Head of Copernicus Contract Management

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Expiration Date

16 Sep 2019
Head of Copernicus Contract Management
1. Position information
Vacancy No.: VN19-35
Department: Copernicus
Grade: A3/A4
Section: Contract Management
Job Ref. No.: STF-PL/19-35
Reports to: Director of Copernicus
Publication Date: 14 August 2019
Closing Date: 16 September 2019
2. About ECMWF
ECMWF is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. ECMWF carries out scientific and technical research directed to the improvement of its forecasts, collects and processes large amounts of
observations, and manages a long-term archive of meteorological data. Satellite and in situ observations provide the information for up-to-date global analyses and climate reanalyses of the atmosphere, ocean and land surface.
For details, see www.ecmwf.int
ECMWF has been entrusted to operate the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) on behalf of the European Commission until the end of 2021. Copernicus is the European Union (EU) flagship Earth-observation programme. The
programme ensures operational monitoring of the atmosphere, oceans, and continental surfaces, and will provide reliable, validated information services for a range of environmental and security applications. Based on the exploitation of space based and in situ observations and models,
Copernicus provides information services for land, marine, atmospheric and climate monitoring, as well as emergency management and security. For details, see www.copernicus.eu/.
The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) service provides consistent and qualitycontrolled information related to air pollution and health, solar energy, greenhouse gases and climate forcing, everywhere in the world. For details, see www.atmosphere.copernicus.eu/
The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) service provides authoritative information about the past, present and future climate, as well as tools to enable climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies by policy makers and businesses. For details, see www.climate.copernicus.eu/
3. Summary of the role
The Head of Copernicus Contract Management position sits within ECMWF’s Copernicus Services Department. ECMWF procures most elements of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) operational services via competitive tenders. Copernicus Contract Management currently manages a portfolio of 100+ active service procurement contracts, with an overall budget of ~170 million EUR, focusing mainly on the development and provision of data products and information, studies and use cases supporting user uptake, IT development and operations, as well as on communication and training activities. Contractors/Suppliers are both from the public and private sectors, with a significant contribution of SMEs, and from across many European countries.
Leading a team of about six people, the post-holder will be responsible for managing the full lifecycle of the Copernicus procurement process including tender preparation, bid evaluation and bidder selection, negotiations of new procurement contracts, the end-to-end follow-up of compliance with contractual arrangements of awarded contracts, assessing requirements of new procurement needs, follow up and control of the overall budgets for procured activities, implementation and follow-up of financial audits and tracking and planning of financial commitments, costs and payments.
The post-holder will lead and oversee the correct implementation of contract management guidelines and procedures by the team, verify negotiation decisions and payment milestones and they will actively contribute to measures to further reduce ‘time to contract’ and ‘time to pay’ targets within the Copernicus Department. The post-holder will lead and hold full ownership of the Copernicus contract management processes
and controls applied internally and vis-à-vis the contractors, and propose and implement streamlining and/or improvement actions when appropriate. The post-holder will report to the Director of Copernicus Services and will be part of the management team of the Copernicus Department. The post-holder will also work closely together with the Head of the Procurement Section, who is responsible for the implementation of the tendering process, and the Heads of C3S and CAMS and their teams who are responsible for the strategic and technical
definition and follow-up of the procured activities. Furthermore, the post-holder will work closely with the Head of Legal and Head of Finance and their teams.
4. Main duties and key responsibilities
  • Managing and executing the full contract management life cycle of procured contracts in line with the Copernicus Delegation Agreement and Implementation Plans agreed with the European Commission, as well as ECMWF overall policies and procedure.
  • Ensuring a proper budget execution of the Copernicus programme on all contracted activities and be responsible for the initiation of commitments, tracking and forecasting of costs and payments
  • Line managing the Copernicus Contract Management team
  • Contributing to the tendering process in collaboration with the Procurement Section, managing the contracting of evaluation experts and acting as a member of the Copernicus Tender Evaluation Board
  • Acting as Verifying Officer for negotiation files, payment requests, contract amendments and service contract preparation files
  • Contributing to the planning and reporting cycle of ECMWF vis-à-vis the European Commission by providing inputs to the corresponding documentation, including key performance indicators and contributions from external suppliers
  • Contributing to the EU audits, manage checks and controls on contracts, incl. technical reviews and financial audits, handle issues regarding defaulting partners and propose corrective actions 
  • Steering developments and improvements of procedures and tools for contract compliancy aspects and reporting
  • Supporting the Copernicus management team with interactions with the European Commission and its agencies on relevant activities
  • Supporting the Director on contractual and financial aspects of procured activities
5. Personal attributes
  • Understanding of and an interest in the scientific and international culture in which ECMWF works and willingness to adapt to its specificities.
  • Excellent attention to detail, procedures and rules.
  • Ability to lead and inspire a diverse team, as well as work as part of this team.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks and to manage priorities autonomously and to take initiatives
  • Service-oriented attitude and flexibility with a strong can-do attitude to handle the diverse requirements of this role.
  • Ability to work in a matrix management environment.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong sense of accountability.
  • Genuine interest in the Copernicus environmental services.
6. Qualifications and experience required
  • A university degree in a business, engineering or legal discipline.
Principal requirements A3 and A4 grade:
  • Demonstrated experience in the management of a large portfolio of complex contracts, preferably in the procurement of operational services with public and private organisations.
  • Strong experience in contract negotiations and price setting.
  • Experience in budget planning and financial audits.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading and inspiring a team and colleagues across the organisation.
  • Experience working with intergovernmental organisations or the European Commission and its Agencies would be highly desirable.
  • Experience working in the domain of Earth Observation, atmospheric composition or climate change would be an advantage.
Additional requirements for an A4 grade:
  • Demonstrated experience in line-management, as well as setting up and delivering organisation-wide contract management and procurement strategies.
  • Some years of experience as a member of a senior management / executive team within an organisation.
  • Knowledge and skills (including language)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Knowledge of public procurements of contracts of a scientific and technical nature.
  • Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Office.
  • Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English.
  • A good knowledge of one of the Centre’s other working languages (French or German) would be an advantage.
7. Other information
Grade remuneration
Depending on the level of experience and qualifications of the selected candidate, the successful candidate will be recruited at an A3 or A4 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be (Grade A3) £73,083.12 or (Grade A4) £84,907.44 net of tax, depending on the grade. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-PL as defined in the Staff Regulations.
Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.
Starting date: As soon as possible.
Length of contract: Four years. However, the continuation of the contract beyond 30 September 2021 will be subject to the signing of the next Copernicus delegation agreement with the European Commission and the availability of associated funding.
Location: Initially the role will be based in the Reading area, in Berkshire, United Kingdom.
However, relocation to another country within the European Union may be required during the period of the contract.
8. How to apply
Please apply by completing the online application form available at www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs.
To contact the ECMWF Recruitment Team, please email jobs@ecmwf.int
Please refer to the ECMWF Privacy Statement. For details of how we will handle your personal data
for this purpose, see: https://www.ecmwf.int/en/privacy.
At ECMWF, we consider an inclusive environment as key for our success. We are dedicated to ensuring a workplace that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunities for all, without distinction as to race, gender, age, marital status, social status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, personality, ethnicity and culture. We value the benefits derived from a diverse workforce and are committed to having staff that reflect the diversity of the countries that are part of our community, in an environment that nurtures equality and inclusion.
Staff are usually recruited from among nationals of the following Member States and Co-operating States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Morocco, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Staff from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases.

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