Closing date: 00pm Friday 31st August 2012

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CLOSING DATE: 2.00pm Friday 31st August 2012

POSTS VACANT: Accountant Band B/Deputy Principal
LOCATION: Stormont Estate, Belfast

(Occasional travel to London and Hillsborough will be required)


INVITED FROM: Applications are invited from qualified accountants or part qualified finalists with public sector experience to join the Northern Ireland Office in a key budget management role
PLEASE NOTE: Further appointments may be made from this competition should NIO positions become vacant which have similar duties and responsibilities.
BACKGROUND: On devolution the NIO family reduced in size from around £1.3b funding and over 2,000 staff to current funding of around £25m with around 340 staff overall, including arm’s length bodies.
With the planned withdrawal of Financial Services Division support, the Northern Ireland Office is now seeking to recruit an accountant to lead on the management of the department’s budgets and estimates.
The successful candidate will also have a key role in providing direct support to the Head of Finance, in supporting the financial accounting function especially during busy periods and in helping develop a new finance function including the implementation of a new integrated IT accounting package.
The NIO is currently adjusting to its new size and responsibilities so this is an exciting opportunity to come into an organisation undergoing substantial change to help to shape its future.
This will be a challenging but interesting role with wide reaching influences and implications and will afford the successful candidate the opportunity to see how the department works at many levels.
The post will be based within Business Delivery Group in the Northern Ireland Office. This Group supports the corporate functions of the NIO through teams based in Belfast, London and Hillsborough.
Whilst the precise duties and responsibilities of this post will vary, the core responsibilities of this role are likely to involve varying degrees of the following:

  • Budget setting and monitoring

  • Management of the departmental Estimates and other HM Treasury processes and returns

  • Improving the quality of information to the NIO Management Board

  • Implementation of financial policies, procedures and controls

  • Contributing to the management of the transition of finance functions from the managed service provider (DoJ) into NIO

  • Contributing to the specification of requirements, procurement and implementation of a new IT accounting system

  • Assistance in the preparation of statutory year end financial statements, Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) and liaison with internal and external auditors as required

  • Management of staff and other resources

  • Any other ad hoc duties as appropriate

  • Representing the grade 7 accountant on occasion


Candidates must have either

  • 1 or more years experience, within the last 7 years, of working in a public sector finance environment and have full membership of a CCAB recognised body

  • 5 or more years experience, within the last 7 years, of working in a public or private sector environment and be a finalist with a CCAB recognised body. At least 2 years must be in the public sector.

CCAB bodies are

  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)

  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)

  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

  • The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

  • The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)

Post qualification experience is counted as the period from the date of admission to full membership of one of the relevant professional bodies to the closing date for this competition

In addition applicants should be aware that after an eligibility sift, should it be necessary to shortlist candidates to go forward to interview, the following shortlisting criteria will be used in order:
  1. Candidates must have 1 or more years experience, within the last 7 years, of working in a public sector finance environment and have full membership of a CCAB recognised body

  2. Candidates must have 2 or more years experience, within the last 7 years of working in a public sector environment

  3. Candidates must have 2 or more years experience, within the last 7 years, of working in a central government finance environment and have full membership of a CCAB recognised body

The personal competencies required are consistent with the competency framework for Band B/deputy principal. For this post the candidate will be expected to demonstrate the following key competencies:
Planning and managing resources

  • Taking personal responsibility for delivering services against the business plan and accurately forecasting our work

  • Managing how we consult and communicate with stakeholders and understanding the risks of not doing so

  • Leading by example when incurring expenditure and managing business relationships and risks

Working as a team

  • Communicating clear values for maintaining an effective team

  • Building trust through sharing information, knowledge, experience and expertise

  • Promoting the team and its abilities when discussing them with stakeholders

Focusing on the customer

  • Managing stakeholders’ expectations, keeping them up to date with progress

  • Communicating and setting the appropriate standards of behaviour for customer service

  • Promoting and valuing the different needs and expectations of customers

Using evidence to make decisions

  • Making tough decisions when necessary

  • Using evidence to assess policies, projects and programmes when making a decision

  • Communicating the risks and limitations associated with using and rejecting evidence when making decisions

Developing our people

  • Setting clear standards for performance management and strategies for tackling poor performance

  • Understanding and communicating the organisation’s priorities

  • Coaching and mentoring individuals to improve their performance and development


CLEARANCE: Security clearance to CTC level will be required for this post.


SIFT: An eligibility sift will be carried out on the basis of the information contained in the application form. It is therefore important that all applicants demonstrate in their application how and to what extent their competences are relevant to the above criteria. Those candidates who do not clearly demonstrate that they meet the experience and competences will not be invited to interview.


ALLOWANCES: The successful candidate will be subject to NIO terms and conditions, which mirror those of the Ministry of Justice. Starting salary will be £29,634 plus an accountancy allowances dependent on your current level of qualification.
DURATION Permanent
FURTHER Further information about the post may be obtained

INFORMATION: from Head of Finance, Lesley Johnston, on telephone number 02890 765404 or on

APPLICATIONS: Application forms can be obtained from and, once completed, should be submitted to Amanda Coffey, who can be contacted at or by phone on 028 90527022.
Additional information received after the closing date will not be considered. Failure to provide sufficient information in support of an application prior to the closing date will not be considered as grounds for an appeal if an applicant is not short listed for interview.
Applicants who, because of disability, need assistance in completing the application form should contact Robert Cornish on 0207 210 6517 or by email at

This memorandum should not be taken as constituting conditions of employment.

The Northern Ireland Office is an Equal Opportunities Employer

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