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Opening – ACTIF Call for Proposals – external due-diligence Auditors

Equitas wishes to hire independent auditors with a sound knowledge of Global Affairs Canada rules to lead a due-diligence/ risk-evaluation of selected projects under the Act Together for Inclusion Fund (ACTIF). In the first year, the auditors will review and evaluate 3 of the selected Organizations.

The auditors will also create for Equitas a manual, containing procedures and evaluation tools, which will enable Equitas to independently perform the FCSAs of other selected projects.

ACTIF Project Summary

In May 2020 Equitas signed a Contribution Agreement with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to create the Act Together for Inclusion Fund (ACTIF). The agreement expires in 2027. The ACTIF project aims to advance the human rights of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans, queer, two-spirited and intersex (LGBTQI) persons in countries eligible for official development assistance (ODA). ACTIF will strengthen a network of Canadian LGBTQ2I organizations and build solidarity with local LGBTQ2I CSOs by providing funding to implement projects in the Global South. The Fund will support projects designed by a partnership between Canadian and Southern civil society organizations (CSO).

To guide ACTIF in its approach to the successful applicants, each Canadian partner (the Organization) must go through a Financial Capacity Strengthening Activity (FCSA). This may be modelled on GAC’s Financial Capacity Building Activity (FCBA).

The objective of the Financial Capacity Strengthening Activity (FCSA)

  • Strengthen the Organization’s understanding of the terms and conditions of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), i.e. their contract, with Equitas, with an emphasis on the financial terms.
  • Evaluate the risk level of and document weaknesses with the Organization’s controls and procedures. Internal control assessment is a part of the process.
  • Support the Organization in strengthening its financial information systems and internal controls to achieve better financial management of the project.
  • Support the Organization in strengthening its capacity to produce financial reports that will meet GAC’s and Equitas’ requirements.
  • Support the Organization in strengthening its capacity to achieve Equitas’ administrative requirements in managing the project.

Scope and responsibilities of consultants

The auditors will:

  • Meet regularly with Equitas finance staff, to plan the process, collect the Organizations’ documents, and to answer questions and provide progress updates.
  • Lead the FCSA of each selected Organization
  • Create, in consultation with Equitas, a workplan for the due-diligence process.
  • Conduct “in-person” meetings with the Organization and Equitas staff
    • The Organizations may invite their southern partners to these meetings
    • All meetings will occur virtually
  • Use their internal control tools to provide an overall assessment of the risk presented by the Organization’s internal control environment
  • Create 2 reports: a report to be given to the Organization; and a report for Equitas
  • Create an FCSA reference manual, containing the evaluation tools, to enable Equitas to perform the FCSA process with future ACTIF Organizations

Scope and responsibilities of Equitas

Equitas will assist the auditors in the following ways:

  • Plan and coordinate the in-person meetings
  • Provide the GAC/Equitas ACTIF Contribution Agreement
  • Provide the auditors with the Organization’s multi-party or bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), project description, budget, annual budget, workplan
  • Assist in collecting the requested documents from the Organizations:
  • Provide the ACTIF Financial and Administrative procedures and forms given to the Organizations
  • Participate in the FCSA meetings
  • Provide the auditor with the Organization’s first full financial report, which will include all supporting documents

Expected deliverables

  • Create/adapt evaluation tools to meet the FCSA goals
  • Scoping questionnaire on Internal Controls
  • In-depth questionnaire tailored to each Organization
  • Draft and final reports for each Organization
  • Create toolkit/manual for Equitas
  • Provide Equitas with a rate to provide future guidance on an as-needed basis

Duration and location

The engagement will begin in the second quarter of calendar year 2022. The evaluations will take place from May until July. The final reports will be sent to the Equitas and the Organization within a reasonable time after the end of each evaluation.

Management arrangements

The auditors will primarily work with the ACTIF Fund Finance Manager, with assistance from the Equitas Director of Finance and Information of Technology

Qualifications of consultants

The auditors will be accredited financial auditors with strong experience:

  • In not-for-profit accounting,
  • With Canadian NGOs that have international projects, especially ones that manage Funds,
  • Global Affairs Canada financial regulations and policies
  • The human rights of LGBTQ2I people,
  • Experience with marginalized southern Organizations is a valuable asset

Application Process

Interested and qualified candidates should send their proposals with the following items:

  • CV(s) of the individual or team of people who will conduct the assignment, It should include experience relevant to ACTIF
  • A Financial Proposal including daily rate in $CDN, estimated number of days and total cost.
  • A delivery plan including timelines with starting dates, and key deliverables.
  • List of past clients for whom the most closely related work was conducted, indicating those who may serve as professional references with contact information.

Applications should be sent to William Hamilton, ACTIF Fund Finance Manager, at whamilton@equitas.org, with “ACTIF FCSA” in the subject line by 31 March 2022.