Location: Pretoria, South Africa | Kingston, Jamaica | Accra, Ghana
Duration: 3 Years
Closing Date: 27 Jun 2012
The burden of servicing public debt in developing Commonwealth countries in Africa, and the small (island) states spread across the Indian Ocean, South Asia, the Caribbean and the South Pacific is a major constraint to their progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Effective public debt management, aimed at minimising long term debt servicing cost and achieving sustainable debt, will ease the financial constraint that debt servicing has on countries.
The Commonwealth Secretariat Debt Recording and Management System (CS-DRMS) is currently used by 60 countries worldwide as the central repository for recording debt and grant data. The main categories of debt maintained in the software include public and publicly guaranteed external debt; domestic debt; private sector debt; and government lending and on-lending. Over the past 10 years most CS-DRMS countries have made marked progress in building comprehensive CS-DRMS debt databases for the external debt portfolio with support from the Commonwealth.
The countries are now focusing their effort to build an integrated public debt database by developing the domestic debt database in CS-DRMS with the objective of undertaking strategic debt management and also to improve the reporting and dissemination of public debt statistics. In recent years, the software has also undergone a series of enhancements to take into account changes in debt management practices; global debt initiatives; change in creditor practices; and changes in information technology. These developments and staff training needs in debt offices in member countries require sustained assistance to build capacity for the effective use of the software modules and new features, and to build and maintain the high quality database essential for active debt management.
Against this background the Commonwealth Secretariat has approved a project providing for the recruitment of three CS-DRMS / Debt Statistics Advisers for a three year term to be deployed in the Commonwealth regions of Africa, Asia, Caribbean and Pacific with the objective of complementing the work on debt management of the Secretariat Headquarters staff.
To assist developing member countries in the Caribbean, East and Southern Africa, West Africa, the South Pacific and South Asia regions in strengthening their debt management capacity -including sub-national debt management- through effective use of CS-DRMS, appropriate reforms on debt management and adoption of prudent debt management policies and strategies. In doing so, this project will develop a pool of sophisticated, locally based debt managers to drive and implement reforms in public debt management and effectively manage the largest financial balance sheet of a country on a sustainable basis.
Working closely with the Commonwealth Secretariat Advisers and under the supervision of the designated official at the host institution, the Adviser (Debt Statistics) will be expected to undertake a number of activities, primarily within the designated region. The key job responsibilities will include the following: developing capacity in various institutions through advice and hands-on training in countries using the CS-DRMS and other debt management systems for effective recording; compilation and maintaining public debt databases at the central government and, where applicable, at state government levels; provide support to member countries to enhance compliance with debt data methodology and quality standards; assist countries undertake debt portfolio analysis and develop debt statistics bulletins; and support international dissemination of debt statistics through the IMF and World Bank. The job will involve intensive travel to member countries within the designated region and also to other Commonwealth regions.
The post-holder will be required to: