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Inspection of the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations, New York City, New York, USA

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD)
Office of the Inspector General

June 10-14, 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 (HQ) bureaux, including briefings by line management and the functional bureaux, review of relevant HQ and mission documentation, past inspection findings, and an analysis of recurring trends and systemic issues.

During the inspection, inspection issues and lines of enquiry were further refined from information gathered through interviews with the HOM and program managers, a meeting with locally engaged staff (LES) representatives of the LES Management Consultation Board (LESMCB), individual interviews with staff, and results of other documentation reviewed. The level of inspection work was therefore based on issues and information identified and gathered at all levels: HQ, mission management and mission operations.

Executive Summary

An inspection of Mission Management, the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS), the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and Common Services programs was conducted at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York (PRMNY) from June 10 to 14, 2013. A previous inspection of these programs took place in 2004.

PRMNY is a medium-sized mission with 20 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 6.5 locally engaged staff (LES), managed by an EX-05 Head of Mission (HOM). Representatives from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Department of National Defence (DND) are also present.

The mission works in cooperation with the Consulate General of Canada, New York (CNGNY) Common Services program to manage a property portfolio for PRMNY that includes a Crown-leased chancery, a Crown-owned official residence, and nine Crown-owned and one Crown-leased staff quarters.

The HOM and Deputy HOM are recognized for their *** leadership and are seen as engaged and knowledgeable on key files, as well as highly supportive of the staff. The team is cohesive, works well together and effectively delivers on its responsibilities in alignment with the priorities of the Government of Canada. Mission management should ensure governance committees are meeting regularly and effectively discharging their responsibilities. The mission also needs to address issues related to*** , both in terms of ensuring the plan is up to date, and conducting exercises to ensure staff are aware of the plan and their related responsibilities.

The Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS) program performs efficiently and at a high level. Improvements to operational plans, including greater use of performance measures, should assist the program in managing some of their challenges and coping with their increasing workload.

Overall the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) program is functioning well in spite of significant pressures but could benefit from a work plan which identifies priorities and describes key activities, outputs and performance indicators to better measure the results of the program.

Common services at PRMNY were combined with those at CNGNY in 2011 and are managed by the Management Consular Officer (MCO) whose main office is located at CNGNY. The MCO position at PRMNY was replaced by a Mission Administrative Officer position in 2013 although the position had not yet been filled at the time of the inspection. This has resulted in client service and workload issues for Common Services program staff.

A total of 16 inspection recommendations are raised in the report, 13 are addressed to the mission, two are addressed to HQ and one to the Regional Service Center (RSCEUS). 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 11 have been implemented.

1 Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York (PRMNY) is a medium-sized mission with 20 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 6.5 locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery and represents Canadian interest at the United Nations in New York. Representatives from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Department of National Defence (DND) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) also are present at the mission.

1.1.2 The mission is managed by an EX-05 Head of Mission (HOM) who is responsible for overall operations and oversees the program operating budget of $190,600. The combined PRMNY and Consulate General of Canada, New York (CNGNY) Common Services program manages a property portfolio for PRMNY that includes a chancery, an official residence, and nine Crown-owned and one Crown-leased staff quarters.

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 The HOM is well supported by his management team, including an *** EX-04 Deputy Head of Mission (DHOM). Overall, the team is cohesive, works well together and effectively delivers on its responsibilities in alignment with the priorities of the Government of Canada. The HOM is responsible for the operations of the mission and acts as the Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. Both the HOM and DHOM are recognized for their *** leadership and are seen as engaged and knowledgeable on key files, as well as highly supportive of the staff.

1.2.2 The Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) tool is in place and is used to coordinate strategic and policy guidance and provide clear direction to mission programs. Outcomes identified in the MPR are derived through extensive consultation with program managers (PMs) and approved by the HOM. Departmental priorities and objectives are also reflected in the annual performance management process with HOM performance objectives cascading down to program manager and subordinate levels, as appropriate. However, there is a gap at the program level in terms of planning and measurement of results. DFAIT programs within the mission do not have established planning mechanisms and performance measurement processes which could help to better manage workload distribution, resources and the prioritization of tasks.

1.2.3 Communication within the mission is appropriate; there are weekly team meetings as well as regular Committee on Mission Management (CMM) meetings that are viewed as a valuable forum for the exchange of information on various program activities by managers. There is a clear delineation between CMM and staff meetings, with the former dealing with more strategic issues and the latter a more transactional discussion of upcoming events. Notes and agendas are maintained for both meetings; however, staff could benefit from a reminder as to the availability of CMM minutes to enhance their awareness of strategic policy decisions and planning.

1.2.4 The LES members of the Locally Engaged Staff Management Consultation Board (LESMCB), which is combined with CNGNY, are elected and provide good representation from a cross-section of staff from both PRMNY and CNGNY. Regular meetings have facilitated good rapport with management and ongoing dialogue with the HOM. There is, however, a minor gap in representation of common services LES at these meetings. At the time of the inspection, the sole common services representative was a driver, physically located at PRMNY, while most common services staff are located at CNGNY.

1.2.5 The Management Consular Officer (MCO) attends LESMCB and other committee meetings as appropriate, whether at PRMNY or CNGNY, and has made himself accessible to LES and all staff by maintaining regular office hours at PRMNY as well as CNGNY.

1.2.6 Most mission committees are meeting regularly and working effectively; however, improvements are needed in a few areas. For example, the *** Committee has met only once during the past two years. Similarly, the Contract Review Board (CRB) only meets virtually and was in the process of updating its terms of reference at the time of inspection. The mission could benefit from a more frequent and regularly occurring schedule for these meetings to ensure due diligence and increase overall transparency. In addition, the mission should ensure that the Occupational Health and Safety Committee meets at legally mandated intervals.

1.2.7 The mission has actively promoted Public Service Values and Ethics; however, management should ensure that all staff are aware of Values and Ethics resources available for employees online and through the Values and Ethics Division (ZVE). Staff should be encouraged to complete the new Values and Ethics online training course recently launched by the department. Ongoing attention to this area could prove useful to encourage adherence to the expected behaviours of the DFAIT Values and Ethics Code,***.

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 mission benefits from a strong and cohesive management team with a clearly demonstrated whole-of-government approach, and from mechanisms in place to ensure efficient delivery of programs. Cooperation and collaboration is reinforced at the CMM, all-staff meetings and, when possible, through integrated team planning and project implementation such as the integration of CIDA into the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) program. It was noted through discussions with partner department program managers that there was a strong degree of satisfaction with the common services provided. In particular, they highlighted the program's solution-oriented approach.

1.3.2 Ongoing informal communication between managers and staff further supports the whole-of-government approach and ensures strong coordination between programs and effective leveraging of capacity within the mission. Partner departments are engaged in whole-of-mission activities and contribute to mission governance and operations. The RCMP program is positioned within the DND group.***.

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 is engaged with the Emergency Policy and Planning Division (CEP) at HQ to make the final adjustments to its mission emergency plan (MEP). Once completed, the mission should ensure all emergency response team (ERT) members are up-to-date on their roles and responsibilities.

1.4.2 The mission should also ensure *** exercised since Hurricane Sandy swept through the region in October 2012.

1.4.3 ***. The appropriate secondary communications systems are in place;***. There is also a need for greater coordination and interaction with like-minded missions and neighbouring Canadian missions ***.

1.4.4 Staff raised concerns regarding the timeliness and diligence of management's response to Hurricane Sandy. The mission is encouraged to address the issues and ensure its preparedness for the next emergency situation.

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 The mission is able to provide services to clients in both official languages. Many of the LES speak both English and French, official signage is bilingual and the mission has the capacity to provide services to the public in the official language of their choice. The mission has not identified an Official Languages Coordinator.

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.N/A  
The Honorary Consul (HonCon) has an up-to-date mandate letter and performance is reviewed annually.N/A  

1.6.1 Overall, key management controls were in place and operating effectively. Areas for improvements were, nevertheless, identified.

1.6.2 Security policies are supported by mission management and ***.

1.6.3 All hospitality activities within the mission are properly reviewed and documented. However, minor improvements are suggested in capturing objectives, value-for-money and results achieved for individual events.

1.6.4 Performance Management Programs (PMPs) and evaluation processes are generally well respected at the mission. Most staff have up-to-date PMPs in place. Follow-up should be completed to ensure all outstanding PMPs are finalized.

1.6.5 The high volume of visits, heavy reporting requirements and lack of time were cited as key challenges to meeting training objectives. The mission is encouraged to seek means to address this issue, including the use of temporary duty assignments in field locations as training opportunities for staff members. These assignments that provide on-the-job training opportunities are very well received by staff, providing experience that is transferable.

1.7 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

1.7.1 The mission should review the frequency of meetings for all mission committees to ensure that meetings are being held on a regular and timely basis in keeping with mandated standards. Specific attention should be paid to the Security and Emergency Preparedness Committee, the CRB and the Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

1.7.2 The mission should take steps to finalize and test the MEP as well as confirm the roles and responsibilities of ERT members.

1.7.3 The mission should identify***.

1.7.4 The mission lead for emergency planning should undertake a greater degree of consultation with like-minded missions and neighbouring Canadian missions on emergency planning.

1.7.5 The mission should identify and appoint an Official Languages Coordinator.

1.7.6 The mission should assess the requirement ***.

1.7.7 The mission should develop a training plan to ensure better coordination and availability of training opportunities for 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.)

1.7.1 The mission's committee structures are reviewed and memberships are renewed annually. A joint CNGNY/PRMNY Security and Emergency Preparedness Committee met three times in fall 2013 to review the MEP and exercise planning and will continue regular meetings. The CRB met in person in November 2013 to review policies and operations, with agreement to meet two to three times annually. Implemented November 2013.

1.7.2 The mission finalized the MEP and the ERT is now fully operationalized under joint mission management. Joint mission emergency training and full exercise of the ERT, facilitated by the Security and Emergency Management bureau (CED), took place in January 2014. Implemented January 2014.

1.7.3 ***. Implemented January 2014.

1.7.4 DHOM (CNGNY), MSO, and DMSO hosted an information exchange event with likeminded. Like-minded missions and state and federal emergency planning agencies participated in a joint mission training, solidifying key contacts. Implemented November 2013.

1.7.5 The Administrative Assistant to the DHOM has been appointed Official Languages Coordinator. Implemented December 2013.

1.7.6 *** was reviewed by the mission and will be reviewed again with ***. In Progress for February 2014.

1.7.7 Individual programs have initiated training plans which will be fully incorporated in Strategia for FY 2014-2015. In Progress for April 2014.

2 Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The FPDS program is managed by an EX-02 supported by four CBS (two FS-04, an FS-03 and an FS-02) as well as one LE-09 officer and one LE-05 administrative support person. The program's financial resources are provided below.

Program's Financial Resources
Budget2012-2013 (USD)
Operations$4,000
Travel30,000
Hospitality13,000
Total$47,000

2.1.2 The program has adapted to changes in the last year, including the loss of two officer positions as a result of global changes across the mission network undertaken by the department in FY 12/13. However, the program continues to perform efficiently and at a high level; officers are active and engaged despite the recent challenges they have faced.

2.1.3 The main areas of focus for the program include International Peace and Security issues including peacekeeping, peacebuilding, counter-terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, mediation and conflict prevention. The program also reports on the Security Council as an institution and has a geographic focus on the countries on the Security Council agenda and the Peacebuilding Commission. Similarly, the program, works closely with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), as well as the Military and Police sections of the mission on specific cross-cutting issues and shared responsibilities.

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 is *** managed by a program manager (PM)***. The guidance and support he provides is *** appreciated by his team. Both the PM and the other members of the program are considered to be *** work *** with other programs at the mission, including partner departments.

2.2.2 Individual morale varies among the team and high workloads have been reported. Evolving policy positions have necessitated corresponding changes in advocacy and networking efforts, which has been time consuming. Although the program has identified a need to prioritize its work, it has found it challenging to do so given that many topics addressed at the UN resonate with government priorities.

2.2.3 The program largely relies on the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) document to guide its priorities. The program also uses some additional tools such as the General Assembly calendar, the Security Council calendar and a tool that identifies responsibilities, important events and leads was developed, but it does not address the program's strategic direction or outline measurable objectives. While most of this work is part of an annual cycle of key events, and can be planned for accordingly, many UN initiatives change on a yearly basis or arise unexpectedly, creating a challenge for the officers to prioritise their tasks and organize their schedules. A work plan would provide the program structure and facilitate effective performance measurement while allowing room to absorb unexpected changes. In spite of the challenges presented by the nature of the work, the program is functioning well and producing results as expected.

2.2.4 In addition, the program has experienced an increase in the volume of demands from partner departments to attend meetings on their behalf and report on outcomes. This puts additional pressure on the program. Following global reductions in staffing across the mission network, there is a clear lack of resources to cover the vast range of meetings for both the program and on behalf of partner departments.

2.2.5 The program effectively employs both formal and informal communication mechanisms. Weekly meetings are held within the program to review and prioritize program activities and share items arising from UN-influenced processes. Action items are identified as needed and workload shared accordingly. Due to the UN-dictated processes, reporting within the team happens in real-time as meetings are taking place, and these reports are subject to high-level scrutiny. The program is routinely provided feedback by senior-level management at HQ; ad-hoc meetings, discussions and feedback from the HOM and the DHOM occur as appropriate.

2.2.6 There is some uncertainty as to the roles and responsibilities of the program assistant. Job descriptions should be reviewed and updated to reflect the appropriate responsibilities.

2.2.7 A greater consistency is required in preparing professional training and development plans and finalizing employees' PMPs as per departmental procedures. The program is encouraging officers to combine travel related to work with learning opportunities. Although this approach is beneficial to some officers, it is often difficult to merge travel and learning opportunities due to the amount of time required away from the office.

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 fosters a whole-of-mission approach by identifying opportunities for coordinated activities across the mission, and reporting on relevant political and economic issues on a regular and timely basis. The program's work is closely aligned with Government of Canada priorities and the section works well with other programs within the mission.

2.3.2 The program has established strong networks across the UN system and developed a comprehensive contacts network used for outreach purposes. However, issues such as the absence of a work plan, heavy workloads and a lack of human resources have created vulnerability as officers are unable to attend every meeting at the UN. As a result, they are finding it difficult to track outcomes in a timely manner and keep up with evolving priorities. Special attention from Headquarters HQ is needed to help manage priorities and in coordinating the workflow assigned by partner departments to the program to meet Government of Canada priorities across the UN spectrum.

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 Performance is assessed mostly in the fall prior to the extensive activities around the UN General Assembly. However, the program could benefit from periodic checks on results and updating of the MPR throughout the year. In addition, the development of more robust performance measurement criteria could benefit the program by better identifying areas for improvement and lessons learned.

2.4.2 Hospitality events are largely aligned with priorities and demonstrate value for money; however, greater consistency and accuracy is needed in completing hospitality reports. There is a need to properly identify the purpose of events and provide an honest evaluation of results. The evaluation of results should extend beyond an acknowledgement that all objectives were met.

2.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

2.5.1 An FPDS program work plan that identifies expected results, outcomes, resources and time-frame for delivery should be developed. The reporting on the progress of results should be undertaken at mid and year-end.

2.5.2 PMPs should be implemented with performance measurement criteria more clearly defined for all team members to better meet learning, developmental and performance objectives.

2.5.3 The program manager should ensure greater consistency and accuracy in the completion of hospitality forms such that they clearly state the purpose of each event, evaluate if and how value-for-money was achieved, and identify any follow-up undertaken or required. A refresher on official hospitality guidelines and procedures is recommended for program staff with responsibilities related to hospitality.

Recommendations to the International Organizations, Human Rights and Democracy Bureau (MID)

2.5.4 MID in consultation with the permanent mission should communicate clear standards and expectations for requests by partner departments vis-à-vis the mission's work, priorities and mandate. Guidelines for requests should be shared on an annual basis with partner departments so that expectations for the capacity of the mission to fulfill requests are clear.

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 FPDS program has drafted an initial work plan that identifies key objectives and anticipated results for the year forward. This work plan is being undertaken in a manner that is fully consistent with the mission's input into the 2014-15 Strategia mission planning exercise. Results are reviewed formally at mid-year and, informally, on a more regular basis. Implemented January 2014.

2.5.2 Mid-year PMP reviews including performance measurement for all FPDS staff have been conducted. Moreover, staff were asked to adjust current PMPs to better reflect learning and developmental needs. Efforts are underway to meet those needs as well as building them into the planning cycle for the coming FY through Strategia. Implemented December 2013.

2.5.3 The FPDS Manager reviews hospitality claims on a regular basis to ensure the documentation reflects the advice provided by the inspection team and continues to proactively remind team members of the importance of clear and complete hospitality diaries. Implemented November 2013.

MID Actions and Timeframes

2.5.4 MID will send a message to all partner departments outlining clear standards and expectations for managing requests from partner departments for PRMNY to attend UN meetings on their behalf. In Progress for March 2014.

3 Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 The ECOSOC program is managed by an EX-01 program manager with three CBS officers at the FS-02 level and an LE-5 Assistant who recently joined this team. The program's financial resources are provided below.

Commercial Economic program financial resources
Budget2012-2013 (USD)
Operations 
Travel$46,735
Hospitality5,000
Post Initiative Fund0
Training4,000
Total$55,735

3.1.2 The program has adapted to a number of changes in the last year including evolving policy stances on key files, significant staffing gaps which have yet to be fully addressed, as well as the work-to-rule campaign undertaken by some of the officers in the section as directed by their professional association. However, the program continues to perform effectively and at a high level. Members remain fully engaged despite the recent challenges faced by the team.

3.1.3 The program's main areas of focus include responsibility for Canadian participation in the Second Committee (Economic and Financial), Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) the Sixth Committee (Legal) at the United Nations. The PM individually covers legal issues. One CIDA officer is also integrated within the ECOSOC program with a direct reporting relationship to the CIDA PM. The CIDA PM position had been vacant for several months at the time of inspection resulting in the CIDA officer assuming the CIDA program manager responsibilities. Coordinated planning and execution of activities both within the ECOSOC program and with the CIDA and FPDS programs is clearly evident.

3.2 Planning and Program Management

Evaluation of ECOSOC Program Management
Key ECOSOC Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Plans are aligned with the priorities and objectives outlined in the mission plan and informed by departmental and geographic bureau guidance and objectives.X  
Plans outline intended outcomes and results are measurable. X 
Internal communications within the program effectively support program delivery.X  

3.2.1 The ECOSOC program is *** managed by a PM who is in the first year of a four year assignment.***. Morale among the team is good with team members displaying high levels of engagement, enthusiasm and collegiality despite significant internal and external pressures.

3.2.2 The vacant CIDA PM position results in an overstretched resource with a single CIDA officer covering the duties of two positions and the ECOSOC team picking up CIDA-related files in addition to their own to fill in the gaps. In addition, while officers generally enjoy a high level of autonomy, they would welcome additional guidance and feedback***.

3.2.3 The program relies largely on informal communication tools. Team meetings are held on an irregular basis largely due to conflicting UN committee obligations. Minutes are not routinely kept. Action items are usually initiated directly by the PM to specific team members. Informal communication is regular and ongoing with the PM, team members and CIDA routinely discussing files and upcoming activities. On a more formal level, the program generally relies on the weekly, mission-wide staff meeting as its main communication vehicle with team members providing updates on key activities and issues as part of the tour-de-table format.

3.2.4 Program planning and reporting is guided by the MPR in consultation with CIDA and FPDS, along with input from the HOM and DHOM. Overall, planning is largely driven by the UN calendar and is not well documented at the program level. The delineation of program responsibilities is consistent with mission, departmental and whole-of-government priorities outlined in the MPR but there is no clear indication of intended outcomes and performance measures at the program level apart from individual objectives and performance indicators established through the PMP process. A clear planning and performance measurement process is absent at the program level.

3.2.5 Overall, the program is functioning well in spite of significant pressures but could benefit from a work plan that identifies priorities and describes key activities, outputs and performance indicators to better measure the results of the program. In addition, although all employees are aware of their roles and responsibilities, some re-balancing of responsibilities could help in better sharing workload, especially in the light of continuing gaps in CIDA staffing. Finally, the program would benefit from stronger coordination at headquarters to better prioritize requests from partner departments and minimize the impact on reduced program resources.

3.3 Implementation

Evaluation of ECOSOC Implementation
Key ECOSOC 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.X  
Relations with other mission programs facilitate program deliveryX  
The program develops and maintains a contact base that meets program needs and objectives.X  

3.3.1 Overall, there is a high level of coordination of advocacy and messaging between ECOSOC and other programs within the mission. This occurs most notably with CIDA which is embedded within the ECOSOC program and FPDS with whom there remains a significant level of consultation and coordination on key files. The level of coordination with the RCMP and military colleagues is less pronounced, largely due to far fewer program overlaps, but communication channels remain open with regular information-sharing at the weekly mission staff meeting. The high level of collegiality between programs has helped to facilitate program delivery.

3.3.2 The program has established strong networks across the UN system and has developed a comprehensive contact database to support its outreach and activities.

3.3.3 Program reporting is timely, relevant and generally reactive as it is largely driven by UN committee activities. Reporting also reflects the high level of collaboration and consultation within the program and across the mission.

3.4 Performance Measurement

Evaluation of ECOSOC Performance Measurement
Key ECOSOC 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 

3.4.1 Currently, the program relies on the PMP and MPR processes for performance measurement, with performance assessment being undertaken once yearly. Neither is an ideal tool to assess performance at the program level as these tools were developed for individual and mission-level performance review. The program could benefit from the development of its own planning document to better identify program priorities, objectives, performance indicators, lessons learned and areas for improvement. This document could also help to facilitate input for the PMP and MPR exercises. The program could also benefit from more frequent performance review updates to check results against objectives and to modify the planning document as needed.

3.4.2 Hospitality events are generally consistent with mission priorities and demonstrate good value for money, although the completion of hospitality forms is inconsistent across the program. The program could benefit from greater consistency and accuracy in the completion of hospitality forms to ensure mandatory requirements are adequately documented. A refresher on hospitality guidelines and procedures could also be considered.

3.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

3.5.1 The program should develop its own work plan to better manage the planning and performance review processes at a program level and to better guide input to the PMP and MPR exercises.

3.5.2 Systematic and regular performance review updates are recommended to check program performance against objectives and to modify the work plan as appropriate.

3.5.3 The program manager should ensure greater consistency and accuracy in the completion of hospitality forms such that they clearly state the purpose of each event, evaluate if and how value-for-money was achieved, and identify any follow-up undertaken or required. A refresher on official hospitality guidelines and procedures is recommended for program staff with responsibilities related to hospitality.

Recommendations to the International Organizations, Human Rights and Democracy Bureau (MID)

3.5.4 MID in consultation with the permanent mission should communicate clear standards and expectations for requests by partner departments vis-à-vis the mission's work, priorities and mandate. Guidelines for requests should be shared on an annual basis with partner departments so that expectations for the capacity of the mission to fulfill requests are clear.

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 The ECOSOC program has begun to develop a work plan with key objectives and anticipated results for the coming year drawing on departmental objectives. The work plan is an evergreen document which is reviewed regularly during program meetings as well as through meetings of mission staff and between the program manager and the DHOM. Implemented January 2014.

3.5.2 Mid-year PMP reviews including performance measurement criteria for all staff have been conducted. Program performance will be reviewed quarterly against objectives outlined in the program work plan to ensure relevance and alignment with departmental objectives and priorities. Implemented December 2013.

3.5.3 The program manager reviews hospitality claims on a regular basis to ensure the documentation reflects the advice provided by the inspection team and continues to proactively remind team members of the importance of clear and complete hospitality diaries. Implemented December 2013.

MID Actions and Timeframes

3.5.4 MID will send a message to all partner departments, outlining clear standards and expectations for managing requests from partner departments for PRMNY to attend UN meetings on their behalf. In Progress for March 2014.

4 Common Services

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 Please note that although CNGNY and PRMNY occupy two separate and distinct office facilities, the integration of Common Services program took place in the fall of 2011. Therefore the Common Services program from the CNGNY report is represented in Appendix A for PRMNY as they are one program.

Appendix A: CONSULATE GENERAL OF CANADA, NEW YORK - COMMON SERVICES

Excerpt from the report dated July 4, 2014 on the inspection of the Consulate General of Canada, New York, June 3-7, 2013.

5.1 Overview

5.1.1 The Common Services program is managed by an *** EX-01 MCO who is supported by a team of three CBS including a DMCO/Finance/HR, a Foreign Service Information and Technology Professional (FSITP), a Military Police Security Specialist (MPSS) and 22.5 LES members. Integration of Common Services program delivery and mission committee structures for the Consulate General of Canada, New York (CNGNY) and the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations, New York (PRMNY) took place in the fall of 2011, although the missions still occupy two separate and distinctive office facilities. One of the results of the integration of the Common Service program delivery is dual support and reporting to two CMM and management teams.

5.1.2 The program is responsible for providing common services to 122 employees from 6 DFAIT and 8 partner programs that comprise the 2 missions. The program is also the North/East Quadrant Common Service Delivery Point (CSDP), and provides regional financial processing and budgeting support to the missions in Boston and Minneapolis.

5.1.3 Program activities in the areas of Finance, Human Resources Management and Common Services subject matter expertise are supported by the Regional Service Centre USA (RSCEUS) located in Washington, D.C.

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 

5.1.4 The program is functioning in an environment that has seen a great deal of change over the past 18 months. The consolidation of the two Common Services programs of CNGNY and PRMNY in the fall of 2011 and the implementation of a regional financial model in early 2012 has vastly changed the way the program is operating. These changes, coupled with *** in a number of key areas such as HR, Finance and Property, has been especially challenging during the initial transition period.

5.1.5 ***. Morale in the program is considered to be quite low, although it is slowly improving as staff are adjusting to the changes. It is also of benefit to the program that the DMCO position responsible for finance is now filled by the incumbent and no longer by temporary duty officers, which was the case in the fall and winter of FY 2012-13. However, job uncertainty following global reductions in staffing across the mission network has served to further exacerbate the low morale situation. Scope and impact of change, coupled with sick leave, has affected workloads and morale. This places a great deal of pressure on the program and individual staff members having to assume other roles due to staff absences.

5.1.6 A Common Services Business Plan is in place and will be used as a basis for individual section work plans that are currently being developed. Policies and procedures are well documented and are placed on the mission intranet site, although many policies have not been updated since 2011. These policies form part of staff orientation kits provided upon arrival at the missions.

5.1.7 The MCO conducts meetings with section heads; however, due to conflicting agendas, they are mostly bilateral in nature and not held on a regular basis. As well, due to the requirement for common service staff to be available at PRMNY, section managers are not always able to attend meetings. A common ground for meetings should be established to ensure that they take place as scheduled.***. Staff placed great emphasis in having the ability to discuss issues in a regularly scheduled meeting setting. Staff also expressed a desire to have more ***.

5.1.8 The MCO, DMCO Finance/HR and the DMCO Consular have schedules of full or half days when they work from offices at PRMNY. The purpose is to provide personal client service to all PRMNY staff while a Mission Administration Officer is being hired to manage that mission. Although the intention has merit, the practicality and value of the DMCO Consular spending time at PRMNY was being questioned by both missions' staff.

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

5.1.9 Overall, service to clients is seen as being proactive and balanced. Service delivery standards were updated in December 2011 and were placed on the mission Wiki for ease of access by clients. Updated finance service delivery standards were introduced in a town hall meeting in May 2013, and will form the basis for a full update of the service standards document scheduled for June 2013.

5.1.10 The program also provides common service support to the missions located in Minneapolis and Boston as part of the Regional Finance Model which was implemented in January 2011. Both missions appeared to be receiving timely services with some transactions being processed.***. While these issues have been addressed and processing of invoices has improved, both missions are aware that the current changes in processes in the finance section at CNGNY are new and are therefore, only cautiously optimistic that these problems are in the past. At the time of the inspection, the realignment of tasks in the finance section, which had been in place a few weeks, produced noticeable efficiencies resulting in the section catching up on a backlog of document entries***.

5.1.11 The mission is attempting to staff two key positions: an LE-09 Mission Administrative Officer to be located at PRMNY and an LE-07 Property position vacated due to retirement, to be located at CNGNY. Staffing these positions should have a positive effect on workload and will address organizational issues. Meanwhile, the mission should ensure that corporate knowledge is retained as much as possible through this staff transition.

5.1.12 No formal client service feedback mechanism is in place that would assist in gauging program delivery and assessing service standards. Clients should be given the opportunity to provide feedback for all services from all sections.

5.1.13 Hub and spoke agreements between the mission and quadrant missions (PRMNY, BOSTN and MNPLS) that would outline process and procedures concerning financial management service delivery have not yet been developed, although these are being prepared by the RSCEUS to address this issue.

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 

5.1.14 In general, contracting and procurement processes are consistent, and proper controls are in place to ensure compliance with departmental policies and procedures. The CRB is a committee comprised of members from both the CNGNY and PRMNY missions. The committee provides a robust challenge function, is diligent in exercising its mandate and is enhanced by the inclusion of members with particular expertise suited to this oversight role, such as a legal background.

5.1.15 The CRB operates and is guided by a terms of reference (TOR) document which includes an appendix that clearly indicates, in chart form, the contract value thresholds and contract types which are the criteria which determine the division of roles and responsibilities for contract approval between the mission and HQ. At the time of the inspection, the TOR document was being updated and prepared for CMM approval.

5.1.16 Along with the decision chart, excellent tools have been prepared by the mission in the form of management check lists and quick reference forms to assist managers and guide the contracting process.

5.1.17 The complete contracting process, from solicitation to CRB approval is well-documented and executed. The contract information is filed electronically in a consistent and orderly manner in InfoBank, along with related correspondence and approvals. This virtual format is particularly efficient considering the two physical locations of members. However, the committee should meet in person regularly during the year to discuss overall contracting trends and issues that they might not otherwise address.

5.1.18 The mission has developed an annual acquisition spending plan which includes operational and minor capital expenditures. The approval for expenditures at the chancery were recently included in the minutes of the CMM, although there was no approval recorded at CMM for planned major acquisitions during the past year or looking forward to this fiscal year.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.1.19 Policies and procedures should be reviewed, updated and communicated on an annual basis.

5.1.20 The MCO should ensure that regular meetings with staff take place as scheduled.

5.1.21 The MCO should arrange to meet with staff from all sections on a regular basis.

5.1.22 The value of the DMCO Consular working from PRMNY each week should be assessed against her consular responsibilities and appropriate steps taken to use resources where they are most needed.

5.1.23 Service standards should be reviewed, updated and communicated on an annual basis.

5.1.24 The MCO should ensure that corporate knowledge is captured from departing staff members, particularly in the area of materiel management and physical resources.

5.1.25 The mission should develop a formal client feedback mechanism.

5.1.26 Members of the CRB should arrange to meet in person periodically.

Recommendations to the Regional Service Centre

5.1.27 Formal service level agreements between the CSDP and the missions in the Northeast Quadrant should be developed and implemented.

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.)

5.1.19 Policies and procedures are reviewed and updated on an annual basis and approved by CMM. Implemented June 2013.

5.1.20 The MCO adjusted the Common Service teams' office hours maintained at PRMNY and CNGNY in coordination with meeting times to mitigate the possibility of delay or postponement. Implemented July 2013.

5.1.21 The MCO has arranged to meet with staff from all sections on a regular basis. Implemented July 2013.

5.1.22 The DMCO Consular no longer maintains office hours at PRMNY. Her participation in bilateral and section team meetings ensures awareness of common services issues to fulfill the backup role during MCO absences. Implemented June 2013.

5.1.23 CNGNY, a member of the AFR-led Working Group, is currently working on a new streamlined Service Delivery Standards template. An updated version for New York is planned for June 2014. In Progress for June 2014.

5.1.24 The mission has implemented the requirement for a handover file for all departing employees. Corporate memory is also maintained through ongoing efforts to maximize use of InfoBank to capture key policy documents and correspondence. Implemented July 2013.

5.1.25 A client satisfaction survey will be launched to NY missions in April 2014. In Progress for April 2014.

5.1.26 In-person meetings will be scheduled two to three times per year going forward. Implemented November 2013.

Regional Service Centre Actions and Timeframes

5.1.27 A draft agreement has been developed; however, RSCEUS is awaiting the final evaluation report on the RSCs to incorporate any of their suggestions before sending to HOMs and MCOs/MAOs for finalization. In Progress for October 2014.

5.2 Human Resources

5.2.1 The human resources (HR) functions at the mission are the responsibility of the AS-05 DMCO-Finance-HR who is assisted by an LE-07 HR Officer. Routine tasks are divided among members of the Common Service team. The section provides services to employees from both the PRMNY and CNGNY missions. The payroll function in the US is provided by the RSCEUS which also provides HR subject matter expertise.

5.2.2 The amalgamation of the Common Services programs of PRMNY and CNGNY in 2011 contributed to the need for 9 staffing actions in FY 2011-12 and 12 staffing actions in FY 2012-13. There were 12 reclassifications, *** in FY 2012-13. Performance management issues in several *** positions *** also required considerable attention.

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 

5.2.3 The HR component in the common service business plan is detailed. It describes the history, current situation and future plans; however, this document does not outline specific action at the employee work plan level. For instance, the LES HR Officer is the mission Training Coordinator. However, no mission training plan, draft or otherwise, has been developed. Due to the unpredictability of future staffing needs, positions are being filled on a term basis.

5.2.4 Employee, position and competition files were separate and generally complete, although some inconsistencies were found. Not all classification decisions had accompanying documentation with the reclassification notice, and not all employee and position files contained updated job descriptions. Several staff at the mission voiced concerns that they are performing tasks which are not part of their listed responsibilities.

5.2.5 The last major job description updating project was conducted in 2008. Job descriptions are the foundation of the Performance Management Program (PMP) and provide the criteria for measurement if a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is needed. Without accurate and up-to-date job descriptions, it is difficult to address performance or reclassification issues.

5.2.6 Although PMPs from several years ago were in files, copies of recently completed PMPs were not found in the personnel files examined. Some staff reported they had discussed their PMP with their managers recently, while others had not had a performance review conducted for two years. The HR Officer is able to print a PMP tracking report for employees at the Consulate General; however she did not have the same access to the report for PRMNY.

5.2.7 ***.

5.2.8 The mission has been engaged with the Locally Engaged Staff Services Bureau (ALD) on long-standing ***that have not been fully addressed. When managing particularly complex and unique HR issues, *** cases combined with other HR issues, the mission has not always had clarity on how to proceed or which bureaux and government departments should be involved, despite extensive communication with stakeholders. Over the past year, the mission has also worked with ALD and RSCEUS on *** these have yet to reach conclusion despite efforts to manage them. The RSCEUS provides the mission with subject matter expertise and has participated in the mission's staffing actions, which has been welcome assistance.

5.2.9 The division of tasks in the HR section at the mission level appears to be ad hoc in nature and disorganized. It involves staff from several Common Service sections who contribute to the HR process but these tasks are not documented in job descriptions. This results in confused roles and responsibilities, and ultimately staff do not accept accountability for HR functions. There is also confusion among clients, particularly from managers at PRMNY, regarding who to approach at the mission regarding HR issues. The result is that some find it more efficient to address their needs directly to the RSCEUS.

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  

5.2.10 Overall, HR processes and internal controls were found to be in place. The RSCEUS and ALD continue to work closely with the mission providing support where expertise is lacking.

5.2.11 Although management of the HR section is challenging, most inspection criteria have been met and the section is providing the required services. Staffing actions are being completed and payroll and leave information is provided to clients as required through the combined efforts of the MCO, DMCO, Common Service staff, RSCEUS and ALD, which have mitigated an otherwise***. This has been due in part to the extended *** leave of the LES HR Officer, and complicated by the issues of continuity of oversight resulting from the absence of an MCO (due to transition period), as well as the DMCO-Finance/HR being on ***leave and a number of short term replacements in her position.

5.2.12 The mission has prepared a clear, step-by-step guide to the staffing process that starts with the program manager reviewing the current job description and guides the staffing team through the process with roles and responsibilities delineated and service standards identified.

5.2.13 The payroll function for the US is centralized in RSCEUS with information fed from the missions using the HR management software, ABRA. The ABRA database is a paperless solution for HR transactions including leave and payroll. It generates reports on accrued leave and overtime liabilities. These are provided to the mission from RSCEUS monthly and circulated to program mangers throughout the fiscal year.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.2.14 A mission-wide training plan should be developed with input from all programs.

5.2.15 Classification decisions and accompanying documentation should be included in classification files.

5.2.16 Employee and position files should contain the current job descriptions.

5.2.17 Job descriptions for all staff should be reviewed every five years (at minimum) or when substantial changes to duties occur. A review should be completed and all job descriptions currently not up-to-date should be revised.

5.2.18 PMPs for all staff should be completed on an annual basis. Administrative access to the PMP database should be provided to the MCO so that status reports can be provided to the CMM. A review of all PMPs should be completed and all brought up-to-date.

5.2.19 ***.

5.2.20 The MCO, in liaison with the RSCEUS, should conduct an organizational assessment of HR functions and assignment of associated duties required to properly organize the section.

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.)

5.2.14 Consultations with program managers resulted in a whole of missions training plan. A Training Committee will also be launched in February 2014 to configure a training plan for the new FY following PMP cycles identifying individual employee learning plans. Implemented November 2013.

5.2.15 The employee, position and competition files will be reconciled for completeness of supporting documentation. In Progress for June 2014.

5.2.16 The HR Officer will be assigned responsibility to review all files to ensure current job descriptions are on file for all employees. In Progress for March 2014.

5.2.17 The mission initiated a comprehensive review of all position descriptions in CNGNY/PRMNY. In Progress for June 2014.

5.2.18 Senior management was provided with status updates of PMPs and will be provided with quarterly updates going forward. CMM has a standing agenda item to review the status of PMPs. Implemented January 2014.

5.2.19 ***. Implemented October 2013.

5.2.20 Following a visit by RSCEUS HR experts, the MCO and DMCOs reviewed all position descriptions and business processes, particularly with the HR function, and met with employees to clarify roles, responsibilities, and expectations for performance against standards going forward. Implemented July 2013.

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The physical resources functions for both the CNGNY and PRMNY missions are delivered mainly from the PRMNY site but are directed by the MCO who is located at CNGNY. The MCO is currently assisted by an LE-07 Property/Maintenance Officer, an LE-06 Protocol Assistant, an LE-05 Property/Materiel Assistant (located at CNGNY) and two handymen. The section is in transition following consolidation of common service programs for the two missions, the retirement of the LE-07 Property/Materiel Manager, whose position remains vacant, and the vacancy in the newly created LE-09 MAO position at PRMNY.

5.3.2 Staff are struggling with the fact that they are located at the PRMNY offices which physically separates them from the rest of the Common Services program that is located within a 20 minute walk from CNGNY. The physical separation makes it more complex for management to fulfill an oversight function and for section staff to carry out their duties. Due to the retirement of the long serving LE-07 Property/Materiel Manager the mission has lost a considerable amount of corporate knowledge. If additional staff leave their positions in the property section before corporate knowledge has been passed on, this will pose a significant risk to the Common Services program.

5.3.3 The section is responsible for management of separate chancery facilities for CNGNY and PRMNY, two official residences that are located in the same apartment building, 23 Crown-owned staff quarters (SQs), and indirectly provides support for 10 private-leased staff quarters. All properties are located in Manhattan with the exception of a Crown-owned house that is located in Rye, New York. The section also manages an official vehicle fleet consisting of seven vehicles.

5.3.4 ***.

5.3.5 Location, layout and configuration of the office space at the CNGNY mission are less than ideal with approximately 60% of staff located on the below-ground concourse level and the balance on the upper mezzanine level. The office location and configuration which results in an "upstairs/downstairs" divide, contributes directly to poor staff morale and an increased rate of absenteeism particularly for staff located on the concourse level. There is a lack of natural light, poor ventilation and temperature control issues, as well as problems associated with water infiltration and pest control issues affecting the concourse level offices.

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  

5.3.6 Overall, the section is functioning well given staff shortages and common service consolidation issues. Some key processes and internal controls require strengthening, particularly in the area of asset inventory control and tracking. Staff located at the PRMNY mission voiced concern over the lack of overall management presence given the split office set-up. Arranging formal meetings *** could alleviate some of this concern.

5.3.7 The mission does not currently have an electronic service request system in place and uses a simple email system to receive, action and track service requests. The mission was using the Crow Canyon system for this purpose although this was discontinued due to technical problems encountered by staff and users. The Mission IT Client Support Section (AISZ) advises that fixes to this system have been found and that the system will be reintroduced to the mission shortly. This program could be used as a formal client feedback mechanism.

5.3.8 Both ORs (apartments located in the same building) are well maintained from a day-to-day management point of view. As indicated in CNGNY's Mission Property Management Plan (2013/14), both ORs have aging building electrical wiring infrastructure, plumbing, as well as auxiliary central air conditioning, which will need to be addressed in the form of project submissions under the Mission Maintenance Work plan.

5.3.9 ***.

5.3.10 Four Crown-owned and two private leased SQs were visited as part of the inspection process. All properties were well maintained and modest in size. The two private lease properties were leased prior to the implementation of rent ceilings at costs approximately 5% higher than the current rent ceiling. The mission anticipates that with rising rental rates in Manhattan some CBS may not be able to find reasonably affordable accommodation in the same area of the city. The consequence may be that some staff live in areas outside Manhattan, which would entail greater distances and commuting time to the chancery. This may have operational, security and/or emergency response implications that would require careful consideration.

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 

5.3.11 Overall, internal controls were found to be inconsistent and require more attention to detail. Several occupancy agreements were signed well after occupation date. These should be signed within a month after CBS take possession of an SQ. As well, some inventories of SQ furnishings were not signed. Each mission maintains on-site storage facilities. Each facility also has a list that identifies items being stored; however, custodial responsibility for these items has not been designated resulting in little control over their movement or disposal.

5.3.12 The mission has opted to dispose of most surplus assets as scrap. They reported that New York City does not appear to offer a market to sell used furnishings, appliances or office equipment. Some donations are made to charitable organizations, although the Client Relations and Missions Operations Bureau (AFD) is not consulted even though the value of these assets is over $1,000. Disposal forms have been properly completed and signed.

5.3.13 Official vehicle logs *** require improvement. Official vehicle monthly operating reports are prepared by the LES Protocol Assistant ***. Vehicle logs are maintained by all drivers, but there are issues with tracking of mileage. Tracking of personal use of vehicles by HOMs and DHOMs is in place.***.

5.3.14 The CNGNY mission is forced to use additional cleaning/janitorial services outside of services provided through the lease contract, as services provided do not meet the mission's requirements. The mission should arrange to enter into a contract for these supplemental services instead of paying on a monthly basis.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.3.15 The MCO should arrange to have formal meetings with property staff located at PRMNY.

5.3.16 The mission should track service requests and measure against service standards.

5.3.17 Inventories and occupancy agreements should be prepared and signed off within 30 days of occupancy.

5.3.18 ***.

5.3.19 Approval from AFD should be obtained to donate assets with a value of more than $1,000 to comply with section 7.5 of the Materiel Management Manual, the Treasury Board Directive on Disposal of Surplus Materiel and government reporting requirements.

5.3.20 A CBS officer should be involved in the monthly reconciliation of vehicle usage and fuel purchases to ensure compliance and consistency.

5.3.21 The mission should locate a commercial garage facility either near the chanceries or near the ORs in which to park official vehicles overnight.

5.3.22 A contract for additional janitorial services should be prepared using a competitive process.

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.)

5.3.15 The MCO implemented weekly written sitreps from the property team as well as biweekly property team meetings. Implemented October 2013.

5.3.16 The missions (CNGNY/PRMNY) are participating in the European pilot to use Remedy for property/materiel and transportation requests. Implemented February 2014.

5.3.17 The mission put in place controls to ensure occupancy agreements and distribution account inventories are completed and signed by the CBS occupant within 30 days of occupancy of their permanent staff quarter accommodation. Implemented, June, 2013.

5.3.18 The mission will add a signature block to the inventories for assets in storage *** as required to ensure acknowledgement of custodial responsibility by the relevant party. In Progress for February 2014.

5.3.19 The Property/Materiel team will comply with the procedural requirements for AFD approval for disposal of surplus materiel as appropriate. Implemented January 2014.

5.3.20 The MCO will review the monthly reconciliation of vehicle usage and fuel purchases to ensure compliance and consistency. In addition, a central dispatcher role was implemented to coordinate the official fleet vehicles. Implemented January 2014.

5.3.21 The mission will ensure appropriate commercial garage facilities are identified. In progress for June, 2014

5.3.22 The mission is consulting with the chancery building management and SPP to establish the correct form of standalone service contract (sole source or competitive) for cleaning services given the constraints placed by building management on unionized labour. In Progress for April 2014.

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 The finance section is managed by the AS-05 DMCO Finance/HR with an LE-07 Finance Officer responsible for budgeting, materiel management and contracting and a second LE-07 Finance Officer responsible for transactions. In addition, there are three LE-05 Accountants who would normally report to the LE-07 responsible for transactions, but who currently report directly to the DMCO.

5.4.2 The section faced the following challenges since the fall of 2011:

5.4.3 In addition, at the time of the merger in 2011, the roles of the two LE-07 accountants were redefined. Client impatience, ***, added to stress in the team resulting in *** and low morale. The section was not able to meet service standards, *** resulted in managers using *** budget information at the fiscal year end ***.

5.4.4 Temporary duty officers from HQ *** assisted the mission between September 2012 and March 2013. They identified significant issues, took steps to address *** and supported and trained the accountants. Audits conducted in the spring of 2013 by DFAIT and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) also resulted in recommendations, which the mission implemented immediately with the guidance of the RSCEUS. This is reflected in the scoring of criteria listed in the tables below.

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  

5.4.5 At the time of the inspection, the section was operating *** under the direction of the DMCO Finance/HR. The dedication of the finance team and support from the RSCEUS for streamlining processes resulted in routine transaction workload and bank reconciliations being up-to-date. Some clients acknowledged that service had improved since the reorganization of tasks and morale in the section was improving.

5.4.6 Work stations were changed to accommodate three accountants in the same work area, segregated from clients by a Dutch door which had "quiet hours" posted prominently. A town hall in May 2013 provided clients with information on new service standards and procedures such as the "open hours" for client service. The mission is increasingly using acquisition cards and electronic payments to vendors to minimize transactions. During FY 2012-13 the section processed 5,818 transactions, 264 travel claims, 178 hospitality claims and 210 cheques/electronic funds transfers monthly.

5.4.7 Program assistants have been provided with read-only Integrated Management System (IMS) access and have been trained by the LE-07 Finance Officer to access and generate regular reports. This has allowed program managers to track expenditures and budgets, making them more independent and further reducing demands on the finance section.

5.4.8 The DMCO Finance/HR has recently *** which allows her to execute payment runs *** and independently review reports in the system. The MCO has also taken recent *** to allow him to provide backup for both *** aspects ***.

5.4.9 Management of the five finance positions at this CSDP and the models at CSDPs throughout the U.S. will require an assessment of the tasks, the volume of transactions, and the responsibilities entailed. *** as the result of the new configuration of the finance section as a CSDP will require a coordinated approach with input from the mission, RSCEUS and ALD.

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.  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.).N/A

5.4.10 The section has received *** management support from the DMCO Finance/HR, RSCEUS and HQ resulting in improved processes, success in overcoming a significant backlog of transactions and improved morale. Further work needs to be done to realign reporting relationships, ensure backup for all positions and improve section communication. Bi-weekly section meetings were started in May which have been advantageous and should be continued.

5.4.11 ***.

5.4.12 The following items related to CIC transactions were noted:

5.4.13 Reimbursement cheques from staff for recoverable items at times do not include backup documents making it unclear to the finance section what the payment is for. If a request for payment or reimbursement is received in the Finance section without appropriate supporting documentation, it should be returned to the originating section/employee.

5.4.14 The reimbursement of the HonCon's expenses in Bermuda is based on a historical understanding of what is acceptable, not a written list forming part of the annual tasking letter.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.15 The mission should ensure that the section has back-up capacity in place for all positions including MCO/DMCO role in financial oversight.

5.4.16 The DMCO should ensure that bi-weekly meetings with staff are continued.

5.4.17 The section should routinely monitor CIC transactions ***.

5.4.18 Supporting documentation should accompany recoverable transactions.

5.4.19 A written list of allowable reimbursable costs submitted by the HonCon should form part of the annual tasking 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.)

5.4.15 Backup capacity has been ensured through new procedures for distribution of work, and regular meetings with DMCO/MCO to ensure delivery against service standards. Implemented June 2013.

5.4.16 The DMCO HR/Finance will ensure that bi-weekly meetings with staff continue. Implemented May 2013.

5.4.17 The MCO/DMCO and Finance team has continued to monitor CIC transactions *** are only undertaken by delegated officers. Implemented June 2013.

5.4.18 The mission will exercise increased vigilance to ensure all relevant and required supporting documentation accompany all transactions. Implemented January 2014.

5.4.19 The mission will establish with the Bermuda HonCon the formalized listing of permissible expenditures for reimbursement which will form part of the annual tasking letter. In Progress for March 2014.

5.5 Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT)

5.5.1 The IM-IT section is managed by a CS-02 Foreign Service Information and Technology Professional (FSITP) and is supported by an LE-08 Locally Engaged Information and Technology Professional (LEITP) and an LE-07 LEITP. The FSITP operates out of the PRMNY mission, while the two LEITPs operate out of the CNGNY mission.

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 section is *** managed with key processes and controls in place. The FSITP arranges to be present at the CNGNY mission two mornings per week. Meetings between section staff are ad hoc in nature and would benefit from a formal meeting structure being implemented. This would provide the FSITP with an opportunity to discuss planning and organizational issues and to involve the LEITPs in the planning process.

5.5.3 This section received positive comments from all clients interviewed and is considered to be proactive and providing a high level of service. The section has a work plan in place that outlines all activities and initiatives that will be undertaken throughout the year. Staff PMPs are prepared based on objectives derived from the work plan.

5.5.4 The section is proactive in providing an IM-IT welcome kit to new employees outlining process and procedures as well as an orientation to equipment and systems. This is seen as a good practice.

5.5.5 The mission has an IM-IT committee in place and meets on a quarterly basis. The committee is guided by a terms of reference document and minutes are produced after each meeting. InfoBank is used extensively by CNGNY, although staff at PRMNY do not use this system; rather the shared drive is used as a filing system. There is an IM working group in place and each section has a specific resource person identified to assist users.

5.5.6 The section has *** portable emergency communications kits assembled and ready for use. ***. The kits are tested quarterly by the FSITP and LEITPs. Other staff such as the MCO, DMCOs and the MPSS would benefit from participating in the testing of this equipment. Set-up procedures and operating checklists should be prepared for ease of testing and potential use.

5.5.7 The telephone switchboard *** and voice management systems***. The mission has been working through problems, but consideration should be given by the Information Management and Technology Bureau (AID) to replacing or updating these systems.***.

5.5.8 The main server room (MSR) and dedicated communications closet (DCC) rooms are being used as a storage area for surplus and obsolete materiel. These rooms should remain clean and access to them restricted - which is compromised if they are used as storage facilities.

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  

5.5.9 Overall, IM-IT processes and controls are effective.

5.5.10 ***.

5.5.11 The section has developed a loan-to-staff sign-out sheet for items such as cellular telephones, BlackBerrys, laptop computers, etc. Staff are also provided with a loan agreement document outlining their responsibilities. This is seen as a good practice.

5.5.12 Disposal of surplus IT equipment is conducted through donation or equipment is simply scrapped. There is no market for used IT equipment especially since the hard drives from computers must be wiped clean resulting in no operating system being provided with the unit. Previous donations have been made to schools in the New York City area when possible.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.5.13 Formal meetings should be arranged for section staff.

5.5.14 ***.

5.5.15 ***.

5.5.16 Set-up procedures for the emergency communications kits should be documented.

5.5.17 Server and communications rooms should be cleared of surplus materiel.

Recommendations to the Information Management and Technology Bureau (AID)

5.5.18 AID should liaise with Shared Services Canada and request the replacement of the existing *** systems *** as part of SSC's ongoing lifecycle replacement program.

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.)

5.5.13 The FSITP has been conducting biweekly meetings with the LEITPs since June 2013. Implemented June 2013.

5.5.14 ***. Implemented April 2014.

5.5.15 ***. Implemented January 2014.

5.5.16 Set-up procedures for the emergency communications kits have been documented. Implemented January 2014.

5.5.17 The server and communications rooms will be cleared of surplus materiel during clean up days in February 2014. In Progress for April 2014.

AID Actions and Timeframes

5.5.18 AID will make a formal request to Shared Service Canada for the replacement of the existing *** systems. In Progress. Implemented May 2014.

Appendix B: Mission Resources Fact Sheet

Physical Resources
AssetsCrown-OwnedCrown-LeasedPrivate-Lease
Chancery 1 
Official Residence1  
Staff Quarters (PRMNY CBS)9 4
Vehicles4  
Storage1  
Financial Information 2012/2013
BudgetProgramCommon Services
Operating$190,600n/a see CNGNY
Capital0n/a
CBS Salaries1,490,600 (ref level FY 13/14)n/a
CBS Overtime113,000 (ref level FY 13/14)n/a
LES Salaries367,300n/a
LES Overtime0n/a
Total$2,161,500 
Human Resources (FTEs)
ProgramTotalCBSLES
Head of Mission523
DHOM220
FPDS752
ECOSOC541
Common ServicesSee CNGNY  
CIDA2.520.5
RCMP11 
DND44 
Total26.5206.5

Appendix C: Frequently Used Acronyms

CBS
Canada-based staff
CE
Commercial Economic
CMM
Committee on Mission Management
CNGNY
The Consulate General of Canada, New York
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
ECOSOC
UN Economic and Social Council
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
LSSO
Local Standing Security Orders
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
MPR
Mission Planning and Reporting system
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
PRMNY
The Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations, New York
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
Date Modified: