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Evaluation of the Official Visits and Official Events Programs

(September 2011)

(PDF Version; 1.06 MB) *

Table of Contents

Abbreviations, Acronyms and Symbols

CBSA
Canada Border Services Agency
DCV
Visits and Operations Division
DFAIT
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
GHA
Government Hospitality Allotment
GoC
Government of Canada
HOM
Head of Mission
ICA
International Conference Allotment
MINA
Minister of Foreign Affairs
MINE
Minister of International Cooperation
MINT
Minister of International Trade
MSFA
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
OGDs
Other Government Departments
OSGG-OV
Office of the Secretary to the Governor General - Official Visits
OE
Official Events
PCO
Privy Council Office
PMO
Prime Minister's Office
PWGSC
Public Works and Government Services Canada
RCMP
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
TB
Treasury Board
XDD
Office of the Chief of Protocol
XDM
Management Division, Office of Protocol
XDS
Official Events Division, Office of Protocol
XDV
Official Visits Division, Office of Protocol

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Acknowledgements

This evaluation was prepared by the Evaluation Division (ZIE), in collaboration with Sheila Dohoo Faure from Goss Gilroy Inc., who provided the team with technical expertise. Special thanks to the two junior officers from GGI who assisted the team throughout this project. The evaluation team would also like to express its gratitude to the staff and management of the Official Visits and Official Events Divisions for their cooperation and to the Evaluation Advisory Committee for its indispensable guidance and advice. Special acknowledgement is extended to all stakeholders and representatives from the diplomatic community who agreed to be interviewed.

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Executive Summary

Introduction

This evaluation of the Official Visits and Official Events programs was conducted as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's (DFAIT) requirement to evaluate the Department's direct program spending.

The Official Visits and Official Events Programs are delivered by DFAIT's Office of Protocol. The mandate of the Protocol Office is to manage and facilitate the presence of foreign diplomats in Canada in accordance with international law and statutory obligations.

The Official Visits program is managed by the Official Visits Division (XDV), which is responsible for the coordination of official travel abroad (outgoing) by the Governor General of Canada; the Prime Minister and DFAIT's five portfolio ministers and incoming visits to Canada of heads of state and government, foreign ministers, heads of international organizations and other individuals designated as a Guest of Government by the PM or Minister of Foreign Affairs. XDV also supports official visits by managing the Canada Reception Center, which includes two reception facilities at the Macdonald Cartier International Airport - an airport Terminal Lounge and Hangar 11 and the National Airport Courtesy Program that oversees courtesy clearances accorded to foreign dignitaries and guests of the Government of Canada (GoC) for arrivals, transits and departures at all Canadian airports. XDV is also responsible for defining the standards of treatment for incoming visits.

There are five types of incoming visits - state, official, working, private visits and technical stopovers. State, official and working visits have defined standards of treatment. Exceptions to the guidelines require written authorization from the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. There are no pre-determined hospitality standards for private visits or technical stopovers but additional courtesies may be offered at the discretion of the PMO or Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Official Events Program is managed by the Official Events Division (XDS), which organizes and manages all official events undertaken by, or on behalf of, the Prime Minister and the four portfolio ministers. It is also responsible for the management of the official hospitality facilities on the 9th Floor of the Lester B Pearson Building and at Rideau Gate, the organization of hospitality offered by the Prime Minister during a visit abroad, as well as the management of the Wine Cellar and the Gift Bank.

The work of both Divisions is done in consultation with other DFAIT branches, Canadian missions abroad, the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the Privy Council Office (PCO), offices of DFAIT's portfolio ministers, the foreign mission of the visitor's country, as well as other government departments (OGDs) and partner agencies. The Official Visits Division provides coordination among all these stakeholders in planning visits and is the channel of communication among all groups for visit arrangements.

Each year XDD receives a Reference Level funding to fund activities related to its mandate. This reference level is provided as one amount, and is divided into three lines of funding: the operational budget of XDD, the International Conference Allotment (ICA), the Government Hospitality Allotment (GHA). A frozen allotment is set aside by Treasury Board (TB) to fund official visits and official events, if all other sources of funding have been exhausted. XDD funds Bureau activities from its Reference Level, and has the flexibility to fund Prime Minister, Governor General and Ministerial travel/hospitality from the remaining funds. Over the past five years XDD reference level has been in the range of $23 to 25 million a year. XDD starts the year with an initial budget, based on scheduled events, past trends and related activities and may be augmented by funds received from other sources to support specific visits and/or events. Nominal operational budgets are provided to the Divisions, with the vast majority of the funding held to support GHA/ICA activities. During the year, funds are drawn down from the reference level balance in response to demand for incoming and outgoing official visits requests. Surplus identified by XDD in the course of the year is returned to the Department address to departmental pressures.

The full-time equivalents (FTEs) for XDV and XDS have remained fairly stable over the past five years, with 24 FTEs in XDV and 14 - 16 FTEs in XDS.

Evaluation Objective and Methodology

The objective of this evaluation is to assess the relevance and performance (effectiveness and efficiency) of the Official Visits and Official Events programs implemented by XDV and XDS. The evaluation was based primarily on qualitative information. The lines of evidence included:

  • Key Informant Interviews with 114 internal and external stakeholders;
  • A review of key documents to address specific evaluation questions;
  • A review of administrative data on financial, human resource and operations;
  • Four case studies on visits and/or events planned and managed by XDV and XDS. These were: visit of the Emperor and Empress of Japan to Canada (incoming visit); working visit of the Prime Minister of India to Canada (incoming visit and event); Diplomatic Forum (event); and Friendship visit of the Governor General to China (outgoing visit) and;
  • To the extent possible, a comparison of Canada's protocol standards with those of other countries. However, limited information was available and any comparative information is based on stakeholder perceptions of the differences or similarities.

As with any evaluation, challenges with data collection imposed certain limitations on the findings that could be drawn from the evaluation. Although the evaluation was primarily qualitative, documents and administrative data were used to substantiate the information from the key informant interviews. A large number of interviews were conducted in order to ensure that the perspectives of a wide range of stakeholders are considered. While it was challenging to integrate the views of so many varied stakeholders, this limitation was somewhat attenuated by level of agreement on some issues. The evaluation found that there was a greater awareness among stakeholders of XDV activities, than those of XDS. As a result the evaluation team specifically conducted additional targeted interviews to assess the role of XDS and the impact of official events and ensure a balance in the data collection.

Evaluation Findings

Relevance

There continues to be a need for DFAIT to have the capacity to manage the logistics for official visits and official events in order to fulfill a number of legal obligations. In addition, stakeholders identified the importance of retaining official visits and events services to meet DFAIT and GoC priority needs. Stakeholders noted the significant contributions of protocol services to DFAIT's multilateral and bilateral programming. These services are expected, in the context of reciprocal arrangements with other countries.

The services provided by XDV and XDS continue to be relevant to DFAIT and Government of Canada priorities. Over the past four years, official visits and events supported four of DFAIT's priorities. However, there has been a decrease in the demand for some of these services in recent years. The number of visits to Canada of all types has declined slightly from 2005 to 2009. The number of outgoing visits, on the other hand, has increased in recent years.

The decrease in demand for services is reflected more clearly in the number of events. The use of the facility on the 9th Floor has declined by 19% between 2005/06 and 2010/11 and use of Rideau Gate has declined by 21% over the same period. There has also been a decline in the number of official events - that is, events hosted for official guests of the GoC. Official events are very much affected by the reduction in the number of incoming visits - the fewer incoming visits, the fewer official events that are required. Overall, the number of official events in 2010/11 is only about 60% of the number in 2005/06.

The decline in the number can in part be attributed to the fact that during the study period a minority Government was in power where ministers are less likely to travel and less inclined to host both incoming visits and outgoing visits. It also preferred, when there was a visit, to host working meetings, rather than large ceremonial events.

XDV and XDS are overwhelmingly seen by stakeholders as offering services that should be provided by the federal public service and not provided by other levels of government or contracted to the private sector. There were a number of reasons for this, including the limited capacity of the provincial protocol offices, the importance of protocol services in building state to state relationships and the importance of access to government information and people to build these relationships.

Performance

Effectiveness

It is the perception of the vast majority of stakeholders that logistical arrangements for both official visits and events are successful and contribute to positive outcomes. When there are challenges they are dealt with smoothly, without clients being aware of the challenges. The case studies conducted for this evaluation highlight examples of positive outcomes of official visits and events.

Stakeholders also reported a very high level of satisfaction with the official visits and official events services. Both DFAIT and external stakeholders were overwhelmingly positive about the services provided by both XDV and XDS staff, noting their professionalism, dedication, responsiveness, flexibility, level of organization and ability to provide personalized services. They also noted that XDV and XDS staff are able to provide these high quality services in a challenging context characterized by the need to deal with numerous details and a lot of external stakeholders, often under very tight timelines, with little margin for error. Respondents also noted that the staff are flexible and have adapted their approaches to meet the needs of Canadian dignitaries who are travelling, as well as hosting.

Stakeholders also reported satisfaction with other XDV-managed services:

  • Canada Reception Centre (airport Terminal Lounge and Hangar 11) - External stakeholders were appreciative of the services available at the two Ottawa reception centres. Not surprisingly, the use of the lounge is considerably higher for outgoing, than incoming, flights. There has been an increase in the use of the lounge by foreign dignitaries and a decline in the use by Canadian dignitaries. The use of Hangar 11 for the arrival and departure of private aircraft has seen a slight increase between 2007 and 2010. Hangar 11 is also used by the Department of National Defence (DND) for troop deployments. Over the past four years, about half of the use of Hangar 11 is for military purposes, with the exception of 2008, when DND flights represented a considerably larger percentage.
  • National Airport Courtesy Program - The Program ensures smooth arrivals, departures and transits of high-level foreign dignitaries visiting Canada. The Program offers courtesy clearances for federal minister-equivalent rank and above and expedited for Deputy Minister-equivalent rank. In 2010, courtesy clearances were provided more often than the expedited clearances. The service is seldom used by Canadian dignitaries. Both internal and external stakeholders indicated that the service is very efficiently managed between DFAIT and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), both at Headquarters and at the Ports of Entry.

Similarly, stakeholders are satisfied with the other XDS-managed services:

  • Reception facilities on the 9th Floor and at Rideau Gate - XDS manages the contract for the operations and coordinating reservations for both facilities. Stakeholders were overwhelmingly impressed and pleased with the quality of both the food and the service at events held at both facilities. Of particular note were the efforts made to promote Canadian products at all events;
  • Wine Cellar - XDS is responsible for managing the Wine Cellar, although the wine is selected by the Canadian Wine, Beer and Spirits Division. In the past year, XDS has improved the inventory management for the Wine Cellar. Stakeholders appreciate the service that the Wine Cellar offers and the availability of high quality Canadian wines for events; and
  • Gift Bank - XDS is responsible for the selection of gifts and inventory control. Stakeholders appreciate the service that it provides, by making available Canadian items to be used as gifts for foreign dignitaries during outgoing or incoming visits. The Gift Bank has strict guidelines to ensure Canadian content and it can reportedly be challenging to identify appropriate items. There are, as would be expected, mixed views on the selection of gifts. Stakeholders are not required to use the Gift Bank and have other options to identify alternative gifts.

The quality and standard of services offered by Canada for official visits and official events reflects a Canadian style. The perception is that Canada is not as lavish as some countries, but is comparable to other countries (for example, some Western European countries). The level of service is consistent with the Canadian style, in that it is not extravagant. While respecting protocol, the service is based on need and, in the case of security, on risk assessment, not ceremonial practices.

Efficiency

Stakeholders perceive that XDV and XDS staff efficiently organize official visits and official events in collaboration with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, despite the lack of clearly documented and standard approaches to collaboration, particularly for official visits.

The initial idea for an official visit (either incoming or outgoing) can come from a number of sources and is often received only shortly before the visit. Only the regularly schedule multilateral visits can reasonably be planned far in advance. Although no visit is official until approved by the PMO, XDV begins planning as soon as the visit is considered imminent to overcome the challenges it faces with late notice of visits. XDV has developed a number of manuals, checklists and other tools to assist in the management of official visits and events. However, there is limited formal documentation of the procedures and guidelines for working with other departments1. The way that the various stakeholders work together is based on long-term relationships. Staff have worked out patterns of communication and information-sharing that are based on mutual respect and trust and support the need for flexibility and personalized services. Although this approach works well, good management practices would suggest that there is a need for more documentation to support and guide XDV activities. In addition, the limited documentation on roles and responsibilities within XDD and across departments may over time present a potential risk related to maintaining corporate memory due to anticipated departure of key experienced staff.

XDV reports that there has been a blurring of the lines for official and working visits and an increase in the number of private visits. Each type of visit has specific service standards and logistic arrangements and the decision on the type of visit has resource implications for XDV. Although a visit may be classified as a working visit, extra services are being requested, beyond what would normally be associated with a working visit. Similarly, normally only limited XDV services are required for private visits, but there has been an increase in the number of these visits over the past five years placing additional demands on XDV.

It is difficult for XDV to anticipate the number of outgoing or incoming visits in a given year. While outgoing visits for some meetings are more predictable than others, it is never certain, often until the last minute, who, if anybody, will attend. As a result of this uncertainty, it is difficult for XDD to plan effectively the use of its resources. The financial risks that are associated with these planning challenges are managed by XDD by retaining a large budget and, as it became evident that there are surplus funds, returning resources to DFAIT to meet departmental needs. At the request of the Budget, Planning and Analysis Division (SWE), XDD transfers these funds to the centre part of the monthly FINSTAT process. XDD continues to do this by monitoring the upcoming visits and the related resource requirements. The majority of funds returned by XDD in the fiscal years 2005/06 to 2010/11 was returned to DFAIT prior to the first of January in each year.

There are challenges to the efficient operation of some XDV and XDS services. The continued operation of Hangar 11 is a case in point. The hangar was originally built as a military facility but DFAIT is now responsible for the operation of the hangar and provides, on behalf of the whole government, a facility for arriving and departing private aircraft for dignitaries. The building is still owned by DND and sits on land owned by Transport Canada. DFAIT is limited in what it can do to renovate the facility because, in 2002, Hangar 11 was designated as a federal heritage building. XDV indicated that maintenance of the building in its original state is increasingly difficult due to the challenge of finding replacement parts for the facility.

In addition to hosting the arrivals and departures of dignitaries, the hangar itself is used free-of-charge by outside groups for large-scale indoor parades and ceremonies. DFAIT does have the authority to recover costs, but does not have the authority to generate revenues. The out-of-pocket costs for these events are limited and XDD does not consider that it would be cost-effective to set up mechanisms to recover these costs. DFAIT cannot charge for the use of the facilities to recover a portion of the general operating costs of the facilities. As such, there is no incentive to increase the use of the facility, since it would further contribute to its deterioration and incur additional, non-recoverable, costs for DFAIT.

The operations of both the 9th Floor and Rideau Gate are the responsibility of XDS, but demand for the services offered is declining. The facilities host two types of events:

  • Official events - events that include a foreign dignitary. These are covered by the Government Hospitality Allowance and are exempt from the Treasury Board (TB) hospitality guidelines; and
  • Other events, which are subject to TB guidelines.

For non-GHA events, all meal costs must be within the TB hospitality allowances in effect at the time. The minimum meal price, in almost all cases, exceeds the standard costs in the TB allowances. As a result of recent changes to the TB guidelines, expenditures beyond the standard cost must be approved by the Deputy Minister and the serving of alcoholic beverages must also be approved by the Minister. Although stakeholders are overwhelmingly positive about the services offered, the number of events on the 9th Floor and at Rideau Gate has been declining. Respondents perceive that the demand for the use of these facilities may continue to decline, as there is reportedly an increasing trend in diplomatic circles for fewer and less formal official events.

There are also a number of factors that affect the use of these facilities for non-official events, which are beyond the control of XDS, or even DFAIT. Interviewees indicated that most departments have seen budgets for hospitality events reduced. Facilities are available for use by a wide range of ministers and public servants but the Prime Minister and DFAIT portfolio ministers have a priority and can displace existing bookings. Although interviewees reported that this does not happen often, it is a consideration when people are booking the facility. The standard TB meal allowance is not sufficient to cover the cost of even the least expensive meal on the 9th Floor and approval from the Deputy Minister is required to go beyond the standard allowance and senior managers indicated that they are reluctant to make this request, particularly since it can apparently takes a couple of weeks to get approval. Finally, under TB regulations, authorized use of alcoholic beverages requires ministerial approval. Yet many DFAIT senior managers noted that serving alcoholic beverages (although certainly less common, particularly at lunchtime, than it used to be) is still important for some events. In order to provide alcoholic beverages, some senior official indicated that they opt to host events in restaurants and cover the beverage costs personally. This requires separate billing for drinks - an option that is not available on the 9th Floor.

While these factors are beyond the control of XDS or DFAIT, they have the potential to reduce the use of the 9th Floor and Rideau Gate facilities and, as a result, the fixed cost of maintaining and operating the facilities will be spread across fewer events. However, stakeholders report that the federal government will continue to need such a facility and be able to offer the type of services available on 9th Floor and at Rideau Gate - especially when the menu promotes Canadian products.

The efficient operation of XDV is challenged with overtime, high levels of stress and staff management. Over the past five years, XDV staff overtime represented between 11% and 15% of XDD's salary expenditures each year. These XDV overtime expenditures are a reflection of the nature of the workload of XDV staff. These overtime expenses are difficult to manage because XDV cannot control the timing of visits and they are focused on meeting the expectations of clients outside XDD, having to support the travelling dignitary for long hours during the visit. The overtime worked by Coordinators/Officers has a domino effect on other staff (notably the Operation Officers in Ottawa). There is limited use of technology for the sharing of documents for visit planning and execution and, as a result, one (or two) Coordinators/officers are key to the visit logistics and cannot easily be replaced or supported by colleagues. There is also a perception that the additional salary from overtime has become expected by staff; and managers reported that there is some inconsistency in the way staff are accumulating overtime.

Although staff report a high level of job satisfaction, the stress associated with the overtime, international travel, short timeframes and pressure to make little to no mistakes in visit planning remains an issue.

Nonetheless, the evaluation team identified a number of factors in the organization of XDV's work that appear to exacerbate the overtime and stress levels of staff:

  • The inability to plan its work puts additional stress on XDV and its staff;
  • The Deputy Director, who is responsible for assessing the performance of the Visits Officers, rarely travels abroad with the officers making it difficult to assess their performance based on direct knowledge of their performance at mission;
  • The reliance on the experience of long-term staff presents a challenge for ensuring the maintenance of the corporate memory visit planning and execution; and
  • The challenge of identifying surge capacity to assist when the workload is heavy and, as a result, staff have to work more overtime and are subject to more stress in order to cover the requirements for official visits.

Management has taken measures to limit overtime costs including encouraging staff to take time off in lieu of overtime, seeking clarification from DFAIT's human resource professionals on the use of overtime to ensure consistency in the charging of overtime across staff, and working towards addressing succession planning issues with staff meetings, training and job shadowing opportunities. Staff also reflected their own commitment to finding ways to reduce overtime.

Although XDS does not have the same levels of overtime as XDV, staff report high level of stress with the nature of their work which contributes to internal management challenges. This said, they reportedly work well as a team in event planning - assisting each other in checking event details etc. XDS is often called upon to respond to client dissatisfaction with issues that are beyond their control such as the standard meal allowance. It is also recognized that their efficiency, like that of XDV, depends on the experience of some long-term staff. Like XDV, XDS management is working to address these issues with staff consultations and training.

The information related to visit management is currently controlled by individual officers responsible for visit planning and execution. There is a need to populate the computerized information management system to ensure that all staff have access to this information and for maintaining corporate memory. Since there is no way to capture and document the corporate memory, much of the success of the visits and events depends on the long-term experience of some staff. In addition, the lack of technology for the sharing of documentation on visits and events as they are planned and executed means that it is difficult for one person to execute the work, reducing the opportunities to spread the workload among staff.

While staff in both Divisions receive many letters of thanks and appreciation from dignitaries for whom they have provided services and take advantage of informal opportunities for sharing experience among staff, neither XDV nor XDS have a systematic mechanism for assessing or documenting performance on visits and events. Collecting and sharing information on performance would be important for monitoring precedents in visits and events, learning lessons, improving performance and staff development.

Based on the foregoing analysis, the recommendations are listed below.

Recommendations

Recommendation #1:
It is recommended that XDV and XDS focus on succession planning by putting in place mechanisms for knowledge transfer and developing experience.

Recommendation #2:
It is recommended that XDV and XDS adopt approaches to improve the sharing of resources and the use of technology to improve the workload allocation and reduce the stress and overtime requirements of staff.

Recommendation #3:
It is recommended that XDV explore options for reducing overtime, while retaining the flexibility necessary for visit planning and execution.

Recommendation #4:
It is recommended that XDD explore options for increasing the use of the 9th Floor and at the Rideau Gate facilities.

Recommendation #5:
It is recommended that XDD begin discussions with external stakeholders on the future of Hangar 11.

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1.0 Introduction

This report presents the results of the evaluation of the Official Visits and Official Events Programs of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Affairs (DFAIT).

The Evaluation Division (ZIE) of DFAIT, housed within the Office of the Inspector General (ZID), is mandated by Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) through its new Evaluation Policy (effective 1 April, 2009) to conduct evaluations of all Direct Program Spending of the Department. The Evaluation Division reports quarterly to the Departmental Evaluation Committee (DEC), which is chaired by the Deputy Ministers. This evaluation of the Official Visits and Official Events programs was conducted as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's (DFAIT) requirement to evaluate the Department's direct program spending.

The goal of the evaluation is to review and assess the two programs, based on two assessment criteria in the Treasury Board Evaluation Policy: relevance and performance (including effectiveness and efficiency).

1.1 Background and Context

The Official Visits and Official Events Programs are delivered by DFAIT's Office of Protocol. The mandate of the Protocol Office is to manage and facilitate the presence of foreign diplomats in Canada in accordance with international law and statutory obligations. The Office and its programs contribute to the Department's "Diplomacy and Advocacy" Program Activity under its first Strategic Outcome: "Canada's International Agenda." In undertaking Diplomacy and Advocacy, the Official Visits and Official Events Programs engage a broad range of stakeholders from DFAIT, other government departments and foreign missions to manage the execution of official Canadian and foreign government visits and events.

1.2 Program Objectives

Official Visits and Official Events Programs are delivered by two Divisions within the Office of Protocol - Official Visits Division (XDV) and Official Events Division (XDS).

XDV's objectives are to:

  • Coordinate state, official and working visits to Canada and support private visits and technical stopovers in Canada;
  • Coordinate official travel abroad by the Governor General, Prime Minister and portfolio ministers;
  • Define standards of treatment for state, official, working and private visits of heads of state, heads of governments, ministers, and guests of the government;
  • Manage the National Airport Courtesy Program2; and
  • Provide guidance on official visit protocol standards of treatment to federal provincial and municipal governments, Canadian and foreign embassies and the private sector.

XDS' objectives are to:

  • Coordinate official events hosted by the Prime Minister, portfolio ministers, senior Foreign Affairs and other government department (OGD) officials in Canada and abroad;
  • Manage the 9th Floor of the Lester B. Pearson Building and the Canadian Government Guest House (known as 7 Rideau Gate) facilities;
  • Manage the Official Gift Bank and the Wine Cellar;
  • Provide guidance on international and domestic conferences; and
  • Provide guidance on protocol standards related to official events to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, Canadian and foreign embassies, and to the private sector3.

XDV and XDS services are described in greater detail in Section 1.3.

1.3 Program Activities

Official Visits Division

XDV is responsible for the coordination and operational aspects of the official visits abroad. It coordinates, organizes, and administers activities related to official travel abroad (outgoing) by:

  • The Governor General of Canada;
  • The Prime Minister; and
  • The five DFAIT portfolio ministers:
    • Minister of International Affairs (MINA),
    • Minister of International Trade (MINT),
    • Minister of International Cooperation (MINE),
    • Since 2007, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (MSFA)4, and
    • Since 2011, Minister of State of la Francophonie.

XDV also establishes and oversees the Standards of Treatment as well as coordinates and manages the operational overall aspects of visits to Canada (incoming) by:

  • Heads of state;
  • Heads of government;
  • Deputy heads of government;
  • Foreign ministers;
  • Trade ministers;
  • Ministers of international development; and
  • Official guests of the government such as presidents-elect and other designated by MINT or PMO/PCO.

The Division also manages other services that support official visits:

  • The Division manages the Canada Reception Center, which includes two reception facilities at the Macdonald Cartier International Airport - an airport Terminal Lounge and Hangar 11. The airport lounge in the main terminal serves the needs of dignitaries travelling on commercial flights. The second is a facility, separate from the main terminal, for dignitaries arriving or departing on a private aircraft. XDV also has service providers at the Montreal and Toronto international airports to support the delivery of airport courtesies.
  • The Division also manages the National Airport Courtesy Program that oversees courtesy clearances accorded to foreign dignitaries and guests of the Government of Canada (GoC) for arrivals, transits and departures at all Canadian airports.

The Division's work is done in consultation with other DFAIT branches, Canadian missions abroad, the Office to the Secretary of the Governor General (OSGG), the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the Privy Council Office (PCO), offices of DFAIT's portfolio ministers, the foreign mission of the visitor's country, as well as other government departments (OGDs) and partner agencies. The Official Visits Division provides coordination among all these stakeholders in planning visits and is the channel of communication among all groups for visit arrangements.

General activities performed by the Official Visits Division are as follows:

  • Consultation with clients (MINA, MINT, MINE, MSFA, OSGG, PMO, PCO) on the nature and objectives of visits;
  • Analysis of requirements/protocol standards/official visits standards;
  • Development and printing of visit program;
  • Coordination of government partners on program elements;
  • Management /oversight of budgets;
  • Identification of human resources requirements;
  • Negotiations and liaison with third party suppliers; and
  • Oversight and troubleshooting during the entire visit.

There are five types of incoming visits - state, official, working, private and technical stopovers. State, official and working visits have defined standards of treatment. Exceptions to the guidelines require written authorization from the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. There are no pre-determined hospitality standards for private visits or technical stopovers but additional courtesies may be offered at the discretion of the PMO or Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Official Events Division

The Official Events Division is responsible for the management of the Official Events Program in Canada and abroad. It organizes and manages all official events undertaken by, or on behalf of, the Prime Minister and the four portfolio ministers.

General activities performed by the Official Events Division are as follows:

  • Consultation with clients (MINA, MINT, MINE, MSFA, PMO, PCO) on the nature and objectives of events;
  • Analysis of requirements/protocol standards/official visits standards;
  • Management of official events for DFAIT's portfolio ministers, farewell luncheons and official events for the Prime Minister in Canada and abroad;
  • Establishment of work plans, schedules of activities, critical path and concepts for events;
  • Management /oversight of budgets;
  • Management of guest lists and appropriate application, in consultation with geographic branches/minister's offices etc.;
  • Identification of human resources requirements;
  • Quality control (invitation cards, seating plans, general logistics of event, etc.);
  • Negotiations and liaison with suppliers; and
  • On-site supervision of events.

XDS ensures that the guidelines, standards and regulations for guests of Canada are upheld. It is also responsible for the following services that support the Official Events Program:

  • The management of the 9th Floor of the Lester B. Pearson Building, which is a facility designed to facilitate government hospitality (official events) in support of Canada's foreign relations. Under special circumstances, and with authorization from the Chief of Protocol, it can also be used for other hospitality events.
  • The management of Rideau Gate, which provides official accommodation for foreign guests of the GoC during official visits to Ottawa. When not in use, the house can be used for official hospitality offered by the Prime Minister, ministers, Deputy Ministers and heads of government departments and agencies in connection with the conduct of Canada's international relations.
  • When hospitality is offered by the Prime Minister during a visit abroad, the Official Events Division assigns a team from DFAIT HQ to organize these events.
  • The Division manages the inventory of the Wine Cellar located at DFAIT HQ for hospitality events that are held on the 9th Floor or at Rideau Gate and at other locations as identified for state hospitality functions. Further, when the Governor General, the Prime Minister or one of the portfolio ministers hosts a hospitality event outside Canada, the division facilitates the purchase and the shipment of the selected Canadian wines to the relevant mission abroad. The Global Practice Lead, Canadian Wine, Beer and Spirits Division (BBI) administers the Canadian Wine Initiative and is responsible for choosing Canadian wine for the Wine Cellar and for selecting and promoting Canadian wine through missions abroad. BBI is responsible for the marketing and trade promotion of Canadian wines through the Canadian Wine Initiative, while XDS is responsible for protocol activities and for tracking how much wine has been used for each hospitality event.
  • The division also administers the Gift Bank, including the purchase and safekeeping of gifts. Gifts are offered to foreign dignitaries on behalf of the GoC as a token of esteem and to foster international relations, or to reciprocate a gift offered by a representative of the government of another country.

Consultation and Coordination

XDS and XDV interface with each other for the planning and organizational aspects of visits. The Official Visits Division provides the overall coordination of the visit, whether incoming or outgoing, and the Official Events Division manages the coordination of hospitality events related to these visits.

These two divisions also liaise with DFAIT's geographic, corporate and functional divisions, Visits and Operations Division, relevant Canadian missions abroad, the Prime Minister's Office, the Privy Council, the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, the Parliamentary protocol, provincial protocol offices, as well as relevant resident foreign missions/High Commissions to obtain and transmit program information and coordinate logistical arrangements.

1.4 Governance

The Office of Protocol (XDD) is organized into four Divisions: XDV and XDS are two Divisions of the Office of Protocol that provides protocol services to the whole of government (including DFAIT portfolio ministers, Prime Minister and the Governor General). The other Divisions are Diplomatic Corps Service (XDC) and Management Services (XDM).

Each of the four Divisions is led by a Director. The Directors of XDV and XDS serve as Associate Chiefs of Protocol. The Chief of Protocol is responsible for the management of the Protocol Office and reports directly to the Associate Deputy Minister Foreign Affairs.

1.5 Partners and Stakeholders

The following sections outline XDV and XDS partners and stakeholders.

1.5.1 Internal Stakeholders

Both Divisions work closely with DFAIT Headquarters (HQ) staff and staff of Canadian missions abroad.

Geographic Divisions

The geographic divisions at DFAIT are responsible for managing the foreign policy and public diplomacy dimensions of the visit, including policy coordination with internal and external stakeholders and with the PCO. The geographic divisions take the lead in the preparation of the official program for visits of the Prime Minister and ministers. They ensure that clear visit objectives are established and the visit programs are prepared. The geographic divisions are responsible for tasking missions and providing support during the planning phase of the visits. They are responsible for obtaining PCO's approval on all briefing material and speeches developed by headquarters. Prior to departure on an official visit, the relevant geographic branches prepare a briefing book containing relevant country and issue briefs and ensure that all relevant parties are copied on correspondence in the lead up to the event. The geographic branches also make recommendations on the type of hospitality (working lunch/dinner or larger event) that will be provided during the visit.

Missions Abroad

Canadian missions abroad work closely with the geographic divisions and with XDV and XDS to ensure effective planning and execution of visits. Resources allocated to visits are proportionate to the size, nature and duration of the visit. At the early stage of visit planning, the relevant mission establishes a visit team comprised of a team leader and coordinators. The Head of Mission (HOM) is responsible for liaising with the host government and is a key to setting the objectives for the visit, identifying key people/organizations to be met and key issues and topics to be discussed. Upon arrival of an official delegation, the HOM is responsible for providing briefing and accompanying the delegates throughout the program. He/she provides overall leadership and maintains high level of communication with the host government. Briefing materials and speeches are prepared at DFAIT HQ in coordination with the mission. Substantive reporting on the outcomes of the visit is the responsibility of the mission. Reports prepared by the mission and follow-up to the visit are sent to the respective geographic or functional desk.

Regarding the logistical aspect of the visit, the mission arranges all program elements including hospitality events and organises airport pick-up, accommodation, local transportation and communication when these are not provided by the host government. Official Visits Officers work closely with the mission to assess the logistical needs and set-up required for the visit and serve as a main point of contact and protocol verification. Large-scale hospitality events hosted by the PM are organized in conjunction with XDS.

Visits and Operations Unit

The Visits and Operations Unit (DCV) is part of DFAIT's Corporate Secretariat. It is responsible for the strategic planning of all visits by the Governor General, the Prime Minister, the DFAIT portfolio ministers (except MINE and Minister of State of la Francophonie), as well as the Secretaries of State and the Deputy Ministers. DCV liaises with the geographic and functional branches, PMO and PCO to identify opportunities for foreign travel by any of the people for whom it is responsible. Notably, DCV solicits ideas of bilateral meetings to include in a trip to a multilateral event. DCV is responsible for program planning and travel arrangements with respect to the Secretaries of State and Deputy Ministers.. XDV, on the other hand, is responsible for the all logistical coordination pertaining to the execution of these visits including travel arrangements, on-site support, and programme development. Although these two divisions are distinct, they cooperate to ensure a constant flow of information with regard to upcoming visits of the GG, PM and portfolio ministers.

1.5.2 External Stakeholders

The key stakeholders with whom XDV and XDS collaborate for the organization of official visits and events are outlined in Exhibit 1.

Exhibit 1: Key XDV and XDS Stakeholders - Government Department/Agency and Area of Responsibility

RCMP
Conducting threat assessments and providing security services

Public Works and Government Services of Canada
Provision of flags, red carpets and domestic/foreign language interpretation

Health Canada
Contingency medical plans

Citizen and Immigration Canada
VIP courtesy clearances

Transport Canada
Airport security arrangements

Canada Boarder Service Agency
Customs and courtesy clearances

Heritage Canada
Information related to order of precedence and State Ceremonies

National Defence
Support for ceremonial elements, transportation and use of military bases

Industry Canada
Provision of radio frequencies

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Food inspection for high level visitors

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)
Screening exemptions, permitted and non-permitted items

Veterans Affairs Canada
Wreath laying ceremonies

Parliamentary Protocol Office
Protocol arrangements on Parliament Hill

Provincial and Territorial Protocol Offices
Logistical arrangements with 12 provincial and territorial protocol offices

Foreign Missions
Visit coordination & execution

  • OSSG
    Ceremonial and hospitality elements for state and official visits
  • PMO
    Visit and programme approvals, logistical arrangements for all PM involvement in any visit
  • PCO
    Key interlocutor for approvals on visits and/programme elements

1.6 Resources

This section outlines the financial and human resources available for managing the Official Visits and Official Events Programs.

1.6.1 Financial Resources

Each year, the Bureau receives a Reference Level funding to fund activities related to its mandate. This reference level is divided into three lines of funding:

  • The operational budget of XDD: Reference levels for XDD are set each year and notional allocation made to XDV and XDS.
  • The International Conference Allotment (ICA): The allotment is used to fund foreign visits by the Governor General and the Prime Minister, as well as DFAIT portfolio ministers when attending major multilateral international conferences abroad that are directly related to Government objectives. It also funds visits for attendance at inaugurations, state funerals etc.
  • The Government Hospitality Allotment (GHA): This is used to fund bilateral visits to Canada by heads of state and foreign dignitaries who have been officially invited by the Governor General, the Prime Minister or DFAIT portfolio ministers5.

In addition, there is a frozen allotment set aside by Treasury Board (TB) in the amount of $1.2 million to fund official visits and official events, if all other sources of funding have been exhausted.

Prior to 2005-2006, the TB frozen allotment (which forms part of the GHA and ICA) was $15.8 million, all of which was held by TB. In fiscal year 2005-2006, the TB transferred the majority of these funds to DFAIT for administrative reasons. Since then, the funds have been provided to the Department in the form of Reference Level, however a frozen allotment of $3.2 million was held at TB. This was reduced by $2 million in 2007-2008 as part of the Strategic Review exercise. In 2009-20010, a decision was made by the Department to transfer all protocol funding to XDD with the exception of the frozen allotment which remains at TB. Despite this change, any budget surplus identified by XDD in the course of the year is returned to the Department to address departmental pressures.

XDD starts the year with an initial budget (over the past five years it has been in the range of $23 to $25 million a year). The budget is based on scheduled events (e.g., APEC and NATO Summits, Head of Governments meeting etc.) and past trends and may be augmented by funds from other sources to support specific visits and/or events. Nominal operational budgets are provided to the two Divisions, but the lion's share of the budget is devoted to direct expenditures associated with the GHA and ICA activities. During the year, funds are drawn down from the reference level balance in response to demand for incoming and outgoing visits/events requests, as well as other related activities (e.g.,contracts for 9th Floor/Rideau Gate hospitality services, operations of Hangar 11).

Decisions regarding high-level travel and visits by foreign dignitaries are made by the Prime Minister's Office and XDD has little to no control over these items.

Exhibit 2: Actual Expenses for GHA/ICA and XDD, 2005/06 to 2009/10
 2005/062006/072007/082008/092009/10
Source: XDM, DFAIT, May 2011
1 This includes office operations, capital, salaries and overtime.
GHA/ICA$15,253,734$12,952,164$13,162,417$15,844,928$20,097,479
XDD*$5,213,543$5,880,656$5,741,438$6,147,941$6,568,677

1.6.2 Human Resources

The full-time equivalents (FTEs) for XDV and XDS have remained fairly stable over the past five years (see Exhibit 3).

Exhibit 3a: Full-time Equivalents for XDV, 2005/06 - 2010/11, by level
Level2005/062006/072007/082008/092009/102010/11
EX-01111111
AS-07000111
AS-06554333
AS-050012121212
AS-0412121111
AS-03000111
AS-02221333
AS-01445222
Total242424242424

 

Exhibit 3b: Full-time Equivalents for XDS, 2005/06 - 2010/11, by level
Level2005/062006/072007/082008/092009/102010/11
EX-01111111
AS-07000000
AS-06111111
AS-05110000
AS-04555555
AS-03000000
AS-02766666
AS-01111111
Total161514141414

The classification of the positions in XDV is slightly higher, in general, than those in XDS.

1.7 Evaluation Objectives and Scope

The objective of this evaluation is to assess the relevance and performance (effectiveness and efficiency) of the Official Visits and Official Events programs implemented by XDV and XDS. The evaluation assessed the activities and services of the two programs though a rigorous evidence-based data collection process and made recommendations.

The evaluation covered the activities of Official Visits Division (XDV) and Official Events Division (XDS), including:

  • Visits and events planning and execution;
  • Management of hospitality facilities (Airports, 9th Floor, Rideau Gate);
  • Management of National Airport Courtesy Program; and
  • Management of other services (Wine Cellar, Gift Bank).

XDV and XDS also provided HR, training and technical support to large-scale international events hosted by Canada including the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, the G8/20 summits and the Haiti Donors' Conference in Montreal. In addition, XDV works with many private organizations on courtesy clearances for large international events in Canada.

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2.0 Evaluation Methodology

The evaluation was managed and led by the Evaluation Division (ZIE) of the Office of the Inspector General at DFAIT, assisted by external consultants and guided by an Evaluation Advisory Committee (EAC) comprised of representatives from the Office of Protocol, XDV, XDS, ZIE and an ambassador from a foreign mission.

2.1 Evaluation Design

The evaluation was primarily qualitative in design and covered the activities of the two Programs from 2005/06 to 2010/11. The primary data sources included in-person and telephone interviews using a structured interview guide. Secondary data sources included DFAIT documents related to XDV and XDS services. The evaluation also included an analysis of XDM administrative and financial data.

2.2 Data Collection

2.2.1 Evaluation Matrix

The evaluation issues, indicators and data sources are identified in an evaluation matrix. This matrix forms the foundation for addressing the findings to the issues, key questions, indicators, and sources of data.

2.2.2 Lines of Evidence

Key Informant Interviews

The evaluation team undertook an extensive interview process that included in-person and telephone interviews with 114 internal and external stakeholders. The interviews were conducted in the official language of choice of the respondent, using a structured interview guide that covered the issues of relevance, performance, governance, and operations. Interviews were conducted with the following stakeholder groups:

Internal stakeholders
  • Protocol Office
    • XDV (20)
    • XDS (12)
    • Other XDD (3
  • Other DFAIT
    • Geographic and functional branches/corporate services (14)
    • Canadian missions (5)
    • Ministers' Offices (9)
External stakeholders
  • Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (3)
  • PMO & PCO (4)
  • Other Government Departments (11)
  • Resident foreign missions & Regional deans (8)
    • Parliamentary Protocol (2)
    • Provincial Protocol (4)
Other stakeholders
  • Canada Reception Center (5)
  • Printing and Limousine Services (2)
  • Chief Justice of Canada (1)
  • Senate of Canada (1)
  • Chief of Protocol, foreign jurisdiction (1)
Document Review

The evaluation team reviewed key documents to address specific evaluation questions. The documents included:

  • Mandate documents, including descriptions of roles and responsibilities;
  • Planning tools, procedures, guidelines and templates;
  • Operational documents, such as contracts, programs, internal memos, testimonials; and
  • Governance documents, organization charts and job descriptions.
Administrative data analysis

The following administrative data related to financial, human resource and operations was reviewed and analyzed:

Financial data:
  • XDD operational budgets and expenses;
  • ICA and GHA budgets and expenses;
  • Expenses related to the airport Terminal Lounge, Hangar 11, Rideau Gate, the 9th Floor, and the Gift Bank;
  • XDD salary budgets and use of overtime by XDV and XDS.
Volume/statistical data:
  • Number of visits and events, including number of attendees/delegation; and
  • Use of facilities and/or services: Terminal lounge, Hangar 11, Rideau Gate, 9th Floor of the Lester B. Pearson building, National Airport Courtesy Program.

Most of the data were provided for the period of 2005/06 to 2009/10 and allowed for an analysis of trends in spending and use over the past five years.

Case Studies

Case studies on visits and/or events planned and managed by XDV and XDS were undertaken in order to illustrate the various services offered by the two divisions, and examine specific challenges and results related to each case. The following four visits and/or events were chosen for the case studies as they represent a range in the type of services offered by the two divisions and demonstrate the challenges in planning and coordinating high-level visits:

  • Visit of the Emperor and Empress of Japan to Canada (incoming visit);
  • Working visit of the Prime Minister of India to Canada (incoming visit and event);
  • Diplomatic Forum (event); and
  • Friendship visit of the Governor General to China (outgoing visit).

Data collection for the case studies included, where possible, interviews with XDV/XDS coordinators and officers, interviews with beneficiaries, a review of documents related to the planning and implementation of the visits and/or events (i.e., guest lists, programs, accommodation lists), budgets and expenses, and summary reports on the visits and/or events authored by various involved parties within DFAIT.

Comparative Study

There was little published information on protocol standards of treatment in other countries. Interview respondents who had experience in other international jurisdictions were asked to provide their perceptions and opinions on how Canada compares to other countries in terms of quantity and quality of services offered by protocol offices in other countries. However, these responses were mostly illustrative. Only one interview was conducted with a foreign chief of protocol from another jurisdiction. As a result, the comparative study is based primarily on anecdotal information. During the course of the evaluation, the team learned that XDV has undertaken a review of the services provided in other jurisdictions and are comparing these to the services offered by Canada.

2.3 Limitations

Challenges with data collection imposed certain limitations on the findings that could be drawn from the evaluation. The limitations on this evaluation and the team's attempts to mitigate these limitations are summarized in Exhibit 4.

Exhibit 4: Evaluation Limitations and Solutions

Limitation 1:

Evaluation is based to a large extent on qualitative information - perceptions of a wide range of stakeholders.

Impact and Mitigation

The impact of the extensive use of qualitative information is that the evaluation findings can be skewed by the perceptions of a few respondents. However, this impact was limited because, to the extent possible:

  • Documents and administrative data were used to substantiate the information from the key informant interviews;
  • A large number of interviews were conducted in order to ensure the perspectives of a wide range of stakeholders are considered.

While it was challenging to integrate the views of so many varied stakeholders, this limitation was somewhat attenuated by overwhelmingly similar views on some issues.

Limitation 2:

Generally, there was greater awareness of XDV activities than XDS among interview participants.

Impact and Mitigation

The impact of this is that it could have been more challenging to assess the relevance and performance of the Official Events Program than the Official Visits Program. However, in order to ensure a balance in the evidence related to each program, the evaluation team specifically pursued some interviews to assess the role of XDS and the impact of official events.

Limitation 3:

There was limited information available from the comparative study for best practices and how Canada compares with other G8 countries in terms of international standards of treatment accorded to dignitaries.

Impact and Mitigation

The impact of this limitation is that the evaluation was not able to provide comprehensive information on how Canada's services compare to those of other countries. The evidence collected was based on perceptions of interview respondents. However, XDV is conducting its own review of Canada's services, and are likely better placed to conduct a comparison study.

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3.0 Relevance

This section presents findings with respect to the need for official visits and official events services, the alignment of these services with DFAIT and GoC priorities and the role of the federal government in delivering the services.

3.1 Continuing need for Official Visits and Official Events Services

Finding #1:
There is a continuing need for official visits and official events services based on legal obligations and reciprocal arrangements with other countries.

There continues to be a need for DFAIT to have the capacity to manage the logistics for official visits and official events in order to fulfill a number of legal obligations:

  • The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relation specifies that a diplomatic mission has a responsibility for "promoting friendly relations between sending state and the receiving state and developing their economic, cultural and scientific relation6." Official visits are customary practices between nations and are used as a mean of supporting this obligation.
  • Official visits services are required for the coordination of selected GoC legal and statutory obligations. This includes the requirement under the RCMP Act Regulation, with respect to the protection of Internationally Protected Persons, such as Heads of State and government and foreign diplomats, while in Canada, as required in the RCMP Act Regulations and the protection of senior Canadian dignitaries (including the Governor General, the Prime Minister of Canada and ministers) travelling abroad7.
  • The Criminal Code defines Canada's obligations with respect to the special protection of internationally protected persons. These include heads of state, heads of government, ministers of foreign affairs and representatives of international organizations and members of the families of any of these protected persons8.

In addition to these requirements, the vast majority of both internal and external stakeholders indicated the importance of retaining official visits and events services to meet DFAIT and GoC priority needs. Stakeholders noted the significant contributions of protocol services to DFAIT's multilateral and bilateral programming. These services are expected, in the context of reciprocal arrangements with other countries.

3.2 Relevance of Official Visits and Official Events Services to DFAIT and Government of Canada Priorities

Finding #2:
The official visits and official events services continue to be relevant to DFAIT and Government of Canada priorities; although there has been a decrease in the demand for some of these services in recent years.

By supporting incoming and outgoing visits of dignitaries, XDV and XDS services contribute directly to four of DFAIT's priorities. There are numerous examples of both outgoing and incoming visits, supported by XDV in recent years that are associated with the four priorities:

  • Greater economic opportunity for Canada, with a focus on growing/emerging markets: XDV organized:
    • Attendance of the Prime Minister and MINT at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2010;
    • Participation of MINT in bilateral meetings in 33 countries in 2010, including meetings in two of the three countries of focus (China and India);
    • Visit of MINT to the third country of focus (Brazil) in the previous year;
    • Friendship Visit of the Governor General in June/July 2010 to China;
    • Incoming visits, in June 2010, of the Prime Minister of India and the President of the People's Republic of China;
    • Support of logistic arrangements for the annual Northern Tour organized annually for heads of foreign missions in Canada.
  • United States and the Americas: XDV organized:
    • Attendance of MINE at the International Donors' Conference on Building Haiti's Future held in New York in March/April 2010;
    • Governor General's visit to Haiti in March 2010;
    • Governor General's visit to Mexico City in September 2010 for the celebration of the Bicentennial of Mexico's Independence.
  • Afghanistan, including in the context of neighbouring countries: XDV organized:
    • Visit of MINA to Afghanistan in March 2009;
    • MINA's Visit to Turkey in August 2009 for the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Conference;
    • MINA's visits in January 2007 to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Asserting Canadian leadership in emerging global governance: XDV organized:
    • UN missions to Ottawa to support Canada's lobbying for a seat on the Security Council;
    • MINA's visit to New York in March 2010 for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and a second trip in the same month for the Review Conference of States Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons;
    • Attendance of the Prime Minister, MINA, MINE and MFSA at the United National General Assembly in September annually; and
    • Participation of MINE in a number of multilateral events: High Level Event on Maternal and Child Health, World Bank semi-annual meetings and the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.

In addition, XDV has organized visits by MINE in support of the Canadian International Development Agency's (CIDA) priorities. This includes, in 2010, visits to three of CIDA's countries of focus - Bolivia, Haiti and Pakistan.

XDS has also organized events in support of incoming visits, including:

  • A gala dinner for the Prime Minister of India's visit to Canada in June 2010;
  • On very short notice, an international Ministerial Preparatory Conference hosted by GoC on Haiti in Montreal in January 2010. This brought together foreign ministers from the Group of Friends of Haiti, major donors and key regional and multilateral partners; and
  • XDS provided technical support to the Summits Office in the form of loaning OES as well as providing training on OES, and organized events for an incoming group of UN Ambassadors as well as provided briefings/training to Chiefs of Protocol for Cape Verde and Sao Tome et Principe, all as part of Canada's UN Security Council bid.

Although the services continue to support DFAIT, CIDA and GoC priorities, there has been a decrease in the demand for some services in the past few years.

As shown in Exhibit 5, the number of visits to Canada of all types varies by year but has declined slightly from 2005 to 2009. The average number of incoming visits each year between 2005 and 2010 was 45. There was a peak of official and working visits in 2010. With the exception of an increase in the number of private visits, the balance among the type of visits has not changed significantly over the years. However, XDV staff indicated that there has been a blurring of the lines between official and working visits such that the service standards for each type of visit are not always respected due to the fact that beneficiaries are asking for services that are beyond the service standards guidelines for working visits.

Exhibit 5: Number of Incoming Visits* by Type, 2005 - 2010
Type of Visit200520062007200820092010
Source: Office of Protocol, DFAIT. Analysis by the evaluation team
* Includes eight visits that were subsequently cancelled
** Technical stopovers
State231111
Official211414121422
Working242210171528
Private2271136
Other**520343

The number of outgoing visits, on the other hand, has increased in recent years (see Exhibit 6). The average number of outgoing visits each year between 2005 and 2010 was 40.

Exhibit 6: Number of Outgoing Visits, 2005 - 2010
 200520062007200820092010
Source: Office of Protocol, DFAIT. Analysis by the evaluation team.
Outgoing Visits353036375546

Although there has been a general increase, the trends in outgoing visits vary somewhat by dignitary (see Exhibit 7). MINA accounts for, on average, about one-third of the visits each year, followed by the Prime Minister and MINT, who each account for about one-fifth of the visits each year.

Exhibit 7: Number of Outgoing Visits by Dignitary, 2005 - 2010
Dignitary200520062007200820092010
Source: Office of Protocol, DFAIT. Analysis by the evaluation team.
* XDV assumed responsibility for the travel of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs in 2007
Governor General142255
Prime Minister9775108
Minister of Foreign Affairs14111113119
Minister of State of Foreign Affairs*0001810
Minister of International Cooperation544285
Minister of International Trade6485139
Secretary of State004900

The decrease in demand for services is reflected more clearly in the number of events. As shown in Exhibit 8, the number of events is declining year over year. Use of the facility on the 9th Floor has declined by 19% between 2005/06 and 2010/11 and use of Rideau Gate has declined by 21% over the same period.

Exhibit 8: Number of Events, by Location, 2005/06 - 2010/11
Location2005/062006/072007/082008/092009/102010/11
Source: Office of Protocol, DFAIT. Analysis by the evaluation team.
Lester B. Pearson - 9th Floor270246240248244218
LBP - other locations69203130316
7 Rideau Gate5750105585245
Commercial241525202318

Similarly, the number of guests at XDS-organized events has declined (see Exhibit 9).

Between 2005/06 and 2010/11, there was a decline in guests at events on the 9th Floor of 23%. Over the same period, the number of guests at Rideau Gate has increased by 177%; in light of this increase, there has been a decline in the number of events as events cannot be held at Rideau Gate when guests are in residence.

Exhibit 9: Number of Guests at Events, by Location, 2005/06 - 2010/11
Location2005/062006/072007/082008/092009/102010/11
Lester B. Pearson - 9th Floor7,4646,3517,6747,0896,9995,782
LBP - other locations3,1111,0568888601,3232,184
7 Rideau Gate7892954128517952,184
Commercial2,4001,8442,9911,9682,8832,705

There has also been a decline in the number of official events - that is, events hosted for official guests of the GoC. Official events are very much affected by the reduction in the number of incoming visits - the fewer incoming visits, the fewer official events that are required. As shown in Exhibit 10, the number of official events has been on a slight decline since 2005, with the exception of an increase in 2010. Overall, the number of official events in 2010/11 is only about 60% of the number of 2005/06.

Exhibit 10: Number of Official Events, by Location, 2005/06 - 2010/11
Location2005/062006/072007/082008/092009/102010/11
Source: Office of Protocol, DFAIT. Analysis by the evaluation team.
Lester B. Pearson - 9th Floor1011092312
LBP - other locations000540
7 Rideau Gate6814100
Commercial1000254

Stakeholders have identified a number of factors that have affected the level of demand for official visits and events. During the period of a minority Government, ministers are less likely to travel due to the pairing requirement for Members of Parliament and the previous minority Government was less inclined to host both incoming visits and outgoing visits. It also preferred, when there was a visit, to host working meetings, rather than large ceremonial events.

3.3 Relevance of the Federal Government's Role

Finding #3:
It is relevant for the federal government to continue to play a lead role in the delivery of official visits and official events services.

XDV and XDS are overwhelmingly seen by stakeholders as offering services that should be provided by the federal public service and not provided by other levels of government or contracted to the private sector. There were a number of reasons for this:

  • Although all provinces have offices that provide protocol services for visiting dignitaries (and support XDV when international dignitaries visit their jurisdiction), none have the capacity and experience that is available in XDV to deliver protocol services for international dignitaries. XDD is reportedly seen as the leader in the Canadian protocol community. In addition, protocol services are used to building relationship between or among states and, as result, require the involvement of the federal government.
  • Many services have already been contracted to the private sector (e.g., management of the reception facilities and services, local transportation, media liaison) - see Section 4.2.
  • The logistics of official visits and events are largely seen as contributing to building relationships between and among states and cannot, as such, be delivered by non-government staff.
  • The delivery of these services requires access to information and people, which is only easily available to government staff. This includes knowledge of DFAIT, its priorities and objectives and ready access to other DFAIT and OGD staff.

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4.0 Performance

The performance of the Official Visits and Official Events Programs is assessed based on their effectiveness and efficiency.

Before reporting on the performance of XDV and XDS in the delivery of official visits and events it is important to highlight the context for these visits and events and the challenges that are faced. Both XDV and XDS offer responsive services - that is, they are staging visits and events in response to requests from external stakeholders. This has a number of implications:

  • While both Divisions are able to offer suggestions on how to improve the effectiveness of visits and events, the structure and content of the visits and events are determined by the external stakeholders (XDV and XDS clients).
  • The demand for the services they offer and the nature of the visits and events are determined by external stakeholders and are largely influenced by the tone of the Government of the day.
  • Staff often receive very short notice of upcoming visits (more so than events), leaving little ability to manage the timeframes for their work.
  • The demands on the funds that they manage are also determined by external stakeholders and XDD has to manage these requests.
  • XDV staff are required to travel frequently, often on short notice, and work in different time zones.
  • Staff are required to work in situations where there is little to no margin for error and this, combined with the uncertainties, leads to very high levels of stress.

4.1 Effectiveness

This section presents the evaluation findings with respect to the effectiveness of official visits and official events. It is based on an assessment of the extent to which the two programs have delivered effectively two of their intermediate outcomes as outlined in the logic model:

  • More seamless official visits and events; and
  • Improved satisfaction of Canadian and foreign dignitaries with Canadian protocol services.

Given that the evaluation was largely based on qualitative information from extensive stakeholder interviews, the performance with respect to the seamlessness of the visits and events was based largely on the assessment of client satisfaction of the visits and events. As such, it was not possible to assess these two outcomes separately.

4.1.1 Contribution to the Achievement of Outcomes for DFAIT

Finding #4:
Logistical arrangements for official visits have been successful in contributing to positive outcomes.

It is the perception of the vast majority of stakeholders that visits organized by XDV run very smoothly. When there are challenges, such as when the number of delegates exceeds what was planned, they are dealt with smoothly, without clients being aware of the challenges. More details are provided in Section 4.1.2 about the quality of services provided. This section describes how the successful logistical arrangements contribute to positive outcomes for DFAIT.

Both internal and external stakeholders noted the importance and success of smooth visits in contributing to DFAIT achieving the intended outcomes of the official visits. The case studies conducted for this evaluation highlight a number of positive outcomes of three official visits:

  • The visit of Emperor and Empress of Japan focused on celebrating friendship and goodwill between Canada and Japan on the 80th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries. The Canadian embassy in Japan reportedly indicated that the Imperial couple enjoyed the visit and appreciated the arrangements. Their appreciation of the visit was reflected in an invitation extended to the Prime Minister and his wife in November 2010 when they visited Japan for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting. They were invited to a private dinner at the Imperial Palace - a rare invitation that reportedly showed appreciation for Canada's hospitality.
    • The Emperor and Empress of Japan visited Canada in July 2009. Their visit included a two-day stay at Harrington Lake (the summer home of the Prime Minister) and a four-day stay at Government House in Ottawa, during which they visited a number of sites in the Ottawa area. They then spent two days in Toronto and five days in Vancouver and Victoria. This was the first visit to Canada for the Empress and the second for the Emperor, who had visited, as the Crown Prince, in 1953.
  • The Indian Prime Minister's visit reportedly resulted in the signing of Memoranda of Understanding on cultural cooperation, higher education, and earth sciences and mining. It also led to the conclusion of the Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy; progress towards establishing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which was subsequently pursued at the Seoul G-20 Summit in November 2010; and commitments to increase bilateral trade and planning for the Festival of India in Canada to promote Indian culture.
    • The visit of Indian Prime Minister occurred immediately after the G20 summit in Toronto in June 2010. The bilateral meetings were a continuation of discussions initiated when the Prime Minister traveled to India in November 2009. A highlight of the visit was a gala dinner for 600 held on 27 June, many of whom were from the Indian-Canadian community. During the course of the visit, the Indian Prime Minister also met with Canadian Members of Parliament and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Indian origin.
  • The Governor General's Friendship Visit to China included Canada's national day performance at Expo 2010 in Shanghai that was the best-attended national day to date with the theatre filled to capacity with 1900 guests. In terms of local results, the embassy indicated that the visit was a great opportunity for their local staff and embassy staff to develop working relationships. By working together intensely towards the same goals, the teamwork dynamics were enhanced. Both the Governor General and the Chinese President reaffirmed the theme of Strategic Partnership and encouraged the use of the Joint Statement to further that partnership.
    • The Governor General led a Friendship Visit to China in June/July 2010 visit to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations with China. The objectives of the visit were to showcase Canada, build on and reinforce momentum generated from the Chinese President's visit to Canada and deliver messages about Canada as urban, technologically sophisticated, home to great universities, welcoming and a longstanding and committed friend to China. The Governor General celebrated Canada Day at the international fair, Expo 2010 Shanghai China.

Finding #5:
Logistical arrangements for official events have been successful in contributing to positive outcomes.

As discussed for official visits, it is the perception of the vast majority of stakeholders that events organized by XDS run very smoothly. Any challenges such as change of menu to meet dietary need are dealt with smoothly, without clients being aware of issues.

Internal and external stakeholders also recognized the importance of efficient and smooth events in contributing to DFAIT's objectives, both for official visits and for events hosted outside a visit. The case studies conducted for this evaluation highlight a number of positive achievements of three official visits.

Evidence of successes in case studies:

  • XDS was responsible for the organization of the gala dinner that was included in the visit of the Prime Minister of India (see Finding #4). The dinner was identified as a highlight of the visit in that it provided the opportunity for the Prime Minister to connect with representatives of the Indian-Canadian community and further promote Canada-India relations.
  • The logistics of the Diplomatic Forum are organized by XDS. A 2010 evaluation of diplomatic corps services noted that although the long-term outcomes are not known, the Diplomatic Forum is widely regarded by foreign HOMs as a valuable opportunity to meet DFAIT and other Ministers and senior public servants. Some participants in the 2010 Forum indicated that they would be following up with the specific presenters.
    • The Forum is an annual event that brings foreign heads of diplomatic missions (Ambassadors and High Commissioners) accredited to Canada. The event offers them a series of briefings on current Canadian public policy, assists them to understand and interpret Canada and Canadians to their respective nations and provides the opportunity to discuss these issues with Ministers and other elected officials and senior public servants. The event also addressed current international trade issues. The Forum is held in a different provincial capital each year and the most recent Forum took place in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in September 2010.

4.1.2 Satisfaction with Services

This section reflects the findings with respect to the quality of the main services offered by XDV and XDS in organizing official visits and official events, as well as XDV and XDS management of other services.

Finding #6:
There is a high level of satisfaction with both official visits and official events services provided by XDV and XDS staff.

DFAIT and external stakeholders were overwhelmingly positive about the services provided by both XDV and XDS staff. They noted particularly their professionalism, dedication, responsiveness, flexibility, level of organization and ability to provide personalized services. They also noted that XDV and XDS staff are able to provide these high quality services in a challenging context characterized by the need to deal with numerous details and a lot of external stakeholders, often under very tight timelines, with little margin for error. Respondents also noted that the staff are flexible and have adapted their approaches to meet the needs of Canadian dignitaries who are travelling, as well as hosting.

Stakeholders noted two particular characteristics of the provision of both XDV and XDS services. They noted the strong ability of staff to organize effectively the logistics for visits and events according to the guidelines, so that they appear seamless to participants. But they also noted the ability to provide "extra touches" that personalize the standard services. For example, XDV identified and invited the former Aide de camp who attended the Emperor of Japan on his last trip to Canada in 1953 to attend a reception for the Emperor in his 2008 visit. This personal touch, demonstrated Canada's sincere effort to make his visit truly memorable, did not go unnoticed by the Emperor and Empress.

Official Visits

The key services offered by XDV for outgoing visits include:

  • Advance visit planning for official visits by the Governor General, the Prime Minister and the DFAIT portfolio ministers are the responsibility of XDV. The Visits Coordinator, the Visits Operations Manager and Visit Officers and the Visits Operations Officers are all involved in coordinating international and local transportation, accommodation, official hospitality, ceremonies and visits, ministerial and spousal parallel programs, gifts and media;
  • Advance visits for the trips by the Governor General and the Prime Minister are usually conducted by a Coordinator and usually also involve Visit Officers, as well as staff of the offices of the visitors (e.g., the OSGG, the PMO). The approach to advance visits depends on the visitor and whether the visit is a multilateral or a bilateral visit;
    • Multilateral meetings may require three advance visits but the timing and program may vary according to the event.
      • First advance visit, about 3 - 5 months prior to the event, involves XDV's Visit Coordinator and/or Visit Officer, accompanied by mission staff. The purpose of this visit (between half a day and three days) is to scout out all venues including hotels, airports and event locations to be used during the visit.
      • Second advance visit occurs 1 - 2 months prior to the visit and provides the opportunity for the entire advance team (including XDV, PMO and the mission) to preview all venues, hotels, airport, etc.
      • Third advance visit occurs about 5 working days prior to visit (including XDV, PMO and the mission) to ensure that all final arrangements are made, the program is fine-tuned and the relevant on-site logistics coordinators and staff are on-site.
    • Bilateral meetings normally require only two advance visits. PMO, in conjunction with XDV, decides when the advance visits will take place. The advance visit normally takes place between 1-2 months before the visit and the second in the 5 days before the arrival of the PM and the team stays on the ground for the entire visit. Both XDV and the PMO participate in the first visit and it is focused on developing logistics arrangements (e.g., hotel) and a program that is acceptable to the PMO. (From "Guidelines for Organizing a Prime Ministerial Visit," XDV, November 2009)
  • State visits usually include the participation of the Chief of Protocol. Other visits involve the Coordinators and Visit Officers. They are responsible for coordination on the ground of the visit logistics (local transportation, accommodation, hospitality and site visits).

XDV provides visit coordination services in terms of logistics for all DFAIT portfolio ministers and Visit Officers to accompany the same with the exception of one minister who had declined the service. While this reduces the cost of travel for the visit, it also reportedly places an additional burden on XDV staff in Ottawa and mission staff to provide services. It requires the Visits Officer to provide services from Ottawa virtually, over different time zones, and as a result, although not travelling with the minister, the Officer is not available for other visits. Stakeholders believe that not having an Officer present affects XDV's ability to support the minister in meeting his/her program objectives. It reportedly also diverts the time of mission staff (particularly in small missions) that would otherwise be used on program issues. In noting the challenges of not having a Visits Officer participate in the visits, stakeholders reflected the important contribution of XDV staff to the effective coordination of the visits. Discussions have been held with the minister's office and the Deputy Minister to address these concerns.

XDV also provides services for incoming visits. It is involved in both the planning and implementation of incoming visits for high-level foreign dignitaries. Coordinators and Visits Officers are responsible for all logistical aspects of a visit including local transportation, accommodation, program development and the coordination of health and security services. The standards for services that are offered are outlined for four levels of visitor (head of state, head of government, minister or guest of the government) and three types of visits (state, official and working visits). There are also private visits and technical stopovers for which, in theory, no XDV services are provided, beyond offering the services of the National Airport Courtesy Program. The determination of the type of visit is approved by PMO or MINA based on recommendations from DFAIT geographic branches.

As shown in Exhibit 5 in Section 3.2, the overall balance among types of visits has not changed significantly. However, although private visits represent only a small proportion of the incoming visits, the number of these visits has increased over the years. It has grown from two in each of 2005 and 2006 to a high of eleven in 2008.

Official Events

Hospitality events are usually associated with a state or official visit, but are discretionary for working visits. Whether there is a hospitality event depends on such things as the time available, the importance of the visit and the tone the Government wishes to convey for the event. Recommendations on hospitality (working lunch/dinner or larger event) are made by the geographic branches for approval by the PMO or the hosting minister's office. As is the case with official visits, the services offered by XDS are guided by standards established for different levels of visitors and different types of events. For example, a state visit for a head of state usually includes a state luncheon or dinner hosted by the Governor General. By contrast, the working visit by a foreign minister would normally include a working luncheon or dinner.

XDS also manages events for the Prime Minister and the portfolio ministers that are not part of an official visit (e.g., the Diplomatic Forum, farewell lunches for departing foreign heads of mission and the Canada Day and Christmas parties for foreign heads of mission).

Official Events Coordinators and Officers organize and manage events, under Canadian Treasury Board Guidelines. They coordinate the guest lists, in consultation with geographic branches and/or the ministers' offices, and are responsible for invitation cards, seating plans, and general logistics of event, etc., negotiate and liaise with suppliers and provide on-site supervision of the events.

XDS has an Official Event System (OES) for assisting with event logistics. It is a contact management system that stores information about all guests at official events (including dietary restrictions) and assists with the printing of the menu and invitations, recording responses, setting up seating plans (with up to 60 table configurations) and printing name plates. It includes a list of all wines and a lexicon of menus items with their names in English and French. The system was developed by XDS and there is reportedly considerable interest from DFAIT missions and other jurisdictions in being able to access the software for planning their own events. XDD has been lobbying within DFAIT to make OES available as a departmental tool, ideally web-based. However, this has not yet become a priority for DFAIT's information technology unit. XDD spent $50,000 last year to modify the tool for its own use. A Privacy Impact Assessment is underway.

Advisory Services

In addition to managing its own visits and events, XDD staff, notably those in XDV, are called upon to advise and assist other organizations on matters of protocol. Most recently, XDV staff provided much appreciated support to the province of British Colombia, the City of Vancouver, the Four Host First Nations and the Vancouver Olympics Coordinating Committee in the coordination of protocol services at 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Finding #7:
Stakeholders are satisfied with other XDV-managed services (the Canada Reception Centre (airport Terminal Lounge and Hangar 11) and the National Airport Courtesy Program).

Both XDV and XDS manage services that support their main mandates for visits and events. XDV is responsible for the Canada Reception Centre, reception services in Montreal and Toronto9 and the National Airport Courtesy Program. XDV provided courtesy/expedited clearance support for the G8/G20. This evaluation focused primarily on services provided in Ottawa at the airport Terminal Lounge and Hangar 11 and on the National Airport Courtesy Program.

Canada Reception Centre

External stakeholders were appreciative of the services available at the two Ottawa reception centres. There has been a steady use of the Terminal Lounge between 2005 and 2010 (see Exhibit 11). Not surprisingly, the use of the lounge is considerably higher for outgoing, than incoming, flights. There has been an increase in the use of the lounge by foreign dignitaries and a decline in the use by Canadian dignitaries (see Exhibit 11). It should be noted that the primary intent of the Terminal Lounge is to facilitate foreign dignitaries when they are travelling through the Ottawa International Airport on a commercial flight. The interviews suggest that the limited use by Canadian dignitaries may be related to several factors. The first is some confusion about which Canadian dignitaries are entitled to use the lounge. Secondly, many dignitaries are more interested in using the airline business lounges and do not require the assistance with checking in and baggage handling that foreign dignitaries may require. Thirdly, foreign dignitaries would appear to be more likely to bring guests for their departure (notably for the departure of foreign HOMs at the conclusion of their assignment), which would explain the large increase in the number of lounge guests for foreign departures (see Exhibit 12).

Exhibit 11: Use of Terminal Lounge, by Arrivals/Departures, 2007 - 2010
 2007200820092010
Source: SAVM, April 2011
Arrivals379325308352
Departures893861785875

 

Exhibit 12: Use of Terminal Lounge, by Type of Activity and Canadian and Foreign Guests, 2007 - 2010
YearCanadianForeign
# Events# Passengers# Lounge Guests# Events# Passengers# Lounge Guests
Source: SAVM, April 2011
20072756721701,0052,8521,533
20083056762588812,1441,615
20092867005628092,2793,243
20102596075469683,0965,022

The use of Hangar 11 for the arrival and departure of private aircraft has seen a slight increase between 2007 and 2010 (see Exhibit 13). It must be noted that the hangar is used for all arrivals and departures for Canadian and foreign dignitaries, many of which are for travel not supported by XDV (e.g., domestic travel by the Governor General and the Prime Minister).

Exhibit 13: Hangar 11 Total Arrivals/Departures, 2007 - 2010
 2007200820092010
Source: SAVM, April 2011
Total Arrivals/Departures261299314333

Hangar 11 is also used by the Department of National Defence (DND) for troop deployments. As shown in Exhibit 14, over the past four years, about half the use of Hangar 11 is for military purposes, with the exception of 2008, when DND flights represented a considerably larger percentage.

Exhibit 14: Percent DND and non-DND Arrivals/Departures, 2005 - 2010
Purpose2007200820092010
Source: SAVM, April 2011
Canadian Non-DND flights31%23%45%49%
Canadian DND flights/bus30%42%47%48%
National Airport Courtesy Program

The National Airport Courtesy Program operated by XDV ensures smooth arrivals, transits and departures of high level domestic and foreign dignitaries visiting Canada. The Program offers two types of clearance:

  • Courtesy clearances for federal minister-equivalent rank and above; and
  • Expedited for Deputy Minister-equivalent rank10.

XDV began tracking use of the National Courtesy Program in 2010. Exhibit 15 shows use of the program in that year. In 2010, courtesy clearances were provided more often than the expedited clearances. The service is seldom used by Canadian dignitaries.

Exhibit 15: Use of National Courtesy Program, by Type of Clearance and Type of Dignitary, 2010*
 CourtesyExpeditedOther
CanadianInternational VisitorsCanadianInternational Visitors
Source: XDV, DFAIT, April 2000
* Does not include clearances that were requested and subsequently cancelled
Delegations432812626563
Passengers472,3283511,127475

Both internal and external stakeholders indicated that the service is very efficiently managed between DFAIT and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), both at Headquarters and at the Ports of Entry. CBSA has developed a guide for use by foreign missions that describes in detail the services available11.

Finding #8:
Stakeholders are satisfied with other XDS-managed services (9th Floor, Rideau Gate, Wine Cellar and Gift Bank).

In addition to organizing official events, XDS is responsible for managing the reception facilities on the 9th Floor and at Rideau Gate. This includes managing the contract for the operations and coordinating reservations for both facilities. XDS also manages the Wine Cellar and the Gift Bank.

Stakeholders were overwhelmingly impressed and pleased with the quality of both the food and the service at events held on the 9th Floor and at Rideau Gate. Of particular note were the efforts made to promote Canadian products at all events. However, as will be noted in Section 4.2.2, there are challenges with the management of these facilities because of declining demand for the services.

XDS is responsible for managing the Wine Cellar, although the wine is selected by the Canadian Wine Initiative. This Initiative is part of DFAIT's Canadian Wine, Beer and Spirits Division (BBI), which is responsible for choosing and promoting Canadian wines. XDS has, in the past year, improved the inventory management for the Wine Cellar. Stakeholders indicated that they appreciate the service that the Wine Cellar offers and the availability of high quality Canadian wines for events.

XDS is also responsible for the management of the Gift Bank, even though it serves the needs of XDV more than XDS. XDS is responsible for the selection of gifts and inventory control. Stakeholders appreciate the service that it provides, by making available Canadian items to be used as gifts for foreign dignitaries during outgoing or incoming visits. There are, as would be expected, mixed views on the selection of gifts available - some feeling that the gifts are not appropriate or of suitable quality; whereas others appreciate the choice and the fact that XDS is able to provide a range of Canadian items. The Gift Bank has strict guidelines to ensure Canadian content and it can reportedly be challenging to identify appropriate items. Often suggestions from external stakeholders for Gift Bank acquisitions do not meet the guidelines for Canadian workmanship, production or content. Stakeholders are not required to use the Gift Bank and have other options to identify alternative gifts.

The cost of the gifts has increased over the past five years, but is below the cap of $350,000 set by TB (see Exhibit 16).

Exhibit 16: Gift Bank Expenditures
YearValue of the Gifts Purchased*
Source: XDS, DFAIT, January 2011
* For use of the Governor General, the Prime Minister, portfolio ministers and Chief of Protocol
2005/06$74,608.10
2006/07$106,090.85
2007/08$106,685.98
2008/09$110,787.93
2009/10$176,238.87

4.1.3 Comparison with Services in Other Jurisdictions

Finding #9:
The quality and standard of services offered by Canada for official visits and official events is consistent with the internationally accepted standards.

The methodology for this evaluation only allowed for collecting respondents' perceptions of Canada's official visits and official events. However, these perceptions were based on the view of stakeholders who had experienced themselves, or with colleagues, hospitality services offered by other countries. The perception is that Canada is not as lavish as some countries (notably some countries in the Middle East and Asia), but is comparable to other countries (for example, some Western European countries).

The most common observation was that, in general, the level of service is consistent with the Canadian style, in that the service offered is not extravagant. While respecting protocol, the service is based on need and, in the case of security, on risk assessment, not ceremonial practices.

XDV has recently identified the need to review the specifics of what Canada offers to incoming dignitaries and compare to what is offered in other jurisdictions. It has set up a working group to do this. This includes reviewing the core services offered (accommodation, meals etc.). This work has not yet been completed.

The area in which Canada reportedly exceeds other countries is in attention to details. As noted in Section 4.1.2, XDV and XDS make specific efforts to identify extra, personalized touches that are meaningful to the visitor.

4.2 Efficiency

This section presents findings with respect to the efficiency of the delivery of the official visits and official events services. The key findings focus on collaboration with other stakeholders, management of official visits and official events funding, management of the two divisions and performance monitoring and reporting.

4.2.1 Collaboration with Other Stakeholders

Finding #10:
Stakeholders perceive that XDV and XDS staff efficiently organize official visits and official events in collaboration with other stakeholders, despite the lack of clearly documented and standard approaches to collaboration, particularly for official visits.

Official visits and official events are managed in collaboration with a wide range of key stakeholders, including:

  • Internal stakeholders - Ministers' offices, DFAIT geographic and functional branches, the Visits and Operations Division (DCV), and Canadian missions abroad; and
  • External stakeholders - OSGG, PCO, PMO, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), PWGSC, Transport Canada (TC), CBSA and foreign missions in Canada. (See Section 5.2 for a complete list of all external stakeholders.)

The initial idea for an official visit (either incoming or outgoing) can come from a number of sources. A visit may initially be proposed by the DFAIT geographic or functional desk, the office of the proposed traveller (e.g., OSGG, the PMO or a minister's office) a foreign embassy in Canada or from informal sources. When XDV hears about a potential visit, it opens a file for the potential visit but does not enter it into its High Level Visits Calendar - a rolling calendar of upcoming visits - until the visit is approved. Although no visit is official until approved by the PMO, XDV begins planning as soon as a visit is considered imminent to overcome the challenges it faces with late notice of visits. Given the need to respond to external requests for visits support, it is very difficult for XDV to plan its work. It is only the regularly scheduled multilateral visits (G8/G20 and APEC meetings) that can reasonably be planned far in advance but the scale of the visit and extent of logistical preparations will vary greatly depending on who is leading the visit (i.e., PM versus a minister)12.

There are a variety of planning and coordination mechanisms. The XDV Director meets regularly with the DCV Director to exchange information on upcoming visits. The Departmental liaison staff within ministers' offices schedule coordination meetings about four weeks before an approved visit that involves the DFAIT geographic and functional branches, DCV, XDV, communications staff and the Briefing Division.

XDV has developed a number of guides to help missions prepare for a visit, specifically for GG and PM visits. Documents provided include manuals, checklists, templates and other tools to assist in the management of official visits and events13. However, there is limited formal documentation of the procedures and guidelines for working with other departments14. The way that the various stakeholders work together is based on long-term relationships. Staff have worked out patterns of communication and information-sharing that are based on mutual respect and trust.

Both XDD and external stakeholders believe that this approach supports the need for flexibility and personalized services in visits planning and leaves authority with the Coordinator/Officer during a visit/event to provide services required to meet client needs.

Although there is a lot of flexibility in the process for identifying and sharing information about visits and stakeholders indicated that this approach works well, good management practices would suggest that there is a need for more documentation to support and guide XDV activities. The current limited documentation on roles and responsibilities within XDD and across departments may over time present a potential risk related to maintaining corporate memory due to anticipated departure of key experienced staff.

Finding #11:
There has been a blurring of the lines for official and working visits and an increase in the number of private visits which may impose additional burden on XDV.

The responsibility for deciding on whether an incoming visit will be a state, official or working visit resides with the PMO or the portfolio ministers' offices, based on a recommendation from DFAIT. Each type of visit has specific standards of treatment that outline the staff, financial responsibilities and logistic arrangements (such as airport pick-up, local transportation, accommodation and translation/interpretation).The decision on the type of visit has resource implications for XDV.

XDD staff noted that there has recently been a blurring of the lines about the services that are expected to be provided for official and working visits. Although a visit may be classified as a working visit, extra services are being requested, beyond what would normally be associated with a working visit. This places additional demands on XDV. Even though a visit has been approved, the details of the services expected may not be defined until the last minute and require approvals.

For a third type of visit - private visits - normally limited XDV services are required. XDV is simply notified of the visit and makes arrangements for courtesy or expedited clearance at the airport. There has been an increase in private visits over the past five years (see Exhibit 5 in Section 3.2). XDV staff attribute this to the increased interest of foreign dignitaries in having their children educated in Canada - leading to an increase in their private visits to Canada. However, at the same time, there has reportedly been an increase in requests for the organization of some programs while they are here (e.g., meetings with the Prime Minister or portfolio ministers). This places additional demands on XDV resources. Depending on the complexity of the private visit and the nature of meetings being arranged, XDV may be in attendance during the visit.

4.2.2 Management of Official Visits and Official Events Funding

Finding #12:
Though XDD manages risk by retaining a large budget that has resulted in XDD returning significant resources to DFAIT over the past five years, the system in place supports the efficient use of allocated resources.

As noted in Section 1.6, the majority of funds held in the TB frozen allotment, (which forms part of the GHA/ICA funds) were transferred to the Department, and is now provided to XDD in the form of Reference Level funding, managed by XDD, with TB retaining $1.2 million in the frozen allotment. As a consequence of this transfer, XDD assumed greater responsibility for managing the risks associated with what is essentially a responsive service. XDD, and particularly XDV, have very little control over the demand for its services. While XDV maintains a detailed calendar of upcoming visits which is updated weekly (or more often as necessary), at the beginning of each fiscal year it contains only those regularly held multilateral visits (e.g., G8/G20 and APEC meetings) that can be planned with any certainty. Only 14% of the average 40 visits each year over the period 2005 - 2010 fall within this category. The remaining visits are either identified on short notice - sometimes as short as a few days - or it is not known until shortly before the meeting who will attend. This is often the case when Canada must respond to international events for unforeseen events such inaugurations and funerals. For incoming visits, XDV must be responsive to the schedules of both incoming dignitary and the Canadian dignitaries who he/she wishes to meet. There can be frequent changes and even last-minute cancellations of these visits. XDV does not have a formal system for tracking either when it gets the first information about a trip or when the trip (and participants) is confirmed. As a result, it is very difficult for XDD to plan its resources annually.

Over the past five years, the XDD reference level has been in the range of $23 to 25 million a year. Nominal operational budgets are provided to the Divisions, with the vast majority of the funding held to address GHA/ICA activities. XDD has the flexibility to move monies between the ICA and GHA allotments and does so in response to changing demands for incoming and outgoing official visits and events requests, as well as other related activities (e.g., contract for 9th Floor, Rideau Gate hospitality services, operations of Canada Reception Centre). XDD starts the year with an initial budget, based on scheduled events, past trends and related activities.

Over the past 5 years the variance between the reference level/initial budget and the year-end expenditures (e.g., the amount of funds returned during the year plus the year-end lapse) has ranged from $0.5 million (FY 2009/10) to $5.2 million (2005/06). - see Exhibit 17, Row C. In addition to the foregoing, XDD receives monies from other sources in the form of In-Year Transfers to support specific visits and/or events, such as the Haiti Conference and the Olympics. In the past 5 years, In-Year transfers have ranged from a low of $29 thousand (2006/2007) to as high as $2.4 million (2009/2010) - see Exhibit 17, Row F. XDD may further access funds from the TB frozen Allotment, but is has only done so once (2008/2009) in the last 5 years - see Exhibit 17, Row E.

Exhibit 17: Initial Budget, Actual Expenses, In-year Declaration, Incoming and Outgoing Transfers and End of Year Lapse
 Fiscal Year 2009/2010Fiscal Year 2008/2009Fiscal Year 2007/2008Fiscal Year 2006/2007Fiscal Year 2005/2006
Source: XDM, DFAIT, July 2011.
* Reference level less Grant and Contribution for payment of taxes on diplomatic properties and capital budget
** Includes: International Conference Allotment (ICA) Government Hospitality Allotment (GHA), OPS, Salaries and overtime.
***a Includes: Internal transfers and supplement.
***b Includes: Internal transfers and supplement.
A - Total Reference/Less Grant Initial Budget*$23,325,200$23,492,500$20,913,400$20,871,500$25,651,200
B - Actual Expenses**$22,757,304$21,938,269$18,844,981$18,732,826$20,367,279
C - Total A (A)-(B)$567,896$1,554,231$2,068,419$2,138,674$5,283,921
D - In-Year Declaration (return to SWD)($1,117,939)($3,435,000)($2,500,000)($1,743,243)($5,400,000)
E - Access to Reserve/or Frozen AllotmentNIL$81,900NILNILNIL
F - In-Year Transfer (Incoming)***a$2,489,055$2,151,377$1,044,683$29,300$1,212,990
G - In-Year Transfer (Outgoing)***b($1,888,300)($334,852)($337,433)($97,167)($1,072,500)
H - (D) (E) (F) (G)($517,184)($1,536,575)($1,792,750)($1,811,110)($5,259,510)
I - End Year Return (Lapse)$50,172($17,656)$275,669$327,564$24,411

XDD identifies as early as possible in the year when there is likely to be a surplus of funds and returns these (In -Year Declarations) to the Departmental reserve to meet other departmental needs. In the past 5 years, these In-Year Declarations have ranged from $1.1 million (2009/2010) to as high as $5.4 million - see Exhibit 17, Row D. The majority of funds returned by XDD in the fiscal years 2005/2006 to 2010/11 were transferred back to DFAIT prior to the first of January in each year. Unspent funds from other sources are similarly returned to their respective sources during the year which have, during the past 5 years, ranged from $97 thousand (2006/2007) to $1.8 million (2009/2010). The balance between incoming (In-Year Transfers and Access to the Frozen Allotment) and outgoing (In-Year Declarations and Outgoing Transfers) has been negative for each of the 5 years under review, ranging from $517 thousand (2009/2010) to $5.2 million (2005/2006) - see Exhibit 17, Row H. This negative balance, set-off against the difference between the Reference level/Initial Budget and Actual Expenses (Exhibit 17, Row C) produces the Year-End surplus/return, which has ranged from $24 thousand (2005/2006) to $320 thousand - see Exhibit 17, Row I.

Although the money lapsed at Year End can be considered modest, given the uncertainties and planning challenges associated with administering a service of this kind, In-Year returns have been substantial. As remarked earlier in this report, budget surpluses, most pronounced between 2005/2006 and 2008/2009, can in part be attributed to the decline in the demand for incoming and outgoing visits, itself an outcome attributed to the presence of a minority government during the said period. However, the possibility exists that the demand for protocol services may increase with a new majority government.

XDD personnel hold regular meetings with Budget, Planning and Resource Management Bureau (SWD) and Budget Planning and Analysis Division (SWE) to ensure they are aware of the Bureau's financial situation. Both have expressed satisfaction with the planning process used by XDD, given the lack of certainty in its operations. The evaluation team also met with SWD and SWE and they confirmed their satisfaction with the way XDD manages its allocated resources.

Notwithstanding the magnitude of the In-Year Declaration, funds returned during the course of the year are made available in a timely fashion to address other departmental needs, while potential budgetary shortfalls are made up by In-Year Transfers which, being tied to a specific event or activity is easier to manage. Consequently, the evaluation team concludes that the way that XDD is currently managing its allocated funds is efficient.

Finding #13:
There are challenges to the continued operation of Hangar 11 as well as little incentive for DFAIT to expand the use of the facility.

The management of Hangar 11 is complicated by a number of factors. The hangar was originally built as a military facility. When the Canadian Forces Base Uplands closed in the 1990s, DFAIT took over operation of the hangar in order to provide, on behalf of the whole government, a facility for arriving and departing private aircraft for dignitaries. While DFAIT manages the building and provides the reception services at the hangar, the building is still owned by DND and sits on land owned by TC. While DND has contributed some costs to the operation of the facility15, PWGSC maintains the facility for DND, but the hangar's operating costs are the responsibility of XDV.

Hangar 11 was recently renovated, at a cost of $5.4 million, which was funded from the GHA. In spite of the renovation, the facility is still considered by most stakeholders as a modest facility for receiving dignitaries. DFAIT is limited in what it can do to renovate the facility because, in 2002, Hangar 11 was recognized as a federal heritage building. XDV indicated that maintenance of the building in its original state is increasingly difficult because of the challenge of finding replacement parts for the facility.

The statistics on the use of Hangar 11 reflect only the arrivals and departures (see Section 4.1.2). They do not include other uses of the facility. The hangar itself (as opposed to the reception area) is used for large-scale indoor parades and ceremonies hosted by groups such as the air cadets, the Ottawa Police Department and DND groups. This facility is made available to these groups free-of-charge. DFAIT does have the authority to recover costs, but does not have the authority to generate revenues. The out-of-pocket costs for these events (e.g., the costs of commissionaires) are limited and XDD does not consider that it would be cost-effective to set up mechanisms to recover these costs. DFAIT cannot charge for the use of the facilities to recover a portion of the general operating costs of the facilities. As such, there is no incentive to increase the use of the facility, since it would further contribute to its deterioration and incur additional, non-recoverable, costs for DFAIT. The operational costs for Hangar 11 are outlined in Exhibit 18 below.

Exhibit 18: Operating Costs for Hangar 11 for 2007-2011
Fiscal YearTotal Operating Costs
2007$981,278.21
2008$1,225,189.05
2009$1,568,152.18
2010$1,117,107.72
2011$1,105,110.77

These operating costs include the contract with the Service Provider for reception services, payment in lieu of Taxes for the property, as well as rental of artwork from the Art Bank. As shown in Exhibit 18, there has been a spike in operational cost in fiscal year 2009. This increase is due to PWGSC operational costs related to the major renovations that took place over 2 fiscal years (2009/10 and 2010/11). The costs included consulting fees and architectural fees.

Finding #14:
Demand for the services offered on the 9th Floor and at Rideau Gate is declining, but these facilities are still important to meeting Canada's hospitality requirements.

The 9th Floor facility is part of the Lester B. Pearson building that houses DFAIT and, as such, is managed by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). Rideau Gate, on the other hand, is managed by the National Capital Commission. However, the operations of both facilities are the responsibility of XDS and the day-to-day operations are contracted to a hotel chain. DFAIT has a three-year contract16 with the hotel. The contract covers the costs of the regular staff complement (see below), additional staff, as required, and food and non-food items17. Meals are charged to DFAIT at a pre-determined cost and these costs are recoverable from the event host. The fixed cost (that is the cost of paying for the full-time staff) is about $50,00018. Some of these costs are subsequently factored into cost of meals.

Staff Complement
  • 9th Floor
    • 1 Manager/Maitre d'hotel
    • 1 Executive chef
    • 1 Chef cuisinier
    • 1 Sous-chef
    • 3 Stewards
    • 2 Dishwashers/kitchen help
  • Rideau Gate
    • 1 Housemaid
    • 1 Site manager (part-time)

Additional part-time staff (telephone operations, waiter/waitresses, kitchen helpers, dishwashers, housemaids etc.) is provided, as required.

There are two types of events hosted on the 9th Floor or at Rideau Gate:

  • Official events - events that include a foreign dignitary. These are covered by the Government Hospitality Allowance and are exempt from the Treasury Board (TB) guidelines19; and
  • Other events, which are subject to TB guidelines.

For non-GHA events, all meal costs must be within the TB hospitality allowances in effect at the time. Exhibit 19 summarizes the TB allowances and the range of meal prices for the 9th Floor and Rideau Gate. The minimum meal price, in almost all cases, exceeds the "Average cost per person" (standard costs) in the TB allowances20. As a result of recent changes to the "Directive on the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences," expenditures beyond the "Standard cost per person" must be approved by the Deputy Minister21. The same Directive indicates that the serving of alcoholic beverages must be approved by the Minister.

Exhibit 19: TB Rates and Range of Meal/Event Prices
Meal/EventTB Hospitality Rates per Person*Meal/Event prices**
Standard CostMaximum CostMinimumMaximum
* As of 1st April 2011 A cost per person exceeding the standard cost and up to the maximum cost per person can be "applied in exceptional circumstances, justified by the type of event, the status and nature of participants and for reasons of courtesy, diplomacy and/or protocol22." The maximum cost cannot be exceeded without the approval of the Minister.
** Includes taxes and service charges.
*** For sandwiches served as a dinner. Other dinner prices begin at $96.05.
Breakfast$22.58$33.87$24.86$28.82
Lunch$28.30$42.45$33.90$41.81
Dinner$69.74$104.61$42.94***$101.70
Reception$30.10$45.15$30.51$36.73

Although stakeholders are overwhelmingly positive about the services offered, as noted in Section 3.2, the number of events on the 9th Floor and at Rideau Gate has been declining since 2005/06. Respondents perceive that the demand for the use of these facilities may continue to decline, as there is reportedly an increasing trend in diplomatic circles for fewer and less formal official events. In addition, there are three challenges related to the use of these facilities for non-official events, which are beyond the control of XDS, or even DFAIT:

  • Interviewees indicated that most departments have seen budgets for hospitality events reduced.
  • Facilities are available for use by a wide range of ministers and public servants but the Prime Minister and DFAIT portfolio ministers have priority and can displace existing bookings - notably the case for scheduling conflicts on the 9th Floor. Although interviewees indicated that this does not happen often, it is a consideration when people are booking the facility.
  • As noted above, the standard TB meal allowance, which can be approved by senior departmental managers (up to a maximum per event) is not sufficient to cover the cost of even the least expensive meal on the 9th Floor, nor in most commercial establishments of comparable quality/value. Approval from the Deputy Minister is required to go beyond the standard allowance and staff indicated that they are reluctant to make this request. Making such a request also apparently takes a couple of weeks, which is not consistent with the timelines for planning hospitality events.
  • Under TB regulations, authorized use of alcoholic beverages requires ministerial approval. Yet many DFAIT interview respondents noted that serving alcoholic beverages (although certainly less common, particularly at lunchtime, than it used to be) is still important for some events. In order to provide alcoholic beverages, some senior officials reported to have opted to host events in restaurants and cover the beverage costs personally. This requires separate billing for drinks - an option that is not available on the 9th Floor as the system does not have code that allows cash management of personal funds Further, splitting the bills could leave the impression that senior managers are getting special rate for alcohol beverages.

This means that the fixed cost of maintaining and operating the facilities will be spread across fewer events. However, stakeholders report that the federal government will continue to need such a facility and be able to offer the type of services available on the 9th Floor and at Rideau Gate - especially when the menu promotes Canadian products. Respondents indicated that the services available at these facilities remain important in meeting Canada's hospitality requirements.

4.2.3 Management of Official Visits and Official Events Divisions

Finding #15:
XDV faces challenges with overtime, high levels of stress and staff management.

Over the past five years, XDD has expended between $350K and $647K a year in overtime to XDV and XDS staff. As shown in Exhibit 20, the overtime of XDV staff represented between 11% and 15% of XDD's salary expenditures each year. (XDS overtime accounts for a much smaller percentage of XDD salary expenditures - between 2% and 4% each year.)

Exhibit 20: XDV and XDS Overtime Expenses, as % of XDD Salary Expenditures, 2005/06 - 2009/10
YearXDVXDS
Source: Office of Protocol, DFAIT. Analysis by the evaluation team.
2005/0615%4%
2006/0711%2%
2007/0812%2%
2008/0915%2%
2009/1012%2%

These XDV overtime expenditures are a reflection of the nature of the workload of XDV staff. For a number of reasons, these overtime expenses are difficult to manage:

  • Staff are required to work in high stress situations where there can be little to no mistakes and they travel internationally, often on short notice. They are focused on meeting the expectations of clients outside XDD and often have to support the travelling dignitary for long hours during the visit;
  • The overtime worked by Coordinators/Officers has a domino effect on other staff (notably the Operation Officers in Ottawa). Operation Officers are often required to work outside normal working hours in order to support the Coordinators and Officers when they are on travel status. Respondents reported that when there are changes to the visits programs - a very common occurrence - the Coordinator/Officer has to liaise with the Operation Officer to make changes to the electronic copies of the program documents. These changes may also have an impact on all aspects of the program such as the media program and spousal program. As well, Operations Officers have to ensure that the changes are reflected in the French version of the program. Due to the different time zones, this may require either one or both officers to work outside normal working hours. Further, respondents indicated that overtime is required when the official program is still in flux due to the fact the PMO has not yet approved it or there is missing information from the host country. In these cases, overtime is required to ensure that the official program covers all the required information and is printed prior to the departure of the PMO and his delegation;
  • XDV cannot control the timing of visits and staff report that often, while they are participating in a trip, they have to work on the planning for other upcoming visits;
  • There is limited use of technology, such as visit planning and tracking software for the sharing of information for visit planning, execution and results and one (or two) Coordinators/officers are key to the visit logistics and cannot easily be replaced or supported by colleagues;
  • There is a perception that the additional salary from overtime has become expected by staff; and
  • Managers reported that there is some inconsistency in the way staff are accumulating overtime.

Nonetheless, the evaluation team identified a number of factors in the organization of XDV's work that appear to exacerbate the overtime and stress levels of staff:

  • The inability to plan its work puts additional stress on XDV and its staff. Although the Division has set up informal mechanisms for sharing information within DFAIT and with external stakeholders, these cannot overcome the last minute requests for official visits and the inherent overtime and stress levels for staff;
  • There appears to be an imbalance in the responsibilities of Coordinators and the Deputy Director. The twelve Visit Officers report to the Deputy Director, but work more closely, on a day-to-day basis with the Coordinators when they are on a visit (including travelling on visits with them). As a result, the Deputy Director, who is responsible for assessing the performance of the Visits Officers, is unable to observe the service delivery of officers when they are travelling/working abroad, making it difficult to assess their performance based on direct knowledge of their performance. The Coordinators do not provide formal third party feedback as part of the PMP process. They also have very limited involvement in corporate initiatives despite having quieter work periods between visits;
  • The efficient and effective delivery of official visits depends on the long-term experience of key staff but there are a number of team members who are/will be eligible for retirements in the Division. XDV risks losing the experience and the credibility that these staff have built up with key stakeholders. This presents also a challenge for ensuring the maintenance of the corporate memory in visits planning and execution. XDV's efficiency is likely to suffer, since it cannot rely on the experience and relationships built up by its long-term staff; and
  • It appears to be a challenge to identify the surge capacity to accommodate imbalances in workloads. The work requires staff with experience in managing official visits and the only people likely to have this experience are former staff. But, given the stress levels, former staff are reportedly not likely to be willing to return to work in XDV. The challenge of identifying surge capacity to assist when the workload is heavy is that staff have to work more overtime and are subject to more stress in order to cover the requirements for official visits.

Although XDV overtime remains a significant portion of XDD salary expenditures, the Division has taken some measures to limit these costs and address the organizational inefficiencies:

  • Staff are being encouraged by managers to take time off in lieu of overtime. This has the benefit of not only reducing the overtime costs, but also allowing for more time to recuperate between visits and potentially reducing the stress on staff;
  • Staff reflected their own commitment to finding ways to reduce overtime;
  • Management is seeking clarification from DFAIT's human resource professionals on the use of overtime in order to ensure consistency in the charging of overtime across staff;
  • Management is working towards addressing the management and succession planning issues with staff meetings, training and job shadowing opportunities; and
  • Management is aware of the importance of retaining the high level of job satisfaction, and is addressing these issues with staff consultations and training.

4.2.4 Record Management

Finding #16:
There is a need for XDV to improve its record management and corporate memory.

The information related to visit management is currently controlled by individual officers responsible for visit planning and execution. There is a need for a single repository of important documents related to visits including final programs, actual programs, key emails, lessons learned, best practices, etc. to ensure that all staff have access to this information and for maintaining corporate memory. If officers continue to control the necessary information on individual basis there will be a significant loss each time there are staff changes. Since the information is not captured, documented and retained in corporate memory, much of the success of the visits and events currently depends on the long-term experience of some staff. In addition, the lack of systematic documentation of visits and events as they are planned and executed means that it is difficult for any Visit or Event Coordinator or Officer to replace another, reducing the opportunities to spread the workload among staff.

4.2.5 Performance Measurement and Monitoring

Finding #17:
XDV and XDS do not have a systematic mechanism for assessing or documenting performance on visits and events.

Though staff in both Divisions receives many letters of thanks and appreciation from foreign and Canadian dignitaries for whom they have provided services, there are no formal mechanisms for recording and sharing experiences or good practices. There is no systematic approach for identifying what worked, or what did not work, in a visit or event. While Canadian HOMs provide reports to the geographic branches on outgoing visits, they do not report on logistics, unless there has been a problem.

Staff recognize this gap but remark that they have very little time between visits and events (particularly visits) to document what has been done and the results. This presents a particular challenge with the expected retirements in both Divisions. Collecting and sharing information on performance would be important for visits and events planning, monitoring precedents in visits and events, learning lessons, improving performance and staff development.

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5.0 Conclusions

The following conclusions were derived from evaluation findings.

Conclusion #1:
There is a continuing need for federal government programs to support the organization of official visits and official events, as they are relevant to the priorities of the Government of Canada, DFAIT and CIDA and are a key component of building relationships among states.

The extensive interviews with internal and external stakeholders overwhelmingly reflect that stakeholders believe that programs for organizing official visits and official events are still very much required. They are highly relevant to supporting the priorities, not only of DFAIT, but also other departments, such as CIDA, and the priorities of the government as a whole. Some execution of official visits and events has been contracted to the private sector (e.g., the management of the hospitality facilities) but the overall planning and execution of the visits and events remains a critical role for the federal government to play, as it contributes to the development of relationships between and among states.

Conclusion #2:
While there is a continuous need for these programs, the nature of official visits and events is changing and there is a decline in demand for some services.

The data on visits and events, as well as the interviews, suggest that the nature and number of official visits and events is changing. It is dependent, to a large extent, on the Government of the day but, in addition, there are general trends in many western countries towards fewer and less formal visits and events. This is reflected in a decline in the demand for official events on the 9th Floor of the Lester B. Pearson Building and at Rideau Gate. The delivery of visits and events has to accommodate these changes. As a result staffing in XDS has decreased by 2 FTEs.

Conclusion #3:
There is very strong appreciation of the professionalism, flexibility and attention to detail of XDV and XDS staff in organizing official visits and official events.

Both XDV and XDS have demonstrated flexibility in the approaches to their work and there is overwhelmingly positive appreciation of their services. Visits and events are organized professionally and without obvious problems for dignitaries. In addition, there is high praise for the flexibility and attention to detail of XDV and XDS staff. External stakeholders noted the ability to provide "extra touches" that personalize the standard services.

Conclusion #4:
The quality and standard of services offered by XDV and XDS are consistent with the internationally accepted standards.

The services that are offered are reportedly consistent with the Canadian style that is less formal and more focused on working events, and with those provided in comparable countries (notably Western European countries). The Canadian style is also consistent with trends that are occurring internationally towards fewer and less formal visits and events. While respecting protocol, the service is based on need and, in the case of security, on risk assessment, not ceremonial practices. XDV is currently undertaking a detailed review of specific services offered (e.g., accommodation, meals) and comparing them to those offered by other countries.

Conclusion #5:
The efficiency and effectiveness of official visits and events rely on the experience and flexibility of key long-term staff and relationships of trust built up with other stakeholders, rather than on clearly documented procedures and guidelines.

The delivery of efficient and effective visits and events is based on the professionalism and dedication of staff and the experience of key long-term staff. Consultations and coordination with other DFAIT staff and staff at the PCO, PMO and OGDs are reportedly very effective, being based on relationships of trust built up with stakeholders over time. They are not based on clearly documented roles and responsibilities or procedures and guidelines. Given the nature of the work and the flexibility that is required to accommodate a wide range of clients and much variation in how visits and events are identified and evolve, this less formally documented approach appears to work well, at least in part because of the flexibility of the staff and the respect for mandate of other stakeholders. However, due to the anticipated departure of key staff and the requirement for maintaining corporate memory, there is a need to provide mechanisms for documenting XDV and XDS activities. This will contribute to ensuring continuity in the excellent service that has been provided by staff in recent years.

Conclusion #6:
XDV and XDS staff operate under high levels of stress and, particularly XDV, incur a lot of overtime. While this presents a challenge for managing the staff work/life balance, staff report a high level of job satisfaction.

Staff operate in an environment that contributes to high stress levels - they have to meet the expectations of a wide variety of external client, they travel frequently internationally, often on a short notice, they work within tight timeframes and there is no margin for error in their work. In spite of the stress that staff report, they also report a high level of job satisfaction. Staff, particularly in XDV, also incur a lot of overtime. However, the current arrangement, particularly for XDV, presents a challenge to the work/life balance because of the amount of overtime. Management is addressing the issue by encouraging staff to take time off in lieu of overtime, in order to reduce stress and overtime costs.

Conclusion #7:
Most of this overtime is related to the fact that one or two staff are key to each visit or event, with limited opportunities for the use of backups or replacements and limited use of technology for sharing documents and information.

Incoming and outgoing visits at the head of state/government level require a larger team to coordinate the programme, particularly when a hospitality event is included. In these cases, one Coordinator is assigned to the overall visit with a Visits Officer assigned to each city (when in Canada) or each country (abroad). For XDS, a minimum of one Coordinator and one Officer would be assigned to coordinate the hospitality event within the program. However, the success of the incoming and outgoing visits at the ministerial or guest of government levels is largely dependent on the work of a single visits officer. During our peak periods of visits, there are limited opportunities for back-ups for Coordinators/Officers as there aren't additional people available nor is there a systematic visits management system, for easy sharing of visit plans, reporting and performance monitoring. As a result, staff cannot easily be replaced on a visit once they have begun working on the file.

Conclusion #8:
Since the success of official visits and official events relies to a great extent on the experience of long-term staff, the upcoming retirements of key staff leads to a challenge for succession planning, but also an opportunity to encourage more work sharing and use of technology.

The success of official visits and events depends, to a large extent, on the experience and knowledge of key long-term staff who have established trust relationships with key internal and external stakeholders. Yet a number of these staff will be retiring in the next few years and it will be important for both XDV and XDS to ensure the transfer of knowledge and skills from long-term to newer staff. To contribute to this, management is encouraging more work sharing and job shadowing. However, there could also be a greater use of information technology for sharing documents and information on visits, hence, reduce the need for only a few key staff to work on each visit. This technology could also be used to provide more information related to visits and events planning, monitoring precedents in visits and events, learning lessons, improving performance and staff development.

Conclusion #9:
There are challenges to the continued operations of Hangar 11 as well as little incentive for DFAIT to expand the use of the facility.

The management of Hangar 11 is complicated by a number of factors: Hangar 11 was recently renovated, but, in spite of the renovation, the facility is still considered as a modest facility for receiving dignitaries. DFAIT is limited in what it can do to renovate the facility because the facility has been declared heritage building and maintenance of the building in its original state is increasingly difficult due to the challenges of finding spare parts. Currently the ownership of the land, the facility and the operations of Hanger 11 involve a large number of stakeholders (TC, PWGSC, DND), as well as being of interest to Parks Canada for the heritage designation and to the private operator the Ottawa International Airport. It is important that DFAIT engage these stakeholders in addressing the future use of this facility before maintenance poses critical problems.

Further, the Hangar itself is used for large scale indoor parades and ceremonies hosted by groups such the air cadets and Ottawa Police. The facility is made available to these groups free-of-charge. DFAIT does have the authority to recover costs, but does not have the authority to generate revenues. The out-of-pocket costs are limited and XDD does not consider that it would be cost-effective to set-up mechanisms to recover these cost. DFAIT cannot charge for the use of the facilities to recover a portion of the general operating costs of the facilities. Thus, increasing the use of the facility would further contribute to its deterioration and would incur additional non-recoverable costs.

Conclusion #10:
Demand for the services offered on the 9th Floor and Rideau Gate is declining, however these facilities are still important to meeting Canada's hospitality requirements.

Although stakeholders are impressed with the quality of service offered at the 9th Floor and Rideau Gate, there are challenges related to the use of these facilities. Portfolio Ministers have a priority and can displace existing bookings (this is a consideration when people are booking the facility); the TB standard meal allowances are insufficient to cover the cost of the least expensive meal on the 9th Floor. To go beyond the standard allowance DM approval is required and senior managers are reluctant to make such a request. The approval process- which is outside of the Bureau of Protocol's control - could be lengthy which is not consistent with the timeliness for planning hospitality. Furthermore, the use of alcoholic beverages for non-official events also requires ministerial approval. To avoid these lengthy procedures, especially when the timeframes of a visit are short, senior managers tend to use private facilities when they need to offer hospitality for non-official events.

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6.0 Recommendations

Recommendation #1:
It is recommended that XDV and XDS focus on succession planning by putting in place mechanisms for knowledge transfer and developing experience.

The findings of this evaluation reflect the extent to which the success of both official visits and official events depends on the quality and experience of XDV and XDS staff. Management is already aware of upcoming staff retirements and has begun the process of the transfer of knowledge and developing the skills of new staff. This would include not only providing opportunities for staff development through training and job shadowing but also improved documentation of the processes involved in visit and event planning and execution. One option might be to document, as case studies, sample visits or events. Since analysis and writing are not strong skills among visits and events staff, XDV and XDS might consider engaging external resources (e.g., interns, summer students) to help with documentation.

Recommendation #2:
It is recommended that XDV and XDS adopt approaches to improve the sharing of resources and the use of technology to improve the workload allocation and reduce the stress and overtime requirements of staff.

XDD has already begun to encourage the sharing of resources between Divisions within the Bureau. This provides not only more flexibility to adapt to the variations in workload but also provides opportunities for staff development and more flexibility for the management of overtime. Management is also aware of the challenges that the overtime poses to the work/life balance for staff. However, the two Divisions need to make better use of technology to allow for more sharing of information before, during and after visits and events. An option would be the development of a database or shared information system to make it easier for different staff to work on the same visit or event and reduce the tendency to work in silos for individual visits or events. This would, not only increase opportunities for work sharing on a visit or event, but also facilitate the documentation of visits and events and the identification of good practices. It would also provide better information for the two Divisions with respect to tracking, over time, the amount of planning time they have for visits and events.

Recommendation #3:
It is recommended that XDV explore options for reducing overtime, while retaining the flexibility necessary for visit planning and execution.

XDV staff travel frequently internationally, often on a short notice. They work within tight timeframes and incur a lot of overtime. Most of the overtime is related to the fact that only one or two staff are key to each visit or event, with limited opportunities for the use of backups or replacements and limited use of technology for sharing documents and information. While it is recognized that XDV staff are focused on meeting the needs and expectations of a wide range of clients, provide support for long hours during a visit, options need to be explored for a more efficient management of overtime.

Recommendation #4:
It is recommended that XDD explore options for increasing the use of the 9th Floor and at the Rideau Gate facilities.

In order to maintain the 9th Floor and Rideau Gate facilities, it is important that they be used in an optimal way. These facilities serve a useful purpose to provide high quality reception services that allow the Department to promote Canadian products. However, restrictions in the current hospitality guidelines make it difficult for senior DFAIT or OGD staff to use the facilities, since most menus available are not within the "Standard cost per person" in the current TB guidelines. As a result, DFAIT senior managers reportedly tend to use private facilities when they need to offer hospitality for non-official events. When these senior managers use commercial facilities for such events, they often absorb certain costs themselves in order to keep expenses below the standards. This is not an option available through the 9th Floor. This diminishes the use of the 9th Floor and Rideau Gate and thus makes them less cost effective. The recommendation is that XDD explore options for increasing the use of these facilities. Increased use would see reduced shared-costs as labour-related costs would be shared over a higher number of events.

Recommendation #5:
It is recommended that XDD begin discussions with external stakeholders on the future of Hangar 11.

Maintaining the physical facility at Hangar 11 is getting increasingly difficult, given the age of the building and the lack of spare parts. However, Canada needs a suitable facility for receiving the PM, the GG and foreign dignitaries arriving in private aircraft and that facility needs to be able to offer reception services for these dignitaries. Currently the ownership of the land and the facility and the operations of Hangar 11 involve a large number of stakeholders (TC, DND, PWGSC), as well as being of interest to other stakeholders, such as Parks Canada (for the heritage designation) and the private operator of the Ottawa International Airport. It is important that DFAIT engage these stakeholders in addressing the future of Hangar 11 before maintenance of the facility poses critical problems.

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7.0 Evaluation Recommendations with Management Response & Action Plan

Recommendation 1:

It is recommended that XDV and XDS focus on succession planning by putting in place mechanisms for knowledge transfer and developing experience.

Associated Findings: 10

Management Response & Action Plan:

1. XDS has updated its reference manual and will continue to explore mechanisms for knowledge transfer and developing experience. The reference manual will be updated on quarterly basis.

Responsibility Centre: XDS

Time Frame: Summer 2012

2. XDS will also revise and update the procedures manual specifically targeted at new employees. It will identify a reference level coordinator.

Responsibility Centre: XDS

Time Frame: November 2012

3. XDS will conduct a review of large scale events to systematically capture "lesson" Learn. The review would include written documentation and check- lists for future reference.

Responsibility Centre: XDS

Time Frame: Ongoing

4. XDV has a well-established system for past visits, including visit programmes. There are also two calendars used to track visits including confirmations and officer assignments. Based on an action plan developed as a result of a team retreat, XDV is pursuing initiatives to improve knowledge transfer and provide opportunities to develop experience.

Responsibility Centre: XDV

Time Frame: March 2012

5. Initiatives underway include:

  • A review of existing software to identify a possible visits management system adaptable to XDV's needs;

Responsibility Centre: XDV

Time Frame: March 2012

  • Identifying opportunities for overlap between new employees and retiring ones to ensure training for a seamless transition (using SAP program, Pre-retirement Transition Leave. Currently, there are no firm retirement dates in XDV;

Responsibility Centre: XDV

Time Frame: March 2012

  • Systematic post-mortems for PM, GG and large-sale incoming visits to discuss best practices and lessons learned. Meeting notes with action items assigned are drafted and distributed to the entire team;

Responsibility Centre: XDS

Time Frame: Ongoing

  • Development of guides with support material (templates, organizational chart, check lists and, frequently used documents) to ensure consistent approach at missions for coordinating a visit of the GG or PM abroad. A similar guide is to be developed for incoming visits. This will bring consistency and clarity of procedures and requirements for XDV staff, missions and geographic desks when coordinating visits;

Responsibility Centre: XDS

Time Frame: March 2012

  • An initial compilation of reference material has been gathered and made available to all staff in the XDV meeting room. Other material is added upon receipt.

Responsibility Centre: XDS

Time Frame: Ongoing

Recommendation 2:

It is recommended that XDV and XDS adopt approaches to improve the sharing of resources and the use of technology to improve the workload allocation and reduce the stress and overtime requirement for staff.

Associated Findings: 15, 16 and 17

Management Response & Action Plan:

1. XDS uses the Official Events System (OES) for the management of all XDS events. The OES has received much interest from partner agencies as well as from missions, the AA community and others who are enthusiastic about the possibility of the OES being rolled-out department wide.

Responsibility Centre: XDS

Time Frame: March 2012

2. The OES has slowly moved up the Corporate Information Advisory Committee project priority grid (first submitted in 2009), but has yet to make it into the top slots. XDS will re-initiate efforts to implement OES as a web-based multi-faced client management system.

Responsibility Centre: XDS

Time Frame: Ongoing

3. XDS eager to explore new technologies that would streamline the delivery of official events both within Canada and abroad. XDS had initial discussion with AIAW about the possibility of introducing Blackberry Playbooks as a registration tool for large-scale events.

Responsibility Centre: XDS

Time Frame: March 2012

4. XDS will also explore possibilities for technologies such as the Playbook for things such as seating plans, menus sharing last minute programming changes, etc.

While very much at the preliminary stages, XDS will continue to explore the possibilities of introducing new and emerging technologies into the event management process. Nonetheless, it is import to be cognisant of both fiscal constraints and the security requirements of Signet.

Looking beyond event management, XDS will examine the feasibility of implementing the bar code technology in inventory management of both the Gift Bank and the Wine Cellar.

XDS has also established an "XDS Tech Needs Tiger Team" to examine ways new technologies can be incorporated into and adapted for daily activities as well reviewing urgent tech needs and requirements for existing systems and monitoring the delivery of tech support required by the paid Service Level Agreement that XDD has with the technical team.

Responsibility Centre: XDS

Time Frame: Ongoing

5. For some time, XDV has recognized the need to better use technologies to facilitate visits coordination. To this end, XDV has undertaken to explore available technologies to support visits management. A working group has been struck to identify possible solutions using existing software. Consultations with provincial colleagues have also been undertaken to learn what they are currently using for visits management. Several demonstrations by software companies have been organized with others underway. It would be preferable to work with an existing software with some modifications rather than pursue the development of a new, customized software given time and financial requirements for such a project.

Responsibility Centre: XDV

Time Frame: Summer 2012

6. Based on this research, XDV is seeking to identify a software program, identify modifications and develop and implementation plan. Despite recognized need, there are considerable constraints to implementing this program including limited technology support available, SIGNET security requirements, and needs for training and fiscal limitations.

Responsibility Centre: XDV

Time Frame: Ongoing

7. XDV has also been successful in securing approval to have both Blackberry Messenger and PIN-to-PIN technologies on their Blackberries, a first for an operational unit in the Department. This has allowed for greater compatibility with clients and partners who use these technologies for visit planning and execution. This has also allowed for better management of the email inbox which no longer store the multiple short, transitory e-mails of a visit.

Responsibility Centre: XDV

Time Frame: Ongoing

8. XDV continues to explore ways to maximize the use of Blackberry as a communication device. XDV is required to disseminate large amounts of information on standards of treatment for incoming visits as well as provide guidance/documents on outgoing visits of the GG, PM and portfolio ministers. Whether the geographic desk is preparing an event request form or a mission is organizing a visit, XDV is key to providing protocol guidance. In order to better serve our colleagues, XDV is working to improve its Intranet presence. Information on standards of treatment and visits guides will be made available on this site. A directory of personnel and other useful documents will be added to the site. A temporary additional resource will assist with the compilation of documents starting this fall. The new intranet site will be launched for the new fiscal year.

Responsibility Centre: XDV

Time Frame: April 2012

9. Currently, visit programmes are developed on Wordperfect. As this software is dated and being phased out by the Department, XDV must identify a new software for developing its programmes that can be easily viewed and edited on both Playbooks and ipads. In order to accelerate this transition, a process flow consultant will work with XDV to find new software, develop a programme template and run trials on both Playbooks and ipads. A trial use of these tablets with our programmes in PDF format will be done on an upcoming GG visit in November 2011. Feedback from this pilot will allow for further improvements.

Responsibility Centre: XDV

Time Frame: January 2012

10. Adopting this technology is important for XDV as key clients such as PM, OSGG and the Ministers'offices are already using tablets for visits. XDV is also working with AIAW to identify ways in which tablets can be used during visit preparation and execution. Playbooks are being used on a pilot basis for some advances and visits. In particular, XDV is exploring how tablets can allow for changes to the programme, development of diagrams as well as quick dissemination of updated documents. In the coming months AIAW will provide XDV with tablets on a pilot basis so that trials can be conducted.

Responsibility Centre: XDV

Time Frame: Ongoing

Recommendation 3:

It is recommended that XDV explore options for reducing overtime, while retaining the flexibility necessary for visit planning.

Associated Findings: 15 and 16

Management Response & Action Plan:

1. Despite the unpredictable and reactive nature of visits, XDV attempts to evenly distribute visit assignments among the team members. As a group, ways of reducing overtime have been explored. Additional support to a visit officer is provided for very complex, last-minute visits. During peak periods of visits, which typically occur in the spring and fall, XDV has sought assistance from XDS on visits. Staff members are encouraged to take advantage of quieter visits periods to use compensatory time earned as leave in lieu of cash. All reasonable efforts are made to avoid travel/work on weekends and statutory holidays, particularly when planning advance visits and XDV has some control over the schedule.

Management is sensitive to the needs of the team in terms of wanting a change, particularly when more regular work hours are desired. When requested, XDV managers work to identify possible job opportunities and facilitate the transition out of XDV.

Responsibility Centre: XDV

Time Frame: March 2012

2. In order to foster a better work-life balance, a formal back-up or buddy system is being developed so to provide full coverage of files during absences (whether on visits or on leave). A course on stress management, including the Stress Map exercise, is planned for the last quarter of 2012.

Responsibility Centre: XDV

Time Frame: Ongoing

3. As is outlined in the management response to Recommendation #2, XDV is actively pursuing the adoption of technologies that will improve consistency of approach, efficiency of work and corporate memory. Once fully implemented, these enabling technologies should help to reduce overtime.

With a view to increasing operational efficiency, XDV is reviewing workloads and responsibilities of various positions. A re-balancing exercise would provide better sharing of work across positions.

Responsibility Centre: XDV

Time Frame: Ongoing

Recommendation 4:

It is recommended that XDD explore options for increasing the use of the 9th Floor and Rideau Gate facilities.

Associated Findings: 14

Management Response & Action Plan:

1. XDS will explore ways to promote the usage of the government hospitality facilities on the 9th Floor and at Rideau Gate. One avenue being considered is info-sessions for senior managers and the staff who reserve these venues as well as possibly for OGDs such as DND and CIDA. These info-sessions would include raising awareness of DFAIT signature requirements and timelines required for hospitality event approvals.

Responsibility Centre: XDS

Time Frame: March 2012

2. XDS will also examine a reference sheet of local commercial venues of comparable quality. While this reference sheet will not be able to capture some of the intrinsic benefits of the 9th Floor and Rideau Gate such as the promotion of Canadian Produce and Canadian wine, not to mention the privacy the secure location, and security-cleared staff, it will be helpful for clients to be able to quickly assess value for money.

Responsibility Centre: XDS

Time Frame: Summer 2012

Recommendation 5:

It is recommended that XDD begin discussions with external stakeholders on the future of Hangar 11.

Associated Findings: 13

Management Response & Action Plan:

1. XDD and XDV have begun discussions with external stakeholders to raise awareness of the long-term viability of Hangar 11. The complexity of shared jurisdictions and the magnitude of the issue will require engagement at the highest levels from the Centre and implicated departments. Given that the hangar is used by domestic and international high level dignitaries, interruption of service requires a solid contingency plan. A longer term vision for Hangar 11 (or an alternate) is critical to ensuring continuity of service to this important clientele.

Over the past year, XDV has re-established contact with DND to reopen negotiation of a previous inter-departmental MOU. DND has agreed to cover a portion of the grant-in-lieu-of-taxes but there remain a number of outstanding issues concerning maintenance and long-term viability of the hangar. XDV is also engaging DND to increase efficiency in the use of hangar staff's time when dealing with DND flights.

XDV has also engaged DFAIT's facility management bureau on the issue of the hangar. HAD has conducted a site visit of the facility and initial discussions on remaining repairs are ongoing. HAD is aware of the longer term issues with the hangar and future discussions will be held to address this matter in greater detail.

Although a government facility, it will be necessary to engage the Ottawa International Airport Authority on any long-term planning for the hangar. The facility is located in close proximity to the terminal. Should the airport wish to expand, there would be significant implications for all parties. Alternate locations for a similar facility would have to be discussed including jurisdictional authorities and financial responsibilities.

Responsibility Centre: XDD, XDV

Time Frame: Ongoing


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Footnotes

1 An exception would be the CBSA document outlining the National Courtesy Program arrangements.

2 Office of Protocol website, http://www.international.gc.ca/protocol-protocole/index.aspx Accessed May 2011.

3 Office of Protocol website, http://www.international.gc.ca/protocol-protocole/index.aspx Accessed May 2011.

4 In April 2009, XDV also took on responsibility for managing the foreign visits of heads of Canadian delegations to state funerals, inaugurations, anniversaries, etc., where the Governor General or the Prime Minister are invited.

5 Note that the ICA and GHA are provided as annually as part of the Bureau's Reference Levels.

6 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961, Section 3(e).

7 Royal Canadian Mounted Police Regulations, 1988 (SOR/88-361), Article 17.

8 Criminal Code, Section 2.

9 Services at the Vancouver and Calgary airports are provided by the airport authorities.

10 Greeting privileges are also available to distinguished guests of embassies and organizations who are not entitled to courtesy or expedited clearance.

11 Courtesy & Expedited Clearances & Greeting Privileges: Guide for Embassies & Foreign Affairs Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Admissibility Branch, undated.

12 Even for these visits, additional bilateral visits can be added to the visit on short notice.

13 For example, for official visits: guidelines for Governor General and Prime Ministerial visits, visit and budgeting templates, staffing guidelines and an event request form; and for official events: hospitality arrangement checklist, guidelines for the purchase and presentation of gifts, programme for XDS and wine inventory document.

14 An exception would be the CBSA document outlining the National Courtesy Program arrangements.

15 For example, in 2010/11 DND provided funds to PWGSC in order to pay the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) which the federal government makes to the municipality annually in lieu of paying property taxes. DND has made these payments only once.

16 With the option for DFAIT to extend the contract for up to two one-year terms.

17 Alcoholic beverages are provided from DFAIT's Wine Cellar.

18 In the third year of the contract. This does not include overtime costs.

19 "Directive on the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences," Section 2.3, http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pol/doc-eng.aspx?id=19855&section=text/ Accessed May 2011.

20 Hospitality Rates April 1, 2011 (Treasury Board Guidelines, Appendix C)

21 "Directive on the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences," Section 2.5.1. The Deputy Minister's authority for this approval reportedly cannot currently be delegated to other senior managers.

22 "Directive on the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences," Section 2.5.1. The Deputy Minister's authority for this approval reportedly cannot currently be delegated to other senior managers., p. 8.

Office of the Inspector General

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Date Modified:
2013-01-02