United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

UNOPS in Skopje, MK

Background Information – Job-specific

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations.

Austria Multi-Country Office (AUMCO)

The Austria Multi-Country Office (AUMCO) is part of the UNOPS Europe and Central Asia Region (ECR). Specifically, AUMCO aims to enable achievement of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement through global programmes and tailored interventions in the Balkans, South Caucasus, and Central Asia, focused on:

  • Infrastructure
  • Procurement
  • Project Management (full service, back on track)
  • HR and Transactional Services
  • Grants Management
  • Technical and Advisory Services
  • Project Information

Project Information

Under the framework of the multi-year project titled “Knowledge for Reform Action in the Western Balkans,” UNOPS is providing support in the six countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) with access to tailored expertise, knowledge and best practice to assist them with advancing their respective reform agenda. Learning and exchanges will be promoted across the Region, as well as from neighbouring countries which have joined the European Union (EU). The aim of the project is to strengthen institutional, administrative and legislative frameworks and practices.

Under the direct supervision of the Chief Technical Advisor, and in close cooperation with beneficiaries, the Advisors on VAT Acquis – [Chapter 16 Taxation] will provide technical expertise to government authorities, primarily the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of North Macedonia that is responsible the negotiations of Chapter 16, in consultations with the Secretariat for European Affairs, as well as other institutions as appropriate, with regard to the VAT legislation within Chapter 16 of the EU. Experience from Montenegro and Serbia may be used in the process of working on the drafts of legislation including a training where experiences from Serbia and Montenegro will be shared.

The Law on VAT was amended a while ago introducing a preferential tax rate of 5% on craft activities and a preferential rate of 10% on restaurants and catering services (excluding alcoholic beverages). Delays remain in the VAT refund process, since only 38% of claims are refunded within the legal deadline. Regarding direct taxation, a flat 10% rate applies to personal income tax. Interests on savings and capital gains on securities remain exempt. The Ministry of Finance started publishing a calendar on the planned changes in tax legislation as a tool for better transparency.

The assignment will be carried out by three experts:

  • One Partnerships Advisor on VAT requirements
  • Two Partnerships Specialists on tax inspection with practical regional experience

Functional Responsibilities

  • Technical Expertise
  • Stakeholder Engagement

1. Technical Expertise

  • Provide assistance to the Ministry of Finance to amend the Law on Value Added Tax, in order to support the alignment of North Macedonia with the EU VAT Directive (32006L0112), in the part that refers to the provisions of the place of supply, using the experience from Montenegro and Serbia.
  • Draft the Rulebook for place of supply
  • Drat the Rulebook for TAX representatives
  • Prepare Internal guidelines for place of supply in line with the EU VAT Directive (Document 32006L0112).
  • Prepare Internal guidelines for TAX representatives to strengthen capacities on interpretation and implementation of the EU VAT Directive (Document 32006L0112).
  • Design and deliver workshop on VAT (Chapter 16) related to place of supply and TAX with lessons learnt from Montenegro and Serbia
  • Provide inputs for the ToRs with the view to designing/setting up the regional network for Chapter 16.

2. Stakeholder Engagement

  • Establish solid working relationships, engage, discuss, negotiate and liaise with key national stakeholders, including government officials.
  • Support the development of good working relationships with key personnel in the EU, through a large network of key contacts at EU institutions.

In addition, any other duties performed under the direct supervision of the Chief Technical Advisor in relation to the approved terms of references.

Monitoring and Progress Controls

The work of the Partnerships Advisor and Partnerships Specialists on EU negotiations – [Chapter 16 Taxation – VAT requirements] directly impacts on UNOPS’ contribution in supporting the country’s EU accession process. This consequently reinforces the visibility and image of UNOPS, and strengthens its competitive positions as a partner of choice in working with governments in enhancing and modernizing their legal, economic and institutional system.

The incumbents will be engaged as retainers and asked to perform specific tasks linked to supporting delivery of the project’s work in North Macedonia in advance when the requirements arise. The incumbents’ contributions and milestones will be assessed based on this agreed work plan for each assignment.

  • A Workplan with details of the steps (activities and measures) that the expert will take for the successful finalization of the assignment
  • Support the Partnerships Advisor on VAT requirements in drafting Amendments to the Law on Value Added Tax prepared. The amendments should be based on the EU VAT Directive (32006L0112), in the part that refers to the provisions of the place of supply. The experience from Montenegro and Serbia should be used as the comparative examples.
  • Support the Partnerships Advisor on VAT requirements in drafting Rulebook for place of supply.
  • Support the Partnerships Advisor on VAT requirements in drafting Rulebook for TAX representatives.
  • Support the Partnerships Advisor on VAT requirements in preparing Internal guidelines for place of supply. The guidelines should follow the rationale of the EU VAT Directive (Document 32006L0112).
  • Support the Partnerships Advisor on VAT requirements in preparing Internal guidelines for TAX representatives. They should aim at strengthening capacities on interpretation and implementation of the EU VAT Directive (Document 32006L0112).
  • Support the Partnerships Advisor on VAT requirements in organizing and facilitating the Workshop on VAT (Chapter 16) related to place of supply and TAX with lessons learnt from Montenegro and Serbia.
  • Support the Partnerships Advisor on VAT requirements in drafting ToRs with the view to designing/setting up the regional network for Chapter 16.
  • A brief final mission report prepared and delivered to UNOPS. The report should contain the information on the assignment and accomplishments that have been made under the work of the expert.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

Education

  • An advanced university degree (e.g. Masters) either in finances, economy or other relevant discipline is required OR
  • A first-level university degree (e.g. Bachelor) in combination with 2 additional years of progressively relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.

Work experience

  • A minimum of five (5) years of relevant experience working for/with the beneficiary countries in the field of taxation.
  • Understanding of the EU acquis on taxation and place of supply.
  • Familiarity with Directive (Document 32006L0112) is highly desirable.
  • Regional experience in taxation from Montenegro and Serbia will be a strong asset.
  • Proven records of building strong relationships and/or operate in an influential manner with gov authorities and/or UN officials is required
  • Ability to consistently exercise discretion and confidentiality with sensitive information is highly desirable.

Languages

  • Proficiency in English is required.
  • Knowledge of locally spoken languages including lingua franca is an advantage.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: ICA

Contract level: I-ICA 2 Contract duration: Retainer, 20 days (with a possibility of extending) For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: (link)-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx

Competencies

Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)

Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.

Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).

Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.

Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.

Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.

Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time.
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • UNOPS embraces diversity and it is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all its employees and encourages qualified candidates to apply irrespective of race, colour, national origin, ethnic or social background, genetic information, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or disability.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization – UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.
  • All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.
  • It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.