Evaluation of the Diplomatic Corps Services Program – Summary Report

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Evaluation of the Diplomatic Corps Services Program Full report

Why is it important?

The Diplomatic Corps Services Program is one of the oldest programs in the Canadian government. Housed within the Office of Protocol, the program aims to serve the diplomatic community in Canada and manages compliance with privileges and immunity provisions of the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act frameworks. The Diplomatic Corps Services Division administers various policies and programs to facilitate the establishment of foreign missions, international organizations and the presence of their representatives on Canadian territory.

The evaluation of the Diplomatic Corps Services Program is being conducted as per Treasury Board requirements. Evaluation of the program is required under section 42.1 (1) of the Financial Administration Act, as it includes Grants and Contributions totaling over $5M through the Payments in Lieu of Taxes. The evaluation was led by the Diplomacy, Trade and Corporate Evaluation Division of the Evaluation and Results Bureau. The Diplomatic Corps Services Program previously underwent an evaluation in 2011.

What the evaluation assessed:

This evaluation assessed the relevance and performance of programs, services and activities which comprise the Diplomatic Corps Services Program. Because much of the program is mandated by international legislation, questions of relevance focused on non-statutory services only.

To measure performance, the evaluation referred to current program practices and standards for each service, stakeholder perceptions, and to levels of satisfaction among diplomatic community as well as other stakeholders.

The evaluation questions that were asked:

What the evaluation found



Recommendations and Management Response and Action Plan

RecommendationsManagement Response and Action Plan
Recommendation 1: Re-focus on activities and services that are aligned with the program’s mandate.Agree, subject to review with relevant Global Affairs Canada divisions and other government departments. As part of its 2018-2019 planning cycle, management will identify the services and programs (or components of services and programs) which fall outside the program’s core mandate and recommend which should cease altogether, decrease, or be transferred elsewhere. There are many examples of non-core services/programs in addition to the one cited above (the issuance of letters of Credence and Recall for Canada HOMs). The Diplomatic Corps Services Division will engage with key partners to implement these adjustments and plan for a timely and orderly transition.
Recommendation 2: Develop a performance measurement strategy.Agree. The Diplomatic Corps Services Division will continue to promote a culture of excellence and high performance in its day-to-day operations. It will develop a performance measurement strategy that builds on the division’s existing tools which measure the performance of certain programs/operations. This overarching performance measurement strategy will align with all of the programs/operations with the relevant sections of the Departmental Results Framework, including results-based indicators, data sources and data collection frequency, and clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
Recommendation 3: Explore options to increase policy capacity.Agree to explore options to strengthen the Diplomatic Corps Services Program’s policy capacity, taking into consideration limited resources (human and financial). To strengthen its policy work and mitigate the risks of a turnover in key positions, the Diplomatic Corps Services Division will identify and assess options to realign its work and resources (human and financial) to better support the policy function as well as explore the possibility of creating a new position responsible for the division’s policy work (which may entail some organizational restructuring).
Recommendation 4: Continue and, if possible, expand, outreach activities.Agree to explore options to strengthen/expand outreach activities, subject to capacity and resources (human and financial). The Diplomatic Corps Services Division is reviewing options to strengthen and expand its outreach activities by building on the success of past outreach across the division’s various programs. The program will continue to: enhance the planning and execution of relevant outreach activities; ensure that all regional groups in the diplomatic community (and/or groups which present elevated risk profiles) are targeted; and maintain and strengthen relationships with Canadian partners (such as law enforcement entities, other government departments, provinces/territories and municipalities) by carrying out educational activities and developing appropriate training programs and materials.
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