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Senior Audit Officer

Rome (Italy)

  • Organization: IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Location: Rome (Italy)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Accounting (Audit, Controlling)
    • Internal audit, Investigation and Inspection
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-24

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Vacancy Announcement Number 1975
Date of Issue 04/01/2021
Deadline for Applications 24/01/2021
Organizational Unit Office of Audit & Oversight
Level P-4
Duty Station ROME
Duration of Assignment 2 Years

Organizational context

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and  advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

Post's organizational accountability

The Office of Audit and Oversight (AUO) provides independent and objective assurance and advisory services designed to add value and improve the operations of IFAD. It helps IFAD accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. AUO also reviews and investigates possible or alleged irregular practices, including staff misconduct, fraud and corruption in IFAD activities, and actively promotes ethics, accountability, quality and continuous improvement in IFAD operations. The key results/accountabilities of the Office are to ensure:

  • Audit Policy and Strategy
  • Audit Assignments
  • Activities complying with policies, standards, procedures, agreements, and applicable laws and regulations;
  • Managerial Functions

Reporting to the Audit Manager (AUO), the Senior Audit Officer contributes to enhancing IFAD’s operational effectiveness, risk management, internal control, governance processes and ethical culture by leading internal audits and advisory engagements. The Senior Audit Officer is an authoritative expert with responsibility for the full range of activities involved in audit management, requiring innovative design of audit methodology, implementation, and oversight.

Key results expected / Major functional activities

Audit Policy and Strategy: Contributes to the definition of objectives, strategies, policies, and operating procedures for the Audit Section of AUO by reference to an assessment of risks and the Fund’s strategic priorities and accepted international standards of internal auditing, and participates in the annual risk assessment and the preparation of the annual plans for the AUO audit section. 

Audit Assignments: Manages and participates in audit engagements as assigned by the Audit Manager or Director, AUO. Acting as a team leader, defines the engagement strategy and scope, recruits external experts as required, assigns tasks to, coaches and supervises team members (AUO staff and/or external experts), ensuring that work is performed in accordance with professional internal auditing standards and with due regard to budget allocation and deadlines. Assignments include comprehensive and complex audits and special reviews on complex problems and in relation to financial statements, assessing efficiency and effectiveness of the administrative, procedural, and/or managerial dimensions of programmes and projects, assesses attainment of stated objectives and recommends improvements.

Activities complying with policies, standards, procedures, agreements, and applicable laws and regulations: Promotes good governance practices in IFAD and leverage the work of AUO through contribution to institutional initiatives, committees and working groups as compatible with AUO independence.

Performs other related duties as assigned by the supervisor, including collaborating with the AUO Investigation section in joint engagements as required and performing special studies, field missions or assessments assigned.

MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The Senior Audit Officer serves as an audit team leader with accountability for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. This includes People Management through recruitment, performance and career management of staff as well as learning management establishing learning plans and ensuring staff supervised meet their development needs while meeting the needs of IFAD; Resource Management by providing strategic and data inputs into the divisional budget preparation exercises; Knowledge and Content Management by ensuring (1) knowledge content within functional area is continuously updated and available to colleagues and clients (2) best practices are continuously identified, documented and distributed and (3) appropriate and up-to-date information and learning tools are available to the Fund’s managers, supervisors and staff; and Information Technology Management through leveraging ERP functionality for improved business results, simplification of transaction and reporting processes and improved client services.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

The impact of work of the Senior Audit Officer is characterized as innovative and the incumbent of the post is the originator of new ideas and new approaches that impact directly on the design and leadership of complex audits within the Fund as well as indirectly on the profession within the greater scope of external partnerships. S/He plans and conducts complex audits (e.g., special operational audits), which require analysis of a broad range of subjects in the course of detecting errors or inefficiencies, or developing suggested improvements, accomplishing audit objectives typically requires coordinating several audit segments. Problems detected are often difficult to solve (e.g., elements necessary for resolution are often not available within the scope of the audit and must be found elsewhere). Audit Officers at this level perform audit work that can be characterized as complex and authoritative.  Failure to detect systematic errors results in loss of money to the Fund and possible lessening of credibility with donor States when errors undetected by internal auditors are subsequently identified by external auditors.

Representation / Work relationships

Representational functions of the Senior Audit Officer are typically focused on audit promotion and positioning of the AUO as authoritatively competent to internal as well as external clients and partners.  Based on the technical expertise of this level, authoritative advice is provided to member States, the Governing Council and other governing bodies and donors as required. S/He expands and develops new client relationships and establishes the foundation for collaboration with counterparts both within the Fund and externally. S/He builds collaborative networks within IFAD and with external UN/IFI oversight entities and, as required, represents AUO and IFAD at meetings and conferences, ensuring IFAD’s contribution to the definition of and adherence to system oversight standards and principles; keeps abreast of professional developments in relation to risk management, internal control, governance, audit, and anti-corruption. S/He organizes or participates in presentations to IFAD staff, Senior Management and Governing Bodies, and in awareness and/or training activities on internal audit activities and results, risk management, internal control and on the prevention of fraud and corruption. The Senior Audit Officer discusses audit findings as appropriate with heads or officials of units audited, advises them of accounting and management considerations and seeks to develop solutions to problems.



•    Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence (Level 1)
•    Demonstrating Leadership: Leads by example; initiates and supports change (Level 2)
•    Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Challenges, innovates and contributes to a learning culture (Level 2)
•    Focusing on clients: Contributes to a client-focused culture (Level 2)
•    Problem solving and decision making: Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact (Level 2)
•    Managing time, resources and information: Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources (Level 2)
•    Team Work: Fosters a cohesive team environment (Level 2)
•    Communicating and negotiating: Acquires and uses a wide range of communication styles and skills (Level 2)
•    Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally (Level 2)
•    Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively (Level 1)


  • Authoritative knowledge of audit concepts, principles, planning and management.
  • Ability and skill in identifying best practices and implementing innovations in audit work, adapting them to the context of the Fund
  • Adept at using standard Microsoft Office software applications, data analysis software and Computer Aided Auditing Techniques, and good knowledge of key IFAD systems and applications.
  • Understanding of IT general controls and IT security standards.
  • Team leadership and communication skills to develop establishing and maintaining trusted partnerships at all levels of the Fund.
  • Ability to identify and seize opportunities to introduce innovations.

Minimum recruitment qualifications


  • A professional qualification in audit and an advanced university degree from an accredited institution in a job related field.


  • At least eight (8) years of progressively responsible professional experience in auditing programmes in a multi-cultural organization, in a team leader role. 

Language requirements:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge of another official language (Arabic, French, or Spanish) is desirable.

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 IFADIn accordance with IFAD's Human Resources Policy, staff are subject to the authority of the President who can decide to assign them to any of the activities of the Fund. All International Professional staff members are required to be geographically mobile and positions in the professional category are subject to changes in location at any time in line with strategic priorities and reform initiatives in IFAD. 

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.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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