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Embassy of Sweden in Kyiv is looking for providers of consultancy services in the area of public financial management (PFM)

29 Oct 2019

The project covers PFM support over a period of 48 months, and is structured around four areas, namely budget planning, macroeconomic forecasting, liquidity management and public sector accounting.

The beneficiaries of Swedish support will be the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture, and Treasury. The project is implemented within the framework of the EU support programme to strengthen PFM system in Ukraine (EU4PFM) and is co-financed by Sweden and the EU. 

In August 2019, the contribution agreement between the European Union and Sida for the implementation of the project was signed. This project is in line with Swedish Reform Cooperation Strategy with Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans and Turkey 2014-2020 and aims to strengthen public administration capacity to implement reforms for EU-Integration.

For details of the procurement, please follow the link.

Deadline for submissions is 9 December 2019, 12pm (noon).

You can submit question to the following e-mail address ambassaden.kiev@gov.se with  UM2019/37825 reference in the email subject line.

Deadline for questions – 25 November 2019 at 23.59 Kyiv time. All the answers to tenderers' questions will be published here.

Please, note that questions and answers are published in reversed chronological order, i.e. last received questions at the top: 

Question 35: In Section 2.5.1 of the Terms of Reference (Annex 2), required general experience in the relevant fields of expertise is 15 years for the Project Team Leader, and 10 years for other Key Experts. On the other hand, the work experience to be presented in the CV (Annex 4.2) is limited to 5 employments/assignments. Please clarify whether the employments/assignments presented in the CV have to cover the required years of experience, i.e. 15 years for the Project Team Leader, and 10 years for other Key Experts

Answer 35: Please refer to Q/A4, Q/A5 and Q/19; it is obvious that the project-relevant employments/assignments presented in the CV have to cover at least the required period of general experience in the relevant fields of expertise.

Question 34: Although 15 or 10 years of experience is required, Ref letters are accepted only for the positions in the last 7 years, what if the expert has the most relevant experience 10 or more years ago– which is fully in line with the selection criteria , since there is no limitation on the time frame of the expert professional experience?

Answer 34: This requirement remains unchanged, i.e. provided references must be from the past 7 years; please also refer to Q/A1 – references for experts must be presented in the form of Annex 1.7.

Question 33: Could you please indicate the maximum number of pages per Section, for the Organisation & Methodology for this tender?

Answer 33: Please refer to Annex 4 as guidance for page limitations; submissions must be to the point and avoid unnecessary write-ups (those which are not project relevant).

Question 32: Could you please confirm that the CVs should be submitted on 1 page each?

Answer 32: Please refer to Q/A4, Q/A5 and Q/A19, removing the limitations stated in the CV template; it appears to be unlikely that the required experience can be presented on a single page.

Question 31: Could you please confirm what would be the optimal number of reference letters, as the instruction document indicates at least one per expert. Having in mind that in our understanding, 5 references will be presented per expert, should we ideally submit 5 reference letters?

Answer 31: The minimum requirement is 1 reference for each key expert; we do not understand from where the requirement of 5 references per key expert is taken, but we will accept up to 3 references per key expert, if required to substantiate the expert's profile and project-relevant experience. Please also refer to Q/A27 above.

Question 30: <prospective tenderer> is hereby sending you a request for clarification of the provisions of the Procurement document (Procurement: EU4PFM Component 1 (Sweden); Reference number: UM2019/37825), hereinafter -Procurement document. Section 3.4. of the Procurement document sets forth that tenderers must provide an original power-of-attorney for the person signing the tender, unless the person is named in the company registration of a single entity tenderer as authorized to sign on behalf of the company; in the case of a consortium, all consortium parties have to sign the power-of-attorney. Could you please clarity what are the requirements to the power-of-attorney in case of the consortium:
• shall it be a single document signed by all consortium members or it can be few powers of attorney with the same scope of authorities (from each and every consortium member);
• please confirm that a simple written form of power of attorney will meet the requirements of the Procurement document (no notarization of signatures or apostille are required).

Answer 30: Option 1: the consortium agreement clearly states not only the consortium leader (company), but also authorises a nominated person from the consortium leader to sign tender documents on behalf of the consortium, and such consortium agreement is provided as original and signed by an authorised person (e.g. company register) from each of the consortium partners. Option 2: a separate power of attorney is provided as original, signed by an authorised person (e.g. company register) from each of the consortium partners. A notarization of signatures or apostille are not required, however, the Embassy reserves the right to verify the signatories' authority to sign on behalf of each consortium partner.

Question 29: As for 4.6 Qualification and competence Technical capacity, is it possible to rely on the technical capacity of a supporting entity, meaning that one or more references are provided by a company that is not officially part of the consortium but that, through a written statement, confirms its willingness to put at disposal of the consortium those specific references?
If this is possible could you please clarify
- which of following Annexes needs to be provided by this supporting entity: Annex 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.8?
- if the certificates (trade registry, tax payment certificate, social contribution payment certificate) have to be provided by this supporting entity?

Answer 29: No, this is not possible.

Question 28: Could you please confirm if a company legally based in United Kingdom can be considered an eligible partner of a consortium?

Answer 28: Yes, this is of course permitted.

Question 27: Could you please clarify the following about the requirements for the 5 Key experts: in case they are not fully met will this be considered as ground for elimination or will only imply a loss of points in the evaluation of the CV?

Answer 27: Experts will be evaluated based on their CVs (with the Embassy's reserved right to conduct interviews and verify provided references) and against the requirements in the tender documents including the terms of reference, and the evaluation criteria are clearly stated in the procurement document.

Question 26: Could you please clarify the following about the requirements for the 5 Key experts: in case of non-fulfillment of certain requirements, a significant and relevant professional experience could be considered equivalent? As an example, if one Key Expert is missing the required Master Degree but has relevant and extensive professional experience, would this be considered as equivalent and thus qualify for the position?

Answer 26: The requirements for each key expert are detailed in the terms of reference, and will be used as basis for evaluation; the evaluation of submitted CVs is the responsibility of the appointed evaluators.

Questions received on 25 November 2019:

Question 25: We would hereby like to ask also the following: Are experts, who currently work as civil servants in Ukraine, eligible for the Key expert positions? This goes under the consideration that in case of the project award , the expert in question would arrange his status and make himself available to work on the project.

Answer 25: For ethical reasons it is unfortunate if the project relieves the civil service of expertise they need. However, it is permitted if the civil servant can get full unpaid leave from his/her civil service employment to work as an expert for the duration of the project. Also 3.5 of the procurement document applies, there must be no conflict of interest and the individual should not have been part of the preparatory work of this tender.

Question 24: Concerning Annex 1.4 "Self-Declaration by Tenderers", point 3.3 "Consortia", and related to the question "Does the tenderer fulfil the requirement?": Could you please clarify whether this means that if the tenderer submits the tender as part of a consortium, the response should be "No" even if the requirements are fulfilled?

Answer 24: Annex 1.4 must be filled separately by each member of a consortium and must be submitted as original(s). The question under 3.3 (yes or no) refers to the sentence "Tenderers who intend to submit a tender as a consortium shall provide a special declaration in the tender regarding all of the requirements in the section "Exclusion grounds" for each of the companies participating in the consortium. The qualification requirements shall be fully met by the consortium." meaning that all members of a consortium must pass the section "Exclusion grounds", and if so, the answer is yes; if at least one of the members does not pass the section "Exclusion grounds" the answer in each filled Annex 1.4 is no and must be explained. Please note that all documents marked with "applies to 1 and 2 listed in the above table" must be filled separately by each member of a consortium!

Question 23: Concerning Annex 1.1 "Contact information sheet": Could you please confirm that this document should be signed? Do the partners of the Consortium need to sign this document as well? Does the original document need to be provided?

Answer 23: Annex 1.1 must be filled separately by each member of a consortium and must be submitted as original; however, the last block of information (Tenderers contact person(s) who answer questions that may arise in the above-captured procurement) is only required from the lead partner of a consortium; the document(s) must be provided as originals. (See also Q/A2 14.11.2019 below).

Question 22: Concerning Annex 5.2 "Price Annex" under the line foreseen for ÏT licenses" they are two different indicated amounts: 30 000€ and 50 000€. Could you please kindly confirm which amount is correct?

Answer 22: The correct figure is € 30 000.

Question 21: Could you please clarify whether there are any interviews foreseen for the key experts? If yes, when (the date) could they be conducted?

Answer 21: The procurement document gives the Embassy the right to conduct interviews at any time during the procurement process, i.e. before contract signature. The current status is that interviews will likely be conducted about a week after tender submission; however, this will only be decided after tender submission and will be communicated to tenderers on fairly short notice.

Question 20: Within the procurement document, part 3.4. "Qualification of tenderers", it states that "Tenderers must provide a brief description of the tenderer (facts about the company, competence and capacity, as well as the company's market position); limited to 3 pages per company..". Could you please confirm that 3 pages applies to the entire consortium, or is the requirement 3 pages per each member of the consortium?

Answer 20: The requirement and limitation is referring to 'company' and not 'tenderer', hence, the requirement and limitation refer to each member of a consortium (not the consortium as a whole).

Question 19: Length of Expert CVs. The substance of Answers 5 and 4 (19.11.2019 and 18.11.2019, respectively) entail that there is no character or assignment limit for the CVs. Could the Embassy kindly provide an indication of the number of pages per CV it would consider appropriate (as a rough guidance to tenderers)?

Answer 19: It would be very difficult to provide a guidance in number of pages; evaluation will be done on content not number of pages, therefore, please only provide project-relevant information in more detail and keep other positions an expert held throughout his/her working life (which are not project-relevant) to a minimum.

Question 18: GDPR and applicable law. The services will be provided in the territory of Ukraine. However, GDPR is regulated by reference to EU Directive, not Ukrainian legislation. Could the Embassy please confirm that (1) Ukrainian law applies with respect to all personal data processing, while (2) EU Directive will only be applicable to the rights of specific data subjects - i.e. the citizens of EEA?

Answer 18: Please refer to the following extract from the contract template: "If the Consultant's carrying out of the Assignments involves the processing of personal data, the Consultant must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679, as well as other applicable statutory regulations regarding the processing of personal data. If the processing is carried out on behalf of Sida, Sida is the data processor. In such case, a written data processor contract must be established between the data controller and the data processor prior to processing, with instructions on how the processing may be performed and which information security requirements shall apply.". Our understanding is that this applies only to citizens of the EEA, however, this topic can in more detail be discussed with the successful tenderer before contract signature.

Question 17: GDPR. Taking into account that primarily the territory of drafting documents/preparing Results will be the territory of Ukraine, personal data will be transmitted, processed and stored at the territory of Ukraine. According to requirements for data protection, the Consultant may transmit, process and store personal data in a country which is not a member of the EU, if one of the listed conditions is met. Could the Embassy please confirm that Ukraine meets this requirement i.e. is listed as a country with an adequate level of protection and that processing of personal data at the territory of Ukraine will be in line with a contract?

Answer 17: The Embassy is ad-hoc not in a position to provide such an assurance; we suggest this topic to be discussed in more detail with the successful tenderer before contract signature.

Questions received on 22-24 November 2019:

Question 16: The possibility to amend/modify the Contract and SIDA's GTC. By submitting Technical Proposal Submission Form the Consultant confirms acceptance of the draft contract and related terms and conditions as attached to the invitation to tender.
Question 1: The draft contract for consulting services mentions in the Section 1 (in the order of precedence section) "Written supplements and amendments to this contract". With regard to this provision, could you please confirm our understanding that the Consultant in case of award of the contract could be able to suggest to SIDA a limited number of clauses/modifications to the Contract. Some of them are necessary for the Consultant to effectively perform the engagement, e.g.:
- The right to engage to the provision of services member firms from the international network to which the Consultant belongs; and the right to involve outstaffed personnel, - however, at the same time the Consultant alone shall be responsible to SIDA for the reports;
- The right to transfer to such firms from the network the confidential information and personal data received in course of the engagement.
Question 2: In case that our interpretation is correct, shall the Consultant submit its suggested amendments/modifications to the Contract together with its proposal or on a later stage?

Answer 16: Your understanding is not correct; neither the Draft Contract nor Sida's General Terms and Conditions for Consulting Services are negotiable, i.e. neither additions nor deletions are permitted (except in the few cases were certain data have to be added, and the template makes provisions to do so).

Question 15: Secrecy Act. Section 10.2 of Sida's General terms and conditions for consulting services (GTC) sets forth that the Consultant undertakes to follow the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act (2009:400) in applicable parts. The Consultant also undertakes to adhere to any other rules issued by SIDA relating to the handling of information. However, as far as we understand, the engagement shall be done with confidential information of Ukrainian (not Swedish) governmental authorities, who are the main beneficiaries of the services.
Question: In case of access only to Ukrainian authorities' (beneficiaries of the services) information, this Act seems to be not applicable to the Consultant. If our interpretation is right, can the Contract be modified setting forth that Section 10.2 is not applicable?
If that our understanding is wrong, we would like to ask to clarify in the Contract what exact obligations of the Consultant arise according to the above act and which part of the Secrecy act shall be observed by the Consultant.

Answer 15: Your understanding is not correct; neither the Draft Contract nor Sida's General Terms and Conditions for Consulting Services are negotiable, i.e. neither additions nor deletions are permitted (except in the few cases were certain data have to be added, and the template makes provisions to do so).

Question 14: IP rights to the deliverables. Section 10.3 of the GTC states that Sida has the right to freely change, adapt and transfer the Results. As a Consultant from Ukraine, our work will be mostly performed by the staff (authors), employed according to the laws of Ukraine. However, we believe that the above paragraph of the GTC does not comply with the civil law of Ukraine, as it may result in the violation of a moral right of Ukrainian authors to the integrity of their work. Please be advised also that moral rights, including the right to integrity of work, are not transferrable according to Ukrainian law. In accordance with the civil law of Ukraine, the transfer of а proprietary right to make adaption of work does not mean a person granted with such right is provided with absolute freedom of adaptation, since the right to the integrity of a work allows the author to demand that the general idea or the author's thoughts should not be misrepresented or distorted in the process of adaptation. It is the author alone who decides whether or not the adaption made by others damages the author's goodwill or reputation. Based on the above, we suggest sentence 4 of section 10.3 of GTC shall be modified as follows:
"However, Sida does not have the right to freely change, amend, adapt, make public and transfer the Results without the prior written consent of the Consultant. If the Results are disclosed or transferred under the Consultant's name or with reference to the Consultant or to any other member firm of the global network to which the Consultant belongs, they may be disclosed only in their entirety. Sida shall not alter, edit or modify the Results from the form in which the Consultant provided them with".

Answer 14: All contracts issued by Sida are signed under and bound to Swedish legislation; we cannot advise you on Ukrainian law, however, again neither the Draft Contract nor Sida's General Terms and Conditions for Consulting Services are negotiable, i.e. neither additions nor deletions are permitted (except in the few cases were certain data have to be added, and the template makes provisions to do so).

Question 13: Section 9 of GTC and Appendix E. Sida's Standard Terms of Reference for annual audit. Section 9 of SIDA's GTC sets forth that the Consultant is responsible for ensuring its services are audited annually. The audit shall be carried out by an external, independent and qualified auditor.
Question: Does SIDA have any requirements to the audit firm that can be engaged by the Consultant to perform the above audit and agreed upon procedures according to Appendix E? Is there any maximum amount of the fee for such services which can be included into the planned budget?
In case of consortium, does the audit has to be done with regard to the joint financial report of the project, produced by this consortium?

Answer 13: All requirements are stated in the tender documents provided; also note, that all costs envisaged by a tenderer must be included in the budget lines provided in Annex 5.2 and no additional budget lines may be created.

Question 12: Section 9 of GTC and Appendix E. Sida's Standard Terms of Reference for annual audit. Section 9 of GTC establishes that if within the scope of the Assignment the Consultant is to transfer funds to another physical or legal entity, the Consultant is responsible for ensuring the money is audited annually in accordance with the requirements set in this Contract.
Question: 1. In respect of the above could you please clarify shall the contract with a subcontractor, including with physical persons (e.g. Key expert) contain (1) the obligation of the subcontractor to prepare the financial report in accordance with Appendix D (Sida's instruction for financial reporting) and (2) the same audit requirements as stipulated in the Contract?
Question 2: Can the Parties to the Contract (SIDA and the Consultant) agree the modification to the above provision, exempting from the above obligation to prepare financial reports and audit requirements subcontractors, who are physical persons, and outstaffing companies, those personnel can be used for performance of services?

Answer 12: The required audits refer to the contract between Sida and the successful tenderer, and we cannot advise on arrangements the successful tenderer will make with its partners or sub-contractors; again neither the Draft Contract nor Sida's General Terms and Conditions for Consulting Services are negotiable, i.e. neither additions nor deletions are permitted (except in the few cases were certain data have to be added, and the template makes provisions to do so).

Question 11: Remuneration and costs.
Question: The draft Contract and SIDA's GTC are unclear on the travel expenses, in particular:
- shall the travel expenses for travel within Ukraine be compensated and can they be included into the Consultant's budget?
- shall the travel expenses to Ukraine of foreign experts (employed by foreign part of our planned consortium) be compensated and can they be included into the Consultant's budget?

Answer 11: Please refer to Annex 5.2.

Question 10: Travel insurance. Section 7 of the Contract sets forth that the Consultant shall possess standard travel insurance.
Question: With regards to the above we would like to clarify the requirements of SIDA to such travel insurance, id est: what shall be the insured amount, which risks shall be covered by such insurance (damage to health, death, luggage?), who shall be insured by such insurance.

Answer 10: Important is to note that, as stated in Section 7 of the Contract, Sida has no responsibility whatsoever for either the successful tenderer or the personnel contracted/employed by the successful tenderer, and therefore the successful tenderer has to make arrangements accordingly.

Question 9: Appendix E. Sida' Standard Terms of Reference for Annual Audit (Consultants). Additional assignment. Agreed upon procedures according to ISRS 4400. We have reviewed the suggested scope of the agreed upon procedures (AUP) and believe that it does not correspond to ISRS 4400 as according to the scope it shall be an auditor who determines the level of materiality and risk which is not line with the role of the auditor according to ISRS 4400. The level of materiality and risks in AUP shall be determined by the Client (SIDA), not the auditor who will performs AUP. Also, examining comparison mentioned in para 2 of Part II is also not in line with ISRS 4400 as it requires expression of the audit opinion. The same to the above comments can be addressed to each and every procedure described in Part II. Thus, we believe that the scope of AUP requires considerable revising or the assignment shall be done according to the other auditing standard that govern expression of the audit opinion.

Answer 9: Those are Sida standard requirements and templates, and for the purpose of this tender and the subsequent contract with the successful tenderer those conditions shall remain unchanged.

Question 8: Qualification of tenderers. Section 3.4 of the procurement document sets forth that the tenderer must provide a description of the quality assurance system in place for its operations and contain at minimum ....(ii) routines for the handling deviations and complaints.
Question: Could you please clarify which exactly routine is meant above: the routine to address the client's complaints or a tenderer procedure regarding consultation in case of differences of the professional opinion.

Answer 8: The description is Section 3.4 is clear, and the respective quality assurance system in place must be described (not a 'custom-made' system for the purpose of this tender).

Question 7: Сontacts in European credentials. Background: Some of our credentials are from EU and according to GDPR we cannot share the contact information about our European clients.
Question: Could you please clarify what contacts do we need to indicate in our European credentials?

Answer 7: It appears that Annex 1.6 is clear; those will have to be completed in the required numbers, must refer to similar projects and must be verifiable, i.e. the contact details refer to the project used as reference including a specific contact person which must be contactable (obviously this cannot be a person contracted/employed by the tenderer).

20.11.2019 Question 6: With regards to the above open procedure, we would like to clarify whether an advance payment is foreseen and if so, what would be the percentage in relation to the total budget.

20.11.2019 Answer 6: No advance payment is foreseen; please refer to the draft contract (Annex 3) of the tender documents.

19.11.2019 Question 5: With regards to the above open procedure, we would like to clarify the below point regarding Annex 4.2, CV, Final. Maximum five employments and/or assignment should be included. We consider that it is very complicated to substantiate the minimum years of general professional experience stipulated in the Terms of Reference by including only five employments. Please confirm whether we could include other relevant working experiences in the CV.

19.11.2019 Answer 5: Additional relevant (exceeding 5 in total) assignments may be included, as long as they are indeed relevant to competence required of the expert in this project.

18.11.2019 Question 4: With regards to the above open procedure, we would like to clarify the below point regarding Annex 4.2, CV, Final. Account briefly for the work experience of the person by filling in the grey marked text boxes. The account shall include employer/assignment, work tasks, time period and a brief description (maximum 300 characters excluding spaces is recommended) of the main achievements of the employment/assignment. Maximum five employments and/or assignment should be included. We consider that 300 characters are not sufficient to provide a description of the main achievements of the employment/assignment. We would like to confirm whether you refer to characters or words.

18.11.2019 Answer 4: If required, a tenderer may use more than 300 characters; however, only information to the specific KE position and the project, as well as personal information, must be included, sufficient to enable evaluators to correctly assess and score each KEs' CV, and irrelevant information must be avoided or kept to an absolute minimum (e.g. positions held throughout the career which are not relevant to the project).

14.11.2019 Question 3: Regarding the expert exclusivity: is a Key Expert allowed to appear in different bids or is it a mandatory that the experts are exclusively bound to one bidder?

14.11.2019 Answer 3: While one can discuss whether or not it is ethical to appear as key expert in more than 1 bid, the procurement documents do not specifically exclude the same key expert appearing in more than 1 bid.

14.11.2019 Question 2: Regarding Contact Information (annex 1.1): according to Annex 4 "administrative/legal mandatory requirements (qualification of tenderers)" it is stated that: Contact information (annex 1.1) duly completed by the tenderer, must be provided as original, required to be submitted for 1 and 2 listed in above table." Could you please confirm that "tenderer" here means the consortium represented by the consortium leader and not each consortium member?

14.11.2019 Answer 2: Annex 1 must be filled separately for each consortium member and not only for the lead partner of a consortium.

14.11.2019 Question 1: Regarding the References for Individuals (Annex 1.7) do these refer exclusively to the Key Experts positions? Moreover, if the experts already have documentary proof of their assignments other than the ones in the format requested in annex 1.7 (i.e. employer certificates or references proving the professional experience attestation, contracts, reference letters, reports, etc.), would these have the same value as the ones in the annex 1.7? If yes, would it be possible to use the cited references instead of reproducing them in the Annex 1.7 format.

14.11.2019 Answer 1: Yes, the references for individuals (Annex 1.7) do refer to the 5 key experts only. The references must be in the format of Annex 1.7 (refer to Procurement Document 4.8). You cannot use another format for these mandatory documents. Each form should be signed by a person in a senior position who has sufficient professional knowledge of the work of the key expert in the referred project and would be able to answer some clarifying questions by phone, if this would be deemed necessary by the evaluators.

Last updated 29 Oct 2019, 5.06 PM