March 2011

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The Borrower is responsible for preparing and implementing the project, and therefore for selecting the consultant, and awarding and subsequently administering the contract.

The following main considerations guide the Bank's policy on the selection process:

  1. The need for high-quality services.
  2. The need for economy and efficiency.
  3. The need to give all qualified consultants an opportunity to compete in providing the services financed by the Bank.
  4. The Bank's interest in encouraging the development and use of national consultants in its borrowing member countries.
  5. The need for transparency in the selection process.

The Bank considers that, in the majority of cases, these considerations can best be addressed through competition among qualified short-listed firms in which the selection is based on the quality of the proposal and, where appropriate, the cost of the services to be provided. Quality- and Cost-Based Selection is the most commonly recommended method.

When Quality- and Cost-Based Selection is not the most appropriate other selection methods can be used (for details see Section III of the document GN-2350-9).

The particular methods that may be followed for the selection of consultants under a given project are provided for in the corresponding Loan Contract.


The consulting services to which these Policies apply are of an intellectual and advisory nature. These Policies do not apply to other types of services in which the physical aspects of the activity predominate.

These Policies apply to all contracts for consulting services financed in whole or in part from Bank loans or grants or funds administered by the Bank implemented by the Borrower.

In procuring consulting services not financed from such sources, the Borrower may adopt other procedures, provided that it demonstrates to the Bank's satisfaction that:

  1. The procedures to be used will result in the selection of consultants who have the necessary professional qualifications.
  2. The selected consultant will carry out the assignment in accordance with the agreed schedule.
  3. The scope of the services is consistent with the needs of the project.


Consultants shall not be hired for any assignment that would be in conflict with their prior or current obligations to other clients, or that may place them in a position of being unable to carry out the assignment in the best interest of the Borrower.


Fairness and transparency in the selection process require that consultants or their affiliates competing for a specific assignment do not derive a competitive advantage from having provided consulting services related to the assignment in question.


Funds from Bank loans can be used only for payment of services rendered by individuals or firms from member countries of the Bank.

Individuals or firms from other countries shall be ineligible to participate in contracts to be financed in whole or in part from Bank loans.

Any other conditions for participation shall be limited to those that are essential to ensure the firm's capability to fulfill the contract in question.


The Borrower may, with the Bank's approval, wish to proceed with the selection of consultants before the related Loan Contract is signed. In such cases, the Borrower undertakes such advance contracting at its own risk and any "no objection" issued by the Bank with regard to the procedures, documentation, or proposal for award does not commit the Bank to make a loan for the project in question.

If the contract is signed, reimbursement by the Bank of any payments made by the Borrower under the contract prior to loan signing is referred to as retroactive financing and is only permitted within the limits specified in the Loan Contract.


Consultants may associate with each other in the form of a joint venture or of a sub-consultancy agreement.


The Bank reviews the Borrower's hiring of consultants to determine to its satisfaction that the selection process is carried out in accordance with the provisions of these policies.

Under special circumstances, and in response to a written request from the Borrower, the Bank may furnish to the Borrower a short list of firms that it deems capable of undertaking the assignment. The provision of the list does not represent an endorsement of the consultants.

The Borrower is responsible for supervising the consultants' performance and ensuring that they carry out the assignment in accordance with the contract.

Bank staff shall monitor the work as necessary to determine to the Bank's satisfaction, that it is being carried out according to appropriate standards and is based on acceptable data.


The Bank does not finance expenditures for consulting services if the consultants have not been selected or the services have not been contracted in accordance with the agreed provisions of the Loan Contract and the Procurement Plan approved by the Bank. In such cases, the Bank will declare misprocurement and it is the Bank's policy to cancel that portion of the loan allocated to the services that have been misprocured.

Even once the contract is awarded after obtaining a "no objection" from the Bank, the Bank may still declare misprocurement if it concludes that the "no objection" was issued on the basis of incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading information furnished by the Borrower or that the terms and conditions of the contract had been modified without the Bank's approval.


The Bank prohibits fraud and corruption.

Fraud and corruption include acts of (a) corrupt practice, (b) fraudulent practice, (c) coercive practice and (d) collusive practice.

  • corrupt practice is the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting, directly or indirectly, of anything of value to influence the actions of another party;
  • fraudulent practice is any act or omission, including a misrepresentation, which misleads, or attempts to mislead, a party in order to obtain a financial or other benefit or to avoid an obligation;
  • coercive practice is impairing or harming, or threatening to impair or harm, directly or indirectly, any party or property of the party to influence the actions of a party; and
  • collusive practice is an arrangement between two or more parties designed to achieve an improper purpose, including to influence improperly the actions of another party.

The Bank shall also take action in the event of any similar deed or complaint involving alleged acts of corruption, even when these are not specified in the fraud and corruption categories mentioned above.


As part of the preparation of the project, the Borrower shall prepare and, before Loan negotiations, furnish to the Bank for its approval, a Procurement Plan15 acceptable to the Bank setting forth:

  1. The particular contracts for consulting services required to carry out the project during an initial period of at least 18 months.
  2. The proposed methods for selection of consultants' services.
  3. The related Bank review procedures.

The Borrower shall update the Procurement Plan annually or as needed throughout the execution of the project.

The Borrower shall implement the Procurement Plan in the manner in which it has been approved by the Bank.


Prevailing Reference Documents:

GN-2350-9, March 2011

Prevailing Procedures:

Procurement Function Operational Guidelines, OP-272-2, April 2010