February 08 - 10, 2011
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.
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 Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA), Commercial Economic (CE) and Consular and Common Services programs was conducted in Ouagadougou from February 8 to 10, 2011. A previous audit of these programs took place in 2004.
Overall Mission management and communications practices are effective, and plans are aligned with Government and DFAIT priorities. Management controls are, for the most part, in place and operating effectively. Improvements are, however, needed in compliance with *** policies and regulations, as well as with Business Continuity Planning (BCP).
The PERPA Program is managed by the EX-01 Head of Mission (HOM), who is supported by the LE-08 Trade Commissioner (TC), an interim measure put in place while the Mission engaged a contractor to undertake Program delivery. The Program is well run, demonstrating effective management practices and alignment with regional objectives. It benefits from a HOM who has empowered the TC to develop plans and put them into operation, and from a TC who *** delivers on this mandate. The sole recommendation for the Program was aimed at refining an already well developed operational plan.
The CE Program is managed by the Regional Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) at the mission in in Dakar, with TC covering both Burkina Faso and Niger. Planning goes beyond the basic concepts and examines notions of sustainable financing and horizontal integration to allow Canadian investment in primary industries to benefit secondary Canadian industries. The sole recommendation for this Program is directed at improving TRIO reporting.
Both the Consular and Common Services Programs are managed by an AS-05 Management Consular Officer (MCO) who is supported by a team of LES. The Programs are operating well and the MCO has endeavoured to ensure that good practices are in place. There is a high turnover of Canada-based Staff (CBS) expected this summer and a first-time program manager will be replacing the current MCO. Policies, procedures and service standards should be documented and maintained in a central location to help ensure that the good practices currently in place are not forgotten or fall out of use during the transition.
A total of 35 inspection recommendations are raised in the report; 32 are addressed to the Mission and three to HQ. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 35 recommendations, management has stated that 26 have been implemented and that 1 cannot be applied. For each of the remaining 8 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
1.1.1 The Embassy in Ouagadougou is a small mission with six CBS and nine LES. Of those present at the Mission, four CBS and two LES are with the Canadian International Development Agency. The Embassy has no Honorary Consuls and no countries of accreditation other than Burkina Faso. However, the Trade Commissioner does have responsibilities in Niger, and the Consular Program does receive passport applications from Benin and Niger as well.
|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 strategic objectives 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 LESMCB is an effective forum for dialogue between Mission Management and LES.||X|
|Mission Management ensures that employees remain informed of key priorities and common services 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 management and communications practices are effective, and plans are aligned with Government and DFAIT priorities. The Mission benefits from *** HOM whose communication style and ethos is conducive to the development of strong officers.
1.2.2 While both the Commercial Economic (CE) and Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs (PERPA) programs have developed operational plans, the Common Services and Consular programs have not.
1.2.3 Communication practices within the Mission are effective. Mission Management ensures that minutes of committee meetings, important policy decisions and key priorities are shared with staff. It will be important, however, to ensure that these effective practices are complemented by an effective LESMCB. Currently, the LESMCB meets informally. In order to have a greater impact, the LESMCB should have formal meetings on a regular basis.
1.2.4 At the time of the Inspection, there was sufficient capacity to communicate with and provide services to the public, both orally and in writing, in both official languages.
|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.||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. BCP).||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 are conducted.||X|
1.3.1 Management controls are, for the most part, in place and operating effectively. Improvements are, however, needed in compliance with ***policies and regulations. A BCP should be created and regularly tested. Mission Management will need to ensure that the policies and directives *** are respected.
1.3.2 The Mission does not have a BCP to ensure the continuity of operations in the event of a major disruption or catastrophic event. A BCP will help to minimize the impact of any significant event.
1.4.1 The Mission should ensure that all programs have developed operational plans.
1.4.2 The LESMCB should have formal meetings on a regular basis.
1.4.3 The Mission should ensure that *** policies and directives are promoted and respected.
1.4.4 A BCP should be developed and tested.
1.4.1 Recommendation being implemented for fall 2011. Work plans will be developed for each section that does not have a formal work plan (Common and Consular services).
1.4.2 Recommendations implemented in June 2011. The LESMCB was struck and quarterly meetings are planned.
1.4.3 Recommendation being implemented for winter 2012. The Mission will take the opportunity of the *** officer's visit *** and develop an action plan ***.
1.4.4 Recommendation being implemented for winter 2012. The Mission will take the opportunity of the *** officer's visit to discuss the development of a BCP. The visit is scheduled for June 2011. A draft BCP will be drawn up following this visit and approved by the Committee on Mission Management (CMM) in consultation with HQ.
2.1.1 The PERPA Program is managed by the EX-01 HOM, who is supported by the LE-08 TC. Support from the Commercial Economic Program is an interim measure put in place while the Mission engages a contractor to undertake Program delivery. This is being done in anticipation of the creation of one CBS and one LES position.
2.1.2 Canada and Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) established diplomatic ties in 1962 and, since then, have developed strong bilateral relations through development cooperation and membership in La Francophonie. Long-standing cultural relations have resulted in events such as the celebration in 2004 of the 20th anniversary of the twinning of the Panafrican Film Festival of Ouagadougou with Montreal's Vues d'Afrique Festival.
|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|
|Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and have been communicated to all staff.||X|
|Internal communications within the program effectively support program delivery (staff, management meetings, etc.).||X|
2.2.1 The PERPA Program is *** managed, demonstrating effective management practices and alignment with regional objectives. It benefits from a HOM who has empowered the TC to develop plans and put them into operation, as well as from an *** TC who has taken on this additional work.
2.2.2 The Program has a good planning process with appropriate HOM involvement in setting the context and validating and approving the content. The TC undertakes consultations with other Mission programs, as well as partner departments and geographic bureaus at HQ.
|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 The PERPA Program effectively puts its strategic plan into place, despite having limited resources. A key aspect of this success has been the TC's ability to develop an operational program from the strategic priorities and put these into action.
2.3.2 The PERPA elements of the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) tool are used to create an operational plan, which clearly demonstrates most of the essential criteria for effective project management. It can be used as an example for other missions. The Mission can strengthen the quality of the plans by including a resource column in the next iteration to account for funds and human resources to be used in the activities.
2.3.3 Through the operational planning process, the Program was able to demonstrate effective cooperation with other programs and a whole-of-government approach.
2.3.4 The Mission has good access to key interlocutors and the HOM ensures that the TC participates in most meetings, thus providing him with exposure to key people and allowing him to establish and maintain a contact base that will be valuable to his successors.
2.3.5 For Public Affairs activities, the Mission makes use of a contract resource to allow more effective use of the Mission's limited PERPA resources. Similarly, for non-sensitive political reporting, the Mission has engaged subject matter experts for the bulk of the report writing. This has allowed for more effective allocation of the PERPA staff.
|Key PERPA Performance Measurement Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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 Program has results-based performance measurement in place that is primarily qualitative in nature.
2.4.2 Political reporting is done through the weekly CMM meetings, and in general reflects performance measures based upon qualitative criteria, as is the nature of most political economic reporting. The TC compiles the results of the CMM discussions into an annual report demonstrating results achieved.
2.5.1 The Mission should include a resource column in the next iteration of the plan to account for funds and human resources to be used in the activities.
2.5.1 Recommendation being implemented for 2011-2012. The human and financial resources column was added to the work plan for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
3.1.1 The CE Program is managed by the Regional STC at the Mission in Dakar, with an LE-08 Trade Commissioner at the mission in Ouagadougou, covering both Burkina Faso and Niger. As a result, the TC reports not only to the STC in Dakar, but also to the HOM in Ouagadougou for the Program in Burkina Faso and to the HOM in Niamey for the Program in Niger. This triple-line reporting structure has not resulted in any significant issues with regard to the management of the TC.
3.1.2 As noted in section 2.1.1, the TC provides support to the PERPA Program in addition to his role as a Trade Commissioner. The additional duties have had no discernable negative impact on the delivery of the CE Program and have allowed the TC to take a "whole-of-mission" approach to both programs.
3.1.3 The recent development of the mining sector in Burkina Faso, whose economy is primarily agrarian, has had an impact upon the business environment and resulted in the government implementing changes to legislation and tax codes. As a result, the World Bank's International Finance Corporation identified Burkina Faso in 2009 as one of the top reformers in terms of business reforms, as noted in their "Doing Business" report.
3.1.4 By the end of 2010, Burkina Faso had a total of seven producing mines, the majority of which were for gold. The country is, however, also looking to exploit its geographic context as a crossroads providing a link between the coast and landlocked neighbours.
|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 Both the HOM in Ouagadougou and the STC demonstrate *** involvement in the management and delivery of the CE Program.
3.2.2 Planning goes beyond the basic concept of a trade triangle of needs, capability and interest. The TC examines notions of sustainable financing and horizontal integration of investment in areas such as mining with secondary Canadian industries such as logistics, equipment and infrastructure companies.
3.2.3 There is regular *** communication between the HOM and the TC, both formal and informal. Regular communications also exist with the Regional STC in Dakar. The STC's initiatives, such as a retreat in Dakar for all the regional TCs, have enhanced not only communication between the STC and his team, but also within the team itself.
|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.||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/A||N/A||N/A|
3.3.1 The activities of the CE plan effectively feed into the TC's PMP and work plan, increasing the effectiveness of the Program. TRIO is used to monitor activities, although there is room for improvement.
3.3.2 TRIO use at the Mission is primarily reactive in nature, responding to enquiries. The TC does less "proactive" reporting through the tool, as it is difficult to reflect activities such as matchmaking and associated results in the system. Following periods where the TC has been away visiting the region, the speed of the application can make it a challenge to enter the large volume of data.
|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 The Program makes use of the appropriate performance management tools and is actively seeking ways to improve on reporting.
3.4.2 The TC does not have his own hospitality budget, although the HOM does make funds available. It is recommended that the TC have his own hospitality allocation to support networking and the achievement of the Program objectives. The HOM has indicated that he would like to see an increase in the funds for hospitality at the Mission.
3.4.3 Hospitality diaries demonstrated appropriate links between events and priorities, as well as sufficient evaluation of the activity. The HOM indicated a desire to further improve upon the reporting, and it was recommended that reports generated as a result of events, or short post mortems where more formal reports are not required, could be attached to diaries. These could then be reviewed annually or semi-annually to identify trends and effective practices for the region.
3.5.1 The Program should develop a plan to improve the level of reporting in TRIO, ensuring that data are entered into the system following trade missions.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
3.5.1 Recommendation implemented in April 2011. There has been a trade missions reporting program in place since April 2011. More generally, the reporting level in TRIO was improved in 2010.
4.1.1 The Consular Program is managed by an AS-05 MCO with the assistance of the LE-04 Receptionist. Consular cases are managed by the MCO, while the Receptionist is responsible for receiving passport applications and addressing routine questions from clients. Consular services are also provided to Australian citizens.
4.1.2 There are 502 Canadian citizens registered in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database, but the estimated number of Canadians residing in Burkina Faso is 3,000. Canadians are the second-largest occidental community after the French and more than 100 Canadians have come to work in the mining industry over the last two years. Annual Canadian tourist visits to the country totalled approximately 900 in 2009 according to Statistics Canada.
4.1.3 The Mission receives approximately 5 citizenship applications and 190 notarial requests yearly. Until recently, passport applications were all sent to the mission in Abidjan for processing. Effective January 1, 2011, the Mission started entering data for passport processing and receiving passport applications from neighbouring Benin and Niger. After the first month, the Mission had processed 9 passport applications.
4.1.4 The Mission is eager to become a full passport service mission in order to better serve clients, and the Receptionist welcomes the challenge that involvement in passport processing provides. Currently, the Consular Program only issues Emergency Travel Documents and will need to ensure ***. The Program has already identified that there will be increased workload ***. The additional pressure of the new responsibilities for Niger and Benin are not yet known.
|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 MCO meets monthly with his counterparts at like-minded missions. The warden network was reorganized in fall 2010 to ensure that the number of wardens was appropriate and that a manageable number of families were assigned to each warden. Consular staff communicate with wardens on a monthly basis and a successful mini-conference was held in January 2011.
|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 Overall, client services are effective. Monthly email messages are sent to Canadians in the ROCA system informing them of any security incidents or travel advisories. The HOM also hosts an informal monthly meeting at his residence and invites all members of the Canadian community. These are both good initiatives which are appreciated by the community.
4.3.2 *** 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 would assist in managing client expectations.
|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.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|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/A||N/A||N/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/A||N/A||N/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 governing passport and consular activities were in place, with improvements to be made in areas such as ***.
4.4.3 The Mission currently only issues Emergency Travel Documents and no new stock has been received at the Mission during the last two years. For the stock on hand, however, ***.
4.4.4 The passport inventory is reconciled quarterly by the MCO and HOM as required. However, the monthly reconciliation is currently performed by only the MCO whereas, according to instructions from Passport Canada, it should be performed by two staff, one of whom must be a CBS.
4.4.5 *** are not adequately safeguarded and, during the period of the inspection, were seen ***. The Mission also does not possess an inventory ***.
4.5.1 The Mission should perform a workload analysis and liaise/consult with appropriate HQ units to ensure adequate resources are in place to undertake additional responsibilities with regard to becoming a full service passport issuing mission.
4.5.2 The Mission should ensure that any *** private location.
4.5.3 Service standards, a fee schedule and a copy of the official receipt should be posted in public areas.
4.5.5 The Mission should record *** initialled by the CBS custodian and the employee receiving the asset.
4.5.6 The passport inventory should be counted, reconciled and signed off at the end of each month by two staff, one of whom must be a CBS.
4.5.7 *** should be properly inventoried and secured when not in use.
4.5.1 The Mission has held various consultations with Passport Canada since 2009. In 2010, both parties agreed that the Ouagadougou Mission would offer full passport services like most missions. To make up for the limited number of staff with access to passport processing, the Mission has signed an agreement in principle with the mission in Accra to provide service when Ouagadougou staff are absent. This service was used in May 2011 and has proven useful.
4.5.2 Recommendation is being implemented. The Consular Assistant in Ouagadougou also acts as Receptionist. Passport-related tasks are performed during quieter periods. *** owing to the current layout of the office, we are unable to do ***. With the *** common services ***, the work space and task assignment will be reviewed ***.
4.5.3 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. An official receipt has been laminated and displayed in the public area of the Embassy where clients can see it.
4.5.4 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. *** documents ***are kept ***.
4.5.5 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. A *** register has been set up. ***, the CBS responsible for the inventory and the employee receiving the controlled documents both sign the register.
4.5.6 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. The Passport Canada document inventory count is done by two employees, including one CBS.
4.5.7 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. An inventory *** has been set up. The *** are kept in secure areas.
5.1.1 The Common Services Program is managed by the MCO and is supported by a team of five LES, (three office staff and two drivers). The Mission also has a driver and a cleaner on long-term contract.
5.1.2 Workload and lack of resources were raised as issues as both have a negative impact on staff morale and client services. As in other small missions with only one MCO and few LES, it is difficult to maintain service levels during staff absences of more than a few days. A recent example of this challenge was the five-month period last year, when the Mission was without an accountant. The Mission received some temporary duty assistance, although there remained a significant backlog that the new accountant had to address.
5.1.3 Limited Program resources also mean that the MCO must rely on daily support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) LES Administrative Assistant. The Common Services Model (CSM), which was applied in 2009 recommends the creation of an *** to help decrease workload pressures on the Mission.
5.1.4 The possible designation of the Mission *** centre will also greatly impact workload and resource levels, ***. If this plan is realized, HQ will need to react quickly to ensure that required Common Services resources are in place to meet demand and maintain services. In its current configuration, the Chancery is at threshold; therefore, early notification to the Mission of position creations and the associated transfer of funds will be needed to ensure that there is enough time to put appropriate plans in place.
5.1.5 *** information received from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and CIDA headquarters regarding cost recovery from programs has created a difficult situation at the Mission and *** affects staff relationships with staff and Mission operations.
5.1.6 There is a risk that an employer-employee relationship may be created between the Mission and the staff it has had on contract over the long term. The need for these contract positions should be reviewed by the Mission, and steps should be taken, in consultation with HQ, to ensure that the appropriate contracting mechanisms are used.
|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 reduce operating costs, improve efficiencies and implement best practices.||X|
|Regular meetings with staff in the Common Services program are held to review priorities and follow up on the implementation of plans.||X|
5.1.7 The Program is operating well and the MCO has worked *** to ensure that good practices are in place. As there will be a high turnover of CBS expected this summer (five of the six at Mission) and the current MCO will be replaced by a first-time program manager, it will be important that policies, procedures and service standards are documented and maintained in a central location. This, coupled with good handover notes, will help ensure that the good practices currently in place are not forgotten or fall out of use during the transition and turnover.
5.1.8 The MCO meets weekly with the HOM. In consultation with the HOM, and using the PMP process, global/yearly priorities have been 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 progress. An operational plan would also guide the new MCO in his/her first months at the Mission.
5.1.9 The MCO *** by his staff ***. While frequent one-on-one meetings are held with staff, regular team meetings are only scheduled with the Property and Material Manager. Regular staff meetings, which include the non-office staff, would more effectively support program operations. A suggestion box for staff is also in use, which is a good practice.
5.1.10 The MCO meets monthly with counterparts in like-minded missions, and there is good information sharing among members of the group.
|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|
|Hub and spoke relationships are governed by an agreement outlining the roles and responsibilities of each mission.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
5.1.11 Overall, client services are effective. Service standards were reviewed in 2009, but no changes were deemed necessary at that time. The Mission did, however, develop guidelines for service and transportation requests which were approved by the CMM. To ensure clarity, a review of the service standards in consultation with staff would be appropriate at this time. Service standards should be communicated to clients to help guide staff and manage client expectations.
5.1.12 The Mission, in consultation with HQ, should review the need for contract employees and ensure appropriate contracting mechanisms are used.
5.1.13 A work plan should be developed that incorporates key Mission and International Platform objectives, along with measurable expected results.
5.1.14 The Program should document and communicate policies and procedures to guide management, staff and clients.
5.1.15 Regular meetings with staff in the Common Services program should be held to review priorities and to follow up on implementation plans.
5.1.16 Service standards should be reviewed and communicated to clients.
5.1.12 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. The Mission has amended its administrative procedures to include systematic consultation with HQ when a contract is drawn up or renewed that could lead to a employee/employer relationship.
5.1.13 Recommendation being implemented for fall 2011. The Mission already has a common service delivery business plan that incorporates activity planning for the next three years. A work plan will be developed that will include measurable activities and outcomes based on the business plan approved by the Management Committee and the Ambassador.
5.1.14 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. The policies and procedures have been placed in a central location and will be distributed every quarter. These documents have also been incorporated into the kit for new arrivals.
5.1.15 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. Drivers are now included in team meetings.
5.1.16 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. Service standards have been reviewed and will be communicated on a quarterly basis. They are now part of the kit for new arrivals.
5.1.17 Roles and responsibilities of the Regional Service Centre in London should be clarified with regard to services to small missions.
5.1.18 Decisions regarding the expansion of programs should be communicated to Missions in a timely manner, to allow for necessary common services to be put in place to support the Program.
5.1.19 Communication with partner departments should be undertaken to ensure consistency in the messages directed to missions regarding application of the Interdepartmental MOU.
5.1.17 Recommendation being implemented. The Regional Service Centre for Europe, the Middle East and Africa is currently implementing a regional common services delivery model to share part of the Ouagadougou Mission's workload with other, larger missions. That way, resources can be allocated in accordance with workloads, which will also reduce the burden on missions when key staff are absent. For example, approvals under section 33 and payments will be handled at another mission by a designated accounting team.
5.1.18 Recommendation implemented. ACM can only advise missions to begin establishing the necessary infrastructure after funding has been received from the partners. When a partner department informs ACM that it intends to increase its presence in the missions, the expression of interest is communicated in a timely manner to both the MCO and the HOM.
5.1.19 Recommendation implemented. Regular meetings were held with all stakeholders in Ottawa. Although communication from HQ from various departments is not all broadcast on the same frequency, in cases of misunderstandings involving the MOU, AFD/AFR coordinates communication with other departments and missions to ensure that interpretation is consistent.
5.2.1 The Human Resource (HR) functions at the Mission are the responsibility of the MCO. Overall HR management is *** and key processes and controls are in place. The Mission is small with only nine LES positions and has a low turnover rate.
|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 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|
5.2.2 An LESMCB with representative staff from all Mission programs is in place. The Inspection Team met with LES members who indicated that the small number of staff and the collegial atmosphere at the Mission facilitated good communication. While several informal meetings are held each year, official meetings should be held every quarter. The following issues were discussed with the Inspection Team:
5.2.3 The Performance Management Program (PMP) process is taken seriously by Mission Management and, through this exercise, a Mission-wide training plan is developed. Training is a priority for the Mission, with four training sessions held for staff last year. The MCO has been appointed training coordinator and a budget has been established.
5.2.4 A review of position and personnel files indicated that they are not maintained separately as required, ***.
5.2.5 The Mission is aware that some job descriptions have not been reviewed since 2002 and plans to review all of them in the next few months. The Mission should ensure that a more systematic review takes place every five years or when major changes occur. As a best practice, some missions review the accuracy of job descriptions as a part of PMP discussions and make revisions where warranted.
|Key HR Processes and Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Staffing actions are conducted in line with the LES 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 approvals.||N/A||N/A||N/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|
5.2.6 Staffing files reviewed were incomplete which made it difficult for the Inspection Team to determine if appropriate processes were followed. Staffing processes are time consuming and, as a result, the Mission plans to use a local HR company in the future to reduce the workload and ensure the process is fair and transparent. It will be important for the Mission to ensure that all staffing actions and files demonstrate adherence to departmental guidelines.
5.2.7 The Mission should ensure that all HR files are complete, maintained in a consistent manner per HQ guidelines ***.
5.2.8 The Mission should ensure that job descriptions are reviewed at least once every five years or when there is a substantial change to position duties.
5.2.7 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. The human resources files have been reviewed and are complete. These documents have been put away *** until the new *** is in place ***.
5.2.8 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. The Mission's managers review work descriptions with their employees during the annual performance appraisal. The work descriptions requiring changes are updated annually.
5.3.1 The Physical Resources functions at the Mission are the responsibility of the MCO, who is assisted by an LE-07 Property and Materiel Manager. The Common Service Model recommends that the LES position be reclassified to an LE-05, which will mean that tasks assigned will need to be commensurate with the level. The Mission's property portfolio includes a Crown-leased Chancery and six Crown-leased staff quarters (SQs), three official vehicles and an off-site warehouse. As the Mission is Category 3, there is no Official Residence.
5.3.2 The challenges faced by the Section owing to the local environment can make it difficult to meet client expectations and complete work orders in a timely manner. These include the difficulty of identifying professional contractors who can perform work to Canadian standards, and limited choice of goods and materials, which can be of poor quality.
5.3.3 The Chancery is housed in a three storey stand-alone building, which is shared with the CIDA Post Support Unit (PSU) and the Embassy of Denmark. There is good collaboration among all tenants of the building. The possible designation *** has preoccupied Mission Management. The creation *** has been proposed even though the Chancery is currently at threshold, with two *** officers already sharing an office. Various options have been discussed with the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD), but a decision will have to be made soon and communicated to the Mission. *** will be time-consuming and disruptive, and new SQs can be difficult to find. With five of the six CBS relocating this year, the workload will already be difficult to manage, and appropriate plans and resources will be required.
|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.||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 and processing work orders.||X|
|Annual inspections are conducted to assess the state of the SQ and input into maintenance and acquisition planning.||X|
|The Mission's multi-year Capital Acquisition Plan is approved by CMM annually.||X|
|Local procurement guidelines have been established.||X|
5.3.4 The MCO has taken an active role in the Physical Resources Section over the last year. This has resulted in the implementation of stronger controls and formalized procedures, which has improved transparency and made work more efficient. More support has been provided to the Property and Materiel Manager, which has enabled this individual to perform duties more effectively and better manage client expectations.
5.3.5 Many good practices were in place. However, as stated in 5.1.7, the departure of the MCO this summer means that the Mission will need to document these practices to ensure they are sustainable. Written local procurement guidelines will allow the MCO to hold staff accountable for delegated responsibilities and will also help guide staff and clients.
5.3.6 The MCO conducted a rigorous contracting process last year to establish seven service/maintenance contracts. This initiative has improved service delivery and ensured transparency in the tendering process and choice of contractors.
5.3.7 The Inspection Team visited four SQs, including that of the HOM. All were well furnished and maintained, although some bathrooms and kitchens will need to be upgraded. Some SQs appeared to be overly large compared to the rest of the portfolio and, as such, there may be the perception that some CBS may be over-housed. The housing portfolio should respect the requirements for comparability amongst SQs, and when over-housing or under-housing situations occur, justification should be retained on file.
5.3.8 An annual capital acquisition plan, developed with input from staff, is in place and presented to the CMM for discussion and approval. Multi-year planning would improve budget management and ensure that material items are replaced when necessary.
5.3.9 Overall, clients noted satisfaction with services received from the Physical Resources Section.
|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 percentage of costs for personal use of OR supplies is determined and regular reimbursements are made to the Mission.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Costs of damages to staff quarters or furnishings, beyond normal wear and tear, are recovered from the occupant.||X|
|Records of assets located in the Chancery, OR and SQs, as well as those in storage, are maintained on an ongoing basis and verified annually. Assets are appropriately safeguarded and controlled.||X|
|Disposals are appropriately authorized and follow Departmental guidelines.||X|
|Vehicles logs are appropriately completed, demonstrating that use was for official purposes.||X|
|Vehicle logs and mileage are verified monthly by a CBS to reconcile usage to gas purchases as well as monitor vehicle performance.||X|
5.3.10 Overall, internal controls were effective except for the lack of a Chancery inventory. The implementation of an inventory bar code system, which will assist with asset management, is planned for fiscal year 2012 - 2013.
5.3.11 A multi-year capital acquisition plan should be developed and reviewed by the CMM.
5.3.12 Documented local procurement guidelines and practices should be established, stored in a central location and communicated to staff and clients.
5.3.13 An inventory of Chancery assets should be maintained.
5.3.11 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. The Mission has prepared a three-year procurement plan, which has been approved by the CMM.
5.4.12 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. The Mission has prepared an administrative procedure for local procurement and this document has been distributed to all staff.
5.4.13 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. The Mission has updated the Chancery's inventory and will maintain this register permanently.
5.4.1 The Finance Section is managed by the MCO, who is supported by an LE-06 Accountant. The Accountant position was vacant for five months last year following the loss of the previous Accountant in June 2010. The current Accountant started at the Mission in November 2010, but had worked as the accountant at the Canadian Embassy in Niamey for seven years.
5.4.2 The loss of the previous accountant affected Mission operations greatly, as the process to find a replacement was long and protracted. Although some assistance was provided to the Mission in the form of temporary duty assignments and some data entry was performed by the Financial Operations – International Division (SMFF), a significant backlog of work still remains. As a result, the new Accountant has faced a lot of pressure trying to catch up and familiarize himself with a new environment. Bank reconciliations from August through December 2010 are in progress and CBS reimbursements from April 2010 are still outstanding. A backlog of filing has also made it challenging for the new Accountant to work efficiently.
5.4.3 As soon as the backlog is cleared, it will be important for the Accountant to become more involved in the Mission budget process and in the preparation of the monthly financial (FINSTAT) reports, as these are currently produced by the MCO. Mission accountants are generally more involved with these responsibilities and, given the departure of the MCO this summer, it will fall to the Accountant to ensure that corporate knowledge is maintained.
|Key Finance Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does 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|
5.4.4 The overall management of the Finance Section is effective. The budget is presented to the CMM four to six times per year and is reviewed in detail at the beginning of each fiscal year. Weekly budget reports are provided to CIDA, and the MCO monitors the Integrated Management System (IMS) regularly.
5.4.5 Clarification of service standards for the Section and implementation of quiet hours will help the Accountant to better plan, prioritize and manage client expectations. The ability to focus on particular activities at a certain time and to group similar activities will allow him to work more efficiently and increase processing speed.
5.4.6 The Mission has recently reduced the number of bank runs performed by the Accountant for CBS personal drawings to ***. However, it is questionable whether this service should be provided at all. A number of bank machines, which provide access to international banking systems, are available, and CBS can open local bank accounts to facilitate personal banking and the use of cheques.
5.4.7 The use of a cheque printer would also reduce risk, time spent and the likelihood of errors associated with handwritten cheques. While this has been approved recently by the bank and HQ, the Mission will need to liaise with the bank to ensure that blank cheques are in the appropriate format so that they are ready for use when the cheque printing equipment arrives.
|Key Finance Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|A Contract Review Board (CRB) is in place and operating effectively with clear terms of reference.||X|
|Contracting procedures have been documented and communicated to all staff involved in the contracting process.||X|
|Contracting files demonstrate compliance with policies and procedures.||X|
|The mission's bank reconciliations are reviewed and signed-off on a monthly basis.||X|
|The asset and liability report is reviewed on a monthly basis by the appropriate authority.||X|
|Section 34 is exercised by individuals who possess the appropriate delegation of authority.||X|
|Section 33 is exercised by individuals who possess the appropriate delegation of authority.||X|
|A CBS receives the original monthly bank statement directly from the bank and reviews it prior to giving it to the accountant.||X|
|Official Receipts are provided to clients at the time of payment and to internal staff when funds are transferred (i.e. from Consular to Finance).||X|
|Reconciliations of any funds transferred within the mission are conducted in the presence of two staff.||X|
|Monthly reconciliations of immigration fees are completed and the EXT-1203 is signed by the appropriate authority.||X|
|Travel and hospitality claim processes ensure that policies and guidelines are adhered to and that the accountant verifies the completeness and accuracy of the claim.||X|
|A process is in place to ensure that, where applicable, CBS reimburse the mission for any services of personal nature received at their staff quarters (television, internet, telephone, etc.).||X|
5.4.8 Overall, clients noted satisfaction with the services provided by the Finance Section. Key financial controls are in place except for the receipt of the original monthly bank statement, which is handed directly to the Accountant rather than being reviewed by the MCO first.
5.4.9 *** does not sign the monthly Certification of Immigration Revenue Reconciliation ***. He is working with the Immigration Program Manager to resolve the situation, and SMFF has been notified.
5.4.10 *** should be more involved in the budget process and in the preparation of the monthly FINSTAT reports.
5.4.11 In consultation with the Accountant, service standards should be reviewed, clarified and communicated to clients.
5.4.12 Quiet hours should be implemented.
5.4.13 Personal drawings for CBS should cease unless a business case can be made to justify the continuation of this practice.
5.4.14 The monthly bank statement should be reviewed by the MCO prior to being handed to the Accountant for action.
5.4.10 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. The Mission's ***is responsible for preparing the monthly FINSTAT report and managing financial commitments under the MCO's supervision.
5.4.11 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. Service standards for the Finance Section have been developed and approved by the CMM. This document will be distributed on a quarterly basis and will be incorporated into the kit for new arrivals.
5.4.12 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. Client service hours have been established and the information disseminated to clients.
5.4.13 Recommendation being implemented for September 2011. The staff retirement service will be eliminated in September 2011. Alternative means for obtaining funds will be proposed to CBS.
5.4.14 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. Bank statements are routed directly to the MCO, who reviews them and then forwards them to the Finance Section.
5.5.1 The Mission is served by the Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) located at the Mission in Dakar, and is managed by the Client Service Regional Manager (CSRM) at the Mission in Nairobi. For IT support not involving the internal network, the Mission has contracted basic services from the IT technician at the Post Support Unit (PSU).
|Key IM-IT Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|An Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT) work plan exists and includes regional activities. The regional manager was consulted.||N/A|
|The CMM or an IM-IT Committee provides direction and oversight for the IM-IT function.||N/A|
|The liaison between the Mission, HQ and regional manager is effective.||X|
|IM-IT requirements in relation to business continuity planning have been defined, implemented and tested.||X|
5.5.2 The Mission is not of sufficient size to require either a formal IM-IT plan or an IM-IT committee. There are good communications with the CSRM based in Nairobi. Significant work is needed with regard to the definition of IM-IT requirements for a business continuity plan (BCP).
5.5.3 Communication between the MCO and the CSRM are effective, and the Mission feels that it receives an appropriate level of service from him. They noted in particular that he *** in dealing with pressing issues and receptive to their concerns with regard to the level of client service from the FSITP in Dakar.
5.5.4 As noted in paragraph 1.3.3, the Mission lacks a formal BCP and, as a result, there has been no definition of the IM-IT requirements for the Mission for operating in an emergency situation. The Mission should formalize a BCP, complete with IM-IT requirements, and test it to ensure that it meets the needs of the Mission and is technically feasible.
|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|
5.5.5 While the Mission does use the appropriate tools and services to facilitate IT support, the overarching perception at Mission is that the level of service is not adequate.
5.5.6 The Mission noted concern with the level of service received ***, although they had noted some recent improvement following discussions with the CSRM. To some extent, this is a result of the reality of being a "spoke" in a hub and spoke support arrangement. It is also a reflection of the demands in *** on the *** time supporting not only the main chancery, but also being a part of the chancery annex project. Regardless, the MCO in Ouagadougou will need to liaise with the CSRM and the MCO *** to formalize the level of service to be provided, as well as discuss areas in which support needs to be improved.
|Key IM-IT Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Back-ups are performed routinely and tapes are stored in a fireproof media safe 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., email best practices, effective folder structures).||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|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.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Surplus IT assets are disposed of with the appropriate approvals per departmental policy.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
5.5.7 Overall, key processes and controls in Ouagadougou need to be improved. Of significance are the preparations to deal with a natural disaster or other force majeure.
5.5.8 Backups are initiated by the FSITP in Dakar, and the tapes are changed by the MCO in Ouagadougou. ***. The MCO, in response to the observation, immediately *** as an interim measure. It is recommended that the Mission *** in an appropriate *** in a location compliant with the Manual of Security Instructions.
5.5.9 The Mission has a secondary communications system,***. All CBS should be familiar with the system and be involved in the regular testing of it.
5.5.10 The Mission should ensure that IM-IT requirements are included in the BCP and that they are tested.
5.5.11 The Mission should liaise with the CSRM and MCO *** to ascertain the level of service to be provided to Ouagadougou, as well as identify where support is in need of improvement.
5.5.12 The Mission should store the tapes in an appropriate ***, in a location compliant with the Manual of Security Instructions.
5.5.13 The Mission should ensure that secondary communications *** and that all CBS are familiar with the system and are involved in the regular testing of it.
5.5.10 Recommendation being implemented for winter 2012. A draft of the BCP has been prepared and discussed with the Ambassador. To make the plan effective, the purchase of equipment has been incorporated into the Mission's procurement plan. Once the equipment has been received, the plan will be tested and implemented.
5.5.11 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. Monthly calls have been planned to discuss information technology needs with the responsible individual outside the Mission.
5.5.12 Recommendation being implemented for winter 2012. Equipment has been added to the Mission's procurement plan. The Mission will comply with the security manual once the equipment has been received.
5.5.13 Recommendation implemented in June 2011. ***. The equipment is maintained by an authorized representative under a service contract. The equipment is regularly tested. All CBS have received basic training on the use of *** and are involved in communication tests.
|Assets||Crown Owned||Crown Leased|
|2009-2010 Budgets||Program Budget||Common Services Budget|
|CBS Salaries (N011)||$119,000||$94,909|
|LES Salaries (N012)||$38,500||$170,229|
*the CE Program Manager is based in Dakar, Senegal