Consulting Services: RECRUITMENT OF A FIRM TO AUDIT FARA SECRETARIAT FOR THE FINANCIAL YEARS 2018-2020 – Reference: FARA/MDTF/CS/IC/2018/16

Name of project: FARA Multi-Donor Trust Fund (FARA-MDTF)

Grant No: FARA-MDTF TF095129

Project ID No.: P112684

Reference: FARA/MDTF/CS/IC/2018/16 Date:  August 15, 2018

This request for expressions of interest follows the general procurement notice for this project that appeared in dg Market, issue no. 4577029 of November 10, 2009.

The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) is an apex organization forming and bringing together coalitions of major stakeholders in agricultural research for development (AR4D) in Africa. It is the technical arm of the African Union with the mandate of developing and coordinating Agricultural Research for Development in Africa.

FARA intends to apply part of the proceeds for the following consultant services: RECRUITMENT OF A FIRM TO AUDIT FARA SECRETARIAT FOR THE FINANCIAL YEARS 2018-2020.

FARA’s current Revised Medium Term Operational Plan (MTOP covers the period 2016 – 2018. It focuses on building FARA’s readiness to lead the design and implementation of a country-driven Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa as a framework to achieving Malabo Commitments and STISA-2024. In the MTOP-2R FARA sets out to achieve three specific objectives, namely to:

I. Provide knowledge and decision support to stakeholders on capacities, policies, practices, technologies and innovative funding instruments to aid the implementation of the science agenda.
II. Strengthen policy, technical and institutional capacities of national and regional stakeholders to design and implement programs of the science agenda.

III. Build and strengthen innovation systems and partnerships among national and regional stakeholders as well as development partners to facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement, dialogue and resource support for the implementation of the science agenda and regional integration

FARA’s funding include support from a group of development partners through Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) established at the World Bank to facilitate joint-financing and to assist the further institutional development of FARA. The current funding to the MDTF is provided by the European Commission. Other donors such as AfDB, BMFG, FAO/GFAR etc. also support FARA’s activities through bilateral time-bound agreements. The Strategic Plan, the Medium Term Operational Plan (MTOP) and annual plans are the basis for which coordinated support are provided by all donors. The Trust Fund will provide substantial funding for activities in the MTOP of FARA.

In order to ensure that the funds are used properly for the purpose for which they are intended and accounted for in accordance with the World Bank procedures, it is mandatory for the accounts to be audited by an independent Auditing Firm. FARA now intends to engage the services of an Auditing Firm to audit the accounts which are being kept and operated for the implementation program.

2. Objective:
According the MDTF Grant Agreement, FARA is expected to appoint an external auditor with the terms of reference, qualifications, and experience satisfactory to the World Bank. FARA shall have its Financial Statements audited in accordance with the provisions of Section 2.07(b) of the Standard Conditions of the World Bank. Each such audit of the financial statements shall cover the period of one fiscal year (January to December). The audited Financial Statements for each such period should be furnished to the World Bank not later than six months after the end of such period. In this regard, therefore, FARA is calling for proposals for the provision of independent external audit services on FARA’s annual operations.

3. The Scope of the Assignment:
The audit will be conducted in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (ISA) as published by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), with special reference to ISA 800 (Auditor’s Report on special Purpose Audit Engagements) and to relevant World Bank guidelines. In conducting the project audit, special attention should be paid to the following:

➢ Funds have been used in accordance with the conditions of the relevant general conditions, relevant financing agreements and disbursement letter, with due attention to economy and efficiency, and only for the purposes for which the financing was provided;

➢ Counterpart funds (if any) have been provided and used in accordance with the relevant general conditions, relevant financing agreements and disbursement letter, and only for the purposes for which they were provided;

➢ Goods and services financed have been procured in accordance with the relevant general conditions, relevant financing agreements and disbursement letter;
➢ Necessary supporting documents, records, and accounts have been kept in respect of all
Project ventures including expenditures reported via Summary Report (or Interim Un- audited Financial Reports (Interim Reports)) if used as the basis of disbursement), or Designated Accounts (DAs). Clear linkages should exist between the accounting records and the financial reports presented to the Bank.
➢ Where Designated Accounts have been used, they have been maintained in accordance
with the provisions of the relevant general conditions, relevant financing agreements and disbursement letter.
➢ The PFS have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles
and practices and relevant World Bank guidelines and give a true and fair view of the financial position of the Project as at financial year-end and of the resources and expenditures for the fiscal year then ending.
➢ Review the compliance on each of the financial covenants as per the TF Agreement
especially to ensure compliance for the conditions under which the tranches were released.

a. Project Financial Statements:

The Project Financial Statements should include:

a) the cash receipts and payments of the project during the year ended December 31, 2018 showing the World Bank, project funds from other donors, and counterpart funds separately (if applicable),
b) Summary of Summary Reports used as the basis for the submission of withdrawal applications in the notes, as appropriate;
c) A Statement of Designated Account in the notes, as appropriate; and
d) Balance Sheet showing Accumulated Funds of the Project, bank balances, other assets of the Project, and liabilities, if any.

As part of the audit of the PFS, the auditor is required to audit all Summary Reports and Interim Un-audited Financial Reports (Interim Reports) used as the basis for the submission of withdrawal applications as per the relevant sections of the Trust Fund Agreement.

b. Designated Accounts
In conjunction with the audit of the Project Financial Statements, the auditor is also required to audit the activities of the Designated Accounts associated with the Project. The Designated Accounts usually comprise:
a) Deposits (tranche releases) and replenishments received from the Bank;
b) Payments substantiated by withdrawal applications;
c) Interest that may be earned from the balances and which belong to the borrower; and
d) The remaining balances at the end of each fiscal year.

The auditor should pay particular attention as to the compliance with the Bank’s procedures and the balances of the Designated Accounts at the end of the fiscal year (or period). The auditor should examine the eligibility of financial transactions during the period under examination and fund balances at the end of such a period, the operation and use of the DAs in accordance with the relevant general conditions, relevant financing agreements and disbursement letter, and the adequacy of internal controls for this type of disbursement mechanism.

c. Audit Reports

The auditors will issue an audit opinion on the Forum for Agricultural Research (FARA)
Project Financial Statements (refer to the “Project Financial Statements” paragraph above for a definition of the statements included therein).
In addition to the audit opinion, the auditor will prepare a “management letter,” in which the auditor will:

• give comments and observations on the accounting records, systems, and controls that were examined during the course of the audit;
• identify specific deficiencies and areas of weakness in systems and controls and make recommendation for their improvementreport on the lack of compliance of each financial covenant in the relevant financing agreement;
• communicate matters that have come to their attention during the audit which might have a significant impact on the implementation of the project;
• bring to the borrower’s attention any other matters that the auditor considers pertinent; and
• Include management’s comments in the final management letter.

d. Reporting:
The firm shall produce Draft Report in hard copies and an electronic version within seven (7) days upon completion of assignment.

The firm shall submit Final Report, five (5) hard copies and an electronic version within seven (7) after receipts of FARA’s comments.

e. General
The responsibility for the preparation of financial statements including adequate disclosure is that of the Executive Board and management of FARA. This includes the maintenance of adequate accounting records and internal controls, the selection and application of accounting policies, and the safeguarding of the assets of the entity. As part of the audit process, the auditor will request from management written confirmation concerning representations made to the auditor in connection with the audit.

FARA will co-operate fully with the auditor and will make available to the auditor whatever records, documentation and other information is requested by the auditor in connection with the

audit. The auditor should be given access to all legal documents, correspondence, and any other information associated with the project and deemed necessary by the auditor. Confirmation should also be obtained of amounts disbursed and outstanding at the Bank and of amounts disbursed under TF Agreement.
It is highly desirable that the auditor become familiar with the relevant World Bank guidelines, which explain the Bank’s financial reporting and auditing requirements. These guidelines include:

• Operational Policy 10.02 and Bank Procedure 10.02, Financial Management
• Financial Management Practices in World Bank Financed Investment Operations, dated November 2005
• World Bank Disbursement Guidelines for Projects dated May 2006

f. Duration of Assignment:
The assignment will be for fifteen days or 30 staff-days for each financial year audit with possibility of extension.

g. Location of Assignment:
The assignment will be carried out at the FARA Secretariat, 12 Ameda Street, Roman Ridge, Accra, Ghana and any other location that may be deemed appropriate but will be subject to further negotiations.

h. Required

The key personnel should meet the following qualifications:

Team Leader consultant: should be an internationally qualified auditor (CPA or its equivalent) with experience in public accounting and financial management and should have a minimum of five years’ experience in the field with experience in statutory and project auditing

The Audit Senior: Must possess professional qualification in accounting with 3 years’ experience in auditing

• S/He should have strong knowledge and experience (minimum of 10 years) in public accounts auditing;
• S/He should have Specific experience in World Bank Accounts auditing.

FARA now invites eligible individual firms to indicate their interests in providing the services. The applicants must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services (brochures, description of similar assignments, experience in similar conditions, availability of appropriate skills among staff, etc.). The consultant will be selected in accordance with the procedures set out in the World Bank’s Selection and Employment of Consultants by the World Bank Borrowers, July 2016 revised November 2017.

Interested consultants may obtain further information at the address below during office hours 0900 to 1600 hours. Expressions of interest must be delivered by e-mail to the address below by August 29th, 2018.

 

Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo Executive Director
Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) PMB CT 173, Cantonments, Accra, Ghana Telephone: +233 302 772823/744888
Email: recruitment@faraafrica.org

For further clarification, you may contact Mr. Johnson Ukpong at: jukpong@faraafrica.org
Consultants are advised to quote the Assignment Title & Reference Number in the application.

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