected the roles and responsibilities of the position. The STC should ensure periodic review of job descriptions of program staff or whenever significant changes in roles, responsibilities or reporting lines occur.

3.4.3 Notwithstanding the issue of up to date job descriptions, the Program's PMP process is in place and is operating as intended, with the appropriate meetings at the beginning, mid-point and completion periods.

3.5 Recommendations to the Mission

3.5.1 The Program should develop team or individual work-plans that define at a minimum action plan objectives and activities, the time lines, key performance indicators, deliverables and resource needs.

3.5.2 The STC should ensure periodic review of job descriptions of program staff or whenever significant changes in roles, responsibilities or reporting lines occur.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

3.5.1 Implemented June 2011 - The 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 Commercial and Economic Plans as well as the PMPs have been reviewed and finalised to provide further clarity regarding objectives and activities, the time lines, key performance indicators, deliverables and resource needs. Learning plans have also been integrated into PMPs .

3.5.2 In Progress for 1st and 2nd Quarter of FY 2011-2012 - Enhancement of periodic reviews of job descriptions and responsibilities will be implemented. In consultation with the team and HOM a more defined operation plan for a West Africa Strategy is under development.

Consular Program

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The Consular Program is managed by an AS-06 MCO with the assistance of an LE-07 Consular Officer. The Program is responsible for providing consular and passport services to: Senegal, Guinea, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Gambia and provides passport services to Mauritania. The Mission oversees an Honorary Consulate (HonCon) in Conakry, Guinea and provides Consular services to Australian citizens in all countries of accreditation. The Program has recently taken on temporary responsibility for processing passport applications for the Ivory Coast.

4.1.2 The Mission provides approximately 210 passport services and processes around 40 citizenship applications and 75 notarial requests yearly. The table below summarizes the number of Canadian citizens in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database, the Mission estimated number of Canadians residing in each country and the annual tourist volume per Statistics Canada for 2009.

CountryROCAEstimatedNo. of tourists
Senegal3405003,700
Guinea135400400
Gambia401001,900
Cape Verde5unknown1,400
Guinea Bissau1unknownN/A

4.2 Program Management

Key Consular Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Consular work is planned and prioritized.X  
The Consular Contingency Plan is up-to-date. X 
The Duty Officer Manual is up-to-date.X  
The Mission has ongoing dialogue with key local authorities to facilitate program delivery.X  
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 MCO has taken a *** active role in the Consular Program ***, and the Program is *** managed. The additional support and involvement provided to the Consular Officer is *** and there exists ***. Weekly team meetings are held and ad hoc meetings occur when required. There has been good cooperation with other programs to assist in countries of accreditation during visits, and both the MCO and the Consular Officer have good contacts with like-minded missions as well as local authorities.

4.2.2 Consular Contingency Plans for countries of accreditation are up to date except for those for ***, which are in progress and expected to be completed by May 2011.

4.2.3 The Consular Officer is in daily contact with the HonCon Assistant and the MCO is in regular contact with the HonCon. The MCO worked *** to improve the agreement with the HonCon to better define operational expenses which resulted in a reduction in costs paid and a more easily manageable payment process.

4.2.4 While the MCO visited Guinea in 2009, regular visits to *** have not occurred for more than five years. The DMCO has recently been given responsibility for Gambia and a visit is planned in the next few months. The MCO is also trying to involve the DMCO more in day-to-day consular and passport activities which should also include attendance at the weekly meetings.

4.2.5 The Mission communicates with wardens every month and an annual wardens conference is held in Dakar. The next one will be held in April 2011.

4.3 Client Service

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

4.3.1 Overall client services provided by the Program are effective. The team is able to provide services in both official languages. The Mission makes use of client feedback forms and a lockable suggestion box is located in the waiting area. Posting service standards, a fee schedule and a copy of the official receipt in public areas would further improve client services and will also assist in managing client expectations. This recommendation was also noted in the last Audit Report of 2007.

4.4 Internal Controls

Key Consular Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
A certified CBS signs-off on all passports, except in extenuating circumstances with the approval of Passport Canada.X  
Client documents and personal information are properly stored and secured.X  
Completed passport application forms and related documentation are securely destroyed 60 business days following the end of the month that they were submitted. X 
There are adequate segregation of duties for staff handling revenues.X  
Official receipts are issued to Consular clients and revenue is recorded on a record of fees received form.X  
Revenues are transferred to the finance section once $500 is reached (once a week if less than $500).X  
Upon reciept of new passport stock, two CBS verify the receipt of all assets, sign and return the transmittal note.N/AN/AN/A
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.N/AN/AN/A
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 Overall, controls on passport and consular activities were in place.

4.4.2 Currently all passport assets are held in a secure shell ***.

4.4.3 While completed passport application forms and related documentation are locked ***, destruction of these documents only occurs once every six to eight months rather than according to guidelines.

4.4.4 Consular *** are properly secured and staff are given access when needed. However, a detailed inventory *** does not exist.

4.5 Recommendations to the Mission

4.5.1 Consular Contingency Plans for *** should be updated.

4.5.2 Service standards, a fee schedule and a copy of the official receipt should be posted in public areas in both official languages.

4.5.3 The primary inventory *** should be stored according to guidelines.

4.5.4 Completed passport application forms and related documentation should be securely destroyed 60 business days following the end of the month that they were submitted.

4.5.5 An inventory *** should be developed and verified on an annual basis.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

4.5.1 In progress for March 2012 - There will be an initial consular visit to these ***countries during the year, for the purpose of updating their respective Contingency Plans.

4.5.2 Implemented June 2011 - Pamphlet was produced and made available in the public areas of the Chancery.

4.5.3 Implemented June 2011 - Inventory was moved from ***.

4.5.4 Implemented June 2011 - Procedure for destroying files after 60 days has been implemented.

4.5.5 Implemented June 2011 - Procedure for taking and verifying the inventory of ***has been put in place.

Common Services

5.1 Overview

5.1.1 The Common Services Program is *** managed by an *** AS-06 Management Consular Officer (MCO) who is supported by an AS-04 Deputy MCO, a Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) and 12 LES.

5.1.2 The biggest challenge facing the Program is its capacity to maintain service delivery due to rapid growth, a lack of resources and a lack of space in the Chancery. The Mission has seen significant growth over the last six years, primarily as a result of the expansion of Partner Department programs, and the Chancery has been at threshold since 2006. The Mission had a total of 21 staff in 2004 and will see an increase to 55 staff this summer. Last year, 11 new positions (2 DND, 2 CIDA, 7 CIC) were created and *** are expected ***. These new positions have been accommodated by creative use of existing space, for example, the recent mid-year addition of seven new CIC positions and two DND positions has resulted in use of a storage room and the multi-purpose room as office space. The Program has been able to manage the increasing workload thus far only due to the constant review of staff workloads and realignment of tasks/functions when required to gain efficiencies.

5.1.3 The priority for the Mission is the completion of the Annex *** which will accommodate some new positions and be used as swing space while major renovations of the Chancery are undertaken. Uncertainty regarding the creation of new positions over the last year has negatively affected the Mission's ability to plan and has increased stress levels of staff ***. Long delays with the Annex project have also been frustrating for the Mission.

5.1.4 Managing service delivery in two locations a few blocks away from each other, and the addition of more ***, will greatly impact the workload of the Program. Headquarters will need to react quickly to ensure that the Mission has the required Common Services resources in place to meet demand and maintain services. The Common Service Model was applied and validated in early 2010 and recommends the creation of ***.

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  

5.1.5 The Program is operating well, however, the MCO will be departing *** and will be replaced by *** program manager. With the growth expected this summer, the expansion to two locations and a major Chancery renovation project on the horizon, it will be important that the following items are implemented before his departure.

  • Review the roles and responsibilities of the DMCO.
  • Develop an operational plan for the Program.
  • Ensure that key Mission policies and procedures are formalized, communicated and stored on a shared drive.
  • Ensure that handover notes are completed.

These practices will facilitate a smooth transition and ensure that good practices currently in place are not overlooked or fall out of use during the transition and turnover.

5.1.6 The DMCO arrived at the Mission last year and has worked closely with the MCO who involves him in all aspects of Mission operations. However, the DMCO does not have clearly defined responsibilities and many staff continue to report directly to the MCO or say that they "report to both of them". This lack of clarity over reporting relationships can be confusing for staff and can result in miscommunication. Given the level of the DMCO's *** the MCO can take less of an active role in the day-to-day operations of every section. This is especially important at this time for continuity purposes and would also relieve some of the workload pressures on the MCO.

5.1.7 The MCO meets weekly with the Head of Mission (HOM) and, using the Performance Management Program (PMP) process, high level/strategic priorities are identified. The translation of these priorities into a more detailed operational plan will help guide staff and will be a useful tool for the HOM and MCO to monitor work. It is important that the plan has achievable deadlines and a reasonable number of priorities. Such a plan, coupled with detailed handover notes, will help to guide the new MCO in his/her first months at the Mission.

5.1.8 Documented policies and procedures which are clearly communicated to clients need to be formalized. These will help to guide staff and manage client expectations. They also allow managers to hold staff accountable for delegated responsibilities. A central location for all documents will ensure ease of use, consistency and sustainability over time. While the Mission shared drive does contain policies on transportation, hospitality, telephone and Blackberry, all other key Mission policies and procedures should be available there as well.

5.1.9 The Mission welcome guide contains a lot of information regarding administrative procedures which could be easily updated and transferred to the shared drive. As a good practice, an administrative orientation session could be given to all new arrivals. This would serve to introduce clients to Mission staff and provide an opportunity to discuss administrative procedures and service standards.

5.1.10 In general, the MCO is ***. Daily meetings are held with the DMCO, weekly meetings are held with each section and monthly meetings are held with the drivers. Some staff indicated that regular all staff meetings to discuss specific operational issues would also be useful. Although the OR staff and the cleaners are included in meetings with all Mission staff, they do not meet regularly with the MCO or DMCO. The MCO is aware of the situation and plans to meet with them quarterly.

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 
Hub and spoke relationships are governed by an agreement outlining the roles and responsibilities of each mission.N/AN/AN/A

5.1.11 Overall, client services were effective. Clients appreciate the hard work of the MCO, DMCO and their staff, and there is good collaboration among programs. Service standards were last reviewed in 2007 and a review of the service standards, in consultation with staff, would be appropriate at this time. Key service standards should then be communicated to all parties.

5.1.12 Informal feedback is sought from clients regarding services, however, in a mission of this size, formal feedback should be obtained to accurately monitor the level of client satisfaction.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.1.13 The roles and responsibilities of the DMCO should be reviewed.

5.1.14 An operational plan for the Program should be developed.

5.1.15 Key Mission policies and procedures should be documented, centrally located and communicated to all parties.

5.1.16 Regular meetings should be held with the OR staff and with the cleaners.

5.1.17 Service standards should be reviewed, in consultation with staff, and communicated to clients.

5.1.18 A formal feedback mechanism should be implemented.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.1.13 Implemented June 2011 - Roles and responsibilities of the DMCO were reviewed, taking into account the organization chart.

5.1.14 In progress for December 2011 - Operational plan for Client Service is being developed.

5.1.15 Implemented July 2011 - All information (guides, reports, policies, etc.) was brought together on the I: drive in a shared information folder.

5.1.16 Implemented April 2011 - Timetable of quarterly meetings with outside staff, except drivers, is now in place (first Friday of January, April, July and October).

5.1.17 Implemented April 2011 - Service standards report was revised, approved by the CMM and communicated to staff.

5.1.18 Implemented April 2011 - A feedback mechanism is being developed.

5.2 Human Resources

5.2.1 The Human Resource (HR) function at the Mission is managed by the MCO, with part time assistance provided by the LE-05 Assistant Accountant for LES leave and attendance and by the LE-07 Consular Assistant for LES medical insurance plan issues. The current LES Handbook is dated 2003 and the Terms and Conditions Review is in progress.

5.2.2 Management of the function has been challenging for the Mission without a dedicated LES HR resource. There has been rapid incremental growth over the last few years and continued growth is expected in the next two years. Ten competitions were held last year. The Mission received over 2,000 applications in response to the six advertised CIC positions, and a spouse who is an HR consultant was hired to assist with the competition process to alleviate the workload of the MCO. As noted in section 5.1.4, *** was recommended for creation, but in light of the lack of space at the Chancery, the position has not yet been created. The Mission hopes to have the space available in May 2011.

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.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  

5.2.3 Overall, HR management is effective despite limited resources. Most of the HR workload is performed by the MCO who has devoted considerable attention to this function. The MCO continually reviews Common Services workloads and realigns duties and job packages as demands increase.

5.2.4 The HR duties currently carried out by other section staff will be centralized once the *** is created and staffed. This resource will greatly assist the section to document procedures and provide information to LES on benefits etc., and allow the MCO to focus on other areas requiring attention. HR roles, responsibilities and activities will need to be defined and communicated to all staff.

5.2.5 A good HR plan was developed and submitted to ALD. With the exception of one in the Commercial Economic Program, all job descriptions are up to date and signed by the incumbents and supervisors. The MCO has been appointed as the Performance Management Program (PMP) Champion and PMPs are in place for staff.

5.2.6 The MCO consolidated all HR files and implemented a new filing system which includes separate position, employee, staffing and personnel security files. The files are appropriately maintained and held securely by the MCO. The position, employee and staffing checklists developed by ALD are attached to each file to ensure completeness, and the MCO has developed a similar checklist for the personnel security files.

5.2.7 The MCO has been appointed as the Mission Training Coordinator. Training needs are currently identified in PMPs, and staff are encouraged to enrol in the departmental online courses offered by the Canadian Foreign Service Institute (CFSI). The Transformation Committee has also played a role in identifying training opportunities for staff, and group English language training is provided. A budget for training has been established, however, there is no mission-wide training plan. A Mission-wide plan would enhance the management of training and facilitate the coordination and prioritization of the needs for all programs.

5.2.8 The Inspection Team met with the LES members of the LES Management Consultation Board (LESMCB). The LES members are selected through a mission-wide vote. While there is representation from different programs and levels, including the Official Residence staff, there is no representation from CIDA and CIC which form a significant portion of the Mission's staff complement. The LES indicated their desire for more frequent communication with the Administration, clarification and better communication regarding salaries and benefits, and consistency in the mission-wide application of policies, such as the payment of overtime versus compensatory time off. They also indicated their unhappiness with the LES medical insurance company, although they acknowledged a minor improvement subsequent to the Mission follow-up and the installation of a new insurance company management team. In addition, they raised the issue that *** staff are at times insensitive to local culture.

5.2.9 The Inspection Team was also made aware of *** cases, one of which was noted in the 2007 Audit report, for which employees did not receive a response to their questions on ***.The MCO is currently working with ALD on one case regarding a ***, but had been unaware of the other cases as these issues had not been raised with him by the employees concerned.

Key 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.N/AN/AN/A
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  

5.2.10 Overall, HR processes and internal controls were effective.

5.2.11 A review of the competition files demonstrated a general adherence to the Locally-Engaged Staff and HQ Workforce Programs Bureau (ALD) staffing procedures. However, further improvements would include a record of mission candidates being informed in writing of the board results and the dissemination of job openings to Official Residence staff and CBS dependants. In future competitions, the Mission could also consider the establishment of a pool of pre-qualified candidates to staff similar positions and for emergency employment.

5.2.12 A review of the classification files was not conducted during this Inspection as there had been no classification actions in recent years.

5.2.13 There are good arrival and departure guides and checklists for CBS. A similar orientation guide for LES is not in place, although they do receive an information package on LES Handbook, benefits, etc. and an orientation from the MCO. A guide or checklist would assist newly-hired employees to become familiar with procedures, especially in their first few days at the Mission.

5.2.14 The Mission Occupational Safety and Health (OHS) Committee meets periodically but does not meet nine times per year as required, nor is an annual inspection of the workplace conducted.

5.2.15 An Official Languages Coordinator has not been appointed. Mission signage is bilingual, and there is sufficient capacity to communicate and provide services in both Official Languages.

5.2.16 The Inspection team met with four spouses. The spouses indicated their overall satisfaction with the services provided by the Mission, including the Community Co-ordinator hired during the last relocation season. The issues raised were the high cost of living and the lack of spousal employment opportunities and low salary rates in general. Some spouses indicated that they are not always informed when there are job opportunities at the Mission, as the spouses are not emailed directly.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.2.17 Roles and responsibilities for HR functions should be clearly defined and communicated to all staff.

5.2.18 A mission-wide training plan should be developed.

5.2.19 The Mission should ensure that mission candidates are informed in writing of the board results, if they were deemed qualified or not, and on which criteria they were unsuccessful.

5.2.20 The Mission should ensure that all job postings are disseminated to OR staff and CBS dependants.

5.2.21 The Mission should develop an LES orientation guide/checklist.

5.2.22 The OHS Committee should meet at least nine times per year and conduct an annual inspection of the workplace.

5.2.23 An Official Languages Coordinator should be appointed.

5.2.24 The Mission should follow up with ALD on the personnel matters raised by employees.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.2.17 In progress for November 2011 - Service standards report was revised, approved by the CMM and communicated to staff.

5.2.18 In progress for December 2011 - This plan will be developed over the coming months, in cooperation with all program managers.

5.2.19 Implemented - Written information (preferably by email) will be sent systematically to both successful and unsuccessful candidates, and copies kept in the position's staffing file.

5.2.20 Implemented - In the future, the recruiting strategy will be that the OR staff group and CBS dependants are included when new job postings are disseminated.

5.2.21 Implemented September 2011 - Guide is currently being developed, based on existing information.

5.2.22 Implemented June 2011 - Comment noted and information conveyed to the Committee.

5.2.23 Implemented June 2011 - Official Languages champion was appointed in July 2010 and HSR was informed.

5.2.24 In progress for November 2011 - One case has already been resolved. Follow-up action being taken for the others.

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The Physical Resources team includes an LE-06 Property Manager, an LE-05 Materiel Assistant, two cleaners and four drivers. Although the Section is the responsibility of the DMCO, the MCO is also involved in day-to-day operations. The Mission's property portfolio includes Crown-owned Chancery, a Crown-leased Annex and Official Residence (OR), 18 Crown-leased staff quarters (SQ), *** official vehicles and an off-site warehouse.

5.3.2 The workload of the Section is challenging and will only increase over the next few years. A limited housing market coupled with rapid growth (13 new positions in 2010/2011 and *** and the expansion to two locations this year will place additional pressures on staff. A vacant LE-05 Materiel Assistant position was staffed in September 2010, but an LE-05 Building Technician position created in 2008/2009 remains vacant due to lack of space. Once filled, the Program and HQ will still need to monitor workload closely to ensure client services are maintained and the staffing complement is adequate.

5.3.3 The main focus of the Section is the fit-up of an Annex and subsequent move of some staff to the new location. The Mission moved to the current Chancery in 2004 and it has been at threshold since 2006. The Physical Resources Bureau (ARD) has a four-year plan to use the Annex (the previous Swedish Embassy) as temporary space in order to undertake a complete renovation and reconfiguration of the Chancery in order to accommodate all the new positions. ARD acknowledges that a lot of hard work lies ahead for the Mission. The Annex was leased in June 2010, and although the move was planned for October 2010, late identification of *** issues has resulted in months of extra work and has delayed the move ***. It is important for ARD and the Security and Intelligence Bureau (CSD) to liaise at the start of major projects to ensure that security standards are clear and are met to avoid lengthy delays.
5.3.4 The Chancery is housed in a stand alone ten storey building which includes an underground parking area. Offices are located on: half of the ground floor, the mezzanine level, the second floor and half of the third floor. The third floor was recently purchased to allow for further expansion ***.

5.3.5 The previous DMCO worked almost exclusively on the three-year OR refurbishment project which was completed in August 2010. Although support was provided from ARD and visits were made by the project officer every two months, the bulk of the workload fell to the Mission. It will be important that an adequate level of support is provided from HQ to manage the upcoming Chancery renovation project. Due to the complexity of the project and the local environment, additional on-site supervision will be necessary to ensure the project is completed on time and per specifications. Mission staff do not have the training or expertise to manage projects of this scope, and it is questionable whether they should be expected to do so given their regular full-time responsibilities. The delivery of the OR project had an impact on the rest of the Mission in Dakar, most notably on the workload of the MCO who had to assume the DMCO's other duties.

5.3.6 SQs are located in three main areas of the city and the Mission's strategy is to improve *** to reduce commuting time which can be up to one hour. It is difficult to find suitable housing in Dakar and some current SQs are problematic i.e. inattentive landlords, excessive maintenance requirements, concerns with location and security. A challenge for the Mission will be to ensure that new SQs meet space guidelines, are of good quality and can be kept long term. The Property Manager works with several real estate agents and recently visited close to 50 houses of which only one was deemed acceptable. As a result, the new Defence Attache will be under-housed until the summer. The Inspection Team visited the OR and five SQs. While furnishings and houses were well maintained, there was a wide range in quality and size.

5.3.7 Several initiatives undertaken by the Section have resulted in significant cost savings for the Mission:

  • Actively renegotiating existing leases.
  • Using vacant SQs as temporary accommodation for arriving CBS rather than hotels.
  • Ceasing to pay security deposits for new leases as it is difficult to recover at the end of a lease.
  • Obtaining savings on the Chancery electricity bill.

5.3.8 The local environment presents challenges which make it difficult to complete property work in a timely manner. The Mission highlighted difficulty in identifying professional contractors who can perform work to Canadian standards. There is also little choice of goods and material and they are often of poor quality.

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,X  
Staff Quarters (SQs) are allocated based on the recommendations 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 

5.3.9 The Property Section is operating well, but it lacks documented policies and procedures. While informally understood, a key element for the Section will be the development of written local procurement guidelines.

5.3.10 The Mission currently uses emails for work and driver requests. With the deletion of the LEITP position the implementation of an electronic work order system was postponed but should be in place by summer 2011. Use of an electronic system will assist with overall management of client requests and allow for more effective and efficient monitoring and feedback.

5.3.11 While regular maintenance visits are made throughout the year, no annual inspection of SQs is performed. Annual inspections of properties provide useful information which should feed into the maintenance and capital acquisition plans.

5.3.12 Currently, there is no maintenance workplan, nor is there a multi-year capital acquisition plan. There is therefore a risk that maintenance projects or materiel acquisition needs could be overlooked or go unfunded. The Mission noted that these plans are a priority for this year. The Section should be proactive and consult PMs regarding their program needs and CBS regarding SQ needs in order to develop plans. The plans and associated budgets should then be presented at the CMM for discussion and approval.

Client Service

5.3.13 Clients indicated satisfaction with services provided by the Section. Internal controls were effective with some improvements to be made regarding inventories, disposals and access to keys.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Key Physical Resources and Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
An inspection is conducted by new SQ occupants and a mission representative within 30 days of occupancy, after which occupancy agreements and distribution accounts are signed.X  
A percentage of costs for personal use of OR supplies is determined and regular reimbursements are made to the Mission.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  

5.3.14 SQ inventories were up-to-date and all occupancy agreements were signed by the occupants, however they were not yet signed ***. All inventory tracking could be improved by including the purchase date and price of each item. An official wine inventory was implemented last year. It will need to be verified at minimum once a year by two people and signed. This document could then be included as supporting documentation for hospitality reporting. Given the upcoming Chancery renovations, a Chancery inventory should be developed to improve asset control and tracking for disposals.

5.3.15 A disposal sale was held in December 2010 to reduce items held in storage. Although it was appropriately authorized by the HOM, files reviewed were incomplete and therefore did not adequately demonstrate adherence to Departmental guidelines. It was noted that the *** purchased a number of items by "direct sale". Per section 7.1 of the Material Management Manual, anyone who is "involved with the selection of materiel for disposal, and the disposal itself, cannot purchase items on sale". Upon further questioning, no conflict of interest was found, however, personnel involved in the disposal should not be allowed to purchase items for sale.

5.3.16 ***.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.3.17 The electronic work request system should be implemented at the Mission.

5.3.18 Annual inspections of SQs should be conducted and results input into maintenance and acquisition planning.

5.3.19 A multi-year capital acquisition plan should be developed and reviewed by the CMM.

5.3.20 A maintenance workplan should be developed for the Chancery and the OR.

5.3.21 Local procurement guidelines and practices should be documented.

5.3.22 SQ inventories should be signed ***.

5.3.23 An inventory of Chancery assets should be maintained and all inventories should include purchase date and price.

5.3.24 Disposals files should be complete and demonstrate adherence to Departmental guidelines.

5.3.25 ***.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.3.17 In progress for December 2011 - *** is at the experimental stage and should be operational by year-end.

5.3.18 Implemented - Before the start of the summer rotation season, systematic inspections of SQs will be conducted by assets and property management officers, under the supervision of the DMCO. The maintenance and capital acquisition plan resulting from this analysis will then be submitted to the CMM.

5.3.19 In progress for October 2011 - Plan currently being developed.

5.3.20 In progress for October 2011 - OR maintenance plan is currently being prepared.

However, the plan for the Chancery and the Annex will be drawn up after the major renovation work has been completed.

5.3.21 In progress for November 2011 - Local procurement policy is being developed.

5.3.22 Implemented July 2011 - Inventories have been sent for signatures.

5.3.23 In progress for December 2011 - Inventory currently being taken.

5.3.24 Implemented - Mission will ensure that, in the future, all records and reports related to assets disposal adhere to Treasury Board policy.

5.3.25 Implemented - ***.

Recommendations for the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD) and Security and Intelligence Bureau (CSD)

5.3.26 Better coordination between ARD and CSD is needed to avoid long delays in completion of property projects due to extensive security requirements.

5.3.27 ARD should provide on-site supervision for the Chancery renovation project.

ARD and CSD Actions and Timeframes

5.3.26 Implemented June 2011 - For future projects related to the Africa Property Initiative, ARD anticipates to be in full contact with the DG of CSD on all aspects related to security. In addition, the following initiatives are underway to improve the overall coordination between ARD and CSD:

CSR/CSD and ARL/ARD have agreed to a roles and responsibilities document that includes CSD sign off at various points along the major project delivery timeline.

CSR is also developing a Project Input Template that will become a part of ARD's official project documentation to ensure information is available to all stakeholders.

5.3.27 In Progress for September 2011 - ARD is in the process of hiring an on-site supervision officer for this renovation project, with an anticipatory start date of early Fall 2011.

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 The Finance Section is managed by the MCO with the assistance of the LE-07 Accountant and the LE-05 Assistant Accountant. Staff are professional, ***. They have participated in the Accountants in-Canada training program as well as a number of regional workshops and maintain good contact with the other mission accountants to exchange information and share best practices.

5.4.2 The Mission benefited greatly from the September 2010 visit from a member of the Financial Operations, International Division (SMFF) and great efforts have been made to improve the operations of the Finance section. Many of the SMFF recommendations have been implemented and the remainder are in progress.

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 Overall financial management is effective. The MCO is *** involved in budget management with a focus on fiscal prudence and value for money. Efforts were made to reduce rents and decrease high energy costs to gain savings. Finstats and bank reconciliations are up to date. With a few exceptions, there are appropriate processes and controls in place. A good level of client service is provided, although the Section would benefit from having written financial policies and procedures to guide staff and clients.

5.4.4 While staff indicated they are aware of their monthly, daily and weekly tasks which are tracked using their calendars or discussed in section meetings, there is no formal workplan for the Section. A workplan detailing tasks to be performed, responsibilities and deadlines for completion, along with the development of Mission specific service standards, would guide staff and clients and assist in the monitoring of work.

5.4.5 The Mission processes approximately 65 cheques, 80 hard copy transfers and bank drafts, and collects approximately *** in revenues monthly. CIC revenues are by direct bank deposit. With the expanded CIC program areas of responsibility, the MCO and the CIC Program Manager met with bank officials to discuss direct deposit arrangements.

5.4.6 The Mission does not have an acquisition card. There are currently *** active petty cash accounts in the Mission which are appropriately controlled and monitored. Periodic spot checks are conducted by the MCO. Until recently, the *** had a petty cash in the amount ***. The account was closed when the employee won a competition for a new position. Before issuing a new petty cash to the next incumbent, the Mission should review whether there is still a need to *** petty cash ***. As also noted by SMFF, the Mission should use acquisition cards where possible to reduce reliance on petty cash.

5.4.7 Some mission members, hired a number of years ago, ***. It is important to ensure that appropriate controls and procedures are in place. It was observed that the funds collected in one section were transferred to a *** in the Finance section. Although official receipts are issued, the segregation of duties for the cash revenue collection process could be strengthened to ensure that no employees involved in the exchange of funds ***.

Client Service

5.4.8 Overall, clients are satisfied with services received from the Section. Budgets are provided to CMM and Program Managers. IMS view access has been granted to program administrative assistants and the Finance section will provide an information/training session in the new fiscal year.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Key Finance Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
A Contract Review Board (CRB) is in place and operating effectively with clear terms of reference. X 
Contracting procedures have been documented and communicated to all staff involved in the contracting process. X 
Contracting files demonstrate compliance with policies and procedures. X 
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  

5.4.9 Overall, internal controls are effective with improvement required in the areas of contracting and hospitality. The Mission recently reviewed procedures to optimize resources and implemented a number of improvements to increase work efficiencies. With the assistance of SMFF, the Section implemented new work flow and invoice payment processes, introduced quiet hours, reviewed the number of bank accounts and ceased personal banking services for CBS. Official receipt books are held securely and controlled appropriately by the MCO. However, the ***, which are required to be held *** are stored in the ***. This was also noted in the 2007 Audit Report.

5.4.10 The contracting process is managed by the MCO. There is a Contract Review Board (CRB) in place, with new members appointed subsequent to the arrival of the new HOM. The established threshold is $5,000 and all spousal contracts are sent to the CRB. The new CRB has reviewed two contracts to date but did not meet to discuss the Terms of Reference or standard operating procedures. While the MCO provided a good explanation of the procedures followed, the process is not documented and the contract files did not adequately reflect the steps performed in the process. All contracts are kept in a central location, however, the contracting files were incomplete, with some information maintained electronically and some in hard copy format.

5.4.11 The revised 2010 Outside of Canada Hospitality Policy was sent to all program managers, but the mission policy and rates have not yet been updated. The Mission plans to conduct a survey to establish the restaurant hospitality rate and then revise the mission policy.

5.4.12 Generally, the hospitality-related documentation was adequate, however, a review of the files indicated that some Programs were not consistently completing the hospitality diaries to adequately reflect the results of the event.

5.4.13 In addition to the recommendations provided by SMFF, the following are further improvements which would enhance the overall management of financial operations.

Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.14 The Mission should develop a workplan for the Section and update services standards.

5.4.15 Financial procedures should be documented and communicated to staff and clients.

5.4.16 Excess *** should be stored and controlled securely by ***.

5.4.17 The Mission should ensure that there is adequate and appropriate segregation of duties related to the revenue collection process.

5.4.18 To strengthen the contracting process:

  • Procedures should be documented to guide CRB members and employees involved in the contracting process.
  • The CRB should hold periodic formal meetings to review the CRB terms of reference and discuss general contracting issues.
  • The Mission should ensure that contracting files are properly maintained and demonstrate adherence to departmental procedures.

5.4.19 The Mission Hospitality policy and rates should be reviewed and updated to reflect the revised Outside of Canada Hospitality Policy, and hospitality diaries with the required supporting documentation should be maintained.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

5.4.14 In progress for November 2011 - Workplan is being developed for the accounting section.

Service standards have been updated.

5.4.15 Implemented in June 2011 - Financial procedures that were already documented were communicated on the I: drive (shared information). The remaining procedures are being prepared.

5.4.16 Implemented - Excess *** were moved to the ***.

5.4.17 Implemented - Mission is currently reviewing the different options for achieving an optimum segregation of duties.

5.4.18 Implemented - Procedure for documenting individual files was reviewed. In the future, all information will be centralized in a single physical file.

The CRB was informed of the need to hold a meeting to discuss these issues. The next meeting will be held in September.

5.4.19 Implemented - Mission's hospitality policy was reviewed and approved by the CMM in April 2011.

5.5 Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT)

5.5.1 The IM-IT function is overseen by the MCO and is supported by a CS-02 Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP), who also reports to the Client Service Regional Manager (CSRM) in Nairobi. The FSITP is also responsible for providing support to the missions in Bamako and Ouagadougou.

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 does not have a formal workplan, although a certain degree of planning is done. A schedule for FSITP quarterly visits to other missions of responsibility, as well as some other routine tasks, has been established by the CSRM. However, the Inspection Team noted that this informal planning process is not effective for managing the recurrent tasks that the FSITP is called upon to perform. For example, the Inspection of the mission in Ouagadougou made note of the lack of regular back-ups, which should be initiated ***.

5.5.3 The Mission is in the process of developing a Business Continuity Plan (BCP). As the BCP is developed, the MCO should ensure that the FSITP is involved in identifying IM-IT needs and tests this equipment on a regular basis. A notional Alternate Command Post (ACP) has been identified ***. At the time of the Inspection, the Mission did not have an approved BCP, but was working on its development.

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 

5.5.4 Overall, client service at two of the three missions covered by the IM-IT Section is in need of improvement. *** indicated that all requests are not entered into the IT service request system as it is difficult to balance the provision of service with reporting needs. At the time of the Inspection, there were 39 outstanding service request tickets in the system. As the CSRM uses this system to ensure resources are properly aligned and allocated, it is important that all service requests are entered into the system in a timely and consistent manner.

5.5.5 Clients indicated that the Section's strength is in the delivery of routine support activities and that improvements could be made in the delivery of ad-hoc service requests and troubleshooting. The Section does not solicit client feedback.

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 secure location away from the primary use area.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  

5.5.6 Overall, IM-IT processes and controls are effective. Key controls were, for the most part, in place. Improvements are needed with regard to the secondary communications systems, and the custody of IT assets (mobility tools).

5.5.7 The Mission has a secondary communication system ***.

5.5.8 The Mission has made an effort to improve information management. A CBS spouse with information management expertise was engaged on a short-term contract to review existing practices and provide advice to improve Mission practices. As a result, Mission files have been consolidated and centralized within each section and the shared drive folder has been restructured.

5.5.9 There is no sign out process for mobility tools such as laptops to record what equipment has been assigned to whom, and when this occurred.

Recommendation to the Mission

5.5.10 The FSITP, in consultation with the CSRM and the MCOs in the three missions he supports, should develop a workplan.

5.5.11 The MCO should ensure that IM-IT requirements for the BCP have been defined in a formal plan, implemented and that regular testing takes place.

5.5.12 The FSITP should ensure that all service requests are entered into the IT service request system.

5.5.13 The MCO should solicit and periodically review client feedback to ascertain client satisfaction and service levels and make improvements as necessary.

5.5.14 The Mission should ensure that secondary communications ***.

5.5.15 The FSITP should ensure that employees sign out mobility tools and are advised of their responsibilities.

Mission Action and Timeframe

5.5.10 In Progress for Sept. 2011 - In the process of being developed for the following missions : Dakar , Bamako and Ouagadougou.

5.5.11 In Progress for Aug. 2011 - The mission's Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is being updated with the installation of the *** unit. Reviewing list of clients that should have access to the Mission Backup Alternative Communications system (MBACS) Mailbox.

5.5.12 Implemented - For each IT issue that is brought to the attention of the ITP staff at mission a help-desk ticket is created. As the technical solution is discovered, notes are entered into the ticket.

5.5.13 Implemented - MCO is very active to advise ITP staff if clients are not getting satisfactory IT services for day to day IT operations.

5.5.14 In Progress for Aug. 2011 - ***.

5.5.15 Implemented - Laptops are assigned to section program managers. They will manage the distribution within their section.

Secure ID tokens for DFAIT employees are keep with themselves until their expiry date. All Partner Department staff are assigned a Secure ID token upon arrival at mission, and must return the token at the end of their assignment.

All Secure ID tokens required for LES staff are evaluated individually, if required necessary as part of there work resource tool kit.

Appendix A : Mission Resources Fact Sheet

Table 1: Mission Resources Fact Sheet of Physical Resources
Physical Resources
AssetsCrown OwnedCrown Leased
Chancery11
Official Residence1-
Staff Quarters-17
Vehicles***-
Table 2: Mission Resources Fact Sheet Financial Information
2009-2010 BudgetsProgram BudgetCommon Services Budget
Total$488,423$3,770,767
Operating (N001)$159,209$2,504,407
Capital (N005)$0$493,680
CBS Salaries (N011)$0$234,031
LES Salaries (N012)$329,214$538,649

Appendix B: Organization Chart

Canadian Embassy Dakar, Senegal Organization Chart, Accessible version

Canadian Embassy Dakar Sengal Organization 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

* If you require a plug-in or a third-party software to view this file, please visit the alternative formats section of our help page.

Footer

Date Modified:
2013-01-31