Facilitating Participation from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in public tenders conducted on the Tunisian eProcurement system (TUNEPS) - Policy Advice and SMEs Capacity Building



Business sector:


Funding source:

EBRD Shareholder Special Fund

Contract type:

Consultancy Services

Notice type:

Invitation for expressions of interest (CSU)

Issue date:

04 Feb 2016

Closing date:

18 Feb 2016   at  23:59   London

Access eSelection
Note: This Procurement Notice (ID 51178) has been re-published following a re-launch of the original procurement process (ID 50172). Firms which previously submitted an Expression of Interest may re-submit.

Assignment Description

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD or the Bank) is supporting the Government of Tunisia to enhance the country’s national public procurement legal framework. The 2013 public procurement law of Tunisia modernised and decentralised the country's public procurement system and introduced an eProcurement platform, TUNEPS. While the public procurement legal framework has improved, adequate access to procurement opportunities for local suppliers, especially SMEs has to be ensured to make procurement more competitive and efficient. Furthermore, there is a need for the public procurement law to be accompanied by further technical assistance to ensure its benefits are fully realised. Such measures would include introducing simple electronic procedures for small value repetitive purchasing, in a way that would enable greater participation by local SMEs.

In this regard, HAICOP, the Tunisian public procurement authority in charge of developing public procurement policy and operating TUNEPS, would require adequate regulations and operational policies for implementing modern eProcurement procedures to be used by the SMEs in Tunisia.

As demonstrated by the experience of other transition economies in the EBRD region, complex procurement procedures and the lack of skills of local suppliers combined with insufficient independence of review procedures are among the major issues faced by the countries in the EBRD region. Without local suppliers actively competing for public contracts, public tenders may easily turn into abuse of power. Limited response to public tenders may allow authorities to contract with discretionally selected suppliers, which distorts competition and prevents local market development.

For the above reasons, the legal framework should incorporate simple online procedures for small value public contracts, free access to procurement opportunities through online publication of notifications and tender documents and free and user-friendly online submission mechanisms which enable small businesses to compete better for regional and local contracts while decreasing the scope for manipulation of tender results.

In compliance with international best practices, the Bank aims at enhancing the ability of Tunisian SMEs to utilise business opportunities arising from the availability of TUNEPS for conducting public contracts. The project is being implemented in cooperation with Korean experts, engaged via KSP and the Korean Technical Cooperation Fund at the EBRD.

The Bank now intends to engage a consulting company (the Consultant) to assist in implementing improvement measures in the national public procurement framework allowing SMEs to participate in electronic public tenders.

The selected Consultant is expected to provide the following services:

1. Identify appropriate international best practice for online small value contracts procedures, commonly known as e-Shopping, and develop policies for implementing eProcurement procedures and conduct a drafting workshop for HAICOP and TUNEPS staff to develop regulations for practical implementation of “e-Shopping” in Tunisia;

2. Advise and assist the Tunisian public procurement authority (HAICOP) throughout implementation of new legal instruments, including conducting a seminar for HAICOP and TUNEPS staff, together with experienced officials from the EU countries which have recently introduced successful SMEs policies, including a benchmarking exercise on best practice for “e-Shopping” in Europe and globally, in Korea in particular;

3. Design and deliver a training programme for SMEs in local language, with a minimum of 1 session in each regional town in Tunisia. The training programme is to be based on training curriculum and training manuals developed for TUNEPS by Korean experts, and covering in particular:

(a) business skills for developing proposals and tenders for TUNEPS;
(b) procurement skills for successful eligibility check, pre-qualification and tendering;
(c) step by step training in submitting proposals in the “e-Shopping Mall” and other online tender procedures; and
(d) step by step training in exercising rights to debrief and to complain against procurement decisions.

4. Deliver a ‘Training of Trainers’ programme in local language for selected HAICOP and TUNEPS staff and professionals identified by Union of Industry, Business and Crafts (UTICA), in order to create local capacity to deliver training on electronic procedures to small businesses.

Status of Selection Process: Interested firms or groups of firms are hereby invited to submit expressions of interest.

Assignment Start Date and Duration: The Assignment is expected to start in April 2016 and has an estimated overall duration of 24 months.

Cost Estimate for the Assignment: EUR 190,000 (exclusive of VAT).
The Consultant must determine whether any VAT would be chargeable on the services and the basis for that determination, without taking into consideration the special status of the Bank as an IFI and state this to the Bank in their response to the Invitation for Expressions of Interest. To the extent that a Consultant incurs input VAT on goods and services purchased in connection with the provision of services (e.g. VAT on airline ticket) which is not otherwise recoverable by the consultant from the local tax authority, the gross cost to the consultant of such expenses shall be treated as a reimbursable expense.

Funding Source: It is anticipated that the contract will be financed through the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.

Eligibility: There are no eligibility restrictions.

Consultant Profile: Corporate services are required. The Consultant will be a firm or a group of firms with

1. Previous project experience in drafting public procurement legal and policy documents;.

2. Previous project experience in developing and carrying out eProcurement development and implementation;

3. Previous project experience in desiging and delivering training preferably in the SEMED region (Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan);

4. Language proficiency (both English and French for international experts and French and Arabic for local expert).

The Consultant’s expert team is expected to include key experts as follows:

1. Recognised international public procurement policy policy expert, to be put in charge of the policy advice component, that should have preferably 10 years of public procurement policy and legal drafting experience, as well as training experience, preferably with public procurement authorities in SEMED countries.

2. International eProcurement expert that should have preferably 8 years of electronic procurement development experience, as well as training experience.

3. Local public procurement expert that should have preferably 5 years of public procurement policy and legal experience in Tunisia.


Submission Requirements: In order to determine the capability and experience of Consultants seeking to be selected for this Assignment, the information submitted should include the following:

1. Company profile, organisation and staffing (max. 2-4 pages);

2. Details of previous project experience or similar assignments undertaken in the previous five years, including information on contract value, contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided (if different from duration) , main activities, objectives;

3. CVs of key experts who could be available to work on the Assignment;

4. Completed contact sheet, the template for which is available from the following web-link:


The above information should not exceed 15 pages excluding CVs and contact sheet.

The complete expression of interest (including CVs and Contact Sheet) shall be one file (pdf or Word), not exceeding 4MB, to be uploaded to eSelection. The EBRD reserves the right to reject applications of firms submitting more than one file. Only if the permissible file size is exceeded, the Consultant may split the expression of interest into further files.

Expressions of Interest shall be submitted, in English, electronically through e-Selection, to reach the Bank not later than the closing date.

Bank Contact Person:
James Yoo
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
Tel: + 44 20 7338 6369
Email: YooJ@ebrd.com (submissions should be sent through eSelection and NOT to this email address)


1. Following this invitation for expressions of interest, a shortlist of qualified firms will be formally invited to submit proposals. Consultant selection and contracting will be subject to availability of funding.
2. The evaluation criteria are as follows:
(a) Previous project experience in drafting public procurement legal and policy documents and delivering related training - 30%
(b) Previous project experience in electronic procurement development and implementation - 30%
(c) Previous project experience in delivering training in the SEMED region (Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan) - 10%
(d) CVs of key experts - 30%