DEFRA is the UK government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Our broad remit means we play a major role in people's day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.
The role sits within Defra Group Finance, in the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) facing finance team. The team supports budget holders across the RPA, providing finance support in the delivery of schemes administered by the Agency.
The RPA currently employs approximately 2,800 FTE with an annual running cost budget of circa £120m (or £170m including costs from corporate service recharges). The RPA makes c.£2.4 billion (a mix of UK funded, and EU funded) of grant payments to the farming sector each year.
The RPA is undergoing key changes to its business model now the UK has exited the EU and is in a period of transition as the legacy EU programme funds wind down through to 2024 and new UK funded grants are introduced throughout Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan.
The RPA is also the paying agency for market support measures across the United Kingdom under the authority of the Secretary of State and in agreement with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Northern Ireland.
The agency also has responsibility for livestock identification and traceability services within Great Britain.
This will be a leading and very visible role within the RPA finance team. Key responsibilities will include but not be limited to: -
- Oversight of delivery of the RPA Exchequer Accounts to meet the needs of the RPA and the Defra Group year-end timetable, whilst continually improving the clarity and impact of both financial reporting and non-statutory disclosures.
- Management of the relationship with the NAO to ensure that they complete their audit to agreed timescales.
- Development of accounting policies for new grant schemes.
- Provision of technical accounting advice to both finance and non-finance colleagues.
- Active participation in governance forums across RPA and the wider Defra group, providing expert financial advice, guidance, and support to a range of stakeholders.
- Advising on the design of financial controls, and on the measurement of fraud and error within grant expenditure.
You will work closely with finance colleagues including the compliance and financial accounting team, finance business partners, and the scheme modelling and reporting team to ensure that budget holders are provided with an end-to-end finance service offer.
Closing date: 11:55pm, Wednesday 30th November 2022.
To apply, please click the ‘apply’ button.