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Inspection of the High Commission of Canada ACCRA, Ghana
November 21-27, 2012
- Inspection Scope and Objectives
- Executive Summary
- 1. Mission Management
- 2. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)
- 3. Commercial Economic (CE)
- 4. Consular
- 5. Common Services
- Appendix A: Mission Resources Fact Sheet
- Appendix B: Frequently Used Acronyms
Inspection Scope and Objectives
The scope of the Inspection included a review of Mission Management and the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service, Commercial Economic, Consular and Common Services programs. The inspection objectives were to:
- Assess the effectiveness of the leadership and management practices of the Head of Mission (HOM) and the mission management team;
- Review the alignment of plans and activities, and program integration to Government of Canada and departmental objectives and priorities;
- Assess the adequacy of management controls and systems, procedures and the reliability of information for decision making and accountability purposes;
- Determine the extent of compliance with legislation, regulations and operating policies;
- Evaluate the use of resources to determine that they are judiciously used and if value-for-money is received; and
- Make recommendations, where warranted, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the mission and its programs.
The focus and extent of on-site work was based on an assessment of materiality and related risk. This was done through communication with Headquarters (HQ) bureaux, including briefings by line management and the functional bureaux, review of relevant HQ and mission documentation, past audit findings, and an analysis of recurring trends and systemic issues.
During the Inspection, inspection issues and lines of enquiry were further refined from information gathered through interviews with the Head of Mission and program managers, a meeting with locally engaged staff (LES) representatives of the LES Management Consultation Board, individual interviews with staff, and results of other documentation reviewed. The level of inspection work was therefore based on issues and information identified and gathered at all levels: HQ, mission management and mission operations.
An inspection of Mission Management, the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS), Commercial Economic (CE), Consular and Common Services programs was conducted in Accra from November 21 to 27, 2012. A previous audit/inspection of these programs took place in 2005.
The High Commission of Canada in Accra is a medium-sized mission with 20 Canada-based staff (CBS) and 49 locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for program delivery in Ghana, Togo and Sierra Leone. Partner departments at the mission include Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The mission has an Honorary Consul (HonCon) position in Lome, Togo, although it is currently vacant. Four temporary duty officers from CBSA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are present at any one time, rotating on a four to six month basis.
The mission functions well overall, producing good results on a wide scope of issues both in terms of bilateral and regional relations. Objectives are aligned with DFAIT and Government of Canada priorities; the mission serves as an effective platform for the promotion of Canadian interests in the region. The Head of Mission (HOM) is an *** manager who networks effectively and is visible in local circles. The HOM ensures there is a strong whole-of-government approach to mission planning and activities.
The FPDS program in Ghana is *** managed and is involved in a wide variety of files including peace and security, democracy and human rights. The program has experienced difficulty in keeping up with the demands placed on it. In particular, overtime and travel budgets are insufficient to adequately cover the three countries of accreditation. To better address its work, the program would benefit from more precisely defining and prioritizing its activities and aligning them to key priorities. The next step would be to document strategies and plans along with related timelines, required resources, outputs and expected results.
The CE program has been in disarray over the past year due to personnel issues including extensive staff absences. The impact of this situation has been substantial. Since April 2012, the HOM was entirely responsible for the program with the assistance of the Trade Commissioner Assistant (TCA) until her departure in July. This was reflected in the low trade statistics reported during that period. Since his arrival, the new PM has had to clear the backlog of enquiries and re-establish contact with clients and stakeholders. The PM has also recruited a *** Trade Commissioner (TC) and is *** revitalizing the program. A new business analysis has been done and the business plan is being completely revamped.
The Consular program functions well, providing services in Ghana, Togo and Sierra Leone. The program has a well-established wardens’ network in Ghana but needs to assign additional wardens and deputies in a number of districts. At the time of the inspection, there was no HonCon in place in Togo as the position was vacated in 2012 with no replacement. The program was advised to prepare a business case *** the local need ***. The program would benefit from improved work plans for staff as well as increased outreach activities to assign more wardens, increase the number of Canadians registered with the program and improve the program’s network of local contacts.
The Common Services program is generally providing a good level of service to its clients within the mission. ***. This has led to low morale and has affected the performance of the program in general. The overall lack of communications within the program is a symptom ***. Communication styles and interpersonal relationships need to be addressed to engage staff and improve the atmosphere within the workplace. The program should institute all-staff meetings and address issues involving processes, procedures and asset management. Client feedback mechanisms need to be updated and communicated.
A total of 63 inspection recommendations are raised in the report, 58 are addressed to the mission and 5 are addressed to headquarters. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 63 recommendations, management has stated that 30 have been implemented. For each of the remaining 33 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
1.1.1 The High Commission of Canada in Accra is a medium-sized mission with 20 Canada-based staff (CBS) and 49 locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in Ghana, Togo, and Sierra Leone. In addition there are four CBS from the RCMP and CBSA present at any one time, who occupy temporary duty positions, rotating on a four to six month basis. Although there is an Honorary Consul position in Togo, it was not staffed at the time of the inspection.
1.1.2 The mission currently employs *** individuals who have been hired in expatriate positions. This affects morale at the mission given that these positions are paid significantly higher wages than their colleagues performing similar work. Initial assessments have failed to find justification for listing these positions as expat only. Program managers interviewed expressed ***.
1.1.3 The mission is managed by an EX-02 HOM (acting EX-03), who is responsible for overall mission operations and oversees the operational and capital budgets of $1.6 million and $82.8 thousand respectively. The mission also manages a property portfolio that includes a Crown-owned chancery and compound, a Crown-owned official residence (OR) as well as 18 Crown-leased staff quarters (SQ).
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|
|Mission management ensures that employees remain informed of key priorities and common services policy decisions.||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 dialogue.||X|
|Mission committees are meeting regularly and effectively discharging their governance responsibilities.||X|
|Canadian public service values and ethics are promoted and reinforced, and employees are aware of available support resources (values and ethics, staff relations, etc.).||X|
1.2.1 The HOM is an *** manager who is *** with her staff, ***. The management team, for the most part, works well together guided by a well-defined Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) document. They are supported by the HOM in the achievement of their program objectives including her direct involvement when requested and the use of the OR for events and activities.
1.2.2 Communications are effective through the CMM, town hall meetings, LESMCB meetings, all-staff emails and training sessions. For some programs, communication between managers and staff can be improved. More frequent all-team meetings and adjustments to management styles would help address this noticeable concern.
1.2.3 There is scope *** to foster more *** through policy discussions with program managers and staff and greater attention to morale, and administrative issues including the *** program managers. These issues can be addressed by having specific policy/forward planning CMMs as well as separate operational/administration CMMs.
1.2.4 The mission has a full suite of committees in place with representation and participation from all programs including both CBS and LES members. In addition to the CMM and LESMCB, other committees include Housing, Official Languages, Environmental, Mission Security, Contract Review Board, Occupational Health and Safety, and Learning Working Group.
1.2.5 The LESMCB meets quarterly with the HOM and the MCO. The board has 11 LES members representing all programs including OR and general services staff and 2 CBS members. This number is fairly large given the size of the mission and its makeup. Some concerns were expressed regarding a perceived lack of transparency regarding changes to employment terms of reference as well as accessibility to the list of markers used as part of the Total Compensation Review (TCR) exercise recently completed.
1.2.6 LES expressed concerns regarding the salary revision exercise as well as the TCR. The difference between the office staff and general staff increases has been a concern expressed by LES representatives. In addition, the lack of information regarding the markers surveyed is also a matter that will require attention from the section, mission management as a whole and support from HQ. Addressing these concerns and questions will be necessary to maintain an atmosphere conducive to efficient work
1.2.7 Values and ethics are strongly supported by the HOM and the CMM. The mission received a visit from the Values and Ethics Division (ZVE) and Special Investigations Unit (ZIU) who provided training to all staff on values and ethics, and fraud awareness respectively. Follow-up sessions have been held with staff to reinforce the topic but the need to address some interpersonal issue remains.
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 Whole-of-government (WOG) collaboration is supported by the HOM and program managers. This is demonstrated in the collective effort in developing the mission’s MPR and in the integration of some program activities across the mission. However, program managers indicated that a more strategic approach would be welcomed.
1.3.2 There is participation from all programs in mission committees, recruitment competitions, training sessions and community and social events. More attention is required to collectively integrate policies and strategies and to use the CMM more effectively to address morale and interpersonal issues. For instance, a number of issues falling under common services require further focus. Addressing staff concerns over expatriate positions, the TCR and general salary competitiveness issues are all matters requiring mission management attention.
1.4 Emergency Preparedness
|Key Emergency Preparedness Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The mission emergency plan (MEP) is up to date.||X|
|An emergency response team (ERT) has been identified and members are aware of their roles and responsibilities.||X|
|The MEP is tested regularly through the conduct of exercises and simulations.||X|
|The mission has identified an alternate command post and the appropriate secondary communications systems are in place and tested regularly.||X|
|Consultation occurs with like-minded and neighbouring Canadian missions regarding emergency planning.||X|
1.4.1 The mission is in the process of updating the mission emergency plan (MEP) that was originally developed in 2011 and emergency response team members have been identified. An MEP table-top drill is scheduled to take place in December 2012 once the update has been completed and approved by the CMM.
1.4.2 The last chancery fire drill took place in February 2012. The mission has not conducted ***. These drills should be included in the security workplan.
1.4.4 The Mission Security Officer (MSO) and the Military Police Security Specialist (MPSS) have established regular contact and arrange meetings to discuss *** with their counterparts at like-minded missions. The MSO has developed management and consular contacts that could also be leveraged for emergency planning.
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 An Official Languages Coordinator has been appointed along with a back-up providing high-level support for the promotion of official languages at the mission. The mission is able to provide services to the public in both official languages and appropriate signage in both English and French is displayed. A training budget has been allocated for various initiatives including supporting LES official language training.
1.6 Management Controls
|Key Management Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|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|
|A coordinated approach is taken with regards to training and a budget has been established.||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|
|Mechanisms are in place to monitor the completion of employee's performance evaluations.||X|
|The Honorary Consul (HonCon) has an up-to-date mandate letter and performance is reviewed annually.||N/A|
Overall key management controls are in place and operating effectively. The mission has a training plan in place and emphasis is placed on ensuring Performance Management Plans (PMPs) for staff are completed and up-to-date.
Bank reconciliations have not been sent to HQ in a timely manner partly due to *** into finance’s Integrated Management System (IMS). This results in a cumbersome process for month-end reconciliation ***. Cooperative strategies *** and the Finance section *** will assist in the month-end process.
Recommendations to the Mission
1.7.1 The mission should use the CMM to coordinate overall direction, address internal policies and management issues.
1.7.2 The CMM should initiate a review of ***.
1.7.3 The mission should develop a security workplan that includes regular drills and exercises.
1.7.5 The mission should ensure that bank reconciliations are completed in a timely manner.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
1.7.1 The CMM meetings now address internal policies and management issues. The mission will set up separate meetings to discuss overall mission direction. In Progress for August 2013.
1.7.2 Mission has communicated with HQ divisions responsible for action review and policy update. Implemented.
1.7.3 Fire drills are conducted on a regular basis and the mission plans to conduct a suspicious package drill in 2013 however a workplan to include this type of testing is being drafted. In Progress for August 2013.
1.7.4 ***. In Progress for July 2013.
1.7.5 HOM and MCO will ensure that bank reconciliations are completed in a timely manner. In Progress for August 2013.
Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)
2.1.1 The FPDS program is managed by an *** FS-03 Officer who is supported by an LE-06 Assistant. The program’s financial resources are provided below.
|Post Initiative Fund (PIF)||5,000|
2.1.2 Ghana is a strategic partner for Canada in sub-Sahara Africa. The program is involved in a wide variety of themes including peace and security, democracy and human rights. The priorities for the program are to facilitate peace and stability ***. The extensive programming is focused primarily on Ghana with increasing attention to Togo and Sierra Leone.
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|
|Internal communications within the program effectively support program delivery.||X|
2.2.1 The program is *** managed and works closely with the HOM who provides appropriate support and advice. Both the HOM and the program manager (PM) ensure integration of program and whole-of-government (WOG) objectives into FPDS program activities. The work of the program is guided by and strongly linked to the Mission Planning and Reporting document (MPR). For the upcoming elections the program has leveraged PIF and Canada Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI) funds to focus on youth awareness and involvement including gender themes. The program has worked with and supported the illegal migration and human smuggling task force. Similar programming pertaining to elections, human rights and peace and security is carried out in Sierra Leone and Togo. The program engages in public advocacy through the use of websites, roundtables and lectures on key topics and through visit programming and support for Canadian officials. The use of hospitality is effective and appropriate.
2.2.2 The Program would benefit from documenting strategies and plans. From a mission whole-of-government perspective a public diplomacy strategy, based on the MPR and linked to New Way Forward principles, should be developed with input and consultation from all programs. This will then allow the FPDS program to document its plans and to more precisely define and prioritize its activities along with related timelines, required resources, outputs and expected results. This will provide the program and mission management a tool to assess ongoing programming.
2.2.3 The program had not developed and formalized operational workplans to ensure consistency and provide a base for monitoring and review. Without these plans it is difficult to operationalize objectives because detailed strategies, activities, expected results, outputs and performance indicators, as well as areas for collaboration are not documented.
2.2.4 Communications in the program are effective with daily interaction between the PM and the assistant, and with the HOM. In addition to providing logistical and general support, the FPDS Assistant produces a weekly media summary, facilitates the Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP) and conducts research.
2.2.5 The FPDS program has experienced difficulty in keeping up with the demands placed on it. In particular, overtime and travel budgets are insufficient to adequately cover the three countries of accreditation. The overtime issue is particularly acute with only one CBS. Apart from regular workload pressures, many activities, including necessary travel, fall outside regular work hours. In terms of cost/benefit, leveraging productivity by increasing overtime funds without overburdening staff is good value in comparison with augmenting resources through temporary duty or term assignments.
|Key FPDS Implementation Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The program facilitates a mission-wide coordinated approach to advocacy and common messaging.||X|
|Program reporting is in-line with mission and government objectives, timely and relevant.||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|
|Relations with other mission programs facilitate program delivery (e.g. public affairs).||X|
|The program develops and maintains a contact base that meets programs needs and objectives.||X|
2.3.1 There is extensive whole-of-government cooperation by the program in work with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Commercial Economic (CE) program and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). They share information and contacts and collaborate on initiatives such as election coverage and joint participation in public diplomacy events.
2.3.2 Program reporting has been extensive and is appreciated by HQ. However, the program is looking for more feedback on its reporting and direction on what is required.
2.3.3 The program has not aligned activities and initiatives with the mission’s key priorities and New Way Forward principles. Once completed this would allow the FPDS program to define and prioritize its activities more precisely along with related timelines, required resources, outputs and expected results.
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 program does not have a tool to assess performance and to monitor its ongoing activities. Such a tool would allow it to be better prepared to react to unforeseen developments and to adjust to changing priorities. Regularly consulting the plan across the mission will ensure a WOG approach and will provide opportunities to leverage other program activities.
Recommendations to the Mission
2.5.1 The FPDS program should develop and document a public diplomacy strategy with input and consultation from all programs.
2.5.2 The program should develop a tool to assess performance and to monitor its ongoing activities.
2.5.3 The program should develop a work plan documenting proposed activities related to the MPR and PD strategies.
Recommendations to HQ
2.5.4 The Geographic Bureau (GFD) should ensure that the FPDS program has adequate resourcing in its travel and overtime budgets to fulfill its mandate.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
2.5.1 The FPDS program will develop and implement a public diplomacy strategy for its own priorities, and will seek *** to develop content for the other programs. In Progress for July 2013.
2.5.2 The FPDS program uses MAAT to report on public diplomacy activities, and reports significant developments and trends in My International. ACCRA is the most active mission in Africa on MAAT. FPDS uses PMP to assess personal performance against priorities listed in MPR. Implemented
2.5.3 The program will develop a workplan to document proposed activities in accordance with the MPR. In Progress for July 2013.
HQ Actions and Timeframes
2.5.4 ACCRA has incorporated its overtime and travel expenses needed for 2013-2014 budget. Mission budgets for 2013-14 confirmed post inputs. Implemented
Commercial Economic (CE)
3.1.1 The Commercial Economic program is headed by an FS-03 Program Manager (PM) who is supported by a LE-09 Trade Commissioner (TC) and a LE-05 Trade Commissioner Assistant (TCA). The program’s financial resources are provided below.
|Client Service Fund (CSF)||10,500|
3.1.2 Ghana is Canada’s fourth largest market in sub-Saharan Africa. Business development opportunities are increasing in mining and infrastructure which are priority sectors for the program along with growing interest in education and the oil and gas sectors. Negotiations are underway towards a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). The program is also responsible for Togo and increasing focus on Sierra Leone’s mining sector.
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|
|Internal program communication effectively supports program delivery.||X|
3.2.1 The CE program has been in disarray over the past year due to personnel issues including extensive staff absences. ***. Compounding matters, the TCA went on *** leave in ***. The TCA position had been temporarily filled, following the arrival of the new PM in August. This position has been staffed on a permanent basis as of November 12, 2012.
3.2.2 The impact of this situation has been substantial. From April to August 2012, the HOM was entirely responsible for the program with assistance being provided by the TCA until her departure ***. This is reflected by the low level of activity reported in the trade statistics for Ghana with significant decreases across all areas including the number of enquiries processed, key services delivered, outcalls made and the quality of the Commercial Economic Program plan (CEP plan) developed for 2012-13.
|Key CE Implementation Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Business plan objectives and those outlined in management’s Performance Management Agreement(PMAs)/Performance Management Program(PMPs) appropriately cascade down into staff PMPs.||X|
|Activities and initiatives are aligned with the mission's key priorities.||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 A new business analysis has been undertaken and the business plan is being totally revised to better align the program with key mission priorities. The program is being streamlined by *** sectors and focusing on *** with interest ***. A plan is in place to develop and integrate the new TC through mentoring and working with the PM with the intention of assigning the TC primary responsibility for ***. Education marketing activities are being contracted out to free up time for traditional trade development work. Contact with Canadian companies in Ghana is being made and new Canadian clients have been identified. There are 141 active companies registered in TRIO.
3.3.2 TRIO input dropped significantly during the transition period of the program and was also inconsistent prior to that. TRIO entries were not always made in a timely manner. At times some were made at the end of the quarter. This inconsistency in the timing of data entry skews results.
3.3.3 The program works with and is supported by the FPDS program for many of its activities such as the Education Fair, Chamber of Commerce events and for visiting delegations. There has also been renewed work on a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA).
3.3.4 As the program is being re-established, it will be facilitating a Minister of International Trade (MINT) visit at the start of 2013. This will be a challenge as well as an opportunity for the team to reset itself on a solid basis as it prepares for the MINT visit and builds on the resulting leads and contacts it will generate.
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 As the program develops as a team, new objectives are being set ***. Performance expectations and measurement are being incorporated into current planning and for the next cycle of business plan development.
3.4.2 Since his arrival, the new PM has had to clear the backlog of enquiries and re-establish contact with clients and stakeholders. He was able to recruit a *** TC and is *** revitalizing the program.
Recommendations to the Mission
3.5.1 The program should ensure that its objectives fully reflect departmental plans and priorities.
3.5.2 The program should ensure proper mechanisms are in place to measure and monitor its activities and overall performance.
3.5.3 The program should ensure that individual performance evaluations plans have objectives aligned with those of the business plan.
3.5.4 The program should ensure TRIO entries are made in a timely manner.
3.5.5 The program should put in place measures to monitor the progress and performance of the program.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
3.5.1 The program reviewed its objectives to fully reflect departmental plans and priorities in the CEP plan for 2013-14. Implemented April 2013.
3.5.2 A review of the program mechanisms to measure and monitor activities and overall performance was incorporated in the CEP plan for 2013-14. Implemented April 2013.
3.5.3 PMPs for 2013-14 to include individual performance evaluations plans with objectives aligned with those of the business plan. In Progress for July 2013.
3.5.4 With TRIO 2 installation, the program will ensure timeliness of entries. In Progress for July 2013.
3.5.5 The CEP plan for 2013-14 includes measures to monitor the progress and performance of the program. Implemented April 2013.
4.1.1 The Consular program is managed by an AS-06 MCO with operational support from the AS-04 DMCO, an LE-07 Consular Officer and an LE-06 Consular Assistant. The MCO and DMCO are each on their ***. The program provides consular services in Ghana, Togo and Sierra Leone (since December 2011). There are 15 warden districts with a total of 11 wardens including 5 in Accra. The program’s financial resources are provided below.
4.1.2 The mission has one Honorary Consul position in Togo which has not been filled since the post was vacated in 2012 with no replacement identified. It was noted by the MCO that, if required, consular officers can drive to Togo to assist Canadians and clients in Togo can drive to Accra for routine services. There is a growing number of Canadians in Sierra Leone as the mining industry is developing. It is a greater challenge to provide assistance to Canadians in Sierra Leone due to travel logistics and poor telephone communication.
4.1.3 Despite warnings to Canadians on the DFAIT travel report page, the mission encounters approximately two cases per day involving Canadians who come to Ghana in response to scams related to online friendships, romances or business schemes. Canadians entangled in these frauds sometimes find themselves in serious situations, including arrest.
4.1.4 The mission is a low volume, full service passport service point. They provided 410 passport services in 2011 which increased to 490 between January 1 and October 30, 2012. In addition, the mission processes approximately 100 citizenship applications annually. There were 351 Canadian citizens identified in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database in October 2012: Ghana (283), Togo (35) and Sierra Leone (33). The estimated number of Canadians residing in Ghana is approximately 3,500.
4.2 Planning and 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 MCO is primarily responsible for consular case management issues with involvement of the DMCO for passport review and sign off as well as the routine consular revenue reconciliation.
4.2.2 The Consular Officer is *** in this expat position. She has good ties in the local community and provides *** service. The mission relies heavily on their local contacts for information in rural Ghana. It was noted that there is currently *** that the ***.
4.2.3 Internal communication between the MCO and the consular staff *** and there are no regularly scheduled consular program team meetings.
4.2.4 The program could benefit from staff workplans for routine items such as the update of the Duty Officer’s Manual, prison visits, passport counts and monthly reporting, and the destruction of client files within the prescribed time. Recording of statistics in COMIP was being done on a monthly basis by some staff while other staff were two weeks behind at the time of the inspection.
4.2.5 The mission actively seeks and advertises to identify individuals willing to assume the role of warden but it is a challenge to find wardens in all regions of the country. There are 15 regions with 11 wardens currently in place. Of the vacant regions, two are in Accra. The mission had recently held a warden conference.
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 Consular Program is running well and there is good feedback from client surveys. Consular services are provided in a timely manner by competent staff in both official languages.***.
4.3.2 Passports are transported *** to and from Canada due to restrictions on the use of couriers in Ghana. Nonetheless, the program is still maintaining the 15-day service standard. The new system for simplified passports is working well and the mission reports good support from Passport Canada. The mission was not aware of the existing 24/7 support service available to the mission to deal with scenarios where assistance on passport related matters is required outside of regular business hours.
4.3.3 The mission is concerned about the ***, which at times makes it difficult for clients to reach the High Commission.
4.4 Internal Controls
|Key Consular Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|A certified CBS signs-off on all passports.||X|
|Client documents and personal information are properly stored and secured.||X|
|Procedures and practices related to the collection of revenues are appropriate (e.g. segregation of duties, handling of cash, official receipts, record of fees received forms).||X|
|Revenues held in the consular section are kept to a minimum and are transferred to finance on a regular basis.||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 *** controls on passport and consular activities were effective ***.
4.4.2 Documents are properly stored and secured.***. This increases the need for more file capacity ***.
Recommendations to the Mission
4.5.1 The mission should prepare a business case to determine the most appropriate location for an Honorary Consul and present their recommendation to HQ to fill the vacant position.
4.5.2 The consular program should schedule regular staff meetings. Minutes should be taken to record decisions and action items.
4.5.3 Individual workplans that document each officer’s responsibilities should be developed from the program’s annual workplan.
4.5.4 The program should continue efforts to expand its warden network to cover all districts and have deputy wardens wherever possible.
4.5.5 Client documents should be destroyed within the prescribed time after services have been provided.
Recommendations to HQ
4.5.10 The Geographic Bureau (GFD) should review the travel logistics and the distribution of mission responsibilities in West Africa with the goal of determining if the mission ***.
4.5.11 The Consular Policy and Training Bureau (CLP) should work with the mission to strengthen the online Travel Report warning in the light of the frequency and at times severity of Canadians falling prey to scams and requiring Consular assistance in Ghana.
4.5.12 The Locally Engaged Staff Services Bureau (ALD) should review ***.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
4.5.1 The mission will prepare a business case to determine the most appropriate location for an Honorary Consul and present the recommendation to HQ. In Progress for August 2013.
4.5.2 The MCO will hold regular meetings with the consular staff and ensure minutes are prepared. Implemented December 2012.
4.5.3 Individual work plans will be developed in addition to the PMP. In Progress for August 2013.
4.5.4 The mission will continue to expand the warden network and will consider redefining larger districts in the greater Accra region. In Progress for August 2013.
4.5.5 The MCO will ensure the destruction of client documents within the prescribed time after services have been provided; consular staff to destroy old documents. Implemented December 2012.
4.5.6 ***. Implemented April 2013.
4.5.7 ***. Implemented April 2013.
4.5.8 ***. Implemented April 2013.
4.5.9 ***. Implemented April 2013.
HQ Actions and Timeframes
4.5.10 ***. Implemented
4.5.11 The Consular Policy and Training Bureau (CLD) will review wording with the mission in Accra and GFD with the intent to update current wording. In Progress June 2013.
4.5.12 In the fiscal year 2013-14, ALD will undertake a global review *** with the aim to develop a way forward and to present through the departmental governance for decision making. In Progress for April 2014.
5.1.1 The Common Services program is managed by an AS-06 MCO who is supported by a team of three CBS including the AS-04 DMCO, the Foreign Service Information and Technology Professional (FSITP) and the Military Police Security Specialist (MPSS) and 18 Locally Engaged staff (LES).
5.1.2 The program is responsible for providing common services to 69 employees spread over four DFAIT and three partner programs represented by CIDA, CIC and CBSA. In addition to the existing indeterminate staff complement, the mission also provides year round services to four temporary duty staff from the RCMP and CBSA on a rotating basis.
5.1.3 The program currently manages a Crown-owned chancery and compound, a Crown-owned official residence (OR) and 18 Crown-leased staff quarters (SQs). A lack of qualified contractors coupled with routine shortages of supplies and equipment available on the local market make this a difficult environment for property management. Current country economic growth, generating well paid private sector jobs, as well as past cases of misconduct issues among some staff, have made employee retention a challenge for the mission.
5.2 Planning and Program Management
|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|
|A mission HR plan has been developed and submitted to headquarters.||X|
|A plan is in place for major acquisitions and is approved by CMM annually.||X|
|Hub and spoke relationships are governed by an agreement outlining the roles and responsibilities of each mission.||N/A|
5.2.1 The Common Services program is providing a generally good level of service to its clients within the mission. Low morale has affected the performance of the program in general, and an overall lack of communications within the program is a symptom of this. Communications in the program need to be addressed to engage staff and improve the atmosphere within the workplace.
5.2.2 A Common Services business plan which cascades down to individual PMPs is in place. The next step to be considered is to develop section and individual work plans to assist in work flow and planning. The Finance and Property sections in particular are operating in a reactive mode resulting in inefficiencies, increased workloads, missed deadlines and confusion among staff. Sharing work plans with other sections within the Common Services program would also be a good way to keep staff aware of issues affecting other areas of the program.
5.2.3 The MCO meets with individual section heads on a regular basis. However, *** meetings where all section heads are present at the same time. As well, meetings involving all staff within the program are no longer held. Staff commented that a sense of team atmosphere has been lost as a result. Meetings with all section heads would provide the MCO an opportunity to discuss forward planning issues as well as any problems involving program delivery and issues that may affect multiple sections such as finance/property invoicing issues.
5.2.4 The finance section was struggling during the fall of 2011 to keep up with transactional tasks, bank reconciliations and processing***. Following a month long visit by an HQ officer, *** and a report with approximately 50 recommendations was submitted to mission management. Although some recommendations were implemented immediately, at the time of the inspection the mission had not provided updates,***.
5.2.5 The program has developed a multi-year capital acquisition plan that is reviewed and approved by the MCO. This plan should be tabled at the CMM on an annual basis for discussion and approval for the purchase of priority items.
5.3 Client Service
|Key Common Services Client Service Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Service standards have been established and communicated to clients.||X|
|An efficient process is in place for receiving, processing and monitoring work orders.||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|
5.3.1 Mission specific service standards, last updated in 2011, are posted on the mission wiki and distributed to new staff as part of the accommodations, administration and security guides. Finance service standards are not being met and clients, including contractors, suppliers and landlords, are not receiving timely payments. Adding documented policies and procedures for all common service areas to the wiki could improve the handover to new staff and will assist all common service clients in partnering with the program to ensure efficient client service delivery.
5.3.2 The Finance and Property sections at times do not meet clients' expectations and needs. This is due to the lack of clearly defined and documented processes and procedures. Routine procedures such as the payment of invoices are burdened by repetitive manual processes when electronic tools would track invoices more effectively. Procedures need to be reassessed from the moment an invoice arrives at the mission and efficient solutions developed to achieve improved results. This is particularly important for property related payments ***. It is challenging for finance to schedule work when property invoices arrive in unpredictable large batches. The development and documentation of procurement guidelines would assist both staff and management in establishing an efficient method for dealing with payment issues.
5.3.3 Until October 2012, the Finance section was preparing the documentation for the processing of immigration refunds using a tracking system set up by the previous Immigration Program Manager (IPM) and the MCO. However,***. Starting with the October refunds, the new IPM has reverted to a CIC refund approval process that streamlines the work of the Finance section. It is hoped that with a new process in place the backlog *** waiting for the CIC program manager's review and approval will be reduced quickly.
5.3.4 The Property section is providing service to its clients in what is recognized as a difficult environment. Property maintenance plans are up to date and maintenance schedules are in place for all properties. While scheduling for routine maintenance is performed within set service delivery standards, the section has encountered difficulties in dealing with general contractors for work beyond the scope of the two handymen. Appointments are not always respected resulting in delays in responding to specific maintenance and repair requests. This is particularly frustrating for clients.
5.3.5 The *** service request system is used to receive and to action maintenance and service requests. Client feedback is not sought, although the software can be used for this purpose. The program is encouraged to seek client feedback actively following the completion of any repairs or maintenance.
5.3.6 The program is responsible for support to a constant turnover of temporary duty (TDs) assignments from CBSA and the RCMP. This adds to the challenges faced by the program. While funding has been secured as part of the agreement between DFAIT and the partners, the program should, in conjunction with a review of its processes, assess *** are needed to meet the challenges arising from these recurring TDs.
5.4 Key Processes and Controls
Procurement and Expenditure Controls
|Key Procurement and Expenditure 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|
|Financial signing authorities are exercised by individuals who possess the appropriate delegation of authority.||X|
|Bank reconciliations of the mission are reviewed and approved monthly.||X|
|The asset and liability report is reviewed on a monthly basis.||X|
|Reimbursement of HonCon operational expenses is based on an established agreement.||N/A|
|Travel and hospitality claim processes ensure that policies and guidelines are adhered to and that the completeness and accuracy of the claim is verified.||X|
|Vehicle logs and fuel purchases are verified against consumption (e.g. mileage/usage rates for vehicles and generators).||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|
5.4.1 The mission has an active contract review board (CRB) that meets regularly throughout the year although terms of reference have not been developed and approved by the CMM. The CRB minutes demonstrate an effective challenge process and record of decision. All ***l contracts should receive scrutiny of the CRB to avoid any perception of preferential treatment.
5.4.2 Procurement and contracting processes are not documented or easily available. Contract files were examined and contained the basic information required to support the process. However, organizing contract files through the use of a checklist and ensuring that the complete contracting process is documented will greatly enhance management’s ability to defend a process and to provide auditable records when necessary.
5.4.3 Section 32, the commitment control of the Financial Administration Act, ***.
5.4.4 Currently many purchases are made as individual transactions at several stores requiring multiple visits. There is at least one department store chain in Accra that accepts credit cards. The mission estimated that using an acquisition card or paying by a monthly store statement would account for 75% of the supplies purchased. This could reduce workload and the inherent risk in paying for individual goods by cash or mission cheques. An annual price check could be used to determine if the store’s prices remain competitive.
5.4.5 The process for month-end IMS reconciliations of POS+ entries from the immigration program is ***. The current procedure should be revised so that ***. This would minimize delays *** at the end of the month.
5.4.6 The mission’s bank provides ***. It has been difficult to maintain effective communication with one specific account manager ***. The program has yet to involve the HOM in meetings with the bank. Her involvement at a higher level may be effective with senior bank management who can address existing issues and ensure better service to the mission.
5.4.7 The finance section quiet hours are in the afternoon and, although posted, are not always respected. Morning quiet hours may work better for staff as it would provide more quality time to perform tasks that require concentration. As well, there is less demand on IMS at that time, therefore making it faster. Establishing a schedule and reducing the number of payment runs would also provide some time savings for the section.
5.4.8 Official vehicle logs are completed for all vehicles on a trip by trip basis.***. The reconciliation forms should be completed by the dispatcher and approved by the DMCO on a monthly basis.
|Key Revenue Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Roles and responsibilities ensure adequate segregation of duties.||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|
|Revenues are deposited into the mission bank account daily, or if not cost effective, within a week of receipt, per the Financial Administration Act: Receipt and Deposit of Public Money Regulations.||X|
5.4.10 Verifications *** account were undertaken as part of the inspection process. Documentation and signatures were all present in the purchases examined. ***.
Asset Life-cycle Management
|Key Asset Life-cycle Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The chancery and official residence (OR) are well maintained and maintenance schedules are in place.||X|
|Annual inspections are conducted to assess the state of SQs and input into maintenance and acquisition planning.||X|
|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|
|Employees formally sign out IT assets (mobility tools) and are advised of their accountabilities.||X|
|Disposals are appropriately authorized and follow departmental guidelines.||X|
5.4.11 Technical and asset assessments are undertaken at the OR and all SQs on an annual basis. These inspections are useful and provide valuable input in developing the mission management work plan and the capital acquisition plan. Properties inspected were well maintained and regular maintenance is scheduled. The mission is presently undertaking a building condition report for the OR as incidents *** have occurred recently. The health and safety of the occupants and OR staff is at risk until these issues have been rectified.
5.4.13 In addition to the mission’s current inventory of property assets, the property section advises that there are opportunities *** consideration. Also on the inventory is the Maple House property which, until August 2012, was being used as an SQ. ***. The grounds are being maintained by a caretaker/gardener who has also been contracted to monitor the property. Some CBS and their families use the property as a recreational space although no facilities other than the expansive grounds are being used.***. A decision to move forward on this issue should be taken as soon as possible ***.
5.4.14 The mission maintains a small *** warehouse. The mission also maintains two storage areas where stationery/ supplies *** are stored.***. Staff is aware of the location of the key and, at times, simply help themselves to supplies. The key should be safeguarded and a schedule for supply requests should be developed and communicated to all staff.
5.4.15 Inventories and occupancy agreements for the OR and SQs are generally up to date, although some documents were signed well after the prescribed 30-day limit. As well, the occupant is simply provided with the list of inventoried items and requested to verify without the distribution account verifier being present. Materiel transfer vouchers are not used to track any movement of inventoried items after the initial inventory has been signed.
5.4.16 The handymen are provided with all tools and equipment required to undertake electrical, plumbing and general service tasks. While an electronic inventory of these items exists, the handymen have not signed for custodial use. This would be useful to track these assets as well as to determine if and when items have to be replaced.
5.4.17 Disposal of surplus assets are undertaken through an auction house although IT assets have routinely been donated to charitable organizations. The CMM should develop a list of these organizations to ensure donations are conducted fairly and equitably.
5.4.18 During the visit to several properties as part of the inspection process, it was noted that many SQs had several air conditioners in operation although no occupants were home at the time. In one SQ in particular, every air conditioner in the house was running. The mission should remind occupants to turn off air conditioning units when not required and advise occupants that the mission will provide ceiling fans as requested. This could result in considerable cost savings.
Staffing and HR Controls
|Key Staffing and HR 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|
|New LES are provided with an information package on the working conditions, benefits and regulations pertaining to employment at the mission.||X|
|Employee and position files are complete, maintained separately and properly secured.||X|
|LES accrued leave and deductions are recorded and the related liabilities are monitored.||X|
5.4.19 In general, the HR section provides quality service to clients. A review of files indicates that staffing actions and other activities are well aligned with established processes and regulations. The section has a detailed HR Plan which guides various HR initiatives. The plan is developed by the MCO and discussed and approved by mission management. ***.
5.4.20 HR files are well organized and access controlled. Specific information is shared with PMs on a need to know basis as required. While files are in good order, part of the hiring process needs improvement. Past files indicated that credit checks were conducted ***. This is especially important when an employee will be responsible for revenues or other valuable assets
5.4.21 The section works closely with all programs and provides employees and program managers with regular updates of leave balances to facilitate forward planning and salary budgeting. The section also shares key information with accounts to ensure proper overall budgeting and employee entitlements are adhered to.
5.4.22 The training budget allocated to HR in general is well established, although the budget allocation process would benefit from further managerial discussion and review. In particular, there should be a review of the amount of funds allocated towards personal educational pursuits which do not have a specific relevance to an employee’s current job description and/or an employee’s future within the organization.
5.4.23 Reliability status checks for potential employees include full medical testing, which causes delays. The justification for this requirement was not readily shared with or understood by clients, creating some frustration.
|Key IM-IT 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|
|Controls are in place to ensure the Network Acceptable Use Policy (NAUP) is respected (SIGNET and digital subscriber line (DSL) connections).||X|
5.4.24 The IM-IT section is well organized and is providing clients with an overall good level of service. Plans are in place and work schedules for both the FSITP and LEITP are well defined. Both staff members are *** although there have been reported instances where the ***. This issue should be addressed and corrected with MCO and FSITP involvement. A well-defined IM-IT business plan is located on the mission wiki.
5.4.25 The FSITP is responsible for servicing the missions in Abuja and Lagos which involves travel at least twice per year to these locations. It should be noted that the FSITP considers that two trips per year is not sufficient to keep up with the number of issues he must address during the short time he has at these missions. If an increase in the number of trips is not possible, consideration should be given to increasing the time spent at each mission during the semi-annual trips.
Recommendations to the Mission
Planning and program management
5.5.1 Operational workplans at the section level should be developed for each program section. Deliverables in PMP’s should cascade to actual workplans that indicate expected accomplishments on a weekly, monthly and annual basis.
5.5.2 The MCO should have regularly scheduled meetings where all section heads are present at the same time.
5.5.3 The MCO should meet with program staff (perhaps monthly) with agenda items put forward by all areas. Minutes should be taken to record decisions and action items to be followed up.
5.5.4 The SMFF report of March 2012 should be discussed with the finance section and a workplan put in place to implement appropriate procedures. A follow up report on the status of SMFF recommendations should be approved by the HOM and sent to SMFF.
5.5.5 The multi-year capital acquisition plan should be approved by CMM annually.
5.5.6 Payment procedures in the Finance and Property sections need to be reassessed and efficient solutions using electronic tools developed to replace ineffective manual logs to achieve timely payments and improved client service.
5.5.7 A client feedback mechanism should be implemented for all areas of service delivery.
5.5.8 The MCO, Finance section manager and Immigration Program Manager should meet regularly to ensure that *** and client service standards are being met.
5.5.9 The *** client feedback request system should be activated and its use encouraged.
5.5.10 The mission should work with HQ to ensure that the financial, HR, property and material resources necessary to support the common services supplied to TD staff are available to the mission, particularly when 4-month staff rotations are occurring on a long term basis.
Procurement and Expenditure Controls
5.5.11 Updated terms of reference for the contract review board should be developed and approved by CMM.
5.5.12 All *** contracts should be reviewed by the CRB.
5.5.13 A checklist should be prepared for each contract file to ensure that the complete contracting process is documented and stored as an auditable record.
5.5.15 The use of an acquisition card or a corporate account at a department store for the purchase of mission supplies should be investigated and implemented if practical.
5.5.16 The HOM should intervene with bank officials to address quality of service issues.
5.5.18 Following consultations with management, the program should consider changing the Finance quiet hours to the morning.
5.5.19 Scheduled payment runs should be kept to a minimum.
5.5.20 Fuel use and vehicle mileage should be reconciled on a monthly basis.
5.5.21 The mission should ensure that proper segregation of duties is maintained between Finance staff.
5.5.22 Cash should be counted in the presence of two staff members and an official receipt issued when cash changes hands.
5.5.23 *** should not be secured ***.
Asset Life-cycle Management
5.5.26 The key to the stationery storage should be properly safeguarded.
5.5.27 The Property section should ensure that inventory checks are undertaken by the distribution account checker in the presence of the SQ occupant soon after the arrival of the CBS to ensure accuracy.
5.5.28 Materiel transfer vouchers should be used to track any movement of inventoried items after the initial inventory has been signed.
5.5.29 The handymen should sign an inventory of tools and equipment provided to them.
5.5.30 The mission should develop a list, for CMM approval, of potential organizations that can be considered to receive donated materiel.
5.5.31 SQ occupants should be reminded of the costs incurred when air conditioning units are left on when not required. Instead, ceiling fans could be installed as a cost effective way to improve air circulation.
Staffing and HR
5.5.32 The Personnel Officer should assist in the drafting process of the mission HR Plan.
5.5.33 The HR section should ensure credit checks are conducted, especially when hiring for positions with financial responsibilities.
5.5.34 The mission should review training fund priorities.
5.5.35 The function’s managers should ensure an equitable and balanced service is provided to all staff throughout the mission.
Recommendations to HQ
5.5.37 The Physical Resources Bureau (ARD) should provide the mission with clear instructions***.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
Planning and program management
5.5.1 Work plans will be developed for each section, with PMPs’ deliverables cascading to the work plans. In Progress for August 2013.
5.5.2 The MCO will hold regular meetings with the Common services section heads and ensure minutes are prepared. Implemented December 2012.
5.5.3 The MCO will meet with the Common Services staff and propose monthly meetings; meetings to be held according to team preference. Implemented August 2013.
5.5.4 The MCO will discuss with the SMFF report with the Accounts team and incorporate into work plans; the HOM will send a follow up report to SMFF. In Progress for August 2013.
5.5.5 CMM to approve multi-year acquisition plan annually of various capital acquisitions, including furniture, vehicles, and generators. Implemented May 2013.
5.5.6 The MCO and DMCO will work with Property and Accounts teams to find solutions. The team implemented a new invoice tracking system in January, 2013 which has made some improvements. In Progress for August 2013.
5.5.7 The MCO and DMCO will continue to send surveys for all areas of service delivery. In Progress for August 2013
5.5.8 The MCO will set up meetings with Accounts and IPM to discuss ***. New refund requests will be processed as per agreed number per month (maximum). Implemented in May 2013
5.5.9 The mission will work towards finding a *** substitute, request for assistance has been sent to HQ. In Progress for December 2013.
5.5.10 The HOM and MCO will continue to communicate to HQ the demands placed on the common services staff as a result of continuous TD placements by partner organizations. In Progress for September 2013.
Procurement and Expenditure Controls
5.5.11 CMM will approve the updated terms of reference for the CRB. Implemented April 2013.
5.5.12 CRB will review all *** contracts. Implemented May 2013.
5.5.13 Mission will prepare a template to track contracts. In Progress for July 2013.
5.5.14 ***. In Progress for July 2013.
5.5.15 Mission will implement use of acquisition card. Implemented February 2013.
5.5.16 The bank has not been responsive to requests for a meeting since February 2013; attempts are ongoing to hold a meeting with the bank. In Progress for August 2013.
5.5.17 ***. In Progress for August 2013.
5.5.18 Mission will change the Accounts section’s quiet hours to a more appropriate time. Implemented December 2012.
5.5.19 ***. Implemented December 2012.
5.5.20 Mission will consistently track and reconcile fuel and vehicle usage. In Progress for July 2013.
5.5.21 The mission will ensure that proper segregation of duties is maintained between Finance staff. Implemented December 2012.
5.5.22 The mission will issue a reminder and provide training for all staff involved in the processes,***. Implemented December 2012.
5.5.23 The mission will issue a reminder to all staff with official *** responsibilities***. Implemented October 2012.
Asset Life-cycle Management
5.5.24 Mission will request direction from HQ/CIPP based upon their past visit and the scheduled visit Regional Maintenance Officer in May 2013. In Progress for July 2013.
5.5.25 The Mission will update the inventory system and ensure its usage. The Mission has implemented a simple but controlled inventory system for all office and cleaning supplies. In Progress for August 2013
5.5.26 The mission has installed a key box with appropriate access controls. Implemented March 2013.
5.5.27 The mission will issue a reminder of process to Property team, ***. In Progress for July 2013.
5.5.28 The property section will implement a process to track inventory through the use of EXT-182. In Progress for September 2013.
5.5.29 As per Materiel Accounting Procedures, the property section will implement a ***. In Progress for September 2013.
5.5.30 The mission has not donated any items in the past but will use approach as required in the future. Implemented.
5.5.31 The mission has sent a reminder of the costs incurred by unnecessary use of air conditioners to all CBS. Implemented April 2013.
Staffing and HR
5.5.32 The Personnel officer assists in the drafting of the mission HR plan. Implemented.
5.5.33 The mission will start performing credit checks on new employees. In Progress for June 2013.
5.5.34 The mission will continue to review training fund priorities at CMM on an annual basis. In Progress for June 2013.
5.5.35 The MCO will follow up on HR issues with CSRM and RSC, currently is exploring methods to address this issue. In Progress for July 2013.
5.5.36 The FSITP will ensure ***. Implemented June 2013
HQ/ARD Actions and Timeframes
5.5.37 ***. In Progress.
Appendix A: Mission Resources Fact Sheet
|* Note – one employee couple|
|Previous SQ – house condemned||1|
|Operating - property||1,171,000|
* MCO & DMCO counted as Admin only, but also responsible for consular
|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 Environnent
- 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: