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Award Management Officer At The Catholic Relief Services

Date Posted: 15/Mar/2017
Deadline: 14/Apr/2017

Background:

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an International non-governmental organization supporting relief and development work in over 100 countries around the world. CRS programs assist persons on the basis of need, regardless of creed, ethnicity or nationality. CRS works through local church and non-church partners to implement its programs, therefore, strengthening and building the capacity of these partner organizations is fundamental to programs in every country in which CRS operates. CRS re-established presence in Nigeria in 2000 and currently focuses on vulnerable children, agriculture, health and HIV, extractives and governance, and peace building programming.

Project Background:

Since the crisis in Northeast Nigeria escalated in 2013, the food security situation has continued to worsen. Emerging data of June 2016 has revealed that the severity of the food and nutritional crisis is well beyond emergency thresholds in Borno State. The Federal Government has declared a food and nutritional crisis in Borno, where over 750,000 people are severely food insecure; including 180,000 in Maiduguri’s outskirts, 120,000 camp residents and approximately 275,000 IDPs in newly reopened areas. A growing number of people are in urgent need of food assistance, and alarming rates of acute malnutrition have been reported.

The re-opening of Local Government Areas (LGAs), many which have been inaccessible for an extended period of time, has led to the identification of new IDP locations in Borno State, while ongoing conflict between the military and Boko Haram has resulted in the influx of more IDPs into Maiduguri metropolis and the establishment of several spontaneous camps. The number of IDPs in both Maiduguri, Jere and other LGAs continue to increase – with the current reports indicating a total of 1.6 million IDPs in Borno State alone.
In this emergency context, IDP households are among the worst affected populations as displacement has resulted in the loss and destruction of key assets and the interruption of livelihoods. Furthermore, in Maiduguri center, the majority of IDPs families have found refuge with host families, with whom they share already scarce natural resources such as shelter and water. As per CRS’ needs assessments, these communities are in immediate need of food, WASH, emergency shelter, NFIs save lives and restore dignity. CRS has also identified agriculture and livelihoods as a key need and gap in the ongoing humanitarian response.

In order to effectively respond to the crisis, CRS Borno’s emergency and early recovery programs are focused on food security, NFI, WASH and shelter, for both IDPs and host families. Where possible, CRS will seek to maximize project impact, efficiency and effectiveness by adopting market based approaches – through e-vouchers and the RedRose OneSytem platform – privileging integrated programming and empowering targeted communities through participatory approaches.

Job Summary:

The Award Management Officer I, under the direct supervision of the Emergency Director and working in close collaboration with the Head of Operations, Emergency Coordinator, Program Managers, Business Development Manager and Finance Manager will be responsible for the following.

Specific Responsibilities:
Grants management and compliance

• Serve as principle point of contact on grant management and compliance issues with sub-grantees, CRS/Nigeria Finance, and CP Compliance staff.
• Lead the review of any new granting/contracting mechanisms to ensure adherence to donor requirements related to eligibility for CRS/partners, budget presentation, acceptability of cost allocation and other proposal requirements.
• Support timely agreement/contract development/review/approval, both at the level of CRS and partners, ensuring adherence to both internal CRS and donor requirements.
• Anticipate and respond to donor requests related to contracts, grant budgets and spending
• Anticipate and respond to CRS and sub-grantee questions related to contracts, grant budgets and spending, and try to encourage information sharing that will allow them to become familiar with requirements and practices of enforcement of donor/CRS finance policy.
• Ensure access for finance and programming staff to relevant internal CRS and US Government/Other external policy manuals/updates to ensure accountable and efficient program performance.
• Track liability to donors (A/C 3031/3032/3034) for awards funded in the North Eastern region.
• Follow up with the Abuja Finance team on any identified issues/questions on contract conditions/need for modifications or clarification.
• Review, communicate and monitor compliance with donor requirements related to staffing, purchasing, asset management and reporting.
• Identify compliance gaps and related solutions – including differences between donor and internal CRS policies and procedures, including cost allocation.
• Track grant/contract compliance via application of existing mechanism (i.e., grants startup checklist) and through the development/testing/roll out/implementation of new tools as and when required.
• Take the lead in monitoring timely grant/contract closure – engaging both finance and program staff well in advance of closure deadlines and advising on issues related to staffing, disposition and reporting.
• Ensure the timely reporting to senior management of any identified compliance risks.
• Review and approve cash disbursement advance journals, ensuring accurate postings particularly to accounts 1231, 1232, and 6166. Ensure that advances to partners are liquidated in a timely manner.
• Monitor timely reconciliation of project material stocks both at partner and CRS level with distribution reports. Advise of stock status when nearing grant completion.
• Organize and facilitate regular and ad-hoc meetings with Programming Team, Finance team, Operations team to plan workflow and address finance and grant compliance issues.

Internal control assessment

• Ensure adherence to record keeping as per donor and CRS Internal requirements. Monitor application and address gaps as needed.
• Ensure timely closure of finance audit recommendations related to donor compliance; participate in preparation, implementation and monitoring of related action plans.
• Lead site visits to partners to assess adequacy of internal controls, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and partner policies and procedures. Report findings to program management including proposed follow-up with sub-grantees based on issues surfaced.
• Advise on GAAP and basic accounting records to be maintained at sub-grantees.
• Perform ongoing monitoring and assessment of partner capacity to accurately record and post all transactions.
• Ensure adequate response and monitoring to implement recommendations of all financial audits and partner capacity assessments
• Lead and coordinate the implementation of the Sub-recipient Financial Management policy. Ensure all Partners are effectively assessed; categorized and all Internal Control Improvement Plans are fully implemented.
• Lead and coordinate the update of award data in Gateway for all projects implemented in the NE
• Organize external firm audits in accordance with grant requirements and in collaboration with the Project Manager and Procurement Officer
• Provide guidance and support for the timely assessment of partner financial management capacity and ability to adhere to any specific donor requirements. Develop related action plan with program and finance staff to address any capacity/system gaps.
• Ensure that partners have systems of effort reporting and bidding process for procurements in collaboration with the procurement officer.
• Work on initiatives to address most frequent audit findings and accountability issues related to USAID and other grants.
• Monitor implementation of action/corrective action plans relative to both internal and external audits in the grants management area

Financial management and analysis

• Take the lead in working with Program Managers/Coordinators in the preparation of donor financial reports and invoices and facilitate Finance Manager review prior to submission to HQ.
• Review budget comparison reports to ensure adherence to restrictions on line item flexibility and stated restrictions on accepted costs. Support follow up actions to resolve any identified problems.
• Review and assess Cost Allocation (CA) impact on budget on a regular basis, promptly flag any significant issue to the attention of the relevant PM and the Emergency Director.
• Design effective budget monitoring tools, generate and review monthly reporting and lead regular meetings with program managers to review issues and trends identified.
• Monitor the budgets and expenses at least on a monthly basis and ensure that the aggregate budget for CRS and local partners is maintained accurately at the donor approved levels throughout the year and commitments to local partners do not exceed the available budget.
• Ensure timely receipt and review of monthly expenditure reports from partner organizations.
• Approve local partner budget updates and liquidation reports for the CRS finance team to process.
• Ensure documentation of partner liquidation reviews outlining justification of all rejected expenses and detailing improvements required.
• Design and generate partner outstanding advance aging reporting and follow up with partners and program/project managers to encourage timely liquidation.
• Verify estimates of partner cash needs and in collaboration and coordination with Program/Project Managers, develop quarterly cash forecast to ensure sufficient cash flow and timely disbursement to support activity implementation. Ensure quarterly cash forecast is submitted to Finance no later than 10th each month
• Ensure that partners keep supporting documents for all financial transactions and ledgers for Fixed Assets, Purchase Requisitions, Cash Receipts and Disbursement.
• Lead the development and review of budget for new proposals and ensure accuracy of direct and allocated direct charges along with the proposal;

Capacity building

• Through formal training, on the job support and monitoring, build the capacity of CRS and partner staff in grants/contract compliance. Facilitate the development of Scopes of Work for TDY support as and when needed and monitor TDY performance.
• Prepare and implement training and technical assistance as needed to address capacity needs and reinforce grant management, e.g., financial management, budget analysis, policies and procedures, GAAP and basic accounting.
• Conduct staff orientation in donor and CRS financial management policies, procedures and standards in collaboration and coordination with CRS Finance Manager.
• Lead training to Program/Project Manager and to Partners on budgeting and in coordination and collaboration with Program/Project Managers, provide technical support to finalize Partners’ annual budgets.
• Coordinate planning and implementation of institutional capacity assessment and periodic review of potential new partner organizations.
• Conduct and coordinate with Program/Project Managers monitoring visits to partner organizations to assess adequacy of internal controls and to provide onsite mentoring and technical assistance. Detail site findings and ensure implementation of recommendations/corrective action plan and follow-up requirements.
• Actively participate in program meetings as appropriate to effectively plan and collectively coordinate financial and programmatic activities in conjunction with partner capacity building initiatives.

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff):

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

• Serves with Integrity
• Models Stewardship
• Cultivates Constructive Relationships
• Promotes Learning

Supervisory Responsibilities: Will supervise a national Grant Compliance Officer (CGO)

Key Working Relationships:

  • Internal: Finance Manager, Deputy Finance Managers for GL and Grant Compliance, finance team, HoOPs, Emergency Director, DCR-Operations, Program Managers and Chief of Party, Country Representative, Procurement Manager, Administrative Officer, HR Officer, IT Officer, Internal Auditors.
  • External: Donors, Subrecipients, Suppliers and External Auditors.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

  1. Master’s degree in finance, business administration or accounting, required.
  2. A University degree in accounting, preferred.
  3. Professional qualification in accounting (ACCA, CPA or equivalent), preferred.
  4. Minimum seven years relevant work experience w/ NGO, of which three years should be in USG finance and compliance. Very strong finance background.
  5. Experience managing USG and/or other donor grant awards.
  6. Auditing experience, a plus.
  7. Demonstrated ability in building capacity and providing training and technical assistance, and experience working with church partners.
  8. Proven ability to be an effective supervisor of staff of varying levels of responsibility.
  9. Good command of spoken and written English.
  10. Proficient in MS Office (Word, Excel and other appropriate software)
  11. Self-guided, strong organizational and planning skills.
  12. Ability to work independently and under pressure.
  13. Excellent communication, coaching and facilitation skills.
  14. SUN System/ Q&A exposure and competence will be an added advantage, or ability to learn quickly.

Required Foreign Language: English

Required Travel: The position is based in Maiduguri requiring travel 40% of the time on average

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

Background:

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an International non-governmental organization supporting relief and development work in over 100 countries around the world. CRS programs assist persons on the basis of need, regardless of creed, ethnicity or nationality. CRS works through local church and non-church partners to implement its programs, therefore, strengthening and building the capacity of these partner organizations is fundamental to programs in every country in which CRS operates. CRS re-established presence in Nigeria in 2000 and currently focuses on vulnerable children, agriculture, health and HIV, extractives and governance, and peace building programming.

Project Background:

Since the crisis in Northeast Nigeria escalated in 2013, the food security situation has continued to worsen. Emerging data of June 2016 has revealed that the severity of the food and nutritional crisis is well beyond emergency thresholds in Borno State. The Federal Government has declared a food and nutritional crisis in Borno, where over 750,000 people are severely food insecure; including 180,000 in Maiduguri’s outskirts, 120,000 camp residents and approximately 275,000 IDPs in newly reopened areas. A growing number of people are in urgent need of food assistance, and alarming rates of acute malnutrition have been reported.

The re-opening of Local Government Areas (LGAs), many which have been inaccessible for an extended period of time, has led to the identification of new IDP locations in Borno State, while ongoing conflict between the military and Boko Haram has resulted in the influx of more IDPs into Maiduguri metropolis and the establishment of several spontaneous camps. The number of IDPs in both Maiduguri, Jere and other LGAs continue to increase – with the current reports indicating a total of 1.6 million IDPs in Borno State alone.
In this emergency context, IDP households are among the worst affected populations as displacement has resulted in the loss and destruction of key assets and the interruption of livelihoods. Furthermore, in Maiduguri center, the majority of IDPs families have found refuge with host families, with whom they share already scarce natural resources such as shelter and water. As per CRS’ needs assessments, these communities are in immediate need of food, WASH, emergency shelter, NFIs save lives and restore dignity. CRS has also identified agriculture and livelihoods as a key need and gap in the ongoing humanitarian response.

In order to effectively respond to the crisis, CRS Borno’s emergency and early recovery programs are focused on food security, NFI, WASH and shelter, for both IDPs and host families. Where possible, CRS will seek to maximize project impact, efficiency and effectiveness by adopting market based approaches – through e-vouchers and the RedRose OneSytem platform – privileging integrated programming and empowering targeted communities through participatory approaches.

Job Summary:

The Award Management Officer I, under the direct supervision of the Emergency Director and working in close collaboration with the Head of Operations, Emergency Coordinator, Program Managers, Business Development Manager and Finance Manager will be responsible for the following.

Specific Responsibilities:
Grants management and compliance

• Serve as principle point of contact on grant management and compliance issues with sub-grantees, CRS/Nigeria Finance, and CP Compliance staff.
• Lead the review of any new granting/contracting mechanisms to ensure adherence to donor requirements related to eligibility for CRS/partners, budget presentation, acceptability of cost allocation and other proposal requirements.
• Support timely agreement/contract development/review/approval, both at the level of CRS and partners, ensuring adherence to both internal CRS and donor requirements.
• Anticipate and respond to donor requests related to contracts, grant budgets and spending
• Anticipate and respond to CRS and sub-grantee questions related to contracts, grant budgets and spending, and try to encourage information sharing that will allow them to become familiar with requirements and practices of enforcement of donor/CRS finance policy.
• Ensure access for finance and programming staff to relevant internal CRS and US Government/Other external policy manuals/updates to ensure accountable and efficient program performance.
• Track liability to donors (A/C 3031/3032/3034) for awards funded in the North Eastern region.
• Follow up with the Abuja Finance team on any identified issues/questions on contract conditions/need for modifications or clarification.
• Review, communicate and monitor compliance with donor requirements related to staffing, purchasing, asset management and reporting.
• Identify compliance gaps and related solutions – including differences between donor and internal CRS policies and procedures, including cost allocation.
• Track grant/contract compliance via application of existing mechanism (i.e., grants startup checklist) and through the development/testing/roll out/implementation of new tools as and when required.
• Take the lead in monitoring timely grant/contract closure – engaging both finance and program staff well in advance of closure deadlines and advising on issues related to staffing, disposition and reporting.
• Ensure the timely reporting to senior management of any identified compliance risks.
• Review and approve cash disbursement advance journals, ensuring accurate postings particularly to accounts 1231, 1232, and 6166. Ensure that advances to partners are liquidated in a timely manner.
• Monitor timely reconciliation of project material stocks both at partner and CRS level with distribution reports. Advise of stock status when nearing grant completion.
• Organize and facilitate regular and ad-hoc meetings with Programming Team, Finance team, Operations team to plan workflow and address finance and grant compliance issues.

Internal control assessment

• Ensure adherence to record keeping as per donor and CRS Internal requirements. Monitor application and address gaps as needed.
• Ensure timely closure of finance audit recommendations related to donor compliance; participate in preparation, implementation and monitoring of related action plans.
• Lead site visits to partners to assess adequacy of internal controls, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and partner policies and procedures. Report findings to program management including proposed follow-up with sub-grantees based on issues surfaced.
• Advise on GAAP and basic accounting records to be maintained at sub-grantees.
• Perform ongoing monitoring and assessment of partner capacity to accurately record and post all transactions.
• Ensure adequate response and monitoring to implement recommendations of all financial audits and partner capacity assessments
• Lead and coordinate the implementation of the Sub-recipient Financial Management policy. Ensure all Partners are effectively assessed; categorized and all Internal Control Improvement Plans are fully implemented.
• Lead and coordinate the update of award data in Gateway for all projects implemented in the NE
• Organize external firm audits in accordance with grant requirements and in collaboration with the Project Manager and Procurement Officer
• Provide guidance and support for the timely assessment of partner financial management capacity and ability to adhere to any specific donor requirements. Develop related action plan with program and finance staff to address any capacity/system gaps.
• Ensure that partners have systems of effort reporting and bidding process for procurements in collaboration with the procurement officer.
• Work on initiatives to address most frequent audit findings and accountability issues related to USAID and other grants.
• Monitor implementation of action/corrective action plans relative to both internal and external audits in the grants management area

Financial management and analysis

• Take the lead in working with Program Managers/Coordinators in the preparation of donor financial reports and invoices and facilitate Finance Manager review prior to submission to HQ.
• Review budget comparison reports to ensure adherence to restrictions on line item flexibility and stated restrictions on accepted costs. Support follow up actions to resolve any identified problems.
• Review and assess Cost Allocation (CA) impact on budget on a regular basis, promptly flag any significant issue to the attention of the relevant PM and the Emergency Director.
• Design effective budget monitoring tools, generate and review monthly reporting and lead regular meetings with program managers to review issues and trends identified.
• Monitor the budgets and expenses at least on a monthly basis and ensure that the aggregate budget for CRS and local partners is maintained accurately at the donor approved levels throughout the year and commitments to local partners do not exceed the available budget.
• Ensure timely receipt and review of monthly expenditure reports from partner organizations.
• Approve local partner budget updates and liquidation reports for the CRS finance team to process.
• Ensure documentation of partner liquidation reviews outlining justification of all rejected expenses and detailing improvements required.
• Design and generate partner outstanding advance aging reporting and follow up with partners and program/project managers to encourage timely liquidation.
• Verify estimates of partner cash needs and in collaboration and coordination with Program/Project Managers, develop quarterly cash forecast to ensure sufficient cash flow and timely disbursement to support activity implementation. Ensure quarterly cash forecast is submitted to Finance no later than 10th each month
• Ensure that partners keep supporting documents for all financial transactions and ledgers for Fixed Assets, Purchase Requisitions, Cash Receipts and Disbursement.
• Lead the development and review of budget for new proposals and ensure accuracy of direct and allocated direct charges along with the proposal;

Capacity building

• Through formal training, on the job support and monitoring, build the capacity of CRS and partner staff in grants/contract compliance. Facilitate the development of Scopes of Work for TDY support as and when needed and monitor TDY performance.
• Prepare and implement training and technical assistance as needed to address capacity needs and reinforce grant management, e.g., financial management, budget analysis, policies and procedures, GAAP and basic accounting.
• Conduct staff orientation in donor and CRS financial management policies, procedures and standards in collaboration and coordination with CRS Finance Manager.
• Lead training to Program/Project Manager and to Partners on budgeting and in coordination and collaboration with Program/Project Managers, provide technical support to finalize Partners’ annual budgets.
• Coordinate planning and implementation of institutional capacity assessment and periodic review of potential new partner organizations.
• Conduct and coordinate with Program/Project Managers monitoring visits to partner organizations to assess adequacy of internal controls and to provide onsite mentoring and technical assistance. Detail site findings and ensure implementation of recommendations/corrective action plan and follow-up requirements.
• Actively participate in program meetings as appropriate to effectively plan and collectively coordinate financial and programmatic activities in conjunction with partner capacity building initiatives.

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff):

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

• Serves with Integrity
• Models Stewardship
• Cultivates Constructive Relationships
• Promotes Learning

Supervisory Responsibilities: Will supervise a national Grant Compliance Officer (CGO)

Key Working Relationships:

  • Internal: Finance Manager, Deputy Finance Managers for GL and Grant Compliance, finance team, HoOPs, Emergency Director, DCR-Operations, Program Managers and Chief of Party, Country Representative, Procurement Manager, Administrative Officer, HR Officer, IT Officer, Internal Auditors.
  • External: Donors, Subrecipients, Suppliers and External Auditors.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

  1. Master’s degree in finance, business administration or accounting, required.
  2. A University degree in accounting, preferred.
  3. Professional qualification in accounting (ACCA, CPA or equivalent), preferred.
  4. Minimum seven years relevant work experience w/ NGO, of which three years should be in USG finance and compliance. Very strong finance background.
  5. Experience managing USG and/or other donor grant awards.
  6. Auditing experience, a plus.
  7. Demonstrated ability in building capacity and providing training and technical assistance, and experience working with church partners.
  8. Proven ability to be an effective supervisor of staff of varying levels of responsibility.
  9. Good command of spoken and written English.
  10. Proficient in MS Office (Word, Excel and other appropriate software)
  11. Self-guided, strong organizational and planning skills.
  12. Ability to work independently and under pressure.
  13. Excellent communication, coaching and facilitation skills.
  14. SUN System/ Q&A exposure and competence will be an added advantage, or ability to learn quickly.

Required Foreign Language: English

Required Travel: The position is based in Maiduguri requiring travel 40% of the time on average

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

Method of Application

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