Consultancy – Customs Tax Expert (Tax Inspectors Without Borders), BPPS/SDG Finance

Location : Onsite/Homebased (mission to South Africa)
Application Deadline :12-Dec-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :18 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :18 months

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


UNDP is the United Nation's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience, and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP is on the ground in 170 countries and territories, supporting solutions to development challenges in these countries and developing national and local capacities that will help them achieve human development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNDP's policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, forms a spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan. Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP's Strategic Plan.

The OECD is a global economic forum working with 38 member countries and more than 100 emerging and developing economies to make better policies for better lives. Its mission is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. The OECD provides a forum in which governments work together to share experiences on what drives economic, social, and environmental change, seeking solutions to common problems.

The TIWB Secretariat is based in OECD Paris. Within UNDP, TIWB is managed under the Sustainable Finance Hub (SFH) - a finance and innovation platform, that draws on a critical mass of UNDP expertise, initiatives, and partnerships to support the mobilization and leveraging of resources for the SDGs and lead the implementation of the new UNDP’s private sector strategy and other initiatives. SFH is an integral part of both the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) and the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy (BERA), as well as part of the GPN. TIWB is managed under the Sustainable Finance Hub, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, New York with resource persons embedded in the UNDP offices in Pretoria, Bangkok, and Amman and a back office in Istanbul.

TIWB aims at a unique approach to capacity building through hands-on technical assistance on actual tax audits and related international tax issues. Specifically, the deployed expert will work with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) S) auditors on real audit cases to increase the tax administration's capacity to collect the taxes due by multinational enterprises, thus enhancing domestic resource mobilization and combating base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). Under TIWB, tax experts work alongside local officials of developing country tax administrations on tax-related issues, delivering practical solutions by working on confidential matters while operating under strict oaths of secrecy/ confidentiality agreements. With 106 completed and ongoing programmes (including 21 South-South programmes), TIWB has contributed to over USD 1.7 billion in additional revenues and tax assessments of USD 3.9 billion in programmes across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). For further information on TIWB and the partnership between the OECD and UNDP, please visit the TIWB website.

Building on the success of the TIWB model and recognizing the needs of tax administrations, TIWB has expanded to provide support in other tax areas. To support this new phase UNDP is having a call for a tax expert in customs to support SARS.

Duties and Responsibilities


The UNDP is looking for a customs tax expert to work as a TIWB expert. The main responsibility will be to provide technical assistance to the SARS in the customs sector. During the missions (on-site and remote), the Expert will provide support to local auditors focused on understanding and analysing the customs sector transfer pricing, in addition to the associated risks. This will include:

  • Providing practical guidance on Retrospective transfer pricing audits to improve the auditing process of International Trade declarations relating to Retrospective Transfer Pricing focusing on Customs.
  • Providing pieces of training through scheduled workshops to the Customs Division of SARS on case studies around topics, which may include basic Transfer Pricing (to ensure that customs auditors can analyse and interpret Transfer Pricing (TP) documents risk management and mitigation (identification of risk with best practice models), value chains and links to Transfer Pricing (including on Licensing and Registration, Risk Profiling, Conducting TP and AIP, Accreditation, and Compliance Management);
  • Advanced Customs Valuation (to assess the level of skill and capacity that currently exists);
  • Basic Transfer Pricing (to ensure that Customs auditors can analyse and interpret TP documents);
  • and Risk Management including mitigation (Identify Risk best practice model).
  • Build Customs tax auditors’ capacity to use available tools and identify key documents to request and review during an audit process.
  • Developing Transfer Pricing Audits training workshop material/ manuals that will be used as part of the capacity development training and doing the actual training so that information is shared for SARS to refer to later.
  • Where relevant, make recommendations aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of SARS in implementing South Africa’s tax legislation and the relevant administrative structures and processes.
  • Assist and guide the auditors during their inspections, formulating avenues for investigation and providing guidance on how to write up procedural papers for the inspections (asking for information, adjustment notifications).
  • Review the Customs legislation and administration ecosystem and identify misalignment, loopholes and challenges and opportunities and make recommendations for effective pro-growth tax administration.

The Customs sector expert will be expected to demonstrate extensive professional experience in the sector. The assignments require close collaboration with the TIWB Secretariat, the UNDP, and SARS. The role may require traveling to South Africa to deliver up to 5 missions In between on-site TIWB missions, there is a component of TIWB remote assistance. In times of restrictions on travel due to COVID-19, TIWB assistance is being provided remotely.

Expected outputs and deliverables:

The representative set of duties and responsibilities listed below is not exhaustive, and the terms of reference of each assignment will dictate the exact scope of the work. Key areas of support and activities will include:


Deliverables/ Outputs

Estimated number of days

Payments (in % of Contract)

Target Due Dates

Review and Approvals Required



A work plan developed in collaboration with SARS for the duration of the Programme, including short-, medium- and long-term Programme Impact Indicators



Within one month from the contract start date

UNDP - Project Manager, TIWB


Mission Report No.1 detailing the assistance provided to SARS, submitted (only non-confidential information to be mentioned)



Within 3 months from the contract start date


Mission Report No.2 detailing the assistance provided to SARS, submitted (only non-confidential information to be mentioned)



Within 6 months from the contract start date


Mission Report No.3 detailing the assistance provided to SARS, submitted (only non-confidential information to be mentioned)



Within 9 months from the contract start date


Mission Report No.4 detailing the assistance provided to SARS, submitted (only non-confidential information to be mentioned)



Within 12 months from the contract start date


Mission Report No.5 detailing the assistance provided to SARS, submitted (only non-confidential information to be mentioned)



Within 15 months from the contract start date


Submit the Final Report on case finalisation and programme evaluation (report to be accepted)



Within 18 months from the contract start date


Brief UNDP office in South Africa on progress and issues requiring local support, including recommendations on follow up work to support effective tax audits.



By or before the last day of all on-site missions and during remote work when relevant








Core competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the United Nation’s values and ethical standards, including demonstrating there are no conflicts of interest relating to any aspect of services provided to TIWB/UNDP/ host countries;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP, and partner organizations;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Able to work independently.

Functional competencies

  • Technical expertise in auditing customs;
  • Highly organized with strong analytical and research skills;
  • Excellent presentation and communications skills;
  • Ability to prepare succinct reports;
  • Ability to work in a team;
  • Diplomatic sensitivity and effective negotiating skills;
  • Focus on impact and results and positive response to critical feedback;
  • Flexible thinking.

Required Skills and Experience

Academic qualifications:

  • A university degree in economics, finance, law, international taxation and/or relevant fields (or in the absence, equivalent qualifications and professional experience) - mandatory


  • Minimum seven (7) years’ work experience in a Tax Administration - mandatory.
  • Minimum seven (7) years’ experience in audit of multinational enterprises with a focus on transfer pricing, specifically in the customs sector and ability to transfer skills/knowledge - mandatory
  • Experience in Customs Audit -mandatory.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Have a World Customs Organization (WCO) Customs Valuation accreditation (Customs Valuation Inspector) OECD accreditation (TP inspector).
  • Understanding of Customs Risk Management.
  • Expertise in international tax policies and legislation, with knowledge of experiences and good practices (notably, OECD guidelines) in countering cross-border tax avoidance.
  • Experience with the tax administration in the related tax jurisdiction.
  • Extensive experience in delivering capacity-building activities and training courses on transfer pricing and international tax issues.
  • Experience in drawing up technical guidelines for auditing.
  • Experience and proven success in general office practice, communication, and negotiation skills.


  • Fluency in written and spoken is required;

Application Procedure

The application package containing the following (to be uploaded as one file):

  • A cover letter with a brief description of why the Offer considers her/himself the most suitable for the assignment;
  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects and specifying the relevant assignment period (from/to), as well as the email and telephone contacts of at least three (3) professional references

Note: The above documents need to be scanned in one file and uploaded to the online application as one document.

Shortlisted candidates (ONLY) will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal.

  • The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around the specific and measurable deliverables of the TOR. Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR, and deliverables accepted and certified by the technical manager.

  • The financial proposal must be all-inclusive and take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; (excluding mission travel); living allowances at the duty station; communications, utilities and consumables; life, health and any other insurance; risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions (e.g., personal security needs, etc.), when applicable; and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract.
  • This consultancy is a home-based assignment, therefore, there is no envisaged travel cost to join duty station/repatriation travel.

    In the case of unforeseeable travel requested by UNDP, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between UNDP and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed. In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.

  • If the Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.


The Financial Proposal is to be emailed as per the instruction in the separate email that will be sent to shortlisted candidates.

Evaluation process

Applicants are reviewed based on Required Skills and Experience stated above and based on the technical evaluation criteria outlined below.  Applicants will be evaluated based on cumulative scoring.  When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Being responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation where technical criteria weighs 70% and Financial criteria/ Proposal weighs 30%.

Technical evaluation - Total 70% (70 points):

Desk review

  • Criteria 1. Relevant experience in a Tax Administration; Maximum Points: 10; Weight 10%;
  • Criteria 2. Relevant experience in audit of multinational enterprises with a focus on transfer pricing, specifically in the customs sector: Maximum Points: 10; Weight 10%;
  • Criteria 3. Expertise in international tax policies and legislation, with knowledge of experiences and good practices (notably, OECD and UN guidelines) in countering cross-border tax avoidance: Maximum Points: 10; Weight 10%;
  • Criteria 4. Extensive experience in delivering capacity-building activities and training courses on transfer pricing and international tax issues. Maximum Points: 10; Weight 10%;
  • Criteria 5: Experience in drawing up technical guidelines for auditing. Maximum Points: 10; Weight 10%;


Weight = 20 %; Maximum Points: 20.

Having reviewed applications received, UNDP will invite the top three/four shortlisted candidates for interview. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (49 points) of the maximum obtainable points for the technical criteria (70 points) shall be considered for the financial evaluation.

Financial evaluation - Total 30% (30 points)

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

  • p = y (µ/z), where
  • p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated
  • y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal
  • µ = price of the lowest priced proposal
  • z = price of the proposal being evaluated

Contract Award

Candidate obtaining the highest combined scores in the combined score of Technical and Financial evaluation will be considered technically qualified and will be offered to enter into contract with UNDP.

Institutional arrangement

The consultant will work under the guidance and direct supervision of UNDP - Project Manager, TIWB and will be responsible for the fulfilment of the deliverables as specified above.

The Consultant will be responsible for providing her/his own laptop.

Payment modality

  • Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified above and deliverables accepted and upon certification of satisfactory completion by the manager.
  • The work week will be based on 35 hours, i.e. on a 7 hour working day, with core hours being between 9h00 and 18h00 daily.

Annexes (click on the hyperlink to access the documents):

Any request for clarification must be sent by email to 

The UNDP Central Procurement Unit will respond by email and will send written copies of the response, including an explanation of the query without identifying the source of inquiry, to all applicants.

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