VACANCY – National Assembly for Wales – Finance Director

The post of Finance Director is a challenging role in which the post-holder will work directly with the Assembly Commissioners, Chief Executive, Directors and managers across the organisation.

The National Assembly for Wales is an incredible place to work, right at the heart of democracy in Wales. Our people are highly committed, talented professionals and we are looking for a very special Director of Finance to join our senior leadership team.

The performance of the Assembly Commission has a direct and crucial impact on the success and reputation of the Assembly. I rely heavily on the Director of Finance to deliver exceptional standards of service. From the outset we coined the phrase that “good enough is not good enough” for the Assembly. As well as first class financial leadership, the new Director will be expected to make a full strategic contribution to the shaping and delivery of the Commission’s priorities. As part of a small senior team, they must also provide innovative, engaging and visible leadership.

We aim to be world class in all that we do. We expect a great deal from all our employees and in return we offer an enviable place to work through our culture and investment in development opportunities, as well as first class terms and conditions of employment. For example, the Assembly has been named amongst the FTSE 100 companies in the top-ten friendly places to work in the UK, and is ranked as one of the top employers for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in the UK (at number 3!).

This is a stimulating post, in a challenging but highly rewarding environment. It is crucially important that we find the right person to build on our successes and help lead the Assembly Commission through the next exciting phase of devolution in Wales. If you feel you can match that level of ambition, we look forward to receiving your application.

Purpose of Post:

The post of Finance Director is a challenging role in which the post-holder will work directly with the Assembly Commissioners, Chief Executive, Directors and managers across the organisation.

The Finance Director will lead on all finance matters and oversee all financial aspects of the Commission’s strategy. They will provide strategic leadership and direction to the Assembly Commission on all financial matters and, as part of the senior leadership team and will be expected to make a positive contribution to the setting and delivery of corporate priorities and plans.

The Assembly Commission is an exemplar public organisation that is subject to exceptionally rigorous public scrutiny and financial accountability arrangements. For example, the accounts, budgets and overall financial management of the Commission are scrutinised publicly every year by the National Assembly’s Finance and Public Accounts Committees and by full plenary meetings of the Assembly. The Finance Director will be a lead official subjected to this scrutiny. They will, therefore, be expected to communicate a compelling and convincing picture of sound financial management within the Commission in the oral and written evidence they provide through these channels.

The post reports directly to the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of the Assembly Commission. The Finance Director will maintain oversight and control of financial management and the investment programme and ensure that the financial aspects of the Accounting Officer’s responsibilities are discharged throughout the organisation. They must ensure that there is sufficient expertise and capacity within the Finance Team, supported by effective systems, to maintain a firm grasp of the organisation’s financial position and performance.

Key tasks and responsibilities:

Professional strategic leadership

  • Works with the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer to prepare the Assembly Commission’s financial strategy.
  • Formulates financial targets and budgets in accordance with the Commission’s strategy.
  • Corporate senior leadership including ensuring the Commission has the right financial management arrangements, organisational structure, professional skills and capabilities.
  • Member of the Management Board and Investment and Resourcing Board, and attends the Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

Corporate and investment priorities

  • Financial planning and related on-going advice for the Chief Executive and senior management, including advising on investment of Commission resources, providing professional advice and meaningful financial analysis to enable timely and informed business decisions to be taken.

Financial management and control

  • Maintains overall financial control of the Commission’s accounting function throughout the organisation by:
    • overseeing the management of the accounting and financial reporting function including all financial transactions and accountancy matters;
    • enforcing financial compliance while guarding against fraud and delivering continuous improvement in financial control;
    • applying strong internal controls in all areas of financial management, risk management and asset control, establishing budgets, financial targets and performance indicators to help assess delivery;
    • challenging those responsible for the organisation’s activities to account for their financial performance.
  • Prepares draft and final budgets and annual accounts, and attends the Assembly’s Finance and Public Accounts Committees to give evidence on these.
  • Leads the Finance team of around 20 people and ensures staff are motivated, developed and performance managed.
  • Oversees the development and implementation of robust financial governance and risk management, information and accounting systems, practices and procedures that reflect current best practice.
  • Delivers a strong focus on delivering value for money from the use of Assembly resources.
  • Leads on all corporate finance matters: managing policies regarding capital requirements, debt, taxation, and acquisitions, as appropriate.
  • Ensures that the regulatory requirements of all statutory bodies in relation to financial affairs are met.
  • Liaises with the Wales Audit Office.
  • Develops and maintains good, effective relationships with the members of the Assembly Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.
  • Provides accountancy advice to the Trustees of the National Assembly for Wales Members’ Pension Scheme including the preparation of Fund accounts.