The Department of Finance (DoF) in Northern Ireland has a wide range of functions including the strategic management of public expenditure and the delivery of a range of central services to Northern Ireland departments, comprising human resources, accounting, financial management, ICT, training, accommodation, legal services and procurement. DoF incorporates eight business areas and has approximately 3300 staff, who are located mainly in the Greater Belfast area and in Derry/Londonderry. The overall aim of the DoF is “to help the Executive secure the most appropriate and effective use of resources and services for the benefit of the community”; In pursuing this aim, the key objective of the Department is to deliver quality, cost effective and efficient public services and administration in the Department’s areas of executive responsibility. More details on the role of, and services provided by DoF can be found at www.finance-ni.gov.uk.
This is a very high profile role with a unique opportunity to shape the future of a public sector commercial function. Reporting to the Permanent Secretary, Department of Finance, the Commercial Director will be expected to work closely with senior officials in all Northern Ireland departments and the UK Government Commercial Function to increase the commercial capability and drive a commercial culture throughout the public sector here. The Commercial Director will be an expert advisor for commercial matters to the Permanent Secretary, the Finance Minister and senior officials within DoF and across the NICS. The Commercial Director will drive strategic supplier relationship management for DoF’s and the NI Public Sector strategic suppliers. The Commercial Director will also establish the project delivery profession and will set up and lead the Project Services Delivery team who will provide expertise and lead transformation projects for NI Departments.
Candidates must evidence in their application form that they have expertise in negotiating complex contracts which has delivered savings or improved the quality of the services and/or delivered efficiencies/savings. Candidates must also be able to demonstrate on their application that they have a strong track record of having successfully discharged responsibilities at senior management level in a complex, multi-disciplinary organisation involved in project or contract delivery.
Applicants must be a current member (or higher) of Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Chain (CIPS) or Association for Project Management (APM) or Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), (or hold a professional qualification of equal standing from another profession).
All candidates who are successful at the eligibility sift will be required to attend a Government Commercial Function (GCF) Assessment and Development Centre. This is a range of interviews and simulated role-play exercises that will assess the commercial expertise, skills and capability of individuals against the GCF People Standards for the Profession at Senior Commercial Specialist level. Only candidates who are Accredited by the ADC (i.e. score A) will progress to interview.
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