Observer Scheme Infrastructure and Administrative Development in Support of Regional
Observer Business Plan and National Observer Programs
The FFA Observer Programme has been operating in the region since the initiation of the US
Multilateral Treaty (USMT) Observer Programme in 1988 and was further expanded with the
introduction of the FSM Arrangement (FSMA) Observer Programme in 1994. Under these two
programmes the FFA Observer Programme maintained 20% coverage of the fleet of purse seine
vessels fishing under the US Treaty and FSM Arrangement. The administration, training and
placement activities of the FFA Observer Programmes are funded through these two instruments.
The observers are sourced from FFA Members’ national observer programmes. FFA, in
collaboration with SPC, conducts all observer training courses for national observer programmes.
The application of two new fisheries regulatory instruments designed to reduce the catch of
bigeye and yellowfin tuna by purse seiners has recently raised the requirement for observer
coverage on purse seiners to 100%. These two instruments are similar in application but differ in
scope. The first is the PNA Third Implementing Arrangement (3IA), an agreement among seven
FFA members to apply a FAD closure and catch retention measure to reduce the catch of bigeye
and yellowfin tuna by 30%. This agreement applied to all purse seine fishing vessels operating
under bilateral access agreements to the PNA Members. The second is WCPFC Conservation
and Management Measure (CMM) 2008-01 that expanded the scope of the 3IA to the WCPFC
Convention Area between the latitudes of 20°N-20°S. The application of this CMM includes all
purse seine fleets operating within the convention area (the multilateral fleets of the USMT and
FSMA plus those fishing on the high seas). In addition, this CMM requires the longline fishery
within the convention area be subject to a 5% observer coverage rate requirement commencing
01 July, 2012.
In May 2008, the 67th Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC67) adopted the FFA Regional Observer
Programme Strategy. This Strategy provides guidance on the role of the FFA Observer
Programme and aims to improve the service of the FFA Secretariat to members by ensuring
national observer programmes, as well as the sub-regional programmes, meet their obligations
and benefit from opportunities for expansion in the region. The development of this Strategy is
timely as WCPFC’s Regional Observer Programme (ROP) was recently adopted by the
Commission, introducing new obligations for members.
The Strategy also provides the structure the Observer Programme Business Plan, which was
endorsed in principle by FFC71, is based. The basic modality proposed under the Business Plan
is that while FFA would continue its regional coordination role under the USMT and FSMA
treaty arrangements, observers would be drawn from national observer programmes which would
also be servicing their own national fishing coverage as well as a number of bilateral cooperative
arrangements between some members. Once implemented, the Plan would provide cost recovery
from industry of all aspects of observer programme operations, management and administration.
With the number of agencies cooperating, and the number of observers involved, substantial
amounts of money and number of payments flowing around the sub-regional and national
observer programmes, there is a heightened need for efficiency and real time accountability with
the programmes via the development of clear processes and protocols associated with
administering the implementation of the Plan.
The rapid expansion of observer requirements in the region has overburdened existing sub-
regional and national support infrastructure with the most notable key areas of concern being full
cost recovery of all operational costs, consistent management mechanisms to deal with the
international nature of observer movements, and an efficient regional financial administrative
scheme that also can cope with the complexity of regional observer coverage.
This consultancy is designed to assist FFA in developing the administrative processes and
procedures needed for implementing the Regional Observer Business Plan at the sub-regional and
national level where the objective is to ensure these programmes are fully functional, with
efficient and timely placements, travel, debriefing and payment of observers, and have
sustainable financing and management systems. In the short term, there is an urgent requirement
for the development of administrative processes and protocols of the FFA as a result of
substantial increases in data, financial management, and placement coordination capacity. In the
longer term, this need will be replaced by the need to enhance national level capacity to assume
some of the tasks and responsibilities that have previously been borne by the FFA such as data
entry and management and placement coordination.
Within three years, it is envisaged that national observer programmes will be fully funded and
will have adequate capacity to undertake all national aspects of observer programme
management, such as observer placement and operations, observer training, observer de-briefing,
de-briefer training and data management. At that point, the role of the FFA will be largely in the
areas of observer programme policy coordination, sub-regional observer programme
administration, accreditation, auditing, and MCS advice.
Consultancy Services Required:
Consultancy services are required from one/two technical specialist(s) with extensive experience
in the management, oversight and implementation of strategic business plans or other projects in
international fisheries management with particular emphasis on the application, principles and
requirements associated with regional and national observer programmes in the Western and
Central Pacific Ocean.
Terms of Reference
More specifically the consultant shall be required to undertake the following activities:
1. Identify and review appropriate FFA and/or national plans currently in place and being
used to deliver and receive FFA observer programme services.
2. Assess current FFA Observer Programme administrative, financial and logistical
processes and procedures used to meet programmatic goals and objectives.
3. Provide recommendations where improvement, modifications or amendments to
administrative, financial and logistical processes and procedures are needed within the
existing FFA Observer Programme to incorporate the goals and objectives of the Regional
Observer Business Plan.
4. Develop clear FFA Observer Programme administrative, financial and logistical processes
and procedures needed to effectively implement and execute the Regional Observer
5. Identify elements against which an effective national observer programme might be
assessed to determine readiness to assume the various responsibilities of regional and sub-
regional observer functions.
6. Develop template recommendations for national observer programme administrative,
financial and logistical processes and procedures which would support the effective
development of a national observer programme.
7. Develop an integrated cooperative administrative structure among national and sub-
regional participating agencies to ensure efficiency and transparency to regional clients.
The consultant is expected to provide the following documents as outputs:
1. A written report to FFA summarizing the regional and national findings of the
consultancy on completion of field work;
2. A draft manual detailing FFA administrative and financial procedures for ensuring the
effective delivery of the Regional Observer Business Plan;
3. A national observer programme assessment checklist;
4. A template structure providing recommended administrative, financial and logistical
procedures for members to consider when implementing a national observer programme.
Submission of Bids
Interested candidates should submit full details of their qualifications and experience in doing
similar consultancy work in a CV of not more than 6 pages; the proposed methodology of
consultancy work in not more than 4 pages; the date of availability noting the timing as per this
advertisement; and any information relevant and related to the above activities. All this
information should be sealed and put together in one envelope marked “Observer Consultancy
Work – Technical Capability”.
In addition the candidates should also submit a schedule and break-down of his/her fees in
another separate sealed envelope marked “Observer Consultancy Work – Fees” taking into
consideration the bid ceiling below. FFA will reimburse the cost of airfares by the most direct &
economical route and pay the Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) consistent with international
rates to the successful candidate. The current DSA rate for Honiara, Solomon Islands is $203
USD per day.
Evaluation of Bids:
Bids for the consultancy will be evaluated for technical merit against the following criteria –
A clear and logical outline of the plan of work;
A demonstrated understanding of the issues to be addressed.
Consultant – essential experience and qualifications
Extensive experience of working with regional and national authorities in the
management, development or implementation of observer programmes;
Experience of working with the fishing industry in the Pacific region;
Tertiary qualification in accounting or a similar relevant subject;
Experience of working in developing countries, preferably in the Pacific region.
Desirable experience and qualifications
Recent experience of working in Pacific Island countries
An appropriate post-graduate qualification and/or professional accreditation
Timing and Duration:
The consultancy will start in early March 2011. It is expected that the consultant will spend
about 30 days in Honiara with potential follow-on travel to several key FFA member countries.
The job should be completed by 01 June, with a status brief available 01 May 2011 for FFC77.
The timing of the deployment of the consultant will be specified in the proposed methodology
and will reflect the complexity of the requirements on a national level. Applications close on 7th
March, 2011. Late applications and those that do not comply with the requirements above will
not be considered. For further information please contact the Director of Fisheries Operations,
Mark Young on e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bids, including the estimated cost of travel and DSA, should not exceed $30,000 USD.
Possible contract modification:
Subject to requests from other Pacific Island countries, the availability of funds, and agreement
between FFA and the contractor, the initial contract may be modified to extend activities to other
countries. This modification would be on the same terms and conditions - specifically at the
same fee rate. The total budget for any additional work under such a contract modification will
not exceed US$5,000.
All applications must be clearly marked “Observer Consultancy Work” as well as the name of
the consultant or company and addressed to the following: Forum Fisheries Agency, PO Box
629, Honiara, SOLOMON ISLANDS - Telephone (677) 21124 and Fax (677) 23995. Email: