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Inspection of the Embassy of Canada, Seoul, Republic of Korea

October 3-10, 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 (HQ) 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 Seoul, Republic of Korea from October 3 to 10, 2013. A previous inspection of these programs took place in 2007.

The Embassy in Seoul, Republic of Korea (ROK or South Korea), is a medium-sized mission with 16 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 42 locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in both the ROK and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea). The mission houses representatives of National Defence and the Canadian Forces (DND), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the province of Alberta. The provinces of British Colombia and Quebec also have offices in Seoul but are not co-located with the mission. An Honorary Consul (HonCon) in Busan, South Korea, bolsters the mission's presence in that part of the country.

The mission functions *** under the leadership an EX-03 Head of Mission (HOM) who has served in his role for two years. He takes an *** approach to management and participates in a variety of program events. The mission's priorities are centred on promotion of and advocacy on Canada's political and economic interests in South Korea, such as international trade, investment and energy. In addition, there is engagement with South Korea on matters pertaining to international security and stability, and the promotion of academic partnerships and youth exchanges.

***. The Embassy of Sweden in North Korea provides emergency consular assistance to Canadians in accordance with a bilateral agreement.

The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) and other mission committees provide an effective governance structure. The CMM operates as an agenda-driven forum for making management decisions, and program managers find it useful and effective. The HOM provides *** leadership and ensures management buy-in on important issues. Communications are generally good; however, mission morale has been adversely affected by the loss of one-third of its locally engaged staff (LES) as a result of the closure of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada program.

The mission actively promotes whole-of-government program delivery. The HOM demonstrates a keen interest in partner programs; he facilitates communication, supports activities and uses his position to enhance access to decision makers. As a good practice, he coordinates a regular meeting with the three Canadian provinces represented in Seoul to identify opportunities and enhance relationships. AAFC and the province of Alberta work very closely with the Commercial Economic (CE) program on a day-to-day basis. The co-located partners are well incorporated into mission governance structures and are satisfied with the common services they receive

The LES representatives that sit on the Locally Engaged Staff Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) are representative of mission programs and employee levels. Although the LES generally recognize the Board as a good communication channel, improvements to both membership and processes should be made.

Many of the emergency preparedness elements are in place to ensure readiness in case of an emergency. Mission emergency plans (MEPs) exist for both South and North Korea and both are up to date. An emergency response team (ERT) has been identified, and roles and responsibilities were reviewed recently during a visit of the Regional Emergency Management Officer***.

The FPDS program manager recently started his assignment and has previous experience as a manager in the region and Headquarters. He has *** recognized weaknesses in the program, such as the lack of a strategic plan and an imbalance in the program given its primary focus on public affairs. Program planning and communication within the program are areas that require improvement. The program should develop an overarching strategic plan to orient staff to key objectives for the entire program. The program manager is seeking to make improvements to improve communication between program supervisors and staff.

The FPDS program's primary objective is to advance Canadian interests through the promotion of and advocacy on Canada's political and economic interests in South Korea, such as international trade, investment and energy. In addition, there is engagement with South Korea on matters pertaining to international security and stability, and the promotion of academic partnerships and youth exchanges. Both the Commercial Economic (CE) and FPDS programs undertake advocacy initiatives; however, this work is not always jointly coordinated. The FPDS program has been focused primarily on public affairs issues, with limited reporting on other program activities.

The CE program is *** managed by an EX-01 Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) acting at the EX-02 level. The CE program is focused on five priority sectors: agriculture, food and beverages; information and communications technology (ICT); cleantech; education; and oil and gas and three proactive sectors: automotive, mining and life sciences. The team is dedicated, works well together and effectively carries out activities as per the CE program plan (CEP). Communication within the program could be improved. The use of TRIO has been emphasised within the program; however, it could be used more effectively. A TRIO champion exists within the program who could be used to coordinate and provide training if needed.

The day-to-day operations of the Consular program are functioning well under the Deputy MCO (DMCO) with oversight provided by an AS-07 MCO. The DMCO, a substantive FS-02 occupying an AS-04 position,***. The LES are experienced, well trained and work well together. In addition, an Honorary Consul (HonCon) in Busan provides a limited amount of consular and passport assistance. Overall, clients are provided a good level of service well within established service standards. Some minor improvements in program management are necessary, however, particularly in the areas of planning and communication.

The Common Services program is functioning *** under the *** AS-07 MCO and is providing good quality services to all clients throughout the mission. Morale in some areas has been negatively impacted by the many position cuts, the reduction in benefits following the total compensation review and the plans for further regionalization***. A mission priority is to determine how best to make use of approximately 25% of vacant chancery space formerly occupied by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) ***.

A total of 51 recommendations are raised in the report: 50 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 30 have been implemented.

1 Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Embassy of Canada in Seoul, the Republic of Korea (ROK or South Korea), is a medium-sized mission with 16 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 42 locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in both the ROK and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea). The mission houses representatives of National Defence and the Canadian Forces (DND), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the province of Alberta. The provinces of British Colombia and Quebec also have offices in Seoul but are not co-located with the mission. An Honorary Consul (HonCon) in Busan, South Korea, bolsters the mission's presence in that part of the country.

1.1.2 The mission is managed by an EX-03 Head of Mission (HOM) who is responsible for overall operations and oversees an operational budget reported by the mission as $605,000. The mission also manages a property portfolio that includes a Crown-owned chancery, a Crown-owned official residence (OR) as well as nine Crown-owned and six Crown-leased staff quarters (SQs).

1.1.3 Canada and South Korea share complementary economies and like-minded views on democracy, human rights and the rule of law among other areas. Bilateral relations are good, *** South Korea has the world's 15th largest economy and has maintained significant sustained growth in recent years. Social and cultural linkages *** remain strong; there are over 200,000 people of Korean origin in Canada, and 4,000 Koreans visit Canada annually through the International Experience Canada program.

1.1.4 ***.

1.1.5 ***. The Embassy of Sweden in North Korea provides emergency consular assistance to Canadians in accordance with a bilateral agreement.

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 DFATD 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 Mission morale is still recovering following the loss of approximately one third of its locally engaged staff component as a result of the closure of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) program as well as the more limited DFATD reductions in staff. However, the mission's governance structure is sound. The HOM and his management team, the majority of whom arrived over the summer of 2013, are aware of the existing challenges. In response, they are attempting to provide good direction to their staff and are working to improve morale.

1.2.2 The HOM is visible and active in the community and his views are well respected by external interlocutors. He has a *** grasp of the external context as well as the strengths of the mission and the challenges it faces. *** Although in transition with the arrival of new program managers, both the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS) and the Commercial Economic (CE) programs require some attention to clarify priorities and align resources to high-value activities.

1.2.3 The HOM holds occasional town-hall meetings to communicate key decisions or changes within the mission. He also sends e-mails to reinforce messaging or provide quick updates to all staff when appropriate. Common services policy decisions are also communicated effectively. InfoBank is used as the central repository for policies and procedures. Staff are generally aware of these tools and receive guidance from common service staff when necessary. The HOM plans to initiate regular one-on-one meetings with all program managers to enhance communication. Consideration could be given to meeting the program managers of the FPDS and CE programs together on a regular basis to enhance coordination.

1.2.4 The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) and other mission committees provide an effective governance structure. The CMM operates as an agenda-driven forum for making management decisions, and program managers find it useful and effective. The HOM provides *** leadership and ensures management buy-in on important issues. Minutes are distributed and help to keep employees up to date on management decisions and priorities. The HOM meets with the chairs of other mission committees to ensure that terms of reference are in place and that the committees fulfill their governance obligations. Given staff rotations in the summer, a number of committees have yet to hold meetings with their new membership. This should be undertaken soon, and the committees' terms of reference should be reviewed with all members.

1.2.5 The LES representatives that sit on the Locally Engaged Staff Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) are representative of mission programs and employee levels. Although the LES generally recognize the Board as a good communication channel, improvements to both membership and processes should be made. For example, the Board has not been meeting quarterly, as required, and the Management Consular Officer (MCO) has frequently been the sole representative of management. As per the Terms of Reference approved by the LES Governance Committee, the HOM is encouraged to chair the next meeting to reinforce the Board's value and the seriousness with which management takes issues raised by the LES. At the time of the inspection, minutes from the July 2013 meeting had not yet been distributed because there was disagreement between the LES and management about how to frame conversations. The LES representatives of the LESMCB indicated that the following subjects were of concern to LES: LES control over the agenda and minutes of the LESMCB; the methodology of the Total Compensation Review; differences between local labour law and Canadian laws; and LES interest in identifying a values and ethics champion within the mission.

1.2.6 Although the mandatory values and ethics training has been completed by almost all staff, there has not been a town-hall meeting dedicated to the subject. A number of employees shared concerns with the inspection team about incidents that occurred in the past, and some employees feel that messages on values and ethics should be reinforced by mission management. Addressing real-life examples, such as how to deal with expensive gifts or inappropriate language or behavior from colleagues or clients, may help to solidify employees' understanding. Staff should also be reminded of the mandate of the Values and Ethics Division (ZVE) and how to contact them.

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 actively promotes whole-of-government program delivery. The HOM demonstrates a keen interest in partner programs; he facilitates communication, supports activities and uses his position to enhance access to decision makers. As a good practice, he coordinates a regular meeting with the three Canadian provinces represented in Seoul to identify opportunities and enhance relationships. AAFC and the province of Alberta work very closely with the Commercial Economic (CE) program on a day-to-day basis. The co-located partners are well incorporated into mission governance structures and are satisfied with the common services they receive.

1.3.2 Generally speaking, the mission´s programs communicate well with one another, and plans are implemented in a coordinated fashion. Joint work on the energy file is a good example of where the mission was leveraging multiple networks and resources to advance both political and commercial objectives. Similarly, the newly arrived CBSA representative serves as the Deputy Mission Security Officer (DMSO), shares information proactively and is willing to reach out to his network when it may be of benefit to the Consular program. DND is a key partner of DFATD in terms of the overall bilateral relationship and has good access to people of influence.

1.3.3 Collaboration among programs during key planning periods could, however, be improved. Not all staff are aware of the priorities of other programs or the overall mission-wide objectives. For example, although employees from various programs supported the delivery of activities related to the celebration of 50 years of Canada-South Korea diplomatic relations, the overall strategic objectives were not clear. As well, ***, the mission could have benefited from a whole-of-government strategy on this theme. Planning collaboratively may help to clarify priorities, avoid the duplication of efforts and improve transparency. Similarly, whole-of-government reviews of important events or activities, such as high-level visits and the celebration of diplomatic relations, may enhance future planning and improve both the delivery and substance of activities.

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 *** emergency preparedness elements are in place to ensure full readiness in case of an emergency.

1.4.2 Mission emergency plans (MEPs) exist for both South and North Korea and both are up to date. When changes are made, the mission should ensure that the new versions are transmitted to Headquarters through the appropriate channels and systems in a timely manner.

1.4.3 An emergency response team (ERT) has been identified, and roles and responsibilities were reviewed recently. In September, the Regional Emergency Management Officer (REMO) led the ERT in an emergency planning exercise to test the MEP for South Korea. The mission also performs fire drills twice a year***.

1.4.4 ***.

1.4.5 Although the Consular program has good contacts with local authorities, the mission has not been undertaking regular consultations with like-minded and neighbouring Canadian missions on emergency planning.

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 Official Languages Act is generally respected by mission management, but more could be done to promote French at the mission. English is the dominant foreign language in the country and the default language within the mission. Increasing the use of French internally would help reinforce the importance of Canada's bilingual culture. Informal activities, such as days dedicated to certain languages or lunchtime practice sessions, could be combined with formal French training to increase employees´ language abilities, as well as the profile of the language.

1.5.2 The FSITP is the Official Languages Co-ordinator. The mission has reviewed signage, and material directed at the public is bilingual. Overall, the mission has good capacity in both official languages among the CBS, including a good mix of anglophones and francophones. The capacity among the LES is more limited, but services are generally provided to Canadians in the official language of their choice***. As well, there is some concern that recent *** office may negatively affect the ability to serve Canadians in the official language of their choice. This should be monitored by the mission and considered when discussing expectations with ***.

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.X  

1.6.1 Most key management controls are in place and working well. Program managers receive monthly financial updates, and assistants have been trained on the use of IMS. They are able to print their own financial reports and effectively track their program's budget independently. Bank reconciliations are properly reviewed and signed off, and the HOM signs off on the quarterly reconciliation of passport inventory as required.

1.6.2 The mission's overall *** could be improved. Mission management should reinforce the importance *** and ensure that infrastructure and tools are used effectively, policies and procedures are up to date, and that all staff adhere to the established procedures.

1.6.3 Although the mission's hospitality guidelines are appropriate and reviewed regularly by CMM, the related documentation did not in all cases sufficiently outline the activity's intended purpose and communicate its full value. The HOM Guide on Official Hospitality Outside Canada is a good resource to advise the mission on leveraging funds and properly documenting activities.

1.6.4 The HOM monitors the use of the Performance Management Program (PMP), and messages have been conveyed to remind managers to complete PMPs and hold mid-point and year end discussions. There are objectives in place to guide the HonCon, and his performance is reviewed by the mission.

1.6.5 The mission identifies common development needs at a training committee and a dedicated training budget exists. However, only a limited number of training sessions have been identified for the upcoming year. More could be done to review PMPs and proactively identify professional development goals and common training needs.

1.7 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

1.7.1 As part of the departmental planning process, mission management should define and disseminate clear and measurable strategic objectives that effectively leverage mission resources and activities, ***.

1.7.2 The following adjustments should be made to the operation of the LESMCB:

1.7.3 A town-hall meeting should be held to reinforce departmental messaging on values and ethics and help staff to translate theory into practice.

1.7.4 Whole-of-government collaboration during key planning periods should be improved to ensure that mission-wide priorities and strategies are clear across all programs.

1.7.5 ***.

1.7.6 ***.

1.7.7 Consultations on *** planning should take place with like-minded and neighbouring Canadian missions.

1.7.8 Official languages should be promoted throughout the mission. Opportunities should be made available for staff to pursue formal French training with priority given to front-line staff.

1.7.9 Mission management should reinforce a *** culture, including by deploying the available *** and ensuring that policies and procedures are up to date, understood and adhered to by all employees.

1.7.10 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.

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 Clear objectives have been developed and are available in Strategia. Program Managers have discussed objectives with staff and the HOM and CMM will discuss horizontal linkages at a May retreat. Implemented February 2014.

1.7.2 To improve the functioning of the LESMCB, the following actions will be taken:

In progress for June 2014.

1.7.3 Preparations are underway for a town-hall meeting at which Values and Ethics principles and practices will be highlighted. In progress for May 2014.

1.7.4 Whole-of-government approach has been undertaken for Strategia planning by having front-end discussions on Government of Canada agenda and priorities, and through a one-page summary provided by the HOM. Implemented February 2014.

1.7.5 The mission will continue to prepare employees for emergency situations by conducting *** exercises. As well, the mission continues to monitor the situation in North Korea and maintains good communications with the Swedish Embassy there. Implemented March 2014.

1.7.6 A quarterly testing matrix has been created by the FSITP to ensure the equipment *** will be tested on a regular basis.***. Implemented December 2013.

1.7.7 Consultations with like-minded missions *** planning have been ongoing. Mission will approach neighbouring Canadian missions. Implemented and ongoing.

1.7.8 The mission will attempt to fund French language training in next year´s budget and will encourage greater use of both languages in internal communications. In progress for September 2014.

1.7.9 Mission management continues to focus efforts on *** and the deployment of equipment will be factored into a space/leasing property project. MSO has been instructed to ensure security infractions are recorded and periodic *** undertaken. Implemented March 2014.

1.7.10 Managers and staff have been reminded of the requirements and best practices related to the documentation of hospitality activities. Implemented February 2014.

2 Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The FPDS program is managed by an EX-01 program manager (substantive FS-04) overseeing nine permanent employees: two FS-02 political officers (one who fills an FS-01 position); an AS-01 Administrative Assistant; two LE-08s, an LE-07; two LE-06s; and an LE-05. An emergency employee is also working in the program. The program's financial resources are provided by the mission below.

Program's Financial Resources
Budget2013-2014
Operations$52,000
Travel$6,000
Hospitality$11,000
Post Initiative Fund$18,000
Total$87,000

2.1.2 The program's overarching objective is to advance Canadian interests through the promotion of and advocacy on Canada's political and economic interests in South Korea, such as international trade, investment and energy. In addition, there is engagement with South Korea on matters pertaining to international security and stability, and the promotion of academic partnerships and youth exchanges.

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 program manager recently started his assignment in Seoul. He has *** as a manager in the region (with prior postings in Bangkok and Manila) and at Headquarters. He has *** recognized weaknesses in the program such as the lack of a strategic plan. The program manager is also seeking to resolve an imbalance affecting priorities given the program's primary focus on public affairs. All staff have had meetings with the program manager to discuss FPDS priorities and objectives. The program manager has established good management practices*** His interest in mentoring and sharing *** experience will aid in his staff's professional development.

2.2.2 The program manager oversees and delegates duties to three staff members who are each responsible for specific sub-sets of the program and who, in turn, supervise others on the team. The FS-01 political officer is responsible for economic reporting (serving as part of the Economic and Financial reporting network (ECOFIN network)) and also covers energy and advocacy for the Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. The FS-01 supervises two LES officers (an LE-07 and an LE-05).

2.2.3 The FS-02 political officer is responsible for covering Korean foreign policy, regional security and Arctic advocacy, among other areas, and has two LES who report to her (an LE-08 and an LE-05). The LE-05 is responsible for the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. Immediately prior to the inspection, the LE-05 was notified of changes to the IEC program with the result that she would report to a program manager in Manila. Her role and responsibilities will need to be clarified and steps taken to ensure the position is also integrated in Seoul's FPDS team.

2.2.4 The LE-08 officer is responsible for public affairs (including media relations) and advocacy. She supervises two LES. Given the focus this year on events marking the 50th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and South Korea, the LE-08's work files have been a high priority for the mission.

2.2.5 Program planning is an area that requires improvement. The Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) document lists broad commitments for the program, but it is not intended to be an operational planning tool for FPDS. The program should develop an overarching strategic plan to orient staff to key objectives for the entire program. The strategic plan should include measurable indicators and outcomes. Individual plans for public affairs, energy, advocacy, and economic issues exist, but there is no strategic communications plan for Public Affairs, which is currently driven by and focused on events. The launch of Strategia, the department's new online strategic planning tool, should help to facilitate effective strategic planning for the program.

2.2.6 The program manager has asked officers to contribute to the development of plans for the coming year. He has also allocated hospitality to each of the supervisors instead of on an ad hoc basis, as was previously the case. In addition, he has requested notice and rationales for anticipated travel from staff up to the end of the fiscal year. He has also prepared a draft reporting contract in consultation with staff to discuss with the HOM and Headquarters.

2.2.7 Individual work plans for staff do not exist. Officer roles and responsibilities within the team should be clarified as some staff spend significant time working on areas outside of their core priorities. In addition, staff are seeking clarity with respect to their roles and responsibilities, priorities, objectives and the strategic direction of the program.

2.2.8 Communication within the program had been recognized as a challenge by the program manager upon his arrival. As a result, he is seeking to make improvements in this area. Strong communication and mentoring by the program manager would help to improve communication ***. The program manager has indicated that he will establish weekly meetings with each of the FPDS program sections in addition to the broader program meeting.

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 timely, relevant and in line with mission and government objectives. X 
Activities and initiatives are aligned with the mission's key priorities and with FPDS plans and objectives. 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 Both the Commercial Economic (CE) and FPDS programs undertake advocacy initiatives, such as with respect to the Canada-South Korea FTA; however, this work is not always jointly coordinated. The FPDS team should work closely with other mission programs on the development of a mission-wide advocacy plan given that multiple sections have responsibilities for the file, as well as for other priorities.

2.3.2 The FPDS program has been focused primarily on public affairs issues, with limited reporting on other program priorities. As a result, work conducted by officers has not consistently reflected priorities identified for the program. FPDS reporting and activities have been event-focused and there has been a shift in roles and responsibilities of staff throughout the FPDS program given the number of 50th anniversary activities.

2.3.3 Public advocacy and e-communications are strong threads in the program and employees have shown great initiative in this area. The mission's newsletter, prepared by the program, has received positive reviews from stakeholders; however, many of the mission's key priorities are hidden beneath other topics, such as those related to culture. The newsletter should be utilized to communicate the mission's key activities, as well as reinforce its strategic orientation.

2.3.4 There is a lack of communication between the mission and responsible Headquarters' divisions on the mission's initiatives, such as with respect to the program's blog. Blog posts are prepared by university students and this, combined with the fact that all content is written in Korean, poses potential risks with respect to accountability. Further, metrics used to analyze results for the blog appear to be weak as there is no indication as to who the audience is and whether the site advances program objectives. The program is also responsible for the mission's official website; however, the information is out of date and should be regularly monitored and updated.

2.3.5 The program manager has noted a lack of communication between the mission and Headquarters, and will designate an officer within the program to develop a quarterly synopsis to send to Headquarters. He will also seek to organize teleconferences with the geographic division to promote regular discussion.

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 self-identified a need to establish a performance measurement system to monitor FPDS activities. Setting solid objectives for the program will facilitate assessment of initiatives. The program manager stated that he intends to include performance measurement objectives (e.g. deliverables expected) in his PMA. The program manager should also provide assistance to staff to help them to articulate the value of their activities, such as results from media interactions, FPDS events, e-communications tools, etc.

2.4.2 Hospitality is an area of the program that should be targeted for improvement and development. The program exhibits an imbalance with respect to the use of hospitality as it is focused on public affairs events and is infrequently used by the FS-02 and FS-01 officers for their program areas. While the funds used are well below the ceiling, hospitality has been used in some cases for organizational or planning meetings with event partners, which is not its core purpose.

2.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

2.5.1 In line with Strategia, the department's new integrated strategic planning tool, the program should establish an annual planning exercise and develop a workplan that outlines key activities and links human and financial resources to strategic and measurable objectives. This workplan should cascade into employees' workplans thereby maintaining a coherent strategic focus.

2.5.2 The FPDS team should work closely with other mission programs, particularly the Commercial Economic program, to develop a cohesive advocacy strategy.

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.

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

Mission Actions and Timeframes

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

2.5.1 Via Strategia, FPDS work plan aligned with mission plan and covers objectives and activities. Cascading through employee work plans will occur in April. All hospitality expenditures are linked to strategic objectives and priorities. In progress for May 2014.

2.5.2 A strategy is under development in consultation with other programs. In progress for May 2014.

2.5.3 A quarterly report on activities and results has been developed to focus on objectives, assess results and lessons learned. Implemented October 2013.

2.5.4 Hospitality is used to advance Canadian interests in priority areas, is allocated to FS and senior LES officers and full documentation is now provided. Implemented October 2013.

3 Commercial Economic (CE)

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 The Commercial Economic (CE) program in Seoul is managed by an EX-02 Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) (substantive EX-01). The STC is supported by twelve trade commissioners (TCs) (one CO-03, one FS-03, one FS-02, two LE-09s, three LE-07s and four LE-06s) and one LE-05 trade commissioner assistant (TCA). The program also includes two provincial representatives from Alberta at the LE-09 and LE-04 levels. Its financial resources are provided below.

Commercial Economic program financial resources
Budget2012-2013
Operations$23,424
Travel$13,992
Hospitality$12,437
Client Service Fund (CSF)$109,741
EduCanada$2,000
Education SPA$242,402
AAFC$8,400
Canada Brand$179,400
Total$591,796

3.1.2 South Korea has the 15th largest economy in the world, the fourth largest in Asia and is Canada's seventh-largest merchandise trading partner. South Korea is an important market for Canada; it has trade deals with eight economies including the U.S., Chile, Singapore, the European Free Trade Association, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, India, the European Union and Peru. South Korea is currently in free trade agreement negotiations with Canada, as well as with other countries around the world.

3.1.3 The CE program is focused on five priority sectors and three proactive sectors. The priority sectors are: agriculture, food and beverages; information and communications technology (ICT); cleantech; education; and oil and gas. The proactive sectors are: automotive; mining; and life sciences.

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 clear and appropriately set. X 
Internal program communication effectively supports program delivery. X 

3.2.1 Overall, the program is delivering on its commitments. The team is dedicated, works well together and effectively carries out activities as per the CE program plan (CEP plan). The CEP plan's main activities are aligned with the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) document, Departmental and Government of Canada priorities.

3.2.2 The planning process starts in the third quarter. The STC drafts the strategy and circulates to the team for comments. Each TC reviews and assesses their previous year's plan and identifies potential initiatives for the upcoming year. TCs then discuss their plans with their supervisor and identify targets for their sector. Consultations with stakeholders, including provinces, Headquarters and partner departments take place simultaneously. In addition, action plans are developed for priority sectors and reactive sectors. The STC may want to consider focusing on priority sectors and only respond to reactive sectors as needed. Officers should spend most of their time on sectors of most importance to the program.

3.2.3 Hospitality is not allocated by officer and is instead dispersed when requested; however, the STC plans to allocate hospitality to each individual officer for the next fiscal year (FY) 2014-15.

3.2.4 Some officers have experienced difficulties with setting appropriate performance targets. Overall, Economic Outcomes Facilitated and Opportunities Pursued (EOF/OP) are targeted at 92 for FY 2013-14 compared to the result of 23 achieved in FY 2012-13. This increase is not justified as it is not based on the team's current input into TRIO. The program should set realistic and attainable targets. The program might consider having refresher courses on TRIO performance measurement which can be given by the TRIO Champion.

3.2.5 The program has four LE-06 positions, which are supposed to be TCA positions. However, the level of responsibility and scope of work given to the incumbents over the past few years exceeds that of typical LE-06 TCA positions. In addition, the LE-06 TCAs are identified as TCs in the mission's organizational chart. As the program does not have sufficient administrative assistance, the STC should redistribute the workload of the LE-06 TCAs into alignment with their position levels. The positions' job descriptions should be reviewed to ensure they accurately capture and reflect the full extent of the position's responsibilities. In addition, the responsibilities outlined should be realistic and in line with the planning targets.

3.2.6 Communication within the program could be improved. The newly arrived STC had not met with his staff individually to discuss how he could support the program and how the staff could support his objectives. An initial discussion with staff is crucial to establish positive and open communication. The STC does hold weekly team meetings to inform staff of CMM discussions and to be informed of upcoming priorities. However, the weekly meetings do not include an agenda, though meeting minutes are recorded. The supervisors do not hold separate meetings with their staff since program meetings occur every week. If the program chooses to hold bi-weekly meetings, supervisors could consider having separate meetings with their staff. In addition, the STC should meet with the CBS supervisors at least once a month to discuss management of 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 key priorities of the mission and the department. X 
TRIO use is monitored to ensure activities are reported appropriately and accurately reflect the work undertaken. X 
InfoCentre functions are assigned and facilitate program delivery.X  

3.3.1 The CEP plan's objectives are aligned with mission priorities and generally cascade into the Performance Management Programs (PMPs) of the CE team. Employees have objectives for the current fiscal year and have completed mid-term reviews with their supervisors. Considering that the STC was newly arrived, he did not have a PMA in place, which results in a significant gap in terms of aligning employee performance with objectives.

3.3.2 The program is providing effective services and actively working to identify and promote business opportunities for clients. Most activities are aligned with mission objectives and are generating results in their respective sectors. Activities relating to reactive sectors, such as arts and culture, should be revised and refocused to assisting with a priority or proactive sector.

3.3.3 The use of TRIO has been emphasised within the program, however, it could be used more effectively. Although TCs and TCAs are attempting to enter all service-delivered data in TRIO, the data that is captured does not always meet the performance indicator definition. There is duplicated data entered based on the number of people that were present during a meeting rather than it being identified as one service delivered with multiple contacts; other data, entered as a service-delivered, should be recorded as an interaction. The program would benefit from a review of the data that should be captured in TRIO and how it should be entered to allow TCs and TCAs to appropriately capture their performance. A TRIO champion position exists within the program; the program could use this position to coordinate and provide training if needed.

3.3.4 There is no formal InfoCentre within the program; the LE-05 TCA assumes some of the responsibilities relating to that function. She monitors the Seoul TD-inbox and forwards requests to the appropriate TC based on the sector of responsibility. This approach is working well within the program considering that only a few requests are received this way.

3.4 Performance Measurement

Evaluation of CE Performance Measurement
Key CE Performance Measurement CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Tools and mechanisms are used to measure and monitor performance of the program.X  
Program employees are involved in the performance measurement process.X  
Hospitality diaries are maintained in a fashion that demonstrates value-for-money and alignment with priorities. X 

3.4.1 The CE program uses various tools to measure the performance of the program, such as the CEP plan, TRIO as well as PMPs. During team meetings, the STC, along with TCs, review and discuss TRIO data including services delivered, leads and economic outcomes facilitated and opportunities pursued. In addition, the program would benefit from reviewing the International Business Development (IBD) Dashboard and compare the results captured in the TRIO reports to identify any discrepancies between the program and the IBD Dashboard.

3.4.2 The documentation for hospitality diaries needs improvement. TCs are not providing appropriate information in the relevant sections of the hospitality diary. The program could strengthen its documentation by providing a clear purpose for events, linking the events to the program strategies and providing an accurate evaluation of results. The evaluation of results should extend beyond an acknowledgement that all objectives were met. A good practice in reporting outcomes is to link the event or activity to other tangible outcomes like reporting.

3.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

3.5.1 The program should focus on priority and proactive sectors.

3.5.2 The CE program should revisit its performance targets and set realistic targets in the CEP plan.

3.5.3 Job descriptions should be revised and updated to reflect job classification.

3.5.4 The STC should redistribute the workload to reflect the TCAs job descriptions and level.

3.5.5 The STC should meet with the CBS supervisors at least once a month to discuss management of the program.

3.5.6 The STC should ensure that resources dedicated to reactive sectors are only responding to enquiries from clients.

3.5.7 The CE program should offer mandatory refresher courses on TRIO performance measurement to its entire staff.

3.5.8 The STC should monitor the use of TRIO and should ensure the quality of the data entered in the system.

3.5.9 Documentation of hospitality diaries should be strengthened by providing a clear purpose for events, linking the events to the program strategies and providing an accurate evaluation of results.

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 program has ensured that the 2014-15 Strategia business plan focuses on priority and proactive sectors. Awaiting final approval. In progress for April 2014.

3.5.2 The STC instructed the CE program, including supervisors, to set realistic targets in the 2014-15 Strategia business plan. In addition, the definitions for each key performance indicator were reviewed to insure consistency across the program. In progress for April 2014.

3.5.3 The STC and CBS supervisors are reviewing all LES job descriptions to ensure consistency and that they match job classification. In progress for April 2014.

3.5.4 The STC re-distributed the workload to reflect the TCAs job description and level. Implemented March 2014.

3.5.5 The STC has instituted regular monthly meetings with CBS supervisors. Implemented December 2013.

3.5.6 Employees responsible for reactive sectors have been instructed to only respond to enquiries from clients and not undertake proactive activities in these sectors. Implemented December 2013.

3.5.7 STC has instituted bi-monthly meetings which include TRIO refreshers to ensure data is properly entered. In addition, three employees participated in the TRIO session in Japan in January 2014 and will share their experience and knowledge with rest of team. Implemented January 2014.

3.5.8 The STC has been monitoring the use of TRIO and has emphasized the importance of entering data adequately. Implemented December 2013.

3.5.9 Employees were instructed to be more careful while inputting information on hospitality claims and to make sure that the hospitality event had a specific objective in-line with our overall strategy. Implemented December 2013.

4 Consular

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The AS-07 Management Consular Officer (MCO) has overall responsibility for the Consular Program; however, the AS-04 Deputy MCO (DMCO) manages day-to-day operations spending approximately 30% of her time on consular management. The program is supported by an LE-08 Consular Officer and 2 LE-06 Consular Assistants. An HonCon in Busan provides a limited amount of consular and passport assistance to the resident Canadian community, which is estimated at 2,000 persons.

Consular program financial resources
Budget2013-2014
Travel$4,955
Hospitality$1,000
Total$5,955

4.1.2 The mission provides approximately 3,000 passport services and processes approximately 650 citizenship applications and 2,500 notarial requests yearly. There are 5,545 Canadian citizens identified in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database, although the estimated number of Canadians residing in South Korea is 23,000. There are 8 Canadian citizens registered in North Korea.

4.1.3 The number of complex cases involving distressed Canadians is low and normally the consular officer manages the Case Management (CAMANT) files under the direct supervision of the DMCO. The consular assistants have been designated as back-up to the consular officer during periods of her absence***. Unfortunately, they are given limited opportunities to participate in this important part of the program and therefore not developing the necessary skill set.

4.2 Planning and Program Management

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

4.2.1 Overall, the program is *** managed and provides a high level of service to Canadian citizens. The LES are experienced, well trained and work well together. The DMCO, a substantive FS-02 occupying an AS-04 position, ***. Some minor improvements in program management are necessary, however, particularly in the areas of planning and communication.

4.2.2 There is no annual workplan in place that would assist the program in organizing and prioritizing such matters as: staff meetings, reviewing client feedback, passport reconciliation, scheduling outreach activities, planning hospitality events, identifying training opportunities, updating annual reports, conducting emergency drills, and identifying potential issues and challenges that could affect the integrity of the program.

4.2.3 The Duty Officer Manual (DOM) was last updated and filed with the Emergency Management Bureau (CED) in October 2011. The DOM should be revised on an annual basis.

4.2.4 Although the MCO and DMCO meet with the consular officer on a monthly basis, the consular assistants only meet the DMCO informally on an ad hoc basis. There is no regular meeting scheduled among all of the consular employees where the DMCO could communicate new directives, set priorities, plan program and operation direction, and ensure all staff are aware of case management issues.

4.2.5 The mission has developed a very good network of wardens and maintains contact with them on a quarterly basis. Wardens are provided with an updated list of registrants and informed of issues affecting Canadians citizens. The mission hosted a warden conference in September 2013, which coincided with the visit of the Regional Emergency Management Officer who conducted an emergency planning exercise.

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 Overall, consular clients are provided a good level of service and well within established client service standards. The program has the capacity to provide services to Canadians in the language of their choice. It should be noted that the receptionist, the first point of contact for consular clients, has been tasked to release new passports to clients***.

4.3.2 The HonCon in Busan hired an assistant in May 2013 to support the processing of passport and citizenship applications. Although the vast majority of consular clients in Busan are Korean-speaking, Canadian-South Korean dual nationals***. When necessary, the HonCon's personal secretary can provide service in English.

4.3.3 The number of completed client feedback forms is low, but the majority of comments are positive and corrective action is taken when warranted. The privacy of the feedback forms could be improved if a locked box is available in the waiting room where clients can deposit the completed form. The box should only be opened by the DMCO and feedback discussed with staff as warranted.

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  
Revenue held in the Consular program is kept to a minimum and are transferred to finance on a regular basis.X  
Upon receiving new inventory, two CBS verify all assets and 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 is provided to designated staff only.X  

4.4.1 Overall, controls governing passport and consular activities are in place and are managed effectively. All consular employees involved in the delivery of passport services have obtained the mandatory certification. The number of adult applications processed through the simplified renewal process is close to 90% and remaining applications are approved by designated CBS***.

4.4.2 Consular fees are paid *** and all transactions are recorded in ***, only about 10% of clients are using the Mission Online Payment System (MOPS). Clients receive official receipts generated by the *** system ***. Consular fees received by the Honorary Consul are collected and controlled in an acceptable manner.

4.4.3 Passport assets are received and verified by the MCO and DMCO. The inventory is reconciled by a CBS on a monthly basis and the Head of Mission signs-off on the quarterly report. Passport documents and related supplies *** and a working inventory is passed *** when necessary. There is a log sheet in the consular section reflecting the serial numbers of the working inventory and this is signed by the ***. Although there is a record of assets***, there is no log sheet identifying that the working inventory has been removed and provided to consular staff.

4.4.4 As part of the inspection process, a physical count of passport inventory, related documents and supplies was conducted and reconciled with inventory control documents. Official seals and stamps are properly inventoried and access restricted to designated employees.

4.4.5 The HonCon's performance is assessed annually, and the HOM recently signed a reappointment recommendation. The latter outlines a rationale to retain the services of the HonCon for a period of three years and reflects the amount paid as an annual honorarium.

4.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

4.5.1 The consular assistants should participate, on an alternating basis, in any new complex CAMANT cases and be suitably mentored by the CO.

4.5.2 An operational work plan should be developed that will assist managers and LES to consider decisions affecting workload and priorities throughout the year.

4.5.3 The DOM should be revised and sent to CED as soon as possible.

4.5.4 The MCO should schedule a monthly meeting with all consular employees.

4.5.5 A locked feedback deposit box should be installed in the consular waiting area for clients to anonymously submit completed forms.

4.5.6 The DMCO should indicate on a log sheet the number of assets removed from *** and date the form. A copy of the form should be kept on the inventory file ***.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

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

4.5.1 The mission will ensure all consular assistants are properly trained and mentored. In progress for January 2014.

4.5.2 A consular work plan will be developed for use in FY 2014/15. In progress for June 2014.

4.5.3 DOM updated and sent to CED in January. Implemented January 2014.

4.5.4 The MCO has scheduled a monthly meeting with all consular staff. Implemented March 2014.

4.5.5 A feedback box that is accessible only to the DMCO has been installed in the reception area. Implemented in February 2014.

4.5.6 The DMCO controls inventory removed *** on a log sheet kept in that area of the mission. Implemented January 2014.

5 Common Services

5.1 Overview

5.1.1 The Common Services program is managed by an AS-07 MCO who is supported by a team of two CBS and 14 LES, six of whom are General Service staff.***.

5.1.2 The program is responsible for providing common services to 58 employees spread over four DFATD and four partner programs including CBSA, DND, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada and the Province of Alberta.

5.1.3 Morale in some areas has been negatively impacted by the many position cuts, the reduction in benefits following the total compensation review and the ***. Although morale is improving, there is lingering uncertainty among some staff concerning *** and this serves to fuel the stress level of employees that could be affected by these changes.

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 Overall, the program is functioning well and is providing good quality services to all clients throughout the mission. A Common Service Business Plan is in place, although section workplans are not in place for HR, Finance, Security or Property.

5.1.5 The DMCO, an FS-02 occupying an AS-04 position***.

5.1.6 Common service policies and procedures are placed in InfoBank and are also available on the mission wiki site, but many of these policies have not been reviewed or updated in several years. Some of the local policies that are out of date include LES overtime, local travel, mobile telephone cost recovery, opening and closing procedures, transportation and the acceptance of gifts.

5.1.7 Meetings are held on a regular basis between the MCO and section supervisors. Staff have the opportunity to include items/issues on the agenda. Minutes and/or a record of decisions are maintained. While communications within the program in general is good, there is room for some improvement. There are no formal meetings scheduled for staff below the supervisory level in the program to have formal access to or speak with the MCO/DMCO. Periodic meetings of this nature would be beneficial. This is particularly an issue for the general service staff who do not have as many opportunities for even ad hoc encounters with the MCO.

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.N/AN/AN/A

5.1.8 Overall, service to clients throughout the mission is seen as being proactive and balanced. Service standards were last updated in 2010. Given the number of changes affecting the staff complement of the mission, these should be reviewed and updated on an annual basis or when significant change occurs. The standards are available on the common services wiki and can be accessed by all staff through InfoBank.

5.1.9 Only informal feedback is received. Clients do provide comments regarding services received on a timely basis.

Procurement and Contracting

Evaluation of Procurement and Contracting
Key Procurement and Contracting CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
A Contract Review Board (CRB) is in place and operating effectively with terms of reference.X  
Procurement and contracting procedures have been documented and communicated to all staff involved in the process.X  
Contracting files demonstrate compliance with policies and procedures.X  
A plan is in place for major acquisitions and is approved by CMM annually. X 

5.1.10 In general, contracting and procurement processes are consistent and effective although there are some areas where improvements can be made.

5.1.11 An active Contract Review Board (CRB) is in place and contracting files are well documented. A contract register is maintained and the mission has developed terms of reference for CRB members. Some clients advised that procedures change every time there is someone new on the committee. Some approvals on file include only one CRB member signature.

5.1.12 Staff responsible for procurement activities are guided by a checklist outlining their responsibilities and the processes to be followed. This is seen as a good practice.

5.1.13 The mission does not have a multi-year acquisition plan that could be reviewed and approved on an annual basis by the CMM. Such a plan would assist in forward planning for the replacement of equipment, furnishings and appliances.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.1.14 Workplans should be developed for the Human Resources, Property, Finance and Security sections.

5.1.15 The MCO should schedule periodic meetings with members of the staff at all levels within the program.

5.1.16 Service standards should be reviewed and updated as necessary on an annual basis.

5.1.17 The mission should develop and implement a formal client feedback mechanism.

5.1.18 Processes and procedures governing contract review and approvals should be clearly documented, accessible to all staff and followed.

5.1.19 A record of approval from all members of the CRB should be available for all contracts reviewed by the Board.

5.1.20 The mission should develop a multi-year acquisition plan and it should be approved by the CMM on an annual 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.)

5.1.14 Workplans for Human Resources, Property, Finance and Security sections will be developed by June 2014. In progress for June 2014.

5.1.15 Meetings with all members of the staff will begin in April 2014. In progress for April 2014.

5.1.16 Service standards were updated in December 2013. These will now be reviewed and updated on an annual basis. Implemented December 2013.

5.1.17 A client feedback mechanism was developed and implemented in December 2013. Implemented December 2013.

5.1.18 By late May the mission should be using the services of the Regional Contract Review Board in Manila. The mission will be preparing a document explaining the procedures to follow when considering a contract. In progress for May 2014.

5.1.19 A record of approval from the regional CRB will be made available for all contracts reviewed by the Board. In progress for May 2014.

5.1.20 A multi-year acquisition plan will be prepared starting in the new fiscal year and will be submitted to the CMM for approval. In progress for May 2014.

5.2 Human Resources

5.2.1 The HR function at the mission is the responsibility of the MCO who is assisted by the LE-07 Personnel Officer. Both the MCO and DMCO undertake HR related duties and participate in recruitment, classification and staffing functions.

5.2.2 The section has processed 13 staffing actions during the current fiscal year, many of which have been for emergency employment positions. The mission has recently implemented a system that will ensure that the review and update of all job descriptions will be conducted, at minimum, every five years.

Management

Evaluation of HR Management
Key HR Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
A mission HR plan has been developed and submitted to Headquarters.X  
New LES are provided with an information package on the working conditions, benefits and regulations pertaining to employment at the mission.X  
Employee and position files are complete, maintained separately and properly secured.X  

5.2.3 The mission has updated Human Resource Planning in the Common Service Business Plan and it is well defined.

5.2.4 Upon being hired, staff are provided an information package on pay and benefits, security, values and ethics etc. The mission has also developed arrival and departure checklists for CBS as well as information sheets for newly hired LES to help employees transition into the mission.

5.2.5 Personnel files containing information regarding employment (including leave) and changes to salary are well maintained and secured, and have been prepared for each locally engaged employee.

5.2.6 Position files containing classification changes, organization charts and job descriptions are held in a general binder rather than storing the information on individual files for each locally-engaged position.

5.2.7 A Training Committee is in place and a training plan and budget has been developed by the Personnel Officer.

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  

5.2.8 Overall, HR processes and internal controls were found to be in place. Staffing actions and recruitment processes follow departmental guidelines; however, the ALD checklist should be attached to all files to show that it has been followed. A scoring grid spreadsheet is used and eligibility lists are established when required.

5.2.9 The mission has developed an easy to follow guide that serves to assist program managers when they are considering staffing indeterminate, term and emergency positions. The document outlines the processes and various steps that need to be undertaken to ensure that all actions are conducted in a transparent manner. This is seen as a good practice.

5.2.10 Letters of offer in recent years have been signed by the HOM, although it should be noted that in the past the general practice was for program managers to sign letters of offer. The mission should remain vigilant to ensure that proper procedures continue to be followed.

5.2.11 Leave accrual and usage is monitored and tracked on an excel spreadsheet by the Personnel Officer and the DMCO. Staff and program managers are provided with updates to ensure that liability for unused leave credits are minimized.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.2.12 Position content (classification) files should be created for each locally-engaged position.

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.)

5.2.12 Position files will be created for each LES position. In progress for May 2014.

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The physical resources functions at the mission are the responsibility of the MCO with support from the LE-07 Facilities Manager, an LE-07 Materiel Manager, 2 GS-06 Facilities Technicians and 1 GS-06 Electrician Handyman. The section manages a Crown-owned chancery, a Crown-owned Official Residence (OR), and 15 staff quarters (SQ) of which 9 are Crown-owned. Five of the Crown-owned SQs are located within the chancery compound. The mission maintains a fleet of five official vehicles.

5.3.2 A mission priority is to determine how best to use approximately 25% of vacant chancery space formerly occupied by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The CIC program was closed in March 2012. The mission has actively liaised with the Property Program Division (ARA) to consider options and alternatives for potential use of this available office space.

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 *** managed. All properties are maintained in good condition and clients are satisfied with the level of service provided. The Mission Property Management Plan, as well as the Mission Maintenance Workplan are up-to-date. The Facilities Manager schedules maintenance work using an Outlook Calendar from tickets generated through *** automated service request system.

5.3.4 The OR is a spacious three-level house located in a prestigious area of Seoul***. The mission is in the process of obtaining an evaluation of the property in advance of a visit by the Physical Resources *** (ARAK) manager in November 2013. ***.

5.3.5 ***.

5.3.6 ***.

5.3.7 ***. Performance issues should be dealt with on a timely basis and reflected in PMPs. When necessary, supervisors should consider the use of performance improvement plans. The MCO is aware of the situation and is in communication with the affected parties.

5.3.8 The GS-06 Electrician/Handyman position reports to the Facilities Manager; however, 50% of the time the employee is supervised by the materiel manager. To date the materiel manager has not participated in the annual PMP of the employee, nor does the employee's work description reflect duties performed in support of materiel management.

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 

5.3.9 Overall, key processes and internal controls were found to be effective. SQs are inspected on a regular basis, Occupancy Agreements and Distribution Accounts have been signed by current occupants and assets, such as furnishings, appliances and equipment, are properly safeguarded.

5.3.10 The mission has conducted several closed-bid auctions in the past year, mainly due to the amounts of surplus assets resulting from the closure of the CIC program. The mission is not identifying high-value items and establishing minimum bids prior to circulating an advertisement of an auction.

5.3.11 The materiel manager tracks use of official vehicles on a spreadsheet and each driver indicates daily use on a log sheet. The log sheets are reviewed by the materiel manager and details are entered into the spreadsheet. The driver does not obtain a signature from each passenger confirming destination and time of use.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.3.12 The MCO should meet with all ***. In addition, the MCO should schedule team meetings with all members of the section on a regular basis to ensure that managers and technicians understand workplans and are able to clarify instructions or express concerns when necessary.

5.3.13 The MCO and materiel manager should identify high-value items intended to be sold at auction and establish a minimum bid to ensure a fair amount is received from a buyer.

5.3.14 The mission should develop a log sheet for use by each driver that records the information contained in section 3.5.4 of the Mission Fleet Management Guidelines.

5.3.15 The materiel manager should be asked to provide PMP input as Third-Party Reviewer for any employee being tasked by her.

5.3.16 The Electrical/Handyman's work description should be amended to reflect the reporting relationship and materiel duties.

Recommendations to the Physical Resources Bureau (ARD)

5.3.17 ARD should intensify efforts to identify a potential and suitable tenant to occupy vacant office space in the mission.

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.)

5.3.12 The DMCO is now responsible for the property section. Following the inspection visit the DMCO and HR officer met with members ***. The DMCO will continue to meet with staff regularly and the MCO will attend these meetings several times per year to monitor morale in that section of the program. Implemented November 2013.

5.3.13 Minimum prices are now set on high-value items included for sale by auction. Implemented March 2014.

5.3.14 The mission has requested log books from AAC (as per section 3.5.4.3 of the guidelines). In the interim, the mission has developed a log sheet which is now being used by drivers. Implemented February 2014.

5.3.15 The materiel manager now provides PMP input for employees being tasked by her. Implemented March 2014.

5.3.16 The Electrical/Handyman's work description is being revised to reflect the reporting relationship to the Materiel Manager. In progress for April 2014.

ARD Actions and Timeframes

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

5.3.17 Options are being ***. For occupancy by a private firm, a fully demised plan would be required for which a feasibility study is planned in 2014. In progress for March 2015.

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 The Finance section is managed by the MCO who is supported by the LE-07 Accountant and LE-05 Assistant Accountant. The MCO is closely involved with financial operations and provides primary direction as required.

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  

5.4.2 Overall, the section functions well and is providing a good quality of service to its clients.

5.4.3 The assistant accountant is *** inputting the entry in IMS. To ensure proper segregation of duties, these tasks should be performed by two separate individuals. Both Accountants are also entering purchase orders in some programs. This should be avoided whenever possible to maintain a segregation of duties in the purchase and payments process.

5.4.4 Quiet hours are not posted outside the finance section ***.

5.4.5 Acquisition cards are used by two members of the property section and three cards assigned to the HOM, MCO and DMCO are available for emergency use. Procedures governing the use of acquisition cards have been developed and are being followed by all users.

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.).X  

5.4.6 Key processes and controls are in place although the asset and liability report is not being reviewed monthly by the MCO.

5.4.7 ***.

5.4.8 The HonCon in Busan submits expenses for reimbursement on a quarterly basis but the mission has not established a list of acceptable operational expenses that could be claimed. As a result, it is difficult for the Finance section to audit the submissions ahead of processing payment. Financial procedures require that expenditures beyond the identified regular and recurrent expenses be approved in advance by the supervising mission.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.9 The MCO should ensure that a proper segregation of duties is maintained, the accountants advised accordingly, and the situation monitored to ensure adherence.

5.4.10 The MCO should implement specific hours of operation for clients that clearly indicate when the section is closed. All staff should be advised that this is a restricted area and access should be appropriately controlled.

5.4.11 The asset and liability report should be reviewed, and an attestation contained with the monthly accounts.

5.4.12 An official receipt should be issued***.

5.4.13 A list outlining specific operational expenses that can be claimed by the HonCon should be formally documented so that the Finance section can provide a proper audit function prior to the settlement of the advance.

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 Tasks associated with *** will be reviewed in light of this recommendation and appropriate segregation will be established. In progress for April 2014.

5.4.10 Specific hours of operation have been approved by the CMM and the revised hours of operation will begin in April 2014. Mission staff have been informed accordingly. Implemented March 2014.

5.4.11 The MCO will review the asset and liability report starting with the April 2014 monthly accounts. Implemented March 2014.

5.4.12 An official receipt is now issued for all situations ***. Implemented March 2014.

5.4.13 A list of operational expenses is being prepared and will be provided to the finance section and HonCon office with corresponding instructions. In progress for April 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 Technology Professional (FSITP) and an LE-07 Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional who assists in providing day to day client services. The FSITP also provides scheduled service to the mission in Taipei.

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 The ITPs work well together and there is a good division of duties in place. They are both able to assist one another when required. The section has a workplan 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 workplan.

5.5.3 The ITPs participate in a *** chaired by the Client Support Regional Manager ***.

5.5.4 Clients are now requesting related services using the service desk on-line system where all requests are managed centrally at Headquarters. Service requests are then processed using the Remedy ticketing system. Tickets are closed once services have been provided and clients are asked to complete a feedback form.

5.5.5 The mission has an IM-IT Committee with representation from all programs. Terms of reference guide members. However, the scheduling of meetings is ad hoc in nature and given that the committee has not met in the past year, frequency of meetings is not sufficient.

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  

5.5.6 Overall, IM-IT processes and controls are generally in place, ***.

5.5.7 ***.

5.5.8 The section provides on-loan-to-staff items such as satellite phones, cellular phones, laptops, portable storage drives, etc. but staff do not sign any documents proving that they have this equipment in their possession.

5.5.9 Disposal of surplus IT equipment is conducted with assistance from the property section. Surplus equipment is stored and inventoried *** until disposal action is undertaken.

5.5.10 InfoBank is used extensively by all staff within the mission. The FSITP has been proactive in developing a plan to move documents from the mission's shared hard drive to InfoBank. This is an ongoing project.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.5.11 The IM-IT Committee should schedule meetings at minimum on a quarterly basis.

5.5.12 ***.

5.5.13 The mission should ensure items on loan to staff are properly inventoried and signed out by users.

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.)

5.5.11 Scheduled meetings on a quarterly basis will begin in May 2014. In progress for May 2014.

5.5.12 ***. Implemented March 2014.

5.5.13 A system has been established to properly inventory and sign out loan items. Implemented March 2014.

Appendix A: Mission Resources Fact Sheet

Physical Resources
AssetsCrown-OwnedCrown-LeasedPrivate-Lease
Chancery1  
Official Residence1  
Staff Quarters96 
Vehicles5  
Storage2  
Financial Information 2012/2013
BudgetProgramCommon Services
Operating$180,000$436,762
Capital$0$0
CBS Salaries$938,860$217,074
CBS Overtime$16,000$10,900
LES Salaries$1,755,256$2,648,750
LES Overtime$62,000$73,000
Total$2,952,116$3,386,486
Human Resources (FTEs)
ProgramTotalCBSLES
Head of Mission624
FPDS1147
CE1138
Consular413
Common Services16214
CBSA211
DND321
Agri-Food Canada312
Alberta Government2 2
Total581642

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
Date Modified: