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Inspection of the High Commission of Canada - Colombo, Sri Lanka
March 12-15, 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 Colombo, Sri Lanka from March 12 to 15, 2012. A previous audit/inspection of these programs took place in 2007.
The High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka, is a medium-sized mission with 12 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 53 Locally Engaged Staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are represented at the mission.
Overall, the mission is operating well and the majority of key management controls are in place. However, some further attention is required to improve mission-wide communications and overall governance. The Head of Mission (HOM) is supported in his mandate by a competent and dedicated management team. The mission's program managers (PMs) are experienced, capable and cooperate well to promote the interests of the Government of Canada. The mission currently has limited bilingual capacity among LES. Going forward it will be important to ensure that official language capability is considered as part of recruitment strategies for positions requiring interaction with the public.
Communication within the mission was frequently cited as a factor affecting Locally Engaged Staff (LES) morale and employees' overall sense of team. The temporary chancery's layout (a converted apartment building with offices on eight floors) poses a physical challenge to effective communication, and reinforces the need for the HOM and PMs to effectively convey messages and increase transparency. Mission committees are contributing positively to overall governance. However, some attention is required to ensure that committees, such as the Contract Review Board and Housing Committee, review matters that fall within their mandate and have the appropriate documentation to do so.
The FPDS and the CE programs are managed by a *** manager who takes a structured approach to management. The FPDS program is functioning *** to advance Canadian interests in Sri Lanka. Activities are aligned to the mission's key priorities and headquarters has recognized the quality of reporting. Considering the rising political attention ***, it is necessary that the small FPDS program carefully leverage all of its resources in support of the program's core objectives. Doing so will ensure that the program maintains momentum on key commitments and avoids unnecessary additional work on lower priority activities.
The CE program had been under-reporting for a significant period of time when the PM arrived at the mission last summer. Early in her mandate, she identified a number weaknesses within the program and took action to bring it back in line it with ***. The PM must now ensure that *** for the implementation of the program and should *** to the *** level. In moving forward the CE program will also benefit from strengthening its approach to performance measurement.
The Consular program is *** managed and operating effectively. The AS-06 MCO provides guidance and mentoring to the AS-04 DMCO who is on his *** assignment. Consular plans and manuals are up to date. The Mission Emergency Plan (MEP) for Sri Lanka has been developed, and the mission plans to conduct a test of the plan early in the new fiscal year. The program is providing a good level of service and is meeting established client service standards. The MCO, DMCO and most CBS are bilingual. There is, however, limited LES bilingual capacity. There is appropriate CBS oversight for passport and consular activities and controls governing passport and consular activities are generally in place and effective.
The Common Services program is managed by an *** AS-06 MCO who is supported by an AS-04 DMCO and a team of 18 LES, including 10 general service staff members. The addition of the new DMCO position to the program establishment, in addition to the creation of a dedicated AS-06 Security Program Manager reporting directly to the HOM, has provided the program manager with added capacity and more opportunity to plan and organize. The program is *** managed, with plans, policies and procedures in place for most of the program areas. The MCO has implemented several changes to enhance the efficiency of the program since her arrival in the summer of 2011. There are some issues involving assignment of duties to staff which will require realignment of tasks. Overall, client services were found to be effective. Feedback received from other programs within the mission was positive, although it was mentioned that response times in some cases could be improved. Overall controls and processes are in place with improvements required for contracting, procurement and the strengthening of some financial procedures.
A total of 48 inspection recommendations are raised in the report, 48 are addressed to the mission, and there are none addressed to headquarters. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 48 recommendations, management has stated that 29 have been implemented. For each of the remaining 19 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
1.1.1 The High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka, is a medium-sized mission with 12 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 53 Locally Engaged Staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Partner departments and agencies represented at the mission include Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) (with one officer on an extended temporary duty).
1.1.2 The mission is managed by an EX-02 acting in an EX-03 Head of Mission (HOM) position. He is responsible for overall mission operations and oversees operational and capital budgets of $973,000 and $95,000 respectively. The mission also manages a property portfolio that includes a temporary Crown-leased chancery, a Crown-owned official residence as well as nine Crown-leased and one Crown-owned staff quarters. The portfolio also includes a property which will be the site of a new chancery to replace the previous building which was partially demolished a few years ago because it was deemed to be unsuitable.
1.1.3 International attention on Sri Lanka has grown recently due to concerns regarding human rights violations which allegedly occurred towards the end of the country's civil war. In March 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted in favour of a resolution to promote reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. ***.
1.1.4 Canada has been following events in Sri Lanka closely. As home to the world's largest Sri Lankan diaspora, we enjoy significant people-to-people linkages with Sri Lanka. In 2011, Prime Minister Harper announced that he would not attend the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka unless there is significant improvement in terms of human rights, political reconciliation and accountability in the country. Canada continues to monitor the situation and is engaging constructively with the Government of Sri Lanka and like- minded countries.
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, the mission is operating well with no major issues. However, some further attention is required to improve mission-wide communications and overall governance. The HOM is supported in his mandate by a competent and dedicated management team. The mission's program managers (PMs) are experienced, capable and cooperate well to promote the interests of the Government of Canada.
1.2.2 The commitments outlined in the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) tool are linked to departmental priorities and take into account the range of Canadian interests in the country. In the lead up to Sri Lanka hosting the 2013 CHOGM, it is critical that the mission orient its resources toward advancing an agreed-upon engagement strategy to address key ***.
1.2.3 The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) is functioning as a useful forum for cross-program information exchange on priorities and activities. However, the agenda is typically static and the meetings are not always focused. It is recommended that the mission hold weekly operations committee meetings (as it essentially does now) with the addition of a regular CMMs that would focus on higher-level issues and mission governance. Minutes from the operations committee and CMM should be distributed to all staff and not just to PMs. As well, there is a need to ensure that all housing issues are submitted to the Housing Committee and reviewed appropriately.
1.2.4 The newly reformed LESMCB first met in March 2012. The previous iteration of this body had been disbanded after the group lost confidence in the Total Compensation Review (TCR) process and the perceived unwillingness, or inability, of management to address their concerns. Current LES members identified the following concerns: a lack of understanding of the TCR methodology; the impact of inflation on wages; limited salary increases; hours of work for drivers; access to bid on goods disposed by the mission; external recruitment versus promoting from within; and, the current office configuration.
1.2.5 Overall, communication within the mission requires attention. It was frequently cited as a factor affecting LES morale and employees' overall sense of team. The temporary chancery's layout (a converted apartment building with offices located on eight stories) poses a physical challenge to effective communication and reinforces the need for the HOM and PMs to effectively convey messages and increase transparency. The recent introduction of social events at the mission's recreational facility will provide further opportunities for team building but cannot replace formal communication initiatives. Furthermore, all-staff meetings and town halls should be organized to ensure consistency in messaging delivered to all staff.
1.2.6 While it has been some time since values and ethics have been addressed with all staff, the Military Police Security Specialist (MPSS) recently held a targeted session with the mission's security guards. This was a positive initiative to reinforce the core values of the Government of Canada with front-line service providers who are not frequently included in mission meetings. Town halls would be an appropriate forum to address values and ethics with all staff.
1.3 Whole of Government
|Key Whole-of-Government Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Mechanisms are in place to ensure a whole-of-government approach is taken for mission and program planning.||X|
|Mission and program plans are implemented in a coordinated manner to ensure policy coherence and effectively leverage the Canadian presence.||X|
|Partner departments contribute to the overall effective governance of the mission and its operations.||X|
|Common Services are provided in line with the memorandum of understanding and any issues are addressed at CMM.||X|
1.3.1 The HOM demonstrates *** in promoting a whole-of-government approach at the mission. PMs actively share information whenever appropriate and work together in so far as their mandates permit. This collaborative approach is especially true on key issues that cross many programs, such as security and development. However, PMs observed that the mission's meetings tended to focus on operational issues and did not address strategic priorities for Canada's engagement in Sri Lanka. This element should be addressed at CMM.
1.3.2 The mission's MPR effectively captures whole-of-government interests, but it is not viewed by partner departments as a key planning tool. To operationalize the MPR commitments, a mission-wide advocacy plan should be developed (please refer to the FPDS section of the report).
1.3.3 Discussion with PMs from partner departments indicated that they were generally satisfied with the common services provided by the mission.
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.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
1.4.1 The majority of the key management controls are in place. The recently arrived MCO, DMCO and Security Program Manager have added structure and updated a number of mission policies. Security policies are generally respected and are supported by the HOM, ***.
1.4.2 Mission committees are contributing positively to overall governance. However, some attention is required to ensure that committees review all decisions that fall within their mandate and have the appropriate documentation required to do so. Additional information on the Contract Review Board and Housing Committee is provided in the Common Services section of the report.
1.4.3 The mission's approach to hospitality requires attention. Funds are not always used strategically and the associated documentation does not sufficiently communicate value for money. PMs should be provided hospitality allocations and be held accountable for the strategic use of their allocated budgets. The HOM should ensure that all hospitality activities align closely with mission objectives and that the supporting documentation clearly outlines the purpose of the event as well as provides an evaluation of the value-for-money.
1.4.4 A wine inventory exists but is currently being overseen at the Official Residence (OR), meaning there is no independent oversight. The management of the inventory should be undertaken by the HOM's office to provide the necessary verification and review. The HOM Assistant should ensure that appropriate controls are applied to the purchases and use of wine and bulk alcohol and that reconciliation is undertaken on a quarterly and annual basis.
1.4.5 PMPs are generally in place, with a few exceptions. As part of the performance management cycle, all employees should review their performance over the 2011-12 fiscal year and set new objectives in consultation with their supervisor.
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 not fully promoting the use of both official languages within the mission. Not all signage at the mission is posted in both official languages (ex. fire orders) and there is insufficient LES French language capacity in key areas of client service, most notably at the reception and in the Consular program.
1.5.2 It will be an ongoing challenge for the mission to maintain sufficient bilingual capacity at all times, including having back-ups for positions that interface with the public, given the limited supply of local French speakers. However, increased emphasis on bilingualism in recruitment criteria, especially for positions that serve the public, will help build capacity over time.
Recommendations to the Mission
1.6.1 The mission should hold weekly operations meetings for day-to-day planning and coordination as well as a monthly CMM to discuss higher-level issues and make governance decisions. The minutes of both meetings should be distributed to all staff.
1.6.2 Strategic issues, including whole-of-government strategies for engagement, should be discussed at CMM to ensure policy coherence and effectively leverage the Canadian presence.
1.6.3 The HOM should undertake formal communication initiatives, such as all-staff meetings or town halls, to proactively convey messages to all staff and increase overall mission transparency.
1.6.4 Hospitality allocations should be based on objectives and action plans. The supporting documentation should define the event's purpose and evaluate its value-for-money as well as any required follow-up.
1.6.5 The bulk alcohol and wine inventory should be managed by a CBS at the mission and reconciled on a quarterly basis.
1.6.6 The use of both official languages should be promoted within the mission. All signage should be posted in both English and French.
1.6.7 The mission should address its bilingual capacity in its HR planning and include bilingualism in recruitment processes when appropriate.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
1.6.1 With summer leave and staff turnover, including the HOM, weekly operations and monthly CMM meetings will begin in September. In progress for September 2012.
1.6.2 Recent CMMs included discussion on strategic issues. CMM will resume in September. Implemented June 2012.
1.6.3 The HOM participated in late June town hall to discuss LES staff reductions. The new HOM will continue to implement more formal communications as of September/October 2012. Implemented June 2012.
1.6.4 Instructions on hospitality have been given and discussed with managers. Implemented June 2012.
1.6.5 The HOM's Assistant took charge of this task and implemented the new process. Implemented June 2012.
1.6.6 The Official Languages Coordinator will perform an assessment of all signage in July 2012, and signage in both official languages will be posted during the month of August 2012. In progress for September 2012.
1.6.7 Language capacity in English and French will be included in the mission HR planning and added to all future recruitment processes for staff requiring interaction with the public. Implemented June 2012.
Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)
2.1.1 The Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS) program is managed by an FS-03 officer who also heads the mission's Commercial Economic (CE) program. She is principally supported by an LE-08 Political Officer with some program assistance provided by the LE-05 Trade Commissioner Assistant. The program's financial resources are provided below.
|Post Initiative Fund||3,300|
2.1.2 As noted under Mission Management, the international community has taken great interest in Sri Lanka following allegations of war crimes and human rights violations that allegedly occurred during the country's civil war. The significant domestic attention on Sri Lanka from Canada will continue to pressure the small FPDS program for some time. In support of the Prime Minister's statement to possibly boycott CHOGM, ***.
2.1.3 A recent unexpected leadership change in the Maldives has generated some ***, and has also attracted the interest of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG). This heightened attention is considered *** as the country does not normally generate much work beyond occasional visits and *** level monitoring of political/economic developments.
2.2 Planning and Program Management
|Key FPDS Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|FPDS plans are aligned with the priorities and objectives outlined in the mission plan and informed by departmental and geographic bureau guidance and objectives.||X|
|FPDS plans outline intended outcomes and results are measurable.||X|
|Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and have been communicated to all staff.||X|
|Internal communications within the program effectively support program delivery.||X|
2.2.1 The FPDS program benefits from a *** leader who takes a structured approach to management. She is considered to be *** and has set clear performance expectations while also affording her employees the space to develop ideas independently.
2.2.2 The high-level objectives of the program, as articulated by the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) tool, reflect the priorities and objectives of the Government of Canada. However, it was not clear that all activities funded by the Post Initiative Fund (PIF) contributed to advancing the MPR objectives. Considering the rising political attention on Sri Lanka, it will be important for the small FPDS program to carefully leverage all of its resources in support of the program's core objectives. Doing so will ensure that the program maintains momentum on key commitments and avoids unnecessary additional work on lower priority activities.
2.2.3 The program's current planning provides a broad framework for engagement but could be improved in order to better focus and leverage its resources (travel, hospitality, PIF). At the end of fiscal year 2011-12, the program was at risk of lapsing a significant amount of hospitality funding. A simple but structured operational workplan that links resources to objectives would help to avoid this situation as well as assist the program in maintaining focus and deferring lower-priority demands when necessary.
2.2.4 FPDS employees clearly understand their roles and responsibilities, and their respective PMPs serve to guide performance expectations. To improve opportunities for professional development, the PM should identify joint training opportunities across programs as well as ensure that all staff incorporate training goals into their PMPs.
|Key FPDS Implementation Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Strategic objectives and plans have been translated into individual or team work plans.||X|
|Activities and initiatives are aligned with the Mission's key priorities and with the principles of the New Way Forward FPDS Renewal initiative.||X|
|Program reporting is in-line with Mission and government objectives, timely and relevant.||X|
|The program develops and maintains a contact base that meets programs needs and objectives.||X|
|Relations with other mission programs facilitate program delivery (e.g. public affairs).||X|
|The program facilitates a mission-wide coordinated approach to advocacy and common messaging.||X|
2.3.1 Overall, the program is functioning well to advance Canadian interests in Sri Lanka. Activities are aligned to the mission's key priorities and headquarters has recognized the quality of reporting. The FPDS program has a strong network of local contacts and actively exchanges information with partner departments and agencies.
2.3.2 Individual workplans exist but lack a clear connection to the program's strategic objectives. Once an operational program plan is developed, it can be used as the basis to connect individual workplans to long-term objectives and resources. A planning retreat would be a useful way to review past performance and elaborate cohesive and targeted plans for the future. Considering the political interest in Sri Lanka, the program should be aware of the possible need to organize high-level visits with little notice and plan accordingly.
2.3.3 Whereas cooperation with partner departments and agencies is proactive and positive, there is no formal mission-wide advocacy strategy. Developing such a plan would further facilitate coordination of common interests across the mission and ensure that key mission staff are aware of Government of Canada advocacy priorities and messaging as they relate to Sri Lanka. Considering that the program is small and already facing a heavy workload, the development of an advocacy plan could be undertaken as a broad high-level document that could be updated when key visits or outcalls take place.
2.3.4 Cooperation with the CE program could be improved. ***. The FPDS program should work with the CE program to develop an advocacy strategy on market access issues and collaborate more closely on economic issues.
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 currently takes a largely informal approach to performance management. The MPR is used to reflect on results achieved in advancing the mission's broader commitments and PMPs are used to evaluate individual performance.
2.4.2 The development of a more comprehensive planning structure that fills the gap between strategy, activities and resources will enhance the overall measurability of the program. Results should be reviewed on an ongoing basis with an annual retreat to validate the related strategies and activities and incorporate lessons learned into future planning.
2.4.3 The use of hospitality budgets should be planned in order to ensure funds are strategically and fully leveraged. The associated documentation should also be improved to clearly state the purpose of each event and evaluate if, and how, value-for-money was achieved.
Recommendations to the Mission
2.5.1 The program should develop an operational workplan that covers all activities and links resources to strategic objectives. This workplan should cascade into employees' individual workplans in order to maintain a coherent strategic focus.
2.5.2 The professional development needs of employees should be discussed as part of the PMP process.
2.5.3 A whole-of-government advocacy strategy and plan should be developed for the mission.
2.5.4 The program's objectives include expected results that are measureable. Its activities should be reviewed on an ongoing basis with lessons learned applied to future planning.
2.5.5 The documentation of hospitality activities should clearly state the purpose of the event, evaluate its value-for-money and identify any follow up that was taken or will be required.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
2.5.1 A program work plan, with corresponding staff work plans, will be developed to support the recently completed Strategy for Canadian Engagement with Sri Lanka, as well as ongoing monitoring, reporting and activities. An FPDS retreat is scheduled for early July to develop the workplan as a team. In progress for August 2012.
2.5.2 The program manager and employees discussed training needs and opportunities as part of the year-end PMP review. Implemented May 2012.
2.5.3 The program manager is working with GLB to develop a strategy for the mission. In progress for July 2012.
2.5.4 The Strategy for Canadian Engagement with Sri Lanka outlines agreed benchmarks for progress in Sri Lanka. An FPDS retreat is scheduled for early July to define objectives and indicators for the program. In progress for August 2012.
2.5.5 Hospitality planning to ensure that activities are aligned with priorities and represent value for money is completed. Better documentation evaluating events is on track. Hospitality will be incorporated into the program workplan. Implemented June 2012.
Commercial Economic (CE)
3.1.1 The Commercial Economic (CE) program is managed by an FS-03 officer who also heads the mission's Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS) program. She is supported by an LE-09 Trade Commissioner and an LE-05 Trade Commissioner Assistant. The program's financial resources are provided below.
|Client Service Fund (CSF)||5,000|
3.1.2 In 2010, Sri Lanka's economy grew by approximately eight percent. Although observers expect continued economic expansion, Sri Lanka is still a developing economy with international remittances forming a significant portion of its revenue. Tourism, agriculture (rice production), the export of tea, and textiles and apparel are the country's major economic drivers.
3.1.3 New commercial opportunities have been emerging since the country's 26-year long civil war came to a close in 2009. For example, in an effort to move beyond the conflict, the government is undertaking major infrastructure projects and promoting economic development in some of the country's most conflict-affected areas.***.
3.1.4 Total merchandise trade between Canada and Sri Lanka stood at $467 million in 2011. Exports amounted to $346 million and imports $120 million. The majority of the exports were in the agriculture and food and beverage sectors with wheat being the dominant export ($282 million). Woven and knitted apparel accounted for over 50% of imports from Sri Lanka.
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 manager (PM) is an *** manager. Upon arriving at the mission last summer, she identified weaknesses in the CE program including *** reporting through TRIO. Since then, she has been working with the CE team to steer the program back on track in order to ***.
3.2.2 The PM is responsible for managing both the CE and the FPDS programs. Although the expectation is for the CE program to only take about 15% of her time, in reality this number has increased to approximately 40%. This discrepancy is due to the PM investing significant time in guiding the work of *** in order to raise outputs and ensure the program adheres to the expected practices of the Trade Commissioners Service. While these efforts have been justified, the PM should now take the steps necessary to scale back her involvement to the appropriate level. The *** position should have the capacity to run the program with limited involvement from the PM.
3.2.3 The LE-05 trade commissioner assistant, who provides support to both the CE and FPDS programs, is spending an increasing amount of time working on FPDS files. She noted that, on occasion, she has been *** in support of the CE program. The PM should lead the team in an exercise to clarify the roles and responsibilities of all members of the program, including her role as a manager.
3.2.4 The CE program meets on a regular basis and the PM is readily available despite being physically located on a separate floor. However, horizontal communications across the mission, especially with the FPDS program, does require attention.***. This needs to be addressed. The CE program should work with the FPDS program to develop an advocacy strategy on market access issues and collaborate more closely on economic issues.
|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||N/A||N/A|
3.3.1 Overall, the mission's CE plan provides sufficient contextual information on the Sri Lankan market and outlines challenges Canadian companies face in doing business there. The fact that Sri Lanka remains a complex business environment emphasizes the importance of maintaining strong networks with both Canadians and Sri Lankans, as well as monitoring commercial developments and emerging opportunities.
3.3.2 In outlining strategic rationale for establishing priority sectors, the program should provide concise analysis of Canadian capacity in comparison with local opportunities. Similarly, the rationale for program activities should clearly link to the overall strategy. The justification provided need not be complex but should identify the value of the proposed activities to Canadian interests, thereby justifying the use of resources. Following each activity, the mission should evaluate outcomes and provide recommendations which would apply to future planning. It is noted that the mission has already included concise reviews of activities in closing its 2011/12 CE plan at the end of the fiscal year.
3.3.3 For an extensive period of time, the CE program was insufficiently reporting results and opportunities. For example, TRIO data from 2009-10 indicated that the program only delivered three services to clients. For 2010-11 and 2011-12, the levels of services delivered rose to 10 and 14 respectively, but there was still only one entry under the 'Economic Outcomes Facilitated and Opportunities Pursued' category. Since the fall of 2011, TRIO reporting has been improving. This will need to be maintained in order to accurately communicate the effectiveness of the program and the results it generates for clients. The quality of information entered into TRIO should also be monitored to ensure that emerging opportunities are conveyed to stakeholders in Canada in a timely fashion. The PM should review the TCS Web Dashboard on a regular basis to monitor reporting and help the team visualize its 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 In general, the CE program could strengthen its approach to performance measurement. As mentioned in referring to the CE Plan, a review of each activity should link the use of resources to program priorities and the resulting outcomes. Through adding qualitative indicators, the program will be able to better evaluate the quality of support provided to clients and identify which are the highest value-added activities. An annual review of results, perhaps during a program retreat, will help the program understand its strengths and weaknesses and to plan strategically for subsequent years.
3.4.2 There is a need to improve the quality of the documentation recorded in the hospitality diaries. The purpose of each event should be clear and evaluations should demonstrate if, and how, value-for-money was achieved.
Recommendations to the Mission
3.5.1 The PM should take the necessary steps to reduce the time she spends managing the CE program to a more appropriate level.
3.5.2 The roles and responsibilities of all members of the program should be clarified.
3.5.3 The CE plan should provide a clearer analysis of the opportunities that exist or are emerging in Sri Lanka and how the mission's activities will leverage those opportunities to advance Canadian commercial interests.
3.5.4 TRIO reporting should be monitored to ensure sustained and high quality input over time.
3.5.5 The program should strengthen its performance measurement practices by reviewing its activities annually and applying lessons learned.
3.5.6 The documentation of hospitality activities should clearly identify the purpose of the event as well as provide an evaluation of value-for-money and any follow-up action that was taken or will be required.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
3.5.1 The CE LE09 position is *** vacant; a new hiring process will be initiated to engage an experienced business development officer to allow for a *** CE program. In progress for October 2012.
3.5.2 Upon hiring the new LE09, the Trade Commissioner Assistant will report primarily to the LE-09 officer for trade, and will report to the FPDS PM on political work, which is 25% of her time. Roles and responsibilities will be further clarified when the new CE team is in place. In progress for August 2012.
3.5.3 The mission has received an extension for re-write of the CEP from BTS to produce a more focussed and strategic plan for activities and advocacy. Full implementation of the CEP will begin when a new officer is employed. In progress for July 2012.
3.5.4 The Trade Commissioner Assistant has received additional training and has been named TRIO champion for the mission. The PM monitors to ensure proper usage. Implemented.
3.5.5 Some areas for 2011-2012 fell far below targets. The 2012-2013 CEP will identify measurable results for better tracking. In progress for July 2012.
3.5.6 Hospitality planning to ensure that activities are aligned with priorities and represent value for money is completed. Better documentation evaluating events is on track. Hospitality will be incorporated into the program workplan. Implemented June 2012.
4.1.1 The Consular program is managed by the AS-06 MCO with the daily operational management assumed by the AS-04 DMCO. The program is supported by an LE-06 Consular Assistant, with back-up assistance currently provided by the Common Services LE-04 Administration Assistant. The program is also responsible for the delivery of consular services to Canadian citizens in the Maldives.
4.1.2 The mission provides approximately 360 passport services and processes approximately 45 citizenship applications yearly. There are 280 Canadian citizens identified in Sri Lanka in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database and 15 Canadian citizens registered in the Maldives. The estimated number of Canadians residing in Sri Lanka is 2,000 and an estimated 50-100 Canadians residing in the Maldives.
4.1.3 Although there were very few active consular cases at the time of the inspection, the number of distress and routine cases has remained fairly steady over the past three years with an average of 90 cases annually dealing with issues of arrest/detention, death, theft and loss of documents.
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 Overall, the program is *** managed and operating effectively. The MCO provides guidance and mentoring to the DMCO who is on his***. The LE-06 consular assistant *** and clearly understands her roles and responsibilities. She has received consular training in Canada and participated in a regional workshop in Hong Kong.
4.2.2 Consular plans and manuals are up to date. The Mission Emergency Plan (MEP) for Sri Lanka has been developed, and the mission plans to conduct a test of the plan early in the new fiscal year. This will provide a good opportunity for mission staff to familiarize themselves with their roles and responsibilities. The MEP for the Maldives is currently under development.
4.2.3 The program has a detailed workplan that is shared with staff. Regular meetings take place to discuss policy, procedural changes and ongoing cases.
4.2.4 The program maintains a good network of contacts with a number of like-minded missions and meets monthly with Australian and British counterparts. Contact with police authorities, hospitals and prison officials has been established and is regularly maintained. The program has conducted outreach visits to further promote consular awareness and engage with local authorities. The DMCO, accompanied by the consular assistant, conducted a visit to the northern part of Sri Lanka and met with a number of local officials in the region.
4.2.5 There are currently 18 warden districts, although there are only ***. The DMCO was recently successful in identifying a warden for Jaffna district during his outreach visit to the north.***. While the mission held a wardens' conference last year and plans to conduct another one***.
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 providing a *** level of service and is meeting established client service standards. On occasion, however, staff spend considerable time assisting clients who have limited official language capacity to complete various forms. This can raise client expectations and place undue pressure on staff. Better use of the checklist to screen applications for completeness and the provision of instructions in the local language to clients would assist the program in achieving a more consistent level of service.
4.3.2 The program has the capacity to provide services in both official languages. The MCO, DMCO and most CBS are bilingual. *** has developed only a limited capability, although is taking French language training. Going forward, effort should be made to ensure that recruitment includes an official language capacity for positions interacting with the public.
4.3.3 Although feedback forms are available in the reception area and provided to clients with their completed passports, the program receives limited feedback. Clients who complete the form often hand it directly to the receptionist or the consular assistant. As a best practice, a locked box should be available in the reception area for clients to deposit feedback forms as some clients may not feel comfortable returning a form directly to an employee. The box should be controlled by the MCO and feedback shared with consular staff, HOM and headquarters.
4.4 Internal Controls
|Key Consular Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|A certified CBS signs-off on all passports.||X|
|Client documents and personal information are properly stored and secured.||X|
|Procedures and practices related to the collection of revenues are appropriate (e.g. segregation of duties, handling of cash, official receipts, record of fees received forms).||X|
|Revenues are transferred to the finance section in line with the Manual of Consular Instructions.||X|
|Upon receipt of new passport stock, two CBS verify the receipt of all assets, sign and return the transmittal note.||X|
|Passport stock is securely stored and the removal of assets is recorded on an inventory log and initialled by the CBS custodian and the employee receiving the asset.||X|
|Working inventories provided to staff are appropriate and controlled by a daily log (passports issued, spoiled, returned to safe storage).||X|
|Monthly and quarterly reconciliations of passport stock are properly completed and certified.||X|
|Official seals and stamps are properly inventoried, secured and access provided to designated staff only.||X|
4.4.1 Overall, controls governing passport and consular activities are effective. There is appropriate CBS oversight for passport and consular activities. All passport applications are approved by a CBS member. The receipt of stock is conducted by the DMCO and MCO. Monthly inventories are conducted by the DMCO and MCO; quarterly with the HOM. An inventory of seals/stamps is maintained detailing the location, holder's name and signature.
4.4.2 The passport stock is appropriately secured in the ***. The DMCO transfers passport stock to the consular assistant on an as required basis. The transfer log is maintained *** all transfers are recorded and initialed.
4.4.4 Appropriate controls are in place for consular revenue and reconciliation of cash. The reconciliation and transfer of funds is done ***. An official receipt is provided by the finance section to the consular assistant.
Recommendations to the Mission
4.5.1 The program should continue to recruit wardens,***.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
4.5.1 The Consular program sent its first warden quarterly newsletter in June 2012. A message was also sent to all registrants to recruit new wardens, which received a positive response from the Canadian community in Sri Lanka and Maldives. New wardens will be appointed in the upcoming months ***. In progress for October 2012
4.5.2 ***. Implemented June 2012.
4.5.3 ***. Implemented March 2012.
5.1.1 The Common Services program is managed by a *** S-06 MCO who is supported by an AS-04 DMCO and a team of 18 LES, including 10 general service staff. The addition of the new DMCO position to the program establishment has provided the program manager with an added capacity and opportunity to plan and organize. The MCO has implemented several changes to enhance the efficiency of the program since her arrival in the summer of 2011.
5.1.2 The program is responsible for providing common services to 65 employees spread over five DFAIT and four partner programs. The physical layout of the interim chancery is not ideal for promoting a team atmosphere. As such, program managers are looking at innovative ways of promoting a better team approach.
5.1.3 The MCO is a *** individual *** postings. This is her *** in Sri Lanka. She has established a number of good contacts with colleagues in other missions and local officials and meets with them regularly.
|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|
5.1.4 The program is considered to be *** managed although there are issues involving assignment of duties to certain staff. The Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP), in particular, is extremely busy and possibly overloaded with work while others within the program freely admit that they are capable of assuming more.
5.1.5 A common service business plan is in place and up to date. Many policies and procedures have been developed for all areas of the program such as arrivals/departures checklists and an LES orientation guide for new employees, to name a few. All staff and clients within the mission may not be aware of these policies and procedures as they are not posted nor easily accessible.
5.1.6 Bilateral meetings are held between section staff and the MCO weekly, with an all program staff meeting held monthly. A formal meeting between the MCO and section managers is not held although this would provide opportunity for information sharing and the promotion of teamwork. The MCO and DMCO meet with most non-office staff. However, meetings with the drivers are on an ad-hoc basis and not formally scheduled.
5.1.7 The MCO meets with the HOM prior to the weekly CMM. However, no other formally scheduled meetings are arranged. Bilateral meetings should be arranged as required as the MCO would benefit from increased support and involvement of the HOM.
|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|
5.1.8 Overall, client services were found to be effective. Feedback received from other programs within the mission concerning the quality of service was positive, although it was mentioned that response times, in some cases, could be improved.
5.1.9 Service standards for most areas have been updated recently, although not all staff may be aware of their existence or they may have not been consulted during the process. IM-IT service standards should be reviewed for content and timelines.
5.1.10 Although the physical resources section receives client feedback prior to paying invoices for services rendered, no formal client feedback mechanism is in place to capture feedback for all areas of the program. A drop box or e-mail system could be used to ensure that clients have an opportunity to provide feedback for all areas of common service delivery.
|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|
5.1.11 In general, contracting and procurement processes are inconsistent and could be improved upon. The CRB is in place and board members have been provided with a contract procedures checklist. However, board members do not meet in person and simply receive the summary of contract information electronically.
5.1.12 A contract register is in place and many regular maintenance services will be retendered beginning in the new fiscal year. This process had fallen by the wayside, and invoices were simply being paid on a monthly basis. In addition, as all contract documents are not shared with members of the CRB, board members do not have the opportunity to see and review relevant documents prior to authorizing contracts.
5.1.13 Although the program has established a capital purchase plan, it does not provide for a multi-year forecast of anticipated expenditures. As well, the CMM is not provided with a copy of the plan and thus does not have the opportunity to review and approve.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.1.14 The MCO should ensure that all staff are made aware of policies and procedures and that they are posted in an easily accessible location.
5.1.15 The MCO should schedule regular meetings with section managers to facilitate information sharing and teamwork. Periodic meetings with the drivers should also be scheduled.
5.1.16 The MCO and HOM should schedule regular bilateral meetings.
5.1.17 Service standards for all areas of the program should be developed and reviewed periodically.
5.1.18 A formal client feedback mechanism should be developed for all common service delivery functions.
5.1.19 CRB members should meet in person periodically to discuss contracting issues and to review contracts awarded during the quarter. All contract documents should be shared with the CRB prior to authorizing contracts.
5.1.20 The mission should develop a multi-year capital acquisition plan and have it approved annually by the CMM.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.1.14 All policies and procedures have been placed in a binder accessible to all staff in the administration section and have been centralized on the I:Drive for easy access by all staff. The MCO has received Wiki training from library services in Ottawa and mission is looking at implementing new systems. Implemented April 2012.
5.1.15 A meeting of all heads of section, along with the MCO and the DMCO, is now held every Wednesday morning. The MCO now meets with the drivers every month. Implemented March 2012.
5.1.16 The MCO and the HOM meet every week on Tuesday morning and hold ad-hoc meetings whenever deemed necessary. Implemented April 2012.
5.1.17 Specific service standards for IM/IT are being developed and service standards for all areas will be reviewed on a yearly basis in consultation with staff. In progress for August 2012.
5.1.18 A suggestion box has been placed in the lunch room to ensure easy and appropriate client feedback for common services. The box is monitored by the MCO and DMCO and clients have been notified that their feedback is welcome and important. Implemented June 2012.
5.1.19 The CRB members met in person once in June, and they have reviewed contract documents on two occasions, prior to authorizing contracts. The CRB will hold one meeting per quarter to review all contracts. Implemented May/June 2012.
5.1.20 The mission is currently working on shifting from a yearly plan to a multi-year capital acquisition plan. MCOs in the area have been in contact in order to have consistency throughout the area. The new plan will be presented and approved by the CMM after relocation season. In progress September 2012.
5.2 Human Resources
5.2.1 The human resources (HR) functions at the mission are the responsibility of the MCO who is assisted by an LE-07 Office Manager who is***. During the past year, the section has conducted five staffing actions and one classification action.
|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 performance evaluations.||X|
|Employee and position files are complete, maintained separately and properly secured.||X|
5.2.2 Overall, the HR section is *** managed and is providing clients with quality and timely service. An HR plan is in place and is well documented. Welcome check lists have been developed and are provided to incoming CBS and newly hired LES.
5.2.3 The office manager has been designated as the mission training coordinator. A mission wide training plan is in place and sufficient funds have been allocated. To further enhance the training coordinator's role, management of IM-IT related training could also be handled by the office manager while using the LEITP as a technical resource when required.
5.2.4 Performance evaluations are in place for all staff although some had been completed covering periods of more than one year. Where possible, evaluations should be conducted on an annual basis. Job descriptions for all LES positions are current and the mission has a plan in place to have them reviewed on a periodic basis.
5.2.5 Personnel files are well maintained and separate files used to properly store related information. The MCO maintains sensitive issue files for all LES.
|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 Overall, HR processes and internal controls were found to be in place and well managed.
5.2.7 Recent competition files were reviewed and found to be well organized. The office manager has developed a "manager's 12-point checklist" (based on ALD guidelines) that is used effectively. One issue noted involves an ***. The mission should be careful not to use the *** action to attract or hire an employee.
5.2.8 The receptionist is a long-serving employee with *** years of service. She is *** in carrying out her main duties ***. A system is in place where clients requesting services in French are directed to staff who are able to serve them in that official language. As noted in the Consular section of the report, the *** also ***.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.2.9 The mission should ensure that the *** be applied to hire staff in only the most exceptional circumstances.
5.2.10 The mission should ensure that language capacity is considered as a key component in any future recruitment process for staff requiring interaction with the public.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.2.9 Mission management has ensured that the *** will no longer be applied to hire staff. Appropriate checklists and policies have been reviewed. Implemented April 2012.
5.2.10 Language capacity in English and French, with either one of the official languages of Sri Lanka, will be added to all future recruitment process for staff requiring interaction with the public. Checklists and policies have already been reviewed. Implemented May 2012.
5.3 Physical Resources
5.3.1 Under the general direction of the AS-06 MCO, the physical resources section is managed by the AS-04 DMCO. The DMCO is supported by an LE-07 property manager, an LE- 05 property assistant and three general services (GS) maintenance staff.
5.3.2 The section manages a Crown-leased temporary chancery (a Crown-owned chancery is currently under reconstruction), a Crown-owned official residence (OR), as well as 10 staff quarters, nine of which are Crown-leased. The section also manages a fleet of *** official vehicles, including ***.
|Key Physical Resources Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Mission property and maintenance plans are up to date.||X|
|The chancery and official residence (OR) are well maintained and maintenance schedules are in place.||X|
|An efficient process in place for receiving, processing and monitoring work orders.||X|
|Annual inspections are conducted to assess the state of SQs and input into maintenance and acquisition planning.||X|
5.3.3 The section is *** managed by an *** DMCO, and is providing an overall *** level of service to its clients. Property and maintenance plans are up to date and maintenance schedules for all properties are in place. Maintaining properties is challenging given the lack of quality materiel, and a difficult climate and local infrastructure.
5.3.4 The mission has been accommodated in a temporary chancery since 2009 and will continue to be so until *** at the earliest, while the permanent chancery undergoes reconstruction. The temporary location is a converted apartment building that presents challenges. It is laid out over eight floors, segregating programs from and within each other, limiting the flow of information and presenting physical barriers to good communication.
5.3.5 The OR is large and provides good functional space for official representation. It is situated in a historic location within a prestigious area of the city. The limited meeting and reception options at the chancery have made the OR particularly attractive for HOM meetings and events while the permanent chancery undergoes reconstruction.
5.3.6 At the time of the inspection, the mission was intending to increase the number of preventative maintenance contracts. External service providers were frequently called upon when front-line maintenance provided in-house by LES proved insufficient. A full move towards externally-provided maintenance could provide greater value to the property section and better stewardship of public funds.
5.3.7 The portfolio of SQs provides a good balance between stand-alone houses and apartments located in high-rise buildings. Staff quarters visited were found to be well maintained, although there appeared to be a tendency for slight over-housing in some cases due to limited market availability of suitable smaller accommodations. Most CBS reported high levels of satisfaction with their SQs and the service they received from the property section. One SQ *** was, however, found to be problematic, mainly due to its layout and location which poses *** concerns for the occupants.
5.3.8 The mission, in liaison with the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD), is currently considering ***.
|Key Physical Resources Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|An inspection is conducted by new SQ occupants and a mission representative within 30 days of occupancy, after which occupancy agreements and distribution accounts are signed.||X|
|Records of assets located in the Chancery, OR and SQs, as well as those in storage, are maintained on an ongoing basis and verified annually. Assets are appropriately safeguarded and controlled.||X|
|Disposals are appropriately authorized and follow departmental guidelines.||X|
|Vehicle logs and mileage are verified monthly by a CBS to reconcile usage to gas purchases as well as monitor vehicle performance.||X|
5.3.9 Overall, internal controls were generally found to be satisfactory although there is room for improvement in the areas of vehicle and fuel management. Asset inventories and disposal records were well maintained.
5.3.10 Staff advised that vehicle fuel logs had been only periodically verified in the past, although this was being rectified at the time of the inspection. Fuel used for generators, however, was not monitored and logs were not maintained.
5.3.11 It was noted that the mission's recreational facilities, located on the compound which also houses the under-reconstruction chancery, were being regularly used for yoga and dance classes although no CBS or dependents were involved in the activities. While this practice may generate goodwill in the local and expatriate community, it poses liability and economic issues and should be discontinued.
Recommendations Recommendations to the Mission
5.3.12 The mission should determine whether *** is suitable for the housing inventory.
5.3.13 The mission should ensure that all fuel used for vehicles and generators is subjected to regular verifications and reconciliations against miles driven and electricity provided.
5.3.14 The mission should no longer allow its recreational facilities to be used if there are no CBS or dependents in attendance.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.3.12 The property section, along with the Housing Committee, will be looking at options in the next months and will make a recommendation to the incoming HOM. In progress for October 2012.
5.3.13 The MCO developed a new log sheet for the vehicles that include regular reconciliation of fuel purchased against mileage driven. The MCO reviews these log sheets daily. The DMCO developed a new log sheet for generator fuel consumption to be monitored on a weekly basis. Implemented June 2012.
5.3.14 The mission reviewed the usage of its recreational facilities with the HOM. Activities that are held without the presence of a CBS or a dependent will be terminated. Implemented July 2012.
5.4.1 Management of the finance section is the responsibility of the AS-06 MCO, assisted by an experienced LE-07 Head Accountant and an LE-05 Assistant Accountant. While the accounting staff are both *** to the mission, they are *** employees providing *** of client service.
|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 finance section operates in a challenging local environment *** both cultural and technological obstacles to modern banking processes. The section is nevertheless *** run, adequately staffed, resourced, and trained. There is a need, however, for ***.
5.4.3 It was noted at the time of the inspection that the assistant accountant had been identified as the future back-up for the consular officer and was undertaking the passport certification training. While she would be a welcome addition to the mission's surge capacity, the assistant accountant position may not be the best choice to replace the consular officer during absences. The impact these activities would have on the proper functioning of the finance section may be too great to justify this appointment.
5.4.4 Although the mission has established credit accounts with some major suppliers, purchase orders are issued for every purchase rather than a monthly billing arrangement. Transactional work could be further automated through the negotiation of monthly invoicing with vendors, the aggregation of purchases into periodic payments, the use of acquisition cards, and the introduction of electronic fund transfers as a method for payments.
5.4.5 ***. By reducing the number ***, the finance section workload may be reduced without greatly impacting client service.
|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 Certification of Immigration Deposits 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.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|A percentage of costs for personal use of OR supplies is determined and regular reimbursements are made to the Mission.||X|
|A process is in place to ensure that, where applicable, CBS reimburse the mission for any services of a personal nature received at their staff quarters (e.g. television, internet, telephone, etc.).||X|
5.4.6 Overall, internal controls were generally in place, although there is a need for ***. Some processes and controls can be further strengthened.
5.4.7 The MCO requests all reports from the head accountant rather than entering into IMS to print her own reports. In addition, asset and liability reports are not reviewed on a regular basis.***.
5.4.9 The finance section is frequently required to provide travel advances to staff with little prior notice. This tends to disrupt workflow and increase the workload of the section. To help reduce workload, standing travel advances should be considered in order to deal with emergency/urgent requests.
5.4.10 Currently, hospitality advances are only issued to the HOM with no quarterly advances taken by program managers. Hospitality events are paid for on an event- by-event basis resulting in more work for the finance section. Proper planning by programs in this area would help to reduce the number of IMS and payment entries required by the section.
5.4.11 The process for purchasing and reimbursing supplies at the official residence was undocumented and percentages used for official and personal purposes were not clear. This ambiguity prevents the mission from properly accounting for the complete operational costs of the official residence and establishing a reimbursement rate for the HOM.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.4.12 ***, beginning with regular access to key reports in IMS.
5.4.13 The mission should consider alternate candidates for the consular back-up role as removing an accounting resource from the finance section is not an optimal strategy.
5.4.14 The mission should explore opportunities to streamline operations and increase efficiency, including:
- reducing transactional workload through credit agreements with vendors;
- reducing ***; and
- the use of transaction cards and electronic payments (beginning with LES salaries and large payments).
5.4.15 To further strengthen and enhance internal controls, the mission should ensure that:
- official receipts are issued immediately for any and all internal fund transfers;
- petty cash accounts in use at the mission are subjected to random and unannounced spot-checks; and
5.4.16 The mission should consider switching its hospitality fund reimbursement processes from event-by-event to issuance of quarterly advances.
5.4.17 The mission should standardize and document its process for the payment of official residence supplies. It is recommended that the mission pay for all supplies, with the HOM periodically reimbursing a set percentage for personal use.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.4.12 The MCO now accesses IMS on a regular basis. She continues meeting with the finance section every week. Implemented April 2012.
5.4.13 Management has assessed candidates for the consular back-up role, but has been unable to identify an alternate back-up. Although management understands the concern expressed by the inspectors, the existing option remains the most feasible at this time. Implemented April 2012.
5.4.14 The administration section has increased the number of credit agreements with suppliers and reduced financial transactions. The mission is currently shifting from cheque payments to bank transfers and is looking at implementing electronic fund transfers in the upcoming months. Acquisition cards for the MCO and DMCO have also been ordered through Headquarters. Implemented June 2012.
5.4.15 The finance section now sends *** immediately to the receptionist for timely delivery. The number of cheques should also be considerably reduced due to the shifting from cheque payments to bank transfers, which is already underway.***. Implemented April 2012.
5.4.16 As of next financial quarter, mission will be issuing quarterly advances to employees who require hospitality funds. All hospitality settlements will be made on a quarterly basis. In progress July 2012.
5.4.17 The mission has standardized the process for the payment of official residence supplies. The HOM reimburses 10% of all supplies per month, as per other missions in the region. In progress August 2012.
5.5 Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT)
5.5.1 The IM-IT section is managed by an LE-08 Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP). The section provides services to 65 indeterminate employees as well to emergency and contract staff as required. Regional support coverage is provided through the FSITP located in BNGKK who schedules regular quarterly visits.
5.5.2 The chancery is still experiencing *** that, from time to time,***. In order to ensure that this equipment is properly safeguarded, the property section should ensure that the LEITP is consulted well in advance of the scheduled *** whenever possible.
|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|
5.5.3 The section is providing a *** level of service to its clients although the LEITP works from an informal list of duties and work tasks without the benefit of proper planning. As such, the LEITP operates in a reactive mode ***. This makes it difficult for him to properly assess workloads, assign priorities and to identify required resources. Developing a work plan of tasks that he has to undertake over the next year would be of great benefit to him and the mission.
5.5.4 The mission does not have an IM-IT Committee in place that would provide direction and oversight for the mission involving IM-IT issues. The LEITP could request committee terms of reference from a neighbouring mission for guidance.
5.5.5 The LEITP is currently overloaded with work; he routinely works a 10 hour day in order to try to keep up with the demands. No overtime is paid for his additional time, although the MCO has advised him to submit a claim for extra time worked. He has also been given some new duties that could easily be undertaken by another member of the common service staff (cell phone management, purchase and changing of toner cartridges). These duties take him away from some of his more essential duties***.
5.5.6 The LEITP would benefit from implementing a quiet hours policy in order to provide him time to manage his workload and to ensure remedy tickets are actioned and closed as required. He does not enter all service requests into the Remedy system as he feels that this will take away valuable time to actually perform the function. Hence, he is working *** mode when dealing with his clients. There is currently a backlog of open tickets although many could be closed as they have been actioned.
5.5.7 In principle, weekly meetings have been scheduled between the LEITP and the MCO. However, these are routinely cancelled due to other issues that take precedence. There are *** to work more effectively and efficiently. These meetings are an important tool and should be resumed as soon as possible.
5.5.8 Generic IM-IT service standards have been developed although the LEITP is not aware of associated timelines. The MCO should ensure that the LEITP is involved in establishing service request timelines as part of this document; he is currently managing requests on an ad hoc basis and no service delivery timelines exist other than his own desire to complete tasks quickly. Service standards would be used to establish and meet client expectations.
|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|
5.5.9 Overall, IM-IT processes and controls are effective for the most part.
5.5.10 ***. The room is shared with the *** and is not routinely cleaned (dusty, cluttered, etc.). This room should be properly maintained or a separate space should be assigned for this purpose that would allow the LEITP to better control the environment.
5.5.12 IT asset inventories are current except for the cell phones, although not all assets have been updated in ITAMS. The LEITP needs to plan sufficient time to do this. The section has developed a sign-out register for items on loan to staff (cellphones, laptops, Blackberries, etc.) but not all cell phones have been signed for, as the LEITP was only recently assigned responsibility for this task.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.5.13 The mission should ensure that advance notice be provided to all staff regarding ***.
5.5.14 The mission should establish an IM-IT committee.
5.5.15 The section would benefit from establishing a work plan that would entail daily, weekly and monthly work load schedules. This work plan should be developed in close consultation with the MCO.
5.5.16 The LEITP should be used as a technical resource and administrative functions currently tasked to him should be assigned to another member of the staff. An immediate realignment of some of the other non-technical duties should be considered.
5.5.17 The LEITP should ensure that proper time is allocated for him to undertake essential maintenance of equipment and management of the Remedy ticket system.
5.5.18 The MCO should ensure that she meets with the LEITP on a weekly basis.
5.5.19 Service standards for the section should be reviewed in consultation with the LEITP to ensure they properly reflect capacity to deliver.
5.5.20 The mission should ensure that *** in a controlled environment.
5.5.21 The equipment *** should be tested on a regular basis.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.5.13 A formal procedure has been put in place to ensure that all staff are notified of scheduled ***in advance. The property section also consults the LEITP prior to all ***. Implemented June 2012.
5.5.14 A new IM-IT committee will be established once the summer relocation is completed. The new committee will include the MCO, the ***, a representative from CIC and the LEITP. In progress for September 2012.
5.5.15 The MCO has reviewed work load with the LEITP. The LEITP has started to work on a plan with the MCO and it will be put in place in the next months. In progress for August 2012.
5.5.16 Non-technical duties, such as the management of mobile phones, have been reassigned to the administrative assistant and the property and material assistant. Some administrative functions are now assumed by the property labourer, who is also available to help the LEITP on a daily basis. Implemented April 2012.
5.5.17 Quiet hours are now in place, and a daily time slot has been allocated for regular maintenance and ticket system management. Implemented April 2012.
5.5.18 The MCO now meets with the LEITP every Wednesday morning. Implemented April 2012.
5.5.19 The MCO reviewed the service standards with the LEITP. They will be adjusted and shared with all staff and reviewed yearly. In progress for July 2012.
5.5.20 ***. The property section has developed a weekly cleaning schedule of the *** to ensure it is dust-free on a weekly basis. The air conditioners and the dehumidifiers in the room are also monitored weekly. Implemented June 2012.
5.5.21 The mission has scheduled a complete drill***, and the equipment at the *** will be tested on this occasion. Thereafter, drills will take place once every six months. In progress for July 2012.
Appendix A: Mission Resources Fact Sheet
|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: