CALL FOR TENDERS

for the provision of International consultancy services in the framework of the project “Strenghening the communities association of armenia and transparent, participatory local governance in armenia’’

2019/AO/38

Object of the procurement procedure

International consultancy services in the field of local democracy, ethics, anti-corruption and organisational development

Project

VC 2002 ‘Strengthening the Communities Association of Armenia and Transparent, Participatory Local Governance in Armenia”

Organisation and buying entity

Council of Europe

Council of Europe Office in Yerevan

Office of Directorate General of Programming

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

Type of contract

Framework Contract

Duration

Until 30 June 2022; renewable until 31 December 2022

Expected starting date

16 September 2019

Tender Notice Issuance date

01 July 2019

Deadline for tendering

21 July 2019


TABLE OF CONTENTS

This Tender File contains:

·       The TERMS OF REFERENCE. 3

The TERMS OF REFERENCE describe what will be expected from the selected Providers.

·       The TENDER RULES. 8

The TENDER RULES explain the procedure through which the tenders will be submitted by the tenderers and assessed by the Council of Europe.

·       The ACT OF ENGAGEMENT(See Document attached) is the document formalising the consent of the Parties to be bound by the LEGAL CONDITIONS, which are the legal provisions which will be applicable between the Council of Europe and the selected Providers. It also contains the TABLE OF FEES, which indicates the applicable fees, throughout the duration of the contract.

HOW DOES A FRAMEWORK CONTRACT WORK?
STAGE 1: 
SELECTION of qualified Providers through a call for tenders and signature of a framework contract with all the pre-selected Providers. 
STAGE 2:
ORDER(S) are addressed, on an as needed basis, throughout the duration of the contract, to the designated Provider(s). 
EXECUTION as from the date of signature of each Order, unless the Order concerned provides otherwise.
HOW TO SUBMIT A TENDER?

STEP 1: Read the TENDER FILE

STEP 2: Send any questions at least one week before the deadline to: tender.armenia-BH8385@coe.int 

STEP 3: Complete the ACT OF ENGAGEMENT and collect the required SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS, as listed in section F of the terms of reference (below).

STEP 3: Send your TENDER, in paper hardcopy and electronically to: cdm@coe.int, in accordance with Article 8 of the Tender Rules.



PART I –TERMS OF REFERENCE

CALL FOR TENDERS

for the provision of International consultancy services in the framework of the project “Strenghening the communities association of armenia and transparent, participatory local governance in armenia’’

2019/AO/38

A.  Background

The objective of the “Strengthening the Communities Association of Armenia and transparent, participatory local governance in Armenia” Project is to improve the quality of local democracy in Armenia and enhance citizens’ confidence and trust in local authorities through greater voice, accountability, effectiveness and inclusiveness of the local self-government bodies. The Project is built upon a two-fold strategy: 

·         at national level, the Project is aimed at further empowering the Communities Association of Armenia (CAA) in the execution of its mandate of catalysing and voicing the unified position of local authorities, as well as representing the interests of its members towards the Government of Armenia, 

·         at local level, the Project will support local self-governments (LSGs) to increase their transparency and accountability and will specifically focus on promoting integration of the requirements of the European Code of Conduct for the political integrity of local elected representatives and other Council of Europe recommendations for the prevention of corruption into municipal by-laws.

The Council of Europe (the Council) is looking for a pool of up to 40 Providers (provided enough tenders meet the criteria indicated below) in order to support the implementation of the project with a particular expertise on in the field of local democracy, ethics, anti-corruption and organisational development. The current tendering procedure is subject to the availability of funds and it aims to select Providers to support project implementation and is divided into the following lots:

Lots

Maximum number of Providers to be selected

Lot 1: Legal analysis and policy advice

20

Lot 2: Public ethics, anti-corruption, transparency, open government and citizen participation

20

The tenderer must be either a natural person, or a legal person except consortia. Legal persons will be required to assign individual employees to perform tasks under the contract and may not subcontract or replace any employees without the explicit written acceptance of the Council of Europe. Should the requested deliverables be performed by a person other than the pre-approved employees or consultants, the Council of Europe reserves the right to terminate the contract. Tenders may be submitted for one or several lots.

This Contract is currently estimated to cover up to 30 activities to be held by 30 June 2022. This estimate is for information only and shall not constitute any sort of contractual commitment on the part of the Council of Europe. The Contract may potentially represent a higher or lower number of activities, depending on the evolving needs of the Organisation.

For information purposes only, the total budget of the project amounts to 900 000 Euros and the total amount of the object of present tender should in principle not exceed 53 700 Euros for the whole duration of the Framework Contract. This information does not constitute any sort of contractual commitment or obligation on the part of the Council of Europe.

B.  SCOPE OF THE FRAMEWORK CONTRACT

Throughout the duration of the Framework Contract, pre-selected Providers, under the guidance of the Project staff and, where appropriate, in cooperation with other experts, may be asked to:

Lots

Lot 1. Institutional Development of Associations of Local Authorities

-       prepare/provide legal and policy analysis/advice with reference to European standards and best practice of the Council of Europe member states, related to structures and functions of local government associations in order to strengthen the institutional capacities of the Communities Association of Armenia.  

Legal and policy advice will cover topics including but not limited to:

o    consultation mechanisms between national government and associations of local authorities;

o    advocacy and lobbying;

o    services to members;

o    communication with members and public outreach;

o    organisational development and strategic planning;

o    charter and by-laws;

-       prepare reports, policy papers, recommendations, strategy papers, legal documents and other relevant documents,  

-       participate in expert working groups, workshops, seminars, round tables and conferences, deliver presentations, provide written input to peer reviews.

Lot 2: Public ethics, anti-corruption, transparency, open government and citizen participation

-       Conduct workshops for mayors, councillors and municipal servants on the topics of public ethics, anti-corruption, transparency, open government and citizen participation to provide conformity with the Armenian legal framework and local best practice with international and European standards:

o    Participate in the planning cycle of the workshops to develop the programme, content, materials, exercises and methodology for delivery in co-operation with the team of local and international experts and trainers,

o    Participate in workshop briefing and de-briefing sessions with the project team,

o    Develop hand-outs and presentations on the respective topics,

o    Conduct relevant sessions during the workshops and facilitate the discussions, 

o    Contribute to development of evaluation forms to measure the knowledge transfer to the workshop participants,

o    If necessary, adapt the format and methodology for the workshops after the evaluations,

o    Prepare a report with an overview of the sessions, results, and recommendations for potential replication of this type of workshops in other municipalities/countries and for the preparation of future activities.

-       Support interested LSGs in Armenia in developing local codes of conduct on political integrity based on the European Code of Conduct for all persons involved in local and regional governance and integrating recommendations for preventing corruption into municipal by-laws and decisions:  

o    Participate in discussions with interested LSGs in Armenia to discuss the modalities of the codes of conduct on political integrity,

o    Draft or support in drafting the local codes of conducts. 

-       Coaching for LSG implementing local initiatives on ethics, anti-corruption, transparency, open government and citizen participation:

o    Provide expert support and guidance to the selected LSGs, with the aim to refine and develop the selected proposals into fully-fledged operational plans,

o    Provide expert guidance in, and assessment of, the various stages of implementation and the potential revision of local imitative Action Plans, and to assess indicators of change,

o    Provide advice to LGs in preparing their final narrative reports and propose the revision if necessary,

o    Remain available for consultation by phone / email / Skype or other means for the whole duration of initiatives, when the project leaders need help or advice.

o    Draft a final report (in English) assessing the process of implementation of local initiatives in each municipality, the challenges faced by grantees; lessons learned, whilst evaluating the sustainability of implemented initiatives and providing recommendations for future similar initiatives in the region.

The above list is not considered exhaustive. The Council reserves the right to request deliverables not explicitly mentioned in the above list of expected services, but related to the field of expertise object of the present Framework Contract.

In terms of quality requirements, the pre-selected Service Providers must ensure, inter alia, that:

·         The services are provided to the highest professional/academic standard;

·         Any specific instructions given by the Council – whenever this is the case – are followed.

In addition to the orders requested on an as needed basis, the Provider shall keep regular communication with the Council to ensure continuing exchange of information relevant to the project implementation. This involves, among others, to inform the Council as soon as it becomes aware, during the execution of the Contract, of any initiatives and/or adopted laws and regulations, policies, strategies or action plans or any other development related to the object of the Contract (see more on general obligations of the Provider in Article 3.1.2 of the Legal Conditions in the Act of Engagement).

Unless otherwise agreed with the Council, written documents produced by the Provider shall be in English (see more on requirements for written documents in Articles 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 of the Legal Conditions in the Act of Engagement).

C.  FEES

Tenderers are invited to indicate their unit fees, by completing the table of fees, as attached in Section A of the Act of Engagement. These fees are final and not subject to review.

The Council will indicate on each Order Form (see Section D below) the global fee corresponding to each deliverable, calculated on the basis of the daily fees, as agreed by this Contract.

Tenders proposing fees above the exclusion level indicated in the Table of fees will be entirely and automatically excluded from the tender procedure.

D.  HOW WILL THIS FRAMEWORK CONTRACT WORK? (Ordering PROCEDURE)

Once this consultation and the subsequent selection are completed, you will be informed accordingly. Deliverables will then be carried out on the basis of Order Forms submitted by the Council to the selected Service Provider(s), by post or electronically, on an as needed basis (there is therefore no obligation to order on the part of the Council).

Each time an Order Form is sent, the selected Provider undertakes to take all the necessary measures to send it signed to the Council within 2 (two) working days after its reception.

For each Order, the Council will choose from the pool of pre-selected tenderers the Provider who demonstrably offers best value for money for its requirement when assessed – for the Order concerned – against the criteria of: 

·         quality (including as appropriate: capability, expertise, past performance, availability of resources and proposed methods of undertaking the work);

·         availability (including, without limitation, capacity to meet required deadlines and, where relevant, geographical location); and

·         price.

If a Provider is unable to take an Order or if no reply is given on his behalf within that deadline, the Council may call on another Service Provider using the same criteria, and so on until a suitable Provider is contracted.

Where the provider is a legal person (e.g. think tanks, associations, etc.) they shall provide details/CV of the individual proposed to complete each Order. The Council reserves the right to refuse assignment of work to a particular individual, to request that work be completed by a specific individual and to cancel an order if these requirements are not met.

Providers subject to VAT

The Provider, if subject to VAT, shall also send, together with each signed Form, a quote[1] (Pro Forma invoice) in line with the indications specified on each Order Form, and including:

-    the Service Provider’s name and address;

-    its VAT number;

-    the full list of services;

-    the fee per type of deliverables (in the currency indicated on the Act of Engagement, tax exclusive);

-    the total amount per type of deliverables (in the currency indicated on the Act of Engagement, tax exclusive);

-    the total amount (in the currency indicated on the Act of Engagement), tax exclusive, the applicable VAT rate, the amount of VAT and the amount VAT inclusive.

Signature of orders

An Order Form is considered to be legally binding when the Order, signed by the Service Provider, is approved by the Council, by displaying a Council’s Purchase Order number on the Order, as well as by signing and stamping the Order concerned. Copy of each approved Order Form shall be sent to the Provider, to the extent possible on the day of its signature.

E.   ASSESSMENT

Exclusion criteria (by signing the Act of Engagement, you declare on your honour not being in any of the below situations) [2]

Tenderers shall be excluded from participating in the tender procedure if they:

·         have been sentenced by final judgment on one or more of the following charges: participation in a criminal organisation, corruption, fraud, money laundering;

·         are in a situation of bankruptcy, liquidation, termination of activity, insolvency or arrangement with creditors or any like situation arising from a procedure of the same kind, or are subject to a procedure of the same kind;

·         have received a judgment with res judicata force, finding an offence that affects their professional integrity or serious professional misconduct;

·         do not comply with their obligations as regards payment of social security contributions, taxes and dues, according to the statutory provisions of their country of incorporation, establishment or residence;

·         are or are likely to be in a situation of conflict of interests.

Eligibility criteria

Tenderers shall demonstrate that they fulfil the following criteria (to be assessed on the basis of all supporting documents listed in Section F). These minimum criteria apply to each person whose CV is provided:

Lot 1: Institutional Development of Associations of Local Authorities  

-       Master's Degree in public policy, law, social sciences or relevant disciplines.

-       Minimum five years of relevant experience in undertaking research, providing advice and recommendations related to structures and functions of local government associations. 

-       Full professional proficiency in English.

Lot 2: Public ethics, anti-corruption, transparency, open government and citizen participation

-       Master's Degree in public policy, law, social sciences or relevant disciplines.

-       Minimum five years of relevant experience in undertaking research, providing advice and recommendations in the field of public ethics, anti-corruption, transparency, open government and citizen participation.

-       Full professional proficiency in English.

Award criteria

Lot 1: Institutional Development of Associations of Local Authorities

Quality of the offer (90%)

·         Thematic knowledge and expertise, including (30%):

o    Knowledge about functions, objectives and modalities of operation of associations of local authorities.

o    Knowledge and understanding of general standards and principles of local governance and local democracy including knowledge of relevant international standards, in particular those set by the Council of Europe;

o    Knowledge of local government reforms in Armenia and/or other Eastern Partnership countries (desirable).

·         Relevant experience, including (40%):

o    Experience of consulting local government associations in any of the following: strategic planning; advocacy and lobbying; consulting with national governments; developing and delivering services to members; outreach to members and various target groups; revising statutes and by-laws.   

o    Experience of preparing policy and legal analysis and developing reports and positions papers in the field of local governance;

o    Experience of working at an association of local authorities (desirable).  

·         Specific skills and capacities, including (20%):

o    Research, analysis, writing and reporting skills;

o    Training skills;

o    Communication and public presentation skills;

o    Adaptability and team-working skills.

Financial offer (10%)

Lot 2: Public ethics, anti-corruption, transparency, open government and citizen participation

Quality of the offer (90%)

·         Thematic knowledge and expertise, including (30%):

o    Knowledge of the topics of public ethics, anti-corruption, transparency, open government and citizen participation. 

o    Good knowledge of European standards, procedures and practices in local self-government system and local government reforms.

·         Relevant experience, including (40%):

o    Experience in undertaking research, providing advice and developing recommendations in the field of public ethics, anti-corruption, transparency, open government and citizen participation in Armenia.

o    Experience in planning and conducting workshops on topics of public ethics, anti-corruption, transparency, open government and citizen participation.

·         Specific skills and capacities, including (20%):

o    Research, analysis, writing and reporting skills;

o    Communication and public presentation skills;

o    Adaptability and team-working skills.

Financial offer (10%)

The Council reserves the right to hold interviews with eligible tenderers.

Multiple tendering is not authorised.

F.   DOCUMENTS TO BE PROVIDED

Ø  Two completed and signed copies of the Act of Engagement.[3]

Ø  A detailed CV in English, demonstrating clearly that the tenderer fulfils the eligibility criteria. Where the tenderer is a legal person, this shall include the CV of the person(s) who will be assigned to carry out the work.

Ø  Motivation letter in English, highlighting the specific area of expertise of the tenderer.

Ø  Samples of previous work relevant to the lot(s) for which the tenderer is applying (in English).

Ø  Three referees' contact details (contacts, including phone number and e-mail address);

Ø  Registration documents, for legal persons only.

All documents shall be submitted in English, failure to do so will result in the exclusion of the tender. If any of the documents listed above are missing, the Council of Europe reserves the right to reject the tender.

The Council reserves the right to reject a tender if the scanned documents are of such a quality that the documents cannot be read once printed.

* * *


PART II – TENDER RULES

CALL FOR TENDERS

for the provision of INTERNATIONAL consultancy services in the framework of the project “Strenghening the communities association of armenia and transparent, participatory local governance in armenia’’

2019/AO/38


ARTICLE 1 – IDENTIFICATION OF THE CONTRACTING AUTHORITY

1.1   Name and address

COUNCIL OF EUROPE

Council of Europe Office in Yerevan, Office of the Directorate General of Programmes, 26/1 Vazgen Sargsyan str 6th floor, “Erebuni Plaza” Business CentreYerevan, 0010 Republic of Armenia.

Background

The activities of the Organisation are governed by its Statute. These activities concern the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Organisation has its seat in Strasbourg and has set up external offices in about 20 member and non-member states (in Ankara, Baku, Belgrade, Brussels, Bucharest, Chisinau, Erevan, Geneva, Kyiv, Lisbon, Moscow, Paris, Podgorica, Pristina, Rabat, Sarajevo, Skopje, Tbilisi, Tirana, Tunis, Warsaw, Venice and Vienna).

Council of Europe procurements are governed by the Financial Regulations of the Organisation and by Rule 1333 of 29 June 2011 on the procurement procedures of the Council of Europe.

The Organisation enjoys privileges and immunities provided for in the General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe, and its Protocols, and the Special Agreement relating to the Seat of the Council of Europe.[4]

Further details on the project are provided in the Terms of Reference.

ARTICLE 2 – VALIDITY OF THE TENDERS

Tenders are valid for 120 calendar days as from the closing date for their submission.

ARTICLE 3 – DURATION OF THE CONTRACT

The duration of the framework contract is set out in Article 2 of the Legal Conditions in the Act of Engagement.

ARTICLE 4 – CHANGE, ALTERATION AND MODIFICATION OF THE TENDER FILE

Any change in the format, or any alteration or modification of the original tender will cause the immediate rejection of the tender concerned.

ARTICLE 5 – Content of the tender file

The tender file is composed of:

-    Technical specifications/Terms of reference;

-    Tender rules;

-    An Act of Engagement, including the Legal Conditions of the contract.

ARTICLE 6 – LEGAL FORM OF TENDERERS

The tenderer must be either a natural person, or a legal person except consortia.

ARTICLE 7 – SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

General information can be found on the website of the Council of Europe: http://www.coe.int

Other questions regarding this specific tendering procedure shall be sent at the latest by one week before the deadline for submissions of tenders, in English, and shall be exclusively sent to the following address: tender.armenia-BH8385@coe.int  

This address is to be used for questions only; for modalities of tendering, please refer to the below Article.

ARTICLE 8 – MODALITIES OF THE TENDERING

Tenders must be sent to the Council of Europe both electronically and in paper hardcopy.

Electronic copies shall be sent only to cdm@coe.int. Tenders submitted to another e-mail account will be excluded from the procedure;

Paper hardcopiesshall be sent in A4 format (21x29.7 cm) by post, as specified below:

-  Tenders shall be submitted in a sealed envelope. The first sealed envelope shall be placed inside a second envelope addressed to the Tenders Board, showing the file reference number and object, as follows:

COUNCIL OF EUROPE
For the attention of the Tenders Board
CALL FOR PROVISION OF INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE PROJECT “STRENGHENING THE COMMUNITIES ASSOCIATION OF ARMENIA AND TRANSPARENT, PARTICIPATORY LOCAL GOVERNANCE IN ARMENIA’’
 2019/AO/38
B.P. 7
F – 67075 STRASBOURG Cedex
FRANCE


-    Tenderers are requested to indicate their names and address on the outside envelope for identification purposes.

-    Tenders submitted to another postal address will be excluded from the procedure.

ARTICLE 9 – Deadline for submission of tenders

The deadline for the submission of tenders is 21 July 2019  as evidenced by the postmark, or by the receipt of delivery provided by the dispatching company.

ARTICLE 10 – ASSESSMENT OF TENDERS

Tenders shall be assessed in accordance with Rule 1333 of 29 June 2011 on the procurement procedures of the Council of Europe. Assessment shall be based upon the criteria as detailed in the Terms of Reference.

* * *



FINAL CHECK LIST

1)BEFORE SENDING YOUR TENDER, CHECK THAT IT INCLUDES:

Ø  Two completed and signed copies of the Act of Engagement.[5]

Ø  A detailed CV in English, demonstrating clearly that the tenderer fulfils the eligibility criteria. Where the tenderer is a legal person, this shall include the CV of the person(s) who will be assigned to carry out the work.

Ø  Motivation letter in English, highlighting the specific area of expertise of the tenderer.

Ø  Samples of previous work relevant to the lot(s) for which the tenderer is applying (in English).

Ø  Three referees' contact details (contacts, including phone number and e-mail address);

Ø  Registration documents, for legal persons only.

2) HOW TO SEND TENDERS?

Tenders must be sent to the Council of Europe both electronically and in paper hardcopy.

Electronic copies shall be sent only to cdm@coe.int. Tenders submitted to another e-mail account will be excluded from the procedure;

Paper hardcopiesshall be sent in A4 format (21x29.7 cm) by post, as specified below:

-       Tenders shall be submitted in a sealed envelope. The first sealed envelope shall be placed inside a second envelope addressed to the Tenders Board, showing the file reference number and object, as follows:

COUNCIL OF EUROPE
For the attention of the Tenders Board
CALL FOR PROVISION OF INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE PROJECT “STRENGHENING THE COMMUNITIES ASSOCIATION OF ARMENIA AND TRANSPARENT, PARTICIPATORY LOCAL GOVERNANCE IN ARMENIA’’
2019/AO/38
B.P. 7
F – 67075 STRASBOURG Cedex
FRANCE


-       Tenderers are requested to indicate their names and address on the outside envelope for identification purposes.

-       Do not send a copy of your tender to the buyer entity. Tenders submitted to any other postal address than the one indicated above will be excluded from the procedure.

The deadline for the submission of tenders is 21 July 2019  as evidenced by the postmark, or by the receipt of delivery provided by the dispatching company.



[1] It must strictly respect the fees indicated in Section A of the Act of Engagement as recorded by the Council of Europe. In case of non-compliance with the fees as indicated in the Act of Engagement, the Council of Europe reserves the right to terminate the Contract with the Service Provider, in all or in part.

[2] The Council of Europe reserves the right to ask tenderers, at a later stage, to supply the following supporting documents:

-  An extract from the record of convictions or failing that en equivalent document issued by the competent judicial or administrative authority of the country of incorporation, indicating that the first three requirements listed above under “exclusion criteria” are met;

-  A certificate issued by the competent authority of the country of incorporation indicating that the fourth requirement is met.

[3] The Act of Engagement must be completed, signed and scanned in its entirety (i.e. including all the pages). The scanned Act of Engagement may be sent page by page (attached to a single email) or as a compiled document, although a compiled document would be preferred. For all scanned documents, .pdf files are preferred.

[4]Available on the website of the Council of Europe Treaty Office: www.conventions.coe.int

[5] The Act of Engagement must be completed, signed and scanned in its entirety (i.e. including all the pages). The scanned Act of Engagement may be sent page by page (attached to a single email) or as a compiled document, although a compiled document would be preferred. For all scanned documents, .pdf files are preferred.