ebanon has been facing compounded challenges with its largest peace-time socio-economic and financial crisis, aggravated over time and intensified by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on key sectors of the economy, the consequences of the explosion of the Port of Beirut in 2020 and the war in Ukraine in 2022. Owing to the lack of political consensus for pursuing and implementing effective reforms to enhance governance and accountability of public services and to generate State revenues and reduce expenditures, the multi-dimensional crisis continues to persist, although the 2022 parliamentary elections showed growing support for candidates representing civil society and demanding reform.
Public administrations in Lebanon are marked by low quality and accessibility of public services, suffering from weak decision-making processes, absence of clear vision, lack of transparency and accountability leading to increased corruption and weakening the public service delivery. The sectarian regime, nepotism and confessional power sharing running across all government ministries and institutions creates inefficiencies in the public administrations, room for corruption and misuse of public funds. This results in citizens and businesses wasting time and resources undermining the image of public services, distracting officials from achieving good results and advancing on public administrative reform. With the crisis, salaries of civil servants have plummeted resulting in an increasing number of highly qualified Lebanese migrating in search of better opportunities.
Following the explosion of the Port of Beirut in 2020, the European Union launched, jointly with the United Nations and the World Bank, the “Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework (3RF)”. The 3RF addresses the impact of the explosion on affected communities and businesses in Beirut; in addition, it focuses on critical reforms, including enhancing transparency, accountability and integrity of the public administration. These reforms are notably to be achieved through the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2020-2025 (NACS), of which the recent nomination of the members of the National Anti-corruption Commission is crucial to the monitoring of the implementation of reform.
In addition, in 2021, a new Public Procurement Law was passed in Parliament, based on international standards and following a MAPS assessment. This Law establishes a new, independent Public Procurement Authority, which was preceded by a Tender Board that had been part of the Central Inspection.
The new Public Procurement Law (PPL) was ratified by Parliament in June 2021 and entered into effect in July 2022. The National Public Procurement Reform Strategy (NPPRS) and Action Plan were launched in January 2022 by the Prime Minister in the presence of WB, EU, AFD, UN, UNDP, government stakeholders, private sector and CSO representatives, calling for coordination and further financing for implementation of the strategy. The NPPRS and its action plan (2022-2024) was approved by the Council of Ministers on May 20, 2022. The reform strategy has set four strategic objectives to guide and advance procurement reform in Lebanon:
- Bring the regulatory and policy framework in line with good international practices.
- Create an institutional framework for successful procurement management and build corresponding capacity.
- Economy and efficiency in procurement operations and practices.
- Promote accountability, integrity and transparency in public procurement.
The new Public Procurement Authority requires a lot of aid, especially as it is the first of its kind to be established in Lebanon.
Accordingly, a new EU Program Action will be implemented in 2023 that aims to support progress in key areas of public administration reform in Lebanon through enhancing the integrity, transparency and accountability of its public administration aligned with the principles of a modern public administration. It consists of three outcomes:
1. Safeguarding integrity of the public administration, mainly in the area of public human resources management (i.e. civil service reform);
2. Enhancing transparency in public administration systems, mainly in the area of public procurement at central and local level (i.e. public financial management reform) and access to public information (i.e. accountability);
3. Strengthening accountability of the administration by reinforcing the role of the main oversight bodies (i.e., Central Inspection Board, Court of Audits and National Anti-corruption Commission) in implementing reform, fighting and preventing corruption.
The component manager will implement the Outcome 2, and more precisely the Outputs below:
2.1. Centralized and decentralized public procurement systems more transparent by setting up the e-procurement platform;
2.2 Skills of procurement officers and stakeholders enhanced and public procurement function created;
2.3 The public procurement system is regulated by an independent authority committed to the principles of transparency, fair treatment of all bidders and equal opportunities to participate;
2.4 The role of civil society organizations in supervising and monitoring public procurement enhanced.
The component 2 is complementary with the ongoing AFD-funded project, implemented by EF, which aims to support public procurement reform in Lebanon. It has a duration of 27 months (ending date February 2024) and supports the Lebanese authorities in structuring and monitoring the reform, implementing the legal and regulatory framework at the operational level, building the capacities of institutions and public procurement agents, and improving the transparency and integrity of the system.
For the implementation of the project, Expertise France is currently recruiting a Component manager for the Public Procurement component of the project.
The Component manager, under the supervision of the Team leader, will hold the responsibility of ensuring the effective execution of activities of the Component 2 of the project. The Component manager, in collaboration with the long-term expert based at the Public Procurement Authority, will be in charge of planning and implementing activities, preparing activity reports, monitoring progress, conducting evaluations, and handling communication related to the project’s objectives.
The component manager will be responsible for the following tasks:
Liaison with beneficiaries and local stakeholders:
- Coordinate with beneficiaries and stakeholders for the organization of activities;
- Contribute in creating synergies with partners (administrations and civil society) and other projects in the sector, ensure that there is no overlapping in activities;
- Assess beneficiaries needs and their translation into project activities, update/draft project documents accordingly;
- Monitor the local political, institutional and legal framework and report to the Team leader regarding any development (regulatory change, turnover or interlocutors, …);
- Support the coordination and participate in the meetings of the Strategic steering committee and the Operational Technical Committees with the EU and the beneficiaries;
- Ensure the oversight and coordination of the component 2 in close cooperation with the Team Leader;
- Provide technical input for the transversal aspect of the project;
- Support the project in identifying and mobilizing regional and national expertise;
- Plan and manage the activities of short-term experts in coordination with the long-term expert (provide support for the drafting of terms of reference for short-term expert missions, quality control and validation of the deliverables of the project, coordination meetings with experts, etc.);
- Contribute to drafting and updating project documents such as work plan, calendar, project dashboards, and drafting/revising project narrative reports;
- Contribute to the organization of events and the development of communication materials such as conferences, round tables, social media posts, brochures, etc.;
- Contribute to the implementation of the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan: monitor activities, update M&E tools and extract M&E reports;
- Ensure coordination with the procurement officer for procurement planning;
- Collaborate with the Grant officer and long-term expert to facilitate and support the network formed by civil society partners and insure the implementation of all planned activities by partners; organizing regular coordination and performance measurement meetings;
- Support the organization of the Project’s steering committee meetings: prepare relevant documentation, moderate meetings and prepare presentations;
- Contribute to project activities: quality control of deliverables, participation in project activities such as trainings, roundtables etc., ensuring that the work plan is properly implemented;
Qualifications and skills
- Master’s degree or equivalent in public business law, public finance, international project management or other equivalent field;
- Proven ability to coordinate a project with ambitious indicators and effectively lead a team of experts;
- Proven expertise in the field of public procurement;
- Ability to work in a team and bring out ideas and operational solutions;
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
- Proactive, with a sense of responsibility;
- Organizational skills and attention to detail;
- Institutional representation capacity;
- Demonstrated autonomy, flexibility, and responsiveness.
- Analytical mindset and ability to synthesize information.
- Proficiency in office tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).
- Diplomatic and discreet approach.
- Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment.
- Demonstrated ability to work in a complex context
- Excellent proficiency of Arabic and English, both oral and written, essential – French is a plus.
- Minimum of 10 years of progressive experience in project management and/or international cooperation in the field of public reforms and the fight against corruption;
- Proven ability to collaborate with government agencies, private sector partners, and civil society organizations to achieve project objectives;
- Experience in the implementation of EU cooperation projects under the delegated management modality is a plus ;
- Strong project management skills, including planning, budgeting, and reporting;
- Previous experience in conducting capacity-building programs, workshops, and training sessions is highly desirable;
- Procurement and monitoring of contracts (drafting of terms of reference, selection of service providers, monitoring and validation of deliverables, contractual and operational management of services).