Finance Officer Loans/Team Leader, Grants – IFAD

Vacancy announcement number: 1253
Date of issue: 01/23/2014
Deadline for applications 02/21/2014
Organizational unit Controller’s & Fin. Serv. Div.
Level: P-4
Duty Station: ROME

Duty Station: Rome HQ.

Duration of Assignment: 2 years (with possibility of renewal).

1. Divisional Context

The Controller’s and Financial Services Division (CFS) is located in the Financial Operations Department. CFS supports the mission of IFAD by providing sound financial management practices, effective financial accounting, payments and reporting that supports decision making, and developing innovative solutions to assist the Fund in achieving its strategic goals. A Regional Team within CFS has the overall responsibility for the financial management arrangements in Fund projects, and the timely and efficient delivery of loan and grant administration services for the portfolio within the assigned cluster of countries, in line with the CFS work plan. The assigned portfolio will include loans for a regional portfolio and the entire portfolio of non-country (regional & global) grants.

2. Purpose of position

The Finance Officer Loans / Team Leader Grants (FO/TL) works under direct supervision of the Manager Loans and Grants on an assigned group of countries within the Region for Loans, and the entire IFAD portfolio of non-country (global and and regional) grants.The FO/TL will be highly committed to the delivery of objectives and activities assigned; and keep abreast of the financial management developments and skills required to respond to the divisional work plans and results.

The main responsibilities of the incumbent will be the design of financial management arrangements in Fund projects, supervision of financial management during project implementation and the timely and efficient delivery of loan and grant administration services for the assigned portfolio of countries, in line with the CFS work plan. S/he will provide financial management support and guidance to IFAD¿s loans and grants portfolio activities, ensuring compliance with specific IFAD standards, policies and guidelines, and fiduciary integrity, whilst allowing flexibility within generic financial management principles to enhance operational effectiveness and efficiency. The scope of the role includes coordination with internal and external stakeholders for financial management activities, including risk analysis and assessment covering loan administration, auditing, accounting and reporting, fund flows and internal controls.

3. Duties and Responsibilities

As Team Leader, Grants:

Determine the Grants team’s objectives and priorities in consultation with the Grants originating departments (PTA, SKM, PMD and others) and their team members, and consistent with the CFS divisional strategic plan and document these in a work plan agreed with relevant stakeholders; manage and ensure the adequacy of Grants team members’ skills and resources to support and achieve the operational plan targets, both with respect to the on-going Grants portfolio as well as new pipeline design activities; exercise professional judgment to determine whether CFS staff or FM consultants will support the activity based on complexity/suitability/specific competencies.

Directly manage and supervise Finance Officers and Finance Assistants in the Grants Unit, coordinating processing and operational efficiencies with other Team Leaders and overseeing the maintenance of grants data and disbursement of funds; ensure compliance with agreed individual objectives/ work plans and performance appraisal, and coach and mentor junior team colleagues.

Lead the Quality Assurance of internal CFS processes within the Grants cluster, consistent with corporate financial management strategy and guidelines.Review and clear Financial Management (FM) due diligence on grants proposals as conducted by team members.Ensure that IFAD financial and fiduciary requirements are adhered to and that project parties and all regional team members are well briefed from the outset on the relevant requirements.

In consultation with Manager Loans and Grants, perform ad hoc analytical reviews across the grants portfolio and develop analytical and aggregated risk profiles to assist in developing cluster strategies for FM and disbursement, particularly in light of the proportion of risky operations in the region Lead preparation of input on Financial Management for the region’s Annual Portfolio Review Report on Grants.

For the assigned portfolio of loans, the incumbent’s duties as Finance Officer will include the following:

Undertake assessment of country financial management systems so as to facilitate utilization of public financial management (PFM) systems where appropriate, to determine inherent risks to IFAD projects. For this purpose complete review and analysis of available internal and external diagnostic reports available and supplement with additional studies if warranted and feasible.

Complete financial management (FM) assessments of project financial management capacities and attendant fiduciary risks for assigned countries, consistent with internal policies and institutional guidelines, and document results of these assessments. Recommend appropriate risk mitigating measures in project design to provide assurance and accountability that funds have been used for intended purposes, and develop appropriate fund flow and disbursement arrangements.

Ensure that project design and legal documentation adheres to IFAD financial and fiduciary standards. Lead the discussions on fiduciary matters internally with PMD and with Borrowers particularly during negotiations. Prepare appropriate documentation (e.g. FM Assessment reports and Letter to Borrower). Clear negotiation packages with respect to FM and disbursement.

Closely monitor financial management performance actively throughout the project/loan implementation (including participation in portfolio review meetings and participation in supervision missions). Based on supervision findings, monitor follow up actions with Borrowers and revise FM arrangements and risk ratings as appropriate.

Ensure compliance with IFAD policies and procedures with respect to project audits, including the timely receipt and review of project audit reports and follow up thereof, rating of the audit reports, and recording thereof in the Audit Report Tracking System. Prepare Legal Notices and Suspension Notices for Borrowers due to delay of audit report submissions in line with IFAD’s operational procedures.

In collaboration with Debt Service Unit, review and follow up on loan servicing progress and help prevent (where possible) and resolve arrears issues.

Promote knowledge sharing and build and maintain effective collaboration with FOD colleagues, Country Programme Managers, cooperating institutions, project staff and recipients. Facilitate capacity building activities and initiatives for Borrowers¿ project staff, IFAD staff and consultants, as appropriate.

Contribute to the development of improved systems, policies, procedures, instruments or practices in relation to financial management of the IFAD loan and grant portfolio and to the associated implementation, training and awareness activities as required.

Perform validation checks on Withdrawal Applications (WAs) processed by Finance Assistants based on departmental guidelines on risk-based disbursement, quality assurance arrangements and delegated payment approval authorities. Monitor compliance with FM covenants in legal agreements. Initiate the application of institutional remedies when for defaults in consultation with management and legal colleagues.

Undertake ad-hoc tasks and cross-cutting initiatives as assigned by the Manager Loans and Grants or Director, CFS.

4. Education and experience

Master’s degree in finance, business studies or accounting,

In lieu of a Master’s degree; a bachelor’s degree in any of the above named areas with a relevant professional qualification (such as a CFA, CPA or CIMA ) may be considered.

At least 8 years’ relevant professional experience, including work in recognised audit firms and/or in financial management, loan administration and accountability for funds with bi/multi-lateral international aid organizations, rural development/financial institutions and/or government services.

Experience in project management would be considered an asset.

Technical/functional competencies:

Strong interpersonal/negotiation skills and ability to deal with a wide variety of clients and stakeholders at all levels.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity

Analytical skills, possessing analytical aptitude in various dimensions of financial management (e.g. accounting, reporting, internal controls, flow of funds and audit) and an appreciation of governance and socio-economic issues in the area of rural development.

Ability to lead a team and interact effectively with in-house and external partners; maintaining and developing professional networks.

Accuracy, numeracy, attention to detail and thoroughness; possessing analytical aptitude in the various dimensions of financial management (e.g. accounting, reporting, internal controls, flow of funds and audit) as well as an appreciation of governance and socio-economic issues in the area of rural development.

Ability to accomplish work objectives within assigned time targets and to a high standard.

Willingness to learn, acquire and share new competencies; and seek new challenges by exploring new approaches to work.

Languages and other skills:

Full command of English language. Knowledge of another IFAD official language (French, Spanish, Arabic) would be an advantage.

Strong communication skills, including the ability to speak persuasively and explain portfolio and procedural guidelines effectively, in writing and orally, including situations requiring negotiation with Borrower representatives.

5. Other Information

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD, and they may be assigned by him/her to any of the activities of IFAD, including field assignments and/or rotation within IFAD.
IFAD reserves the right to appoint a candidate at the appropriate grade commensurate with experience and knowledge.

Interested candidates are requested to apply by completing IFAD’s Personal History Form (PHF) in English. A separate CV may be attached if you so desire, only as a supplement and NOT a substitute to the PHF. The application should be made through the online system only. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY the instructions in ‘How to Apply‘ before you start.

In the interest of making most cost effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed for interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful.

Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews.

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