Assistance to the National Bank of Tajikistan in Undertaking an Assessment of Financial Institutions Corporate Governance

Location:

Tajikistan

Business sector:

Financial institutions

Project number:

64911

Funding source:

Early Transition Countries Fund

Contract type:

Consultancy Services

Notice type:

Invitation for expressions of interest (CSU)

Issue date:

09 May 2016

Closing date:

30 May 2016   at  23:59   London

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Assignment Description: The National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) has approached the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("EBRD" or the "Bank") to seek support in strengthening corporate governance of financial institutions in Tajikistan. The Bank now intends to engage a consulting company (the "Consultant") to assist NBT in, undertaking a review of the corporate governance legislation and practices of financial institutions and develop an action plan, indicating key actions to be undertaken to improve the legislative framework, the supervisory processes and the practices of financial institutions (the "Assignment").

Since 2008, it has become clear that weaknesses in corporate governance, including inadequate oversight by the board in a number of banks, together with loose supervision from regulators, have contributed to excessive and imprudent risk-taking in the banking sector which has led in turn to the failure of individual banks and systemic problems. This is particularly critical for Tajikistan, as the financial sector is dominated by banks and microfinance institutions.

The selected Consultant is expected to provide the following services:
a. Review the relevant legislation related to corporate governance of financial institutions in Tajikistan and benchmark it with best practices, identifying weaknesses and proposing recommendations on how to tackle them.
b. Review the corporate governance practices in place at selected financial institutions in the country, through review of relevant corporate documentation, disclosure by financial institutions and interviews with key function holders.
c. Review the NBT's organisational structure and modus operandi, with reference to corporate governance monitoring and enforcement.
d. Draft a report drawing from all the reviews above mentioned and articulating the key actions that are considered necessary to tackle each action, with clear indications of the risks that the current practices are posing (the "Report").
e. Present and discuss the Report with the EBRD, the NBT and other stakeholders, and incorporate comments.
f. On the basis of the Report, prepare an action plan to be implemented by the NBT in order to improve the existing legal framework and the National Bank supervisory capacity.

Consultants should refer to the Terms of Reference ("ToR") for a more detailed description of service requirements. It should be noted that the ToR are provided for information purposes and might be subject to change before the contracting and commence of the services.

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

Assignment Duration: The Assignment is expected to start in June 2016 and has an estimated overall duration of 6 months.

Cost Estimate for the Assignment: EUR 160,000; exclusive of VAT. Subject to availability of funding, the 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 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: It is expected that the Assignment will be funded by the Early Transition Countries (ETC) Fund. Please note selection and contracting will be subject to the availability of funding.

Eligibility: There are no eligibility restrictions.

Consultant Profile: Corporate services are required. The Consultant will be a firm or a group of firms with extensive knowledge of best practices and standards related to corporate governance of financial institutions and supervisory practices and previous project experience:

1. in reviewing corporate governance of financial institutions and supervisory practices, preferably in Central Asia;
2. able to demonstrate detailed knowledge of the international and preferably Tajik corporate governance frameworks and standards and the framework governing the financial institutions' decision making process, management structure, corporate bodies’ functions and responsibilities, reporting and accountability lines, internal control structure (including evaluation of risk management, compliance and internal audit);
3. in reviewing and assessing legislative and regulatory frameworks and drafting legislative and regulatory amendments related to corporate governance of financial institutions, in line with regulatory best practices.

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

a Key Expert No 1: Team Leader/Corporate Governance Expert with preferably 15 years of previous professional experience in corporate governance of financial institutions and banking supervisory practices and in reviewing and assessing legislative and regulatory frameworks on corporate governance of financial institutions;
b Key Expert No 2: Team member with preferably 10 years of previous professional experience in Tajikistan as a legal or corporate governance consultant, with detailed knowledge of the Tajik banking legislation, corporate governance of banks and supervisory practices by the National Bank, as well as being fluent in English, Russian and Tajik languages.

All Key Experts shall be fluent in written and spoken English. It is essential that the Consultant's team contains some experts fluent in Tajik/Russian. Fluency in Russian by all team members will be considered a distinct advantage.

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. 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.

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

3. 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;

4. CVs of key experts who could be available to work on 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.

5. A Work Plan outlining the plan for the implementation of the main activities/tasks of the Assignment, their content and duration, phasing and interrelations, milestones (including interim approvals by the Client), and tentative delivery dates of the reports.

6. Team Input Table indicating the number of working days allocated to the Assignment by each Key Expert.

7. Short Technical Approach and Methodology explaining the understanding of the objectives of the assignment as outlined in the ToR, the technical approach, the methodology for implementing the tasks to deliver the expected output(s), and the degree of detail of such output (max. 10 pages).

The above information should not exceed 30 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.

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

Bank Contact Person:
Jenny Scheffel
Principal Advisor, Technical Cooperation Team
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. This is a "Selection from Shortlist" in accordance with the EBRD Procurement Policies and Rules. The selection will be made from responses to this notification only. Consultants will not be asked to submit a financial proposal as part of the expression of interest. The highest-ranked Consultant will be selected from a shortlist and be invited to negotiate the contract, subject to availability of funding.

2. The shortlist criteria and weightings are as follows:
(a) Firm's or group of firms' previous experience in similar projects on corporate governance of financial institutions and supervisory practices (15%);
(b) Firm's or group of firms' previous experience in projects on corporate governance of financial institutions in central Asia and preferably in Tajikistan (10%);
(c) Firm's or group of firms' previous project experience in reviewing and assessing the legislative and regulatory financial institutions’ corporate governance frameworks and drafting legislative and regulatory amendments, in line with best practices (15%);
(d) CV of proposed key experts (30%).
(e) Quality of the Consultant's proposal for assignment implementation in accordance with the ToR including Work Plan, Team Input Table and Short Technical Approach and Methodology as per above Submission Requirements (20%).
(f) Interviews (10%).

3. Interviews:
All firms with a combined score of 70% or more of the total marks available for criteria 2(a) – 2(e) inclusive will be invited to interview (criterion 2(f)).
EBRD will consult with the Consultants regarding the format (e.g. skype call, meeting in person, conference call, etc.) and date of the interviews at the time of the invitation. The interviews will be attended by all members of the Evaluation Committee and all Key Experts nominated by the Consultant.
Please note that all and any costs incurred by the Consultant in connection with attendance to interviews will not reimbursed by the Bank.