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Senior Analyst/Senior Auditors: Value For Money(VFM)

Recruiter
National Audit Office (NAO)
Location
London or Newcastle
Salary
£50k - £60k + plus benefits
Closing date
3 Jul 2024

Job Details

Salary: VFM Senior Analyst: c£55,000 (London), c£50,000 (Newcastle) / VFM Senior Auditor: c£60,000 (London), c£52,000 (Newcastle)
Hours: Open to full time & part time hours


INTRODUCTION:

Thank you for your interest in joining the National Audit Office as a Value for Money Senior Analyst/Senior Auditor (Performance Auditor). This pack will give you a better idea of who we are, what you’ll do when you join us, and what we offer. It also gives more details about the application process.

As a Senior Analyst/Senior Auditor you will lead studies examining key aspects of government programmes and projects. You will get involved in other work too, including investigations, correspondence (from the public and MPs) and other work that supports Parliamentary select committees.

Our position is unique, and our work is influential. We are independent of government and the civil service and scrutinise public spending for Parliament and on behalf of citizens and taxpayers. This means we work for, and for the good of, everyone in the country. We help society work better – supporting improvements in the way services are delivered right across the public sector. The recommendations from our work can result in financial savings and positive changes in government to improve services and achieve value for money for the taxpayer.

You’ll tackle complex projects that inform debates and influence some of the biggest decisions that government makes. You’ll work with dedicated and talented people toward shared and important goals. And, by taking on new opportunities and challenges, you’ll build a rewarding and fascinating career – one that will allow you to make an impact that you, and the nation, can clearly see.

We are now looking to recruit several Senior Analysts and Senior Auditors. We are looking for people with strong analytical and communication skills as well as experience of project and people management, which can be drawn from a range of backgrounds including experienced analysts, value for money auditors, performance auditors and internal auditors.

If you like what you see and can meet our requirements, then we want to hear from you.


THE ROLE:

The main role of Senior Analysts/Senior Auditors in the NAO is to lead our teams in planning, researching and drafting our reports, working alongside sector or topic specialists, analysts and qualified accountants as well as applying strong quantitative and qualitative analytical skills. A key part of the role is communicating complex information clearly for a wide range of audiences including MPs, civil servants and members of the public.

Senior Analysts and Senior Auditors also lead other work including investigations – where we conduct more rapid and focussed pieces of work – and support Parliamentary Select Committees.

All Senior Analysts and Senior Auditors are expected to spend part of their time developing and using their expertise to contribute to our specialist networks across the office. This includes providing analytical insight and support to others outside of your team on your areas of expertise such as analytical techniques and methods, commercial and regulatory issues, digital transformation and data use in the public sector, financial risk and management, major project delivery, and people and operational management.

Purpose

Each year we publish around 60 major Value for Money (VFM) reports looking at various government programmes and projects. VFM reports are multi-method reports often delivered at pace to achieve real impact. We write long form reports and other types of written communication on complex subjects in ways that non-specialist or technical audiences can understand

Our work can cover any area where government spends public money, ranging from how government is responding to the challenges facing adult social care in England to how government is maintaining schools and hospital buildings. Our lessons learned reports bring together what we know on important recurring issues to make it easier for others to understand and apply the lessons from our work, such as government interventions to support companies in distress and key issues for government to consider when attempting to increase its efficiency.

Relationships and Accountability

You will lead a team to deliver value for money work to time and budget. You will work with other people of all grades. You will work with Senior Audit Managers who support and manage the team to deliver high-quality reports. The Director is accountable for the overall quality and impact of the audit. You will commonly meet and interact with senior people in the NAO and in government bodies

The impact you’ll make

Our work responds to government’s plans and particularly those with long-term implications for public spending. Right from the start, you’ll contribute to work that examines the cost, effectiveness and efficiency of government programmes and projects. Whatever you work on it all serves to help hold government to account for the way it uses public money and helps to promote improvements in public service delivery. The scope of our impact is huge – from health to education to justice to overseas development to the BBC and Bank of England and much more.

Our recommendations and reports on good practice help government improve public services, and our work in the last year led to:

  • Positive financial impacts of £572 million in 2022-23;
  • £7 of positive financial impact of for every pound spent on running the NAO in 2022-23; and
  • 91% of our recommendations from April 2019 to March 2022 being accepted or partially accepted by government departments and agencies.

You can find out more about us and our work from our website. Here are some recent examples of our work:

We examine the performance and costs of core public services across all areas of government, including:

  • plans to improve urgent and emergency care services such as general practice and ambulance services;
  • work to improve outcomes for women in the criminal justice system; and
  • how the supported housing system in England works for people with care needs such as older people, people with a learning or physical disability, people at risk of or who have experienced homelessness, or people recovering from drug or alcohol dependence.

We are focusing on assessing efficiency and productivity within government, and the resilience of public services, operations and infrastructure.

We have examined key issues across government including:

  • how well-prepared government is for extreme weather events;
  • government’s counter-fraud capabilities; and
  • government’s approach to monitoring and responding to companies in distress.

The government has set out its long-term environmental and climate change ambitions. Our work has considered the value for money risks in this area, and we have:

  • examined the robustness of government’s plans to fulfil Net Zero emissions targets with a report on the management and performance of the Green Homes Grant scheme; and
  • reported on how effectively central government and local authorities in England are collaborating on Net Zero and on the government commitment to increase tree-planting rates across the UK.

We provided timely reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic to help Parliament understand government’s response and hold it to account. We continue to provide expert insight to help ensure that appropriate lessons are learned for the future. Highlights include:

  • examining government’s plans for recovery with reports on the employment support grant scheme and backlogs in the NHS and criminal justice system;
  • updating our COVID-19 cost tracker, setting out government’s spending commitments on its response to the pandemic;
  • focusing on government’s procurement activity and the vaccine programme roll-out;
  • drawing out wider learning for government from the pandemic with reports on initial learning and risk management; and
  • using our audit opinions to point out disclosures made by government departments about uncertainties in their financial positions and issuing extra reports on accounts to draw issues to Parliament’s attention.

The Government Major Projects Portfolio, which brings together government’s largest, most innovative and riskiest projects and programmes, contains around 180 projects with a total whole-life cost of around £540 billion. We regularly report on the value for money with which government departments and agencies carry out their projects and programmes, building insights and lessons for government along the way including:

  • reporting on long-term infrastructure programmes, such as Crossrail and the decommissioning of advanced gas-cooled reactor nuclear power stations; and
  • generating lessons from our audit work in recent years to deliver a framework to review portfolios and lessons learned on delivering programmes at speed.


ESSENTIAL SKILLS REQUIRED

ABILITIES

It will be essential that you can demonstrate the following skills: 

  • Balance tasks and priorities to lead a complex, challenging portfolio of work including supporting the work and development of others.
  • Use your technical knowledge and expertise to deliver high quality work across our VFM reports and wider work.
  • Scrutinise a wide range of government and third-party information sources and consider reliability and usefulness.
  • Make sound judgements and reach clear conclusions that are clearly evidence based.
  • Analyse complex ideas or proposals using a wide evidence base to develop meaningful recommendations.
  • Communicate complex audit findings in well-structured written outputs which add value for the client and can engage a wide audience including non specialist/non-technical audiences.
  • Think creatively and innovatively in how you work.
  • Engage effectively with colleagues and clients at all levels, including specialist NAO teams and the people we audit to create impact through your work.
  • Influence and add value by building your understanding of the challenges faced by the people we audit.

Attributes

In addition, we are looking for candidates with the following attributes:

  • Show a strong commitment to your own self development, to delivering the NAO’s strategic objectives, and keeping yourself up to date on office initiatives and information relevant to your work and specialism.
  • Compliance with corporate responsibilities and interest in supporting others to do so.
  • Working in accordance with the NAO’s values and promote diversity and inclusion.
  • Intellectual curiosity, especially about using data and evidence to answer questions.
  • Flexibility to make a significant contribution across a range of public sector spending areas and outputs.
  • Ability to lead a team and work co-operatively and collaboratively to deliver outputs.
  • Drive and determination to overcome obstacles, resistance or challenges in order to achieve goals.
  • Passion for improving government and the ability to defend and promote your point of view in the face of challenge.


THE PEOPLE WE ARE LOOKING FOR

Education/work experience

A strong academic background and experience in leading research/performance audit projects and producing high quality, accessible written outputs.

For Senior Analysts this means either:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 degree in a discipline with a substantial analytical component (e.g., social research methods, mathematics, statistics, economics, management science/operations research, finance or data analytics) and relevant experience; or
  • A Masters degree with a substantial quantitative or research component and relevant experience.

For Senior Auditors this means:

  • An ACA qualification or other professional qualification (e.g., ACCA, CIPFA, CIA, MIIA, CIMA) with relevant experience working in performance and/or internal audit.

Equal opportunities and diversity

Disability and Reasonable Adjustments

Applicants with a disability who wish their application to be considered under the Disability Confident scheme should confirm this when submitting their application. Under this scheme we guarantee an interview to an applicant with a disability who meets the minimum requirements for the role. You should also let our HR team know if you wish us to consider any Reasonable Adjustments at any stage of the process.

Applicants will not be discriminated against on the grounds of any protected characteristic or any other extraneous factor.

We are open to considering candidates who wish to fill posts on a part-time basis or as a job share. Part-time candidates should indicate their proposed availability, and any flexibility they would either want to have or be able to offer.

Nationality Requirements:

  • UK Nationals
  • Nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • Nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

Please note, we are not able to sponsor work visas. 

HOW TO APPLY:
Please read the following instructions:

  1. Please click on the advert Apply button
  2. Register and apply by filling out your online profile
  3. Submit an up-to-date CV 
  4. Complete the Application form (in place of a cover letter)

Deadline for submission is 23:59pm Wednesday 3rd July 2024

Company

The National Audit Office (NAO) scrutinises public spending for Parliament. Our public audit perspective helps Parliament hold government to account and improve public services.

We audit the financial statements of all central government departments, agencies and other public bodies, and report the results to Parliament. Our other work comprises value for money studies, local audit, investigations, support to Parliament and international activities.

 

Company info
Location
London
United Kingdom

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