JOB DESCRIPTION REFERENCE OFT834 NUMBER JOB TITLE Economic Adviser GRADE 7 AREA M&P GROUP Mergers LOCATION Fleetbank House DATE March 22nd 2010 RESPONSIBLE TO G6 RESPONSIBLE FOR— PEOPLE Potential for supervision of an Assistant Economist RESPONSIBLE FOR – BUDGET none JOB PURPOSE The Office of Fair Trading role is to make markets work well for consumers. Its Mergers team investigates up to 150 individual merger cases each year to assess whether they may harm consumers by significantly reducing competition. Where this may be the case it either accepts undertakings from the merged firm to resolve the problems identified or refers the case for further review by the Competition Commission. The role is for an economist to act as the lead economist on a range of cases as well as contributing expertise to cases of other members of the team. It is an excellent opportunity for an economist to apply economic knowledge in a very practical way. The caseload is diverse and offers first-hand experience of commercial issues across many sectors, involving regular contact with senior business people and their advisers. You would be part of a 10- strong economics team. MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES/KEY DUTIES Main responsibilities • Investigate and provide oral and written economic advice on a range of merger cases. • Provide economic input to cases being considered by the European Commission, including contributing to development of a UK view for Advisory Committee meetings. • Where appropriate, supervise the work and development of our Assistant Economists, including potentially a formal staff management role in due course. Typically there are two people responsible for any given case, an economist and case officer. The economist has the lead role in the research and analysis. The level of responsibility is therefore high. Cases are dealt with according to tight statutory timetables and economists can be working on between three and five cases at any one time. Key tasks for the case economist are: • reviewing the written submission provided by the merging parties • identifying further questions to ask them • identifying questions to ask of third parties such as customers and competitors • drawing together available research on the relevant markets • analysing responses to questions and following-up as necessary • writing an economic advice paper setting out findings. In cases where significant competition issues may arise the case team present their findings for discussion at a Case Review Meeting involving senior staff from across the OFT. This then informs the final decision (normally taken by John Fingleton or Amelia Fletcher) as to whether or not to refer the case to the Competition Commission. The economist's written advice provides a key input to the published paper setting out the OFT's decision and the reasoning behind it. PERSON SPECIFICATION - Qualifications, Experience, Knowledge & Skills Qualifications: • A degree in economics with first or upper second class honours, or a postgraduate degree in economics or a related subject (essential). Experience: • Significant practical work experience in the economic analysis of markets (essential) • Previous experience in delivering projects to time in an analytical environment (essential) • Demonstrable experience of working effectively within multi-disciplinary teams (essential) • Experience of the economics of competition and of merger analysis (desirable) Knowledge: • Good knowledge of Industrial Organisation (essential) • Knowledge of the work of the OFT (desirable) Skills: • Ability to gather, research and analyse information impartially and effectively identifying all relevant aspects and looking beyond the obvious (essential) • Ability to make sound, impartial and timely judgements, showing an awareness of implications and to offer innovative ideas and solutions (essential) • Ability to plan and organise work effectively and to overcome obstacles to delivery (essential) • Strong written and oral communication skills including an ability effectively to communicate economic concepts to a range of audiences (essential) • Ability to work effectively with colleagues and interested parties including a willingness to contribute to the work of the team beyond personal responsibilities (essential) PROFESSIONAL SKILLS FOR GOVERNMENT FRAMEWORK COMPETENCIES GRADE 6 / 7 Leadership • Set Direction - Inspire with vision, Seize opportunity, Take tough decisions. • Deliver Results - Focus on impact, Challenge & improve, Engage stakeholders • Develop our People - Cultivate innovation, Get the best from everyone, Grow from experience. • Live our Values - Self awareness, self confidence, team working People Management • Understands & communicates the organisation’s priorities & ensures people’s objectives are aligned with them. • Coaches & develops individuals & manages own development. • Employs a range of appropriate techniques to promote equality of opportunity & diversity. • Recognises & rewards good performance, & tackles poor performance. • Knows how & when to engage with HR experts in tackling people issues. Financial Management • Can describe the organisation’s business model & identify own contributions to its financial objectives. • Ensures personal delivery against plan & forecasts accuracy. Sets & influences stretching targets for improving the value achieved from resources inputs (people, budget & assets). • Works confidently with financial data when making decisions: interprets trends, issues & risks. Promotes & enforces appropriate business rules. • Leads by example when incurring expenditure & managing business relations & risks. Promotes & enforces appropriate business rules. • Engages with finance experts, & knows when to provide them with routine or exceptional information. Programme & Project Management • Understands & uses PPM techniques, including risk management. • Understands & contributes to definition & delivery of programme benefits & business case development. • Plans & delivers strong relationship with stakeholders ensuring that the organisation is a respected customer & provider. • Understands the purpose & the use of Peer & OGC Gateways Reviews. • Engages with PPM expert & in acquisition projects, procurement/ commercial experts. Analysis & Use of Evidence • Identifies & uses various sources of evidence (& feedback) to support outputs. • Understands the validity, relevance & limitations of different sources of evidence. • Uses evidence to evaluate policies, projects & programmes. • Understands & can interpret the most commonly used methods for summarising data. • Engages with relevant experts to gather & evaluate evidence. Strategic Thinking • Identifies & prioritises personal objectives that are consistent with the strategic vision of the organisation. • Identifies & reports potential risks in relation to the achievement of strategic objectives • Develops measures & methods for monitoring & evaluating performance against the strategic plan. Identifies good practice & areas for improvement in strategy & communicates these to colleagues & key stakeholders.