Consultant – Legal Expert – State Procurement Facilitation Cell


Location : Guwahati, Assam, INDIA
Application Deadline :22-Mar-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :Six months of consultancy spread over a period of 12 months

Background

UNDP strives to have a workforce which reflects diversity and gender balance and applies an equal opportunities approach. All selection is on merit.

Government of Assam (GoA) has received financing from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) towards the cost of “Assam State Public Finance Institutional Reforms” project (ASPIRe Project). A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in the form of a Society named, Assam Society for Comprehensive Financial Management Systems (AS-CFMS) has been created for implementing the ASPIRe Project. ASPIRe project envisages to i) strengthen the the PFM institutional framework and systems, ii) improve institutional and human resource capacity in the areas of cash and debt management, procurement and Public Private Partnerships (PPP), and iii) build the capacity of the Government of Assam’s officials in Finance and line departments in various aspects of Public Financial management (PFM).

To strengthen efficiency and transparency in public procurement; GoA has enacted the Assam Public Procurement Act, 2017. The objective of the Act is to provide a sound legal framework for public procurement reflecting the principles of transparency, efficiency, economy, and accountability and to scale up the use of e-procurement. The Assam Public Procurement Rules are currently in the final stage of approval and are likely to be notified soon.

The Assam Public Procurement Act, 2017 prescribes formation of the State Procurement Facilitation Cell (SPFC). This cell shall serve the purpose of providing policy and technical guidance to the government in procurement related matters. The functions of SPFC as outlined in the APPA are as follows:

  1. to maintain and update the State Public Procurement Portal set up under section 17;

  2. to arrange for training and certification specified in terms of section 48;

  3. to recommend to the State Government measures for effective implementation of the provisions of this Act;

  4. to provide guidance, consistent with the provisions of this Act and the rules and guidelines made thereunder, to the procuring entities with respect to the matter relating to public procurement;

  5. to study different methods of public procurement and prepare and recommend standard bidding documents, pre-qualification documents or bidder registration documents;

  6. subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 28, encourage procuring entities to adopt electronic procurement; and

  7. to discharge such other functions as may be assigned to it by the State Government consistent with the provisions of this Act and the rules and guidelines made there under.

The Government of Assam (GoA) has sought UNDP’s technical assistance in strengthening the State Procurement Facilitation Cell (SPFC) by providing experts in the public procurement domain.


Duties and Responsibilities

The overall objective of the proposed services is to provide technical support to the State Procurement Facilitation Cell (SPFC) in effective implementation of the Act and Rules in the State of Assam. The Consultant is expected to lead a team of consultants and provide support to SPFC. The scope of support provision is bifurcated into the following:

Policy Assistance to SPFC

1. Inception report including checklist for the implementation of the Act (T + 4 weeks)

Prepare a checklist of all the pre-requisite as well as supplementary activities, such as notification of various timelines and monetary thresholds, finalization of SBDs, etc., for effective implementation of the Act.

2. Development of State Public Procurement Portal (T + 6 weeks)

Carry out a functional assessment of the solution proposed by NIC and verify whether the same satisfies the SPPP requirements prescribed in the Act and the Rules. Prepare process-flow diagrams for various procurement procedures recognised in the Act and the Rules and compare them with the ones existing on the e-Procurement portal.

3. Grievance redressal and appeal management (T + 10 weeks)

Develop SoPs for addressing grievances and managing appeals, including formats and guidelines for necessary documentation, based on the Assam Public Procurement Rules.

4. Development of case studies and training materials (T + 14 weeks)

Identify procurement related issues commonly faced by the procuring entities by holding stakeholder consultations and develop case-studies – both prescriptive and diagnostic – as well as other training materials for capacity building of AFS officers.

5. Development of Standard Bidding Documents and manuals (T + 18 weeks)

Develop SBDs for various types of procurement such as (i) Supply & Installation, (ii) Framework Agreements, (iii) EPC contracts, (iv) PPP, (v) Swiss Challenge, (vi) Community Procurement, etc. The consultant shall also develop comprehensive manuals for procurement of works, goods, consultants and non-consulting services.

6. Development of vendor database including debarment database (T + 20 weeks)

Prepare and maintain database of all bidders registered on the e-Procurement portal, including details of debarred bidders, so that it can be readily used for pre-qualification, rate analysis, and strategic sourcing etc.

7. Support to SPFC in Developing Processes for New Procurement Methods

The Assam Act and Rules have prescribed for two (02) specific new methods of procurement namely; (i). Competitive Negotiations; and (ii). Reverse Auction. The consultant will support SPFC in developing processes, guidelines etc. for these two (02) new procurement methods in addition to providing support for developing notes as the client may request in line with the provisions of the act and Rules.

8. Other Activities (T + 52 weeks)

  1. Interpreting various provisions of the Act and the Rules along with other acts, rules, notifications, circulars, orders etc.,

  2. Technical support and guidance on specific matters, issues, queries and problems as and when received from various departments,

  3. Identify specific pain points in implementation of the Act based on felt needs of the procuring entities, or other stakeholders, and assist in drafting the amendment in the Act (as per Removal of Difficulties clause) as well as the Rules.

9. Any other tasks assigned by the supervisor.

Duration of Consultancy:

The consultant shall be engaged for a period of eight months which shall be spread over a period of one year. The consultant shall work closely with the SPFC and ASPIRe Procurement Reforms Unit during the period of engagement.


Competencies

Functional Competencies:                                                                                                               

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise:

  • Knowledge related to Public Procurement Systems

  • Exposure to Central or State government’s work / externally aided projects

Communication skills:

  • Good communication, interpersonal and presentation skills, with an ability to work in a multi-cultural environment.

Building Strategic Partnerships

  • Establish, build and sustain effective relationships, partnerships and alliances, advocate effectively and communicate sensitively

Results based monitoring

  • Identifies problems and propose solutions

  • Demonstrates extremely strong influencing and facilitation skills.

Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing

  • Generates new ideas and approaches, researches best practices and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things

  • Shares knowledge across the organization and builds a culture of knowledge sharing and learning.

Corporate Competencies: 

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards

  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability

Core Competencies: 

  • Demonstrates/safeguards ethics and integrity

  • Works as a team member


Required Skills and Experience

Educational Qualifications:

  • Graduate in Law with 10 years of overall working experience in legal matters.

    OR

  • Post graduate in Law with 8 years of overall working experience in legal matters.

Experience:

  • At least 5 years working experience in matters related with public procurement, contract management, procurement legislation, contract law, commercial law, arbitrations, and other relevant areas.

  • At least 2 years’ experience in interpretation of legislation and other laws /regulations/rules etc.

  • Qualification in procurement will be preferred and given additional weightage.

  • Additional relevant qualification(s) / experience / assignments would be of advantage and would be given added weightage.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Must have in-depth knowledge and understanding of public procurement principles and procedures.

  • Must have sound understanding of principles underlying good procurement practices and understanding of procurement rules and procedure, ability in identifying and resolving procurement issues.

  • Excellent Analytical & Problem-solving skills

  • Prior experience with Government, UN agencies and other international organizations is desirable

Language Requirements: Fluency in English

Consultancy Fee : Consultant shall be required to submit per day rate quotation; payments shall be made on quarterly basis upon submission of invoice along with deliverables mentioned above in the ‘Key Results Expected’ section.

Documentation required:

  • Personal CV, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.

Evaluation Method and Criteria: Evaluation and ranking will be done based on the following criteria:

  • Educational Qualification: 20 Marks;
  • Relevant Experience: 30 Marks;
  • Interview: 30 Marks;
  • Financial Quotation: 20 Marks

Candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (35 marks) of 50 marks will be eligible to appear for the interview. Top scoring candidate (out of total 100 marks) will be sent offer of consultancy in order of ranking.

Interview for the shortlisted candidates would be either conducted face to face (Venue to be informed) or by telephone /over skype.

Notes:

As system allows uploading only one file, please merge above-mentioned documents to be submitted as part of application into one (1) single PDF document and upload.

Application may not be accepted, if all the above listed documents are not submitted.

The following documents can be accessed, clicking the link:

General Conditions for Individual Contract-
http://www.in.undp.org/content/dam/india/docs/procurement/UNDP%20General%20Conditions%20for%20Individual%20Contracts.pdf

Offerors Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability for the Individual Contractor (IC) Assignment, including Financial Proposal template

http://www.in.undp.org/content/dam/india/docs/careers/PSU_%20Individual%20Contract_Offerors-Letter-UNDP.pdf

For queries, please email to: ic.india@undp.org


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.


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