Request for Proposal: Provision of co-sourced internal audit services for CGIAR System Organization

A. Purpose

CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources and ecosystem services. Its research is carried out by 15 CGIAR centers in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations and the private sector.

CGIAR research centers are independent legal entities. The CGIAR partnership is supported by the CGIAR System Organization that interacts on behalf of the Centers with the CGIAR Funders through their representative body, System Council. The System Management Board (SMB) is the governing body of the System Organization, and the System Management Office is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the System Organization.

The CGIAR System Organization, which is an international organization headquartered in Montpellier, France, has about 40 staff. The Organization is committed to cultivating a work environment that reflects teamwork, gender equality, and respect for diversity. We endeavor to foster a multi-cultural environment that is free of any form of harassment and discrimination; and that embraces and values individuals regardless of age, ethnicity, race, gender, national or social origin, marital status or any other form of personal identity.

In December 2018, the SMB approved an arrangement whereby starting 2019 the internal audit services for the CGIAR System Organization will be co-sourced under the overall direction of the in-house Chief Audit Executive (CAE) (20% FTE). Previously the services were delivered mostly with in-house resources with some engagements being co-sourced.

The 3-year rolling internal audit plan for the CGIAR System Organization has been approved and includes 5 assurance/advisory engagements in each year 2019-2021. To deliver these engagements, the organization allocated 70 days per year to consultancy support. The approved audit plan is as follows:

A typical engagement will involve one auditor guided by the CAE and will last 2-4 weeks including preparation, field work and reporting.

Download RFP PDF

B. What we are seeking

We are seeking a partnership relationship with an individual, a group of individuals or a corporate provider of internal audit services to deliver the approved audit plan of the CGIAR System Organization as directed by the CAE in the manner and quality that meets the expectations of the CGIAR System Organization’s governing bodies and management. The bidding services may include all or parts of the audit plan.

Guided by the IPPF Standards of the IIA, the CGIAR System Organization Internal Audit Charter, the audit manual and the methodology in place, the key responsibilities include:

  1. Manage the delivery of the internal audit engagements as per the approved audit plan within allocated time budget and to expected quality, specifically:
    1. Establishing engagement audit objectives based on risk-based engagement planning
    2. Developing work programs to achieve the approved audit objectives
    3. Delivering the audit work as per agreed work programs
    4. Leading start up and end-of-engagement meetings
    5. Drafting and finalizing audit reports that include practical, value adding recommendations for improvement
    6. Completing audit working papers by documenting all stages of work in the audit system, MKInsight.
  2. Allocate sufficient skilled resources to deliver the audit engagements within the allocated time budget with the ability to travel to Montpellier, France
  3. Keep informed with the CGIAR System Organization’s strategies, work plans and policies and understand business environment
  4. Flag any risks identified through the audit work or interactions with stakeholders
  5. Propose and implement any improvements to internal audit processes and methodologies based on relevant best practice as appropriate
  6. Maintain constructive and positive relationships with System Organization’s management, staff and other stakeholders.

C. Deliverables and timeline

Deliverables: Under the direction and overall guidance of the CAE:

  1. Finalize internal audit engagements by the end of each calendar year as per the approved internal audit plan
  2. Document work in audit software used by CGIAR System Internal Audit Function, MKInsight. Training will be provided if needed.


  1. The consultancy is anticipated to begin by not later than end-March 2019. The duration of the assignment is estimated at 70 working days each year. The initial contract will be issued for one year with the option to renew for two additional years (subject to annual reviews).

D. Knowledge, skills, and abilities

The ideal candidate will have a combination of the following:

Education and Experience: Key Technical Competencies:
  • Be a qualified internal auditor or accountant or hold another relevant qualification with extensive experience in relevant operational/functional areas including IT
  • At least 5 years’ post-qualification experience in risk-based internal auditing in a complex international organization setting
  • Experience in delivering co-sourced internal audit services
  • Experience of conducting audits of similar nature
  • Work with the highest standards of ethics and integrity; adhere to the IIA “Code of Ethics” and International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing
  • Highly organized
  • Ability to deliver internal audit engagements with minimum supervision
  • A goal-orientated collaborative approach to work
  • Effective verbal and written communicator in English


Eligibility criteria for consultancy

The following persons are not eligible to put forward a proposal:

  • A spouse or family member of a current staff member or consultant of the CGIAR System Organization.

Consultancy Details

  • Home-based with remote working arrangements
  • Traveling to and staying in Montpellier for up-to 10 days at a time when required
  • Virtual consultations are expected to be undertaken by Skype and/or through a portal. Access to the latter will be facilitated by the CGIAR System Organization Internal Audit
  • Consultants are responsible for all tax liabilities arising from this assignment.
  • Consultants are responsible for securing their own insurance arrangements.

Evaluation and Selection Criteria

Criteria for evaluation of proposals will be based on the following assessment:

Narrative proposal (70% weighting)

  • Quality and relevance of the technical proposal (refer section E. below)
  • ‘Required education and experience’, and consideration of ‘Preferred education and experience’ as an additional benefit

Budget proposal (30% weighting)

  • Clarity and relevance of the proposal costs (refer section F. below)
  • Value for money as perceived by the contacting body in the context of operating in a not-for-profit context.

The CGIAR System Organization’s Audit and Risk Committee will be the final arbitrator on the award of any consultancy contract based on submitted proposals without further submissions, clarifications, discussions or negotiations. Therefore, each proposal submitted by the closing date should already contain the bidder’s best technical and budget terms.

E. How to submit a proposal

Please submit a narrative proposal and a budget proposal as two separate documents to Both documents can be attached to the same email.

  1. The narrative proposal must consist of no more than 10 pages (excluding annexes) using Microsoft Word or similar format. Font size must not be smaller than 11pt Arial normal. Margins should be set to the standard Microsoft ‘A4 Normal’ setting. The format of the narrative proposal is set out in table 1 in the full RFP PDF.
  2. The budget proposal must be presented using Microsoft Excel or similar format and consist of, at a minimum, the following line items: consultant time, resources, travel (if any). The budget must be presented in US Dollars.

All proposals must be received no later than 16:00 Paris time, 13 March 2019. Only electronically submitted proposals will be considered. Late proposals will not be considered. Proposals that combine narrative and financial proposal will be disqualified.

Enquiries on the consultancy may be submitted in writing only, addressed to by not later than 27 February 2019. Responses will be provided within 1 working day of receipt.