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Tracking audit recommendation/follow-up – SAI, ICT, accountability

Suva

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Suva
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Accounting (Audit, Controlling)
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Internal audit, Investigation and Inspection
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Closing Date: 2022-08-12

Background

Pacific Islands countries (PICs) boast “big ocean” economies, with young and mobile populations and highly resilient and adaptative societies. Past and recent investments have however fallen short of developing diverse economies offering inclusive services and opportunities, resilient to external shocks and the increasing pace of climate disasters. While the scale of Pacific economies does not allow them to respond to all these challenges alone, public investment and revenues would gain from empowered officials accountable to keep basic service delivery and development priorities in mind while driving fiscal decisions.

The “Accountable Public Finances to serve Pacific people – Vaka Pasifika” project (hereafter Vaka Pasifika project) targets documented challenges in the oversight and accountability of public finance in the Pacific. It aims at providing a platform for Pacific experts, decision-makers and thinkers to design tailored solutions. These solutions can then be supported by the project through funding and technical assistance. The project also provides opportunities for civil society and the media to better understand and engage with public finance cycles and for governments (central/local) to consult and engage with citizens on the budget. The Vaka Pasifika project is funded by the European Union until 2026. The project builds on the results of the “Strengthening Public Finance Management and Governance in the Pacific” (PFM) project implemented between 2018 and 2022.

The biggest output produced by SAIs are their audit reports, but across the Pacific there remain considerable challenges regarding how such audit reports are actually actioned. The parliamentary recommendations emerging from the audits reviews as well as recommendations formulated by SAIs in their reports demand a response by the concerned department, ideally with an action plan and solving of the highlighted issue. Government Follow-up on audit reports recommendations is one of the most poorly rated PEFA indicator throughout the region (PI28 sub-indicator). Similar observation can be made of the other oversight and accountability institutions, some have mandate to impose fines or sanction, or even refer matter to the judiciary yet beyond these actions they often struggle to follow-up on report’s recommendations.

Starting from this specific challenges, the focus of this consultancy is to come up with a proposal on how best can recommendations from SAIs and other accountability and oversight agencies be supported to improve PFM standards and results for Pacific populations.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

Reporting to the UNDP Vaka Pasifika PFM Project Manager, the Tracking Tool consultant will be in charge of designing a pool of solutions. Specific responsibilities will include:

  • Desk-based research and report on the current challenges linked to tracking of recommendations from SAIs and PAC in the Pacific as well as documented solutions;
  • Concept note and facilitation of consultations with Pacific SAIs;
  • Provide expert guidance and feedback on the AI and future of audit work discussions, review publication and ensure relevance for Pacific SAIs;

Expected Outputs and Deliverables

 

Deliverables

Indicative No. of days / due date

1

Desk-based research: report on the current state of recommendation tracking and the tools and approaches that have been adopted globally (with a focus on comparable context + practices that could credibly be implemented in the Pacific + innovation that could inspire tailored solutions) to improve the tracking and implementation of recommendations of both financial and performance audits. The report should include a review of the available international reports (PEFA, SAI PMF …), global and Pacific specific literature and recommendation section together with a methodology proposal and consultation workplan to finalise deliverable 2. While the project has an incentive to promote digital solutions the report should take a holistic approach and propose how ICT might (or not) fit into broader work on recommendations.

7 days/ Mid-September 22

2

Final report disseminated: plan, organise and facilitate consultations (virtual consultations + 3days in person workshop in RMI in October 2022) to select 3 (max) proposals on how to improve the adoption and implementation of audit recommendations in the Pacific. Reports on consultation and proposals will form the final report together with deliverable 1. The proposals should identify practical implementation approach (broad workplan), countries where this might be piloted,  

10days/Mid-November 22

3.

Advisory services. The Vaka Pasifika project is developing a number of activities in the second half of 2022. The consultant will be expected to: brainstorm and review concepts and proposals from a technical audit perspective and ensure they align with lessons learnt globally, provide insights on technical feasibility and provide alternative recommendations where needed. This is notably in link with: development of the fellowship programme (activity 1.1.), publication on artificial intelligence and audit in the Pacific, and technical assistance programme to SAIs (1.2.).

10 days/March 23

Institutional Arrangement

The Consultant will report to the UNDP PFM Project Manager Effective Governance.

The Consultant to provide their own IT equipment and access (computer and internet connection).  

 

Duration of the Work

The consultant will be required to work for a period of up to 27 days between August 2022 and March 2023.

Duty Station home based with one week of mission to RMI. The travel to RMI should be included in the financial proposal (equivalent of economic ticket returns, incidentals and lumpsum for daily allowance). The mission is expected to last a week.

 

Competencies

Corporate competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness by modelling UN values and ethical standards;
  • Demonstrates professional competence and is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
  • Display cultural, gender, nationality, religion and age sensitivity and adaptability.

 

Functional Competencies:

  • Demonstrated ability to work harmoniously in a multi-cultural environment;
  • Ability to work on own initiative as well as a member of a team and to work under pressure;
  • Excellent relationship management;
  • Excellent communication, facilitation, presentation and reporting skills;

Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • Bachelor’s or certification in audit, public finance or related field.

Experience

  • 5 years of professional experience on audit related work (financial/performance/compliance) preferably within a national or sub-national Supreme Audit Institution or within a legislature;
  • Experience providing technical advisory services to SAIs, PFM actors or oversight actors, preferably SAIs in the Pacific or SIDS context;
  • Experience specifically on tracking of recommendations and follow-up of SAI recommendations highly valued;
  • Experience on ICT tools for audit, innovation or tailored solutions to scarcely resources SAIs highly valued.
  • Experience conducting desk based and interviews for research as well as producing analysis and case studies;
  • Good understanding of the development context and governance structure of the Pacific is a strong advantage.

Language requirements

  • Fluency of English language is required;
  • Fluency in any Pacific language is a strong advantage.

 

Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments

 

Lump Sum Amount. The total amount quoted shall be all-inclusive and include all costs components required to perform the deliverables identified in the TOR, including professional fee, travel costs, living allowance (if any work is to be done outside the IC´s duty station) and any other applicable cost to be incurred by the IC in completing the assignment. The contract price will fixed output-based price regardless of extension of the herein specified duration. Payments will be done upon completion of the deliverables/outputs and as per below percentages:

 

Receipt and clearance of Deliverable 1. Initial report

40%

Receipt and clearance of Deliverable 2. Final report

30%

Receipt and clearance of Deliverable 3. Advisory services

30%

 

Evaluation Method and Criteria

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology Cumulative analysis

The award of the contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as a) responsive/compliant/acceptable; and b) having received the highest score out of set of weighted technical criteria (70%). and financial criteria (30%). Financial score shall be computed as a ratio of the proposal being evaluated and the lowest priced proposal received by UNDP for the assignment.

 

Technical Criteria for evaluation (max 70points)

 

Criteria 1. Years of relevant professional experience (audit + advisory services)

20

Criteria 2. Relevance of technical specialization (tracking, follow-up, ICT, developing context)

30

Criteria 3. Evidence of ability to deliver practical output (research, publication, understanding of development context)

20

UNDP may interview the technically qualified candidates as a means to validate the technical evaluation.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70% of the total technical points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

 

Documentation required

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications  to the link provided .

  • Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability for the duration of the assignment using the template provided in Annex II.
  • CV indicating all experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
  • Financial proposal, as per template provided in Annex II (in USD)
  • One-pager (500words max) perspective on effectiveness of recommendation tracking/follow-up tools and systems for SAIs.

Note: Successful individual will be required to provide proof of medical insurance coverage before commencement of contract for the duration of the assignment.

 

Incomplete, joint proposals and proposals sent to the wrong mailing address will not be accepted and only candidates for whom there is further interest will be contacted.

Individuals interested in this consultancy should apply and will be reviewed based on their own individual capacity. The successful individual may sign an Individual Contract with UNDP or request his/her employer to sign a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA) on their behalf by indicating this in the Offerors letter to Confirming Interest and Availability using Annex II.

 

Annexes

 

Women applicants are encouraged to apply

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