Mar 07 - 11, 2011
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:
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.
An Inspection of Mission management, the Political Economic Reporting and Public Affairs, Commercial Economic, Consular and Common Services programs was conducted in Detroit from March 7 to 11, 2011. A previous audit of these programs took place in 2004. The Consulate General is a medium sized mission with five Canada Based Staff (CBS) and 34 Locally Engaged Staff (LES). In addition to Departmental programs, the Mission also provides a platform for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
Detroit operations are dominated by a range of issues associated with the U.S./Canada border. The Windsor/Detroit corridor is the largest commercial land border in North America with 28% of surface trade between Canada and the United States. Close to 18% of Canada's total exports to the world are sold to the four states in Detroit's territory. The majority of the LES are Canadian citizens resident in Windsor which creates a unique dynamic in terms of advantages and challenges for the Mission.
Recent human resources issues resulting in harassment actions and grievances, combined with extended staff absences and departures have seriously impacted Mission operations and staff morale. The results of the Total Compensation Review (TCR) and a lack of follow-up added to staff frustration. The early implementation of the reporting relationship to the Regional Service Centre (RSC) has caused further disruption due to mis-communication and undefined roles, responsibilities and service standards.
The newly arrived HOM has focussed on the challenges facing the Mission internally and externally. Improved communications with staff through general meetings, email messages, consultations with the LESMCB and circulation of CMM minutes, have helped to create an environment of accessibility and transparency which has increased trust and morale. Direction and support to programs has been improved through regular and structured CMMs, reviewing and approving plans, adhering to reporting deadlines, reviving the Health and Safety Committee and putting PMPs in place for all staff. Morale has improved and staff have recognized and appreciate management engagement in dealing with existing challenges. Continuing effort, however, is required to ensure that the RSC initiative is successfully implemented and that management cohesion along with a "whole of government approach' is improved. As well the Official Residence could be utilized more frequently in support of Program and HOM activities.
The PERPA Program is well managed with activities and initiatives aligned with departmental and Mission objectives and priorities. Reporting is timely and focussed on the issues of interest to HQ and partner departments. The Program's advocacy role is well defined and documented in a plan outlining priorities for border, great lakes and trade advocacy as well as academic, media and cultural relations. The *** will allow the Mission to redefine the position with a focus on media relations and communications expertise. Given the size and increasing importance of the Program, consideration should be given to ***.
The Commercial Economic Program is led by a Senior Trade Commissioner. Planning and operations are effectively supported by good communication and experienced staff. Plans are developed through an extensive planning process in consultation with stakeholders, partners and HQ where priority sectors, investment initiatives and related activities and events are identified. Program operations would benefit from dedicating resources for implementation of an InfoCentre.
The Consular Program is active in providing service to Canadian clients due to the proximity of the border. In lieu of a Management Consular Officer at the Mission, the Program is managed by the Senior Trade Commissioner who expects to receive overdue consular training in the near future. More *** is needed to ensure oversight of revenues and assets and the development of a contingency plan.
The Administration Program is managed by an LE-09 Mission Administration Officer (MAO). The Program has been severely impacted in the past by inadequate management support that resulted in lengthy absences, departures and conflict within the workplace. In response, an RSC pilot project intended to relieve the situation by centralizing services in Washington was initiated early. Unfortunately both parties were unprepared for its implementation. The Mission has since been working constructively with the RSC to find solutions to service delivery problems and will need to continue its efforts to facilitate staff acceptance of this initiative.
A total of 38 inspection recommendations are raised in the report, all addressed to the Mission. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 38 recommendations, management has stated that 31 have been implemented. For each of the remaining 7 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
1.1.1 The Consulate General in Detroit is a medium sized mission with five Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 36 Locally Engaged Staff (LES). The Mission is responsible for departmental program delivery in four states, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, and provides support to Citizenship and Immigration Canada with two of the Mission's CBS and 13 of the LES. The Regional Service Centre in Washington D.C. provides administrative support.
1.1.2 The Mission oversees operating and capital budgets of $3,833,959 and $28,880 respectively and is responsible for the management of three Crown-owned, two privately leased and one crown-leased properties. Through the provision of Consular and Immigration services, the Mission collects approximately $2.4 million in revenue on an annual basis.
|Key Mission Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The Mission's strategic objectives are consistent with Government and DFAIT priorities and guide staff performance measurement objectives.||X|
|DFAIT programs have developed operational plans based on the objectives outlined in the country strategy and advice/guidance from HQ.||X|
|The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) is an effective forum to review and make decisions on mission 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 is managed by an EX-03 Head of Mission who is supported by four Program Managers. The newly arrived HOM has taken on serious challenges facing the Mission including: staff absences; labour relations issues; administrative anomalies; lack of cohesion between programs; and low morale. He has worked *** to create a climate of accessibility and transparency by regularly communicating with all staff both collectively and individually. LES and staff relations issues, rebuilding the Common Services function and fostering cooperation between programs have been priorities in his first year. Additional emphasis is required by the Mission on fostering and furthering a 'whole of government' approach.
1.2.2 The Mission has a planning and reporting process in place that synthesizes strategic and policy requirements and provides direction to mission programs. Outcomes are derived through extensive consultation with Program Managers and approved by the HOM. Progress and reporting are reviewed on an on-going basis as required and formally at mid-year. Departmental priorities and objectives are also documented in the annual performance management process where HOM performance objectives and expectations are reflected in Program Managers' PMPs and PMAs as appropriate.
1.2.3 Mission governance practices are effective, supported by a sound committee structure and participation from all programs including CMM, LESMCB, Health and Safety and Housing. Departmental and Mission priorities and policies are reviewed and discussed, and decisions are communicated to staff through the management team and circulation of minutes. The HOM meets quarterly with the LESMCB where issues and concerns are discussed and required action is identified.
1.2.4 Values and ethics are endorsed and promoted by management. However, the Department's Value and Ethics Code needs to be distributed to all staff, and a certificate signed by staff acknowledging receipt and review should be placed on file. As part of a conflict intervention, the Conflict Management Practices Division (DCR) made a presentation to all staff in January, 2008. An Official Languages Coordinator has been appointed. Signage throughout the Mission and in public areas is in both French and English. Services are readily available in both official languages as many staff are bilingual.
|Key Management Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The Mission's committee structure meets minimum requirements based on size (Health and Safety, Security, Contract Review, etc.).||X|
|Mission committees are meeting regularly and effectively discharging their governance responsibilities.||X|
|Program managers are provided regular financial/budget updates to facilitate effective management and decision making.||X|
|Security policies and regulations are respected and promoted under the leadership of mission management.||X|
|The 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 Key management controls are, for the most part, in place. More attention is required to ensure that all control criteria are met. Past Common Services resource issues and the imposed RSC pilot project contributed to challenges in the application of controls. Management has recognized and corrected some deficiencies and is working on others. The Management team needs to work constructively with the RSC to identify needed improvements such as provision of financial and monthly budget information and to ensure that services are provided effectively and efficiently.
1.3.2 A Mission Business Continuity Plan needs to be developed, tested and approved and security policies need to be reviewed and updated.
1.3.3 An effective process is in place to monitor the completion of staff performance management plans.
1.4.1 The Mission should provide updates and promote discussion on values and ethics at all staff and program meetings.
1.4.2 Mission management should regularly identify, document and communicate service issues, working with the RSC to mutually find solutions.
1.4.1 Implemented August, 2011. The Mission requires that all new hires sign a document indicating that they have read the Values and Ethics Code. We will provide the code to all other staff and request that they sign a document indicating that they have received it. We will request ZVE to conduct detailed training sessions on various aspects of V&E. This will set the stage well for regular discussion at Program meetings. Program Managers will add values and ethics discussion to their staff meetings.
1.4.2 Implemented May, 2011. Service issues are now communicated to the RSC through the Management Board. The HOM and MAO are also in contact with the Executive Director and Quadrant MCO to resolve mission-specific issues.
2.1.1 The PERPA Program is managed by an LE-10 supported by two LE-09 Public Affairs Officers, an LE-09 Economic Relations and Regulatory Officer and an LE-05 Assistant. Budget information for the Program is presented below.
2.1.2 The PERPA Program's strategic priorities include; border advocacy with the proposed new bridge project and security issues; Great Lakes advocacy with water and environmental management issues; trade advocacy working with the Trade Program on regulatory and legislative irritants; economic relations with analysis of investment and economic issues impacting Canada; and public affairs with media, academic and cultural activities.
|Key PERPA Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|PERPA plans are aligned with the priorities and objectives outlined in the Mission Plan (MPR System) and informed by departmental and geographic bureau guidance and objectives.||X|
|PERPA plans outline intended outcomes and results are measurable.||X|
|Officer roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and have been communicated to all staff.||X|
|Internal communications within the program effectively support program delivery.||X|
2.2.1 The PERPA Program is *** managed with effective communications,
good morale and teamwork. The HOM supports the Program and is actively engaged in advocacy on key issues. The PM fosters a *** environment which is appreciated by staff. The Program has a well defined plan that flows from the Mission MPR, outlining major objectives, priority activities, costs, timelines and results measurement. In addition to major priorities, the Program also identifies secondary initiatives that can be substituted when delays or other obstacles occur, or additional resources become available. Roles and responsibilities have been clearly defined for staff based on job descriptions and areas of expertise. Formal program meetings are held every two weeks in conjunction with the bi-monthly conference call with north America Partners Directorate (GNB). There is on-going communication within the Program on a daily basis to discuss issues and to obtain required support and direction.
2.2.2 The Program Manager is a *** LES ***. While there is team work and a positive environment within the Program, ***. The LE-10 level reflects both the size of the Program and the complexity and importance of the issues related to a border state. ***.
|Key PERPA Implementation Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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 Each staff member develops an individual work plan identifying key priorities and related activities. These are the basis for input into the Program plan which is reviewed and commented on by the team and refined. The objectives and commitments of individual staff plans serve as the basis for their PMPs. HQ has commented on the volume and usefulness of reporting produced by the Mission on relevant topics and issues.
2.3.2 An advocacy plan is developed with input from other programs identifying new events and activities and those that normally occur. Allowance is made for unknown activities that will arise and can be used to leverage advocacy objectives.
2.3.3 The Economic Relations and Regulatory Officer position is staffed on a contract basis. With the incumbent's departure, the Mission intends to transform the position to take on media and communications activities.
|Key PERPA Performance Measurement Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The PERPA program has an established performance measurement system in place to monitor activities towards the achievement of objectives.||X|
|The PERPA program assesses performance against their strategy / objectives and plans, and provides a high-level assessment of performance through the MPR system at the end of the fiscal year.||X|
|Hospitality diaries demonstrate value-for-money and alignment with priorities.||X|
2.4.1 Performance measures are documented in the PERPA plan and in individual work plans categorized as short-term and long-term results. Plans are discussed and reviewed at the bi-weekly program meetings and on a on-going basis as events are concluded or adjustments are required. At a high level, plans are reviewed in conjunction with the Mission's overall mid-year and year-end exercises.
3.1.1 The Commercial Economic Program in Detroit is managed by an FS-03 Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) acting in an EX-01 position. He is supported by a CBS Trade Commissioner, fourCommercial Economic Program in Detroit is managed by an FS-03 Senior Trade Commissioner (STC LES Trade Commissioners and two Trade Commissioner Assistants. One additional LES Trade Commissioner position is vacant. The following table represents the budget levels for the Program.
|Client Service Fund||$27,645|
3.1.2 The CE Program has a large staff (9 positions) which reflects its importance and the volume of trade and opportunities in its accredited territory. Detroit's most important North American Platform Program (NAPP) partners are Industry Canada, the National Research Council (NRC), Agriculture and Agri Foods Canada (AAFC) the Federal economic development agencies Western Economic Development (WED), Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and Fednor (Northern Ontario Development Agency). Other stakeholders include provincial U.S. based contacts, other missions in the U.S. and Canadian Industry Associations. Along with innovation and investment the Program's priority sectors include automotive, agriculture, aerospace and defence.
|Key CE Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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 is *** managed and benefits from long-serving staff who are experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated as well as a Program Manager who provides direction and support to his team based on significant trade experience and knowledge of departmental policies, procedures and processes. Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined with each officer assigned specific sectors with individual work plans detailing related activities and initiatives.
3.2.2 Investment and innovation sectors represent an important aspect of the Program's work with two staff resources working together to carry out an investment plan and outreach schedule. Assistance is provided by other officers regarding potential investment leads in their sectors. The PM and HOM actively participate in investment outcalls and required follow-up as required.
3.2.3 Individual work plans flow from the Program's overall objectives and strategies outlined in the annual Commercial Economic Plan. The planning process involves all staff with the team consulting its stakeholders, partners and HQ colleagues in the third quarter to develop potential projects. The plan is drafted in a team meeting based on discussions and input from all staff. It is then reviewed and discussed with the HOM and submitted to HQ. Performance indicators and results are defined for each activity along with budget requirements.
3.2.4 There is good communication within the Program. Officers and support staff interact with each other on a daily basis and there is informal two-way communication with the PM as required. There are formal bi-weekly meetings with all staff to discuss issues and keep each other informed and updated on relevant activities. The Program has recently begun to document minutes and records of decisions for distribution to program staff and the HOM.
|Key CE Implementation Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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.
|Activities and initiatives are aligned with the mission's key priorities.||X|
|The program utilizes TRIO to facilitate client relationship management.||X|
|Staff use of TRIO is monitored to ensure activities are reported appropriately and accurately reflect the work undertaken.||X|
|The InfoCentre function has defined objectives and responsibilities.||X|
3.3.1 Client feedback and engagement reflect the positive service provided by the Program. Participation in events and initiatives is generating high interest, business leads and further service requests. Events are well organized requiring active coordination with partners, suppliers and buyers.
3.3.2 Activities and initiatives are aligned with departmental and Mission objectives and priorities as documented in the Mission's Commercial Economic Plan. PMPs for staff are in place and reflect the relevant program and mission objectives.
3.3.3 TRIO is in place and used by the Program. However, difficulties
interacting with the system have been experienced by staff resulting in frustration and questioning of the system's utility. The PM has strongly encouraged staff to comply with TRIO requirements and has relayed concerns to HQ. The PM makes use of TRIO and Dashboard information to monitor reporting and to follow-up with staff on issues and developments.
3.3.4 The Program does not have an InfoCentre in place citing the lack of
support resources in the Program to properly manage the function. It intends to implement an InfoCentre once the SR400 LE-05 position is allocated to the Mission.
|Key CE Performance Measurement Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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 Measures are in place to monitor performance. Periodic review of the CE Plan and individual work plans occur in program meetings and informally between individual officers. TRIO reports are used by the PM to monitor and provide feedback to staff and to assess overall progress. The HOM works directly with staff on issues and initiatives as required particularly on investment outcalls. Hospitality and travel funds are used strategically to facilitate and promote Program objectives.
3.5. The Program should implement an InfoCentre utilizing existing resources in the short term until a ***.
3.5. Implemented. By internally reallocating responsibilities within the IBD Section, we will proceed to implement an InfoCentre by 31 August, 2011. The introduction of these additional responsibilities may require *** and related resource approval form HQ
4.1.1 The Consular Program is managed by an FS-03 (STC) acting in an EX-01 position. He is supported by an LE-08 Senior Consular Program Officer and an LE-05 Consular Assistant. At the time of the Inspection, *** the Assistant had been acting in the Officer's position for approximately four months while still performing her own duties. The Program's budget is as follows:
4.1.2 The Mission is responsible for the States of Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio providing approximately 45 passport services and processing approximately 580 citizenship applications on an annual basis. There are 174 Canadian citizens in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database. However, the number of Canadians residing in the Mission's territory is estimated to be much higher. The Mission is looking to fill an Honorary Consul (HONCON) vacancy to serve the Cleveland, Ohio area. The HONCON's primary role and focus would be trade-related with minimal support provided to the Consular Program.
|Key Consular Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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 STC oversees the Program, while the day-to-day management is the responsibility of the Consular Officer. The STC *** responsible for the Consular Program *** at the Mission *** his posting to Detroit in 2009.
4.2.2 The Program has not developed a formal overall operational work plan or individual work plans for the Officer and Assistant. The Program would benefit by developing these plans which would identify projects, activities and initiatives as well as provide operational guidance.
4.2.3 Both the Consular Contingency Plan and the Duty Officer Manual are out of date. The STC plans to hire two interns this Spring to help update these documents and to increase the number of Canadians registered with ROCA by promoting ROCA registration while attending trade events.
4.2.4 The Program has ad hoc meetings as necessary, however, no regular formal Consular staff meetings are held. As the STC is often out of the office dealing with trade matters, formal weekly or bi-weekly meetings would allow the Program to better assess workloads and planning.
|Key Consular Client Service Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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/A||N/A||N/A|
|There is adequate liaison/support from the Mission for the HonCon.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
4.3.1 The Program is able to meet its service standards and strives to provide good client service. Arrest and detention cases constitute the bulk of the workload for the Program. At the time of the Inspection,180 detainees where held in 55 different facilities. As Detroit is a border Mission, approximately five deportees a month require an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) from the Program. The Program has developed a strong network of contacts and is able to access detained Canadians quickly to provide Consular services.
|Key Consular Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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. ***. The HOM and Consular Officer perform the quarterly passport inventory while the Consular Officer is the only person performing the monthly passport inventory verification. A CBS staff member should be involved in the verification process.
4.4.2 The Program stores passport applications ***. The Passport Canada directive states that completed passport application forms and related documentation should be held for only 60 business days following the end of the month in which they were submitted and then securely destroyed.
4.4.3 Passport stock is ***. Only a working stock should be allocated to the Consular Officer from the inventory stored ***.
4.4.4 Official seals and stamps are properly stored ***.
4.4.5 Revenues collected in the Consular Section are transferred to the bank regularly. A revenue tracking sheet is kept and monthly reconciliations are performed by the Consular Officer and the Mission Administration Officer (MAO). As the STC is responsible for the Consular Program, he should review and approve the monthly reconciliations.
4.5.1 The Mission should ensure that the ***.
4.5.2 The Program should develop a formal overall operational work plan and individual work plans for the Consular Officer and Assistant.
4.5.3 The Program should ensure that the Consular Contingency Plan and the Duty Officer Manual are updated, approved and forwarded to HQ.
4.5.4 The Program should have regular formal Consular staff meetings. Records of decision should be kept and shared with appropriate staff.
4.5.5 The Program should ensure that monthly passport inventories are performed by two employees, one of which is a CBS.
4.5.7 The Program should ensure that ***.
4.5.8 The Program should create an ***should be reconciled at least annually.
4.5.9 The STC should review and verify Consular revenue reconciliation and ensure that funds are transferred to the bank when ***, whichever comes first.
4.5.1 Implemented. *** attended the Foreign Service Institute's Consular Services & Emergency Management Refresher Course for MCOs at Bisson Campus, 9-13 May, 2011 and will take the Passport Training for Foreign Operations course in the Fall, 2011. *** also took two online Consular courses in August, 2011.
4.5.2 Implemented. Overall work plan completed August, 2011. Individual work plans to be in place by 31 August, 2011.
4.5.3 Implemented. Consular Contingency Plans for all four states are complete and will be uploaded by 31 August, 2011. Duty Officer Manual update to be completed by 31 August, 2011.
4.5.4 Implemented April, 2011. The Consular Program is now meeting formally on a weekly basis.
4.5.5 Implemented April, 2011. Passport Inventories are now being performed monthly by the CBS PM and an LES Officer.
4.5.6 Implemented April, 2011. Procedures have been updated and ***.
4.5.7 Implemented April, 2011. ***.
4.5.8 Implemented April, 2011. *** will be reconciled at least annually.
4.5.9 Implemented. As of 15 August, 2011, in coordination with Common Services and the Regional Service Centre, revenue reconciliation is undertaken at the recommended *** interval or ***.
5.1.1 The Common Services Program is managed by an LE-09 MAO who is supported by a team of six LES. The following tables summarize the discretionary resources available to the Program.
5.1.2 The Program provides services to 40 employees in five DFAIT programs and one partner program. The Mission receives program support for the Human Resources and Finance Sections from the Regional Service Centre (RSC) located in WSHDC.
|Key Common Services Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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 Client service delivery within the Program could be improved by ensuring that clientele have been provided with proper guidelines and procedures related to services available. The Program would benefit from conducting outreach activities aimed at providing other programs within the Mission with information regarding procedures, new initiatives, and general Common Services policies.
5.1.4 The Common Service Program is providing basic services to its clientele with increased assistance from the RSC in WSHDC. While there are still a few frustrations and irritants to work out, the Finance portion of RSC involvement is functioning well. However, there still remain communication and performance issues with the HR section as the level of service is not considered "client friendly". It would be useful to initiate an open constructive dialogue with the RSC-HR component as has been done with the Finance component.
5.1.5 While meetings with staff within the Program are scheduled once per month they routinely occur with less frequency due to absences and other pressures and priorities. It would be in the Program's best interest to hold, at minimum, bi-weekly meetings. This would give the MAO and his staff an opportunity to interact, discuss planning and operations and share other issues and ideas on a more frequent basis. These meetings should be agenda driven and a record of decisions kept.
5.1.6 Due to past issues within the Program, ***.
5.1.7 ****. The MAO had requested to be included in a supervisory-at-mission course being offered in Ottawa in May, 2011, however, he was advised that there were no openings available.
|Key Common Services Client Service Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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|
5.1.8 Overall client services were inconsistent and in need of improvement. Several factors, including under staffing, lengthy absences and conflicts within the Common Service Program over the past few years, have contributed to an inefficient level of service delivery. This has in turn reduced the confidence of staff in other programs as to the ability of the Common Service Program to deliver quality and timely services. We note that a three month term employee has recently been hired in the vacant LE-05 Materiel and Property position to undertake property/materiel duties. As well, a one year term Program Assistant has been hired to assist with transition to RSC oversight.
5.1.9 The Program uses a basic e-mail service system to receive client requests for a variety of issues. A more comprehensive system is required that tracks and documents time frames, ensures that goods and services have been received and provides client feedback.
5.1.10 A service level agreement between the Mission and the RSC has not been finalized or agreed to by both parties. This has led to a level of frustration and uncertainty for the Mission and its clientele.
5.1.11 The MAO should ensure that bi-weekly meetings with staff are conducted.
5.1.13 The MAO should follow up with the Canadian Foreign Service Institute (CFSI) to ensure that a place on the next offering of the supervisory-at-mission course be made available for him.
5.1.14 The Program should implement an automated request system to ensure that requests are tracked and that clients have the opportunity to provide feedback.
5.1.15 The Mission, in liaison with the RSC in WSHDC, should ensure that a service level agreement is finalized and implemented.
5.1.11 Implemented June, 2011. Weekly staff meetings are now being held with decisions/action items posted in a Connections group created for this purpose.
5.1.12 Implemented August, 2011. ***.
5.1.13 Implemented. The MAO attended in May, 2011 the week-long "supervision-at-mission" course.
5.1.14 In progress for April, 2011. AISZ is testing *** which is to replace the *** software currently used for this purpose. We will endeavour to implement this in a timely fashion once approved for mission use.
5.1.15 In progress for November, 2011. Work is underway at RSC on standardized service agreements for use at all missions in the USA.
5.2.1 The HR functions at the Mission are the responsibility of the MAO who is assisted by an LE-05 Administration Assistant. The Section has processed 14 staffing actions, 13 grievances, two classification reviews and dealt with two harassment complaints over the past year.
5.2.2 The Section receives HR support from the RSC located in WSHDC which includes policy advice and guidance, assistance in staffing and classification review, preparation of job descriptions, management of the employee insurance plan, pension entitlement calculations and payroll processing.
|Key HR Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Responsibilities for human resource (HR) activities have been clearly defined, delegated and communicated to all staff.||X|
|LES have been provided with the most recent version of the LES Handbook.||X|
|The LESMCB is representative of Mission programs and levels and is utilized by both LES and mission management to facilitate communication.||X|
|An HR plan has been developed and submitted to headquarters (HQ).||X|
|A coordinated approach is taken with regards to training and a budget established.||X|
|Mechanisms are in place to monitor completion of employee's performance evaluations, CBS and LES.||X|
|Employee and position files are complete and maintained separately.||X|
|Job descriptions are up-to-date and signed by the incumbent and the supervisor.||X|
|The Mission records LES accrued leave, deductions and current balances.||X|
5.2.3 Overall, HR management is considered to be good. However, there is some frustration with the level of support from and communications with the RSC-HR staff. The Mission has several outstanding issues for which they are awaiting a response from the RSC including: pension calculations for an employee who is considering retirement in the near future; guidelines regarding pay procedures for part-time employees; clarity regarding the use of special leave; and procedures for expanding priority consideration to laid-off employees nationally.
5.2.4 An HR plan has not been developed by the Mission as there is confusion concerning whether the Mission or the RSC in WSHDC is responsible.
5.2.5 The MAO has been appointed as the Mission Training Coordinator, however, a coordinated Mission-wide training plan has not been developed. Such a plan would ensure that training requirements could be addressed on an annual basis and would assist the Mission in organizing group training sessions should several staff have similar training requirements.
5.2.6 Job descriptions for most staff (other than recent hires) date back to the year 2000 or before. Up-to-date job descriptions will provide the employee with clear guidelines on what is expected of them as well as provide the manager with an opportunity to adjust duties in line with current requirements. These should be reviewed and updated every 5 years or when there is a substantial change in duties.
|Key HR Processes and Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Staffing actions are conducted in-line with ALD guidelines. Written records supporting the process are maintained and contain required documents and approvals.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|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|
5.2.7 It will be important for the MAO and other members of Mission Management to establish good lines of communication with the HR component of the RSC to ensure that the Mission is well served. As the RSC in Washington is responsible for staffing, staffing actions and related documentation were not examined as part of this Inspection.
5.2.8 Staff and managers are unsure of the conditions and procedures for hiring temporary or emergency staff. This has led to frustrations and confusion on the part of staff and managers alike.
5.2.9 The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Committee has only recently been resurrected. Terms of reference have been circulated to the committee members. The committee should ensure that they conduct, at minimum, nine meetings per year.
5.2.10 The letter of offer to all employees includes a paragraph regarding the Values and Ethics code and the requirement for staff to abide by this code. As employees sign their letter of offer, it is recognized that they are certifying that they are aware of and will read the contents of the code.
5.2.11 The Mission does not have a control in place to ensure CBS report absences longer than 25 working days for themselves or dependants. Such absences should be reported to the FSD Client Center (AES). It is recommended that the MAO send out a reminder to CBS to this affect annually.
5.2.12 The Mission, in liaison with the RSC, should establish lines of communications with the RSC and to ensure HR requests are dealt with expediently.
5.2.13 The Mission, in consultation with the RSC, should ensure that the HR plan is submitted to Headquarters on time.
5.2.14 A Mission-wide training plan should be developed and submitted to the CMM for budget considerations.
5.2.15 Job descriptions for all employees should be reviewed and updated as required.
5.2.16 The Mission should establish guidelines and procedures for staffing temporary and emergency employees.
5.2.17 The OHS should meet at minimum, nine times per year and ensure year end reports are submitted to Headquarters.
5.2.18 The MAO should remind CBS of the requirement to advise AES of any absences from Mission for them or their dependants of durations exceeding 25 working days.
5.2.12 Implemented September, 2011. The Mission communicates HR requests to the RSC through the agreed-to channels and service delays have been brought to the attention of the RSC.
5.2.13 In progress. Per ALD's instruction, RSCEUS is responsible for developing a single HR plan for the USA.
5.2.14 In progress for April, 2012. Training needs/objectives have been identified and will be costed and submitted to CMM for consideration. Additionally, each Program will 'roll up' training goals identified in PMPs/PMAs for inclusion in the mission-wide training plan.
5.2.15 In progress for April, 2012. Once the Strategic Operational Review process is complete and the Mission has a clearer understanding of
its implications, all Programs will review and update existing job descriptions.
5.2.16 Implemented. The RSC has prepared guidelines and procedures for all US missions which are posted on the LES portal.
5.2.17 Implemented April, 2011. The Mission's OHS committee has been revived and is meeting on a monthly basis. Minutes are posted on the mission Wiki page.
5.2.18 implemented August, 2011. A message has been sent to all CBS staff to remind them to inform AES of absences exceeding 25 working days. Newly arriving CBS will be so advised.
5.3.1 The Physical Resources function at the Mission is the responsibility of the MAO who is assisted by an LE-05 Property and Materiel Assistant. This position is currently staffed on a three month term basis. The Mission maintains a Crown-leased Chancery and Annex, a Crown-owned Official Residence and two Crown-owned Staff Quarters. Two CBS are housed in private-leased accommodations. The Mission also has three official vehicles within its fleet.
|Key Physical Resources Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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 Residens (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|
5.3.2 The Section is functioning well although there have been problems in the past that have affected the Section's ability to provide prompt and efficient services. Staffing shortages and the ability of the Section to follow up on maintenance requirements, in particular for the two Crown-owned SQ's, have been addressed with the assistance of the Leasing and Disposals Division (ARAF) and with the recent staffing of the Property/Materiel Assistant position with a qualified individual.
5.3.3 While the Housing Committee advises incoming occupants of the allocation of Staff Quarters, the HOM should review the committee's recommendations and formally assign SQ's to incoming CBS and their families.
5.3.4 The Section is using e-mail correspondence to track and action service requests. While this seems to work given the size of the Mission, staff should ensure that clients confirm completion of work prior to paying invoices when contractors are used.
5.3.5 Although the MAO advises the CMM how he intends to spend the capital
5.3.6 Over the past few years, the quality of client service has been lacking. The Section is now taking appropriate steps to get things back on track. The recent staffing of the Property/Materiel Assistant position has resulted in positive feedback from clients.
|Key Physical Resources and Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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|
5.3.7 Overall, internal controls need to be improved. In particular, inventories for the two Crown-owned SQ's have not been prepared and appropriately signed off by the occupants and a mission representative. Occupancy agreements for these SQ's have also not been signed off by the occupants or an authorized member of the Mission.
5.3.8 The Mission is currently storing surplus furnishings and equipment at a local warehouse facility at a cost of approximately $200 per month. ***. The Mission should evaluate costs to store versus potential disposal proceeds as it may be more cost effective to dispose of these items instead of placing them in storage.
5.3.9 A review of disposal records indicated that surplus assets have been routinely "scrapped" without any return for the assets. The Mission should investigate if there are any sort of commission shops that may be available to assist in disposal of these items.
5.3.10 The Mission has developed a comprehensive equipment list provided for each official vehicle. This is a good practice. Vehicle operating and maintenance reports are maintained, however, they are not signed off by any staff member. The use of form EXT159 - Vehicle Operating and Maintenance Report would assist in proper record keeping, verification and reconciliation.
5.3.11 The Mission should ensure that the HOM formally allocates SQ's to incoming CBS.
5.3.12 The Mission should ensure that a mechanism is in place for clients to provide feedback regarding goods or services prior to invoices being paid.
5.3.13 A detailed multi-year capital acquisition plan should be prepared and submitted to the CMM for approval on an annual basis.
5.3.14 Inventories and occupancy agreements should be completed and signed-off within 30 days of the employee taking possession of the SQ or OR.
5.3.15 The Mission should evaluate costs for storage versus potential proceeds from the sale of goods when dealing with surplus assets.
5.3.16 The Mission should investigate the possible use of commission shops as an option when considering disposal of surplus assets.
5.3.17 The Mission should conduct a review and reconciliation of gas purchases and mileage driven for official vehicles on a periodic basis.
5.3.11 In progress. Acknowledgement of the housing committee's recommendations will be formally confirmed by the HOM in the CMM minutes for the next rotation (scheduled to arrive in 2012).
5.3.12 Implemented August, 2011. We have formalized the process using email and will eventually use the new tracking software when implemented.
5.3.13 In progress for September, 2011. Capital requests are now posted on a Wiki page created for this purpose. From this, a plan will be prepared and submitted to the CMM for approval at its September meeting.
5.3.14 Implemented June, 2011. Inventories and occupancy agreements have been prepared and signed-off (October, 2010 for OR; June, 2011 for SQs). Incoming CBS will review and sign-off within 30 days of arrival going forward.
5.3.15 Implemented July, 2011. All surplus items in storage have now been disposed.
5.3.16 Implemented May, 2011. The Mission explored the option of using a commission shop when disposing of surplus items referred to in 5.3.15.
5.3.17 Implemented August, 2011. Gasoline purchases are being reconciled against vehicle log sheets and comparison of gas consumption is periodically calculated.
5.4.1 In the last year, the Operations at Mission group (SMF) has made multiple visits to review and assist the Mission with financial operations, and the Office of the Chief Audit Executive audited financial processes and practices. These reviews resulted in a pilot project to centralize payment processing and other Common Services for missions in the U.S. with the Regional Service Centre in Washington taking over responsibility for financial processing and other services for Detroit. Inspection objectives therefore did not include examining financial accounts for Detroit as this is now the responsibility of the RSC.
5.4.2 With the transfer of account processing to the RSC two accounting positions in Detroit have been eliminated. Mission managers, with support from the MAO, are responsible for program budgets, spending authority and approval of goods and services received. The Mission recently hired a term LE-06 Office Manager to help with the transition of the finance function to the RSC.
5.4.3 The MAO has weekly teleconferences with the RSC finance section to discuss issues and procedures. These calls have been useful in solving minor problems and irritants. To ensure client input and cooperation, other Program Managers should participate from time to time in these calls. As well, agendas for the calls could be distributed with input from PMs.
5.5.1 The IM-IT Section is managed by an LE-08 Locally-engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP) with overall supervision provided by the Regional Service Manager (RSM) based in Ottawa and the MAO at the Mission. The LEITP is responsible for providing support and advice to 41 SIGNET users within the main Chancery as well as workstations located in the designated training room and in the Immigration Annex. The LEITP also maintains an inventory of 16 laptop computers and 15 BlackBerry devices.
5.5.2 The Mission is dealing with two issues that either affect or could affect the smooth operations of this Mission. The Immigration global case management system (GCMS) project that is to be launched in U.S. missions soon is expected to consume a considerable amount of bandwidth. The Mission should liaise with HQ to ensure any disruption in service is kept to a minimum. As well, the Mission is scheduled to have a new telephone switchboard installed, however, no definitive installation date or confirmation that funds have been secured have been established. The Mission should follow up with HQ to determine when this will be done.
|Key IM-IT Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|An Information Management/Information Technology (IM-IT) workplan exists and includes regional activities.||X|
|The CMM or an IM-IT Committee provides direction and oversight for the IM-IT function.||X|
|The liaison between the mission, HQ and regional manager is effective.||X|
|IM-IT requirements in relation to business continuity planning (BCP) have been defined, implemented and tested.||X|
5.5.3 For the most part, the LEITP reports directly to the RSM in Ottawa ***.
5.5.5 The Mission has had an IM/IT Committee in place in the past although this Committee has not met since 2008. For planning purposes, this Committee should be reconstituted and report to the CMM on a regular basis.
5.5.6 The Mission does not have a Business Continuity Plan in place. A BCP should be developed and IM-IT requirements included. This could be a task for the IM-IT Committee to undertake in consultation with the LEITP.
|Key IM-IT Client Service Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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|
5.5.7 Mission staff consider the services of the LEITP ***. A formal back-up for the LEITP, in case of a lengthy absence, has not been designated. It is recommended that the MAO assume this role if feasible.
|Key IM-IT Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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|
5.5.8 Overall, IM-IT processes and controls are seen as being effective. The Remedy Service System is used successfully by the LEITP to track and solve related issues.
5.5.9 *** has been designated as the alternate command post (ACP) in case of emergency. It has been equipped with computers, fax machine and an Internet connection. The Mission should ensure that this location is tested on a regular basis.
5.5.10 The Mission does not have InfoBank installed and is using the shared network drive and public folders as a corporate filing system by programs. This system is working well, however, InfoBank should be utilized once available.
5.5.11 Surplus IT assets are generally disposed of as scrap. As is mentioned in the Physical Resources Section of this report, the Mission should investigate other alternatives in order to ensure maximum disposal value is obtained.
5.5.14 The IM-IT Committee should be reconstituted and meet on a regular basis.
5.5.15 IM-IT related elements should be included in the Mission business continuity plan.
5.5.16 A formal back-up for the LEITP should be identified.
5.5.17 The ACP location should be tested on a regular basis.
5.5.18 The Mission should investigate alternative ways to dispose of surplus IT assets.
5.5.12 Implemented June, 2011. The MAO and LEITP discuss upcoming projects and mission needs in conjunction with the weekly section meeting. The *** is also directed by the Client Support Regional Manager, Americas who also conducts regular meetings via conference call.
5.5.13 Implemented August, 2011. The Mission is following the work plan policies and procedures of the RSC.
5.5.14 In progress for September, 2011. The IM-IT committee will be reconstituted in September, 2011 with representatives from each section and chaired by the LEITP. Meetings will be conducted on a bi-monthly basis.
5.5.15 In progress. IM-IT elements will be reflected by October, 2011, in the consolidated Mission Emergency Plan.
5.5.16 Implemented August, 2011. The Mission follows AID's "Out of Office for Single ITP Mission" policy which identifies the CSRM or another mission's ITP as the back-up.
5.5.17 In progress for January, 2012. The ITP will retrieve ACP computers semi-annually (January and July) for updating and testing at the Mission.
5.5.18 Implemented August, 2011. The Mission currently bundles surplus IT equipment in good working order for sale by an open bidding process. Defective IT waste is disposed of using the building's electronic waste disposal program.
|Assets||Crown Owned||Crown Leased|
|Staff Quarters||2||2 private lease|
|2009-2010 Budgets||Program Budget||Common Services Budget|
|Capital (N005)||—||$ 28,880|
|CBS Salaries (N011)||$ 360,722||—|
|LES Salaries (N012)||$ 1,273,337||$ 1,283,462|