Location: Botswana, with in-country local travel to various client sites
Duration: 6 month period commencing June 2012 to November 2012
Closing Date: 31 May 2012
A number of permits and licenses must be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Botswana, in order to trade, including import, a range of agricultural produce and live animals in Botswana. The Department of Agribusiness Promotions (DABP) has responsibility not just for issuing permits but also for recording and analysing the relevant data which use of the permits produces, and which informs a number of strategic decisions taken by the Ministry of Agriculture. For example, border closures have been used for many years in Botswana as a method of restricting the importation of certain fresh horticultural produce (fruit and vegetables) at times when there is deemed to be sufficient domestic production to meet demand. In order to import any of the twenty one horticultural products as identified in statutory instruments,1 an import permit continues to be a requirement. As many as 50 to 100 permits can be granted daily for the importation horticultural produce.
A key recommendation of the DABP Agricultural Marketing Strategy (2011 – 2016) is for DABP to move towards implementation of a simple computer-based system for recording and keeping track of import permits, not just for horticultural produce but also cereals and grains. Such a system would, ideally, also encompass livestock buyer permits/licenses2 which are also administered by DABP. The current system of permits issuance, all paper-based, and related data flows, is currently managed and administered on an entirely manual basis. A consultant is therefore required to undertake a more in-depth review of the relevant permits recording system being operated by DABP with a view to its computerisation to a level and degree of sophistication that is commensurate with the existing skills staff and technological hardware currently available to DABP. Where there is a requirement to upgrade staff skills, appropriate training needs will be identified and relevant training provided, including where possible, through on-the job training.
To improve the delivery and timeliness of quality information provided with respect to DABP core activities. This is to be achieved by improving the operational efficiency of the agricultural permits information and recording system as currently administered by DABP.
Taking into account some of the known shortcomings in the horticultural imports permit recording system, as identified during the preparation of the DABP Agricultural Marketing Strategy (2011 – 2016), the consultant is required to develop and support an integrated computer programme/system that can be used to record and monitor the full range of permits currently issued by DABP including import permits for horticultural produce and coarse grains as well as livestock buyer permits.
Subject to endorsement by the Ministry of Agriculture, the consultant will proceed to the development, trialling and testing of the new computerised programme/system with a view to achieving full operation by a date, within the project timeframe, as agreed with DABP.
In addition to assessing the particular software and hardware requirements for the proposed programme/system, any other special conditions, including any license or user fees that would be applicable, would also need to be clearly spelled out. The proposal will also elaborate on potential options to make the existing paper-based permits system less susceptible to abuse by traders or to reduce the likelihood of data entry errors, including mis-recordings, by border officials, including by assessing the potential for the data to be accessed from different locations simultaneously. The advantages the new programme/system being proposed will deliver over the existing systems will also be clearly set out. A presentation of the proposal will be made to the Reference Team.
The consultant will be expected to visit a number of major border posts and at least one of the sub-offices of the Ministry of Agriculture with a view to reducing the potential for errors in the administration of permits (e.g. under-reporting of quantities imported or misidentification of produce by border officials).
The consultant will also be responsible for the rigorous testing and trialling of the proposed computerised system prior to full adoption and implementation. This process will be undertaken in close collaboration with the intended end-users.
A computerised permits issuance and data recording system developed and implemented for DABP.
The consultant will possess relevant qualifications in computer technology and information systems and at least 5 years practical experience in the development and implementation of database management systems and simple computerised programmes. Previous experience in the development of computerised programmes for import permit recording systems or related fields in Southern Africa will be a distinct advantage. The consultant will also demonstrate familiarity with a number of relevant database management systems as well as evidence of using data flow analysis for the development of information systems. The consultant will be supported by the services of a suitably qualified local counterpart, who will assist in the development of the computerised programme/system as well as support the delivery of relevant training programmes. The identity of the local counterpart will be revealed in the tender document and is expected to be mobilised by a date to be agreed with DABP and ComSec .The consultant is expected to possess good communication and presentation skills.
The project is to be implemented over a six month time period (May to November 2012). It is likely that the project will be implemented over a number of phases.
The consultant will work in close collaboration with senior DABP officials and who will facilitate access to relevant administrative staff in DABP. The Head of the Division of Marketing, with assistance, from the Head of the Trade Division, will be the principal point(s) of contact within DABP and will provide necessary oversight and guidance in-country as the DABP project coordinator. The consultant will also liaise with all other relevant sections of the Ministry of Agriculture (e.g. IT Section) as and when necessary. DABP will be responsible for constituting a small Reference Team to guide the project.
Three reports will be submitted:
Where requested, all reports will first be submitted as drafts.
The budget for this assignment is an all-inclusive fee in the region of £14,000 - £17,000. It includes all professional fees (for local and international consultants), all travel (local and international) and flights, per diems as well as local training.