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Inspection of the High Commission of Canada - Yaoundé, Cameroon
December 6-13, 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 HOM and program managers, a meeting with locally engaged staff (LES) representatives of the LES Management Consultation Board (LESMCB), 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 Yaoundé, Cameroon from December 6 to 13, 2012. A previous audit/inspection of these programs took place in December 2006.
The High Commission of Canada in Yaoundé is a small-sized mission with 4 Canada-based staff (CBS) and 15 locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for program delivery in Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Gabon. The mission has Honorary Consuls in Douala, Cameroon; Bangui, CAR; and Libreville, Gabon.
Despite working in a challenging environment, the mission functions well and delivers its mandate effectively with dedicated and motivated staff advancing Canada’s objectives in the region. A number of the mission’s recent activities have taken place within the context of the celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and Cameroon.
The FPDS program is *** managed with a steady workload that includes bilateral relations with Cameroon, the CAR and Gabon. The program has leveraged the 50 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and Cameroon to effectively promote and position Canada within a wide range of activities. The program budget is centrally managed with allocations made as required.
The CE program in Yaoundé is operating generally well. The program’s priority sectors are education and infrastructure, with mining as an emerging sector. Canada and Cameroon have agreed to begin negotiations towards a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). The program is led by an LE-09 Trade Commissioner (TC) who reports at the mission to the FPDS program manager (PM) and the Head of Mission (HOM). A hub and spoke relationship exists between Yaoundé and Lagos, where the Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos is the Regional Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) responsible for the regional commercial program. It would be beneficial to have greater *** in driving various program initiatives and providing guidance to trade commissioners.
The Consular program is *** managed and is supported by three Honorary Consuls. The mission provides consular service to Australians under the Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement. The program is modest in size but efficiently addresses clients’ needs and meets service delivery standards.
The Common Services program functions well and provides services to 19 employees. The program operates as a cohesive unit in a challenging local environment which is compounded by the poor condition of the current chancery. The relocation of the chancery is planned for May 2013 and a new office space, which offers a significantly better *** and health environment, has been rented since January 2012. This relocation should take place as soon as possible to improve overall conditions.
A total of 63 inspection recommendations are raised in the report, 59 are addressed to the mission and 4 are addressed to headquarters. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. Of the 63 recommendations, management has stated that 32 have been implemented. For each of the remaining 31 recommendations, management has indicated the initiatives in progress or the intended future action.
1.1.1 The High Commission in Yaoundé is a small mission with 4 Canada-based staff (CBS) and 15 locally engaged staff (LES) responsible for departmental program delivery in Cameroon, Gabon and the Central African Republic. It also provides support for Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) projects and non-resident accredited partner department representation from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Department of National Defence (DND) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The mission also supports Quebec Immigration visits.
1.1.2 The mission is managed by an EX-01 Head of Mission (HOM), acting in an EX-02 position, who is responsible for overall mission operations and oversees the operational and capital budgets of approximately $850,000 and $20,000 respectively. The mission also manages a property portfolio that includes a Crown-leased chancery in a multi-tenant building, a Crown-leased official residence as well as three Crown-leased staff quarters. Since January 2012, the mission has also leased a building which will become the new chancery. The target date for the relocation is May 2013.
1.2 Mission Management
|Key Mission Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The mission's strategic objectives are consistent with Government and DFAIT priorities and guide staff performance measurement objectives.||X|
|The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) is an effective forum to review and make decisions on mission policies and management issues.||X|
|Mission Management ensures that employees remain informed of key priorities and common services policy decisions.||X|
|The Locally Engaged Staff Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) is representative of mission programs and employee levels, and is utilized by both LES and mission management to facilitate dialogue.||X|
|Mission committees are meeting regularly and effectively discharging their governance responsibilities.||X|
|Canadian public service values and ethics are promoted and reinforced, and employees are aware of available support resources (values and ethics, staff relations, etc.).||X|
1.2.1 The HOM is an *** manager who is *** with his staff. He fosters a sense of team and promotes a collaborative work environment. The management team works well together and is guided by a well-defined Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) document. They are supported by the HOM in the achievement of program objectives.
1.2.2 Communications are effective through the Committee on Mission Management (CMM), daily planning meetings presided by the HOM and Locally Engaged Staff Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) meetings. The HOM holds a separate daily planning meeting which includes the FPDS program manager, Trade Commissioner, Public Affairs Officer, and other senior LES. This meeting would benefit from the inclusion of the Management Consular Officer (MCO) as elements of day-to-day program planning invariably involve some degree of cooperation with the Common Services program. Mission staff noted a marked improvement in the mission’s internal management and communications since the arrival ***.
1.2.3 The CMM presently includes all CBS and several LES program officers. The effectiveness of the CMM would benefit from more focussed discussions on mission management resulting in clear decisions. In some situations,***. It would be beneficial to distinguish between specific policy/forward planning CMMs as well as separate operational/administrative CMMs with an expanded membership.
1.2.4 A significant vulnerability for the mission is that *** are currently scheduled to end ***. For a small mission like Yaoundé, *** such an across-the-board change would entail, presents a number of risks.***.
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 A whole-of-government approach is incorporated into the MPR planning process. Although there is no resident partner department presence in Yaoundé, the HOM and the mission do consider partner interests in their management of the relationship with Cameroon and the other countries of accreditation, and work effectively with colleagues from CIC, DND CIDA and Natural Resources Canada.
1.3.2 During the past year, CIDA ended its bilateral program in Cameroon and all Canadian resources have been removed. At the time of the inspection, there remained one LES who is responsible for the regional CIDA program until March 31, 2013. She participates in the CMM and in the daily mission planning meetings. The CIC program at the mission has been reduced to the issuing of diplomatic visas, while a visa application centre (VAC), independent of the mission, processes all other visa applications.
1.4 Emergency Preparedness
|Key Emergency Preparedness Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The mission emergency plan (MEP) is up to date.||X|
|An emergency response team (ERT) has been identified and members are aware of their roles and responsibilities.||X|
|The MEP is tested regularly through the conduct of exercises and simulations.||X|
|The mission has identified and alternate command post and the appropriate secondary communications systems are in place and tested regularly.||X|
|Consultation occurs with like-minded and neighbouring Canadian missions regarding emergency planning.||X|
1.5 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 Official languages are respected at the mission and there is overall sufficient capacity to serve clients in both official languages except for the ***. A bilingual Official Languages Co-ordinator has been appointed and signage throughout the mission is bilingual.
1.6 Management Controls
|Key Management Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Security policies and regulations are respected and promoted.||X|
|The quarterly reconciliation of passport inventory is properly completed and certified.||X|
|Program managers are provided regular financial/budget updates to facilitate effective management and decision making.||X|
|A coordinated approach is taken with regards to training and a budget has been established.||X|
|Bank reconciliations are properly reviewed and signed-off on a monthly basis.||X|
|Mission hospitality guidelines are appropriate and reviewed annually by CMM.||X|
|Hospitality activities are properly documented, demonstrate value-for-money and align with mission objectives.||X|
|Mechanisms are in place to monitor the completion of employee's performance evaluations.||X|
|The Honorary Consul (HonCon) has an up-to-date mandate letter and performance is reviewed annually.||X|
1.6.1 Overall, most management controls are in place and the mission functions well, although specific areas identified for improvement include *** and training.
1.6.2 Without the presence of an active *** remains an area for improvement.
1.6.3 While program managers are provided with regular updates on their budgets, certain parts of program budgets are centrally managed. This approach helps maintain a coherent approach across programs but also limits program managers’ ability to plan activities and events that would further advance individual program objectives.
1.6.4 The mission Human Resources (HR) Plan outlines various activities, including general training. The implementation aspect of the training plan should be improved so that it may be executed by all programs. The current approach has the MCO presenting budget information to program managers, then leaving them to formulate training needs and plans for their respective programs. Additional support and guidance from the MCO is needed to support program managers in plans to provide training for staff.
1.6.5 The mission has an established tracking mechanism to monitor the status of employees’ performance evaluations. This is tracked manually by the mission or can be done using the function in the performance evaluation program that can give access to this information to the MCO.
1.6.6 Bank reconciliations are normally ready to send to SMFF within two weeks of the month end. The MCO *** using the Integrated Management System (IMS) financial software, which ***. However, this is mitigated by his use of the Finstat report entries and the overall small amount of cash handled by the mission.
1.6.7 The mission’s three HonCons do not have formal agreement letters with the mission where details of reimbursable expenses are listed. While charges encountered were reasonable, the formalization of this arrangement would further strengthen existing controls.
Recommendations to the Mission
1.7.1 The HOM should include the MCO in daily planning meetings with program heads.
1.7.2 The mission should hold regular CBS-only CMM meetings to address specific issues and plans.
1.7.3 The mission should ***.
1.7.4 The mission should identify and put in place *** team with clear membership and responsibilities.
1.7.5 The mission should assess whether it is possible to further undertake budget allocations at the program level.
1.7.6 The mission should ensure that all staff in positions interacting with the public are capable of serving clients in both official languages.
1.7.7 The mission should review its training processes to ensure a mission-wide coordinated plan is adopted.
1.7.8 Operating expenses for HonCons should be outlined in formal agreement letters.
Recommendation to the Assignments and Executive Management Bureau (HFD)
1.7.9 HFD should plan to address mission continuity due to the expected turnover of ***.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
1.7.1 The MCO is a permanent participant in the daily planning meetings with other mission program heads. Implemented January 2013.
1.7.2 Regular CBS-only CMM meetings have been put in place. Implemented January 2013.
1.7.3 ***. In progress for October 2013.
1.7.4 The mission has put in place *** team (January 2013) with clearly identified roles and responsibilities. Subsequent meetings are scheduled for September 2013 to further define expectations. Implemented October 2013.
1.7.5 Program manager budgets have been clearly identified and on-going monitoring takes place at regular CMM. Implemented July 2013.
1.7.6 Mission will ensure that all staff in positions interacting with the public are capable of serving clients in both official languages. Implemented July 2013.
1.7.7 Training needs are identified as part of the performance evaluation process. The MCO consolidates training requests and prepares a training strategy for review and approval by CMM. CMM allocates funds accordingly and results are evaluated by supervisor. Implemented July 2013
1.7.8 Tasking letters now identify reimbursable expenses. Implemented July 2013.
HFD Actions and Timeframes
1.7.9 The Ex Resourcing Division (HFR) and HFP to consult this fall to ensure *** are appropriately staggered in order to ensure operational continuity at the mission. In progress for Fall 2013.
Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)
2.1.1 The FPDS program is managed by an FS-03 officer, who is supported by an LE-09 Public Affairs officer. The program budget for the mission is centrally managed with allocations made as required. Travel and overtime budgets for the program have not been specifically allocated. However, the program manager indicated that obtaining funds is not an issue when required either for travel or hospitality.
|Post Initiative Fund||$3,000|
2.1.2 The program has a steady workload that includes managing bilateral relations with Cameroon, Gabon and the Central African Republic. Cameroon is the principal focus of work. Priority themes for the program have been: strengthening governance, electoral reform and human rights, including persecution on the basis of sexual orientation. The mission used the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Canada-Cameroon diplomatic relations in 2012 to showcase planned activities and reinforce ties with Cameroonian authorities and civil society.
2.2 Planning and Program Management
|Key FPDS Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|FPDS plans are aligned with the priorities and objectives outlined in the mission plan and informed by departmental and geographic bureau guidance and objectives.||X|
|FPDS plans outline intended outcomes and results are measurable.||X|
|Internal communications within the program effectively support program delivery.||X|
2.2.1 The FPDS program is functioning well and delivers activities and initiatives that are in line with Mission Planning and Reporting document (MPR) objectives. The program manager is *** and works *** with the Head of Mission (HOM) and other mission colleagues. Their complementary strengths, but similar and consistent management styles, are appreciated by mission staff. They promote a convivial work environment but also convey clearly, expectations and mission objectives. The FPDS program manager’s previous posting in Cameroon brings added experience and a degree of familiarity with the country and the mission that is beneficial.
2.2.2 The FPDS program manager conducted a limited number of program specific events which could serve to develop his network even further and to heighten Canada’s visibility with key interlocutors in government and civil society.
2.2.3 The Public Affairs officer has been with the mission for many years ***. A large amount of his time seems to be devoted to responding to enquiries from local universities and contacts seeking information on Canada that is readily available from a myriad of other sources online and elsewhere. In certain instances, *** deprives the mission of untapped potential to provide value-added work that could bolster mission reporting and analysis or provide timely support to the HOM and FPDS program manager.
2.2.4 To improve consistency and provide a base for monitoring and review, a workplan for the program should be developed and formalized. This workplan would serve to operationalize objectives by articulating strategies, activities, expected results, outputs and performance indicators, as well as demonstrating areas for collaboration and the application of modern advocacy principles.
|Key FPDS Implementation Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The program facilitates a mission-wide coordinated approach to advocacy and common messaging.||X|
|Program reporting is in-line with mission and government objectives, timely and relevant.||X|
|Activities and initiatives are aligned with the mission’s key priorities and with the principles of the New Way Forward FPDS Renewal initiative.||X|
|Relations with other mission programs facilitate program delivery (e.g. public affairs).||X|
|The program develops and maintains a contact base that meets programs needs and objectives.||X|
2.3.1 There is good cooperation by the program with other mission programs, notably to promote Canadian business opportunities in the mining and energy sectors, and post-secondary education in Canada.
2.3.2 Program reporting is relevant and appreciated by HQ. However, articulating a more formal workplan and reorienting some *** would enable the mission to provide additional and more varied reporting on issues of interest for Canada. Feedback from HQ on mission reporting and its future direction would also be beneficial.
2.3.3 The program has not aligned specific activities and initiatives with the mission’s key priorities and New Way Forward principles. Once completed this would allow the FPDS program to define and prioritize its activities more precisely along with related timelines, required resources, outputs and expected results.
2.3.4 The program should further build its contact base to strengthen its ability to deliver on its mandate. This can be achieved by the expansion of focused hospitality activities aiming to extend its contacts in key areas of public and civil society.
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 It would be useful for the program to develop and formalize an advocacy strategy for the mission that will more precisely translate and itemize specific strategies and activities related to MPR commitments. The advocacy strategy would be reviewed and approved by the CMM and should align closely with FPDS plans, identifying related activities and events, required resources, timelines, outputs and expected results.
2.4.2 The plan would provide an operational tool to schedule, monitor and track activities. It would facilitate the prioritization of conflicting demands and highlight ongoing resource requirements. Once implemented, the plan can be used to capture outputs and related results in order to assess success and adjust programing accordingly.
Recommendations to the Mission
2.5.1 The FPDS plans should include measurable criteria to assess successful outcomes.
2.5.2 The program should align specific activities and initiatives with mission objectives and the principles of the New Way Forward.
2.5.3 The program should create a hospitality plan detailing activities in order to broaden its contact base.
2.5.4 The FPDS PM should make greater use of hospitality to develop his network and heighten Canada’s visibility.
2.5.5 The program should develop performance measurement tools against which it can assess the achievement of its objectives.
2.5.6 The program should *** to support more strategic program and mission objectives.
2.5.7 The program should further align its advocacy strategy to MPR commitments including a performance measurement system.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
2.5.1 A mission management retreat will be held in mid-September to finalize FPDS plans that will clearly identify measurable criteria to assess results. In progress for September 2013.
2.5.2 A mission management retreat will be held in mid-September to finalize FPDS plans. These plans will ensure that specific activities and initiatives are aligned with mission objectives and the principles of the New Way Forward. In progress for September 2013.
2.5.3 A mission management retreat will be held in mid-September to finalize FPDS plans at which time a hospitality plan detailing activities to broaden its contact base will be identified. In progress for September 2013
2.5.4 Program manager budgets have been clearly identified and on-going monitoring takes place at regular CMM. A mission management retreat will be held in mid-September to finalize FPDS plans at which time hospitality events will be identified to strengthen the programs contact base and heighten Canada’s visibility. In progress for September 2013.
2.5.5 A mission management retreat will be held in mid-September to finalize FPDS plans that will clearly identify measurable criteria to assess results. In progress for September 2013.
2.5.6 Meetings between the HOM, FPDS Program Manager and Public Affairs officer to *** have already begun. A mission management retreat will be held in mid-September to finalize FPDS plans and clearly define objectives and performance measures. These objectives will form part of this year’s PMP process. In progress for September 2013.
2.5.7 A mission management retreat will be held in mid-September to finalize FPDS plans that will ensure its advocacy strategy is aligned to MPR commitments. In progress for September 2013.
Commercial Economic (CE)
3.1.1 The Commercial Economic (CE) program is led by an LE-09 Trade Commissioner (TC) and an LE-07 TC. The LE-09 TC reports to the FPDS program manager for internal planning and to the HOM for program direction. A hub and spoke relationship exists between Yaoundé and the mission in Lagos. The Regional Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) in Lagos is responsible for the regional commercial program in addition to his management role as Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, resulting in a significant workload.
3.1.2 The CE program in Cameroon also covers the Central African Republic and Gabon. The program’s financial resources are provided below. The amounts indicated are notional as travel, hospitality and operations budgets are integrated into those of the HOM who oversees these activities.
|Client Service Fund (CSF)||$3,682|
|Other fund allocations||$10,500|
3.1.3 Cameroon has enjoyed a decade of strong economic performance, with gross domestic product (GDP) growing at an average of four percent per year. Cameroon's per capita GDP was estimated as one of the ten highest in sub-Saharan Africa. During the period 2004-2008, public debt was reduced from over 60 percent of GDP to 10 percent and official reserves quadrupled to over USD $3 billion. Cameroon is part of the Bank of Central African States of which it is the dominant economy.
3.1.4 In Cameroon, the CE program’s priority sectors are education and infrastructure, with mining as an emerging sector. Canada and Cameroon have agreed to begin negotiations towards a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). A FIPA would stimulate mutually beneficial economic activity, foster the development of economic cooperation between the two countries and promote sustainable development. The successful conclusion of a FIPA would help *** Canadian companies looking to invest in Cameroon and allow them to take advantage of many opportunities in the mining, forestry, infrastructure, and energy sectors. Rounds of talks are scheduled to take place in the coming months.
3.2 Planning and Program Management
|Key CE Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Program objectives reflect departmental plans and priorities, including partner departments where applicable.||X|
|Performance targets are defined, clear and measurable.||X|
|Internal program communication effectively supports program delivery.||X|
3.2.1 The CE program is operating generally well and is aligned with the mission plan. It benefits from *** TCs, who work *** to achieve the program’s objectives. The guidance of the FPDS PM and the HOM’s leadership further enhance the program. Regular meetings take place with the HOM to plan activities, events and to guide the overall direction of the program. While operations are effective overall, there is a need for the *** to take a stronger and more active role by engaging officers in structured dialogue on strategic priorities. Given the *** and additional responsibilities, the traditional hub and spoke relationship between Lagos and Yaoundé is limited in its ability to ensure the EC program in Yaoundé has the appropriate level of strategic program oversight and guidance.
3.2.2 The Regional STC, who arrived at post three months prior to the start of the inspection, had yet to initiate any direct communication with mission management or commercial officers. Monthly conference calls organized by the Geographic desk officer at HQ were initiated and maintained to establish communication between the mission and the Regional STC. When the desk officer was on leave the calls ended. Normally, ***. While the HQ-led calls are useful, the program would benefit from increased participation from the Regional STC in driving various program initiatives and providing guidance to trade commissioners to have a more coordinated approach to program delivery.
3.2.3 The lack of direct communication between the *** has been the cause of concern among them regarding his involvement and availability. As a result, the mission has operated independently with little oversight or input ***
3.2.4 Detailed deliverables within the framework of an MOU between the mission and the Lagos regional office are required. The MOU would further delineate the level of involvement expected in the annual planning process, the extent of guidance and advice to be provided to trade commissioners, as well as the planned visits to the mission and countries of accreditation with the Regional STC.
3.2.5 Separate to the education enquiries received by the FPDS program, a significant portion of the CE program’s resources are dedicated to the education sector activities. Efforts should be made to ensure recurring activities do not take a considerable portion of the program’s resources to the detriment of the potential in other sectors.
|Key CE Implementation Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Business plan objectives and those outlined in management’s PMAs (Performance Management Agreement) /PMPs (Performance Management Program) appropriately cascade down into staff PMPs.||X|
|Activities and initiatives are aligned with the mission's key priorities.||X|
|TRIO use is monitored to ensure activities are reported appropriately and accurately reflect the work undertaken.||X|
|InfoCentre functions are assigned and facilitate program delivery.||N/A|
3.3.1 The current annual planning process for the program is linked to the mission’s plan. It starts with internal reviews of past program performance and targets followed by internal discussions to set upcoming priorities, program direction and activities. The link between Performance Management Plans (PMPs) and their assessment in light of the plan should be further detailed with clearer links established. The LE-09 TC plays a central role in this process and is involved in the drafting and development of the plan with input and overall direction coming from the HOM. The TC, as the education lead, also provides key input as the education sector remains the main focus of the program. The business plan is further reviewed and approved by the HOM with some varying level of input from the Regional STCs over the years.
3.3.2 The program’s use of TRIO has been limited and entries are often not made in a timely manner. The inconsistency in data entry skews results. Given the delay between closing a service request and sending a client survey, it is imperative that TRIO data is entered as close to the event as possible so as to provide decision makers with accurate and timely data.
3.3.3 A number of activities and leads were not entered in TRIO, creating a discrepancy between actual program activities and system input. The TCs indicated some challenges with access due to bandwidth issues but recognized the need to make entries more consistently.
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 There is a need to review performance targets for both TCs. The Regional STC’s expertise and input would help in assessing performance, as well as two-way conversations with the TCs to further ensure the program’s objectives are consistently met.
3.4.2 For instance, introducing TRIO-monitored targets for TCs would further help in measuring performance in a clear manner. Review of these statistics to provide feedback, guidance and direction would assist in assessing individual performance in terms of level of activity, core services provided, interactions and business leads. These targets trigger an ongoing communication of performance measurement between employees and management. Overall results achieved are reviewed and recorded in the CE program plan by employees and are used to guide the development of future years’ plans.
3.4.3 Hospitality activities hosted by the HOM were in line with CE and mission objectives, and expenses were properly justified, including an evaluation of their value for money. Consideration should be given to having the LE-09 TC host some hospitality of his own.
3.4.4 The managers directing the program should participate in a process to determine the program’s training needs, activities and direction *** has yet to receive formal training in *** and the *** training given the length of time since his last in-Canada course. Travel and hospitality budgets should be mapped out with input from the Regional STC to benefit from his experience.
Recommendations to the Mission
3.5.1 The mission should clarify roles and responsibilities for the LES TCs and the Trade program in Yaoundé, in consultation with the Regional STC and HQ.
3.5.2 The degree *** should be redefined and clarified.
3.5.3 A formal hub and spoke MOU should be developed addressing the responsibilities of all parties.
3.5.4 The program should make increased use of TRIO to capture program activities.
3.5.5 Training should be provided for the trade commissioners based on a needs assessment.
3.5.6 A formal plan for outreach activities should be developed. Mission Actions and Timeframes
Mission Actions and Timeframes
3.5.1 Meetings between the HOM, EC Program Manager and RSTC with regard to the roles and responsibilities for LES TCs have already taken place. A meeting is scheduled for mid- September to clearly define EC priorities, objectives and performance measures. These objectives will form part of this year’s PMP process. In progress for September 2013.
3.5.2 Several meetings and discussions have taken place between ***. The LE-09 TC from Yaoundé was in Lagos for one week in early February 2013 to participate in a Yaoundé/Lagos trade retreat to further build the sharing of information, develop the Yaoundé and Lagos 2013/2014 CE plans, share best practices, undertake one-on-one coaching with the Head of Office/RSTC and establish performance indicators. The RSTC is active in the planning and monitoring of CE priorities and resources. Regular bi-weekly videoconference calls have been implemented between the Yaoundé and Lagos trade programs with minutes of decisions circulated. Implemented August 2013
3.5.3 HQ has the lead in the preparation of the MOU. A draft MOU was prepared in 2011, however modifications are required to reflect the redistribution of responsibilities (i.e., Guinea, Chad, Sao Tomé & Principe now managed directly from Lagos while Gabon and the CAR via Cameroon) and to address the workload and *** challenges associated with the current hub and spoke model. In progress for September 2013
3.5.4 Both TCs have participated in full TRIO2 training in DAKAR from April 8-11, 2013. Bi-weekly meetings are held between the HOM and TC to ensure EC activities are captured in TRIO. Implemented July 31, 2013.
3.5.5 Training needs have been identified as part of the PMP process. Implemented July 2013.
3.5.6 A draft plan has been prepared. A mission management retreat will be held in mid-September to finalize the outreach plan for the CE program. In progress for September 2013.
4.1.1 The Consular program is managed by an AS-06 MCO with the support of an LE-07 Consular Officer. The Consular program is supported by three Honorary Consuls (HonCon) in the key centres of Douala, Cameroon; Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR); and Libreville, Gabon. Their primary work is dealing with consular issues, but they also provide support to the immigration, commercial and political programs. Communication with HonCons in Gabon and the Central African Republic is hampered by poor communication infrastructure and outages. The program also provides consular service to Australians under the Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement. The Consular program’s financial resources are provided below.
4.1.2 The program provides approximately 250 passport services, processes on average 40 citizenship applications and five notarial requests yearly. There are approximately 250 Canadian citizens identified in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database for Cameroon out of an estimated population of 500. Twenty are registered for the Central African Republic (CAR) where the population of Canadians is estimated to be quite small, and 50 are registered in Gabon where there is an estimated 600 Canadians.
4.2 Planning and Program Management
|Key Consular Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Mission consular plans and manuals are up to date.||X|
|Internal communications within the Program effectively support program delivery.||X|
|The mission has ongoing dialogue with key local authorities to facilitate program delivery.||X|
|A warden network is in place and properly maintained.||X|
4.2.1 The program is *** managed with broad priorities determined by the HOM and MCO. These are translated into activities and deliverables by the MCO and Consular Officer. The deliverables are integrated into program workplans which are approved by the HOM and the Committee on Mission Management (CMM). Performance Management Plans (PMP) for the MCO, HonCons and Consular Officer are based on these program work plans.
4.2.2 The Mission Emergency Plans (MEP) for Cameroon, Gabon and the CAR are *** complete ***. There are plans to conduct a table top exercise in 2013. The Duty Officer Manuals are up to date for Cameroon, Gabon and the CAR. However, at the time of the inspection, these had not been sent to HQ.
4.2.3 The program has *** of equipment for processing *** documents. In the case of equipment failure, the Program would be *** of not being able ***.
4.2.4 There are two meetings of the consular staff with the MCO scheduled weekly. One is to review consular cases while the second one is to move forward the consular priorities which are consular review and outreach. As part of outreach, the MCO plans to arrange a gathering of local authorities in early 2013 (police, airport, prison contacts etc.). The goal is to solidify relationships with individuals at the working level who would be valuable MCO contacts, as compared to those who may engage with the HOM.
4.2.5 Each Canadian registered in ROCA has been assigned to a warden. The HonCons in Gabon and the CAR act as wardens in their countries. There are 18 warden districts in Cameroon currently covered by seven wardens including the HonCon in Douala. The mission communicates with existing wardens twice a year or more frequently if the mission anticipates potentially turbulent situations. There is an arrangement with a non-government organization (NGO) to act as warden to all the Canadians it employs in remote areas of Cameroon.
4.2.6 It is recognized that consular work is reactive to a large degree. However, the mission has already started a project to prepare staff workplans which will ensure the scheduling of responsibilities such as the annual updates of key documents and program activities, including prison visits, monthly reporting and passport counts, and the destruction of client files within the prescribed time.
4.2.7 Discussions with the HonCon in Libreville and Douala indicated good liaison with the mission. Despite several attempts during the inspection, a telephone connection to the HonCon in Central African Republic was not established, illustrating the problem with poor communications infrastructure between the two countries.
4.2.8 Although there were annual appraisals and tasking letters for the HonCons, there was no schedule of reimbursable expenses nor was the accountant aware of such a list. Following delays in renewing the Orders in Council for the HonCon in Libreville, the mission’s “lessons learned” includes ensuring that any expiring Orders in Council are addressed well in advance.
4.2.9 The MCO has plans to visit the HonCons in 2013 and use the opportunity to provide training to their assistants with the goal of improving the completeness of passport applications received in Yaoundé
4.3 Client Service
|Key Consular Client Service Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Services are provided to Canadians in the official language of their choice.||X|
|Service standards, fee schedules and a copy of an official receipt are posted in public areas in both official languages.||X|
|Services are provided in line with established standards.||X|
|Client feedback is reviewed and corrective action is taken when warranted.||X|
4.3.1 The Consular program is operating well, with services provided by an *** Consular officer backed up by a Common Services assistant with passport and consular specialty training. The program is responsive to clients’ needs and consistently meets service standards. There are strong French and English language skills available to the Consular program despite the fact that ***.
4.3.2 The consular booth has service standards displayed in French and English; however, the fee schedule is in French only and there is no sample of an official receipt that is visibly posted. The booth is not sound proof. A temporary measure should be put in place to improve the privacy until the mission moves to the new chancery.
4.3.3 Feedback forms are handed out when services are rendered and are available to clients in the reception area. All forms are directed to the Consular division in Canada and the mission does not receive any feedback.
4.3.4 During this fiscal year there was an evaluation of the consular operations by the MCO and Consular Officer as part of the project to translate priorities into deliverables integrated into the program’s workplans. These workplans were approved by the HOM and CMM to ensure that they conformed to the standards and objectives of the mission.
4.4 Internal Controls
|Key Consular Internal Control Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|A certified CBS signs-off on all passports.||X|
|Client documents and personal information are properly stored and secured.||X|
|Procedures and practices related to the collection of revenues are appropriate (e.g. segregation of duties, handling of cash, official receipts, record of fees received forms).||X|
|Revenues held in the consular section are kept to a minimum and are transferred to finance on a regular basis.||X|
|Upon receipt of new passport stock, two CBS verify the receipt of all assets, sign and return the transmittal note.||X|
|Passport stock is securely stored and the removal of assets is recorded on an inventory log and initialled by the CBS custodian and the employee receiving the asset.||X|
|Working inventories provided to staff are appropriate and controlled by a daily log (passports issued, spoiled, returned to safe storage).||X|
|Monthly and quarterly reconciliations of passport stock are properly completed and certified.||X|
|Official seals and stamps are properly inventoried, secured and access provided to designated staff only.||X|
4.4.1 Overall, controls on passport and consular activities were effective, with procedures in place that were appropriate for this small mission. Improvements are needed related to the retention and destruction of client files.
4.4.2 Consular documents are locked in a filing cabinet until it is time to shred them. At the time of the inspection, there were documents stored for months waiting for destruction as well as filing cabinets full of unidentified old documents. There will be a significant amount of files – related to many programs – to be destroyed before the move to the new chancery, making it increasingly important that routine consular files be destroyed in a timely manner.
4.4.3 Controls over revenue and travel documents were in place. *** are kept under the MCO’s control. Passport and emergency travel document inventories for Canada and Australia were confirmed by a count during the inspection. They are properly secured ***. There is *** provided to the Consular Officer.
4.4.4 Reconciliation of the EXT119 Records of Fees Received and deposits are done *** due to the small amount of revenue. The program transfers funds to the accountant more frequently *** is reached during the month. To strengthen the MCO’s oversight and support his ultimate accountability, the MCO should be present during the physical count *** as part of the reconciliation process.
Recommendations to the Mission
4.5.1 The program should make a continued effort to encourage the use of ROCA, particularly in Gabon.
4.5.2 The program should look into acquiring back-up consular equipment to ensure the ability to continue operations if the equipment used day to day is not functional.
4.5.3 The program should continue to work at filling vacant spots in the warden network in its countries of accreditation and where possible recruiting deputies. Consultation with the mission’s other programs to identify individuals as potential wardens could produce the desired results.
4.5.4 Annual tasking letters for HonCons should include an appendix listing reimbursable expenses including the appropriate calculation of office space allocated for Canadian mission business.
4.5.5 Fee schedules in both French and English and a copy of an official receipt should be posted visibly in the consular booth.
4.5.6 Temporary sound proofing measures should be put in place to improve the privacy of the consular booth until the mission moves to the new chancery.
4.5.7 The mission should distribute feedback forms with each service, set up a locked box in the waiting area and encourage clients to fill out the evaluations and deposit them in the box. The MCO should access the box and share the information with the consular staff. They should then be sent to HQ.
4.5.8 A plan should be put in place and resources allocated to identify and shred documents in an orderly fashion before the move to the new chancery, and routinely thereafter.
4.5.9 In order to comply with the Financial Administration Act, the program should *** to the Finance section *** even if they are small amounts.
4.5.10 The MCO should be present during the physical count of the *** as part of the reconciliation process
Mission Actions and Timeframes
4.5.1 The mission continues to encourage participation in ROCA. Each time the mission staff travel within the countries of accreditation efforts are made to encourage enrolment in ROCA. A separate Canada day event was held in Douala where all Canadians were encouraged to register in ROCA and to promote registration in ROCA amongst Canadian citizens in their neighbourhoods. Implemented July 2013.
4.5.2 Back-up equipment has been acquired, implemented and tested. Implemented July 2013.
4.5.3 Efforts will be made by all High Commission staff to identify potential wardens and increase the warden network in all countries of accreditation. The mission will increase the warden network in Cameroon by September 30, 2013 and in Gabon by the end of December 2013. Efforts in CAR will commence once the security situation has stabilized. In progress for December 2013.
4.5.4 Reimbursable expenses have been incorporated into the annual tasking letters starting FY 2013-14. Implemented July 2013.
4.5.5 Fee schedules in both French and English and a copy of an official receipt have been posted visibly in the consular booth. Implemented January 2013.
4.5.6 Temporary sound proofing measures will be added to the consular booth by the end of October 2013. In progress for October 2013.
4.5.7 Feedback forms are given to all walk-in clients with a return address. A locked box in the waiting area will be installed and clients will be encouraged to deposit feedback forms in the box. In progress for November 2013.
4.5.8 The document shredder was repaired in May and a message was sent to all staff to destroy old files that have accumulated in their areas and to routinely destroy old documents. Implemented May 2013.
4.5.9 The consular *** with MCO involvement/oversight. Implemented July 2013.
4.5.10 The consular *** with MCO involvement/oversight. Implemented July 2013.
5.1.1 The Common Services program is managed by an AS-06 MCO who is supported by four LES and three emergency employees, one working as receptionist and two working as driver/messengers pending the completion of staffing processes.
5.1.2 The program is responsible for providing common services to 18 employees and two on-site contractors who are part of CIDA’s sunsetting project. It supports four DFAIT and two partner programs (CIC, CIDA).
5.1.3 A new chancery building with considerably improved facilities has been leased since January 1, 2012. The common services team has been working with the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD) towards the renovation and occupancy of the new facilities. At the time of the inspection, renovations had not started. However, the target occupancy date is the spring of 2013.
5.1.4 The closure of the CIC and CIDA programs and the anticipated *** in the next year has significant repercussions for the Common Services program, particularly related to HR, property and the new chancery plans.
5.2 Planning and Program Management
|Key Common Services Program Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|A common services business plan is in place and used to establish priorities and guide operations.||X|
|Common services policies and procedures are documented and communicated to management, staff and clients.||X|
|Internal communications within the program effectively support program delivery.||X|
|A mission HR plan has been developed and submitted to headquarters.||X|
|A plan is in place for major acquisitions and is approved by CMM annually.||X|
|Hub and spoke relationships are governed by an agreement outlining the roles and responsibilities of each mission.||N/A|
5.2.1 Overall, the program is *** managed and staff function effectively as a team. Staff *** the MCO’s *** approach to program management and his communication style.
5.2.2 The MCO’s strategy on arrival was to take note of what was in place and to slowly elicit change, where required, by giving section heads ownership of their respective areas. This methodical approach has resulted in a mission with strong morale, staff who are receptive to change and are functioning as a team. Ownership of the programs has been embraced positively by all common service and consular staff. In determining the supervision each section head requires, the MCO should be alert to situations that may require closer oversight, particularly in the early stages of moving program responsibility to his staff.
5.2.3 Management’s goal in allowing section managers to take ownership of their projects is to have LES make presentations and discuss their section’s priorities and workplans with new management teams when they rotate in, rather than having LES waiting for direction regarding plans, priorities and processes.
5.2.4 The program has a common services business plan, an HR strategy proposed to HQ and an IM-IT plan. The common services plan is used to set priorities and to develop activities and deliverables which are incorporated into section workplans and Performance Management Programs (PMP). The program is in the process of developing workplans clearly defining individuals’ responsibilities. The mission hopes to roll out these workplans at the onset of FY 2013-2014. Without individual workplans, it is difficult to attribute responsibilities and accountabilities. The program develops a yearly acquisition plan for major purchases which is submitted to the CMM for formal review and approval. However, there is no multi-year plan which could show the upcoming needs and consumption of existing inventory. A multi-year plan should also be approved by the CMM.
5.2.5 The HR Plan presents a remodelled common services organization with positions with broad-based duties being classified at the same level. The goal was to remove the current silos and create a matrix of jobs where staff had training and skills in all common service areas and, therefore, could provide backup to each other when required. Although the proposed plan did address some challenges facing the program, its unconventional organizational structure and lack of a deeper reporting hierarchy could present challenges.
5.2.6 In addition, an HR strategy was being put forward to change job titles for drivers from driver/messengers to driver/technicians to take advantage of the education and skill sets of the team and ultimately provide better client service.
5.2.7 The introduction of new policies and changes to existing ones has been communicated through town halls and power point presentations. However, most policies and procedures have not been documented or it is not known where to find the documentation. The mission wiki has not been maintained since 2011, does not have current content and, therefore, is not a source where policies and procedures can be accessed by clients or service providers. Having documented processes will be particularly important in 2014, when all CBS are scheduled to rotate out.
5.2.8 The MCO meets weekly with his section heads to discuss ongoing issues which allow the MCO and staff to be aware of current and upcoming projects. Although the MCO keeps an activity log, the recording process would be even better if minutes including records of decisions were kept. There are good practices in place to facilitate cross function communication, including daily meetings with common services and other programs, which keep this small team informed.
5.2.9 The chancery is housed on the second floor of a commercial building in poor condition, ***. The mission is tentatively scheduled to relocate in the spring of 2013 into a stand-alone building that previously served as a diplomatic mission. It has good working conditions and significantly improved security features. The planning and execution of renovations and the move from the existing chancery to the new location has been protracted. This resulted in a full year of lease costs with no progress in the actual renovations to date. It is possible that the current renovation plan no longer reflects the best configuration of the new space for the reduced mission size.
5.2.10 During the inspection there were also two Quebec Immigration officers conducting interviews on site who receive services from the Common Service team. The resources of the receptionist are particularly in demand to handle Quebec immigration enquiries and complaints. The mission advised the inspection team that it does not receive payment for these services.
5.3 Client Service
|Key Common Services Client Service Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Service standards have been established and communicated to clients.||X|
|An efficient process is in place for receiving, processing and monitoring work orders.||X|
|Services provided reflect fair and equitable allocation and access to common services for all mission programs.||X|
|A mechanism is in place to solicit and receive client feedback, and corrective action is taken when warranted.||X|
5.3.1 Overall the program is providing a good level of service to clients although service standards have not been updated since 2007. As the mission reduces in size and resource levels change, new service standards will have to be developed, formalized and communicated to clients.
5.3.2 Requests made to the property section for the official residence (OR) and the three staff quarters (SQs) are received orally or by email. DFAIT has a work order system with tracking and an automatic client satisfaction survey. This small mission has not implemented the formal system and it is unlikely to be cost effective. Clients surveyed felt they were receiving appropriate service from the common services team.
5.4 Key Processes and Controls
Procurement and Expenditure Controls
|Key Procurement and Expenditure Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|A contract review board (CRB) is in place and operating effectively with terms of reference.||X|
|Procurement and contracting procedures have been documented and communicated to all staff involved in the process.||X|
|Contracting files demonstrate compliance with policies and procedures.||X|
|Financial signing authorities are exercised by individuals who possess the appropriate delegation of authority.||X|
|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|
|Reimbursement of HonCon operational expenses is based on an established agreement.||X|
|Travel and hospitality claim processes ensure that policies and guidelines are adhered to and that the completeness and accuracy of the claim is verified.||X|
|Vehicle logs and fuel purchases are verified against consumption (e.g. mileage/usage rates for vehicles and generators).||X|
|A percentage of costs for personal use of OR supplies is determined and regular reimbursements are made to the mission.||X|
|A process is in place to ensure that, where applicable, CBS reimburse the mission for any services of a personal nature received at their staff quarters (e.g. television, internet, telephone, etc.).||X|
5.4.1 The mission’s *** has been on leave for a number of months. In the meantime, the property section has undergone a change to a more client-focused approach. Improvements are being put in place by a *** GS-04 driver/messenger acting in the LE-07 Property and Materiel Manager position.
5.4.2 The mission’s procurement and expenditure function is challenged by the local environment, including the difficulty in finding reliable contractors and suppliers in Yaoundé. Other challenges include internal performance issues, the *** and the lack of documented policies and procedures. Despite these challenges, work orders were being processed, communication was good between the acting Property and Materiel Manager and the MCO, and clients were satisfied.
5.4.3 As policies and procedures are put in place, a local procurement guide can also be developed. It could summarize information based on the evaluation of vendors and contractors that have been used by the mission and information obtained from like-minded missions and other contacts.
5.4.4 An engaged and active CRB provides a challenge function and scrutinizes the contracting process for amounts ***. Up-to-date terms of reference are not in place, which could result in members not clearly understanding their roles and responsibilities. Board members questioned the standard assessment grid that gives such a high weighting to the cost element with the result that *** be awarded the contract without other aspects of the grid having sufficient weight to counter the ***.
5.4.5 There is no expertise in the mission to enter contracts into the Materiel Management Module of the Integrated Management System (IMS). The reporting of contracts is a Treasury Board requirement which is facilitated by all contracts at mission being entered in IMS.
5.4.6 Contract files for recent processes have the fundamentals incorporated and show significant improvement over examples from previous years which lacked any organization and did not meet even the minimum standards to document the process. The new file format could be further improved through the use of a checklist to ensure the complete contracting process including CRB approval is captured along with all communication related to the process, a copy of the signed contract, project milestones and payment information.
5.4.7 As indicated in the Consular section, there was no schedule of reimbursable expenses with the tasking letters for the HonCons, nor was the accountant aware of any list to support the repayment of expenses.
5.4.8 The MCO and the Property and Materiel Manager are motivated to document policies and procedures and to put new controls in place. For example, drivers are recording gas purchases and kilometers travelled but there is ***. It was noted that some good tools, including an electronic spreadsheet for reconciliation, had been used to perform this oversight function in the past but it was discontinued several years ago.
5.4.9 The *** custodian does not use a tracking sheet that would allow *** to be known quickly. As a result, *** by the custodian or management cannot take place quickly. The petty cash fund is at times insufficient to meet all requests, thereby necessitating the intermingling of personal funds when they are “loaned” to facilitate a petty cash purchase. The prescribed form EXT-2027 Petty Cash Vouchers (Missions) should be used for petty cash transaction reimbursements while form EXT-2030 Cash Fund Standing Advance Statement (Missions) should be used for petty cash replenishment.
|Key Revenue Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Roles and responsibilities ensure adequate segregation of duties.||X|
|Official receipts are provided to clients at the time of payment and to internal staff when funds are transferred (i.e. from Consular to Finance).||X|
|Reconciliations of any funds transferred within the mission are conducted in the presence of two staff.||X|
|Revenues are deposited into the mission bank account daily, or if not cost effective, within a week of receipt, per the Financial Administration Act: Receipt and Deposit of Public Money Regulations.||X|
5.4.10 The finance section is managed by the MCO and functioning *** with the support of an LE-06 Expat employee who has been in the position for 20 years. Given the small size of the Common Services program, segregation of duties in the finance section, and sufficient back up for critical finance processes ***. At the time of the inspection the common services assistant, who is the official back up, was on training at the same time the accountant was leaving on approved vacation.
5.4.11 Although segregation of duties is weak, a mitigating factor is that there is very little *** and no CIC revenue at all. The MCO had *** and does not *** form. This responsibility *** should be transferred to a staff member with no other finance responsibilities.
5.4.12 Normally the *** provides a control to compensate for the accountant having an *** functions ***, this is not seen as being as effective a control as IMS report generation capability.
5.4.14 *** is taken to the accountant on *** of the month which is a particularly busy time for the accountant because Finstat reports are being prepared. As a good practice, consular revenue should be deposited when *** has been collected *** whichever occurs first,***.
5.4.16 Service standards, policies and procedures are not documented. Some policies – such as quiet hours in the afternoon – were in place but not enforced. Section workplans have not cascaded down to detailed individual workplans although this is planned for the new fiscal year. Without the written assignment of tasks that workplans offer, there can be misunderstandings regarding responsibilities and accountabilities.
5.4.17 The roles of specific officers regarding the *** of the CIC bank statement and the *** are not clear. The CIC bank statement arrives at the mission, however, the mission does not receive any supplementary CIC deposit information. ***.
Asset Life-cycle Management
|Key Asset Life-cycle Management Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|The chancery and official residence (OR) are well maintained and maintenance schedules are in place.||X|
|Annual inspections are conducted to assess the state of SQs and input into maintenance and acquisition planning.||X|
|An inspection is conducted by new SQ occupants and a mission representative within 30 days of occupancy, after which occupancy agreements and distribution accounts are signed.||X|
|Records of assets located in the Chancery, OR and SQs, as well as those in storage, are maintained on an ongoing basis and verified annually. Assets are appropriately safeguarded and controlled.||X|
|Employees formally sign out IT assets (mobility tools) and are advised of their accountabilities.||X|
|Disposals are appropriately authorized and follow departmental guidelines.||X|
5.4.18 The acting Property and Materiel Manager ***; he is interested in a control framework and is aware of many current deficiencies in the controls. The OR is well maintained, SQs were generally in good repair with the exception of an SQ that was being removed from the inventory. Some, but not all, maintenance functions are included on a schedule, and the mission maintenance plan is in the development stage.
5.4.19 The chancery was last refurbished in 2000, shows wear and tear, is not an attractive representation of Canada and *** deficiencies. Despite the planned move in the spring of 2013, some of these deficiencies should be addressed in the short term. The mission was originally scheduled to make the move in August 2012. Renovations to the new building had not started at the time of the inspection.
5.4.20 The new chancery is in a good location, is bright and will provide the mission with excellent working space; however, the mission staffing and program complement is smaller than it was when this facility was originally leased. Decisions made a year ago regarding renovations and office layout may not be appropriate in the current circumstances particularly with regard to the third floor. It was brought to the inspection team’s attention that the finance section was not having a Dutch door installed. This is a normal control at our missions, helping to segregate the accounts while still facilitating client service.
5.4.21 A mission housing committee has been established, members selected and a chairperson appointed. It should now take up its role in making recommendations to the HOM on housing issues.
5.4.22 The MCO and Property and Materiel Manager put considerable effort in keeping within rent ceilings and negotiating lower rents where possible. It was challenging for the section to acquire a new SQ in this market which balances desirable features in the accommodation with location, security and cost. However, they were able to replace a large, old SQ with new accommodation within the rent ceiling, but on the very edge of the diplomatic housing community and adjacent to a shantytown.
5.4.23 Recent CBS arrivals signed occupancy agreements and distribution accounts in a timely manner. However, other CBS who arrived several years ago still have outstanding documentation.
5.4.24 The fine art inventory was completed and signed by the HOM. However, improvement is needed in all other areas of ***. The move to the new chancery is seen by mission management as an opportunity to update inventories and ensure they are accurate. Appropriate controls will be necessary to ensure asset inventory accuracy.
5.4.25 There are many prints in the chancery providing a pleasant Canadian atmosphere. The mission in conjunction with ARD should determine a plan to retain many items from the current chancery including the artwork, window rollers and other items that will be of value in the new location but would generate almost no revenue from disposal sales in Yaoundé.
5.4.26 A disposal sale took place in which staff involved in decisions related to the identification of disposal items and pricing participated. Correct documentation was not completed for the sales. An auction may be a better choice and provide competition which could result in higher revenue.
5.4.27 The mission uses a mix of sales and donations to dispose of IT assets. There is currently a plan for IT items from the mission to be donated. This is appropriate either when there has been an attempt to sell the items first or when the mission takes a planned approach to ensure donation policies are observed and that there is an equitable distribution of the items.
5.4.28 An offsite warehouse was emptied and the lease discontinued. The mission disposed of damaged and surplus items that were stored there including OR furnishings from the mission closure in Gabon. Documentation related to this disposal was not completed.
5.4.29 There are many filing cabinets full of files which should be reviewed and destroyed if appropriate. The shredder in the operations section of the mission is not serviceable and has been broken for years. There should be discussions with HQ to obtain a working shredder, and document destruction should be started well before the move.
Staffing and HR Controls
|Key Staffing and HR Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Staffing actions are conducted in-line with the Locally-Engaged Staff and HQ Workforce Programs Bureau (ALD) guidelines. Written records supporting the process are maintained and contain required documents and approvals.||X|
|Letters of Offer are signed by the appropriate authority and include the appropriate clauses (e.g. values and ethics, etc.).||X|
|New LES are provided with an information package on the working conditions, benefits and regulations pertaining to employment at the mission.||X|
|Employee and position files are complete, maintained separately and properly secured.||X|
|LES accrued leave and deductions are recorded and the related liabilities are monitored.||X|
5.4.30 Staffing and HR controls are generally in place, although information packages for new LES employees and welcome packages for arriving CBS were not available. Without information packages, LES do not have an accessible reference tool that spells out working conditions, benefits and regulations. Similarly, the CBS do not have a practical resource with the information they need when they are settling in to their new surroundings. Such tools, in addition to the existing LES Handbook, would strengthen the section’s processes.
5.4.31 Employee files and position files from past years were not fully separated. Instances of files *** could be viewed by unauthorized individuals. Files were properly secured in the MCO’s office. The section should review old files and ensure information is appropriately separated.
5.4.32 The mission’s accountant has been hired in a legacy expatriate position ***. The expatriate position is paid significantly higher wages than other positions generally equivalent in complexity.
|Key IM-IT Criteria||Meets||Needs Improvement||Does Not Meet|
|Back-ups are performed routinely and tapes are stored appropriately in a secure location away from the primary use area.||X|
|Controls are in place to ensure the Network Acceptable Use Policy (NAUP) is respected (SIGNET and digital subscriber line (DSL) connections).||X|
5.4.33 The mission’s IM-IT services are *** managed and delivered to clients by an *** Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP). Given the number of clients, ***.
5.4.34 Responses to client requests are timely and appropriate. Regular tasks are performed according to a schedule to ensure the mission has the ability to function properly. Given the local challenges, more frequent reviews of systems would prove useful in ensuring the mission remains fully functional.
5.4.35 The mission’s communications are regularly affected by conditions related to the poor quality of local infrastructure. A solution has been brought forward to***, but the high cost is of concern to HQ. In addition to infrastructure problems, interactions with local providers to correct problems can be time consuming. Examples of issues witnessed during the inspection included out of service phone lines due to the landlord’s systems,***.
5.4.36 Given the overall limited and unreliable nature *** to have a significant impact on the mission. Timely and regular servicing of the mission by *** will become more critical.
Planning and Program Management
Recommendations to the Mission
5.5.1 The mission should ensure that existing policies and procedures are documented, known and readily available to staff.
5.5.2 An LES staff member should be responsible for updating and maintaining the mission wiki.
5.5.3 A multi-year acquisition plan should be prepared annually and approved by CMM.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.5.1 A work plan has been prepared to identify key mission administrative policies and procedures of interest to all staff. Once these policies and procedures have been updated, a communication strategy will be prepared identifying on which media the documents will be placed and how this information will be communicated to staff. In progress for December 2013.
5.5.2 An LES staff member has been identified and the mission committee list has been updated to identify the wiki champion. Implemented July 2013.
5.5.3 A current year acquisition plan exists and will be expanded to become a multi-year acquisition plan. In progress for December 2013.
Recommendations to the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD)
5.5.4 The renovations and the move to the new chancery in Yaoundé should be moved forward to the earliest possible date.
5.5.5 The renovations of the new chancery should be revisited to determine if they are still appropriate in the current circumstances.
ARD Actions and Timeframes
5.5.4 The market in Cameroon is complex and challenging. The project is already moving to the earliest possible date in compliance with our authorities and policy and that would not require additional cost. The team's best view of the schedule at this point ***.
5.5.5 ***. Implemented.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.5.6 Service standards should be updated, added to the mission wiki and communicated to clients.
5.5.7 The services provided to the Quebec immigration officers who work at the mission periodically, should be specified in an MOU and appropriate, additional resources provided.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.5.6 Service standards to be updated by year-end. In progress for March 2014.
5.5.7 Mission has good communication with Quebec Immigration for hosting periodic missions. YUNDE will work with HQ to draft an MOU to identify service agreements and cost recovery. In progress for March 2014.
Procurement and Expenditure Control
Recommendations to the Mission
5.5.8 Up-to-date Terms of Reference should be prepared for the CRB which includes the monetary threshold for the examination of the contracting process, and the roles and responsibilities of members.
5.5.9 The evaluation grid for contracts should be reviewed to ensure that all aspects of contract evaluation are weighted appropriately so that the***.
5.5.10 Contract files should contain a checklist and all aspects of the contracting process, including approval, should be recorded in the file.
5.5.11 IMS Materiel Management module training should be included in the mission training plan for the Property and Materiel Manager.
5.5.12 The kilometers driven and gas purchases per vehicle should be reconciled monthly by the Property and Materiel Manager and approved by the MCO.
5.5.13 Fuel consumption of generators should be monitored and reconciled monthly by the Property and Materiel Manager and approved by the MCO.
5.5.14 The petty cash custodian should use a tracking mechanism that provides a running cash balance that can be verified easily by a quick cash count.
5.5.15 The prescribed forms EXT-2027 and EXT-2030 should be used for petty cash reimbursements and replenishment. Replenishment of the account should occur frequently enough that the fund is able to meet the petty cash needs of the mission without the intermingling of staff’s personal cash.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.5.8 The Terms of Reference for the CRB will be updated. In progress for October 2013.
5.5.9 The evaluation grid for contracts will be reviewed and updated by the CRB. In progress for October 2013.
5.5.10 CRB will prepare a contract checklist for all contract files. In progress for October 2013.
5.5.11 IMS MM training scheduled for October 2013. In progress for October 2013.
5.5.12 Appropriate control measures were implemented in August 2013. Implemented August 2013.
5.5.13 Appropriate control measures will be implemented in October 2013. In progress for October 2013.
5.5.14 A tracking mechanism has been developed and implemented. Implemented July 2013.
5.5.15 Prescribed forms are being used for cash reimbursements and replenishments. A tracking mechanism has been developed and implemented to ensure adequate level of petty cash funds is maintained. Implemented July 2013.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.5.16 The custodianship of petty cash should be transferred to ***.
5.5.17 ***. and use this skill as a tool in his oversight function of the finance area.
5.5.18 The MCO should be present for consular cash reconciliation and approval at the time funds are transferred to the finance section.
5.5.19 The original bank statement should be received by the MCO, examined and pages initialled before it is provided to the accountant.
5.5.20 Quiet hours for the finance section should be reassessed, approved by CMM, communicated to staff and enforced.
5.5.21 The mission accountant, MCO, HOM and the CIC regional officer should clearly define and document their roles and responsibilities in relation to the CIC bank statement and the monthly certification of immigration revenue.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.5.16 The custodianship of petty cash was transferred. Implemented July 2013.
5.5.17 Training scheduled for November 2013. In progress for November 2013.
5.5.18 The consular revenue is transferred *** with MCO involvement/oversight. Implemented July 2013.
5.5.19 The original bank statements are opened by the MCO. Implemented January 2013.
5.5.20 Quiet hours were reassessed. It was decided that no further action would be taken to enforce quiet hours for finance section due to size of mission and manageability. Implemented July 2013.
5.5.21 Roles and responsibilities in relation to the CIC bank statement and the monthly certification of immigration revenue were reviewed in September 2013. Implemented September 2013.
Asset Life-Cycle Management
Recommendations to the Mission
5.5.22 Any outstanding inventories and occupancy agreements should be completed and signed.
5.5.23 Inventories of assets in the chancery, OR and SQs, including tools and supplies, should be kept up to date, and an EXT 182 Materiel Transfer Voucher-Adjustment form should be used to maintain an accurate inventory once it is established.
5.5.24 All disposals should be documented on a Disposal Report EXT 369, approved by the HOM and purchases restricted to people who had no involvement in the asset or the disposal process.
5.5.25 Permission should be obtained from ARD prior to the disposal of surplus OR furniture.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.5.22 Outstanding inventories and occupancy agreements will be updated with the implementation of the RFID label project. In progress for December 2013.
5.5.23 Mission inventories and inventory control procedures will be updated with the implementation of the RFID label project. The EXT 182 material Transfer Voucher-Adjustment form process has already been implemented. In progress for December 2013.
5.5.24 The use of the EXT 369 form has been implemented for each asset disposal process. Implemented July 2013.
5.5.25 Permission will be obtained from ARD prior to the disposal of surplus OR furniture. Implemented July 2013.
Staffing and HR Controls
Recommendations to the Mission
5.5.26 The mission should initiate a review of the existing *** to determine if there is still a requirement for it ***.
5.5.27 Information packages for LES and CBS should be developed to facilitate arrival of new staff.
5.5.28 A review of HR files should be conducted to separate employee files from position files.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.5.26 A review of the *** position and all other common service positions will be conducted this fiscal year as part of the regionalization of financial services project. In progress for March 2014.
5.5.27 Information packages for new staff exist but require updating. In progress for December 2013.
5.5.28 A review of HR files was conducted in August 2013. Implemented September 2013.
Recommendations to the Mission
5.5.30 The section should conduct systems checks on a more regular basis to ensure the mission’s various IT and communication systems are working.
Mission Actions and Timeframes
5.5.29 ***. Implemented March 2013.
5.5.30 The FSITP conducts regular system checks during his quarterly visits to mission. Implemented March 2013
Recommendations to the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD)
5.5.31 A review of the type of communication lines to be used at the mission should be conducted to ensure that the mission can communicate efficiently.
ARD Actions and Timeframes
5.5.31 Voice and data networking solutions are designed and implemented jointly by departmental IM/IT divisions and Shared Services Canada centres of expertise. The ARD major projects team has sought their input on the mission´s communication lines. It was determined that relocation would serve as an opportunity to develop better communication infrastructures to improve mission communications, within the limitations of the local public infrastructure. In progress for March 2014.
Appendix A: Mission Resources Fact Sheet
|Budget||Program ($)||Common Services ($)|
|Head of Mission||6||2||4|
Appendix B: Frequently Used Acronyms
- Canada-based Staff
- Commercial Economic
- Committee on Mission Management
- Consular Management Information Program
- Contingency Plan
- Contract Review Board
- Client Service Fund
- Electronic Funds Transfer
- Deputy Management Consular Officer
- Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service
- Foreign Service Information Technology Professional
- Full Time Equivalent
- Fiscal Year
- Global Commerce Strategy
- Global Value Chains
- Assignments and Executive Management Bureau
- Ex Resourcing Division
- 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: