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Finance Business Partner

Ref FCO0077
Location London
Department FCO
Closing date for applications 23 October 2017

Location: Whitehall, London

Salary: The total package for this role at C5 is a maximum of £47,500 per annum, depending on demonstration of skills, competence and experience. This figure includes a non-pensionable, non consolidated Location Allowance of £4,520 plus a pensionable, non consolidated Market Forces Allowance of £9,552. Please note that existing Civil Servants do not qualify for MFA but should refer to the Candidate Pack.

Future pay awards will be performance related, linked to the annual appraisal process and may also include a non-consolidated Performance Related Payment (PRP) dependant on the level of performance. All future awards are subject to guidance issued annually by HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office.

For existing Civil Servants, the usual FCO rules on starting pay on level transfer or progression/promotion will apply. Please visit Candidate Pack for further information.

Appointment: Permanent, full time.

About the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is the government department responsible for promoting British interests overseas and supporting British citizens and business around the globe.

The FCO works to promote the United Kingdom’s interests overseas. The FCO employs approximately 14,000 staff around the world. Approximately one third are UK-based British Civil Servants whose career typically includes work in the UK and postings overseas; and around two thirds are Locally Engaged (LE) staff, employed by a British Diplomatic Post overseas.

We celebrate diversity and recruit our staff from a broad range of backgrounds so that we benefit from fresh experiences and perspectives.

The FCO’s purpose is to protect our country, our people and our interests; to project our influence and values; and to promote our prosperity. To achieve this we will maintain a global network with the people, partnerships, skills and knowledge to deliver. Our Strategic Objectives are:

Protect our People

Safeguard our national security by countering terrorism, extremism, weapons proliferation, and other state and non-state threats in co-operation with allies and partners. Assist British people living, travelling and working around the world through effective consular services and swift crisis response.

Project our Global Influence

Protect and promote the values and influence of Global Britain, strengthening our partnerships and the rules-based international system. Support good governance, democracy, rule of law and human rights; prevent and resolve conflict; and build stability overseas.

Promote our Prosperity

Promote our prosperity by opening markets, driving economic reform, championing British business, and supporting free trade and sustainable global growth.

Further information about the FCO may be found on our website: www.gov.uk/fco

Main Purpose of Job

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has a worldwide network of 268 Posts in 168 countries including in 9 multilateral organisations. 29 other UK Government Partners operate on our global platform.

The role is a finance business partner function to Protocol and IT Directorates providing an opportunity to work with senior stakeholders. The two Directorates have varied budgets: Protocol includes funding for international events such as the NATO Summit and the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference while IT Directorate is presently delivering a major technology overhaul programme. The team provides a business partner function to all FCO Geographic and Operations Directorates. Business Partners work flexibly between Directorates so the job holder will receive broad exposure to FCO business. The skills required are transferable therefore the Directorates you cover could change based on your experience and on business need.

The role provides both a support and challenge function to respective Directorates to ensure they are bidding and forecasting for the most probable resource requirement, while delivering on as many of their objectives as possible within the available budget. The role provides an excellent opportunity to develop stakeholder management, technical accounting and business skills while gaining an overview of FCO Operations.

Roles and Responsibilities

Manage the monthly Key Performance Report process for Protocol and IT by providing advice and support to budget holders during the month; analyse and challenge the quality of forecast submissions provided by these budget holders; present the analysis in Director-led finance review meetings. Influence Directorates to forecast the most likely outturn while identifying and quantifying risks with consistent explanation of significant variations from budget and latest forecast.

Partner with Directorates to ensure that the information produced is relevant and drives better decision making.

Assist in the delivery of robust Medium Term Financial Planning (MTFP) for Protocol and IT Directorates. Ensure future year financial plans are consistent with Directorate business plans and are reconcilable to the existing cost base. Oversight of the workforce planning process of Operations group (that Protocol and HR sit within) to ensure a clear link with budgets.

Review and assist in the preparation of business cases originating from IT and Protocol Directorates ahead of internal and external senior approval forum. Ensure business cases identify how project associated costs will score against the HMT budgetary framework and provide a view as to whether funds are available. Provide a view on the wider strategic, economic, commercial and management aspects of business cases.

Work with key stakeholders to standardise the way in which Directorates approach the forecasting and budgeting processes; collect and translate business requirements into financial resources.

The position will manage a small team of up to three members of staff. Engage and support the team to develop their talent and capabilities. Effectively delegate work and projects ensuring a successful balance of responsibilities across the team. Organise regular team meetings to discuss issues, team dynamics and team motivation.

Person Specification

You must be a British Citizen. Satisfactory security clearance to a high level (Developed Vetting) is a condition of appointment. For more information about this process, click here. You must have been resident in the UK for two out of the last ten years immediately prior to your application. (Please note: at least one year of which must have been a consecutive twelve-month period, unless you have served overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of Her Majesty’s Government, or have lived overseas as a result of your parents’ or partner’s Government employment.)

It is essential in your application that you provide evidence and proven examples in each of the following minimum criteria as far as you are able to do so. These responses will be further developed and discussed with those candidates invited for interview.

Minimum Criteria

  • CCAB qualified/passed finalist
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Knowledge of an accounting package such as Oracle
  • Meeting the minimum standard of the competences listed below.


The competences you will be assessed on at the application stage and during the interview are as follows:

  • Delivering Value for Money
  • Collaborating and Partnering
  • Changing and Improving
  • Leading and Communicating

Please see the Civil Service Competency Framework for more information about these.

It is imperative that your application form provides evidence of the competences contained in the Person Specification. You will be tested on two of the four competences for this role on the application form. These are Collaborating and Partnering and Leading and Communicating. The other two competences will be tested at the interview stage. The Specialist Question will be awarded extra credit as part of the initial assessment of your application.

Please note that the FCO carries out name-blind (anonymised) recruitment to help build a more diverse and inclusive workforce. The personal information on your Application form and/or CV will be concealed during the sifting phase and only the names of those who are being invited for Interviews will be made known to the Panel.

Recruitment Process

The FCO has appointed Capita Resourcing, a recruitment agency, to manage the process.

The dates below are indicative:

Closing date for completed applications

Midnight on 23rd October 2017

Panel Interview

Week commencing 13th November 2017

If you are successful at the application stage, you will be invited to attend a panel interview (in person) at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London. There may be the option to conduct the interview via Skype for overseas candidates. If this is preferred, you must make this clear at the application stage. Candidates will be required to give a verbal Presentation at the Interview and a case study will be given to you 20 minutes before your Interview.

Please note that the FCO will not reimburse any travel costs or expenses incurred as part of the selection process.

Current FCO staff members are advised that this is an external campaign and, as such, you will be required to go through the same process as all other candidates.

Additional information

For further information please use the links below:

If you have any queries then please contact us by emailing candidateenquiries@capitaras.co.uk

Further information about the FCO may be found on its website www.gov.uk/fco

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