Inspection of the Embassy of Canada - Copenhagen, Denmark

March 11-14, 2014

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 audit/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 Copenhagen, Denmark from March 11 to 14, 2014. A previous inspection of these programs took place in 2003.

The embassy is a small mission with 3 Canada-based Staff (CBS) and 11 locally engaged staff (LES). It is responsible for program delivery in the Kingdom of Denmark. The priorities of the mission are centered on the promotion and advocacy of Canada’s political and economic interests in the kingdom, such as public affairs, international trade and investment.

The leadership of the Head of Mission (HOM) has contributed *** to improving the mission’s operations and working environment. The HOM arrived in the summer of 2012, while an internal investigation was underway. During his tenure, he has invested significant time and energy in working with all staff to identify and address challenges and to build a healthy and productive work atmosphere. Morale at the mission remains sensitive but has improved. Continued efforts are encouraged on this front.

The FPDS program is effectively delivering on its commitments but could benefit from enhanced communication within the program and with external stakeholders. Timely and relevant reporting is conducted but the program may not be reaching a wide enough audience. Steps should be taken to utilize tools and resources to ensure broad dissemination of key messages. Additionally, internal communications on planning and on roles and responsibilities would benefit from attention.

The CE program has been affected by position cuts and has taken important steps to adjust its strategy to fit the current smaller program size. Despite these strategic realignments, service requests remain at a high level and although staff is fulfilling requests, this pace is likely not sustainable. Recommendations have been made to further narrow the scope of work within the program to ensure balanced workloads while continuing the delivery of quality services to clients.

The Common Services program is managed by a Mission Administrative Officer (MAO). The Committee on Mission Management (CMM) has been overseeing many aspects of the program’s operations. It is important that there be balance between consultation and other program managers***. Financial management has been a major focus in recent years and will continue to be until the quality of the mission’s financial management is up to standard.

A total of 47 recommendations are raised in the report: 46 are addressed to the mission and 1 is addressed to the Regional Service Centre for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (RSCEMA). 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 32 have been implemented.

1 Mission Management

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, is a small mission with 3 CBS and 11 LES. It is responsible for departmental program delivery in the Kingdom of Denmark. There are no partner departments or agencies co-located in the mission. An Honorary Consul (HonCon) provides limited services in Nuuk, Greenland.

1.1.2 The mission is managed by an EX-01 HOM who is responsible for overall operations and oversees an operational budget of $149,000, as reported by the mission. The mission also manages a property portfolio that includes a Crown-owned chancery, a Crown-owned official residence (OR) as well as two Crown-owned staff quarters (SQs). One CBS is housed under the private-lease model.

1.1.3 Canada and Denmark have strong bilateral relations. The two countries promote democracy and respect for human rights as foreign policy priorities as well as contribute to economic prosperity, effective global governance and international security. As a Nordic country that is a member of both NATO and the EU, Denmark is an important and natural partner for Canada. It is also considered to be a sophisticated trade-oriented country, which is linked to its support of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Historic ties between Canada’s northern territories and Greenland facilitate cultural and educational cooperation, as well as common interests in economic development and trade.

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 Over the past few years, the mission has focused on adapting to personnel and resource changes, improving controls and oversight, and implementing new policies, procedures and standards for the delivery of services. Morale at the mission is sensitive but is reported to have improved from a low point approximately two years ago, when positions were deleted in the mission and a departmental investigation was launched following public accusations of misconduct.

1.2.2 Overall, the mission is *** managed. The HOM arrived in the summer of 2012, while the internal investigation was still taking place. Over the course of his term, he has invested significant time and energy in working with all staff to identify and address challenges while also attempting to rebuild a common sense of purpose within the team. Headquarters has also been engaged in this effort; a team from the Values and Ethics and Workplace Wellbeing Division (ZVE) visited the mission in March 2013 to provide support and assistance to employees and to guide the mission in its pursuit to ensure a healthy and productive work atmosphere.

1.2.3 Discussions with mission staff reveal that sensitivities linger from this difficult period and may have carryover effects in terms of the overall sense of team and the ability of some individuals to absorb stress and focus on the future. Some interpersonal conflict has also developed among employees, which may be related. Nonetheless, the general goodwill of staff and the measures already taken to build morale are a solid foundation on which to build. The mission should continue its efforts to contribute to a healthy work place and ensure that management practices support these efforts, as well as seek to prevent and address conflict when it arises.

1.2.4 Staff members feel that the current management team is generally united, and the programs have maintained a positive client-service orientation. The HOM has developed a *** external presence even though internal management has been the prime area of focus at times. Overall, the mission’s strategic objectives align with departmental and governmental priorities and sufficiently guide performance measurement.

1.2.5 There are some good communication practices in place. For example, the mission recently held a retreat that focussed on team building and involved all staff in refining the overall mission statement. The HOM also conducts individual and group meetings with program managers on a weekly basis and a monthly all-staff meeting, where all have an opportunity to share and discuss their activities. At times, these meetings have also been used for thematic presentations on security, information management, official languages, and values and ethics.

1.2.6 Some areas for improvement on communications were also noted. A number of LES feel that neither the CMM minutes nor the discussions at program meetings sufficiently communicate the rationale behind decisions that are taken at that body. This should be remedied to enhance transparency and the overall consistency of information.

1.2.7 The mission’s governance structure is appropriate for a small mission. Its principal governance needs are overseen by the CMM, which also acts as a security committee, when required. The mission also has a Contract Review Board (CRB), but it is rarely required to meet. Other working groups are established to discuss mission-specific issues, such as the use of common spaces.

1.2.8 The HOM chairs a weekly program managers’ meeting that is complemented by a monthly CMM. Discussions take place on emerging priorities, mission-management issues and policies. In general, management meetings are viewed as useful forums for the exchange of information on priorities and activities. However, there was feedback that some discussions on common services policies have been repetitive. There is also a risk that the CMM may assume too much control over the delivery of certain elements of the Common Services program. Whereas management consultations are valuable ahead of decision making, managers should be empowered to direct their own programs and take responsibility for the results.

1.2.9 The LES Management Consultation Board (LESMCB) serves as a useful forum for dialogue with management on subjects of importance to LES. The HOM is considered to be open to feedback and helpful in addressing questions and concerns. However, two challenges hinder the LESMCB’s effectiveness: first, not all LES fully understand the board’s mandate or the subjects that should be discussed; second, there has been limited interest among the LES to serve on the board. As a result, the quarterly board meetings have only involved one LES representative and the HOM. Consideration could be given to including the incoming and outgoing LES representatives, who are already identified, in the meetings. Doing so would enhance communication, reinforce effective hand-over and bring better balance to the board.

1.2.10 The mission promotes and reinforces public service values and ethics. It was communicated that the HOM discussed values and ethics with each staff member on an individual basis. As well, it was reported that all employees have completed the mandatory online training on the department’s values and ethics code. No values and ethics concerns were conveyed to the inspection team.

1.3 Whole of Government

Evaluation of Whole-of-Government
Key Whole-of-Government CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Mechanisms are in place to ensure a whole-of-government approach is taken for mission and program planning. X 
Mission and program plans are implemented in a coordinated manner to ensure policy coherence and effectively leverage the Canadian presence. X 
Partner departments contribute to the overall effective governance of the mission and its operations.N/AN/AN/A
Common services are provided in line with the memorandum of understanding and any issues are addressed at CMM.N/AN/AN/A

1.3.1 Overall, the mission works well with neighbouring Canadian missions, but could do more to institute internal collaboration among its programs. The FPDS and CE programs have not, to date, worked together during key planning phases to develop objectives that would advance Canadian interests from a whole-of-government perspective. The managers recognize the value in working together and indicated that earlier collaboration in planning processes would generate more meaningful results. Considering that two of the mission’s key focal points, the Arctic and trade agreements, have significant crossover between the FPDS and CE programs, there is a good foundation on which to build dialogue to identify common interests.

1.3.2 The HOM plays a role in fostering program integration at mission meetings, which helps create a positive orientation toward cooperation. Program managers exchange information openly, but there are no formal practices in place to facilitate sharing and collaboration at the working level. Regular contact, such as monthly meetings, would enhance opportunities to take advantage of synergies across all programs. The HOM is encouraged to continue the recently initiated practice of occasionally attending program meetings to foster further integration.

1.3.3 There are no partner departments or agencies present at the mission.

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 has taken some important steps to prepare for an emergency scenario, ***. Management is aware of the importance of emergency preparedness, and good consultation occurs on the subject with key partners.

1.4.2 The mission emergency plan (MEP) was updated recently and an emergency response team (ERT) is identified within it. ***.

1.4.3 ***.

1.5 Official Languages

Evaluation of Official Languages
Key Official Languages CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The Official Languages Act is respected and promoted by mission management.X  
Mission signage is provided in both English and French and a bilingual Official Languages Co-ordinator has been appointed.X  
The mission has sufficient capacity to communicate with and provide services to the public, both orally and in writing, in both official languages.X  

1.5.1 The mission meets all criteria with respect to official languages. Efforts are made to promote the use of both English and French, and an official languages coordinator has been appointed. All LES are already fluent in English, and French language training has been made available for LES to further improve their linguistic skills. The mission has sufficient capacity to provide services to clients in the official language of their choice and signage directed at the public, although limited, is bilingual. The mission is, however, reminded to post key internal documents, such as emergency egress procedures, in a bilingual format.

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.N/AN/AN/A
Mission hospitality guidelines are appropriate and reviewed annually by CMM.X  
Hospitality activities are properly documented, demonstrate value-for-money and align with mission objectives.X  
Mechanisms are in place to monitor the completion of employees’ performance evaluations.X  
A coordinated approach is taken with regards to training and a budget has been established.X  
The quarterly reconciliation of passport inventory is properly completed and certified.X  
The Honorary Consul (HonCon) has an up-to-date mandate letter and performance is reviewed annually. X 

1.6.1 Overall, most key management controls are in place and working well. The HOM places importance on following policies and procedures and this is mirrored by the program managers. Some minor observations were provided to guide the mission, but the only key management control that required a formal recommendation was related to the Honorary Consul (HonCon). The incumbent does not have an up-to-date mandate letter and his performance is not formally reviewed on an annual basis. Considering that the mission has initiated procedures to search for a new HonCon, ***.

1.7 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

1.7.1 As part of its efforts to continue to build a healthy and productive workplace, the mission should:

1.7.2 Mission management should develop and implement a plan to increase transparency and communication related to management meetings and the CMM.

1.7.3 The mission should review and adhere to the Locally Engaged Staff Bureau’s guiding documents on the LESMCB, including the terms of reference. The following actions are recommended to improve the utility and efficacy of the LESMCB:

1.7.4The FPDS and CE programs should hold a joint planning exercise to share strategic objectives, discuss opportunities to work together and ensure cross-program initiatives are coherent.

1.7.5 Strategies should be implemented to enhance the coordination of program delivery across the mission.

1.7.6 ***.

1.7.7 ***.

1.7.8 ***.

1.7.9 The performance of the HonCon should be formally reviewed on an annual basis. The mandate letter should also be revisited to ensure it is up to date and expectations are clear.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

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

1.7.1 Mission management, in cooperation with ZVE, will be holding a series of workshops in the fall for all staff to explore conflict management and other topics, as identified by staff, management and trainers. In progress for December 2014.

1.7.2 The mission began including more details in CMM minutes in April 2014. CMM and management decisions are reviewed and discussed at program meetings and at monthly all-staff meetings, where 'Decisions and Discussions' are now listed as a permanent agenda item. Implemented April 2014.

1.7.3 The members of the LESMCB were provided with feedback from the inspection team and LES were invited to review the board's mandate and terms of reference. Discussions will take place to identify a new LES representative when a member completes his or her term. All three LES members of the LESMCB are now attending the quarterly LESMCB meetings. Implemented April 2014.

1.7.4 The CE and FPDS programs held a joint planning meeting to discuss shared strategic objectives for this fiscal year. The teams will meet again in advance of the submission of Strategia plans for the next fiscal year. Implemented May 2014.

1.7.5 The mission's FPDS and CE programs have implemented joint meetings to discuss common objectives, collaboration opportunities and upcoming events. These meetings have been helpful in promoting increased collaboration between the programs. Additionally, the FPDS program manager and STC meet with HOM on a bi-weekly basis and upcoming events are shared at monthly all-staff meetings. Implemented May 2014.

1.7.6 ***. In progress for October 2014.

1.7.7 ***. In progress for November 2014.

1.7.8 With the planned sale of the former OR and the move of the HOM to an SQ, ***. In progress for September 2014.

1.7.9 An informal review of the HonCon's performance has been carried out at the end of every fiscal year through discussion among the HOM, FPDS Consular Manager and the Consular Officer. ***. Once one is identified, the mission will ensure that the mandate letter is up to date, expectations are clear and that a formal review process is in place. In progress for September 2015.

2 Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service (FPDS)

2.1 Overview

2.1.1 The FPDS program is managed by an FS-03 Program Manager (PM), who also oversees the Consular program and serves as the Mission Security Officer (MSO). He is supported in the FPDS program by an LE-08 FPDS Officer and an LE-05 FPDS Assistant. The program’s financial resources, as reported by the mission, are provided below.

Financial resources
Post Initiative Fund$3,200

2.1.2 The program has established three high-level priorities for fiscal year 2014-2015: the Arctic; advocacy related to the CETA; and the strengthening of bilateral relations with Denmark. Additionally, the program plans to explore Denmark’s experience in managing foreign affairs, trade and development under one ministry. It also hopes to coordinate a visit by Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom for a human rights event.

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 Over the past year, the program has undergone significant change. The current program manager arrived at the post in the summer of 2013. Shortly before his arrival, a new officer filled the LE-08 FPDS Officer position, which previously had been vacant for about six months. Despite the turnover of these two key positions, the program continues to effectively deliver on its commitments and objectives have been established for fiscal year 2014-15. Attention should now shift to communicating how the team will advance those objectives, as well as identifying the intended outcomes of activities and other means to track and measure progress.

2.2.2 The program manager’s leadership style is generally viewed *** by his team. ***.

2.2.3 The strategic objectives developed by the program manager align with departmental priorities and flow from objectives set at the bureau level. However, no formal planning exercise was conducted, and LES do not have a clear sense of how the program will pursue its objectives or measure its successes. The program manager is encouraged to discuss the program’s desired outcomes and to work with the team to connect the high-level objectives to day-to-day operations and activities. It will be important to ensure that objectives will have results that can be measured.

2.2.4 All members of the program agreed that internal communications on roles and responsibilities require improvement. For example, *** is not confident that the job description on file is representative of *** daily work. As well, ***, does not fully understand each team member’s responsibilities. This lack of clarity could potentially lead to misunderstandings and should be addressed. Until all members of the program clearly understand each other’s roles, consideration could be given to reinforcing tasking with written messages that assign responsibilities to individuals.

2.2.5 The program meets formally on a weekly basis. The focus of meetings is on operations and exchanges typically focus on short-term priorities and activities for the week. The team reported that meetings are fruitful, structured and take an appropriate amount of time. The topics addressed are communicated well. As noted under the Mission Management section of this report, these meeting should also convey the rationale behind decisions taken at the CMM.

2.3 Implementation

Evaluation of FPDS Implementation
Key FPDS Implementation CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
The program facilitates a mission-wide coordinated approach to advocacy and common messaging. X 
Program reporting is in line with mission and government objectives, timely and relevant.X  
Activities and initiatives are aligned with the mission’s key priorities and with 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 program’s activities are consistent with the mission’s priorities and the program’s plans and objectives: outcalls are undertaken to build key networks; representatives attend events related to program priorities; demarches are delivered to reinforce Denmark’s understanding of Canadian priorities and positions; and public affairs activities reinforce Canada’s positions on Arctic issues. The LE-08 also monitors the media on an ongoing basis and briefs the HOM and the FPDS and CE program managers on key developments.

2.3.2 The program has positive working relationships across the mission, but there is no advocacy plan or common messaging on Canadian interests. In its planning input for fiscal year 2014-15, an advocacy strategy is identified as a tool ***. This is a good approach. In addition, the plan should also address the priorities of other programs and facilitate the development of shared messaging that could be used to advance a range of Canadian interests with key interlocutors.

2.3.3 The program’s reporting is generally considered to be timely and relevant. Messages are actively disseminated to key interlocutors, but no reporting has been posted to the department’s “My International” site. As a result, the program may not be reaching as wide an audience as possible. Also, the program’s external communications are limited. At present, the mission is not leveraging social media tools and key sections of its website were last revised in 2012 and include trade statistics from 2011.

2.3.4 The program reported that it is rebuilding its contact base because the previous version was lost due to a technical problem. Work is underway to identify the most pertinent contacts based on the program’s priorities and discussions are taking place to determine a format to effectively share contacts among mission programs.

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’s current approach to performance measurement is largely informal. Some discussion occurs around performance, but there is no formal performance measurement system currently in place. Team discussions in this area have emphasized the delivery of activities as opposed to the assessment of performance against strategic objectives.

2.4.2 For fiscal year 2014-15, the program has identified performance indicators as part of its input into Strategia. While positive, the chosen indicators may be challenging to track and evaluate (e.g. an awareness or understanding of Canadian positions). Adjustments may be required following discussion within the team to establish more measurable strategic objectives.

2.4.3 The program effectively leverages Performance Management Programs (PMPs) to connect individual goals to broader program objectives. Discussions that take place with staff regarding their performance and the feedback provided are generally appreciated.

2.4.4 The program is not effectively communicating its advocacy results. Its use of the Mission Advocacy Activity Tracker (MAAT) has declined from 13 reports in fiscal year 2012-13 to only 1 in fiscal year 2013-14. The use of the MAAT is encouraged for all meaningful advocacy activities and required for those that involve the use of funds.

2.4.5 Hospitality activities align with priorities and the related documentation is completed as required. In particular, the sampling of hospitality reporting undertaken by the previous FPDS program manager was quite clear and could be a good reference for the future.

2.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

2.5.1 The program should hold a planning exercise to discuss its strategic objectives, their relation to program initiatives and activities, and how outcomes can be measured and evaluated.

2.5.2 Roles and responsibilities of all members of the program, including the program manager, should be clarified and communicated to the team.

2.5.3 The program should develop a whole-of-government advocacy strategy early in the fiscal year.

2.5.4 The program should review its strategies for communicating messages to key stakeholders (e.g. the use of “My International” and social media tools).

2.5.5 The program should identify an appropriate solution for its contact database and ensure that it is rebuilt over the course of the fiscal year.

2.5.6 The program should formalize a system to evaluate and effectively track its progress on strategic objectives, including performance indicators linked to objectives.

2.5.7 Guidelines, including the mandatory reporting of advocacy activities that leverage funds, should be established by the program to determine when it will report on activities through the MAAT.

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 A planning exercise to discuss strategic objectives and program activities took place in March 2014. The next planning meeting will take place in January in advance of preparing the Strategia input for fiscal year 2015-16. Implemented March 2014.

2.5.2 Roles and responsibilities of all program members were clarified and communicated to the team members. Implemented March 2014.

2.5.3 Work on a whole-of-government advocacy strategy has begun and the strategy will be complete by December. In progress for December 2014.

2.5.4 The FPDS program now has a policy to post all relevant reports to My International. Implemented March 2014.

2.5.5 Work on reviewing and reorganising the contact database has begun. In progress for December 2014.

2.5.6 Performance indicators and a system for tracking progress will be included in the whole-of-government advocacy strategy that is currently under development. In progress for December 2014.

2.5.7 The program's policy is now to report on advocacy activities through the MAAT immediately after the completion of the activity rather than the end of the fiscal year, as was done in for fiscal year 2013-14. Implemented March 2014.

3 Commercial Economic (CE)

3.1 Overview

3.1.1 The CE program is managed by a FS-03 Senior Trade Commissioner (STC) who is supported by one LE-09 Trade Commissioner (TC) and one LE-05 Trade Commissioner Assistant (TCA). The program’s financial resources, as reported by the mission, are provided below.

Financial resources
Client Service Fund (CSF)$11,345

3.1.2 Following the deletion of one LE-09 and one LE-07 TC positions, strategic refinements were made within the program to ensure ongoing coverage in a country that is both a key export market and a leading investor in Canada. In 2012, exports to Denmark totalled $333 million and foreign direct investment (FDI) into Canada reached $575 million. ***.

3.1.3 The mission is an active participant in the Nordic Trade Network. In recent years, the commercial sections in the Nordics – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – have looked for ways to brand themselves and work more effectively together; the result has been the development of this formal network. Since its inception, planning among the missions has become a coordinated endeavour and information-sharing has improved. To date, the network has not had a significant impact on the day-to-day operations of the CE program in Copenhagen, but it has enhanced the already strong relationships with neighbouring missions that have been in place for many years.

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 has done well to set priorities in a strategic manner and works well to implement its planning commitments. The Commercial Economic program plan (CEP plan) is aligned with departmental and Government of Canada priorities. The same is true for the 2014-15 plan outlined in Strategia.

3.2.2 Staff have expressed that there are strong working relationships among members of the program. The small team is *** works *** together to *** carry out activities outlined in the CEP plan. The STC, who has been at the mission since 2011, is viewed by the team *** manager who provides *** direction to facilitate the delivery of objectives.

3.2.3 The program has taken important steps to adjust their strategy to fit the current, smaller program size. Following the reduction in resources, the team narrowed their focus to two priority sectors – Life Sciences and Information Communication Technology – in line with opportunities in the market. Also of note is the fact that the program is participating in key trade shows on an alternating biennial basis. Attending large trade events every other year enables the program to save money and ensure fulsome event coverage. They are also working with other Nordic missions (notably the mission in Stockholm) to reciprocally share trade leads and information from trade shows. These are good practices.

3.2.4 Despite the above actions, the team is still working beyond capacity due to a significant influx of service requests. Headquarters has noted the program’s high performance in service delivery, which per officer is nearly 50% higher than other European missions. Although remarkable, given the size of the team, this pace is likely not sustainable. As such, the program has room to further adjust their strategy to ensure sufficient coverage of priorities without overextending individuals. Consideration could be given to forgoing activities for non-priority sectors or even narrowing the focus to one priority sector.

3.2.5 Significant effort and coordination is put into planning. The mission initiated their work on the 2014-15 strategy early in the third quarter. Together the team evaluated the direction of their activities from the previous year and defined areas of focus for the coming year. Officers consulted with Multi-Country Sector Teams (MCSTs), Regional Offices and Headquarters regarding specific initiatives. Draft plans were then shared at the Nordic Trade Network STC meeting in November with a view to foster collaboration.

3.2.6 Performance targets are high, but this has been recognized by the program. The STC plans to discuss targets and refine the figures to ensure they are attainable.

3.2.7 The program benefits from good communication overall. The STC is in contact with each member daily, but formal team meetings do not occur on a regular basis. Although the team notes that information flow is good, the team should adhere to a structured meeting schedule to discuss and capture pertinent issues that may not arise during a spontaneous assembly. The HOM has expressed an interest in attending program meetings on a monthly basis; this could serve as a starting point to ensure that regular meetings are put into practice.

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 PMPs of the team. All employees have PMPs in place and are progressing to completion as per the PMP cycle.

3.3.2 The program provides effective service and actively works to identify and promote business opportunities for clients. It focuses on its two key sectors and it is actively engaged in the associated MCSTs as well as the MCSTs for Agriculture and Sustainable Technology. These practices help the team stay abreast of trends and issues in areas that receive a significant number of service requests.

3.3.3 TRIO2 is used by all officers in the program and reporting is well done. There is, however, a noticeable reporting spike in March as last-minute entries are made before the fiscal year comes to a close. Reporting should be completed immediately upon completion of an activity. The STC is working to ensure that reporting is timely and is considering reinstating a day dedicated to TRIO2 each week. A regular review of TRIO2 statistics at program meetings would also be helpful to assess where they are in terms of targets and reporting.

3.3.4 The program does not have an InfoCentre in place, although there has been some discussion within the Nordic Trade Network on establishing a common resource for the multi-mission group. At present, a shared e-mail inbox for the missions and responsibility for it is shared among the relevant TCAs. The Nordic Trade Network also has a communal calendar managed by TCAs to share event information. These systems are reported to be working well for the needs of the program.

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 Officers monitor performance on an ongoing basis. Post-mortems are conducted with the entire team after every event to discuss and capture best practices, and the program follows-up with clients after events. Priority sectors are also reviewed on annual basis.

3.4.2 Hospitality reporting is well done, with documents clearly demonstrating the purpose and outcomes of activities. In many cases, the TC writes a detailed one page report following any event where hospitality is used to capture salient points or themes. This is attached to the formal hospitality report.

3.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission

3.5.1 The STC should review activities of the program to determine where adjustments can be made to ensure a good workload balance across the team. Decisions should be reflected in Strategia.

3.5.2 Program meetings should take place on a regular basis.

3.5.3 The STC should monitor the use of TRIO2 to ensure reporting is timely and of high quality.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

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

3.5.1 The program has revised targets for fiscal year 2014-15 and implemented a quarterly reporting requirement in Strategia to ensure that the plan reflects results to date and ongoing priorities for Canadian clients in the market. Discussions ensure that pressures are identified early and strategies are implemented to alleviate stressors and ensure burn out does not occur. The STC also continues informal discussions among team members and encourage staff to offer or request assistance as situations change, recognizing the dynamic aspect of working in a small mission. Implemented April 2014.

3.5.2 Weekly CE program meetings have been scheduled for a new time on the same day, and have added a more formal review and discussion of TRIO data once a month. Each week the team will continue to discuss TRIO data informally. Implemented August 2014.

3.5.3 The STC has discussed this element with the team, and has implemented weekly 'TRIO Tuesdays', with the objective of ensuring that results are captured in high quality entries in a timely manner. Implemented August 2014.

4 Consular

4.1 Overview

4.1.1 The Consular program is under the overall management of the FPDS Program Manager. Day-to-day operations are the responsibility of an LE-07 Consular Officer. The mission provides consular services to Canadians in the Kingdom of Denmark. There is an Honorary Consul (HonCon) in Nuuk, Greenland who dedicates approximately 80% of his time to consular and 20% to program support. The program’s financial resources, as reported by the mission, are provided below.

Financial resources
HonCon Honorarium$5,000

4.1.2 The program provides approximately 300 to 400 passport services, 60 citizenship services, and 70 notarial services per year. As of February 2014, there were 214 registrants in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) system for Denmark, although the mission estimates that there are approximately 2,000 Canadians in the country.

4.1.3 Copenhagen is the largest cruise ship harbour in northern Europe. Over 360 ships, with some 620,000 passengers, dock annually and there is a peak period between April and August. The number of Canadian tourists visiting the country is on the rise.

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.N/A

4.2.1 Overall the program is *** managed and functioning effectively. The FPDS program manager *** in the program and meets daily with the consular officer to review any pending cases or issues. The consular officer has been in the position for ** years and has a *** understanding of the program and its operations.

4.2.2 The LE-05 Common Services Assistant, who provides reception services, is the back-up to the consular officer. ***. She provides minimal support to the program, which is sufficient given the volumes handled by the mission.

4.2.3 The duty officer manual has been updated and is undergoing final revision by the FPDS program manager ahead of forwarding it to Headquarters. The Mission Emergency Plan is also up to date.

4.2.4 The mission does not have a warden network as there are few Canadians in the country, most live in the capital and there is good communication with the local authorities. Many of the Canadians living in the country are dual nationals.

4.2.5 ***.  

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 In Denmark, clients are generally dual nationals, business visitors, tourists and students. Consular cases are generally cleared quickly as local authorities and systems work well. The mission deals with some complex consular cases, including approximately six to eight arrests and detentions per year. In Greenland, clients tend to be temporary workers in the oil and gas and shipping industries. ***.

4.3.2 The Arctic Games will be held in Greenland in March 2016. It is anticipated that approximately 1,500 participants from across Canada will attend, which has the potential to require significant support. The mission should undertake an appropriate needs assessment, looking at key areas such as consular, emergency management, contingency planning and security. Planning discussions with stakeholders from Headquarters should be initiated in a timely manner to allow for sufficient preparation.

4.3.3 The program has a strong client service focus. Passport services are delivered to clients in approximately 8 days, which is well below the 20-day established standard. There is excellent capacity in French and English in the program. Material displayed in the waiting room and consular interview booths is in both official languages.

4.3.4 A mechanism should be established to receive client feedback. Consideration could be given to providing clients with a form and placing a locked box in the waiting area to receive comments.

4.3.5 The Consular Corporate Management division (CNA) noted that time spent on citizenship files recorded in the Consular Management Information Program (COMIP) is 14 hours per case, which is far above the global average of 3 hours. The mission does not believe that number accurately reflects the time spent on citizenship cases. The program should contact CNA to determine where the anomalies are occurring in their recording.

4.3.6 The common services assistant receives information requests on immigration and visas, but does not have a standard script or card to provide to walk-in clients to refer them to the Immigration Program at the Canadian High Commission in London. This would facilitate dealings with clients and reduce the amount of time required to explain procedures.

4.4 Internal Controls

Evaluation of Consular Internal Control
Key Consular Internal Control CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
A certified CBS signs off on all passports.X  
Client documents and personal information are properly stored and secured.X  
Procedures and practices related to the collection of revenues are appropriate.X  
Revenue held in the Consular program is kept to a minimum and are transferred to finance on a regular basis.X  
Upon receiving new inventory, two CBS verify all assets and sign and return the transmittal note.X  
Inventory is appropriately secured and removal of assets is appropriately recorded.X  
Working inventories provided to staff are appropriate and controlled by a daily log.X  
Monthly and quarterly reconciliations of inventory are properly completed and certified.X  
Official seals and stamps are properly inventoried, secured and access is provided to designated staff only.X  

4.4.1 Overall, internal controls are good. As the mission’s only qualified passport approver, the FPDS program manager approves the majority of passports. When necessary, the mission in Stockholm provides back-up approvals.

4.4.2 The program maintains minimal paper files because information on consular cases is recorded in the Consular Management System (COSMOS). However, *** as there was a misunderstanding as to the type of shredder required to do so. This was clarified during the inspection and there are now no impediments to regular destruction.

4.4.3 Overall, consular revenues are handled appropriately. The mission estimates that approximately 90% of consular payments are made using the Mission Online Payment Services.

4.4.4 Effective controls are in place to manage passport supplies. ***. The working supply, ***, is appropriate and well managed. New supplies are received and accounted for by two CBS.

4.4.5 Monthly inventories are completed regularly and the HOM completes a quarterly passport count with the FPDS program manager.

4.5 Recommendations

Recommendations to the Mission  

4.5.1 With respect to the 2016 Arctic Games in Greenland:

4.5.2 A formal mechanism should be established to solicit feedback from consular clients and take corrective action when necessary.

4.5.3 The mission should determine why the average time recorded in COMIP on citizenship cases is so high and take appropriate action to bring the average down.

4.5.4 The program should develop tools and talking points to assist front-line staff in efficiently responding to queries on immigration and visa issues.

4.5.5 ***.

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 Head of Mission for the Arctic Winter Games in Nuuk, Greenland, has been identified. The mission will begin liaising with key stakeholders in Nuuk and at Headquarters to coordinate efforts in the fall. The mission will contact posts involved with recent arctic games to assess what level of support may be required. In progress for October 2014.

4.5.2 Client feedback forms have been placed in the consular booth region and the reception area. As well, these forms are included with passports and citizenship certificates when mailed out or handed out to clients. An official lockable comment box has been placed in the reception area near the entry to the consular booth. Comments will be reviewed weekly, with feedback provided to the relevant parties. Implemented August 2014.

4.5.3 The mission discussed the issue with the Consular Corporate Management and Innovation Division (JNA) in April and resolved it. An adjustment was made to reflect more accurate data and it was sent to JNA. The 2014 COMIP data for citizenship files is now up to date and accurate. Implemented August 2014.

4.5.4 A single-page handout sheet is now available for front-line staff to refer clients to the High Commission of Canada in London, the United Kingdom, for visa services. The mission has also implemented the OCTEL telephone system, which provides information and options to clients. Implemented July 2014.

4.5.5 The policy *** has been reviewed and now is being adhered to. Implemented July 2014.

5 Common Services

5.1 Overview

5.1.1 The Common Services program is managed by an LE-09 MAO, who is supported by two LE-05 Assistants. The program provides support to 3 CBS and 11 LES.

5.1.2 The mission receives financial services from the Common Service Delivery Point (CSDP) at the mission in Berlin, and maintenance, human resources (HR) and contracting support from the RSCEMA. IM/IT support is provided from the Foreign Service Information and Technology Professional (FSITP) at the mission in Warsaw.

5.1.3 The MAO has been at the mission since the establishment of the position in 2011, which followed the deletion of the mission’s Management and Consular Officer position. Subsequently, in 2012, the accountant position was deleted, and Berlin took over responsibilities for financial services under the CSDP model.

Program Management

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

5.1.4 As noted under the Mission Management section of the report, common services operations have been a frequent topic of discussion at the CMM. At times, this has resulted in relatively minor issues taking much longer to advance. ***.

5.1.5 ***.

5.1.6 The HOM has provided clear and detailed performance objectives to the MAO, from which a full workplan for the program should be developed. A detailed program workplan would provide the tool for review of the achievement of results throughout the year and provide a basis for regular discussion with the HOM to keep him up-to-date on progress. The MAO recently organized a retreat for the program to lay the groundwork for collaboration and planning for the coming year.

5.1.7 Common services policies are developed by the mission and approved by the CMM. The program should identify an effective means of sharing these policies and procedures with staff, such as a wiki or a shared network drive, and ensure they are kept up to date. It is important that policies and procedures be maintained in one location and readily available to staff.

5.1.8 Internal communication is good among Common Services staff and information is exchanged through frequent formal and informal meetings The MAO is a member of the CMM and shares information from that forum with her staff as required.

5.1.9 There are discussions underway with the RSCEMA to review *** with a view to ensure that the best organizational model is in place to support the mission and Common Services delivery.

Client Service

Evaluation of Common Services Client Service
Key Common Services Client Service CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Service standards have been established and communicated to clients. X 
Services provided reflect fair and equitable allocation and access to common services for all mission programs.X  
A mechanism is in place to solicit and receive client feedback, and corrective action is taken when warranted. X 
Hub-and-spoke relationships are governed by an agreement outlining the roles and responsibilities of each mission.X  

5.1.10 Overall, the program provides good service to clients; however, communications with clients during the execution of a work request could be improved. It is also important to obtain feedback from clients following the completion of work to ensure any necessary improvements to services can be captured.

5.1.11 Mission service standards have been developed but are not recorded in the departmental service standard format. Nonetheless, the format used is easy to read and provides a clear description of standards that clients can expect and therefore meets the intent. The service standards should be approved by the mission’s CMM and distributed to staff and clients.

5.1.12 Clients are generally satisfied with services, but practices could be improved to facilitate client feedback and communication.

5.1.13 A Service Level Agreement is in place with the CSDP which clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of the mission and the CSDP in relation to financial transactions. No such agreement exists between the RSCEMA and the mission. While the services provided from the RSCEMA are still evolving, it would be advisable to have an agreement established so that the roles and responsibilities are well understood.

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.N/A

5.1.14 Large contracts are prepared and managed by the RSCEMA and generally relate to maintenance projects. These contracts are reviewed by the RSCEMA CRB, with the MAO sitting on the committee for contracts for Copenhagen. Other contracts initiated in the mission are reviewed by the mission CRB.

5.1.15 The mission inputs contracts and purchase orders in the Materiel Management Module of the departmental financial system.

5.1.16 A review of contracting files revealed that the contract for the cleaning of the chancery expired in 2013. Even though the contract was not renewed, cleaning services continue to be provided. As well, contracting files are not consolidated, which makes it challenging to review the procurement history and related contracting processes.

5.1.17 Given the low volume of procurement activity, the mission does not have an acquisition plan in place. The mission is moving towards private leasing for Canadian staff accommodations therefore acquisitions related to SQs are diminishing. In addition, the RSCEMA manages procurement for most maintenance projects beyond minor day-to-day needs; as a result, acquisitions are minimal.


Recommendations to the Mission

5.1.18 The MAO should develop a workplan for the program.

5.1.19 Common services policies, procedures and service standards should be made available on an easily accessible resource.

5.1.20 The MAO should monitor performance against the established service standards.

5.1.21 The program should ensure good communications throughout the execution of a work order and seek client feedback when the work order is complete.

5.1.22 Contracts should be established for ongoing services and repetitive payments, such as for cleaning services.

5.1.23 All contracting files should include complete documentation related to the full procurement process.

Recommendations to the RSCEMA

5.1.24 A formal agreement that outlines roles, responsibilities and services should be established between the RSCEMA and the mission.

Mission Actions and Timeframes

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

5.1.18 A common services workplan has been developed based on objectives in Strategia. Implemented July 2014.

5.1.19 Information on policies, procedures and service standards is available on InfoBank and a wiki has been created. The uploading of documents to the wiki is in progress. In progress for October 2014.

5.1.20 Since the inception of new service standards in January, performance is reviewed against the standards on a daily basis using a variety of methods. Adjustments to service delivery are made as required. Overall results are reviewed with staff on a weekly basis during Common Services program meetings. Implemented March 2014.

5.1.21 Service requests are acknowledged upon receipt and the estimated time to complete the request is shared with client. Once the service is closed, a feedback form is provided to the client. Implemented March 2014.

5.1.22 New contracts have been negotiated for cleaning and security services and negotiations have been initiated for the remaining ones. In progress for November 2014.

5.1.23 At the time of the inspection, mission staff was unable to provide all the documentation requested on particular contracts to the inspectors as they misunderstood the request. The mission can, however, confirm that following the financial audit of November 2012, all contracting files contain completed documentation related to the full procurement process. Implemented March 2014.

RSCEMA 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.)

5.1.24 The services provided by the RSCEMA to missions are outlined on the RSCEMA wiki site. The corresponding link will be provided to HOMs and MCOs/MAOs of the client missions and an acknowledgement of receipt will be requested from all of the relevant addressees. As well, a wider communication piece will be prepared to ensure that all RSCEMA client missions are aware of the services that the RSCEMA can provide to them with regard to the delivery of Common Services. In progress for December 2014.

5.2 Human Resources

5.2.1 The HR function at the mission is the responsibility of the LE-09 MAO. The RSCEMA supports missions by providing staffing and classification services and other assistance upon request.


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.Could not assess

5.2.2 The mission has been subject to significant downsizing over the past few years, including the elimination of CBS positions (i.e. the MCO and the Foreign Service Administrative Assistant). While the overall organizational structure has now stabilized, some further adjustments have been proposed for the Common Services program, ***. The mission’s HR plan, which has been submitted to Headquarters through Strategia, outlines areas that require attention and the suggested solutions.

5.2.3 The mission engages emergency employees on a regular basis to augment resources that are perceived to be inadequate. Emergency employees should only be used to cover unforeseen, immediate or temporary operational requirements. In addition, the mission consistently uses the same emergency employees; ***. While regularly engaging the same people can be a time-saving measure in terms of training, the mission needs to ensure the process is fair and free from real or perceived conflict of interest.

5.2.4 The mission’s HR plan for 2014-15 recommends the creation *** to assume the duties currently performed by emergency employees in the Common Services program. The mission should also explore other options to better leverage resources in support program objectives. Consideration could be given *** to assume additional common services duties.

5.2.5 Most job descriptions are up to date, except those for the LE-07 Consular Officer and the LE-09 Trade Commissioner, which date back to 1998 and 1995 respectively. The mission updates job descriptions when undertaking staffing actions, but the incumbents in the positions identified above have been at the mission for many years. Job descriptions should be reviewed and revised if necessary.

5.2.6 Employee and position files could not be reviewed as the person requested to open the cabinet where they are stored was unable to do so.

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.N/AN/AN/A
Written records supporting the process are maintained and contain required documents and approvals.N/AN/AN/A
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  

5.2.7 The RSCEMA manages staffing actions on behalf of this mission and therefore were not assessed as part of the inspection.

5.2.8 The system for tracking leave was reviewed and found to be well controlled with appropriate oversight exercised by the managers.


Recommendations to the Mission

5.2.9 The Guidelines on Emergency Employment of Locally Engaged Staff should be reviewed and adhered to whenever the mission requires emergency employees.

5.2.10 Job descriptions should be updated and a process put in place to ensure they are reviewed, at a minimum, every five years.

5.2.11 The program should ensure that HR files can be accessed when required.

5.2.12 The mission should review its staff and position files to ensure that they are complete, maintained separately and properly secured.

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's CMM has reviewed the guidelines related to emergency employment and is committed to adhering to them. Implemented April 2014.

5.2.10 On a yearly basis, job descriptions that require updating will be incorporated into the common services workplan for review. In progress for October 2014.

5.2.11 In August 2013 files were moved *** her access without calling upon other staff. In addition to the MAO, all three CBS have access to the HR files and can be called upon when required to assist with access. Implemented March 2014.

5.2.12 The mission has reviewed staff and position files to ensure they are complete, maintained and properly secured. Implemented March 2014.

5.3 Physical Resources

5.3.1 The physical resources functions at the mission are the responsibility of the MAO, who is assisted by an LE-05 Common Services Assistant. The section manages the chancery, the official residence (OR) and one Crown-owned Staff Quarters (SQ). There is also one vacant Crown-owned SQ that will be sold under the direction of the Property Strategy Section (ARAK).


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  

5.3.2 Overall, physical resource functions are managed *** at the mission. The RSCEMA manages major maintenance projects with the MAO and ensures the appropriate planning and implementation of major maintenance projects. The Mission Property Management Plan and the Mission Maintenance Workplan are up to date.

5.3.3 The Crown-owned chancery occupies one floor of a centrally located commercial building. Renovated approximately seven years ago, it is bright, nicely appointed and provides an excellent working environment for staff. The Common Services program shows good attention to maintaining the chancery to a high standard. For example, they negotiated with the ground floor tenant to pay for a full cleaning of the chancery because of dust and dirt created from a construction project in their space.

5.3.4 The mission’s conference room is large and provides a good space for internal use and for representational purposes. Staff members occupy offices that are large, bright and well laid out. In 2013, the mission converted an unused space to a gymnasium and purchased some equipment from the Common Services budget. In future, should it be determined that surplus space exists, this should be discussed with the ARAK to determine if other options exist (e.g. colocation) before taking steps to repurpose it.

5.3.5 The OR is in a residential neighbourhood located approximately 20-30 minutes from downtown by car. The location is not considered ideal as it is not *** by public transport or bicycles, which are common modes of transport in Copenhagen. In addition, ***. The OR has recently been identified for disposal under the OR Right-Sizing Initiative with plans to replace it with a Crown-leased SQ. Among other factors, it will be important that the location of schools typically used by CBS (***) is taken into consideration when identifying a new property.

5.3.6 Of the two other CBS at the mission, one arrived in 2011 and lives in a Crown-owned SQ, and the other, who arrived in 2013, found a suitable SQ under the private-leasing model. When the Crown-owned SQ occupant completes *** the incoming CBS will go into a private-leased SQ. Considering that private leasing is new to this mission, it is important that the process for locating and leasing a house be documented to assist future CBS.

5.3.7 The Crown-owned SQ was vacated in 2012 due to staff reductions. ***. *** of this property should be expedited if the local market allows. In addition, it was determined that the cost of utilities for this property has been charged to the mission property budget. ***.

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  

5.3.8 Overall, internal controls were found to be in place; however, some improvements are required.

5.3.9 Inventories for the SQ and OR have been completed, but the chancery inventory has not yet been completed. The fine art at the chancery and at the OR has been inventoried.

5.3.10 Disposal files are incomplete, which makes it impossible to determine if the disposals were completed in accordance with the Materiel Management Manual. Files should contain all aspects of the disposal including: details on the methodology for disposal and why this methodology was chosen; correspondence related to the disposal (e.g. advertisements); the method for evaluating bids received and who performed the analysis; evidence that payments were received and accounted for; and a completed EXT 369 Disposal Report signed by the HOM.

5.3.11 The mission uses one vehicle for all aspects of mission operations. Use of the vehicle is guided by a mission transportation policy. The mission driver manages the vehicle logs, gasoline purchases and reconciliation, and maintenance with the oversight of the MAO. Bookings for the driver/vehicle are done through an outlook calendar managed by the LE-05 Common Services Assistant. The RSCEMA is looking at an automated booking system for transportation that could assist the mission in streamlining the administration of driver/vehicle services.

5.3.12 The GS-05 driver position was previously a dedicated HOM driver position funded through the HOM program budget. As a result of the International Platform’s review of fleet guidelines in missions abroad, the mission will no longer have a dedicated HOM driver/vehicle; instead, the HOM will make use of fleet services. The mission is awaiting final confirmation from the Mission Client Services Division that the position has been officially transferred from the HOM Program to the Common Services program. Given that the demand in this small mission is insufficient to justify a full-time position, the program has worked with the RSCEMA to develop a new job description which incorporates tasks beyond traditional driver services. Once this change is made, this will bring clarity to the mission and allow it to move forward with its plans to reclassify the position and take other appropriate actions.

5.3.13 The mission has purchased two bicycles that are available to use to get to nearby meetings or other business commitments. The use of the bicycles is guided by a policy established at the mission.


Recommendations to the Mission

5.3.14 Procedures and lessons learned on the private-leasing process should be captured and shared with incoming CBS.

5.3.15 The vacant SQ should be put on the market as soon as feasible.

5.3.16 The inventory of chancery assets should be completed and kept up to date.

5.3.17 The fine art inventory for the OR should be updated and submitted to the Visual Art Collection Division.

5.3.18 The mission should review the requirements for disposal files and ensure that all future disposals of Crown assets are properly documented.

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 A summary of lessons learned on private leasing has been created to facilitate the smooth transition of the next incoming CBS to the mission. Implemented August 2014.

5.3.15 In consultation with Headquarters, the vacant SQ has been put on the market. Implemented September 2014.

5.3.16 The inventories of fine art and IT equipment at the chancery have been completed and shared with Headquarters. Other Chancery assets will be inventoried this fiscal year. In progress for March 2015.

5.3.17 The fine art inventory for the OR has been updated and submitted to the Visual Art Collection Division. Implemented July 2014.

5.3.18 The mission has reviewed the requirements for the disposal of Crown assets and will ensure future disposals are properly documented. Implemented July 2014.

5.4 Finance

5.4.1 The LE-09 MAO is responsible for financial management in the mission and manages the Common Services budget. Transactional services are provided from the CSDP in Berlin. The RSCEMA provides oversight on financial management for the region, as well as offers training and support.


Evaluation of Finance Management
Key Finance Management CriteriaMeetsNeeds ImprovementDoes Not Meet
Roles and responsibilities ensure adequate segregation of duties.X  
The section employs methods to minimize disruption (e.g. setting of "quiet hours" and controlling access to the Finance section).N/AN/AN/A
The section has explored alternate methods to minimize transactions and reduce reliance on cash (i.e. acquisition cards, electronic fund transfers).X  
Payment runs are kept to a minimum, but are sufficient to provide good client service.N/AN/AN/A

5.4.2 In general, the processing of financial transactions through the CSDP for the HOM, CE and FPDS programs, is working well. Program assistants understand what is required. Financial documents are uploaded to the Integrated Management System (IMS) using Procure to Pay (P2P) by the assistants who can then track the status of their payments in their P2P workspace.

5.4.3 The CSDP noted that the transactions being uploaded by the Common Services program, however, are generally not well prepared. Training and coaching has been provided to the mission and feedback is given when a particular submission is not complete; nevertheless, the CSDP notes that there have not been significant improvements in spite of these efforts. The MAO should identify the common errors and ensure that Common Services staff members understand what is required. As the MAO has the final approval of documents, she can ensure quality submissions.

5.4.4 The RSCEMA visited Copenhagen early in 2014 to assist the mission in preparing their budget submission and to provide further training on budget management. The RSCEMA noted that the mission had consistently used FINSTAT to request funding for unforeseen expenditures. In the budget management training provided by the RSCEMA, the mission was advised that all efforts must be made within the mission budget to manage any unplanned expenditures before requesting additional funding through the FINSTAT process.

5.4.5 The mission has experienced problems in the past with the management of Value Added Tax (VAT) recoveries. As a result, significant write-offs have occurred when reimbursement requests were not submitted within the prescribed local deadlines. The mission also learned recently that there is an energy tax rebate available to them for utility costs. They successfully submitted requests for rebates back to 2009, which resulted in refunds of over $50,000. The inspection team reviewed the current processes in place to recover both VAT and energy tax rebates and found them to be adequate. Careful monitoring is required to ensure claims are consistently submitted and follow-up is in place.

5.4.6 When an invoice is sent for either VAT or energy tax refunds, the original invoice must be sent with the request. The mission maintains a copy of these invoices in a file dedicated to tax refunds but does not maintain a copy of the invoice on the monthly account file. It is important that the monthly mission account file be complete and that it contains documentation related to every transaction processed during the month.

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.N/AN/AN/A
Revenues are deposited into the mission bank account daily, or if not cost effective, within a week of receipt, per the Financial Administration Act: Receipt and Deposit of Public Money Regulations.X  
Official receipts are provided to clients at the time of payment and to internal staff when funds are transferred (i.e. from Consular to Finance). X 
Reconciliations of any funds transferred within the mission are conducted in the presence of two staff.X  
Travel and hospitality claim processes ensure that policies and guidelines are adhered to and that the completeness and accuracy of the claim is verified.X  
Reimbursement of HonCon operational expenses is based on an established agreement. X 
A percentage of costs for personal use of OR supplies is determined and regular reimbursements are made to the mission.X  
A process is in place to ensure that, where applicable, CBS reimburse the mission for any services of a personal nature received at their staff quarters (e.g. television, internet, telephone, etc.).X  

5.4.7 Internal controls for finance are exercised both at the mission (Section 32 and 34) and at the CSDP (Section 33). Although the CSDP provides a good challenge function during the audit of claims or other types of financial transactions, the Common Services program should play a greater role in ensuring the completeness and accuracy of the submissions prior to sending to the CSDP.

5.4.8 The CSDP reviews the asset and liability report and works with the mission to ensure action is taken as required.

5.4.9 Program staff should review guidelines on the transfer of revenue and petty cash. The mission has one petty cash standing advance; it was counted and balanced correctly. ***.

5.4.10 While the majority of consular clients make credit card payments, cash payments are received from time to time. ***.

5.4.11 There is no written agreement in place which outlines the admissible expenses that can be submitted by the Honorary Consul (HonCon). At present, the HonCon only requests reimbursement for his telephone costs. Written instructions on how to submit expenses and a detailed list of admissible expense should be established and communicated to the current HonCon. A copy of this should be included with any future mandate letters.

5.4.12 The HOM purchases his own supplies for cleaning of the family areas of the OR therefore no reimbursement is applicable.


Recommendations to the Mission

5.4.13 The Common Services program should work to eliminate errors in financial transaction submissions to the CSDP.

5.4.14 The program should take the following action with respect to VAT and energy tax reimbursements:

5.3.15 All staff involved *** and ensure proper procedures are followed.

5.3.16 The HonCon should be provided written instructions on how to submit expenses and a detailed list of admissible expenses.

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).

5.4.13 The elimination of errors in financial transaction submissions has been a priority for the section, and there has been improvement since last fiscal year. Performance management is in place. Implemented September 2014.

5.4.14 The program has mapped out a precise procedure for invoice management, which includes identification and processing for VAT recovery. A copy of each invoice sent to the MFA for VAT recovery is kept in the monthly accounting file. Implemented March 2014.

5.4.15 The guidelines on the *** were reviewed with the appropriate staff to ensure ***. Proper procedures are now followed. Implemented July 2014.

5.4.16 The HonCon will be provided written instructions on how to submit expenses, including a list of admissible expenses. In progress for October 2014.

5.5 Information Management – Information Technology (IM-IT)

IM-IT for the mission is managed out of the mission in Warsaw. Support from there is principally provided by a CS-02 FSITP and a LE-07 Locally Engaged Information and Technology Professional (LEITP). At the mission, the MAO oversees IM-IT services, the LE-06 HOM assistant is the designated Information Technology Professional Contact Person (ITPCP) and the LE-05 TCA is the Information Champion. The mission does not have an IM-IT committee.


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 

5.5.1 Overall, IM-IT is *** managed with most key processes and controls in place. Clients report that the FSITP is *** and provides a high level of service.

5.5.2 The mission is covered under Warsaw’s IM-IT workplan which outlines all activities and initiatives that will be undertaken throughout the year. Caution should be taken to ensure that all comments that apply to Copenhagen are clearly noted as the document does not consistently identify which comments apply to Warsaw and which also apply to Copenhagen.

5.5.3 There is good communication between the mission and the FSITP, and he visits the mission on a quarterly basis. This permits scheduled updates and ongoing maintenance and opportunities for client support/training.

5.5.4 The uptake of the service desk online system, under which all requests are managed centrally at Headquarters via the Remedy ticketing system, is an ongoing transition for staff. The FSITP notes that although the mission is slowly adopting the online system, he still receives calls and emails for service requests. The ITPCP also responds to informal requests from colleagues from time-to-time but is encouraging them to use the online system to effectively track and respond to requests.

5.5.5 The Information Management Champion has been proactive in providing training to staff and offers support for InfoBank and other areas of information management. Despite these efforts, InfoBank usage is inconsistent throughout the mission with approximately 50% of staff using the system. Management should encourage consistent and sustainable practices of information management.

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 ***.

5.5.7 The ITPCP oversees Blackberry loans through the departmental IT Asset Management System (ITAMS); laptop loans are controlled by a paper sign-out sheet that is managed by an LE-05 common services assistant. While controls are in place, users should be advised of their responsibilities regarding IT assets. In particular, a user agreement should signed by all Blackberry holders.

5.5.8 The FSITP tracks the disposal of surplus IT equipment in the Remedy system. Physical disposal of non-sensitive items is facilitated by an LE-05 common services assistant at the mission. Although documentation was provided by the FSITP regarding specific disposals, the mission was not able to provide the completed paperwork regarding the physical disposal of assets. Detailed asset disposal documents should be completed in-full by both the FSITP and the mission, signed by the HOM, and maintained on file.


Recommendations to the Mission

5.5.9 The mission should circulate a formal reminder that all IT requests should be submitted through the service desk online system.

5.5.10 Employees should formally acknowledge their accountabilities when they sign out IT assets.

5.5.11 Disposal records should be managed in accordance with departmental guidelines.

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.)

5.5.9 A formal reminder has been sent to staff, and the HOM has instructed staff to follow the required procedure for submitting IT requests. The mission's policy is that any IT requests not submitted through the proper channels will not be processed, except in the event of reasonable emergencies. Implemented August 2014.

5.5.10 The mission now uses a form to have employees sign for IT assets. An initial Blackberry agreement was established when new Blackberries were received in 2011. The agreement has been updated the current staff has signed. Implemented August 2014.

5.5.11 Disposal records are managed in accordance with departmental guidelines. Some files were misplaced during the filing process but all files are properly maintained now. Implemented March 2014.

Appendix A:  Mission Resources Fact Sheet

Physical Resources
Official Residence1  
Staff Quarters2 1
Financial Information 2013/2014
BudgetProgramPropertyCommon Services
CBS Salaries$352,742$0$0
CBS Overtime$15,000$0$0
LES Salaries$671,720$0$224,642
LES Overtime$10,682$0$1,840
Human Resources (FTEs)
Head of Mission413
Common Services303

Appendix B:  Frequently Used Acronyms

Canada-based staff
Commercial Economic
Committee on Mission Management
Consular Management Information Program
Contingency Plan
Contract Review Board
Client Service Fund
Electronic Funds Transfer
Deputy Management Consular Officer
Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service
Foreign Service Information Technology Professional
Full Time Equivalent
Fiscal Year
Global Commerce Strategy
Global Value Chains
Head of Mission
Honorary Consul
Human Resources
High Security Zone
Information Communication Technologies
Information Management - Information Technology
Integrated Management System
Locally Engaged Information Technology Professional
Locally engaged staff
LES Management Consultation Board
Management Consular Officer
Mission Emergency Plan
Mission Financial Officer
MM Module
Materiel Management Module of IMS
Mission Maintenance Workplan
Memorandum of Understanding
Mission Security Officer
Mission Property Management Plan
North American Platform Program
Official residence
Operations Zone
Post Initiative Fund
Program Manager
Performance Management Agreement
Human Resources - Performance Management Program
Consular - Passport Management Program
Physical Resources Information - Mission Environment
Registration of Canadians Abroad
Science and Technology
Senior Trade Commissioner
Staff Quarter
Security Zone
Trade Commissioner
Trade Commissioner Assistant
Trade Commissioner Service
The TCS’ Client Relationship Management System
Office of the Inspector General
Missions Inspection Division
Date Modified: