CONSULTANT: INEFFECTIVE COMPETITION AND PRICE CONTROLS

  • Mid-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 16 March 2020

Job Description

Location: Apia, Samoa and home based

Duration: 45 working days

ARF Category: C3/C4 dependant on experience

Est. Date: 2020


Programme Background

Adam Smith International (ASI) manages the Samoa Governance Support Programme, which is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Established in 2016 following agreement between the Government of Samoa (GoS) and the Government of Australia, the Samoa Governance Support Programme (the Programme) works with the GoS to achieve sustainable and equitable development in accordance with the Strategy for the Development of Samoa (2017-2020) and the Australia-Samoa Aid Partnership Arrangement (2016-2019). The Programme has two objectives: to develop and strengthen policies and institutions that enable sustainable and inclusive economic growth, especially private sector-led growth; and to improve economic governance by addressing issues that affect underlying public sector capability and performance.

Responsibility for the strategic management of the Programme rests with the Programme Steering Committee, whose membership comprises the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ministry of Finance (chair); the CEO of the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet (deputy chair); the Chair of the Public Service Commission; and the Australian High Commissioner to Samoa.


Aim of the Assignment

In August 2019, at the request of the Samoa Competition and Consumer Commission (SCCC), the Fair-Trading and Codex Division (FTCD) of the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour (MCIL) with the support of a technical assistant conducted a review of price control policy, legislation, and practice. The resulting report (the Report) identified gaps in the Act and recommended that consideration be given to amending it (and, if necessary, government policy) so as to provide better for:

  • The regulation of hidden forms of ineffective competition, such as undeclared activities and/or practices (e.g., informal sector, tax evasion, etc.) (Recommendation 4(c) of the Report); and
  • The introduction of price controls (price ceilings and price floors) for purposes other than the correction of market failures, such as food security and the protection and development of national industry (e.g., anti-dumping measures) (Recommendation 4(b) of the Report).

Accordingly, the aim of this assignment will be to help the FTCD of MCIL to examine the existence, form, and extent of hidden ineffective competition in the wholesale and retail markets; the introduction of price controls for purposes other than the correction of market failures; and to set out the implications for government policy and the Act.


Consultant selection will be based on the following criteria:

  • Work experience: At least five years of work experience that is clearly relevant – in terms of substantive technical content, scope, and level(s) - to the work outlined in these TOR.
  • Developing and developed country experience: Relevant comparative experience from work carried out in more than one country. Experience of small and small-island states, and of Samoa, will be viewed favourably.
  • Qualifications: An advanced degree in economics or a first degree combined with senior management experience in a directly relevant field.
  • Substantive knowledge: Strong and up-to-date knowledge and experience of policy and practice surrounding the analysis and establishment of price controls and market regulation more broadly and of consumer protection, as demonstrated by the level and type of work he or she has done. It is essential that the consultant be someone whose general approach to these questions is driven by pragmatic considerations associated with the development context rather than ideological ones derived from a particular paradigm of economics.
  • Analytical capability: The consultant should be capable of analysing complex problems, evaluating the quality of different types of data, and producing practical and workable solutions.
  • Performance under pressure: A consistent record of producing outstanding performance under pressure and of working with senior government counterparts.
  • Judgement and mediation: The ability to make independent judgments and to lead discussion, develop consensus on sometimes difficult and controversial issues, and to balance and mediate multiple stakeholder expectations and objectives.
  • Knowledge and skill transfer: The ability to convey effectively his/her own knowledge and skills to others.
  • Written and oral communication capabilities: It is essential that the consultant possesses the ability to express complex ideas - both in writing and orally – clearly and in plain English to a variety of audiences, including government officials, community groups, entrepreneurs, donors, and other professionals. Short-listed candidates may be required to provide examples of their written work.
  • Interpersonal and intercultural skills: Excellent interpersonal and intercultural skills and the ability to manage questions of national and organizational culture skilfully and to build effective and harmonious working relations with clients and counterparts.
  • Multiple reporting: The consultant should also be able to work effectively in a matrix management structure or one that has multiple lines of reporting.
  • Other skills and knowledge: The consultant should also possess:
  1. Research skills, knowledge, and experience of both quantitative and qualitative methods;
  2. Good knowledge and understanding of policy development, strategic management, and organisational structure and design; and
  3. Up-to-date knowledge and understanding of the relevant literature and key development issues, such as capacity and institution building, institutionalisation and sustainability.


Length of assignment and locale:

A team of two consultants will be employed for 45 days each (total 90 days), distributed as follows:

  • Five days home-based pre-departure preparatory work
  • One mission to Samoa (35 days)
  • Five days post-departure final write-up


How to Apply

Interested applicants are requested to submit a CV and a short covering note in an email with the subject “Consultant: Ineffective Competition and Price Controls” to Tammy.Theikdi@adamsmithinternational.com. Unfortunately, due to high application volume, only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Detailed terms of reference will be provided to short-listed candidates. Applications close 13th of April 2020.

About the Organization

ASI is committed to continually improve the diversity of our workforce through the attraction, retention and development of a diverse range of talented people. We want people to be comfortable bringing their whole self to work and recognise that inclusion brings further opportunities for innovation and creativity.

# Happy to talk flexible working

Adam Smith International is a strategic development company that helps people prosper by making economies stronger, societies safer, and governments more effective. Our clients are governments, international organisations, companies, and foundations. They come to us to develop strategies and to design, deliver and evaluate programmes that, in turn, stimulate growth, stability and good governance.

Our core team of managers and technical experts, in offices around the world, ensures the quality of delivery and high ethical standards that we and our clients require. We bring together a global network of specialist experts, who contribute their experience and know-how, where and when it is needed.

ASI is owned and operated by its employees, and we are all dedicated to making a meaningful difference in complex, challenging situations. We are committed to corporate integrity and a triple bottom line of social, environmental and financial performance.

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