Thursday, 11 July 2019
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
152. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the oversight of his Department of directives, circulars, advice or requirements issued since 2016; if surveys have been carried out of compliance with these communications to date; the surveys carried out; the results of the surveys; the compliance rate; the actions taken by his Department following these results; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31326/19]
My Department continually monitors compliance with its relevant legislative, regulatory and internal procedural obligations. Adherence to compliance deadlines is monitored and evaluated throughout the year with regular reporting to senior management on performance. There are a number of compliance functions operating across key business units.
The civil service renewal plan sets out an ambitious programme of reform for all Government Departments and Offices. An important aspect is the need for strong governance. The Corporate Governance Framework (CGF) of my Department encapsulates the commitment to act with integrity and in the public interest meeting the range of legal, regulatory and Government policy obligations. The CGF captures the political and operational context, Departmental obligations and responsibilities, standards of conduct and accountability mechanisms. It defines the role of the Secretary General and senior management in ensuring effective corporate governance and it outlines the governance arrangements in place at Headquarters and across our network of Missions as well as the audit, assurance and compliance arrangements which underpin the Department’s governance approach. The CGF was first published in 2016 and was most recently updated in 2018. It is kept under active review and amended as necessary to ensure that it remains fit for purpose.
A Strategic Management Framework for senior managers, including Heads of Mission overseas, is under development. The Framework summarises management responsibilities and sets out key statutory and compliance obligations. It includes links to support and guidance available to assist Heads of Mission and their management teams in particular in meeting compliance responsibilities. The Framework includes a summary of cross-cutting issues arising from mission reviews, a description of compliance obligations by theme and a compliance calendar. Once finalised, it will foster greater clarity, consistency and enhanced communication between HQ and missions on management and compliance requirements.