Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica Website
Thursday, 16 August 2018

GOVERNMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF DOMINICA

HOUSING RECOVERY PROJECT

Terms of Reference

Financial Specialist

 

 

Introduction 

An urgent and critical issue confronting Dominica is the recovery of its housing sector in the wake of Hurricane Maria which struck the island in September 2017. The hurricane devastated the country’s infrastructure, communities and households, along with the main productive sectors – agriculture and tourism. Prior to Hurricane Maria, it was already established that the country’s development was challenged by the vulnerability of its population and economy to natural disasters, which can impose large costs on the country’s fragile economy. The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has embarked upon a broad range of housing recovery strategies aimed at increasing structural resilience in the housing sector and the built environment, thus reducing the vulnerability of citizens and the economy to natural disasters. 

Project Background 

The Commonwealth of Dominica has secured financing from the International Development Association (IDA) credit and a Crisis Response Window Grant for the Housing Recovery Project (HRP). The HRP is one of the projects in the GoCD’s National Housing Repair and Reconstruction Programme portfolio. The HRP will contribute both to the recovery of housing for disaster-affected households and to improving the application of resilient building practices in the housing sector. The Project will finance support for housing recovery systems and capacity building, support for the reconstruction of houses, and project management and coordination. The project has a significant construction works component and other activities related to institutional strengthening and capacity building. It has been formulated in keeping with the GoCD’s National Housing Repair and Reconstruction Programme (NHRRP). The HRP is prepared as part of an overall development partner initiative to support medium- and long-term recovery in Dominica, and is part of a broader World Bank recovery portfolio comprised of two other operations: (i) an Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods and Climate Resilience Project; and (ii) an Additional Financing to the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project.  

A stand-alone Project Implementation Unit (PIU) will be established under the Ministry of Housing and Lands (MoH) to be responsible for the timely implementation and execution of  the HRP program. The PIU will report directly to the Permanent Secretary (PS) of the MoH, and will liaise constantly with the technical divisions of the MoH and the Ministry of Planning (MoP) as well as the Housing Task Force (HTF), responsible for overseeing sector recovery. In the implementation of the Program, the Fiancial Specialist and the PIU staff will have support from a team of international experts, who will form an Implementation Support Team (IST), housed in the Ministry of Finance. This IST will have expertise in areas of World Bank procurement, social/environmental safeguards and financial management, and will serve as a shared resource across all World Bank financed Projects in Dominica.  

An essential component of the Project is the establishment of up to seven (7) Technical Assistance Centers (TACs) throughout the country to serve as satellite offices of the Physical Planning Division of the Ministry of Planning, Economic Development and Investment (MoP). These TACs will be the primary interface between the public/eligible beneficiaries/contractors and the implementing agencies. The PIU will oversee the operations at the TACs while the TACs support the PIU in the collection of the demographic information required for administering eligibility under the project, for undertaking technical assessments and carrying out development control functions. These Terms of Reference have been prepared to assist in the engagement of a FinancialSpecialist for the PIU. He/She will be responsible for all aspects of strategic coordination with the IST Financial Manager on all financial resource management aspects of the project. 

 

Objectives

TheFinancialSpecialistmanage the project’s financial maters as part of the project implementation arrangements, in accordance with the relevant GOCD and IDA financial management requirements.

 

Responsibilities

 

The primary responsibiities of the Financial Manager include:

1. Maintaining an integral accounting system for all approved Project activities, utilizing standard accounting procedures, which will ensure full documentation and recording of sources and uses of funds; 

2. Preparing the Financial Management Reports and Financial Statements for all the Project activities; 

3. Ensuring that Project expenditures are incurred for the intended purpose; and 

4. Building the financial management capacities of MoH and MoP and of the Project Implementation Unit.

Main Tasks

 

  • Coordinate with the Financial Manager at the IST and with the PIU Project Manager to ensure the timely production of interim financial monitoring reports (IFRs);
  • Prepare and submit - in coordination with the PIU Project Manager and the Financial Manager of the IST- a financial report of disbursements/payments to suppliers and to the MoF;
  • Follow up the IST established financial procedures in line with the GoCD and the World Bank financial guidelines;
  • Maintain all accounts, ledgers, and reporting systems to make sure they follow appropriate standards and regulatory requirements;
  • Effect all the PIU eligible expenditures jointly with the PIU Manager;
  • Assess reports received from internal/external auditors and follow up any audit queries/management letters;
  • Review and certify receipts and cash transfer sheets regarding sale of Bid Documents;
  • Review and check withdrawal applications prepared for drawdown of the World Bank funds for all activities;
  • Review and verify accuracy of information on payment vouchers;
  • Prepare payment vouchers before payments are processed for all Project activities;
  • Verify and ensure the availability of funds before payments are processed;
  • Manage Project expenditures, ensuring full compliance with project rules and procedures (as per the Project Operational Manual and IDA Project Guidelines) agreed between the Bank and GoCD for the Project;
  • Prepare the project’s Budget estimates/Cash Flow Projections and allocation for Project activities in consultation with the Project Manager and technical specialists;
  • Review, verify and certify monthly and special financial statements and reports, including expenditure reports and Bank Reconciliation Statements;
  • Assist in updating the Project Operational Manual;
  • Develop a Financial Procedures Manual and update regularly;
  • Review receivables and payables and ensure prompt settlement of payables to the Project's suppliers and contractors;
  • Attend Project review meetings with donor agencies and Implementing Agencies.
  • Liaise with Accountant General during the preparation of the Annual Financial Statements and other financial project matters as necessary.
  • Report and liaise with the accountants and financial analysts of the concerned ministries.
  • Liaise with Implementing Agencies.
  • Monitor closely the work of the team involved in the maintenance of the Cashbook.
  • Monitor in conjunction with the Procurement/Contract Management Specialist, the management aspects of all project activities, as well as evaluating any difficulties experienced;
  • Develop and maintain the accounting system in accordance with the Operational Manual and the guidelines provided by the IST Financial Manager;
  • Review and verify compliance of all requests for payments for project activities;
  • Reconcile inventory records and physical assets with the General Ledger;
  • Any other duties assigned by the Project Manager of the PIU, and the Financial Manager of the IST.

 

 

Minimum Required Qualifications and Experience

 

  1. Bachelors Degree in Finance / Accounting, Economics, Business / Public Administration or related fields.
  2. Professional Accounting Qualification would be an asset
  3. Practical experience in application of World Bank or other Multilateral Bank’sRules and Regulations, use of bidding/tender documents and consultant’s selection procedures and documents.
  4. Minimum of 3 years’ experience in accounting, or related fields of finance

 

Required Skills:

  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, organization and time management skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to work in teams within a collaborative mode;
  • Integrity and confidentiality;
  • Advanced computer (PC) skills, especially in Microsoft Office or related software;
  • Strong Analytical and Report Writing Skills;
  • Fluency in English Language with excellent written and oral communication and listening skills.

 

 

Reporting Arrangements

 

The Consultant will report directly to the Project Manager of the Housing Recovery Project/Project Implementation Unit, Ministry of Housing.

 

Terms of the Assignment/Contract Duration

The Consultancy is expected to be awarded for a period of duration of one year, and will be renewed subject to satisfactory performance reviews. The assignment is expected to commence in July 2018 and is to be renewable annually as the HRP project continues through its project cycle. The Consultant shall be engaged on full time basis, eight hours a day, and five days a week. A six (6) month probation period will be included.

 

Expression of Interest

Interested applicants whose qualifications and experience are in line with the Terms of Reference are invited to submit their CV and a letter of motivation / application stating suitability for the position on or before Friday 15th June 2018 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 3 professional references.

 

Fred Esprit

National Housing Coordinator,

Ministry of Housing, Lands and Water Resource Management

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