Publish date: 6th April 2022
AMCOW is an inter-governmental, African, non-budgetary institution working under the Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment of the African Union (AU) and provides political oversight on water resources and sanitation in Africa. AMCOW’s mission is to promote cooperation, security, social and economic development, and poverty alleviation among member states through the effective management of the continent’s water resources and the provision of water supply and sanitation services and is mandated to provide political leadership in the implementation of the African Water Vision 2025 and water components of the African Union’s Agenda 2063. For more information, refer to: https://www.amcow-online.org/
AMCOW plans to activate the Office of Internal Auditor as established under Article 65 of AMCOW’s Financial Rules and Regulations which will be charged with reviewing the internal controls, systems, processes and procedures of AMCOW to ensure they are effective and operate as intended. AMCOW now calls for Request for Proposals from qualified audit firms or individual experts to provide Internal Audit Services on a retainership basis to fulfil the mandate of the Office of Internal Auditor as provided for in Article 65 of the Finance Rules & Regulations.
OBJECTIVE OF THE INTERNAL AUDIT SERVICES RETAINERSHIP
The overall objective of the Internal Audit Services will be to provide assurance to the Governing Council and Executive Committee (EXCO) of AMCOW through the Sub-Committee of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on Audit matters on the arrangements for risk management, control and governance, and value for money.
SCOPE OF THE LEGAL RETAINERSHIP
- All AMCOW’s activities, funded from whatever source, fall within the remit of the Internal Audit Service. The Internal Audit Service will consider the adequacy of arrangements necessary to secure propriety, economy, efficiency and effectiveness in all areas. It will seek to confirm that management have taken the necessary steps to achieve these objectives and manage the associated risks.
- The scope of internal audit work covers the whole of AMCOW’s risk management, control and governance arrangements and any aspect of Value for Money (VFM) delivery. This does not imply that all areas will be subject to review, but that all will be included in the audit risk assessment and hence considered for review following the assessment of risk. The work of other providers of assurance on AMCOW’s activities will be considered.
- The Internal Audit Service may also conduct any special reviews requested by the Governing Council or EXCO and the TAC Sub-Committee on Audit Matters provided such reviews do not compromise its objectivity or independence, and take account of the impact on achievement of the approved audit plan.
- The Internal Audit Service Provider will be required to give an annual opinion to EXCO and Governing Council, through the TAC Sub-Committee on Audit Matters, on the adequacy and effectiveness of the arrangements for risk management, control and governance; and for economy, efficiency and effectiveness (value for money) within AMCOW; and the extent to which the Governing Council and EXCO can rely on these. The Internal Audit Service Provider should also comment on other activities for which AMCOW is responsible, and to which the Internal Audit Service has access.
- To provide the required assurance, the Internal Audit Service will undertake a programme of work, based on a strategy authorised by Council on the advice of the Audit and Risk Committee. The programme will evaluate the arrangements in place to:
(i) establish and monitor the achievement of organisational objectives
(ii) identify, assess and manage risks to those objectives
(iii) advise on, formulate and evaluate policy within the responsibilities of the Executive Secretary
(iv) ensure compliance with relevant policies, laws and regulations
(v) ascertain the integrity and reliability of financial and other information provided to management and stakeholders, including that used in decision making
(vi) ascertain those systems of control are laid down and operate to promote the economic, efficient and effective use of resources and to safeguard assets
STANDARDS AND APPROACH
- The Internal Audit Service’s work will be performed with due professional care. It will comply with the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors’ International Professional Practices Framework
- To achieve its objectives the Internal Audit Service will develop and implement an audit strategy that assesses AMCOW’s arrangements for risk management, control and governance and for achieving value for money.
- The Internal Audit Service Provider will implement measures to monitor the effectiveness of the service and compliance with standards, through a Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme (QAIP). The Audit and Risk Committee will consider and approve these performance measures and may also seek an independent assessment of the Internal Audit Service’s effectiveness.
- The Internal Audit Service has no executive role, nor does it have any responsibility for the development, implementation or operation of systems. However, it may provide independent and objective advice on risk management, control and governance, value for money and related matters, subject to resource constraints.
- For day-to-day administrative purposes, the Internal Audit Service Provider shall report to the Executive Secretary and shall have right of direct access to the Chair of the TAC Sub-Committee on audit matters.
- Within AMCOW, responsibility for risk management, control and governance arrangements and the achievement of value for money rests with the Governing Council, EXCO and management, who shall ensure that appropriate and adequate arrangements exist without reliance on AMCOW’s Internal Audit Service. To preserve the objectivity of the internal auditors’ professional judgement, management shall determine whether or not to accept audit recommendations, to recognise and accept the risks of not taking action, and to implement recommendations.
RIGHTS OF ACCESS
- The Internal Audit Service shall have rights of access to all AMCOW’s records, information and assets which it considers necessary to fulfil its responsibilities.
- The Internal Audit Service Provider shall have a right of direct access to the AMCOW President, the TAC Chair and the Chair of the TAC Sub-Committee on audit matters.
- In turn, the Internal Audit Service agrees to comply with any requests from the External Auditors for access to any information, files or working papers obtained or prepared during audit work that they need to discharge their responsibilities
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER ASSURANCE SERVICE PROVIDERS
The Internal Audit Service will liaise with other assurance providers internally and externally to optimise the assurance provided to AMCOW.
- The Internal Audit Service Provider shall submit an annual report to the Governing Council and EXCO through the TAC Sub-Committee on audit matters. The report must relate to AMCOW’s financial year and include any significant issues up to the date of preparing the report which affect the opinion. The report should give an opinion on the adequacy and effectiveness of AMCOW’s arrangements for: (a) risk management, control and governance, and (b) economy, efficiency and effectiveness (VFM) and the extent to which the Governing Council and EXCO can rely on them.
- The Internal Audit Service Provider shall also prepare, before the beginning of the year, an audit needs assessment and audit plan supported by an assessment of resource needs. These shall be submitted to the TAC Sub-Committee on Audit matters for approval following consultation with relevant managers and the Executive Secretary
- The Internal Audit Service Provider is accountable to the Executive Secretary and the Governing Council/EXCO through the TAC Sub-Committee on audit matters for the performance of the service. The Internal Audit Service Provider shall also report audit findings to relevant managers (including the Executive Secretary) and draw the attention of the TAC Sub-Committee on Audit matters to key issues and recommendations.
- The Internal Audit Service Provider will produce draft reports, usually within one month of completing each audit, giving an opinion on the area reviewed and making recommendations for improvement where appropriate. These will be discussed with the line managers responsible who will provide responses to the report, giving management comments and details of a plan of action with timescales for implementing recommendations. A final report will then be issued to line managers, usually within one month of issuing the draft report. Such reports shall also be provided to the Director of Finance and Administration and the Executive Secretary. Summary reports shall be provided to the TAC Sub-Committee on Audit matters and the attention of the Sub-Committee shall be drawn to significant findings and recommendations.
- The Internal Audit Service Provider shall draw the attention of the Executive Secretary and Audit and the TAC Sub-Committee on Audit matters to any significant recommendations which have not been accepted by management, and to the risks arising
- The implementation of management action plans will be tracked regularly with updates sought from the Responsible Officers and reported to the TAC Sub-Committee on Audit matter by the Internal Audit Service. Evidence of completion of the actions shall be reviewed on a sample basis by the Internal Audit Service.
- The Internal Audit Service Provider shall report to the Executive Secretary and Chair of the TAC Sub-Committee on audit matters any serious weaknesses, significant fraud or major accounting breakdown discovered during the normal course of audit work.
AWARDING OF CONTRACT
Interested parties, either as individual experts or audit firms, are invited to submit technical proposals. Against the background of the foregoing, the technical proposals should offer details on the respondents’
- proposed approach and methodology of performing the function on a retainership basis;
- academic and professional qualifications (of key staff);
- relevant experience over the last ten years; and
- availability to commence immediately after finalisation of the contract.
The QCBS criteria shall be applied.
Only the respondents with technical proposals that score 70% or more shall be invited to submit financial proposals at a later date.
The overall score shall be weighted in the ratio 80:20 for the technical to the financial proposal.
SUBMISSION OF TECHNICAL PROPOSALS
Technical Proposals should be addressed to the Executive Secretary at the address below not later than 30th April 2022.
The Executive Secretary
African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW)
No 11, T.Y Danjuma Street, Asokoro
Attention : Bala Taham
The same e-mail address can be used for requests for additional information and or clarifications.