National Legal Expert (3 positions ) Office of the Legal Advisor to the President


Location : Monrovia, LIBERIA
Application Deadline :12-Sep-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
18-Sep-2018
Duration of Initial Contract :6 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 months

Background

Liberia’s natural resources continue to be a major source of hope for inclusive economic growth and development, as well as social transformation. The management of these natural resources, however, has come under scrutiny through the role of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) concessionaires, whose operations were meant to generate employment and stimulate local economy. The sobering reality however is that concessions have not lived up to the expectations of the key stakeholders – the Government of Liberia, the investors, and the Project Affected Communities (PACs). While the decline in global commodity prices since 2011 has undermined revenues, progress in developing some of the concessions has been slow, particularly in the agriculture sector. Expected contributions to tax revenue and royalties from the investments have not been realized and local/community development spin-offs have not been delivered. Alongside these challenges, land concession conflicts and labour disputes associated with concessions continue to be a key driver of conflict.

The perennial inability of the Government to not only award concessions, but also to negotiate contracts that are beneficial to the country and then ensure implementation has come under criticism. Despite measures to enhance public contracting, including the enactment of the Public Procurement and Concession Act that established the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission, the establishment of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the National Bureau of Concessions, application of the legal and regulatory framework for the granting and management of concessions and implementation of this framework remains uneven, including performance monitoring to ensure full compliance.

With the election of George M. Weah as President, human development and a Pro-Poor agenda has assumed significance. Among his top priorities over the first 150 days is the review of all existing concessions agreements/contracts to establish the extent of legal compliance and enforcement of the terms and conditions, subject to the requirements of Liberian Law, and if not, to propose recommendations to address the default, and second, advise on prospective contracts to be signed. In this respect, the President has set up a Special Presidential Review Committee (the Committee, or SPRC) which has commenced work. The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs (Office of the President) has requested UNDP technical support for the work of the Committee.

Toward this end and to support Government’s effort aimed at accelerating economic development, and in cognizance of the new government’s pro-poor governance agenda, UNDP is seeking the services of an Independent expert(s) through a one-month consultancy to support the imperatives of the Committee.


Duties and Responsibilities

UNDP intends to engage International Expert(s) to assist the SPRC in their review of concession agreements/contracts in Liberia based on internationally accepted standards in the extractive sector. To improve legal compliance in the Liberia extractive sector and strengthen the foundation for fair, efficient and sustainable future operations and management, the Independent Expert(s) is expected to provide the following support services:

  •  Prepare an inception report clarifying the methodology/approach to the assignment and a related work implementation plan;
  • Advise on concession review frameworks and the common test of legality (in terms of process and substantive legal requirements);
  • Review and advise on the legality review matrix drafted by the Committee;
  • Support the SPRC to review concession agreements/contracts and other relevant documentation to obtain an understanding of the context of the legal operating environment of the agency review;
  • Prepare and submit mid-term report for feedback from the Committee;
  • Submit the finalized report on findings and recommendations informed by comments received to the Committee for endorsement and onward submission to the President;
  • Support the SPRC in developing a framework for improved contract award, negotiation, implementation and monitoring, including community participation;
  • To provide such other support as would generally be needed to achieve the objective of the SPRC’s legal review.

Before commencement of the assignment including accessing contracts and agreements, the Independent Expert(s) shall sign the Code of Conduct of the Committee.

Some adjustments to the specific tasks may be proposed by the independent expert(s) for approval by the Committee.


Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates commitment to UNDP´s mission, vision and values;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Highest standards of of integrity, discretion and loyalty.

Functional Competencies:

  • Familiarity with the Liberian context is desired;
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills;
  • Excellent negotiation and advocacy skills and experience in coordinating and maintaining synergy with development partners and the UN system;
  • Usage of computers and office software packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems;
  • Possesses proven ability to analyze from a global perspective, with the ability to offer practical policy advice on economic issues based on local realities;
  • Uses Information Technology effectively as a tool and resource.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Advanced Law Degree with specialization in contract law, employment law or related field.

Experience:

  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible experience in providing legal services at least five (5) of which should be in the area of concessions agreement/contract law including past and present involvement in concessions, and familiar with concessions/contracts trends and best international practices;
  • Professional experience in the design, analysis, review and negotiation of concession agreements in natural resource sectors, preferably agriculture, mining, forestry, or infrastructure;
  • Previous transactional experience in concessions area, previous regulatory and assessment experience in conducting concession laws advisory and assessments.

Language Requirements: 

  • Fluency in the English Language (both written and spoken).

The selection of consultant will be aimed at maximizing the overall qualities in the following areas:

  • Criteria A:  Advanced Law Degree with specialization in contract law, employment law or related field -maximum points 15;
  • Criteria B:   At least 10 years of progressively responsible experience in providing legal services at least five (5) of which should be in the area of concessions agreement/contract law including past and present involvement in concessions, and familiar with concessions/contracts trends and best international practices – max points: 15;
  • Criteria C: Professional experience in the design, analysis, review and negotiation of concession agreements in natural resource sectors, preferably agriculture, mining, forestry, or infrastructure – max points: 20;
  • Criteria D:   Previous transactional experience in concessions area, previous regulatory and assessment experience in conducting concession laws advisory and assessments– max points: 15;
  • Criteria E:  Familiarity with the Liberian context is desired – max points: 10;
  • Criteria F:  Excellent negotiation and advocacy skills and experience in coordinating and maintaining synergy with development partners and the UN system– max points: 10;
  • Criteria G: Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems  – max points: 15;

Application process
Recommended Presentation of Proposal:

  • Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template10 provided by UNDP;
  • CV and or  Personal History Form (P11 form11);
  • Brief description of approach to work/technical proposal of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a proposed methodology on how they will approach and complete the assignment;
  • Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price and all other travel related costs (such as flight ticket, if applicable, per diem, etc), supported by a breakdown of costs. 

Criteria for Evaluation of Proposal: Only those applications which are responsive and compliant will be evaluated. Offers will be evaluated according to the Combined Scoring method – where the educational background and experience on similar assignments will be weighted at 70% out of the total passing score of 100 points and the price proposal will weigh  30% of the total of 30 points. The applicant receiving the Highest Combined Score that has also accepted UNDP’s General Terms and Conditions will be awarded the contract.


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.


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