Finance Specialist - Global Fund Local Fund Agent
Background Information - UNOPS
“UNOPS plays a critical role in providing management services for our life-saving, peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations.” -Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General
UNOPS mission is to expand the capacity of the UN system and its partners to implement peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations that matter for people in need.
Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to always satisfy partners with management services that meet world-class standards of quality, speed and cost effectiveness.
UNOPS provides services in sustainable infrastructure, sustainable procurement and sustainable project management, with projects ranging from building schools, roads, bridges and hospitals to procuring goods and services and training local personnel.
By assisting UN organizations, international financial institutions, governments and other development partners, UNOPS makes significant, tangible contributions to results on the ground. Annually, UNOPS employs more than 6,000 personnel and on behalf of our partners create thousands more work opportunities in local communities. Through our headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark and a network of regional and country offices, we oversee activities in more than 80 countries.
UNOPS is committed to achieving a truly diverse workforce.The Global Fund does not have a country-level presence outside of its central Secretariat. Instead, it engages third parties to serve as Local Fund Agents(LFAs) to oversee, verify and report on grant performance. LFAs are selected through a competitive bidding process.
The Global Fund would normally have one LFA engaged in each country where funds are disbursed. The LFA would gives the donor access to local knowledge that may be relevant to grant performance. The Global Fund adheres to the principles of performance-based funding in making disbursement decisions. The aim is to ensure that investments are made only where funding is managed and spent effectively on programs that achieve impact in fighting the relevant diseases (HIV, tuberculosis and malaria).The LFA is a crucial part of the Global Fund’s system of oversight and risk management. A principal role ofthe LFA is to provide informed and independent professional advice about the capacity of fund/grant recipients to manage the implementation of activities funded by grant funds (including the recipient’s capacity to oversee implementation of activities by implementing parties), to make recommendations concerning periodic disbursement of grant funds, to review grant performance when a grant is being considered for renewal, and to provide the donor on an on-going basis with relevant information on issues or risks which might affect grant performance.
The LFA team is expected to have an up-to-date and comprehensive understanding of relevant diseases, how they are prevented, transmitted and treated, and their impact on a specific country. The team assesses the recipients’ institutional and health/programmatic capacities and arrangements to ensure adequate health expertise (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and/or malaria) in the implementation of the donor grant funds. The LFA team also determines whether the recipient has adequate infrastructure and information systems to support grant implementation, including the monitoring of performance of implementing partners and outsourced entities in a timely and accountable manner. The donor has recently adopted an intensive risk management approach to services with enhanced effort toward in-depth verifications and reporting. The identification of financial and programmatic risks with ongoing updates shall be provided the donor with special attention to the overall context of the relevant diseases and grant implementation incountry.
The Finance Specialist will be based in-country and report to the LFA Team Leader. The incumbent will be responsible for the coordination of the UNOPS finance team activities and for ensuring that all financial management and oversight work is of high quality and completed within the timeframe set by the client. The incumbent will also be required to travel in-country when necessary.
The functions/duties/key results of this job description are genericand may not always be applicable, nor comprehensive, for all jobs under this job title.
The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.
Below are some of the key functionalities, which it may vary from duty station to duty station.
The incumbent is required to perform the function of financial specialist in the relevant country by carrying out the following activities:
Reviewing progress update reports and disbursement requests submitted by the grant recipients as per following:
· Verifying grant recipient and implementing partners’ primary records (supporting documents submitted) for accuracy and completeness, and for the correspondence of those, with the summary internal/external reports prepared by the grant recipients and implementing partners;
· Conducting cross-checks of various primary documents with the summary reports;
· Interviewing grant recipients and implementing partners’ relevant staff members;
· Debriefing grant recipient and implementing partners’ staff members on the main findings from the UNOPS verifications/reports;
· Cross verification of financial data with M&E and health/programmatic, management and procurement data/information;
· Conduct comprehensive financial analysis and reflect in the finance-related sections of the obligatory reporting template.
· Organize and lead recipient assessments, and financial reviews to provide informed and independent professional advice to the donor about the capacity of recipients to effectively manage and implement the donor grant funds from a financial perspective;
· Conduct regular (preferably monthly) and field visits to the grant recipients and implementing partners and provide independent opinion and analysis on the financial management by the relevant parties;
· Identify financial weaknesses and make recommendations with timeframes for necessary follow up by the grant recipients and implementing partners;
· Suggest remedial measures on the potential weaknesses in the management of implementing partners, to ensure the optimum utilization of donor grant money and safeguarding the funds against any fraud;
· Undertake preliminary quality assurance of the LFA financial deliverables to be submitted to the donor, to ensure that these are in line with contemporary professional standards;
· Discuss with the team leader any other institutional and financial aspects to be reviewed and take action accordingly;
· Immediately raise all suspicious acts, transactions and activities and processes which may pose potential risks, misconduct, mismanagement, misuse and frauds by grant recipients and implementing partners to the attention of the team leader;
· In conducting the above tasks, ensure that relevant guidelines and policies are adhered to including the ones which are related to the finance functional area. The respective international guidelines (e.g. WHO, UNAIDS, etc) shall be also consulted and followed.
Management & client relations:
· Supervise and closely monitor the work of the finance staff;
· Ensure that all teamwork, includes inputs of all finance staff, is of high quality and completed within the timeframe, and as per guidelines set by the donor;
· Responsible for completion of the performance management process for assigned staff;
· Contribute to the annual scope of work, cost proposal and the consequent annual work plan of team activities;
· Foster an atmosphere of team spirit, mutual respect and professional independence within the team;
· Assist the donor in grant negotiations;
· Assist the donor in grant closure activities;
· Demonstrate an overall understanding of the grant architecture and in-depth knowledge of all team activities required to be performed as described in the donor manual;
· Remain updated on donor guidelines and procedures, timeframes for completion of team activities, and the forms and templates to be used in the field of work;
· Perform other duties as per the donor manual and/or as assigned/ required.
- Supervisory experience.
- Decision making.
- Ability to analyse.
- Organizing and quality orientation.
- Communication skill.
- Client focus
Experience in financial accounting, with the ability to review and analyse accounting transactions;
Experience in reviewing and negotiating budgets;
Experience with financial management systems, with the ability to review and assess internal controls and financial processes and procedures and provide recommendations for improvement;
Experience with reviewing financial statements (including income and expenditure statements, balance sheets and cash reconciliation statements);
Experience with reviewing and interpretation of audit reports;
Experience with grants management, fund management, cash management, financial management / analysis / reporting, asset management, planning and reviewing and project financial control;
Strong interpersonal skills, diplomacy and tact to effectively communicate with senior level officials, multiple stakeholders and professionals from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds;
Strong professional oral communication and writing skills, including the development of reports, oral presentations, and technical/persuasive documents;
Experience with larger donors is an advantage;
Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or related field and professional internationally recognized accounting qualification, with additional two years of work experience.
It is preferable to have an internationally recognised professional finance or accounting qualification – e.g. Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Management Accountant (CMA), Chartered Accountant Certification, Chartered Financial Analyst or Fédération des Experts-Comptables Européens etc.
• In the absence of a professionally recognized qualification a Graduate Degree in Finance/Accounting with appropriate experience would be considered along with other factors;
A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience working in a financial role required, preferably with at least 2 years of post-qualification experience related to:
(i) financial accounting, with the ability to review and analyse accounting transactions,
(ii) reviewing and negotiating budgets,
(iii) financial management systems, with the ability to review and assess internal controls and financial processes and procedures and provide recommendations for improvement;
(iv) review of financial statements (including income and expenditure statements, balance sheets and cash reconciliation statements); and
(v) review and interpretation of audit reports.
For staff positions UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the job.
Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply
Based on organizational needs at the time of recruitment, applicants accepted into this UNOPS roster pool may be considered for job at the advertised job level or its equivalent. The successful candidate(s) may be offered a contract governed by the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules or UNOPS individual contractor agreement.