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This document provides a Treasury Board Secretariat assessment of the department's performance against specific areas of management only. It does not present an assessment of management quality beyond these areas of management, nor does it reflect the level of effort a department may be making towards improving the quality of its management. The MAF assessments use standardized language to ensure consistent descriptions and characterizations. This assessment may not reflect the latest information available. Some departments and agencies have provided updated information in the form of a management response. Where management responses have been prepared, the link to the response is posted below the assessment.

Context

This year's observations by the Treasury Board Secretariat related to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's (DFAIT) management capacity indicate an overall decline in ratings. In total, for the 15 Areas of Management (AoM) on which the department was assessed, it received two "strong" ratings, nine "acceptable" ratings, and four "opportunity for improvement" ratings. DFAIT is rated "strong" in only two AoMs this round compared to last year's assessment where it received four "strong" ratings. The number of "opportunity for improvement" ratings has also increased from one to four. That said, changes in the methodology for a number of Areas of Management in this round partially explain why ratings on four of eight AoMs have decreased.

In 2009, DFAIT faced a challenging year. It continued to implement its 2007 Strategic Review through a transformation agenda aimed at refocusing the department on its core business, and providing key services to Canadians in a timelier and more cost-effective manner. It also implemented the first year of its multi-year plan to strengthen its main value-added asset, the network of Canadian missions abroad and its regional offices across Canada. While rolling out this major transformation agenda, DFAIT also continued to effectively steer Canada's response to 1) continued threats in failed and fragile states (such as Afghanistan and Pakistan), 2) several key NAFTA and softwood lumber disputes, 3) ambitious trade negotiations with the EU and the Ukraine and 4) the global economic downturn. DFAIT also initiated work on a five-year Investment Plan and future management of projects including Passport Canada's progress on plans to introduce an electronic Passport to Canadians in 2012.

It appears, however, that the scope and depth of DFAIT's transformation and additional unfunded pressures (eg. Strategic Review reductions, Afghanistan, etc.) caused spending patterns across the department to change resulting in an uncharacteristically tight operating budget for DFAIT in 2009-2010. In response, the DM commissioned a review of DFAIT's financial resource management risk assessment. The high-level review was conducted by Deloitte who found gaps across the spectrum of DFAIT's financial management processes and its financial resource management enablers. TBS commends the DM for commissioning an independent review and the seriousness with which his department has responded to its findings by tightening management of its budgets, seeking one-time transfers from its Grant and Contribution vote and Capital vote in order to supplement operating budgets, developing a further risk mitigation framework to manage salary expenditures and institute drastic measures to control hiring.

In terms of the core Areas of Management (AoMs 1, 6, 9, 10, 17, 18), the organization's ratings are mixed, maintaining a strong rating in AOM 6 decreasing from "strong" to "acceptable" in AoM 1 maintaining an "acceptable" rating in AoM 10 and AoM 18 and decreasing from "acceptable" to "opportunity for improvement" in AoM 9 and AoM 17.

  • AoM 1 Values-Based Leadership and Organizational Culture - DFAIT comprehensively and continuously assesses its enterprise-wide values and ethics and at-risk areas, had developed a multi-year customized work plan, reviews its performance and conducts an ongoing dialogue between senior management and employees. The department moved from "strong" to an "acceptable" rating in this area, largely due to changes in methodology.
  • AoM 6 Quality and Use of Evaluation - In 2009/10 DFAIT has maintained an independent and neutral function that appears adequately resourced to fulfill its evaluation obligations. DFAIT has a comprehensive evaluation plan, and its practices with respect to evaluation are sound. The organization's increasing attention to building internal capacity and planning for the future is worth noting. DFAIT continues to produce high quality evaluation reports and thorough and detailed management action plans. As a result, the department maintains its "strong" rating in this area.
  • AoM 9 Effectiveness of Corporate Risk Management – While the department has refreshed its existing integrated risk management (IRM) policies, tools and processes, DFAIT senior management has been inconsistent in demonstrating engagement in championing IRM. As a result, the department drops from "acceptable" to "opportunity for improvement" in this area.
  • AoM 10 Excellence in People Management - DFAIT's primary goals in this area is to realign its resource base to more directly support its 170 diplomatic missions overseas and its 15 regional offices across Canada. It has embarked on the first year of a 5-year plan to increase its field presence by 400 staff while reducing its Headquartered staff by the same amount. To address these issues, DFAIT has formalized its integrated planning process, incorporating results of extensive departmental consultations, and developed a multi-year plan that is linked to its organizational objectives. DFAIT's rating in this area remains "acceptable".
  • AoM 17 Effectiveness of Financial Management and Control – DFAIT showed little or no evidence of effort in managing the departmental system of internal controls over financial reporting and limited progress with its costing practices. In addition, the department demonstrated very limited progress in advancing towards controls based auditable financial statements. DFAIT's rating slipped from "acceptable" to "opportunity for improvement" in this area.
  • AoM 18 Effectiveness of Internal Audit – The department meets the key expectations set out in the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit and is demonstrating progress in the use of audit results and continued development of audit capacity. As a result DFAIT's rating in this area has increased to "acceptable" from "opportunity for improvement".

AoM 13 (Effectiveness of Information Technology Management), AoM 14 (Effectiveness of Asset Management) and AoM 19 (Effective Management of Security and Business Continuity) are considered central to the mandate of the organization. In these areas, the organization is still notable in its activities, but the overall rating of two of the three AoMs declined from "strong" to "acceptable" (AoMs 13 and 19). This is largely due to a more rigorous process for Information Technology planning and progress reporting in AoM 13, and a change to the methodology in evaluating AoM 19, which also impacted other departments. As a result DFAIT should be regarded as maintaining a good showing in these AoMs. DFAIT's rating for AoM 14 remains unchanged from last year's "strong".

The department has maintained its "acceptable" rating in two of the four management priorities identified in last year's MAF assessment:

  • AoM 8 Managing Organizational Change - The implementation of DFAIT's ambitious Transformation Agenda is encouraging learning and innovation throughout the organization. Through the support of senior management, it is fostering employee engagement and resulting in numerous deliverables. Plans are in place to assess its results. However, the ultimate success of the Transformation Agenda, as well as that of as on-going programs, requires addressing significant gaps in the department's financial management and security operations.
  • AoM 12 Information Management – DFAIT had strong showings in the governance and strategic planning sections of this AoM. The department has an approved and resourced Information Management (IM) strategy and plan and IM roles, responsibilities and senior officials' accountabilities are defined throughout the department. However, the department failed to make improvements to the areas of weakness identified in last year's MAF related to statutory and regulatory requirements of the Access to Information and Privacy Acts.

DFAIT has dropped from "Acceptable" to "opportunity for improvement" in the remaining two priority AoMs:

  • AoM 3 Effectiveness of the Corporate Management Structure – DFAIT's corporate management structure has all the components for an integrated corporate system of decision-making for allocation of resources to priorities, alignment of activities to outcomes, and the management of accountabilities. However, the absence of a robust financial system, a departmental culture that does not support financial management discipline, and the presence of 'silos' that act as independent units, undermine the effectiveness of the corporate management structure.
  • AoM 5 Quality of Treasury Board Submissions - While DFAIT committed last year to strengthening its internal practices to improve the quality control and timelines of their TB submissions, the former has not improved substantially and the latter has eroded further at key times in the Estimates Supply cycle. Moreover, the quality, adequacy and soundness of the analysis in DFAIT's submissions have also declined.

The Treasury Board Secretariat has identified the following management priorities for the coming year:

  • AoM 3 Effectiveness of the Corporate Management Structure
  • AoM 5 Quality of Treasury Board Submissions
  • AoM 17 Effectiveness of Financial Management and Control

DFAIT will need to continue to focus on areas related to corporate and financial management. Without significant progress in these areas, DFAIT runs the risk of compromising the delivery of its core activities and continued progress on its ambitious Transformation Agenda. Of note is the need to improve the strategic management of priorities and resource allocation, as well as dedicated (e.g., non rotational) expertise in financial management, security, and human resources management. In addition, TBS notes that the department will continue to face extremely tight operating budgets going forward to 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. *



Rating change since previous year: Slightly decreased

1. Values-based Leadership and Organizational Culture

   


Acceptable

 
Highlights Opportunities

1.1 Leadership: Strong

1.2 Infrastructure: Acceptable

Strengths: harassment complaints and grievances, V&E plans.

Apparent Weaknesses: employee perception that senior management will resolve concerns raised in the survey and that essential information flows from senior management to staff.

Direct comparisons with last year cannot be made, as the performance measures have changed.

Please note that this website is internal to government and is not available to the general public. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and invite those who are interested in viewing the Organizational Culture Scorecard to email us at ScorecardResults-ResultatsCartedepointage@tbs-sct.gc.ca and we will make available the Scorecard.

To complement the scorecard, OCHRO launched a departmental dashboard that provides complementary, benchmarked information; and a repository of actionable, exemplary and innovative departmental practices and tools. The dashboard will support enhanced guidance by the Centre in relation to system-wide values and ethics and people management issues. It will also provide timely business intelligence and solutions to Deputy Heads to support the early identification and resolution of departmental values and ethics and people management issues. To access the dashboard, follow the link below:

http://publiservice.ochro-bdprh.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pmi-igp/default.aspx.

Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: No change since last year

2. Utility of the Corporate Performance Framework

   


Acceptable

 
Highlights Opportunities

2.1 SO Clarity and Measurability:

  • Please note that there is no written assessment for this Area of Management as the rating is carried over from Round VI as one of the organization's Rotational AoMs.

 

Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: Slightly decreased

3. Effectiveness of the Corporate Management Structure

 

Opportunity for Improvement

   
Highlights Opportunities

3.1 Business Plan: Acceptable

  • Organization's corporate business plan is well aligned to corporate priorities.
  • While progress is being made, the corporate business plan does not adequately align resources and accountabilities to priorities.
  • Sector or branch business plans are generally aligned with the corporate business plan.

3.2 Governance Structure: Opportunity for Improvement

  • Recordkeeping is generally complete and current (minutes of meetings and records of discussion, decision, and follow-up).
  • Organization's corporate governance structure is fully aligned to the organization's PAA.
  • Only partial management oversight of the organization's program activities and underlying programs exists.
  • There is little evidence of resource re-allocation when or where required.
  • Management decisions or interventions are generally reactive or tend to occur when only when organizational pressures and issues arise.
  • Terms of reference for all levels in the governance structure are current and complete.
  • Senior corporate management structure is not well connected to supporting governance structure.

 

The effectiveness of the corporate management structure could be improved through a departmental culture that supports financial management discipline and the implementation of a robust financial system.

The executive committees and boards will have to foster proactive management decisions and interventions, such as required resource allocations and re-allocations.

Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: No change since last year

4. Effectiveness of Organizational Contribution to Government-Wide Priorities

   


Acceptable

 
Highlights Opportunities

4.1 Participation in Priority Initiatives:

  • Please note that there is no written assessment for this Area of Management as the rating is carried over from Round VI as one of the organization's Rotational AoMs.

 

Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: Slightly decreased

5. Quality of TB Submissions

 

Opportunity for Improvement

   
Highlights Opportunities

5.1 Supporting Information: Acceptable

  • Organization has the capacity to respond effectively to most TBS feedback.
  • Policy and budget authorities are usually identified.
  • Information aligns fairly well with TBS financial data.
  • Information on business cases is partial, and the level of detail required is somewhat lacking.
  • Explanation for the level of resources requested is partially sufficient.
  • Responses to TBS comments are incomplete.
  • Response to TBS comments is appropriate.

5.2 Analysis: Opportunity for Improvement

  • Generally, the correct policy authorities are used.
  • Business cases may have comprehensive information but demonstrate only partial and incomplete analysis.
  • Emerging understanding of external pressures is only partial.
  • Some links to MRRS, strategic objectives, etc., are present.
  • Partial analysis on implementation is evident.
  • Appropriate performance measurement or evaluation analysis is incomplete.
  • Some emerging options analysis is demonstrated.
  • Responses to TBS comments are incomplete.

5.3 Consultations: Attention Required

  • Little or no capacity exists to give a "heads-up" to TBS to give time for reviews of drafts.
  • Drafts are usually very late (less than four weeks before TB meetings).
  • Organization should be better able to predict factors that lead to occasional lateness.

5.4 Quality control: Opportunity for Improvement

  • Quality control process is sometimes evident and is partially effective.
  • Submissions always have SFO or Head of Evaluation sign offs when appropriate.
  • Writing and translation standards are fair.
  • Moderate clarity exists and consistent language is used.
  • Some consistency of information throughout documents is evident.
  • Important information is only sometimes included in the first draft.
  • Response to TBS feedback is uneven across submissions.

While DFAIT committed last year to strengthening its internal practices to improve the quality control and timelines of their TB submissions, the former has not improved, particularly at key times in the Estimates Supply cycle. Moreover, the quality, adequacy and soundness of the analysis in DFAIT's submissions have also declined.

Prioritization and timing of submissions is quite often unclear to TBS resulting in inefficient use of resources by DFAIT and TBS. As a result, many of the submissions are received late in the process.

Recommendations

In consultation with TBS, DFAIT will implement an Action plan that will include a system to prioritize upcoming submissions to manage workload pressures and expectations. The Plan will also address internal practices to improve quality control.


 


Rating change since previous year: No change since last year

6. Quality and Use of Evaluation

     


Strong

Highlights Opportunities

6.1 Quality of evaluations: Strong

  • Option 2: All evaluation reports submitted to TBS address program relevance and performance.
  • All evaluations submitted to TBS employ appropriate methodologies (relative to program risk) to gather data and inform the analysis.
  • All evaluation reports submitted to TBS describe the limitations of the evaluation. The report clearly states the implications of the limitations on the validity of the findings.
  • All evaluations submitted to TBS present findings and conclusions that flow logically from the evidence presented in the report.
  • All evaluation reports submitted to TBS include recommendations that are focused and practical, address significant findings and flow logically from findings and conclusions.
  • All evaluations submitted to TBS include a management response and action plan. The action plan provides specific actions, timelines for action and management accountabilities.

6.2 Neutrality: Strong

  • All resources dedicated to evaluations are directed by the head of evaluation.
  • Evaluation function resourcing is commensurate with the organizational evaluation plan and supports monitoring and oversight demands. The majority of planned evaluations are complete.
  • Head of evaluation has explicit authority to submit evaluation reports directly to the deputy head and has regular and unencumbered access to the deputy head.
  • Senior management committee is in place to support, oversee and monitor the evaluation function and management accountabilities arising from evaluations and evaluation related products, in a manner that is consistent with Annex B of the Policy on Evaluation (2009). The committee is chaired by the deputy head.

6.3 Coverage: Acceptable

  • Option 2: The organization has shared its approved multi-year risk-based evaluation plan with TBS, including a written, risk-based rationale describing the department's evaluation coverage. The plan demonstrates several good practices in evaluation planning. If present, any weaknesses in the plan are negligible.
  • The organization is working according to its evaluation plan and has shown evidence of moving towards full evaluation coverage of its direct program spending over a five year cycle. Average annual evaluation coverage of direct program spending is between 10%-19%.
  • The organization is working according to its evaluation plan and has shown evidence of moving towards full evaluation coverage of all its ongoing programs of grants and contributions over a five year cycle as per section 42.1 of the FAA. The organization has a demonstrated track record of completing planned evaluations. Average annual evaluation coverage of Gs&Cs is 20% (or higher).

6.4 Usage: Strong

  • The results of evaluations are almost always brought for consideration in TB submissions, Memoranda to Cabinet, RPPs, DPR and, where applicable, Strategic Reviews.
  • Active, systematic and regular tracking of management action plans arising from evaluation recommendations is in place. Periodic reporting on the status of implementation of the evaluation recommendations is not in place.
  • The majority of evaluations submitted to TBS incorporate data from a performance measurement system to support the evaluation. Submitted evaluations usually cite performance data availability and/or quality as constraints of the evaluation.

 

Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: No change since last year

7. Quality of Performance Reporting

   


Acceptable

 
Highlights Opportunities

7.1 MRRS Basis:

  • Please note that there is no written assessment for this Area of Management as the rating is carried over from Round VI as one of the organization's Rotational AoMs.

 

Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: No change since last year

8. Managing Organizational Change

   


Acceptable

 
Highlights Opportunities

8.1 Scanning or planning for change: Acceptable

  • The organization has the capacity to evaluate whether or not change is required.
  • Organizational change plan exists and is consistent with the scope of change identified.
  • An organizational change plan exists, but it is only focused on some areas of the organization.

8.2 Engagement and capacity: Acceptable

  • Employees and stakeholders are actively engaged at all phases and are committed to advancing strategies and initiatives.
  • A learning culture exists within the organization.

8.3 Achieving results: Acceptable

  • Change plans and strategies are priorities for the whole organization.
  • Change plans and strategies are included in Performance Management Agreements of Senior Executives.
  • Assessment plans exist and are broad in scope and detail.
  • Results are apparent.

 

Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: Slightly decreased

9. Effectiveness of Corporate Risk Management

 

Opportunity for Improvement

   
Highlights Opportunities

9.1 Senior management is accountable: Opportunity for Improvement

  • Organization is using a common IRM approach that has been approved by senior management, which is in practice across most of the organization (addresses key risk areas).
  • There is inconsistent awareness and little common understanding of IRM across the organization.
  • Organization's IRM approach is somewhat tailored to the specific needs of the organization; however it may be overly process-driven or may not address organizational requirements.
  • There is some evidence that there are mechanisms for future review of the IRM approach.
  • Senior management reviewed corporate risk profile or similar tool within the past two years.
  • IRM approach has been somewhat communicated within the organization.
  • There is evidence that some IRM governance structures are in place; however roles and responsibilities may be unclear and/or uneven across the organization.
  • It is not evident that senior management provided leadership in the development of an overall IRM approach.
  • Senior management may have provided some leadership in the development of an overall approach; however there is little evidence of ongoing senior management leadership/support for implementation.
  • Accountability for managing key risks appears to be inconsistently assigned to senior management.
  • Accountability for managing key risks does not appear to be assigned to senior management.
  • Senior management is beginning to encourage IRM; however, tools and resources are lacking to support the development of a risk-smart culture.
  • No evidence that senior management provides tools and resources to develop a risk-smart culture.

9.2 Implementation: Opportunity for Improvement

  • IRM approach and planning, performance, and key business processes are well-linked.
  • Tailored mechanisms and approaches are used to manage risks across functional areas and business lines.
  • Organization uses a CRP or similar tool that provides practical and comprehensive risk information.
  • Key operational risks consistently inform the development of corporate risks and priorities.
  • Corporate risks are consistently linked to the organization's strategic outcomes.
  • Risk information flows inconsistently within the organization.
  • Key risk information was adequately gathered from internal sources of the organization for preparing the CRP or similar tool.
  • IRM guidance and tools are narrowly communicated on an ad hoc basis, making them unavailable to the majority of staff.
  • Availability and support for IRM training is limited to a small number of staff and is inconsistently provided from one year to another.
  • There is some evidence of ad hoc internal communications efforts to explain to managers and staff matters such as the importance of IRM and its linkages with the strategic direction and its relevance to the day to day operations of the organization.
  • There is some evidence of informal risk-related communications to inform or engage partners and stakeholders.

9.3 Integration: Acceptable

  • IRM principles or corporate risk information links to operational activities and risk assessments. This may be accomplished through formal or informal processes.
  • Some evidence of stand-alone efforts to apply integrated risk management principles to strategic policy development, operational policy or program area projects.
  • Key risks are narrowly communicated.
  • Key risks are clearly-defined and well-documented.
  • Key risk information and IRM principles routinely influence planning, resource allocation and performance management decisions.
  • Corporate and parliamentary reporting documents clearly and consistently capture key corporate risk information and reflect the overall IRM approach within the organization.

9.4 Continuous Improvement: Acceptable

  • The organization has implemented some or most recommendations provided during its last MAF assessment, and acceptable rationale was provided for those recommendations not addressed.
  • The organization demonstrates adequate measures to ensure the quality and relevance of risk information used.
  • The organization makes adequate course corrections based on performance and new information.
  • New tools or approaches significantly advanced, taking latest practices into consideration and tailored to organizational needs.
  • Organization focused on process-driven tools rather than activities and outcomes.

In order to improve the performance of integrated risk management, DFAIT is encouraged to:

  • Engage senior management in the fundamental aspects of its IRM process to ensure that the draft Policy is approved and the CRP routinely reviewed.
  • Document and communicate risk informed decisions to demonstrate that the IRM approach is active and meeting its objectives.
  • Communicate the Policy and CRP beyond the planning community. This may be accomplished through formal announcements and postings on the intranet site.
  • Establish formal and informal learning and training opportunities.
Recommendations

TBS notes that DFAIT's IRM approach is well drafted. It is recommended that DFAIT continue to engage senior management to approve and fully implement the approach; communicate it well at all levels; and demonstrate that IRM informs decision-making.


 


Rating change since previous year: No change since last year

10. Excellence in People Management

   


Acceptable

 
Highlights Opportunities

10.1 Employee Engagement: Acceptable

10.2 Leadership: Acceptable

10.3 Employment Equity: Acceptable

10.4 Employee Learning: Opportunity for Improvement

10.5 Performance Management: Acceptable

10.6 Integrated HR and Business Planning: Opportunity for Improvement

10.7 Staffing: Acceptable

10.8 Official Languages: Strong

Strengths: retention, employee perception of a respectful workplace, employee perception of freedom to use language of choice.

Apparent Weaknesses: employee learning, workforce planning (employee perception/ use of overtime).

Direct comparisons with last year cannot be made, as the performance measures have changed.

Please note that this website is internal to government and is not available to the general public. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and invite those who are interested in viewing the Excellence in People Management Scorecard to email us at ScorecardResults-ResultatsCartedepointage@tbs-sct.gc.ca and we will make available the Scorecard.

To complement the scorecard, OCHRO launched a departmental dashboard that provides complementary, benchmarked information; and a repository of actionable, exemplary and innovative departmental practices and tools. The dashboard will support enhanced guidance by the Centre in relation to system-wide values and ethics and people management issues. It will also provide timely business intelligence and solutions to Deputy Heads to support the early identification and resolution of departmental values and ethics and people management issues. To access the dashboard, follow the link below:

http://publiservice.ochro-bdprh.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pmi-igp/default.aspx.

Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: No change since last year

12. Effectiveness of Information Management

   


Acceptable

 
Highlights Opportunities

12.1 Governance: Strong

  • There is evidence that IM governance and accountability structures are in place throughout the organization, including representation of IM in organization-wide governance and/or approval committees.
  • IM roles and responsibilities for senior executives and managers are well-defined.
  • Extensive participation is evident in GC-wide approaches and initiatives related to developing, implementing, sharing, and leveraging IM policies and practices.

12.2 Strategy Planning and Implementation: Strong

  • Organization has an IM strategy that is current, active, formally approved and reviewed on a regular basis.
  • IM strategy implementation is underway and there is significant evidence of progress against plans.
  • Organization has well defined and implemented IM awareness and training activities, which are included as part of an overall awareness strategy/program and includes approaches for measuring implementation and effectiveness.

12.4 Access to Information Act: Opportunity for Improvement

  • Organization did not submit its annual update for Info Source: Sources of Federal Government Information as required by the Access to Information Act.
  • A significant number of institution-specific Classes of Records do not comply with Treasury Board Secretariat requirements.

12.5 Privacy Act: Opportunity for Improvement

  • Some collections of personal information under the control of the organization have not been appropriately identified or described in registered Personal Information Banks and/or Classes of Personal Information as required by the Privacy Act.
  • Ensure IM governance and strategic planning address, where possible, all activities described in the IM Internal Services Profile.
  • More detailed reporting and monitoring on the IM strategy, e.g. timelines, results to date, resourcing, etc.
  • Ensure that the locations of all information holdings are documented and that retention plans are in place.
  • Develop consistent metadata that can be applied to all information holdings.
  • Ensure that all institutional functions, programs, activities and related information holdings are identified and described in Info Source.
  • Ensure that all Class of Record descriptions are complete, up-to-date, and comply with Treasury Board Secretariat requirements
Recommendations

DFAIT must submit its annual Info Source update in 2010 to ensure compliance with the Access to Information Act.


 


Rating change since previous year: Slightly decreased

13. Effectiveness of Information Technology Management

   


Acceptable

 
Highlights Opportunities

13.1 Leadership: Acceptable

  • Senior official for information technology has responsibility and accountability for virtually the full scope of information technology responsibilities.
  • Web accessibility is partially integrated into the span of control.
  • Adequate participation in setting government-wide directions for information technology is evident.

13.2 Planning: Acceptable

  • Acceptable information technology plan is in place that aligns with the government-wide directions for information technology and departmental business needs.
  • Organization effectively analyzes, plans for, and appropriately uses information technology shared services.
  • Organization has aligned corporate and information technology governance structures and has an integrated planning process.
  • Organization is making efforts to institutionalize web accessibility into planning and governance processes.

13.3 Value: Acceptable

  • Organization has processes to report progress against planned information technology activities (including Common Look and Feel implementation plans).
  • Organization has integrated performance measurement tools and metrics including an established costing model for information technology services and a service costing baseline that guide information technology investment decisions
  • Organization is making efforts to establish processes for sharing, re-using or leveraging across the government for ideas, best practices, assets and implementations.

Strengthen or Develop

  • IT plan and integrated set of processes and practices for governance, planning and progress reporting in order to monitor and oversee the delivery of business value from IT investments.
  • Governance model for effective management of the organization's web presence (i.e., citizen-facing web content and applications).
  • Participation in GC-wide working groups and GC-wide collaborative work spaces to improve opportunities for sharing and re-use in order to reduce complexity and duplication, promote alignment and interoperability and optimize service delivery.
Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: No change since last year

14. Effectiveness of Asset Management

     


Strong

Highlights Opportunities

14.1 Real Property Management: Strong

  • All elements of a real property management framework are implemented.
  • New and evolving best practices are introduced.
  • Governance structures, approval processes and authority limits are documented and disseminated.
  • Comprehensive internal policies are documented and disseminated.
  • Reliable and integrated information systems are in place.
  • Certification of information in the DFRP is received and accepted.
  • Certification of information in the FCSI is received and accepted.
  • Indicators of real property performance are monitored and performance measurement is ongoing.
  • Contaminated site management is consistent with policy and program guidelines.

14.2 Materiel Management: Strong

  • All elements of a materiel management framework are evident.
  • A culture of continuous improvement is illustrated by excellence in management innovation.
  • Experience and best practices are shared internally and government-wide.
  • Reliable and sufficiently integrated information systems are in place.
  • All indicators of materiel performance are monitored and performance measurement is ongoing.
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade should continue to share best practices and lessons learned.
Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: Slightly decreased

15. Investment Planning and Management of Projects

   


Acceptable

 
Highlights Opportunities

15.1 Investment planning: Acceptable

  • There is evidence of formal approval processes and that investments are generally linked to strategic outcomes.
  • The organization has a planning document that ranks priority investments, including projects.

15.2 Management of Project Resources: Opportunity for Improvement

  • Adequate processes/procedures exist to ensure that planned projects have the required resources to achieve expected results.
  • There is evidence that the organization has not met all TB conditions regarding projects.

15.3 Management of project results: Acceptable

  • There is evidence of organization-wide procedures and processes which communicate project monitoring and performance information to project managers and project oversight mechanisms.
  • There is evidence that the organization monitors project performance and uses this information to support corrective action.

The Department has not filed the Physical Resource Bureau's Annual Property Business Plan since 2005-2006. It is encouraged to resume filing of this plan.

Given the four documented cases where the Department exceeded its authority the Department would benefit from an assessment of its project approval and implementation processes to ensure that authorities are fully respected.

There is an opportunity, which will be addressed with the development and approval of the Investment Plan, for the Department to have an integrated assets and acquired services multi-year investment plan.

Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: No change since last year

16. Effective Procurement

   


Acceptable

 
Highlights Opportunities

16.1 Governance and Oversight:

  • Please note that there is no written assessment for this Area of Management as the rating is carried over from Round VI as one of the organization's Rotational AoMs.

 

Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: Slightly decreased

17. Effectiveness of Financial Management and Control

 

Opportunity for Improvement

   
Highlights Opportunities

17.1 Authorities and Policies: Acceptable

  • Departmental compliance with the Policy on Financial Management Governance shows evidence of solid financial management practices.
  • Departmental tools and procedures for those individuals delegated with Section 34 authority show evidence of solid financial management practices.
  • Departmental processes for informing those delegated with Section 33 authority of their responsibilities and dealing with requests for payments that are problematic show evidence of deficiencies that are of some concern.
  • Departmental processes to provide individuals delegated Section 33 authority with the information necessary to assess and approve transactions and to assess the adequacy of Section 34 account verification show evidence of deficiencies that are of some concern.
  • Departmental processes and procedures for control and safekeeping of petty cash funds show evidence of deficiencies that are of noted concern.
  • Departmental processes and/or procedures that govern the management of its non-petty cash standing advances show evidence of solid financial management practices.
  • The department has completed an internal audit of at least one financial management policy in the past five years, and/or it has one currently underway and/or it has one included in the approved Internal Audit plan for the next three years.
  • Progress on the alignment of costing practices with the Guide to Costing is limited.
  • Reporting of service and cost information for external user fees meets most requirements and guidelines.
  • Approach to fee reviews is in an advanced state of development.

17.2 Quality of financial reporting–internal & external: Opportunity for Improvement

  • Minor areas of non-compliance with Treasury Board Accounting Standard 1.2 – Departmental and Agency Financial Statements and/or some non-compliance with reporting deadlines related to the submission of annual departmental financial statements.
  • There are significant unremedied known financial internal control weaknesses that may affect the reliability of the Departmental Financial Statements.
  • Few Central Financial Management Reporting System (CFMRS) coding errors.
  • Ninety to 96% (Grade A) of Public Accounts reporting plates submitted on time.

17.3 Management Capacity: Acceptable

  • Positions, the duties of which are being performed by an individual indeterminately appointed to that position, comprise a reasonable proportion of the positions on the management team of the financial management organization.
  • Positions, the duties of which are being performed by an individual indeterminately appointed to that position, comprise a very low proportion of the FI segment of the financial management organization.
  • There is a weak functional relationship between the CFO and FI positions that exist outside the financial management organization.
  • A reasonable amount of training is provided for the financial management organization.
  • All, or almost all, FIs and management team members in the financial management organization have current, approved learning plans.
  • There is a position (or positions) established in the financial management organization that is responsible for the management and development of the financial management community.
  • Some processes in support of a sound succession plan for key positions are in place.

17.4 Financial systems and internal control frameworks: Attention Required

  • Departmental Financial Management System (DFMS) governance model supports most of the organization's financial management business needs, mostly supports the Chief Financial Officer's (CFO's) responsibilities, such that the CFO manages the functional configuration of the DFMS, and the CFO provides final approval on functional changes/ enhancements.
  • The organization has a training plan that occasionally includes training on DFMS functionality.
  • Organization has an annual plan that does not fully meet expected content requirements.
  • The organization's financial information requirements have been identified and analyzed but no support submitted.
  • Interfaces between the DFMS and the organization's human resources system, and for some organizations, the Grants and Contribution system, and Salary Management been documented, but not up to date.
  • There is evidence of very limited progress towards advancing the objective of the controls based auditable financial statements.
  • There is little or no evidence of effort in managing the departmental system of internal controls over financial reporting.

17.5 Independent reviews: Opportunity for Improvement

  • There is an acceptable number of internal audit reports of financial management practices.
  • There are opportunities for improvement in the nature and type of audit coverage of financial management practices.
  • A qualitative assessment of audit report shows opportunities for improvement of financial management practices.

 

Recommendations

The Department needs to focus on strengthening the quality of internal controls over financial reporting and being able to sustain a controls based audit.


 


Rating change since previous year: Slightly increased

18. Effectiveness of Internal Audit Function

   


Acceptable

 
Highlights Opportunities

18.1 Internal Audit governance structure: Acceptable

  • Independence of Chief Audit Executive is demonstrated through compliance with 4.1.2 of the Directive on Chief Audit Executives, Internal Audit Plans, and Support to the Comptroller General.
  • Audit charter is reviewed periodically by the Department and Agency Audit Committee.
  • Internal quality assessment process is performed regularly. External Quality Assurance Review is planned or underway.
  • Independent Department and Agency Audit Committee is in place that meets the requirements of the Directive on Departmental Audit Committees.
  • Department and Agency Audit Committee has established a risk-guided focus and cycle for the review of Values and Ethics, Risk Management, and Management Control Framework.
  • Department and Agency Audit Committee has produced an annual report for fiscal year 2008-09 that meets most of the key areas of Department and Agency Audit Committee responsibility.
  • Department and Agency Audit Committee periodically advises the Deputy Head on the effectiveness of arrangements in place to monitor and follow-up on Management Action Plans.

18.2 Policy and Directives on Internal Audit: Acceptable

  • Risk-based Audit Plan is based on a defined, risk-ranked audit universe and on a risk assessment exercise that prioritizes audit engagements.
  • Risk-based Audit Plan is reviewed by the Department and Agency Audit Committee, approved by the Deputy Head, and received by the Comptroller General in an untimely manner.
  • Risk-based Audit Plan identifies the audit engagements to be conducted and the type (assurance or advisory), timing and cost of each engagement to be conducted in the first year of the Plan.
  • Audit reports are reviewed by the Department and Agency Audit Committee, approved by the Deputy Head, and made accessible to the public in a somewhat timely manner. (Penultimate draft is ready within three to six months of exit conference; approved report is usually made public within three to six months of approval by the Deputy Head.)

18.3 Progress: Acceptable

  • Performance reports provided by the organization effectively demonstrate results/progress of the internal audit function including effective implementation of Management Action Plans arising from audits, and adequate capacity and performance of the internal audit function.
  • Departmental leadership/contribution to strengthening the internal audit function government-wide via initiatives is evident.
  • Processes for managing human resources are documented, planned, and implemented.
  • Professional development activities are planned and documented. Internal auditors complete learning and training to maintain their proficiency.

Progress in the development of the RBAP is evident. In the first year of establishment, the new DAC has produced its first Annual Report.

As noted previously in MAF VI, the Risk-Based Audit Plan (RBAP) should be delivered to the OCG within the first fiscal quarter. The RBAP should include explicit statements on the adequacy of resources, and consideration that all high risks will be covered over the planning period.

Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: Slightly decreased

19. Effective Management of Security and Business Continuity

   


Acceptable

 
Highlights Opportunities

19.1 Departmental Security Program: Acceptable

  • Organization has in place a fully developed security program that comprises key policy elements and is administered by an appointed Departmental Security Officer (DSO) who is positioned to provide strategic advice and guidance to senior management.
  • No significant deficiencies in meeting key policy requirements for the departmental security program.
  • Organization continuously improves its security program.
  • Senior management is actively engaged in the management of security risks.
  • Organization demonstrates leadership and innovation, and contributes to the government-wide security program.

19.2 Management of IT Security (MITS): Acceptable

  • Organization has achieved the three priority objectives that form the foundation for Management of Information Technology Security (MITS) and complies with most MITS requirements.
  • No significant deficiencies in meeting key MITS requirements.
  • Organization continuously improves its Information Technology security program.
  • Senior management is actively engaged in the management Information Technology security risks.
  • Organization demonstrates leadership and innovation, and contributes to the government-wide Information Technology security program.

Note: The rating for this Area of Management has decreased from Strong to Acceptable since MAF Round VI solely as a result of line of evidence 19.3 being unrated in Round VII.

Pursue ongoing initiatives to maintain and continue improving the departmental security program and address outstanding deficiencies (namely as it pertains to security in missions abroad and findings from recent Threats and Risk Assessments).

Continue development of Departmental Security Plan and strengthen security program monitoring.

Pursue ongoing efforts and initiatives to sustain and improve MITS compliance, including addressing deficiencies related to security in the system development life cycle, risk management, and network security.

Continue activities currently underway to maintain and strengthen the BCP function.

Continue to participate in government-wide security initiatives and to share best practices with other federal institutions.

Recommendations

 


 


Rating change since previous year: No change since last year

20. Citizen-focused Service

   


Acceptable

 
Highlights Opportunities

20.1 Sound Service Management Practices: Acceptable

  • The organization is effectively implementing sound service management practices.
  • The organization has set service priorities at a branch level but has not set overall priorities or adopted a coordinated organization-wide approach to service improvement.
  • The organization has identified clear results, is actively monitoring performance and progress across the organization and is making adjustments as needed.

20.2 Client Service Orientation: Acceptable

  • The organization is in the process of adopting a client service orientation in the areas of official languages and accessibility.
  • The necessary linguistic capacity to provide services to the public in both official languages is in place.
  • Services are nearly always offered in both official languages and are nearly always of equal quality.
  • The organization has made a general commitment to making services accessible to persons with disabilities.

20.3 Public/client views/needs: Strong

  • There is a clearly identified target clientele for public consultations.
  • There are plans to obtain views from clients.
  • Many strong tools are used to obtain views from clients.
  • Evidence of making consultation results available to the public.
  • Evidence of incorporating feedback in the implementation of its services, programs, policies or initiatives.

DFAIT is encouraged to establish a service priority setting approach at the organizational level that considers service performance and risk, GC priorities, client needs and opportunities for innovation.

Recommendations