Industry Expert – Forestry Sector, BPPS / SDG Finance at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations’ global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life for themselves. It provides expert advice, training and grants support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries. It promotes technical and investment cooperation among nations.

Headquartered in New York City, the status of UNDP is that of an executive board within the United Nations General Assembly. The UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states. The organization operates in 177 countries, where it works with local governments to meet development challenges and develop local capacity.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Industry Expert – Forestry Sector, BPPS / SDG Finance

Location: Home based
Additional Category: Management
Type of Contract: Individual Contract
Post Level: International Consultant
Duration of Initial Contract: Up to 25 working days
Expected Duration of Assignment: Up to 25 working days from start date until Dec 2022

Background

  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the knowledge frontier organization for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy and programme work, carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office (CO) levels, form a contiguous spectrum of deep, local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. Within this context, UNDP invests in a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.
  • The UNDP Tax for Sustainable Development Goals Initiative (Tax for SDGs) is managed by the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS’s) Sustainable Finance Hub (SFH), with resource persons embedded in the SDG Finance Teams in Amman, Bangkok, Istanbul, Panama and Pretoria.
  • The UNDP Tax for SDGs has a particular emphasis on linking tax administration and tax and fiscal policies with the broader SDGs. Building on UNDP Country Office portfolios and already existing engagements with Ministries, UNDP will bring a stronger focus on the role of tax and fiscal policy in achieving Agenda 2030
  • The project places a particular focus on reducing gender and social inequalities in tax and fiscal policy as well as taking forward climate action and environmental goals, and health outcomes. Representing the views of developing countries in the global normative tax discussions is critical and to this effect the UNDP Tax for SDGs will also work to bring evidence and perspectives from developing countries into the regional and international discussions on taxation.
  • As part of Tax for SDGs, jointly with OECD, the UNDP is implementing the Tax Inspectors Without Borders Initiative (TIWB). TIWB is a hands-on approach to help developing countries collect their fair share of taxes by building their tax audit capacities. The TIWB has been undertaking an audit assistance programme programme for the Papua New Guinea Inland Revenue Commission (IRC) in the field of international tax auditing, focused on the forestry industry, under TIWB programme F2018-0014 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG) since January 2019. The programme is supported by two tax audit experts. Under TIWB programme IE2018-02 an industry expert completes the international team of experts.
  • Implementation of tax reforms and improved tax administration shall support PNG to fully fund the country’s development agenda and to achieve the country’s long-term vision of prosperity for all Papua New Guineans.

The deployment of a forestry expert will help support IRC’s objective to implement its rules on taxation of multinational enterprises in a way that the IRC:

  • Enhances transfer pricing and general audit skills of IRC auditors through practical on-the-job training.
  • Increases audit quality and effectiveness in sector-specific knowledge in the forestry industry.
  • Generates additional revenues from audit adjustments where appropriate.
  • Improves audit procedures and processes including risk selection and analysis methodology.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • The TIWB is seeking a forestry industry expert to support the IRC by improving their officials’ understanding of forestry sector value chains and timber pricing mechanisms, in addition to the associated risks, in order to effectively audit MNEs in the forestry industry.
  • The Work shall complement the broader efforts of tax audit assistance under the TIWB programme F2018-0014. The Expert will work directly with the designated tax audit officials of IRC and in partnership with the international TIWB tax audit experts.

The scope of work will encompass:

  • Describing the typical value chains in the PNG forestry sector with a focus on industry operations.
  • Ascertain market prices of timber.
  • Determining of selling prices and how prices are arrived at between independent parties.
  • Identification of data sources that help in determining the selling price.
  • Determining arm’s length prices for any royalty and/or service fees
  • The recommended specific transfer pricing method for timber products.
  • Identifying the key assets and risks that lie within the group structures of companies in the forestry industry.

Specifically, the IRC requires support in the following areas:

  • Prepare the IRC for conducting interview with taxpayers.
  • Contribute to IRC position paper on technical issues related to the forestry industry
  • Help the IRC understand the many elements of tropical forestry as it is practiced in PNG, advising them on what to look for on their forthcoming site visits to logging concessions, and helping them to quantify key costs of log production.

Note:

  • The Expert will be expected to maintain the same level of secrecy regarding confidential taxpayer information and IRC policy issues as is an officer of IRC.
  • IRC will arrange the necessary permissions to allow IRC confidential items (including taxpayer files) to be legally made available to the Expert if necessary. IRC will also arrange the necessary processes to require Expert to maintain secrecy concerning confidential information on taxpayers and IRC policy.
  • IRC will confirm that the Expert will be protected from prosecution/legal action resulting from any access to IRC files provided.

Expected outputs and deliverables:

Deliverables/ OutputsPayments (in % of Contract)Target Due DatesTarget Due DatesReview and Approvals Required
1Mission Report #1 detailing the assistance provided to IRC, submitted (only non-confidential information to be mentioned).
Estimated – 5 working days of assistanceThis would ideally cover review of existing and new cases on international tax and transfer pricing.
20%Within 2 months from the contract start dateUNDP Head of Tax for SDGs
2Mission Report #2 detailing the assistance provided to IRC, submitted (only non-confidential information to be mentioned)Estimated – 5 working days of assistance20%Within 4 months from the contract start date
3Mission Report #3 detailing the assistance provided to IRC, submitted (only non-confidential information to be mentioned)

Estimated – 5 working days of assistance

Within 6 months from the contract start date
4Mission Report #4 detailing the assistance provided to IRC, submitted (only non-confidential information to be mentioned)Estimated – 5 working days of assistance20%Within 8 months from the contract start date
5Mission Report #5 detailing the assistance provided (only non-confidential information to be mentioned)Estimated – 3 working days of assistance12%Within 10 months from the contract start date
6Final Report on case finalization and programme evaluation submitted and accepted.4%Within 10 months from the contract start date
7UNDP office in Papua New Guinea briefed on progress and issues requiring local support including recommendations on follow up work to support the conduct of effective tax audits.4%By or before last day of all onsite missions and during remote work when relevant

Required Skills and Experience
Academic qualifications:

  • A Master’s Degree or higher in Forestry, Forest Sciences, Environmental Science, Natural Resources Management, Social Science, Economics, Finance or related fields.

Required Experience:

  • At least 7 years of relevant professional experience in the forestry sector and/or relevant policy advisory experience for bilateral and/or international development organization.
  • Technical knowledge of sustainable forest management, timber trade and markets, incl. value chains and timber pricing in tropical woods, taxation and transfer pricing in the forestry sector required.
  • Experience working in one or more developing countries required.

Desired Experience:

  • Working experience with ministries, national institutions and forestry sector on national and local level in Papua New Guinea is a strong asset;
  • Strong drafting, presentation and reporting skills will be an advantage;
  • Experience working with UN agencies, partners, governments and/or civil society on forestry issues will be an advantage.

Competencies
Corporate competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness by modelling UN values and ethical standards;
  • Demonstrates professional competence and is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
  • Display cultural, gender, nationality, religion and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional Competencies:

  • Demonstrated ability to work harmoniously in a multicultural environment;
  • Ability to work on own initiative as well as a member of a team and to work under pressure;
  • Excellent relationship management;
  • Excellent communication, facilitation, presentation and reporting skills;

Language:

  • Fluency in written and spoken is required.

Application Closing Date
30th March, 2022 (Midnight New York, USA).

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Application Procedure
The application package containing the following (to be uploaded as one file):

  • A cover letter with a brief description of why the Offer considers her/himself the most suitable for the assignment;
  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects and specifying the relevant assignment period (from/to), as well as the email and telephone contacts of at least three (3) professional references;

Note: The above documents need to be scanned in one file and uploaded to the online application as one document.

Shortlisted candidates (ONLY) will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal.

  • The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around the specific and measurable deliverables of the TOR. Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR, and deliverables accepted and certified by the technical manager.
  • The financial proposal must be all-inclusive and take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; (excluding mission travel); living allowances at the duty station; communications, utilities and consumables; life, health and any other insurance; risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions (e.g., personal security needs, etc.), when applicable; and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract.
  • This consultancy is a home-based assignment, therefore, there is no envisaged travel cost to join duty station/repatriation travel.
  • In the case of unforeseeable travel requested by UNDP, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between UNDP and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed. In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.
  • If the Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.
  • The Financial Proposal is to be emailed as per the instruction in the separate email that will be sent to shortlisted candidates.

Evaluation Process:
Applicants are reviewed based on Required Skills and Experience stated above and based on the technical evaluation criteria outlined below.  Applicants will be evaluated based on cumulative scoring.  When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Being responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation where technical criteria weighs 70% and Financial criteria/ Proposal weighs 30%.

Technical Evaluation – Total 70% (70 points):

  • Criteria 1. A minimum of 7 years of experience related to the forest sector, tropical timber value chains and pricing; Maximum Points: 10;
  • Criteria 2. Experience related to international timber trade and transfer pricing; Maximum Points:10;
  • Criteria 3. Experience in the region, in particular in Papua New Guinea; Maximum Points: 10; and
  • Interview: Maximum Points: 40.
  • Having reviewed applications received, UNDP will invite the top three shortlisted candidates for interview. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
  • Candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (49 points) of the maximum obtainable points for the technical criteria (70 points) shall be considered for the financial evaluation.
  • Financial evaluation – Total 30% (30 points).

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

  • p = y (µ/z), where
  • p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated
  • y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal
  • µ = price of the lowest priced proposal
  • z = price of the proposal being evaluated.

Contract Award:

  • Candidate obtaining the highest combined scores in the combined score of Technical and Financial evaluation will be considered technically qualified and will be offered to enter into contract with UNDP.

Institutional Arrangement:

  • At IRC, the Expert will be supervised by and report to the Acting Commissioner of Taxation.
  • Issues regarding taxpayer confidentiality, (potential) conflicts of interest and liabilities will be
  • addressed to the satisfaction of IRC, the Expert and TIWB Secretariat/UNDP.
  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Expert is expected to provide remote assistance through e-mail, virtual meetings or other ways of communication.
  • The Expert will be expected to complete online UN security courses(s) to obtain the UN Security Clearance Certificate for insurance purposes before going on a mission, depending on the security requirements of the jurisdiction.
  • If COVID-19 situation allows, UNDP will fund transportation for the Expert from his/her home country to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and provide Daily Subsistence Allowance (“DSA”) at UNDP rates to cover accommodation during the mission. IRC may be requested to arrange airport transfers and daily transportation to/from the IRC offices. The Expert will work at IRC, located at Champion Parade, Port Moresby 121, Papua New Guinea.
  • IRC will provide the Expert with necessary infrastructure, including access to relevant information to conduct their advisory activities on IRC premises/with IRC including tax legislation, audit manuals/practice notes, double taxation treaties, tax information exchange agreements and Computer Aided Audit Tools (“CAAT”).
  • The Expert should arrange his/her accommodation; however, UNDP can make available a list of suitable options.
  • In between onsite missions, the Expert is expected to provide remote assistance through e-mail or other ways of communication. DSA will not be provided for days where remote assistance is provided.
  • The Expert is expected to meet with and keep informed the local UNDP Office staff in Papua New Guinea and UNDP TIWB during the Assignment to discuss the Programme and the involvement of the UNDP office.
  • The Expert will write and submit mission reports about their findings, achieved results and outcome of the Assignment directly to the TIWB Secretariat within 14 days following each mission for this programme. The Expert will hold a debriefing session with the senior management of IRC on the last day of each mission to update him/her about the outcomes of the mission.
  • TIWB Secretariat/UNDP will review mission outputs, give comments, certify approval/acceptance of outputs within two to four weeks of submission of each mission report by the Expert.
  • The official and working language is English. All outputs, including correspondence and reports are provided in English.
  • The Expert will use his or her own equipment (e.g. laptop) to perform the work.
  • If the Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.
  • The Expert will be paid upon submission of an output-based Progress Report for completion of a particular Deliverable and a Certification of Payment (CoP) duly certified.

Duration of Work:

  • The assignment is for appr. 25 working days in the period of March-December 2022.
  • The specific mission dates will be mutually agreed upon by IRC and the contracted Expert and confirmed to the TIWB Secretariat/UNDP.

Duty Station – Travel:

  • The assignment is home-based. A blended approach, including physical missions is possible if COVID-19 situation allows. Any mission travel will be funded based on UNDP travel regulations.

Payment Modality:

  • Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified above and deliverables accepted and upon certification of satisfactory completion by the manager.
  • The work week will be based on 35 hours, i.e. on a 7 hour working day, with core hours being between 9h00 and 18h00 daily.

Annexes (click on the hyperlink to access the documents):

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