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Terms of Reference_Assistant Financial Management Specialist

Terms of Reference_Assistant Financial Management Specialist

Background

As a part of the World Bank’s assistance to the Government of Albania, a Water Sector Investment Project WSIP was approved in December 2013. This project has as main objectives to (i) improve the quality of water and wastewater services in the Durres Water Utility Service Areas; and to (ii) improve the financial performance of Durres Water Utility. 

The majority of Albania’s water utilities are currently unable to cover their operating costs due to a combination of factors, including high operating costs, low metering, low bill collection rates, and high levels of nonrevenue water. While average reported utility collection rates nationally stand at 84%, collection rates in Durres were as low as 60% in 2010 and 69% in 2011. Overstaffing at Durres Water Utility is also a major challenge, with 7.3 staff per 1,000 water/sewerage connection compared to an EU benchmark of 2 staff per 1,000 connections. The utility had a Financial Working Ratio of 1.69 against an EU benchmark of 0.50. The chronic lack of resources has forced the Durres utility like several others, to defer costs of infrastructure maintenance, ultimately contributing to accelerated deterioration and premature breakdown of assets. Only 45% of the household connections nationally, and 50% in Durres are metered, which generally encourages wastage, overconsumption and lack of accountability for water resource usage. Low metering levels undermine billing and collection efficiency, as many households refuse to pay when billed against the norm rather than for actual water consumed.

The project will finance priority water supply investments, including, six water production wells and a bulk water transmission line that will provide up to 640l/s additional supply capacity to address the acute water shortages experiences in the Durres Water Supply Service Area; ancillary investments linking settlements in the Durres service to the bulk transmission pipeline and priority investments in the water distribution network in Durres. In addition the project will finance priority wastewater investments aimed at enhancing the existing sewerage network’s capacity to handle the increased water supply.

The project is implemented by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MTI), which has the delegated powers to act as the Implementing Agency. The Project Implementation Unit (PIU), charged of the day to day implementation of the project, is under MTI structure.

Objective of consultancy

The financial management assistant will support and report to PIU Director and to Financial Management Specialist.

 

Scope of Works and Tasks:

·        Assist Fm during process for approval all requests for payment for project activities, contractors and consultants; verify the supporting evidence is duly approved, valid and complete; ensure contract monitoring function working in close collaboration with procurement specialist

·        Assist FM preparing the payment orders in proper and timely manner;

·        Assist the FM to ensure that transactions are entered into the recording system in a timely and proper manner and that updated accounting records are kept in compliance with the Project Operational Manual, that are essential for promptly producing project financial management reports.

·        Assist FM to carry out timely financial closing and reporting procedures, including timely reconciliation of accounting records with Bank accounts and treasury and financial closing and reporting checklist.

·        Assist FM to prepare and submit for approval interim financial reports, monthly financial reports and budget execution reports and all other project reports as requested by World Bank, GDWS and MOF.

·        Assist the FM to process timely supporting documentation for withdrawal application and ensure adherence to all statutory requirements, World Bank guidelines and audit requirements, as further described in the Project Operational Manual;

·        Follow up on the queries of the work of the independent auditors, HSC and internal auditors, provide project related information and data as they request.

·        Participate and be actively involved in trainings/workshops/seminars concerned to the project components and implementation categories.

·        Performs any other duties requested by PIU Director and the Financial Management Specialist.

 

 

Qualifications:

The Financial Management Assistant should:

·        have a relevant university education in accounting ,finance and business administration;

·        professional experience in accounting and financial management (min 3 years)

·        Working experience in WB financed projects any other international organization, is preferred.

·        Good knowledge of Government accounting, financial management systems, and budgeting system, and tax and legal requirements in Albania;

·        Good computer literacy and functional ability in processing word and excel documents;

·        Have good knowledge of English and be able to communicate (oral and written) effectively.

·        Proficiency in use of accounting and financial management programs (Alpha).

 

Reporting

The Assistant FM  will report to PIU Director and Financial Management Expert

 



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