REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST
ECOWAS-REGIONAL ELECTRICITY ACCESS PROJECT (ECOREAP)
Loan No./Credit No./ Grant No.: IDA/ D4070
Assignment Title: External Auditor. (As per Procurement Plan): GM-NAWEC-379210-CS-LCS
The Government of the Gambia (GOTG) has received financing from the World Bank (IDA Grant D4080), towards the implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Access Project (ECO-REAP) and intends to recruit an audit firm for the audit of the financial statements.
|A. Project Development Objective
- The Project Development Objective is to increase grid electricity access in Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and The Gambia.
- The proposed SOP1 will finance work outlined above in Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and The Gambia. The project aims to provide access to around 1 million people in the three countries. Specific localities in each country have been selected following a least-cost geospatial electrification planning within a 100-km radius of the substations of the OMVG in The Gambia and Guinea Bissau, and the substations of the OMVS in Mali. The project is aligned to the national access programs.
- The project comprises three components:
- Design and build electricity distribution infrastructure (Medium Voltage – MV and Low Voltage – LV) to maximize new connections.
- Supervision of the construction and technical advisory; and
- Technical assistance and project management.
- Component 1: Design, supply, and installation of electricity distribution infrastructure This component specifically supports the detail design, supply and installation of distribution networks from OMVG and OMVS 225/33KV substations with the following scope: (a) 3 700 km of 33 KV medium voltage (MV) lines, (b) 1 000 33KV/400V distribution substations, (c) 3 500 km of 400V low voltage (LV) lines to expand grid coverage and maximize the number of new connections; and d) 140 000 last mile connection equipment, including service drops, prepaid meters, as well as ready boards for low voltage customers.
- Component 2: Supervision of the construction and technical advisory. This component will finance the costs associated with the recruitment of an owner’s engineer (OE) that will be recruited on a competitive basis under the project to supervise the work carried out under component 1. The owner’s engineer will also monitor compliance with safeguard instruments (environmental and social) related to construction. The responsibility of the OE will comprise review of design, technical specifications, and bidding documents; supervision of construction; contract management; and supervision of implementation of Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) and Resettlement Action Plan (RAP). The OE will assist each PIUs and the RCU during bid clarification, evaluation, and contract negotiation with the selected/awarded bidders/contractors.
- Component 3: Project coordination and technical assistance). In the spirit of strengthening national and regional capacities, this component will finance a combination of technical assistance and project management support to assist recipients in successfully implementing the project and preparing for future phases under the program. Specifically, this component will finance the strengthening of recipient implementation teams responsible for project implementation, expected project costs associated with the management of safeguards excluding the resettlement costs, and technical advisory services pertaining to preparation studies – such as least cost electricity access development plans – for future projects in the region. The component will include three sub-components as follows:
- Sub-component 3.1 –Regional Implementation Support (: This sub-component will finance
- the operation of the Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) and the preparation of the SOP2. It will finance a team comprising a Coordinator, power engineer, procurement, accounting, environmental, social and M&E specialists that will support the project implementation; and, the acquisition of computers and office equipment, training, audits, and other operational costs.
- carry out a study related to the harmonization of equipment and materials to be utilized under component 1 of the project as well as carrying out of a Project-wide assessment at the end of the Project to identify and disseminate lessons relating to absorption capacity and joint procurement the review relating to the harmonization process during the project as well as a program-wide assessment at the end of the project to identify and disseminate lessons relating to absorption capacity and joint procurement; and
- technical studies, ESIA and RAP, gender baseline analysis studies, and bidding documents for future access projects under the program.
Sub-component 3.2. – National Implémentation Support.). This sub-component will finance.
- expected costs related to the management of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and RAP and the application of the Bank’s safeguard policies.
- recruitment of staff at the national level to strengthen the implementation teams and ensure close oversight throughout the project, including for fiduciary and safeguards supervision. Any physical resettlement costs identified under the project RAP once prepared will be financed by the recipient countries directly.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE AUDIT
2.1 The objective of the audit of the Project financial statements (PFSs) is to enable the auditors to express an independent professional opinion on the financial position of the Project as at the end of each fiscal year; and of the income and expenditure for the accounting period ending on that end. The project’s books of account provide the basis for preparation of the financial statements and are established to reflect the financial transactions in respect of the project.
- RESPONSIBILITY FOR PREPARATION OF FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
The project’s management is responsible for the preparation of financial statements, including the maintenance of adequate accounting records and internal controls, the selection and application of accounting policies, the safeguarding of the assets of the project, and adequate disclosure. As part of the audit process, the auditor will request from management written confirmation concerning representations made to us in connection with the audit.
- SCOPE OF THE AUDIT
The audit will be conducted in accordance with International Standards on Auditing. Those Standards require that the auditor plans and performs the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatements. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation.
- In complying with International Standards on Auditing, the auditor is expected to pay particular attention to the following matters, including special considerations for public sector entities:
- In planning and performing the audit to reduce audit risk to an acceptably low level, the auditor should consider the risks of material misstatements in the financial statements due to fraud, as required by International Standard on Auditing 240.
- When designing and performing audit procedures and in evaluating and reporting the results thereof, the auditor should recognize that noncompliance by the entity with laws and regulations may materially affect the financial statements, as required by International Standard on Auditing 250.
- The auditor should communicate audit matters of governance interest arising from the audit of financial statements to those charged with governance of an entity, as required by International Standard on Auditing 260.
- The auditor should appropriately communicate to those charged with governance and to management any deficiencies in internal control that the auditor has identified in an audit of financial statements, as required by International Standard on Auditing 265.
- To reduce audit risk to an acceptably low level, the auditor should determine overall responses to assessed risks at the financial statement level and should design and perform further audit procedures to respond to assessed risks at the assertion level, as required by International Standard on Auditing 330.
- When certain aspects of an entity’s operations are performed by a third-party service provider, the auditor is expected to include an understanding and assessment of the internal control environment of the service provider during the audit process, as required by International Standard on Auditing 402.
- As part of the audit process, the auditor is expected to obtain written representations from management and, where appropriate, those charged with governance, as required by International Standard on Auditing 580.
- When the external auditor decides to use the work of an entity’s internal audit function to modify the nature or timing, or reduce the extent, of audit procedures to be performed directly by the external auditor, the determination shall be in accordance with International Standard on Auditing 610.
- In determining whether to use the work of an auditor’s expert or the extent to which the work of an auditor’s expert is adequate for audit purposes, the determination shall be made in accordance with International Standard on Auditing 620.
- In evidencing compliance with agreed project financing arrangements, the auditor is expected to carry out tests to confirm that:
- All external funds have been used in accordance with the conditions of the relevant financing agreements, with due attention to economy and efficiency, and only for the purposes for which the financing was provided. Relevant financing agreements include [Loan/Credit Agreements].
- Counterpart funds have been provided and used in accordance with the relevant financing agreements, with due attention to economy and efficiency, and only for the purposes for which they were provided.
- Goods, works, and services financed have been procured in accordance with relevant financing agreements, including specific provisions of the World Bank Procurement Framework.
- All necessary supporting documents, records, and accounts have been maintained in respect of all project activities, including expenditures reported using Statements of Expenditure (SOE) or Interim Unaudited Financial Statements (IFS) methods of reporting. The auditor is expected to verify that respective reports issued during the period were in agreement with the underlying books of account.
- Project financial statements
The auditor should verify that the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Standards and on a cash basis. The financial statements should include:
- A summary of funds received from the World Bank, other financiers and counterpart contributions from the borrower, all presented separately;
- A summary of expenditures paid, presented under project account headings and main categories of expenditures; and
- Additional disclosures in explanatory notes, including details of statements of expenditures (SOE) supporting Withdrawal Applications submitted during the period, a reconciliation of movements on the Designated Account, and a statement of fund balances]
- List of assets purchased with project’s fund
(d) A management assertion that project funds have been expended for the intended purposes
( e) When the entity makes publicly available its approved budget, a comparison of budget and actual amounts either as a separate additional financial statement or as a budget column in the financial statements; and
- Notes, comprising a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory notes.
Review of Statements of Expenditure and Interim Unaudited Financial Statements
- The auditor is required to audit all SOE/IFS submitted to the World Bank in support of requests for periodic replenishment of the project designated account(s). Expenditures should be examined for eligibility based on criteria defined in the terms of the financing agreement and detailed in the Project Appraisal Document. The auditor should report any ineligible expenditures identified as having been included in withdrawal applications and reimbursed.
Review of designated accounts
- During the audit of the project financial statements, the auditor is required to review the activities of the project’s designated account(s). Activities to be examined will include deposits received, payments made, interest earned, and reconciliation of period-end balances
- Audit Reports
10 The auditor will issue an audit opinion on the financial statements. The auditor’s opinion shall be based on an evaluation of the conclusions drawn from the audit evidence obtained and shall be expressed clearly through a written report that also describes the basis for that opinion. The audit report shall be prepared in accordance with International Standard on Auditing 700.
- A modified audit opinion shall be rendered in the financial statements when the auditor concludes, on the basis of the audit evidence obtained, that the financial statements as a whole are not free from material misstatement; or the auditor is unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to conclude that the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement. Modified audit opinions shall be in accordance with International Standard on Auditing 705.
- The auditor will include emphasis of matter paragraphs or other matter paragraphs in the audit opinion where the auditor, having formed an opinion on the financial statements, seeks to draw users’ attention, when in the auditor’s judgment it is necessary to do so, by way of clear additional communication in the auditor’s report. The paragraphs will refer to either a matter that, although appropriately presented or disclosed in the financial statements, is of such importance that it is fundamental to users’ understanding of the financial statements; or as appropriate, any other matter that is relevant to users’ understanding of the audit, the auditor’s responsibilities, or the auditor’s report. This form of opinion will be presented in accordance with International Standard on Auditing 706.
Other audit reports
- In addition to the audit opinion, the auditor will also, either in the audit report or in the report to management:
- provide 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 improvement;
- report on instances of noncompliance with the terms of the financial agreement(s);
- quantify and report expenditures that are considered to be ineligible and either paid out of the designated account(s) or claimed from the World Bank;
- communicate matters that have come to attention during the audit that might have a significant impact on the implementation of the project;
- draw to the borrower’s attention any other matters that the auditor considers pertinent; and
- responses from management, including implemented and proposed remedial actions.
- The auditor’s opinion on the financial statements and management letter should be received by the Bank no later than six months after the end of each accounting period which represents June 30.
- The auditor is entitled to unlimited access to all information and explanations considered necessary to facilitate the audit, including legal documents, project preparation and supervision reports, reports of reviews and investigations, correspondences, and credit account information. The auditor may also seek written confirmation of amounts disbursed and outstanding in the Bank records.
- The auditor is encouraged to meet and discuss audit-related matters, including input to the audit plan, with the World Bank project task team.
- It is highly desirable that the auditor reviews the Bank’s financial reporting and auditing requirements contained in OP 10.00 Investment Project Financing, Bank Policy: Program for Results Financing, and OP 8.60 Development Policy Lending. The auditor should also be familiar with the Disbursement Guidelines for Investment Project Financing (February 2017), the Loan Handbook for World Bank Borrowers (February 2017), and the World Bank’s Procurement Framework (July 2016).
- DURATION OF THE ENGAGEMENT AND PRICING OF THE SERVICES
The total audit engagement is for a period of 3 years to review the accounts for the following accounting period:
First period will be from January to December 2023, then the year ending December 2024 and December 2025.
The Client will pay to the Consultant in accordance with the following schedule:
1st payment: 10% of the Contract amount against advance payment guarantee.
2nd payment: 40% of the Contract amount upon delivery of draft Audit report and draft Management Letter for the accounting Period.
Final payment: 50% of the Contract amount upon delivery of the Final Audit Report and Final Management Letter for the accounting Period.
- Team composition and Qualification requirements for the Key experts
Qualification and experience of key personnel
- Audit Partner.
Chartered Accountant or compatible certification with a minimum of 12 years of post-qualification experience as a practicing Chartered Accountant and at least 8 years’ experience in auditing World Bank or other development partners projects.
- Audit Manager
Minimum of 8 years of post-qualification experience as a Chartered Accountant and at least 5 years’ experience in auditing World Bank or other development partners projects.
- Senior Auditor
Minimum of 5 years of post-qualification experience as a Chartered Accountant and at least 3 years’ experiences in auditing World Bank or other development partners projects.
- Junior Auditor
Minimum of 3 years of post-qualification experience as a Chartered Accountant and at least 2 years’ experience in auditing World Bank or other development partner projects.
- Procurement Specialist.
A minimum of 10 years’ experience in the World Bank procurement is required, including procurement of consulting services, goods, and works/Plant. Procurement specialists, as a minimum, shall have Master’s degree in procurement, business or public administration, or other relevant fields.
- This assignment will not be awarded to audit firms whose audit report was previously rejected by the bank.
- Level of Effort
It is expected that about 80 person-days will be required during the contract implementation. It is envisaged that the services of specific experts will be provided intermittently. The table below shows the indicative positions and their estimated staff months.
Note to Consultants: The above presentation of staff days and specific positions is indicative only; consultants are at liberty to propose their own calculations, provided that the required areas of expertise are adequately covered.
- Reports and Schedule of Deliveries
The key specific outputs and reports are as follows for each accounting Period.
Deliverable Not later than:
Draft Audit Report
3 weeks after the invitation from the project to start the audit.
Draft Management Letter
3 weeks after the invitation from the project to start the audit.
Final Audit Report
1 week after receiving Client’s comments on the Draft Audit Report
1 week after receiving Client’s comments on the Draft Management Letter
All reports and deliverables will have to be submitted in 5 copies, and electronically.
- Data, local services, personnel, and facilities to be provided by NAWEC
NAWEC will provide, free of charge, the following:
- Data and information in connection with the project.
- Counterpart staff necessary for implementing the assignment.
- NAWEC will arrange/facilitate meeting/visits with other governmental agencies, authorities and offices as needed for implementing the services
- Equipment to be provided by consultants
Consultants’ staff shall use its own computers, notebooks, and cellular phones.
Consultants will be responsible for their transportation arrangements and office arrangements for their team, including space, furniture and telecommunication.
- Awarding of Contract
The contract shall be awarded to an audit firm based on the received offer, profile, qualifications and experience of the firm, and availability within the tight schedule set.
The attention of interested Consultants is drawn to Section III, paragraphs, 3.14, 3.16, and 3.17 of the World Bank’s “Procurement Regulations for IPF Borrowers” dated July 2016 and revised November 2017 and July 2018 and November 2020 (“Procurement Regulations”), setting forth the World Bank’s policy on conflict of interest.
Consultants may associate with other firms in the form of a joint venture or a sub consultancy to enhance their qualifications.
A Consultant will be selected in accordance with the Least- Cost-Based Selection (LCS) method set out in the Consultant Guidelines.
Further information can be obtained at the address below during office hours.
External Auditor ECO-REAP ToR
Expressions of interest must be delivered in a written form to the address below (in person, or by mail, or by fax, or by e-mail) by 23rd November 2023.
National Water and Electricity Company
Attn: Haddy Njie – Project Coordinator
Address: National Water & Electricity Company Limited,
Project Implementation Unit
Emporium III Building, Fajara
114 Kairaba Avenue
Floor/ Room number: Conference Room, 1st Floor
Country: The Gambia
Telephone: +220 996 1301/ 9967791/ 7009342
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
 Depending on the complexity of procurement activities, the auditor may consider involving technical experts during the audit engagement, in compliance with provisions of International Standard on Auditing 620. Consideration of using of the work of experts should be brought to the early attention of the borrower and the World Bank for mutual agreement and appropriate guidance.