Project Officer: Agricultural Portfolio - Riyadh
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Project Overview and Role
Palladium Saudi Arabia manages a number of projects in the agricultural sector. These include projects in organic agriculture and with Red Palm Weevil. Many of these projects are contracted by the Ministry of Agriculture. The technical aspects of the project meet the needs of the client and of Palladium, but support is needed to ensure that project management systems meet Palladium and the clients' requirements. Significant numbers of new projects are expected in the coming months and it is essential that processes and systems are in place for any possible expansion of agricultural project activity in KSA.
To provide effective customer service to projects' staff and consultants in the areas of finance, administration, facilities (if necessary) and assets management, security and human resource services in accordance to set standards and procedures. To act as a focal point for the projects' safety and security.
The agriculture projects team work as an integrated team and as such, the Project Officer will be required to contribute to other aspects of the projects as designated by the Operations Manager, Project Manager(s), Team Leaders, Project Directors and Portfolio Director.
Specifically, the Project Officer will be responsible for the following:
- Verify project invoices, in conjunction with the Project Manager(s), and prepare Payment Approval Forms (PAFs) for submission to Accounts Payable (AP) or to the KSA Finance team where appropriate.
- Where possible and agreed load electronic payments onto the project bank account for approval by the Project Director / Project Manager(s) / Team Leader, dependent upon project structures.
- Ensure the accurate posting of all expenditures in the field vouchers on a weekly basis. Ensure bank reconciliation statements are taken every week and that balanced figures are sent to the Finance Manager (FAM) and Project Director(s) along with weekly/fortnightly field vouchers.
- Manage the filing and archiving of all programme expense documentation ensuring the existence of a clear audit trail.
- Maintain an appropriate recurrent payments register for monthly or regular payments.
- Regularly communicate with all colleagues to ensure all electronic timesheets are accurately completed before the deadline each month.
- Ensure that staff budgets for traveling and other expenditure are properly and timely funded and that all travel advance forms are checked in line with projects' financial guidelines.
- Draft the monthly funds transfer requests for review by the Project Manager(s), and approval by the Project Director and Director Operations/Business Partner.
- Support the project teams with Petty Cash retirements and assist the Team Leaders to strengthen the systems for Petty Cash management
- Ensure all amendments to Petty Cash "floats" are appropriately approved and the agreed amounts recorded.
- Support the internal and external audit process, in conjunction with the Finance Manager and Financial Controller and ensure retention of project records is compliant with Palladium systems, processes, guidelines and SOPs.
- Coordinate the procurement of visas required for international programme staff and consultants, as required by the projects.
- Coordinate the hotel and flight and other travel requirements for all programme staff and consultants, as required by the project, ensuring strict adherence to set security guidelines. Ensure that the invoices received monthly from the corporate travel companies are checked against the bookings made and any discrepancies immediately flagged with the travel agents concerned.
- Ensure that all logistics arrangements and requirements are satisfactorily met for all staff trips both within KSA and out of country.
- Take charge of the logistics coordination for meetings and workshops within the office and elsewhere ensuring the availability of workshop materials and refreshments as required by participants.
- Manage SharePoint record keeping and audit. Ensure appropriate members of the team have access to SP and all new members of the team have appropriate training on the use of SP
Safety and Security
- Facilitate security inductions to new staff and consultants in conjunction with the Palladium Security team.
- Ensure that all notices and clearance are given well ahead of any staff trips (including security clearance from Palladium Security team where applicable).
- Attend necessary and appropriate security trainings and workshops and relay information to all staff.
- Be aware of security news within KSA and the GCC region and advise staff accordingly.
- Maintain an up to date log for consultants and staff in transit, if appropriate/necessary.
- Develop and maintain a communications tree for project staff and in-country consultants. Develop a team Whatapp group for communications for specific projects and for all agric projects.
Facilities and Assets Management
- Work with the Finance Manager to develop and maintain projects' asset/equipment registers and a combined assets register.
- Ensure that systems are in place to safeguard projects' assets including ensuring that asset registers and inventories are kept up to date, all assets are tagged, and all assets / equipment assigned to staff are properly signed for.
- Monitor "stores" , if developed, ensuring adequate supply of assets and office consumables for the agricultural projects portfolio.
- Ensure the existence of clear guidelines and protocols for reporting the loss of official properties and follow up appropriately.
- Ensure adherence to procurement guidelines are adhered to and meet the Palladium and client value for money (VfM) requirements, if required by the client(s).
- Review and ensure quality of procurement; ensuring compliance with Palladium SOPs and due diligence processes.
- Manage and vet the approved supplier's list, where available; select preferred suppliers through a competitive processes and ensure BPAs, Service Agreements and other contracts are drafted and executed as necessary.
Contracts and Compliance
- Develop and manage a due diligence tracker.
- Prepare supplier agreements and purchase orders to be approved by the Operations Manager, Project Manager(s) / Portfolio Director.
- Prepare draft consultancy agreements for national and international consultants, for review by the Operations Manager, Project Manager(s), and Finance Manager
- Maintaining all relevant due diligence and contracting information in a filing system to be agreed with the Operations Manager and Project Manager(s).
- Coordinate the annual programme staff and consultants Conflict of Interest update , if appropriate and agreed..
- Coordinate, with the HR and Talent Acquisition team, the programme recruitment process. This includes assisting the Project Manager(s) in the preparation of staffing requests, development of appropriate adverts for approved posts, management of the shortlisting/selection process as well with other aspects of the recruitment process in line with project(s) and Palladium guidelines.
- Implement the projects' induction process ensuring that all newly recruited staff are informed of all relevant codes of conduct, policies, documents and forms as well as deadlines that exist within the projects (e.g. timesheets, leave etc.).
- Ensure that all newly recruited staff are appropriately registered with the pension fund administrators, relevant health insurance companies or any other established employee benefit system that has been agreed by the projects .
- Ensure proper records and maintenance of staff health/life insurance details and Next of Kin (NoK) details.
- Establish and maintain both electronic and manual documentation systems for all employee and consultancy related records ensuring that they are kept in line with data protection and confidentiality policy.
- Manage leave plan for all staff ensuring that leave schedules are coordinated to avoid disruption to the operations of the projects.
The Project Officer should have;
- A first degree or similar qualification in Project Management, Business, Economics or Development Studies;
- Minimum of 3 years' work experience in activities related to project management, preferably with some experience working with the private sector
- Experience in developing user-friendly processes and systems which adhere to the designated Corporate systems
- Experience of project management
- Experience writing short reports and providing regular feedback to managers
- Ability to influence a range of people including client organisations, government agencies and other key stakeholders by building constructive relationships through clear communication
- Strong project management expertise with exposure to implementing technical assistance projects
- An interest in, or experience in, security related issues
- A strong customer focused approach to work
- The ability to influence peers and colleagues to ensure full collaboration to achieve project and programme goals
- Excellent attention to detail
- Sound problem solving and decision-making skills
- The ability to work in a complex, fast moving, multi-cultural team
- An understanding of the need to deliver against clear deadlines
- A good understanding of financial management and reporting with good financial acumen and the ability to interpret and analyse financial reports
- Good Excel skills
- Excellent written and spoken Arabic and English are essential