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Travel Assistant

New York City

  • Organization: UN - United Nations
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: GS-6, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Administrative support
    • Transport and Distribution
  • Closing Date: 2022-09-29

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is in the Travel Process Support Team of the Travel and Transportation Section in the Department of Operational Support in New York. The incumbent will be under the general supervision of the Chief, Travel Unit, and report administratively to the supervisor of the unit.

The Department of Operational Support (DOS) provides operational support to UN Secretariat entities globally, including advisory, operational and transactional support services and, where needed, exercises delegated authority on behalf of clients. DOS supports the entire UN Secretariat, consisting of almost 100 entities located around the globe.

The Facilities and Commercial Activities Service (FCAS) operates the Headquarters complex, striving to provide effective and efficient planning, management, maintenance and operation for all existing physical facilities and assets at the UN Headquarters, New York. FCAS also supports office and conference facilities, property management, travel and transportation services, archives and records management, mail and pouch operations, catering, giftshop and
the United Nations Postal Administration.

The Travel and Transportation Section provides travel and transportation services at UN Headquarters (travel, shipments management, UN travel documents (e-UNLP & UN Certificates), visas and host country services, local transportation, materials management and UNHQ garage operations.

Responsibilities

Within delegated authority, the Travel Assistant will be responsible for ensuring, or carrying out the following duties:

• Functions as an Umoja Travel Processing Officer (TPO), reviews and processes travel requests and expense reports. Calculates and approves lump sums for entitlements, and self-ticket maximum amounts; manages the shared email boxes.
• Provides global Umoja production support to all peacekeeping entities for Tier 2B office support or escalation to Tier 3 support for further evaluation and resolution. Drafts substantive and policy-related inputs into the development of training documentation including job aids, quick references, etc.; continued development of Computer Based Testing (CBT) courses and, actively participate in all testing activities related to the system fixes and/or enhancements. Supports management to monitor operational performance and identify qualitative and quantitative benefits realization.
• Coordinates the travel of civilian and military personnel including civilian police, traveling to and from a wide range of member states in connection with mission duties.
• Calculates and initiates entitlements for all such travel and submits to the Unit Supervisor for approval, e.g., airfare, excess baggage entitlements, terminal expenses, airfreight entitlements, daily subsistence allowance for staff and dependents on traveling on missions, etc.
• Provides information about frequency of air services and provides advice to staff and consultants on the most direct and economical airfare rates for such travel as permitted by the rules and regulations.
• Provides information on rates and travel schedules for specific itineraries, as requested for budgeting purposes for programme managers.
• Contacts airlines to make reservations, negotiates least expensive fares e.g., discusses with management of travel agency and with senior airline sales management for space on flights, reduced airfares, group discounts and reduced excess baggage charges, initiates issuance of tickets; discusses discrepancies and problems.
• Calculates the residual values of partially used tickets when there is a rerouting.
• Computes and determines the revised amounts of per diem where there is deviation from original travel plans.
• Arranges for changes or cancellations requested by travelers and has tickets reissued, including obtaining reimbursement, where applicable.
• Converts departure and arrival times, as needed, and identifies class of accommodation corresponding to the nature of the travel.
• Examines and pre-audits the official itineraries of staff members, civilian police and military staff, as stated in the travel authorization, in order determine air travel cost entitlement of the proposed official travel of the mission personnel and ensures conformity with established rules, regulations and relevant directives;
• Reviews travel claims and supporting documentation for completeness, accuracy and validity, prior to forwarding to the Accounts Division; ensures that entitlements are in conformity with Staff Rules. Refers discrepancies back to Administrative and /or Certifying Officers for clarification and possible correction.
• Advises Administrative Office of more efficient and cost effective routings with regard to more complicated staff itineraries, and assists them in making travel plans in order to take advantage of the benefits to be derived from advance purchases or special promotional fares.
• Maintains records of all travel authorizations processed and records savings accrued to the organization as a result of the cost savings techniques employed.
• Calculates daily subsistence allowance for travel for senior UN staff or mission assignees and appointments, and other UN Staff, taking into account whether meals will be provided, which stopovers are designated official business or personal; depending upon actual category of the traveler, prepares travel authorization, calculates all other costs, including excess baggage, terminal expenses, subsistence allowance and travel advance.
• Advises substantive offices, travelers, plus mission personnel and movement control staff of arrival information, requesting arrangements to be made accordingly for traveler.
• Performs ad-hoc assignments as necessary.

Competencies

• PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of travel related processing requirements; plans, manages and resolves conflicting priorities. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations.

• CLIENT ORIENTATION: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

• COMMITMENT TO CONTINUOUS LEARNING: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.

• TECHNOLOGICAL AWARENESS: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.

Education

High school diploma or equivalent is required.

Work Experience

Seven years of experience in travel administration, including travel rate construction, routing, and travel reimbursement, or related area is required.

Experience working in production support for an Enterprise Resource Planning software such as SAP is desirable.

Experience working for an international or multinational organization with a complex travel
policy is desirable.

Training or Coursework in travel services is desirable.

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.

Assessment

Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Appointment or assignment against this position is for an initial period of one year.

This position is subject to local recruitment pursuant to staff rule 4.4 of the United Nations Staff Rules. All staff in the General Service and related categories shall be recruited in the country or within commuting distance of each office, irrespective of their nationality and of the length of time they may have been in the country. A staff member subject to local recruitment shall not be eligible for the allowances or benefits exclusively applicable to international recruitment.

Passing the Global General Service Test (GGST) is a prerequisite for recruitment consideration in the General Services and related categories in the United Nations Secretariat. Applicants who have not passed the GGST at the time of application may be invited for the test after submitting an application. Having passed the Administrative Support Assessment Test [in English] at the United Nations headquarters, Economic Commission for Africa, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, United Nations Office at Geneva, United Nations Office at Vienna, International criminal tribunal for Rwanda or International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia may be accepted in lieu of the GGST.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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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