Pre-Debt Compliance (Registration & Filing) & Debt Management Advisor for Domestic Tax

  • Mid-level, Long-term consulting assignment
  • Posted on 6 February 2020

Job Description


The Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has overseen impressive economic growth and poverty reduction over the last decade. Around half of GDP growth is driven by public investment predominantly funded through a combination of external debt and aid; domestic revenues are insufficient. At current levels of borrowing, GoE debts risks becoming unsustainable. Ethiopia also aims to become a lower-middle income country, no longer aid-dependent, by 2025. However, GoE revenues stand at around 10.5% of GDP – below the Sub-Saharan average of 16%. To meet public investment needs in a sustainable way, the GoE aims to raise tax take to 16.2% of GDP by 2025. However, capacity at the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Ministry of Revenue (MoR) is insufficient. To meet targets without jeopardizing poverty reduction efforts and the investment climate, the GoE needs robust technical assistance.

The GoE therefore requested the UK Government to support an accelerated delivery approach to transforming the tax system. As a result, the UK has committed to contribute up to £35 million through its five-year Tax Transformation Programme (TTP).

The overall objectives of TTP is to assist the GoE in raising tax revenues, increasing tax compliance, and creating a more tax-friendly business environment as well as facilitating trade.

The UK and GoE have already invested in the establishment of a dedicated transformation unit – the Tax Transformation Office (TTO) – intended to drive accelerated delivery of tax transformation (see more information below).

The programme is expected to work with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Revenues and Customs Commission. The scope of TTP will cover priority areas related to policy and administration of the revenue system in Ethiopia including, domestic tax and Customs.

Tax Transformation Management Model:

Ethiopia is currently implementing a unique model of tax transformation with the Tax Transformation Office (TTO) at the center of the reform programme. The TTO, which is established within the MoR, is led by a Head, Deputy Head and Priority Area Managers who are responsible for managing the inputs of MoR Coordinators, who are drawn from the operational departments of the MoR (including the Customs Commission), and Technical Advisors.


The Pre-Debt Compliance and Debt Management Advisor for Domestic Tax will work with the Priority Area Team overseeing the Compliance Priority Area. The Advisor will work on the agreed upon initiatives under the Compliance Priority Area for Years 1-5 (note that this may change over the course of the years).


The major responsibilities include:

  • Providing technical support on the following Year 1 initiatives under the Compliance Priority Area (note that this list may be revised/changed in Year 2-5 and the Advisor will be expected to work according to thoses revised initiatives):
    1. Taxpayer Segmentation
    2. Improve Filling and Payment
    3. Improve debt management
    4. Improve VAT withholding performance
    5. Fix issues of electronic Cash Register Machines (CRM) usage (realistic fixes)
  • Analysing issues around each of Priority Area initiatives, providing technical guidance and work with the Priority Area Team, the MoR counterparts, operational directors and branches to resolve issues in order to bring the transformation to successively higher level
  • Identifying and addressing issues of registration, filing, and debt data quality, building validation processes for data entry, ensuring integrity and security of the databases in coordination with the TTO IT Advisors and Coordinators, and IT staff of the MoR
  • Working closely with the TTO IT/Data Advisors and Coordinators, MoR IT staff on registration, filing, debt management and other relevant directorates and branches to guide the clean-up of registration, filing and debt data in SIGTAS (Software for Integrated Government Tax Administration System, which will soon be transitioned to another ITAS) setting achievable priorities by taxpayer segment under the direction of the Compliance Priority Manager
  • Assisting the Registration Directorate with the segmentation of taxpayers addressing issues of quality of the underlying filing data capture and processing
  • Assisting with the implementation and improvement of the interim case management system developed inhouse by the MIS Directorate (IT Centre of MoR) under the direction of the Debt Management Directorate
  • Undertaking a detailed assessment of the debt management practices and put forward recommendations for its improvement, achieving reductions in debt stock building in performance indicators
  • Improving the execution of seizure procedure, a part of the enforcement process, building in manual and/or automatic data interface with systems of relevant third parties in coordination with the TTO IT/Data Advisors and Coordinators, and the IT staff of the MoR
  • Assisting in producing monthly reports on filers on time, late filers and non-filers in coordination with the Filing Directorate, the TTO IT/Data Advisors and Coordinators, and IT staff of the MoR.
  • Providing technical support to the detailed design of the To-Be Business Process Maps in relation to the initiatives listed above; in preparation for the procurement of a new ITAS
  • Building the technical capacity of MoR Coordinators through on-the-job coaching/mentoring, sharing best practices and conceptual developments published in current studies and research
  • Building the technical capacity of the MoR counterparts in a sustainable way in relation to the agreed upon initiatives, including practical on-the-job training/coaching/support of counterparts
  • Conducting technical analysis of what is working/not working and suggesting/recommending improvements for the design and delivery of initiatives, including new initiatives (where they fit with the MoR counterparts’ needs and are consistent with the objectives of the transformation programme)
  • Ensuring the technical needs of the MoR counterparts are listened to and addressed in a manner that is consistent with the objectives of the transformation programme
  • Ensuring the technical robustness of the initiatives’ delivery and implementation
  • Inputting into monthly/quarterly reports to DFID and the GoE
  • Performing other related activities that may be assigned to her/him by the TTO management

Key Performance Indicators

The Advisor’s deliverables are exactly the same as the Priority Area Team in relation to the agreed upon initiatives. The Priority Area Team, which includes the Advisor, are jointly responsible to deliver on the initiatives as set out in the detailed work plan adopted by the MoR and DFID.

Key performance indicators are defined for each initiative and milestones in the workplan and the performance of the Priority Area Team and the Advisor will be measured against these indicators.



  • A minimum of Bachelors’ degree in Accountancy/Audit and or possession of ACCA, CPA, CA, CMA or similar certification in Accountancy

Minimum experience:

  • At least 10 years of experience working in tax audit in international contexts, including other developing contexts
  • Demonstrated experience in donor-funded tax transformation/reform programme in other developing countries where revenue is important aspects of the reform
  • Experience in developing the technical capacity of counterparts, including strong mentoring/coaching/training skills, where sustainable knowledge and skills transfer is prioritised

Essential Skills:

  • Strong interpersonal skills, with an ability to build effective relationships with counterparts and colleagues from a wide range of professional and cultural backgrounds
  • Ability to work effectively in politically sensitive and challenging environments
  • Ability to work effectively as a team-player
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Exposure to automated tax systems and experience in developing countries is desirable


The Advisor will report to the Priority Area Manager overseeing this Priority Area.

Performance Management

The Advisor will participate in quarterly performance management reviews to be conducted by their line manager and TTP Programme Manager. Feedback/input will be gathered from the rest of the team in TTO including the TTO Head, as well as GoE counterparts (Minister and State Ministers/Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners/Directors). Performance reports will be shared with the TTO Head and TTP Programme Director for joint discussion. Final decisions regarding the outcome of the performance management process will be taken by the TTP Programme Director.

The objective of the performance review will be to measure formally:

  • Progress against the ToRs, including successful execution of role & responsibilities and key competencies;
  • Achievement of workplans and KPIs;
  • The Advisor’s demonstration of team ethic and effective communication with Directorates, Branches and programme’s counterparts.

Employment conditions:

The Advisor is expected to be based at the MoR in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and his/her engagement is expected to run for the duration of the contract.

This TOR will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that they remain in line with the Programme priorities.

About the Organization

With more than 30 years of experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development. We have managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe for clients such as DFID, DFAT Australia, the World Bank and Global Affairs Canada. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, economic and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017 and 2018.

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