You are here

6812 Cardno TASP Vacancy Public Financial Management Lead Adviser 5-15 August 2022



Public Financial Management Lead Adviser (Technical Support Unit Coordinator)

Terms of Reference

Adviser Title: Public Financial Management Lead Adviser, (Technical Support Unit Coordinator)

Partner Organisation: Ministry of Finance, Tonga

Duration: 12 months, with likely extension dependent on performance. Note: - the position sits within the Tonga Economic Governance Support (TEGS) design which has been approved for the period of three years, it is expected this role will provide a pivotal anchor to the TEGS design over that period (subject to relevant contractual arrangements)

Location: Tonga

Adviser Type: LTA

Remuneration Guide: The proposed salary is consistent with international adviser salaries, noting that Tongans are encouraged to apply. The specific remuneration package will be negotiated depending on the skill and experience of the successful candidate.

Aid Investment Plan or Partner Government’s national/sectoral priority: Improve macro-economic, fiscal management and private sector reforms and Effective contribution to the implementation of public financial management (PFM) reforms.

Tonga Australia Resource Platform (TASP)

This position will be engaged through the Tonga Australia Support Platform, which is a consolidated mechanism that will contribute to delivery of Australia’s skills, labour mobility, health, economic governance and gender development investments in Tonga.

Position Background

In early January 2020, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) endorsed the Investment Design Document for the Tonga Economic Governance Support (TEGS) Program which had been negotiated with and approved by the Government of Tonga on 31 October 2019. The expected end-of investment outcomes for the TEGS are:

  • Outcome One: Improve macro-economic, fiscal management and private sector reforms.
  • Outcome Two: Effective contribution to the implementation of public financial management (PFM) reforms.

The TEGS program makes use of two aid modalities: performance linked budget support and technical assistance, with associated operational support, that will be provided through a Technical Support Unit (TSU) headed by the Public Financial Management Lead Adviser (PFMLA)Technical Support Unit Coordinator (this position) located within the Ministry of Finance (MoF), Financial Framework Division (FFD).

It is acknowledged the PFMLA will not have the capacity to address all the technical issues that are likely to be generated during the implementation of the PFM reform agenda. An external service provider will be contracted to supply both long-term and short-term advisors to make up the TSU and to administer these advisors’ inputs. Contracting arrangements for the external service provider are currently being explored., and additional TA as identified/needed will be recruited through partners.

The TEGS design proposed a cohesive approach to the provision of Technical Assistance (TA), specifically focussing on implementing the PFM Reform Roadmap (PFMRR), with support to the MOF FFD, which has oversight of the PFM reform implementation. Australia will fund the Public Financial Management Lead Adviser Technical Support Unit Coordinator and the TSU located within the FFD. The TSU will be tasked to assist the FFD in fulfilling its mandate in implementing the Action Plan (AP) under the guidance of the PFMAP Steering Committee and Technical Committee.

Scope of Works

The work of the PFMLA will be guided by a PFMRR Annual Action Plan (AAP), developed by the PFM - Technical Reform Committee (TRC) and approved by the PFM Reform Steering Committee (RSC). The AAP will be developed and approved in advance of the MOF budget for the new financial year starting 1 July. Engagement with other Ministries and the Cabinet in development of the AAP will be the responsibility of the PFM - TRC under the guidance of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MOF.

The TSU will develop a workplan and budget to support implementation of the PFMRR APPs. Support provided by the TSU will include, but may go beyond, the provision of long and short-term advisors. Support may also include short-term training opportunities for selected individuals, short exchange programs, peer learning events, financial resources to enable deployment of existing capacity in other Australian Government funded programs, as well as promoting the use of existing Government of Tonga capacity development resources such as advisory support and training programs that are housed across difference central agencies and line ministries. This will be based on the agreement between the MOF and the TSU, managed by the PFMLA.

The MOF has just undertaken an Agile Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment in November 2019, which has made some recommendations on improving Tonga’s PFM systems and the efficient use of resources. The Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre is currently working with the MOF and relevant development partners to revise the PFMRR giving consideration to the PEFA assessment and an Assessment of National Systems completed by DFAT in 2019.

Position Description

The PFM Lead Adviser role includes:

  • advising the Ministry of Finance in the areas outlined in this ToR
  • advising the Minister for Finance in the areas outlined in this ToR coordinating work in the areas described, including that of advisers working as part of the TSU

The lead adviser’s objectives and core functions are:

Placement Objectives

Core Functions

1. PFMRRSC Coordination

  • Work with the Division Head, Financial Framework Division (DH-FFD) to reconvene the PFM AP SC or, at least, the PFMR-TRC on a quarterly basis as soon as possible. The TSC will also prioritise the building of governance and secretariat capacity in FFD to support the PFM RSC and RTC.

2. PFM Reform

  • Support the PFMTRC to develop PFMRR AAP. Once the PFM AAP is endorsed by the PFMR-RSC, the TSC will then work with the DH-FFD to develop a TSU Support Agreement which will identify the specific areas and clusters of activities which will be supported by the TSU, as well as the expected outcomes and contribution to the PFMRR AAP outcomes of advisory and non-advisory inputs. 
  • The TSC will then develop a detailed work plan and budget for the implementation of these agreed activities.
  • Consider appropriate legal instruments (TI, Regulations, legislative changes) to support PFM policy objectives that are necessary for PFM administrative efficiency, system integrity, technology that meets public acceptance and trust.
  • Escalation to the CEO MoF and Australian High Commission (AHC) Deputy Head of Mission if the PFMR-RSC fails to approve the PFM Reform AAP and/or the PFMR-RTC does not meet at least quarterly.
  • Consider and advise on the relevant leadership team and governance critical for the success of the PFM reforms.
  • Support the Government and Development Partners budget support and Joint Policy Reform Missions.

3. Human Resource Management

  • Working with the DH-FFD to agree on the deployment of long term advisers (LTAs) and short term advisers (STAs) or other forms of technical assistance as outlined above and support the development of terms of reference.
  • Where LTA or STA are to be engaged, the TSC will also participate in the recruitment process led by the external service provider and manage LTAs and STAs work on a day to day basis.
  • Working with the DH-FFD, the TSC will conduct quarterly performance assessments for LTAs and STAs on the basis of a pre-determined performance rubric and clear ToRs.

4. Capacity Building and guidance on gender equality including cross-cutting issues

  • Supporting responsible FFD staff in coordinating PFM reform activities across government.
  • As necessary, provide or procure formal and informal training to enhance the capacity of staff on core technical and strategic skills necessary to undertake key functions
  • Provide evidence-based advice and options to the Executive and staff to improve quality of decision making.
  • Provide advice and guidance on cross-cutting issues, such as building national resilience, social protection, child protection, gender equality, disability in line with relevant Australian aid policies and other appropriate standards.

5. Reporting

  • Responsible for coordinating reports from the TSU to share with Senior Management of the MoF (CEO and Deputy CEOs).
  • Working with the TEGS funded Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser located in the TSU, and other relevant stakeholders, assist with the development of the monitoring and evaluation system (comprising performance indicators, detailed methodology, implementation responsibilities, timelines and budget) for the TEGS program. A draft M&E plan is contained in the TEGS program design document.
  • Carrying out consistent, high level, liaison with MOF, other GOT ministries,
  • Providing regular reporting as required by DFAT, WB, ADB and other development partners.


  1. Inception Report, Monthly, Quarterly, Bi-annual, Completion Report, Revised PFM Action Plan;
  2. Revised PFMRR;
  3. Record of Meetings for Reform and Technical Committee, and provide relevant follow up requested by DFAT and development partner requirements;
  4. Approved Implementation Plan.

Accountability and working relationships

The PFM Lead Advisor will be accountable to and managed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Financial Frameworks Division (Ministry of Finance), and the Deputy High Commissioner and Senior Program Manager, Australian High Commission, Nuku’alofa. Key Selection Criteria


Qualifications • Post Graduate degree in accountancy, economics, public policy or social sciences (economic policy, organisational development, capacity development, international development). • Basic first aid certificate (this will be supported by TASP to be obtained if the successful adviser does not already have).

Skills, experience, knowledge

  • Proven track record of leading international multi-disciplinary specialist teams in the delivery of PFM reform or economic and public sector reform programs
  • Good understanding of PFM reform processes, and preferably experience in economic policy
  • Demonstrated ability to participate in and lead reform dialogue with government officials and manage complex change processes – in particular the institutional barriers to change in PFM systems
  • Organizational development, team and capacity building experience.
  • High level communication skills and capacity to motivate and lead staff in a culturally diverse setting
  • Proven understanding of gender equality and the implications for PFM
  • Fluency in speaking, reading and writing (to a professional report standard) in English
  • A demonstrated understanding of and experience in the local/Pacific context
  • A strong understanding, and working experience, on PFM in the Tonga Context would be an advantage.

Date Terms of Reference Finalised: July 2022


Applications must be submitted by Sunday 14th August 11:59pm (AEDT) / (15th August 2:59am Tonga time).



Matangi Tonga Online ref. #6812 Cardno Emerging Markets (Australia) Pty Ltd. 5-15 August 2022