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The EC Framework Contract

What is a Framework Contract?

Projects funded by European Union
A Framework Contract is a procurement tool put in place by the European Commission for recruitment of technical assistance (TA) services. Its purpose is two-fold: (i) a fast-track procurement procedure for recruitment of short term TA services, thus avoiding lengthy procedures applicable in other procurement methods, but which entails a budget limitation (normally up to 200.000 Euros) and (ii) provision of an immediate response to emergencies, thus rapid mobilisation of expertise (typically within 2 weeks from signature of a contract for delivery of specific services)

In the context of the External Aid funding, the EC has set up the Framework Contract Beneficiaries in order to effectively respond to the needs of third countries benefiting from the EC external aid programmes. The beneficiaries of the TA services are normally the beneficiary organisations in the host countries such as, central government departments, line ministries, specialised agencies, local authorities, etc.  The total value of a Specific Contract (including all addenda) must be less than € 200,000. The input of any expert in a given assignment may not exceed 260 working days. The total duration (including all addenda) of an assignment may not exceed 24 months.

The Framework Contract Beneficiaries that came in force on 16/09/2009 for 2 years (with possibility of 2 years extension) is divided in twelve lots according to the various sectors which the EC provides external aid funds.  Four to seven Consortia have been selected for each lot, which will be called upon to submit offers on competitive basis for specific assignments procured under the Framework Contract.

IDC is leading a consortium in Lot11-Macro economy, Statistics, Public finance management covering the following technical sectors:

A. Macro economy

  1. Macroeconomic analysis / reforms (e.g. national accounts, fiscal, balance of payment,
  2. Debt issues
  3. Economic growth
  4. Poverty analysis

B. Statistics

  1. National statistical systems (e.g. data collection, analysis, publishing, quality control),
  2. Performance measurement / monitoring (e.g. indicators identification, setting targets,
    quality control)

C. Public financial management (PFM)

  1. Assessment, diagnosis reform of Public financial management, incl. PEFA framework
  2. Audit (Internal and external)
  3. Revenue (e.g. direct and indirect, personal and corporate, excises)
  4. Budgeting (e.g. policy, planning, preparation, execution, reporting and audit)
  5. Public procurement

for the provision of expertise in the following cross-cutting areas:

  1. programme / project identification, preparation / formulation,
  2. programme / project implementation,
  3. preparation of Terms of Reference (services) or technical annexes (works, supplies) or evaluation of offers (Procurement),
  4. evaluations (ex-ante, interim, ex-post etc.), monitoring
  5. (Cross-) sectoral policies / reforms,
  6. Macroeconomics,
  7. Public financial management
  8. legislation, regulations, law enforcement,
  9. approximation of legislation,
  10. institutional building,
  11. training / research,
  12. awareness-raising, (incl. information / communication)

How does the Framework Contract work?

The Framework Contract Beneficiaries has been set up in order to provide the EC external aid programmes’ beneficiary countries with rapid access to short-term technical assistance. It provides support to the Beneficiaries to address issues that were not foreseen in the national or regional programmes, to provide an immediate response in emergencies or to prepare the ground for initiatives planned under the multi-annual indicative programmes.

As soon as a need is identified, the EC project officers in conjunction with the beneficiary institutions formulate the Terms of Reference (ToR) where the assignment’s objectives, tasks and deliverables are outlined together with a tentative implementation schedule. The ToR together with a Request for Services form are then sent to the preselected Consortia in order to enable them to identify, select and recruit suitable staff for provision of the requested services. Each Consortia prepares and submit an offer for delivery of services of which the EC selects the best value for money offer using a 80/20 weighing between technical quality and financial offer and notifies the successful Consortium. A Specific Contract is concluded on the basis of the standard format and the successful Framework Contractor is expected to mobilize the experts in country within  10 days from receipt of the Specific Contract.

The Framework Contract Beneficiaries is therefore a strategic tool facilitating the delivery of timely, cost-effective and focused assistance at short-notice and at any stage of the Project Cycle.

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