Audit Firm for Financial Audit of Climate Adaptation and Resilience for South Asia Project

Open Period: 
Monday, March 29, 2021
Close Period: 
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
The CARE Project: 
Socio-economic impacts of climate-related hazards in South Asian countries continue to threaten economic growth, particularly in key sectors such as agriculture, water, and infrastructure. From 2000 to 2010 alone, floods in the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra-Meghna river basins displaced about 220 million people and caused over USD 29 billion in economic damages . At the 16th Summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in 2010, these countries collectively resolved to strengthen climate resilience. The Climate Adaptation and Resilience for South Asia (CARE) project, supported by the World Bank, helps to forward this policy into actions through enhanced regional cooperation and knowledge on climate resilience and adaptation, and preparation of standards and guidelines to facilitate climate-resilient planning and investments.
The project shall contribute to an enabling environment for climate resilience policies and investments in select sectors and countries in South Asia through:
a) Improved access to regional climate information and analytics for climate-informed decision making;
b) Better climate risk-informed national-level decision-making and planning tools;
c) Incorporation of regional climate resilience guidelines into national standards;
d) Inclusion of climate risks and resilient design in supported sectoral investments; and
e) Strengthened institutional capacities to undertake climate informed policies and planning.
To achieve the above objective, the project is implementing activities under the following components, over 5 years (2020-2025):
1) Promoting evidence-based climate-smart decision-making
2) Enhancing policies, standards and capacities for climate-resilient development
3) Project management
The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) is implementing Component 1, which will develop platforms to enhance access to data for resilient planning and investments, including hazard and climate variability data, climate impact knowledge, and other sector-specific data, in particular:
a) Regional Resilience Data and Analytics Service (RDAS), a public domain data and analytics platform to inform policy, planning and investment decisions for climate-resilient development; and
b) Interactive decision support system (DSS) platforms at national and/or sub-national levels, to enable decision-making within key ministries/departments that handle finance, planning, climate smart agriculture, integrated water resource management, and resilient infrastructure (transport), including support investments in IT Infrastructure and appropriate online hosting (e.g. cloud services) for such platforms where needed.
Component 1 includes training of policymakers and other users within the South Asian region in utilizing RDAS, and of sectoral users in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan in accessing and using RDAS and DSS platforms for climate-informed planning and decision-making. Component 3 provides assistance for RIMES’ project management and specialized support.
RIMES: 
RIMES is an international and intergovernmental institution that is owned and managed by its 48 Member and Collaborating States for building capacities in the generation and application of user-relevant multi-hazard early warning information. RIMES was established on 30 April 2009 through the signing by collaborating countries of the RIMES regional cooperation agreement. RIMES was registered with the United Nations under Article 102 of the UN Charter on 1 July 2009. RIMES operates from its regional early warning center, located at the campus of the Asian Institute of Technology in Pathumthani, Thailand.
RIMES aims is to provide early warning services according to differing needs and demands of its Member States, for enhanced preparedness and response to and mitigation of natural hazards. Specifically, it:
a) Facilitates establishment and maintenance of core regional observing and monitoring networks to ensure data availability for early warning;
b) Provides earthquake and tsunami services within the framework of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO);
c) Supports National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) for providing localized hydro-meteorological risk information within the framework of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO); and
d) Enhances warning response capacities at all levels (national to community) within each national early warning framework.
RIMES is governed by a Council, composed of heads of NMHSs/ national scientific and technical agencies that generate multi-hazard early warning information, empowered to make policy decisions on behalf of governments concerning regional early warning arrangements. A Secretariat carries out the decisions and tasks assigned by the Council, and provides support to the Program Unit in managing the regional early warning facility. Currently, the Government of India serves as Council Chair, and Maldives as Secretariat. The RIMES Ministers Conference, established in 2012, provides policy and resource mobilization support. The Program Unit is responsible for day-to-day operation and management of the regional early warning facility, and implementation of programs and activities. The Program Unit has financial and administrative autonomy through powers delegated by the RIMES Council. The Program Unit is co-located with RIMES regional early warning facility in Thailand.
RIMES provides the following services to its Member and Collaborating States:
1) Earthquake and tsunami services for National Tsunami Warning Centers, under IOC-UNESCO framework: seismic, sea level, and deep ocean monitoring; data exchange, processing, analysis, and archiving; and provision of earthquake alerts, potential earthquake damage, and regional tsunami bulletins.
2) Ocean, weather, water, and climate services for NMHSs, under WMO framework: generation of localized and tailored short-term ocean, weather, and flood information, including severe weather information, for users’ contingency planning; medium-term weather and flood information for users’ logistics planning; and seasonal climate and hydrological outlook for users’ longer-term resource planning and management; analysis of risks to climate variability and change, and identification of risk management and adaptation options; development of decision-support tools; and development of new-generation risk information products.
3) Capacity building services for national and local level institutions on end-to-end early warning, within each countries’ early warning framework: assistance in establishing and maintaining observing and monitoring stations that are of regional benefit; training of scientists, both in-country training and through secondment arrangement at RIMES regional facility; development of decision-support tools and capacity building for their application; application of tailored risk information at different time scales in planning and decision-making; strengthening national early warning provider and user interface at national and local levels; enhancing community responses to early warning; and early warning system audit.
Delivery of the above-listed services is through the following RIMES operational units:
1) Societal Applications, which looks into societal problems associated with natural hazards and solutions to address these
2) Ocean, Weather, Water, and Climate Services, which identifies promising new and emerging technologies and products of research, and translates these into operational forecast products in support of NMHSs and into decision-making tools for institutions, for reducing ocean-, weather-, water-, and climate-related disaster risks
3) Earthquake and Tsunami Services, which provides earthquake and tsunami bulletins, and develops new tools for assessing potential impacts
4) Systems Research and Development, which plans, designs, develops, tests, and validates new systems, solutions, and processes to make science-based information usable in planning and decision-making. This includes Impact Forecasting for transforming science-based forecasts into sector-specific impact forecasts to enhance forecast integration into decision-making.
5) Program Management, which develops need-based programs and projects, and mobilizes resources; ensures that programs and projects take credible approaches, employ best practice methodologies, and address societal needs; and integrates feedback and lessons learned into program and project design, planning, and implementation strategies.
Current number of full-time technical and administrative staff is 20, plus 7 deputed to the CARE project and 3 in the process of hiring for the CARE project. RIMES’ financial resources come from Member State contributions and projects that are funded by Member States and development partners.
Objective: 
This objective of the audit of the financial statements of CARE Project Component 1, is to enable the auditor to express a professional opinion that; the financial statements present a true and fair view of the financial position and performance of the project; the financial statements are prepared and presented in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework; and, the grant proceeds have been used for the purpose intended
Scope of Work: 
The assignment involves audit of the fiscal years 2020 (i.e., 1 June 2020 to 31 December 2020), 2021 (1 January to 31 December 2021), and 2022 (1 January to 31 December 2022) of CARE Project Component 1. The audit will be conducted in accordance with International Standards on Auditing. Those Standards require that the auditor plans and performs the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatements. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation.
In complying with International Standards on Auditing, the auditor is expected to pay particular attention to the following matters, including special considerations for public sector entities:
(a) In planning and performing the audit to reduce audit risk to an acceptably low level, the auditor should consider the risks of material misstatements in the financial statements due to fraud, as required by International Standard on Auditing 240.
(b) When designing and performing audit procedures and in evaluating and reporting the results thereof, the auditor should recognize that noncompliance by the entity with laws and regulations may materially affect the financial statements, as required by International Standard on Auditing 250.
(c) The auditor should communicate audit matters of governance interest arising from the audit of financial statements to those charged with governance of an entity, as required by International Standard on Auditing 260.
(d) The auditor should appropriately communicate to those charged with governance and to management any deficiencies in internal control that the auditor has identified in an audit of financial statements, as required by International Standard on Auditing 265.
(e) To reduce audit risk to an acceptably low level, the auditor should determine overall responses to assessed risks at the financial statement level, and should design and perform further audit procedures to respond to assessed risks at the assertion level, as required by International Standard on Auditing 330.
In evidencing compliance with agreed project financing arrangements, the auditor is expected to carry out tests to confirm that:
(a) All external funds have been used in accordance with the conditions of the relevant financing agreements, with due attention to economy and efficiency, and only for the purposes for which the financing was provided.
(b) Goods, works, and services financed have been procured in accordance with relevant financing agreements, including specific provisions of the World Bank Procurement Framework.
(c) All necessary supporting documents, records, and accounts have been maintained in respect of all project activities, including expenditures reported using Statements of Expenditure (SOE). The auditor is expected to verify that respective reports issued during the period were in agreement with the underlying books of account.
Project Financial Statements: 
The auditor should verify that the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with RIMES Financial Regulations as well as World Bank CARE Financing Agreement. The financial statements include:
(a) Statement of sources and uses of funds
(b) Variance analysis on use of funds by subcomponent/activity (actual expenditures and budget estimates)
(c) Withdrawal schedule and SOE schedule
(d) Designated account statement (disbursement activity)
(e) Statement of accruals and commitments
(f) Notes, comprising a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory notes.
Review of the Statements of Expenditure (SOE): 
The auditor is required to audit all SOE submitted to the World Bank in support of requests for periodic replenishment of the project designated account. Expenditures should be examined for eligibility based on criteria defined in the terms of the financing agreement and detailed in the Project Appraisal Document. The auditor should report any ineligible expenditures identified as having been included in withdrawal applications and reimbursed.
Review of Designated Account: 
During the audit of the project financial statements, the auditor is required to review the activities of the project’s designated account. Activities to be examined will include deposits received, payments made, interest earned, and reconciliation of period-end balances.
General: 
The auditor is entitled to unlimited access to all information and explanations considered necessary to facilitate the audit, including legal documents, project preparation and supervision reports, reports of reviews and investigations, correspondences, and credit account information. The auditor may also seek written confirmation of amounts disbursed and outstanding in the Bank records.
It is highly desirable that the auditor reviews the Bank's financial reporting and auditing requirements contained in OP 10.00 Investment Project Financing. The auditor should also be familiar with the Disbursement Guidelines for Investment Project Financing (February 2017), the Loan Handbook for World Bank Borrowers (February 2017), and the World Bank’s Procurement Framework (July 2016).
Audit Reports: 
Audit opinion
The auditor will issue an audit opinion on the financial statements. The auditor’s opinion shall be based on an evaluation of the conclusions drawn from the audit evidence obtained and shall be expressed clearly through a written report that also describes the basis for that opinion. The audit report shall be prepared in accordance with International Standard on Auditing 700.
Other audit reports
(a) provide comments and observations on the accounting records, systems, and controls that were examined during the course of the audit;
(b) identify specific deficiencies and areas of weakness in systems and controls and make recommendation for their improvement;
(c) report on instances of noncompliance with the terms of the financial agreement(s);
(d) quantify and report expenditures that are considered to be ineligible and either paid out of the designated account(s) or claimed from the World Bank;
(e) communicate matters that have come to attention during the audit that might have a significant impact on the implementation of the project;
(f) draw to the borrower’s attention any other matters that the auditor considers pertinent; and
(g) responses from management, including implemented and proposed remedial actions.
Responsibilities of RIMES: 
RIMES shall support this assignment by:
a) Providing relevant data and information
b) Ensuring active participation of RIMES management team and relevant staff, where required
c) Facilitating consultative process and providing access to necessary documents/reports
d) Providing facility (i.e., room) for the auditor
e) Providing prompt feedback on reports, and approvals of documentation submitted by the auditor
(f) Ensuring appropriate action to correct control deficiencies or address the risks identified through the performance of audits
Key Outputs: 
Audit of the fiscal year 2020 (1 June to 31 December 2020) financial statement
*Draft external audit report and management letter (Thai and English versions)
*Final external audit report and management letter (Thai and English versions, 3 copies each)
Audit of the fiscal year 2021 (1 January to 31 December 2021) financial statement
*Draft external audit report and management letter (Thai and English versions)
*Final external audit report and management letter (Thai and English versions, 3 copies each)
Audit of the fiscal year 2022 (1 January to 31 December 2022) financial statement
*Draft external audit report and management letter (Thai and English versions)
*Final external audit report and management letter (Thai and English versions, 3 copies each)
Implementation Arrangement: 
The RIMES Management Team, with the CARE Project Director and Finance Management Specialist as focal points, shall provide necessary guidance and coordination. Outputs shall be submitted to the RIMES Management Team for review and approval. Outputs from this assignment shall be in English and Thai languages, in print and digital forms. These outputs will be the sole property of RIMES; the Consultant shall not use, replicate, and reproduce these outputs in any manner.
Location of the Assignment: 
The assignment shall be carried out in Thailand, where RIMES Program Unit is located, specifically at 58 Moo 9 Pholyothin Road, Klong Nung, Klong Luang, Pathumthani.
Application Process: 
The interest applicant can submit their application letter including their company profile and contact person to rimeshra@rimes.int before midnight of 14 April 2021, Bangkok time RIMES will further contact and request for Quotation/Proposal