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TRAVEL ASSISTANT

New York City

  • Organization: UNOCHA - Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: Administrative support - GS-6, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Administrative support
    • Transport and Distribution
  • Closing Date: 2022-12-22

Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located in the Executive Office of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in New York. OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA's mission is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies; advocate the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions. The Travel Unit is responsible for Official Travel for OCHA offices in New York and Geneva, and also for Non-Commercial Travel for OCHA offices in the field around the world.

The incumbent reports to the Chief of Travel Unit within the Executive Office.

Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Chief Travel Unit, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

1. As Travel and Shipment Approver (TSA), certifies the Travel Requests (TRs) for the official business travel for OCHA New York and Geneva Offices. Duties includes:
• Reviews the Umoja travel inbox daily and certifies the travel requests timely.
• Certifies HRS travel (home leave and on boarding) only for staff based in New York.
• Returns the TRs to the Travellers or Travel administrator with advice on the corrective actions to be taken.
• Coordinates with the Travellers, the Travel Processing Officer (TPO), and the travel agency to finalize the Travel Requests as expeditiously as possible.
• Coordinates with the Budget Officer to resolve the funding issues.
• Ensures the DSA and Terminal Expense are correctly established in line with the UN Travel policies.
• Reviews submissions, provides guidance and drafts correspondence for the Ad hoc DSA and submits the requests to Executive Officer for timely approval before the travel commences.
• Reviews submissions for the Exception to Standards of Accommodation for Air Travel (TTS 3) for accuracy and compliance with the UN Travel policy, and submits the quarterly and annual reports.
• Ensures the cost assignment is correctly entered.
• Ensures the financial authorization to UNDP for payment of DSA or local travel agency in the field offices are properly processed; follows up with Finance for its approval
• Ensures amendments are processed expeditiously.
• Ensures cancellations are approved timely by the TPO to reverse the funds back to OCHA’s accounts.
• Monitors the outstanding Travel Requests through the Umoja Travel reports and sends reminders to the responsible parties for action.
• Provide guidance to the Offices planning the group/event travel activities efficiently and provides reports on these travels upon completion.

2. As Travel and Shipment Approver (TSA), certifies the Expense Reports (ERs) for OCHA New York and Geneva Offices as required:
• Reviews the Umoja travel inbox daily to ensure the Expense Reports are processed timely.
• Reviews the Expense Reports and the supporting documentation for completeness, accuracy, reasonableness, validity and conformity with UN Rules and Regulations before certifying.
• Returns the ERs to the Travellers or Travel administrator with advice on the corrective actions to be taken.
• Certifies and monitors the approval of the Expense Reports timely to avoid automatic recovery from the Travellers.
• Monitors timely submission of the Expense Reports through the Umoja Travel report and sends follows-up emails to the Travellers and/or the Travel Administrators for a timely and accurate submission of the expense reports.
• Advises the clients of the impending recovery, and coordinates with the Account Division and Payroll to cancel or postpone the recovery in situations of technical or system errors.

3. Troubleshooting travel and payment issues:
• Analyzes the root cause of the issue, identifies appropriate actions to resolve the problem, coordinates with the responsible parties to discuss the problem and agreed on the course of action to resolve the problem, informs the client of the situation and provides periodic updates on the status of the resolution, and follows up with the responsible party until the issue is resolved.
• For the issue linked to non-receipt of payment in the Traveller’s bank account, coordinates with the Treasury Office to resolve the issues, and updates the clients on the actions taken and expected outcome on a regular basis.
• For Umoja technical issue, creates iNeed ticket and follows up with Umoja for the systemic issues to be fixed. Keeps the client abreast of the development of problem resolution.
• Contact CWT authorizes it to issue tickets or changes to ticket for emergency travel or changes taking place afterhours, weekend or during holidays.

4. Other related activities:
• Provides training and guidance to the clients in the field and HQ on processing travel requests and expense reports.
• Analyses the Unliquidated Obligations received from Accounts Section, review actions required and coordinates with the Travellers and/or the field Admin Officers to complete necessary actions, submits the lists of obligations to be closed to the Accounts Section for action.
• Downloads reports on pending submission of Expense Reports on the monthly basis, and sends list of pending actions to all field offices, Travellers, and the Admin Officers for the timely action, in particular before the end of the year closing of account.
• Assists in preparing the internal guidelines and tips for official business travel.
• Creates the Business Partner ID and the banking information for the meeting participants.
• Performs other administrative functions as needed.

Competencies

Professionalism: Knowledge of the travel administration and policies. Ability to interprete the relevant policies and procedures in certifying the travel requests and expense reports; and the ability to analyze the issues encountered to find a workable solution. 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. Commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of work.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments. Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards. Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules. Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments. Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

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.

Education

High school diploma or equivalent is required.

Work Experience

Seven years of experience in administration, including at least three years in travel administration within the United Nations Common System or similar international organization is required.

Experience in diagnosing, analyzing challenges and recommending the solution to issues arising from the Travel Requests, Expense Reports, or Payment is required.

Experience in processing the Travel Requests and Expense Reports using the Umoja travel solution or similar ERP system is required.

Experience in conducting training in United Nations travel (or similar international organization) and in Umoja Travel roles and regulations (or similar ERP system) is desirable.

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable.

Assessment

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

Special Notice

Appointment or assignment against this position is for an initial period of one year. The appointment or assignment and renewal thereof are subject to the availability of the funds.

This position is subject to local recruitment pursuant to staff rule 4.4 of the United Nations Staff Rules. Applicants for positions subject to local recruitment are required to be authorized to work in the country regardless of where they live at the time of applying for the job opening. 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. Staff members who were granted a fixed-term, continuing or permanent appointment as a result of having passed a predecessor test recognized by the Office of Human Resources Management, and who have continuously held such appointments are not required to take the new test.

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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