Excercise 3: Case Management

The third part of the oral assessment is the 90-minute Case Management Exercise. The purpose of this segment is to evaluate the candidate’s management skills, interpersonal skills and quantitative ability. Writing concise, correct, and persuasive English is also important in this exercise. This exercise is indicative of the candidate’s ability to integrate and analyze information, to interpret quantitative data, and to display sound judgment. The candidate will be asked to incorporate data and other statistical information in the analysis and recommended solutions.

The candidate is given a memo describing the tasks to complete and a variety of information about the central issue, including a summary of the major issues (from the candidate’s supervisor), an organizational chart, e-mail messages from a host of different perspectives at different levels in the Embassy and details about the past performance of the staff. A calculator is not needed in reviewing the quantitative data, but the analysis and recommendations must show a clear understanding of these data.

The candidate may want to spend 30 minutes reading and analyzing the material, 45 minutes writing the required memo, and 15 minutes reviewing and revising.

A Sample Exercise

You are the newly arrived Supervisory General Services Officer at a medium-sized embassy in a country with few amenities. General Services Officers are responsible for the embassy’s logistics operations: leasing, maintenance, transportation, procurement, management and inventory of property, and the like. Your supervisor, the Management Officer, Steve Hansen, is out of the office, and has left you a memorandum, indicating that a file on the top of your desk should be your number one priority. His memorandum indicates that a conflict has developed between your deputy, Sharon Smith, who has recently arrived on her first tour, and the Junior Officer in the consular section, Mitch Stevens. The maintenance chief, Peter, a local national who reports to Sharon, is also involved. There are no other American personnel in the section; Sharon is responsible for leasing, maintenance, and property inventories, while you are responsible for procurement, transportation, and overall management of the section. The Management Officer instructs you to draft for his consideration a two-page memo that presents the facts and offers recommendations on how to resolve the issue, including at least one alternative.

You review the file in front of you. It contains:

  1. An exchange of e-mails between Sharon and Mitch: Mitch complains that the work orders for repairs at his residence are not being completed to his satisfaction; he has received no follow-up information. Sharon responds that many of his requests are not appropriate use of the embassy’s limited maintenance staff. Mitch responds that this was never a problem under Sharon’s predecessor, and furthermore, that he himself, as a General Services Officer on his previous tour, allowed such practices and certainly knows the regulations at least as well as Sharon. She in turn retorts that Mitch’s personal friendship with her predecessor resulted in favoritism that should never have happened in the first place. Mitch in turn alleges that Sharon must bear a personal grudge against him, apparently because he was recently tenured (while she was not).
  2. A memorandum from Mitch’s supervisor to the Management Officer, complaining that the maintenance section’s failure to handle Mitch’s household repairs is having an unsatisfactory effect on his work in the Consular Section, and referring to an incident the previous Friday evening at the Marine House, in which Sharon and Mitch apparently resorted to name-calling after a few beers. The Consular Officer also suggests that, since Sharon’s arrival, embassy morale has suffered considerably; she is known as “the lady who can only say ‘no.’”
  3. Mitch’s work orders, as follows:
    • repair torn window-screen in kitchen: marked “Low Priority” by Sharon, with the notation that this is the third time in two years that this particular screen has been torn and is in need of replacement
    • repair motorcycle: marked “Not approved” by Sharon, with the notation that this is Mitch’s personal property and should not be repaired using U.S. Government funds or personnel
    • build tool shed in back yard: marked “Not approved” by Sharon, with the notation that there is ample space for tools in the garage, but this space is being used by Mitch’s two motorcycles instead
    • replace draperies throughout the house: marked “Defer” by Sharon, with the notation that the draperies were all changed upon Mitch’s arrival eighteen months ago, and that they are changed only once per occupant, regardless of the circumstances
    • replace living room carpet: marked “Approved” by Sharon, with the notation that carpet cannot be purchased at the present time because the embassy has no funds for the procurement of furniture and furnishings

4.  A memorandum from Peter, the local maintenance chief, to Sharon, cc: Steve, indicating his discomfort with Sharon’s new policy of disapproving so many work orders. He says he has been with the embassy for 15 years, and has always provided quality and courteous service to the American staff, at both their homes and offices, and indicates he has a large, able staff of workmen ready to be of service. He is concerned about the effect that the new policy is having on embassy morale, and in particular on the relations between his section and the American staff

5.  A  memorandum from the budget chief to Sharon, cc: Steve indicating that, barely halfway through the fiscal year, the General Services Section is considerably over-budget. A line-by-line tally is attached. Costs are all in U.S. dollars.

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  1. Why viewers still make use of to read news papers when in this technological globe everything is presented on net?

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