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Assessor on the Status of Indirect Management Performance for IPA II CBC Programmes
Western Balkans Region
The project “Cross-border Institution Building - CBIB+ Phase II” is a multi-country project funded by the European Union and implemented by a consortium led by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The consortium partners are ARUP and MWH, both from the UK. CBIB+ Phase II is a new project conceived as an extension of CBIB+ (December 2012 – November 2015) for an additional period of 3 years and one month (December 2015 – December 2018).
The second generation of cross-border cooperation (CBC) programmes at intra-Western Balkans borders under the 2014-2020 Instrument of Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II) undergoes a number of substantial changes in the management, implementation methods and mechanisms compared to the 2007-2013 IPA financial cycle. In addition, following the entrustment of budget implementation tasks, some of the programmes are to be implemented in indirect management by the IPA II beneficiary instead of by the Delegation of the European Union (DEU). These changes justify a continuation of technical assistance to assist the national authorities with the smooth transition and adoption of the working arrangements which existed under IPA to those that will prevail under IPA II.
CBIB+ Phase II will therefore focus on the following areas:
- harmonisation of procedures in different programmes/countries;
- general support to CBC programme management structures (expert/technical advice on call for proposals, organisation of specific training events especially on evaluation and monitoring, training for grant beneficiaries and potential applicants);
- coordination between programmes and exchange of best practices including organisation of regional events/forums, exchange of staff and participation in European Territorial Cooperation seminars;
- measurement of CBC impact in the Western Balkans through regular assessments of key objectives, results and indicators so as to provide relevant feedback for the successful implementation of the programmes;
- expert support and technical advice to the contracting authorities that will operate under indirect management;
- expert support and technical advice to new CBC programmes (i.e. between Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia);
- enhanced visibility and communication of the CBC programmes at intra-Western Balkans borders.
The consortium is currently recruiting a non-key expert as an assessor on the status of indirect management performance for IPA II CBC programmes. The expert must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Higher education degree or alternatively 10 years of professional experience in programme and/or project management under EU external assistance;
- Fluency in both written and spoken English;
- At least 7 years of professional experience in programme and/or project management under EU funded programmes within EU Member States and/or Candidate Countries and/or the IPA II Beneficiaries;
- At least 5 years of experience as civil servant and/or any other type of employee or consultant involved in the establishment and/or the performance of decentralised implementation systems/indirect management or shared management for EU programmes over the last fifteen years.
In addition to the minimum requirements, candidates proving that they have acquired the following qualifications, skills and specific experience will have an advantage:
- A master degree;
- Professional accreditation by a relevant recognised institution in the field of auditing and/or accounting;
- Fluency in any of the official languages of the Western Balkan Countries: Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian languages;
- Experience in assignments as employees or consultants related IPA, IPA II, ENI CBC programmes and/or ETC programmes (Interreg and/or transnational) in the work of any of the following bodies: contracting authorities, managing authorities, national funds, certifying authorities, national authorising officers’ secretariats, CBC operating structures, ETC national authorities and/or audit authorities.
The location of the assignment will be in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro and Serbia. The expert will have the opportunity to visit each of these Beneficiaries in order to conduct interviews with key CBC stakeholders involved in the performance of indirect management for the following programmes:
- Montenegro – Albania
- Montenegro – Kosovo*
- Serbia – Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Serbia – Montenegro
- Serbia – the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The expert should engage in discussion with the following authorities: the National Authorising Officer (NAO) and his or her Secretarial Office, the Head of the Operating Structure in each of the Beneficiaries, the Head of the CBC Body, the Head of the Contracting Authority (CFCUs) and the Head of the Joint Technical Secretariat for each of the aforementioned IPA II CBC programmes.
His of her main tasks and responsibilities will be to draft an assessment report not longer than 20 pages, including a three-page report per aforementioned IPA II Beneficiary, with a synthetic description of the status of indirect management performance for each of the five IPA II CBC programmes, which are part of this assignment. The expert will pay particular attention to the following topics:
- Designation and operationalisation of the group of auditors (see Article 77(3) of the FWAs);
- Designation and operationalisation of control bodies according to the bilateral arrangements;
- Electronic data systems for accounting, storage, monitoring and reporting;
- Definition of control arrangements and their appropriateness (including systematic or on a sample basis ex-ante and ex-post on-the-spot checks);
- Application of OLAF guidelines regarding irregularity management;
- Communication and visibility plan for the entire programme duration.
In addition, the expert will
- draft a handbook on how to run management verifications in joint cooperation with the partner country; and
- Identify a mix of operational and budget execution indicators.
For all this, the expert will have the following written references to use as background:
- The Annex VI (‘conditions related to indirect management’) of the Financing Agreements (FAs) for the allocations 2014-2017 for each of the five programmes;
- The Articles 10(4), 12(3) and 69 of the Framework Agreements (FWAs) for IPA II programmes; and
- The Bilateral Arrangements of the five programmes.
This position will last up to 25 working days (including 3 working days as home based), starting from September 2018 and ending by December 2018.
Please note that civil servants and other staff of the public administration of the beneficiary countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro and Serbia) cannot be recruited as experts.
Please submit electronically by 20 August 2018 not later than 24.00 hours your comprehensive CV only using the EU format available on the following web page: http://www.cbibplus.eu/sites/default/files/Model_standard_CV_non-key_experts.docx. All interested candidates should send their CV in English indicating that the position or vacancy is CBIB+2 - assessor on the status of indirect management performance for IPA II CBC programmes - relaunch. No other supporting documents should be sent at this stage. The CV should be no longer than 4 pages. In case of CVs longer than 4 pages, only the content of the first 4 pages will be taken into account. At a later phase, successful applicants will be expected to document the relevant qualifications and experience in their CVs with copies of diplomas and certificates of employers. If the selection panel finds it suitable, only the best compliant candidates may be contacted for an interview.
Candidates submitting their CVs in a format or language other than the ones required in this vacancy announcement will not be considered for the position.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.