Data Center Optimization and IT Security Consultant (Firm or Individual/S)

Ethiopia
Consultant, Short Term, Full-Time
05-21-2020
Ethiopia
Commensurate with Experience 
Job stage: Immediate Opportunity Wage: Commensurate with Experience
Position Type: Consultant, Short Term, Full-Time
Closing On: 06/30/2020
Posted: 05/21/2020
Country: Ethiopia

SUMMARY ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has overseen impressive economic growth and poverty reduction over the last decade. Around half of GDP growth is driven by public investment predominantly funded through a combination of external debt and aid; domestic revenues are insufficient. At current levels of borrowing, GoE debts risks becoming unsustainable. Ethiopia also aims to become a lower-middle income country, no longer aid-dependent, by 2025. However, GoE revenues stand at 10.5% of GDP – below the Sub-Saharan average of 16%. To meet public investment needs in a sustainable way, GoE aims to raise tax take to 17.2% of GDP. However, capacity at the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Ministry of Revenue (MoR) is insufficient. To meet targets without jeopardizing poverty reduction efforts and the investment climate, the GoE needs robust technical assistance.

The GoE therefore requested the UK Government to support an accelerated delivery approach to transforming the tax system.  As a result, the UK has committed to contribute up to £35 million through its five-year Tax Transformation Programme (TTP).

The overall objective of TTP is to assist the GoE in raising tax revenues towards 16.2% of GDP in a responsible and equitable manner by the end of 2026. The UK and GoE have already invested in the establishment of a delivery unit intended to drive accelerated delivery of tax transformation.

The programme is expected to work with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Revenues and Customs Commission. The scope of TTP will cover priority areas related to policy and administration of the revenue system in Ethiopia including, domestic tax and Customs.

In terms of this position, it is expected that the advisor will contribute to tangible improvements in the performance the audit function within the Ministry of Revenues, leading to increases in audit yield and to enhance overall increases in revenue mobilization also impacting voluntary compliance.

Tax Transformation Management Model

Ethiopia is currently implementing a unique model of tax transformation with the Tax Transformation Office (TTO) at the center of the reform programme.  The TTO, which is established within the MoR, is led by a Head, Deputy Head  and Priority Area Managers who are responsible for managing the inputs of coordinators who are drawn from the operational departments of the MoR and customs Commission and advisors.  The Consultant will report to the DATA/IT Priority Area Manager.   Under the DATA/IT, a number of initiatives have been identified and work plans for taking forward the initiatives have been developed, moving from the inception phase of the TTP to the implementation phase beginning December 2019. 

The Consultant will provide technical inputs under a joint accountability framework together with the Priority Area Manager and coordinators. Together with the rest of the Priority Area Team, the Consultant will work closely with the MoR Information Technology Center (MITC) Head. The primary purpose is to help develop and implement transformational activities under each of the initiatives already identified.  Innovative approaches from the Consultant are highly encouraged to quickly transform the current practices to a much higher level which will improve customer satisfaction, encourage voluntary compliance and improve revenue generation.

SUMMARY ABOUT THE POSITION

MoR Information Technology Center (MITC) is responsible for designing, implementing and providing an effective, efficient, reliable and secured IT services for all functions of the Ministry. The center is also responsible for managing and administering corporate wide IT infrastructure, which includes managing network and Internet connections for domestic tax and customs branches spread all over the country in addition to a head quarter. 

Currently MoR has one active primary datacenter which provides services for both customs and domestic tax systems. A recent report made after detail IT assessment stated one of the challenges on resource management and usage as; “the number, type and advancement of servers and storage available at the datacentre is comparable to Sub Saharan Africa standards. However, the use of these resources is not optimal. While virtualization is introduced, it’s on a server level (as opposed to datacentre) and does not lead to a more optimized and highly available environment”, which clearly shows resource optimization should be one of our focus areas. In addition to this, lack of disaster recovery site for business continuity, lack of up-to-date security policy and adherence to policies and lack of complete current network design documentation are the main challenges of the MITC. 

OBJECTIVE OF THE ASSIGNMENT

As part of the undergoing reform in the country and Ministry of Revenues, the MITC has taken an assignment to improve services given by the ministry by upgrading the current infrastructure and deploying new ones as appropriate. To this end, the main objective of this assignment is to hire an infrastructure and security consultant who is expected to close identified gaps, improve the overall network of the Ministry, optimize the datacenter infrastructure and security services. The completion of these milestones will support the MITC  to achieve their goals.

Scope of Work

The scope of the work shall include the following key areas.

Network Infrastructure

  • Undertake a comprehensive review and assessment of the current network structure and configuration for the main data center and sites
  • Identify key bottlenecks and gaps within existing network design and configuration that have an impact on the smooth and consistent delivery of IT services.
  • Maintain an inventory of all network infrastructure software and hardware currently in use.
  • Deliver a complete AS IS network documentation to the MITC.
  • Analyze identified gaps on the current design and configuration based on best practices and standards
  • Develop new network design based on the analysis made and existing network hardware and software assets
  • Work with the MITC to upgrade current network to proposed network, once approved. This might require making the maximum possible alignment to the new design with current resources.
  • Ensure proper functionality of the proposed design by executing several tests on non-production environment

Datacenter Infrastructure

  • Undertake a comprehensive review and assessment of the current Datacenter infrastructure (servers, system software’s and datacenter facilities) 
  • Identify and analyze key bottlenecks and gaps within existing Datacenter based on best practices and standards
  • Maintain an inventory of all datacenter infrastructure (HW, SW, others) currently in use.
  • Develop a complete AS- IS datacenter documentation to the MITC .
  • Suggest datacenter optimization models to avoid/minimize the identified bottlenecks and gaps
  • Provide technical support on implementation of prioritized optimization models
  • Improve server resource allocations and optimize datacenter infrastructure
  • Review options and provide best case scenario to avail temporary DR site
  • Implement temporary DR site at a feasible external site based on decision from the Ministry
  • Provide technical Support on implementation of a comprehensive email system 
  • Develop System administration guideline, procedures, team structure and job description in line with the functions and services of the datacenter.
  • Prepare necessary documentations for the above activities and transfer knowledge for MOR technical team

IT Security

  • Undertake a comprehensive IT security assessment to identify critical security holes and vulnerabilities in line with ISO 27001 security standard
  • Analyze the identified IT security gaps and draft implementation plan to address the identified security risks though proper utilization of existing IT security hardware and software assets
  • Maintain an inventory of all IT security infrastructure hardware and software currently in use.
  • Develop a complete AS-IS IT security documentation to the MITC.
  • Design updated and fit for purpose security blueprint and architecture for MOR.
  • Support improving end to end IT security based on the analysis and in line with ISO 27001 security standard
  • Review the current IT security policy document and prepare an updated IT security policy document
  • Develop IT security related guideline, procedures, team structure and job description in line with the IT security policy
  • Provide IT security training and transfer knowledge to the MoR IT security team  
  • The Consultant can participate in one or more of the above subsections of work.

Expected Deliverables and payments

The Consultant shall be responsible to accomplish all tasks stipulated in this TOR on the right time with the right quality meeting the required expectations of the Ministry. Payment to the consultant will be based on completion of each deliverable listed below and upon satisfactory review and acceptance by the MITC. In addition to the regular updates and reports, the consultant shall deliver the following activities. 

Network Infrastructure

  • Detailed work plan to perform activities under the network infrastructure sub section
  • A comprehensive AS-IS and TO-BE network design and configuration document
  • Completion report on the implementation of improved network design and configuration
  • Training and knowledge transfer report on the areas covered during the assignment
  • Final documentation (includes guidelines, procedures, team structure and job descriptions)

Datacenter Infrastructure

  • Detailed work plan to perform activities under the datacenter infrastructure sub section
  • A comprehensive AS-IS datacenter documentation
  • Improved server resource allocations and optimized datacenter infrastructure
  • Completion report on implemented temporary DR site
  • Training and knowledge transfer report on the areas covered during the assignment
  • Final documentation (includes guidelines, procedures, team structure and job descriptions)

IT Security

  • Detailed work plan to perform activities under IT security sub section
  • A complete AS-IS IT  and TO BE security documentation
  • Completion report for the implementation of identified IT security gaps
  • Improved IT security policy document
  • Trainings and knowledge transfer report on the areas covered during the assignment
  • Final documentation (includes guidelines, procedures, team structure and job descriptions)

Duration of the Assignment

The assignment shall be completed within six (6) months of signing contract.  This will be subject to a detailed work plan that will be prepared by the consultant in consultation with the MITC.

Reporting Requirements

The Consultant will be closely working with IT Infrastructure and Administration Director and teams.  The Consultant will work and report to the Data/IT Priority Area Manager of the Tax Transformation Office TTO). The MITC expects every task the consultant will work on to be done jointly with internal experts with the objective of transferring knowledge to the internal team on the job. The Consultant shall respond to the MITC Head and IT Infrastructure and Administration Director on a regular basis and as required (weekly and bi-weekly updates).

Responsibilities of the Client

Depending upon need, the MITC shall provide shared office room along with appropriate network connection and relevant documents that are required to perform the planned activities. In addition, the IT center is responsible for the timely review and approval of accomplished deliverables.

Selection Criteria

The Ministry would like to receive applications from both Firms and Individual Consultants. The Ministry may opt for a Firm, Individual or both for different subsections of work.

For Firm Applications

Applicants should submit:

  • All legal documentations (business registrations, Tax certificates, proficiency licenses (if applicable)
  • Detailed summary of relevant work experience
  • Detailed CV of staff who will be fully dedicated to work on this assignment.
  • Complete payment proposal

For Individual Applications

Applicants should submit latest CV along with necessary documents. In addition, payment proposal should be submitted for each deliverable outlined under section 4 of this ToRs. The selection of consultant will be based on both technical capability and payment proposal.

Evaluation

Firm Evaluation

Firms will be evaluated based on the experience of the firm and the experience of the proposed experts under the firm. Firm experience evaluation will follow:

  • 30% General IT Experience
  • 70% specific and relevant experience to the work packages indicated above.

The evaluation of experts under an applicant firm will be similar to the evaluation of individual consultants as summarized in the table below. The two evaluations (firm experience and experts under it will make 100% of the technical evaluation. The Firm experience will contribute 40% while the experts experience will contribute 60%.

Individual Consultant Evaluation

Evaluation of required technical skills through review of current CV and conducting relevant interview process. The criteria listed below will be used to evaluate individual applicants or experts under firms.  

Criteria

Weights

Academic qualification

10

General IT experience

20

Specific experience relevant to the work

50

Special Certification on relevant fields

20

Financial and Combined Evaluation – for firms

The financial proposals will be evaluated to a score of 100 with the least bid amount getting 100% and a proportional allocation for the others. The final evaluation consists of

  • 70% for technical evaluation
  • 30% for financial evaluation

The Consultant getting the highest score will be selected.   

Consultant’s Qualification

Firm applicants must meet the following criteria

  • At least 5 years of experience in IT
  • At least 5 projects of similar nature (network design, datacenter implementation and IT security upgrade) in organizations of similar size or IT complexity.

For individual applicants or for experts under a firm, the required qualifications are detailed below.

Network Infrastructure Expert

  • A minimum of bachelor’s degree in IT/Computer science/electrical /software engineering or any equivalent degree
  • A minimum of 10 years’ technical work experience out of which 5 years’ experience on network design, deployment and administration
  • Experience on low level design and implementation of largescale distributed network design and management. (at least 2 projects where the consultant has the key role in designing and implementation phase)
  • Understanding of communication and routing protocols
  • Proven experience in configuring and troubleshooting router, switch, and firewall devices
  • A minimum of professional level cisco certification (CCNP) and
  • Other system and network design and administration certification is desirable

Datacenter Infrastructure Expert

  • A minimum of bachelor’s degree in IT/Computer science/electrical /software engineering or any equivalent degree
  • A minimum of 10 years’ technical work experience out of which 5 years’ experience in system and datacenter design and administration
  • Experience in design and implementation datacenter hardware and system software. (At least 2 projects where the consultant has the key role in designing and implementation phase)
  • Understanding of communication and routing protocols
  • Experience on server configuration and administration including configuration of disaster recovery sites
  • A minimum of professional level cisco certification (CCNP Data Center) or other parallel certification and
  • Other system and network design and administration certification is desirable

IT Security expert

  • A minimum of bachelor’s degree in IT/Computer science/electrical /software engineering or any equivalent degree
  • A minimum of 10 years’ technical work experience out of which 5 years’ experience on IT security area
  • A minimum of professional level certification (CCNP, CISP).
  • Expert level CCIE certification is desirable
  • Experience on Fortigate firewall configuration
  • Proven skills on Implementing Cyber security and ISO 27001 standard

APPLICATION PROCESS

Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. This job posting will close on June 30, 2020.

For your application to be considered, please upload your documents as followed: Candidate Last Name, First Name, date, Title of the Position, Type of document.

We thank all applicants, however only those shortlisted will be contacted.


ABOUT US

With more than 34 years’ experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development and has managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, financial and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017 and 2018. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Cowater International also has corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec, Paris, France, Pretoria, South Africa, and London, United Kingdom, Nairobi, Kenya in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.