Financial Management Officer

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VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT
United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply

Announcement No: FMO-2013-0002
Position Title: Foreign Service Financial Management Officer
Open Period: 06/12/2013 - 06/26/2013
Series/Grade: FP - 0501 04, FP - 0501-03
Salary: $53,003 - $96,061
Promotion Potential: FE-OC
Duty Locations: MANY Vacancies Throughout the World, WW
For More Information: HR/REE, 202-203-5161, FMOVacancyInfo@state.gov

Who May Apply

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.

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.

Applicants are not eligible to reapply until one year after the application date of prior announcements, provided there is a new open Vacancy Announcement at that time.

Duration Appointment

Permanent

Marketing Statement

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

Summary

The U.S. Department of State is the lead foreign affairs agency formulating and implementing the President’s foreign policy and representing U.S. interests throughout the world. Foreign Service Financial Management Officers (FSFMO) serve at any of approximately 130 Foreign Service posts throughout the world and the United States, 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 and in Washington, D. C.

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, 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.

Key Requirements

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.
  • 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.
  • Be able to obtain a Suitability Clearance, based on a review of the candidate's record for conduct in accordance with suitability standards defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more details see careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process or http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam

If you are 59 1/2 years of age or over and claiming a 5 point veteran's preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 with your application. If you are claiming a 10 point veteran’s preference, in addition to the DD-214, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15 with your application. (This is required if you are preference eligible.)

Major Duties

Foreign Service Financial Management Officers 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. Foreign Service Financial Management Officers are responsible for the management of the financial activities of diplomatic and consular posts abroad, at our Financial Services Centers, and in Washington, D.C. Typical duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • 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.

Education

Requirements:

All Financial Management Officer candidates must meet the following requirements:

GENERAL AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS
Grade Level Annual SalaryEducationSpecialized Experience
FP-04 $53,003 - $77,837 BA or BS 3 years
FP-03 $65,413 - $96,061 BA or BS 4 years
Education:

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. Professional certifications such as the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or 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 visit http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Specialized Experience:

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Teaching comprehensive budget, fiscal or accounting courses in an accredited educational institution above the high school level.
  5. 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.
  6. Experience in banking, currency purchasing or treasury operations.
  7. 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.

Qualifications:

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.

As certifying officers for U.S. Government agencies, with responsibility and personal liability for the correctness and propriety of all payments, Financial Management Officers must be able to personally verify the authenticity of documents relied upon for payment authorizations, which in the case of some documents (e.g., handwritten receipts, stamped invoices, etc.) will involve visual inspections.

Other requirements - worldwide available, tolerance of intensive world travel, living away from family, and working and living in difficult and/or isolated conditions.

Professional-level speaking ability in a foreign language, especially a world language or a critical need language (see http://careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process#forlang web site for a list of critical need languages), while desirable, is not required for entry. However, it may be required for advancement to the highest ranks in the specialty.

Evaluations

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.

How to Apply

To apply, applicants must first register on USAJOBS at www.usajobs.gov and create an online federal resume. Your online resume must be typed or you may cut and paste an existing resume into the space provided. Once you have completed the registration process, select the "Apply Online" button to the right of the vacancy (https://state.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/345284100). That button will transfer you to Gateway to State. Please note that the deadline to submit completed applications is June 26, 2013.

Follow the "Apply Online"instructions at Gateway to State by answering self-assessment questions for the specific job to which you are applying. When completed, the information you provided at USAJOBS and the answers to the Gateway to State questions will become your application. Your registration, resume, and responses to questions will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this job. In addition, you may need to fax or upload some information to complete your application package.

Please note: Your application is automatically saved as you proceed through it. You may interrupt your application process and return to it until you submit it.

You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and supply the required documentation outlined in this vacancy announcement. Application packages MUST be complete and received by the closing date to receive consideration.

Due to the volume of applications, fax lines can become jammed and documents may not successfully attach to your application on the final days/hours of the application announcement. IT IS THE RESPONISBLITY OF THE CANDIDATE TO VERIFY THAT REQUIRED DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY ATTACHED TO THE APPLICATION PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE. Applicants can do so by going back into your application and verifying that documents have been attached. Applications received without required documents will be deemed ineligible. You are encouraged to submit your application early, and to go back into your application to confirm that your documents have been attached.

Please be aware that the application time is short, so make sure that your application is complete and submitted on time.

If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the helpdesk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing mgshelp@monster.com.

Required Documents

As part of the online application, applicants will be asked to submit the following required documents:

A. Supplementary Questionnaire:

Purpose: The Supplementary Questionnaire inside the application provides an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education and life and work experience that show you have the qualifications 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 find text boxes that allow you to individually address each of the numbered items listed below, limiting responses to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters) 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. If you compose your answers outside the application, please use notepad to reduce formatting errors.

  1. Demonstrated experience in management and supervision of staff involved in financial management work described above under "EDUCATION AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS."
  2. Ability to develop and present financial information and analyses both orally and in writing to higher level management.
  3. Demonstrated skill and experience in automated financial information systems.
  4. Ability to work under pressure of tight deadlines and rigid timeframes in difficult circumstances.
  5. Knowledge of and working experience in international activities as well as practical experience of living overseas.
B. A Narrative Autobiography (two-to-three page typed equivalent - no more than 5000 characters) which discusses your:
  • personal background,
  • general comments on your work experience,
  • personal interests, hobbies and travel, and
  • motivation for joining the Foreign Service.
  • There is a text box for the narrative autobiography included inside the online application.

    C. Fax or Upload College Transcripts or Certified Public Accountant License:

    All applicants with college degrees must submit their college transcripts.

    Applicants have the option to upload or fax their transcripts or license. To submit the documents 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 or license must be faxed or uploaded before the closing date of this announcement, which is 11:59pm Washington, D.C. 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/selection-process.

    Both official and unofficial transcripts are acceptable as part of the application process. Therefore, it is essential that your transcript include your name, the school’s name, the degree and date awarded. Any transcript missing any of the key elements above will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended.

    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.

    If uploading, please remember that multiple pages must be sent as a single document. Only the most recently uploaded documents will attach to your application. The most recently uploaded document will replace previously uploaded documents.

    These documents must be either faxed or uploaded before the closing date of this announcement, which is 11:59pm Washington, D.C. 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.

    Please note all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the oral assessment are the responsibility of the candidate.

    Benefits

    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.

    Additional Benefits: Tax free housing overseas, tax free educational allowance, etc. (See Compensation and Benefits on our website at careers.state.gov/specialist/benefits, for more information.)

    Other Information

    Initial Salary

    Newly-hired Financial Management Officer career candidates are assigned at the FP-4 or FP-03 level. The specific step (or salary) within those levels will be determined at the time a firm offer of employment is made.

    Current Federal Civil Service employees (or former employees) will also be assigned at the FP-04 or FP-03 level. Specific step (or salary) within the FP-4 or FP-03 level will be set at the nearest possible salary rate of the current (or previous) grade.

    Competitive Promotion and Within-Grade Increases:

    Financial Management Officers are considered for promotion annually in competition with other FMOs 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.

    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 within-grade step increases annually up through step 10 and biannually from step 10 through step 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 Service Level in line with Department of State policies.

    Tenure:

    FMO career candidates are considered for tenure (career status) after they have completed a minimum of two years in the Foreign Service. A Tenuring Board determines suitability based on a number of factors. If tenure is not granted during the first review, a second review will be made one year later. Failure to achieve tenure in the prescribed time frame of four years is grounds for separation.

    Orientation/Training/Assignment:

    Newly hired FMO career candidates are initially assigned to Washington, D.C., for a three-week orientation followed by specific training in Department financial methodology. Additional training may include language training (depending on the requirements of the first overseas post), area studies (an intensive study of the region of assignment), etc.

    Notification of the location of the first overseas assignment is made during the orientation. First and second assignments are directed. Normally, an FMO will 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 first two tours, 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.

    Please note all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the oral assessment are the responsibility of the candidate.

    Also please note we do not update your status at usajobs.gov; we contact everyone via email.


    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 may not 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 of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov within one week of receiving their invitation. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.