POST/DEPARTMENT: Director of Finance
DIRECTORATE: Finance Directorate
JOB TITLE: Director – Finance
PAY BAND: SMS2
This is a fixed term appointment for three years. Within three years, you will
be expected to take Financial Management in the FCO to the next level
You will achieve this through
Completing the FCO’s Five Star Finance Project (4.5 Stars expected in July).
In doing so to finally achieve the vision of:
o becoming the best finance function across Whitehall
o and creating a finance organisation which delivers excellence
Defining and implementing the further Management Reporting and MI
required to truly partner with the Business. This will require
o a project in the way that has made Five Stars one of our most
successful change programmes
o better understanding of the FCO’s cost drivers (input and outcome
o better comparative and benchmarking data
o improved activity analysis and
o enhanced links to Business Planning and Resource Allocation.
Supporting the Director Strategic Finance in the forthcoming Spending
Review and then implementing the new financial settlement which arises
across the FCO. This requires the implementation of recommendations in
the recent “Smarter Government” White paper as far as they apply to the
FCO, and finally settling the cost-recovery / charging arrangements for
those other organisations and Departments who use the FCO’s overseas
Significantly re-shaping and reducing the resources consumed across the
FCO’s finance community. This will require:
o Completing the separation of the transaction functions and moving
them to the Corporate Services Centre in Milton Keynes
o establishing Client functions to interface with the Corporate Services
Centre (and CS Director)
o to continue to automate and strip out costs right across the FCO’s
o to develop a world-class finance function where financial processes
currently undertaken overseas will be done by the Corporate Services
Implementing the new IFRS regime, delivering unqualified compliant Annual
Implementing Whole of Government Accounting in the FCO in accordance
with the Treasury’s timetable.
Implementing the recommendations of the PAC on Financial Management in
the FCO including better working across Whitehall and further improvements
Developing people with existing formal financial skills, as Head of
Profession, but also by spreading financial, resources and vfm skills more
widely across the FCO.
Improving the challenge in financial and vfm terms of key resource
allocations and decisions.
Embedding new Governance arrangements amongst the Board sub-
Committees (i.e. Finance Committee’s move to a more strategic role and its
relationship with Estates, IT and other sub-committees).
Completing the current FCO efficiency programme(s), challenging progress
and developing even more innovative ideas to make a difference, working
with other Corporate Services Directors in doing so.
As Director for Finance, you will also be expected to:
o Ensure that the FCO is financially compliant
o Ensure that all regular reporting and periodic processes, including the
laying of accounts, are completed satisfactorily and on time.
o Pre-empt financial challenges and proactively provide the FCO Board
with the appropriate information, advice and support to effectively
deliver foreign policy objectives for HMG.
CONTEXT AND KEY CURRENT ISSUES:
FCO has made substantial improvements in its financial management over
the last 24 months, reducing a relatively large near cash overspend to a
much smaller one in 2008-09
This progression was evidenced by the recent NAO and CIPFA reviews of
financial management which acknowledged that the FCO should be graded
as 3.5 stars on its 5 star scale (1=Basic Cash Accounting; 5=Full Business
The FCO is committed to making a significant contribution towards the
Operational Efficiency Programme and also to reducing its back office foot
There are more opportunities to work in partnership with other departments
to realise substantial benefits through collaborative back office i.e. HMG
shared services agenda
Following a significant investment in financial training, the Heads of Mission
and Directors are asking even more challenging questions and demanding