Technical Assistance for Development of Open Budget Portal

  • Senior-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 15 January 2021

Job Description

*Please open the attachment for the full RFQ.*

Request for Quotation

RFQ # 1801- 041*

USAID Government Accountability Initiative

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 subcontract, 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

Technical Assistance for Development of Open Budget Portal

Background

The Government Accountability Initiative (GAI) 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, local governments, specialized anti-corruption courts, and civil society organizations.

Within GAI’s Component 1 – Local Government Accountability, the project supports efforts to increase public participation in local government decision making and oversight and enhance the transparency and accountability of LSGs operations. Technical assistance is provided to thirteen counterpart LSGs to increase anticorruption efforts, transparency, and public participation; improve government responsiveness in public services delivery; strengthen local budgeting and finances and institutionalize whistleblower protection programs and public procurement accountability.

GAI supports the City of Kragujevac to advance public participation in local decision making on topics relevant to the public and aligned with local priorities. Within that effort, GAI intends to provide support for development of a public budget portal. The budget portal should facilitate opportunities for citizens to participate in budget planning and oversight and improve public awareness about the budget process.

The portal is expected to rely on the model already developed by GAI with necessary adjustments to accommodate needs and requirements of the City of Kragujevac. The budget portal model developed by GAI in cooperation with the City of Vranje includes information about budget process, budget development calendar, main budget indicators, local taxes calculators, budget-related regulations, features that enable posing questions or proposing initiatives, news and information about public discussions. Additionally, the budget portal includes a budget simulator that enables the public to propose budget structure and analyze effects of various budget decisions on the local community. The simulator includes real budget data, based on the draft budget, and includes all classes of revenues and expenditures in the budget with descriptions and explanations of impact of changes in proposed amounts. The simulator can be used as a tool for citizens to take part in the budget planning process. The portal was developed in a comprehensive process that included analysis of international best practices, survey of citizens’ needs and preferences to participate in the budget process, development of portal goals and specifications, IT programming, and extensive work on content development.

Based on this model and the process used for its development, the goal of the assignment is to provide technical support to the City of Kragujevac to define the scope of the portal, identification of functionalities, integration of the portal with the website and public engagement practices already in use by city administration, development of the initial content as well as establishment of internal processes and responsibilities for management and maintenance of the portal.

Given that the portal should rely on local public needs and preferred ways for engagement in local budgeting process, GAI will additionally provide services of a company to survey citizens and other audiences for their preferences to be taken into account during development of the goals and scope of the budget portal. Further, GAI will also provide services of an external IT company to redesign the budget portal model based on defined goals and scope, if needed. Finally, GAI will provide services of a marketing/PR agency for development of a promotional and awareness raising campaign that will promote the portal and communicate its availability to the public.

Tasks and Methodology

The Subcontractor is expected to provide the following services:

· Organize a kick off meeting with city representatives to agree the process of budget portal development and name the dedicated project team that will lead the development process. During the meeting, the subcontractor will be expected to provide a brief presentation on the international and local best practices in use of municipal public budget portals (GAI will provide research performed on international best practices) and present the budget portal developed by GAI.

· Facilitate a workshop with the project team to define goals, objectives and functionalities of the portal. The workshop should result in defined budget portal requirements based on the needs of citizens and capacities of administration.

· Based on the workshop conclusions, specify goals and scope of the budget portal, initial functionalities, and requirements for adjustment of the GAI budget portal model appropriate for procurement of IT services agreed with the City of Kragujevac and GAI.

· Provide inputs and guidance to subcontracted IT service provider required for budget portal development.

· Provide support for development of content and materials to be uploaded to the budget portal as agreed with the city representatives. This may include narrative for the portal as well as support with development of budget indicators and preparation of budget data for inclusion in budget simulator.

· Recommend procedures and allocation of responsibilities for regular updating and maintenance of the web portal, including timely communication with citizens.

Deliverables

1. Facilitate the kickoff meeting and provide minutes identifying project team and process of budget portal development.

2. Facilitate the workshop and provide materials and minutes from the workshop for definition of budget portal requirements.

3. A report specifying goals and scope of the budget portal, functionalities and requirements for adjustments of the budget portal model appropriate for procurement of web developer services agreed with the City of Kragujevac.

4. Provide introductory instructions to the GAI-subcontracted IT company at the beginning of budget portal development, provide at least two checks during development, and perform review of the final delivered product.

5. Written content for the budget portal based on agreement with City’s project team and GAI.

6. Written proposed procedure for regular maintenance and update of the portal and communication with citizens through the portal.

7. Final Report in English.

Period of Award

The work must be completed by September 30, 2021.

Qualifications

This is a Senior level position.

· Education – A University degree in the field of economics, finances, public administration, business administration, or another relevant field.

· Prior Work Experience – It is expected that the proposed consultant or team of consultants provides at least 15 years of experience in public finances and public administration reform at the local level with at least 10 years of direct work on finances and budgeting in local governments. Experience in municipal budget planning and facilitating public engagement in the budgeting process are highly desirable. ,

· Language Proficiency / Communication Skills – Must have excellent oral and written communication skills.

· Job Knowledge – Strong understanding of organization and functioning of local governments and the local finances and budgeting combined with understanding of transparency, public participation and communication with various audiences regarding budget and other local public policies. Experience with organization and facilitation of public hearings is highly desirable.

· Skills and Abilities – Ability to bring a wider perspective in oversight of free access to information of public importance. Ability to use various computer software (e.g. PowerPoint, Word).

Evaluation Criteria

Quotations will be evaluated on the following criteria:

1) Qualifications for the technical assignment. Finalists may be interviewed, and interview results will be considered in evaluation.

2) Successful completion of similar assignments and overall past performance.

3) Financial offer.

Instructions to Offerors

Offerors must:

1) Agree to the completion date

2) Submit a curriculum vitae(s) and a cover letter describing directly relevant experience with references.

3) 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.

4) The application should reflect the contracting party – entity or individual; the subcontract will be signed with the entity/individual indicated in the application

5) Offers should be submitted electronically to GAI Project Office in Belgrade, Serbia, to the email address: GAI-Belgrade@checchiconsulting.com, no later than January 29, 2021, 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 January 21, 2021 and the answers will be posted on https://www.odgovornavlast.rs by January 25, 2021.

Financial Offer[1]: $

Must be completed by offeror.

Deliverable

Fee per deliverable (including labor and DBA insurance)

Travel-related costs (including airline, hotel and per diem)

Facilitate the kickoff meeting and provide minutes identifying project team and process of budget portal development.

Facilitate the workshop and provide materials and minutes from the workshop for definition of budget portal requirements.

A report specifying goals and scope of the budget portal, functionalities and requirements for adjustments of the budget portal model appropriate for procurement of web developer services.

Provide introductory instructions to the subcontracted IT company at the beginning of budget portal development, provide at least two checks during development, and perform review of the final delivered product.

Written content for the budget portal based on agreement with city’s project team and GAI.

Written procedure for regular maintenance and update of the budget portal and communication with citizens

Final Report in English


[1] 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 must be Fly America compliant. We base estimates for reasonable cost on economy class airfare and daily fees not exceeding the USAID maximum rate.

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-041 - Technical assistance for development of budget portal..docx

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