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Non Executive Directorships

Small Business Commissioner (SBC) Advisory Board and Audit & Risk Assurance Committee Member

Location: Birmingham

Date Posted: 11/03/2019

Closing Date: 25/04/2019

Vacancy Description

The Organisation:

The Small Business Commissioner (SBC), established by the Enterprise Act (“the Act”) 2016, builds on a package of measures to tackle late payment and unfavourable payment practices in the private sector. The SBC covers the whole of the UK (including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

The SBC is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), operationally independent of Government and a partner organisation of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – the responsible department for late payment policy in the private sector.

The SBC’s approach builds the confidence and capabilities of small businesses to assert themselves in disputes with larger businesses, whilst preserving important commercial relationships, with proportionate powers to dis-incentivise unfavourable payment practices. To achieve these objectives, the Commissioner provides general advice and information on matters such as resolving payment issues, delivered through his website (which any business can use), including signposting small businesses to existing support and dispute resolution services.

The Commissioner also considers complaints about payment issues between small business suppliers (with fewer than 50 staff) and their larger private sector customers (with more than 50 staff), making non-binding recommendations on how parties should resolve, remedy or mitigate disputes.

The Advisory Board:

As the SBC is a corporation sole, it will have an Advisory Board, rather than a formal board of directors, which the Commissioner is now seeking to form. The successful candidate must have held a position of responsibility in the private, public or charity sector with a demonstrable ability to think and work strategically at board level and exercise sound judgement. The successful candidate will participate in board meetings held on at least a quarterly basis.

The Advisory Board will consist of the Commissioner (as Chair), three external members and representation from BEIS. The Advisory Board will have an advisory and governance function only and no decision-making or executive functions in its own right.

The Board’s primary purpose is to assist the Commissioner in discharging his statutory responsibilities. The roles and responsibilities for all Board members will be ensuring that:

  1. governance matters, decision-making and financial management are carried out appropriately;
  2. the office of the SBC office is managed effectively;
  3. effective arrangements are in place to provide assurance on risk management, governance and internal control, including the effectiveness of the internal control and risk management systems and
  4. quality and performance of the organisation is maintained in a manner consistent with the standards expected of a public body.

 

The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee:

The successful candidate will also sit on the SBC’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (in accordance with the Code of Good Practice for Corporate Governance and The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Handbook). Representatives of the SBC’s internal auditors (Government Internal Audit Agency) and external auditors (National Audit Office) will normally attend Committee meetings. The SBC will not be a member.

This Committee will support the Commissioner as Accounting Officer in discharging his responsibilities. The Committee will ensure proper stewardship of the SBC’s resources and assets. It will oversee financial reporting, and monitor the effectiveness of the SBC’s audit arrangements, internal controls, governance and management of risk.

Further information about the work of the SBC can be found at: https://www.smallbusinesscommissioner.gov.uk/

Finance & Procurement

The postholder will support the SBC to ensure that the office of the SBC is financially sound and efficient in pursuit of its strategic objectives; the organisation makes effective use of its resources in pursuit of its strategic objectives.

The postholder will play an important role in assisting the SBC by providing advice to ensure the quality and financial performance of the office of the SBC is maintained in a manner consistent with the standards expected of a public body. Providing strategic oversight of budgets and financial management, including scrutinising financial performance and financial risk, recommending best practice mechanisms for recording.

The Role:

  • To advise on all financial aspects of the SBC strategy, with an expectation to analyse figures and implement recommendations based on findings.
  • To form a close working relationship with the Commissioner, other Senior Executives and Non-Executives, with the aim of reaching collective agreement on questions and advice relating to finance matters.
  • To ensure that public funds and assets are utilised effectively and that high standards of financial administration are adhered to in line with Managing Public Money and the Cabinet Office spending controls guidance and avoiding conflicts of interest.
  • To ensure propriety, regularity, economy, efficiency and effectiveness in supporting the operation of the organisation and adherence to the 7 principles of public life (the Nolan principles).

To assist in the production of accounting policies, accounts, and the SBC’s annual report, including the process for review of the accounts prior to submission for audit, levels of error identified and management’s letter of representation to the external auditors.

The Small Business Commissioner was set up in legislation as a corporation sole. Although the Commissioner has an office to support them in their duties, it is only the Commissioner that is a legal entity (or has a separate legal personality).

Person Specification

Essential Criteria:

  • The successful candidate will hold a recognised accountancy qualification and have experience of working at Board or Committee level providing expert and strategic financial oversight. You will be comfortable providing the Board with guidance and able to work with Board and executive colleagues to consider the financial issues for the organisation both short and longer term.
  • Experience of providing expert and strategic financial oversight, preferably with a good understanding of public sector finance.
  • The ability to think strategically, to offer direction on the analysis conducted by staff of the office of the SBC and as an Advisory Board member will support in the preparation and drafting of the SBC’s Annual Report and Accounts.

 

Desirable Criteria:

  • An understanding of the working of a non-departmental public body and the associated financial requirements.
  • A well-developed network of senior contacts within key stakeholder groups, including small businesses, large businesses, trade associations and ombudsmen.

 

Person specification:

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate that they have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria relevant to the role.

How to Apply

The closing date for applications is 25/04/2019 at 23:00.

Late applications will not be accepted.

Please submit the following documents by email to publicappointments@beis.gov.uk.

  • A Covering Letter
  • A CV
  • Candidates Application Form
  • Diversity Monitoring Form

Please ensure that you include “Financial Reporting Council Chair” in the subject box, making it clear which specialist role you are applying for.

Alternatively, you can send your application in hard copy to:

Public Appointments Team, 7th Floor, Spur 2, 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H OET

Applications will be acknowledged upon receipt.

Applicant packs can be provided in other formats upon request.

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