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Finance & Contracts Assistant, Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI)

25.07.2022 Expiring soon
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The European Union Delegation to the United States of America, Washington, D.C. is looking for:

Finance and Contracts Assistant, Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) housed in the Press and Public Diplomacy (PPD) Section.

We are

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political partnership between 27 European countries. It plays an important role in international affairs through diplomacy, trade, development aid and working with global organisations. Abroad, the EU is represented through more than 140 diplomatic representations, known also as EU Delegations, which have a similar function to those of an embassy.

Within the European Commission, the "Service for Foreign Policy Instruments" (FPI) with its headquarters in Brussels, has set up 5 Regional Teams (RTs) which cover its cooperation initiatives under the "Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument" (NDICI). FPI has a cell of four staff in the Delegation of the European Union to the United States in Washington DC, which falls under the RT for the Americas.

This Local Agent will be based in this FPI cell in Washington, D.C., under the direct responsibility of the Head of the RT Americas, and of the Head of the Press and Public Diplomacy section, and will be responsible for the FPI work in the United States together with the rest of the local FPI team.

The agent will assist in the preparation, implementation and follow-up of the tasks assigned within the FPI Regional Team by performing its contractual (creation and management of legal and budgetary commitments) and financial (payments-recoveries) functions in line with the overall instructions given by FPI-HQ.

The EU Delegation to the United States of America in Washington, D.C. works in close coordination with the Embassies and Consulates of the 27 EU Member States. We are a full-fledged diplomatic mission and represent the European Union in dealings with the U.S. government in areas that are part of the EU’s remit. The colleague in this position will work in close cooperation with the colleagues in the RT Americas, the EU Delegation to the USA, the European Commission line Directorates General (DGs), the European External Action Service, and the EU Member States representations.

We offer

We offer the post of a Finance and Contracts Assistant (Local Agent Group II) in the Delegation's FPI Team. The FPI team currently consists of 4 people (two Programme Officers and two Financial Assistants) and is placed within the Press and Public Diplomacy Section (18 people). There are occasional atypical working hours and work related travels.

The Local Agent is responsible for the following functions and tasks:

BUDGET, FINANCE, CONTRACTS and ACCOUNTING - Financial Transactions

  • Ensure compliance of the financial transactions with the regulatory environment (e.g. basic acts, Financial Regulation, implementing rules, internal rules, financing decisions, instructions);
  • Ensure the legality, regularity and correctness of agreements, procurement contracts and grant agreements, invoices and recovery orders by performing a standard set of checks and control procedures;
  • Carry out ABAC/CRIS transactions related to budget lines managed directly by FPI. Assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of data in information systems (e.g. ABAC,CRIS, OPSYS, PPMT) before granting Financial Initiation visa;
  • Implement and monitor internal control principles with respect to financial procedures;
  • Assess and ensure the successful completion of the financial circuit for payments/recovery orders in the accounting system;
  • Assess and ensure the validity of bank guarantees;
  • Participate as secretary in evaluation committees.

BUDGET, FINANCE, CONTRACTS and ACCOUNTING – Procurement

  • Provide advice and support on the public procurement procedures as well as procedures for awarding grants and other forms of financing (agreements with UN agencies and other IOs, service contracts, etc.);
  • Provide advice and comments on draft agreements/contracts;
  • Initiate call for tenders and call for proposals;
  • Participate as secretary of evaluation committees. Prepare signatories for the awarding and conclusion of contracts;
  • Assess tender procedures and procurement files in accordance with the regulatory environment and assess and ensure the validity of bank guarantees.

BUDGET, FINANCE, CONTRACTS and ACCOUNTING - Financial Tasks

  • Assist in the preparation and control of the financial aspects in the calls for tenders and calls for proposals;
  • Assist with the reporting, planning, budgeting and audit actors as regards required information;
  • Manage Functional Mail Boxes as assigned.

BUDGET, FINANCE, CONTRACTS and ACCOUNTING - Support to FPI contracts of the Regional Team and the associated EU Delegations

  • Provide support and back up for financial initiation tasks in order to ensure business continuity.

INFORMATION and DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT - Management of financial information

  • Manage correspondence on financial issues with external and internal actors within the tasks and topics assigned;
  • Oversee all original contracts and corresponding databases;
  • Check and ensure the correctness and authenticity of the originals of signed contracts and other original financial documents;
  • Ensure the quality and consistency of financial data in the different databases and systems.

AUDIT, CONTROL and INSPECTION - Audit support and follow-up

  • Participate in the risk assessment of contracts with the aim to identify cases that require an additional ex-ante control (e.g. supporting documents, on-the-spot control, external audit);
  • Cooperate with the operational and audit actors so as to provide additional information needed in the scope of the performed audits;
  • Provide comments on draft audit and expenditure verification reports. Carry out on-the-spot checks.

EXTERNAL RELATIONS

  • To assist the Head of the FPI Regional Team and/or Head of Delegation in ensuring the liaison with institutional partners on aspects concerning FPI programmes/projects and their financial and contractual implications.

EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION (general)

  • Presentation of EU rules and regulations related to finance and contracts.

The salary range is dependent on relevant and verified employment experience, starting from $78K (3 years' experience), $86K (10 years' experience), $90K (15 years’ experience) etc. There is a competitive benefits package including personal leave days and public holidays, flexible working hours, health insurance and a retirement savings plan.

The expected start date will be 1 October/1 November 2022.

We look for

  • Minimum of High School/Secondary school diploma or equivalent; higher education in finance/accounting or contracts/procurement an advantage;
  • Minimum of 3 years' relevant experience in the fields of budget, finance/accounting or contracts;
  • Experience in financial and contract management, financial initiation and/or verification functions;
  • Relevant experience in accounting/analysis of invoices, good command of Office automation tools;
  • Knowledge and experience in EU procedures for External Actions, previous experience in an EU Delegation or European Commission HQ, relevant experience working with EU-funded projects is an advantage;
  • Proven capacity to focus on priorities, to multi-task and to organise work to deliver on time in a structured manner, often within tight deadlines;
  • Proven ability to work in a team with good inter-personal skills. Ability to communicate clearly and to work in a multicultural environment;
  • Computer literate (and knowledge of commonly used programs such as Microsoft office suite);
  • Excellent proficiency of English (written and spoken); a command of at least one other European language, in particular Spanish, is considered an advantage.

How to apply

It is important to note that the Delegation of the European Union does not sponsor visas for Local Agents. Applicants must have an existing US work authorization that does not require Delegation of the European Union sponsorship.

Please submit your application including a cover letter and resume via the Indeed.com website (Reference EUWAS 11/22) no later than 14 August 2022 (EST). Only applications received via Indeed.com will be considered. The resume must also include the names and contact details of at least two referees who can attest to your professional and personal attributes in the event you are shortlisted for the post. References will only be taken up for those who are shortlisted. The successful candidate will be subject to a background check.

The process

After the deadline for applications, the applications will be reviewed by a Selection Panel set up for this purpose. The Selection Panel will prepare a short-list of candidates who are considered the most suitable for the post based on a preliminary assessment of the information provided in the cover letter and resume. The short-listed candidates will be invited to an assessment phase, which will include an interview and practical test. During this phase, the Selection Panel will assess the suitability of the candidates for the post. Those candidates who have not been short-listed will not be contacted individually; however, the Delegation will use the same means of publication as for this job advertisement to inform the remaining candidates once the recruitment procedure has been completed and that a candidate has (or has not) been recruited.

The Delegation will not supply additional information or discuss the selection procedure. During the selection process, please do not contact the members of the Selection Panel, but address your questions and comments to the Delegation’s Administration.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $78,000.00 - $90,000.00 per year

Benefits:

  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Vision insurance

Schedule: Monday to Friday

COVID-19 considerations: Personal protective equipment provided or required; Social distancing guidelines in place; Hybrid of in-person & virtual meetings; Sanitizing, disinfecting, or cleaning procedures in place

Application Question(s):

  • Higher education in finance/accounting or contracts/procurement an advantage.
  • Experience in financial and contract management, financial initiation and/or verification functions; Relevant experience in accounting/analysis of invoices, good command of Office automation tools.
  • Do you have an existing US work authorization (e.g. US Citizen, Permanent Resident, EAD) that does not now or will not require EU Delegation sponsorship in the future?
  • Please describe in 1-2 sentences: How is your previous experience relevant to this role? Why are you a good fit for this job?

Education: High school or equivalent (Required)

Experience: Relevant budget, finance/accounting or contracts: 3 years (Required)

Work Location: One location

Location
Washington, D.C.
Category
Local Agent
Deadline
How to apply?