425580-2015: Mauritania-Nouakchott: EDF — Programme estimate (PE) financial audit, direct labour and externalised direct labour system audit, continuing training for imprest administrators and imprest accounting officers, drafting of a PE management manual, drafting of terms of reference for audits requested by the Commission, auditing of grant contracts awarded to NGOs


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1.Publication reference:

EuropeAid/137615/DH/SER/MR.

4.Financing:

Financing agreement.

Each assignment will be financed under the ‘Audit-evaluation’ heading of the financing agreement for the project being audited.

5.Contracting authority:

The European Union, represented by the European Commission, acting in the name and on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Nouakchott, MAURITANIA.

Contract specifications

6.Nature of the contract:

Fixed price.

7.Contract description:

Recruitment of an auditing firm to provide the following services:

— financial audit of the records of expenditure submitted by those responsible for programme estimates (PEs) financed by the EDF or from the budget of the European Union,

— direct labour and externalised direct labour system audit,

— support for recruiting PE imprest administrators and imprest accounting officers,

— continuing training for imprest administrators and imprest accounting officers on the administrative and financial procedures applicable to PEs,

— drafting of a memorandum of understanding on the management of PEs, supplementing and adapting the DEVCO guide for PEs to local conditions,

— drafting of financial, technical/financial and system audit terms of reference, at the EU Delegation’s request, for contracts and grants financed by the EU in Mauritania,

— auditing of grant contracts awarded to NGOs and producing audit certificates for payment requests.

8.Numbers and titles of lots:

1 lot only.

Each audit assignment will be considered as 1 lot and specific contracts will be drawn up for each lot. An indicative and open-ended list of programme estimates (in progress or already scheduled) is as follows:

projects; PE; period covered; PE imprest budget (EUR); imprest mode; project status:

PAMO; PE2; 1.3.2013–30.6.2014; 657 324,09; direct labour; in progress;

PAMO; PE3; 1.7.2014–30.6.2016; 1 633 102,4; direct labour; in progress;

PACSEP; PE2; 15.12.2013–31.5.2015; 1 146 590,74; direct labour; in closure period;

migration; PE1; 15.7.2014–14.11.2015; 897 072,44; direct labour; in progress;

PESCC; PE1; 1.1.2014–30.6.2015; 907 014,11; private externalised direct labour; in progress;

PESCC; PE2; 1.7.2015–31.12.2016; 1 973 442,81; private externalised direct labour; in progress;

PAIST; PE1; 15.12.2014–14.12.2015; 419 183,3; direct labour; in progress;

PESCC Directorate for civil society; PE1; 31.7.2015–30.12.2016; 283 281,74; direct labour; in progress;

budget support; PE1; 20.5.2015–19.11.2016; 1 764 690,97; private externalised direct labour; in progress;

conflict prevention; PE0; 1.8.2015– 31.1.2016; 224 560,31; direct labour; in progress;

support for the rule of law; PE2; (in the process of signature); —; private externalised direct labour; in progress;

support for decentralisation and local development; —; —; —; private externalised direct labour; in start-up phase;

security and development; —; —; —; —; in start-up phase;

support for land transport sub-sector reform in Mauritania (9th EDF); PE2; 10.9.2012–9.12.2013; 350 000; —; in closure period.

This plan shall be updated in line with new PEs signed and implemented during this contract’s performance period, including PEs for new projects to be financed from 11th EDF funds.

9.Maximum budget:

The average budget per PE financial audit assignment is estimated to be 30 000 EUR, with a 10 000 EUR–50 000 EUR variance, depending on the PE’s complexity and financial volume. This budget also covers services relating to assignments involving on-site monitoring, training new imprest administrators and imprest accounting officers as well as project support and assistance. The intention is to expedite approximately 100 PE financial audits over 3 years, i.e. a maximum indicative budget of 2 000 000 EUR.

The average budget per audit assignment for grant contracts awarded to NGOs in order to issue an audit certificate that NGOs must provide as an attachment to their payment request is estimated at 4 000 EUR, with a 2 000 EUR–6 000 EUR variance, depending on the order’s complexity and financial volume. The intention is to expedite approximately 100 financial audits over 3 years, i.e. a maximum indicative budget of 400 000 EUR.

The average budget per order for drafting terms of reference and, more generally, complete invitation to tender dossiers for all audits of EDF contracts and grants specifically expedited by the Delegation of the European Union in Nouakchott is estimated to be 4 000 EUR, with a 2 000 EUR–6 000 EUR variance, depending on how quickly a finalised complete invitation to tender dossier is sent with the required quality. Should the invitation to tender dossier be delivered (then definitively endorsed by the EU Delegation and not returned for amendments owing to failure to provide the required quality) within 5 working days, a fixed price of 6 000 EUR will be paid. If delivered and endorsed by the delegation within 10 working days, the fixed price will be 4 000 EUR. If delivered and endorsed by the delegation within 15 working days, the fixed price will be 2 000 EUR. The intention is to have approximately 15 invitation to tender dossiers and terms of reference drawn up over 3 years, i.e. a maximum indicative budget of 60 000 EUR for this type of service.

The maximum budget for drawing up the memorandum of understanding on the financial management of PEs is fixed at a flat rate of 5 000 EUR.

To support recruitment competitions for PE imprest administrators and imprest accounting officers, a maximum flat rate budget of 3 000 EUR per call for applications is envisaged. The intention is to have 5 competitions over a 3-year period, i.e. a maximum indicative budget of 15 000 EUR.

The maximum indicative budget for the contract is 2 480 000 EUR in total.

10.Scope for additional services:

The contracting authority may, at its own discretion, extend the project in duration and/or scope, subject to the availability of funding, up to a maximum not exceeding the length and value of the initial tender. Any extension of the contract would be subject to satisfactory performance of the tasks by the contractor.

Conditions of participation

11.Eligibility:

Participation in the contract is open on equal terms to legal entities participating either individually or as part of a grouping — consortium — of tenderers which are established in 1 of the Member States of the European Union, ACP States or in a country or territory authorised by the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement under which the programme is financed (see also point 29 below).

12.Candidature:

Any eligible legal entity (as defined in point 11 above) or grouping of said parties (consortium) may apply.

A consortium may be a permanent, legally-established grouping or a grouping constituted informally for a specific tender procedure. All members of a consortium (i.e. the leader and all other members) are jointly and severally liable vis-à-vis the contracting authority.

Should an ineligible legal entity (as defined in point 11) take part, the application concerned will be automatically disqualified. If said party belongs to a consortium, its disqualification will entail the disqualification of the consortium as a whole.

13.Number of applications:

Legal entities may submit 1 application only, irrespective of whether they take part as a sole legal entity, or as a lead company or member of a consortium submitting an application. Should a legal entity submit more than 1 application, all the applications involving said party would be rejected.

14.Prohibition on alliances between shortlisted tenderers:

Tenders which include companies not mentioned on the application forms used to compile the shortlist will be disqualified from this restricted procedure unless prior approval from the contracting authority has been obtained — see PRAG 2.4.3. Candidates invited to tender may not form alliances or subcontract to each other for the contract in question.

15.Grounds for exclusion:

As part of the application form, candidates must submit a signed declaration, included in the standard application form, to the effect that they are not in any of the exclusion situations described in section 2.3.3 of the Practical Guide.

16.Subcontracting:

Subcontracting is permitted.

17.Number of candidates invited to tender:

On the basis of the applications received, at least 4 and at most 8 candidates will be invited to submit detailed tenders for this contract. If the number of eligible candidates meeting the selection criteria is less than the minimum of 4, the contracting authority may invite the candidates who satisfy the criteria to submit a tender.

Selection and award criteria

21.Selection criteria:

The following selection criteria will be applied to candidates. Where applications are submitted by a consortium, the criteria will apply to the consortium as a whole.

1) Candidate’s economic and financial capacity (details to be given in section 3 of the application form). The reference period taken into account is the past 3 years for which accounts have been closed.

This criterion is to ensure that candidates (or the consortium as a whole where the application is submitted by a consortium) will not be financially dependent on the contracting authority should they be awarded the contract; and are in a stable enough financial position to undertake the proposed contract.

(a) The candidate’s average annual turnover must exceed the maximum annualised budget of the contract (i.e. the maximum budget given in the contract notice divided by the initial duration of the contract in years, if this exceeds 1 year); and

(b) the current ratio (short-term assets/short-term liabilities) during the last year for which accounts have been closed must amount to at least 1. For consortia, each member thereof must comply with this criterion.

2) Candidate’s professional capacity (details to be given in sections 4 and 5 of the application form). The reference period taken into account is the past 3 years for which accounts have been closed.

This criterion is to ensure that the candidate (or the consortium as a whole where the application is submitted by a consortium) has the staff and skills needed to undertake the proposed contract; is not a manpower subcontractor (‘body shop’) with no real expertise in fields related to the contract, but simply identifies and proposes experts to fit the project description:

— has professional certification relevant to this contract, such as registration with a federation or an internationally recognised professional association of accountants, statutory auditors or auditors,

— the candidate’s staff includes at least 3 qualified and certified auditors who are currently working in fields related to this contract.

3) Candidate’s technical capacity (details to be given in sections 5 and 6 of the application form). The reference period taken into account is the past 3 years for which accounts have been closed.

This criterion is to ensure whether or not the candidate (or the consortium as a whole where the application is submitted by a consortium) has the skills and experience required to undertake the proposed contract:

— the candidate must have achieved good results in the past 3 years (2013, 2014 and 2015) on at least 6 PE financial audit contracts.

Previous experience involving a breach of contract and termination by a contracting authority cannot be used as a reference.

An economic operator may, if necessary and for a specific contract, make use of the capacities of other entities irrespective of the legal nature of the connection between itself and said entities. In such an event, it must provide the contracting authority with proof that it will have the resources needed to carry out the contract by, for example, producing a written commitment undertaken by said entities to make such resources available. A consortium of economic operators may make use, on the same terms and conditions, of the capacities of other members of this consortium or other entities.

If more than 8 applications prove to be eligible, i.e. meet all the selection criteria, then the strengths and weaknesses of these candidates’ applications will need to be re-examined to determine which 8 applications for the invitation to tender are the most suitable. Only the following factors will be considered in the re-examination:

— the most contracts in criterion 3.

22.Award criterion:

Best quality/price ratio.

Application

23.Final date for receipt of applications:

5.1.2016 (15:00), GMT.

Any application received after this deadline will not be considered.

24.Applications format and details to be provided:

The standard application form must be used for applications. The instructions and format of this form must be strictly adhered to. This application form is available from the following web address: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/annexes.do?chapterTitleCode=B&locale=en

Additional documentation (brochure, letter, etc.) enclosed with the application will not be considered.

25.How applications may be submitted:

Applications must be drawn up in French only and sent solely to the contracting authority:

— either by registered post (official postal service), to the following address:

Delegation of the European Union, attention: Head of Contracts and Finance Section, PO Box 213, Nouakchott, MAURITANIA,

— or by bearer (including express courier services), delivered straight to the contracting authority, in return for a signed and dated acknowledgement of receipt, at the following address:

Delegation of the European Union, attention: Head of Contracts and Finance Section, rue 42-163, Tevragh Zeina, Nouakchott, MAURITANIA. Tel. +222 5252724.

The contract title and the contract notice number (see point 1 above) must be clearly marked on the envelope containing the application and must be quoted in all subsequent correspondence with the contracting authority.

Applications submitted in any other way will not be considered.

26.Amendments to or withdrawal of tenders:

Tenderers may amend or withdraw their tender by giving notice thereof in writing before the final date for submission of tenders. Tenders cannot be amended once this deadline has passed.

Notice of amendment or withdrawal must be drawn up and sent as per the instructions given in point 25. The word ‘Modification’ (amendment) or ‘Retrait’ (withdrawal), as applicable, must be written on the outside envelope (and on the inner envelope, where applicable).

27.Working language:

All correspondence concerning this invitation to tender procedure and contract must be in French.

28.Date of publication of the prior information notice:

4.11.2015.

29.Legal basis:

Annex IV to the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the European Community and its Member States, signed in Cotonou on 23.6.2000, as amended in Luxembourg on 25.6.2005 and in Ouagadougou on 22.6.2010. Reference is made to Annex IV as revised by Decision No 1/2014 of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers of 20.6.2014.

30.Additional information:

The Delegation of the European Union is open from Monday to Friday (8:30–13:00).

The contractor shall set up an office based in Nouakchott with the necessary logistics. Preference will be given to any tender combining the expertise and independence of an international firm with that of a local one.

Experts shortlisted under this contract might be required to travel in the provinces within the country.


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