Bosnia and Herzegovina - EU/EBRD SME Competitiveness Support Facility (SME-CSF): Verification Consultant

Location:

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Business sector:

Financial institutions

Funding source:

EBRD - EU SME Support Facility - Bosnia and Herzegovina

Contract type:

Consultancy Services

Notice type:

Invitation for expressions of interest (CSU)

Issue date:

13 Jan 2016

Closing date:

03 Feb 2016   at  23:59   London

Access eSelection

Project Description: Through the EU/EBRD SME Competitiveness Support Facility ("SME-CSF", or the "Facility") the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("EBRD" or the "Bank") aims to increase the capability of SMEs in Bosnia and Herzegovina to access the European Union (EU) market, as well as their ability to face competition by supporting the implementation of EU standards, through the provision of financing, investment incentives and technical assistance.

While the prospect of EU membership presents many positive opportunities for the country, progress with the adoption of the acquis communautaire will involve significant regulatory changes, giving rise to a large investment burden for enterprises to comply with the new standards. The relevant acquis covers some 145 directives, related to product safety, health and safety at work, all kind of industries and environment.

A general problem for investments of this nature is a lack of awareness by SMEs of the applicable regulations and compliance standards, coupled with limitations of access to suitable medium/long term financing. In order to overcome the various barriers to such upgrade investments by SMEs, EBRD is providing credit lines to Partner Banks ("PBs") in Bosnia and Herzegovina for on-lending to SMEs (the "sub-borrowers") for eligible investments (the "Project").

EBRD is expected to provide financing of EUR 20 million to three local PBs. The maximum sub-project size under the Facility is EUR 1,000,000 but a lower average is anticipated.

It is estimated that the total number of sub-loans which will be financed would be in the range of 50-75. This is an indicative number and does not take into account any sub-projects appraised but not financed.

Assignment Description: The Project will be complemented by grant funding from the EU to provide Project support in the form of Technical Assistance (TA) and Investment Incentives to sub-borrowers, payable after successful completion of the sub-projects.

The availability of EBRD funded SME finance should enable the SMEs to improve production capacities, enhance processes and quality of their products by the introduction of EU standards in the field of environmental protection, product safety and quality and occupational health and safety.
It should be noted that SMEs operating in the industrial and industrial-related services sectors are expected to be the main category of beneficiaries.

The Bank is awarding two separate consultancy contracts: 1) A Project Consultant (the "PC" or "Project Consultant") will market the Facility, perform investment needs and eligibility assessments and facilitate preparation of projects for loan applications. The second consultant, who is the subject of this procurement notice, will be a Verification Consultant ("VC" or "Verification Consultant") expected to verify the technical implementation of the investments by the sub-borrowers before the incentive payment is released to the relevant SME. The separate procurement process for the PC has been finalised in December 2015 and deployment has been initiated.

The objectives of the VC assignment are to:
• ensure that the use of proceeds of each sub-loan has met the eligibility criteria and that funded investments have been completed substantially on the basis of the investment plans prepared by the Project Consultant, on which the sub-projects were based;

• ensure that incentive fees due to sub-borrowers, on completion of eligible investments, are submitted for release by EBRD only when a sub-project is validated as compliant with the investment plans, and that no recommendation on release of incentive fees will be given where such validation was not possible.

The Verification Consultant's tasks will include, but are not limited to, the following:
• visit the site of each sub-project when such sub-project has been substantially completed;
• validate, against the investment plan, that the sub-project has been completed substantively on the basis of the investment plan and the Completion Validation Review ("CVR") check-list prepared by the Project Consultant;
• provide to EBRD and the relevant PB, an opinion whether the sub-project has been completed substantially in line with the investment plan and the eligibility criteria - such opinion to be in the form of a memo and a CVR certificate issued, based on the CVR check list, to include bank account details for the payment of the investment incentive to the SME;
• provide the Bank with a monthly report detailing the activities carried out during the reporting period, including planned activities for the next month.

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 Q1 of 2016 and has an estimated overall duration of 24 months. Subject to the availability of funding, satisfactory performance of the Consultant and the specific needs of the Bank the duration may be extended.

Cost Estimate for the Assignment: EUR 151,600; exclusive of VAT. Subject to availability of funding, the satisfactory performance of the selected Consultant, and the specific needs of the Bank, the Assignment may be extended beyond the current scope.
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: EBRD - EU SME Support Facility - Bosnia and Herzegovina

Eligibility: There are no eligibility restrictions.

Consultant Profile: Corporate services are required. The Consultant will be a firm preferably with previous project experience in:
1. implementing similar assignments, focussing particularly on SME investments through commercial banks in transition economies, preferably with IFIs (or similar), including validating sub-projects against set criteria;
2. implementing relevant EU Directives and Regulations in the areas of environmental protection, workers' safety and product quality and safety, the acquis communautaire, as well as the transposition process in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
3. working in the financial sector of the Western Balkans countries.

The Consultant's team should at least consist of the following key experts:
1. Project Manager;
2. Verification Consultants.

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

1. Company/group of firms' profile, organisation and staffing (max. 2-4 pages).

2. Details of previous project experience or similar assignments particularly 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 carry out the Assignment detailing qualifications, experience in similar assignments, particularly assignments undertaken in the previous five years, including information on contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided, assignment budget, main activities, objectives.

4. Completed Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet, the template for which is available from the following web-link: http://www.ebrd.com/pages/workingwithus/procurement/notices/csu/contact_sheet.doc.

The above information should not exceed 20 pages excluding CVs and contact sheet.

The complete expression of interest (including CVs, Consultant Declaration and Contact Sheet) should be submitted, in English electronically through e-Selection, to reach the Bank not later than the closing date. The expression of interest shall be one file (pdf). EBRD reserves the right to reject applications of firms submitting more than one file. Only if the permissible file size is exceeded (4MB), the Consultant may split the expression of interest into further files.

In addition, 2 hard copies of the above information, in English, should be submitted to the Bank in an envelope marked "Expression of Interest for Verification Consultant Bosnia and Herzegovina - EU/EBRD SME Competitiveness Support Facility (SME-CSF)", to reach the Bank not later than the closing date, marked for the attention of the Bank's Contact Person. Queries may be addressed to the Bank's Contact Person only.

Bank's Contact Person:
Jenny Scheffel, Principal Technical Cooperation Advisor
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square, London EC2A 2JN, United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 20 7338 7088
E-mail: ScheffeJ@ebrd.com (submissions should be sent through eSelection and NOT to this email address)

Notes:
1. The selection will normally be made from responses to this notification only. Consultants will not be asked to submit a proposal. The highest-ranked Consultant will be selected from a shortlist and invited to negotiate the contract, subject to availability of funding.

2. The shortlist criteria are as follows:
a. Firm's previous project experience relevant to the assignment, focussing particularly on SME investments through commercial banks in transition economies, preferably with IFIs, as well experience with EU Directives and Regulations (40%);
b. Firm's previous project experience in comparable assignments in Western Balkans region (20%);
c. CVs of key experts proposed (40%).

3. The firm being awarded the contract for the Project Consultant assignment will not be eligible for contract award for the Verification Consultant Assignment.