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Finance Business Partner: Public Sector Prisons

Category : Government
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Location : Lancaster , Leyland , Liverpool , Millom , Preston , Rochdale , Warrington , Wigan
Salary : £ 37,683 - £ 41,506
Type : Permanent
Closing Date : 2023-01-05
Date Posted : 2022-12-18
Reference : 68403  

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.

Ministry of Justice an Inclusive Employer

We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer of choice and ensuring equity of opportunity for all. We welcome the unique contribution diverse applicants bring in terms of their culture, ethnicity, race, nationality or national origin, age, sex, gender identity or expression, religion or belief, disability status, sexual orientation, educational or social background or any other factor. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity


The Ministry of Justice is responsible for the provision of legal aid, administration of justice through courts and tribunals, and detention and rehabilitation of offenders.  Within the MoJ you will provide Finance Business Partnering to senior business leaders responsible for delivery of prison services in England.  Our business colleagues operating within Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (an Agency within the MoJ), are highly committed professionals who seek to protect the public and rehabilitate offenders.

More information can be found at: www.justice.gov.uk

There is one 0.5 FTE (part-time) SEO Prison, Finance Business Partnering role available within the Finance Business Partnering Group supporting Public Sector Prisons within the North West region.
As a Finance Business Partner, you will be a key member of the finance team, working with other members of the team, wider MoJ Finance colleagues and key stakeholder from the Business Area we support. The finance team is geographically dispersed.
Post location is flexible within the North West region but there is the requirement to regularly visit prisons in person and attend scheduled meetings. Successful candidates will be allocated a base location within the region and the expectation is that candidates will fund travel costs to and from that base location.

You will provide support to the North West geographical group, which contains the following prisons:

HMP Haverigg LA18 4NA

HMP Kirkham PR4 2RN

HMP Lancaster Farms LA1 3QZ

HMP Preston PR1 5AB

HMP Wymott PR26 8LW

HMP Buckley Hall OL12 9DP

HMP Hindley WN2 5TH 

HMP Liverpool L9 3DF

HMP Risley WA3 6BP

HMP Thorn Cross WA4 4RL

You will support the Governor and their teams in specific prisons as well as working flexibly across the region to support the Strategic Finance Lead as required.  Postcodes have been included for your reference and location will be discussed at interview.

Role Responsibilities

The job holder will be required to undertake the following duties and responsibilities.

•    Budget management – work with budget holders to develop robust budget plans and monitor delivery
•    Risks and issues – identify and monitor budget risks and opportunities, supporting stakeholders to develop mitigating actions
•    Reporting – to be able to translate financial information to non-finance stakeholders, providing the narrative behind the numbers to influence decision making
•    Governance – understand and be able to advise on governance and compliance issues

Key role responsibilities

You may find the table format below useful as it is clear however, feel free to use you own format in this section and delete the table below. 

Stakeholder engagement    

Develop and maintain strong partnerships with key stakeholders. Help improve their financial awareness and provide accurate and credible advice on financial management and wider governance issues. Actively contribute at business meetings and be proactive in looking for efficiency. 

Financial management    

Co-ordinate your business area’s annual financial planning activity and provide information and advice to support effective financial control in year. Present and explain financial information clearly and offer advice to inform decision making. Understand the cost drivers of the business and carry out analysis of information to improve efficiency and understanding. 

Service Delivery    

Deliver high quality outcomes to meet stakeholder needs and give value for money. Identify risks and resolve issues efficiently 

Critical Friend to the business

You will feel confident to challenge business colleagues on their spending plans and keep a focus on outcomes and business priorities. Give advice to support decision making, encouraging options analysis and appropriate governance. Use your insight to add value.

Entry Routes 

Suitable for individuals with the required skills and / or experience from within or outside Finance.
If you are already working within a finance function this role may be suitable for you if you have the required influencing and interpersonal skills.
(If you are already working in the civil service this role may be suitable for Finance individuals in the at HEO or SEO).

If you are working outside of Finance this role may be suitable for you if you hold the required data analysis, influencing, stakeholder management and numeracy skills and are interested in joining the Finance function

Progression Routes

Individuals in this role typically transfer within the civil service to other Senior Executive Office roles (SEO) such as Finance Business Partner roles, Management Reporting, Financial Accounting and Reporting or Business Support roles, or progress to the next level within the organisational structure (Grade 7) within these or similar functions.

Key skills and knowledge

•    Excellent financial management skills and a proven ability to apply them effectively
•    High credibility with senior colleagues and stakeholders and the ability to influence decision-making
•    The ability to analyse and communicate financial information in a clear and understandable way

Behaviours Required 

Success Profiles will enable a fairer and more inclusive method of recruitment by enabling us to assess the range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours, and technical/professional skills required for different roles. This flexible approach to recruitment focuses more on finding the right candidate for the specific role. To find out more about Success Profiles to support your application please click here for further guidance.

•    Making Effective Decisions
•    Communicating and Influencing
•    Working Together

Please refer to the Civil Service Behaviours Framework, which can be found here, to complete this application: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/717275/CS_Behaviours_2018.pdf
If we receive a large volume of applications, we reserve the right to conduct the sift based on one lead behaviour. The chosen lead behaviour for this campaign is communicating and influencing
In addition to Civil Service Behaviours identified above, to assess the candidate please provide further details below:
•    A Statement of Suitability is required consisting of a maximum of 500 words

Interpersonal Skills 

•    Possesses emotional intelligence and has the ability to think empathetically, considering the strategic goals of others
•    Fosters a culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration between the business, finance, and other corporate services
•    Can tailor their communication style to a range of audiences, including internal and external stakeholders
•    Uses facts and evidence to aid negotiation and influencing
•    Helps others to understand the interdependencies between business and finance
•    Proactive and passionate, inspiring others to continuously improve
•    Ability to "speak the language" of finance to business, and vice versa, acting as the critical translator between the two

Professional Skills 

Key for Levels of Professional Skills
•    A = Awareness
•    W = Working
•    P = Practitioner
•    E = Expert

Core                                                    Level
Budgeting, forecasting, and costing    P
The Budgeting Framework                  W
Commercial acumen                           W
Investment appraisal and evaluation   W
Strategic analysis and insight              A
Oral and written presentation skills      E
Performance and risks                        W
Data and analytics interpretation         P
Useful                                                 Level
Taxation                                               A
Interpretation of accounts                    A
Government financial reporting           A
Supporting the PAC agenda                A
Understanding the role of the NAO     A
Risk management and fraud               A


•    Qualified under one of the main five Consultative Committees of Accounting Bodies [CCAB] i.e., ACCA; CIPFA; ICAEW; ICAI or ICAS, or CIMA.
•    We also welcome applications from individuals working towards qualification.  Support to achieving full qualification may be provided through the Apprenticeship Scheme.


The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working.  Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

Regular travel to and from prison / probation sites will be required (typically 2 days per week). These sites are located in the North West region (see postcodes above). It is therefore expected that the successful candidate lives within a reasonable distance of these sites.  

A base location near or within the region will be allocated to the successful candidate. The post holder is expected to meet their own travel costs to and from their base location. If required to attend a location other than their base location, post-holders may be entitled to claim some or all of any extra expense (beyond the usual base location travel costs) in line with the T&S policy.
The successful candidate will be appointed to either one of the locations specified in the advert or, if nearer to their home, an alternative MoJ office location in the region which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed upon completion of pre-employment checks.

Application Process

To apply please complete the online application form. Applications will be sifted by a panel who will look at the Civil Service Behaviour framework and what is evidenced in your application. Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour, communicating and influencing. 

Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift or progressed straight to interview. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the essential role requirements within the application behaviour responses.  

Candidates who are successful following the sift process will be invited to interview, where the behavioural elements and strengths will be tested further alongside other elements of the post. Further details will be provided to shortlisted candidates in advance of the interviews.


The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.


The opportunity to join employee run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Interview dates: Expected early January 2023

For further information please feel free to contact Helen Bonser (Helen.Bonser@justice.gov.uk)

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