Procurement Officer, Rome At International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)


Closing date: Monday, 24 July 2023

Job Title : Procurement Officer – Rome, Italy

ID : 13435

Location : Italy

Date of issue : 07/05/2023

Close Date : 07/24/2023

Organizational Unit : Administrative Services Div.

Full/Part Time : Full-Time

Regular/Temporary : Regular

Assignment Duration : 2 Years

Grade : P-3

Organizational Setting

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

The Corporate Services Department (CSD), led by the Associate Vice-President, CSD, provides IFAD with the human resources, administrative services, safety and security and information technology resources required to allow IFAD to meet its objectives of enabling rural people overcome poverty. The work of the CSD is undertaken by three divisions (i) Human Resources Division (HRD) (ii) Administrative Services Division (ADM) and (iii) Information and Communication Technology Division (ICT) and three units: (a) Front Office CSD (b) Field Support Unit and (c) Medical Services Unit.

The Administrative Services Division (ADM) provides a series of high-quality critical customer-oriented, sustainable, timely and efficient operational support and administrative services to clients worldwide to satisfy current and future corporate needs in support of IFAD’s mandate and mission and in close collaboration with our internal and external partners. The division supports the Organization’s core activities at HQ and IFAD Country Offices (ICOs) and facilitates day-to-day business operations in line with internationally accepted best practices. This includes the provision of sustainable, customer-oriented, cost-effective and efficient administrative services. ADM’s services encompass Security and Business Continuity, Facilities Management, Travel and Visa, Privileges and Immunities, Procurement, Insurance, Shipping, Asset and Inventory Management, Records Management and Archives, Mail Distribution, as well as greening activities.

The incumbent works under the overall guidance of Director and direct supervision of ADM Manager.

Job Role

The Procurement Officer is a seasoned professional in their field of work with extensive, in-depth experience in IFAD or similar UN and/or IFIs. As an experienced professional, i.e. having a complete understanding of the subject-matter area in the context of the Fund’s programmes, the Procurement Officer has the capacity to adapt policies, approaches, models and methodologies to meet emerging needs.

The Procurement Officer works independently in the performance of the full range of complex procurement activities which involves planning, developing and implementing both procurement and contract actions related to worldwide procurement of a variety of commodities, materials, equipment, and services.

Position Specific: The Procurement Officer

  •  reviews requisitions
  •  provides procurement expertise and administrative support for medium to high-value procurements,
  •  monitors compliance with established procurement policies and procedures,
  •  reviews and prepares tender documentation in line with procurement procedures,
  •  coordinates the preparation of goods and services specifications,
  •  supervises the correct development of evaluation criteria,
  •  negotiates with suppliers and coordinates client offices in each phase of the procurement transaction processes, projecting a competent and trusted image of the Fund to partners within IFAD and outside.
  •  has delegated authority to approve purchase orders and contracts up to the authorized Contract Committee threshold

Key Functions and Results

1. PROCUREMENT PRACTICE LEADER: The Procurement Officer is accountable for technical leadership in their operational area at the corporate level and/or responsibility for leadership of other Professional and/or General Service staff ensuring compliance with procurement principles and concepts, policies, regulations and rules as well as establishing and monitoring performance management indicators of success. The Incumbent develops, implements and monitors the interpretation and application of purchasing and contracting policies, practices and procedures including formulating the position of the Fund on procurement and determining the appropriate application of rules and regulations that best support and enhance the attainment of IFAD’s mandates, goals and objectives.

2. BUSINESS PARTNER: The Procurement Officer’s customer service focus is on client outreach and the provision of authoritative advice and guidance on a range of purchasing and contracting regulations, rules and procedures whilst ensuring strict confidentiality of all issues related to procurement activities. The Incumbent provides authoritative advice both verbally and in writing to managers, supervisors and staff, proactively building a mutual understanding of policies, regulations and roles in the management of IFAD’s procurement activities. The Procurement Officer supports best practices in the Fund through outreach to counterparts in other private and public sector organizations and other UN and IFI organizations to identify potentially innovative solutions to IFAD client concerns.

3. PROCUREMENT MANAGEMENT: The Procurement Officer has capacity to interpret and apply a broad range of Procurement policies, rules and regulations and conduct formal procurement activities. Illustrative accountabilities may include: (a) planning, developing and managing technically complex contractual and procurement operations in accordance with the Fund’s purchasing and contracting rules, regulations and guidelines; (b) provide technical advice to requisitioning units on procurement issues, rules, regulations, guidelines, on writing technical specifications and/or scopes of work and on market research analysis; (c) reviewing procurement requests submitted by requesting units to ensure completeness and adequacy of the commodities, goods, services, and related technical, procurement and contract specifications; (d) preparing and overseeing preparation of solicitation documents for large procurement and contract operations, including analysing them for conformity to specified requirements, price, delivery, terms, warranty, maintenance, standardization or compatibility; (e) coordinating all aspects of bid evaluation and recommending contract award; (f) reviewing technical and financial proposals, carrying out cost benefit analysis and recommending awards in adherence to the Fund’s regulations, rules and guidelines and, when required; (g) liaising with appointed inspection/superintendent firms to ensure specification conformity, volume, assessment, monitoring and verification of deliveries. The Incumbent supports the development of procurement and contracting policies, regulation and rules. The Procurement Officer may participate in the development of new contracts, in authorized negotiations with senior representatives of suppliers and in UN inter-agency collaborative initiatives, such as the Common Procurement Team of Rome-based UN agencies.

4. PROCUREMENT ADVOCATE: The Procurement Officer builds and defends the unit’s reputation through their authoritative professionalism as a value-added, technically competent and reliable service provider as part of the ADM Division’s overall strategy. At this level the focus is on knowledge of the Fund’s mandate, business strategy, and organizational dynamics. The Incumbent reaches out to supervisors and staff, listening and responding effectively and efficiently to common issues and problems and building relationships based on respect and trust. Regarding the respect for diversity and a multi-cultural client base, the Procurement Officer demonstrates effective communication skills that serve to promote the Unit as well as the Division’s strategy and the accountable execution of procurement activities.

5. AGENT OF CHANGE AND INNOVATION: The Procurement Officer understands and applies the principles of change management and proactively serves as role model for transformation and capacity for acceptance of change and innovation in both processes and technologies. The Incumbent uses a solid knowledge of information technology to analyze and promote acceptance of new methods of work and effective communication skills to persuade and influence managers, supervisors and staff to adopt change. Going beyond acceptance to change in methods and technology tools, the Procurement Officer consultants with colleagues and client offices to ensure open and regular communications pertaining to current and planned changes in purchasing and contracting strategy, policies, regulations and rules. The Incumbent explains the scope and ramifications of proposed initiatives, promoting understanding of their purpose and functional advantages.

6. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The incumbent at this level is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the personal use of assigned IFAD resources, including equipment, supplies and, as applicable, staff supervised. This includes: (i) People Management through recruitment, performance and career management of staff as well as learning management establishing learning plans and ensuring staff supervised meet their development needs while meeting the needs of FAD. (ii) Resource Management by providing strategic and data inputs into the divisional budget preparation exercises and execution, development of long-term and annual work plans, and overseeing accountability of material resources assigned to the Division. (iii) Knowledge and Content Management by ensuring (1) procurement knowledge content is continuously updated and available, (2) best practices are continuously identified, documented and distributed and (3) appropriate and up-to-date information and learning tools are available to the Fund’s managers, supervisors and staff. (iv) Information Technology Management through leveraging ERP and eProcurement functionalities for improved business results, simplification of transaction and reporting processes and improved client services.

Key Performance Indicators

Established in the field of work, the impact of the purchasing and contracting work performed by the Officer has direct effect on the professionalism of the incumbents and the overall reputation of the unit for high quality work in terms of both substantive depth and adaptive relevance to emerging issues and changing client needs. The impact of actions at this level goes beyond the immediate team to have direct impact on the client offices. Decisions are made on planning and management of contracts, technical suitability and quality of equipment, selection of appropriate sources of supplies, and solicitation and negotiation with bidders for the most advantageous price and delivery terms. Procurement Officers are seasoned professionals, demonstrating a complete knowledge of the concepts, systems and tools of purchasing and contracting and the ability to interpret/adapt them to emerging needs.

Position specific: The Procurement Officer will;

  •  Support supervisor in planning, development, and management of technically complex procurement operations in a cost-effective, efficient manner and by the organization’s procurement rules and regulations and guidelines. Related tasks include i) organise and follow through the launch of tenders and other procurement related activities, ii) guide internal clients on the optimal preparation of terms of reference and evaluation criteria of the tender, iii) conduct relevant market research iv) prepare or advise on the preparation of solicitation documents for large procurement operations; v) analyse tender documentation for conformity to specified requirements, price and delivery terms; vi) manage/conduct all aspects of bid evaluation and vii) recommend contract awards in adherence to the organization’s rules, regulations, and guidelines.
  •  Support preparation and monitoring of annual procurement plans in coordination with assigned divisions/departments, including establishment of schedules and priorities for procurement actions
  •  Participate in authorized negotiations with senior representatives of suppliers.
  •  Act as main focal point within the Common Procurement team of Rome-based Agencies and participate in UN inter-agency collaborative initiatives and consultations.
  •  Maintain and build constructive professional relations with internal and external clients
  •  Research, track and analyse statistical information and key performance indicators related to procurement and contracting, and propose and support implementation of improvements to procurement procedures.
  •  Guide and supervise interns and consultants working for the team, as required.
  •  Maintain and build market and vendor knowledge within assigned areas/categories of specialization and other areas as may be required, and share relevant market and category information with team.
  •  Provide training to other staff on procurement procedures and advise as requested
  •  Back-up the other Procurement Officers in the conduct and management of tenders/procurement actions as may be required

Working Relationships

Representational functions of the Procurement Officer are focused within Rome-based inter-agency committees on procurement. Internal work relationships involve providing advice on equipment, commodities and services available, discussing programme and project requirements, persuading substantive units to accept proposals for substitutions or modified items, and coordinating with other organizational units’ delivery and installation needs. External work relationships involve responding to questions and problems raised by contractors or business representatives, providing guidance on the Fund’s purchasing and contracting requirements, and persuading vendors and others to accept modifications. They establish and maintain effective relations with donors, suppliers and recipient governmental and nongovernmental organizations, representatives and officials of trade associations and industrial firms.

Position specific: The incumbent shall establish close contact with divisional and departmental focal points, peers ADM and RBA, UN and IFI managers. The Procurement Officer is also required to actively participate in function-specific networks.

Job Profile Requirements

Organizational Competencies:

Level 1:

  •  Building relationships and partnerships – Builds and maintains effective working relationships
  •  Communicating and negotiating – Communicates effectively; creates understanding between self and others
  •  Demonstrating leadership – Personal leadership and attitude to change
  •  Focusing on clients – Focuses on clients
  •  Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating – Continuously seeks to learn, shares knowledge & innovates
  •  Managing performance and developing staff –
  •  Managing time, resources and information – Manages own time, information and resources effectively
  •  Problem-solving and decision-making – Demonstrates sound problem-solving and decision-making ability
  •  Strategic thinking and organizational development – Personal influence
  •  Team working – Contributes effectively to the team

Education:

  •  Level – Advanced university degree from an accredited institution.
  •  Areas – business or public administration, commerce, law or a related field.
  •  Degree must be an accredited institution listed on https://www.whed.net/home.php .

Certifications:

UNDP/CIPS Certificate in Public Procurement is an asset.

Experience:

  •  At least five (5) years of progressively responsible professional experience in technically related area of operations in a multi-cultural organization or national organization providing support on a global scope;
  •  Position-specific requirement: Experience using e-tendering systems and handling competitive tenders, experience working in public procurement

Languages:

  •  Required English (4 – Excellent)
  •  Desirable: French, Spanish, or Arabic (3 – Good)
  •  Position-specific requirement: Working knowledge of Italian is an asset

Skills:

  •  Contract Management: Know-how in contracting of external workforce (e.g. contracting of interpreters, subeditors and proof-reader falling under international agreements)
  •  Procedure adherence: Ability to strictly adhere to established, formal guidelines, including in new situations
  •  Procedure interpretation: Ability to interpret established, formal guidelines to address and recommend solutions or further actions required
  •  Procurement: Know-how in the application of the procurement policies, rules and regulations applicable to IFAD HQ and/or Country Programmes/Projects, including for complex individual cases
  •  Risk & compliance: Know-how in asset liability management, risk reporting, capital adequacy, quality assurance and compliance (e.g. Anti-money laundering (AML), Know your customer (KYC) processes), etc.
  •  Risk management (e.g. reputational): Identification and assessment of potential liabilities and risks in IFAD’s activities, particularly vis-à-vis third parties; ability to handle risks via contingency and mitigation strategies
  •  Stakeholder management: Strong alignment capabilities and consultation skills, building on effective interactions and relationships with different stakeholders (e.g. for the co-creation of communication material with member states) and ability to build and maintain a strong network (e.g. with journalists, media outlets, etc.)
  •  Time management: Adherence to deadlines under time constraints and pressure (e.g. to deliver governing body documents on time); ability to coordinate and manage complex workflows and in-house and external teams
  •  Performance management: Know-how in managing performance so that staff supervised deliver on the agreed objectives and meet their development needs while meeting the needs of IFAD. Is proficient in establishing clear performance goals (operational and behavioural) and learning plans as well as in evaluating the performance of staff against the set goals.
  •  Integrity and ethics: Strong emphasis on acting with honesty, not tolerating unethical behaviour, demonstrating equity, impartiality and sensitivity in exercising authority and interacting with staff, and other stakeholders. Conduct must be guided by IFAD core values, the Code of conduct and a high sense of ethics.
  •  Interpersonal skills: Ability to deal patiently and tactfully with others (e.g. visitors, clients, callers, etc.), including senior individuals (e.g. high-level meeting participants)
  •  Verbal communication: Clear, succinct and convincing verbal communication; highly professional, balanced and diplomatic language

Other Information

IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD. In accordance with IFAD’s Human Resources Policy, the President can decide to assign them to any of the activities of the Fund. All International Professional staff members are required to be geographically mobile and positions in the professional category are subject to changes in location at any time in line with strategic priorities and reform initiatives in IFAD.

IFAD is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic, social or political background, colour, nationality, religion, age, gender, disability, marital status, family size or sexual orientation.

In accordance with IFAD’s provisions, all new staff members will normally be placed at the first step in the grade level for which they have been selected. For information on IFAD’s remuneration package, please visit IFAD’s compensation and benefits page on our website. Applicants are invited to use the ICSC compensation calculator to estimate the salary and benefit entitlements. See here .

Please be aware of fraudulent job offers. IFAD does not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process. Official communication from IFAD will always come from e-mails ending in @ifad.org.

In the interest of making most cost-effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed for interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful.

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