Financial Management Officer
United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply
Announcement No: FMO-2011-0001
Opening Date: September 15, 2011
CLOSED: October 21, 2011
Position Title: Foreign Service Financial Management Officer
Series/Grade: FP-0501-04, FP-0501-03
Who May Apply
All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Information to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.
Applicants must be American Citizens and at least 20 years old to apply. They must be at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law, all career candidates must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60.
The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires to fill a limited number of Foreign Service Financial Management Officer vacancies. The specific number to be hired will depend on the needs of the Foreign Service.
Grade and Starting Salary Range: FP-04/FP-03, $53,003-$96,061
Competitive Promotion and Within-Grade Increases:
Foreign Service Financial Management Officers are eligible to compete for promotion to the Senior Foreign Service in line with Department of State policies. Subsequent promotions are also competitive. Due to the limited number of yearly promotion opportunities, promotion panels select promotees based on published criteria and quality of performance. Performance is evaluated annually, in writing, by the supervisor.
In general, Foreign Service employees with documented satisfactory performance are eligible to receive a within-grade step increase annually up through step 10 and biannually from step 10 through 14.
The normal career path envisions promotion to FP-1 during the course of a 20-year career. However, Foreign Service Financial Management Officers are eligible to compete for promotion to the Senior Foreign Level in line with Department of State policies.
The Foreign Service is more than a job - it's a career. As a member of a diplomatic team, you will not only help to accomplish the mission of the Department of State and be a representative, but also will be a representative of your country to the people of other nations. A Foreign Service career involves uncommon commitments and occasional hardships, as well as unique rewards and opportunities. A decision to enter this career should be based on extraordinary motivation and a firm dedication to public service.
Many overseas posts are in small or remote countries where harsh climates, health hazards and other discomforts exist and where American-style amenities and the latest in technological advances often are unavailable. Personal security frequently becomes an area of concern in countries where there is political unrest or terrorist activity. However, careers in the Foreign Service offer special rewards, including the pride and satisfaction of representing the United States and protecting U.S. interests abroad.
The Foreign Service strives to maintain diversity in the representation of gender, geographic region, race and ethnicity within its work force.
All applicants, in order to be considered for selection, must:
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Be at least 20 years old to apply and at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law (Foreign Service Act of 1980), all career candidates (except for preference-eligible veterans) must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60
- Must be available for worldwide service.
- Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
- Be able to obtain an appropriate medical clearance for Foreign Service work.
- Obtain a Suitability Clearance, based on a review of the candidate's record for conduct that falls short of suitability standards defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more details see http://careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process or http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam.
Financial Management Officers of the Department of State serve in the United States and at any of approximately 130 Foreign Service posts throughout the world, including the Regional Financial Service Centers in Bangkok, Thailand, and Charleston, South Carolina. Overseas, they are responsible for the management of the financial activities of diplomatic and consular posts, including services to other U.S. Government agencies. They perform similar work when assigned to a Financial Service Center or Washington, D. C. For example, Foreign Service Financial Management Officers:
- Act as certifying officers for U.S. Government agencies, with responsibility for the correctness and propriety of all payments.
- Provide a full range of financial services including development of budgets and financial plans, control of obligations and expenditures, preparation and audit of payment vouchers, administration of payroll plans, salary and allowance payments, cashier operations, the purchase of foreign currencies, and disbursement of funds.
- Negotiate and administer agreements with other U.S. Government agencies to provide administrative support services through Department of State facilities and personnel.
- Establish and maintain close relations with local banking officials and fiscal authorities, and conduct negotiations concerning exchange rates and banking services.
- Assist managers in program decision-making and planning by analyzing financial aspects of various programs so that managers can determine the best use of limited resources.
- Help develop and maintain the Department's financial management system, ensuring compatibility with requirements of the Office of Management and Budget, the General Accounting Office and the Treasury Department, and that it meets user needs for accurate, timely financial data and processing.
- Utilize computers to record, analyze and report financial data and plans.
- Teach and supervise Foreign Service national employees who provide continuity to the accounting and financial work done overseas.
- Establish controls, using policy guidelines and generally accepted accounting standards, for the prevention of waste, fraud and mismanagement.
All Financial Management Officer candidates must meet the following requirements:
|GENERAL AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS|
|Grade Level||Annual Salary||Education||Specialized Experience|
|FP-04||$53,003 - $77,837||BA or BS||3 years|
|FP-03||$65,413 - $96,061||BA or BS||4 years|
Candidates should possess a Bachelor's degree with a minimum of 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) in accounting or finance earned at the undergraduate or graduate level. This requirement may be waived if the candidate is a Certified Public Accountant. Graduate degrees in business, government or public administration are preferred with concentrations in accounting, finance or other related fields such as information systems, auditing, statistics or engineering.
Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal job requirements for this position if the applicant can show that foreign education is comparable to education received in the United States. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide such evidence when applying for Federal jobs. To view how foreign education is evaluated for federal jobs, please click here: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.
Specialized experience is professional work which demonstrates that the applicant has acquired and is able to apply specific knowledge, skills and abilities appropriate to a Foreign Service Financial Management Officer position. Examples are:
- Experience in financial management work which involved the preparation, justification, or management of an organization's budget, or participation in budget hearings on appropriations for a government agency.
- Experience as a financial management officer in a government agency or in a business or industrial concern with responsibilities for program planning, organization, methods and procedures.
- Experience in government or private sector accounting including interpretation and use of financial data for informed decision-making and the efficient and optimal use of resources.
- Teaching comprehensive budget, fiscal or accounting courses in an accredited educational institution above the high school level.
- Experience in the development and/or implementation of internal controls and compliance with laws and regulations related to financial management. This includes experience in the audit and financial management review of procedures and requirements.
- Experience in banking, currency purchasing or treasury operations.
- Experience in payroll plan development and/or administration.
Experience in the design, implementation or maintenance of computerized systems will only be considered if one of the other specialized criteria mentioned above is met.
NOTE: Consumer loan management/approval and individual tax preparation are not considered to be specialized experience for the purpose of this announcement.
All experience listed above must have been of a progressively responsible nature in a medium or large organization with a multimillion dollar budget. This experience also must include more than one area of financial management, e.g., budget preparation and execution, accounting and reporting, accounts payable, payroll, accounts receivable, cash management, disbursing, and audit and internal controls. Supervisory experience, work with automated financial management systems, and evidence of working and/or living successfully in a multicultural environment is desirable. Such experience in the Foreign Service, the Department of State, other Federal Government agencies and organizations having international operations is preferred. For the FP-3 level at least one year of specialized experience must have been equivalent to the GS-11/FP-4 level; and for the FP-4 level at least one year must have been equivalent to the GS-9/FP-5 level.
Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.
Superior oral and written communication skills: In order to pass the Foreign Service's thorough and competitive assessment process, successful applicants must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness). Those who fall short of this standard will have little chance of passing through the Foreign Service's highly competitive assessment process.
Professional-level speaking ability in a foreign language is welcome, but not a requirement for applying. However, the applicant must be willing to be trained by the Department of State in a foreign language to meet a job requirement or expectation. These will be important considerations in the competitive promotion process.
SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION FOR EXPERIENCE:
Applicants with strong academic backgrounds may substitute graduate educational achievement (accepted at the rate of 18 semester hours or 27 quarter hours per year) for specialized experience as discussed below:
- For 1 year of specialized experience: One full academic year of graduate education in business or public administration, with a concentration in accounting, finance or a related field.
- For 2 years of specialized experience: Completion of all requirements for a master's or equivalent degree, or 2 full academic years of graduate education, in one of the fields described in paragraph "1" above.
- For 3 years of specialized experience: Completion of all requirements for a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or equivalent), or 3 full academic years of graduate education, in one of the fields described in paragraph "1" above.
The Supplementary Questionnaire in the application provides an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education and life and work experience that show you have the KSAOs listed above for the job of Financial Management Officer. Examples can be drawn from any part of your personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment/interview should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants.
Instructions: During the application process, you will be asked to individually address each of the numbered items listed below, limiting responses to 2,000 characters or less for each item. Examples can be drawn from any part of your personal experience. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as a Foreign Service Financial Management Officer is the ability to write clearly and concisely.
- Demonstrated experience in management and supervision of staff involved in financial management work described in above under, "EDUCATION AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS."
- Ability to develop and present financial information and analyses both orally and in writing to higher level management.
- Demonstrated skill and experience in automated financial information systems.
- Ability to work under pressure of tight deadlines and rigid timeframes in difficult circumstances.
- Knowledge of and working experience in international activities as well as practical experience of living overseas.
A two-to-three page typed narrative autobiography (maximum 5,000 characters, equivalent to two or three typed pages) which discusses your:
- Personal background
- General comments on work experience
- Personal interests and hobbies
- Motivation for joining the Foreign Service
HOW TO APPLY
We are not currently accepting applications for this position. Please subscribe to receive email updates regarding this vacancy.
Applicants will be asked to submit the following required documents:
Applicants have the option to upload or fax their transcripts or certifications. To submit the transcripts or certifications by fax, applicants will be prompted to print out a fax coversheet once they have successfully submitted their application. Instructions for submitting these forms are included in the online application. The transcript must be faxed before the closing date of this announcement, which is 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time.
Important: Whether you upload or fax, please submit all your documents at the same time. If you must send any additional documents after your first submission, be sure to include your first group of documents along with the additional documents. This is because subsequent submissions erase prior submissions.
For additional information please refer to our web site at careers.state.gov/specialist.
Both official and unofficial transcripts are acceptable as part of the application process.
However, if you are selected for an interview you will be asked to bring your official transcripts to your oral assessment. Also bring copies of any Professional Facility Engineering or Facility Management Registration or Certifications, if applicable. These materials will become the property of the Department of State and will not be returned.
Once you have completed the online questionnaire, you will be prompted to decide either to upload your documents or to print out cover sheets generated within the application that must be used to fax the above required documents.
If faxing, it is extremely important that only these system-generated cover sheets, and the phone number included on them, be used for faxing these documents. The cover sheets are coded to insure that your documents are automatically attached to your online application. Please ensure that each document is faxed separately with the appropriate system generated cover sheet.
These documents must be either faxed or uploaded before the closing date of this announcement, which is midnight eastern standard time.
All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.
WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT
All applicants will be notified within a few weeks via e-mail of the outcome of their applications. Selected candidates will be invited to come for an oral assessment at the Department of State, Washington, D.C.
Selected candidates: Please note all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the oral assessment are the responsibility of the candidate.
Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, generous paid leave, and an unprecedented chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include paid housing or a housing allowance and paid education for dependent children between K-12.
Financial Management Officers will be given the opportunity to acquire a strong background and competency level. Upon entry into the Service and after completion of formal training, usually in the Washington, D. C., area, an FMO will normally be assigned to a two-year overseas tour of duty; however, an initial tour in Washington, D.C., or Charleston, South Carolina, is possible. After the initial tour, regular assignments will be for periods of two to three years' duration overseas or occasionally in the U.S. and will be made through an open bidding process based on service needs, career development requirements and individual preferences.
Financial Management Officers are considered for promotion annually in competition with others in their grade level. Promotions are given to those who have the best performance. Persons promoted are advanced to the next grade and receive additional salary equivalent to at least two within-grade increases.
INITIAL SALARY AND SALARY INCREASES AND TENURE:
Entry level salary for current or former Federal civilian employees will be set at the rate, within the Foreign Service grade to which they are appointed, that is nearest to the base salary rate of their previous grade, provided the work performed at the previous grade is relevant to FMO activities.
In general, employees with good performance will receive a within-grade increase annually up through Step 10 and biennially from Step 10 through Step 14 of the Foreign Service salary schedule.
Foreign Service Specialist Career Candidates are considered for tenure by a Tenuring Board after a minimum of two years experience in the Foreign Service.
Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.
It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether that discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.
The Department provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department. All decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.