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Request for proposals CFS audit services EIT InnoEnergy

KIC InnoEnergy is looking to engage several audit firms ( 2 to max. 4 ) and conclude a multiple framework contract in cascade to perform Certificate on the Financial Statements (CFS) Audits for expenditure incurred by a numerous of EU EIT KIC partners.
Brussels
Deadline: 11 October 2021

General objectives

KIC InnoEnergy is looking to engage several audit firms (min. 2 to max. 4 firms) and conclude a multiple framework contract in cascade to perform Certificate on the Financial Statements (CFS) Audits for expenditure incurred by a numerous of EIT KIC partners across the EU. These partners are EIT eligible partners and differ in size, type of organization and requested funding value.
An overview of the population of KIC Partners, information will be provided upon request by sending an e-mail to jaouad.el.yazidi@innoenergy.com. Please note, the list of KIC partners that require CFS audits as validated by the EIT at the time of this RfP procedure is indicative and serves to help the potential suppliers to submit a qualitative offer. The final population of partners falling under CFS obligation for a reporting period and subject to the specific contracts to be signed may change.

The required CFS is stated in article 24.2 of the Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement (MGA) and follows the Horizon Europe financial rules. The coordination of the CFS audits will be managed by
EIT InnoEnergy SE from Eindhoven (the Netherlands) and will be the client. As the main stakeholder of the reports, the European Institution of Technology (EIT) remain having an important role within the project and therefore shall be involved during project execution.
The collaboration for this tender will be for 2 Years (Grant cycle CFS audit linked to GA2021 and GA2022) and cover KIC partners. In case of mutual satisfaction, the EIT InnoEnergy could extend the agreement with an additional 2-year agreement under the exact same conditions and pricing.
The extension will be announced with a written request to the tenderers and signing an extension of the main framework- and specific agreements. The amount of CFS audits to be performed within a short period of time and potential conflict of interest situations, makes it necessary to contract a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 contractors. Therefore, we aim to have a framework agreement with multiple contractors and in addition sign a specific agreement with the different tenderers. EIT
InnoEnergy together with the EIT decides the allocation of work between the different contractors based on the following criteria:

1.) The winning tenderer will get most of the CFS audits but with a maximum of 60% of the total
CFS audits to be performed
2.) The rest of the CFS audits (40%) will be allocated to the 2nd best tenderer or between the 2nd best and the 3rd and 4th best tenderers (if applicable)
The splitting of partners between the specific contracts will be based on objective criteria:
A) The amount of work to be done within the short time frame.
B) Segregation based on conflict-of-interest situation for partners with ongoing or past collaboration with certain audit firms. Conflict of interest reviews by EIT Innoenergy and the EIT shall be made before the allocation of partners, the suppliers are obliged to confirm their conflict-of-interest status and possible mitigation measures.
C) Geographical split for synergy and optimal execution.
Please be aware that this decision will be made by EIT InnoEnergy and the EIT and cannot be argued by the contractors. Changes from and towards other contractors can be made last minute (in collaboration and acceptance of all parties) to achieve the best scenario and successful closing of all CFS audits. The agreement can be extended by InnoEnergy to close ongoing dossiers after the deadline of 31st of March 2022.
The audits will be performed directly with- and at the different partners premises across Europe.
A certain pre-agreed process needs to be followed with each partner which requires a CFS audit, and each process step will be monitored and approved. This process is explained below in detailed work scope section of this RFP. There will be no direct- or indirect contractual agreement with those partners as they are all aware and contractually agreed on CFS collaboration within the consortium.
The overall kick-off will be a meeting between the winning tenderers, EIT InnoEnergy and EIT representatives to discuss the overall project, kick-off, the partners, the process & milestones, reporting, deadlines, and communication. The aim is also to achieve an efficient project monitoring, acceptance and document sharing and therefore we also look at the proposed system technical solution provided by the tenderer.
All partners in need of an audit will be categorized in Small, Medium of Large partners according to pre-set criteria defined by EIT InnoEnergy SE and the EIT. The time spending on field work and financial offer will be linked to the different categories. The percentual sample always remains the same for all partners.

Detailed work scope
A) Participating in a kick-off meeting with EIT InnoEnergy and EIT representatives, present the approach by the winning tenderer to align and agree upon details.
B) Creation and distribution of questionnaire by winning tenderer to all partners involved to understand the workload and organization and prepare the CFS audit.
C) Winning tenderer to agree with each partner the exact period of performing the CFS audit but will always take place between end of January (N+1) and halfway March (N+1).
D) Field work at partners’ premises to perform and conclude CFS audit (Incl. closing meeting).
E) Continuously report to the EIT (and partially to EIT InnoEnergy) on progress, status, and content related elements.
Deliverables
A) System technical solution to monitor the overall process and exchange heavy documents and able to create different partners, roles with own authorization to be set
B) Auditors’ independent report of factual findings (per partner)
C) Agreed-upon procedure to be performed by the auditor (per partner)
D) Overall factual findings (central document consolidated for all partners)
E) Letter of Representation (LOR) (per partner)
F) If applicable: Feed the system technical proposed solution to monitor the process

Statistics
A) Approx. 270 CFS audits per reporting exercise (so 270 partners)
B) Out of the 270 there are 8 KIC LE’s to be audited (Coordinators)
C) CFS audit threshold set on 430K EUR of KAVA
D) All partners are located in Europe
E) The framework contract is a 2-year contract with the possibility to be extended with an additional 2 years maximum.

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