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Risk And Compliance Lead - West Africa at British Council

Role Purpose
This is the main second line of defence role within a regional structure, linking the ‘first line’ activity (financial control) with third line (Internal Audit). 

It exists to monitor the effectiveness of financial controls, using corporate frameworks as specified; to monitor risk levels and take corrective action where this is required. It also acts as the first point of contact within the region for counter-fraud activity, and will participate in and lead regional investigations as needed drawing on the expertise of the Central Fraud team and acting on their advice. The role holder is accountable for recommending appropriate action to the Regional Finance Director. 

The Finance function is structured along functional lines with the aim of embedding the ‘three lines of defence’ model at its heart, clearly separating the financial control (first line) and risk and assurance (second line) functions, ensuring the integrity of our results and the strength of our controls. 

The post-holder is accountable for Financial Risk Responses, supporting the implementation of and monitoring the adherence to, Finance policy and process in the cluster, providing a critical part of the feedback loop to Regional Head Risk and Compliance. They will proactively analyse the control environment, identify hot spots and ‘trouble shoot’ as needed. They will make recommendations to Regional Head Risk and Compliance for remediation and drive through change to meet required standards. They will also lead on counter-fraud planning and initiatives within their cluster, working closely with the central counter fraud team 

Key Responsibilities:

The role will: 
• Ensure adherence with the global minimum controls standards (MCS) as defined by Financial Governance and monitor performance on a quarterly / annual basis as requested by Regional Head Risk and Compliance. 
• Spot checking of evidence for key control and assurance tasks and escalate key issues to Regional Head Risk and Compliance. 
• Agreement and follow up of remediation actions where countries are not achieving the required standards and escalate key issues to Regional Head Risk and Compliance. 
• Implement processes and policies to assess and/or monitor the effectiveness of risk governance frameworks / adherence to standards as appropriate. 
• Assess risk/fraud profiles within Region/Country in relation to political/economic changes and understand how this impacts on the Global Risk Framework. 
• Foster a culture of Risk Management supported by policies and guidance. 
• Proactively investigate potential problem areas and provide coaching and training to relevant individuals/teams across the region to raise awareness and build capability in risk management 
• Work with Global teams in the identification of compliance program initiatives. 
• Develop the organizations capability around risk governance, counter fraud management and decision processes aligned with British Council’s operating model and risk strategy. 
• Ensure the highest level of compliance and accuracy of all balance sheet reconciliations, bank reconciliations and income reconciliations. 
• Define the reporting requirements to meet the needs of key stakeholders and address key areas of risk. 
• Implement a culture and process of pro-active debt collection. Identify and manage recurrent debtors including partners and suppliers. 
• Ensure all vendors are appropriately screened/credit checked as per British Council policies. 
• Implement business partner credit risk assessment tools. 
• Maintain strong and effective working relationships with all areas of Risk Management. 
• Schedule regular meetings with leadership team in order to ensure a planned and systematic approach to identify, prioritize and assess appropriate compliance related activities. 
• Implement, and ensure compliance with, Counter Fraud management strategy: 
• Advise, support and conduct investigations and management of fraud cases. 
• Identify enablers for fraud, to inform and improve prevention efforts. 
• Use data analysis to support and inform proactive counter fraud

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