Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) IS LOOKING FOR:
A reputable audit firm that meets international audit certification standards to audit their books of account for the ADA project 2847-00/2019 titled, “Protecting procedural and constitutional rights through access to justice”
Assignment to be undertaken yearly starting January 2022 for a period of 3 years.
Protecting procedural and constitutional rights through access to justice. The project is funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA)
The objective of the assignment
The objective of this assignment is to carry out annual financial audits on the books of accounts of ASF and her partner; Legal Aid Service PROVIDERS’ Network (LASPNET) related to the project.
1,200,000 Euros for 36 months from 1st November 2020 to 31st October 2023
Contract and deadline
Please submit applications by 17th December 2021 at 5 pm, including the following:
- Proof of audit firm registration.
- Demonstration of at least 5 years experience and expertise in external auditing for donor-funded projects.
- CVs of key personnel demonstrating relevant skills and experience and at least 2 references, preferably from organizations with which the auditor has conducted similar types of work.
- Indicative budget for audit fees in Uganda Shillings, number of days, and daily rate. The budget must include all taxes.
- Sample of audit work done in the past (optional).
- Audit methodology and foreseen scope of review. Please note that the review will mostly be done based on scanned and original hard copies of the supporting documents.
- Declare flexibility and availability in agreement with the ASF and LASPNET for the audit to start in January 2022.
In Uganda, detention before trial remains a challenge, despite Uganda’s extensive and protective legal framework for pre-trial detention (PTD). As of September 2018, 51% of the Ugandan detained population was found in pre-trial detention against an African average at 35% a figure that has remained steady in spite of the recent adoption of legal instruments and policies such as community sentencing and the Plea Bargaining Scheme (PBS). Additionally, out of 936 complaints of human rights violations registered by the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) in 2018, 323 came from pre-trial detainees, accounting for 34.5% of the total. This implies that policies and laws do not necessarily translate into alleviation on the rate of PTD at both prisons and police detention facilities. In addition to high numbers of pre-trial detainees, the period of detention is in many cases excessively long and a central cause of prisons’ overcrowding. Indeed, excessive resort to PTD, strains the Prisons’ capacity. As of September 2018, the occupancy rate within Uganda prisons stood at 315.4% of the prisons’ capacity whereas the prisoner-to-staff ratio was of one staff for seven prisoners, country-wide. Therefore, life within Ugandan prisons entails overcrowding which puts stress on the Prisons’ ability to provide for basic needs i.e. food, medicine, and facilities, leading to sub-standard conditions of detention. It also carries a public health hazard as it increases the risk of contagious disease being spread. The project’s rationale is therefore to restore procedural rights in the practice of criminal justice, as an entry point for greater adherence to human rights and the Rule of Law in Uganda. The project’s approach is a holistic one, going beyond addressing detention issues in the administration of justice in silo.
Direct beneficiaries of the project
The individuals and groups of persons who are victims of illegal and/or unlawful detention at police and prison detention facilities
These will benefit from legal aid services aimed at protecting their procedural rights.
- Members of LASPNET present in the districts of implementation
These will benefit from capacity building sessions, provide the paralegals and lawyers, and jointly implement sensitization campaigns including participation in advocacy efforts
Indirect beneficiaries of the project
Member institutions of the JLOS, more specifically the
- Uganda Police Force (UPF)
- Uganda Prison Service (UPS)
- Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Specific objective of the Project
To foster the protection and promotion of constitutional and procedural rights in the administration of justice, with a focus on situations of detention.
- 1: Enhanced capacity for civil society to advocate for the protection of constitutional and procedural rights
- 2: Strengthened provision of legal aid services to uphold procedural rights in the administration of Justice
- 3: A stronger engagement with central institutions to influence policy
Priority areas of implementation
Gulu, Kitgum (Acholi), Arua (West Nile), Hoima, Masindi (Albertine), and Kampala
- Legal awareness-raising and community outreach
- Provision of legal aid services to pre-trial detainees
- Capacity building of Legal Aid Service Providers Network
- Creation, strengthening, and facilitation of networks of human rights monitors
General Overview of ASF
ASF is an independent international non-governmental organization founded in Belgium in 1992, whose mission is to contribute to the establishment of institutions and mechanisms that allow for access to independent and impartial justice, and which are capable of guaranteeing the protection of fundamental rights (civil and political, economic and social), including the right to a fair trial. For more than 20 years, ASF has been implementing programs with the aim of facilitating access to justice for the most vulnerable population in fragile states or transition contexts.
ASF’s strategy rests primarily on:
1) The affirmation of law as a vehicle of change (protection and development); and
2) The promotion of the social role of the lawyer as an agent of change (lawyers are both guaranteeing legal security, and access to human rights via the access to justice and a quality defence).
ASF places lawyers, bar associations and other civil society organisations promoting human rights at the core of this strategy. ASF's intervention strategy includes recognizing access to justice as a fundamental right and an indispensable precondition for realizing and defending other human rights; and building advocates and lawyers' capacity to achieve the above objectives: ensure access to justice and support human rights realisation.
General Overview of LASPNET
During the period 1995 to about 2000, various justice delivery institutions strengthened their performance in a number of areas ranging from legislation, policy interventions, institutional establishments, research, pilot initiatives, and programmatic interventions.
Similarly, civil society organisations (CSOs), engaged in interventions that targeted the users of the justice delivery agencies with major focus on human rights education, legal rights awareness as well as legal aid.
LASPNET was subsequently conceived in early 2001 as a loose coalition to steer involvement of the private sector players in addressing the issues directly affecting the poor and their access to justice.
LASPNET was then registered and formalised its status in April 2004 as a company limited by guarantee to promote access to justice in close working relationship with the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) and through support from the Legal Aid Basket Fund (LABF).
At that time, the network was composed of a few legal aid service providers who included the LDC Legal Aid Clinic (LAC), Public Defender Association of Uganda (PDAU), the Uganda Gender Resource Center (UGRC), Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), the Legal Aid Project of the Uganda Law Society (LAP), and the Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA).
LASPNET has gained a lot of experience since its establishment in 2004 when most of the legal aid services were largely provided by organisations located in urban areas with barely any coordinated mechanisms to pursue common agenda. A fully fledged Secretariat is now in place to enhance member ownership and participation in collective programmes as well as offer a platform of opportunities for development partnerships and strategic networking with all the relevant actors in the Justice, Law and Order Sector.
A 5-year strategic plan was also developed in 2010 to drive a more coordinated effort for improving synergies that strengthen legal aid service provision. Since 2011, the membership has grown from about 20 organisations reaching 41 within a period of two years. This has created a constituency of passionate individuals and organisations seeking to utilise their expertise more appropriately in provision of legal aid. A lot of institutional development efforts have already been taken to ensure that the Network is relevant and functional.
It is on this basis that LASPNET has built its current institutional setting in order to consolidate the achievements made towards systemic improvements and ensure programme developments that strengthen coordination as well as support more effective approaches to enhancing the provision of quality legal aid services.
The objectives of LASPNET are:
- To improve the cost effectiveness of legal aid service providers, increase geographical coverage and enhance the quality of legal aid services;
- To build and strengthen institutional and human resource capacity of legal aid service providers;
- To harmonize the provision of legal aid and facilitate the development and use of common standards and guidelines;
- To lobby and advocate for issues relevant and appropriate to the promotion of access to justice;
- To research, document and disseminate information on the provision of legal aid;
- To mobilize resources for legal aid service providers;
- To strengthen the voice and visibility of legal aid service providers;
- To do all such other lawful things that are incidental or conducive to the attainment of any or all of the above objectives.
Overview of the Audit
ASF in partnership with LASPNET is organthezing a first-year audit for the period running 1st November 2020 to 31st December 2021 for the project 2847-00/2019 titled: “Protecting procedural and constitutional rights through access to justice”, with funding from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).
ADA requires project audits to be conducted annually and the audit reports submitted with the annual financial reports. The audit report should be available to ADA not later than two months after the end of the first twelve months of the project, at specific dates agreed in the Grant Agreement, and/or within three months after completion of the project.
Goal/Objective of the Audit
The goal of this financial audit is to ascertain the eligibility of expenditures and conformity of financial reporting of the project to the Grant Agreement and the General Terms and Conditions of the Austrian Development Agency
Deliverables/ Expected Results
- Audit planning meeting,
- Sample of transactions to be audited (to be provided at least 2 weeks ahead of the audit),
- Conducting physical audit,
- Examination of the correctness of the related expenditure practices,
- Audit on the basis of original receipts,
- Invalidation of original receipts,
- Examination of the plausibility of the expenses and allocation of the same to the items of the project budget,
- Examination of the total financial management,
- Examination of the compliance with the applicable provisions of labour law and social security law,
- Examination of the compliance with the applicable procurement provisions of the grant,
- Issue financial audit report,
- Issue management letter,
- Expenditure coverage ratio to be captured in the report,
- Conducting yearly audits as per the summarized timeline below:
Conditions of the mission
The budget available for the 3 years audits is 12,000 euros (4,000 euros per year)
Fees and Payment
Payment shall be made in two separate installments as per the agreed audit fees. 30% initial payment and the balance upon delivery of the final audit report.
Submission of invoices to ASF before effecting payments.
NOTE : Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the audit team will be required to follow all the Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) issued by ASF and the Ministry of Health of Uganda.