The interview panel judged this client’s written application (both resume and selection criteria) as the best one received – 30 internal applicants applied for the role. After the interview, my client was subsequently offered the role on a permanent basis and was thrilled to accept. She had previously applied for the same role 12 months prior (without my assistance) but did not gain an interview; at that stage she had been performing the role for a one year period. The selection criteria component required the addressing of five criteria. Full excerpts of two of the criteria are outlined below.

Demonstrates the ability to interpret and apply legislation, financial and administrative practices and procedures in a service delivery environment:

In my current role as Debt Management Officer – Financial Branch with the Department of ABC, I interpret and apply relevant legislation, practices and procedures on a daily basis. When undertaking task work, I adhere to the requirements as outlined in the Financial Administration Practices and Audit Act 1977, Financial Management Standards 1977, and the Financial Management Practices Manual. I also work within the guidelines of the Student Refund Policy and the Time to Pay Policy. I apply relevant policies and procedures to many of the tasks I undertake on a daily basis. Specifically, when assisting clients who make enquiries into their outstanding debts; when collecting and following up on outstanding debts; when recommending irrecoverable debt write-offs; and when negotiating repayment plans with stakeholders who are in financial hardship. The Financial Management Standard 1997 (div2 par31) sets out settlements of systems for receive management. When a client is unable to pay on a due date and is therefore in default, then the following up of outstanding revenue is allowed under sub-par3. Recently, I cleared many aged debts that previous Debt Management Officers were unable to collect. A specific example of this was a client (DEF Pty Ltd) who had an aged debt of approximately $210K over 190 days due. I was instrumental in negotiating payments or charge reversals to ensure all debt was true and correct. Negotiations took place over a two month period and I maintained regular (weekly) contact with this client throughout the process. Subsequently, all outstanding aged debt was resolved.

Demonstrates an ability to provide appropriate advice to clients and management on accounts receivable and debt collection issues; including demonstrated effectiveness in achieving goals within agreed guidelines and timeframes:

In my current role, I have dealt with several clients including HIJ, LMN and XYZ. I protect their interests and provide prompt and diligent attention on all matters including the provision of instructions that are reasonable and legitimate, and in providing advice to settle outstanding debts as per agreed specified timelines. Overall, clients have been very cooperative throughout the process and as a result of my continuous follow up (via phone calls and email), they have all been able to pay their debts as per specified agreements. In circumstances where the money is owed by large concern, I am often required to liaise with the Financial Officer and advise that the amounts are now 60-90 overdue. The Department’s policy is that payment should be made within a 30 day period. There are instances where clients are not able to pay their large debt in one lump sum payment. For example, one client (AAA) recently owed $22K. In this instance, I negotiated a monthly payment installment plan. I have also managed to resolve the aged debt of another key client (DDD) which I referred on to the ARL. This particular client refused to pay, and after several months of negotiations, a submission to the ARL was approved by the Finance Manager of EEE (an external debt collection agency used by our Department). Throughout the process, I gathered all the necessary and relevant information and documentation to substantiate the correctness of the proof of debt. Subsequently, the debt was recently settled.

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Annie Cerone