The project “Transitional Capacity Support for the Public Administration of Moldova” was designed upon the request of the Government of Moldova to enhance capacities of the Moldovan Central Public Administration in order to accelerate the reform process and achieve Moldova’s short and medium term development goals. The project seeks to address urgent short-term capacity needs of the public administration, through provision of Capacity building consultants (CBC), at a time when Moldovan central government institutions face serious financial and human resources gaps. In addition to helping the Government pursue critical reform priorities, the intervention is designed to catalyze the on-going implementation of central public administration reform. It is coordinated and managed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and State Chancellery of Moldova and will complement on-going work by other donors.
The Republic of Moldova became a member to the WTO on 26 July 2001, which has opened-up Moldova’s trade to the international markets. This accession has also implied country’s commitment to fully accede to the multilateral GPA WTO agreement, which would ensure the integration of the domestic procurement regulations with the international rules, thus increasing competition and facilitating savings of the national public expenditure. The process of negotiations was initiated in 2008, with the approval of the Government Decision No. 623 of 22 May 2008 on the initiation of accession negotiations to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement by the Ministry of Economy and the Agency for Public Procurement, Material Reserves and Humanitarian Aid. A formal application for accession was submitted to the WTO in November 2009, including a proposal on what sectors and contracts in Moldova would be exposed to competition from economic operators from the GPA states. The reorganization of the Agency for Public Procurement, Material Reserves and Humanitarian Aid into two separate Agencies - the Public Procurement Agency and the Agency for Material Reserves and Humanitarian Aid, has stalled the process of negotiations, however it should promptly regain pace in order for Moldova to meet its existing international commitments and to benefit of the respective commercial gains.
The application for membership of the GPA will launch a series of changes and reforms in the procurement field, in order to harmonize domestic procurement regulations with international rules. This process will consolidate Moldova’s path towards EU integration and harmonization with the EU rules, and will bring benefits in the context of the expected negotiations on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA).
The herein assignment is designed to cover the current shortage of relevant expertise within the PPA through the provision of a part-time National Consultant on WTO GPA, in order to strengthen PPA’s capacities to fully understand the requirements and benefits linked to the accession to the WTO GPA, and to be able to prepare a strong and well-prepared position in the negotiation process.
2. SCOPE OF WORK, RESPONSIBILITIES AND DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ANALYTICAL WORK
The scope of the work of the National Consultant is to provide assistance to upgrade and strengthen the capacities of the PPA to build its strategic vision and negotiation position with regard to the process of WTO GPA negotiations, as well as to implement required technical changes and reforms. This will be achieved through provision of consultancy services, technical assistance, and capacity building of the PPA staff.
In order to achieve the stated objectives, the National Consultant will have the following responsibilities:
- Support the PPA in drafting amendments to the Government Decision Nr. 623 from 22.05.2008 on the initiation of accession negotiations to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement;
- Provide policy advice on detailed procedural obligations under WTO GPA: procedures of ensuring the transparency of legislation, regulations, procedures and practices of public procurement; methods of reporting and collecting of statistical data of WTO GPA member countries regarding the procurements regulated by the Agreement; application of open, selective and limited tendering procedures; rules and procedures governing the settlement of disputes (dispute settlement mechanism); procedures of establishing a national system of disputes settlement;
- Research on special and differential treatment for developing countries: existing provisions and enhanced flexibilities under revised GPA;
- Propose options for a Negotiating Strategy for GPA accession;
- Assist the PPA with negotiations for the membership to the GPA, namely assist in revising the Initial Offer on GPA negotiations;
- Assist the Agency to closely cooperate with relevant bodies, in particular with the Ministry of Economy, to ensure coherence in the preparation of GPA negotiations;
- Support the PPA in completing all documentation related to Moldova’s preparation for GPA Negotiations;
- Provide assistance on follow-up with the WTO Secretariat / WTO GPA Committee reports and present recommendations to the Agency on relevant procurement issues;
- Assist in the communication with the WTO Secretariat and WTO Members involved in GPA negotiations;
- Assist in the elaboration and implementation of a comprehensive training plan for the staff involved in GPA negotiations, from the PPA and other institutions which will implement and enforce the GPA Agreement and the new regulations and legislation;
- Conduct the Survey on Moldova’s Procurement Regime, according to WTO standards (S/WPGR/W/11);
- Assist in preparing the Notifications Timetable on Moldova’s national implementing legislation on Government Procurement;
- Assist in preparing a Summary Report on GPA Negotiations, related to Moldova’s interest and correlation with DCFTA preparation;
- Elaborate a draft Action Plan for the GPA accession process: procedures and indicative timetable;
- Enhance awareness of the procedural and coverage-related aspects of WTO's Agreement on Government Procurement and their implications for domestic procurement regimes and related domestic policies;
- Provide assistance to the PPA in drafting the required adjustments of legislation which might emerge during the GPA Negotiations;
- If necessary, assist the Agency to design and draft fiches for technical assistance projects for supporting GPA negotiations and the implementation of the WTO GPA;
- Perform any other related activities which may emerge during the assignment.
3. REQUIREMENTS FOR EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
I. Academic Qualifications:
- University degree in Law, Economics or International Economic Relations or other related field, preferably advanced from an international educational institution;
II. Years of experience:
- At least three years of experience in elaborating studies, policies and actions and in the field of international trade law;
- Experience and knowledge of WTO, GPA and GATT;
- Previous experience in internationally funded capacity building projects would be an asset.
- Good and effective communicator;
- Demonstrated analytical, negotiation and interpersonal skills;
- Proficiency in Romanian and Russian; fluency in spoken and written English is essential;
- Excellent drafting and presentation skills;
- Computer proficiency, including knowledge of MS Office products.
4. DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE PROPOSALS.
Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:
1. Proposal: explaining why they are the most suitable for the work and how the candidate fits the job requirements;
2. Personal CV matching qualification requirements and contact details for 3 references;
3. Duly completed P11 Form;
4. Financial proposal.