Fiscal analyst - public expenditure forecasting

Office for Budget Responsibility

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 23rd January 2022

 

Reference number

177558

Salary

£33,650 - £46,000
This is a Range D post. Successful HEO and SEO applicants will be transferred across on level basis

Grade

Higher Executive Officer
Senior Executive Officer
Range D

Contract type

Permanent

Type of role

Analytical
Economist

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Part-time

Number of posts

1

Location

City of Westminster, London (region), SW1H 9AJ

About the job

Summary

About the OBR:

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was established to provide independent assessments of the economy, public finances, and fiscal sustainability. We provide independent forecasts of the economy and public finances to inform the Government's fiscal policy decisions, examine the impact of the Government's policy decisions on the public finances, and assess the prospects for achieving the Government's fiscal targets and welfare cap. We publish reports on long-term fiscal sustainability, risks, and trends in welfare spending, and run a wider work programme of research and analysis into economic and fiscal issues.

The OBR is comprised of the Budget Responsibility Committee – Richard Hughes, Andy King and Professor David Miles – who are currently supported by around 40 civil servants.

We are a small team with a flat structure, with the role offering direct exposure to senior staff, the opportunity to manage stakeholder relationships across government, and to manage work programmes. You would get the chance to work flexibly across a range of high-profile issues, responding to policy developments and other demands. At times, this would involve working with experts to analyse technical issues, such as changes to tax or spending policy, as well as experts on broader issues affecting public finances and the economy, such as public health experts. A role here provides a great opportunity to develop your ability to communicate to non-experts – for instance, by authoring sections of published reports.

About the team:

The OBR has around 25 staff working on fiscal issues: covering fiscal analysis; forecasting of receipts, spending and financial transactions; scrutiny of the Government’s policy costings; and additional analysis in respect of the Scottish and Welsh Governments’ devolved responsibilities.

We are recruiting a Fiscal Analyst to join the spending team. The team’s work includes producing the OBR’s spending forecast, and associated analysis within the fiscal chapter of the twice-yearly Economic and fiscal outlook. Staff are engaged across the OBR’s analytical and research agenda, including working papers and the development of methods, tools and models. They also contribute extensively to the OBR’s other key publications (for example, producing the coronavirus chapter, as well as leading the analysis of potential costs of net zero, for the 2021 Fiscal risks report).

Alison Todd (alison.todd@obr.uk), the hiring manager, would be happy to discuss the post further with potential applicants.

Job description

The role can be moulded to suit the successful candidates and business needs, but the core responsibilities are likely to include:

1. Coordinating the process for collecting inputs from contributors to the public spending forecast and managing relationships with stakeholders to ensure the forecast process runs smoothly.
2. Leading on scrutinising and dealing with specific parts of the spending forecast. In particular, collaborating with public sector pension schemes to produce the forecast for public sector pensions expenditure. Dependent on skills and interests, the post-holder may also be involved with scrutiny and analysis relating to other forecast areas, such as local authority spending, in addition to providing scrutiny and analysis of several other smaller forecasts.
3. Contributing to the quality assurance and challenge of all the various spending forecast returns, including leading on collating these returns and inputting them to the spending forecast model, in order to produce a forecast for total UK public sector spending, as part of the OBR’s wider fiscal forecast.
4. Actively contributing to the presentation of each iteration of the spending forecast to the Budget Responsibility Committee, and leading on the analyses and text for the relevant public spending sections of the OBR’s Economic and fiscal outlook.
5. Contribute to the production of analyses and text for the evaluation of the OBR’s spending forecasting performance in the Forecast evaluation report.
6. Contribute to the OBR’s wider analytical programme, our core and ad-hoc publications (e.g. Fiscal risks report), and relevant content on our website.

Responsibilities

Candidate Assessment of Skills and Experience
Candidates – Please note, you will be asked to give evidence in your application of how you meet these criteria.

Required Skills, Experience and Behaviours:

Required Qualifications:
1. An undergraduate degree in an analytical subject (e.g. economics, maths, science, social science, statistics) and/or holding membership accreditation from one of the civil service’s analytical professions, or similar on-the-job experience (applications will be considered from candidates with proven successful experience of handling public spending data and processes).


The below criteria will be assessed in your application form.

1. Analyse and use a range of relevant, credible information from internal and external sources to support decisions. (Making effective decisions)
2. Communicate in a straightforward, honest and engaging manner, choosing appropriate styles to maximise understanding and impact. Ensure that important messages are communicated with colleagues and stakeholders respectfully. (Communicating and influencing)
3. Regularly monitor your own and team’s work against milestones ensuring individual needs are considered when setting tasks. Act promptly to reassess workloads and priorities when there are conflicting demands to maintain performance. (Delivering at pace)

The lead criterion is: Making effective decisions

If we receive large volumes of applications, we will conduct an initial sift on the first criterion only, which will usually be a behaviour. This may be an experience or technical skill, but only where critical to the position.

We will assess the below further criteria in your application form;
1. A comprehensive understanding of public expenditure or broader fiscal policy issues, or extensive analytical experience (for example, a post graduate research degree). (Technical skill)

Candidate Guidance on Completing your Application Form

Where will we assess success profiles across your application form.
• Behaviours – these will be assessed individually with a 250-word statement per behaviour. The application form will indicate which behaviour is being assessed each time you provide a statement, and we are ideally looking for an example using the below STAR method to demonstrate this behaviour
• Technical Skills - this will be assessed individually with a 250-word statement per technical skill. You will give the answer in a separate technical skills section, and be given direct guidance on the technical skill we are looking for you to demonstrate

All elements of the success profiles will be linked to a defined criterion that demonstrates the behaviour, experience or technical skills. It is beneficial to ensure your answer focuses on the full criteria, and not just the related success profile, to give you the best chance or providing the evidence the panel wants to assess

In your statements, it is best to focus on one example in each section to allow you to provide enough detail in your answer and use all the words you have been allocated. Examples from a range of roles across your application will demonstrate that you have the skills, experience and behaviours we are looking for. We would also advise you to use examples that best meet the criteria, even if it is a few years old

How to Structure your Answer

Please use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach when writing your application answers.
• Situation – Describe the situation you found yourself in and what happened.
• Task – The Hiring Manager will want to understand what you tried to achieve from the situation that you found yourself in.
• Action – What actions did you take and how did you do it. Make sure to use “I”, not “we” to explain how your actions lead to a result.
• Result – Use facts and statistics to demonstrate the results that your actions produced. Explain whether it was a successful outcome, and if not, what you learned from the experience.

NOTES TO CANDIDATES

- Please refer to the candidate FAQ document which is a link on the job advert – this will provide you with guidance on completing the application form. Please contact hrrecruitment@hmtreasury.gov.uk if you have any issue accessing this document
- At HM Treasury, to maximise diversity and inclusion within our workforce, we operate a fair, open and anonymous recruitment process. This means that the sift panel will only be able to assess you on the written evidence supplied in your application answers. They will not have access to personal information.
- You will be asked to provide some CV details during your application; however these will NOT be assessed during the process, but will be used to support discussions at interview – please ensure you put all information you would like to be scored against in your behaviour, experience and technical skill statements
- You will be assessed on your skills, experience and behaviours through the online application form When completing your application form, please outline how you meet the requirements as detailed in the ‘candidate assessment of skills and experience ‘section of this job description. This will give you the best chance to provide the evidence that the panel wants to assess. More guidance can be found here – completing you application
- If we receive a large number of applications, applications will be assessed initially against the lead criterion alone. You will then be assessed against the other criteria if you have met the minimum score on the first criterion.
- Find out more about how the Civil Service assesses candidates and uses Success Profiles (opens in a new window) to test skills, experience and behaviours in applications and interviews.
- Applications are not reviewed until the closing date has passed. You will be notified of the outcome of your application as soon as the recruitment panel has reviewed all the applications.

closing: 23rd January
sift: from 24th January
interviews: from 31st January

Qualifications

Required Qualifications:
1. An undergraduate degree in an analytical subject (e.g. economics, maths, science, social science, statistics) and/or holding membership accreditation from one of the civil service’s analytical professions, or similar on-the-job experience (applications will be considered from candidates with proven successful experience of handling public spending data and processes).

Behaviours

We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • An understanding of public expenditure or broader fiscal policy issues, or extensive analytical experience (for example, a post graduate degree).

Benefits

Flexible working arrangements

The OBR views flexible working as essential in enabling us to recruit and retain talented people, ensuring that they can enjoy a long-lasting career with us. All employees have the right to apply for flexible working and there are a range of options available including; working from home, compressed hours and job sharing. Additionally, we operate flexitime systems, allowing employees to take up to an additional 2 days off each month, providing you work enough hours to meet business need.

The OBR has a strong commitment to equality and diversity. So, it’s important our employees come from the widest possible range of backgrounds, bringing us the widest possible range of perspectives and ways of thinking. We are committed to ensuring that all staff can realise their potential and achieve a healthy work-life balance.

The post will sometimes require out-of-hours working, particularly around biannual fiscal events, for which either overtime or time off in lieu are available.

Benefits

• 25 days’ annual leave (rising to 30 after 5 years), plus 8 public holidays and the Queen’s birthday (unless you have a legacy arrangement as an existing Civil Servant).
• Flexible working patterns (part-time, job-share, condensed hours).
• Access to a generous Defined Benefit pension scheme with employer contributions.
• Access to a cycle-to-work salary sacrifice scheme, season ticket advances and payroll giving.
• Access to a retail discounts and cashback site.
• A Rental Deposit Advance Scheme to help meet the total costs of deposits for privately rented homes.

Things you need to know

Security

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

See our vetting charter.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.
As part of our pre-employment security checks, if you are invited to interview and are not a current OBR member of staff, you will need to bring:

• Proof of identity, e.g. your passport or driver’s license. Documents must be in date and valid.
• Proof of address, e.g. a utility bill or bank statement issued within the past 3 months.
• Proof of your National Insurance (NI) number, e.g. letter from DWP confirming your NI number, or P60.
• If you do not bring a UK or EU passport, you will need to bring other documentation of your right to work in the UK, e.g. your visa, biometric residence permit or birth certificate.

Further details regarding acceptable documents will be provided in the invitation to interview.

Please let us know if your contact details change at any time during the selection process.

Eligibility Statement:

Individuals appointed to the Treasury Group will be subject to National Security Vetting.
To allow for meaningful checks to be carried out applicants will normally need to have lived in the UK for at least 3 out of the past 5 years.
A lack of UK residency in itself is not always a bar to security clearance but the Department will need to consider eligibility on a case by case basis using all information that can be obtained following a successful application.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :  Alison Todd
Email :  alison.todd@obr.uk
 
Recruitment team :
Email :  hrrecruitment@hmtreasury.gov.uk

Further information

Complaints Process: Our recruitment process is underpinned by the principle of appointment based on fair and open competition and appointment on merit, as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles. If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with these principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should in the first instance contact OBR by email at: hrrecruitment@hmtreasury.gov.uk. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can contact the Civil Service Commission, which regulates all Civil Service recruitment.

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