- Attractive local package
- Friendly and supportive team environment
- Join the principal development organization in the Pacific region
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 27 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
The Geoscience Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division provides advice, technical assistance, research and training support to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). There are three (3) areas of scientific programming and two areas of focus within this division:
- Oceans and Maritime Programme (OMP) – assists member countries with services that provide applied ocean science and knowledge for evidence-based policy-making and technical solutions for improved ocean and maritime governance, management, and capacity development.
- Georesources and Energy Programme (GEP) – assists member countries by applying technical knowledge in the areas of geoscience and sustainable energy use.
- Disaster and Community Resilience Programme (DCRP) – assists member countries to demonstrate strengthened resilience through integrated action on disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, natural resource management and increased access to water and sanitation.
The role – Finance and Administration Assistant will be responsible for supporting the administrative and financial delivery of a range of GEM projects in accordance with SPC and Donor requirements. Responsibilities include management of project accounting, audit, and budgetary controls, monitoring of project sub contractual requirements, support for procurement of works and services contracts, support for the development and acquittal of country grant agreements funding with Pacific Island countries. Where needed and possible, the Finance and administration assistant may be required to assist other projects within the GEM Division and the GEM finance team.
The key responsibilities of the role include:
Financial and procurement support services
- Supporting the delivery of financial and procurement reports using SPC financial systems.
- Monitoring project expenditure against approved budget on a monthly basis.
- Conducting financial analysis of project delivery for decision-making.
- Ensuring financial transactions and project procurements comply with SPC’s Financial and Procurement guidelines.
Travel and Logistics Management
- Managing travel requirements for programme staff, including liaising with travel agents on itinerary and tickets.
- Ensuring travel is budgeted for and in line with work plan.
- Supporting the development of budgets for regional workshops and field travel needs.
- Providing facilitation and logistical support to Regional and National Workshops, including securing workshop venues, accommodation and other services.
Administration and Operations Support
- Managing day-to-day administration and operations work.
- Managing and monitoring project filing systems, including the archiving and backup of project documents, information and data.
- Effectively managing project assets records.
- Providing support on programme related matters as and when required.
For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.
Key selection criteria
- Degree in a relevant field such as accounting, financial management or business administration.
- At least 5 years of experience in project finance and administration.
- Demonstrated experience in donor project finance and administration.
- Demonstrated experience in financial audit administration.
- Sound experience in logistics management inclusive of travel for workshops and training programs.
- Excellent English communication skills (oral and written).
Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
- Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment.
Salary, terms and conditions
Contract Duration – 3 years – subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.
Remuneration – The Finance and Administration Assistant is band 7 position in SPC’s 2024 salary scale, with a commencing taxable salary range of FJD 2,287-2,859 per month, plus local staff benefits. 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.
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.
Closing Date – 11 February 2024 at 11:59pm (Fiji time)
Job Reference: JM000566
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.
Only Fijian citizens are eligible to apply for this role.
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 (maximum of 2,000 characters per question):
- Briefly provide us with 2 challenges you had faced when you had to financially report for a project across multiple currencies. How did you overcome those challenges.
- What are two common financial risks in a large-scale multi-country project, and how can they be mitigated?
- Relating to one procurement system with which you are familiar, identify three main principles of procurement and select the one principle you feel is most important and explain why you selected this particular principle.
I am an experienced professional with a comprehensive understanding of financial management, project administration, and donor-funded projects. With over a decade of hands-on experience in roles similar to the Finance and Administration Assistant position described in the article, I have successfully managed various aspects of project finance, logistics, and administration.
My background includes a degree in accounting, financial management, or business administration, aligning with the qualifications specified for the role. I have not only met but exceeded the stated requirement of at least 5 years of experience in project finance and administration. In my previous roles, I have consistently demonstrated my ability to handle the intricacies of financial audit administration, ensuring compliance with both organizational and donor guidelines.
One of the challenges I have faced, relevant to the screening questions in the article, was managing financial reporting for a project across multiple currencies. In such a scenario, accurate reporting and budget control become critical. I successfully addressed this challenge by implementing a robust financial tracking system that allowed for real-time conversion and monitoring of expenditures in different currencies. This approach ensured transparency and accuracy in financial reporting.
Regarding the second screening question, I have a deep understanding of financial risks in large-scale multi-country projects. Two common risks include exchange rate fluctuations and budget overruns. To mitigate these risks, I implemented strategies such as hedging against currency fluctuations and establishing contingency funds for unforeseen expenses. These proactive measures have consistently safeguarded projects from financial uncertainties.
In terms of technical expertise, I am well-versed in logistics management, including travel coordination for workshops and training programs. I have successfully managed travel requirements for program staff, liaising with travel agents, budgeting for travel expenses, and ensuring alignment with work plans. My proficiency in these areas has contributed to the smooth execution of various regional workshops and field activities.
My excellent English communication skills, both oral and written, have been pivotal in preparing financial and procurement reports, as well as facilitating communication with diverse stakeholders. Moreover, my ability to work in a multicultural environment has been honed through my experience in various international organizations.
In conclusion, my extensive experience, technical expertise, and proven track record in project finance and administration align seamlessly with the requirements outlined in the article for the Finance and Administration Assistant role within the Geoscience Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division of the Pacific Community (SPC). I am confident in my ability to contribute significantly to the success of this position and support the organization's mission for sustainable development in the Pacific region.