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Inspection of the Embassy of Canada, Buenos Aires, Argentina

February 4-8, 2013

Table of Contents

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:

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 bureaux, including briefings by line management and the functional bureaux, review of relevant headquarters and mission documentation, past inspection findings, and an analysis of recurring trends and systemic issues.

Inspection issues and lines of enquiry were further refined during the inspection 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, 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: Headquarters, mission management and mission operations.

Executive Summary

An inspection of Mission Management, the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS), Commercial Economic (CE), Consular and Common Services programs was conducted in Buenos Aires, Argentina from February 4-8, 2013. A previous inspection of these programs took place in 2008.

***. As well, import restrictions, currency controls, nationalizations and high inflation have cooled trade and investment. *** Canada and Argentina *** share similar multilateral interests and, as Latin America's third largest economy, the country offers good long-term potential for Canadian firms capable of adapting to the local bureaucracy.

Argentina's current economic situation presents real challenges for the mission. The country's official inflation statistics of 10-11% are considered to be well below the real inflation, which is about 25-30%. LES salary increases do not keep pace and some employees indicated that they have delayed retirement because their benefits would no longer provide financial security. As well, import restrictions and currency controls complicate procurement, maintenance plans and the rental of staff quarters.

The mission is *** managed by an *** Head of Mission (HOM) who invests significant time and energy in addressing internal organizational issues while also ensuring key government priorities are advanced. Her *** leadership is complemented by a strong team of program managers that places emphasis on strategic planning and, like the HOM, has prioritized internal management issues in the short term. The mission's governance structure is sound and internal communication is generally good. However, to increase the efficacy of the Committee on Mission Management (CMM), consideration may be given to holding a weekly or biweekly operations committee meeting in addition to a regular, but less frequent, CMM that would focus on decision making and mission governance.

***, morale across the mission is very low. Argentina's economic situation has both amplified existing compensation and benefits complaints as well as generated new challenges. The most acute concern is that the department's annual salary adjustments do not keep pace with the country's high inflation. Disgruntled staff have been vocal in expressing their discontent. The HOM's *** response and continued advocacy on behalf of the LES has earned her the respect of even the most vocal dissenters, although some continue to believe that she has the discretion to be doing more - a misconception ***.

The FPDS program is operating well; its priorities are aligned with the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) document, and the program manager invests significant time in management functions. The program has developed a number of planning tools, but would benefit from a cohesive strategic program plan. As well, although the program coordinates advocacy initiatives on an ad-hoc basis, there is no whole-of-government advocacy strategy or plan. Enhancing planning would support a transition of the Public Affairs section to a more proactive advocacy approach that advances whole-of-government strategic objectives and is shaped by the objectives of Canada's engagement in the Americas.

The CE program enjoys a high level of client satisfaction and is delivering on its commitments despite human resources challenges and a complex operating environment. The annual planning process is well managed, although the CE program plan would benefit from a clearer linkage to the MPR and Canada's engagement in the Americas. As well, it would be beneficial to outline roles for the Senior Trade Commissioner and the HOM in the action plans. Program activities are nonetheless aligned with priorities, and the program provides effective services and promotes business opportunities to clients. Officers have developed strong professional networks and utilize the resources available through their structured or virtual practices. Performance targets, however, may be overly ambitious considering the external economic factors and ongoing absences of staff. A sustainable staffing strategy will need to be developed to ensure adequate administrative support for the program.

The Consular program is also *** managed and functioning effectively. There is an appropriate level of involvement by both the Management Consular Officer (MCO) and the HOM, and the consular team is proactive and engaged. The mission provides approximately 1,300 passport services and process about 300 citizenship applications annually. Consular plans and manuals are up to date and shared with staff and the mission maintains a good network of consular contacts. Service to clients is available in both official languages as well as in Spanish, and services standards are routinely met. The program has a good relationship with the Honorary Consul in Asuncion, Paraguay, who provides consular/passport-related services. Controls over passport and consular activities are in place, ***.

The Common Services program is functioning well and provides good services to clients throughout the mission. The MCO and the DMCO have clearly delineated roles and responsibilities that complement their abilities and provide opportunities for mentoring. Communication within the program would benefit from the addition of a regular meeting with all section heads to facilitate forward planning and address cross-cutting issues. A Common Service Business Plan is in place, but workplans need to be created for each of the program's sections. Most policies and procedures are well documented, although they should be updated regularly and consolidated on one information source. Common services delivery standards require an in-depth review to ensure they are consistent with the program's capacity. All sections are generally operating well, with some attention required to address ongoing issues with the two apartments that were leased in the summer of 2012.

A total of 52 recommendations are raised in the report: 49 are addressed to the mission and 3 are addressed to Headquarters. Management has responded to each recommendation indicating action already taken or decisions made, as well as future action. At the time of writing, management has stated that 25 have been implemented.

1 Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Embassy of Canada in Buenos Aires, Argentina is a medium-sized mission with 11 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 36 locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in Argentina and Paraguay, and it provides limited common services support to the mission in Montevideo, Uruguay. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is the only partner department present at the mission.

1.1.2 The mission is managed by an EX-03 Head of Mission (HOM) who is responsible for overall mission operations and oversees the operational and capital budgets of $1.45 million and $41,000 respectively (as reported by the mission). The mission also manages a property portfolio that includes a Crown-owned chancery, a Crown-owned official residence (OR) and nine Crown-leased staff quarters (SQs).

1.1.3 ***. Import restrictions, currency controls, private-sector nationalizations and high inflation have also had a cooling effect on trade and investment. Nonetheless, Argentina remains Latin America's third largest economy and offers good long-term potential for firms capable of adapting to the local bureaucracy. As well, Canada and Argentina share a significant number of multilateral priorities. Common interests include the stabilization and development of Haiti, global governance reform, international peace and security, human rights, democracy, and nuclear non-proliferation.

1.1.4 Argentina's economic situation presents real challenges for the mission. The country's official inflation statistics (10-11%) are considered to be well below the real inflation (25-30%). LES salary increases do not keep pace and some employees indicated that they have delayed retirement because their benefits would no longer provide financial security. As well, import restrictions and currency controls complicate procurement, maintenance plans and the rental of staff quarters.

1.1.5 Canadian interests in Paraguay are limited but have grown in recent years. Stronger political relations have been underpinned by a series of incoming and outgoing high-level visits, and there is the potential for a major Canadian investment in the metallurgical sector. Although the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) retired its bilateral aid program in Paraguay in 2010, Canada has continued to deliver modest programming through the mission's Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. People-to-people linkages include the thousands of Mennonites of Canadian origin who live in the country.

1.2 Mission Management

Evaluation of Mission Management
Key Mission Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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 Overall, the mission is *** managed. The HOM invests significant time and energy in addressing internal organizational issues while also ensuring key government priorities are advanced. Her *** leadership is complemented by that of a strong team of program managers - most of who arrived in the 2012 summer rotation period. The management team places emphasis on strategic planning and, like the HOM, has prioritized management issues in the short term. The LES are generally very competent, and a large number have many years of experience at the mission.

1.2.2 ***, morale across the mission is very low. Argentina's economic situation has both amplified existing compensation and benefits complaints as well as generated new challenges. The most acute concern is that the department's annual salary adjustments do not keep pace with the country's high inflation, affecting the purchasing power of LES. Disgruntled staff has been vocal in expressing their discontent: they boycotted the LES Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) for a period and walked off the job at one point. Through her *** response and continual advocacy on behalf of the LES, the HOM has earned the respect of even the most vocal dissenters, although some continue to believe that she has the discretion to be doing more - a misconception ***.

1.2.3 The department's implementation of Budget 2012 has also had an effect on the mission. The closure of programs and the possible deletion of positions have left many LES feeling that their work and their jobs are undervalued. This sentiment, coupled with the perception that CBS are insulated against Argentina's economic challenges, has created a palpable CBS/LES divide. Program managers are in the difficult position of trying to motivate staff and build their teams while also implementing new practices and managing complex and sensitive human resources issues. Together, these factors have contributed to an environment that is charged and which demands a significant amount time from the HOM and program managers to manage LES concerns.

1.2.4 Formal communication structures facilitate information flow throughout the mission. The HOM hosts all-staff meetings and discusses important issues openly. Policy decisions and changes to procedures are emailed to employees and posted to shared electronic repositories. Program meetings facilitate further vertical communication from mission management. Although the minutes of the CMM are posted on the mission wiki, not all employees know where to find them. To address this, a copy could be sent to all staff when they are published. Similarly, the mission should avail itself of opportunities for informal communication. The LES expressed a desire for more informal feedback on the outcomes of events, activities and travel. The chancery layout does not naturally facilitate employee interaction, so additional efforts by managers, including the HOM, to circulate would be of benefit to both morale and communication.

1.2.5 The mission's strategic objectives are generally aligned with Canada's engagement in the Americas. The results of activities from across the mission are communicated regularly, and clear linkages are made to government priorities. As well, program managers use the department's planning and performance measurement tools to demonstrate how the day-to-day work of employees relates to the high-level strategies.

1.2.6 The elimination of the Understanding Canada Program was significant for the mission as Canada-Argentina academic relations were previously a major mission priority. The HOM's leadership is important to help the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS) program transition from a focus on academic and cultural relations to advocacy initiatives that relate to the department's hemispheric priorities. Further information is provided under the FPDS program section.

1.2.7 Overall, the mission's governance structure is sound. The CMM serves as a useful forum for information exchange, but is not always viewed as a decision-making body. Consideration should be given to holding a weekly or biweekly operations committee meeting with the addition of a regular, but less frequent, CMM that would focus on decision making and mission governance. Other committees meet as required and effectively oversee mission activities. All staff, CBS and LES alike, are encouraged to participate in committees to build a common sense of purpose and provide each employee with a voice in governance decisions. As well, efforts are made to include the junior CBS officers in the CMM on occasion as part of their professional development.

1.2.8 The LESMCB is well structured and serves its purpose as a formal communication forum for LES and management to share information and discuss issues. The LES are aware of the board and its mandate, and meetings are held on a regular basis. The agenda is jointly developed between management and the LES representatives, and minutes are distributed. The board's ability to facilitate meaningful dialogue will depend on the mission's ability to improve morale and rebuild confidence in the department as a good employer.

1.2.9 Values and ethics are actively promoted at the mission. Over the last three years, inter-cultural effectiveness training and teambuilding workshops were organized to improve understanding between CBS and LES, an employee assistance counsellor provided training on dealing with difficult clients, stress management and resilience, and the Values and Ethics Division (ZVE) conducted an onsite mission to consult LES about their concerns. Regardless, a significant CBS/LES divide persists, and some LES identify their compensation and benefits concerns as a human rights or labour rights issue. The mission is encouraged to maintain open dialogue on these subjects and take advantage of further training opportunities that will reinforce a positive work environment and clarify the meaning and significance of the public service values and ethics. At the same time, mission management must reinforce that professionalism and commitment to client service and Canadian interests remain essential.

1.3 Whole of Government

Evaluation of Whole-of-Government
Key Whole-of-Government CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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 Government of Canada profile at the mission changed significantly with the departure of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada and the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. Nonetheless, the HOM ensures that representatives from CIC, the only remaining partner department at the mission, are involved in mission planning and governance decisions. The CMM operates in a whole-of-government manner, and CIC representatives play active roles in mission committees.

1.3.2 Program managers recognize the value of working together. The mission has developed tools to outline whole-of-government messaging, and the FPDS and CE programs send representatives to each other's staff meetings to facilitate communication. However, there is no cohesive whole-of-government advocacy strategy, and it has been identified that programs can better align their planning to address common interests. Public diplomacy and corporate social responsibility activities, among others, have been planned in cooperation with other missions in the region. This enhances both the visibility and the value for money of these activities and is seen as a good practice.

1.3.3 In terms of implementation, there are additional good practices in place at the mission. Travel is planned from a whole-of-government perspective; contacts are shared across programs; and monthly reports link mission activities to Government of Canada priorities. Nonetheless, some refinements could be made. For example, public affairs activities have at times been perceived to dominate the HOM's program during regional travel, leaving little time to advance other interests. As well, considering possible emerging commercial interests in Paraguay, the mission could request greater assistance from the Honorary Consul (HonCon) to advance trade and investment objectives.

1.3.4 Feedback on the provision of common services was very positive overall. However, clients are not aware of where to find policies and procedures or service standards. Effectively communicating these guidelines and storing them in one central repository would assist clients in requesting services and also ensure that their expectations are appropriate.

1.4 Emergency Preparedness

Evaluation of Emergency Preparedness
Key Emergency Preparedness CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The mission emergency plan (MEP) is up to date.X  
An emergency response team (ERT) has been identified and members are aware of their roles and responsibilities. X 
The MEP is tested regularly through the conduct of exercises and simulations. X 
The mission has identified an alternate command post and the appropriate secondary communications systems are in place and tested regularly. X 
Consultation occurs with like-minded and neighbouring Canadian missions regarding emergency planning.X  

1.4.1 The mission emergency plan (MEP) has been reviewed and adjusted recently, and an emergency response team (ERT) has been identified. ***. As well, considering recent changes to the membership of the ERT, roles and responsibilities should be reviewed.

1.4.2 ***.

1.5 Official Languages

Evaluation of Official Languages
Key Official Languages CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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 Overall, the mission meets expectations with respect to official languages: it has good capacity in English and French; services are provided to the public in both official languages; signage is bilingual; and an Official Languages Coordinator has been appointed. The mission could, however, encourage more diverse membership in the Official Languages Committee and offer language training to build additional capacity. In addition to Spanish, English and French should also be used at all-staff meetings to give the official languages a higher profile and include CBS who do not speak Spanish.

1.6 Management Controls

Evaluation of Management
Key Management Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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, management controls are taken seriously and generally employed well. Program managers receive regular budget updates; bank and passport reconciliations are undertaken properly; CMM reviews the mission's hospitality guidelines; and an active learning committee organizes training in a range of areas. Although security regulations are generally understood, some documents require updating, and policies and procedures should be reviewed with LES.

1.6.2 Hospitality documentation is inconsistent - some of the reporting does not fully communicate the purpose and value derived from the events undertaken. It is noted that the CE program intends to hold a workshop on hospitality procedures. Consideration should be given to including other programs in this session. The HOM Guide on Official Hospitality Outside Canada is also a good resource to advise the mission on how to leverage funds and document activities.

1.6.3 Program managers promote the Performance Management Program (PMP), but there is no mechanism to monitor its completion. A small number of employees do not see value in the process because it does not link performance to financial incentives. As well, effective performance evaluation is also hampered by out-of-date job descriptions and an erroneous perception among some employees that good performance should result in the upward reclassification of a position. These elements should be addressed with a view to fostering an understanding of the importance of feedback on performance.

1.6.4 The HonCon in Asuncion, Paraguay has a mandate letter and his performance is reviewed on an annual basis. However, the expectations outlined in the letter should be reviewed to ensure that they accurately fit the needs of the mission - as was noted in the comments on the whole-of-government criteria. The mission should also consider including more detail on the reimbursement of expenditures in the letter.

1.7 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

1.7.1 Mission management should consider holding separate operations committee and CMM meetings. Minutes from these meetings should be distributed to all employees as well as posted to the wiki or shared network drive.

1.7.2 Roles and responsibilities should be reviewed with all members of the mission's ERT.

1.7.3 ***.

1.7.4 ***.

1.7.5 All hospitality activities 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 is required.

1.7.6 Management should reinforce the purpose of the PMP and ensure that all employees participate in the process and formalize a PMP.

1.7.7 Job descriptions should be reviewed, updated as required and signed.

1.7.8 The mandate letter for the Honorary Consul should be reviewed to ensure that the expectations are clear and fit the mission's needs. Additional information on the reimbursement of expenditures should be included with the letter.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

(Please note: The management actions below reflect the initial responses upon receiving the recommendations. They do not reflect the current status of implementation.)

1.7.1 The CMM agenda has been restructured to highlight items for decision. Approved minutes are circulated to all staff as well as posted on CMM wiki site. Implemented November 2013.

1.7.2 An emergency simulation was conducted in Feb 2013; the ERT list was updated for 2014; and a refresher session will be held to review roles and responsibilities. In progress for January 2014.

1.7.3 The MEP was approved in 2013 and will be updated in 2014. ***, the MEP was tested with complex scenarios in February 2013. Regular testing of the MEP, as well as exercises based on security threats, will be included as a part of the mission's planning. Implemented October 2013.

1.7.4 ***. In progress for July 2014.

1.7.5 An internal training session on hospitality was held in 2013 and another is planned for early 2014. Hospitality diaries are now properly completed at the end of each quarter. Implemented October 2013.

1.7.6 An all-staff training session was held in August 2013 on the PMP. All employees now have PMPs in process and progress is tracked by CMM. Implemented October 2013

1.7.7 Job descriptions will be reviewed, updated and signed as required. In progress for July 2014.

1.7.8 The mandate letter for the HonCon is under review and will be updated in early 2014 as part of mission business planning process. A visit by the MCO to the consulate is scheduled to review financial processes, reimbursement procedures and other requirements. Instructions on reimbursement will be included in letter. In progress for March 2014.

2 Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The FPDS program is managed by an FS-04 Program Manager who is supported by an FS-02 Political Officer, an LE-09 Public, Cultural and Academic Affairs Officer, an LE-07 Political Economic Analyst, an LE-05 Public Affairs, Press Relations and Information Assistant, an LE-05 Program Assistant and an LE-04 Public Affairs Assistant. The program's financial resources are provided below.

Program's Financial Resources
Budget2012-2013
Canada Fund for Local Initiatives$458,000
Travel6,750
Hospitality3,750
Post Initiative Fund31,000
Total$499,500

2.1.2 Canada and Argentina enjoy a multifaceted bilateral relationship. Argentina is an influential regional power, a member of the G-20, one of Latin America's largest economies and an important partner for Canada in the context of our engagement in the Americas. In addition to our shared commitment to build the prosperity, security and democratic development of the Hemisphere, Canada and Argentina also work to advance similar interests on many global issues.***.

2.1.3 ***, the FPDS program has also experienced significant internal change. During the summer of 2012, both of the program's two CBS rotated out, which has brought about a shift in management style. As well, the mission lost a major resource, both in terms of funding as well as relationship building, with the elimination of the Understanding Canada Program earlier in the year.

2.2 Planning and Program Management

Evaluation of FPDS Program Management
Key FPDS Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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 Overall, the FPDS program is operating well. Its priorities are aligned with the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) document, and the program manager invests significant time in the management of the program. He provides *** direction to his team ***. As well, he has introduced a few new management tools to guide the program and discusses strategy with his staff.

2.2.2 The program largely relies on the MPR for its overall strategic direction but has developed a number of other useful tools to guide the implementation. As part of a planning retreat, a document was drafted that outlines key responsibilities and assigns leads and participants. This, along with an evergreen activities and events list and an outline for the Post Initiative Fund (PIF), forms a solid basis for program planning. However, a gap exists between the operational planning and the high-level MPR. As a result, some of the program's activities, though well delivered, may not represent the best use of resources to advance key priorities. A strategic program plan should be developed to articulate strategic objectives, along with the related activities, expected results, outputs and performance indicators. Enhancing planning at this level would also support a transition of the Public Affairs section to include more objective-based advocacy activities.

2.2.3 Communication within the team and with other programs at the mission is good. The program manager hosts a weekly team meeting to share updates from mission management and Headquarters. A set agenda guides discussions, but there is no record of decisions kept. The program manager also meets with the public affairs officer on a regular basis. It would be useful for the entire public affairs team to meet on occasion to ensure their activities are aligned with program and mission priorities.

2.2.4 The program manager is *** in setting performance expectations and addressing concerns. However, roles and responsibilities require some clarification. A few LES made reference to a desire for upward reclassification of their position based on the tasks they were performing and feedback from previous management ***. The program manager has responded to these challenges by focusing on building relationships with his staff and discussing expectations openly. As a tool to further clarify roles and responsibilities, job descriptions should be reviewed in relation to program requirements and updated as required.

2.2.5 The program has two administrative assistants that support the team: one LE-04 Public Affairs Assistant and one LE-05 Program Assistant. The volume of work for each assistant varies throughout the year, and each has identified that there are times when they would have the capacity to provide additional support. The program should review its administrative needs and distribute the administrative support appropriately.

2.3 Implementation

Evaluation of FPDS Implementation
Key FPDS Implementation CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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 program needs and objectives.X  

2.3.1 The program coordinates advocacy initiatives across the mission on an ad-hoc basis. However, there is no whole-of-government advocacy strategy or plan. As a result, opportunities may be missed and work may have to be repeated ahead of important events. A cohesive advocacy plan should be developed to clearly identify whole-of-government priorities and outline related messaging. It would be used to guide all programs in their engagement with decision makers and people of influence.

2.3.2 As mentioned under Mission Management, academic relations were at one point a key focus of the program. The mission previously obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars through the Understanding Canada Program for initiatives designed to promote a greater knowledge and understanding of Canada. While the department chose to eliminate this funding source as a result of Budget 2012, the LE-09 Public, Cultural and Academic Affairs Officer has worked *** to find alternate means to support academics and the Canadian studies centres. This fiscal year, the mission has used both its base PIF fund as well as additional money obtained on a competitive basis to support academic and cultural activities - the majority of which included the Argentine Association of Canadian Studies as a partner.

2.3.3 Whereas the mission should be commended for maintaining these valuable relationships despite the loss of a major resource, the current approach is not sustainable. As well, the mission is dedicating significant financial and human resources to cultural and academic affairs. Although the results of these initiatives are carefully reported and links are drawn to the mission priorities, the program should transition to a more proactive advocacy approach that advances whole-of-government strategic objectives and is shaped by the objectives of Canada's engagement in the Americas. Academic and cultural networking would remain a part of the overall approach, but greater emphasis would be placed on designing activities and events around key priorities.

2.3.4 The program's contact base is well maintained and facilitates the delivery of mission objectives. The Public Affairs section has a particularly wide network of influence across the country. As a result, the mission enjoys a high profile and can easily solicit support from partners in a wide variety of areas, which facilitates outreach visits, event planning and other mission activities. It is, however, noted that the elimination of the Understanding Canada Program may negatively affect what is currently excellent access to stakeholders.

2.4 Performance Measurement

Evaluation of FPDS Performance Measurement
Key FPDS Performance Measurement CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The program has an established performance measurement system in place to monitor activities towards the achievement of objectives. X 
The program assesses performance against strategies / objectives and plans, and provides a high-level assessment of performance through the MPR system at the end of the fiscal year. X 
Hospitality diaries demonstrate value-for-money and alignment with priorities. X 

2.4.1 The program does not have a formal approach to program performance measurement. However, individual contributions to the program are monitored through employee PMPs. As well, outputs are monitored and results communicated through the mission's monthly reports and the Mission Advocacy Activity Tracker (MAAT). With the creation of an overarching FPDS plan, the program will be able to set realistic performance targets and evaluate outcomes against strategic objectives. This will provide a means to evaluate progress on key priorities - and therefore contribute to the MPR assessment - as well as highlight lessons learned to apply to future planning.

2.4.2 Hospitality diaries were generally well documented, but there was some room for improvement. The program should strengthen its documentation by providing a clear purpose for events, linking the events to the program strategies and providing an honest evaluation of results. The evaluation of results should extend beyond an acknowledgement that all objectives were met. A good practice in reporting outcomes is to link the event or activity to other tangible outcomes like reporting.

2.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

2.5.1 The program should develop a workplan that outlines key activities and links human and financial resources to strategic and measurable objectives. This workplan should cascade into employees' individual workplans to maintain a coherent strategic focus.

2.5.2 A record of decisions should be maintained and circulated to staff after team meetings.

2.5.3 Job descriptions should be reviewed, updated in accordance with program needs as required and signed.

2.5.4 A whole-of-government advocacy strategy and plan should be developed for the mission.

2.5.5 Public Affairs activities should be assessed and aligned, using the New Way Forward criteria, to the mission's key priorities, in keeping with the mission advocacy strategy.

2.5.6 A performance measurement system should be implemented to monitor activities on an ongoing basis and assess results against strategic objectives. Lessons learned should be captured and applied to future planning.

2.5.7 The use of hospitality should be planned to ensure funds are strategically and fully leveraged. The associated documentation should clearly state the purpose of each event, evaluate if, and how, value-for-money was achieved and identify any follow up that was taken or will be required.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

(Please note: The management actions below reflect the initial responses upon receiving the recommendations. They do not reflect the current status of implementation.)

2.5.1 For 2012-13, the program's existing instruments have been used to monitor progress on individual and team planning commitments. For 2013-14, the introduction of Strategia and the new FPDS workplan will allow the program to meet this recommendation more fully. In progress for March 2014.

2.5.2 The program has implemented the use of annotated meeting agendas and a follow up action message that delegates responsibilities to team members. Implemented August 2013.

2.5.3 Job descriptions will be reviewed, updated and signed as needed. In progress for July 2014.

2.5.4 A whole-of-government advocacy plan will be developed in conjunction with the mission business planning process. In progress for March 2014.

2.5.5 According to the FPDS Intranet site, the "New Way Forward" has been replaced by a requirement for programs to be aligned with departmental priorities. The mission has taken the following action to ensure that resource deployment is efficient and effective: public affairs activities are planned in advance and tied to the Americas Strategy objectives; activities are reported in the MAAT and the monthly embassy reports; and work is done with the Advocacy and Innovation Division and other missions in the region to share best practices and lessons learned as well as increase the program's effectiveness and efficiency. Implemented October 2013.

2.5.6 For 2012-13, the program's existing instruments have been used to monitor progress on individual and team planning commitments. The MAAT particularly has specific sections aimed at measuring outcomes. For 2013-14, the introduction of Strategia and the new FPDS workplan will facilitate fulfilling this recommendation more fully. In progress for July 2014.

2.5.7 All hospitality reports clearly identify Americas Strategy objectives linkages, but reporting on results has improved following a training session. Although a portion of the funding is set aside for specific planned activities, some flexibility is deliberately maintained in the budget to leverage partnership opportunities as they raise and respond to unplanned requests from Headquarters, such as visits. Implemented October 2013.

3 Commercial Economic (CE)

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 The Commercial Economic (CE) program in Buenos Aires is managed by an EX-01 Senior Trade Commissioner (STC). The program includes an FS-02 and three LE-09 trade commissioners (TCs) as well as an LE-06 and two LE-05 Trade Commissioner Assistants (TCAs). The program covers Argentina and Paraguay. Its financial resources are provided below.

Commercial Economic program financial resources
Budget2012-2013
Travel$6,750
Hospitality4,500
Client Service Fund (CSF)8,150
ITS Window1,508
Corporate Social Responsibility Window19,330
Edu-Canada Fund1,500
Total$41,738

3.1.2 The CE program functions in an operating environment with financial instability, high inflation, and pronounced uncertainty in the application *** on financial and commercial activities. Canadian exports to Argentina have been affected by policies favouring domestic industry and limiting access to foreign currency. However, Argentina remains an interesting market for Canadian firms with a long-term commitment. While export opportunities are limited, the most successful Canadian commercial projects, primarily in the extractive, agri-food, and information and communications technologies (ICT) sectors, typically utilize Canadian-invested Argentine subsidiaries.

3.1.3 ***.

3.1.4 ***.

3.2 Planning and Program Management

Evaluation of CE Program Management
Key CE Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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 Overall, the program is functioning well. It enjoys a high level of client satisfaction and is delivering on its commitments despite morale issues and human resources challenges. The team demonstrates respect, professionalism and collegiality, and effectively carries out activities in line with departmental and government priorities. ***.

3.2.2 The annual planning process is well managed. A dedicated planning session is complemented by consultation with partner departments, provinces, Headquarters, regional offices and counterparts in neighbouring missions. TCs are making concerted efforts to leverage funds and expertise on a regional basis to support their sectorial responsibilities. Individual TCs have all developed strong professional networks and utilize the resources available through their structured or virtual practices. TCs also contributed to the development of the program strategy document, which is drafted early in the planning process and helps guide the development of action plans for priority sectors.

3.2.3 While the Commercial Economic Program Plan (CEP) is consistent with broad departmental priorities, it would benefit from a clearer linkage to the MPR and Canada's engagement in the Americas. This would also enhance employee understanding of those elements. Strategic participation of the STC and Head of Mission (HOM) within action plans should also be considered as a means of better leveraging these resources. In addition, greater coordination with the FPDS program during the planning process would be beneficial to better align common program interests. Several team members also indicated that mid-year and year-end program reviews would be beneficial.

3.2.4 Performance targets were reviewed as part of the planning process but may be overly ambitious for 2013-14 in light of ongoing human resource challenges and external economic factors which are dampening Canadian interest in the market. The number of priority sectors has been decreased and the ratio of sectors to TC resources is now consistent with departmental recommendations of a 1:1 ratio. The team is also working to better identify emerging opportunities in Paraguay but lacks an established network of contacts to support these efforts. The program could benefit from a closer working relationship with the Honorary Consul in Paraguay.

3.2.5 ***:

To mitigate the above, the STC has hired an intern to backfill the FS-02 position and re-organized the TCAs into a pool to ensure more equitable support. Plans are also in place to fill the LE-05 on a term basis. ***. In addition, several team members appear to be unaware of the new TCA pool structure and continue to work in previously established TC-TCA pairings.

3.2.6 The STC holds weekly team meetings on a consistent basis with written follow-up as required, although neither an agenda nor minutes are kept. The meetings are also used to share relevant information from the CMM. The STC maintains an open door policy and encourages regular interaction between team members to support internal communications. Several team members suggested that a more regular flow of informal feedback would be helpful. The STC may also consider establishing a regular meeting with the CBS TC.

3.3 Implementation

Evaluation of CE Implementation
Key CE Implementation CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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. X 

3.3.1 Overall, the CEP plan objectives cascade down into the STC's Performance Management Agreement and the team's Performance Management Program (PMP) reviews. The objectives are also well aligned with mission priorities. All team members have a PMP in place and mid-year reviews took place.

3.3.2 The program is providing effective services and is actively working to identify and promote business opportunities to clients. The high level of service requests and client satisfaction reflect their success. Activities are well aligned with program and mission objectives and are demonstrating results.

3.3.3 There is a *** level of support from the HOM for the CE Program. The HOM is seen as *** on CE files and a strong advocate for the program. She speaks regularly at CE events and welcomes the opportunity to meet with program visitors ***.

3.3.4 TRIO is used across the program, but its use is uneven. The chronic absence of TCAs makes it difficult to delegate routine functions and hampers the availability of TCs to pursue value-added activities. The upcoming launch of TRIO 2 has been identified as an opportunity to re-establish shared competencies, renew the team's commitment to TRIO and rigorous discipline in capturing results. The team could also benefit from a refresher on performance indicator definitions to better capture results.

3.3.5 The team's TRIO champion is also responsible for the InfoCentre function. ***, the program may want to consider re-establishing a formal InfoCentre ***.

3.4 Performance Measurement

Evaluation of CE Performance Measurement
Key CE Performance Measurement CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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 The STC monitors performance on an ongoing basis and relies principally on the International Business Development (IBD) Dashboard for relevant data. Performance information is shared with the team during regular team meetings and also with individual members as part of the PMP review process and through informal feedback. TRIO reports, however, are not used on a regular basis to monitor activity related to key performance indicators. The review of both data sources would be beneficial in identifying anomalies and as an opportunity to gauge the timeliness and quality of data entry. Overall results are reviewed and recorded in the CEP plan and are used to guide the development of future plans and performance targets.

3.4.2 The hospitality activities reviewed were in line with CE and mission objectives, and expenses were generally well documented. The STC and TCs extend hospitality in support of program priorities although the linkage, results achieved and value-for-money justification could be more evenly captured as part of the hospitality reporting process. The STC indicated that a hospitality procedures workshop is planned to coincide with the allocation of hospitality funds for 2013-14 to ensure that all team members are conversant with new policies and procedures.

3.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

3.5.1 The annual CE planning process should include closer coordination with the FPDS program, and the CEP plan should have clearer linkages to the mission MPR document and the objectives of Canada's engagement in the Americas.

3.5.2 The TCA pool structure and intended operation should be clarified with the CE team.

3.5.3 The mission, in consultation with the Locally Engaged Staff Services Bureau (ALD) and other departmental stakeholders, should develop and implement a sustainable staffing strategy to ensure adequate TCA support for the CE program.

3.5.4 A written record-of-decision for the weekly CE team meetings should be kept and distributed to ensure better communication of program information.

3.5.5 The STC should ensure timely, regular and even use of TRIO as well as provide a refresher on performance indicator definitions to ensure more accurate tracking of results.

3.5.6 In addition to the IBD Dashboard, the STC should consult TRIO reports to monitor and measure program performance.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

(Please note: The management actions below reflect the initial responses upon receiving the recommendations. They do not reflect the current status of implementation.)

3.5.1 Program planning processes across the mission are now more closely linked through the Strategia tool and cross-program consultations are integral to that process. In progress for April 2014.

3.5.2 The TCA pool arrangement has been clarified to all members of the team. Implemented December 2013.

3.5.3 Discussions are in progress with ALD on how to best create the conditions for a sustainable staffing plan. In progress for January 2014.

3.5.4 Weekly CE meetings feature an annotated agenda and e-mail is used to follow up on key actions/decisions. Implemented November 2013.

3.5.5 Overall, TRIO use is increasing by all staff. Training sessions and/or technical workshops are organized at least once a year to address and clarify performance indicator and other definitions as well as best-practices related to inputting information. Implemented September 2013.

3.5.6 TRIO reports are now used regularly as part of program performance management. Implemented September 2013.

4 Consular

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The Consular program is managed by the AS-06 Management Consular Officer (MCO), with operational responsibility of passport program assumed by the AS-04 Deputy MCO (DMCO), who is newly arrived ***. The program is supported by an LE-09 Consular Program Officer with delegated signing authority for notarial services and an LE-05 Consular Assistant, reporting to the LE-09. There is an Honorary Consul office in Asuncion, Paraguay. The program is also responsible for the processing of passport and citizenship applications on behalf of the mission in Montevideo, Uruguay and the Honorary Consul office in Paraguay.

Consular program financial resources
Budget2012-2013
Travel$4,500
Total$4,500

4.1.2 The mission provides approximately 1,300 passport services and processes approximately 300 citizenship applications and 1,000 notarial requests yearly. There are 2,610 Canadian citizens registered for Argentina in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database. The estimated number of Canadians resident in Argentina is 5,000, and an estimated 9,000 Canadians are resident in Paraguay, primarily in the large Mennonite community. The annual tourist volume is 10,000, peaking during the Canadian winter season.

4.1.3 The program has an active consular workload. In addition to the heavy passport volume, there is a steady number of general enquiries received by email and telephone, as well as routine and complex cases dealing with arrest, death, medical assistance, theft/loss, etc. There are currently 10 Canadians detained in Argentina. A Transfer of Offenders Treaty is in place with Argentina, although it has not been used often.

4.2 Planning and Program Management

Evaluation of Consular Program Management
Key Consular Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Mission Consular plans and manuals are up to date.X  
Internal communications within the program effectively support program delivery. X 
The mission has ongoing dialogue with key local authorities to facilitate program delivery.X  
A warden network is in place and properly maintained. X 

4.2.1 Overall, the program is *** managed and functioning effectively. There is an appropriate level of involvement by the MCO and HOM, and there is a strong consular team that is proactive and engaged. The program was the regional lead in the roll-out of the Simplified Renewal Passport process and served as the "model mission" to answer all questions from the missions in the region. The LE-09 Consular Officer participates in a COSMOS (the department's Consular software system) user group to provide feedback for system updates and also provided input into Consular Manual revision that was conducted by HQ. The LE-05 Consular Assistant provided temporary duty assistance during the absence of staff at the mission in Montevideo last year.

4.2.2 The program has a workplan that is shared with staff. There is good team spirit, cooperation and a good level of communication. Meetings take place formally and informally, although minutes or records of decisions are not always taken. Taking notes would serve to document the key decisions and program priorities.

4.2.3 Consular plans and manuals are up to date. The Mission Emergency Plan (MEP) is up to date and was partially tested when flooding occurred in October 2012 ***. The lessons learned from that incident, ***, will be incorporated into the MEP. The mission has recently purchased two portable emergency kits. A visit by the Regional Emergency Management Officer based in Panama is planned for March 2013, at which time the mission will receive emergency management training and conduct a simulation exercise.

4.2.4 The mission maintains a good network of contacts with local government officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and other ministries, as well as with local police authorities, prison officials and hospitals. Regular contact is maintained with colleagues at like-minded missions such as the U.S., U.K., Australia, etc. The mission has also participated in emergency simulation exercises conducted by other countries. There is an effective collaboration and exchange of information and best practices, with program staff often taking the lead. For example, the program often coordinates communications with authorities when there are large incidents involving foreign nationals and acts as the lead for communication to disseminate the information received.

4.2.5 A warden network is in place and consists of 35 districts. The majority of the wardens are located in the Buenos Aires area, and a review of the network is planned to consolidate or reduce the number of districts. The program has had limited resources and has been unable to host a wardens conference for some time, although communication with wardens via telephone or email is maintained as required. As travel within the country is very expensive, the program has also experienced challenges in conducting outreach, although the DMCO indicated that a trip to Mendoza (where there is a high number of passport-related theft/loss cases) as well as a visit to the HonCon in Asuncion was planned in the next few weeks.

4.2.6 There is a good working relationship between the mission and the HonCon in Asuncion, whose primary role is to provide consular/passport-related services. Consular cases are managed by the mission, with the HonCon providing assistance when necessary. The HonCon assistant *** and works closely with the Consular program at the mission. ***.

4.3 Client Service

Evaluation of Consular Client Service
Key Consular Client Service CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Services are provided to Canadians in the official language of their choice.X  
Service standards, fee schedules and a copy of an official receipt are posted in public areas in both official languages. X 
Services are provided in line with established standards.X  
Client feedback is reviewed and corrective action is taken when warranted. X 

4.3.1 The program is providing a good level of service from experienced and dedicated consular staff. Service to clients is available in both official languages as well as in Spanish, and services standards are routinely met. Bilingual signage and information is available to clients in the consular booth/reception area. A document outlining the fee schedule and service standards, and a copy of the official receipt are available in the consular booth in both official languages. However, the fee schedule and standards document is on the desk and not visibly displayed.

4.3.2 Client feedback has been limited, despite the fact that forms are provided to clients and are available in the consular booth. The program should continue to encourage clients to fill out forms, which could also be included with each completed passport or citizenship document. A locked box for clients to deposit forms could be also placed in the reception area for clients who feel uncomfortable handing the form to an employee.

4.4 Internal Controls

Evaluation of Consular Internal
Key Consular Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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, and 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 ***. All consular staff have received Passport Management Program certifications, and passports are authorized by the DMCO or MCO. Client documents and personal information are appropriately stored.

4.4.2 ***.

4.4.3 ***.

4.4.4 ***.

4.4.5 ***.

4.4.6 ***. While this is a good document, it can be further improved to include the signature of the holder as well as the date it was assigned to the custodian. The Consular Manual contains a template of an *** which can be used.

4.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

4.5.1 Records of decisions should be taken at staff meetings and formally distributed to program staff.

4.5.2 A warden conference should be held once the review of the warden network and districts is completed. The program should also increase outreach activities if possible.

4.5.3 A bilingual copy of the service standards and the fee schedule should be visibly displayed in the consular booth/reception area.

4.5.4 To further encourage client feedback, a drop box for forms should be provided in the waiting area.

4.5.5 ***:

4.5.6 ***:

Mission Actions and Timeframes

(Please note: The management actions below reflect the initial responses upon receiving the recommendations. They do not reflect the current status of implementation.)

4.5.1 The MCO holds a weekly meeting with the Consular section head (alternating between bilateral meetings and group sessions with all section heads). Any decisions taken at those meetings are communicated by e-mail to the relevant parties. Implemented December 2013.

4.5.2 Outreach activities are regularly executed by the Consular program, the HOM and program managers during their travel to different regions. Subject to the availability of funds, a warden conference will be planned in FY 2014-2015. The Consular program is conducting outreach in Paraguay in February and has requested funding in the program's budget proposal for 2014-15 to allow for increased travel and outreach. In progress for December 2014.

4.5.3 A bilingual copy of the service standards and the fee schedule has been displayed in the consular booth. Implemented October 2013.

4.5.4 A drop box will be installed and client feedback forms will be made available. In progress for January 2014.

4.5.5 ***:

4.5.6 ***:

5 Common Services

5.1 Overview

5.1.1 The Common Services program is managed by an AS-06 MCO. He is supported by a team of two CBS (an AS-04 DMCO and a CS-02 Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP)) and 13 LES, including four general service employees. The program is responsible for providing common services to 47 employees spread over five DFAIT and one partner program. It also provides IT support to the missions in Santiago, Chile, and Montevideo, Uruguay, and limited financial support to the mission in Montevideo.

5.1.2 The program functions in a complex operating environment characterized by financial instability and high inflation. The currency is controlled, but an informal "blue" exchange rate is often used by local suppliers in calculating their prices for transactions involving foreign currencies or goods, which raises the price of those good for purchasers, including the mission. The limited access to imported goods complicates the maintenance of the mission's physical plant and equipment. As a result of these factors, it is difficult for the mission to properly plan, forecast and provide timely services.

Program Management

Evaluation of Common Services Program Management
Key Common Services Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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 

5.1.3 Overall, the program is functioning well and provides good services to clients throughout the mission. The MCO is an *** manager. Staff members in the program appreciate that he is***, involved in program delivery and provides ***. The MCO meets regularly with his counterparts in like-minded missions to discuss common challenges related to the local business environment.

5.1.4 The MCO and DMCO have clearly delineated roles and responsibilities that complement their abilities and provide opportunities for mentoring. ***. Her principle responsibility is the management of the Physical Resources section, but she also is involved in program planning and the day-to-day activities of other sections of the program.

5.1.5 Although a Common Service Business Plan is in place, individual section workplans have not been created. Developing these would assist in planning, in particular for the Finance section, and managing the workflow. Most of the policies and procedures are well documented and accessible through the wiki, InfoBank or the shared network drive. However, policies and procedures should be updated on a regular basis and consolidated to one information source to better guide clients. The program has developed a good welcome kit that assists new arrivals in adapting to work at the mission.

5.1.6 Improvement can be made to internal communications. The MCO frequently meets with section heads in a one-on-one format but does not convene group meetings. Holding regular discussions that include all section heads would facilitate forward planning and allow the MCO to address cross-cutting issues and other themes related to program delivery.

Client Service

Evaluation of Common Services Client Service
Key Common Services Client Service CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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. X 

5.1.7 Overall, client services were found to be effective. However, common service delivery standards were last updated in 2004 and require an in-depth review to ensure they are consistent with the program's current capacity. Clients commented that they are not always clear on timelines for the completion of service requests.

5.1.8 A formal client service feedback mechanism is not in place; the program relies on ad hoc comments from clients. A formal mechanism would assist the program in recognizing success and in addressing service delivery deficiencies.

5.1.9 Although the mission has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in place that outlines responsibilities and procedures related to services provided to the mission in Montevideo, it has not been updated since 2006. Given that the HOM and MCO in Montevideo have recently arrived at post, a review and update of this document would assist them in the overall management of mission operations.

Procurement and Contracting

Evaluation of Procurement and Contracting
Key Procurement and Contracting CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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  
A plan is in place for major acquisitions and is approved by CMM annually. X 

5.1.10 In general, contracting and procurement processes are respected and program staff are aware of procedures governing their activities. Key processes and controls as well as revenue management criteria are in place to monitor procurement and expenditure activities. The program has many long-serving LES members who are very knowledgeable in their respective fields of service delivery.

5.1.11 The mission has an active contract review board (CRB). Members of the board typically review contracts independently, although they do meet in session when required. The mission reviews all contracts that are worth more than $2,000. A good practice observed was that members sign a managerial checklist to demonstrate that the proper process was followed in reviewing the contract.

5.1.12 The program has developed an acquisition plan that is reviewed by the MCO and presented to CMM for approval. Ideally, CMM members should review all the items suggested by the Common Service program and approve priority purchases on an annual basis.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.1.13 Workplans for all sections of the Common Services program should be developed.

5.1.14 Policies and procedures should be reviewed on an annual basis.

5.1.15 The MCO should schedule meetings with all section heads on a regular basis.

5.1.16 Common service delivery standards should be reviewed and updated as required.

5.1.17 A formal client service feedback mechanism should be developed.

5.1.18 The MOU between Buenos Aires and Montevideo should be reviewed and updated.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

(Please note: The management actions below reflect the initial responses upon receiving the recommendations. They do not reflect the current status of implementation.)

5.1.13 A formal common services workplan is under development and will be implemented by the end of the fiscal year. It will outline plans that apply to all sections. In progress for March 2014.

5.1.14 Policies and procedures are reviewed on an annual basis and incorporated into the common services business plan. Deadlines for review by CMM are incorporated into the mission's business planning calendar. In progress for March 2014.

5.1.15 The MCO now meets all section heads on a regular basis both individually and as a group. Implemented July 2013.

5.1.16 Common service delivery standards will be updated, and policies and procedures will be developed as required. In progress March 2014.

5.1.17 A formal client service feedback mechanism will be implemented and conducted on an annual basis. In progress for July 2014.

5.1.18 Consultations are underway with Montevideo to finalize an updated MOU by summer 2014. In progress for July 2014.

5.2 Human Resources

5.2.1 The human resources (HR) functions at the mission are the responsibility of the AS-06 MCO, who is assisted by the LE-05 Administrative Assistant and the AS-04 DMCO as required. The section has dealt with six staffing actions and two labour relations issues in the last two years.

Management

Evaluation of HR Management
Key HR Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
A mission HR plan has been developed and submitted to headquarters. 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 

5.2.2 Overall, the HR functions at the mission are managed ***. The MCO and/or DMCO work closely with program managers for staffing actions. The DMCO has developed a staffing timeline that is provided to managers to help guide them through the staffing process. This is a good practice and the document should also be posted onto the wiki. Assistance is provided by the DMCO and/or the administrative assistant for the preparation of the competition documents, and the DMCO assists with developing exam and interview questions. The mission has an HR plan, but it does not include succession planning - a normal part of HR planning that should be part of the overall HR strategy.

5.2.3 PMPs are in place for Common Services and Consular staff, and the program is working on updating all job descriptions. A number of them have been reviewed or are in the process of review. To ensure consistency and transparency and to help LES understand the classification process, the MCO developed a presentation and sent it to all staff. Considering that a number of questions related to classification were raised with the inspection team, this presentation should be re-communicated to all staff and an information session held to review the classification process.

5.2.4 Good orientation documentation has been developed for new CBS and LES. Arrival/departure checklists have also been created for both CBS and LES to ensure that staff is informed of procedures and that all steps are followed.

5.2.5 The DMCO is designated as the mission training coordinator, and there is an active training committee in place. In addition to identifying learning needs in PMPs, a mission-wide training plan has been developed and a small budget identified.

5.2.6 The mission maintains separate position, employee and competition files. The LE-05 Administration Assistant retains the position files, while the DMCO retains the personnel files. Files reviewed were generally well maintained and complete, although there was some inconsistency in the documentation retained on some position and employee files. As a good practice, the Locally Engaged Staff Services Bureau (ALD) checklists should be used to ensure that files consistently contain all required documentation.

Internal Controls

Evaluation of HR Internal
Key HR Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Staffing actions are conducted in line with the Locally Engaged Staff Services 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 in place. Competitions are conducted in accordance with ALD guidelines on staffing, and letters of offer are signed by the HOM. A presentation on "preparing for an interview" was developed and communicated to staff to assist them with preparing for competitive processes. Some staff nonetheless commented that they were not pleased that they were excluded from recent job competitions due to the requirement for a higher-level education as part of the statement of merit criteria.

5.2.8 An excel spreadsheet is used to manage and track LES leave. The spreadsheet is maintained on InfoBank and access is restricted. Leave balances are provided to program managers and employees on a semi-annual basis or more frequently as required.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.2.9 The mission should ensure that succession planning is incorporated into the HR strategy.

5.2.10 The document explaining the classification process should be resent to all staff.

5.2.11 The ALD checklists should be used to ensure that employee, position and competition files contain all the necessary information.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

(Please note: The management actions below reflect the initial responses upon receiving the recommendations. They do not reflect the current status of implementation.)

5.2.9 Succession planning will be integrated in the mission planning report. In progress for March 2014.

5.2.10 All staff were informed of the mission's classification processes. A town hall was also held on the subject and the chair of the classification committee gave an overview of that body's role, mandate and functions. Implemented October 2013.

5.2.11 The program is reviewing employee files with the ALD checklists to ensure all the necessary information is included. In progress for October 2014.

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The Physical Resources section is managed by the DMCO who provides day-to-day oversight and direction to an LE-06 Property Assistant, a GS-08 Building Maintenance Supervisor, an LE-05 Materiel and Customs Assistant and two handyman positions. General administrative services and transportation coordination is assumed by an LE-05 Administrative Assistant. There are two drivers providing services to all programs as well as a driver dedicated to the HOM.

5.3.2 The section currently manages a Crown-owned chancery, a Crown-owned official residence (OR) and nine Crown-leased staff quarters (SQs). The section also maintains a fleet of *** official vehicles. As part of the inspection, the OR and five SQs (two houses and three apartments) were visited.

5.3.3 The OR was built in 1947 but underwent a furnishing refurbishment in 2003. It is a large, well-maintained home that is situated on a sizeable property that includes a private pool. The property is located outside the city core, which makes it less desirable as a venue for events due to commuting distance and traffic congestion.***. The French Embassy and Finnish Embassy ORs are also located in the same area and these properties have been listed for sale for the past few years.

5.3.4 There is no signage in the chancery to identify sections or office occupants. This creates an impersonal atmosphere and a somewhat sterile environment.

Management

Evaluation of Physical Resources Management
Key Physical Resources Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Mission property and maintenance plans are up-to-date.X  
The chancery and official residence (OR) are well maintained and maintenance schedules are in place.X  
An efficient process in place for receiving, processing and monitoring work orders. X 
Annual inspections are conducted to assess the state of staff quarters (SQs) and input into maintenance and acquisition planning.X  

5.3.5 The section is functioning well and providing clients with timely services. Property maintenance plans are up to date and maintenance schedules exist for all properties. Contracts with local contractors have been arranged for servicing all major equipment and plant issues. The two handymen undertake routine repairs and maintenance while contractors are used for larger projects.

5.3.6 In general, all the mission's properties are well maintained. However, the two apartments that were leased in the summer of 2012 have a number of issues. Bats and guano present a health concern in one of the units. Other irritants include ***, small bedrooms that will not accommodate dressers or other Crown-owned furniture, and a lack of access to parking. As well, as a result of the lower rent ceilings, these SQs are considerably smaller than all others in the inventory.

5.3.7 The mission has identified that there may be an opportunity to purchase properties for use as SQs. At present, Buenos Aires's housing market is tight; it is increasingly more challenging to find suitable apartments for lease. The current currency controls further complicate the situation as the presence of an artificial exchange rate inflates rental rates. Going forward, these factors will affect the mission's ability to lease acceptable apartments within the existing rental ceilings.

5.3.8 The mission does not have an efficient system to manage work orders. The current practice relies on e-mail but is cumbersome and has led to some requests being misplaced and otherwise not acted upon. Using a service request management system would resolve these issues.

5.3.9 Annual inspections of the OR and SQs are undertaken and a formal checklist is used to identify maintenance and asset requirements. This process is used to assist in the preparation of the capital acquisition plan and the maintenance workplan.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Evaluation of Physical Resources Internal
Key Physical Resources Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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 fuel purchases are verified against consumption (e.g. mileage/usage rates for vehicles and generators). X 

5.3.10 Overall, internal controls are in place to monitor mission assets. The inventories of crown assets at the OR and SQs are well documented, and materiel transfer vouchers are used to track the movement of assets. SQ inventories and occupancy agreements are signed soon after CBS take possession of their SQs.

5.3.11 The chancery inventory was prepared in 2008, although office occupants have not signed for their respective office assets, and a mission custodian has not been assigned to control these assets. The mission minimizes its stock of surplus assets by disposing of excess items through an auction house.***.

5.3.12 The handymen are provided with all tools and equipment required to undertake electrical, plumbing and general service tasks. An inventory has been developed and signed by the custodian of the document and the employees.

5.3.13 Use of the official vehicles is recorded on a trip-by-trip basis through a vehicle log, although clients do not sign the form. Each month, a report is prepared to calculate vehicle mileage and fuel purchases. A maintenance schedule exists for all vehicles. However, the EXT-159 Vehicle Operating and Maintenance Report is not signed by the Common Services Assistant nor is it reviewed and signed by the DMCO.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.3.14 The Crow Canyon service request software should be installed for use by all staff.

5.3.15 The chancery materiel inventory should be updated and a custodian assigned to control these assets.

5.3.16 Signatures verifying the use of the official vehicles should be obtained following each trip. Monthly reconciliations of vehicle usage and fuel purchases should be reviewed and signed by the DMCO.

Recommendations to the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD)

5.3.17 ***.

5.3.18 A project to provide the chancery with proper internal signage should be explored.

5.3.19 A market assessment should take place to determine if it would be appropriate to purchase apartments for use as SQs.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

(Please note: The management actions below reflect the initial responses upon receiving the recommendations. They do not reflect the current status of implementation.)

5.3.14 The Crow Canyon service is no longer promoted by the department. Until a new departmental work order system is in place, the mission will work on developing a more systematic approach to receive and follow-up on requests. In progress for October 2014.

5.3.15 A custodian has been assigned to control the chancery materiel and update the inventory on a regular basis. The mission will undergo a large-scale review and the chancery inventory will be updated. In progress for October 2014.

5.3.16 A new procedure for verifying the use of official vehicles is currently being implemented. The monthly operating and maintenance records will be prepared and signed by the MCO or DMCO. In progress for October 2014.

HQ Actions and Timeframes

(Please note: The management actions below reflect the initial responses upon receiving the recommendations. They do not reflect the current status of implementation.)

5.3.17 *** In progress for August 2014.

5.3.18 ARD has tasked the interior designer assigned to this region to investigate the mission's internal signage with the DMCO and to advise the mission on acquiring replacement signage in alignment with the DFATD Embassy Signage Guidelines. ARD will follow up with the mission early in 2014. In progress for April 2014.

5.3.19 A market analysis was not completed because the proposal did not meet ARD's global investment prioritization cut-off for investment opportunities. HQ could not implement the recommendation so it was withdrawn in January 2014.

5.4 Finance

The Finance section is managed on a day-to-day basis by the LE-07 Accountant, under the overall direction of the MCO. The section also includes an LE-05 Assistant Accountant and an LE-04 Accounting Clerk. The accounting clerk has been absent from her duties for several months***. She is not expected to return to the office until September 2013.

Management

Evaluation of Finance Management
Key Finance Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes 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  

5.4.1 The section functions well and is providing quality and timely service. The accountant *** provides *** service to clients. The MCO is active in budget preparation and forecasting, but program managers are only provided budget updates and program expenditures upon request. Ideally, program managers would see greater value in obtaining monthly updates prior to the monthly financial statement being sent to HQ.

5.4.2 In addition to financial services provided in Buenos Aires, the section also provides financial document entry and assists in the bank reconciliation process for the mission in Montevideo.

5.4.3 The segregation of duties between the two accountants is generally maintained, although the junior accountant routinely accepts *** and also undertakes the document entry into IMS. These duties should be separated with the senior accountant assuming one of the two roles in the process.

5.4.4 Quiet hours are posted for the section and they are fairly well respected by staff,***. In addition, the section should set specific timeframes to receive *** from the Immigration and Consular programs so that quiet hours can be better utilized.

5.4.5 The mission uses electronic funds transfers (EFTs) for most payments, although there are occasions where cheques are still required. The mission is attempting to phase out the use of cheques whenever possible. The senior accountant has been issued with a local credit card that is used to facilitate payments associated with the LES health plan, highway tolls and some utility bill payments. The card is only used with the consent of the MCO and only when other forms of payment are not accepted by local authorities.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Evaluation of Finance Internal
Key Finance Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Financial signing authorities are exercised by individuals who possess the appropriate delegation of authority.X  
The asset and liability report is reviewed on a monthly basis. X 
A CBS receives the original monthly bank statement directly from the bank and reviews it prior to giving it to the accountant. 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  
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  
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  
Reimbursement of HonCon operational expenses is based on an established agreement. X 
A percentage of costs for personal use of OR supplies is determined and regular reimbursements are made to the mission.X  
A process is in place to ensure that, where applicable, CBS reimburse the mission for any services of a personal nature received at their staff quarters (e.g. television, internet, telephone, etc.).X  

5.4.6 Overall, internal controls were effective. The MCO uses IMS to view reports and undertakes a challenge function when required. The asset and liability report is reviewed by the MCO annually, but this report should be reviewed and verified monthly.

5.4.7 The bank statement is received by the senior accountant although standard practice dictates that the MCO should receive the statement, initial each page and then provide it to the accountant to begin the monthly bank reconciliation process.

5.4.8 ***, although neither the Common Services Assistant nor the building manager completes the EXT-2027 Petty Cash Voucher (missions) form for each transaction. However, all of the information is provided on the monthly reconciliation sheet. Nonetheless, this practice does not allow for the name or signature of the person receiving the cash to be recorded.

5.4.9 The section processes the payment of HonCon expenditures. However, the accountants do not have clear instructions concerning what expenses are allowable. A list of reimbursable expenses that are outlined in the HonCon mandate letter should also be provided to the section.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.10 The mission should ensure that proper segregation of duties is maintained between finance staff.

5.4.11 The mission should establish set hours for the receipt of consular and immigration revenues.

5.4.12 The asset and liability report should be reviewed by the MCO monthly.

5.4.13 The original bank statement should be received and reviewed by the MCO before it is passed to the accountant to begin the bank reconciliation process.

5.4.14 The form EXT-2027 Petty Cash Voucher (missions) should be properly completed for all petty cash expenditures.

5.4.15 The Finance section should be provided a list of acceptable expenditures to facilitate the processing of the HonCon reimbursement.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

(Please note: The management actions below reflect the initial responses upon receiving the recommendations. They do not reflect the current status of implementation.)

5.4.10 The responsibilities of the senior and junior accountant were reviewed and adjusted to ensure an adequate segregation of duties. Implemented October 2013.

5.4.11 The mission has established set hours for the receipt of consular and immigration revenues. Implemented October 2013.

5.4.12 The asset and liability report is now reviewed monthly by the MCO. Implemented October 2013.

5.4.13 ***. Implemented October 2013.

5.4.14 The EXT-20127 Petty Cash Voucher (missions) form is now properly completed for all petty cash expenditures. Implemented October 2013.

5.4.15 Financial processes will be reviewed with the HonCon when the MCO visits Paraguay. A list of acceptable expenditures will be provided to him at that time. At the mission, the MCO will pre-approve any non-routine expenses that are beyond the recurring month-to-month expenses before they are processed by the Finance section. In progress for January 2014.

5.5 Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT)

5.5.1 The Information Management and Information Technology (IM-IT) section is led by a CS-02 Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) who is supported by an LE-07 Locally Engaged ITP (LEITP). The team provides support to 47 clients at the mission as well as regional support to employees at the missions in Chile and Uruguay.

Management

Evaluation of IM-IT Management
Key IM-IT Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
An Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT) plan exists and includes regional activities. X 
The liaison between the mission, HQ and the regional manager is effective.X  
The mission uses the required IM-IT service request system and maintains relevant data.X  

5.5.2 Overall, the IM-IT section is functioning well and is providing good service to its clients. The IM-IT plan identifies key priorities for the year and ensures that opportunities for cost savings, efficiencies, risk mitigation, communications and information management issues are addressed. The plan identifies that the FSITP will visit Chile twice a year and Uruguay once each quarter; however, it does not identify when the trips will be undertaken or what services will be provided. The plan also does not include any timelines for any of its objectives.

5.5.3 The FSITP and the regional manager at Headquarters have a good working relationship; they maintain regular contact and support is provided when required. The FSITP is also in frequent communication with the missions in Chile and Uruguay.

5.5.4 The team uses the Remedy system to track and follow-up on client requests and address issues. However, the IM-IT team noted that more could be done to encourage clients to use the Service Request Online (SRO) system.

5.5.5 The team proactively provides useful tools to educate their users on certain technologies. These tools include tips and tricks on the wiki and instructions on how to set up video conferencing equipment. As well, a room at the mission is occasionally reserved to hold specific software training sessions.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Evaluation of IM-IT Internal
Key IM-IT Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Back-ups are performed routinely and tapes are stored appropriately in a secure location away from the primary use area.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 

5.5.6 Overall, IM-IT processes and controls are effective. System backups are completed daily ***.

5.5.7 A formal process is in place for employees to sign out blackberries and cellular phones. However, there is no formal sign-out sheet for other mobility tools.

5.5.8 Surplus IT assets were identified in consultation with Headquarters and were disposed of on an ad hoc basis. The mission did not have specific procedures for the disposal of IT assets, and the FSITP was not familiar with the department's policies and procedures.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.5.9 The IM-IT plan should include approximate timelines for regional visits and what activities will take place.

5.5.10 ***.

5.5.11 A sign-out sheet should be created to cover all IT assets on loan to staff.

5.5.12 The FSITP should review the department's Materiel Management Manual to ensure that any disposal of IT assets is consistent with established procedures and policies.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

(Please note: The management actions below reflect the initial responses upon receiving the recommendations. They do not reflect the current status of implementation.)

5.5.9 The IM-IT plan will be adjusted to include timelines for regional visits and the activities that are to take place. In progress for January 2014.

5.5.10 ***. Implemented October 2013.

5.5.11 A sign-out sheet has been created to cover all IT assets on loan to staff. Implemented October 2013.

5.5.12 The FSITP has reviewed the department's Materiel Management Manual and will ensure that the disposal of IT assets is consistent with established procedures and policies. Implemented October 2013.

Appendix A: Mission Resources Fact Sheet

Physical Resources
AssetsCrown-OwnedCrown-LeasedPrivate-Lease
Chancery1  
Official Residence1  
Staff Quarters 9 
Vehicles*  
Financial Information 2012/2013
BudgetProgramCommon Services
Operating$85,000$1,066,000
Capital041,000
CBS Salaries917,000857,000
CBS Overtime8,0008,000
LES Salaries848,000613,000
LES Overtime35,00012,000
Total$1,893,000$2,597,000
Human Resources (FTEs)
ProgramTotalCBSLES
Head of Mission725
FPDS725
CE826
Consular2.50.52
Common Services15.52.513
CIC725
Total471136

Appendix B: Frequently Used Acronyms

CBS
Canada-based staff
CE
Commercial Economic
CMM
Committee on Mission Management
COMIP
Consular Management Information Program
CONPLAN
Contingency Plan
CRB
Contract Review Board
CSF
Client Service Fund
EFT
Electronic Funds Transfer
DMCO
Deputy Management Consular Officer
FPDS
Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service
FSITP
Foreign Service Information Technology Professional
FTE
Full Time Equivalent
FY
Fiscal Year
GCS
Global Commerce Strategy
GVC
Global Value Chains
HOM
Head of Mission
HONCON
Honorary Consul
HQ
Headquarters
HR
Human Resources
HSZ
High Security Zone
ICT
Information Communication Technologies
IM-IT
Information Management - Information Technology
IMS
Integrated Management System
LEITP
Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional
LES
Locally engaged staff
LESMCB
LES Management Consultation Board
MCO
Management Consular Officer
MEP
Mission Emergency Plan
MFO
Mission Financial Officer
MM Module
Materiel Management Module of IMS
MMWP
Mission Maintenance Workplan
MOU
Memorandum of Understanding
MSO
Mission Security Officer
MPMP
Mission Property Management Plan
NAAP
North American Platform Program
OR
Official residence
OZ
Operations Zone
PIF
Post Initiative Fund
PM
Program Manager
PMA
Performance Management Agreement
PMP
Human Resources - Performance Management Program
PMP
Consular - Passport Management Program
PRIME
Physical Resources Information - Mission Environment
ROCA
Registration of Canadians Abroad
S&T
Science and Technology
STC
Senior Trade Commissioner
SQ
Staff Quarter
SZ
Security Zone
TC
Trade Commissioner
TCA
Trade Commissioner Assistant
TCS
Trade Commissioner Service
TRIO
The TCS' Client Relationship Management System
ZID
Office of the Inspector General and Chief Audit Executive
ZIV
Missions Inspection Division
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