This service contract notice defines the rules for submission and awarding framework contracts in accordance with CTA’s Procurement Procedures and Rules for Awarding Contracts (available at https://www.cta.int/en/working-with-cta).
I. CONTRACT DESCRIPTION
1. Type of contract
The contract notice is intended solely to select, based on a general tender, parties entitled to subsequently provide specific services related to the scope of the contract described hereafter (Paragraph 2).
At the end of the evaluation procedure, framework contracts will be concluded with the successful tenderer(s) selected for the lot. The framework contracts have a value of Euro 0. Only subsequent contracts concluded for the provision of specific services will have a contractual value.
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 through innovations in sustainable agriculture.
CTA operates under the framework of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (the Cotonou Agreement). CTA is funded by the European Development Fund through two types of grants: an annual operating grant and an action grant corresponding to the programme of work. Currently the action grant covers the programme of work 2017-2020.
The programme of work focusses on the following priority areas:
- Youth entrepreneurship, job creation and enterprise development through access to business development services and ICT solutions;
- Increasing the productivity and profitability of agricultural value chains through innovations in ICTs;
- Strengthening smallholder farmers’ resilience to climate change by promoting climate-smart agricultural practices.
The programme is implemented through projects in the field carried out by ACP-based organisations and funded through sub-grants awarded by CTA.
A project can be implemented by one or more organisations, in different locations of the ACP countries. Currently about 35 major projects are being implemented, corresponding to approximately 90 contracts representing a total value of approximately 17 million euros.
The terms of payment are defined in the individual contracts concluded with ACP-based organisations to implement projects or project components. Payments of instalments (except advance payments) are subject to the submission and approval of technical and financial reports. The financial reports must in particular:
- Include a statement of actual eligible expenditure, presented in accordance with the different headings and detailed items outlined in the budget.
- Be accompanied by all original invoices and receipts attesting to proof of payment (except for lump sum costs) as per budget.
- Be accompanied by bank documents attesting to the local or non-Euro currency equivalent of the funds received from CTA.
- Be prepared in the format as detailed in the budget and cross-reference to the supporting documents.
- Include the eligible costs only for the reporting period and be reported in the Euro.
- Be prepared on the cash-basis; amounts not paid for are, in principle, not eligible.
The services to be provided by the framework contractor(s) can be summarised as follows:
- Verify the accuracy of the financial reports based on the supporting documents.
- Indicate the costs in the financial report as prepared by the partner, which are not cross-referenced to supporting documents.
- Verify the mathematical accuracy of the financial reports, including the correct conversion of amounts in a non-Euro currency.
- Confirm that the eligible costs reported are for the activities as funded under the grant-contract by CTA only are related to the period of the financial report covered.
- Document all findings and observations when concluding the activities in a supporting (electronic) file with the revised financial report, detailed with cross-referenced supporting documents.
Detailed Terms of Reference will be provided, each time a call for tender is launched for a specific contract.
3. Number of lots
Number of lots: One
4. Maximum budget
Maximum indicative total budget for subsequent contracts concluded for the provision of specific services: € 300,000 (three hundred thousand euros).
II. PARTICIPATION CONDITIONS
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 or through a grouping – consortium – of candidates.
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 Paragraph 11, Point B below.
6. Number of tenders
Tenderers may submit only one tender as team leader or member of a consortium.
7. Exclusion situations
A natural or legal person in a situation of ineligibility may not participate in the tender (see Paragraph 11, Points A and B below).Participation by an ineligible entity shall entail the automatic elimination of the tender submitted.
8. Subcontracting possibilities
Subcontracting is NOT authorised.
III. PROVISIONAL CALENDAR
9. Indicative start date of the contract
The framework contract will be concluded no later than 15 April 2019. The framework contractors may be invited within one month of this date to submit a tender for specific services, and at later dates depending on CTA’s needs.
10. Duration and implementation of the contract
A framework contract will be concluded with the successful tenderers for a maximum period of 12 months.
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.
IV. SUBMISSION OF TENDERS
11. Content of tenders
The applicable language for the call for tenders and all the documents is French or English. The tenderer must include the following documents:
A. Eligibility: 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:
(i) 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;
(ii) Is the subject of bankruptcy, liquidation or judicial settlement proceedings, or any other proceedings of the same nature in the national legislation or regulations;
(iii) 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;
(iv) Has been guilty of gross professional negligence;
(v) 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;
(vi) 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;
(vii) Is or has been guilty of making false statements when providing the information required by CTA for his participation in a contract;
(viii) Has been found to have seriously failed to meet his contractual obligations arising out of another contract concluded with CTA.
C. A one-page declaration attesting to annual turnover figures for the last three (3) years for similar services.
In the case of a consortium, each member of the consortium must provide documents A, B and C. It is to be noted that the rule of nationality does not apply to either the tenderers’ employees or the individual experts proposed by the tenderer.
D. A brief description of the company or the individual’s qualifications and areas of expertise (half-page A4) followed by a list of relevant references for the last three years describing the assignments carried out in relation to the services to be provided. Each reference shall provide the following details: date, client name, type of client (private, public…), summary of scope and services provided (experience with EU-funded or other subsidy audits or verifications services shall be mentioned explicitly), value of the services provided in person-day (maximum 3 pages A4 in total).
E. A list of the current professional staff - senior auditors and junior auditors - specifying if they are permanent or temporary staff (maximum one-page A4) followed by a summary CV of each staff who could be assigned to subsequent contracts concluded for the provision of specific services. Each summary CV shall provide the following information: name, date of birth, highest relevant diploma/degree and certification if any, years of professional experience, years of relevant experience, current position, summary of relevant experience, capability to work in English or French (half-page A4 per CV).
In the case of a consortium, the tender documents must demonstrate the technical and professional capability of each consortium member.
F. A financial offer in Euro indicating the unit price range for flat hourly rates (minimum to maximum, considering e.g. the level of experience).
The tenderers must take note that the rates proposed shall be (i) all-inclusive, and (ii) fixed and not subject to revision during the entire duration of the framework contract.
Prices must be quoted exclusive of value added tax (VAT), since CTA is exempt from VAT in accordance with article 15, paragraph 10 of directive 77/388/EEC and pursuant to the headquarters agreement concluded on 7 August 1984 between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and CTA.
Documents must be numbered in accordance with the specified numbering (A, B, C…). Any additional documents (brochure, letter, etc.) attached to the tender will not be taken into consideration.
12. Deadline for receipt of tenders and the procedure for transmitting tenders
Tenders 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, 25 March 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: “Framework Contracts: Expenditure verification of sub-grants awarded by CTA”.
N.B. Tenders must not be sent by e-mail.
All costs for preparation of tenders are to be borne by the tenderers.
V. SELECTION OF FRAMEWORK CONTRACTORS
13. Evaluation of tenders
- Administrative verification
- Verification of the tenderer’s eligibility based on:
- Document(s) issued by a recognised and competent authority according to national law and customs, certifying that the tenderer fulfils the conditions stated in Paragraph 5 (Document(s) A);
- The sworn statement by the tenderer confirming that he/she/it does not fall within the scope of the exclusion situations (Document B).
- Verification of compliance with administrative requirements, in particular:
- The date of delivery of the tender;
- The authorised language(s) for submitting the tender;
- the presence and validity of all the documents and information required from the tenderer (Documents A to F) and, if applicable, those of any consortium members;
- Assessment of the tenderer’s financial and economic capability
- Adequacy of annual turnover figures for the last three (3) years for similar services (Document C) to the indicative value of the services to be provided.
Tenders that are not compliant with the administrative requirements and/or tenders from tenderers with insufficient financial and economic capability will be rejected.
- Assessment of the tenderer’s technical and professional capability
The assessment of the technical and professional capability will be carried out in accordance with the following criteria:
- the relevance, number and quality of the references (Document D) with the services to be provided
- the relevance of the expertise and competences of the tenderer’s human resources (Document E) with the services to be provided •
- Assessment of the financial offer
The financial offer (Document F) will be examined for tenderers:
- whose tenders comply with the administrative requirements;
- that offer adequate financial and economic guarantees
- that offer adequate technical and professional guarantees.
Only financial offers presented as requested (see Paragraph 11 above, Point F) will be considered.
14. Production of the list of framework contractors
Tenderers will be selected as framework contractors if the following conditions are fulfilled:
- Their tender is compliant with the administrative requirements;
- They offer adequate financial, economic, technical and professional guarantees; and
- The fees proposed.
A minimum of two entities and a maximum of eight entities will be placed on the list of framework contractors.
The entire evaluation procedure is 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.
VI. CONTRACTING PROCESS
The successful tenderers will be informed in writing.
They may be requested to provide, at CTA’s request, proof that they do not fall within the scope of any of the exclusion situations listed in their sworn statement (Document B) or proof regarding their financial, economic, technical or professional situation.
Any successful tenderer that fails to provide the requisite proof within 14 calendar days from the date of the request shall be removed from the list of framework contractors.
Unsuccessful tenderers will be informed by letter or e-mail that their tenders have not been accepted.
17. Signature of the framework contract(s)
Each framework contractor must sign, date and return the contract to CTA within 30 days after receipt of the contract.
If a framework contractor fails to comply with this requirement, the said contractor’s registration on the list of framework contractors may be cancelled.
The list of framework contractors will be published on CTA’s web site (www.cta.int) within 45 days of signature of the last framework contract between CTA and the contractor(s).
18. Implementation of the framework contracts
The procedures for awarding contracts for specific services (i.e. activating framework contracts) are defined in the Section 3.7 of the CTA’s Procurement Procedures and Rules for Awarding Contracts available at https://www.cta.int/en/working-with-cta.
Tenderers are invited to read them carefully.
If a call for 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.