This service contract notice defines the rules for the submission of expressions of interest and the pre-qualification of candidates for the provision of services in accordance with CTA’s Procurement Procedures and Rules for Awarding Contracts (available at https://www.cta.int/en/working-with-cta), and more specifically the provisions applying to a restricted procedure.
1. Contract description
1.1 - Type of Contract
The contract notice is intended solely to select entities with the capacity to provide the services described hereafter (see § 1.2, Description of the services to be provided).
1.2 - Scope of Contract
The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). Its mission is to advance food security, resilience and inclusive economic growth in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Key intervention areas include:
- Youth entrepreneurship, job creation and enterprise development
- Increasing the productivity and profitability of agricultural value chains through ICTs
- Strengthening smallholder farmers’ resilience to climate change.
CTA operates under the framework of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (the Cotonou Agreement). CTA is core funded by two grants – an annual operating grant and an action grant corresponding to the programme of work 2017-2020 – concluded with the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission representing the European Union. The programme is implemented through projects in the field carried out by ACP-based organisations and funded through sub-grants awarded by CTA. Other donors – international (e.g. IFAD) and bilateral (e.g. DFID-UK) – fund some projects in the field.
CTA operates from its headquarters in Wageningen (Netherlands) and a satellite office in Brussels (Belgium). In both cases, a headquarter agreement signed with the host country defines the privileges and immunities applicable to CTA and statutory staff, in particular the exemption from taxes and duties. Currently, CTA employs an average of 65 staff, either under national or international (statutory) contracts.
CTA’s accounting and financial management and related reporting requirements are mainly governed by:
- The Financial Regulation of CTA (Decision No 3/2006 of the ACP-EC Committee of Ambassadors of 27 September 2006)
- The conditions applicable to EU-financed grant contracts for external actions
- The rules of internal procedure.
Description of the Services to be Provided
The purpose of the service contract is to select an entity able to assign on a full-time basis (40 hours/week) a Financial Controller / Internal Auditor at CTA premises in Wageningen (The Netherlands).
The duties and responsibilities of the Financial Controller / Internal Auditor will include:
- Approval of budgetary commitments and all items of expenditure, revenue and advances
- Ensuring expenditure or revenue is consistent with budget, financial regulations and internal rules as well as the financial regulations of the donors funding CTA, including for operations carried out in the field
- Implementation and maintenance of a risk management framework to assure principles of sound financial management are applied.
- Preparation and compliance of financial reporting, including interim management reports, payment requests and financial statements
- Being the contact person for CTA with the external auditors in charge of the verification of expenditure, statutory audit and other audits
- Periodic audit of financial, accounting and administrative systems and processes and suggestions for updates and improvements.
The Financial Controller / Internal Auditor is expected to have the following qualifications and experience:
- Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in business administration, finance, or accounting.
- A professional accounting qualification such as Chartered Public Accountant or Chartered Accountant (CA) is a requirement.
- A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience including responsibilities in financial control and/or internal audit.
- Experience with public organisations and/or publicly funded programmes / projects.
- Be fluent in English.
Would be considered as key assets:
- Knowledge of International Public Sector Accounting Standards.
- Knowledge of EU financial regulations and experience in financial auditing of projects funded by the EU and other donors.
- Working knowledge of Dutch.
1.3 - Number of Lots
1.4 - Duration of the Contract and Maximum Budget
The duration of the contract is 9 months, from 1st of June 2019 to 29th of February 2020.
The maximum budget available for the services to be provided for the duration of the contract is 132,500.- Euros, VAT excluded.
Note: CTA may use a negotiated procedure to extend services already underway, if CTA considers it necessary. There are two scenarios:
- Complementary services not included in the main contract but which, due to unforeseen circumstances, have become necessary to perform the contract, provided that the aggregate amount of additional services does not exceed 50% of the value of the principal contract;
- Additional services consisting of the repetition of similar services entrusted to the contractor, providing these services (i) are justified by special circumstances, and (ii) do not exceed the value and duration of the initial contract.
2. Participation conditions
2.1 - Eligibility
Participation in the invitation to tender is open equally to natural or legal persons of the ACP States, EU Member States, official EU candidate countries, member States of the European Economic Area participating individually.
However, interested candidates MUST have a registered office (legal persons) or be permanent resident (natural persons) in The Netherlands and be able to carry out the work at CTA’s premises in Wageningen (The Netherlands).
Candidates must not be in one of the exclusion situations listed in § 4.1, Point B below.
2.2 - Number of Tenders
Tenderers may submit only one tender as team leader or member of a consortium.
2.3 -Exclusion Situations
A natural or legal person in a situation of ineligibility may not participate in the tender (see § 4.1, Points A and B below).
Participation by an ineligible entity shall entail the automatic elimination of the tender submitted.
2.4 -Grouping and Subcontracting
Grouping – consortium – of candidates and subcontracting are NOT authorised.
3. Projected timetable
- Deadline for submission of expressions of interest, 08 April 2019
- Indicative date of receipt of tender documents by short-listed candidates, 15 April 2019
- Indicative date for submission of tenders, 15 May 2019
- Indicative date of the start of the contract, 01 June 2019
4. Selection and awarding criteria
4.1 - Candidate Selection Criteria
The criteria for selecting candidates are based on:
- Their eligibility
- Their financial and economic capacities
- Their technical and professional capacities.
A. Registration: For legal persons, documents or copies of documents issued by a recognised and competent authority according to national law and customs, certifying that the tenderer is duly registered in an eligible country and has a registered office in The Netherlands; For natural persons, documents or copies of documents certifying that the tenderer is a citizen of one of the eligible countries and is a permanent resident in The Netherlands.
B. A sworn statement signed and dated at least 90 days as of the date of submission, to be prepared on company letterhead, certifying that he/she/it is NOT in one of the following exclusion situations:
- Is in a state of bankruptcy, liquidation, judicial settlement, discontinuance of activity, or in any suchlike situation resulting from proceedings of the same nature in the national legislation and regulations;
- Is the subject of bankruptcy, liquidation or judicial settlement proceedings, or any other proceedings of the same nature in the national legislation or regulations;
- Has been sentenced by judgement having the force of res judicata (i.e. against which there is no further appeal) for any offence that compromises his professional conduct;
- Has been guilty of gross professional negligence;
- Has failed to fulfil his obligations concerning the payment of social security contributions in accordance with the relevant legal provisions of the country in which the he/she/it is established;
- Has failed to meet his obligations concerning the payment of taxes and charges in accordance with the relevant legal provisions of the country in which the he/she/it is established;
- Is or has been guilty of making false statements when providing the information required by CTA for his participation in a contract;
- Has been found to have seriously failed to meet his contractual obligations arising out of another contract concluded with CTA.
Economic and Financial Capacity
C. A one-page declaration attesting to annual turnover figures for the last three (3) years in interim recruitment / fixed-term consultancy services (i) for all industries, and (ii) in the finance and accounting field.
Technical and Professional Capacity
D. A description of the company and of its capacity (network, resources, means, tools) to provide interim recruitment / fixed-term consultancy services (maximum 2 pages A4).
E. A list of relevant references for the last three years providing the following details: start date, duration, client name, type of client (private, public…), profile provided, value of services provided in person-day (maximum 1 page A4).
F. A description of the process used to provide a short-list of available candidates for an assignment, including a timeline (maximum 2 pages A4).
4.2 - Contract Awarding Criteria
The candidates shortlisted (a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8) following the call for expression of interest will be issued the tender documents. They will be invited to submit a technical tender and a financial tender to CTA.
The contract will be awarded to the tenderer whose tender, said to be the most economically advantageous, gets the highest score, said score being obtained by a weighing between the technical quality and the price, according to an 80/20 distribution key.
4.3 - Confidentiality
The information provided by candidates/tenderers during a tender procedure is treated as confidential.
The entire evaluation procedure is also confidential. The decisions of the evaluation committee are collegial, and its deliberations are conducted behind closed doors. The members of the evaluation committee are bound by the obligation of secrecy. The evaluation reports and written minutes in particular, are intended mainly for internal use and their confidential aspects may not be communicated to the tenderers or to any other party.
5. Expressions of interest
5.1 - Presentation of Expressions of Interest
Expressions of interest must be presented in English (except for legal documents issued by third parties) in the order described above:
- Financial and economic capacities
- Technical and professional capacities.
All the documents listed in § 4.1 must be provided and numbered as indicated (A, B, C, D, E and F).
Expressions of interest which do not include all the documents requested may be considered as non-compliant and rejected.
5.2 - Deadline for Receiving Expressions of Interests and Dispatching Procedures
Expressions of interest must be sent to the attention of Ms. Christine Webster, Senior Procurement & Grants Coordinator, CTA, Agro Business Park 2, 6708 PW Wageningen, the Netherlands and must arrive at the latest by Monday, 08 April 2019 @ 17h00 (CET), by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt. Alternatively, they may be sent by express courier or delivered physically, against an acknowledgement of receipt, at the latest by 17h00 on the same date to the following address: CTA, Agro Business Park 2, 6708 PW Wageningen, the Netherlands.
The cover letter must mention in the reference line: “Call for Expression of Interest – Pre-qualification of Candidates for the Provision of Financial Control / Internal Audit Services”.
N.B. Expressions of Interest must not be sent by e-mail.
All costs for preparation of an Expression of Interest / a Tender are to be borne by the applicant / tenderer.
If a call for expressions of interest / tenders, for which a contract notice has been published, is cancelled, a notice of cancellation will be published on the CTA site. CTA shall in no event be liable for any compensatory damages of any nature whatsoever, including, but not limited to damages for loss of earnings, and irrespective of their connection with the cancelation of a tender procedure.
Moreover, the launch of a tender procedure shall in no event be considered as representing a binding obligation for CTA to implement the proposed programme or project and to award a contract for the services.