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Inspection of the Trade Office of Canada, Taipei, Taiwan

September 25 to October 1, 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 Taipei, Taiwan from September 25 to October 1, 2013. A previous inspection of these programs took place in 2007.

The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Taiwan, is a medium-sized mission with 9 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 36 locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in Taiwan. The mission houses representatives of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the provinces of Alberta and Quebec.

The mission functions *** under the leadership of an EX-02 acting in an EX-03 Head of Mission (HOM) position. She has been at the mission for approximately one year. On a day-to-day basis, she works closely with her management team and participates in a variety of program events. The mission's priorities are centred on Canadian interests in Taiwan and are consistent with priorities set out by the department and the government. Morale across the mission is mixed, and LES are concerned about job insecurity.

The mission's committee and management structures support effective mission governance and management. However, the Committee on Mission Management (CMM) is not operating as a decision-making body. Consideration should be given to an agenda-driven CMM to focus the meetings and ensure that decisions on policies and procedures are made by all mission managers.

Overall, communications are good and employees generally cooperate well on common interests. More formal communication between the HOM and her program managers, as well as more formal cross-program communication, particularly between the FPDS and CE programs, would be beneficial to improve cross-program relationships and coordination.

Mission management has undertaken the necessary planning for emergency preparedness. However, while an emergency response team (ERT) has been identified and recently updated ***. As well, the mission emergency plan (MEP), although up to date, has not been sent to Headquarters through the appropriate channels and systems.

Key management controls are in place and are effectively supported by a strong governance structure. The mission's overall security culture, although well-managed, could be improved and should be supported by all members of mission management. As well, attention is required to improve hospitality reporting.

The FPDS program is operating *** under the leadership of an FS-03 program manager, and the program has received positive feedback from Headquarters with respect to the quality of its reporting and the strength of its social media outreach. Program planning, however, is an area that requires improvement as the program largely relies on the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) document to guide its priorities and set high-level objectives. The program should establish clearer strategic objectives and solidify program planning, which will also enhance its ability to monitor the performance of the program.

***. The program's priority sectors are agriculture, food and beverages, information and communications technology (ICT), cleantech, infrastructure, building products and related services, and life sciences. Investment in Canada is also promoted and Canadian innovation highlighted. The program functions well and delivers on its commitments; nevertheless, there is a need to clarify roles and responsibilities within the team, including a review of job descriptions. The program should also re-evaluate the Commercial Economic program plan (CEP) to ensure that performance targets are set at the appropriate level and that officers understand performance indicator definitions.

The Consular and Common Services programs are overseen by an AS-06 Management Consular Officer (MCO) and an AS-04 Deputy MCO (DMCO). However, at the time of the inspection, the DMCO was managing both programs while the MCO was away on *** leave. The mission will officially lose the DMCO position in October 2013, which is the same month the MCO returns from leave.

The Consular program operates well on a day-to-day basis. The program is *** managed overall and delivers a high level of service to clients within established standards. It is a busy program, and Taipei ranks fifth in the world for the issuance of passports. Given the upcoming elimination of the DMCO position, mission management has redistributed some of the workload among other employees, including those in other programs, such as CE and FPDS. Program planning is effective and back-up arrangements and the organizational structure support consular program delivery; however, meetings tend to be ad hoc in nature. Regular meetings would improve internal communications.

The Common Services program is providing high quality services to clients. Internal communications within the program are generally good, but periodic meetings between the MCO and program staff should be scheduled to facilitate better communication. While a Common Service Business Plan is in place, some common services policies and procedures have not been updated in several years. Morale within the program is generally low after the loss of the DMCO, the driver and the accountant position. These deleted positions were preceded by cuts to the visa team, and the rest of the CIC program moving to Hong Kong ***.

A total of 44 recommendations are raised in the report: all 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 33 have been implemented.

1 Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Taiwan, is a medium-sized mission with 9 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 36 locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for departmental program delivery in Taiwan. The mission houses representatives of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the provinces of Alberta and Quebec.

1.1.2 The mission is managed by an EX-02 in an EX-03 Head of Mission (HOM) position. She is responsible for overall operations and oversees an operational budget of $362,000 as reported by the mission. The mission also manages a property portfolio that includes a Crown-leased chancery, a Crown-leased official residence (OR) and seven Crown-leased staff quarters (SQs).

1.1.3 Canadian interests in Taiwan are diverse and deep. They range from significant trade and investment opportunities to shared values inspired by multi-party democratic rule. Taiwan is Canada's fourth largest trading partner in Asia and a focal point for global value chains that correspond to Canadian competencies. Its relations with China are followed closely, and it is a key actor in two of East Asia's potential flashpoints: the Taiwan Strait and the East China/South China Seas Islands. People-to-people linkages with Canada are also strong, underpinned by a Canadian community of about 50,000 people in Taiwan and a large number of Taiwanese students that visit Canada to study each year.

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 running well. The HOM works closely with her management team, and the mission is generally well supported by experienced CBS and LES. Mission priorities are centred around Canadian interests in Taiwan and are consistent with priorities set out by the department and the government. The mission provides good service to the large local Canadian population, advances the prosperity agenda, and provides informed analysis on relations across the Taiwan Strait and other regional geo-political and security issues.

1.2.2 The mission's governance structure supports its operations, and mission committees are meeting as required. The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) is not, however, operating as a decision-making body. While program managers see value in the exchanges taking place, moving to an agenda-driven CMM would help to focus the meetings and ensure that decisions on policies and procedures are made by management as a whole. Consideration may be given to addressing short-term priorities and activities through a weekly or bi-weekly operations committee meeting, which could be accompanied by a regular (but less frequent) CMM.

1.2.3 There are a number of good communication practices in place at the mission. All-staff meetings occur regularly (every two to three months); the HOM uses these opportunities and other tools to address policies and procedures and communicate important information from within the mission and Headquarters. The mission also has practices in place that enhance transparency. CMM minutes are available to all staff, documents exist that outline policies and procedures, and when changes to mission practices occur, staff are informed in a clear and timely manner.

1.2.4 Informal communication occurs regularly throughout the mission, and employees discuss initiatives regularly at a working level. However, additional formal communication would benefit cross-program relationships and coordination. The HOM does not currently conduct regular formal meetings with her program managers; these should be scheduled. Consideration could be given to meeting the FPDS and CE program managers together to enhance information sharing. As raised throughout the report, it is also important that formal meetings are used as part of the programs' communications structure.

1.2.5 The Locally Engaged Staff Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) is well structured with representation from across the mission. Its process is generally sound, but LES representatives should ensure that OR staff are included in consultations ahead of each meeting. Importantly, the LES conveyed that the Board is a useful forum for discussion and that management respects their ideas and addresses their concerns. Topics raised during the inspection team's meeting with the Board's LES representatives include: the absence of job security; a decline in the number of social activities within the mission; a general lack of awareness of other mission programs' priorities; and complaints on air quality and office temperature.

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 Mission management recognizes the importance of a whole-of-government approach. Informal communication occurs among programs, and employees generally cooperate well on common interests. However, cross-program communication could be improved to clarify priorities and capitalize on opportunities.

1.3.2 Collaboration among programs throughout key planning periods could be improved. For example, although the provincial representatives used to participate in the CE program planning sessions, this has ceased to occur as time has passed. As well, the FPDS program does not coordinate with other programs to identify advocacy priorities and plan media support during strategic planning periods. The CE program undertakes some advocacy but sees its operations as distinct from those of the FPDS program. Planning collaboratively may help to clarify priorities and avoid the duplication of efforts. The addition of a working group(s) on key areas of common interest, such as education, would help coordinate both planning and implementation.

1.3.3 Generally speaking, the majority of employees at the mission work well together on activities. For example, the HOM participates in a variety of program events, makes the OR available to advance broad objectives, and asks program managers to join her on outcalls. Similarly, there is good cooperation among mission programs. The CBSA representative leverages his contacts at the airport on behalf of the Consular program, the provinces and CE program participate together in initiatives on sectors of mutual interest, and the FPDS program assists other programs on public affairs and engaging the media on an activity by activity basis.

1.3.4 The collocated partners at the mission indicated that they are satisfied with the overall provision of common services. Partners are made aware of changes to mission policies and procedures in a timely fashion and feel that members of the Common Services program are helpful in resolving issues when required.

1.4 Emergency Preparedness

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

1.4.1 The mission meets most of the emergency preparedness inspection criteria. This is particularly important in Taiwan given the risks, including natural disasters, and the large Canadian population resident in the country. The mission has developed a good network of contacts with like-minded missions, and discusses emergency preparedness with them.

1.4.2 An emergency response team (ERT) has been identified and was recently updated to reflect new staff at the mission. However,***; this should be addressed. The posting of evacuation and fire orders in the hallways would also be recommended to help guide employees in the event of an emergency evacuation.

1.4.3 The mission emergency plan (MEP) is reviewed on a regular basis and was updated following staff changes over the summer. However, the MEP has not yet been sent to Headquarters through the appropriate channels and systems. This should be done as soon as possible and incorporated as part of the workflow for future updates to the plan. An emergency planning exercise is planned to test the MEP in October.

1.4.4 ***. Headquarters should be kept informed of progress on this issue. There are also emergency grab-and-go kits at the mission, which are tested by consular staff quarterly. The kits include clear instructions concerning the operation of equipment and staff have been trained in their use. *** have satellite phones, which are all tested regularly.

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 increase the profile of French within 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 lunchtime gatherings to practice French were a regular activity and more are planned for the future. This is a positive initiative that may also enhance cross-program communications on a social level.

1.5.2 A member of the Commercial Economic (CE) program is the Official Languages Co-ordinator. The mission has reviewed signage, and material directed at the public is now bilingual although a small amount of internal signage is only in English.

1.5.3 Overall, the mission has a limited capacity to provide service in French. The impending deletion of the Deputy Management Consular Officer (DMCO) position reduces the number of bilingual CBS at the mission and only a few LES speak both official languages fluently. ***. A system of backups should be formalized to ensure that the public can receive service in the official language of their choice.

1.5.4 French language training is offered at the mission, and staff are generally interested in improving their language skills***.

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 Most key management controls are in place and working well. Program managers receive regular 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 quarterly reconciliation of passport inventory is properly completed and certified.

1.6.2 The MCO and human resources officer track the use of the Performance Management Program (PMP), and employees across the mission have had PMP discussions with their supervisors. A Learning Committee exists; LES have the opportunity to identify their training priorities and generally feel that their ideas are taken into consideration.

1.6.3 The mission's overall *** could be improved and should be supported by all members of mission management. Attention should be paid to ensure that *** and procedures are up to date and adhered to by all employees. There is scope for the HOM and the MSO to work together to strengthen the *** at the mission.

1.6.4 Hospitality is another area for improvement. The mission's hospitality guidelines date from 2008 and refer to policies that are no longer valid. The guidelines should be updated during the CMM's annual review of the mission´s hospitality ceilings. As well, the hospitality documentation reviewed 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.

1.7 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

1.7.1 Mission management should consider holding separate operations committee and CMM meetings.

1.7.2 The HOM should schedule formal meetings with each of the program managers on a regular basis. Consideration could be given to meeting the FPDS and CE program managers together.

1.7.3 Communication among programs should be improved and formalized when possible, including consultations during key planning periods.

1.7.4 The roles and responsibilities of the members of the***.

1.7.5 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.

1.7.6 *** policies and procedures should be updated, and all staff should be reminded of their responsibilities.

1.7.7 The mission's hospitality guidelines should be updated.

1.7.8 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 The mission will hold separate CMM meetings whenever major policy issues warrant the time and focus. Implemented January 2014.

1.7.2 Formal monthly meetings are scheduled with each of the relevant managers. These are complemented by ongoing informal meetings several times a week, including with CE and FPDS together. Implemented February 2014.

1.7.3 The programs are now sending staff to join other program weekly team meetings to increase cross-team communication. Teams continue to work together during planning periods, and separate meetings are held to prepare for such planning. Implemented December 2013.

1.7.4 *** training and an exercise took place at the mission for the first time from January 14-16, 2014. As a result of these activities and based on the feedback/recommendations of the *** the mission *** has met and will be recommending changes to the *** the HOM. As per the recommendation received during the training, *** will meet monthly from March to May to further clarify*** roles and responsibilities. Implemented January 2014.

1.7.5 *** has a list of several fully bilingual LES and CBS and has instructions on who to call first. In Progress for May 2014.

1.7.6 *** policies and procedures are being updated, or established, and all staff are being reminded of their responsibilities. In Progress for September 2014.

1.7.7 The mission has developed a policy template that will be used for all mission policies and should facilitate annual reviews and revisions. All mission policies have been assessed and prioritized for review/revision. All mission specific policies will be reviewed revised during the course of the annual business cycle. In Progress for March 2015.

1.7.8 Mission staff have all been instructed to increase the level of detail and connection to priorities included in hospitality reports, which is being reflected in reports after the inspection. Implemented October 2013.

2 Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The FPDS program is managed by an FS-03 Program Manager who is supported by an FS-02 Political Officer, an LE-08 Education, Public and Cultural Affairs Officer, an LE-08 Political and Media Relations Officer, and an LE-05 General Relations Assistant. The program's financial resources as reported by the mission are provided below.

Program's Financial Resources
Budget2013-2014
Operations4,268
Travel9,270
Hospitality8,877
Education8,500
Post Initiative Fund18,000
Total$48,915

2.1.2 The program's main areas of focus include: political/economic reporting and analysis on Taiwan-China cross-strait relations, regional security, human rights and democratic development, promotion of education and youth exchanges, and management of whole-of-mission communications, including social media, branding and media relations.

2.2 Planning and Program Management

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

2.2.1 Overall, the FPDS program is functioning well. The program manager recently started her assignment in Taipei. ***. Officers in the FPDS team have noted the program manager's *** communication style***.

2.2.2 The program has faced some changes in recent years, such as the elimination of the Understanding Canada program, which has resulted in changes to individual work packages for staff. In addition, reporting has become an increasing area of focus for the program. As job descriptions have recently been reviewed mission-wide, it will be worthwhile to address roles and responsibilities within the team and reinforce expectations concerning individual duties.

2.2.3 The program largely relies on the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) document to guide its priorities and set high-level objectives. Planning for the program also stems from Performance Management Agreements (PMAs) for the Head of Mission (HOM), and geographic ADM and DG. Priorities and objectives are further determined through ongoing conversations with the geographic division, which has established a reporting contract with the mission to focus on specific issues of interest. The Performance Management Program (PMP) also sets objectives for employees.

2.2.4 Program planning is an area that requires improvement. Although the MPR identifies broad commitments for FPDS it is not intended to be an operational planning tool. There are no dedicated plans, such as an advocacy plan, staff workplans or an academic plan following the closure of Understanding Canada. FPDS has not developed a specific Post Initiative Fund (PIF) budget plan nor planned for travel, hospitality and human resource management. A formal planning process should be implemented with the goal of developing a strategic program plan that can be utilized as a management tool by the manager. FPDS should identify key operational commitments that are supported by resources (e.g. budget, human resources and specific activities/initiatives).

2.2.5 Planning for education promotion should be better coordinated with the Commercial Economic (CE) program given that the officer responsible for education promotion utilizes the Commercial Economic Plan (CEP) to identify initiatives and results for the coming year. While the officer responsible for education works with colleagues in the CE program as required, there is no formalized mechanism for planning (e.g. the officer does not participate in a CE annual planning retreat). The program would also benefit from greater coordination with provincial representatives before plans on education promotion are finalized.

2.2.6 The program effectively employs both formal and informal communication tools. The program manager has established regular communication with staff through daily 15 minute morning meetings and weekly half hour one-on-one meetings with staff. Formal weekly meetings, with all program staff present, would complement the informal and one-on-one discussions the program manager has with her team.

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 The FPDS staff are working hard and their efforts are widely appreciated. The program has received strong feedback from Headquarters with respect to the quality of its reporting, the strength of its social media outreach and general communication back to Headquarters on its advocacy initiatives.

2.3.2 Activities are in line with program priorities and staff clearly understand the need to place an emphasis on high value activities. For example, while cultural activities are still undertaken at the mission, such activities are utilized as a tool to enhance access to Taiwanese government officials. The mission has established smooth and scheduled operations for its Facebook page with content that is well organized and frequently updated. Staff have also been well-trained in accordance with their respective areas of responsibility (e.g. training for TRIO 2.0, IMS, advocacy, social media, etc.).

2.3.3 The FPDS program supports the greater prosperity agenda for the mission, manages mission media relations and communications and leads on advocacy initiatives. However, no formal plans are in place to ensure alignment with mission priorities or to ensure that objectives are reached. The FPDS and CE programs currently work in silos and there is a need for greater consultation and cooperation between the two programs. Currently, there are no official meetings between the programs and commercial advocacy initiatives are seen as distinct from FPDS advocacy efforts. The FPDS program can offer its advocacy expertise to others, particularly the CE program.

2.3.4 As a pilot project, it is anticipated that TRIO 2.0 will be implemented in Taipei as a contact management tool for non-trade users. This could help it to track trends in the relationship between Canada and Taiwan.

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 While the FPDS program utilizes the Mission Advocacy Activity Tracker, performance measurement is an area that requires improvement. The program uses the mission Facebook site as a feedback mechanism (e.g. likes from Facebook friends); however, it is not clear how the analytics from the site correspond with program objectives. The program also identifies performance indicators in the MPR, but, given the broad nature of the commitments, many performance indicators are used and indicators are not always clearly linked to tangible program goals. The program requires a template for performance measurement outlining key indicators, how success is measured against objectives and results from initiatives. Performance measurement will be enhanced by establishing clearer strategic objectives and solidifying program planning.

2.4.2 The program's hospitality diaries link activities to priorities and demonstrate value for money. The program also has the appropriate frameworks in place for managing staff, with individual performance assessed through discussion and feedback as part of the PMP process.

2.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

2.5.1 The program should establish weekly team meetings and set an agenda that outlines items for discussion. A record of decisions should be maintained and circulated to staff after team meetings.

2.5.2 The program should establish an annual planning exercise.

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

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

2.5.5 FPDS should work closely with other mission programs to coordinate the implementation of initiatives.

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

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 Meetings of the FPDS program now take place on a weekly basis. Minutes are recorded and circulated to staff. Implemented October 2013.

2.5.2 A retreat for the FPDS program was held in December 2013 to discuss policy and programming priorities. A FPDS retreat will be held annually. Implemented December 2013.

2.5.3 A program workplan was developed and used to develop FPDS input into Strategia. PMPs for fiscal year 2014-15 will be completed by the deadline. Implemented April 2014

2.5.4 The program is in consultation with the STC, HOM and Northeast Asia Relations Division (GPC) to develop a whole-of-government advocacy strategy and plan. Terms of reference to establish a mission communications committee will be ready shortly. Implemented April 2014.

2.5.5 Regular meetings take place between the FPDS program manager and the STC. A colleague from the CE program is invited to join every FPDS program meeting and vice versa. Minutes from the meetings are shared. Implemented April 2014.

2.5.6 A performance measurement system has been put in place that includes performance indicators for each strategic objective as well as performance indicators in the PMPs of team members. A first tranche of indicators has been implemented to capture lessons that can be applied to future planning, including reporting targets, advocacy and outcall tracking, and social media metrics. Additionally, the program has contacted the GLB division for information on discussions that have taken place within the FPDS working group on performance indicators, and continues to consult with posts in the region. The program will implement standardized tools when available to FPDS to further expand the range of performance measurement. Implemented January 2014.

3 Commercial Economic (CE)

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 The Commercial Economic (CE) program in Taipei is managed by an EX-01 Program Manager/Director (substantive FS-03). The Program manager is supported by two FS-02s, and five trade commissioners (TCs) (two LE-09s and three LE-08s) and four trade commissioner assistants (TCAs) (one LE-06 and three LE-05s). The program had one FS-03 position that had been funded by AAFC, but which has subsequently been cut. Its financial resources as provided by the mission are provided below.

Commercial Economic program financial resources
Budget2013-2014
Operations$7,045
Travel25,793
Hospitality24,388
Client Service Fund (CSF)49,928
Integrative Trade Strategy Fund (ITSF)29,587
Total$136,741

3.1.2 Taiwan is Canada's fourth-largest trading partner in the Asia-Pacific region and ranks 11th worldwide. After two strong years of growth in bilateral trade, in 2012 Canadian merchandise exports declined slightly by 16.2% to $1.46 billion, as did its merchandise imports from Taiwan by 7.1% to $4.58 billion. Despite this decrease, trade is still approximately 35% higher than the lowest level in 2009. As noted in the Commercial Economic program (CEP) plan, some factors indicate an upward trajectory in the trading relationship. The Taiwanese economy is growing, along with those of their major trading partners in China, America and Europe. In addition, recent regulatory changes will allow some key Canadian exports, particularly beef and poultry, expanded access to Taiwan. Lastly, the Government of Taiwan is looking for ways to streamline the delivery of certain services, possibly using a public-private partnership (P3) model. Canada's experience with a successful method of incorporating P3 in public projects provides an increased opportunity for Canadian collaboration in these large developments.Footnote 1

3.1.3 The CE program's priority sectors in Taiwan are: agriculture, food and beverages, information and communications technology (ICT), cleantech, infrastructure, building products and related services, and life sciences. The program is also focusing on investment in Canada by promoting top Canadian innovation.

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 functioning well and delivering on its commitments. The team is dedicated, works well together and effectively carries out activities in accordance with the CEP plan. The Program Manager *** supports and guides officers with respect to sector action plans and major activities. The plan is aligned with the Mission Planning and Reporting (MPR) document and Government of Canada priorities.

3.2.2 The planning process starts with a retreat at the end of the calendar year to discuss results and the strategic direction for the upcoming year. This discussion helps shape the strategy for the CEP plan, which is drafted by the Director. Following the retreat, TCs consult their respective stakeholders, such as the provinces of Alberta and Quebec and various divisions at Headquarters. Although the TCs consult some stakeholders during the planning cycle, they do not consult the Head of Mission (HOM), other colleagues in the FPDS program, other than the education sector, or other colleagues in the CE program that are not involved in their specific initiative. Consulting the HOM and other colleagues during the planning cycle would provide further opportunities to collaborate on projects, share information and explore new opportunities.

3.2.3 The program has set realistic performance targets for the year in the CEP plan when compared to past performance. However, not all officers have the same understanding of the definitions of performance indicators and are therefore not capturing the appropriate data. An information session on performance indicator definitions would benefit the program and would help the team to better understand the definitions and how to capture the appropriate information.

3.2.4 The upcoming elimination of the Deputy Management Consular Officer (DMCO) position, the CE program has assumed additional responsibilities within the mission, including financial approvals and back-up passport approvals. In addition, as a direct result of the program not staffing the FS-03 deputy director agriculture position, at the direction of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), this program area is supervised by the Director.

3.2.5 Given the additional responsibilities, deputy directors have been focusing on their CE files during the work day while claiming overtime for work associated with other mission duties or common services. The program should adjust the scale of their plan to include corporate responsibilities based on the resources available. The program also has three LE-09 and two LE-08 positions that perform the same level of work. The program would benefit from a review of job descriptions to ensure they accurately reflect position responsibilities and officers are doing work appropriate to their level.

3.2.6 Communication within the program is effective. The weekly program meetings are structured with an agenda highlighting the main topics of discussion including results from the Committee on Mission Management (CMM) meeting. The Director also holds two additional meetings, one weekly meeting with the agricultural team to discuss project specific topics and one monthly meeting with the deputy directors. The deputy directors also hold their own separate meetings for their respective sections.

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. Activities are well aligned with mission objectives and are generating results in their respective sectors.

3.3.3 Although the program is using TRIO, it could be used more effectively. The use of TRIO has been emphasised within the program and although TCs and TCAs are attempting to enter all services delivered data in TRIO, the data that is captured does not always meet the performance indicator definition. Some data entered is duplicated based on the number of people that were present during a meeting rather than identifying it as one service delivered with multiple contacts; other data, entered as a service delivered, should have been recorded as an outcall. 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 Director's assistant assumes some of the responsibilities relating to that function. She monitors the Taipei 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 Performance targets are set and identified at the start of the fiscal year through the CEP plan. The Program Mangers and TCs discuss and set targets for performance indicators, such as services delivered, outcalls, leads, and economic outcomes facilitated and opportunity pursued which are measured in TRIO. In addition, the PM sets program expectations for the number of market reports to be produced and plan for the development courses for TCs and TCAs to attend.

3.4.2 The CE program then uses various tools to measure performance of the program, such as the CEP plan, TRIO and PMPs. During team meetings, the Director also reminds and encourages officers to continue to track performance in TRIO. Performance indicators are not regularly discussed at staff meetings. This should be included to engage officers more in the performance measurement process.

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

3.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

3.5.1 Consultations during the planning cycle should include programs within the mission, especially the HOM, the CE program and the FPDS program. Each TC should identify potential areas to leverage the HOM throughout the year.

3.5.2 The Director should hold an information session on performance indicator definitions.

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

3.5.4 The Director should review job descriptions and ensure that they are all up-to-date and appropriately reflect the work performed by staff, including additional work throughout the mission.

3.5.5 The Director should monitor the use of TRIO and should ensure the quality of the data entered in the system.

3.5.6 The Director should discuss performance indicators and results during the CE program meetings.

3.5.7 Documentation of hospitality diaries should be strengthened by providing a clear purpose for events, linking the events to 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 Strategia input was finalised in February 2014. Throughout the process, the CE program consulted with the HOM and the FPDS program to streamline planning. In particular, a final meeting with the HOM took place in early February to ensure alignment of planning. In addition, the CE program has included provincial offices in the planning cycle and they were in attendance at the CE program's planning retreat in December 2013. Implemented 2014.

3.5.2 Key performance indicators were discussed at a CE program meeting in January 2014. Work on establishing appropriate targets is ongoing and work is done to ensure the program is clear on the definitions and that data is entered in a consistent manner. Implemented January 2014.

3.5.3 Performance targets for FY 2013-14 were overly optimistic and have been adjusted down. Implemented April 2014.

3.5.4 Following the cut of the AAFC CBS position, job descriptions are being reviewed to ensure program priorities are effectively addressed and the work undertaken by staff is appropriate to their position level. In Progress for September 2014.

3.5.5 The Director is monitoring the use of TRIO on an ongoing basis and CE program has improved. In addition, a request has been made to include Deputy Directors on IBD Dashboard so they can also monitor use and improve data input. Implemented December 2013.

3.5.6 The Director discusses performance indicators and results at Section meetings. In addition, the Director offers best practices for all staff to ensure indicators reflect fully Government of Canada/DFATD/Mission/Program objectives. Implemented January 2014.

3.5.7 This is an ongoing effort and while CE program hospitality reports are much better than before, we are still working to improve. Staff have been instructed to keep hospitality reporting short and concise, linked to GoC/departmental/mission/program objectives demonstrating value for money. Implemented January 2014.

4 Consular

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The Management Consular Officer (MCO) has overall responsibility for the Consular program, but the Deputy Management Consular Officer (DMCO) manages its day-to-day operations. The DMCO is supported by an LE-07 Consular Program Officer, an LE-06 Consular Assistant, two LE-05 Passport Examiners and an LE-04 Consular Clerk. The program is very busy, particularly with respect to passport issuance and it ranked 5th in global issuance by Passport Canada.

4.1.2 At the time of the inspection, the MCO was absent from the mission on *** leave and the DMCO managed the program. Upon his return in October, the MCO will assume full responsibility for the program. Also in October, the DMCO position will be abolished.

4.1.3 Overall, the program is well resourced and delivering a high level of service to clients. Tasks are clearly defined, staff well-trained in their duties and the team works well together. Morale in the section is good; however, the *** have expressed *** that their positions are classified at the *** while *** in other missions, performing similar work, are classified at ***. All employees in the section voiced concern over the physical office layout, which is isolated from the rest of the mission, has no windows that would allow for natural light and is fairly cramped in comparison to other sections. Otherwise, the team gets along well and works efficiently to achieve common objectives.

4.1.4 The program's financial resources are provided below.

Consular program financial resources
Budget2013-2014
Travel$3,331
Hospitality3,728
Total$7,059

4.1.5 The mission provides approximately 5,500 passport services and processes approximately 800 citizenship applications and 800 notarial requests yearly. There are 972 Canadian citizens identified in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) database. The estimated number of Canadians residing in Taiwan is between 25,000 and 30,000. The mission estimates approximately 90% of clients are of Taiwanese origin and that 80% of adults qualify for the simplified renewal process, thus reducing the number of applications that must be approved by a CBS.

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. As noted under Mission Management, the MEP was revised in September 2013, but the document still has not been uploaded into the Consular Management and Operating System (COSMOS). Consular work is planned and prioritized through the Consular Business Plan, which was revised in August 2013. The mission maintains excellent relationships with local authorities and meets with counterparts at like-minded missions on a quarterly basis.

4.2.2 In advance of the departure of the DMCO, mission management redistributed some of the workload among other employees. The Consular Program Officer (CPO) has assumed greater responsibility in the planning process and in managing personnel issues within the program. Previously, the CPO would accompany the DMCO on prison visits and, in support of cross-training, would often arrange for passport examiners to participate. ***.

4.2.3 Consular program planning is effective and the organizational structure and back-up arrangements support program delivery. On the other hand, consular meetings tend to be infrequent and ad hoc in nature, most often to introduce a new directive. The mission could improve internal communications by holding meetings on a more regular basis. The lack of regular meetings was a concern shared by all consular employees.

4.3 Client Service

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

4.3.1 The program benefits from experienced and well trained consular staff who are able to deliver a range of high quality services well within established standards. Despite the deletion of the DMCO position, the consular team expressed confidence that there will be no serious effect on operations going forward. The MCO will now play a more significant role in consular management and will therefore engage the team on a more regular basis. Service standards are respected and exceed the global passport production standards of 20 business days.

4.3.2 The consular fee schedule is not posted in the lobby area or in any of the interview booths. There is a television monitor mounted on a lobby wall and this provides trilingual instructions on a range of services. The system refers to passport fees, but it does not provide advice on the full range of services offered, nor can the monitor be seen by all clients during peak periods when the waiting room is full. Passport photograph specifications were only posted in English inside of the interview booths.

4.3.3 While client feedback forms are available in each of the interview booths, clients are not offered a secure method of transmitting the completed form to the MCO who reviews comments and takes corrective action as necessary. The client gives the form to the receptionist who passes the form to the MCO. Privacy can 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 MCO 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..  
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 in this high-volume environment is efficient, with controls in place to safeguard revenues and passport supplies. Recent changes in passport policy now delegate authority to designated LES to forward adult passport applications directly to headquarters under the simplified renewal process. Designated CBS need only approve approximately 20% of all Passport Management Program (PMP) files entered by certified employees. The Deputy Director (Commercial/Economic) FS-02 who arrived in the summer of 2013 has been certified to approve PMP files in support of the MCO in performing this function.

4.4.2 Missions are instructed to retain passport applications up to a maximum of 60 days, prior to destruction, but the consular section is holding applications for upwards of 180 days. The mission could reduce the volume of dormant consular files and consider tasking the consular clerk to shred documents on a daily basis until the surplus has been reduced to acceptable levels.

4.4.3 As part of the inspection process, a physical count of passport inventory, related documents and supplies was conducted and reconciled with passport inventory control documents.***. A limited working inventory is provided, on request, ***.

4.4.4 ***. It should include a physical count of all of the appropriate passport-related assets and dry seals on the premises. Although the HOM conducts the reconciliation process on a quarterly basis, at present only the Consular program manager is certifying the monthly inventory report.

4.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

4.5.1 The MEP should be posted to COSMOS as soon as possible.

4.5.2 The MCO should continue to visit prisoners when a CAMANT Arrest/Detention case is opened. In routine cases, the consular officer (or in her absence the consular assistant) could visit the prisoner and update the case as necessary.

4.5.3 The MCO should schedule meetings with all consular employees on a monthly basis.

4.5.4 The fee schedules, passport instructions and any other advice directed at consular clients should be posted in the public area in both official languages.

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 Passport applications held beyond 60 days of receipt of passport should be destroyed.

4.5.7 ***.

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 MEP was posted in COSMOS at the time of the inspection. Since then, a revision has been approved and posted to COSMOS. Implemented December 2013.

4.5.2 The recommendation corresponds with the plan established by the mission to respond to operational changes resulting from the cut of the DMCO position. The MCO continues to visit prisoners when CAMANT cases are opened and as required by circumstances. Implemented October 2013.

4.5.3 The MCO meets with the consular team in an agenda driven team meeting every second week. The agenda is prepared by the Consular Officer in consultation with the MCO and is a recurring appointment in Outlook. Implemented November 2013.

4.5.4 A notice board that provides key information to consular clients has been installed in the reception area. Implemented November 2013.

4.5.5 A locked feedback box to be opened only by the MCO will be installed in the reception area for consular clients to anonymously submit completed forms. In Progress for May 2014.

4.5.6 Passport applications are destroyed within 14 days of receipt of the passport. Implemented November 2013.

4.5.7 ***. Implemented February 2014.

5 Common Services

5.1 Overview

5.1.1 The Common Services program is managed by an AS-06 MCO who is supported by an AS-04 DMCO and a team of 11 LES. At the time of the inspection, the MCO was away on *** leave. The DMCO has been assuming the role of program manager since June 2013 and has provided *** leadership and control to the program. For the purpose of this report the DMCO, who was acting MCO at the time of the visit, will be referred to as the MCO.

5.1.2 In addition to her regular duties managing the day-to-day operations of the Physical Resources function and Consular program, the DMCO has assumed responsibility for the Human Resources function, the Finance and IM-IT sections, and also is the Mission Security Officer.

5.1.3 The DMCO position will be eliminated from the mission establishment effective in early October 2013. A plan to redistribute associated duties of this position is in place and involves other CBS officers assuming roles and responsibilities such as DMSO duties, passport signing and approvals, communications roles, etc.

5.1.4 The program is responsible for providing common services to 45 employees spread over four DFATD and three partner programs, CBSA and provincial representatives for Quebec and Alberta.

5.1.5 Morale within the program is considered to be low following the many position cuts that have recently taken place at the mission. Although it is improving, there is a lingering uncertainty regarding any future staff cuts and this serves to exacerbate the situation.

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  

5.1.6 A Common Service Business Plan is in place and is intended to be used to feed into individual section workplans. Common service policies and procedures are placed in InfoBank although some have not been updated in several years.

5.1.7 Internal communications within the program are generally good. Meetings are held on a regular basis between the MCO and program supervisors. All staff have the opportunity to add items/issues to the agenda but no records of decisions are maintained. Periodic meetings should be scheduled to further facilitate good communication between other members of the program and 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/A 

5.1.8 Overall, the program is providing a good level of service to its clients throughout the mission.

5.1.9 Service standards were last updated in February 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 posted and available to all staff in InfoBank.

5.1.10 The mission does not have a formal client service feedback mechanism in place although staff were given the opportunity to provide feedback when the International Platform Branch survey was distributed in May 2013. Clients should be given the opportunity to provide feedback for specific services received from all sections as this would provide the program with an opportunity to immediately assess performance and to consider potential changes required in service delivery.

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  

5.1.11 In general, contracting and procurement processes are consistent and effective.

5.1.12 The mission has an active Contract Review Board (CRB) in place and contracting files are well organized. The CRB uses a grid system for evaluation of all bids, as well as an evaluation summary. The CRB reviews all contracts with a value of $5k or larger and the HOM approves all the vetted contracts. The mission is also participating in a regional CRB as a test mission. Depending on the extent of the mission's involvement, this could increase staff workload within the program and should be monitored.

5.1.13 Staff responsible for procurement activities is guided by CMM-approved guidelines which is revised on an annual basis. The Chair of the CRB distributes the document to all mission staff twice per year.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.1.14 Policies and procedures should be reviewed and updated on an annual basis or more frequently if required.

5.1.15 The MCO should arrange to meet periodically with program staff who are supervised by a member of the LES.

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

5.1.17 The mission should implement a formal client feedback mechanism.

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 A mission policy template is in development. All mission policies have been reviewed and have been prioritized for revision. All mission policies will be revised and approved by CMM during fiscal year 2014/15. In Progress for March 2015.

5.1.15 The MCO met with all common services employees individually in October and November 2013. One-on-one meetings will take place twice per year, in June/July and December/January in order to integrate the meeting schedule with the performance management cycle. Implemented November 2013.

5.1.16 The mission's service standards were reviewed following the inspection. CMM has subsequently reviewed and approved the standards this fiscal year. Implemented April 2014.

5.1.17 A client feedback mechanism will be implemented. The MCO will seek information about feedback processes at other missions and propose a mechanism to CMM for approval. 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-07 Office and Personnel Manager. The mission initiated a review of all LES job descriptions in 2012 and at the time of the inspection most had been completed.

5.2.2 The Office and Personnel Manager has been designated as the mission training coordinator. An active training committee is in place and a training plan and budget has been developed. Group training is pursued whenever possible to take advantage of the limited funding available.

5.2.3 The Locally Engaged Staff Management Consultative Board (LESMCB) meets on a quarterly basis with both the HOM and MCO in attendance for all meetings. Comprehensive meeting minutes are maintained and LES consider management a good partner in this forum.

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 

5.2.4 The mission has recently developed an HR strategy paper that can be used as a framework for future recruitment, retention of current staff and staff development needs. The mission has developed arrival and departure checklists for CBS as well as a checklist for newly hired LES.

5.2.5 Position files require organization as related documents are filed with competition documents and other non-related data. These files should also be prominently numbered for ease of reference***. These should be retained by the MCO and placed in a separate file.

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  

5.2.6 Overall, HR processes and internal controls were found to be in place. Staffing actions and recruitment processes follow the ALD guidelines/checklist; however, it is suggested that this checklist be attached to all files to ensure continuity and transparency for all staffing actions.

5.2.7 Leave and attendance data is monitored and tracked using an excel spreadsheet and regular updates are provided to staff and program managers.

5.2.8 Performance Management Plans (PMPs) are in place for all staff within the mission with the exception of provincial representatives and their assistants. The Office and Personnel Manager has been provided with administrator access and provides management with updates as required.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.2.9 The MCO should ensure staff position files are clearly identified and that only relevant data is maintained in these files.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

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

5.2.9 The mission was in the process of reviewing human resources and security files at the time of the inspection. The human resources files are now clearly identified and contain relevant information (according to the personnel and position file checklists)***. Implemented January 2014.

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The physical resources functions at the mission fall under the responsibility of the MCO. However, the Deputy MCO (DMCO) has been managing day-to-day operations. The DMCO is assisted by an LE-07 Property & Materiel Manager, and an LE-04 Property Clerk. The mission also has three drivers who are supervised by the LE-07 Office & Personnel Manager. The DMCO position will be abolished in October 2013 at which time the MCO will assume management of the property section.

5.3.2 The section manages 9 Crown-leased properties including a Chancery, Official Residence (OR) and 7 staff quarters (SQ). There are three vehicles in the official fleet. Since August 2010, the Chancery has been located on the entire sixth floor, and part of the fifth floor in a multi-tenant office building. The layout of the office has been designed using PWGSC standards of Workplace 1.0 based on an open office concept.

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 program is *** managed. All properties are well maintained and occupants are generally satisfied with their SQs. Following the closure of the CIC program in the spring of 2011, the space occupied by the mission on the fifth floor space was reduced to about one quarter of the floor. This space on the fifth floor has workspace for the CBSA program (two employees), a lunch room, an IT demarcation point, spare workstations and is used to store files and equipment such as pack-up kits. The Property Strategy Section (ARAK) advises that when CIC moved out it was not possible to accommodate the entire mission on the sixth floor. Since that time, however, the DMCO and one LE-06 accountant were cut ***. Considering this, there may be an opportunity *** to accommodate all mission programs.

5.3.4 During the inspection, consular employees expressed disappointment that their section is closed off from the rest of the mission, is cramped and has no windows. As noted above, the mission and ARAK should review any surplus space available on the 6th floor with a view to modifying the consular section to allow for natural light in the consular workplace.

5.3.5 In 2009, the Official Residence (OR) was relocated to a prestigious apartment complex constructed in 2005, which is considered to be one of the most advanced buildings in Taipei.***. Although the lease identifies the gross area of the OR to be approximately 700sqm, actual useable space measures approximately 400sqm. ARAK advises that the method to quantify space for ORs will be reviewed on a global basis prior to assigning the specific size to be used for the OR right-sizing project.

5.3.6 The Property Manager was hired in May 2013***, some formal training providing departmental context would be useful.

5.3.7 The Mission Property Management Plan (MPMP) is up to date. The Regional Maintenance Officer (RMO) visited the mission in July 2013 to conduct a maintenance inspection of the chancery and identified life-cycle and maintenance projects to be included in the Asset and Life Cycle Management section (ARAF) work-plan.

5.3.8 The DMCO 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 in good neighbourhoods. This may be a challenge during the summer 2014 relocation season.

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, internal controls were found to be effective. Staff quarters are inspected on a regular basis, occupancy agreements and distribution accounts have been signed by current occupants.

5.3.10 The mission organizes auctions on a regular basis and the disposal of surplus assets is conducted in an efficient manner and is consistent with departmental policies and procedures.

5.3.11 The mission is storing surplus furniture***. These items are required from time to time to help furnish leased accommodation on a short-term basis for Foreign Language Training students arriving from Canada on short notice. All assets are properly inventoried and controlled.

5.3.12 Vehicle logs and fuel purchases are prepared by the Office and Personnel Manager and then verified by the DMCO against mileage and usage rates for vehicles. There is also a process in place to monitor personal usage by the HOM to calculate the associated taxable benefit as per the Mission Fleet Management Guidelines.

5.3.13 The Mission Housing Committee was appointed by the HOM in August 2013 and the Terms of Reference were circulated to all members.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.3.14 The mission should work with Property Strategy section (ARAK) to consider options that would improve the physical premises of the consular section by modifying the existing space to allow for natural light.

5.3.15 A training plan should be developed for the Property Manager and include property management training provided by the Canadian Foreign Service Institute.

5.3.16 The MCO should review rent ceilings and when necessary seek support from the Regional Service Centre or the Portfolio Manager in ARAK when suitable staff quarters cannot be found that are within established rent ceilings.

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 mission has requested that ARAK include a project to address property issues in the Consular program in the Mission Maintenance Workplan for fiscal year 2015-16. As well, the mission has sought and received proposals and quotes for this project from a local firm. Implemented February 2014.

5.3.15 A training plan was established for the Property Manager when she was hired in May 2013. Since then, CFSI launched a new two-phased LES Property Management Training program that includes online training as well as training in Ottawa. The Property Manager has completed phase one and half of phase two of the new training program and is scheduled to attend the training session in Ottawa this June to complete the course. In Progress for June 2014.

5.3.16 The MCO reviews rent ceilings on a semi-annual basis and did so most recently in November 2013. The mission has kept the RSCEMA, ARAK, AFO and GPC advised of the local housing market and the related challenges of finding appropriate housing for some family configurations under the established rent ceilings. The mission also prepared and updated a report to outline key aspects on the housing market with relation to the implementation of staff quarter rent ceilings. Implemented November 2013

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 The Finance section is managed on a day to day basis by the LE-07 Accountant who is assisted by an LE-05 Assistant Accountant. The MCO is closely involved with financial operations and provides necessary direction as required. The Accountant maintains a workplan that guides operations and a clear division of duties is available to ensure an efficient work environment.

5.4.2 ***. Finance staff are aware of this and are still performing at a high level although the pending changes are nevertheless on their minds.

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 Overall, the Finance section functions well and is providing a good quality of service to its clients. One area that requires attention involves *** document input into IMS. One member of the staff is *** entering the transactions into IMS, which are duties that should be segregated.

5.4.4 Quiet hours for the section are not posted***. All staff should be advised that this is a restricted area and access should be closely controlled.

5.4.5 The mission has *** acquisition cards in use although *** are used only for emergency purposes. The other *** cards are routinely used by the property section staff. The mission also uses electronic funds transfers (EFTs) as a method of payment, which accounts for approximately 75% of all payments facilitated.

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  

5.4.6 Key processes and controls are in place although some minor adjustments are required.

5.4.7 The asset and liability accounts report is not being reviewed on a monthly basis. This should be reviewed by the MCO and an attestation contained with the monthly accounts.

5.4.8 The bank statement is sent to the mission in the name of the Accountant, although the Accountant advised that she hands the statement directly to the MCO upon receipt. The bank statement should be addressed to and received by the MCO.

5.4.9 The Mission Online Payment Services is used by the Consular program to process fees; however, due to high administration charges imposed by credit card companies and banks (between 2 and 4% per transaction), *** is facilitated through this process. ***.

5.4.10 A system is in place to ensure that personal use of items purchased for the OR is appropriately reimbursed. The HOM purchases all supplies and items and is then reimbursed by the mission for a percentage of these costs. The HOM has also chosen to use the taxable benefit option for any personal use of the official vehicle and driver for trips to/from the OR/Chancery. Mileage data is being collected and will be provided to Headquarters on an annual basis for determination of the taxable benefit in accordance with the Fleet Management Guidelines.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.11 The MCO should ensure that a proper segregation of duties is in place for *** IMS document entry.

5.4.12 The MCO should establish and enforce specific hours for finance clients and post these on the door of the section.

5.4.13 ***.

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

5.4.15 Bank statements sent to the mission should be addressed to the MCO.

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 The MCO has ensured that duties related to *** IMS document entry are appropriately segregated. Implemented November 2013.

5.4.12 Limited hours of operation have been established for the Finance section. These hours have been communicated to clients, posted in the office and are enforced. Implemented November 2013.

5.4.13 ***. Implemented November 2013.

5.4.14 The MCO reviews the asset and liability report on a monthly basis. Implemented November 2013.

5.4.15 Mission bank statements are addressed to the MCO by name. Implemented November 2013.

5.5 Information Management - Information Technology (IM-IT)

5.5.1 The IM-IT section is managed by the MCO who is supported by an LE-08 and an LE-07 Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional (LEITP) who provide day to day client services. The section is further supported by the Foreign Service Information Technology Professional (FSITP) based in Seoul who is scheduled to visit the mission twice annually. The LEITPs participate in a *** regional *** chaired by the Client Service Regional Manager (CSRM) located in Singapore. The section provides service to 45 clients throughout the mission.

Management

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

5.5.2 The section has established a good division of duties between the LEITPs. As well, the LEITPs can each provide support to one another when required.

5.5.3 The section has a workplan in place that outlines all activities and initiatives that will be undertaken throughout the year. Staff performance management plans are prepared based on objectives cascading from the workplan.

5.5.4 Service requests are received and processed using the Remedy Ticketing System. Tickets are closed once services have been provided.

5.5.5 The mission does not have an IM-IT Committee in place although there used to be an active committee a few years ago. Once established, a terms of reference document should be developed to guide the committee

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 in place. ***.

5.5.7 The section has developed an on-loan-to-staff sign out sheet for items such as satellite phones, cellular phones, laptops, portable storage drives, etc. All staff must acknowledge and sign this agreement prior to being issued equipment.

5.5.8 ***.

5.5.9 ***.

5.5.10 InfoBank is used by all staff as an information management tool.

Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

5.5.11 The mission should form an IM-IT Committee.

5.5.12 The mission should identify a location to *** should be stored appropriately in it.

5.5.13 The mission should identify ***.

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 Responsibilities for IM-IT have been included in the Terms of Reference of the Communications Committee, which were approved by CMM. Implemented March 2014.

5.5.12 An alternative location *** is now stored there. Implemented February 2014.

5.5.13 The mission is working with***. In Progress for September 2014.

Appendix A: Mission Resources Fact Sheet

Physical Resources
AssetsCrown-OwnedCrown-LeasedPrivate-Lease
Chancery 1 
Official Residence 1 
Staff Quarters 7 
Vehicles3  
Financial Information 2012/2013
BudgetProgramCommon Services
Operating130,000232,906
Capital094,000
CBS Salaries770,530120,804
CBS Overtime16,0005,000
LES Salaries838,365645,483
LES Overtime23,64621,080
Total1,778,5411,119,273
Human Resources (FTEs)
ProgramTotalCBSLES
Head of Mission413
FPDS523
CE1138
Consular5.50.55
Common Services12.51.511
CBSA211
Alberta2 2
Quebec2 2
AAFC Canada1 1
Total45936

Appendix B: Frequently Used Acronyms

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