Project Description: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the "EBRD" or the "Bank") in conjunction with the European Commission ("EC") has developed a 3 Phases EU/EBRD Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area ("DCFTA") Programme for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine (the "Programme"). The EBRD DCFTA Programme will assist the development of the SME sector through a variety of investments supported by grant funding from the EU for risk mitigation, investment incentives to SMEs and technical assistance ("TA").
The overall purpose of the Programme is to support DCFTA-related priority improvements in SMEs operating in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine following the signing of the Association Agreements ("AAs") in 2014. Specifically, to increase the number of investments that enable SMEs to respond to challenges and opportunities created by the DCFTA, improve the availability and terms of long term funding for businesses in the three beneficiary countries and facilitate cross-border trade operations. In order to make use of the opportunities presented to them by the DCFTA, the businesses in the three countries will face challenges such as increased competitive pressures from better equipped enterprises, adhering to more demanding European Union ("EU") product standards, meeting health and safety standards of their workers and introducing more efficient and less polluting plant equipment and practices that comply with EU and international environmental legislation.
EBRD's Programme consists of 4 windows:
• Window 1 – Facilitating DCFTA-related investment through enhanced SME access to finance;
• Window 2 – Enhancing short- and medium-term trade financing access for businesses to facilitate cross-border trade and domestic distribution operations;
• Window 3 – Business advice for SMEs to enhance their technical, managerial, market knowledge and investment project development capacity;
• Window 4 – Policy dialogue to improve the domestic operating environment for SMEs.
EBRD will provide senior debt financing to Participating Financial Intermediaries ("PFIs") committed to the overall objectives of the DCFTA for on lending to sub-borrowers under Window 1 and guarantees and short term loans through its Trade Finance Programme under Window 2.
Under Window 1 the Bank is awarding two separate consultancy contracts: a Project Consultant ("PC") to assist with the implementation and monitoring of the Programme (with a focus on Window 1 but also being the platform for coordination and the collaboration across windows and stakeholders within the broader EU DCFTA Facility), and a Verification Consultant ("VC" or the "Consultant"), the subject of this Procurement Notice, who will be engaged to verify the compliance and technical implementation of the investments (sub-projects) by the sub-borrowers (SMEs) before the Incentive payment is released (the "Assignment"). The separate procurement process for the PC has been finalised in January 2016 and the relevant consultancy contract has been awarded.
Assignment Description: Investment incentives to sub-borrowers will be made available on verification by an independent verification consultant that sub-projects have been successfully implemented.
The objective of the Assignment is to ensure that the use of proceeds of each sub-loan and the related investment incentive due to sub-borrowers on completion of eligible investments 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 or in line with the List of Eligible Technologies (LET) procedures, on which the sub-projects were based.
The Verification Consultant will conduct validation of all sub-projects including, but not limited to, the following tasks:
-desk-based verification of small sub-projects (implemented through the LET approach);
- on-site check of all other sub-projects;
- confirm the level and amount of investment incentives applicable;
- validate against the investment plan that the sub-project has been completed substantially on the basis of the investment plan/LET approach and the CVR check-list prepared by the Project Consultant; and
provide to the EBRD, the PC and the relevant PFI, with an opinion whether the sub-project has been completed substantially in line with the investment plan/LET approach and the eligibility criteria – such opinion is to be in the form of a memo and a CVR certificate issued based on the CVR check list.\
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 September 2016 and has an estimated overall duration of 36 months. Subject to the availability of funding and satisfactory performance of the Consultant the duration may be extended.
Cost Estimate for the Assignment: EUR 500,000; 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 Bank's special status 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 purhcased 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: EU NIF through the "EU Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) Facility, EBRD DCFTA Programme".
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 Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova) and preferably with IFIs (or similar), including tasks as described above and specifically validating sub-projects against set criteria;
2. implementing relevant EU Directives and Regulations in the areas of environmental protection, occupational health and safety and product safety and quality, the acquis communautaire, as well as the transposition process, preferably in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.
The Consultant's team should at least consist of the following key experts:
1. Verification Consultants
2. Project Manager
Submission Requirements: Interested consultants are hereby invited to submit expressions of interest.
In order to determine the qualifications and competence of consulting firms seeking to be shortlisted, 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). The 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.
Bank Contact Person:
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)
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 shortlisting 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. CVs of key experts proposed (40%).
c.Firm's previous project experience in comparable assignments in transition economies (preferably Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova) (20%);
3. The firm being awarded the contract for the Project Consultant assignment will not be eligible for contract award for the Verification Consultant Assignment.