Opportunities for Italian consultants
EUROPEAN BANK OF DEVELOPMENT AND RECONSTRUCTION (EBDR)
Opportunities for Italian consultants
On the 15th of June 2010 ICE, in collaboration with EBDR, organized a conference and workshop in Milan in order to illustrate working opportunities for Italian consultants.
Management staff from EBDR presented the bank's profile to a group of representatives of companies and technical firms from all over Italy. The conference was opened by the vice-director of ICE Milano, Mr. La Verghetta and to follow by Ms. Loddo, from ICE Rome.
EBDR's representatives were Ms. Bazzoni, the director of BERS for Italy, Mr. Maccanico ICE's representative in the bank's Italian office, Ms. Macit, Director of Consultancy and Corporate Procurement Department and Mr. Baldan, Senior Consultant of the Consultancy Services Unit.
Ms. Bazzoni pointed out that the two departments consultants should mainly contact, are the Banking Department, responsible for operations, loans and equities, and the Environmental Department, responsible for procurements, administration and in charge of consultancy.
The bank finances its activities through its own financial resources but also through donors. This last resource is called Technical Cooperation. Donors help the financing but have no decisional role or influence except for the setting of few requirements or priorities for the selection of consultants, such as consultants' nationalities. Italy is a major donor to the bank and fits technical cooperation.
Donors tend to set the Technical Cooperation program (TC) and co-finance for specific initiatives aiming to support local enterprises.
EBDR finances private and public sectors providing direct funding to financial institutions and infrastructures. It helps develop skills, improve and strengthen institutions
Mr. Maccanico confirmed ICE's presence in the Italian office which provides information to companies and to anyone who needs them in order to support collaboration with EBDR. ICE's representative in EBDR can receive companies' profiles with highlighted specific operations and countries of interest and can organize meetings with the bank's functionaries. It is thus important for each company, wanting to collaborate with EBDR, to set its main objectives defining who they are interested in, in what kind of assignments, in which Countries and their previous experiences. Mr. Maccanico also suggested cooperation among consultants providing guidance in tender procedures and giving support in meetings with EBDR's representatives (firstname.lastname@example.org). A TC funds' expert is present in the office, but he's not available for feasibility studies, due diligences and advisory projects. (Assistant to the director: email@example.com ; Elisabetta Ladisa for Italian TC funds: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Ms. Dilek Macit explored more in detail consultancy services with a brief introduction on Italian consultants performances in contracts' assignments.
She highlighted Italian awards in 2009: on a total number of 2.821 consultancies' services, Italian consultants were awarded with 177 contracts for a total of 6,42 MLN EUROS over a total of 137,17 MLN EUROS, plus 96 contracts for 0,82 MLN EUROS through the TAM Programme (Turn Around Management).
In 2009, 163 contracts for a total of 5,67 MLN EUROS were funded from TC funds and a value of 0,75 MLN EUROS through bank budget. EBDR has 36 offices in 30 countries, including new offices such as in Turkey which represents a Country most likely to be object of massive investments.
Italian consultants were mostly successful in getting contracts in the following Countries (set in order of contracts' values): Macedonia (21%), Bosnia, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Federal states of Russia, Romania, Ukraina, Mongolia, Albania, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Georgia, Montenegro, Armenia, Belorus, Slovenia, Croatia, UK, Bulgaria, Uzbekistan for the total amount of contracts of 6,42 MLN EUROS.
It is important to be aware of a Project's cycle and consultancy services as well as to understand deeper the evolution of the different steps and timings.
A project starts with a "Concept Clearance" which sets at the beginning of the year the amount of money that can be spent on consultancy. It follows a "Concept/structure Review", a "Final Review" and "Board Approval" which are all part of project preparation of consultancy services. "Signing" and "Disbursements" follow as project implementation.
Consultants can work on one of the following sides: either for the Bank, either for private investors. If the bank is the investor it chooses its experts, but if other private major investors are involved, then they usually bring along their own consultants. As an example, for the construction of a hotel, which refers to the Property and Tourism Department, it is possible that a private investor such as a major hotel chain (i.e. Hyatt) can be involved. In this case the private investor will contact its own experts. But still the bank can choose and appoint a consultant to supervise the construction in order to constantly relate the state of process to the bank.
Type of consultancy services needed by EBDR are Project Preparation and Project Implementation
- 3 Funding sources: TC, Bank budget, loan proceeds (most consultancy services are supported by this fund)
- Business sectors
Consultants can assist:
- the Bank: by providing the Project Preparation (feasibility studies, project design, environmental impact assessment) and Project Implementation (capacity building, institutional development, project supervision with independent engineers)
- Bank's clients: by providing a due diligence (technical, financial, environmental, integrity, etc.) and project monitoring (lenders technical supervisor)
The Bank monitors the services by consultants very closely, so if services are satisfactory the Bank allows the payments. It is always the Bank which directly pays the consultants so to give a guaranty.
Fundings for Italian consultants usually come from Italian TC funds, shareholders' funds and donors' funds.
The business sectors mostly awarded in year 2009 were Financial Institutions (32%), Power &Energy, Municipal Infrastructure and 11% of other sectors.
Municipal environment infrastructure (MEI) usually concerns water supply, waste water collection, waste water treatment, solid waste management, urban public transport, etc. This sector involves technicians such as engineers whose technical consultancy regards feasibility studies with a pull of engineers, environmental , financial and legal experts.
Mr. Baldan then explained how to approach the new EBDR website, where all procurement opportunities and consultancy services can be found. In order to check on these opportunities it is fundamental to explore the pages dedicated to projects, countries and sectors and then check on consultancy services where the e-Selection sector can be found together with consultant opportunities and Data & Reports. Under "Data & Reports" it is possible to find shortlisted companies with whom other companies can partnership, if needed, even before the final selection by directly contacting them.
Consultants can register as a company/corporate or as an individual expert in the e-Selection site http://eselection.ebrd.com by logging in. This registration allows to have a personalized account, a subscription to electronic notifications, to submit Expressions of Interest (EoI) online, proposals and electronic EoI, creates an online work space when searching for opportunities, allows to view the status of participation in real time and to monitor the progress of any selection process. When registering as a company always give a generic office mail such as email@example.com not to be limited in notifications by change of employees.
Mr. Baldan works in the Consultancy Services Unit (CSU) which provides the following services:
- Technical advice and operational support to users of consultancy services when selecting and engaging consultants
- Ensures compliance with Bank's procurement policies and rules and with donors' rules and requirements
- Chairs as not-voting member in evaluation committees for short-listing, selection of EoI and for proposals for assignments.
Banking Business Groups (see charts)
Sectors and Country Teams (all colored, see chart)
- Client is responsible for all aspects of the procurement of the contract. Contracts are concluded between client and consultants
- Bank's role is to review and monitor the client's tender process and assist contract administration to ensure compliance with procedures.
EBDR's selection of consultants has detailed rules and methods to which the bank strictly applies. Procurement policies and rules are the bank's "bible" and accessible on the website.
EBDR uses 3 selection methods, each one with its own threshold, which can be summarized in the following way:
1) Direct selection (not advertised) for contracts < 75.000 Euros
2) Selection from Shortlist for contracts between 75.000 Euros and 300.000 Euros
3) Selection from Proposal for contracts above 300.000 Euros
Direct selection of consultants is carried out in a fast procedure: Selection, Negotiation and Contract Signing.
Selection from a shortlist usually calls for EoI (not obligatory), forms a Long-list, reduces it to a Shortlist, Selects, Negotiates and proceeds to Signing of contracts.
Selection from a proposal has a slightly different procedure: EoI, Longlist, Shortlist, Proposal, Selection, Negotiation and Signing of contract.
It is very important to specify that the selection of consultants is mainly based on quality and not on economical proposal. Financial evaluation is often not applied on a first stage and it does not influence selection as much as quality of services.
Evaluation committees are made up of minimum 3 persons and maximum 6. Not more than two (2) consultants with the same nationality can be shortlisted.
- Check EBDR's website and sign up for alerts
- Research market and competition. Collaborate with larger firms and/or local firms where suggested
- Decide which are the Countries of interest
- Contact local agents and register in local offices (very important to EBDR)
- Remember if client is responsible for procurement. Contact client directly.
Strategies for getting contracts
- Be sure your product is needed
- Search for opportunities
- Be focused and selective - comparative advantage (find out your real strength and stress it)
- Monitor Procurement Notice
- Subscribe to e-Selection and Procurement alerts
- Contact client's agency
- Learn from experience
Success rates in open competitions for top 10 consultants' nationalities by value of contracts' awards:
Americans US 12%
It is to be considered that few EoIs are submitted, which in final means a higher percentage of success. Another important aspect in the selection of consultants, is the Country of the activity related to previous working experiences in the same, in similar or in neighboring Countries.
In order of value of contracts here is a list of contract awards to Italian contractors:
Macedonia (21%), Bosnia, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Mongolia, Albania, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Georgia, Montenegro, Armenia, Belorus, Slovenia, Croatia, UK, Bulgaria, Uzbekistan. For a total value of contracts of 6.424.117,00 EUROS. (Turkey is going to receive large funds in the coming years).
Points to be aware of for contracts' awards
- Selection method (selection from shortlist or request for proposal)
- Donors' limitations (for ex: contracts destined only to 3 specific nationalities)
- Conflicts of interests
- Breach of confidentiality during evaluation
- Late tender submission (take your time to prepare and evaluate)
- Experts' CVs (direct selection)
- Experts' CVs / company profile / Relevant experiences
Important details for selection
- Experience (by subject matters + experience in country of operation)
- Calibre or staff
- Methodology and work plan
- Other (local language, local input, etc.)
In the selection and contracting processes there are specific time frames to be aware of:
- Direct Selection : it usually requires from 7 to 14 days
- Selection from Shortlist: 5 to 7 weeks
- Evaluation of Proposals: 4 to 6 months
- Contract: variable
- Lump-sum vs time-based
- Periodical payment (milestones payments)
- Local taxes (VAT, additional taxes) (the bank is NOT your tax advisor)
- Budget caps
- Payment terms
Strategy for Bid Preparation
- Study bank's documents
- Obtain bidding documentation asap
- Check documents and request additional information
- Carefully read and follow "Instruction to bidders" (Eligibility restrictions, dead-lines, Within budget, Types of experts required, Page limits)
The objective is to be awarded the contract, not to carry out the assignment in the technical proposal, so:
- Be clear/ write short sentences
- Be focused
- Respond as for information requested and the terms of reference
- Familiarize yourself with e-selection
If unsuccessful you may ask for de-briefing when the process is completed, as it is important to understand.
You may identify someone within the bank.
If you need to make complaints you should address them to the Client or to the Bank, with copy to the Director of the Banking Department Team and to the Director of the Procurement Notice Department.
e-SELECTION - //eselection.ebdr.com
- Login: username (email address) + password
You will get a :
Subscription to electronic notification
Possibility to submit EoIs online
Possibility of submission of proposals and electronic EoIs by consultants
Online workspace to search for opportunities
View of status of participation
Monitoring of the progress of any selection process
- as an individual expert
- as a company (use a mail such firstname.lastname@example.org)
Select an account type and enter your details as the representative of the firm.