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Inspection of the Embassy of Canada, Montevideo, Uruguay

February 11-13, 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 Montevideo, Uruguay from February 11 to 13, 2013. A previous inspection of these programs took place in 2008.

The embassy is a micro-mission with two Canada-based staff (CBS) and four locally engaged staff (LES). In addition, there are currently another two people on contract and four interns at the mission. Both the Head of Mission (HOM) and the Management Consular Officer (MCO) arrived in the summer 2012 rotation season. Since then, the mission has been functioning in a mostly responsive mode while the management team adapts to the mission, its operating environment and working together.

The HOM is *** at setting short-term priorities, and the mission is responsive to incoming demands. However, strategic planning requires significant attention - many of the mission's key documents either require modification or do not exist. The mission's governance structure also needs improvement. Going forward, it is important that the HOM and the MCO work together as a cohesive management team to set strategies and plans for the mission.

Overall, most employees are content in their work, and some commented that the mission environment has improved since the arrival of the new management team. Nevertheless, morale varies from individual to individual. Informal communication and cross-program working relationships are generally good, but there is also a desire for more direction from management. Further promotion of the public service values and ethics and the associated resources would also be advisable.

The HOM is the sole indeterminate resource dedicated to the FPDS program. However, a long-serving contract employee provides part-time support on public affairs and one intern also assists with FPDS-related activities. Although the FPDS program's objectives flow from the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) tool's commitments, no additional workplan exists. A basic plan that outlines strategic objectives would ensure that proactive initiatives are aligned with departmental and government objectives and assist in evaluating performance.

An LE-09 Trade Commissioner manages the CE program on a day-to-day basis with the assistance of three interns. In addition, the HOM dedicates about 50% of her time to the CE program. Trade and investment, although limited, are key components of the Canada-Uruguay bilateral relationship. Overall, the program is busy and delivering good service, but attention is required to planning. The CE program plan should link the action plans to the program's strategy, identify how the program will achieve its performance targets and outline how the program will respond to changes and challenges. Good attention to client service was noted and TRIO reporting is undertaken on a consistent basis. The LE-09 monitors the program's performance through TRIO and the International Business Development Dashboard - tools which the HOM should also use to oversee the program.

The Consular program is functioning well, although it, too, operates without the aid of a formal workplan. A long-serving consular assistant provides day-to-day services and is also the assistant to the HOM. The program processes about 20 passport requests annually as well as a limited number of citizenship applications and notarial requests. Service standards are met and overall the program provides good service to clients.***.

The Common Services program currently operates in a reactive mode. Improvements in processes, procedures and controls can be made in all areas of common service delivery. Priority should be placed on the development of a Common Service Business Plan and workplans to help guide staff. Reviewing and updating common services policies and procedures will assist in service delivery and ensure that key areas, ***, are strengthened. The mission does not have a human resources plan, and most job descriptions are either out of date or have not been signed. This should be addressed. As well, it is important that the mission abide by human resources guidelines, and contracting rules and regulations when engaging additional help on a contractual basis. Finance, procurement and contracting processes should be documented to provide clear guidance on procedures and a base for reviewing performance.

A total of 64 recommendations are raised in the report: 63 are addressed to the mission and 1 is 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 38 have been implemented.

1 Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Embassy in Montevideo is a micro-mission with two Canada-based staff (CBS) and four locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in Uruguay. The mission is managed by an EX-01 Head of Mission (HOM) who is responsible for overall mission operations and, according to the mission, oversees the operational and capital budgets of $150,000 and $25,000 respectively. The mission manages a property portfolio that includes a chancery and two Crown-leased staff quarters (SQs).

1.1.2 In addition to the indeterminate employees, there are two people on contract and four interns working at the mission. One of the contract employees works on a part-time basis on public affairs and the other backs up the consular and common services staff during absences and provides surge capacity when required. The interns principally provide assistance to the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS) and Commercial Economic (CE) programs.

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 During the 2012 rotation season, there was a turnover of the mission's two CBS positions. The Management Consular Officer (MCO) arrived in mid-summer 2012 and managed the mission until the arrival of the HOM a few months later in the early fall. Since then, the mission has been functioning largely in a responsive mode while the management team adapts to the mission, its operating environment and working together.

1.2.2 Morale varies from individual to individual. Overall, most employees are content in their work, and some commented that morale has improved since the new management team arrived. Informal communication and cross-program working relationships are generally good. However, there is also a desire for more direction from management. As well, the work environment is somewhat affected by the perceived presence of a clique in the Common Services program.

1.2.3 ***. Going forward, it is important that the HOM and the MCO work together as a cohesive management team to set strategies and plans for the mission.

1.2.4 Communication from CBS to LES is generally good across the mission. Both the HOM and the MCO are considered to be ***.The HOM chairs an all-staff meeting to convey management priorities, discuss upcoming activities and share news from Headquarters. Minutes are distributed to all staff. The HOM meets frequently with the program managers throughout the week. Nonetheless, to reinforce formal communication, the HOM should also schedule regular bilateral meetings with the MCO and the LE-09 Trade Commissioner to discuss their respective programs.

1.2.5 In terms of operations, the HOM is *** at setting short-term priorities, and the mission is responsive to incoming demands. However, strategic planning requires significant attention - many of the mission's key documents either require modification or do not exist. For example, the Mission Planning and Reporting document (MPR) does not identify Canadian interests in Uruguay, the CE program plan (CEP plan) is not sufficiently detailed, and the mission does not have plans for most elements of the FPDS, Common Services and Consular programs. Individuals typically manage their tasks week-to-week and do not follow workplans. Effective planning will make the mission more proactive and bring focus to its programming.

1.2.6 The lack of strategic planning makes it difficult to evaluate mission resourcing. As well, the mission currently relies on contract employees and, to a lesser extent, interns for the everyday delivery of its programs. To ensure sustainable and consistent service delivery, the mission should calibrate its objectives to correspond to the mission's permanent staff component. Any requirement for additional human resources, temporary or permanent, should be put forward in a business case to Headquarters.

1.2.7 The mission's governance structure also requires attention. The only active committee is the Committee on Mission Management (CMM), which consists of the HOM and the MCO. Integrating the LE-09 Trade Commissioner into the CMM would ensure that the CE program's interests are communicated and bring an element of corporate memory to the body. The CMM's agenda should address key governance issues, including in the development of policies and procedures. In keeping with the resources of a micro-mission, most key governance elements could be addressed by the CMM or as a part of the all-staff meeting - adjusting the participation to meet the requirements. The mission in Buenos Aires may also be able to provide some oversight, as outlined later in this report. The HOM Guide on Mission Governance should assist the mission in determining its governance requirements and setting appropriate terms of reference to direct participants.

1.2.8 There has only been one meeting of the LES Management Consultation Board (LESMCB), which took place under the previous management. Even though the LES feel that the mission's small size allows them to raise issues directly with management, they are not organized to effectively identify common issues and do not fully understand the LESMCB's purpose. Management should clarify the mandate of the LESMCB with all LES and work with them to develop a joint agenda for a meeting in the near future.

1.2.9 Employees are aware of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service, and this subject was raised recently by the HOM at an all-staff meeting. Unsubstantiated rumours were heard that transgressions may have occurred recently, but there have been no actions to formally report or address these concerns. Considering this, further promotion of values and ethics and the associated tools would be advisable.

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.N/AN/AN/A
Common services are provided in line with the memorandum of understanding and any issues are addressed at CMM.N/AN/AN/A

1.3.1 There are no partner departments or agencies represented at the mission. Nonetheless, the development of key planning documents, including the MPR, should take into account the full range of Government of Canada interests in Uruguay. For example, the mission in Buenos Aires provides visa service to Uruguayans. As well, the presence of the International Development Research Centre's regional office is significant and may be of benefit to mission programming. Improving the planning mechanisms will better position the mission to ensure policy coherence in the delivery of programs.

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 Overall, the mission takes emergency preparedness seriously and has invested time in planning and preparing. The mission emergency plan (MEP) is up-to-date and an emergency response team has been identified. ***.

1.4.2 Although there have been discussions *** no agreement has been formalized.

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 Mission management promotes the use of both official languages, but the small size of the mission and its employees' language profiles present some challenges.***. Although signage is bilingual in most cases, some information, such as the fee schedule for consular service, is posted in English only.

1.6 Management Controls

Evaluation of Management Control
Key Management Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Security policies and regulations are respected and promoted. X 
Program managers are provided regular financial/budget updates to facilitate effective management and decision making. X 
Bank reconciliations are properly reviewed and signed-off on a monthly basis.X  
Mission hospitality guidelines are appropriate and reviewed annually by CMM.X  
Hospitality activities are properly documented, demonstrate value-for-money and align with mission objectives. X 
Mechanisms are in place to monitor the completion of employees' performance evaluations.X  
A coordinated approach is taken with regards to training and a budget has been established. X 
The quarterly reconciliation of passport inventory is properly completed and certified.X  
The Honorary Consul (HonCon) has an up-to-date mandate letter and performance is reviewed annually.N/AN/AN/A

1.6.1 The management controls that are in place at the mission are working well. Passport and bank reconciliations are undertaken properly and in a timely manner; hospitality guidelines are reviewed at CMM; and employee performance is evaluated through the Performance Management Program (PMP). To facilitate effective resources management, regular financial updates should be provided. The mission learning coordinator, the MCO, establishes training priorities based on PMPs. However, the mission has not prepared a corresponding plan or a budget. Whereas training usually focuses on program specific requirements, further opportunities could be identified through discussion with the LES.

1.6.2 Certain other controls require attention. ***. Hospitality documentation is also inconsistent. Some of the documentation reviewed did not fully communicate the purpose and value derived from the events undertaken. The HOM Guide on Official Hospitality Outside Canada is a good resource to advise the mission on leveraging funds and documenting activities. To ensure the strategic use of hospitality in support of mission objectives, hospitality allocations should be provided to programs and their managers held accountable for planning, using and reporting on the funds.

1.7 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

1.7.1 The mission should review and/or establish strategic plans and objectives and ensure they are reflected in employee performance measurement tools as well as key documents such as the MPR; the CEP plan and the Common Services Business Plan.

1.7.2 Strategic objectives should be calibrated to fit the mission's capacity - i.e. its permanent staff component.

1.7.3 The CMM agenda should be adapted to focus on planning, governance, policy setting and other mission-management decisions. It should be expanded to include the LE-09 Trade Commissioner, unless the subject matter requires that the discussion be limited only to CBS.

1.7.4 The mandate of the LESMCB should be clarified with all LES. The HOM and MCO should work with the LES to develop a joint agenda and establish a plan to meet on a quarterly basis.

1.7.5 The mission should review its governance structure to ensure that the key governance committees, as outlined in the HOM Guide on Mission Governance, are addressed.

1.7.6 Discussions on values and ethics should continue, and staff should be reminded of the various resources available to address questions or concerns.

1.7.7 Partner departments and agencies with interests in Uruguay should be consulted as part of the development of strategic planning documents.

1.7.8 ***.

1.7.9 ***.

1.7.10 The public should be able to receive information or service in the official language of their choice:

1.7.11 Regular financial/budget updates should be provided to program managers.

1.7.12 Mission management should set appropriate ***.

1.7.13 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.

1.7.14 A formal all-of-mission training/learning plan should be developed and funds allocated accordingly.

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 A Global Action Plan was prepared in February 2013 and reviewed again in April. It includes a review of the CEP plan and the Common Services Business Plan. The mission business planning for common service delivery and the mission's MPR document were completed in March 2013. Implemented April 2013.

1.7.2 The 2014/15 Strategia planning process was used to review strategic objectives and adjust them to fit the mission's capacity. Implemented February 2014.

1.7.3 The LE-09 Trade Commissioner has been added to the CMM body. However, since the mission does not currently have an MCO, there are only two members of CMM. Discussions on governance, planning and policy issues still take place as needed, and a full CMM will be scheduled on a two week basis upon the arrival of a new MCO. Implemented April 2013.

1.7.4 The mandate of the LESMCB has been clarified with all staff, an agenda has been developed and meetings are taking place every three months. Implemented May 2013.

1.7.5 A well-defined governance structure has been put in place. It includes scheduled weekly meetings with heads of programs, the CMM, a Health and Safety Committee, the LESMCB meetings focused on human resources, contract review and classification as required. Implemented April 2013.

1.7.6 All staff were provided with online courses on values and ethics. As well, departmental documentation on the subject was distributed and values and ethics elements were incorporated into three team-building sessions. Implemented November 2013.

1.7.7 The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the International Development Research Centre were all consulted in the preparation of the MPR document. Montevideo and Buenos Aires also recently concluded a Temporary Remote Passport Agreement with CIC and is in the process of reviewing the memorandum of understanding. Implemented July 2013.

1.7.8 ***. Implemented March 2013.

1.7.9 *** . Implemented May 2013.

1.7.10 The mission has implemented the following:

1.7.11 Efforts have been made to provide financial information on a regular basis, but a formal system will only be established within the first six months following the arrival of a new MCO. In Progress for September 2014.

1.7.12 ***. In Progress for September 2014.

1.7.13 Hospitality activities are now better documented and all align with departmental priorities. Value-for-money is always considered when organizing hospitality events. Implemented October 2013.

1.7.14 Within the first six months of the arrival of a new MCO, a formal training plan will be put in place. In Progress for September 2014.

2 Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The HOM is the sole indeterminate resource dedicated to the FPDS program. However, a long-serving contract employee provides part-time support on public affairs and one intern also assists with FPDS-related activities. The program's financial resources are provided below, although it should be noted that the hospitality notionally allocated to this program also supports the Commercial Economic (CE) program at the HOM's discretion.

Program's Financial Resources
Budget2012-2013
Travel$2,000
Hospitality14,000
Post Initiative Fund3,000
Total$19,000

2.1.2 The FPDS program manages a Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) with the assistance of a part-time fund coordinator (under contract). The fund is valued at approximately $100,000 and provides awards of up to $20,000 per project. The priority themes are: stimulating sustainable economic growth; increasing food security; creating opportunities for children and youth; advancing democracy; and ensuring security and stability.

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 The FPDS program's objectives flow from the broad priorities articulated in the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) tool's commitments. However, no additional workplan or strategic document is used to guide the program. A basic plan that outlines strategic objectives would ensure that proactive initiatives, such as those related to the Post Initiative Fund, are aligned with departmental and government objectives.

2.2.2 The HOM provides *** direction and works closely with staff at the mission on the delivery of FPDS activities. Strengthening planning will provide additional long-term direction and clarify the roles and responsibilities of all involved. Effective planning and communication are especially important considering that there are no resources dedicated to the FPDS program on a full-time basis.

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 HOM plays a key role in linking the FPDS and CE programs and ensures that all programs work together on major events. The support provided during Minister MacKay's visit to Uruguay for the Conference of the Defense Ministers of the Americas is a good example of how the mission works as a team in support of key events. Nonetheless, developing a document which outlines key advocacy objectives would reinforce mission priorities. Given the orientation of Canadian interests in Uruguay, it is important to ensure that the CE program's priorities are well supported.

2.3.2 The HOM recognizes the importance of ensuring that the program's activities are aligned with Canadian interests in Uruguay and tries to take advantage of regional opportunities to limit costs. While this involves deferring some opportunities and requests, such as book fairs and cultural events, it also positions the mission to leverage its limited resources for higher-value activities.

2.3.3 The mission's small CFLI fund has priority themes that are generally aligned with Canadian priorities in the Hemisphere. During this fiscal year, it has supported 10 projects with funding that ranged from about $6,000 at minimum to $15,000 at maximum. While 10 projects is a manageable number, the mission should take care not to support too many small projects as they add to administrative costs and make monitoring more burdensome.

2.3.4 The mission maintains a good list of key contacts that facilitates effective outreach and networking. The database is growing and addresses both private and public sector interests.

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 Mission Planning and Reporting (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 reviews activities following their implementation. Staff discuss lessons learned and means to improve for the future. However, much of the evaluation is based on how the activity was organized. Strengthening planning will provide a clearer basis from which to evaluate performance - looking at the advancement of strategic objectives in addition to the implementation process.

2.4.2 The MPR is used to assess the program's high-level performance as it relates to its strategic commitments. The assessment for fiscal year 2011-12 was undertaken by the previous management. In preparing for the 2012-13 process, the mission is reminded of the importance of clearly identifying results and providing meaningful commentary on the future direction the program should take based on lessons learned.

2.4.3 Reporting through the Mission Advocacy Activity Tracker (MAAT) has recently been implemented and will provide greater visibility for the program's advocacy results. The evaluation of activities through the MAAT should contribute to the overall roll-up of results at the end of the year, which should capture the value derived from resources dedicated to advocacy.

2.4.4 As addressed under the Mission Management section of this report, hospitality diaries were not consistent in demonstrating value-for-money and alignment with priorities.

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.

2.5.2 An advocacy strategy and plan should be developed for the mission.

2.5.3 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.

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 The mission created an advocacy work plan for 2013-2014. It identifies activities that directly support Government of Canada priorities and outlines key advocacy objectives for the entire fiscal year. The plan was created taking into consideration regional opportunities to leverage the limited resources of the mission and bring high level activities to Uruguay. Implemented April 2013.

2.5.2 An advocacy plan was developed. It links activities to the departmental priorities and the MPR commitments, with a focus on democracy and respect for human rights. Implemented April 2013.

2.5.3 The mission has implemented post-activity meetings to analyze events, capture lessons learned and identify possible improvements for the future. All advocacy achievements were reported in the Mission Advocacy Activity Tracker system, which is used to measure results against objectives. Implemented April 2013.

3 Commercial Economic (CE)

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 The CE program consists of an LE-09 Trade Commissioner who reports to the HOM. In addition, the HOM dedicates about 50% of her time to the CE program. The program's financial resources are provided below.

Commercial Economic program financial resources
Budget2012-2013
Travel$3,200
Client Service Fund (CSF)5,000
Total$8,200

3.1.2 Trade and investment, although limited, are key components of the Canada-Uruguay bilateral relationship. A Tax Information Exchange Agreement was recently signed and Canadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA) in the country continues to rise. In 2012, Canadian exports to Uruguay amounted to over $40 million and imports were valued at over $60 million. Uruguay's economy is centred on agriculture and agri-food, which makes up approximately 10% of the country's GDP.

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 The program benefits from a *** LE-09 Trade Commissioner who manages the program on a day-to-day basis. She undertakes planning in conjunction with the HOM and delivers the program with the assistance of three interns. Overall, the program's objectives align with departmental plans and priorities.

3.2.2 The strategy section of the 2012-13 CE program plan (CEP plan) outlines the market context and identifies market opportunities, Canadian capabilities and Canadian interests for the program's two priority sectors - infrastructure and forestry. However, the action plans do not sufficiently address all the elements identified in the strategy. For example, CDIA aftercare is highlighted as a focus for the program, but it is not addressed in the action plans. At present, there are two action plans - one for each of the proactive priority sectors - but each only contains one event-based initiative. Although performance targets are identified, it is unclear how they will be met, as the plans do not outline strategies for outcalls, network building, market access troubleshooting or other day-to-day activities.

3.2.3 Communication within the program is generally good, although largely informal. The LE-09 Trade Commissioner meets regularly with the interns to train and guide them; her support and feedback is valuable and well received. The HOM and LE-09 meet throughout the week but do not have regular one-on-one meetings. While this structure is sufficient for facilitating day-to-day activities and short-term priorities, a formal scheduled meeting would facilitate strategic planning and permit the LE-09 to better manage the program.

3.3 Implementation

Evaluation of CE Implementation
Key CE Implementation CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Business plan objectives and those outlined in management's Performance Management Agreements(PMAs) / Performance Management Programs(PMPs) appropriately cascade down into staff PMPs.X  
Activities and initiatives are aligned with the mission's key priorities. X 
TRIO use is monitored to ensure activities are reported appropriately and accurately reflect the work undertaken.X  
InfoCentre functions are assigned and facilitate program delivery.N/AN/AN/A

3.3.1 Overall, there is good attention to client service. Following *** the program responded quickly in reporting on developments and assisting Canadian companies ***. The program has also dedicated significant time to market access challenges, particularly in the agriculture sector. Caution should be taken not to resolve routine challenges that fall outside of the program's core mandate.

3.3.2 TRIO reporting is undertaken on a consistent basis. The LE-09 Trade Commissioner has trained the interns on the use of TRIO and monitors their input. Attention should be paid to ensuring that business leads that are entered into the system are sent onwards. The LE-09 is scheduled to attend TRIO 2 training at the mission in Buenos Aires which should reinforce best practices in terms of reporting.

3.3.3 As a result of cancelling activities that were outlined in the CEP plan, in part due the absence of a HOM for three months, the program will spend its entire Client Service Fund (CSF) allotment on one event in March 2013. Although the event is in a priority sector for the 2012-13 fiscal year (infrastructure), the program has decided to pursue agriculture and education as priorities for 2013-14. There is a risk that the momentum generated by this event will be lost as the mission transitions to focus on its new priority sectors.

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 Strengthening planning will better enable the program to justify performance targets and measure results. An annual review of program performance and results would contribute to the program's understanding of its strengths and weaknesses and its ability to plan strategically. Currently, the LE-09 oversees progress towards performance targets through monitoring TRIO and reviewing the International Business Development Dashboard (IBD Dashboard). The HOM does not currently use these tools.

3.4.2 Activities are assessed throughout the year, and the CE plan is adjusted to reflect changing conditions and the ability of the mission to deliver on its initiatives. However, amendments to the action plans do not articulate how the program will adjust its work in the sector. For example, the rationale for cancelling an activity in the forestry sector described the program's capacity limits but did not indicate what would be done to maintain momentum in the sector.

3.4.3 The CE program does not have a hospitality or travel budget. The commitment of these funds is managed on an event-by-event basis and comes from the HOM's budget. As a result, the program is not sufficiently planning the use of these funds as a resource to advance program objectives.

3.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

3.5.1 Action plans should be created for all of the priorities identified in the strategy of the CEP plan.

3.5.2 The action plans should include initiatives that identify what resources (human and financial) will be allocated to the functional or sector-based priority and how those resources will be leveraged throughout the year to achieve the related performance targets.

3.5.3 Resources from the Client Service Fund should be allocated to ongoing strategic priorities.

3.5.4 The HOM should use TRIO and the IBD Dashboard to measure and monitor program performance.

3.5.5 Resources for hospitality and travel should be allocated to the CE program and incorporated into planning tools.

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 Action plans were reviewed and adjusted to the feedback received from the inspection. In particular, additional action plans were added for trade policy/market access and Canadian Direct Investment Abroad. These are in addition to the action plans for the program's two existing priority sectors (Agriculture and Education). Implemented December 2013.

3.5.2 After feedback was received from the Planning and Performance Measurement Unit (BTR), human and financial resources have been allocated to priorities and the action plans outline how those resources will be deployed to achieve the performance targets. The hospitality and travel figures have been adjusted in accordance with decisions taken by the mission's CMM. Implemented April 2013.

3.5.3 Resources from the Client Service Fund have been allocated to the strategic priorities and were approved by Headquarters in the CEP plan. Funds were also allocated for activities in the agriculture sector. Implemented April 2013.

3.5.4 The HOM now has access to both TRIO and the IBD Dashboard. Although there have been some technical issues with the use of these tools, the mission has consulted IT support and should be a in a good position to use these resources to measure and monitor CE program performance. In Progress February 2014.

3.5.5 Hospitality and travel resources have been allocated to the CE program in accordance with decisions taken by the mission's CMM. These resources have since been incorporated into the appropriate planning tools (the CEP strategy, Action Plans and Initiatives when necessary). Implemented April 2013.

4 Consular

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The Consular program is managed by the AS-05 MCO. He is assisted by an LE-05 HOM/Consular Assistant who also provides administrative assistance to the HOM. The program's financial resources are provided below.

Consular program financial resources
Budget2012-2013
Travel$2,000
Hospitality500
Total$2,500

4.1.2 The program processes about five citizenship applications, issues about 10 passports (although passport-related services amount to over 500), and provides about 400 notarial services. There are 114 Canadian citizens identified in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database. The estimated number of Canadians residing in Uruguay is 500. The average Canadian tourist volume is approximately 6,000 per year.

4.1.3 The program receives some assistance from the mission in Buenos Aires for services that are outlined in an MOU. The mission receives passport applications from clients, verifies the data and sends the application to Buenos Aires for entry into the passport system. The mission in Montevideo prepares its own mission emergency plan.

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 The program is functioning well, although it operates without the aid of a formal workplan. A *** consular assistant provides the day-to-day services to clients. Given that she is also responsible for providing assistance to the HOM, a workplan would be useful to plan her time.

4.2.2 The MCO has established regular contact with colleagues *** to discuss issues of mutual concern. However, he expressed a need for the program to network more with contacts such as police, airport officials and local government representatives.

4.2.3 The program manages a warden network that consists of eight districts; one district is currently without a warden. Most of the wardens are located in and around the Montevideo area. The last wardens' conference took place in 2012.

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 good service to clients and meets established service standards. At present, consular and passport services are provided throughout the day despite the fact that the mission advertises more restricted opening hours for consular service. As a result, the consular assistant finds it challenging to effectively organize her work. It is advisable that the program adhere to a condensed schedule for all routine services while ensuring that emergency assistance would still be provided whenever required.

4.3.2 A fee schedule is posted at the main reception area of the chancery, but neither service standards nor a copy of the official receipt are posted in this area or in the consular booth. Although most clients visit the mission in person to receive services, the program does not actively seek client feedback. Forms could be provided to clients with every service. A box for this purpose would be helpful in obtaining client feedback.

4.4 Internal Controls

Evaluation of Consular Internal Control
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.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 inventory two CBS verify the receipt of all assets, sign and return the transmittal note. X 
Inventory is appropriately secured and removal of assets is appropriately recorded. X 
Working inventories provided to staff are appropriate and controlled by a daily log.X  
Monthly and quarterly reconciliations of inventory 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 ***. The consular assistant uses a mission-generated form to record revenue instead of the EXT 119 Record of fees received - Passport/Consular Services form. ***.

4.4.2 The program only issues emergency travel documents because it is supported by the mission in Buenos Aires for regular and temporary passport processing duties. ***.

4.4.3 ***.

4.4.4 ***. The mission also has a number of obsolete or surplus items that could be returned to Headquarters for disposal.

4.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

4.5.1 The MCO should prepare a workplan that outlines key activities to be undertaken.

4.5.2 Networking should be undertaken to enhance contact with local authorities.

4.5.3 The program should review the hours it is open to the public, set appropriate restrictions and adhere to that schedule.

4.5.4 A copy of service delivery standards and an official receipt should be posted in any area where consular services are provided.

4.5.5 A client feedback box that is controlled by the MCO should be provided in the waiting room area.

4.5.6 All consular fees should be recorded using the EXT 119 form, and the form should be signed by the MCO.

4.5.7 ***.

4.5.8 ***.

4.5.9 ***

4.5.10 ***

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 Within the first six months following the arrival of a new MCO, a consular workplan will be put in place. In Progress for September 2014.

4.5.2 Within the first six months following the arrival of a new MCO, a plan for networking with local authorities will be developed. In Progress for September 2014.

4.5.3 The program has set specific hours for routine consular and notarial assistance to Canadians and communicated them via the mission's website and an information poster at the Entrance of the mission. Implemented April 2013.

4.5.4 Service standards are now posted in the reception area, and a copy of the official receipt is posted in the Consular booth. Implemented August 2013.

4.5.5 The mission has developed a bilingual client feedback form, which is available at the reception area. A drop box will be installed within the first six months of the arrival of a new MCO. The MCO will monitor client feedback from that point forward. In Progress for September 2014.

4.5.6 The mission generated form that was being used has been replaced by the EXT119 form. The HOM is temporarily signing the form until the arrival of the new MCO. Implemented January 2014.

4.5.7 ***. Implemented October 2013.

4.5.8 ***. Implemented April 2013.

4.5.9 ***. Implemented July 2013.

4.5.10 ***. In Progress for September 2014.

5 Common Services

5.1 Overview

5.1.1 The Common Services program is managed by an AS-05 MCO who is supported by an LE-05 Administrative Assistant/Receptionist and a GS-04 Driver/Messenger/Handyman. All staff are tasked with multiple duties and are *** in their respective fields.

5.1.2 The program is responsible for providing common services to six employees covering four DFAIT programs. In addition, the program currently supports four interns and two individuals working at the mission under long-term contracts. The program is responsible for the management of two staff quarters, one of which is the HOM's SQ.

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 The program currently operates in a reactive mode. Improvements in process, procedures and control can be made in all areas of common service delivery. A Common Service Business Plan has not been developed, and staff do not follow workplans. Priority should be placed on the development of these plans.

5.1.4 Although some common services policies and procedures are in place, they should be reviewed and updated periodically as this will assist staff and management in overall service delivery. Finance, procurement and contracting processes should be documented to provide clear guidance on procedures and a base for reviewing performance.

5.1.5 Morale among the staff is relatively good, but there is a desire for more structure and planning. The MCO already meets informally with all staff on a regular basis, but no formal meetings are scheduled. Formal all-staff meetings would be the ideal opportunity to discuss forward planning and organizational issues.

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 

5.1.6 Overall, client service was found to be inconsistent, and service delivery standards do not exist. The departmental service standards could be a starting point to guide the delivery of services. Policies and procedures governing transportation, staffing, payment of invoices, etc. would also assist in guiding staff and clients alike. The mission has not developed a formal client feedback mechanism. Doing so could assist in identifying any weaknesses in service delivery and guide staff in the delivery of services.

5.1.7 A memorandum of understanding (MOU) dating from 2006 outlines the responsibilities that are shared between the mission and the mission in Buenos Aires. Given the recent arrival of the HOM and the MCO, this MOU should be reviewed by both missions at the earliest possible opportunity.

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

5.1.8 In general, contracting and procurement processes require improvement. Contracts are not reviewed at the mission due to the small number of staff available to conduct proper analysis. The mission in Buenos Aires may be in a position to assist in this regard; this could be identified in the update of the MOU between the missions.

5.1.9 All contracts are issued in Spanish with no English/French translation. An in-house translation of the payment schedule and terms and conditions should be included. Contracts for security services and chancery cleaning, two of the larger contracts the mission has in place, have not been reviewed by a Contract Review Board (CRB). These could be sent to the CRB in Buenos Aires for approval the next time they are due for renewal.

5.1.10 A capital acquisition plan has not been developed by the MCO, and little forward planning is employed to govern the use of the mission's capital budget allocation. Developing a plan would provide guidance on capital purchases and asset replacements.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.1.11 A Common Service Business Plan should be developed for the program.

5.1.12 Workplans for staff that outline key activities and deliverables should be prepared.

5.1.13 Policies and procedures should be reviewed and updated annually.

5.1.14 The MCO should schedule formal meetings with staff.

5.1.15 Service delivery standards should be established for all areas of the program.

5.1.16 A client feedback mechanism should be developed.

5.1.17 The MOU between the mission and Buenos Aires should be updated in liaison with Buenos Aires.

5.1.18 The mission should consider using the CRB in Buenos Aires when required.

5.1.19 The mission should ensure that there is an English or French translation of the payment schedule and terms and conditions for all contracts.

5.1.20 The mission should prepare a multi-year acquisition plan.

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.)

5.1.11 A partial Common Service Business Plan (CSBP) has been prepared and subsequently reviewed a number of times. However, improvements are still required. Given that the mission has been without an MCO since the end of June 2013 and there was turnover in the LE-05 Administrative Assistant/Receptionist position, the plan will not be finalized until after a new MCO has arrived at the mission. In Progress for September 2014.

5.1.12 Within the first six months following the arrival of a new MCO, a workplan will be put in place. In Progress for September 2014.

5.1.13 Within the first six months following the arrival of a new MCO, policies and procedures will be reviewed, put in place if needed and updated on a yearly basis. In Progress for September 2014.

5.1.14 Once a new MCO arrives, he or she will be requested to schedule formal meetings with staff. In Progress for September 2014.

5.1.15 Service delivery standards will be established for the Common Services program within the first six months of the arrival of a new MCO. In Progress for September 2014.

5.1.16 The mission will seek feedback from clients through the implementation of an online mechanism. Implemented April 2013.

5.1.17 Following the arrival of the new MCO, the MOU will be reviewed and updated. The MCO from Buenos Aires visited Montevideo in May 2013. A discussion was held on the MOU, but since both MCOs (in Buenos Aires and Montevideo) have since departed their respective missions, the MOU will be reviewed again soon after the arrival of a new MCO in Montevideo. In Progress for September 2014.

5.1.18 The post-inspection action plan that was drafted by the HOM recommended that a representative of the Buenos Aires CRB participate in the Montevideo CRB (formed by HOM and MCO) by video-conference either every 2 months or as needed. Montevideo's CMM approved this organizational structure and it was determined that the MCO from Buenos Aires would sit on Montevideo's CRB when needed. Implemented April 2013.

5.1.19 Within the first six months of the arrival of a new MCO, an English or French translation of the payment schedule and terms and conditions will be included with all contracts. In Progress for September 2014.

5.1.20 A multi-year acquisition plan will be put in place within the first six months of the arrival of a new MCO. In Progress for September 2014

5.2 Human Resources

5.2.1 The mission's human resources (HR) functions are managed by the MCO. He is assisted by the LE-05 Administrative Assistant/Receptionist as required. There have only been a small number of staffing actions in recent years, but they have included a classification review and a conflict of interest investigation.

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 The HR portfolio is managed in an *** manner and requires some attention. The mission does not have an HR plan, although an HR strategy paper was developed by the previous management in June 2012. This strategy paper outlined resource requirements but lacked a concrete plan as to how the mission should proceed.

5.2.3 The HR files reviewed were separated into position and personnel files, although they were inconsistent and some key documents, such as letters of offer and the oath of office, were missing. As well, the staffing and competition file did not contain a rating guide, the names of board members or a recommendation to the HOM for his/her review and approval. The ALD checklist could be used in the future to guide members to ensure the file contains all of the relevant documentation. Most position files did not have job descriptions attached and did not contain a completed EXT 145 LES Position Data form.

5.2.4 Most job descriptions are either out of date or have not been signed by staff members. These should be reviewed and updated as required so that duties are properly reflected. It was conveyed that the previous management intended to request that Headquarters review the classification of the LE-05 HOM/Consular Assistant position.

Internal Controls

Evaluation of HR Internal Control
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  

5.2.5 As mentioned under the Mission Management section of this report, there are two individuals at the mission who are employed on a recurring contract basis. The contracts are paid out of the Common Services budget and have been renewed annually for more than eight years. This practice is inconsistent with departmental guidelines and could put the mission at risk of developing an employer-employee relationship. If it is determined that the mission requires ongoing assistance beyond its current permanent staff complement, this should be reflected in the mission's HR plan and a business case should be prepared.

5.2.6 LES leave is tracked and managed through the use of an electronic spreadsheet that is password protected. Leave records are updated on a monthly basis.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.2.7 The mission should prepare an HR plan and update it on an annual basis.

5.2.8 Using the ALD checklists, the MCO should ensure that personnel, competition and staffing files contain all relevant information and are properly maintained.

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

5.2.10 The mission should follow up with Headquarters to ensure that there is a classification review of the LE-05 HOM/Consular Assistant job description.

5.2.11 The mission should abide by human resources guidelines, and contracting rules and regulations when engaging additional human resources on a contractual basis.

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.)

5.2.7 An HR strategy paper exists but should be improved with a proper HR plan, including concrete actions to be taken. Please note that the HR planning within the Montevideo 2013-14 Business Plan was completed in March 2013. An HR Plan will also be developed by the HOM within the context of the Strategia planning process. Following the arrival of the new MCO, this will be further developed and the appropriate action will be taken. In Progress for January 2014.

5.2.8 A review of all personnel, competition and staffing files will be undertaken within the first six months of the arrival of a new MCO. In Progress for September 2014.

5.2.9 Job descriptions will be reviewed, updated and signed within the first six months of the arrival of a new MCO. In Progress for September 2014.

5.2.10 The mission will consult Headquarters on a classification review of the LE-05 HOM/Consular Assistant job description within the first six months of the arrival of a new MCO. In Progress for September 2014.

5.2.11 The mission established a contract in September 2013. In doing so, it followed departmental guidelines and contracting rules and regulations. This same process will be used for all future contracts and a review of previous contracts has already initiated with the assistance of the mission in Buenos Aires. Implemented September 2013.

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The physical resources functions at the mission are the responsibility of the MCO. He is assisted by the LE-05 Administrative Assistant/Receptionist and the GS-04 Driver/Handyman. The section manages a Crown-leased chancery that is located in a multi-tenant building, two Crown-leased staff quarters (SQs) and *** official vehicle.

5.3.2 The chancery is located in a 100-year-old heritage building. Although functional and presentable, it has not been renovated in several years. *** and the layout is somewhat cramped overall, although interns and contract staff are also provided work areas. ***.

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  

5.3.3 Overall, the section is managing assets in an efficient manner. Property and maintenance plans are up to date and form the basis for forward planning for the section.

5.3.4 As part of the inspection, the two SQs were visited. The HOM's SQ is a large, attractive and well-maintained apartment. It is well furnished and provides a good representational image for the mission. The MCO is accommodated in a well-maintained house located in the suburbs.

5.3.5 As this is a small mission, work requests are submitted by email and acted on either by the receptionist/administrative assistant or the driver/handyman.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Evaluation of Physical Resources Internal Control
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  

5.3.6 ***. For example, although inventories are in place for the two SQs, the chancery inventory does not contain signatures of custodial ownership. As well, materiel transfer vouchers are not used when assets are replaced after the inventory has been completed. The use of these forms would allow the section to better control the purchase, allotment and disposal of assets.

5.3.7 The mission uses an auction house to manage the disposal of all surplus assets except for official vehicles ***. Files reviewed indicated that the EXT 369 Disposal Report form was not completed and signed by the HOM.

5.3.8 A vehicle log is in place to register the use of the official vehicle on a trip-by-trip basis, and monthly reconciliations are performed. A review of select vehicle logs identified two incidents in which the official vehicle was used over a weekend without being documented. Any personal use of the vehicle should be approved and the related costs should be reimbursed by the employee. Staff using the driver/vehicle services should sign the vehicle log after each trip.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.3.9 The mission should use the EXT 182 Materiel Transfer Voucher Adjustment form to record the movement or allocation of materiel once an inventory has been prepared.

5.3.10 The mission should collect revenue from the sale of surplus materiel as soon as possible and credit this to the mission bank account.

5.3.11 Disposal records should be approved and signed by the HOM.

5.3.12 Any personal use of the official vehicle should be approved and recorded. The associated costs should be reimbursed by the employee.

5.3.13 The mission should ensure that vehicle records are properly maintained.

Recommendations to the Physical Resources (ARD) and the Security and Emergency Management (CED) Bureaus

5.3.14 The viability of remaining long term in the current chancery should be jointly assessed by ARD and CED.

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.)

5.3.9 The mission now uses a radio-frequency identification system to manage SQ inventories and record the movements or re-allocations of materiel. Implemented November 2013.

5.3.10 The revenue collection process during the sale of surplus material will be reviewed within the first six months of the arrival of a new MCO. In Progress for September 2014.

5.3.11 All future disposals will be approved and signed by the HOM. Implemented April 2013.

5.3.12 The mission has discussed personal use of the official vehicle and a transportation policy has been developed. Personal use is managed in accordance with the Mission Fleet Management Guidelines and personal costs are being recovered accordingly. Implemented July 2013.

5.3.13 An appropriate log is signed by users. Implemented March 2013.

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.)

5.3.14 The viability of the chancery in Montevideo is evaluated annually. Relocation is not currently identified as a need or a priority by ARD. Joint ARD and CED assessment of the long-term viability of the chancery will continue within the context of our overall program planning and project prioritization frameworks. When there is consensus that combined factors merit serious study of alternatives, a formal relocation feasibility analysis will be initiated ***. In Progress for 2015.

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 Finance functions at the mission are managed by the MCO, and data entry into IMS is conducted by the mission in Buenos Aires. The Receptionist/Administrative Assistant prepares a spreadsheet outlining expenditures to speed the data entry. The mission has developed a good process to facilitate the authorization and printing of cheques.

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).N/AN/AN/A
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.N/AN/AN/A

5.4.2 Overall, *** and clients are provided with good service. The mission is following budget allocations that the previous management had put in place at the beginning of the fiscal year. However, these plans did not include the proper use of funds reservations. Doing so would facilitate better planning.

5.4.3 The mission does not use an acquisition card for minor purchases as the MCO advised he is not sure of the applicability or usefulness of such a tool. Given the high number of petty cash expenses processed by the mission, the use of an acquisition card could be an efficient way to handle multiple purchases.

5.4.4 The MCO submits monthly financial statement reports to Headquarters, but he has not been consulting the HOM. The HOM should be given the opportunity to review and amend this document before it is sent to Headquarters.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Evaluation of Finance Internal Control
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.N/AN/AN/A
A percentage of costs for personal use of OR supplies is determined and regular reimbursements are made to the mission.N/AN/AN/A
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  

5.4.5 ***. When required, the mission is Buenos Aires could be used as backup for signing in the event that the HOM or MCO is not able to do so.

5.4.6 The asset and liability report is not reviewed monthly by the MCO. As noted in the Consular section of this report ***.

5.4.7 The mission recently changed banking facilities for the processing of official accounts. However, the MCO does not have a signed copy of the bank agreement, outlining terms and conditions with the new bank.

5.4.8 ***. It was noted that, at times, cash is provided to staff without receiving an acknowledgement signature. The EXT 2027 Petty Cash Voucher form is not used as a receipt pending the submission of the invoice. As well, petty cash is routinely used for hospitality-related expenses such as the purchase of coffee and tea. However, no hospitality diary is completed to indicate for what purpose these supplies were purchased and how they were used.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.9 The mission should use funds reservations (RS) as part of its budget planning.

5.4.10 The mission, in consultation with the Financial Operations, International Division (SMFF), should consider obtaining an acquisition card.

5.4.11 The MCO should ensure that the HOM sees monthly financial statement reports prior to sending them to Headquarters.

5.4.12 ***.

5.4.13 The mission should consider using Buenos Aires as a back-up for financial signing authorities (FAA sections 33 and 34).

5.4.14 The MCO should review the asset and liability report on a monthly basis.

5.4.15 The mission should ensure that the EXT 2027 form is completed and signed for all petty cash transactions.

5.4.16 Hospitality diaries should be completed for all hospitality related expenditures.

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.)

5.4.9 The mission has put in place funds reservations (RS) with the assistance of Buenos Aires. Once a new MCO is in place, this will be adopted as part of the mission's budgeting practice. Implemented September 2013.

5.4.10 The mission will consider obtaining an acquisition card. A decision will be made within the first six months of the arrival of a new MCO. In Progress for September 2014.

5.4.11 With the assistance of Buenos Aires (due to the absence of an MCO at the mission), the HOM has had the opportunity to review the monthly financial statement prior to it being sent to Headquarters. This practice will continue following the arrival of a new MCO at the mission. In addition, the HOM has completed FINSTAT training and has access to IMS (FINSTAT). Implemented November 2013.

5.4.12 ***.Implemented February 2013.

5.4.13 The departure of the MCO obliged the mission to search for practical solutions with respect to signing authorities. For the time being, Headquarters is signing section 33 and the HOM signs section 34. The only LE-09 at the mission is receiving proper training (on-line) to be able to exercise signing authority if needed (five courses have already been completed). Implemented January 2014.

5.4.14 Once a new MCO arrives at the mission, he or she will be requested to review the asset and liability report on a monthly basis. In Progress for March 2014.

5.4.15 The mission now uses the EXT 2027 form for all petty cash transactions. Implemented April 2013.

5.4.16 Hospitality diaries will be completed for all hospitality related expenditures. Implemented April 2013.

5.5 Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT)

5.5.1 The Information Management-Information Technology (IM-IT) section is managed by the MCO, who acts as the signet systems administrator. Support is provided by the Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) and the Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP) that are located at the mission in Buenos Aires. IM-IT services are provided to six indeterminate staff as well as to four interns and two contract employees.

5.5.2 The main communications services are currently provided through the use of a satellite link, although the mission was anticipating that they would be transferred over to terrestrial lines by the end of February 2013. Once this transfer has taken place, the speed and reliability of service should improve substantially.

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, Headquarters and the regional manager is effective.X  
The mission uses the required IM-IT service request system and maintains relevant data.X  

5.5.3 A plan for IM-IT services is under development at the mission with the assistance of the FSITP in Buenos Aires. Good dialogue exists between the mission and Buenos Aires. Staff indicated that they were pleased with the quality of support provided and visits take place on a quarterly basis. The FSITP and LEITP were characterized as ***.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Evaluation of IM-IT Internal Control
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  

5.5.4 Overall, IM-IT processes and controls were in place. ***.

5.5.5 The server room is quite cluttered with surplus or obsolete materiel. It should be cleaned out so that only the required equipment and supplies are retained. Assets on loan to staff such as BlackBerrys, laptops and cellular phones are not inventoried or signed out by staff. This makes it difficult for the mission to properly control these assets. Surplus IT assets are disposed in coordination with the sale of other surplus assets.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.5.6 An IM-IT workplan should be developed in consultation with the mission in Buenos Aires.

5.5.7 The server room should be cleaned to ensure only the necessary equipment and supplies are stored there.

5.5.8 The mission should develop an inventory of mobile assets. A sign out register should be used when assets are loaned to staff.

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.)

5.5.6 A partial IM-IT workplan has been put in place for fiscal year 2013-14. It will be further developed in coordination with Buenos Aires for fiscal year 2014-15. In Progress for January 2014.

5.5.7 Cleaning the server room has been added to the task list for the ITP's next visit to Montevideo from Buenos Aires. In Progress for February 2014.

5.5.8 An inventory for mobile assets has been developed and a sign-out register is now in use. Implemented December 2013.

Appendix A: Mission Resources Fact Sheet

Physical Resources
AssetsCrown-OwnedCrown-LeasedPrivate-Lease
Chancery 1 
Official Residence   
Staff Quarters 2 
Vehicles*  
Storage   
<other>   
Financial Information 2012/2013
BudgetProgramCommon Services
Operating$65,000$83,760
Capital 25,000
CBS Salaries153,80081,360
CBS Overtime 4,068
LES Salaries163,00067,424
LES Overtime 4,728
Total$381,800$266,340
Human Resources (FTEs)
ProgramTotalCBSLES
Head of Mission 10.5
FPDS   
CE  1
Consular 0.50.5
Common Services 0.52
CIC   
CIDA   
CBSA   
RCMP   
Public Safety   
DND   
<other>   
<other>   
<other>   
<other>   
Total 24

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 Work Plan
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
ZIV
Missions Inspection Division
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