Management Practices Audit of the Yukon Region

Date: February 2012
Project # 11-13

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Table of contents

Acronyms

AANDC
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
AES
Audit and Evaluation Sector
CMC
Core Management Controls
CSA
Control Self-Assessment
FNITP
First Nations and Inuit Transfer Payment system
HR
Human Resources
MPA
Management Practices Audit
PARF
Personnel Action Request Form
RBAP
Risk-Based Audit Plan

Executive Summary

Background

A second round of Management Practices Audits (MPAs) was included in the 2010-13 Risk-based Audit Plan (RBAP) on the basis that MPAs provide Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AADNC) with an effective and economical approach to improving management practices and increasing awareness of leading practices. The RBAP was recommended by the Audit Committee and approved by the Deputy Minister on April 19, 2010.

The approach for the second round of MPAs included a regional Control Self-Assessment (CSA) workshop and an audit of management practices focused on the areas of highest risk as identified by the Audit and Evaluation Sector (AES) through the CSA workshop and a review of previous audit and review findings.

Audit Objective and Scope

The objective of this audit was to provide senior management with assurance over a selection of management practices assessed as being higher risk during a regional CSA workshop, a review of previous audit and review findings, and a review of departmental priorities. For management practices identified as high risk, AES assessed whether the controls and activities in place are adequate and effective in supporting the achievement of regional objectives in a manner that is compliant with applicable policies, procedures and regulations.

The scope of this audit covered April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2011. As described in the audit objective, the audit examined higher risk management practices and activities in terms of relative importance and performance. The audit scope for the Yukon Region included the broad management practice areas of client service standards, human resources management, governance and strategic direction, internal communications, and policy development and program design.

Observed Strengths

Throughout the audit fieldwork, the audit team observed several examples of how controls are properly designed and are being applied effectively by Yukon regional management. This resulted in positive findings which are listed below

  • The audit found that the Human Resources Dashboard is received from Headquarters and provides some statistical information on the workforce profile, such as employment tenure, major occupation group, and age profile and retirement eligibility. The audit noted that this report is sent to the Regional Director General and Human Resources and is reviewed by the Yukon Management Committee on a regular basis.
  • The Region has taken steps to improve internal communications by hiring an individual to lead internal communications and by establishing an Internal Communications Working Group whose purpose is to improve internal communications within the Region.
  • The Region effectively utilizes Headquarters and internally developed planning tools (e.g. Integrated Unit Plan) to develop operational objectives that are aligned with the Departments strategic objectives. In addition, the quarterly reporting process is used to monitor progress on achieving goals and objectives.

Conclusion

Generally, management practices were found to be effective and adequate; however, some areas where improvements are required were noted in the areas of external client service standards, integrated human resources planning, human resources recruitment, hiring and promotion, and influencing policy development.

Recommendations

The audit team identified areas where regional management practices and processes could be improved, resulting in four (4) recommendations.

The Audit and Evaluation Sector recommends that the Regional Director General of the Yukon Region:

  1. Define standards for services provided to external clients, develop performance expectations (targets) for each standard, and establish monitoring and reporting requirements. In doing so, the Regional Director General, Yukon Region should collaborate with the Northern Affairs Organization (HQ) and the other North of 60 regional offices to ensure a consistent approach is developed.

    Given the Yukon Region's unique operational environment – the Region provides services to Northern (Northern Development programs) as well as First Nation (Indian and Inuit Affairs programs) recipients - the Regional Director General, Yukon Region should seek to leverage, where applicable, the work completed to date as part of the National Standards Initiative to establish standards, targets and monitoring/reporting requirements for Indian and Inuit Affairs Program-based program activities.
  2. Ensure human resources plans and regional business plan are integrated and provide details on anticipated human resource requirements and its impact on financial resources. In doing so, the Regional Director General, Yukon Region should collaborate with the Northern Affairs Organization (HQ) and the other North of 60 regional offices to ensure a consistent approach is developed. The Regional Director General, Yukon Region should seek to leverage, where applicable, the approach and methodology developed by South of 60 regional offices to improve the integration of human resources and business planning documents.
  3. Ensure that staffing files are complete and that key forms (i.e. Personnel Action Request Form) are adequately completed including the section that links the staffing action to the Human Resources Plan.
  4. Formally establish mechanisms to ensure the Region is actively engaged in the development of departmental policies that impact the Region's operations. Given the Yukon Region's unique operational environment - the Region provides services to Northern (Northern Development programs) as well as First Nation (Indian and Inuit Affairs programs) recipients - the established mechanisms should facilitate the Region's engagement in the development of policies impacting Northern and First Nations recipients.

1. Introduction and Context

1.1 Management Practices Initiative

The Audit and Evaluation Sector (AES) conducted twenty (20) Management Practices Reviews (MPRs) between 2007 and 2010, as part of a Department-wide initiative to assess the relative strength of regional and sector management practices. Following the completion of the first round of MPRs, the Deputy Minister and the Audit Committee recommended that a summary report be prepared to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the MPR process and to make a recommendation on whether the management practices initiative should be continued. As a result of the analysis, a second round of MPRs, using a revised approach, was recommended by the Audit Committee and later approved by the Deputy Minister.

Under the revised approach, which was designed to provide departmental management with an audit level of assurance, management practices engagements were to be conducted in two phases: a Control Self-Assessment (CSA) workshop and a limited scope audit. Based on the feedback received from the CSA as well as the results of previous audits and reviews, and a review of departmental priorities, a limited number of management practices were to be selected for inclusion in an audit.

1.2 Control Self-Assessment

The CSA workshop is the venue through which internal audit gathers participants' opinions on the importance, efficiency, and effectiveness of key management practices. Specifically, their views on how well each of their key management practices is functioning to support achievement of the Region's objectives. The CSA workshop was facilitated by an AES facilitation team, led by an external third-party, and was designed to allow for maximum discussion, with anonymous voting technology used to encourage open and honest feedback.

As a result of the workshop discussions, preliminary interviews, and the review of previous engagement findings, AES identified six key areas of potential risk that required further analysis. These six areas of risk were as follows: external client service standards; integrated human resources planning; human resources recruitment, hiring and promotion; operational objective-setting and planning; internal communications; and, influencing policy development. These risk areas were mapped to relevant Core Management Control (CMC) categories and relevant audit criteria were developed and assessed (audit criteria are included in Appendix A).

1.3 Yukon Region

Yukon Region supports northern political and economic development through the management of federal interests and the promotion of sustainable development in northern communities. The Region provides programs and services through four directorates which reflect national strategic areas: the Government, the People, the Land and the Economy. There are about 120 staff in the Region, all based in the territorial capital of Whitehorse.

Yukon Region has a relationship with the fourteen First Nations that are geographically located in the Yukon, as well as three Indian Act First Nations located in northern British Columbia.

2. Audit Objective and Scope

2.1 Audit Objective

The objective of this audit was to provide senior management with assurance over a selection of management practices assessed as being higher risk as identified through a regional CSA workshop, a review of previous audit and review findings, and a review of departmental priorities. For management practices identified as high risk, AES assessed whether the controls and activities in place are adequate and effective in supporting the achievement of regional objectives in a manner that is compliant with applicable policies, procedures and regulations.

The audit objective was supported by detailed audit criteria developed in alignment with CMC.

2.2 Audit Scope

The scope of this audit covered April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2011. The audit examined management practices and activities considered by management and AES to be higher risk in terms of relative importance and performance. In certain instances where audit work was recently conducted or where future audit work is planned, management practices identified as high risk were excluded from the scope of this audit. In addition, management practices considered to be the primary responsibility of Headquarters were removed from the scope of the audit. Headquarters' areas consistently identified as a high risk will be subject to future department-wide audits.

The scope for the Yukon Region included the areas of: external client service standards; integrated human resources planning; human resources recruitment, hiring and promotion; operational objective-setting and planning; internal communications; and, influencing policy development. Audit fieldwork was primarily conducted from July 11 to July 15, 2011, during a site visit to the Whitehorse office of the Yukon Region.

3. Approach and Methodology

The Management Practices Audit of the Yukon Region was planned and conducted to be in accordance with the Internal Auditing Standards for the Government of Canada as set out in the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit.

Sufficient and appropriate audit procedures have been conducted and evidence gathered to support the audit conclusion provided and contained in this report.

The principal audit techniques used included:

The approach used to address the audit objectives included the development of audit criteria against which observations, assessments and conclusions were drawn. The audit criteria developed for this audit are included in Appendix A.

For the purposes of the examination of internal communications and human resource files, a control-based sample was selected covering the period of audit scope of April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2011. The sampling strategy considered the following factors: coverage across fiscal years; the type of internal communication or staffing action; identified risks; and, the frequency and type of controls to be tested.

4. Conclusion

Generally, management practices were found to be effective and adequate; however, some areas where improvements are required were noted in the areas of external client service standards, integrated human resources planning, human resources recruitment, hiring and promotion, and influencing policy development.

5. Observations and Recommendations

Based on a combination of the evidence gathered through the examination of documentation, analysis and interviews, each audit criterion was assessed by the audit team and a conclusion for each audit criterion was determined. Where a significant difference between the audit criterion and the observed practice was found, the risk of the gap was evaluated and used to develop a conclusion and to provide recommendations for improvement.

Observations include both management practices considered to be strong as well as those requiring improvement. Management areas identified for improvement include the impact of the weakness identified and recommendations for corrective actions.

5.1 Client Service Standards

5.1.1 External Client Service Standards

Establishing a client service orientation, managing external clients' expectations, and being able to improve to better meet client needs is critical for the Yukon regional office, which focuses most of its efforts on delivering services to external clients. In implementing a client service orientation, it is important that regional offices establish external service standards that are communicated to clients and that regional management actively manages monitors and solicits feedback from external clients on these service standards. In developing such standards, a consistent, national approach must be developed that strikes an appropriate balance between the Department's efforts to improve the quality of service to recipients while also reducing the reporting burden.

The audit found that a governance framework for external client service delivery standards is currently under development at Headquarters which is intended to communicate the Department's expected service delivery standards; as such, the Yukon Region has not focused a significant effort on establishing standards of their own.

In the absence of departmental client service delivery standards, a limited number of regional client service standards exist and these standards have not been communicated to clients. Examples of these standards include turnaround time for reviewing audit reports; elapsed time for receiving social assistance payments; and, timeliness of payments for Financial Transfer Agreements (FTA). The audit found that the grants and contribution management system (FNITP-First Nation and Inuit Transfer Payments system) was being used to report on the timeliness of review of audit reports. The social assistance payment service standard, however, was not actively monitored nor was FNITP used as a tool to monitor the related service standard. While the issuance and delivery of the cheques is executed by organizations outside of the Region, it is important for the Region to know whether or not its published standard is being met and assess whether the standard continues to be appropriate.

Recommendation:

It is recommended that the Regional Director General of the Yukon Region:

1. Define standards for services provided to external clients, develop performance expectations (targets) for each standard, and establish monitoring and reporting requirements. In doing so, the Regional Director General, Yukon Region should collaborate with the Northern Affairs Organization (HQ) and the other North of 60 regional offices to ensure a consistent approach is developed.

Given the Yukon Region's unique operational environment – the Region provides services to Northern (Northern Development programs) as well as First Nation (Indian and Inuit Affairs programs) recipients - the Regional Director General, Yukon Region should seek to leverage, where applicable, the work completed to date as part of the National Standards Initiative to establish standards, targets and monitoring/reporting requirements for Indian and Inuit Affairs Program-based program activities.

5.2 Human Resources Management

5.2.1 Integrated Human Resources Planning

To ensure that a region optimizes use of its human capital to support the achievement of its goals, it is important that human resource planning be aligned with strategic and business planning and that it includes information on the related financial resources. Without a good understanding of the human and financial resources required to implement strategic goals and planned activities, it is difficult for management to properly determine the real needs of the organization.

Integrated Business Plans and Regional Human Resources Plans have been produced in the Yukon Region. The audit noted that the regional Integrated Business Plan and the Regional Human Resources Plan are summary documents, containing high-level descriptions of the key issues and context and that these documents do not contain a clear link to the resources (human and financial) that will be required to implement the plans. Additionally, the Region produces a Quarterly Report that includes a human resources summary; however, the audit did not find a clear alignment between the regional Integrated Business Plan, the Human Resources Plan and the financial budget information.

As a result, without an understanding of the human and financial resources required to implement strategic goals and planned activities, it is difficult for management to adequately plan for and forecast the needs of the organization.

Recommendation:

It is recommended that the Regional Director General of the Yukon Region:

2. Ensure human resources plans and regional business plan are integrated and provide details on anticipated human resource requirements and its impact on financial resources. In doing so, the Regional Director General, Yukon Region should collaborate with the Northern Affairs Organization (HQ) and the other North of 60 regional offices to ensure a consistent approach is developed. The Regional Director General, Yukon Region should seek to leverage, where applicable, the approach and methodology developed by South of 60 regional offices to improve the integration of human resources and business planning documents.

5.2.2 Human Resources Recruitment, Hiring and Promotion

Within the federal government context, it is expected that staffing decisions consider current and future needs and are conducted in a manner that is fair and objective. It is critical that management practices and internal control procedures are in place to help ensure policy compliance, fairness and transparency in the staffing process. It is also important that management conducts periodic analysis of the staffing process to investigate possible trends and anomalies.

To supplement and support the Human Resources Plans (Integrated HR Plan, HR Action Plan and Strategic Staffing Plan) within the Region, annual staffing plans are developed by Directorates, using a standard template, that identify all anticipated staffing actions/requirements (e.g. replacement and new) for the coming year. Staffing decisions are made based on identified needs and developed by Human Resources in consultation with the hiring managers. Staffing needs and issues are discussed at the Human Resources Management Committee. It was noted that management's current practice is to demonstrate how the staffing action addressed a required need on the Personnel Action Request Forms (PARF). A review of a sample of 15 staffing files revealed that in two (2) of the 15 staffing files, the link to the HR plan was not evident on PARF. As a result, there is a risk that staffing actions are not properly aligned with the organization's needs identified in the staffing plans.

A review of a sample of15 staffing files also revealed that actions taken by management were generally compliant with relevant legislation and government policies, and were approved according to delegated authorities. Management and staff interviewed did not report any issues with the staffing process (other than the length of time taken to complete the recruitment process, a common observation with respect to recruitment in the public sector) and found the staffing process to be conducted in a fair and objective manner. With the exception of a minor file documentation discrepancy (one (1) of 15 files did not include screened-out notifications), actions were properly documented and relevant supporting documents such as notifications, statement of merit, candidate assessments and Board assessments, are retained.

Recommendation:

It is recommended that the Regional Director General of the Yukon Region:

3. Ensure that staffing files are complete and that key forms (i.e. Personnel Action Request Form) are adequately completed including the section that links the staffing action to the Human Resources Plan.

5.3 Governance and Strategic Direction

5.3.1 Operational Objective Setting and Planning

A region's operational objective setting and planning is enabled by the collective suite of management processes that are in place to set strategic direction, operational plans, objectives and priorities and to provide clear direction on how resources should be allocated to achieve these plans. The presence of operational objective setting and planning documents is important to ensure that management's direction, plans and actions are appropriate and responsible. Reporting documents should include timely and accurate financial and operating information in order to fulfill their oversight function. Resource allocation and budgets includes financial, human and physical resources.

The audit found that a Strategic Plan was developed in 2009 and covers the period of 2009 to 2012. It involved broad participation and all of the four directorates were involved. It was noted that the Strategic Plan identified priorities and objectives. Additionally, it was noted that on an annual basis the Region prepares an operational plan which includes strategic objectives; these are aligned with the strategic outcomes for the Department.

On an annual basis the Region prepares an operational plan that feeds into Headquarters' plan. The operational plan is aligned to the Department's strategic outcomes. On a quarterly basis, management reports against progress on achieving the plan as well as providing a risk assessment for meeting the objectives. Objectives are revisited as required based on the risk assessment and progress.

Finally, the audit found that operating objectives are reviewed through the quarterly reporting process and any changes would be reflected in that report.

Recommendation:

No recommendations were identified in this area.

5.4 Communications

5.4.1 Internal Communications

Open and effective channels for internal communications and feedback are important in ensuring that decisions are effectively implemented and that accurate, open and honest feedback is received. It is also important that internal communications and feedback mechanisms provide timely and relevant information to staff and personnel.

Within the Yukon Region, several formal internal communication channels were observed to be used for internal communications and feedback. Based on discussions with management and staff and a review of sample communication (e.g. committee agendas, meeting minutes, intranet site and e-mails), the audit noted that a variety of internal communications channels exist in order to provide open and effective feedback across the organization. The audit also noted that the Region has taken steps to improve internal communications by hiring an individual to lead internal communications and establishing an Internal Communications Working Group whose purpose is to improve internal communications within the Region.

Recommendation:

No recommendations were identified in this area.

5.5 Policy Development and Program Design

5.5.1 Influencing Policy Development

Given the nature of AANDC, which has operations in diverse areas with unique operating conditions and environments, the development of policy requires careful consideration of these factors and consultation with stakeholders. It is important that the Region actively participate in influencing policy development at Headquarters to ensure that the policy instruments developed by Headquarters appropriately take into account local regional requirements.

Policy development is officially a Headquarters responsibility and while no formal policies are developed in the Region, due to its unique relationship with 11 self-governed First Nations, the Region often finds itself involved in influencing Headquarters-based policy development. Management noted that the Region relies on previous experience and Program directorates in the Region participate in influencing Headquarters policy as needed.

The audit found that much effort is required by staff to monitor and provide timely input into the policy design conducted by Headquarters. Interviewees also noted that the Region is often reacting to policy developed by Headquarters. Policies that are developed often focus on on-reserve First Nations which does not fit well with the Region's context of self-government and devolution of responsibility to the territorial government. This becomes more challenging for a region that is physically located far from Headquarters and in a different time zone. The audit found that the Region does not have a structured or systematic approach to influencing policy development nor specific tools or guidance on how to participate in a coordinated manner in the development of policies.

Recommendation:

It is recommended that the Regional Director General of the Yukon Region:

4. Formally establish mechanisms to ensure the Region is actively engaged in the development of departmental policies that impact the Region's operations. Given the Yukon Region's unique operational environment - the Region provides services to Northern (Northern Development programs) as well as First Nation (Indian and Inuit Affairs programs) recipients - the established mechanisms should facilitate the Region's engagement in the development of policies impacting Northern and First Nations recipients.

6. Management Action Plan

Management Practices Audit of the Policy and Strategic Direction Sector
Approval Date: 11/21/2013
Recommendations Response/Actions Responsible Manager (Title) Planned Implementation Date
1. The Regional Director General, Yukon Region should define standards for services provided to external clients, develop performance expectations (targets) for each standard, and establish monitoring and reporting requirements. In doing so, the Regional Director General, Yukon Region should collaborate with the Northern Affairs Organization (HQ) and the other North of 60 regional offices to ensure a consistent approach is developed.

Given the Yukon Region's unique operational environment – the Region provides services to Northern (Northern Development programs) as well as First Nation (Indian and Inuit Affairs programs) recipients - the Regional Director General, Yukon Region should seek to leverage, where applicable, the work completed to date as part of the National Standards Initiative to establish standards, targets and monitoring/reporting requirements for Indian and Inuit Affairs Program-based program activities.
Management Response

The Yukon Region will establish service standards, performance targets, and monitoring and reporting requirements for the Region's program delivery activities for Northern Development-focused programs and Indian and Inuit Affairs-focused programs. For Northern Development-focused program areas, the Yukon Region will work closely with the Northern Affairs Organization (HQ) and the other North of 60 regional offices to ensure a consistent approach is developed.

For Indian and Inuit Affairs-focused program areas, the Yukon Region will seek to leverage the work completed to date through the National Standards Initiative.

As part of these efforts, the Yukon Region will also seek ways to leverage the existing functionalities of the First Nations and Inuit Transfer Payment (FNITP) system to support ongoing monitoring and reporting on these new standards.
Regional Director General, Yukon Region  
Actions

Review the Northern Development-based program activities and Indian and Inuit Affairs-based program activities to identify those programs with existing service standards as well as those programs without established service standards.

Formalize service standards, targets, and monitoring and reporting requirements for programs with existing standards.

Establish service standards, targets, and monitoring and reporting requirements for programs without existing standards.

Communicate service standards, targets, and monitoring and reporting requirements to all regional staff and hold awareness sessions to ensure those impacted by the new standards are fully briefed.

Implement monitoring and reporting activities in time for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
March 2013
2. The Regional Director General, Yukon Region should ensure human resources plans and regional business plan are integrated and provide details on anticipated human resource requirements and its impact on financial resources. In doing so, the Regional Director General, Yukon Region should collaborate with the Northern Affairs Organization (HQ) and the other North of 60 regional offices to ensure a consistent approach is developed. The Regional Director General, Yukon Region should seek to leverage, where applicable, the approach and methodology developed by South of 60 regional offices to improve the integration of human resources and business planning documents. Management Response

The Yukon Region will work in collaboration with the other North of 60 regional offices under the direction of Northern Affairs Organization (HQ) to improve the linkages between human resources and regional business plans. Specifically, the Region will ensure that human resources requirements and the associated financial impacts are captured for program activity identified in the regional business plan. In developing the new approach and methodology for integrating HR and business plans, the Region may seek advice and guidance from South of 60 regional offices as well as the Policy and Strategic Direction Sector and others to ensure that the new plan is compatible with the Department's quarterly reporting requirements.
Regional Director General, Yukon Region  
Actions

Participate in discussions with the other North of 60 regional offices and Northern Affairs Organization (HQ) to identify a common way forward.

Present the revised approach to regional planning to the ADM, NAO for approval.

Develop a revised regional planning template and supporting tools to report against the plan.
September 2012
3. The Regional Director General, Yukon Region should ensure that staffing files are complete and that key forms (i.e. Personnel Action Request Form) are adequately completed including the section that links the staffing action to the Human Resources Plan. Management Response

As articulated in the Human Resource Plan, staffing actions must align to Regional, Sector and Corporate priorities and context. The RDG will work with Human Resources in the Yukon Region to ensure alignment of resource allocation with established plans and priorities.
Regional Director General, Yukon Region  
Actions

The Human Resources Directorate (HRD), Yukon Region will review the current HR checklists to ensure that they capture all of the required documentation for the various staffing processes conducted by the Region, including the linkage to the regional HR staffing plan. The updated checklists will be communicated to HRD staff.

HRD, Yukon Region will hold information sessions with managers on how to complete Personnel Action Request forms (PARFs).
April 2012
4. The Regional Director General, Yukon Region should formally establish mechanisms to ensure the Region is actively engaged in the development of departmental policies that impact the Region's operations. Given the Yukon Region's unique operational environment - the Region provides services to Northern (Northern Development programs) as well as First Nation (Indian and Inuit Affairs programs) recipients - the established mechanisms should facilitate the Region's engagement in the development of policies impacting Northern and First Nations recipients. Management Response

The Yukon Region will continue efforts to ensure it is actively involved in the departmental policy development process for Northern Development and Indian and Inuit Affairs program areas, particularly those policy decisions that have a direct impact on the Yukon Region. Through attendance at the Northern Management Board of NAO, the Associate Regional Director General (ARDG) forum for Regional Operations, and other Headquarters-led forums such as the Director Generals Implementation and Operations Committee (DGIOC), the Yukon Region will work to ensure it actively provides comments and feedback in a timely manner on policy items relevant to the Yukon Region.
Regional Director General, Yukon Region  
Actions

Identify all key headquarters-led policy forums and appoint responsible regional authority for each forum. Where the Yukon Region is not a participant in the forum, the Region will work in concert with the Northern Affairs Organization (HQ) to ensure policy discussions impacting the Yukon Region are communicated to the appropriate regional representative.

Establish a regional working group comprised of the responsible regional authorities noted above for the purpose of monitoring and discussing policy development activities across the department and providing timely feedback on items relevant to the Yukon Region.

Incorporate policy development in the Yukon Region's senior management committee agenda as a standing item.

September 2012

Appendix A: Audit Criteria

The audit objective is linked to audit criteria developed in alignment with Core Management Controls. Additional audit criteria were developed to address specific risks identified in the planning phase.

Audit Criteria
Client Service Standards
1.1 Service standards are established and communicated.
1.2 Service standards are managed, monitored and feedback is solicited from external clients.
Human Resources Management
2.1 Human resource planning is aligned with strategic and business planning.
2.2 Recruitment, hiring and promotion consider the current and future needs of the organization.
2.3 Recruitment, hiring and promotion are conducted in a manner that is fair and objective.
Governance and Strategic Direction
3.1 The Region has clearly defined and communicated strategic directions and strategic objectives, aligned with its mandate.
3.2 The Region has in place operational plans and objectives aimed at achieving its strategic objectives.
Internal Communications
4.1 Open and effective channels exist for internal communications and feedback.
4.2 Internal communications and feedback mechanisms provide timely and relevant information.
Policy and Programs
5.1 The organization has a formal and coordinated approach to monitor external environments and actively participate in policy design.
5.2 The organization has resources to support research and influence policy design.
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