Location Portland, OR or Washington, DC
Position Status Full-time, Exempt, Regular
Salary Level: Starting Minimum Salary**:** $76k Commensurate on experience.
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.
Program / Department Summary
The Grant Compliance Support Unit (GCSU) provides support to Mercy Corps’ field operations in the areas of finance training, finance systems and processes, compliance with internal policies and procedures, and compliance with donor regulations. Our mission is to increase the level of knowledge and the availability of tools and resources to promote the highest possible standards of financial accountability, transparency, efficiency and donor compliance.
The Senior Grant Compliance Advisor (SGCA) focuses on providing expert technical guidance, training and support to Mercy Corps’ country office and Global Support Team operations, including financial, program and administrative staff, on donor regulations compliance along with related internal policy compliance. Each SGCA provides this support to their assigned countries/regions and in addition has responsibility for assigned compliance focus areas and related projects. Responsibilities include direct compliance support to field and HQ teams, including direct support for complex programs, enhanced compliance support for proposals and awards that are higher value/have complicating factors, drafting compliant subaward agreements and modifications, and staying current on donor regulations. The SGCA will also participate in matrixed teams, share and build the capacity of others, and help integrate their technical areas with others.
The compliance focus area for this position is managing the GCSU’s subaward compliance systems.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Act as the primary “GCSU Compliance Help Desk” function. This function entails serving as a resource for and providing counsel to the International Finance team, Program team and country offices, in reviewing grant agreements and other compliance-related documents.
- Be available to answer and/or research compliance related questions from applicable International Finance, the Program Department and country office teams.
- Escalate issues as needed to Director of Grant Compliance.
- Provide risk-based enhanced compliance support for higher value or higher effort awards from proposal to close-out, including leading the negotiation of award terms, leading the resolution of compliance issues with donor and guidance on tracking compliance requirements.
- As assigned, perform periodic compliance monitoring of specific procedures or areas related to country operations.
- Travel to country offices to lead or assist with country specific compliance projects, including compliance trainings.
- Lead or assist with audit responses related to compliance in coordination with the GCSU, Legal and International Finance teams.
- Deploy to the field to assist in the gathering of documentation or to support in-country audits as needed, as assigned.
- Attend Internal Audit Action Plan review meetings when there are applicable grant compliance issues.
- Lead workshop sessions for the Worldwide, Global Support and Complex Program US Government Regulations trainings as assigned.
- Serve as the primary GCSU representative on the Complex Program Board for specific programs/awards and assist Global Support and country teams in supporting Complex Programs by providing regulation interpretation, advice and guidance throughout the cycle of the Complex Program.
- Review and participate in negotiation of donor agreements, including reviewing internal comments, summarizing issues, and reviewing/drafting final response letter(s) to the donor.
- Lead the delivery of in-country regulations training or other start-up activities for new US Government funded Complex Programs.
- Develop and assist the country offices in managing the program specific compliance tracker.
- Advise on or assist in drafting compliance related requests for approval to donors/funders of Complex Programs.
- Provide in-depth compliance assistance to program management and country teams with the design of innovative or new areas of program implementation to be compliant with donor regulations while achieving the desired outcome(s).
- Attend Complex Program Board meetings. As a part of this responsibility, maintain an in-depth knowledge of the program description, award terms and current status of the program through review of relevant documents.
- Advise on or assist with close-out activities to ensure compliance with the award terms.
- Overall responsibility for ensuring shared subaward responsibilities are completed correctly and in a timely manner.
- Responsible for subaward approvals or subaward related decisions when the Director, Grant Compliance is on leave or otherwise unavailable.
- In coordination with field and HQ staff, draft subaward agreements and modifications based on agreed procedures.
- Ensure subaward agreements include all relevant prime award clauses and flow down all relevant prime donor regulations.
- Review and confirm any proposed special award conditions with the Country Offices prior to agreement finalization.
- Ensure that any new terms and conditions incorporated by modification into Mercy Corps’ prime awards are flowed down by modification into subawards.
- Assist with negotiating subaward agreements and modifications, as needed.
- Advise Country Programs on the appropriate usage of different subaward types.
- Provide guidance to country programs, International Finance (IF) and Regional Program Team (RPT) on the appropriate use of subawards versus contracts or consulting agreements.
- Advise the New Initiatives team or other proposal developers on the usage and implications of various partnering mechanisms in support of proposal development.
- Assist Country Programs with drafting Notices of Corrective Action, Disallowance Notifications and subaward suspension and termination notices, as needed.
- Support subaward disallowance determinations, as assigned.
- Travel to field offices to lead or assist with the set up or design of subaward management systems for small grants programs.
- Provide training on the subaward process to the Program Management team for new high value/high profile awards that will have subawards.
- As assigned, assist with or lead audit responses related to subaward issues in coordination with the GCSU, Legal and International Finance teams.
- As assigned, lead the development of program-specific subaward manuals in close coordination with the applicable program team.
SUBAWARD COMPLIANCE SYSTEM (focus Area)
- With review and input from Mercy Corps’ Legal, Finance and Program Departments, develop and maintain subaward agreement and modification templates for Mercy Corps Global’s prime donors.
- Ensure the timely update of these templates for all new donor regulations and administrative requirements as well as new Mercy Corps policies or requirements.
- Develop and maintain subaward monitoring tools and templates.
- Stay up to date on new or changed donor regulations and other compliance requirements, especially focused on how they will affect subawards. Inform affected staff and update subaward documents and tools as needed for new or changed donor requirements.
- Maintain and update the Subaward Financial Management Policy and related guidance, including Wiki site. Develop and maintain all tools and templates related to the financial and regulatory aspects of subaward administration to help support and improve compliance with policies and procedures.
- Maintain a transparent intake system for requests to draft new subaward agreements and modifications to existing agreements.
- Oversee quarterly review process for ensuring required audits of subawards are completed. Responsible for reviewing audit reports and drafting Notifications of Management Decision regarding audit findings, in coordination with Country Programs.
- Manage subaward close-out process for US and some international subrecipients.
- In coordination with the SGCA – Training Focus, create and/or deliver other grant compliance training and/or programs, such as periodic webinars.
- In coordination with Director of Grant Compliance, provide backstopping support for departmental subaward responsibilities, including drafting and negotiating subaward agreements and modifications based on agreed procedures, reviewing pre-award assessments and audit reports, and other support.
- Other duties as assigned or requested.
Reports Directly To: Director of Grant Compliance
Works Directly With: Country office personnel, including Country Finance Managers, Country Directors and Program Managers; International Finance; Regional Program Team; Internal Audit; Global Procurement & Logistics; and Accounting.
**Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
**Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills
- This position requires a BA/S or equivalent in finance or a relevant field.
- 5-8 years of progressive grant management experience in a medium to large international organization, including responsibility for grant management, compliance systems, and subaward administration, is required.
- An advanced knowledge of the rules and regulations governing the management of US Government grants (particularly USAID, Dept. of State and USDA) and other donor-funded grants is required.
- Demonstrated experience and understanding of generally accepted accounting principles, financial reporting, accounting systems, budget development and administration is required.
- Effective verbal and written communication, analytical, organizational and prioritization skills as well as presentation skills are necessary.
- Employment overseas and experience working for an NGO with high levels of USAID funding is preferred.
- Fluency in English is required; fluency in a foreign language (such as Arabic, French, Spanish) preferred.
Advisor will demonstrate significant experience with the regulations of MCG’s major donors. Proven ability to successfully communicate concepts, procedures and objectives and initiate and maintain positive and productive relationships with country office staff, program staff and donor agencies is necessary. The ability to read, understand and interpret detailed award terms and conditions as well as maintain a detailed knowledge of the regulations will be a critical success factor. A high level of attention to detail in all aspects of his/her work is a necessity. The Advisor must be able to conduct themselves with a high degree of integrity and objectivity while also working towards an overall objective of positively promoting compliance. Through significant experience with MCG’s major donors, the Advisor will be able to advise and coach other Mercy Corps staff on how to respond to and/or negotiate with donors on regulations issues. Advisor must demonstrate the drive and initiative to contribute to internal team efforts.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
Some travel (up to approximately 20%) may be required to field locations, including program locations that may include insecure or harsh environments.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme**.** We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times.
As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. Any offers of employment or continued employment are dependent on the successful completion of the screens which include, but are not limited to our Background Check and Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme processes,
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Covid-19 Vaccine Policy for US-Based Employees
Mercy Corps has determined that, in an effort to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all Mercy Corps employees working in the United States, all U.S.-based employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, regardless of prior COVID-19 infection status.
This policy will be revised as needed to comply with federal, state, and local requirements, and to respond to changing guidance from public health authorities.
For new employees this requirement goes into effect within 10 business days of employment. Team members that travel are expected to comply with host-country requirements, including vaccinations. Failure to comply may impact your employment. Proof of vaccination or exemption must be provided.