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Inspection of the High Commission of Canada - Islamabad, Pakistan
November 10-18, 2011
- Inspection Scope and Objectives
- Executive Summary
- 1Mission 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, Commercial Economic, Consular and Common Services programs was conducted in Islamabad from November 10 to 18, 2011 at the request of the HOM and MCO who had identified a number of challenges during their first year at the mission. The Office of the Inspector General was asked to bring its perspective on the operations of the mission. A previous audit of these programs took place in 2005.
The Canadian High Commission in Islamabad is Canada's eighth largest mission abroad and the fourth largest diplomatic mission in Islamabad. It is responsible for departmental program delivery in Pakistan and provides certain support functions to the Canadian missions in Afghanistan. The Canadian presence is driven mainly by partner departments.
The mission has faced many challenges in recent years and current hardships negatively affect CBS morale. The perceived lack of recognition and compensation for these hardships, especially in comparison with like-minded missions, compounds the problem.
Significant efforts on the part of the HOM to obtain a rest and relaxation package and other benefits have met with limited success, further adding to the frustrations felt by staff.
Overall, mission management is engaged and internal communications are effective. The appropriate governance structures are in place to facilitate program delivery and support a whole-of-government approach. ***. Furthermore, seismic upgrades are currently ongoing for all mission buildings and the department is making significant and ***.
The Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS) program manager position had been vacant for more than three months and the new program manager's arrival coincided with the inspection visit. The FPDS team is composed of focussed and dedicated officers. The program manager is eager to build on his program's strengths and put in place the management tools that will maximise program effectiveness. Greater attention is required on management of the program with emphasis on planning, communications and teamwork.
The Commercial Economic (CE) Program has a plan in place that is aligned with the Mission Planning and Reporting document and Government of Canada priorities. However, the plan needs to be more strategic given the limited potential of the Pakistani market for Canadian companies and limited mission resources. Improved communication through regular staff meetings and greater attention to performance management is required. The department is considering ***.
The Consular Program, operating in a complex, volatile environment, faces serious challenges resulting from high volumes of incomplete and incorrect passport applications submitted by clients. There is currently a backlog of more than 500 passport applications which have not yet been processed. The delayed arrival of the DMCO Consular/HR resulted in a gap of five months which was only partially filled by use of temporary help. ***. Thanks to the MCO's efforts to secure assistance, a Passport Canada visit was scheduled for November 2011 to assess the situation. The mission should develop a strategy with assistance and input from HQ and Passport Canada, to address the backlog and ongoing operations. Timely implementation of such a strategy will be essential to meet the challenges of passport operations in Islamabad.
The Common Services Program provides services to a large and complex mission operating in a very difficult environment. Over the last few years the program has faced many challenges to program delivery. The Marriott Hotel bombing in 2008, and the subsequent decision to move all but one SQ onto the diplomatic enclave, significantly changed the mission operating environment and resulted in the diversion of resources and setting of new priorities. The program currently lacks the necessary administrative systems and management frameworks to facilitate effective operations. Many routine human, financial and materiel resource functions have suffered from neglect over the years and this has resulted in staff functioning in a reactive rather than a proactive mode.
The main issue raised by the program was insufficient resources to manage the current workload. The inspection visit identified areas where workload could be alleviated by ensuring that adequate procedures are in place and by using existing resources more effectively. As a result, it was difficult for the inspection team to assess the need for additional resources. Improved program management as well as increased support and direction from the Committee on Mission Management and the HOM will also be necessary to implement any changes.
A total of 64 inspection recommendations are raised in the report, 60 are addressed to the Mission and 4 are addressed to headquarters. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 64 recommendations, management has stated that 33 have been implemented. For each of the remaining 31 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
1.1.1 The Canadian High Commission in Islamabad is managed by an EX-03 HOM. It is Canada's eighth largest mission abroad, with 45 Canada-based staff (CBS) and 127 locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The mission provides a platform for several partner departments and agencies, including Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Public Safety Canada, the Department of National Defense (DND), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
1.1.2 There are honorary consuls in Lahore and Karachi. The majority of their time is spent providing support to the Consular Program while assistance with immigration, trade and political work is provided to a lesser extent.
1.1.3 Operating and capital budgets are approximately $2.2 million and $249 thousand respectively. The mission manages one Crown-leased and 56 Crown-owned properties. The mission collects approximately $126 thousand in revenue on an annual basis through the provision of consular and immigration services.
1.1.4 The mission has faced many challenges in recent years.
- The number of CBS has more than doubled from 23 in 2005 to 45 in 2011.
- The bombing of the Marriott Hotel in 2008 led to severe limitations on the movement of Canadian diplomats and the relocation *** onto the diplomatic enclave.
- The difficulty in obtaining Pakistani visas for CBS posted to the mission has resulted in positions being vacant for extended periods.
- The floods in Pakistan in 2010 resulted in a major humanitarian crisis.
1.1.5 The impact of these and other challenges on mission operations, and particularly its administrative capabilities, led the HOM and MCO after their first nine months at the mission to request an inspection visit to assist in identifying options and developing a plan to address them.
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 Overall, mission management is engaged and the appropriate governance structures are in place to facilitate effective program delivery and support a whole-of-government approach.
1.2.2 Hardships present at the mission negatively affect CBS morale, and range from security risks, restrictions on movement and sub-standard staff quarters located on the enclave, to the limited availability of leisure and social activities. The perceived lack of recognition and compensation on the part of CBS compounds the problem, particularly in comparison with like- minded missions. Representatives from the Employee Assistance Program from three separate agencies including DFAIT, have visited the mission and recommended some form of rest and relaxation be provided to staff. However, significant efforts by the HOM to obtain a rest and relaxation package and other benefits have met with limited success, adding to staff frustrations.
1.2.3 These issues also hinder the mission's ability to attract CBS. At present, more than 30 percent of CBS positions are filled by staff in acting positions and/or on single assignments.
1.2.4 The impact of stress on staff will have to be monitored and taken into account at the end of assignments. Specifically, decompression/readjustment periods and decisions on subsequent postings will need to be considered.
1.2.5 The hardships of life at the mission are not always well understood by incoming CBS and their spouses. Life for spouses who don't work can be especially difficult and spousal employment opportunities are limited. The mission report, HQ briefings and other communications need to clearly depict the living situation (SQs, restrictions on movements, limited social and entertainment activities) so that CBS and their spouses can better prepare and adjust their expectations.
1.2.6 The mission management and operations committees meet on alternating weeks and are used effectively. The HOM attends DFAIT program meetings approximately twice a year and hosts town halls to share information and encourage discussions with staff. The LES Welfare Association is active and meetings with the LES Management Consultative Board (LESMCB) are held regularly. Security bulletins and protocols are issued to all staff on a weekly basis and other incident/situation specific warnings are sent by email and text messaging as required.
1.2.7 The Director of the Values and Ethics Division (ZVE) accompanied the inspection team to the mission and five sessions were held with staff to raise awareness of the Values and Ethics Code and inform them of the tools at their disposal.
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 Canada has the fourth largest diplomatic presence in Islamabad, with the footprint driven mainly by partner departments, in particular, CIC (8 CBS, 31 LES) and CIDA (6 CBS and 5 LES). Pakistan is a significant source of immigration to Canada and is currently one of CIDA's 20 countries of focus. The majority of DFAIT's 109 positions are devoted to common services and security and only 20 are assigned to DFAIT programs (political, trade and consular).
1.3.3 ***, the HOM makes regular demarches to advance a broad range of Canadian interests. The mission has a good whole-of-government approach and there is professional collegiality among program managers.
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 While some key mission management controls are in place and operate effectively, there are several areas that require improvement.
1.4.2 Some ***, despite the existence of robust policies, regulations and corresponding strong support from the HOM
1.4.3 Although program managers are provided financial/budget updates on an ad hoc basis, regular updates would facilitate effective management and decision making. Providing the DFAIT program administrative assistants with IMS read-only access would allow timely and autonomous access to data.
1.4.4 A review of hospitality files indicated that guidelines were either not established or not followed. Some issues were noted:
- Evaluations of some events lacked detail or were insufficiently linked to objectives;
- A large percentage of hospitality events are held for team building with mission staff;
- Hospitality funds are used for meals of CBS guests staying at the OR while on temporary duty;
- Rates for events held at commercial establishments have not been established; and,
- Procedures for purchase and use of bulk alcohol have not been established and communicated to staff.
1.4.5 The performance management process (PMP) has not been considered a high priority at the mission. A large number of staff do not have performance objectives, nor have they completed mid-point discussions with their supervisors. Similarly, performance of the two honorary consuls has not yet been reviewed.
1.4.6 The Canada Club, located on one of the mission compounds, is essential to maintaining a reasonable quality of life for CBS. It is frequently used and highly appreciated by mission staff as well as other members of the diplomatic community. The Canada Club is a large operation employing more than 20 employees and generating significant revenues. Day-to-day operations are managed by a full-time LES who exercises significant authority and reports directly to the club board of directors. Given the size of the operation it has become increasingly difficult for the CBS executive to provide adequate oversight as work is done on a volunteer basis and outside of working hours. Areas of concern include:
- Potential legal liability arising from injury while on premises or while leaving an event;
- Internal controls and lack of a formalised club constitution and mandate to guide operations ; and,
- Potential employer-employee relationship of club staff with the High Commission.
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 is working to ensure that it respects the requirements of the Official Languages Act and has recently appointed an official languages coordinator. Signage in public areas is available in both official languages, although some internal information (i.e. service standards, brochures, fire orders) was available in English only. Sufficient protocols are in place to ensure that clients receive services in the official language of their choice.
Recommendations to the Mission
1.6.1 With direction from AFD, the mission should develop a Canada Club "charter" which outlines all aspects of club operations.
1.6.2 The mission report and any briefings or communications with incoming CBS and spouses should clearly reflect the challenges of life at the mission.
1.6.3 Regular financial updates should be provided to program managers by the finance section.
1.6.4 Mission management should review the use of hospitality funds to ensure value for money and adherence to policy.
1.6.5 All employees and honorary consuls should have performance objectives set, and annual formal reviews should be conducted.
1.6.6 Mission management should ensure that all internal signage, safety instructions and information for clients is available in both official languages.
Recommendations to HQ
Recommendation to the Client Relations and Mission Operations Bureau (AFD)
1.6.7 AFD should develop general guidelines to govern "Club" operations at missions abroad and to address liability issues.
Recommendation to the South, Southeast Asia and Oceania Bureau (GSD)
1.6.8 GSD, in consultation with partner departments and agencies, should develop a long-term strategy *** and future activities.
Recommendation to the FSD Service and Policy Bureau (AED)
1.6.9 AED should clarify with the mission the type of benefits currently provided to compensate for the hardships indicated in 1.2.2. AED should also specify whether further information is needed from the mission to support the provision of additional benefits if warranted .
Mission Actions and Timeframes
1.6.1 Mission management agrees with the inspection team's observation that the Canada Club "is essential to maintaining a reasonable quality of life for CBS".
Mission management has dedicated high priority to ensuring effective operation of the Club, including a detailed financial audit by a reputable firm, and a review of the Club's constitution and by-laws. Management will review the Club's operations against the "guidelines" suggested in recomendation1.6.7 when they are produced and disseminated by HQ. In progress for March 2013.
1.6.2 Mission management proactively advises responsible HQ units and prospective incoming employees of the conditions of life at post, including through detailed advance notice of size and quality of accommodation. The Post Report (updated in April 2012) seeks to depict the challenges at post as accurately as possible. However, despite such efforts, conditions are such that employees and dependents sometimes find it difficult to adapt to and accept the realities on the ground. Implemented.
1.6.3 Proactive monthly financial reporting (scheduled for the 15th of the month) has been added to the workplan of the Accountant and will be followed up by the MCO. Following the advice of the Inspection Team given during the verbal debriefing of November 2011, mission has investigated providing IMS access to program assistants. This has been done with proper training provided. Implemented.
1.6.4 It is ongoing mission practice to review use of hospitality funds to ensure value for money and adherence to policy. Implemented.
1.6.5 This is now being done for all employees and honorary consuls. Implemented.
1.6.6 This is in the process of being carried out. The visiting Property TD placed an order for bilingual signage in February 2012. Although much has been done, some signage will not be installed until the completion of the seismic upgrade scheduled to begin in June 2012. In progress for March 31, 2013.
Client Relations and Mission Operations Bureau (AFD) Actions and Timeframes
1.6.7 A complete review of recreational facilities abroad, including guidelines to govern "club" operations is currently underway. The review is being done in consultation with various stakeholders including Legal Services, Physical Resources and the Geographic Group. The goal of the review is to ensure that recreational facilities are managed in a consistent manner globally and to ultimately reduce the liability to the Crown. The full review is expected to be completed and presented to ACM in 18-24 months though interim instructions will be communicated to missions shortly. In Progress.
The South, Southeast Asia and Oceania Bureau (GSD) Actions and Timeframes
1.6.8 GSD/GSB have essentially actioned what was recommended and a long-term strategy has been developed. We have consulted with OGDs and senior management, created two decks *** and the other on the***, presented the deck to DFAIT Plans and Priorities Committee chaired by USS and received senior management's endorsement of engagement. The next step will be to have further discussions with OGDs *** and work with Property Bureau regarding their construction plans - they have the lead on this but will send us a draft memo in which we can provide policy input in support of their building plans. Implemented.
FSD Service and Policy Bureau (AED) Actions and Timeframes
1.6.9 AED has met on a number of occasions with the geographic and communicated with the HOM, as well as with senior management, on the issue of the benefits currently provided and consideration for additional support. Following consultations with TBS as well as with the appropriate interdepartmental committee on the issue of developing a rest and relaxation policy which would apply to CBS assigned in Islamabad, the geographic and the HOM were advised of the outcome. The status of the mission which continues to be accompanied by adult dependants has prevented any further consideration for the implementation of a rest and relaxation policy given that the security situation continues to allow dependants to accompany employees on assignment and employees can receive visitors at the mission. Employees and dependants receive one vacation travel assistance allowance per year which allows them to travel away from the mission at a destination of their choice and most employees and dependants successfully travel away from mission more than twice per year using this allowance. Employees also receive a post specific allowance under the provisions of FSD 56.11 which can be used for travel as required.
Employees at the mission receive a post differential allowance based on a level V hardship level. A level V hardship recognizes that living in Islamabad is not easy, that there are limited leisure and social activities and hardships associated to living there. Employees in Islamabad have also received a temporary special payment at different times e.g. as a result of the Marriott bombings in 2006 and as a result of Bin Laden's death to recognize events which have occurred which added to the normal hardship of a level V mission.
Mission has raised the issue of differences in compensation amongst like-minded countries. This reality is true across the globe, recognizing that each country has its own benefits package. Although one country may provide trips away from the mission at more frequent intervals, they may not be providing the same benefits in other areas. As such, a comparison of rest and relaxation policies provided by like-minded countries cannot be looked at in isolation. The full package must be considered. Also, the FSDs which are negotiated with the bargaining agents and form a part of an employee's collective agreement outline the provisions which apply; they cannot be unilaterally changed by AED. The various FSD provisions which could be applied to the situation in Islamabad were all applied. Implemented.
Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)
2.1.1 The Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS) Program is managed by an FS-03 program manager (PM) acting at the EX-01 level. He is supported by six officers including an FS-04, two FS-03s, an FS-02, an LE-09 and an LE-07 as well as an AS-01 assistant. At the time of the inspection, the AS-01 and one of the FS-03 positions were vacant and three of four FS officers were in acting positions. The table below summarizes the financial resources available to the program.
|Post Initiative Fund||$19,800|
2.1.2 The program's main objective is to increase Canada's influence in Pakistan in order to promote stability and good governance and counter the spread of extremism. Pakistan is of strategic importance to the stability and security of South Asia and to global efforts against extremism and nuclear proliferation.
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 At the time of the inspection, the new PM had just arrived at the mission. His position had been vacant for over three months, with the acting FS-04 serving as PM. Greater attention is required on management of the program with emphasis on planning, communications and teamwork. Roles and responsibilities were clearly defined, however, performance management plans (PMPs) were not in place for staff.
2.2.2 While the activities of the Program are based on the overall objectives identified in the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) tool, further work is required to document FPDS priorities and the key initiatives that will be undertaken to achieve objectives. This plan would include key initiatives, outreach and strategic reporting that should take place, and a general allocation of the human, travel and hospitality resources required to implement them.
It should also identify performance indicators that are within its control and where results can be more readily achieved over the short term. This will provide for a better linkage between the MPR and staff PMPs, as well as a tool to reinforce the team's focus on its contribution to overall Program objectives.
2.2.3 Communication can be improved by holding regular staff meetings. While officers have provided good output on an individual basis, teamwork can be strengthened by addressing interpersonal issues between CBS officers. The new PM is eager to put in place the management tools that will maximize the program's strengths by building a team spirit and increasing synergies.
2.2.4 Attracting experienced officers to fill FPDS positions at the mission has been difficult. Currently, all except one CBS officer, are in acting positions including one FS-02 officer filling an FS-04 position,***. Employees at the mission attribute this lack of interest to the difficult living environment, the perceived insufficient compensation and the lack of direction and recognition from HQ.
|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 The program is well resourced ***, the program is focussed on issues that are relevant to the interests of Canada and consistent with mission and Government of Canada priorities. These include support for the stability of Pakistan, development of democracy and human rights ***.
2.3.2 Program activities are aligned with the principles of the New Way Forward. The program has built a network of influential Pakistani contacts, ***, contributes to the development of policies concerning Canada's engagement in Pakistan and in the region and advocates Canada's positions on key issues. As an example, the program coordinates the "Afghanistan-Pakistan cooperation process" in which Canada acts as a facilitator between Afghanistan and Pakistan on border issues. This project raises Canada's influence and contributes to the stability, good governance and rule-of-law in a volatile region. Other activities included dialogues with Madrassas (Islamic schools) on human rights and inter-faith understanding, as well as the coordination of Canada's response to the floods in Pakistan in 2010.
2.3.3 The program has aligned its public affairs activities and Post Initiative Fund (PIF) budget with mission and Government of Canada priorities. They have used the PIF to support dialogues with madrassas and plan to organize a human rights-based competition for journalists.
2.3.4 An FS-03 officer is dedicated to the Global Security Reporting Program (GSRP). This offers valuable networking and reporting opportunities to the mission. In addition, other officers in the FPDS program engage in networking, reporting and advocating***. The program would benefit from increased communication and coordination to maximize its use of resources in working together instead of in parallel. This could be achieved through thematic meetings of the CBS officers.
2.3.5 Concerns were raised by some officers that they receive insufficient guidance and feedback from HQ. This is due in part to the absence of a clear ***. This perception has also been reinforced by the ***. Increased guidance and feedback from HQ would provide clearer direction and enhance the program's ability to plan strategically.
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 The FPDS program is required to provide a high-level assessment of performance through the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) system. The program, however, does not have a plan and has not articulated expected outcomes or results. Due to this lack of a formal performance measurement system, the program is not well positioned to assess outcomes against intended results. This could be attributed to the prolonged absence of a PM.
2.4.2 There has been an inconsistent approach to hospitality within the program. Some officers have used the budget in a creative, proactive way, developing contacts with political parties, NGOs and government officials, using it as opportunities to develop projects and to advocate Canadian positions. One officer has limited his hospitality for the most part to likeminded embassies. Two officers have not claimed any hospitality this year. In addition, the hospitality diaries do not indicate clear purpose for events or provide a sufficient evaluation to demonstrate value for money.
Recommendations to the Mission
2.5.1 An FPDS plan should be developed and incorporate performance indicators, such as intended results and outcomes.
2.5.2 PMPs should be in place for all staff.
2.5.3 Regular team meetings should be held to establish better communication and coordination amongst officers in the program, particularly with respect to the global security reporting program.
2.5.4 The PM should monitor the use hospitality funds in order to support the program's objectives, including the development of a network of influential contacts within the Pakistani community.
2.5.5 Hospitality diaries should clearly indicate the purpose and results of hospitality events.
Recommendation to the South, Southeast Asia and Oceania Bureau (GSD)
2.5.6 More formalized guidance and feedback to the FPDS program is required ***
Mission Actions and Timeframes
2.5.1 An FPDS plan, along with intended results and performance indicators will be developed in parallel with the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) document. In progress for July 1, 2012.
2.5.2 PMPs have been finalized for all FPDS staff. Implemented.
2.5.3 FPDS team meetings now occur once a week and include all CBS and LES section members. The meetings are chaired by the DHOM and detailed minutes are kept and circulated, including to HQ. Implemented.
2.5.4 Monitoring of use of hospitality funds is ongoing. Implemented.
2.5.5 This will be done and monitored from now on. Implemented.
GSD Actions and Timeframes
2.5.6 Based on GSD's response to 1.6.8, the mission will now be provided with more formalized guidance and feedback. Implemented.
Commercial Economic (CE)
3.1.1 The Commercial Economic (CE) Program in Islamabad is managed by an FS-03 Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) acting at the FS-04 level. The STC is supported by two LE-09 trade commissioners (TCs) and one LE-05 trade commissioner assistant (TCA). The STC is also responsible for overseeing the work of an LE-09 and an LE-05 in Karachi and one LE-09 in Kabul. The table below summarizes the financial resources available to the program.
|Client Service Fund (CSF)||$8,000|
3.1.2 Pakistan went through a period of strong growth between 2004 and 2007 but has stabilized at approximately three percent over recent years.***. In that context, the support of the High Commission is important for Canadian clients. ***. Canadian exports have increased from approximately $300M in 2004 to over $500M in 2010 with a strong agri- food component. Canadian companies are also investing in the mining sector in Pakistan. Given a complex legal environment, doing business in Pakistan often involves a critical component of advocacy with the Pakistani government.
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 program is *** managed, however, improved communication through regular staff meetings and greater attention to performance management is required.
3.2.2 The program has a plan in place that is aligned with the MPR and the Government of Canada priorities that covers three regions: Islamabad, Karachi, and Kabul. However, the planning framework in place is overly ambitious, identifying 10 priority sectors.
*** for Canadian companies, the program would benefit from greater strategic focus. ***.
3.2.3 Consideration should be given to the expansion of the action plans within the Commercial Economic Program (CEP) business plans with specific initiatives, outcomes, milestones, performance measures and accountabilities that demonstrate links to priority sectors. Currently, operational planning is informal and inconsistent. The program is using systems, such as calendars, to share information and plan day-to-day activities.
3.2.4 Staff meetings are not held regularly. This lack of formal staff meetings limits the opportunity for collaboration, communication and development of officers. They do, however, have informal one-on-one meetings which allow individual TCs to receive guidance from the STC.
3.2.5 The program would benefit from a regional approach by selecting regional sector champions, whereby different members of the regional team take the lead in developing initiatives under the integrative trade strategies (ITS) Client Service Fund (CSF). This will be an improvement to the existing approach where each TC takes responsibility for a limited number of sectors.
|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.||N/A|
3.3.1 The program's plans cascade down to staff PMPs and are aligned with the mission's key priorities. The PMP objectives were only approved late in the year by the STC.
3.3.2 Activities are aligned with the mission's priorities. Regional fairs have occasionally provided new business opportunities for the program, however, they have had limited success in generating new leads. It is important to evaluate the resources invested versus the benefits derived from these regional fairs.
3.3.3 TRIO is not used to the fullest extent possible. There are complaints that TRIO is slow and time consuming. The IBD Dashboard indicators suggest that the numbers of services provided by the program and client satisfaction are underreported. It is important that the program provides proper substantiation to demonstrate their results.
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 Performance measurement is undertaken informally, through discussions, and more formally through the compilation of year-end results incorporated into the business plan. However, the targets and expected results in the business plans are high for this market. The targets in the CEP, set by the program for the performance indicators, do not match the definition of the performance indicators which can be found on the Horizons' Business Planning page (see the Performance Indicators document).
3.4.2 The IBD Dashboard is not used by the STC to monitor the use of TRIO and the results of the program's activities. When showed the results in Dashboard, the STC was surprised and committed to correct the situation by using and encouraging the use of TRIO with his staff. This underscores the importance of proper and regular reporting.
3.4.3 Hospitality activities reviewed were in line with CE and mission objectives and expenses were properly supported. There is a need to improve the quality of the evaluations of events in hospitality diaries to demonstrate if, and how, value-for-money was achieved.
Recommendations to the Mission
3.5.1 The program should select fewer priority sectors with a focus on key proactive areas and achievable targets.
3.5.2 Officers' PMP objectives should be reviewed and approved on a timely basis.
3.5.3 Regular staff meetings should be held to discuss operations, assign tasks and follow-up on their completion.
3.5.4 The program should substantiate the results of its activities by utilizing TRIO to record key interactions with clients.
3.5.5 The IBD Dashboard should be reviewed regularly to measure and monitor the performance of the program.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
3.5.1 Pakistan has five priority sectors; Afghanistan had four and will be reduced to two. The mission is working with GSC to refine the mission's program and further reduce from five the priority sectors. In progress for September 30, 2012.
3.5.2 PMP development is done typically twice a year, always in August (a quiet time in the region) and again in the April timeframe. Considerable effort is put in to discussing the PMP on a regular basis throughout the year. PMP completion does slip and more effort will be put in to completing the annual process. Implemented.
3.5.3 Regular staff meetings are now held. Implemented.
3.5.4 As reported to GSC in the past and to the inspection team, to update the current TRIO to HQ requirements would take four full time staff. Unless TRIO is improved in speed (apparently TRIO 2 will be fast even over satellite communications) ISBAD will never be able to fully populate the current version of TRIO. The mission will try its best under these circumstances to input at least the key performance indicators (ex: service request, outcalls, leads, success stories) in the morning when the TRIO system is less busy. In progress for April 10, 2013.
3.5.5 Until the mission gets a fibre optic / land line connection for SIGNET or TRIO 2 is introduced, dashboard will never reflect the actual numbers in Islamabad and Kabul, but key performance indicators will be measured and monitored as much as possible using the Dashboard. In progress April 30, 2013.
4.1.1 The Consular Program is overseen by the MCO with daily management conducted by an AS-05 Deputy MCO (DMCO) who is also responsible for human resources. The DMCO is supported by an LE-09 consular officer and two passport examiners at the LE- 06 and LE-05 level. A full-time emergency employee also works on passports and citizenship applications. At the time of the inspection, the DMCO position was staffed by a CBS spouse on a temporary basis beginning in October 2011. The previous DMCO left the mission in July 2011 and the incumbent will not arrive until February 2012. Travel and hospitality allocations are as follows:
4.1.2 The program's case management component may be described as low volume, high complexity. Consular cases can take up a large amount of time and resources due to their ***. The program processes passport applications from Afghanistan and oversees the consular activities of the Honorary Consulates in Karachi and Lahore. The estimated number of Canadians residing in Pakistan is 40,000, although only 1,400 are currently identified in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database. The following dashboard provides an indication of the consular program's average annual volume of operations:
|Citizenship Card Applications||500|
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.||X|
4.2.1 The program operates in a consistently challenging environment. The main difficulty facing the program is the high number of passport applications received by mail, most of which are incomplete or incorrect requiring multiple call-backs and returned mail. This is compounded by external risk exposure (natural disasters, *** and internal weaknesses such as LES turnover and CBS staffing challenges. Given the risks noted above, ***.
4.2.2 The number of incomplete and incorrect passport applications received by the mission places significant stress on the program and has created a substantial backlog. At the time of this inspection, there were approximately 350 applications in process and 250 yet to be reviewed. In order to alleviate the workload Passport Canada's Brampton office began approving all ISBAD and KABUL passport applications remotely in September 2011. Due to the MCOs efforts to secure assistance, a Passport Canada delegation was scheduled to visit the mission in November 2011 to review the situation and assess circumstances surrounding the significant backlog of applications. Passport Canada also intends to send two officers on temporary duty in early 2012 to help address this backlog. However, this is only a temporary solution. The current situation is not sustainable and a long term solution must be found.
4.2.3 Given the challenging operational context and the high LES turnover (one of the passport examiners left the mission within the last year), succession planning is a key concern. Two LES hold vast amounts of corporate knowledge, but there is very little in terms of written guidelines or procedures. Greater *** oversight, documentation of processes and enhanced internal communications should be emphasized in order to ensure continuity of operations and mitigate potential loss of corporate knowledge.
4.2.4 The Mission Emergency Plan (MEP) was recently completed yet the most recent planning documents currently uploaded to the COSMOS data-management system date back to 2007-2009.***.
4.2.5 The program's level of access *** is not in line with its requirements, or with the comparative access of other mission programs. More attention needs to be paid to the development and maintenance of a network of consular contacts. This may be accomplished by leveraging existing relevant contacts in other programs and more proactive outreach.
4.2.6 While a warden network is in place, little outreach and regular communication is conducted. This is due to other more pressing priorities occupying the consular team. However, reinvigorating the warden network and increasing communication capabilities will be of benefit, particularly for contingency planning purposes.
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 well served by experienced and motivated LES and service to clients is available in both official languages.
4.3.2 While service standards and fee schedules are posted in both official languages, an official receipt is not displayed in the consular booth.
4.3.3 Given the high backlog of passport applications, the service standard for passports currently does not meet Passport Canada's published 15-day timeline.
4.4 Internal Controls
|Key Consular Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|A certified CBS signs-off on all passports.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|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 While several internal controls were in place, improvements are ***. The program would benefit from taking more steps to mitigate this risk, increasing its level of fraud awareness and detection techniques.
4.4.2 Passport and citizenship applications which have been received but not yet processed ***.
4.4.3 Consular staff use a single from clients ***.
4.4.4 ***. As a result, preparation of each reconciliation takes an average of six hours to complete due to the high number of transactions which must be documented ***, while at the same time simplifying the reconciliation process.
4.4.5 It is unclear how the consular section *** and services rendered. When a bank draft processed for consular services is not accepted by the bank, consular staff provide the finance section with funds from another client to cover the amount (see recommendation in the finance section). This results in the consular revenues on hand not reconciling with services provided. The program needs to review this situation and ensure that a process is in place to recover revenues from the original client whenever a bank draft is rejected.
4.4.6 Access to official seals is restricted to designated staff, ***.
Recommendations to the Mission
4.5.1 The mission, in consultation with headquarters and Passport Canada, should develop a strategy to address the passport application backlog and future operational requirements.
4.5.2 The MEP should be regularly tested via whole-of-mission exercises.
4.5.3 The program should develop and maintain an enhanced network of local contacts to support service delivery.
4.5.4 The *** should be reinvigorated through assignment of all districts, regular communications and outreach activities.
4.5.5 An official receipt should be displayed in the consular booth in both official languages.
4.5.6 Access to the consular offices should be restricted to consular staff ***.
4.5.7 Revenue controls should be improved by ensuring:
- Each staff member receiving revenues is provided their ***.
4.5.8 The program should ensure that a process is in place to recover revenues from the original client whenever a bank draft is rejected.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
4.5.1 Since incoming in September 2010, the MCO has worked to bring the under resourcing of the passport program to the attention of Passport Canada and HQ, in an effort to find a permanent solution. The mission-requested November 2011 Passport Canada visit and ZIV inspection should be considered direct consequences of this action to gain attention/ solve the problem, and efforts are still ongoing. With only 0.4 of permanent FTE available to work on passport production after other requirements of the program are met, without additional resources, there will be no long term solution. Mission has already implemented the latest streamlining measures, gained the permanent repatriation of passport approvals to Canada and we are currently in the process of mailing new backlog to a second office in Canada for processing. This allows the mission to continue to operate with inadequate resources. For now, in a climate of fiscal restraint, this solution will have to suffice so long as Passport Canada is willing to undertake the work which should normally fall to the mission. It is suggested that the incoming management team repeat the request for resources for the 3rd year in a row in the next Interdepartmental Planned Changes exercise.
The mission budget cannot afford a second permanent emergency LES worker and lead time on passport certification is much longer than the 125-day limit on such employment. For succession planning purposes, mission has therefore ignored this limit and is in the process of certifying the current emergency worker for passport data entry.
Processing procedures for the treatment and return of incoming mail (PMP and citizenship) and receipting are posted on the wall and data entry procedures for both are understood. The updated Duty Officer Manual captures all available information on contacts and procedures known to the mission for the treatment of title subjects. In progress for March 31, 2013.
4.5.2 The mission completed its first MEP in November 2011 and this received CEP approval in April 2012. The Regional Security PM visited the mission in January 2012 and provided training to the MCO and the Security Section. An HQ-led exercise with full mission participation is scheduled for September 2012 after the CBS turnover. In progress for October 1, 2012.
4.5.3 CBS are part of the Consular Fraternity Network which meets monthly to discuss cases and develop contact among officers present from all missions and the mission hosted a lunch for this group in March 2012 in conjunction with CIC. Further work needs to be done on maintaining contact with constantly changing local officials. Contact information for these departments (if not for officials themselves) is contained in the Duty Officer Manual. Cooperation with local contacts was tested during work on the recent plane crash when listed officials responded positively. Implemented.
4.5.4 Given current backlog conditions for passport and the fact that after all regular program activities are met only 0.4 FTE remains available for other work, revamping the warden system will have to be programmed by the new DMCO as a special activity, time permitting. This could be done in August 2012 after the DMCO has been 6 months on the job. It should also be noted that Mission is awaiting the results of a January 2012 visit from CEC, one of the mandates of which was to review the *** system. Our most densely populated districts***. In progress for March 31, 2013.
4.5.5 An official receipt has now been displayed. Implemented.
4.5.6 Access is now restricted and cabinets are locked. Implemented.
4.5.7 *** are now provided to each staff ***. Implemented.
4.5.8 A process is in place. Implemented.
4.5.9 *** has been completed and reported to PPTC. New self-inking wet seals have been procured and are being distributed. An *** is being compiled which includes record of the destruction of the old ones. In progress for June 30, 2012.
5.1.1 The Common Services Program is managed by an AS-06 MCO acting in an AS-07 position. She is supported by a team of three CBS and 74 LES, including 53 non-office staff. The three CBS include a DMCO Consular/Human Resources, a DMCO Physical Resources and a Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP). The DMCO Consular/HR position was vacant at the time of the inspection and filled on a temporary basis by a CBS spouse. The program is responsible for providing common services to 172 employees in five DFAIT and six partner programs.
5.1.2 The program provides services to a large and complex mission in a very difficult environment. The hotel bombing in 2008 and the subsequent decision to move all SQs onto the diplomatic enclave significantly changed the mission operating environment and resulted in the diversion of resources and setting of new priorities. Since that time, a major focus of the program has been SQ management and ensuring adequate housing for CBS. Numerous time- consuming upgrades and renovations are still being undertaken.
5.1.3 Additional challenges to program delivery include:
- rapid growth of the mission over the last 6 years (the number of CBS doubled from 22 in 2005 to 45 in 2011);
- the departure of key LES in the finance section over the last year;
- the delayed arrival of the DMCO Consular/HR resulting in a staffing gap of five months; and,
- the added workload associated with providing support to numerous officers visiting the mission on temporary duty.
5.1.4 Due in large part to the challenges noted above, the program lacks the necessary administrative systems and management frameworks to facilitate effective operations. Many routine human, financial and materiel resource functions have suffered from neglect over the years and this has resulted in staff functioning in a reactive rather than a proactive mode.
5.1.5 Now that the mission appears to be entering a period of relative stability, it will be necessary to ensure that adequate procedures and resources are in place to support the mission and its expanded administrative requirements. Improved program leadership as well as increased support and direction from the HOM and CMM will be required.
|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|
5.1.6 The program currently operates in a reactive mode, driven by client requests, unplanned events and headquarters taskings. In addition, it has been coping for the past several months with a gap in the DMCO Consular/HR position.***. Recommendations found in each section of this report are designed to help staff manage their work and operate more effectively. In general, there is a need for improvement in the following areas:
- planning and prioritizing;
- adherence to service standards, policies and procedures; and,
- management of client expectations.
5.1.7 There are few documented policies and procedures in use to guide staff, manage client expectations and allow managers to hold employees accountable for delegated responsibilities. A central location for all documents will ensure ease of use, consistency of information and sustainability over time. The mission wiki could be used for this purpose.
5.1.8 While weekly meetings are held by the MCO with the DMCO and section heads from the Consular and Common Services Programs, most communication occurs informally on an ad hoc basis. This is insufficient for a mission of this size and complexity and, as a result, the level of ***. Regular meetings with staff in each section *** would improve communications ***. As a best practice, section meetings could occur weekly or bi-weekly, with a monthly section heads meeting, followed by a quarterly all-program staff meeting.
5.1.9 The large number of non-office staff at the mission, and the very high illiteracy rate, mean that LES supervisors are frequently depended upon to provide information, fill in forms and translate for their staff. While this assistance is appreciated and necessary, it also places supervisors in positions of power over their staff. It would be beneficial for the mission to institute a system where a CBS meets periodically with non-office staff, without their supervisors, so that issues can be openly discussed. A CBS could be nominated to fulfill the role of "champion for non-office staff" to ensure their voices are heard. The mission has recently installed a suggestion box as recommended by the LES Welfare Association to assist in this process.
Resourcing and workload issues:
5.1.10 The main issue raised by the program was a lack of resources to manage the current workload. The inspection visit identified areas where workload could be alleviated by implementing certain improvements and more effective use of existing resources. As a result, it was difficult for the inspection team to assess the need for additional resources.
5.1.11 In the short term, the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD) has provided the mission with a CBS temporary duty officer for six months to assist the program. Options to hire local temporary assistance also exist. In addition, the program has a vacant administrative assistant position which, once filled, will contribute to improving operations. The mission is also on an HQ priority list for a review of its common service positions.
5.1.12 The Canada Club is currently managed by a full-time LE-07 Club Manager position, which is funded by the common services program. The incumbent reports directly to the Canada Club Board of Directors and has little interaction with the common services program. It is unclear how this position and its responsibilities have evolved but, given the workload and pressures faced by the program, the position would be better utilized in the mission proper contributing to common services program operations.
5.1.13 Areas were identified in the physical resources section where the workload has increased significantly without any obvious increase in resources. These are explained in more detail in the physical resources section of this report and include:
- Maintenance of SQs;
- Maintenance of the modular housing units and,
- Vehicle and driver management.
5.1.14 Besides the impact on the physical resources section, the high number of visitors to the mission on temporary duty has added to the program's workload in other administrative areas. This is mainly due to the security situation and the fact that hotels are not used. The program must manage reservations and cleaning of the 12 modular housing units, liaise with the security section to obtain passes to enable visitors to enter the diplomatic enclave, arrange airport pick- ups by armoured vehicle and trips to buy food due to lack of public transport and restaurant options.
|Key Common Services Client Service Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Service standards have been established and communicated to clients.||X|
|Services provided reflect fair and equitable allocation and access to common services for all mission programs.||X|
|A mechanism is in place to solicit and receive client feedback, and corrective action is taken when warranted.||X|
|Hub and spoke relationships are governed by an agreement outlining the roles and responsibilities of each mission.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
5.1.15 Discussions with mission staff highlighted varying levels of client service satisfaction, from prompt and client oriented, to slow and unresponsive. While common services staff are aware of the importance of providing good service, a lack of prioritization and in some cases over-servicing, has hampered their ability to provide effective high-level services to all clients. Improvements to processes and procedures will enable the program to adopt a proactive, strategic approach to the delivery of client services.
5.1.16 Although the mission Service Delivery Standards document was updated in January 2011, service standards for key activities are not in use. Use of, and adherence to, reasonable service standards would help manage client expectations and enable staff to handle their workloads more effectively. In order for this initiative to be successful, support from mission management will be necessary.
5.1.17 Informal feedback is sought from clients regarding services. In a mission of this size, however, a formal feedback mechanism would assist the program to accurately monitor the level of client satisfaction and to make adjustments where necessary.
|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|
5.1.18 The contracting process is managed by the MCO who is the chair of the Contract Review Board (CRB). As most contracts are initiated by the Common Services Program, it is advisable that the MCO participate as a non-voting advisory member in order to ensure an arm's length relationship. While some discussions have taken place regarding Terms of Reference (TOR), no mission specific document/guidelines are in use. A yearly meeting to discuss the TORs, contracting regulations and changes and method of reviews would be beneficial especially when new members are appointed.
5.1.19 The CRB reviews contracts which exceed $5,000. This should be expanded to include a review of sensitive contracts, including spousal, dependant and sole-source contracts. Periodic spot checks of contracts under the threshold should be conducted.
5.1.20 Staff involved in the contracting process are knowledgeable, but lack documented procedures to guide their actions. This increases the risk that steps will be missed, and documents retained on file will not be consistent. The lack of guidelines also prevents staff from making decisions and exercising even limited authority and responsibility. Staff must seek approval from the MCO or DMCO for all purchases, regardless of value.
5.1.21 The CMM is presented with a capital purchase plan based on recommended requirements for the current fiscal year. The program has not yet developed a multi-year capital acquisition plan that would assist in forward planning and budgeting. There is therefore a risk that maintenance projects or materiel acquisition needs could be overlooked or go unfunded.
Recommendations to the mission
5.1.22 A workplan for the program should be developed that would include resource requirements, priorities and deadlines.
5.1.23 Documented policies and procedures should be established and clearly communicated to management, staff and clients.
5.1.24 Regular meetings should be scheduled for each section and all-staff meetings should be held periodically. In addition, a CBS should meet with non-office staff on a quarterly basis.
5.1.25 Service standards should be established for key activities and communicated to staff and clients.
5.1.26 The mission, in consultation with HQ, should determine the status of the LE-07 Club Manager position to ensure it is used as intended.
5.1.27 The mission should explore different options to manage services provided to visitors on temporary duty.
5.1.28 A formal client feedback mechanism should be implemented.
5.1.29 The following improvements to procurement and contracting are required:
- The CRB should meet yearly to discuss the TORs, contracting regulations and changes and method of review;
- The MCO should participate on the CRB as a non-voting advisory member;
- Contracting/procurement procedures should be documented and communicated to all staff involved in the process; and,
- A multi-year acquisition plan should be developed.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.1.22 Based on the verbal debrief of the inspection received on 18 Nov 2011, the current year Business Plans submitted in Jan 2012 contain a listing of priority work for all areas. These priorities have also been extracted to form section and individual workplan documents for each area (HR, finance, property, etc.) Individual PMP agreements will also reflect these priorities. With the departure of the MCO the first week of June 2012, the incorporation of additional comments listed in the formal inspection report of May 2012 will be undertaken by the incoming MCO expected in September 2012 and assigned to the DMCO/Property or other acting MCO in the interim. Follow up on progress and additional workplan development will be undertaken in the fall.
While the implementation of guiding workplans and stricter MCO office hours will undoubtedly assist with prioritization, this alone will not serve to alleviate all of this burden. As suggested in the Common Service Business Plan for the current year, staffing missions with identified CBS resourcing deficiencies vis-à-vis the Common Service Model with first-time DMCOs only increases the burden (of training and answering questions from DMCO/clients) on the MCO. In progress for December 31, 2012.
5.1.23 Since September 2011, a full briefing on the Service Standards document and established mission procedures has been provided to all incoming CBS and this practice should continue until 100% of incoming staff will have been given this interactive opportunity. As suggested, key policies and procedures need to be expanded, updated in writing and issued to users. Planned updates in the form of memos include: TB contracting policy for CRB and non-committee users, finance service standards (to incorporate suggestions such as reducing cheque cashing for CBS), driver policy (currently in suspension due to the security situation), policy on the use of HR staffing services by managers. Hospitality policy links and training module was recently communicated to users. PMP training has recently been offered to PMs. In progress for December 31, 2012.
5.1.24 Besides the weekly all segments Administration Meeting, CBS weekly meetings have also been scheduled for HR, Finance, Property and Consular and quarterly meetings (following FY quarters) scheduled for the Driver and non-office Property Program staff. Implemented.
5.1.25 A review of the existing Service Standards document will be undertaken with a view to highlighting key activities and putting these in writing (as separate documents) to provide to users. Since the summer of 2011, all incoming CBS receive a briefing on the existing service standards. In progress for July 31, 2012.
5.1.26 Under previous management in the early 2000's it was decided that the importance of ensuring adequate oversight of the Club warranted the assignment of a mission-employed LES. The outgoing HOM has recommended that the appropriateness of maintaining or changing this arrangement be reviewed by the incoming HOM, MCO and President of the Club Executive. In progress for March 31, 2013.
5.1.27 The mission plans to contract these services out in the new FY and requested funding in the budget of the current FY to this end. In progress for March 31, 2013.
5.1.28 The development of this tool, to be used by LES and CBS has been added to the workplan to be in place for the arrival of new CBS in the summer. It will be created in both official languages as well as Urdu. The existing comment box in the cafeteria remains in existence but is rarely used by staff. In progress for June 31, 2012.
5.1.29 At the time of the inspection, the CRB used the generic Terms of Reference from the website and was meeting at least 6 times per year to open all bids on multi- bidder contracts and in every case where a sole source contract was proposed except for a few spousal contracts which were sole source or of low dollar value. The MCO became a non-voting member since 18 November 2011, when informed by the Inspection Team of this requirement. As noted elsewhere, a document on "Contracting Procedures at the Mission" will be developed and communicated. As members are experienced with contracting and refer to the generic documents on the web, this document will be aimed at non participants. Re the multi-year acquisition plan: Mission has just completed a full review and analysis of SQ inventory and needs which completes the primary step in the development of this plan. Multi -year planning for vehicle and photocopier replacement is already in place. In progress for September 30, 2012.
5.2 Human Resources
5.2.1 The HR functions are normally the responsibility of the DMCO Consular/HR who is assisted by an LE-07 HR Officer and an LE-05 Program Assistant. Due to the absence of a permanent DMCO Consular/HR at the time of the inspection, the MCO was managing this section.
|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 The HR officer is *** and long serving member of the staff. Over the last few years, *** had assumed a more active role in HR functions. While this involvement may have been beneficial and necessary in some cases, it has led to a lack of clarity with respect to the role and responsibilities of the HR officer. The MCO and HR officer both recognize that he is not operating at his level and neither is satisfied with the situation. Given workloads across the program, it will be important for the HR Officer to undertake the full range of duties associated with his position.
5.2.3 The mission LES Welfare Association is very active, and executive members are also members of the LES Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) which meets quarterly. The inspection team met with members of the association, and their main areas of concern were related to the provident fund, total compensation review, benefits (including the medical plan), outstanding issues mainly impacting non-office staff and the lack of responsiveness from the HR section. As indicated in the common services overview, there is a general need to improve communication with staff, particularly non-office staff. Outstanding HR issues include:
- Clarification of overtime policies;
- More information regarding the general services conversion;
- A review and update of job descriptions and position levels, and;
- Further explanation about the job changes that occurred in the CIC Program.
5.2.4 The section has developed good arrival and departure guides and checklists for CBS. A similar orientation guide for LES is not in place, although staff are provided with the LES Handbook, information on benefits and a security briefing. A guide or checklist would ensure new employees receive consistent and complete information and instructions in their first few days at the mission.
5.2.5 The MCO is the training coordinator and nominal training budgets have been established. However, this is managed on an ad hoc basis. There is no mission-wide training plan in place to assess employee needs and budget accordingly. Furthermore, PMPs which would contain information on staff training needs are not up-to-date. Given the MCO's workload, appointing another staff member as the training coordinator should be considered.
|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|
5.2.6 The section processed 23 staffing actions over the past year, including 11 indeterminate and 12 emergency actions. The majority of emergency employees were hired on behalf of CIC. There were also ten grievances and one harassment complaint submitted at the mission.
5.2.7 While most files reviewed contained sufficient supporting documentation, documents contained in staffing files were inconsistent and largely depended on the staff member responsible. It was sometimes difficult to determine if certain competitions were conducted according to ALD guidelines. In addition, communication with spouses regarding competitions and rates of pay were raised as an area of improvement.
Recommendations to the mission
5.2.8 The HR Officer should be assigned the full range of duties associated with his position.
5.2.9 The HR section should provide further explanation and clarification to staff regarding issues raised by the LES Welfare Association.
5.2.10 An LES arrival/departure checklist should be developed and include IM/IT and Security requirements.
5.2.11 A coordinated approach should be taken with regards to planning and budgeting for staff training.
5.2.12 HR staffing practices at the mission should be tightened and more oversight provided to ensure ALD guidelines are adhered to and competitions are transparent.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.2.9 Mission management meets regularly with LES representatives in the framework of the LESMCB, where any and all concerns of LES staff are fully reviewed and GoC policies and decisions fully explained. In instances where LES are not satisfied with such explanations, HQ advice is sought and implemented. Inevitably, some matters, such as LES dissatisfaction with salary adjustments, are raised on a recurring basis and full "understanding", i.e. concurrence, regarding the GoC actions is not achieved. Implemented.
5.2.10 The current verbal briefing package provided by the HR Officer is in the process of being put in writing. In progress for September 31, 2012.
5.2.11 This will be a follow-on from the development of a mission-wide training plan which is not yet in place. Such a plan will be developed based on the results of the current FY PMP exercises (due June 30 2012) and/or PM input. In progress for July 31, 2012.
5.2.12 These comments mainly refer to one case of OGD interference in a staffing process. ALD guidelines are followed. Implemented.
5.3 Physical Resources
5.3.1 The Physical Resources Section is overseen by the MCO with day-to-day management carried out by the acting AS-05 DMCO Physical Resources. The team is comprised of 46 LES, including 41 non-office staff who perform mechanical, maintenance, gardening, cleaning and transportation support services. In addition, *** tradesmen have been hired on contract to assist the section.
5.3.2 The section manages *** vehicles***, and 59 crown-owned properties located ***. These include the chancery, official residence (OR), the Canada Club, 43 SQs, 12 modular housing units and one warehouse.***.
5.3.3 Following the September 2008 hotel bombing, all staff and dependents were moved onto the enclave***. New SQs were created by renovating existing accommodations originally built for domestic staff. A major focus of the section has been devoted to SQ management and the provision of adequate housing for CBS. Numerous time-consuming upgrades and renovations are still being undertaken.
|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|
5.3.4 The workload of the section is heavy given the challenging operating environment, size and scope of the property. It is difficult *** to function under these conditions. Weekly section meetings are not held, hindering effective planning and prioritization and the section operates in a reactive mode.
5.3.5 Two ARD project managers are assigned to Islamabad to manage large projects as well as projects at the missions in Kabul and Damascus. This presents the mission with both opportunities and challenges. It has been difficult for the section to coordinate their regular activities and the projects managed by the ARD representatives. The lack of a clear communication and reporting structure, combined with occasional misunderstandings, has negatively impacted the section.
5.3.6 The maintenance of the modular housing units and SQs and management of drivers and vehicles have all increased the workload of the section. This has put pressure on existing resources and it is unclear whether or not resource levels have kept up with these demands. Four non-office staff positions remain unstaffed, further increasing pressures on the section.
5.3.7 Clients are aware of the workload facing the section but noted that several work orders remained outstanding for long periods of time, with little or no status updates provided. In addition, the section continues to receive client requests by phone or in person, although the approved electronic work request system is functional. Consistent use of the electronic system will improve monitoring and facilitate follow up to ensure that work requests are completed in a timely manner.
5.3.8 Roles and responsibilities of the section's LE-09 engineers are not always clear. The DMCO is often relied upon to assess problems and provide solutions when officers would ordinarily be expected to perform these duties. It will be important to ensure that these staff members undertake the full range of responsibilities associated with their positions and that roles and expectations are clear, especially given the workload of the section. The role of the materiel management officer is also unclear. There is little coordination among staff in his section and duties are changed without consultation. A review of the structure and distribution of tasks may be needed to generate efficiencies.
5.3.9 The Mission Property Management Plan (MPMP) is up to date, however, the Mission Maintenance Work plan (MMW) does not reflect current planned projects and does not provide a comprehensive representation of the mission's property-related work. This lack of documentation hinders the ability of the section to plan and prioritize. In addition, regular maintenance schedules for SQs are not established and work is mainly performed in reaction to work requests.
5.3.10 Mission staff may not always be fully aware of Canadian standards and practices. This increases the risk *** and information provided is according to *** standards. ARD has provided the mission with a CBS temporary duty officer for six months to assist the section. This will be a good opportunity to for staff to receive training and guidance and ensure that large projects can be monitored more closely. However, due to the complex nature of mission systems, a long term solution may be warranted.
5.3.11 All mission systems, from water filtration to electrical systems, are maintained by mission staff, and SQ renovations and other large projects are managed by the two LE-09 engineers. While outside companies are available to perform the work, projects can face significant delays due to difficulties in obtaining access to the diplomatic enclave for outside workers. For this reason, the mission has decided to undertake the work internally with the assistance of mission staff and *** contracted tradesmen. This does, however, take staff's time away from other regular duties. Discussions with like-minded missions located on the diplomatic enclave may provide options on how to undertake future projects.
5.3.12 There are large discrepancies between the types of SQs occupied by CBS, from large two storey houses suitable for families to small SQs converted from previous domestic quarters. Many of the latter suffer from poor layout, lack of space and lack of interior laundry facilities. Several ADAs ranging from 30 - 60 percent have been granted in recognition of these shortcomings. A perception that housing has become a cost-saving measure for the Department has hampered morale.
|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|
5.3.13 Overall, internal controls were found to be insufficient. In particular, asset management needs to be strengthened which will facilitate planning.
5.3.14 The section does not consistently conduct annual SQs inspections beyond those undertaken on staff arrival or departure. Annual housing inspections would assist in determining longer-term needs and any maintenance requirements.
5.3.15 SQ distribution accounts and occupancy agreements have been signed, however, frequent furniture exchanges complicate record-keeping. The lack of control over furniture allocation has led to furniture sets being split up, and remaining items are often unusable. In addition, inventories of working tools and equipment used by the maintenance staff have not been established.
5.3.16 The mission stores a large amount of unassigned materiel assets in a large warehouse. A review of these assets raised concerns over the quantity of items in stock.***. Increased monitoring and control of the warehouse will be necessary to ensure planning for future purchases can be performed with accurate information.
Vehicle and Driver Issues
5.3.17 The use of armoured vehicles is mandatory for official travel and recommended for use by staff and spouses on personal trips when travelling off the diplomatic enclave. Vehicle use has greatly increased, producing a need for around-the-clock support services. Scheduling and use of official vehicles is managed by two dispatchers, one of whom is on contract. More attention will need to be paid to driver scheduling to ensure that adequate rest periods are provided to drivers***.
5.3.18 The completion of vehicle logs has become more challenging with the addition of seven contract drivers who do not all use the logs consistently. Monthly reconciliations of mileage and fuel consumption are signed off but are not verified by the dispatcher.
5.3.19 The mission generators are used frequently, however ***. Improved control and oversight would ensure *** is used in the appropriate manner.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.3.20 Planning and prioritization of activities should be formalized.
5.3.21 Weekly section meetings should be held.
5.3.22 The electronic work request system should be made mandatory for client requests.
5.3.23 Roles and responsibilities of the engineers and material management officer should be clarified.
5.3.24 The section should re-assess how it conducts internal projects and discuss contracting options with like-minded missions.
5.3.25 The Mission Maintenance Workplan should be updated.
5.3.26 Annual SQ inspections should be conducted.
5.3.27 SQ and warehouse *** should accurately maintained.
5.3.28 Adequate rest periods should be provided to drivers ***
5.3.29 Vehicle logs and monthly reconciliations should be completed and reviewed
5.3.30 *** should be monitored and controlled.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.3.20 A section specific workplan is outlined and will be further developed to incorporate all programmed projects, fit-ups, inspections, maintenance schedules, deadlines for supply orders and management of routine work orders, etc. It should be noted that the Seismic Upgrade project will take priority over the next year. In progress for August 2012.
5.3.21 Daily meetings are held by the two property managers and their staff. Regular meetings for Property staff will be added as suggested. In progress for August 2012.
5.3.22 Property staff have been instructed to only action requests sent via *** (other than emergencies). An improvement has been noticed in the use of the system, however pressure must be kept on CBS and LES to follow-up verbal requests with tickets. Implemented.
5.3.23 While the job descriptions are accurate, reporting relationships, separation of tasks, defined areas of responsibility and authority, etc. are being reviewed and formalized independently. This will provide clear instructions to staff and allow them to make appropriate decisions within their area of expertise without needing to seek approval from DMCO/MCO. In progress for November 2012.
5.3.24 A final assessment for this year's projects should be completed during ARAF's visit in June 2012. Canadian contractors / consultants are hired when possible. Discussions are underway with ARAF and preliminary comparisons have been made with like-minded missions regarding contracting options: *** re a considerable impediment. The mission's own experience and that of like-minded missions shows a chronic inability to meet deadlines among the local contractor community. Given mission's tight deadlines for turning over SQs between occupants hiring local contractors for time-sensitive projects has been considered too high a risk for certain projects. In progress for June 2012.
5.3.25 The new FY MMW plan was completed in Feb 2012. The mission has been in regular contact with ARAF on the implementation of identified projects. Implemented.
5.3.26 A schedule for annual inspection of SQs, quarterly inspections of all stores and warehouse (to cross-check stock with inventories) will be put in place. SQ inspections are done at the time of CBS turnover and will be done on yearly intervals from that date. Inspection of stores will commence once the June 2012 disposal auction has been completed. Work on the seismic upgrade project may disrupt internal operations and delay the project (as resourcing is not yet adequately defined). In progress for September 2012.
5.3.27 The mission has undertaken a comprehensive assessment of furniture in SQs and in the warehouse. The next step is to implement a barcode system to properly inventory and track items. The mission will develop the scope of work, identify potential companies and put in place a contract with a local firm. In progress for December 2012.
5.3.28 The mission has been keeping a close eye on the drivers' schedule in order to limit the number of continuous hours worked. We have hired an additional three contract drivers to provide more shift work and alleviate pressures on all drivers. Implemented.
5.3.29 Vehicle logs are now completed regularly by all drivers and reviewed by their supervisor. Monthly reconciliations will be followed-up periodically by CBS. In progress for September 2012.
5.3.30 ***. In progress for March 2013.
5.4.1 The finance section is managed by the MCO who is supported by an LE-07 senior accountant and an LE-05 assistant accountant. The section has a high workload and operates in a complex environment that has seen high staff turnover, past incidences of misconduct and heavy demands from clients.
|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 The MCO has made some efforts to improve financial operations such as: improving the mission budget process, posting financial procedures on the finance section door, training clients on travel claim procedures as well as consolidating invoices to enable one monthly payment. Despite these improvements, the section continues to operate in a reactive mode.
5.4.3 Opportunities exist to further streamline operations and alleviate workload from the section. It is estimated that the workload could be reduced by more than 25% which would allow for better prioritization of activities. Certain changes will impact services provided to staff and programs, thus requiring the full support of mission management. These changes would include the following:
- Establishing realistic service standards and enforcing quiet hours. Neither the current service standard (five days), nor posted quiet hours are respected.
- Obtaining signatures for section 33 and cheques at the same time, rather than as a two-step process. This procedure has been approved by SMFF but has not yet been adopted.
- Increasing the use of electronic funds transfers. Converting 10-20% of vendors to EFTs is one of the senior accountant's PMP objectives.
5.4.4 Succession planning to mitigate staff turnover is of particular concern. *** and the assistant accountant has only recently attended training in Canada. It is critical that proactive steps be taken to manage this planned departure including early staffing of the position, training of the assistant accountant and back-up plans to ensure services can continue to be provided.
5.4.5 The mission's exchange rate for local currency is not predetermined with the bank.***. In addition, there is no CBS involvement in this process.***.
|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.||X|
|Travel and hospitality claim processes ensure that policies and guidelines are adhered to and that the accountant verifies the completeness and accuracy of the claim.||X|
|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, the majority of key internal controls were in place. Some areas for improvement were identified, including the need for an increased level ***. Key financial management reports, such as the asset and liability report, the accountable advance report and the systems adjustments report, were not being reviewed monthly. Further IMS training would be required to allow the MCO to review these reports independently.
5.4.7 The mission bank statement is available on the mission's intranet site which makes regular monitoring the bank account easier. However, the senior accountant downloads the bank statement from the internet for use in the monthly bank reconciliation with no examination performed by the MCO.
5.4.8 Recoverables are not currently used to record instances where bank drafts received from consular clients are returned by the bank. Instead, the finance section requests the consular staff to replace the ***. This practice does not provide the mission with a record of the amount still owing and makes it difficult for managers to monitor ***. In addition, it creates a situation where consular revenues on hand do not reconcile with services provided.
5.4.9 Reimbursement of the Honorary Consuls' expenses is not currently based on an established agreement. This decreases the predictability of spending, complicates the proper audit of expenses and increases the workload on the finance section.
5.4.10 The Value-Added Tax (VAT) in Pakistan stands at 17%, yet refunds are currently only being sought for gas transactions. This practice represents a substantial loss of funds for the Crown.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.4.11 The mission should implement changes to streamline financial operations and alleviate workloads, including:
- Establishing realistic service standards for financial services
- Adhering to posted quiet hours
- Implementing the SMFF approved procedures for signing section 33 and cheques at the same time, and
- Increasing the use of EFTs.
5.4.12 Succession planning for the departure of the *** should be undertaken immediately.
5.4.13 The MCO should be the primary contact of the bank and a documented and consistent exchange rate established for the mission (i.e. a figure relative to the daily posted rate).
5.4.14 Recoverables should be used to record instances where bank drafts received from consular clients are returned by the bank.
5.4.15 The MCO should review key financial management reports on a monthly basis, including assets and liabilities, accountable advances and system adjustments.
5.4.16 The monthly bank statement should be reviewed by the MCO to ensure its accuracy.
5.4.17 A systematic process should be put in place for VAT recovery process on all applicable expenses.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.4.11 Much work has been done to bring the section into line with regulations since September 2010 and further streamlining is planned. Mission is not in agreement with changing the current service standards (time) as this serves only to displace the workload and does not address volume. Efforts are ongoing to adhere to quiet hours. CMM is not in agreement with ceasing CBS personal banking services but the frequency of this service has been curtailed and a lower limit for funds has been imposed. Printing cheques to be signed at the same time as payment is approved has been implemented. Efforts are ongoing (and will be so indefinitely as a matter of policy) to identify vendors who are in agreement with EFT payments (which still require separate letters drawn up for the bank for each transaction as EFT is not paperless in Pakistan). Implemented.
5.4.12 This was in progress at the time of the inspection when the assistant accountant was in Canada for IMS training and will continue until a new accountant has been hired. In progress for September 2012.
5.4.15 This has been added to the finance section workplan. Implemented.
5.4.17 This is already done for large purchases from registered companies (in the form of applying for tax exemptions). Small vendors (usually not registered with the government as a business) do not charge sales tax. Nonetheless, mission will continue to monitor this situation in order to recover any tax. Implemented.
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 supported by two LE-07 locally-engaged ITPs (LEITPs). The section provides services to approximately 140 clients. Oversight is provided by the MCO and the Client Support Regional Manager (CSRM) for the Southeast Asia, who is stationed in Singapore.
|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 section is functioning well, with clear roles and responsibilities and a good support relationship with HQ and the CSRM. Time differences with HQ do pose challenges, but the CSRM is available to the FSITP at any time.
5.5.3 The section has developed an IM-IT business plan to guide operations, and uses an informal action plan for daily, weekly and monthly activities. The business plan is a good tool which could be further enhanced through the definition of qualitative indicators such as service standards, timelines for the completions of projects, cost savings and client satisfaction. These could be used to measure and monitor results and progress against objectives.
5.5.4 Service requests are generally sent by clients to a general IM-IT mailbox and subsequently triaged and addressed by the team. It was reported, however, that important requests were not always addressed in line with service standards, due to a perceived lack of prioritization. It was also noted that requests are often tracked in a note book instead of Remedy. This poses a challenge for monitoring workloads, following up on service requests and assessing the adequacy of resources.
|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|
5.5.5 Overall, IM-IT processes and procedures are effective. System back-ups are performed regularly ***.
5.5.8 DISA tokens and mobility tools are now formally signed out by users. The sign out sheet for Blackberries was recently created, and should be maintained on an on-going basis.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.5.9 The section should enter all client service requests in Remedy.
5.5.10 The section should clearly communicate service standards to users as well as the proper procedures to submit a request.
5.5.11 The mission should purchase a ***.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.5.9 IT Support section will strive to document all reported issues via Remedy which the client and HQ deem as required.
IT Support is a constant user of the DFAIT Remedy application. The client population of the mission has increased 100% since 2005, without the necessary reflective increase in IT support staff to accommodate the inevitable escalation in workload. Nonetheless the three IT staff provide excellent service to the 172 CBS/LES staff. Implemented.
5.5.10 The mission CBS / LES community notify IT Support of service needs via email to ISBAD - IT Support, telephone to 338-HELP/AIDE, or person-to-person notification.
IT Support will advise clients of standards, utilizing Sections 10 & 11 of the Mission Service Delivery Standards found on the intranet. A verbal briefing on Service Standards is provided to all incoming CBS and an LES package is being developed (see HR section).
5.5.11 Mission administration and the FSITP are reviewing the local selection ***. In progress for May 2012.
5.5.12 Mission *** units are controlled, maintained, serviced, and confidence checked by ISBAD - Security (MPSS staff) and this was in place at the time of the inspection. Implemented.
Appendix A: Mission Resources Fact Sheet
|Modular Housing Units||12|
|Head of Mission||8||2||6|
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: