Foreign Service Financial Management Officer

  • Department of State
  • United States
  • Jun 24, 2022

Job Description

Summary

The U.S. Department of State is developing a rank-ordered list of eligible hires for a limited number of Foreign Service Financial Management Officer (FMO) positions based on the needs of the Department. Learn more about the Department of State and a career in the Foreign Service at https://careers.state.gov.

There is more to joining the Foreign Service than just salary. Refer to the Benefits section for more information on total compensation.

Learn more about this agency

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Overview
  • Accepting applications
  • Open & closing dates

    06/15/2022 to 06/28/2022
  • Salary

    $72,686 - $143,172 per year
  • Pay scale & grade

    FP 03 - 04
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    Location
    • Department of State Posts - Overseas and Domestic, United States MANY vacancies
  • Telework eligible

    No
  • Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Foreign Service Specialists generally spend the majority of their career assigned to our overseas missions and at times, live away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Applicants to some Foreign Service positions will be notified of an in-person Oral Assessment requirement in Washington D.C. or select alternate sites within the United States. For those applicants, travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are solely the responsibility of the applicant.
  • Relocation expenses reimbursed

    Yes-After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., a Foreign Service Specialist usually is assigned to two overseas tours, each two years in length, directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of one to three years overseas or in the United States.
  • Appointment type

    Permanent - Permanent after tenure granted by a Foreign Service Specialist (FSS) Tenure Board.
  • Work schedule

    Full-Time
  • Service

    Excepted
  • Promotion potential

    MC
  • Job family (Series)

    0501 Financial Administration And Program
  • Supervisory status

    Yes
  • Security clearance

    Top Secret
  • Drug test

    Yes
  • Announcement number

    FMO-2022-0002
  • Control number

    659611700

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This job is open to
  • The public

    U.S. Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

Clarification from the agency

Must be a U.S. citizen. Potential applicants should read the entire announcement to ensure they meet all requirements and understand a Foreign Service career. Applicants may not reapply for one year after their previous application for the same position. If a State Department Suitability Review Panel denied suitability in the last two years, you may not apply (except Diplomatic Security Special Agent (SA) candidates whose denial was based solely on the unique requirements for SAs).

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Duties

FMOs are responsible for the management of the financial activities of our diplomatic and consular posts abroad, at our Financial Services Centers, and in Washington, D.C. Typical duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Serve as Chief Financial Officer at the assigned location and act as certifying officers for USG agencies, with responsibility for the correctness and propriety of all payments.
  • Provide a full range of financial services including development of budgets and financial plans, control of obligations and expenditures, preparation and audit of payment vouchers, respond to audit requests and close audit recommendations, administration of payroll plans, salary and allowance payments, cashier operations, the purchase of foreign currencies, and disbursement of funds.
  • Negotiate and administer agreements with other USG agencies to provide administrative support services through Department of State facilities and personnel.
  • Establish and maintain close relations with local banking officials and fiscal authorities, and conduct negotiations concerning exchange rates and banking services.
  • Develop contacts with Host Government Officials to negotiate elements of Local Compensation planning and reporting.
  • Assist other managers in program decision-making and planning by analyzing financial aspects of various programs, reviewing performance metrics for accomplishments of strategic goals and objectives, so that managers can determine the best use of limited resources.
  • Help develop and maintain the Department's financial management system, ensuring compatibility with requirements of the Office of Management and Budget, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and that it meets user needs for accurate, timely financial data and processing.
  • Utilize computer systems to record, analyze, and report financial data and plans.
  • Train and supervise Locally Employed Staff, U.S. Direct Hire Staff and contractors who provide continuity to the accounting and financial work done overseas and domestically.
  • Establish and assess management controls, mitigate risk, using policy guidelines and generally accepted accounting standards, for the prevention of waste, fraud and mismanagement.

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Requirements

Conditions of Employment
  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.*
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.**
  • Be at least 20 years old to apply; at least 21 years old to be appointed.
  • Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***

You must submit a copy of your university transcript(s) with your application. If you do not submit this documentation to demonstrate your educational achievements, your candidacy will not continue.

Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. Your transcript must include your name, the school's name, the degree and date awarded, and have no missing pages. A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will not continue. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level. PDF documents are strongly recommended; illegible documents will not be accepted.

Education from a program or institution within the United States must be accredited at the time of completion by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation.

Education completed in foreign high schools, colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted. If documentation from an accredited organization is not provided, your candidacy will not continue.

NACES: www.naces.org/members.htm

AICE: www.aice-eval.org/members

For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, please refer to the Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of State neither endorses nor recommends any individual evaluation service.

OPM: www.opm.gov
U.S. Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov

Qualifications

Specialized Experience:
In addition to the Education requirements, applicants must possess a minimum of:
  • Three years out of the last 10 years of Specialized Experience for consideration at FP-04 level or
  • Four years out of the last 10 years of Specialized Experience for consideration at FP-03 level
Refer to the Education section about substituting educational achievements for Specialized Experience.

Specialized Experience is 3 years out of the last 10 years of professional work of progressively responsible nature which demonstrates that the applicant has acquired and can apply the specific knowledge, skills and abilities appropriate to an FMO.

Examples include, but are not limited to:
  • Experience in financial management involving the preparation, justification, or management of an organization's budget, or participation in budget hearings on appropriations for a USG agency.
  • Experience as a financial management officer in a government agency or in a business or industrial concern with responsibilities for program planning, organization, methods, and procedures.
  • Experience in government or private sector accounting including interpretation and use of financial data for informed decision-making and the efficient and optimal use of resources.
  • Teaching comprehensive budget, fiscal, or accounting courses in an accredited educational institution above the high school level.
  • Experience in the development and/or implementation of internal controls and compliance with laws and regulations related to financial management. This includes experience in the audit and financial management review of procedures and requirements.
  • Experience in banking, currency purchasing, or treasury operations.
  • Experience in payroll plan development and/or administration.
Note: Consumer loan management/approval and individual tax preparation are not considered to be specialized experience.

Specialized Experience must have been 3 years out of the last 10 years of a progressively responsible nature in a medium or large organization(s) with a multimillion-dollar budget(s). Specialized Experience must include more than one area listed below:
  • budget preparation and execution,
  • accounting and reporting,
  • accounts payable,
  • payroll,
  • accounts receivable,
  • cash management,
  • disbursing,
  • tax reporting,
  • audit and internal controls.
Supervisory experience, work with automated financial management systems, and evidence of working and/or living successfully in a multicultural environment is desirable. Such experience in the Foreign Service or other USG agencies or organizations having international operations is preferred. For the FP-03 level at least one year of specialized experience must have been equivalent to the GS-11/FP-04 level; and for the FP-04 level at least one year must have been equivalent to the GS-9/FP-05 level.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Knowledge
Finance: Knowledge of the fundamentals of economics, statistics, accounting, banking, and financial markets through requisite academic background in order to serve as a principal financial adviser to senior management.
Budgeting Requirements: Knowledge acquired through training and experience, to formulate, present, justify, and execute budgets involving millions of dollars.
Financial Procedures: Knowledge of financial procedures, applicable laws, regulations, and other guidance in order to prepare financial plans that are accurate and timely to inform post management decisions, and to meet external reporting requirements.
GAAP and GAAS: Knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) and interpretation and use of financial data for decision-making, ensuring all claims and payments are properly documented and in accordance with applicable rules and regulations.
Accounting: Knowledge of the principles and application of cost accounting by preparing a variety of complex reports and analyses that aid management in setting priorities and allocating scarce resources in a way that best meets objectives.
Banking: Knowledge of banking, currency purchases, foreign exchange rates, as well as disbursement including cashiering in order to use an organization's financial systems to meet payment and collection obligations using the most effective means available.
Fraud Detection: Knowledge of fraud detection, both in cash operations and financial systems.
Management Principles: Knowledge of management principles as demonstrated by delegating responsibilities, providing guidance, leading by example, supervising subordinates, counseling employees, resolving conflicts, effecting disciplinary measures, and implementing basic EEO and DEIA principles and guidelines, in order to effectively supervise staff.
Management Controls: Knowledge and understanding of a strong system of management controls by using policy guidelines and generally accepted standards through checks and balances and constant monitoring of management controls to correct deficiencies and to maintain fiscal integrity and ensure resources are safeguarded against fraud, waste, and mismanagement.
Pay and Benefits: Knowledge of payroll and benefit programs in an organizational setting including maintaining accounting, time and attendance, and payroll databases.

Skills
Accounting: Applying accounting concepts, including auditing and program evaluation concepts in order to promote sound business practices and process improvements.
Financial Management: Management of financial resources by determining how funds will be spent in order to maximize benefits from limited resources and accounting for these expenditures in a way that is consistent with applicable rules and regulations.
Communications: Communications in both individual and group contexts through written communication and oral communication on technical financial rules and issues such as budget allocations, financial obligations, pay, and allowances, etc., with all levels of employees in a clear and concise manner and is easily understood by persons without a financial background.
Preparing budget proposal documentation.
Teamwork: Developing and working in teams and encouraging teamwork on a daily basis in order to reduce conflict and enhance cooperation.
Customer Service: Customer service with U.S. and foreign nationals through interpersonal skills and cross-cultural sensitivities including providing information, balancing clients' interests, readjusting priorities and resolving complaints.
Conflict Resolution: Understanding the principles and techniques of persuasion and conflict resolution.
Analyzing Financial Data: Acquiring and analyzing financial data, discerning relationships and trends, making projections, understanding host country and U.S. financial rules and regulations, and communicating results.
Computer Programs: Using financial, communication, and presentation applications.
Personnel Management: Human resource planning and workforce planning.
Ability to Say No: Adroit at turning down requests and offering acceptable alternatives when possible.
Superior oral and written communication skills: Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation. FSS must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling, and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity, and succinctness).

Physical Requirements
As USG certifying officers, with responsibility and personal liability for the correctness and propriety of all payments, FMOs must be able to personally verify the authenticity of documents relied upon for payment authorizations, which may involve visual inspections (e.g., handwritten receipts, stamped invoices, etc.).

Education

At the time of application, applicants must possess at least a Bachelor's degree with a minimum of 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) in accounting or finance earned at the undergraduate or graduate level from an accredited school.

Professional certifications such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM), or graduate degrees from an accredited school in business, government, or public administration are preferred with concentrations in accounting or finance.

Substitution of Education for Specialized Experience

Applicants may substitute graduate educational achievement earned at an accredited school (18 semester hours or 27 quarter hours is equivalent to one year) for specialized experience as follows:
  • For one year of specialized experience: One full academic year of graduate education in business or public administration, with a concentration in accounting or finance.
  • For two years of specialized experience: Completion of all requirements for a master's or equivalent degree, or two full academic years of graduate education in business or public administration, with a concentration in accounting or finance.
  • For three years of specialized experience: Completion of all requirements for a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or equivalent), or three full academic years of graduate education in business or public administration, with a concentration in accounting or finance.

Additional information

*EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION PROGRAM (E-Verify) - Verification of employment eligibility in the United States is required.

U.S. law requires organizations to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States - either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This agency utilizes E-Verify to compare information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility. If the employee's information does not match DHS and/or SSA records, the employee is given an opportunity to resolve the problem. If eligibility cannot be verified, employment will be terminated.

**The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit: https://fam.state.gov/.

***For more information about Veteran's Preference and how it is applied in the selection process, please visit: http://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/are-veterans-given-hiring-preference-

No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.

A Foreign Service Specialist separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be a Foreign Service Specialist in the same skill code but may apply for another skill code or to be a Foreign Service Generalist.

Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov, within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

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    A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

    Benefits include health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, and paid leave. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing overseas, tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas, and an unrivaled opportunity to see the world and experience different cultures.

    The salary listed comes from the Foreign Service Overseas and Washington pay scales. The starting salary range is FP-04 or FP-03. The starting step is determined in part by highest educational level achieved and professional experience level beyond the minimum qualifications. Individuals already working in government positions may be appointed based on highest previous rate as a Federal employee. Click here for more information on salary.

    Review our benefits

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.

Applicants with finance-related higher education and specific experience in financial management or accounting are preferred. The education and specialized experience cited must be of a quality and depth that demonstrate your aptitude and potential to master the complex skills required of FMOs.

You may preview questions for this vacancy.

  • Help
    A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

    Benefits include health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, and paid leave. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing overseas, tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas, and an unrivaled opportunity to see the world and experience different cultures.

    The salary listed comes from the Foreign Service Overseas and Washington pay scales. The starting salary range is FP-04 or FP-03. The starting step is determined in part by highest educational level achieved and professional experience level beyond the minimum qualifications. Individuals already working in government positions may be appointed based on highest previous rate as a Federal employee. Click here for more information on salary.

    Review our benefits

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
  • As a new or existing federal employee, you and your family may have access to a range of benefits. Your benefits depend on the type of position you have - whether you're a permanent, part-time, temporary or an intermittent employee. You may be eligible for the following benefits, however, check with your agency to make sure you're eligible under their policies.

    It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is complete before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in your application not being considered further.
  • Résumé from USAJobs Résumé Builder, the only résumé format accepted for this Vacancy Announcement.
  • Complete online application, including the required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest narratives.
  • All required supporting documentation, including proof of educational achievements, certifications, professional licenses, or completed forms as required in this Vacancy Announcement. PDF documents are strongly recommended; illegible documents will not be accepted.
  • Veteran's Preference documentation for applicants aged 60 to 64. If claiming a 5 pt. Veteran's Preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or Certification of service at the time of your application. If claiming a 10 pt. Veteran's Preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214 or Certification of service at the time of your application. A Certification must be from the armed forces certifying the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions within 120 days after the Certification is submitted by the applicant and should include military service dates, date of expected discharge or release, and character of service and disability rating, if applicable.
Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest

These required questions provide an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming a Foreign Service Specialist. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. Each response is limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters) for each item. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as a Foreign Service Specialist is the ability to write clearly and concisely. Answers to all of the items in the Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application.

Accomplishments Questionnaire

Substantive Knowledge: Describe your skills, knowledge, and experience that are applicable to performing the work described in this vacancy announcement including the supervision and performance management of subordinate staff.

Intellectual Skills: Describe an example of when you used such skills to respond to unanticipated circumstances to solve a problem.

Interpersonal Skills: Describe how you have used your interpersonal skills in a specific situation to resolve a problem or achieve a goal.

Communication Skills: Describe a situation in which you used your communication skills, including foreign language skills if appropriate, to further an aim or achieve a goal.

Management Skills: Describe a project you managed or helped to manage and how you planned and organized, set priorities and allocated time and resources to achieve the project's goals.

Analytical Skills: Describe how you reviewed a large data set and developed a coherent analysis showing meaningful trends or themes for a management and/or other stakeholders.

Statement of Interest

Required narrative Statement of Interest which discusses your:
  • Motivation for joining the Foreign Service.
  • Relevant work experience, including any unique strengths not previously mentioned, such as special skills (e.g., accounting, finance, auditing), current licenses, certifications, honors, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position.
  • Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in the United States.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.