Procurement Job of the Week – help Kyrgyzstan buy some buses

Here’s one for all you contractors and consultants with public sector procurement expertise, struggling with the downturn in the UK government consulting market. (Thanks to my friend Charlie for spotting this  – he is a very fine qualified personal / business Coach if you ever have the need..)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is considering loaning the Kyrgyz Republic up to $10M for improving local transport in the City of Bishkek – the capital of the Republic. The City has requested the Bank to finance the purchase of 32 low-floor trolleybuses, 44 high-floor trolleybuses and an investment in the related infrastructure.

The Bishkek Trolleybus Company now wants to retain a consulting firm or consultant “to facilitate the timely and effective implementation of the Project's procurement processes by rendering assistance to the Company in implementation of the Project, including review of designs, all aspects of procurement, contract administration and disbursement“.  That includes preparation of documentation, tender evaluation etc.

The assignment will start later this year and run for around 2 years; the budget for the consulting assignment is $325,000.  So not quite MOD rates then...  There are a few constraints – they’re really looking for a team rather than individuals, and you need to field someone who knows about “trolleybus traction power infrastructure”. Oh yes, and the team must speak Russian. More details are available here.

But it would be a chance to work in beautiful Kyrgyz – with a population of 6 million in an area 20% smaller than the UK, it is a beautiful, mountainous, largely agricultural country. It gained independence in 1991, and is farther from an ocean than any other country in the world. It is also the second poorest country in Central Asia, but has significant deposits of metals including gold and rare earth metals.

Horse riding is a national sport, with many variants, including Kyz Kuumai – “a man chases a girl in order to win a kiss from her, while she gallops away; if he is not successful she may in turn chase him and attempt to beat him with her "kamchi" (horsewhip)”.

This is apparently true –here is a YouTube videowhich suggests that it is probably the most dangerous way of trying got get a kiss in the world (except of course approaching a member of a hen party in a Bigg Market bar on a Friday night in Newcastle...)

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