Administrative Assistant

Website Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)


Organizational Setting

FAO’s Subregional Office for the Caribbean (SLC) is responsible for developing, promoting, overseeing and implementing agreed strategies for addressing subregional food, agriculture, and rural development priorities. It develops and maintains relations with subregion-wide institutions including Regional Economic Integration Organizations (REIOs). The Subregional Office is a subsidiary of FAO’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (RLC), in Santiago, Chile. SLC is located in Barbados and is responsible for 13 countries of the subregion. SLC houses the FAO Multi Country Office for Barbados and six OECS (Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States) countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines).

The position is located in SLC, Bridgetown, Barbados.

Main Purpose

The Administrative Assistant performs a large variety of routine administrative transactions and office support functions contributing to the smooth and efficient running of the work unit.

Supervision Received/Exercised

The Administrative Assistant reports to the National Professional Officer (Administration), under the overall responsibility of the Administrative Officer in SLC. He/she acts independently in routine matters. Supervision received is focused on the quality of the work performed and provides for on-the-job learning.

Working Relationships

The Administrative Assistant usually interacts with a wide variety of colleagues within the work unit and with immediate clients within the Organization, providing routine administrative and office support services.

Key Functions/Results

•    Retrieve, enter, select and analyse data from a wide variety of sources, including FAO’s corporate system and data bases; verify accuracy of data documents; make necessary calculations.
•    Assemble and review supporting documentation for processing Non-Staff Human Resource (NSHR), Travel or Financial actions in FAO’s corporate systems, while ensuring compliance with FAO’s rules and regulations.
•    Maintain imprest accounts; reconcile expenditures, balances, payments, statements and other data; assist in the preparation of recurring and special reports by preparing and editing data in appropriate format as requested; monitor project, programme and general office accounts.
•    Maintain detailed records of budget estimates, obligations and available balances; record receipts and disbursements (ledgers, cash books, vouchers, etc.); make disbursements from petty cash fund and balance accounts.
•    Prepare routine correspondence of administrative nature; draft correspondence to verify data, answer queries, and obtain additional information on transactions and financial matters, as required.
•    Maintain local inventory records with responsibility for proper recording of assets, their maintenance and safeguard.
•    Maintain a filing system of administrative and financial documents.
•    Maintain liaison with local banks and financial institutions to keep up-to-date with financial and regulatory information (exchange and interest rates, procedures and rules, maintenance of bank accounts, etc.).
•    Support the administration of personnel and equipment as well as protocol-related issues.
•    Perform other related duties as required.

Impact Of Work

The incumbent’s work impacts on the timely and efficient delivery of office support services and on the overall output of the work unit.


Minimum Requirements

Education: Secondary school education.
Experience: Three years of experience in administrative and office support work.
Languages: Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English.
IT Skills: Good knowledge of the MS Office applications, Internet and office technology equipment.
Ability to use accounting software and other information systems and databases to insert data, make enquiries, retrieve/define ad hoc reports and analyses and edit results in appropriate format.

Residency: General Service Staff are recruited locally. To be eligible for this position, candidates must be nationals of the country of the duty station or possess an existing visa/work permit, and reside within commuting distance of the duty station at the time of the application. “Commuting distance” means the distance within which staff members can travel daily between their place of work and their residence.


•    Results Focus
•    Team Work
•    Communication
•    Building effective relationships
•    Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical Skills

•    Good knowledge of the communication and documentation standards.
•    Good knowledge of corporate computerized financial/travel/human resources systems and administrative procedures and policies.
•    Good knowledge of the organizational structure.

Desirable Qualifications And Skills

Limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of Spanish is an asset.
Familiarity with UN administrative, operational and financial procedures is an asset.




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