REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA)

FOR THE TRAINING OF INSPECTORS ON NEW REGULATORY AND INSTITUTIONAL INSPECTION FRAMEWORK THROUGH `TRAIN THE TRAINERS` PROGRAM

Issuance Date: APRIL 27, 2015
Deadline for Receipt of Questions: MAY 22, 2015 by 5 p.m. CET
Closing Date/Time for Submission of Applications: MAY 29, 2015 by 3 p.m. CET

SUBJECT:    Request for Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-2015-02

 

The USAID Business Enabling Program in Serbia (USAID BEP), a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded contract implemented by Cardno Emerging Markets USA, Ltd., is seeking applications from qualified, legally registered US or Serbian non-profit, for-profit, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for a grant to develop the `Train the trainers` program - training of inspectors on new regulatory and institutional inspection framework as a part of the implementation of the Law on Inspection Oversight. The Successful Applicant will be responsible for ensuring achievement of specified grant objectives.
This RFA consists of the following sections:

  • Section 1 – Funding Opportunity Description
  • Section 2 – Award Information
  • Section 3 – Eligibility Information
  • Section 4 – Application and Submission Information
  • Section 5 – Application Review Information
  • Section 6 – Award and Administration Information
  • Section 7 – AnPursuant to 22 CFR 226.81, it is USAID policy not to award profit under assistance instruments. However, all reasonable, allocable and allowable expenses, both direct and indirect, which are related to the grant activity and are in accordance with applicable cost standards (22 CFR 226, OMB Circular A-122 for non-profit organizations, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 31 for for-profit organizations, and OMB Circular A-21 for educational institutions), may be paid under the Award.
    Subject to the availability of funds, USAID BEP intends to provide up to 53,000 USD (fifty-three  thousand US dollars payable in Serbian dinars) in total funding to be allocated over a ten month period.

USAID BEP reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted. Issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award commitment on the part of USAID BEP, nor does it commit USAID BEP to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application. Further, USAID BEP reserves the right to reject any or all applications received if such action is considered to be in the best interest of the US Government. Applications are submitted at the risk of the Applicant; should circumstances prevent making an award, all preparation and submission costs are at the Applicant’s expense.

Applicants should submit any questions concerning this RFA in writing, electronically, via email to grants@bep.rs. The deadline for receipt of requests for clarifications/explanations is May 22, 2015, by 5 p.m. Local Belgrade Time. No questions will be accepted after this date.

Applicants should submit applications in writing to: Jasmina Debeljak Maljkovic, electronically, via email at grants@bep.rs. The Closing Date for submission of applications is May 29, 2015, and the Closing Time for Submission of Applications is 3 p.m. Local Belgrade Time. Late applications will not be considered.

 

Section 1 – Funding Opportunity Description

A. Background

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded a contract to Cardno Emerging Markets USA, Ltd. (formerly Emerging Markets Group, Ltd.) for the USAID Business Enabling Project in Serbia. The purpose of the Business Enabling Project is to help the Government of Serbia (GoS) improve the competitiveness of the Serbian economy and its private sector businesses. The overall objective is to assist GoS policy makers, business representatives, experts, and others to improve the business enabling environment and macroeconomic framework. The activity provides technical assistance and training to improve the business enabling environment, support macroeconomic stability, further develop financial markets, and improve and increase business and financial management capacities within government and business. The Business Enabling Project is made up of three components:

Component 1, Business Regulation and Economic Governance, streamlines laws, regulations, and institutions; improves regulators’ capacity to implement laws; and improves analysis and public-private dialogue.

Component 2, Macroeconomic Policy and Public Financial Management, helps the Government implement new budget and fiscal responsibility laws, improve budgeting, increase public disclosure and transparency, strengthen public debt management, and improve economic analysis and forecasting.

Component 3, Financial Market Development, works on improving regulatory frameworks for non-bank institutions, develop capacity to strengthen and expand capital markets, and improve conditions for access to finance for small and medium enterprises.

USAID BEP’s activities in Components 1, 2, and 3 are described in more detail on USAID BEP’s websites: http://bep.rs/  and www.policycafe.rs

To accomplish reforms in each of these areas USAID BEP helps the Government of Serbia work closely with the private sector and outside experts to make reforms that improve business competitiveness. The purpose of this RFA is to solicit applications to support the USAID BEP by providing assistance in developing the `Train the trainers` program for the training of inspectors on the new regulatory and institutional inspection framework.

 

B. Grant Activity Description

Problem Statement

On February 27, 2015 the Government of Serbia adopted the Bill Law on Inspection Oversight, proposed to the Government of Serbia by the Ministry of State Administration and Local Government (MoSALG). The Law was passed by the Parliament on April 15th, 2015 and published in the Official Gazzete. USAID BEP supported the development of this Law from the beginning of the project (2011), through all law-making phases: consultations with the stakeholders from private and public sector, analysis, design of the model Law on Inspections, creation of the official Working Group, development of the Concept of the Law, development of the draft Law and ancillary documents, public consultations, obtaining comments from the relevant ministries, development of the draft by-laws, design of the implementation plan, finalization of the draft Law to be adopted by the Government of Serbia, and assistance through the parliamentary procedure.

The new law provides a basis for important changes in the ways inspectorates function and inspections are carried out. It provides for coordination of inspections, risk assessment, advisory roles, preventive measures and means to decrease the gray economy.
But, implementation of the new lay will be challenging. Research conducted on the overall work of the inspectorates shows that, generally, the inspections are often inefficient, out of date, lack efficient communication skills, do not provide appropriate information and advice, lack adequate resources, and propagate unequal treatment of the inspected subjects. Practice shows that many inspectors have a hard time interpreting the regulations, sometimes using no flexibility whatsoever, acting contrary to the anticipated goal of legislation and the purpose of the legislator. Many inspectors have no previous experience and skills related to basic economic and business issues, as necessary for conducting high-quality inspection oversight. Inspectorates have limited contact with non-registered and illegal businesses and are mostly ineffective in dealing with the gray economy. There are other circumstances that effect inspections - primarily the frequent and extensive regulatory changes in relatively short timeframes and lack of financial and material resources of the inspections.

With all the issues stated above and the Law on Inspection Oversight adopted, it is important to provide the inspectors with a comprehensive training program.

 

Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of the grant is to inform, educate and train the inspectors on features and effects of the new inspection oversight framework, and obtain feedback and inputs for implementation of inspection oversight reform.
Objectives of this RFA are:

(1) Increase professional competencies of the inspectors and capacities of the inspections;
(2) Raise awareness and improve knowledge of the inspectors on inspection oversight reform;
(3) Improve the inspection profession, which is challenging and requires a high level of expertise in various areas, in order to be performed successfully and with needed level of quality.  

The purpose and objectives will be achieved through development of a training program and materials, and training trainers to deliver the training.

 

Grant Activities

The successful applicant shall review the new Law on Inspection Oversight and assess the needs of the inspectors - primarily heads of inspections and inspections’ management - who will participate in the training. This will allow the grantee to ascertain and respond to inspectors’ demands for training needs in terms of the Law on Inspection Oversight implementation, as well as the specific topics which should be covered during the training. The grantee shall identify practical methods for training delivery. The grantee shall provide USAID BEP with draft training modules.
The grantee will provide:

  • Training modules, including agendas, course outline and other applicable materials;
  • Adequate trainers in the areas of inspection oversight, public administration, regulatory reform and related issues, planning processes, business and financial matters, reporting, communication skills and “soft skills” coaching, training skills and techniques;
  • Certificate on completion of the training and acquired knowledge and skills.

Training modules will include agendas, outlines and training materials. Training materials should entail simple paper and electronic documents. Electronic documents should be posted on the web sites of USAID BEP, Grantee, Ministry of State Administration and Local Government (MoSALG), Coordination Commission and Inspections.

The training should be designed and structured to provide the trainees with appropriate practical expertise on:

  • The concept, features and provisions of the Law on Inspection Oversight, reasoning, and intention of the Legislator;
  • The planning of inspection oversight, including risk assessment;
  • Interpretation of legal standards, and conducting discretionary powers and assessments in inspection oversight;
  • Carrying out of the inspection oversight;
  • Inspectors` effective communication and other ‘soft’ skills;
  • Dealing with unregistered entities’ activities, including inspection insight into the housing premises;
  • Presentation of evidence and inspection reporting (inspection oversight report, regular and ad hoc reporting, and inspection annual report);
  • Fundamentals of doing business and proportionality of inspection measures to economic strength, in order to provide business sustainability and development;
  • Training skills and techniques.

USAID BEP experts and consultants will cover the predominant majority of the regulatory issues. The successful applicant will cover training of trainers and other non-regulatory issues and will participate in trainings on regulatory issues.
The target group of the training is the inspectors - primarily heads of inspections and inspections’ management who will be trainers.

II. Training Tasks

`Train the Trainers` program will cover the following issues and topics:

  • Features of the Law on Inspection Oversight;
  • Planning of inspection oversight;
  • Interpretation of legal standards and conducting discretionary powers and assessments in inspections oversight;
  • Carrying out of the inspection oversight;
  • Inspectors` effective communication and other ‘soft’ skills;
  • Dealing with unregistered entities’ activities, including inspection insight into the housing premises;
  • Presentation of evidence and inspection reporting (inspection oversight report,  regular and ad hoc reporting, and inspection annual report);
  • Fundamentals of business and proportionality of inspection measures to economic strength, in order to provide business sustainability and development
  • Training skills and techniques

Methods for training should be appropriate for the target audience, and should maximize the impact of the training. Training will include in-person presentations and discussions, simulations, case studies, examples and other practical hands-on training. All training should be practical, with focus on the proper implementation of the provisions of the Law on Inspection Oversight and achieving high-quality, consistency and effectiveness of the inspection oversight.

By the conclusion of the training, participants to the training should have the knowledge and skills to understand the features and provisions of the Law on Inspection Oversight, and properly implement them, achieving high-quality, consistency and effectiveness of the inspection oversight. Participants in the `Train the Trainers` program should also have the ability to conduct high quality training for the inspections.

The training should be interactive and innovative, and should include presentations and discussions on content, implementation and effects of the Law on Inspection Oversight.

The target group of the training program are inspectors - primarily heads of inspections and inspections’ management. It is anticipated that the trainings will include around 220 inspectors. Inspectors from various regions of the Republic of Serbia should participate in the training. The number of groups and attendees per one group will be mutually agreed subsequently. The trained participants will be required to further disseminate the knowledge acquired at the training to other inspectors, including inspectors from the inspections at provincial and local level with entrusted inspection powers.

Trainers should be a combination of practitioners and academics, with experience in inspection oversight, public administration, regulatory reform and related issues, planning processes, reporting, business and financial matters, training methodology and techniques, communication skills and `soft skills` coaching and training skills and techniques. Trainers should include Serbian experts. The `Train the Trainers` program will include both female and male participants.

USAID BEP will provide experts and consultants who will cover the predominant majority of the regulatory topics, while the grantee will provide the trainers who will cover all other necessary topics.

USAID BEP will provide the trainees with a Guide for implementing the Law on Inspection Oversight, containing the explanations of the Law provisions, expert texts, templates and bylaws. The Guide will be distributed during the trainings, and it should be used by the grantee to develop and conduct the training and `Train the Trainers` program. The grantee will be responsible for providing other related training materials, especially the ones concerning inspector’s communication and other ‘soft’ skills needed for high-quality, consistent and effective inspection oversight. The materials should be suitable for use by the inspectors in their practice and regular work.
The trainings will be held over the period of 8 (eight) months starting from September 2015 to the end of April 2016. One of the trainings will be held in Belgrade, while the rest will be held in the regional centers throughout Serbia, in accordance with target group residences and working locations.

 

III Report on Training

The report will include a summary of the training, including content, methodology, subjects, and evaluations by the trainers and participants.  The report will also set forth lessons learned and recommendations for future trainings.  It will include modules, presentations, and reports on each of the trainings as annexes.

 

Deliverables

The successful applicant shall deliver to USAID BEP the following deliverables, in accordance with the schedule set forth below.

Deliverable No. 1: Final Work Plan and Schedule

The final work plan and schedule will be built on the realistic analysis of the training needs, defined requirements and available resources for successful implementation of the trainings. The work plan will address the timing of the deliverables listed below. The final work plan and schedule will address the risks of successful implementation of the trainings, and the answers how to overcome presumable risks.

Deliverable No. 2: Organization and logistics of the `Train the trainers` program

Grantee should provide all the organization and logistics aspects of `Train the trainers’ program, including venues, organization, necessary equipment, technician support and other organizational, technician and logistic activities.

Deliverable No. 3: Developed draft training modules, including agendas, course outline, handouts and other applicable materials. All deliverables are subject to approval by USAID BEP and the MoSALG.

The grantee will develop the training modules, including agendas, course outline, handouts and other applicable materials. USAID BEP will provide the trainees with a Guide for implementing the Law on Inspection Oversight, containing the explanations of the Law provisions, expert texts, templates and bylaws, while the grantee will provide other training materials, especially the ones concerning inspector’s communication and other ‘soft’ skills needed for high-quality, consistent and effective inspection oversight. The materials should be suitable for use by the inspectors in their practice and regular work.

Deliverable No. 4: Trainers provided

Trainers will be the experts in the fields of inspection oversight, public administration, regulatory reform and related issues, planning processes, business and financial matters, communication skills and “soft skills” coaching and training skills and techniques. USAID BEP will provide experts and consultants who will cover the predominant majority of the regulatory topics, while the grantee will provide the trainers who will cover all other necessary topics. USAID BEP will provide experts who will be in charge of the training in the fields of: features of the Law on Inspection Oversight, interpretation of legal standards, conduction of discretionary powers and assessments in inspection oversight, regulatory aspects of carrying out the inspection oversight, inspection reporting (inspection oversight report, regular and ad hoc reporting, and inspection annual report) and unregistered entities’ activities. The grantee will propose at least 1 (one) expert who will be in charge of training in the field of planning processes, at least 1 (one) expert who will be in charge of the `soft skills` and communications coaching, at least 1 (one) expert who will be in charge of the business and financial matters training and at least 1 (one) expert who will be in charge of the training skills and techniques coaching.

Deliverable No 5: Trainings for around 220 participants

The training of the participants will cover the issues and topics listed in Section II (“Training Tasks”).

Deliverable No. 6: Training reports submitted

The reports will include a summary of the training, including content, methodology, subjects, and results achieved. It will include modules, presentations, and reports on each of the trainings as annexes.

Deliverable No. 7: Evaluation of the trainings prepared

The evaluation of the trainings will contain the evaluations by the trainers and participants.  Training evaluation will describe if the training has had the desired effects, and will answer the questions whether the inspectors (trainers) are able to implement their learning in their respective workplaces, or to the regular inspection work routines, and to disseminate the knowledge they acquired during the trainings to their colleagues inspectors. The evaluation of the trainings will address whether the objectives were met and what impact the trainings had on actual performance on the inspection operations and procedures. The document will also set forth lessons learned and recommendations for future trainings. 

Deliverables Schedule

The applicant shall submit the deliverables described above in accordance with the following Deliverables Schedule:

Deliverable No.

*Deliverable Name

* Due Date

1

Final Work Plan and Schedule

 

2

Organization and logistics of the `Train the trainers` program

 

3

Developed draft training modules, including agendas, course outline, handouts and other applicable materials

 

4

Trainers provided

 

5

Trainings for around 220  participants

 

6

Trainings reports submitted

 

7

Evaluation of the trainings prepared

 

Deliverables must be submitted in English and Serbian languages, while technical progress and final reporting is to be produced in English language.

Section 2 – Award Information

Subject to the availability of funds, USAID BEP intends to provide up to 53.000 USD (fifty–three thousand US dollars payable in Serbian dinars) in the total funding to be allocated over a ten month period. The anticipated period of performance of the grant is expected to start in July 2015, while the trainings will start in September 2015 and end in April 2016.  USAID BEP anticipates awarding one Fixed Obligation Grant under this RFA. Under a Fixed-Obligation Grant, all payments will be a fixed-sum payable upon completion of deliverables, which will be defined in detail during grant agreement negotiations.

Section 3 – Eligibility Information

Eligible organizations shall be able to comply with and achieve the proposed Program Description, Tasks, and Results and have a satisfactory performance record and record of integrity and business ethics.

Eligible organizations include legally registered US or Serbian non-for-profit, for-profit, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Prior to the award of grant under this RFA, successful Applicants will be required to sign a Certification Regarding Terrorist Financing certifying that the Applicant’s organization does not provide and has never provided assistance to terrorists for terrorist activities. Successful Applicants may also be required to sign other Certifications as applicable to the award. The Certifications are attached as Annex 2 of this RFA.

Ineligible organizations include:

  • Public International Organizations;
  • Entities that have misused USAID funds in the past, organizations that advocate, promote or espouse anti-democratic policies or illegal activities;
  • Political parties or institutions;
  • Organizations that intend to use the grant for religious objectives;
  • Organizations that are on the list of parties excluded from federal procurement and non-procurement programs or the United Nations Security Sanctions Committee.

We encourage partnerships / consortia among the organizations with relevant experience, in order to design and deliver the training program at the high-quality level.

 

Section 4 – Application and Submission Information

Applicants should submit applications in writing to: Jasmina Debeljak Maljkovic electronically, via email at grants@bep.rs. The Closing Date for submission of applications is May 29, 2015, and the Closing Time for Submission of Applications is 3 p.m. Local Belgrade Time. Late applications will not be considered.

All applications in response to this RFA shall consist of a technical proposal and a budget proposal. The technical proposal must not be longer than 15 pages in length. Pages submitted in excess of 15 pages will not be reviewed. Supporting documents and CV of the proposed key staff members, which the Applicants are required to submit (please see the Application Form), will not be counted toward the 15 pages limit. The technical proposal must be submitted in English, while the supporting documents can be provided in original language (Serbian) or English. The cost proposal shall be submitted as a separate file from the technical proposal. Applicants are advised to fill in the budget form as detailed as possible. Lump sums will not be accepted. Applicants are allowed to add new lines and modify the budget lines (not Budget Headings) according to the needs of the proposal’s activities.

According to the Mandatory Standard Provisions for Non-U.S., Nongovernmental Recipients, administrative regulations on Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations (OMB Circular A-122), and Cost Principles for Commercial/For-Profit Organizations (Federal Acquisition Regulations - FAR 31.2), taxes, including value added taxes, are not allowable costs where an exemption or refund of such taxes mechanism exists. Please do not budget VAT cost in the project budget breakdown.

The required format for applications is included as Annex 1 - Full Application Form and Annex 1A – Budget Form.
Note: USAID BEP's grants Inbox has a 10MB limitation, thus be advise to send files exceeding this limit in several separate emails.

 

 Section 5 – Application Review Information

Applications will be evaluated in accordance with the criteria set forth below. The criteria have been tailored to the requirements of this RFA. Applications should note that these criteria serve to: (a) identify the significant matters which Applicants should address in their applications; and (b) set the standard against which all applications will be evaluated.

To the extent necessary, USAID BEP may request clarification and supplemental materials from Applicants whose applications have a reasonable chance of being selected for Award. The entry into discussion is to be viewed as part of the evaluation process and shall not be deemed as indicative of a decision or commitment upon the part of USAID BEP to make an award to the Applicants with whom discussions are being held.

According to the Mandatory Standard Provisions for Non-U.S., Nongovernmental Recipients, administrative regulations on Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations (OMB Circular A-122), and Cost Principles for Commercial/For-Profit Organizations (Federal Acquisition Regulations - FAR 31.2), taxes, including value added taxes, are not allowable costs where an exemption or refund of such taxes mechanism exists. Please do not budget VAT cost in the project budget breakdown.

Applications will be evaluated by the Grants Selection Committee on the basis of 100 possible points. The weighting of various sections will be as follows:

Category

Maximum Points (100 Total)

Technical Approach  

25

Management, Personnel and Staffing Plan

25

Organization Capabilities, Experience and Past Performance

30

Cost Effectiveness     

20

Total Possible Points

100


  • Technical Approach (25 points):
  • Technical Know-how – (8 points)
    • Demonstrated understanding of roles, capacities and capabilities of inspectors, and the challenges they face in their work.
  • Approach and Methodology – (10 points)
    • The proposed program approach is comprehensive, including detailed activities and a timeline for fulfilling all requirements of the RFA in an effective and efficient manner. The methodology should clearly explain how the applicant will complete the work and include a detailed work plan.
    Knowledge – (7 points)

    • Demonstrated knowledge of law implementation, inspection oversight, public administration, regulatory reform and related issues, planning processes, business and financial matters, communication skills and `soft skills` coaching. Does the applicant demonstrate a clear understanding of the problems/key issues that the proposed grant activity will address?
    • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of training and `Train the Trainers` programs. Does applicant demonstrate clear approach to training inspectorate managers to become effective trainers?
  • Management, Personnel, and Staffing Plan (25 points)
    • Personnel Qualifications – The applicant should describe their overall staffing capability and capacity to undertake work in this area. A detailed description of proposed team members’ qualifications and relevant experience to carry out the grant activities should be included. As a whole, the proposed team should reflect an understanding of law implementation, inspection oversight, public administration and inspections reforms, regulatory reform and related issues, planning processes, business and financial matters, training methodologies and techniques, train the trainers, communication skills and `soft skills` coaching.
  • Organization Capabilities, Experience, and Past Performance  (30 points)

Organization Background and Experience – Applicant’s experience and capabilities in undertaking similar activities, including trainings and training of trainers, should be detailed here, including references and certifications (if relevant). If desired, applicants may share website links to relevant examples for consideration. Applicants may also consider capacity and capabilities of relevant staff and/or consultants when describing their organizational capabilities.

  • Cost Effectiveness (20 points): What resources are provided for the proposed costs? Is the proposed budget realistic, well-though out, and in-line with the proposed activities? Are the proposed costs reasonable, allowable and allocable to the grant? Is the grantee contributing cost-share or providing in-kind support?

The selection of the Applicant for award will be made by the USAID BEP’s Grant Selection Committee. Prior to the award of any resultant grant agreement, USAID BEP must obtain prior approval from USAID.

Section 6 – Award and Administration Information

Before the applications’ specified expiration date, successful applicant(s) will receive written notice from the Grants Manager informing the applicant(s) that USAID BEP either intends to award a grant to the applicant without negotiation, or that USAID BEP intends to engage the applicant(s) in further negotiations with respect to a potential grant award. Negotiations conducted after the receipt of an application do not constitute an obligation on the part of USAID BEP to award a grant. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing by the Grants Manager.

Any resultant award will be subject to the terms and conditions of the Prime Contract for the USAID Business Enabling Project (for US organizations: 22 CFR 226, OMB Circulars, and the Standard Provisions for U.S. Non-governmental Recipients; for non-US organizations: Standard Provisions for Non-U.S. Non-governmental Recipients).

 

Section 7: Annexes

Annex 1: Full Grant Application Form and Budget Form

Annex 2: Certifications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 







News

25.07.2017 - The Government of Serbia (GoS) Makes a Major Breakthrough in Strengthening Public Investment Management System (PIM)

25.07.2017 - USAID Business Enabling Project (BEP) Continues to Build Capacity of Enforcement Professionals

>>> News archive <<<
 
 



Business Regulation
and Economic Governance
     

Grants
 

Monitoring & Evaluation