REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FOR AUDIT SERVICES - EDUCATION SECTOR PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION GRANT (ESPIG)
1. Background Information
CARE International in Somalia has been providing development and lifesaving assistance across all regions of Somalia since 1981. Our programs go beyond meeting basic needs at the onset of an emergency to helping affected communities recover, rebuild their lives and become more resilient. In order to strengthen communities to better cope with future disasters and address persistent poverty and vulnerability, we are implementing a variety of longer-term development activities aimed at addressing the underlying causes of poverty in Somalia. Our development programs support marginalized women and youth through innovative projects in education, water and sanitation, sustainable environmental management, civil society development, peacebuilding and governance and small-scale enterprise development. CARE works in partnership with Somali and international NGOs, civil society leaders, universities, the private sector and local authorities in order to bring effective and lasting change to the most vulnerable communities.
The Federal Government of Somalia received a US$25.8 million GPE grant for Education Sector Program Implementation Grant (ESPIG), with CARE as Grant Agent, for the period 2018 - 2022 to implement its education sector strategy.
CARE as the Grant Agent wishes to engage an independent auditor to provide external audit services for Education Sector Program Implementation Grant (ESPIG) for financial year 1 and 2.
2. An overview of ESPIG Project
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) funded Education Sector Program Implementation Grant (ESPIG) is aligned with the priorities of the Federal Government of Somalia’s Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP 2018-2020).
The Education Sector Program Implementation Grant (ESPIG) has five components:
§ Component 1: Increased equitable access to quality primary education for out-of-school children
§ Component 2: Enhanced quality of primary education
§ Component 3: Enhanced capacity at Federal and Member State levels
§ Component 4: Program monitoring, accountability and communication
§ Component 5: Effective and efficient program management
The project is being implemented by the Federal Government of Somalia Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education (MoECHE) in collaboration with the Federal Member States Ministries of Education in Jubaland State, South West State, Galmudug State, Hirshabelle State and Banaadir regional administration with CARE as the Grant Agent and Concern Worldwide as sub-contractor.
3. Audit Objective
The objective of this special purpose grant financial statement audit is to:
1.1 Enable the auditor to express an independent professional opinion on each of the following:
a) the special purpose project financial statements prepared by CARE International in Somalia. The special purpose project financial statements consist of:
(i) Statement of fund received and other income, if any,
(ii) Statement of uses of funds by project components, and,
(iii) Notes to the special purpose project financial statement, including a short description of the main statements of accounting policy and other descriptive notes.
b) CARE’s compliance with its own policies and procedures, grant agreement, the applicable GPE policies and guidelines as contained in the Project Document and applicable local laws and regulations.
1.2 Comment on adequacy of the CARE’s internal control systems, and report on any weaknesses identified. The audit will also include review of controls at Partners, including: Concern Worldwide and Ministry of Education Culture and Higher Education and review of the terms and conditions of their engagement and adherence thereof.
4. Scope of Work
The audit will be carried out in accordance with International Standards on Auditing. It will include such tests and controls as the auditor considers necessary including visit to project offices and sites.
The audit will cover the period 01 September 2018 to 31 August 2020, with a general focus on:
- Contractual compliance and practice: To assess and confirm that CARE International in Somalia and Partners are compliant with GPE contractual obligations. It will also entail confirming that CARE’s management practices, including administrative, contractual, financial and legal are in line with best practices.
- Financial management and internal controls: To assess and confirm that financial management and control environment of CARE International in Somalia and its Sub-have been designed and implemented in line with best and generally accepted accounting standards.
- Expenditure and reporting verification: To verify and confirm, on a sample basis, that reported expenditure and other financial reports issued by the Partners are accurate and a true reflection of the project’s financial activities, and also to confirm that all expenditures have sufficient support documentations.
- Contracting and procurement: To establish and confirm that transparent, accountable and appropriate procurement and contracting practices are established and are being followed.**
- Regulatory and tax compliance: To confirm on whether CARE has complied with the country’s tax laws and any other regulations.**
The Specific focus will be to:
a) Ascertain compliance of the laid down CARE’s internal policies and compliance to the donor contractual terms.
b) Test whether all the activities included in the work plan have been implemented as planned and the target outputs under each activity achieved. A minimum sample of 50% of total expenditure value should be tested.
c) Verify the validity of project expenditure, accuracy of reporting and allowability/eligibility, and classification of costs into budget lines
d) Verify that the administrative (indirect) costs do not exceed the maximum allowed fraction of the total direct eligible costs of the project per the approved budget.
e) Verify on a sample basis the existence, conditions, location, and values of capital assets purchased by the fund, including reporting on the same.
f) Test and assess the extent of achievement of project milestones.
g) Ascertain and evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of the financial management and internal control framework/ environment such as segregation of duties, approval of expenditure and cash & bank reconciliations.
h) Express an independent professional opinion regarding Value for Money (VfM) i.e. efficiency, effectiveness and economy of the project’s operations.
i) Assess conformity of expenditure with the budget and analytical review - includes tests of authenticity/authorization of the initial budget, conformity with budget, test that all expenses were foreseen in the budget, test that amendments to the approved budget comply with the conditions for such amendments, and that expenditure for a transaction or action has been classified under the correct heading and subheading of the approved budget.
Conduct visits to CARE’s and Partners’ offices
Visit to CARE’s and Partners’ offices will not be mandatory and will depend on the how the COVID-19 pandemic develops. In case of extreme COVID-19 lockdown, the required documents and/or information will be shared with the auditor through an online platform
5. Expected deliverables for the audit
a) Special purpose project financial statement which shall states the audit opinion as to whether the project books of account as a whole are free from material misstatement.
b) Management letter with key findings made from the audit engagement and recommendations.
Kindly submit your proposal which must contain the following as a minimum:
a) Technical proposal – Should indicate the audit approach, methodology and work-plan for this assignment. The firm must also demonstrate sufficient quality control measures.
b) A valid proof that the firm is licensed and approved by a recognized professional accountancy regulatory body
c) A detailed firm’s profile including various donor-funded projects that the audit firm has audited.
d) Key personnel that will work on this assignment. This should include their CV’s and details of relevant experience and qualifications.
Note: If awarded, staff proposed by the firm on the proposal will be the ones to carry out the assignment. Any replacement of the proposed staff during assignment execution will need validation of their experience and qualification by CARE.
e) At least three references who must be clients whom the firm previously provided donor-funded project audit services.
f) Financial proposal – should be itemized to show audit fees, taxes and any disbursements.
Proposals failing to meet the minimum requirements stated above will not be considered further.
7. Submission Deadline
Interested firms that meet the above requirements should send both their technical and financial proposals as one attachment to SOM.Consultant@care.org on or before 29 October 2020.
Please indicate “Proposal to conduct ESPIG Project Audit” in the subject line of your email application.