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Inspection of the High Commission of Canada - Dhaka, Bangladesh
March 18-22, 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
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 the Mission Management, the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS), Commercial Economic (CE), Consular and Common Services programs was conducted in Dhaka, Bangladesh from March 18 to 22, 2012. A previous audit/inspection of these programs took place in 2005.
The High Commission in Dhaka is a medium-sized mission with 16 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 36 Locally Engaged Staff (LES). It is responsible for program delivery in Bangladesh. Partner departments represented at the mission include the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
The working environment at the mission has undergone significant changes recently. The High Commission moved to a newly-constructed chancery in a different part of the city two years ago. Last year, there was a turnover in all but one of the CBS program managers followed by the arrival of a new HOM. There is a broad perception among the LES that the recently- arrived managers have raised performance expectations and implemented controls that reduce LES autonomy (e.g. the requirement for supervision after hours and the wireless device policy). These factors, along with other sensitivities such as the Total Compensation Review process, have resulted in low mission morale with a perceived divide between CBS and LES. The recently-arrived HOM has recognized that morale requires attention and is working with her management team to make improvements.
Overall, the mission's operations are aligned with government priorities. The management team has a good understanding of its strengths and areas for improvement. The HOM ***promotes a whole-of-government approach at the mission. She meets regularly with the program managers of DFAIT, partner departments and agencies, and leverages her position, network and resources, including the official residence (OR), to help them achieve their program objectives. The mission's Committee on Mission Management (CMM) is currently functioning as a useful forum for cross-program information exchange on priorities and activities. Although the program managers actively share information and cooperate well, CIDA and CIC operate fairly independently due to their specific mandates.
Most of the key management controls are in place and working well with a few areas that require attention. The mission has a full range of committees but should ensure that all are meeting as required and are fulfilling their respective governance functions. It was noted that the Contract Review Board (CRB) had not met in over two years. ***. The LES effectively communicate important issues and concerns to mission management through the LES Management Consultation Board, However, the role and mandate of the board are not well understood by all staff. In addition, the mission has self-identified a need to improve the promotion of official languages. Increased emphasis on bilingualism in recruitment criteria, especially for positions that serve the public, will help build capacity over time.
The FPDS program has a strong network and leverages a number of planning tools in advancing Canadian interests in Bangladesh. The Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) document outlines commitments that cascade from the geographic bureau's priorities and are accompanied by measurable performance indicators. At this point, the program requires some attention to management issues, including establishing key priorities based on resources and capacity, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and managing performance. Enhancing upwards and downwards communications will help to build cohesion and a team approach to program planning and implementation.
The CE program consists of one LES trade commissioner who manages the majority of the program himself. Overall, the program emphasizes client service and feedback indicates that clients are very satisfied with the support and personalized attention they receive from the mission. The mission's CE plan clearly communicates the market context and corresponding engagement strategy but would benefit from a more simplified presentation of Canadian interests and a clearer identification of local opportunities. Attention should also be given to using TRIO to its full capacity to ensure that all results are reported and communicated to stakeholders.
The Consular program is functioning well. The DMCO reviewed work processes and implemented changes to improve the efficiency of the operations. Improvements are still needed in the areas of consular ***. There is a good workplan that outlines tasks, priorities which should be shared with staff. Consular plans and manuals are up to date. The mission emergency plan (MEP) has been developed and was tested in February 2012. The program is currently experiencing a temporary backlog for the processing of passport applications due to the***, but the mission has a plan in place to clear the backlog.
The Common Services program is providing a good level of service, with programs and partners indicating general satisfaction. The initial move in 2009 to the new chancery and OR entailed ongoing project deficiencies which have now been reduced to a manageable level, signalling time for the program to move from a reactive to a planning mode. A greater emphasis on planning, communication and organization for all sections of the Common Services program will help provide a more sustainable level of service to clients. In addition, the development and/or updating of formal policies, procedures and service standards would assist in clarifying expectations and meeting overall goals. Processes and controls are in place with improvement needed in some areas, ***. More involvement of the MCO and DMCO in the oversight *** is required. Planning should be formalized with operational work plans. Files and documentation, particularly in the HR section, should be reviewed for completeness and orderliness, and there should be a mechanism for client feedback on common services.
A total of 56 inspection recommendations are raised in the report; all are addressed to the mission. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 56 recommendations, management has stated that 32 have been implemented. For each of the remaining 24 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
1.1.1 The High Commission in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is a medium-sized mission with 16 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 36 Locally Engaged Staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in Bangladesh. Partner departments and agencies represented at the mission include the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
1.1.2 The mission is managed by an EX-03 Head of Mission (HOM) in an EX-02 position who is responsible for overall mission operations and oversees operational and capital budgets of $919,700 and $125,000 respectively. The mission manages a property portfolio that includes a Crown-owned chancery, a Crown-owned official residence as well as 15 Crown-leased staff quarters.
1.1.3 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Canada-Bangladesh diplomatic relations. Over the last three decades, Bangladesh has been one of Canada's largest aid recipients and is one of CIDA's current 20 countries of concentration. Canada-Bangladesh bilateral relations are centred on development assistance, international security and stability, the promotion of democratic governance values and multilateral cooperation, including joint participation in UN peacekeeping missions and membership in the Commonwealth.
|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 in line with the priorities of the government and has a strong understanding of its strengths and areas for improvement. Included in this report are a number of recommendations to assist the mission in improving its efficiency and raising morale.
1.2.2 The working environment at the mission has undergone significant changes recently. Two years ago, the High Commission moved to a newly-constructed chancery in a different part of the city, and, last year, there was a turnover in all of the CBS program manager (PM) positions followed by the arrival of a new HOM. There is a broad perception among the LES that the recently-arrived managers have raised performance expectations while also implementing additional controls which appear to reduce LES autonomy. As a result, mission morale is currently low with a perceived divide between CBS and LES.
1.2.3 The new HOM has recognized that mission morale requires some attention. She proactively met with all staff soon after her arrival and has already implemented a number of management measures designed to strengthen mission communications and build a sense of team. She is holding regular all-staff meetings and has asked that each program take a turn in presenting their priorities and objectives to the whole mission, an initiative which also promotes a whole-of-government approach. To reinforce the teambuilding potential of this practice, it is important to ensure that both LES and CBS participate in presenting to colleagues.
1.2.4 The HOM is backed by a dedicated but relatively inexperienced management team. Almost all of the PMs are managing a program for the first time. It is recommended that the HOM spend more time with the *** to assist *** managers in developing *** supervisory skills and effectively implementing *** programs' priorities.
1.2.5 The mission's Committee on Mission Management (CMM) is currently functioning as a useful forum for cross-program information exchange on priorities and activities. To make this committee a more effective governance forum, it is recommended that the mission hold weekly operations committee meetings (as it essentially does now) with the addition of a regular, but less frequent CMM that would focus on security, mission governance, management and policy issues.
1.2.6 The LES effectively communicate important issues and concerns to mission management through the LESMCB. However, the role and mandate of the board are not well understood by all staff and there is a perception that management is often unable to provide LES with their desired outcome (for example, on issues related to compensation). The mission should clearly communicate, including in Bangla, the role and mandate of the board to all employees. One of the all-staff meetings could be devoted to a presentation and discussion of the role of the LESMCB.
1.2.7 The PMs communicate management decisions to their staff through program staff meetings. However, the mission should increase its overall transparency to ensure that all employees remain informed of key priorities and common services policy decisions. Posting policies to the mission Wiki will help to increase consistency and ensure that guidelines are accessible to all mission staff. The minutes of the operations meetings, CMM and the LESMCB should be distributed to all staff.
1.2.8 The mission has actively promoted public service values and ethics. In addition to raising this subject at all-staff meetings, a speaker was brought in to provide values and ethics training to the whole mission. As an example of a good practice, the values and ethics guide has been translated into the local language. However, ongoing attention to this area is required as staff noted some cultural insensitivity on the part of CBS as well as interpersonal conflict among employees.
|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 *** promotes a whole-of-government approach at the mission. She meets regularly with the PMs of partner departments and agencies and leverages her position, network and resources, including the OR, to help them achieve their program objectives. Prior to making outcalls or undertaking travel, the HOM consults with all PMs to identify which priorities she may best advance. To ensure further policy coherence, a whole-of-mission advocacy plan should be developed.
1.3.2 The mission's operational planning captures government-wide interests; however, the Mission's Planning and Reporting (MPR) document is heavily focussed on the DFAIT programs. In preparing the MPR for the next fiscal year, it should be adapted to give partner programs more prominence in the key Canadian interests section as well as the mission's commitments. This is especially important as the MPR should clearly communicate the size and importance of CIDA's development program in Bangladesh.
1.3.3 Although the PMs actively share information and cooperate well, CIDA and CIC operate fairly independently due to their specific mandates. It was noted that, at times, the DFAIT programs would carry the majority of work for whole-of-government initiatives, such as preparations for the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations. While coordination is important, there should also be a balanced approach in assigning additional work to ensure that programs maintain their focus.
1.3.4 Discussion with PMs from partner departments and agencies indicated that they were generally satisfied with the common services provided by the mission.
|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 Overall, most of the key management controls are in place and working well. There are, however, a few areas that require attention. The mission has a full range of committees but should ensure that all are meeting as required and fulfilling their respective governance functions. The Contract Review Board, in particular, requires attention, as detailed under the Common Services section of the report. As well, the established***.
1.4.2 The mission's approach to the management of hospitality resources requires attention. Not all PMs were provided hospitality allocations at the beginning of the year and the existing documentation for hospitality events was often insufficient or incomplete. PMs should be provided hospitality allocations and held accountable for the strategic use of their allocated budgets. Each hospitality event should be supported by documentation that outlines the purpose of the event, links it to mission priorities, evaluates its value-for-money and identifies any follow up that was taken or required.
1.4.3 PMPs are generally in place, with a few exceptions. As part of the performance management cycle, all employees should meet with their supervisors to review their performance over the 2011-12 fiscal year and set new objectives in consultation with their supervisor.
|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 has self-identified a need to improve the promotion of official languages, its signage and its capacity to serve clients in both official languages. At the time of the inspection, some of the consular information intended for the public was only available in English.undefined
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. It was noted that bilingualism was an essential criteria in the recent hiring of the LE-07 Consular Officer.
Recommendations to the Mission
1.6.1 The mission should conduct a weekly operations meeting for day-to-day planning and coordination and use CMM meetings to discuss higher-level issues and make governance decisions. The minutes of both meetings should be distributed to all staff.
1.6.2 The role and mandate of the LESMCB should be communicated to all employees. Minutes of the board's meetings should be distributed to all staff.
1.6.3 The mission should review the activities of each committee to ensure that they are meeting and fulfilling their respective governance duties.
1.6.4 Hospitality allocations should be provided to PMs based on their objectives and plans. The documentation for activities should clearly state the purpose of the event, link the event to mission priorities, evaluate its value-for-money and identify any follow up that was taken or will be required.
1.6.5 All employees should have a PMP in place and participate in formal performance discussions with their supervisor in accordance with the performance management cycle.
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 strengthen its bilingual capacity through its HR plan and include bilingualism in recruitment processes when appropriate.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
1.6.1 The mission now holds weekly operations meetings and a monthly CMM. The minutes of both meetings will be available to all staff on the shared network drive. In progress for October 2012.
1.6.2 The role and mandate of the LESMCB were discussed at an all-staff meeting chaired by the HOM. The Board's mandate was translated into the local language and distributed to LES that have limited official-language skills. The minutes will be distributed to all staff by the HOM's Administrative Assistant. In progress for October 2012.
1.6.3 The terms of reference of mission committees are being reviewed, updated and distributed, and a questionnaire will be circulated to ensure committees fulfill their governance duties. Some committees have been merged with the CMM (e.g. the CRB and the IMIT Committee) due to limited CBS resources. In progress for December 2012.
1.6.4 Hospitality allocations have been provided to the FPDS and CE program managers. Plans for the use of hospitality plans are being drafted based on MPR priorities. In progress for October 2012.
1.6.5 The DMCO will now monitor the completion of PMPs for all programs and provide a status report to CMM (first update provided to program managers in Sept). Quarterly reminders will be sent to all staff in concert with the PMP cycle. Implemented September 2012.
1.6.6 The mission will review signage to ensure information is provided in both official languages. In progress for March 2013.
1.6.7 The mission requires that all positions providing direct service to the general public be capable of delivering service in both official languages. When this is not possible, a secondary source is identified to provide this service. Implemented April 2012.
2.1.1 The Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS) program is managed by an FS-02 officer who is supported by a LE-09 public affairs / education officer and a LE-08 political / economic advisor. The program also receives part-time administrative support from the CBS HOM administrative assistant. The program's financial resources are provided below.
|Post Initiative Fund||6,800|
|In-year GLB Funding||10,100|
2.1.2 Bangladesh is an important partner for Canada in South Asia. It is a moderate, secular, parliamentary democracy that is also a positive multilateral actor. Bangladesh has been active in counter-terrorism and has increased security cooperation with key regional players such as India. It also is an important ally in work ***.
2.1.3 There have been some concerns that democratic space in Bangladesh is shrinking. As the country approaches legislative elections in 2013, observers believe there is risk that there may be further pressure on civil society and that some politically-motivated violence may occur. The mission is monitoring these developments and their impact on Canada's interests in the country and the region.
|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 PM implemented a number of planning tools and is working *** to serve the HOM and advance Canadian interests in Bangladesh. The program has a strong network and demonstrates a good understanding of the local context. The MPR outlines commitments that cascade from the geographic bureau's priorities and are accompanied by performance indicators which are clear and measureable.
2.2.2 Employees of the FPDS program observed that they have recently experienced a heavy workload and tight deadlines. The mission should ensure that the program's objectives are reasonable given its resources. Attention should also be given to assisting the***. The performance management system should be used to guide *** employees on performance expectations and provide feedback.
2.2.3 It was noted that not all employees had a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. As well, the support provided by the HOM's administrative assistant was***. The program should review roles and responsibilities, possibly including the HOM in the discussions.
2.2.4 The program holds regular meetings and the PM meets with the HOM on a weekly basis. More time should be assigned to the meeting with the HOM in order to review the program's activities and priorities. This would provide an opportunity for the HOM and the PM to establish joint priorities and develop a plan of action while also ensuring that the program is not overburdened. Similarly, the PM should bolster communications with the officers and the HOM's Administrative Assistant to build a sense of team and ensure that all members of the program can contribute to setting priorities and advancing objectives.
|Key FPDS Implementation Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Strategic objectives and plans have been translated into individual or team work plans.||X|
|Activities and initiatives are aligned with the Mission's key priorities and with the principles of the New Way Forward FPDS Renewal initiative.||X|
|Program reporting is in-line with Mission and government objectives, timely and relevant.||X|
|The program develops and maintains a contact base that meets programs needs and objectives.||X|
|Relations with other mission programs facilitate program delivery (e.g. public affairs).||X|
|The program facilitates a mission-wide coordinated approach to advocacy and common messaging.||X|
2.3.1 The FPDS program has an activity calendar which sets the timeframe for initiatives and assigns responsibility at the officer level. An evergreen budget plan which allocates funding for events is also in place. However, not all of the program's planning tools are up-to-date. The program would benefit by simplifying its planning through the creation of one central document which assigns human and financial resources to activities and also links initiatives to the program's high-level objectives. Doing so would help the PM in deferring lower priority tasks, maintaining focus as well as ensuring an even distribution of work among the officers.
2.3.2 The simplification of planning, as mentioned above, should enable staff to develop concise workplans to guide their activities. The FPDS program would also benefit from adjusting somewhat its preparation of internal documents and tools. The program's biweekly political/economic review could be shortened, perhaps to point form, and the time invested in reviewing and editing reduced. Similarly, prior to producing documents for use within the mission, the program should set expectations in terms of quality and length to avoid overinvesting in internal documents (e.g. briefing notes).
2.3.3 Headquarters observed that the reports emanating from the mission has analysis which was often expressed in less than affirmative terms. The program should ensure that reports are concise, clearly identify the impacts of local developments on Canadian interests in the region and provide recommendations for action, when appropriate.
2.3.4 The program has established a good tool to track all outcalls and the results derived from those meetings. This record of engagements helps to refine the program's network as well as determine important partners for future activities. It is especially valuable given that PMs change every two years due to the assignment cycle of CBS.
2.3.5 As mentioned under the Mission Management section of the report, the mission would benefit from a plan to coordinate advocacy priorities across the programs. This 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 Bangladesh. 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 takes place.
|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 As indicated above, the program already has good performance indicators included in the MPR. This, combined with PMPs, forms the broad framework for performance measurement and strengthening the program planning will also result in stronger performance measurement. To undertake performance measurement more systematically, each event should also be evaluated to identify its contribution to advancing the program's strategic objectives. Results should be reviewed on an ongoing basis and complimented with an annual retreat to validate the related strategies and activities and incorporate lessons learned into future planning.
2.4.2 The PM is not issued a quarterly hospitality advance. Events are undertaken on an ad hoc basis and thus planning is not undertaken.
Recommendations to the Mission
2.5.1 The PM should ensure that all members of the program fully understand their responsibilities. Individual performance should be formally reviewed through the Performance Management Program.
2.5.2 The PM and HOM should meet weekly to review the program's activities and jointly set priorities for deliverables.
2.5.3 A central planning document should be developed to assign human and financial resources to activities and link initiatives to high-level objectives.
2.5.4 A whole-of-government advocacy strategy and plan should be developed for the mission.
2.5.5 Program activities should be reviewed on an ongoing basis with lessons learned applied to future planning.
2.5.6 The use of hospitality budgets should be planned in order to ensure funds are strategically and fully leveraged. The associated documentation should clearly state the purpose of each event and evaluate if, and how, value-for-money was achieved.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
2.5.1 The weekly FPDS meeting has been made more robust with a standing agenda that is circulated the day of the meeting outlining ongoing activities. PMPs have been completed for 2011/12 and are in progress for 2012/13. Responsibilities have been reviewed. Implemented September 2012.
2.5.2 The PM and HOM now meet on a daily basis. The program's activities are discussed and priorities are set for deliverables. Implemented April 2012.
2.5.3 The PM, in consultation with the HOM and the members of the FPDS program, has developed a workplan that outlines the key deliverables of the program. The process of finalizing the allocation of the program's financial resources will be completed soon. In progress for November 2012.
2.5.4 An advocacy plan has been developed for the FPDS program, but more work needs to be done to incorporate other programs. In progress for November 2012.
2.5.5 Following the evaluation of objectives and performance, the FPDS program has changed some of its program activities and is exploring new opportunities for the current year. Activities will be evaluated to determine if they should be continued or if new opportunities should be pursued. Implemented April 2012.
2.5.6 A hospitality strategy has been drafted for future events and is being revised based on the priorities identified in the MPR and the reporting contract. Hospitality diaries with the appropriate supporting documentation are being maintained. In progress for October 2012.
3.1.1 The Commercial Economic (CE) program is managed by an LE-09 trade commissioner reporting to the HOM. He is supported on a part-time basis by the LE-05 social secretary who reports to the HOM. The LE-09 public affairs/education officer is responsible for the education file. The program's financial resources are provided below.
|Client Service Fund (CSF)||25,000|
3.1.2 Bangladesh's economy has been performing well and grew by approximately 6.7% in 2011. Agriculture and services are strong and the country's exports of apparel (currently about 80% of exports) are expected to grow significantly in the medium term. Challenges in infrastructure, high inflation and shortages of electricity and gas are, however, ongoing barriers to continued economic expansion. Canadian exports to Bangladesh in 2011 amounted to $551 million and were heavily concentrated in the agri-food sector. Imports over the same period amounted to over $1 billion.
|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 CE program benefits from a *** LE-09 officer and manages all aspects of the planning and delivery of the program, with the exception of activities related to education. The feedback received from headquarters indicates that clients are very satisfied with the service they receive and that the PM is***.
3.2.2 Overall, the CE plan fulfills its role in outlining the market context and the program's strategy. To make it more effective, the presentation of Canadian interests could be simplified, especially on education, and the document should more clearly identify where the greatest opportunities lie. As well, the level of detail provided on certain activities is very limited and does not clearly justify the use of resources. The program should concisely outline the rationale for each activity, with specific attention given to linking the initiatives to market opportunities and Canadian capacity. Given the small size of the program, required planning need not be overly elaborate or detailed, but it should clearly set out the path for engagement for the year. Strengthening planning will also allow the program to better justify performance targets and measure results.
3.2.3 The level of support received by the CE program from the HOM social secretary has, at times,***. To ensure the program receives the *** level of support, the HOM and CE PM should clearly define the social secretary's role and responsibilities as well as allocate a specific amount of time to the CE program. This reporting structure should be formalized in the mission's organizational chart. Similarly, the CE PM should also *** work more closely with the LE-09 public affairs/education officer in the planning and delivery of the mission's education promotion activities.
|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 The program is very client focussed and responds to all enquiries it receives. At times, however, the program has been providing services beyond those normally offered by the Trade Commission Service. It is important that the program not generate unrealistic expectations with clients or spend too much time and effort in providing services that are not within the program's core mandate.
3.3.2 The program's use of TRIO has been inconsistent. Trade leads have not been entered into the system and reporting is not always undertaken in a timely fashion. The PM should set specific goals with regards to TRIO reporting and develop a plan to ensure all reporting is completed promptly. To ensure accountability, this should be included in his PMP.
|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. The program should review each activity to ensure value-for-money and identify the results obtained. The addition of qualitative indicators will allow the program to better evaluate the quality of support provided to clients and identify which are the highest value-added activities.
An annual review of results will also help the program understand its strengths and weaknesses and to plan strategically for subsequent years.undefined
3.4.2 At present, the CE PM does undertake hospitality events using the HOM's hospitality allocation. As mentioned under the mission management section of the report, the HOM should provide PMs with hospitality allocations and ensure they are used strategically to advance program objectives.
Recommendations to the Mission
3.5.1 The role and responsibilities of the social secretary should be formalized, and a portion of *** time should be dedicated to the CE program.
3.5.2 The CE plan should provide a clearer analysis of the opportunities that exist or are emerging in Bangladesh and how the mission's activities will leverage those opportunities to advance Canadian commercial interests.
3.5.3 The program should ensure that TRIO reporting is completed in a timely fashion and that input is of high quality.
3.5.4 The program should strengthen its performance measurement practices by reviewing its activities annually and applying lessons learned.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
3.5.1 The role and responsibilities of the social secretary have been formalized with 50% of *** time dedicated to the CE program. Implemented August 2012.
3.5.2 The CE plan for 2012/13 is already approved by HQ. However, these elements will be captured in next year's CE plan. In progress for April 2013.
3.5.3 TRIO reporting has been identified as a priority. The program will focus on the timeliness of reporting and quality of input. Implemented May 2012.
3.5.4 The program is using lessons learned from activities to strengthen its performance measurement and inform its future planning. Implemented June 2012.
4.1.1 The Consular program is managed by the AS-06 Management Consular Officer (MCO) with the operational management assumed by the newly-arrived deputy MCO (DMCO) on his first posting. The program is supported by one LE-07 consular officer position although this position was vacant at the time of the inspection ***. A recruitment exercise was completed, and a candidate identified during the course of the inspection. The LE-05 administration assistant currently provides back up assistance.
4.1.2 The program provides approximately 300 passport services and processes approximately 50 citizenship applications and a low volume of notarial requests yearly. There are 378 Canadian citizens identified in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database. The estimated number of Canadians residing in Bangladesh is 3,000, many of whom are dual nationals.
4.1.3 Although low in volume, consular cases can be quite complex and sensitive, dealing primarily with family-related issues such as child abductions, reports of forced marriages, etc. The program receives a steady number of general enquiries by e-mail, telephone and walk-in clients, and has recently seen an increase in the number of passport requests.
|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 functioning well, although the vacancy of the consular officer position has resulted in a temporary backlog. The LE-05 administration assistant has been providing assistance on an acting basis in the interim.
4.2.2 The DMCO reviewed work processes and implemented a number of changes to improve the efficiency of the operations shortly after his arrival. A new system is in place for receiving and processing consular clients which has improved the workflow, allowed for better tracking and has reduced the amount of time spent processing each client. Improvements are required in***.
4.2.3 The DMCO has developed a good workplan which outlines tasks and priorities. He has discussed the program objectives with staff. As a next step, the work plan should be shared with the staff, and regular meetings should take place to discuss priorities, cases and policy/procedural changes. Staff who provide backup assistance should also be kept informed of any policy/procedural changes.
4.2.4 Consular plans and manuals are up to date. The mission emergency plan (MEP) has been developed and was tested in February 2012 during a two-day emergency exercise conducted in cooperation with the Emergency Management Bureau (CED) and the Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Response Group (IRH). The exercise was a success, and the mission has received a lessons learned document. The mission should ensure that recommendations from the lessons learned are implemented and the MEP revised. The Duty Officer's Manual (DOM) was updated in November 2011.
4.2.5 The program maintains a network of contacts with like-minded missions and non- governmental organizations (NGOs) and has established contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government authorities. The program has conducted outreach visits to promote consular awareness and engage with local authorities. A recent visit to Khulna was conducted jointly with the FPDS section. The DMCO met with local authorities, however, turn- out for the consular travel clinic was low. The program plans to conduct further outreach to promote consular awareness in coordination with other mission programs and initiatives.
4.2.6 There are currently nine wardens (eight of whom are in Dhaka), although 18 districts have been identified as requiring a warden presence. A wardens' conference was recently held in February 2012 at the beginning of the emergency management conference. Wardens had not previously been engaged for some time and welcomed the opportunity for contact with the mission. The DMCO plans to review, align the districts and wardens and provide updated lists.
|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 currently experiencing a temporary backlog for the processing of passport applications***. As a result, the mission is having difficulty meeting the passport service delivery standards, but has a plan in place to clear the backlog.
4.3.2 The program has the capacity to provide services in both official languages as the DMCO is bilingual. With the***, there is no current French-speaking LES capacity in the program. However, this will soon change as the successful candidate for the LE-07 consular officer position speaks both official languages.
4.3.3 Although a copy of the official receipt is displayed in the consular waiting area and the consular booth, a copy of the service standards is not posted. In addition, a copy of the fee schedule was available in English only in the booth.
4.3.4 Feedback forms are provided with passport applications, and there is a locked box with feedback forms located in the consular waiting area. Despite the availability of the forms, the program receives only limited feedback. The program could further promote feedback and encourage ROCA registration by providing the forms with all services. Feedback should be shared with the HOM, staff and HQ.
|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.||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|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|
4.4.2 The DMCO and/or MCO authorize all passports ***.
4.4.3 The monthly passport inventories are conducted by the DMCO, and quarterly by the DMCO and HOM. The monthly reconciliation should be conducted with two staff, one of whom must be a CBS.
4.4.5 An inventory of *** was developed prior to the inspection***. This can be further improved to include the name and signature of the holder as well as the date. A template is available in the new Consular Manual.
4.4.6 ***. The mission has ordered a number of security-approved cabinets, and the program should ensure that these items are appropriately stored once the mission receives the cabinets.
4.4.7 There is a backlog of completed passport applications that have to be destroyed in accordance with the passport inventory guidelines.
Recommendations to the Mission
4.5.1 The work plan should be shared with staff and regular meetings should take place to discuss priorities, cases and policy/procedural changes.
4.5.2 The mission should ensure that recommendations from the emergency exercise lessons learned are implemented, and the MEP revised.
4.5.3 The program should recruit wardens for uncovered districts, and regular communication should be established.
4.5.4 A copy of the service standards and fee schedule in both official languages should be posted in the consular waiting area and the booth.
4.5.5 The monthly passport reconciliations should be conducted with two staff, one of whom must be a CBS.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
4.5.1 The workplan for the current year has been shared with the Consular Officer and the Program Assistant, who provides consular backup. Regular Consular meetings take place on a weekly basis and include the Consular Officer, Program Assistant and the Receptionist. Implemented July 2012.
4.5.2 The lessons learned from the exercise have been reviewed and implemented where practical. The MEP will be updated in October in conjunction with the missions EM planning cycle. In progress for November 2012.
4.5.3 The mission held an annual warden meeting in March 2012 and is exploring means to improve communications. Recruiting wardens in the outlying administrative districts of Bangladesh is a challenge ***. The mission continues to examine alternatives in the absence of established wardens and is considering organizing an outreach event with Canadian based in Bangladesh. In progress for February 2013.
4.5.4 A copy of the consular service standards and the fee schedules is available in both official languages in the consular waiting area and the consular booth. Implemented April 2012.
4.5.5 Monthly passport reconciliations are now conducted by the Consular Officer and the DMCO. A quarterly count is completed by the DMCO and HOM. Implemented April 2012.
4.5.6 ***. The list of *** will be updated to include the details of the person responsible. Following the departure of the Consular Officer in January, there was a significant backlog of files which required destruction. The mission has a plan in place to appropriately process the remaining files. In progress for November 2012.
4.5.7 The DMCO is *** with the *** process and*** procedures. The DMCO also reviews services provided and fees collected with the Consular Officer ***. Implemented April 2012.
5.1.1 The Common Services program is managed by an acting AS-06 MCO who is supported by an AS-04 DMCO and a team of 18 LES, including nine general service (GS) staff members. The MCO is also responsible for the security portfolio and is supported by two Military Police Service Specialists.
5.1.2 The program is responsible for providing common services to 52 employees spread over five DFAIT and two partner programs. It is recognized that although the new chancery and OR projects were completed in 2009, the mission has been managing project deficiencies from day one. This has diverted an inordinate amount of time, energy and resources from the overall management of the common services program.
5.1.3 The MCO spent the first two years of *** assignment in DHAKA as the DMCO and is transitioning from the DMCO role to that of MCO. It should be noted that the DMCO, a non- rotational employee, is on his first assignment abroad. ***.
5.1.4 The program has had to deal with unanticipated vacancies of staff in key positions over the past few months. In particular, the *** recently and the program assistant has been required to fill in for the *** in February. While the mission is coping with these vacancies, they have had an effect on overall common service delivery.
|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|
5.1.5 Overall, the program is providing a good level of service to clients. However; it operates in more of a reactive than a proactive mode. A greater emphasis on planning and organization will help to provide a more sustainable level of service to clients. While an in-depth work plan has been developed for the property and security portfolios, work plans for other areas of the program have not yet been created. This would help with planning, organization and service delivery.
5.1.6 Services provided to mission programs are considered by clients to vary from "excellent" to "needs improving". The development and/or updating of formal policies, procedures and service standards would assist in clarifying expectations and meeting overall goals.
5.1.7 Communications within the program can be improved. *** a more formal communication structure is required to ensure that staff have an opportunity to raise concerns and actively participate in the decision-making process. To this end, re-instatement of weekly meetings with section managers may assist in the planning and organizational process. Regular whole-of- common-services and whole-of-section meetings were held until recently, but have been discontinued in favour of bilateral meetings with section heads. It was noted that staff such as drivers and gardeners do not have regular meetings with the MCO, who nevertheless sees them on an informal basis.
|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 effective, although there is some room for improvement. Service standards were last reviewed and updated in February 2010 and may require some adjustments to reflect the current environment.
5.1.9 The mission does not have a formal client feedback mechanism in place that would allow clients to provide comments on services provided. While clients have the option of providing feedback concerning property-related service requests, no other anonymous feedback mechanism is in place. Such a feedback option would assist the mission in further improving the quality of service delivered and in identifying issues as they arise. These in turn can be used by the program to refine processes and procedures as required.
|Key Procurement and Contracting Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|A Contract Review Board (CRB) is in place and operating effectively with terms of reference.||X|
|Procurement and contracting procedures have been documented and communicated to all staff involved in the process.||X|
|Contracting files demonstrate compliance with policies and procedures.||X|
|The mission's multi-year Capital Acquisition Plan is approved by CMM annually.||X|
5.1.10 In general, *** are inconsistent and in need of improvement.
5.1.11 The Contract Review Board appears to exist in name only. No meetings have been held to discuss contracts for over two years, although in September 2011 the MCO had developed a reference guide for board members. The mission has set a $10,000 ceiling for contracts that should be reviewed by the CRB. Given the risk environment, this should be reduced to $5,000. No CRB files were available for review by the inspection team.
5.1.12 The security contract appears to have been contract split for the period covering December 2010 to November 2011. The mission has recently tendered this contract. However, SPP has advised the mission that none of the four bids received meet all the basic criteria. The mission is currently managing the contract with *** on a monthly basis using previous contract rates and will continue to work in close collaboration with SPP to resolve the issue.
5.1.13 The mission has a well-developed multi-year capital acquisition plan in place. However, it is not tabled annually at the CMM for review and approval.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.1.14 Work plans should be developed for all sections of the program.
5.1.15 The program should ensure that policies and procedures are in place and that service standards are updated to reflect current capacity.
5.1.16 The MCO should meet weekly with section managers and periodically with other staff within the program.
5.1.17 A formal client feedback mechanism should be put in place.
5.1.18 The CRB should arrange to formally meet to authorize contracts valued at $5,000 and above.
5.1.19 The capital acquisition plan should be presented to the CMM for approval on an annual basis.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.1.14 A Workplan for the section was developed and posted on the mission Wiki in August 2012. A workplan for finance is being elaborated separately and will be posted once it is completed. In progress for December 2012.
5.1.15 The mission Wiki will continue to be updated with policies and procedures. Service standards have been updated and posted. In progress for April 2013.
5.1.16 The MCO now meets with managers and supervisors weekly. Periodic meetings with all staff are also scheduled. Implemented April 2012.
5.1.17 Two electronic client feedback surveys have been created: a general feedback form will be sent to clients with each completed work order and an annual common service questionnaire is planned for November. Implemented August 2012.
5.1.18 The threshold for the review of contracts by the CRB has been reduced from $10,000 to $5000. The mission is also exploring the possibility of joining Delhi's CRB as a regional participant. The CRB has been merged with CMM, and contracts are discussed as a standing agenda item. Implemented May 2012.
5.1.19 A capital acquisition plan was presented to the CMM in June. Future plans will be presented to the CMM annually to coincide with budget forecast preparations. Implemented July 2012.
5.2.1 The HR functions at the mission are the responsibility of the DMCO who is assisted, as required, by the LE-05 common services program assistant. The section has processed four staffing actions over the past year. Given that the DMCO has recently assumed responsibility for the section, this would be a good opportunity for him to establish and communicate to the assistant a clear set of duties and responsibilities.
|Key HR Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|A Mission HR plan has been developed and submitted to headquarters.||X|
|New LES and CBS employees are provided with an information package on the working conditions, benefits and regulations pertaining to employment at the Mission.||X|
|A coordinated approach is taken with regards to training and a budget has been established.||X|
|Mechanisms are in place to monitor the completion of employee's performance evaluations.||X|
|Employee and position files are complete, maintained separately and properly secured.||X|
5.2.2 Overall, the section is providing programs with a good level of client service. A well- developed HR plan is in place, and certain deficiencies in staff competencies identified in it are being addressed. Arrivals and departures checklists have been developed for CBS. As well, an orientation handbook which contains helpful information and directions has been provided to assist newly arriving staff and families. An LES checklist for newly-hired employees has also been developed.
5.2.3 Although some training has been arranged and future scheduling exists for some employees, there is no mission-wide training program in place. As well, a training coordinator has not been identified.
5.2.4 PMPs are not in place for all staff. It would be helpful if either the MCO or DMCO could be provided with administrator access to the PMP system in order to facilitate access to relevant reports. This would allow the mission to establish a list which would provide a snapshot of the status of PMP reports.
5.2.5 The majority of documents pertaining to each LES and their positions are contained in one file. Position number files have only recently been created, although information has not yet been separated from the personnel file for each employee.
5.2.6 Many job descriptions reviewed are more than five years old and were either undated or lacked the signature of the employee and supervisor. The mission needs to set up a process to review job descriptions, at minimum, every five years or when substantial changes in duties are required.
|Key HR Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Staffing actions are conducted in-line with the Locally-Engaged Staff and HQ Workforce Programs Bureau (ALD) guidelines. Written records supporting the process are maintained and contain required documents and approvals.||X|
|Letters of Offer are signed by the appropriate authority and include the appropriate clauses (e.g. values and ethics, etc.).||X|
|LES accrued leave and deductions are recorded and the related liabilities are monitored.||X|
5.2.7 Overall, HR processes and internal controls were found to be in place, although there is room for improvement in the maintenance of documentation and files.
5.2.8 The recruitment process can be challenging as, at times, over 500 applications are received for advertised position openings, involving a significant investment of resources and time. A competencies and aptitude assessment has been established for all competitions. This is seen as a good practice whereby the mission has in effect raised the bar for future recruitments in an attempt to match job requirements with the stated knowledge and experience. Recent competition files reviewed were incomplete, missing data and generally in disarray.
5.2.9 Members of the Inspection team met with LES members of the LESMCB. Some of the issues raised include:
- The total compensation review (TCR) and deadline for completion. Members suggested that it would be helpful to receive an explanation of the process;
- A need for information on policies for travel, local transport, carryover of leave credits, and the application of overtime; and
- Hours of work, cellular phone policy restrictions, access to the chancery and potential difficulties going home during political disturbances/rallies, etc.
5.2.10 General service staff interviewed included drivers, cleaners, OR staff, and the gardener. While all expressed their appreciation for being able to work for the High Commission, the issues of wages and reimbursement for medical expenses appear to be causing them real concern. For instance:
- ***. Some staff felt inequity with regards to the purchasing power that their office colleagues enjoy. The high inflation (10% last year) has eroded their income further.
- GS staff expressed concern regarding the delays in processing medical bills, which results in them being out of pocket up to four months. GS staff usually use medical facilities located in their villages where receipts are provided although these are regularly scrutinized and at times simply not reimbursed.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.2.11 The mission should designate a staff member as the training coordinator and a mission-wide training plan should be established.
5.2.12 The MCO should seek authority for administrator access to the PMP program that would allow for report retrieval.
5.2.13 Separate files should be created to maintain specific personnel and position information.
5.2.14 Job descriptions should be updated every five years or when a substantial change in duties occurs.
5.2.15 The mission should establish a process to prepare HR files and use tabs to properly separate and store information in chronological order for ease of reference. The Locally Engaged Staff Services Bureau (ALD) competition file checklist should be used as a reference.
5.2.16 The mission should consult with ALD to verify if data collected as part of the TCR and salary review process reflects current market conditions to ensure that compensation is competitive and fair in its treatment of staff.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.2.11 The DMCO has been designated as the training coordinator and is working closely with PMs to develop a mission-wide training plan. In progress for November 2012.
5.2.12 The DMCO has obtained administrator access for the PMP program. Implemented June 2012.
5.2.13 Separate position and personnel files have been established and clear processes are being adhered to in terms of segregating information according to guidelines provided by ALD. The mission is reviewing all personnel and position files to ensure that documentation is filed appropriately. In progress for January 2013.
5.2.14 All mission job descriptions have been revised and sent to employees and their respective managers for review. In progress for November 2012.
5.2.15 A process to prepare HR files has been implemented, and checklists have been developed based on the references provided by ALD. Implemented July 2012.
5.2.16 The mission contacted ALD to verify the TCR salary data for the GS staff. The mission is working closely with ALD and expects a response shortly. Implemented July 2012.
5.3.1 The Physical Resources functions at the mission are the responsibility of the AS-06 MCO who is supported by a team of 13 LES including: a property manager, a materiel management assistant (position currently vacant), a maintenance assistant, a facilities manager, a facilities technical assistant, four drivers, three bearers and a club gardener.
5.3.2 Property assets include a Crown-owned compound that accommodates the chancery, Official Residence (OR) and recreational club facilities. All 15 staff quarters (SQs) are Crown- leased and are located in two adjacent neighbourhoods in central Dhaka. The official vehicle fleet consists of *** 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 is 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|
5.3.1 Overall, the property section is *** managed with a solid planning base and high levels of reported client satisfaction. It operates in a difficult environment characterized by an increasingly competitive market for suitable housing, a harsh climate posing maintenance and storage challenges, regular power failures, high earthquake risks with no local seismic construction standards, as well as a lack of local technical expertise and access to quality materials and equipment. There has, however, been a noticeable improvement in power supply since the mission transferred to the Diplomatic Service power line.
5.3.2 A number of best practices were observed, from the sharing of a list of approved and reliable contractors with like-minded missions to the leveraging of regional networks. Three staff recently visited the Canadian High Commission in Delhi for training and coaching. The section has also developed a high quality work plan that is used to set priorities and to guide activities.
5.3.3 The chancery was relocated into a new, purpose-built structure in 2009, and a number of fit-up and ongoing maintenance issues have only recently been brought to a manageable level.
This need to respond to issues arising from the new building has meant that the mission was, until recently, unable to devote time and resources to long-term planning. Nevertheless, the chancery and adjacent OR are noteworthy architectural accomplishments, providing quality accommodation to their occupants.
5.3.4 The current MCO had been managing this section in her capacity as DMCO until September 2011. At that time, responsibilities were undertaken by the new DMCO. However, management for the section has since reverted back to the responsibility of the MCO. The previous materiel management assistant *** and has yet to be replaced.***, no handover notes had been prepared, thus causing a gap regarding corporate memory and business continuity.
5.3.5 While the property section's plans and service standards are in place and up-to-date, they could be better communicated, both within the section and throughout the mission as a whole. The capital acquisition plan, for instance, is not submitted for review and input at CMM. It was noted that the use of the *** service request system had improved service delivery and fundamentally changed the way the section responded to client requests.
5.3.6 The facilities manager and the facilities technician advised that they were required to undertake frequent and burdensome supervision responsibilities when monitoring external contractors, taking them away from their regular technical activities. They also indicated their desire to undertake more technical training, particularly with regards to operating and maintenance of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
5.3.7 Annual staff quarter inspections using a standard checklist are not being conducted with the occupant. The process has so far been ad-hoc in nature, with staff using blank sheets to record items rather than using a prepopulated checklist to guide the inspection. SQs visited during the inspection were well maintained and occupants were generally satisfied with support and services provided by the section.
|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|
5.3.8 Overall, internal controls were in place, although increased attention is required on maintaining and verifying inventories. In particular, assets stored *** are *** and are difficult to access due to the manner in which they are stored. The *** areas are overflowing and need to be cleaned up in order to properly access and *** for assets.
5.3.9 In general, inventories of SQs were well maintained. It was noted that no inventory of assets for the OR was in place at the time of the current HOM's arrival, thus hindering the mission's ability to verify the quantity, location and condition of assets. A new baseline has since been drawn with the new HOM, which will be compared to a previous inventory completed with mission involvement. The property section has begun to assume greater responsibility for furnishings and furniture provided in the OR.
5.3.10 The process for monthly payment of gas, water and electricity bills for the SQs, involving manual meter readings and the use of utility company blank invoices populated by LE staff, has not yet been documented and is not subject to spot checks by CBS. Staff routinely use blank invoices to record usage levels and submit these to the utility company prior to an invoice being issued.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.3.11 The property section should publish and communicate its service standards to all staff.
5.3.12 The capital acquisition plan, as a mission management tool, should be submitted annually to the CMM for approval.
5.3.13 Staff quarter inspections should be conducted annually by a member of the property section in the presence of the SQ occupant, using a standard pre-populated check list.
5.3.14 Assets in storage should be properly identified, inventoried and stored in a manner that provides easy access.
5.3.15 The inventories at the OR and SQs should be verified with the occupant at the time of first occupancy.
5.3.16 The gas, water and electricity payment procedures should be documented and subjected to spot checks by CBS staff.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.3.11 The property section's services standards were updated and posted to the Wiki. Implemented August 2012.
5.3.12 A capital acquisition plan was presented to the CMM in June. Future plans will be presented to the CMM annually to coincide with budget forecast preparations. Implemented July 2012.
5.3.13 The mission plans to inspect SQs in September. In progress for October 2012.
5.3.14 The closure of the CIC section has resulted in surplus furniture that will be disposed by auction. Following that, the mission will clean the warehouse, take an inventory of all assets in storage and ensure the remaining items are accessible. In progress for February 2013.
5.3.15 SQ inventories are reviewed with the occupants within 30 days of occupancy. The OR inventories are in the process of being completed. In progress for November 2012.
5.3.16 The materiel assistant and property manager have taken responsibility for the payment for gas, water and electricity and will audit bills prior to handing them to the accounts section for payment. The MCO and/or DMCO will conduct spot checks to ensure accuracy. Implemented August 2012.
5.4.1 The Finance section is managed by the AS-06 MCO, with daily operations handled by an LE-07 head accountant and an LE-05 assistant accountant. Both accountants are long serving employees who *** provide a *** level of service to their clients.
|Key Finance Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Roles and responsibilities ensure adequate segregation of duties.||X|
|The section employs methods to minimize disruption (e.g. setting of "quiet hours" and controlling access to the finance section).||X|
|The section has explored alternate methods to minimize transactions and reduce reliance on cash (i.e. acquisition cards, electronic fund transfers).||X|
|Payment runs are kept to a minimum, but are sufficient to provide good client service.||X|
5.4.2 Overall, the section is operating *** despite substantial challenges in the local environment, including low technological advancement in banking processes ***. Room for improvement was noted with regards *** and streamlining certain processes to minimize transactional workload.
5.4.3 At the time of the inspection, the MCO did not have access to IMS and was relying on the accountants to generate all reports. *** training for the MCO and authorization to access IMS is deemed a priority and should be arranged immediately. It was also noted that the DMCO is only minimally involved in financial processes. An increased DMCO participation in the financial management of the mission would benefit the mission in terms of capacity but would also constitute an important professional development opportunity for ***.
5.4.4 Segregation of duties between the accountants in most cases was observed, although there were occasions where the same individual performing data entry was also undertaking the print-cheque function for a given transaction. This should be avoided when operationally feasible.
5.4.5 The section did not have a work plan in place, with its operations being described as "running on autopilot". A work plan would allow the section to better manage its use of resources, prioritize activities and ensure consistent delivery of service. The latter may be further enhanced by the establishment and publication of clear service standards which would enable the section to ensure that expectations are set and met.
5.4.6 A number of opportunities exist to minimize transactional workload such as an increased use of electronic payments (for established vendors and salary payments) and obtaining credit facilities from merchants that would provide for monthly invoicing and the use of acquisition cards. The mission should be proactive in this regard and make it a practice to enquire if contractors and suppliers are open to these alternative methods for invoicing and payment.
|Key Finance Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The mission's bank reconciliations are reviewed and signed-off on a monthly basis.||X|
|The asset and liability report is reviewed on a monthly basis.||X|
|Financial signing authorities are exercised by individuals who possess the appropriate delegation of authority.||X|
|A CBS receives the original monthly bank statement directly from the bank and reviews it prior to giving it to the accountant.||X|
|Official receipts are provided to clients at the time of payment and to internal staff when funds are transferred (i.e. from Consular to Finance).||X|
|Reconciliations of any funds transferred within the mission are conducted in the presence of two staff.||X|
|Monthly reconciliations of immigration fees are completed and the EXT-1203 is signed by the appropriate authority.||X|
|Travel and hospitality claim processes ensure that policies and guidelines are adhered to and that the accountant verifies the completeness and accuracy of the claim.||X|
|Reimbursement of HonCon operational expenses is based on an established agreement.||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|
5.4.7 Although many key processes and internal controls are in place, ***.
5.4.8 The mission can improve the reimbursement process for OR supplies, which is currently undocumented and ad-hoc in nature. A system could be implemented whereby the mission purchases all supplies for the OR and the HOM reimburses the mission for personal usage based on an established percentage.
5.4.9 Procedures surrounding CBS reimbursement for personal use of services and for payments made on their behalf also require strengthening. The mission is currently accepting payments from CBS although official receipts are issued for the amount owing rather than the amount actually paid, with the finance section waiting to balance the transaction by providing change at a later date. This should be rectified in order for the cash on hand in the finance section to consistently balance.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.4.11 The DMCO should be regularly involved in financial operations, from IMS access to bank reconciliations and FINSTAT preparation.
5.4.12 Segregation of duties should be strengthened by ensuring that data entry and cheque printing are not handled by the same employee for a given transaction.
5.4.13 The mission should establish a detailed work plan for the Finance section.
5.4.14 The mission should explore options to streamline its processes by making greater use of electronic payments, seeking credit facilities with vendors and making purchases using acquisition cards.
5.4.15 The asset and liability report should be reviewed by the MCO on a monthly basis.
5.4.16 The mission should standardize and document the reimbursement process for OR consumable supplies.
5.4.17 The mission should only accept exact amounts from CBS for the payment of their personal use of mobile phones.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.4.10 The MCO *** monitors and reviews reports using IMS, as well as hard copies generated by the accountants. Implemented April 2012.
5.4.11 The DMCO took the online FINSTAT training and will be now submitting the quarterly FINSTATS and bank reconciliations. Implemented September 2012.
5.4.12 The reasons for segregating duties were explained to employees, and a clear separation of duties was implemented. Implemented April 2012.
5.4.13 A workplan for the Finance section will be developed in discussion and consultation with the accountants. In progress for November 2012.
5.4.14 The mission has met with the bank to discuss online payments and is working with headquarters to determine the appropriate IT requirements and approvals. In progress for November 2012.
5.4.15 The MCO is now reviewing the asset and liability report both through IMS and by a hard copy. Implemented August 2012.
5.4.16 The mission will refer to the recently published procedures and ensure that cost recovery for consumable supplies is applied by the end of the calendar year. In progress for January 2013.
5.4.17 CBS were informed of the requirement to pay phone bills with exact amounts, and the accountants were instructed to not accept payments unless it was for the exact amount of the bill. Implemented April 2012.
5.5.1 Under the direction of the MCO, the IM-IT section is managed by an LE-07 locally engaged information technology professional (LEITP). The section provides services to 52 indeterminate employees and 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 classification level of the LEITP position is an issue. In 2008, the Information Management and Technology Bureau (AID), with support from the Locally Engaged Staff Services Bureau (ALD), recommended that missions with only one LEITP on site should classify the position at the LE-08 level. There are 11 missions around the world that were identified, DHAKA being one of them. Dhaka's position is the only one still classified at the LE-07 level. ***.
5.5.3 The mission does not have an IM-IT committee in place to provide direction and oversight for IM/IT functions and to provide guidance in the development of business continuity plans for the MEP. Such a committee is a standard requirement for a mission this size.
|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|
5.5.4 While the section is functioning *** and is providing clients with *** level of service, it would benefit from establishing a work plan that would identify daily, weekly and monthly taskings. This would provide the LEITP an opportunity to better organize and plan his workload.
5.5.5 Service standards for the section are not in place and the LEITP simply manages client requests on a reactive basis. Service standards could be used to establish and meet client expectations as well as to provide the LEITP with a planning tool.
5.5.6 A client feedback form that could be used to measure client satisfaction with services provided, is not available. This would provide management with information to adjust service delivery times or processes as required.
5.5.7 The development of work plans, service standards and the client feedback form would assist the LEITP in delivering quality services on a sustainable basis.
5.5.8 The LEITP routinely advises staff of various ways to efficiently store documents other than using the H: and I: drives. This has resulted in 25% increased space available on the main server.
|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 were effective, although there are some improvements required.
5.5.12 Inventories of IT assets are current. A sign out sheet is used for most items on loan to staff but is not always used if the loan is expected to be for a short period of time. In order to better track these items, a sign out sheet should be employed for all on-loan items.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.5.14 The mission should take action to properly classify the LEITP position.
5.5.15 The mission should create an IM-IT committee.
5.5.16 A work plan, service standards and a client feedback form should be developed and implemented for the section.
5.5.18 A sign out register should be used for all items on loan to staff.
5.5.19 The mission should designate *** as storage space.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.5.14 The classification of the LEITP position has been reviewed and authorization has been received to redress the classification from LE-07 to LE-08. Implemented July 2012.
5.5.15 The mission has created an IM-IT committee that will meet on a quarterly basis. Implemented July 2012.
5.5.16 A detailed workplan for the IM-IT section has been created. Service Standards have been posted on the mission's Wiki. Implemented August 2012.
5.5.17 ***. Implemented April 2012.
5.5.18 A register has been created, and staff will be asked to sign it when borrowing IT equipment. Implemented August 2012.
5.5.19 A *** as storage space. In progress for October 2012.
|* 1 FTE vacant|
|Head of Mission||7||2||5|
- 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: