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Inspection of the High Commission of Canada - Canberra, Australia
December 5 - 9, 2011
- Inspection Scope and Objectives
- Executive Summary
- 1 Mission Management
- 2 Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)
- 3 Commercial Economic (CE)
- 4 Consular
- 5 Common Services
- Appendix A: Mission Resources Fact Sheet
- Appendix B: Frequently Used Acronyms
Inspection Scope and Objectives
The scope of the Inspection included a review of Mission Management and the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service, Commercial Economic, Consular and Common Services programs. The inspection objectives were to:
- Assess the effectiveness of the leadership and management practices of the Head of Mission (HOM) and the Mission Management team;
- Review the alignment of plans and activities, and program integration to Government of Canada and departmental objectives and priorities;
- Assess the adequacy of management controls and systems, procedures and the reliability of information for decision making and accountability purposes;
- Determine the extent of compliance with legislation, regulations and operating policies;
- Evaluate the use of resources to determine that they are judiciously used and if value-for-money is received; and
- Make recommendations, where warranted, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Mission and its programs.
The focus and extent of on-site work was based on an assessment of materiality and related risk. This was done through communication with Headquarters (HQ) bureaux, including briefings by line management and the functional bureaux, review of relevant HQ and Mission documentation, past audit findings, and an analysis of recurring trends and systemic issues.
During the Inspection, inspection issues and lines of enquiry were further refined from information gathered through interviews with the Head of Mission and program managers, a meeting with Locally Engaged Staff (LES) representatives of the LES Management Consultation Board, individual interviews with staff, and results of other documentation reviewed. The level of inspection work was therefore based on issues and information identified and gathered at all levels: HQ, Mission management and Mission operations.
An Inspection of Mission Management, the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS), Commercial Economic (CE), Consular and Common Services programs was conducted at the High Commission of Canada in Canberra, Australia from December 5 to 9, 2011. A previous audit/inspection of these programs took place in 2006.
The High Commission in Canberra is a medium-sized mission with 19 Canada-based Staff (CBS), which includes 7 CBS on exchange with various Australian government ministries, and 25 Locally Engaged Staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in Australia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. Partner departments represented at the mission include Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Privy Council Office, *** and Department of National Defence.
The Consulate General in Sydney reports to the High Commission in Canberra, as do the Honorary Consuls in Perth and Melbourne. Services are provided between Canberra and Sydney on a hub and spoke basis and by Canberra to the mission in Wellington. There is significant collaboration between Canberra and Sydney. Mission planning and reporting (MPR) is developed with input from all programs in both missions and discussed at regular meetings between the two missions. The CE Business Plan is elaborated jointly and represents the CE operations in both missions.
The mission is *** managed with a *** Head of Mission (HOM) and a solid management team. Communications in the mission are good and an effective committee structure is in place, which is used to facilitate the mission's whole-of-government agenda. The mission supports an extensive and productive partner department exchange program with Australian counterparts.
Semi-annual retreats are held with both missions in Canberra and Sydney, and LES Management Consultation Board (LESCMB) meetings are held jointly for both missions. High- level visits are used to leverage differing program needs and to facilitate networking. While the whole-of-government concept has been embraced and operationalized, development of a formal mission advocacy strategy would be useful to further facilitate coordination of activities and policy cohesion. As an example of pro-active management, the mission, in reviewing the pre-inspection process, developed a 40-point action plan to strengthen various aspects of their operations.
The FPDS program is *** managed under the leadership of a *** program manager. Roles and responsibilities are well defined, communications are effective, and there is good teamwork across the program. The program manager also serves as the Deputy High Commissioner. The program is heavily tasked on a reactive basis due to multiple accreditations and has little time for proactive advocacy. Only two of the 7.5 staff are devoted to bilateral activities. The Public Affairs section is fully engaged and operating effectively providing support to other programs and visiting delegations. More attention is required to fully plan and operationalize activities in the context of the New Way Forward.
Canberra and Sydney are distinct service points for the same Australia-wide CE program while operating under a joint CE plan. The STC is a *** manager promoting communication through an open-door policy and *** delegating responsibility. He has ensured that program objectives are linked to departmental plans and priorities. The CE program is providing good service to clients and the HOM provides valuable support to the program, leveraging his network on behalf of Canadian interests. Developing appropriate indicators will assist the program in planning, as well as in evaluating progress towards higher-level goals. From an all Australia perspective, the InfoCentre located in Sydney, should provide similar services to all trade commissioners throughout the country. As well, the organizational structure, including staff levels and their location, should be evaluated to ensure alignment with Canadian interests in Australia.
Consular and passport services are provided to Canadian citizens in five Australian states and territories with the mission in Sydney responsible for the remainder of the country. The consular program is *** managed and operating ***. The program benefits from strong teamwork, led by a long serving consular officer. There is effective communication with staff participating in the weekly admin/consular meeting. Mandate letters for the Honorary Consuls should be updated with a provision for performance review. Inventory controls *** should be strengthened.
The Common Services program is functioning *** under a newly arrived Management Consular Officer (MCO) with the support of experienced staff. In preparation for the inspection, the MCO had produced an action plan to address identified deficiencies within the program. Many of these have already been implemented and those outstanding will be addressed over the next few months. This includes the need for service standards and policies and procedures to be developed or updated. A mechanism to receive client feedback should also be implemented as part of the overall service delivery standards. A hub and spoke agreement for IM-IT services should be established between Canberra and Sydney/Wellington/Auckland that would outline roles and responsibilities. As well, a multi-year capital acquisition plan is required beginning in FY2012/13. An approved LE-08 Mission Administration Officer position has not yet been staffed pending a mission request ***.
A total of 41 inspection recommendations are raised in the report, 39 are addressed to the mission and 2 are addressed to headquarters. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 41 recommendations, management has stated that 24 have been implemented. For each of the remaining 17 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
1.1.1 The High Commission in Canberra, Australia is a medium-sized mission with 19 Canada-based Staff (CBS), which includes 7 CBS on exchange with various Australian government ministries, and 25 Locally Engaged Staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in Australia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. Partner departments represented at the mission include Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Privy Council Office (PCO), *** and Department of National Defence (DND).
1.1.2 The mission is managed by an EX-04 Head of Mission (HOM) who is responsible for overall mission operations and oversees the operational and capital budgets of $1.4 million and $76 thousand respectively. The mission also manages a property portfolio that includes a chancery, an official residence as well as six Crown-owned and 12 Crown-leased staff quarters.
1.1.3 The Consulate General in Sydney reports to the mission in Canberra, as do the Honorary Consuls in Perth and Melbourne. Services are provided between Canberra and Sydney on a hub and spoke basis and by Canberra to the mission in Wellington. There is significant collaboration between Canberra and Sydney. The MPR is developed with input from all programs in both missions and discussed at regular meetings between the two missions. The Commercial Economic (CE) Business Plan is elaborated jointly and represents the CE operations in both missions.
1.2 Mission Management
|Key Mission Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The Mission's strategic objectives are consistent with Government and DFAIT priorities and guide staff performance measurement objectives.||X|
|The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) is an effective forum to review and make decisions on Mission policies and management issues.||X|
|The Locally-engaged staff Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) is representative of mission programs and employee levels, and is utilized by both LES and mission management to facilitate communication.||X|
|Mission Management ensures that employees remain informed of key priorities and common services policy decisions.||X|
|Canadian public service values and ethics are promoted and reinforced, and employees are aware of available support resources (values and ethics, staff relations, etc.).||X|
1.2.1 The mission is operating well, led by a *** HOM and supported by a solid management team. The mission's MPR objectives are strategic and consistent with DFAIT and broader government priorities, focussing on public policy development and comparisons with Australia. The mission supports an extensive partner department exchange program with Australian counterparts in addition to facilitating many high-level visits from Canadian officials from across government. The mission's committee structure is functioning well with all required committees in place.
1.2.2 As an example of pro-active management, the mission, in reviewing the pre-inspection process, developed a 40-point action plan to strengthen various aspects of their operations. One of the immediate actions taken was to expand the mandate of the Committee on Mission Management (CMM) to take on a more involved role in administrative and policy issues.
1.2.3 Communications in the mission are good with effective mechanisms in place, including distribution of CMM minutes to all staff, regular program staff meetings, town hall meetings and broadcast messages. Semi-annual retreats are held with both missions in Canberra and Sydney, and LES Management Consultation Board (LESCMB) meetings are held jointly for both missions.
1.2.4 Staff morale has been impacted by the recent total compensation review (TCR) roll-out and the elimination of the salary packaging benefit for local staff. These issues are being addressed by the mission in consultation with headquarters, which has helped to boost LES confidence that mission management takes these issues seriously. Employees also cited a desire for more recognition of their efforts and greater empowerment in carrying out their responsibilities.
1.3 Whole of Government
|Key Whole of Government Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Mechanisms are in place to ensure a whole-of-government approach is taken for mission and program planning.||X|
|Mission and program plans are implemented in a coordinated manner to ensure policy coherence and effectively leverage the Canadian presence.||X|
|Partner departments contribute to the overall effective governance of the Mission and its operations.||X|
|Common Services are provided in line with the memorandum of understanding and any issues are addressed at CMM.||X|
1.3.1 The CMM is used as the main mechanism to ensure whole-of-government coordination. The mission houses a number of partner departments and agencies, partly due to the close relationship between Canada and Australia that entails active consultations in a variety of areas. There is a weekly coordination meeting of liaison officers ***.
1.3.2 In addition to the partner departments present at the mission, there are also a number of Canadian public servants filling exchange positions within Australian ministries and agencies. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT)/Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) exchange program has been a long-standing feature of our relations with Australia, providing important benefits to both countries.
1.3.3 The HOM is *** regarding the whole-of-government agenda. In addition to encouraging partner department program managers to help strengthen overall mission governance, the HOM has also taken important steps to build cohesion among the diverse interests present at the mission. High-level visits are used to leverage differing program needs and to facilitate networking. Support to, and engagement with, the exchange officers has been useful and appreciated.
1.3.4 While the whole-of-government concept has been embraced and operationalized, development of a formal mission advocacy strategy would be useful to further facilitate coordination of activities and policy cohesion.
1.4 Management Controls
|Key Management Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Mission committees are meeting regularly and effectively discharging their governance responsibilities.||X|
|A Mission Emergency Plan (MEP) is in place and tested regularly.||X|
|Security policies and regulations are respected and promoted.||X|
|The quarterly reconciliation of passport inventory is properly completed and certified.||X|
|Program managers are provided regular financial/budget updates to facilitate effective management and decision making.||X|
|Bank reconciliations are properly reviewed and signed-off on a monthly basis.||X|
|Mission hospitality guidelines are appropriate and reviewed annually by CMM.||X|
|Hospitality activities are properly documented, demonstrate value-for-money and align with mission objectives.||X|
|All employees have performance objectives set and annual reviews occur.||X|
|The Honorary Consul (HonCon) has an up-to-date mandate letter and performance is reviewed annually.||X|
1.4.1 Management controls are in place and functioning well with improvement required in some areas.
1.4.2 The mission is currently integrating existing emergency plans into one comprehensive document and will conduct testing once finalized.
1.4.3 Mandate letters for the Honorary Consuls (HonCon) need to be drafted outlining responsibilities expectations and financial considerations. As well, procedures are required to ensure that HonCon performance is reviewed on an annual basis.
1.4.4 Performance Management Program (PMP) evaluations are in place for most staff. However, some employees advised that the PMP process is not properly used and very little feedback is given to LES. The PMP process needs to be improved to ensure that a consistent and mission-wide approach is applied.
1.5 Official Languages
|Key Official Languages Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The Official Languages Act is respected and promoted by Mission Management.||X|
|Mission signage is provided in both English and French and a bilingual Official Languages Co-ordinator has been appointed.||X|
|The Mission has sufficient capacity to communicate with and provide services to the public, both orally and in writing, in both official languages.||X|
1.5.1 The mission respects Canada's official languages in its official communications and signage. However, the mission's bilingual capacity is somewhat limited by LES language profiles. In an effort to address this, mission hiring practices have been adjusted to incorporate bilingual capacity. The recently hired receptionist and consular assistant are fully bilingual.
Recommendations to the Mission
1.6.1 A formal mission advocacy strategy to guide common messaging and external engagement should be developed with input from all programs.
1.6.2 Program managers should be encouraged to utilize the PMP as a performance tool including the provision of feedback to employees. Refresher training/info session should be held, and a mechanism should be put in place to ensure PMPs are completed.
1.6.3 The Mission Emergency Plan should be finalized and tested.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
1.6.1 Canberra and Sydney are working together on a common advocacy strategy for Australia, building on existing close collaboration. As with existing efforts, common strategy will align with the MPR. In progress for September 2012.
1.6.2 Program managers were reminded by the HOM during CMM. The HOM, HOM's assistant and MCO have access to PMP mission report for on-going monitoring. Implemented December 2011.
1.6.3 The MEP was finalized on April 16, 2012 and tested on May 21, 2012 during a visit of the Regional Emergency Officer based in Kuala Lumpur. Implemented May 2012.
Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)
2.1.1 The FPDS program is headed by an EX-01 Deputy High Commissioner who manages an FS-04 *** Liaison Officer, an FS-02 Political Officer supported by an LE-08 Public Policy Analyst, an LE-06 General Relations Assistant, an LE-08 Academic Relations and Education Marketing Officer supported by an LE-06 Academic Relations and Education Marketing Assistant (position is shared by two part time staff), an LE-05 Public Affairs Assistant (.5 FTE) and an Intern. The program's financial resources are provided below.
|Post Initiative Fund||14,000|
2.1.2 The program is engaged on a wide range of international security, economic and political issues, particularly those where Australia has extensive experience, South East Asia, China and the Pacific Islands. The program also advocates for trade and economic interests, administers academic linkages and promotes Canada as a study destination and research partner. A major challenge for the program is maintaining Canada's non-resident accreditation with *** Pacific Island states. CIDA's Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) funding for the Pacific Islands is also managed by the program.
2.2 Planning and Program Management
|Key FPDS Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|FPDS plans are aligned with the priorities and objectives outlined in the mission plan and informed by departmental and geographic bureau guidance and objectives.||X|
|FPDS plans outline intended outcomes and results are measurable.||X|
|Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and have been communicated to all staff.||X|
|Internal communications within the program effectively support program delivery.||X|
2.2.1 The FPDS program is *** managed by a *** manager, who supports staff with *** direction, feedback and follow-up. The program is complex with 10 staff members occupying 7.5 FTE positions, of which only two are devoted to core bilateral activities. The new policy analyst position, once staffed, will provide the program with greater capacity at the officer level ***. Defining the position's responsibilities and reporting relationship will be important. There is also an opportunity for efficiency gains by reviewing responsibilities and duties ***, including the identification of back-ups and possible tasking ***.
2.2.2 Roles and responsibilities are well defined and communications are effective with bi- weekly all-staff meetings, day-to-day interaction between staff and open access to the program manager. Program activities are aligned to the MPR and DFAIT objectives and priorities. However, more attention is required to fully operationalize program activities in the context of the NWF that would identify specific strategies, activities, initiatives and related timelines, required resources and expected outcomes and results.
2.2.3 The FPDS program takes the lead in developing and coordinating the mission's MPR. The MPR is used by the mission and its partner departments to identify reporting priorities and the proactive use of resources.
|Key FPDS Implementation Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Strategic objectives and plans have been translated into individual or team work plans.||X|
|Activities and initiatives are aligned with the Mission's key priorities and with the principles of the New Way Forward FPDS Renewal initiative.||X|
|Program reporting is in-line with Mission and government objectives, timely and relevant.||X|
|The program develops and maintains a contact base that meets programs needs and objectives.||X|
|Relations with other mission programs facilitate program delivery (e.g. public affairs).||X|
|The program facilitates a mission-wide coordinated approach to advocacy and common messaging.||X|
2.3.1 Overall, management controls are in place and functioning well. Planning at the section level and for individual staff has been largely informal and reactive. Once program plans are developed, they can be used as the basis for more detailed plans for the public affairs section and for individual staff. The public affairs section has recently held a mini-planning retreat and developed a draft operational plan as a basis to prioritize activities and ensure that tasks and projects are tracked and managed. The public affairs section provides support to other programs and visiting delegations and has increased its efforts in administering academic linkages and education promotion in lieu of proactive public affairs work. As an example and good practice, the Head of the section participates in CE program meetings. However, there is no formal advocacy strategy in place that would further facilitate coordination of common interests across the mission and that would ensure mission staff are aware of advocacy priorities and messaging.
2.4 Performance Measurement
|Key FPDS Performance Measurement Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The program has an established performance measurement system in place to monitor activities towards the achievement of objectives.||X|
|The program assesses performance against strategies / objectives and plans, and provides a high-level assessment of performance through the MPR system at the end of the fiscal year.||X|
|Hospitality diaries demonstrate value-for-money and alignment with priorities.||X|
2.4.1 While the program does assess and discusses its performance on an on-going basis, there is no system in place to formally and objectively measure the effectiveness of results and therefore demonstrate the achievement of objectives. This needs to be developed in conjunction with the implementation of operational plans.
Recommendations to the Mission
2.5.1 The FPDS program should develop operational plans that incorporate all activities and related resources and include a performance measurement system.
2.5.2 The mission should develop a mission advocacy strategy with input from all programs.
2.5.3 In conjunction with defining duties and responsibilities for the new policy analyst position, the program should re-evaluate the operational support duties ***.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
2.5.1 The mission will ensure existing operational plans are updated to reflect 2012-12 MPR and required work plans are implemented via PMPs and other existing planning exercises, including the regular bi-post meetings. Implemented June 2012.
2.5.2 Canberra and Sydney are working together on a common advocacy strategy for Australia, building on existing close collaboration. As with existing efforts, common strategy will align with the MPR. In progress for September 2012.
2.5.3 Since the inspection visit, there has been a clarification of tasking processes between the two assistants. Implemented January 2012.
Commercial Economic (CE)
3.1.1 The CE program is led by an FS-03 Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) and supported by two LE-09 officers and an LE-05 Trade Commissioner Assistant (TCA). The financial resources available to the program are provided below.
|Client Service Fund (CSF)||10,000|
|ITS Window - CSR||5,000|
|Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada||9,000|
3.1.2 Australia weathered the global credit crisis without a major economic contraction. Its extractive industries are performing exceptionally well, compensating for weaker results in manufacturing and services. Many Canadian companies see investment in Australia as a good springboard to accessing Asian markets. China is Australia's largest trading partner and, in 2010, Australia and New Zealand signed a joint Free Trade Agreement with the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN).
3.1.3 In 2010, Canadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA) in Australia grew by almost 58% to over $21 billion. At present, Australia is the sixth largest global destination for CDIA, trailing only the US, the UK, Ireland and two Caribbean countries. Australian statistics show a similar level of investment destined for Canada from Australia, although this is not reflected in Canadian data.
3.1.4 ***. The organizational structure, including CBS and LES resources, will be evaluated to ensure it aligns with Canadian interests in Australia and the changing market conditions. Although Canberra and Sydney each have an STC who independently manages his or her own human and financial resources, the two missions operate as distinct service points for the same Australia-wide CE program.
3.1.5 At present, Canberra leads on government-to-government engagement, including significant market-access advocacy on import quarantine restrictions. It also has responsibility for agriculture/food; aerospace and defence; metals, minerals and related equipment; and education.
3.1.6 Sydney, located in the country's largest city and financial centre, focuses on private- sector engagement. It leads on oil and gas; environmental industries; information and communications technology; health industries; building products and construction; apparel/fashion; and cultural industries. Sydney has recently, as a pilot, deployed a CBS officer to Melbourne in order to expand its network and better serve clients.
3.1.7 This report addresses the portion of the CE program operating in Canberra but also comments on elements that are common to the program based out of Sydney, such as the CE plan and the InfoCentre.
3.2 Planning and Program Management
|Key CE Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Program objectives reflect departmental plans and priorities, including partner departments where applicable.||X|
|Performance targets are defined, clear and measurable.||X|
|Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and have been communicated to all staff.||X|
|Internal program communication effectively supports program delivery.||X|
3.2.1 The STC is an *** manager *** and delegates ***. He has ensured that program objectives are linked to departmental plans and priorities and take into account the current trade realities in Australia. Generally, roles and responsibilities are clear, and the STC reviews expectations with officers on an individual basis. CE program meetings are held every three weeks and supported by frequent one-on-one conversations and other informal encounters.
3.2.2 PMPs are in place and up to date. Staff performance is monitored by the STC and discussions are held with officers on an individual basis.
3.2.3 The current CE plan for Australia is overly detailed (105 pages), obscuring relevant objectives and priorities. It lacks the focus necessary to efficiently communicate the key information in a strategic manner. Additionally, activities that normally constitute outputs are used as qualitative performance indicators, a practice which does not conform to effective performance measurement. Identifying priorities and developing appropriate indicators will assist the program in planning, as well as in evaluating progress towards higher-level goals.
|Key CE Implementation Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Business plan objectives and those outlined in management's PMAs (Performance Management Agreement) /PMPs (Performance Management Program) appropriately cascade down into staff PMPs.||X|
|Activities and initiatives are aligned with the mission's key priorities.||X|
|The program utilizes TRIO to facilitate client relationship management.||X|
|TRIO use is monitored to ensure activities are reported appropriately and accurately reflect the work undertaken.||X|
|InfoCentre functions are assigned and facilitate program delivery.||X|
3.3.1 Overall, the CE program is providing good service to clients. The mission's market access work is important to Canadian companies and of high value, especially since the associated demands often require government access at higher levels. The HOM provides *** support to the program, leveraging his network on behalf of Canadian interests and generating new opportunities through the use of travel and hospitality budgets.
3.3.2 Under the leadership of the STC, officers use TRIO to record services delivered to clients. Program performance, including TRIO use, is reviewed on a monthly basis during staff meetings, providing officers with ongoing performance feedback. The return of the TRIO champion to mission after extended leave may further opportunities to share lessons learned and best practices.
3.3.3 Considering the nature of the CE program in Australia, the InfoCentre, located in Sydney should provide similar services to all trade commissioners throughout the country. The reporting and program support the InfoCentre provides to Canberra should continue as it supports a cohesive program. To generate additional efficiencies and facilitate information exchange, the InfoCentre could also operate as a clearing house for all trade enquiries directed to the missions in Australia and New Zealand.
3.4 Performance Measurement
|Key CE Performance Measurement Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Tools and mechanisms are in place to measure and monitor performance of the program.||X|
|Program employees are involved in the performance measurement process.||X|
|Hospitality diaries are maintained in a fashion that demonstrates value-for-money and alignment with priorities.||X|
3.4.1 The STC uses the IBD Dashboard to monitor program performance, and results are discussed with staff on a monthly basis. This approach reinforces good practices and emphasizes the importance of maintaining accurate and timely reporting. The STC has been active in communicating with Ottawa on emerging areas of importance based on the evolution of the Australian market.
3.4.2 The evaluation of program performance and discussion of broader strategic issues are undertaken in conjunction with Sydney. This type of collaborative assessment will be especially important in evaluating the recent assignment of an FS-03 officer from Sydney to Melbourne, with a view to applying lessons learned to possible future deployments.
3.4.3 The hospitality activities reviewed were in line with the mission's objectives. However, there is a need to improve the quality of the documentation recorded in the hospitality diaries. The purpose of each event should be clear and evaluations should demonstrate if, and how, value-for-money was achieved.
Recommendations to the Mission
3.5.1 The CE plan for next fiscal year should be more focussed and concise in identifying priorities and related strategies and in defining corresponding qualitative indicators to support effective performance analysis.
3.5.2 The mission should work with Sydney to ensure that the InfoCentre provides consistent service to all trade commissioners in Australia.
3.5.3 All hospitality diaries should demonstrate value-for money by clearly evaluating how objectives were furthered and identifying possible follow-up activities.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
3.5.1 Canberra and Sydney have already ensured collaboratively that the Australia CE Plan (2012-13) is focussed and concise. The plan has been recognized by the inter-TCS competition for Integrative Trade Section funds as one of the most detailed in the context of relating qualitative indicators to effective performance analysis in reporting outcomes of funded initiatives. Canberra will focus on KPIs that reflect performance such as Service Requests, leads and Economic Outcomes. Canberra will keep measuring outcalls given that numbers provide evidence (in an economy as geographically dispersed as Australia) that Trade Commissioners are travelling and/or meeting with the key players in their sectors. Implemented February 2012.
3.5.2 Recognising that the Sydney Info Centre already provides consistent assistance to Canberra trade programs, consideration will be given to optimal delivery of gatekeeper function for Canberra, Sydney and any other nodes in an expanded TCS footprint in the market. Implemented December 2011.
3.5.3 At a trade team meeting, the importance of completing hospitality reporting was stressed. The Senior Trade Commissioner will approve diaries based on completeness of reporting. Implemented April 2012.
4.1.1 The Consular program is managed by the Management Consular Officer (MCO) who is supported by an LE-09 Senior Consular Program Officer, an LE-07 Passport Officer and an LE- 05 Passport Examiner/Consular Assistant. The program also receives support from the Honorary Consul (HonCon) located in Perth. A new HonCon has been identified to assume duties in Melbourne, however, the appointment is awaiting formal approval. The program's financial resources are provided below.
4.1.2 Consular and passport services are provided to Canadian citizens in five Australian states and territories including Australia Capital Territory (ACT), South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. In addition, the mission is also responsible for passport services in New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Northern Marianas, Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru and Guam. Consular services in these Pacific Island countries and territories are provided by Australian missions with the direction and supervision of the High Commission in Canberra under the Canadian-Australian consular sharing agreement.
4.1.3 The program provides approximately 2,600 passport services and processes approximately 380 citizenship applications per year. As well, a low volume of notarial requests are received and processed. There are 1,080 Canadian citizens identified in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database although the estimated number of Canadians residing in Australia is estimated to be 30,000.
4.1.4 There are a large number of detainees (65) currently in Australia managed by the missions in Canberra and Sydney, with 13 detainees having applied for transfer under the Transfer of Offenders Treaty (TOOT). The program in Canberra is responsible for the management of all TOOT applications, regardless of which mission holds the detainees file.
4.2 Program Management
|Key Consular Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Mission Consular plans and manuals are up to date.||X|
|Internal communications within the Program effectively support program delivery.||X|
|The Mission has ongoing dialogue with key local authorities to facilitate program delivery.||X|
|A warden network is in place and properly maintained.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
4.2.1 Overall, the Consular program is *** managed and operates ***. The program, led by a long-serving consular officer, benefits from strong teamwork. All LES are ***. There is effective communication with staff participating in the weekly admin/consular meeting as well as meeting informally amongst themselves to discuss policy or procedural changes. Staff are well aware of their roles and responsibilities, and workload is shared equitably.
4.2.2 The program has developed a workplan that identifies key activities and initiatives. The next step would be to assign responsibilities and timelines for completion. Consular plans and manuals are up to date. The Mission Emergency Plan (MEP) will be completed while the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) was updated in June 2011.
4.2.3 The mission has established and maintains a good network of contacts with local authorities such as police, prison authorities, government officials, airlines. It liaises frequently with like-minded missions to share information and practices. There is no warden network in Australia.
4.3 Client Service
|Key Consular Client Service Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Services are provided to Canadians in the official language of their choice.||X|
|Service standards, fee schedules and a copy of an official receipt are posted in public areas in both official languages.||X|
|Services are provided in line with established standards.||X|
|Client feedback is reviewed and corrective action is taken when warranted.||X|
4.3.1 The program is very busy with a steady consular case management workload and an increasing volume of passports and citizenship applications. Most services are provided through mail-in requests as the mission receives very few walk-in clients.
4.3.2 The program is client service oriented and provides a good level of service. Staff are dedicated, professional and competent. Although one staff member is bilingual, a back-up protocol needs to be developed to deal with unexpected absences of this individual to ensure client service is available in both official languages.
4.3.3 A copy of the service standards, a fee schedule and a copy of an official receipt are posted in the consular area. Bilingual information and pamphlets are also available.
4.3.4 Program staff actively encourage client feedback and a copy of the "bon voyage" brochure, feedback form and ROCA registration with every service. The mission receives a very good response rate averaging 30 per month, with feedback forms being sent to HQ.
4.3.5 As a best practice, copies of the feedback form should also be available in the consular area, with a locked drop box for clients to deposit feedback forms. The box should be controlled by the MCO and feedback shared with consular staff, HOM and HQ.
4.3.6 The HonCon located in Perth is provided with an annual tasking letter, outlining roles and responsibilities, however, the letter does not include an outline of the acceptable expenditures and amounts which will be reimbursed on a monthly basis. Appraisals are also completed. The HonCon in Perth reported that he had a very good working relationship with the consular program staff and that support and guidance were provided in a timely manner by both the mission and HQ.
4.4 Internal Controls
|Key Consular Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|A certified CBS signs-off on all passports.||X|
|Client documents and personal information are properly stored and secured.||X|
|Procedures and practices related to the collection of revenues are appropriate (e.g. segregation of duties, handling of cash, official receipts, record of fees received forms).||X|
|Revenues are transferred to the finance section in line with the Manual of Consular Instructions.||X|
|Upon receipt of new passport stock, two CBS verify the receipt of all assets, sign and return the transmittal note.||X|
|Passport stock is securely stored and the removal of assets is recorded on an inventory log and initialled by the CBS custodian and the employee receiving the asset.||X|
|Working inventories provided to staff are appropriate and controlled by a daily log (passports issued, spoiled, returned to safe storage).||X|
|Monthly and quarterly reconciliations of passport stock are properly completed and certified.||X|
|Official seals and stamps are properly inventoried, secured and access provided to designated staff only.||X|
4.4.1 Overall, controls governing *** consular activities were effective, although minor improvement in inventory controls is required.
4.4.2 The passport approval role has been repatriated to Canada. As such, there is limited CBS involvement in the passport process unless emergency travel documents (ETD) are required. Documents are appropriately secured, and the monthly and quarterly reconciliations are conducted properly.
4.4.4 Consular *** procedures have recently been strengthened although payments are usually made using postal cheques/money orders. The mission uses a locally developed electronic system to track revenue receipt. Official receipts are generated and reports are available which duplicate information contained on the EXT-119 form. ***. The MCO monitors and reviews all consular *** and verifies entries against bank deposits.
4.4.5 ***. The inventory should serve as a register, indicating to whom the *** were issued and recording the individual's acceptance of responsibility. The inventory should be reconciled at a minimum annually.
Recommendations to the Mission
4.5.1 Updated mandate letters for the HonCons should be drafted and include instructions on acceptable expenditures with the next performance review.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
4.5.1 Completed for the new Hon Con in Melbourne as per mandate letter dated February 28, 2012. For the HonCon in Perth, this letter has been updated and will be provided with the current performance review. Implemented May 2012.
4.5.2 ***. Implemented May 2012.
4.5.3 ***. Implemented May 2012.
5.1.1 The Common Services program is managed by an AS-06 Management Consular Officer (MCO) who is supported by one CBS and 8.5 LES. The mission has been approved for an LE- 08 Mission Administration Officer (MAO) position. ***. The issues concerning staffing of this position will need to be settled as soon as possible
5.1.2 The program is responsible for providing common services to 44 employees spread over four DFAIT and six partner programs including seven exchange officers attached with the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The program also provides IM-IT technical support to the mission in Sydney and the two missions located in New Zealand.
|Key Common Services Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|A Common Services Business Plan is in place and used to establish priorities and guide operations.||X|
|Common Services policies and procedures are documented and communicated to management, staff and clients.||X|
|Internal communications within the Program effectively support program delivery.||X|
5.1.3 The MCO arrived at the mission in August 2011 and was focussed on preparing for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that was held in Australia in October 2011. While this consumed a great deal of his effort, at the time of the inspection visit, the MCO was already *** active in the organization and future planning of the program. Overall, the Common Services program is functioning well. The IM-IT section in particular is functioning quite *** and does not require a great deal of the MCO's attention.
5.1.4 The MCO had produced a 40-item action plan to address some identified deficiencies within the program. Many of these have already been implemented and those outstanding will be addressed over the next few months. The MCO should use some discretion regarding the timing of implementation of the remainder of these issues as impacts on staff should be taken into consideration. Establishing an open line of communication in this regard with program staff will help to achieve positive results.
5.1.5 The MCO has produced a common services work plan, however there are no staff assigned to tasks nor are there deadlines associated with each task. This information would help the MCO in managing the plan.
5.1.6 Staff meetings with common services employees are held weekly although the receptionist is not included in these meetings. As well, there are no regular meetings established between the MCO and OR staff. These should be set at least quarterly.
|Key Common Services Client Service Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Service standards have been established and communicated to clients.||X|
|Services provided reflect fair and equitable allocation and access to common services for all mission programs.||X|
|A mechanism is in place to solicit and receive client feedback, and corrective action is taken when warranted.||X|
|Hub and spoke relationships are governed by an agreement outlining the roles and responsibilities of each mission.||X|
5.1.7 Overall, client services were effective, although there is room for improvement in the area of service standards and receiving client feedback. Service standards and policies and procedures for all areas of common services should either be developed or, in some cases updated, and will need to be communicated to clients once completed.
5.1.8 Once the program has service standards in place, a mechanism to receive client feedback should also be implemented as part of the overall service delivery standards. The program is currently receiving some feedback through the use of the work order system, although most clients raise concerns through the use of e-mail.
5.1.9 Although some services are provided to three other missions in the region, there is no hub and spoke agreement for IM-IT services between Canberra and Sydney/Wellington/ Auckland. This document would outline roles and responsibilities as well as measure and meet client expectations.
|Key Procurement and Contracting Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|A Contract Review Board (CRB) is in place and operating effectively with terms of reference.||X|
|Procurement and contracting procedures have been documented and communicated to all staff involved in the process.||X|
|Contracting files demonstrate compliance with policies and procedures.||X|
|The mission's multi-year Capital Acquisition Plan is approved by CMM annually.||X|
5.1.10 In general, contracting and procurement processes are effective. The MCO has developed procurement guidelines that clearly outline the process and roles to facilitate purchasing.
5.1.11 A mission Contract Review Board (CRB) is in place. Terms of reference (TOR) have recently been drafted but have yet to be approved and given to the board members. A contract register has been developed and is used to record all contracts. In some instances however, CRB approvals were not on file. Particular care should be taken to ensure proper documentation is maintained. One contract in particular, valued at over $135,000, did not contain the approval on file of the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD).
5.1.12 A multi-year capital acquisition plan had not been in place at mission prior to the arrival of the MCO. However, he has established a plan for the remainder of this FY and this had been approved by the CMM.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.1.13 The mission should consult with HQ to determine whether the mission can proceed to staff the LE-08 MAO position or consider alternative options.
5.1.14 The MCO should assign tasks and propose deadlines as part of the program work plan.
5.1.15 The receptionist should be included in weekly meetings.
5.1.16 The MCO should arrange for regular meetings with the OR staff.
5.1.17 Service standards should be updated and policies and procedures developed.
5.1.18 The mission should develop a client feedback mechanism to monitor service quality and receive suggestions for improvement.
5.1.19 A hub and spoke IM-IT service level agreement between Canberra and the missions located in Sydney, Wellington and Auckland should be developed.
5.1.20 The mission should ensure that all documentation concerning contract approvals by the CRB is maintained on file.
5.1.21 The mission should prepare a multi-year capital acquisition plan for CMM approval beginning in fiscal year 2012- 2013.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.1.13 The mission provided to AFO its rationale to decline this LE-08 position and recommended the reclassification of two Admin Assistant positions from LE-04 to LE-05. The mission is awaiting further confirmation from HQ. Implemented March 2012.
5.1.14 Agree for the 2012-13 program work plan. Implemented June 2012.
5.1.15 The receptionist has participated in meetings pending the availability of other program staff to replace her. More participation is expected in May following a commitment by other PMs to provide replacement staff, and a new reception roster was circulated to all staff in April. Implemented December 2011.
5.1.16 Quarterly meetings with OR staff started in fiscal year 2012-2013. Implemented June 2012.
5.1.17 Service standards will be updated and policies/procedures will be developed. Part of mission project is to use WIKI functionality. In progress for October 2012.
5.1.18 A client feedback survey form will be developed and made available to all staff. In progress for July 2012.
5.1.19 In line with last January Business planning for Common Service delivery, new Mission IM/IT Plans were created for each mission for 2012-2013. The CSRM confirmed to mission that there is no need for an extra hub and spoke agreement. Implemented January 2012.
5.1.20 The MCRB will document and maintain in their minutes a record of all decisions. These will be kept separate from the contract file maintained by the property section. Implemented December 2011.
5.1.21 Completed during the last January Business and budget planning exercise. An updated capital acquisition plan for 2012 will be submitted to CMM in June 2012. Implemented January 2012.
5.2 Human Resources
5.2.1 The human resources (HR) functions at the mission are managed by the MCO who is assisted by an LE-06 Personnel Administrator. The section processed three staffing actions and one grievance submission in 2011.
|Key HR Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|A Mission HR plan has been developed and submitted to headquarters.||X|
|New LES and CBS employees are provided with an information package on the working conditions, benefits and regulations pertaining to employment at the Mission.||X|
|A coordinated approach is taken with regards to training and a budget has been established.||X|
|Mechanisms are in place to monitor the completion of employee's performance evaluations.||X|
|Employee and position files are complete, maintained separately and properly secured.||X|
5.2.2 Overall, HR management is effective. The LE-06 personnel administrator is a long- serving employee who *** provides the MCO with *** advice.
5.2.3 A welcome kit is provided to all new CBS which includes detailed information designed to assist in the initial settling-in period of newly arriving CBS. Orientation briefings are also conducted by the personnel administrator and the MCO. LES are provided with information concerning values and ethics, the LES handbook and a copy of the office procedures information.
5.2.4 The personnel administrator has also developed a taken-on-strength checklist detailing steps required to assist new employees hired at the mission. This checklist has been shared with some missions within the region. A formal orientation checklist for LES would also be helpful to ensure new employees complete all steps in the process, receive all necessary documents and meet all key staff.
5.2.5 The mission has updated a number of job descriptions in recent years at the time competitions were conducted; however, not all job descriptions have been reviewed. A specific plan to review all job descriptions at minimum every five years, or when there is significant change in the duties of a position, would assist in this process.
5.2.6 Training needs are identified through the PMP process, however there is no mission- wide training plan or budget established. A mission-wide training plan would enhance management of training and facilitate budgeting as well as serve to coordinate and prioritize needs for all programs.
|Key HR Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Staffing actions are conducted in-line with the Locally-Engaged Staff and HQ Workforce Programs Bureau (ALD) guidelines. Written records supporting the process are maintained and contain required documents and approvals.||X|
|Letters of Offer are signed by the appropriate authority and include the appropriate clauses (e.g. values and ethics, etc.).||X|
|LES accrued leave and deductions are recorded and the related liabilities are monitored.||X|
5.2.7 Overall, HR processes and internal controls are in place and effective.
5.2.8 Competition files reviewed were well documented and included all key supporting documentation except in one file involving the *** competition. This employee was hired on a term basis in 2007 and extended for a second term due to expire in March 2012. Key documents were missing and there was no record on file to support the decision to use *** staffing. This position will have to be regularized in consultation with the Locally-Engaged Staff Services Bureau (ALD).
5.2.9 Separate position and employee files are maintained by the personnel administrator in locked filing cabinets. Employee files containing sensitive personal information (PMPs, discipline, grievances, etc.) ***. Files are well maintained and contain the documents outlined in the ALD checklists.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.2.10 The mission should develop a mission-wide training plan with an established budget to be presented at CMM.
5.2.11 Job descriptions should be updated every five years or whenever significant changes in duties occur.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.2.10 The mission provided mission-wide French training in February/March 2012 and is waiting for final budget allocation for 2012/13. Once PMPs are completed by end of June, this recommendation will be implemented. In progress for July 2012.
5.2.11 Job descriptions have been updated on all occasions of the many staffing actions over the last few years. Others are updated as required by any change in responsibilities. The outstanding job descriptions are the Personnel Administrator, the two Administration Assistants and the OR Cook. In progress for July 2012.
5.3 Physical Resources
5.3.1 The physical resources functions at the mission are the responsibility of the MCO who is assisted by an *** LE-07 property manager, two LE-04 administrative assistants and a GS-05 general services assistant.
5.3.2 The section manages a Crown-owned chancery located in a compound, a Crown-owned official residence, as well as 18 staff quarters, 6 of which are Crown-owned and 12 Crown- leased.
|Key Physical Resources Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Mission property and maintenance plans are up to date.||X|
|The Chancery and Official Residence (OR) are well maintained and maintenance schedules are in place.||X|
|An efficient process in place for receiving, processing and monitoring work orders.||X|
|Annual inspections are conducted to assess the state of SQs and input into maintenance and acquisition planning.||X|
5.3.3 Overall, the physical resources section is *** managed, although there is a duplication of duties between the two LE-04 administrative assistants who have similar job descriptions. ***.
5.3.4 The Mission Property Management Plan (MPMP) and the Mission Maintenance Work Plan (MMWP) are current although they will be due for updating in January 2012. PRIME data requires updating as newly arrived staff information and leasing information has not yet been entered into the system.
5.3.5 A strategy to deal with high maintenance Crown-owned SQs should be developed in liaison with the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD) as some properties are large, old and are expensive to maintain an appropriate level of upkeep. The question of value associated with these properties should be assessed ***.
5.3.6 The chancery is at capacity and would be stretched if required to accommodate any additional staff. In particular, the security zone, in its current layout and office configuration, cannot be considered to accept additional staff. Fire escape issues *** of the chancery will be outlined in the security report.
5.3.7 The work order request system is used by most staff within the chancery. However, the seven exchange officers assigned to work in various Australian ministries do not have access to this system. The mission should ensure a system is in place whereby any work requests submitted by these staff members can be entered into the system to ensure that all data is captured and acted upon within set service standards.
5.3.8 The general service assistant has developed a work instruction guide outlining 17 different procedures that can be used to guide staff within the section in the event he is absent. This is seen as a good practice.
|Key Physical Resources Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|An inspection is conducted by new SQ occupants and a mission representative within 30 days of occupancy, after which occupancy agreements and distribution accounts are signed.||X|
|Records of assets located in the Chancery, OR and SQs, as well as those in storage, are maintained on an ongoing basis and verified annually. Assets are appropriately safeguarded and controlled.||X|
|Disposals are appropriately authorized and follow departmental guidelines.||X|
|Vehicle logs and mileage are verified monthly by a CBS to reconcile usage to gas purchases as well as monitor vehicle performance.||X|
5.3.9 Overall, internal controls were effective, although there is some room for improvement ***. *** are managed in line with departmental regulations, but many EXT-369 write-off reports have been signed off by the MCO or property manager instead of the HOM.
5.3.10 Inventories and occupancy agreements for the OR and all SQs are current. A listing of *** has been developed. However, no custodial ownership has been set that would allow for signatures and verification as required. The same issue regarding custodial ownership applies for the handyman tools and equipment. The chancery inventory was last updated in 2005.
5.3.11 The general service assistant has prepared a business case for the purchase and implementation of an asset management program that would provide an efficient and time- saving method for tracking all assets.
5.3.12 Seven SQs were visited by a member of the Inspection team during the visit. Most were well maintained. Many of the Crown-owned SQs are located on large properties which require assistance with general maintenance and grounds keeping. The occupants are subsidized for gardening costs which is undertaken by commercial firms, although the mission has not developed a policy regarding the amount (percentage) that should be applied to the occupant for personal share in accordance with the property manual.
5.3.13 Official vehicles are well maintained and scheduled maintenance plans are established. Weekly inspections are undertaken and a checklist used to verify condition and to highlight any identified problems. Vehicle logs are maintained although no monthly reconciliation or verification is conducted.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.3.14 Job descriptions for the two administrative assistants should be reviewed and adapted to provide optimum use of their time and avoid any overlap in duties.
5.3.15 PRIME data should be reviewed and updated in a timely manner.
5.3.16 The section should ensure that all service requests are entered into the work order request system.
5.3.17 The HOM should sign off on all disposals of surplus assets, except those requiring HQ approval.
5.3.18 ***, updated and verified as required, and a custodian assigned to monitor the assets.
5.3.19 The mission should consider the purchase of an asset management system.
5.3.20 In consultation with ARD, the mission should set a clear policy regarding gardening subsidies for SQs.
5.3.21 A monthly verification and reconciliation of usage and fuel purchases for official vehicles and generators should be undertaken by the property manager and be signed off by the MCO.
Recommendations to the Physical Resources Bureau - ARD
5.3.22 ARD, in consultation with the mission, should assess all crown-owned properties and develop a long-range strategy.
5.3.23 A long-term plan should be devised by ARD to address potential ***.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.3.14 Pending on HQ's response ***. Meanwhile, different admin roles have been discussed with the admin assistants. In progress for July 2012.
5.3.15 Prime data is reviewed and updated in a timely manner. Implemented January 2012.
5.3.16 The property manager, admin assistant and general services person ensure all taskings are entered into Crow Canyon following Crow Canyon training provided. Implemented February 2012.
5.3.17 Completed EXT-369 Disposal forms will be sent to the property manager who will ensure HOM signs off. Implemented April 2012.
5.3.18 A complete inventory of the Chancery is to be performed in July. *** have been assigned as custodians of chancery's inventory and handyman's tools/equipment respectively. In progress for July 2012.
5.3.19 The mission is scheduled to be part of the initial departmental roll out of barcode readers. In progress for March 2013.
5.3.20 A policy will be developed. In progress for August 2012.
5.3.21 Verification has been carried out by the Property Manager and signed off by the HOM as per the form EXT-159. The MCO will verify and sign off as April 2, 2012. The mission has no generators. Implemented April 2012.
HQ Actions and Timeframes
5.3.22 The South East Asia and Pacific Property Initiative, which includes the High Commission of Canada in Canberra, has been initiated. The preliminary outline, illustrating the strategy and projected outcome, began in May 2012. Consultations with the geographic bureau, mission and partners in the region will be initiated between September and December 2012. Target completion for the first draft is set for January 2013. In progress for January 2013.
5.3.23 Part of the South East Asia and Pacific Initiative is aimed at investigating and determining ***. In progress for January 2013.
5.4.1 The finance section is managed by the MCO with day-to-day operations assumed by a *** LE-07 accountant. The personnel administrator, who has been trained in IMS, acts as back up to the accountant in his absence.
|Key Finance Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Roles and responsibilities ensure adequate segregation of duties.||X|
|The section employs methods to minimize disruption (e.g. setting of "quiet hours" and controlling access to the finance section).||X|
|The section has explored alternate methods to minimize transactions and reduce reliance on cash (i.e. acquisition cards, electronic fund transfers).||X|
|Payment runs are kept to a minimum, but are sufficient to provide good client service.||X|
5.4.2 Financial functions at the mission are operating well. The MCO *** and provides guidance and direction where and when required.
5.4.3 Improvements are required in relation to segregation of duties for financial functions. ***.
5.4.4 Quiet hours have not been established for the finance section ***. A project to purchase a "Dutch door" has been initiated, but no decision has yet been taken to proceed with purchase and installation.
5.4.5 The mission is not currently using electronic funds transfers (EFTs) as a method of payment for its financial transactions. The MCO has met with the mission bank to discuss the potential for using EFTs, although no specific plan to implement this option has been developed. Acquisition cards are not used by the Common Services program. *** in particular would benefit from having acquisition cards as these would provide greater efficiencies when purchasing goods and services.
|Key Finance Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The mission's bank reconciliations are reviewed and signed-off on a monthly basis.||X|
|The asset and liability report is reviewed on a monthly basis.||X|
|Financial signing authorities are exercised by individuals who possess the appropriate delegation of authority.||X|
|A CBS receives the original monthly bank statement directly from the bank and reviews it prior to giving it to the accountant.||X|
|Official receipts are provided to clients at the time of payment and to internal staff when funds are transferred (i.e. from Consular to Finance).||X|
|Reconciliations of any funds transferred within the mission are conducted in the presence of two staff.||X|
|Monthly reconciliations of immigration fees are completed and the EXT-1203 is signed by the appropriate authority.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Travel and hospitality claim processes ensure that policies and guidelines are adhered to and that the accountant verifies the completeness and accuracy of the claim.||X|
|Reimbursement of HonCon operational expenses is based on an established agreement.||X|
|A percentage of costs for personal use of OR supplies is determined and regular reimbursements are made to the Mission.||X|
|A process is in place to ensure that, where applicable, CBS reimburse the mission for any services of a personal nature received at their staff quarters (e.g. television, internet, telephone, etc.).||X|
5.4.6 Overall, internal controls are effective although there a few areas where the section can improve. There is a general lack of planning for hospitality on the part of program managers and quarterly advances are not usually taken. The accountant sometimes receives requests for settlement of hospitality expenses six months after the fact.
5.4.7 The HonCon in Perth settles operating expenditures without the use of an advance as he simply cash manages expenses until he submits a request for reimbursement. As well, there is no agreement in place between the mission and the HonCon that outlines expenditures that would be acceptable for reimbursement.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.4.8 The segregation of duties within the program should be improved by ***.
5.4.9 Finance section quiet hours should be established and communicated to clients.
5.4.11 The mission should consider the use of EFTs and acquisition cards for payment and purchase options.
5.4.12 Quarterly advances should be provided to all staff requiring hospitality funding and all claims should be submitted on a timely basis.
5.4.13 An advance should be provided to the HonCon in Perth to cover operating expenses and an agreement outlining acceptable expenditures established.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.4.8 The property manager will register for remote MM training courses offered by CFSS. Vendor creation is performed by the receptionist and HQ as required. In progress for August 2012.
5.4.9 Policy to be developed and approved by CMM. In progress for July 2012.
5.4.10 A 'dutch door' with lock was installed in March and proper use will be reinforced in conjunction with a quiet hours policy. In progress for July 2012.
5.4.11 Four acquisition cards have been fully functional since June 1. For EFTs, preliminary consultation took place with the bank and the Financial Operations, International section (SMFF). Further review will be done by the end of July in conjunction with the implementation of the Standard Payment System (SPS) with support and guidance from International Financial Projects & Banking Management (SMFB). In progress for July 2012.
5.4.12 For the first quarter of fiscal year 2012-2013, all PMs were requested to comply with this requirement at the CMM on May 16. Implemented May 2012.
5.4.13 An expenditure agreement and advance for the HonCon will be implemented. In progress for July 2012.
5.5 Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT)
5.5.1 The IM-IT section is managed by a CS-02 Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) and is supported by one LE-07 Locally Engaged ITP (LEITP). The section manages 55 SIGNET-D computers as well as 14 laptop computers within the Canberra mission while also providing services to the missions in Sydney, Wellington and Auckland.
|Key IM-IT Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|An Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT) plan exists and includes regional activities.||X|
|The liaison between the mission, HQ and regional manager is effective.||X|
|The mission uses the required IM-IT service request system and maintains relevant data.||X|
5.5.2 The FSITP and LEITP are proactive in their duties and have established a good working rapport with all programs. The section is *** managed and all staff have open access to IM-IT resources.
5.5.3 Business plans have recently been prepared by the FSITP for Canberra, Sydney, Wellington and Auckland, and these have been approved by CMM. A service level agreement between Canberra and these missions has not yet been established, and currently the only standard set is the number of regular visits that have been planned.
|Key IM-IT Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Back-ups are performed routinely and tapes are stored appropriately in a secure location away from the primary use area.||X|
|The Mission has appropriate secondary communications systems in place and those tools are tested regularly.||X|
|Controls are in place to ensure the Network Acceptable Use Policy (NAUP) is respected (SIGNET and digital subscriber line (DSL) connections).||X|
|Employees formally sign out IT assets (mobility tools) and are advised of their accountabilities.||X|
|Surplus IT assets are disposed with the appropriate approvals per departmental policy.||X|
5.5.4 Overall, IM-IT processes and controls are in place and effective.***. Regular testing of other equipment is undertaken.
5.5.5 The NAUP is respected at the mission and the FSITP has also developed a training plan governing IT security and will begin to deliver training to mission staff in January 2012. Other training that has been offered to staff includes the use of the work order service request system, however, no CBS officers attended this session.
5.5.6 Although the mission is comfortable in using the I: drive as a shared information repository, the mission should assess the merits of requesting installation of InfoBank as its electronic filing system. This would provide staff with a common look and feel for this filing system, particularly for staff arriving from HQ or another mission where InfoBank had previously been used.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.5.7 A second offering of the *** training should be arranged and CBS should be encouraged to attend.
5.5.8 The mission should consider having InfoBank installed as the main filing system.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.5.7 A training session was offered to all staff. Implemented February 2012.
5.5.8 The issue was discussed at the CMM. The final decision was not to implement InfoBank considering the lack of related training from HQ and following the mission's Information Management Improvement Programme implementation in FY 2011-12. Implemented February 2012.
Appendix A: Mission Resources Fact Sheet
|Vehicles - Mission||4|
|Vehicles - OGD||1|
|Storage - on compound||1|
|* 1 FPDS exchange|
** 7 CBS exchange
|Head of Mission||6||2||4|
Appendix B: Frequently Used Acronyms
- Canada-based Staff
- Commercial Economic
- Committee on Mission Management
- Consular Management Information Program
- Contingency Plan
- Contract Review Board
- Client Service Fund
- Electronic Funds Transfer
- Deputy Management Consular Officer
- Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service
- Foreign Service Information Technology Professional
- Full Time Equivalent
- Fiscal Year
- Global Commerce Strategy
- Global Value Chains
- Head of Mission
- Honorary Consul
- Human Resources
- High Security Zone
- Information Communication Technologies
- Information Management - Information Technology
- Integrated Management System
- Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional
- Locally Engaged Staff
- LES Management Consultation Board
- Management Consular Officer
- Mission Emergency Plan
- Mission Financial Officer
- MM Module
- Materiel Management Module of IMS
- Mission Maintenance Work Plan
- Memorandum of Understanding
- Mission Security Officer
- Mission Property Management Plan
- North American Platform Program
- Official Residence
- Operations Zone
- Post Initiative Fund
- Program Manager
- Performance Management Agreement
- Human Resources - Performance Management Program
- Consular - Passport Management Program
- Physical Resources Information - Mission Environment
- Registration of Canadians Abroad
- Science and Technology
- Senior Trade Commissioner
- Staff Quarter
- Security Zone
- Trade Commissioner
- Trade Commissioner Assistant
- Trade Commissioner Service
- The TCS' Client Relationship Management System
- Office of the Inspector General
- Inspection Division
- Date Modified: