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USAID Government Accountability Initiative (GAI)

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP)

Title

Post Mortem Analysis of Corruption Cases Expert

RFP Number: GAI-RFP-003
Contracting Authority: Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc. Representative Office, Belgrade

The USAID Serbia Government Accountability Initiative, implemented by Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc., is requesting proposals for conducting a comprehensive `post-mortem` analysis of past corruption cases in Serbia, to provide feedback to the specialized anti-corruption courts and public prosecutors’ offices and information to GAI in development of technical assistance to build the capacity and improve the performance of courts and public prosecutors’ offices.

Date Published: January 15, 2019
Submission Deadline: 30.01.2019.
Point of Contact: Name: Borko Nikolic, Title: Team Leader – Adjudication of Corruption Cases, Email: bnikolic@checchiconsulting.com, Tel: 011 41 45 874

Background

The Government Accountability Initiative (GAI) is a four year, USAID-funded activity, aimed at strengthening capacities and connections of key Serbian stakeholders to increase government accountability at the national and local levels. The project was awarded in February 2018, and is implemented by Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc.

Under Component 3 (Adjudication of Corruption Cases), GAI supports the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC), Republic Public Prosecutor's Office (RPPO), Ministry of Justice (MOJ), and specialized anti-corruption court units and prosecutors’ offices.

Under Component 3, GAI will:

  • Support anti-corruption specialized court units in implementing the new Law on the Organization and Jurisdiction of State Organs in Fight against Organized Crime, Corruption and Terrorism Financing;
  • Develop procedures and methodology for data collection, record keeping and statistical reporting on corruption cases, and
  • Establish an electronic register of corruption cases (ERCC) to support information sharing between different institutions working on the investigation and prosecution of corruption cases.

The Law on Organization and Jurisdiction of State Organs in Fight against Organized Crime, Corruption and Terrorism Financing (hereinafter: Law on Organized Crime and Corruption) created four specialized anti-corruption court units and four Higher Courts in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš and Kraljevo, and related prosecution and investigation task forces. The adoption of the Law was followed by the amendments to the Criminal Code.  Twenty-six criminal offenses related to corruption were amended or introduced in the legal system. The new court units began operation on schedule in March 2018, with training and technical support provided by donors. 

With the aim to analyze the performance and quality of the response of courts and public prosecutor`s offices to corruption in Serbia, GAI will develop a comprehensive learning-oriented post-mortem analysis of corruption cases based on a pre-selected catalogue of criminal offences from the Serbian Criminal Code.

The analysis will identify areas in need of capacity enhancement to support continuous improvement in successful prosecution and adjudication of corruption cases. It will cover such issues as case preparation, prosecutorial strategy, priority principles of prosecution, sentencing policy, and congruence with judicial requirements and decision-making. The process will be clearly focused on constructive institutional and procedural improvements, and not on finding fault. Results of a post-mortem will feed back into GAI support for individual institutions such as specialized anti-corruption courts and for the creation of an electronic register of corruption cases (ERCC).

The analysis will be presented to government representatives and general public.

Purpose and objective

GAI seeks to procure the services of an independent and credible research civil society organization with a proven track record of conducting quality legislative and case law analysis. The main purpose of this contract is to:

  • Analyze a set of decisions in the finalized first instance cases (indictments/indictment acts, judgments) on a selected corruption-related criminal offences in the period March 1, 2014 – March 1, 2018, before entry into force of the Law on Organized Crime and Corruption on March 1, 2018, and accompanying changes in the Serbian Criminal Code, which have introduced  a catalogue  of new corruption-related criminal offences, in order to establish where cases failed or stalled;
  • Analyze available final court decisions for the same set of corruption-related criminal offences adopted after March 1, 2018 in the specialized anticorruption court units of Higher Courts in Belgrade, Nis, Novi Sad and Kraljevo.

Eligibility

Offerors must have:

  • Proven capacity to conduct complex legal and case law analysis;
  • Proven organizational capacity to absorb, analyze and synthesize large amounts of complex data within tight deadlines;
  • Demonstrated competences of the responsible persons for conducting the analysis.

Submission of Proposals

Proposals should be submitted electronically to GAI Project Office in Belgrade, Serbia, no later than 30.01.2019. Bidders should provide reference to the RFP number (in the subject line of the email). Any proposals that arrive after this time, will be considered at Checchi’s discretion.

Questions and Clarifications

All questions and requests for clarification regarding this RFP should be submitted electronically to GAI-Belgrade@checchiconsulting.com, no later than January 21, 2019.

All correspondence must provide reference to the RFP number (in the subject). Questions and clarifications that may be of interest to other bidders, will be circulated to all potential bidders/interested parties.

Content of the Proposals

Proposal must include:

  • Technical Proposal Form: proposed technical approach, relevant previous experience of the organization in the field and professional/organizational capacities (including the key project team members, including the Project Manager, and relevant experts that will directly work on providing technical assistance to beneficiaries. The Technical Proposal should also include schedule of activities (Annex II).
  • Financial Proposal Form: costs presented using provided template in Excel: (Annex III).
  • Proposal Submission Form (Annex IV).

Selection Criteria for Award

Proposals will be ranked based on the criteria given in the Evaluation table below:

Table 1 - Evaluation table 

 

Evaluated Area of Proposal                                      Maximum Points

1

Technical proposal

Total          70

1.1

Quality of Methodology

30

1.2

Previous relevant experience

20

1.3

Organizational capacities and qualifications

 20

2

Cost

Total          30

Total Points

100

 

ANNEX I

Scope of Work 

Purpose and objectives

The contract will entail provision of the following services:

Conduct a comprehensive learning-oriented analysis of selected corruption cases to provide information to specialized anti-corruption courts and public prosecutors’ offices and other interlocutors (MOJ, Supreme Court, Republic Prosecutor`s Office) on areas for capacity building and improvement.

The proposed methodology should include the following:

1. In part of the analysis related to court decisions passed before March 1, 2018, the following information should be collected:

  • Final first-instance judgments for the selected offences for the period March 1, 2014 to March 1, 2018, with number of each of the cases and number of accused;
  • List of cases for the selected offences for the named period completed under plea agreements, with case number and number of the accused;
  • Area or sector in which the offence occurred (health sector, public procurement, etc).

The sample court decisions should be as representative as possible and disaggregated by appellate regions and designated basic and higher courts in the territories in which specialized anti-corruption departments were established. 

In part of the analysis related to court decisions passed after March 1, 2018, the analysis shall include approximately 10 percent of all final cases decided in four specialized A/C units for selected set of criminal offences and for the specified period of time (March 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019). 

The following information should be collected: 

  • List of ongoing cases for the selected offences;
  • List of final decisions for the selected offences, with number of cases and number of the accused (preferably segregated per type of final decision issued);
  • List of first instance judgments for the selected offences, with number of cases and number of accused;
  • List of cases in the second instance (appellate) stage, with the case number;
  • List of cases for the selected offences completed under plea agreements with number of each case and number of accused;
  • Area or sector in which the offence occurred (health sector, public procurement, etc);
  • Notification whether the case was initiated under the old or new provisions of Criminal Code.

 2. Comparative in-depth analysis of the case files and final court decisions for the selected criminal offences processed before and after March 1, 2018.

The analysis will focus on detection of trends and patterns of prosecutorial and adjudicative strategy in fighting criminal offences with elements of corruption in the indicated periods. 

At a minimum, the prosecutorial and adjudicative strategies will be assessed through following indicators:

For the public prosecution:

  • Capacity in drafting the indictments,
  • Formulation of charges in the indictments,
  • Capacity in gathering of evidence to support the charges.

For the judiciary:

  • Judicial review of the indictment including the legal qualification of criminal offense,
  • Reasoning of judgments,
  • Sanctioning,
  • Case law harmonization (references to other cases, differences among courts, etc). 

The offerors may suggest additional indicators or modification of the existing ones. 

The proposed set of criminal offences for the analysis and comparison is the following: abuse of official position (Art. 359 Criminal Code), embezzlement (Art. 364), misfeasance (Art. 361), taking bribe (Art. 367), giving bribe (Art. 368), commercial fraud (Art. 223), abuse of position of a responsible person (Art. 227) and misfeasance in public procurement (Art. 228).  

Tasks and Methodology

The selected offeror must describe how it will address/deliver the demands described in SoW; providing a detailed description of the essential performance characteristics, reporting and quality assurance mechanisms that will be put in place, while demonstrating that the proposed methodology will be appropriate to the local conditions and context of the work.

Deliverables 

The following are main expected deliverables. The offerors may suggest additional or interim deliverables based on proposed methodology. 

  • Inception report with identified methodology and process (agreed with GAI and relevant courts and public prosecutor`s offices), with proposed and agreed activities – within 20 days from signing of the contract;
  • Final Report provided to GAI with the analysis of selected court decisions in corruption cases segregated in two groups: 1) court decisions adopted in the period March 1, 2014 – March 1, 2018, and 2) court decisions adopted after March 1, 2018, and comparative legal analysis of the two groups with key findings (in English and Serbian);
  • Presentation of the analysis to GAI and relevant stakeholders in English and Serbian (PPT).

Expected duration

Estimated start date: February 20, 2019.

Estimated end date June 20, 2019.

Deadline for applications: 30.01.2019.

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