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Inspection of the High Commission of Canada, Singapore

October 15 - 21, 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 Singapore from October 15 to 21, 2013. A previous inspection of these programs took place in 2008.

The High Commission in Singapore is a medium-sized mission with 20 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 55 locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for program delivery in Singapore and provides consular assistance to Canadians in Brunei in concert with the mission there. The mission houses representatives of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Export Development Canada (EDC), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

The mission functions *** under the leadership of an EX-03 Head of Mission (HOM) who has served in her role for one year. The HOM is *** involved in many aspects of the mission's operations and works *** with her management team on administering the mission and the delivery of their programs. Singapore is a like-minded partner of Canada on many fronts and is considered a global leader in good governance, education, pluralism, counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation and the rule of law ***.

Top-down communication overall is good***. She maintains close involvement with the mission's programs and schedules regular meetings with each of the program managers. The mission's governance structure is well designed and effectively supports its operations. An Operation Committee permits managers to share information and discuss upcoming activities and emerging priorities. It is complemented by the Committee on Mission Management (CMM), which is used as a body for decision making on mission policies and management issues.

Morale is mixed across all programs and varies from individual to individual. CBS morale has been negatively affected by the job action of the Foreign Service officers, the deletion of the Deputy Management Consular Officer (DMCO) position and changes in accommodation standards as a result of lower rent ceilings. LES morale also suffered due to the Foreign Service job action, and there have been some interpersonal issues among staff ***. Despite this, the overall working climate is professional and most employees view the future with optimism.

***.

The FPDS program is operating *** under the leadership of an FS-03 program manager (substantive FS-04) who manages a small team of 2 LES employees. There is good communication between the program manager and staff, and there are solid program planning tools in place. FPDS implements initiatives well and has received positive feedback from headquarters on the quality of the work performed by the program, including in the area of reporting. Due to the initiative ***, there has been an increase in the level of engagement vis-à-vis the Singaporean government resulting in an increase in the number of outgoing visits by Singaporean officials to Canada.

The Commercial Economic (CE) program is managed by an EX-01 Senior Trade Commissioner (STC). The STC is supported by six trade commissioners (TCs) (two FS-02s and four LES-09s) and four LES-05 trade commissioner assistants (TCAs). There are additional resources that operate with a regional mandate including one FS-03 ECOFIN officer, one FS-03 regional agriculture counselor and one LES-05 trade commissioner assistant funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in support of the regional agriculture officer. The team is dedicated, works well together and effectively carries out activities as per the CE program plan (CEP plan). Overall, the program is delivering on its commitments, although communication within the program could be improved***. 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.

The Consular Program is managed by the AS-07 Management Consular Officer (MCO) who is supported by a Senior Consular Officer and a Consular Officer. The program had been managed by a Deputy MCO (DMCO) however this position was deleted and the officer departed the mission in the summer of 2013. Overall, the management of passport and consular services is effective, with controls in place to safeguard revenues and passport supplies. The program delivers a range of high quality services well within established standards; however, there is room for improvement in terms of providing services in both official languages and managing client feedback.

The mission also provides consular services on behalf of the Canadian High Commission in Brunei.***.

The Common Services program is functioning well, with good morale, and is providing a good quality of service to clients throughout the mission. The MCO is *** manager and program staff members appreciate *** involvement in the program and the guidance she provides. ***.

Given the deletion of the DMCO position and the number of employees (20 CBS and 55 LES), the mission is in the process of evaluating the way in which common services will be delivered in the future. ***.

A total of 56 recommendations are raised in the report: all 56 are addressed to the mission. 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 28 have been implemented.

1 Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The High Commission in Singapore is a medium-sized mission with 20 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 55 locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for program delivery in Singapore and provides consular assistance to Canadians in Brunei in concert with the mission there. The mission houses representatives of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Export Development Canada (EDC), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

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 of $668,000 as reported by the mission. The mission also manages a property portfolio that includes a Crown-leased chancery, a Crown-leased official residence (OR) as well as 6 Crown-owned and 13 Crown-leased staff quarters (SQs).

1.1.3 Singapore is a regional hub with significant economic and political links to both China and India.***. Singapore is a like-minded partner of Canada on many fronts and is considered a global leader in good governance, education, pluralism, counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation and the rule of law. It is also one of the largest destinations for Canadian exports to ASEAN and a significant destination for Canadian investment. More than 100 Canadian companies currently have a presence there. Canada and Singapore engage productively at many multilateral fora, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and the World Trade Organization.

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 Overall the mission is operating in line with the government´s priorities and has a strong understanding of its strengths and areas for improvement. The HOM is *** involved in many aspects of the mission's operations. She works *** with her management team on administering the mission and the delivery of their programs. The mission has done a lot of work to strengthen controls and bring procedures in line with standards. Looking forward, it will be important to maintain a *** balance between internal management and the pursuit of external strategic objectives.

1.2.2 Morale is mixed across all programs and varies from individual to individual. CBS morale has been negatively affected by the job action of the Foreign Service officers, the loss of the Deputy Management Consular Officer (DMCO) position and changes in accommodation standards as a result of lower rent ceilings. LES morale also suffered due to the Foreign Service job action, and there have been some interpersonal issues among staff, ***. Despite this, the overall working climate is professional and most employees view the future with optimism.

1.2.3 The mission's strategic objectives are consistent with departmental and government-wide priorities and generally guide performance measurement objectives***. As a result, some opportunities may have been missed. With renewed resources at Headquarters, it is expected that *** will be forthcoming. As the mission prepares its strategic plans for next year, it will be important to communicate***.

1.2.4 The mission's governance structure is well designed and effectively supports its operations. An Operations Committee permits managers to share information and discuss upcoming activities and emerging priorities. It is complemented by the Committee on Mission Management (CMM), which is used as a body for decision making on mission policies and management issues. Program managers from across the mission feel there is appropriate focus and balance between the two committees.

1.2.5 Some of the mission's other committees did not meet for a few months due to the Foreign Service work action. The situation has since normalized and the committees are once again fulfilling their governance duties. The membership of each committee is diverse and attention has been paid to ensure that all programs contribute to mission governance. While a good practice, this may put too much pressure on small programs. For example, the FPDS program manager sits on seven committees and serves as the values and ethics contact person.

1.2.6 Top-down communication overall is good***. She maintains close involvement with the mission's programs and schedules regular meetings with each of the program managers***.

1.2.7 Information from the CMM is shared during program meetings and minutes from the meetings are circulated to all staff. Nonetheless, additional steps could be taken to improve overall transparency. The mission does not take minutes during its operations committee meetings; knowledge of policies and procedures is inconsistent across programs; few employees are aware of service standards; and cross program planning and communication could be improved.

1.2.8 The Locally Engaged Staff Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) includes members at various levels from across the programs and the LES representatives generally recognize it as a useful forum to raise issues with management. The HOM chairs each meeting and is joined by the MCO as well as other members of mission management. Meetings take place as required and minutes are distributed by e-mail. Whereas the process is generally sound, the LES representatives should make greater effort to represent LES as a whole as opposed to just the members of their own program. The LES identified the Total Compensation Review (TCR) process and the transparency of hiring as two issues that are important to them.

1.2.9 Values and ethics training has been promoted by mission management and most of the staff have completed the mandatory course. Those that have not should do so as soon as possible. *** it would be valuable to hold a group discussion and address real-life scenarios to help staff understand how to apply the lessons of the training within the mission. Discussions could include how to deal with offers of expensive gifts or disrespectful behaviour.

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 houses a variety of partner departments and agencies. Despite differing mandates, there is generally good cooperation among the program managers, and the HOM ***encourages joint delivery of programs and information sharing. She is appropriately engaged in partner programs and makes the OR available for hospitality events to advance Government of Canada objectives. As well, the senior managers in EDC and CIC contribute positively to the effective management of the mission and the delivery of its strategic objectives.

1.3.2 In general, mission activities are implemented in a coordinated manner and program managers communicate and cooperate well. High level visits draw upon resources from across the mission and good feedback has been received on their execution. In a good practice, the EDC representatives participate in the CE program's meetings and share intelligence openly. Whenever possible, managers and officers invite their colleagues to participate in activities that relate to their interests. Partners are also fully integrated into the mission's governance structure and contribute to its effective operation.

1.3.3 Although implementation is strong, the mission could do more to enhance whole-of-government planning. At present, most planning takes place in isolation with only broad objectives shared among the management team. Even within the CE program, which closely incorporates EDC and AAFC representatives in regular meetings and many of its activities, there was an acknowledgement that AAFC and the EcoFin officer operate fairly independently.

1.3.4 Encouraging greater coordination during key planning phases could further enhance implementation as well as ensure that objectives are clear across the mission. The mission could consider having CE and FPDS resources participate in portions of one another's key planning sessions. There is also scope for all programs to work together to proactively identify key advocacy priorities. Whole-of-government reviews of events and activities, both in terms of implementation and substance, could also contribute to better program planning and help shape the mission's overall strategic approach.

1.3.5 The common services provided at the mission were generally delivered in line with the relevant agreements. However, some concerns on broader themes were raised by partners:

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 ***. Despite this recognition, and the importance placed on this area by the HOM and the MCO, the attention to other priorities and an effort to develop a comprehensive approach has slowed the work***.

1.4.2 Regular file drills and civil defence exercises, such as a simulated incident at the nearby port, are carried out by the manager of the building in which the chancery is located. ***.

1.4.3 ***. Consultations take place with like-minded missions ***, and the mission has good contacts with local authorities.

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 respected and promoted by mission management. The HOM frequently opens management meetings with remarks in French, and there are efforts to alternate between English and French versions of the agenda. Group lessons in French over the lunch hour were organized in the past and are also planned for the future.

1.5.2 The mission has an Official Languages Co-ordinator. Although there has been a review of mission signage, information in the lobby that is directed at the public is largely in English, and most of the consular material is available only in English. Informative notices from CIC at the entrance of the building are also only in English. Signage should be updated and French versions of documents should be placed alongside English versions to ensure that the public has access to information in the language of their choice.

1.5.3 In general, the mission has a limited capacity to serve the public in French. To address this, the mission has organized French language training, and positions that serve the public have been prioritized for one-on-one training.***. Although consular services are provided to clients in the language of their choice, ***. As well, feedback from client surveys indicated that clients of the CE program have not always received service in the language of their choice.

1.6 Management Controls

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

1.6.1 The HOM takes her oversight role *** and most 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 is an active participant in the quarterly reconciliation of passport inventory.

1.6.2 The HOM has administrator access to the Performance Management Program (PMP) and monitors the completion of employees' performance evaluations. This subject is also raised at management meetings. Consideration may be given to transferring the administrator access to the MCO to free the HOM's time for higher-value activities.

1.6.3 The mission has a training coordinator and a distinct training budget. Training is discussed at CMM and program managers are currently the principal vehicle to identify common training needs. This could be reinforced through occasional discussion at the LESMCB and a review of employees' PMPs to identify common areas. The formation of a learning or training committee could also help the training coordinator to ensure that professional development is considered throughout the mission.

1.6.4 Although Singapore is a low-threat environment, the mission's overall *** could be improved. ***. Attention should be paid to ensure all staff are aware ***responsibilities, and adhere to the rules and procedures.

1.6.5 The mission's hospitality ceiling has recently been reviewed and revised to correspond better to market prices. Although some hospitality claims under the previous ceilings exceeded the limit, this was the first revision to take place since 2010. The mission's hospitality guidelines should also be updated to ensure they are consistent with changes to the policy that have taken place recently. Although the mission diligently completes hospitality diaries, attention should be paid to clearly outline the purpose of events. In some of the documentation reviewed, the title or type of event was put in place of a description of the goal. A clear purpose would also enhance the mission's ability to identify outcomes and how they applied to its objectives.

1.7 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

1.7.1 The HOM and the STC should ensure that their scheduled meetings take place on a regular basis.

1.7.2 Steps should be taken to improve overall mission transparency:

1.7.3 ***.

1.7.4 ***.

1.7.5 All signage and information tools directed at the public should be available in English and French.

1.7.6 The mission should formalize a backup system to ensure that clients can be provided service in the official language of their choice without significant delay.

1.7.7 Mission management should reinforce a***, among other actions, by reviewing responsibilities and procedures with all staff.

1.7.8 The mission should review and update its hospitality guidelines.

1.7.9 Going forward, all hospitality activities should be supported by documentation that outlines the purpose of the event, links it to mission priorities, evaluates its value-for-money and identifies any follow up that was taken or is required.

1.7.10 The HOM should hold an all-staff meeting to address values and ethics with the goal to translate the code into practice and to identify the available resources at the mission and at Headquarters.

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 weekly meetings between the HOM and the STC have been regularized. Implemented October 2013.

1.7.2 The following steps have been taken to improve overall mission transparency:

1.7.3 ***. In progress for October 2014.

1.7.4 ***. In progress for October 2014.

1.7.5 All signage and information tools directed at the public are now available in both English and French. Implemented March 2014.

1.7.6 A mission approach to a formalized backup system on official languages will be developed by CMM. In progress for October 2014.

1.7.7 The LSSOs for both CBS and LES were updated and circulated to respective staff. The MSO will hold an annual all staff town-hall to review responsibilities and procedures. In progress for October 2014.

1.7.8 The mission hospitality guidelines will be reviewed and updated. In progress for May 2014.

1.7.9 CMM will review TBS and departmental hospitality guidelines, including reporting requirements, to ensure the requirements are understood. Program managers will be tasked with reviewing same with their respective teams and ensuring compliance before hospitality diaries are signed off. In progress for May 2014.

1.7.10 HOM will hold an all-staff meeting on values and ethics and will consider any and all of the following: running through scenarios, questions and answers, discussions on grey areas, and presentation on the resources available to staff. In progress for October 2014.

2 Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The FPDS program is managed by an FS-03 Program Manager (substantive FS-04) who manages a small team of two LES employees: one LE-09 Public Affairs officer and one LE-05 assistant. In addition, the program manager supervises a university intern. When available, interns work in the program on three month intervals. The program's financial resources are provided below.

Program's Financial Resources
Budget2013-2014
Operations$13,532
Travel3,184
Hospitality12,736
Post Initiative Fund7,500
Total$36,952

2.1.2 The program's main areas of focus include: raising awareness of Canada's engagement in Asia; supporting high-level visits to and cooperation with ASEAN; promoting Canadian values, including human rights; and regional security.

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 has been at the mission for one year. She is *** and demonstrates *** management skills and is well-engaged on ASEAN issues. The program manager shares best practices with other missions and has used departmental tools, such as Agora, to share information on lessons learned (e.g. best practices for acquiring film rights).

2.2.2 The LE-09 Public Affairs officer is responsible for media relations, advocacy projects and, more recently, reporting (e.g. flash reports and reports on mission events). The LE-05 assistant position is split between the FPDS program (70%) and the Head of Mission (HOM) program (30% as HOM social secretary). Prior to the arrival of the new administrative assistant to the HOM, the FPDS assistant was dedicating 50% of her time to assisting the HOM. Both the LE-09 and LE-05 are well-integrated in the program, as the program manager has involved staff in various aspects of the program, such as advocacy planning and budget preparation.

2.2.3 FPDS has developed solid program planning tools. The program has outlined priorities and initiatives/activities for the year through its FPDS Action Plan (April 2013-March 2014), which includes financial resources to be used, potential partners, and performance indicators. The program also has appropriate frameworks in place for managing staff. This includes up to date PMPs, and the program manager has also had discussions with staff about objectives for the coming year.

2.2.4 While FPDS commitments are included in the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) document, it would be useful to list some strategic or key Canadian interests under the FPDS section of the MPR.

2.2.5 There is good communication between the program manager and staff. The program manager clearly explains objectives to staff and she regularly consults staff, seeking their views and perspectives on initiatives.

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 FPDS implements initiatives well and has received positive feedback from Headquarters on the quality of the work performed by the program, particularly in the area of reporting. Due to the initiative***, there has been an increase in the level of engagement vis-à-vis the Singaporean government, resulting in an increase in the number of outgoing visits by Singaporean officials to Canada.

2.3.2 While FPDS works well with other mission programs on a case-by-case basis and has developed key advocacy messages for use by all in the mission, a coordinated advocacy strategy does not exist. Such a tool would break down silos between programs, ensure coordination between sections and would serve as a document which could be used by the whole mission.

2.3.3 The program manager has developed a business plan for social media, which requires approval by the HOM. The mission should move forward to consult Headquarters on this plan, taking the program's current resources and potential workload constraints into consideration. It would be useful as well for the program to look to other missions for best practices.

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 manager uses informal tools to assess results from FPDS initiatives, such as the inclusion of comments in reports describing the strengths or weakness of an activity, or through follow-up discussions with staff after an event has taken place; however, there is no formal document assessing or reviewing the performance of an initiative. This assessment could be integrated in the program's action plan, which would ensure that performance measurement is integrated in the strategic planning cycle. The team should also consistently use the Mission Advocacy Activity Tracker (MAAT).

2.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

2.5.1 The program should move forward with consultations with on its social media plan. These consultations should take into consideration the program's current resources and any possible workload constraints.

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

2.5.3 The program should consistently use the MAAT to monitor activities on an ongoing basis and assess results against strategic objectives. The program should also develop a system to routinely capture lessons learned that could be applied to future planning.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

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

2.5.1 The mission submitted its Facebook business case to Headquarters in December 2013. The mission consulted with other like-minded missions in Singapore, as well as other missions in the region on best practices before doing so. The plan developed by the mission takes a reasonable approach to social media engagement, taking its resources and workload constraints into account. Implemented December 2013.

2.5.2 The program has led in the development of a cohesive advocacy strategy for 2014/15 and will continue to work closely with other mission programs on advocacy initiatives. The strategy will be reviewed and updated on a quarterly basis. PIF funding for 2014/15 has been requested for both FPDS and CE initiatives. In progress for April 2014.

2.5.3 All advocacy activities not captured by other tracking mechanisms, e.g. TRIO, will continue to be entered into the MATT following completion of the activity. Particular attention will be paid to ensuring that all questions in Section 11 (assessing results) are answered. As the current MAAT does not have a section to capture lessons learned, we have established an alternative system, accessible to all FPDS staff, present and future, to facilitate the application of these lessons learned to future planning. Implemented March 2013.

3 Commercial Economic (CE)

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 The Commercial Economic (CE) program in Singapore is managed by an EX-01 Senior Trade Commissioner (STC). The STC is supported by six trade commissioners (TCs) (two FS-02s and four LES-09s) and four LES-05 trade commissioner assistants (TCAs). There are additional resources that operate with a regional mandate including one FS-03 ECOFIN officer, one FS-03 regional agriculture counselor and one LES-05 trade commissioner assistant funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in support of the regional agriculture officer. The program's financial resources are provided below.

Commercial Economic program financial resources
Budget2012-2013
Operations$27,686
Travel42,984
Hospitality21,890
Client Service Fund (CSF)15,070
Integrative Trade Strategy Fund (ITSF)85,621
Edu-Canada4,000
Total$197,251

3.1.2 Singapore is an important regional trade partner for Canada. It is the third largest export market in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Singapore has the 36th largest gross domestic product (GDP) globally. It has one of the most dynamic economies in the world, with a hub for financial and transportation sectors, including a skilled work force, efficient infrastructure, strong intellectual property protection and good corporate governance which has attracted investments from over 120 Canadian companies.

3.1.3 The CE program's priority sectors in Singapore are agriculture, food and beverages; business and financial services; cleantech; education; information and communications technology (ICT); infrastructure; building products and related services; life sciences; and transportation.

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 MPR document, departmental and Government of Canada priorities.

3.2.2 The planning process starts with a team meeting in the third quarter to discuss the objectives for the year. This discussion helps shape the strategy that is drafted by the STC and circulated to the team for comments. *** then create their action plans and consult stakeholders such as partner departments, provinces, Headquarters and neighbouring missions in the region. Although the *** consult some stakeholders during the planning cycle, they do not consult the *** Consulting the *** during the planning cycle would provide opportunities to collaborate on projects, share information and explore new opportunities.

3.2.3 The current CEP plan contains too many sectors with few initiatives planned per sector. The program should revisit its sector allocation by focussing and streamlining its sectors to allow for more initiatives and activities per sector. The STC should consider the program's main areas of focus and dedicated resources - both human and financial - and plan accordingly. TCs responsible for sectors with initiatives occurring every two years should plan additional initiatives to promote trade in that sector.

3.2.4 Some officers have set high performance targets for the year, making it very difficult for the program to achieve these targets:

The increases identified are not justified as they are 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 is in the process of staffing a vacant LE-09 position after the deletion of an FS-03 position. However, the program is currently well-resourced. ***.

3.2.6 Communication within the program could be improved. The STC holds weekly team meetings to inform staff of the Committee on Mission Management (CMM) discussions and to share upcoming priorities. The HOM attends the CE meeting once a month to share sector information gathered through outcalls and to receive sector information from the officers. Although this is a good practice***.

3.2.7 While the program is functioning well, teamwork could be strengthened by addressing interpersonal issues ***. The STC can implement some management tools that will maximize the program's strengths by building team spirit and increasing collaboration.

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.

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. The majority of the work takes place around trade shows. TCs are using trade shows to implement business to business meetings and provide information sessions to contacts and Canadian clients. When TCs have concluded their trade shows and follow-ups, they could be***.

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 present during a meeting rather than 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 An InfoCentre function exists within the program; two TCAs assume some of the responsibilities relating to that function. They rotate on a monthly basis and are responsible for monitoring the Singapore TD-inbox and forward requests to the appropriate TC based on the sector of responsibility. Both TCAs are supervised by an LE-09 TC who manages the InfoCentre. This approach is working well within the program considering that only a few requests are received through the TD-inbox.

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. Once a month, during team meetings, the STC and TCs review and discuss TRIO data including services delivered, leads and economic outcomes facilitated and opportunities pursued. The program would benefit from reviewing the International Business Development (IBD) Dashboard and comparing 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***. 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 Consultations during the planning cycle should include programs within the mission, especially***. Each *** should identify potential areas to leverage *** throughout the year.

3.5.2 The STC should streamline the sector allocation and focus, allowing for additional initiatives per sector.

3.5.3 The STC should hold an information session on performance indicator definitions.

3.5.4 The CE program should revisit their performance targets based on the performance indicator definitions.

3.5.5 ***.

3.5.6 ***.

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

3.5.8 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 Using Strategia for the 2014-15 planning cycle permitted some opportunities for enhanced collaboration. A more structured consultation process, both within the CE program and with the HOM, FPDS, EDC and other programs, will be developed. In progress for March 2015.

3.5.2 Sectors were streamlined and some reallocated to more evenly balance responsibilities and provide an opportunity for a higher level of activity and more initiatives in some sectors. Implemented October 2013.

3.5.3 The STC obtained clarification from HQ on performance indicators and held a discussion with the team following the inspection. Reviews are held periodically and whenever a question is raised by the team. Implemented November 2013.

3.5.4 Current 2013-14 targets were adjusted and new targets for next 2014-15 were developed taking definitions into account. We will continue to review our targets to ensure they remain realistic. Implemented November 2013.

3.5.5 ***. Implemented December 2013.

3.5.6 ***. Implemented November 2013.

3.5.7 The STC is monitoring TRIO use/best practice on an ongoing basis to ensure the quality of the data entered. Discussions with the CE team on use/best practice are being held as required. Implemented November 2013.

3.5.8 This was instituted following a team discussion and review of the requirements for hospitality diaries. Implemented November 2013.

4 Consular

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The Consular Program is managed by the AS-07 Management Consular Officer (MCO) who is supported by an LE-08 Senior Consular Officer and a LE-06 Consular Officer. The program had been managed by a Deputy MCO (DMCO) however this position was deleted in the summer of 2013.

4.1.2 The mission also provides consular services on behalf of the Canadian High Commission in Brunei; however, since the departure of the DMCO in ***. The volume of consular services performed on behalf of the High Commission in Brunei is very low.

Consular program financial resources
Budget2013-2014
Travel$398
Hospitality$1,990
Total$2,388

4.1.3 The mission provides approximately 1900 passport services and processes approximately 200 citizenship applications and 150 notarial requests yearly. There are 1,000 Canadian citizens identified in the Registration of Canadians Abroad database for Singapore. The estimated number of Canadians residing in Singapore is 6,000.

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 sufficiently resourced. Some minor improvements in program management are necessary, particularly in the areas of planning and communication.

4.2.2 During the inspection it was noted that *** beyond official closing hours whenever a member of the Canada-based staff is present. ***.

4.2.3 There is no annual workplan in place which would assist the program in organizing and prioritizing such matters as 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 delivery of the program.

4.2.4 The MCO has an open-door policy and is *** to provide guidance on issues that are brought to her attention by the consular officers; however, there are no regular meetings scheduled between them. Meetings tend to be ad hoc in nature, mostly to discuss a new directive or change in procedure and these are conducted within the consular work area.

4.2.5 The MCO attends regular meetings with consular counterparts from like-minded missions. The CBSA liaison officer has established excellent contacts with the airlines, airport immigration authorities and police, and has been able to lend assistance to the consular program when necessary. Local authorities working in the prison, health and social sectors are efficient and have a reputation for delivering a high level of service.

4.2.6 The program manager does not consider it necessary to have a warden system in place because Singapore is a small island with excellent communication and transportation infrastructure. ***.

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 Despite the deletion of the DMCO position, the program continues to deliver a range of high quality services well within established standards. The MCO now plays a more significant role in consular management and therefore spends more time engaged with the consular staff.

4.3.2 Consular services are provided to clients in the official language of their choice ***. A back-up is not clearly identified and there is a risk that another employee in the mission may not be available to assist on short notice.

4.3.3 Client service standards are not posted in the consular waiting area. As well, there are no French language passport application forms available at the consular information counter located within the waiting area, and fee schedules and client feedback forms were only available in English.

4.3.4 Completed client feedback forms are placed in a locked box located in the consular waiting room, however the consular officer is opening the box and passing the forms to the MCO. Privacy can be improved if the box is opened only by the MCO and action taken as necessary.

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..  
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, the management of passport and consular services is effective, with controls in place to safeguard revenues and passport supplies. The LE-04 Receptionist provides support to the program on a daily basis by completing a spreadsheet which reflects official receipt data concerning services rendered***.

4.4.2 Recent change in passport policy provides delegation of authority to designated LES to forward adult passport applications directly to headquarters under the simplified renewal process. Designated CBS are only required to approve approximately 20% of all Passport Management Program (PMP) files entered by the consular officers.

4.4.3 Since the deletion of the DMCO position, the MCO approves all passport applications that are not processed by the consular officers through the simplified renewal process. The *** arrived at mission this summer and has been granted passport approver access to PMP but to date has not participated in the authorization of passport files. It would be beneficial to the program to include the PA in the approval process on a regular basis, to retain the knowledge necessary to approve more complicated applications, especially during periods of the MCO's absence from the mission. This arrangement would also mitigate the need to request remote approval assistance from another mission in the region.

4.4.4 ***.

4.4.5 Receipts issued to consular clients are printed locally however the current supply still makes reference to passport documents and service standards which are dated prior to July 2013. This could cause some confusion to some clients as the new enhanced ePassport became available to all Canadians as of July 1, 2013. Since that date, there have been changes to the validity period of the new document, elimination of the 24 and 48 page booklets, changes to fees and increased processing times.

4.4.6 As part of the inspection process, a physical count of the passport inventory, related documents and supplies was conducted and reconciled with inventory control documents.***.

4.4.7 Since the introduction of Temporary Passports (TP) in 2006, the Emergency Travel Document (ETD) is issued only in exceptional circumstances and must be approved by Headquarters***.

4.4.8 ***.

4.4.9 Official seals and stamps are properly inventoried and access restricted to designated employees.

4.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

4.5.1 Consular staff should be recording all time worked including after hours, in the Consular Management Information Program database.

4.5.2 Section staff should be tasked with drafting an annual workplan for approval by the MCO and this should be reflected in the job description of the responsible employee.

4.5.3 The MCO should schedule a monthly meeting with consular staff and arrange to have minutes recorded and distributed.

4.5.4 The mission should identify at least one bilingual employee who is able to back-up *** during periods of absence from the office.

4.5.5 The mission should post service standards, fee schedules, and other consular information in a bilingual format and ensure that application forms are available to the public in both official languages.

4.5.6 The MCO should keep the key to the box holding completed client feedback forms and clear it on a monthly basis.

4.5.7 The mission should designate a back-up to the MCO to approve passport applications and to cover periods of absence when possible.

4.5.8 ***.

4.5.9 Consular receipts should be revised to reflect current services and 20-day service standard for passport issuance.

4.5.10 ***.

4.5.11 Monthly inventory reconciliation forms should be signed by both employees performing the reconciliation, one of whom must be a Canada-based 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.)

4.5.1 Consular staff on authorized overtime will enter a record of work activity into COMIP. Implemented November 2013.

4.5.2 The Senior Consular Officer has been tasked to draft an annual workplan for approval by the MCO each April. The tasking will be reflected in the Officer's job description and in their annual PMP objectives. In progress for May 2014.

4.5.3 The MCO will schedule monthly meetings beginning in March, the minutes of which will be recorded and distributed. In progress for May 2014.

4.5.4 A backup CBS is now consistently identified *** is absent. Implemented January 2014.

4.5.5 Bilingual service standards and fee schedules and other consular documents are now either posted or made available to the public in both official languages. Implemented March 2014.

4.5.6 MCO now retains the key to the box holding feedback from clients and clears it on a monthly basis. Implemented March 2014.

4.5.7 The HOM PA is now the official back-up to the MCO and approves passport applications during the MCO's absence or when she requires support due to her workload. Implemented December 2013.

4.5.8 ***. In progress April 2014.

4.5.9 Consular receipts should be revised to reflect current services and 20-day service standard for passport issuance. Implemented December 2013.

4.5.10 ***. Implemented January 2014.

4.5.11 The MCO and the Consular Officer both sign the monthly inventory report. Implemented March 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 12 LES. The CS-04 Client Support Regional Manager (CSRM) provides some support to the program in the role of Deputy Mission Security Officer.

5.1.2 The program is responsible for providing common services to 75 employees spread over four DFATD and five partner programs; CIC, CBSA, Agriculture Canada, EDC and the Province of Alberta.

Program Management

Evaluation of Common Services Program Management
Key Common Services Program Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
A Common Services Business Plan is in place and used to establish priorities and guide operations.X  
Common services policies and procedures are documented and communicated to management, staff and clients. X 
Internal communications within the program effectively support program delivery. X 

5.1.3 Overall, the program is functioning well and is providing good quality service to clients throughout the mission. The MCO is *** manager. Program staff appreciate the MCO's *** involvement in the program and guidance the officer provides ***.

5.1.4 The DMCO position was deleted from mission establishment in the summer of 2013. Given that the mission staff complement totals 75 (20 CBS and 55 LES), the mission is in the process of evaluating the way in which common services will be delivered in the future. More specifically, the mission has lost a resource that could considerably affect *** and will substantially reduce the program's back-up capacity.***, the mission has not yet moved forward in developing a job description and conducting a staffing process to identify a qualified individual who could provide necessary and relevant support.

5.1.5 A Common Service Business Plan is in place, but section workplans have not been developed for HR, Finance and Property. Workplans would assist in the planning of program activities and coordination of associated duties. Given the added responsibilities resulting from the deletion of the DMCO position, the MCO could use workplans as a tool to monitor staff responsibilities and organize work flow.

5.1.6 While some mission-specific policies and procedures are available to clients, they are only available in email format sent by the MCO periodically. Policies and procedures should be properly vetted and approved by the CMM annually and posted in a central location accessible by all staff. The inspection team was advised that a mission wiki will be created.

5.1.7 Morale within the program is good overall although some staff are working with the knowledge of the *** functions as well ***of other changes that may ***.

5.1.8 An area where improvement can be made is in internal communications within the program, and planning regularly scheduled meetings, particularly for section heads. The MCO currently meets on a regular basis with staff individually; however she does not convene meetings where all section heads are present. This would provide her with an opportunity to discuss forward planning issues as well as to discuss any problems involving program delivery and cross-cutting issues common to multiple sections. The MCO meets with all program staff together on a weekly basis, for 10 minutes on average, although these meetings do not provide a proper forum for discussion and planning.

5.1.9 The MCO has arranged to meet with colleagues in like-minded missions on a quarterly basis. These meetings are used to discuss issues of mutual concern as these missions face many of the same challenges within the local business environment.

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/A

5.1.10 Overall, clients were pleased with the level of service. One area for attention is access to driver services. Some clients indicated that the current booking system is unreliable. One staff member suggested that driver calendars should be made available to program managers and program assistants so that they can see when drivers may be available and have the opportunity to adjust meeting schedules as required.

5.1.11 Service standards were last updated in 2010 although they were being reviewed and updated at the time of the inspection.

5.1.12 No formal client service feedback mechanism is in place. Adding this would allow clients to provide comments on 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 

5.1.13 In general, contracting and procurement processes are consistent and effective. The mission has a Contract Review Board (CRB) in place that is governed by a terms of reference document. Contracting files are well maintained although some files reviewed did not contain all CRB member approval signatures. The CRB meets virtually in most instances although they do meet as a group when higher value contracts, such as security and Chancery cleaning, are reviewed.

5.1.14 Staff, who are involved in procurement activities, are not guided by a checklist that would outline their responsibilities, processes to be followed or expenditure limits. Such a checklist would be useful for staff and could be used by the MCO as a delegation tool.

5.1.15 The mission has *** identified for minor capital purchases such as SQ furnishings, equipment, appliances and IT equipment, but the program does not have a multi-year materiel acquisition plan to prioritize in-year requirements and expenditures.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.1.16 The Mission should take necessary steps to staff the LE-08 Office Manager position.

5.1.17 Workplans should be developed for all sections within the program.

5.1.18 Mission-specific policies and procedures should be developed or updated, and made readily available to staff.

5.1.19 The MCO should schedule regular agenda-driven meetings with all section heads present. As well, periodic meetings between the MCO and staff who are supervised by an LES member should be arranged.

5.1.20 The mission should ensure the transportation policy and procedures related to requests for driver services are clear and transparent. As well, reasons for non-availability should be provided (not simply saying that it is due to operational reasons).

5.1.21 Service standards should be reviewed, updated and approved by the CMM on an annual basis.

5.1.22 The mission should ensure a formal client feedback mechanism is in place.

5.1.23 The MCO should develop a procurement guide for staff involved in procurement and contracting processes.

5.1.24 A multi-year materiel acquisition plan should be developed and 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.)

5.1.16 Mission has launched a staffing action to fill the vacant LE-08 Office Manager position. In progress for July 2014.

5.1.17 The mission will develop workplans for each section of the program. In progress for June 2014.

5.1.18 Mission-specific policies and procedures have been drafted for CMM approval. These will be posted on the mission wiki and updated on an annual basis. In progress for September 2014.

5.1.19 The MCO will schedule a monthly agenda-driven meeting with all heads of section beginning in March. Quarterly meetings will also be scheduled between the MCO and all common services staff beginning in April. In progress for April 2014.

5.1.20 A mission transportation policy has been drafted and will be reviewed and approved by CMM. This will be posted on the mission wiki and updated on an annual basis. In progress for April 2014.

5.1.21 Service standards were reviewed, updated and approved in November by CMM and downloaded in Strategia in December. Implemented November 2013.

5.1.22 The mission will develop a formal client feedback mechanism by the end of August. In progress for September 2014.

5.1.23 The mission will develop a procurement checklist for staff. In progress for May 2014.

5.1.24 The mission will develop a multi-year material acquisition plan and have it approved by CMM on an annual basis. In progress for June 2014.

5.2 Human Resources

5.2.1 The Human Resources (HR) functions at the mission are the responsibility of the MCO who is assisted by the LE-06 HR/Administrative Assistant (HRAA). Although the HRAA is responsible for the day to day activities of the section, the MCO provides direct supervision and guidance. The HRAA also supervises the Receptionist.

5.2.2 The section is busy processing between 20 to 30 emergency employment staffing actions per year, most on behalf of the CIC program. Although the CIC program plays a significant role in the identification and vetting process, there is still considerable work involved for the HRAA.

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 section has not completed and submitted an HR plan to Headquarters nor is a formal workplan in place to guide activities.***, a workplan would assist her and the MCO to plan activities.

5.2.4 The section has developed a checklist to guide new employees and to ensure proper integration within the mission. As well, arrival and departure checklists have been developed for CBS. All staff are provided with a copy of the recently updated Terms and Conditions.

5.2.5 Position files and personnel files are well maintained overall, although some personnel files were missing EXT 145 staffing action forms and contained competition data.

5.2.6 Performance Management Plans (PMPs) are in place for all staff within the mission and completion is monitored by the HRAA. While the HOM has been provided administrator access to the PMP database, neither the MCO nor the HRAA have access.

5.2.7 The HR/administrative assistant has recently been designated the mission's training coordinator. The mission does not have a Training Committee.

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 consistent. Competition and staffing files are well maintained, but it is suggested that the section use the ALD checklist for all staffing actions. Scoring grids are used to post the results of interviews and written tests. The HOM approves and signs all letters of offer.

5.2.9 Leave accruals and usage is maintained and updated by the HRAA using an Excel spreadsheet. Program managers have been provided with on-line access to their staff files and staff are provided with balance updates as requested.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.2.10 An HR plan should be submitted to Headquarters and a workplan for the section should be developed.

5.2.11 The mission should develop a staffing procedural guide that outlines the process and follow up to ensure it is applied consistently across programs.

5.2.12 The section should ensure that HR documents are filed appropriately in the competition, position or personnel file.

5.2.13 The MCO or HR/administrative assistant should be provided access to print reports and monitor the PMP database.

5.2.14 A Training Committee should be formed.

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.)

5.2.10 The mission will develop an HR plan for submission to Headquarters, as well as a workplan for use in the section. In progress for October 2014.

5.2.11 A mission staffing procedural guide has been drafted and will be reviewed and approved by CMM. This will be posted on the wiki and updated on an annual basis. In progress for August 2014.

5.2.12 The mission will ensure that HR documents are appropriately filed. In progress for August 2014.

5.2.13 The MCO has been provided with access to the PMP database and is able to monitor reports status. Implemented October 2013.

5.2.14 A Training Committee has been formed and will meet on a regular basis. Implemented March 2014.

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The physical resources section is managed by the MCO who is assisted by an LE-06 Property and Materiel Manager (PMM), an LE-03 Handyman and is also supported by an LE-05 Customs and General Services (CGS) employee. The section manages 20 properties including a Crown-leased Chancery and Official Residence (OR), 12 Crown-leased staff quarters (SQ) and 6 Crown-owned SQs.

5.3.2 The mission has three drivers who are supervised by the CGS employee. The official fleet consists of four vehicles, two of which have been identified for replacement this year.

5.3.3 The section has been affected by the recent deletion of the DMCO position. The PMM has absorbed additional property duties since the departure of the DMCO in the summer.

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 

5.3.4 Overall, the section is *** managed and all properties maintained in good condition. As a result, Canada-based staff are generally satisfied with their staff quarters and the level of service provided by the section.

5.3.5 The MCO advised that it can be difficult to find acceptable accommodation at the lower end of the rent ceiling affecting household sizes of 1 or 2 persons as the maximum allowable rents are below the reality of the rental market. As an example, in July 2013 when the lease on her SQ expired, the MCO was relocated to another less expensive apartment. Although the rent was reduced by 50% the replacement SQ is considerably smaller, has a poor layout, and does not have any common facilities.

5.3.6 The Mission Property Management Plan, as well as the Mission Maintenance Workplan (MMW) are up to date. The PMM meets with the Handyman every morning to assign work and to review previous work orders to ensure requests have been accurately processed. The majority of SQs are leased and occupants have the option to directly communicate with landlords to resolve minor maintenance issues. The mission does not conduct annual inspections to assess the state of SQs.

5.3.7 In 2006, the chancery was located to an entire floor of a multi-tenant, modern high-rise office building located in the Central Business District***. The layout of the office does not meet the standards of Workplace 2.0 based on an open office concept. The building is in good condition and there are no deficiencies to report in terms of space or maintenance.

5.3.8 The Official Residence is a spacious 2-story house located in a prestigious area of the city close to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other foreign missions. The house is in excellent condition and well suited for representation; however, at a gross area of 527m2, it exceeds established space guidelines***.

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 although there are some areas of improvement that can be made.

5.3.10 The PMM normally arranges a meeting with Canada-based staff at their SQ within a month after their arrival at mission to complete the distribution account and to sign the occupancy agreement. On review of SQ files, it was noted that in some cases SQ inspections were not conducted within 30 days of initial occupancy and some of the forms were either missing dates or signatures.

5.3.11 The mission has not recently disposed of surplus assets by public auction, but has instead donated items to a recognized charitable organization. Disposal reports are signed by the HOM and a register maintained in the section for each disposal exercise. The mission has prepared a business case to support this practice but does not routinely explore other options that could generate revenue from asset disposal auctions.

5.3.12 Vehicle operating and maintenance reports are only partially completed. The fields requiring data for oil changes, tire purchases and maintenance were blank on the forms which were reviewed.

5.3.13 Vehicle log books are assigned to each vehicle however these are old and do not include all of the criteria required to accurately record every trip taken as outlined in the Mission Fleet Management Guidelines. If a vehicle is used for personal purposes, these trips must also be entered in the log book and the user should enter the purpose of travel to determine if cost recovery action is required.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.3.14 The MCO should review the PMM's job description to include any new duties***.

5.3.15 The mission should inspect all SQs on an annual basis and, if necessary, to include projects in the MMW for the crown-owned properties.

5.3.16 The PMM should ensure that all SQs are inspected with new employees within 30 days of occupancy, and that occupancy agreements are signed, dated and returned in a timely manner, and distribution accounts are dated and signed by the employee and a mission representative.

5.3.17 The MCO and the PMM should consider other options to dispose of surplus assets in an effort to receive maximum net revenue.

5.3.18 The CGS employee should ensure that vehicle log books are fully completed to accurately reflect all associated costs.

5.3.19 The mission should obtain log books from the Contracting and Materiel Management Division and ensure drivers are aware of the necessity to accurately record all the information 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.)

5.3.14 The MCO will review and update the PMM's job description to include new duties ***. In progress for May 2014.

5.3.15 The mission will ensure that all SQs are inspected for maintenance deficiencies on an annual basis and any concerns affecting crown-owned properties will be included in the MMW. In progress for May 2014.

5.3.16 The mission will ensure that SQ inspections, occupancy agreements, and distribution accounts are fully completed and signed within established timeframes. In progress for October 2014.

5.3.17 The MCO and PMM will consider other options, including those identified as a result of canvassing like-minded missions about their "best practices" and approaches to the disposal of surplus assets in an effort to ensure receipt of maximum net revenue. In progress for March 2014.

5.3.18 The CGS is ensuring that vehicle log books are fully completed to accurately reflect all associated costs. Implemented January 2014.

5.3.19 The mission has obtained log books from HQ as well as another mission and has adapted for local use. Drivers have been instructed on how to properly complete the log to accurately record all of the required information. Implemented December 2013.

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 The Finance section is managed by the MCO who is supported by the LE-07 Senior Accountant, an LE-05 Accountant and an LE-04 Assistant Accountant. All staff are knowledgeable in their duties and the section operates in an efficient manner.

5.4.2 ***. Finance staff are aware of this and are still performing at a high level and their morale is good.

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  

5.4.3 The section is providing a high level of service to all clients throughout the mission.

5.4.4 ***.

5.4.5 Acquisition cards are used by two members of the Common Services team. Electronic funds payments were started in September 2013 and the system appears to be well received by vendors although the mission still has approximately 15 vendors who have not transferred to this form of payment. The mission is working towards a 100% electronic payment rate.

5.4.6 The Mission Online Payment Services is in use by the Consular program ***. All CIC revenues are collected via certified cheque.

Key Processes and Internal Controls

Evaluation of Finance Internal Control
Key Finance Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Financial signing authorities are exercised by individuals who possess the appropriate delegation of authority.X  
The asset and liability report is reviewed on a monthly basis. X 
A CBS receives the original monthly bank statement directly from the bank and reviews it prior to giving it to the accountant.X  
Revenues are deposited into the mission bank account daily, or if not cost effective, within a week of receipt, per the Financial Administration Act: Receipt and Deposit of Public Money Regulations.X  
Official receipts are provided to clients at the time of payment and to internal staff when funds are transferred (i.e. from Consular to Finance).X  
Reconciliations of any funds transferred within the mission are conducted in the presence of two staff.X  
Travel and hospitality claim processes ensure that policies and guidelines are adhered to and that the completeness and accuracy of the claim is verified.X  
Reimbursement of HonCon operational expenses is based on an established agreement.N/AN/AN/A
A percentage of costs for personal use of OR supplies is determined and regular reimbursements are made to the mission.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  

5.4.7 Key processes and controls are in place and the section is *** managed. Staff are able to provide back-up capacity in the event of absences within the section

5.4.8 Only the HOM and the MCO have been delegated signing authority under Section 33 of the Financial Administration Act (FAA). As such, the HOM must be involved in signing off on all expenditures initiated by the Common Services program.

5.4.9 The asset and liability report is reviewed by the Senior Accountant ***. The MCO should be part of this process***.

5.4.10 ***.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.11 ***.

5.4.12 The MCO should review the asset and liability report ***.

5.4.13 ***.

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.)

5.4.11 ***. Implemented November 2013.

5.4.12 The MCO now reviews the asset and liability report ***. Implemented October 2013.

5.4.13 ***. Implemented October 2013.

5.5 Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT)

5.5.1 The IM-IT Section is managed by an LE-08 Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP) who is supported by an LE-07 LEITP. A CS-04 Client Support Regional Manager (CSRM) is resident at the mission but does not assume any functional responsibilities for these staff or general IT operations of the mission. The Foreign Service Information Technology Professional based in Kuala Lumpur provides technical support on a scheduled basis

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 and a good division of duties between the LEITPs is in place. They support one another as required.

5.5.3 ***.

5.5.4 The section has a workplan in place that outlines all activities and initiatives to undertake throughout the year. Staff PMPs are prepared based on objectives derived from the workplan.

5.5.5 Clients are now requesting IM-IT services using the service desk on-line system managed centrally at Headquarters. Once the ticket has been sent to the mission by Headquarters, service requests are then processed using the Remedy ticketing system. Tickets are systematically closed once services have been provided.

5.5.6 The mission has an IM-IT committee with terms of reference in place. The committee is scheduled to meet on a monthly basis but meetings are held less frequently. Minutes of meetings are maintained.

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  

5.5.7 ***.

5.5.8 On-loan-to-staff items such as cellular phones, laptops, secure ID tokens, etc. are well inventoried and sign out sheets are used for all equipment.

5.5.9 Disposal of surplus IT assets is facilitated through the sale of equipment to various companies. These companies recondition the surplus equipment and resell it to buyers in a third country. The mission is receiving some payment for these surplus assets.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.5.10 . ***

Mission Actions and Timeframes

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

5.5.10 ***. Implemented October 2013.

Appendix A: Mission Resources Fact Sheet

Physical Resources
AssetsCrown-OwnedCrown-LeasedPrivate-Lease
Chancery 1 
Official Residence 1 
Staff Quarters613 
Vehicles4  
Storage 1 
Financial Information 2012/2013
BudgetProgramCommon Services
Operating183,000484,824
Capital00
CBS Salaries  
CBS Overtime20,00014,000
LES Salaries1,050,0002,190,412
LES Overtime28,06471,640
Total1,253,0002,689,236
Human Resources (FTEs)
ProgramTotalCBSLES
Head of Mission523
FPDS312
CE1248
Consular3.52.5
Common Services131.511.5
CIC30624
CBSA321
Agriculture211
EDC422
Total752055

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
CSDP
Common Service Delivery Point
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
MMW
Mission Maintenance Workplan
MOU
Memorandum of Understanding
MSO
Mission Security Officer
MPMP
Mission Property Management Plan
NAAP
North American Platform Program
OR
Official residence
OZ
Operations Zone
PIF
Post Initiative Fund
PM
Program Manager
PMA
Performance Management Agreement
PMP
Human Resources - Performance Management Program
PMP
Consular - Passport Management Program
PRIME
Physical Resources Information - Mission Environment
ROCA
Registration of Canadians Abroad
S&T
Science and Technology
STC
Senior Trade Commissioner
SQ
Staff Quarter
SZ
Security Zone
TC
Trade Commissioner
TCA
Trade Commissioner Assistant
TCS
Trade Commissioner Service
TRIO
The TCS' Client Relationship Management System
ZID
Office of the Inspector General
ZIV
Missions Inspection Division
Date Modified: