Fiscal Analyst

Office for Budget Responsibility

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

 

Reference number

175301

Salary

£33,650 - £46,000
Existing Civil Servants will be appointed in line with Civil Service pay rules.

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

2

Location

The post will be based in London (102 Petty France, SW1H 9AJ)

About the job

Summary

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was established by the Chancellor in May 2010. We provide official 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, fiscal 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 (BRC) – Richard Hughes (Chairman), Professor David Miles, and Andy King – who are currently supported by around 40 civil servants, including economists, public finance analysts, and business support staff.

As we are a small team with a flat structure, all roles offer direct exposure to senior staff and the opportunities to manage relationships with stakeholders across government and to project 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. A role here also provides a great opportunity to develop your ability to communicate your insights concisely to non-experts – for instance, by authoring sections of published reports.

We encourage applications from candidates who may be concerned they have less experience in some of the desired criteria, and recognise that gaps can be developed on-the-job and with training, which is available.

Job description

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.

The receipts team is currently a six-person team, responsible for co-ordinating, producing and publishing the receipts forecast at the OBR as well as bringing together the overall forecast for the deficit. Our main publication is the Economic and fiscal outlook, where we are responsible for the ‘receipts’ and ‘fiscal aggregates’ chapters. We are also responsible for the Forecast evaluation report – an annual publication looking at outturns versus our previous forecasts.

Outside of fiscal events, we get involved in a range of projects. Entrants to the team would have the opportunity to get involved in a range of work, which could be tailored to the post-holder. Past projects have included:

- Analysis for the Fiscal risks report 2021, where members of our team led on climate change impacts on receipts;
- Analysis for the Forecast evaluation report 2021, looking at the accuracy of our forecasts over the first year of the pandemic;
- A range of analysis for the Fiscal sustainability report, such as our long-term projections of oil and gas revenues in 2015;
- A monthly commentary on the state of the public finances;
- A range of working papers and briefing papers; and
- Model development work, as part of our comprehensive review of fiscal forecasting models.

If you are interested in discussing the post further, please contact:
• Philip Blackburn (07815559030 /philip.blackburn@obr.uk), the line manager for a post;
• Amy Nash (07815 558304 / amy.nash@obr.uk), line manager for a post; or
• Jon Riley (jon.riley@obr.uk), head of the receipts team at the OBR.

Key Accountabilities
The core responsibilities of the roles would involve:

1. Editing the receipts chapter in our Economic and fiscal outlook publication at Budgets and other fiscal events.

2. Coordinating HMRC’s tax forecasts. We work closely with civil servants in government departments in order to produce our forecasts.

3. Leading and contributing to the quality assurance and challenge of various revenue forecast returns. This could involve either indirect taxes (VAT, duties etc), or personal taxes (income tax, NICs, capital taxes).

4. Contributing analysis and drafting as required for other core OBR publications (e.g. the Fiscal risks report) and outputs (e.g. website material).

5. Producing published commentary on the ONS’s monthly public sector finances release.

6. Potential to line manage a placement student.

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:

The below criteria will be assessed in your application form.

The lead criterion is: Analyse and use a range of relevant, credible information from internal and external sources to support decisions. (Making effective decisions)

If we receive large volumes of applications, we will conduct an initial sift on the first criterion only.

We will assess the below further criteria in your application form;

• An understanding of broad fiscal issues. In the absence of direct experience working in the fiscal space, a strong technical background in data analysis. (Technical skill)

• Communicate in a straightforward, honest and engaging manner, choosing appropriate styles to maximise understanding and impact. Share information as appropriate and check understanding. (Communicating and influencing)

• 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).


Required Qualifications:
1. An undergraduate degree in an analytical subject.

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 in line with the full criteria stated
• 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 OBR, 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.

Recruitment Timeline
Closing Date: 23rd January
Sifting: w/c 24th January
Interviews: w/c 31st January

Qualifications

An undergraduate degree in an analytical subject.

Behaviours

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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Delivering at Pace

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • 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 broad fiscal issues. In the absence of direct experience working in the fiscal space, a strong technical background in data analysis.

Benefits

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. Find out more about Civil Service pensions
•Onsite restaurant, coffee bar, a gym, and showers
•Access to a cycle-to-work salary sacrifice scheme, season ticket advances and payroll giving
•Access to a retail discounts and cashback site
•A range of active staff networks, based around interests (e.g. analysts, music society, sports and social club) and diversity (e.g. women in the Treasury, ethnic minority network, LGBT* network, faith and belief network)

Things you need to know

Security

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
-If your right to work is granted through the EU Settlement Scheme, alongside you proof of identity you will need to provide either a letter of application or status outcome letter from the Home Office. If you are successful in being appointed to the role you will also be required to provide a Right to Work Share Code.

Further details regarding acceptable documents will be provided in the invitation to interview. If you cannot provide in the first instance, the above documentation required for employment checks, at interview, please contact hrrecruitment@hmtreasury.gov.uk, If you are offered the role, we will require all documentation, as this is part of the security vetting process. If you do not provide this at interview stage, this may slow down the process and delay your start date.

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

Individuals appointed to the Treasury Group may 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 :  Philip Blackburn
Email :  philip.blackburn@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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