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Malawi: Consultant: Assessment of Public Officers’ Declaration System in Malawi

About the Basel Institute on Governance

The Basel Institute on Governance is an international and independent not-for-profit organisation working worldwide with the public and private sector to counter corruption and other financial crimes and to improve the quality of governance. As a Swiss foundation with headquarters in Basel, the Basel Institute maintains field operations in Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America. The Basel Institute is an Associated Institute of the University of Basel.

Project: Tackling Serious and Organised Corruption (TSOC Malawi)

The objective of the Tackling Serious and Organised Corruption (TSOC) programme is to increase the likelihood and severity of sanctions for high-level corruption, and in doing so deter future crimes. The largest component is implemented by the International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR). This responds to strategic and technical assistance needs requested and agreed with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). TSOC also emphasises prevention-oriented activities, including private-sector engagement, supporting the work of the ACB’s prevention, education and research teams, and working with journalists to improve the quality of reporting on corruption and anti-corruption in Malawi through the Continuing Journalism Education (CJE) activities.

The consultant will undertake a technical assessment of the existing systems to collect, manage and share data relative to the declarations (assets, liabilities and business interests) by public officials. This assignment involves working with the Office of the Director of Public Officers’ Declarations (ODPOD).

Assignment

The Director of Public Officers’ Declarations has requested support from TSOC for the digitisation of the data collection processes of ODPOD as well as for improving the management and shareability of the data collected to date. Thus, on the one hand, there is a need to modernise the process of the declarations submission process itself with a view to digitising it and ensuring that the resulting database is secure, comprehensive and easily accessed by key law enforcement agencies of the Government of Malawi (GoM). On the other hand, there is also a need to upgrade the existing database of the declarations. Some steps have been taken conducive to the digitisation of existing declarations files, but gaps remain regarding the accessibility and shareability of those files.

The consultant will address the following key focal areas in the assignment:

· Assess current systems and resource availabilities to develop a robust yet feasible proposal for the development of an online declaration system for public officials of Malawi;

· Assess the current legal framework to identify where amendments may be needed conducive to enabling the development of a fully digitised and efficient declarations data capturing process and data management systems;

· Assess existing database and files pertaining to already submitted declarations of Malawian public officials and propose concrete steps towards fully digitising the aforementioned existing databases and files;

· Analyse the possibilities for the development of an IT system to accommodate scanned data and an online declaration system to the effect that the result will be a functional, secure and searchable database of information related to public officials’ declarations;

· Determine the feasibility of adopting different data management software solutions for the analysis of data and linking the database to the systems of GoM law enforcement agencies (such as the Financial Intelligence Authority and the Anti-Corruption Bureau) and other relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) such as the Malawi Revenue Authority.

Qualifications

The consultant should have at least 10 years’ experience working in the field of asset declarations, electronic public database systems and anti-corruption. He/she should have a demonstrable track record in developing and implementing projects relating to public databases conducive to promoting institutional best practices in the field of the collection and management of asset declarations of public officials.

The consultant must have strong technical expertise in the requirements for digitising paper-based files, adopting IT solutions enhancing the searchability and management of scanned files in the databases, and developing new digital systems for the submission of asset declarations.

Expertise in the legal aspects required to implement effective asset declaration systems and ability to conduct an assessment of the existing Malawian legislation pertinent to the topic is desired. Experience working with government entities in similar projects is an advantage. Strong command of the English language is a must and experience conducting applied development assistance in Sub-Saharan Africa is an advantage,

Activities and timeline

The assignment is foreseen to require a desk research component and an in-country scoping mission involving interviews with relevant stakeholders and assessment of the current file storage systems, digitisation capabilities and overall systems.

The assignment will require a maximum of 20 work days with an in-country presence of a minimum of 10 work days (COVID restrictions permitting) starting as soon as possible upon signing the consultancy contract.

Reporting

The consultant will report to the TSOC team leader, Mr David Sip, for operational matters and to the TSOC head of prevention, Dr Claudia Baez Camargo, for substantive matters.

Deliverables

The deliverable will be a comprehensive report detailing the following:

· Technical assessment of current systems at ODPOD, considering resource availabilities and presenting a proposal to develop a robust yet feasible online declaration system for public officials of Malawi;

· Technical assessment of the current legal framework governing the asset declarations of public officials in Malawi and recommendations for concrete amendments needed in support of the development of a fully digitised and efficient asset declarations data capturing process and data management systems;

· Technical assessment of the current paper-based system and presentation of a concrete, costed proposal for migrating the existing data into a fully digitised and functional database;

· Proposal of steps for the development of an IT system to accommodate scanned data and an online declaration system into an integrated searchable database of information related to public officials’ asset declarations;

· Proposal of data management software solutions for the analysis of data and for sharing the data with GoM law enforcement agencies (such as the Financial Intelligence Authority and the Anti-Corruption Bureau) and other relevant MDAs such as the Malawi Revenue Authority.

How to apply

Application submissions

Interested applicants should submit an expression of interest of not more than 3 pages, outlining: (i) their relevant experience for the assignment; (ii) the steps and activities they would undertake in order to execute the assignment; (iii) an indicative workplan; (iv) and any clarifications they would wish to seek from the Basel Institute prior to executing the assignment. Expert CVs should be limited to 2 pages maximum per expert (if more than 1 expert) and are in addition to the 3-page limit.

Applications should be submitted to proposal@baselgovernance.org no later than 18:00 CET on 9 July 2021. Please note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and early application is recommended.

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