December 15, 2023

Finance and Grants Officer

21/01/2024
  • Deadline: 21/01/2024
  • Location: Suva, Fiji
  • Organization: Pacific Community (SPC)
  • Salary: FJD $ $72,360 - $90,444
Full Time

The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Human Rights and Social Development Division has a vision for just, equitable and resilient Pacific societies and it aims to achieve this by advancing human rights, equality and social inclusion for all Pacific people, grounded in cultural values and principles. The work of this Division includes work previously undertaken by the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) in the area of human rights and the Social Development Programme (SDP) in the areas of gender equality and social inclusion, culture and youth development.
In line with its vision, the work of the Division will encompass the following focal areas:
• Objective 1: Governance for human rights and social development: Strengthen inclusive, transparent and active governance for human rights and social development.
• Objective 2: Gender equality and social inclusion: Mobilize, empower and build conditions for gender equality, equity and social inclusion in society and development.
• Objective 3: Culture: Promote, preserve and protect positive expressions of culture.
• Objective 4: Social innovation and learning: Enhance knowledge, learning and innovative solutions to accelerate impact on human development priorities.
The role – The Finance and Grants Officer will support all aspects of project accounting, audit, budgetary controls, monitoring of financial performance/progress in compliance with SPC and donor (DFAT) requirements, procurement for services contracts and project assets, disbursement of funds. The position will also provide the Manager Programmes (Pacific Women Lead) with strategic financial advice, ensure the completion of assigned project and donor reporting, oversee and manage audit functions and assist with the administrative and coordination duties associated with the project.
The key responsibilities of the role include:
Budget preparation, monitoring and financial reporting
• Prepare project and programme financial budgets, including work plans, operational costs, and specific activities. Work closely with programme team leaders and grant partners in the budget design and preparation.
• Monitor the overall program budget and forecasts, including against the following specific areas: Program plan or annual workplan; Outputs and outcomes; Commitments and project executions and Project acquittals.
• Prepare timely multi-purpose project and programme financial reports for SPC, donor, and any external project committee or board, technical working groups and others.  Reports could include the following: Actuals against budget; Costed activity or outcomes against workplans; Project executions and related risks; Cash management and Audit issues.
Project accounting, audit and compliance
• Facilitate all preparations for any project audit and support any external review or evaluation on financial and grant matters.
• Develop a robust and systematic electronic filing system covering all financial, procurement, and grant documents.
• Ensure expenditures and reporting are compliant with applicable SPC policies and donor requirements and with grant contractual agreements.  Ensure all aspects of a project’s financial information including accounting transactions, are accurately captured in the SPC financial system, with any discrepancies corrected in a timely manner.
Oversight and reporting of project grants activities
• Maintain a grants register and regularly update based on project progress and discussions with project team, grantees and other stakeholders. Develop action plans with project staff to deal with poor performing grantees and manage through the register.
• Assist with facilitating regular grant management meetings with program managers to track and monitor budgets, expenditure, required training and support, risks, ongoing capacity assessments and mitigation strategies.
• Work with the project, within HRSD and other SPC Divisions to issue and manage grants in compliance with all SPC and donor financial and procurement policies and procedures.
Key selection criteria
Qualifications
• A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting or business administration.
Technical expertise
• At least 5 years’ experience in project accounting preferably in an international or regional organization.
• Demonstrated experience with financial management information systems.
• Understanding of project budgeting, financial reporting, donor reporting, audit requirements, and efficient systems for international funds transfer.
• Knowledge of budgetary processes in PICTs and working directly with PICTs in project financial management.
Language skills
• Exceptional English communication skills (oral and written).
Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
• Good interpersonal skills with people from all sections of society, and from different cultures, countries and institutions.
• Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment.
Salary, terms and conditions
Contract Duration – Until 31 March 2027 – subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.
Remuneration – The Finance and Grants Officer is a Band 8 position in SPC’s 2023 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 2,044‒2,555 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 6,030–7,537 (USD 2,739–3,424; EUR 2,595–3,243).An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.
Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,350–3,000 per month. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their recognized dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and 30 days of sick leave per annum, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).
Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.
Recruitment principles – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilingualism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals. If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will be given to the Pacific Islander.

How to apply:

Application procedure

Closing Date: 21 January 2024 at 11:59pm (Fiji time)
Job Reference: JM000520

Applicants must apply online at http://careers.spc.int/.
Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.
For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:
• an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
• a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
• responses to all screening questions
Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. SPC may assist on a case-by-case basis with submissions to Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their consideration and final approval. SPC cannot and does not make any guarantee whatsoever of approval for such applications to Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs and where an application is approved, the spouse or partner will subject to such terms and conditions as may be set from time to time by the Ministry.

SPC does not charge a fee to consider your application and will never ask for your banking or financial information during the recruitment process.

Screening Questions:
1. Please describe your background in financial administration, including budget development and financial reporting for donor-funded projects. and your experience in procurement, including facilitation of procurement processes for donor-funded projects.
2. What do you see as the key stages in a grant management cycle and important considerations for an organisation such as SPC?
3. Please describe your experience in supporting Pacific-based grantees with financial reporting, including with small organisations and Pacific Government entities.