EFTA - European Free Trade Association

Head of Compliance and Administration Department (FMO) - VA 13/2017

EFTA - European Free Trade Association

Brussels, Belgium

The Financial Mechanism Office (FMO) is the secretariat of the EEA Grants and Norway Grants, and is affiliated to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in Brussels. The FMO reports to the three Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) through the EEA Financial Mechanism Committee (FMC) for the EEA Grants and through the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA) for the Norway Grants. Our focus is on reducing economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area (EEA) and strengthening bilateral relations between the Donor States and the 16 Beneficiary States.

The Grants are worth €1.8 billion in the financing period 2009-2014, funding 148 programmes and ca. 6500 projects. The programmes and projects under this financing period are now drawing to a close. The allocation for the financing period 2014-2021 totals €2.8 billion. Key sectors of our work include research and innovation, social inclusion, environment and climate change, civil society, and justice and home affairs.

The FMO offers an international, stimulating and diverse workplace, with a staff of over 60 employees comprising around 18 nationalities.

This position is open to nationals of the EEA EFTA Member States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).


The Head of Compliance and Administration Department leads a department consisting of Legal Affairs team, Grants Management Systems and IT team, Finance and Control Unit and Administration and HR Unit. S/he advises the Director on legal matters, and is responsible for all aspects of the Grants’ legal work. This requires an understanding of the legal framework of the Grants. S/he is responsible for the work on the Grants Management Systems. S/he has overall managerial responsibility for the work related to grants financing and control and for the work related to the administration and HR.

The Head of Compliance and Administration Department reports to the Director of the FMO and is a member of the senior management team. S/he is line manager for the Legal Affairs staff and Grants Management Systems and IT staff and for Head of Administration and HR Unit and Head of Finance and Control Unit.


  • Lead FMO’s legal work;
  • Advise the FMO Director on legal matters, and assure that implementation of the Grants are in compliance with the legal framework;
  • Lead the work on Grants Management Systems/IT;
  • Oversee and support the work related to development and maintenance of appropriate finance systems and implementation of relevant procedures and controls;
  • Oversee and support the work related to the general administration, including HR;
  • Liaise with the EFTA Secretariat on shared services;
  • Oversee and coordinate matters related to the FMO’s office lease contract;
  • Ensure office security and contingency planning.

General requirements


  • University degree in law, minimum Master’s level or equivalent.


  • At least 15 years’ relevant experience, including some international experience abroad with multi-cultural exposure;
  • Experience in programme/project financing, grant management, and trans-national contract work is desirable;
  • Work experience in the public sector is desirable;
  • Knowledge of and work experience with international grant schemes or with EU funds would be an advantage;
  • Knowledge of and experience from working with the Beneficiary States would be an advantage.


  • Excellent analytical skills and ability to make sound decisions, with a good eye for solutions to legal or policy challenges;
  • Ability to draft and review complex legal texts and opinions;
  • A sound understanding of financial management and grants’ finance systems;
  • Proven administrative and diplomatic skills, and ability to work effectively with staff from diverse cultural backgrounds;
  • Proven organisational and planning abilities, with experience in leading and facilitating team work;
  • Result-oriented approach, and a proactive and cooperative outlook;
  • Strong interpersonal abilities, including a dynamic and flexible attitude;
  • Knowledge of EFTA and the EEA Agreement, and the functioning of EU institutions, with some knowledge of EU programmes.


  • Excellent oral and written English (FMO’s working language).

Employment terms

Grade: A6
Annual salary: EUR 123,520.68

Appointments are normally made at step 1 of the grade. The Director of the FMO reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level different from that advertised. Through its recruitment policy, the FMO wants to ensure diversity in terms of gender, age and culture.

We offer a very interesting and challenging position in a dynamic and diverse environment and the opportunity to work in a team of highly qualified people. Salaries and related payments are exempt from taxation by the EFTA Member States, and as regulated in headquarters agreements, in the EFTA host states. Depending on the candidate’s family status, benefits and allowances may apply.

Interested applicants should apply online via the EFTA e-recruitment tool:

Please note that only applications received via our web tool will be considered.

Deadline for submission of application: 5 April 2017.

For more information about the EEA and Norway Grants, please go to

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