Ogun State Government is recruiting candidates for an Independent Verification Agency.
JOB TITLE: Independent Verification Agency
JOB LOCATION: Abeokuta, Ogun State
Ref. No.: OG / CS / PPA / 47 / 2020
- The Project Development Objective is to increase agricultural production and stimulate private sector participation in the agricultural, industrial and skills sectors of the Ogun State economy.
The project consists of two main components. The project components include:
- Component I: Increasing Agricultural Production and Industrialization
- Sub-Component 1.1: increasing Agricultural Production
- Sub-Component 1.2: Improving Business Environment.
- Sub-Component 1.3 Developing Skills.
Component 2: Technical Assistance to Strengthen Capacity to Implement the Program
- Component 2.1 Agriculture
- Component 2.2 Business Environment
- Component 2.3 Skills
- Component 2.4 Public Sector Reform and PFM
- Component 2.5 Project Implementation support
The Ogun State Government is requesting assistance from the World Bank to fund the Ogun State Economic Transformation Program (OGSTEP) through an Investment Project Financing instrument. The amount of the proposed program is USD 250 million, and it will support the Ogun State Development Plan (SDP) (2018-2030) with a focus on agriculture, business environment, skills development and public sector reforms/ governance. The Project Development Objective (PDO) is to increase agricultural production and stimulate private sector participation in the agricultural, industrial and skills sectors of the Ogun State economy. The project consists of two main components. The project components include:
The Project is an Investment Project Financing operation consisting of two inter-related components: a results-based component and an investment component. Component 1 which is results-based will disburse against agreed-upon actions, outputs and outcomes (Disbursement-Linked-Indicators or “DLIs”) while Component 2 will finance select technical assistance and investment activities to strengthen the government’s capacity for implementing the Project and thereby support the achievement of the results under Component 1. The two components are inherently linked as shown in the Project’s theory of change and results framework.
Component 1: Results based financing to improve the business-enabling environment and foster private sector participation in the agri-food and skills sectors:
- Under this component the Project will support the Ogun State government’s reform efforts increase private sector investment through the following three results areas: (i) Improving the business-enabling environment; (ii) Strengthening agricultural value chains; and (iii) Upgrading skills. Progress towards achieving these objectives will be measured using nine (9) key DLIs which combine actions, outputs and outcomes. Under this component, project funds will be disbursed against selected Eligible Expenditure Programs (EEPs) up to capped amounts and conditioned on achievement of the target for agreed disbursement linked indicators (DLIs). Several DLIs will be tracked on a gender-disaggregated basis.
- Sub-Component 1.1 Improving the Business-enabling Environment (US$50 million from IDA). The objective of this subcomponent is to provide support for government reforms to build an enabling business environment by addressing regulatory and institutional challenges that serve as barriers to private sector investments. Activities to be supported under this component include (i) strengthening the capacity and effectiveness of the Business Environment Council and other agencies to design and implement ease of doing business reforms in an inclusive way; (ii) systematic land titling in major urban areas; and (iii) strengthening of the State’s capacity to promote, attract and retain domestic and foreign private investments. This sub-component will be implemented by the Ogun State Ministry of Commerce and Industry (OGMoCI), Ogun State Bureau of Lands (OGBoL) and OgunInvest.
- Sub-Component 1.2: Strengthening Agri-food Value Chains (US$75 million from IDA). The objective of this subcomponent is to attract the private sector to participate in the development of key agri-food value chains in the State by addressing the binding constraints that are specific to the sector. This subcomponent will support three types of activities: First, it will support the development and implementation of the international best practice Framework for Responsible and Inclusive Land- Intensive Agricultural Investments (FRILIA1) in Ogun State, aiming at the achievement of the following results: (i) the adoption of FRILIA principles as a State policy, incorporating sound environmental and social risk management that would increase land use sustainability and efficiency, particularly in areas with heightened vulnerability to climate change; and (ii) the implementation of FRILIA as part of the Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture’s agricultural lands’ application approval process. Second, the sub-component will foster the engagement of value chain development firms (VCDF) which will facilitate timely linkage between producers, input suppliers and service providers, and off-takers through productive alliances. All productive alliances will include climate smart-solutions and practices, particularly at the level of producers. This will include seeking to lower the GHG emissions of those value chains, particularly by adopting low-emission practices in the crops and aquaculture sectors.
- The presence of VCDFs is expected to stimulate the emergence of small and medium enterprises to provide required services such as inputs, mechanisation, extension, business management, advisory services, processing etc. to value chain players. Finally, the sub-component will develop critical infrastructure to strengthen market linkages to production areas where value chain development alliances are being promoted and to ensure that those investments are climate-resilient.
- The focus will be on small scale irrigation, feeder roads and farm product aggregation centers. This sub-component will support: (i) feasibility studies for the selected infrastructure (including a master plan for small scale irrigation and feeder roads integrating climate resilience considerations); and (ii) the development of the selected infrastructure as well as necessary institutional arrangements for their maintenance and operation, all of which will be designed to increase climate resilience. This sub-component will be implemented by the Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture (OGMoA).
- Sub-Component 1.3 Upgrading Skills. The objective of this sub-component is to improve the demand orientation of the skills development system, and thus the relevance of skills in Ogun State by (i) improving STEM teaching in the State’s secondary schools through strengthening the knowledge and practices of secondary school STEM teachers with the introduction of the Progressive Mathematics Initiative and Progressive Science Initiative (PMI-PSI) in public secondary schools in Ogun State (ii) incentivizing the private sector to get involved in the planning, delivery and oversight of skills development in the upgraded State Technical Colleges to better prepare school leavers for employment; (iii) strengthening private sector training delivery by broadening and improving apprenticeship training both in the formal and informal sector of the economy; and (iv) setting up a demand-driven funding mechanisms to support nonformal skills development for different target groups in the State to increase training offers attractive for women and farmers, and appropriate for vulnerable populations and people with disabilities. Activities are geared towards enhancing digital literacy among the workforce, and strongly building digital skills to improve the State’s economic competitiveness. This sub-component will be implemented by the Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (OGMoE).
Component 2: Strengthening the capacity of the government to implement the State’s economic transformation (US$50 million from IDA):
- This component will finance technical assistance and investments to support the implementation of the results-based component.
- The component will support technical assistance and investment activities to support: (i) the three main results areas of Component 1 (Improving the business environment, Strengthening agri-food value chains and Upgrading skills), and (ii) public sector management functions that are deemed essential to ensure the efficient implementation of the project, including procurement, Statistics and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).
- The project will finance selected technical assistance and investment activities that will support improved capacity to implement and monitor the reforms and investments that would lead to the achievement of the project results (DLIs and ultimately the PDO) as well as their contribution to climate change adaptation and mitigation. This component comprises four sub-components, supporting the three results areas and the cross-cutting area of public sector management.
Objectives of the Assignment:
- Ogun State Government plans to engage an Independent Verification Agent (IVA) for the OGSTEP Program during the Program’s implementation.
- The IVA is expected to conduct transparent and impartial periodic independent verifications of achievement of the 9 DLIs with associated targets and milestones under the Program.
- The firm will be selected in accordance with the procedures set out in the World Bank’s “Procurement Regulations for IPF Borrowers” (Procurement Regulations) dated July 2016 (revised November 2017 and August 2018), available at the World Bank website:
- The Table in Annex 1 provides an overview of the various DLIs, annual targets and data sources of verification.
Scope of Services
Prepare a verification plan:
- The IVA shall develop the master verification plan which will provide a detailed, timed plan clearly articulating deployment of resources to verify achievement of performance/DLI results as per agreed methodology and verification protocols through the review of available reports and documents at the respective implementing agencies and administration levels as well as physical verification of milestone deliverables in compliance with the verification protocols, design specifications and safeguard conditions.
- The independent verification agency shall undertake the verification of milestone deliverables by the implementing agencies and the progress made towards the achievement of results for Component 1. DLI and Indicators Verification shall be executed on annual basis by the selected firms in the project lifecycle to verify achievements attained. This monitoring may also include validation of performance data and assessment of implementation activities based on semi-annual reports on implementation progress prepared by the OGSG.
- The IVA will provide independent confirmation of the results reported to the World Bank. The independent verification of results will accompany any disbursement request to the World Bank.
Development of the methodology, including checklists/questionnaires/interviews when needed and other tools:
- The verification of some DLIs may require a sample survey to review documentation available at the agency level for achievement of DLI milestones.
- The IVA will be responsible for developing checklists/questionnaires for the same, which will be approved by the World Bank. Additionally the IVA will develop tools/formats, satisfactory to the World Bank, for documenting information obtained from the verification.
Undertake the verification of DLIs:
- The IVA will conduct the verification in a transparent and independent manner such that it provides robust evidence for decision on disbursements against specific DLI results achieved, by the World Bank. This verification exercise shall also include validation of performance data and assessment of implementation activities based on semi-annual reports on implementation progress prepared by the PIU. All DLI results shall be verified during the period of assessment when the IVA shall have an opportunity to conduct on-the-spot assessment of all milestone deliverables met by the implementing agencies within the period of review.
- For each of the milestones attained, the proposed DLI verification protocol outlined in Annex 1 – DLI VERIFICATION PROTOCOL Table shall strictly apply. Any changes and refinements to these conditions shall be reviewed and agreed with the World Bank.
Analyse the verification Data:
- The IVA shall have overall responsibility of data analysis without the involvement of any of the Implementing Agencies and the PIU. The analysed results shall be reviewed with the PIU and the Implementing Agencies for certification and sign-off thereafter obtained of their correctness.
Delays in IVA exercise:
- The IVA shall ensure that no delay is experienced in implementing the IVA plan through structured and effective communication with the IAs and other stakeholders.
IVA Reporting Protocol:
- The IVA final reports shall be exposed and shared with Government and IAs for joint review to ensure grey areas are finalised and sign-off obtained.
Prepare Results Verification Reports:
- The IVA shall document results from the desk review and the verification in the form of a results verification report. The report should inform the OGSG on the methodology adopted in the verification of results and the progress made by the implementing agencies against DLI targets.
Carry out all other relevant actions necessary for the successful conduct of the independent verification of achievement of the DLIs.
The Verification Process
The prospective IVA will outline the tasks or activities to be carried out, in addition to the following:
- The IVA will verify all evidence of implementing agencies in achieving the DLIs and in accordance with the approved DLI verification protocol.
- The IVA will issue a verification report and indicate that the report accurately reflects the verification of results.
- Should a disagreement arise between the IVA and Ogun State on the verification of results, either party is allowed to notify the Bank and the Program Implementation Unit (PIU);
- The Bank and the PIU shall convene both parties with a view to resolve the disagreements in time to prevent delays in disbursement;
- The Bank retains the right to decide to disburse even if there remain disagreements between the IVA and the State and the joint report contains notes on the areas of disagreements;
- Where disagreement pertains to only a subset of a DLI, it is possible to disburse for the portion of the DLI where there is no disagreement while grey areas shall be resolved amicably and within the limits of the conditions of the protocol.
- The Verification Protocol and the Verification/APA process will be further detailed in the Program Implementation Manual (PIM) which will be finalized prior to Program effectiveness. The detailed description will cover the process steps, timeline, roles and responsibilities of all parties involved (OGMoBP, Implementing Agencies, the IVA, the PIU, and the Bank), information flows, dispute and resolution mechanisms. This will provide clarity on how to mitigate risks of delay in the process and ensure that the process is (and perceived to be) fair, objective and credible.
The Firm should possess the following qualifications:
- At least 10 years’ general experience, with at least 2 programmatic audits of physical outputs and verification of program results in the last five years in Nigeria or in the region. The referenced specific experiences should be similar in nature and complexity.
- Previous experience with verification of disbursement linked indicators for World Bank projects will be considered an advantage.
- Demonstrated analytical and documentation expertise in English
Team Composition & Qualification Requirements for the Key Experts
The verification team should possess adequate expertise and skills in the field of evaluation, verification, auditing of physical outputs and professional reporting/documentation in English language to carry out the verification and validation exercise and should include:
- Key Expert 1 – Team leader: should possess an advance degree in a relevant field from a reputable university; qualified Chartered Accountant from an IFAC recognized accountancy body with at least 10 years of relevant post-qualification experience; 2 years’ experience as team leader in a similar assignment; at least 10 years of experience in Audit and Public Financial Management; familiarity with general public Service rules and public financial management operating environment in Nigeria at the state level will be an advantage; comprehensive Knowledge and understanding of controls within an IT environment is an advantage.
- Key Expert 2 – Project Manager should possess: a university degree in management or related field from a reputable university; professional qualifications in Project Management like PRINCE2, PMP or other relevant PM Framework; minimum of 10 years’ experience with demonstrated knowledge of and experience in Public Finance Management processes; track record of successful management of projects with similar scope and nature, with state wide coverage; proven experience and competence with respect to planning, coordinating and stakeholder management; sound analytical, organizational and negotiation skills with the ability to conduct training and workshops/seminars; proven ability and skill to work under high pressure, with strong delivery orientation and excellent interpersonal skills.
- Key Expert 3 – Technical Expert – Monitoring and Evaluation should possess a university degree in economics, social sciences or related field from a reputable university; professional qualification in M&E from a recognized international body with at least 8 years of relevant post-qualification experience; at least 8 years of experience in the design and delivery of M&E training; familiarity with general public Service rules and public financial management operating environment in Nigeria at the state level will be an advantage. Several other team members with audit experience as necessary to conduct field and desk reviews.
- Key Expert 4 – Technical Experts in Agriculture, Skills Development, Business Environment Enhancement and Public Sector Reforms.
Time Period and Level of Effort
The IVA will be engaged for 90 days each year. The assignment which shall run annually shall begin and be concluded within the Q3 – Q4 of every year.
During the assignment, the selected firm is expected to deliver the following:
- An Inception report and detailed work plan, including setting out all required verification activities;
- (within 6 weeks of contract signing)
- A kick-off workshop to brief all internal and external stakeholders
- Comprehensive progress reports on the verification process (Bi-monthly)
- The Performance Management System reports to cover all participating MDAs and to verify their performances against the approved verification protocol in accordance with the process outlined in the PIM.
- At the conclusion of each of the bi-annual performance assessments, the IVA will issue a verification report to the Bank and the PIU:
- By end of the month following each six-monthly assessment.
- All reports are to be submitted in 5 hard copies and through electronic submission to the PIU and copied to the WB, unless stated otherwise.
- The IVA will report to the Project Coordinator and provide copies of the Reports to the World Bank Task Team Leader and Co-Task Team Leader and coordinate with them in the fulfilment of their responsibilities
- Final design of the verification plan.
- Final survey checklist and questionnaires
- Final formats/templates for documenting information from the verification exercise.
- Agreed results report format/template
- Detailed activity plan for conducting the verification exercise
- Scanned copies of all documents essential for verification of DLIs
- DLI results report – in the agreed template – outlining the method and tools used analysis and presentation of findings from the verification exercise on the status of achievement of the identified DLIs. The report should include comments and feedback from PIU and Implementing agencies and provide reasons for the variations and discrepancies on the performance reports or specific DLI activities and results, if any. Additionally, it should identify impediment (if any) in the timely achievement of the benchmarks and possible remedial measures.
The payment of the IVA shall be based on payment schedule below:
- Progress Target – Payment Percentage
- Contract signature (mobilization) – 10
- Inception Reports – 10
- Interim Reports – 20
- Draft of final reports – 40
- Approval of final activity Reports – 20
- Total – 100
The Client shall:
- Provide the IVA firm relevant information relating to the consultancy, such as the Project Implementation Manual, Project implementation plan, Project Appraisal Documents, Credit Agreement, Project Agreement, Government Executive Orders, Evaluations, Implementation progress reports, Annual work plans, Procurement plans, Upstream safeguards instruments submitted with annual work plans, Contracts for works and all activities for which safeguards instruments were developed, bidding documents and any other document required for an effective verification exercise.
- Ensure the relevant officials and functionaries from the implementing Agencies and the Project implementation unit are available for periodic meetings and interviews as and when needed during the execution of the assignment.
Code of Conduct:
- The selected firm will be guided by the IFAC Code of Ethics in the exercise of their responsibilities.
Note: Interested individuals / firms are expected to indicate the position being applied for and should provide sufficient information demonstrating required qualifications and relevant experience to perform the services.
Deadline: September 16, 2020
|Job Category||Government Agencies / Public Sector|