Invitation to tender: Safety and security advice and assistance for election observation missions

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Invitation to tender: Safety and security advice and assistance for election observation missions

April 08th, 2021

WFD is issuing this Invitation to Tender (“ITT”) to procure a framework agreement for services in accordance with the conditions detailed in this document.

WFD has recently established a Global Election Support Centre(GESC). This initiative aims to support the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s staff to better analyse electoral processes, identify potential stress points on electoral integrity, and prepare embassies/high commissions for a shift from short-term electoral response to a longer term, electoral cycle based approach better reflecting the UK’s commitment to democratic processes.

As part of WFD’s offer on elections, WFD sources and deploys long and short term election experts and observers to monitor and analyse the conduct of elections in accordance with international standards. Observers are often experts in their field and engaged on short-term consultancy contracts for the purposes of a specific, time-bound observation mission.

WFD wishes to identify a security partner to provide advice and assistance in relation to the safety and security risks associated with election observation missionsunder a framework agreement.

The closing date for this ITT will be 23:59, 7 May 2021.WFD intends to issue a framework agreementfor the aboveservices, to be completed to WFD’s satisfaction, by 28May 2021.

Bid submission

All bids should be in a format that complies with the requirements of this ITT. Bids should be submitted by email to: Director of Operations at Procurement@wfd.org. We recommend that bids are submitted in PDF format where possible, except spreadsheets. In view of current restrictions caused by COVID-19, WFD will not require hard copies of the bid to be submitted. Bids should refer clearly to the ITT reference number. Should you require any further information or clarification on this ITT, please contact the Director of Operations, Chris Lane,at Procurement@wfd.org.

Download the full invitation to tender (ITT)

Questions and responses

Q1: Could you kindly provide a list of the 30 countries stated and required for PSD services.

WFD Response: More information on WFD’s network can be found here: Where we work – Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). However, please note that electoral observation missions may be deployed to a country outside WFD’s network, sometimes at short notice.

Q2: If a supplier is unable to provide PSD services in any of the countries will it preclude them from this ITT?

WFD Response: WFD would welcome tenders from bidders who can offer personal protection assistance either directly or indirectly via a preferred supplier/partner or network of suppliers/partners. Please outline in the tender any limitations on geographic coverage.

Q3: How many observation missions would you expect to do over the course of a year? I appreciate that this depends on external factors but a rough idea would be great.

WFD Response: It is not possible to forecast, at this stage, how many election observation missions will be carried out each year. This depends on various factors, including availability of funding, the impact of the pandemic, and scheduled/unscheduled elections.

Q4: What’s the typical duration for a short mission and how many WFD observers would be travelling?

WFD Response: There are a range of mission models:

  • Expert missions: this involves 3-5 Experts being send for an ‘assessment mission’ (5-10 days) or ‘Expert Election Mission’ (up to 5 weeks).
  • Limited observation missions: this involves a ‘core team’ of 3-5 experts and 20-40 Long-term observers (LTOs) for a large mission – usually 5-6 weeks.
  • Full observation missions: this involves a ‘core team’ (3-5 Experts), 20-30 LTOs, and 30-40 short-term observers (STOs), who will typically be in country for 10 days.

We would expect the supplier under the framework to prepare for and provide assistance, as required, across all mission models.

Q5: What’s the typical duration for a long mission and how many WFD observers would be travelling?

WFD Response: There are a range of mission models:

  • Expert missions: this involves 3-5 Experts being send for an ‘assessment mission’ (5-10 days) or ‘Expert Election Mission’ (up to 5 weeks).
  •  Limited observation missions: this involves a ‘core team’ of 3-5 experts and 20-40 Long-term observers (LTOs) for a large mission – usually 5-6 weeks.
  • Full observation missions: this involves a ‘core team’ (3-5 Experts), 20-30 LTOs, and 30-40 short-term observers (STOs), who will typically be in country for 10 days.

We would expect the supplier under the framework to prepare for and provide assistance, as required, across all mission models.

Q6: Can you share your current risk assessment process/forms?

WFD Response: WFD uses a general Travel Risk Assessment (TRA) template for any international business travel to a location outside of WFD’s network. This TRA includes general details about the proposed trip, a risk assessment of key risks, and proposed security management arrangements. WFD also asks business travellers to complete an Overseas Travel Information Sheet.

We do not currently have a bespoke risk assessment template/forms that are tailored for short and long-term election missions. We would anticipate that this could be a deliverable of the framework.

Q7: Can you share you current travel risk policy if you have one?

WFD Response: WFD has a general Safety & Security Policy, supported by a risk-based Safety & Security approach and Safety & Security Guidelines. However, these are generally designed to support security across WFD’s network, rather than short and long-term election observation missions outside WFD’s network. We would anticipate that a bespoke policy/set of procedures could be a deliverable of the framework.

Q8: Are these services currently provided by an incumbent(s) or is this a new requirement?

WFD Response: This is a new requirement. WFD has typically engaged in election observation missions in conjunction with international institutions and partners, which operate long-standing safety and security arrangements. Whilst such participation will continue, WFD also wishes to develop its independent capability to carry out election observation missions from time to time. This requires new and distinct capabilities for managing safety and security of missions.

Q9: What training is currently offered to your consultants/employees?

WFD Response: WFD asks all staff and relevant consultants to complete the UNDSS BSAFE e-learning course. For staff or consultants who routinely travel to high or very high threat rated countries, they are asked to complete a hostile environment training course. We would anticipate that a review of training requirements and provision could be a deliverable of the framework.

Q10: Who is your current travel insurer?

WFD Response: WFD operates a Group Personal Accident Insurance, Group Personal Accident and Illness Insurance, and Business Travel Insurance Policy provided by Accident & Health Underwriting.

Q11: In Service 1 – SOP / Toolkit development; could I ask what you have in place at present? This will affect how much work is required in this task.

WFD Response: WFD has a general Safety & Security Policy, supported by a risk-based Safety & Security approach and Safety & Security Guidelines. However, these are generally designed to support security across WFD’s network, rather than short and long-term election observation missions outside WFD’s network. We would anticipate that a bespoke policy/set of procedures could be a deliverable of the framework.

WFD uses a general Travel Risk Assessment (TRA) template for any international business travel to a location outside of WFD’s network. This TRA includes general details about the proposed trip, a risk assessment of key risks, and proposed security management arrangements. WFD also asks business travellers to complete an Overseas Travel Information Sheet.

We do not currently have a bespoke risk assessment template/forms that are tailored for short and long-term election missions. We would anticipate that this could be a deliverable of the framework.

Q12: Is it a strict requirement to be registered to a relevant and existing HMG framework agreement?

WFD Response: Pre-existing participation in a relevant HMG framework would be one factor WFD would consider, but it would not be determinative. WFD will consider other evidence of the service standard/levels WFD can expect as set out in a bidder’s tender document.

Q13: Will there be an opportunity to comment on or negotiate the termsand conditions for the tender or frameworkif selected?

WFD Response:We would expect all bidders to accept the terms and conditions, as set out, for the purposes of the tender. However, for the successful bidder, we would put in place a standard WFD framework contract, which would be subject to negotiation and agreement by the parties.

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