Comparative Legal Study on the Role of Experts in Financial Investigations

  • Senior-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 11 February 2020

Job Description

Request for Quotation

RFQ # 1801- 032

USAID Government Accountability Initiative

*Please open the attachment for the full RFQ.*

The Government Accountability Initiative (GAI), implemented by Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc. (Checchi) is a four-year United States Agency for International Development-funded project with the overall objective to strengthen the capacities and connections of key Serbian stakeholders resulting in increased government accountability at the national and local levels. The project is structured around three components: Local Government Accountability, Independent Oversight Institutions, and Adjudication of Corruption Cases. GAI counterparts include the State Audit Institution (SAI), the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), local governments, specialized anti-corruption courts, and civil society organizations.

Contract Type

It is Checchi’s intention to award a Firm Fixed Price (FFP) type subcontract for this work. Under an FFP, the Subcontractor is responsible for providing specified deliverables by a stated completion date, and for a fixed price.

Subcontractor shall develop all materials, provide labor and shall do all that is necessary for the satisfactory and timely performance of the Statement of Work as set forth below.

Statement of Work

Comparative Legal Study on the Role of Experts in Financial Investigations

Background

GAI is providing technical assistance to the specialized anti-corruption units in courts and public prosecutor’s offices to build more efficient and effective prosecution and adjudication of corruption cases as well as to strengthen integrity within their institutions. In support of the specialized anti-corruption court units and public prosecutors’ offices, in 2019 GAI published a Practicum for Investigation and Adjudication of Corruption Offences to codify best practices for investigation and adjudication of corruption offences and to delineate the benefits of parallel use of criminal and financial investigations and of access to open data resources. The Practicum is a guide for Serbian legal professionals implementing the 2018 Law on the Organization and Jurisdiction of State Organs in the Suppression of Organized Crime, Terrorism and Corruption.

The 2018 Law on Organized Crime and Corruption introduced the possibility for prosecutors to rely on expertise provided by financial forensic experts during investigation. Building on the guidance provided in the Anti-Corruption Practicum and on expert roundtables held in 2019, GAI plans to initiate a comparative analysis of the use of financial forensics in legal systems comparable to Serbia and, based on the findings, convene a regional event with participation of legal professionals from selected countries with Serbian stakeholders to advance the greater use of financial forensics in complex financial criminal cases, and legal reasoning in the case law.

The provisions of the Serbian Law on Organized Crime and Corruption provide new possibilities for cooperation between the public prosecutor and other state authorities in the form of liaison officers and task forces. The Law also introduces a “forensic accountant”, defined in Article 19 of the Law as follows:

“Forensic Accounting Service may be established in the Organized Crime Prosecutor`s Office and special departments of higher public prosecutor`s offices referred to in this Law. Forensic accountants shall perform the tasks of the Forensic Accounting Service. Forensic accountant is a person who assists the public prosecutor in analyzing cash flows and financial transactions for the purpose of prosecution. Forensic accountant is a civil servant with specific expertise in finance, accounting, auditing, banking, stock exchange and business, and with completed specialized training in the field of criminal law organized by the Judicial Academy.”

Accordingly, a forensic accountant in Serbian legal system is assigned to the public prosecution service and has a complex set of duties including reviewing, comparing, and connecting the documentation from business flows, accounting data, and administrative obligations.

The study is aimed at analyzing the duties and limitations of forensic accountants in selected comparative legal systems who are engaged, on a full or part-time basis, by the relevant state institution (law enforcement, public prosecution). The study should focus only on the procedural position of an expert in criminal proceedings in the adversarial systems.

The study should aim to answer the following key questions:

  • What is it the legal status in comparable legal systems of forensic accountants engaged in similar manner as provided for in Serbian legislation?
  • When, where, why and how are they engaged?
  • What are the details of tasks which they perform?
  • How are their services used in financial investigations?
  • What is the status of reports and the evidentiary value of expert testimony provided by an forensic accountant? Is it legally binding on the court?
  • How does the service of forensic accountants differentiate from that of expert witnesses?
  • Are there any normative changes that could be made in order to improve the status of the forensic accountant without contravening the basic principles of adversarial system (in particular equality of arms principle)?

The study should contain three sections: 1) analysis of Serbian legal system on the status and role of forensic accountant in criminal proceedings; 2) analysis of comparable legal systems on the status and role of forensic accountant in criminal proceedings; 3) recommendations on possible refinement of Serbian normative framework. The section on the comparable legal systems can be a mix of common law and civil law traditions and should aim to include at least two European jurisdictions, similar to Serbia.

Tasks

The subcontractor is expected to undertake the following tasks:

Conduct analysis of comparative international legal systems focused particularly on the Balkan region, that engage and use a forensic accountant, on a full or part-time basis, by the relevant state institution (law enforcement, public prosecution). The focus should be only on the legal status of a forensic accountant in criminal, adversarial proceedings. The analysis should also reflect on the Serbian legislation and practice in part related to the position of experts (expert witness, professional consultant, forensic accountant), with recommendations towards possible refinement of the normative framework.

Deliverables

  • Interim report (in English language) indicating proposed structure of the analysis and selected comparable legal systems – by April 1, 2020.
  • Final text of the study in Serbian and English language (up to 50 pages) – by May 1, 2020.
  • Presentation of the results of the analysis at the event organized for the counterparts.

The work must be completed no later than June 1, 2020.

Qualifications

  • Education - University degree in law or other relevant field; advanced degree is an asset;
  • Prior work experience – 10+ years of progressively responsible work experience in criminal justice or law enforcement field;
  • Job Knowledge - Proven professional engagement in providing analysis of legal and institutional framework and criminal procedure solutions;
  • Language Proficiency / Communication Skills - Excellent command of English language (written and spoken);
  • Computer Literacy - MS Office; PowerPoint;
  • Skills and abilities - Strong presentation and communication skills are required.

Applicant(s) must be independent and free from any conflict of interest.

Evaluation Criteria

Quotations will be evaluated on the following criteria in order of importance:

  • Qualifications for the technical assignment. Finalists may be interviewed, and interview results will be considered in evaluation.
  • Successful completion of similar assignments and overall past performance.
  • Financial Offer.

Instructions to Offerors

Offerors must:

  • Agree to the completion date
  • Submit a curriculum vitae(s) and a cover letter describing directly relevant experience with references.
  • Submit a financial offer for the assignment (in US dollars) presented per deliverable (see table below).

When calculating your financial offer, the offeror should include all anticipated costs for the assignment such as labor, travel, accommodation, and Defense Base Act insurance. Please be advised, DBA insurance is mandatory for all subcontractors at their expense. DBA insurance is 2% of labor costs. DBA insurance cannot be added to the cost afterwards or be reimbursed.

Any airfares should be for the lowest cost economy class and Fly America compliant.

  • The application should reflect the contracting party – entity or individual; the subcontract will be signed with the entity/individual indicated in the application
  • Offers should be submitted electronically to GAI Project Office in Belgrade, Serbia, to the email address: GAI-Belgrade@checchiconsulting.com, no later than February 28, 2020 5 p.m. (CET).

NOTE: Submission of a CV(s) alone IS NOT a complete application. An application must include a Financial Offer in a format provided below. Failure to provide the required information will result in your not being considered for this assignment.

Requests for clarifications may be sent to gai-belgrade@checchiconsulting.com by February 20, 2020 and the answers will be posted on https://www.odgovornavlast.rs by February 22, 2020.

Financial offer: $

Must be completed by offeror.

Deliverable

Fee per deliverable (inclusive of labor, travel, DBA insurance, etc.)

· Interim report (in English language) with the proposed structure of the analysis and selected comparable legal systems – by April 1, 2020

· Final text of the analysis in Serbian and English language (up to 50 pages) – by May 1, 2020

· Presentation of the results of the analysis.

About the Organization

Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc. (Checchi) has worked in international development for over 40 years. The company has operated in more than 140 countries, including a number of fragile states and post-conflict zones, and has implemented nearly 300 long-term contracts. Checchi’s principal areas of specialization include rule of law, anticorruption and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Since launching one of the first international rule of law practices in the late 1980s, Checchi has provided technical assistance and training in the core areas of improving access to justice; court systems administration; legislative and policy reform; judicial training and legal education; public legal awareness; and security sector reform. The company has implemented a number of long- and short-term activities focused exclusively on anticorruption. In addition, many of Checchi’s rule of law projects have included significant anticorruption components and activities. Checchi’s M&E work encompasses projects in more than 50 countries and spans the spectrum of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches to managing and evaluating performance.

More information

RFQ-032 - Comparative Legal Analysis.docx

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