Terms of Reference, Consultancy to Design the Ghana Responsible Tax Index GRTI 1. Background, Rationale and Purpose of the GRTI Stepping up domestic revenue mobilization (DRM) could help developing countries to overcome aid dependence, ease financing constraints, and enhance growth prospects.
However, with relatively small tax base, corporate taxation becomes the main source of domestic revenue. Interestingly though, developing countries do not always get the actual tax revenue from these companies, particularly multinationals who sometimes engage in creative ways to reduce tax liabilities by exploiting gaps and mismatches in tax rules to shift profits to low or no tax jurisdictions (i.
e. Base erosion and profit shifting BEPS). These (BEPS) practices have received global condemnation and the OECD member countries and others are developing an inclusive framework to tackle the problem.
At the same time, the conventional notion of maximizing shareholders’ wealth any means possible has been eroded by an increase in the number of moral or ethical investors who believe they should avoid investing in companies perceived unethical.
In recent time, a company’s value to society is therefore judged not only by what it gives, but also by what it chooses to withhold.
Nowhere is this more evident than corporate tax policies (Desai & Dharmapala, 2006) Therefore, business as usual is no longer an option, but sustainable business approaches spearheaded by transparent and responsible tax practices is the new paradigm of doing business in this century.
Hence engaging companies to be more transparent and responsible on their tax practices have not only society benefits, but equally, there are elements of corporate gains for such practices.
The Ghana Tax Dialogue (GTD) is a piloting initiative by Oxfam to establish constructive dialogue cooperation with businesses, following successful implementation in Denmark and other European countries since its inception in 2014.
These dialogues explore dilemmas and corporate responsible tax practices. Oxfam in Ghana has developed context-specific multi-
stakeholder dialogue series on tax and approaches that reflect local priorities, realities and capacities. The Ghana Responsible Tax Index (GRTI) initiative As part of the fiscal justice work of Oxfam in Ghana, the Ghana responsible tax index is an assessment tool to evaluate the tax responsibility practices of companies operating in Ghana.
Broadly, the GRTI will (use a set of indices) that provide a standard and a means to evaluate fairly different companies in different sectors in the country on tax disclosures and practices.
Therefore, the initiative will produce scores that will help rank companies based on their overall level of tax transparency and tax responsibility.
The assessment tool used by Oxfam and Action aid study on getting too good will form the basis of the GRTI methodology. In other words, the GRTI methodology will include all or most of the 8 evaluation variables used in the getting too good report.
In addition, the GRTI methodology should make room for local issues and sector specific requirements that falls under the broader responsible tax practice in Ghana.
This is to ensure that practices that constitute local and sector specific responsible tax behavior and actions are not omitted and that companies from different industries are evaluated and ranked fairly by giving due consideration to different circumstances which may impact on the overall score of an entity.
- Objectives of the Ghana Responsible Tax Index methodology is to help improve corporate tax responsibility in Ghana. More specifically, the GRTI project aims to achieve the following objectives;
- Promote tax transparency and responsibility among corporate taxpayers
- To establish an agreed set of principles of responsible business tax practices in Ghana.
- To provide a standard tool to evaluate corporate tax responsibility in Ghana.
- To provide a means of assessing differences or similarities in corporate tax practices across different industries and sectors in Ghana.
- Encourage the tax authority (GRA / MOF) to be more responsive and adopt modern and global best practices for tax administration which will improve responsible business tax practices.
- Reduce tax evasion and avoidance practices among corporate bodies, especially multinationals operating in Ghana.
- Promote Oxfam in Ghana’s FREMTT’ initiative i.e. Fair, Responsible, Efficient, Modern, and Transparent Taxation in Ghana
Specific Object and Objectives of the Ghana Responsible Tax Index Target Audience and Stakeholders The Ghana Responsible Tax Index targets companies particularly multinationals and large local corporate bodies in the country.
The project intends to get the target adopt an agreed responsible tax principles. Expected outcomes The GRTI initiative is expected to be used as an annual event to provide a platform that will rank participating companies and recognize best performing ones.
In the future, it is anticipated that the GRTI initiative will encourage companies to be more tax responsible by disclosing corporate tax practices to achieve higher ratings and to be ranked among best performing companies.
This together with the growing ethical consumerism will encourage companies to adopt the core principles of tax responsibility, which underpins the GRTI initiative.
To achieve this ambition, we have articulated 3 pathways :
- Phase 1 : Jointly define and start implementing the GRTI methodology with Tax Justice Coalition, Ghana Revenue Authority and the Private Sector
- Phase 2 : In line with Oxfam in Ghana and partners’ priorities, develop and expand knowledge and learning on GRTI
- Phase 3 : Experiment and learn together how GRTI can better contribute to knowledge based adaptive fair and responsible tax practices & thought leadership on taxation in Ghana and beyond.
Purpose of the Consultancy To design a methodology that will enable an evaluation and ranking of corporate bodies on tax responsibility in Ghana Oxfam in Ghana is looking for a consultant to support, guide and facilitate the definition of its GRTI methodology and toolkit.
Within this project, we (Oxfam in Ghana stakeholders) aim to collectively revise and define Oxfam’s GRTI in line with Oxfam strategic intent articulated in the Ghana Tax Dialogue Strategy.
The consultant will support Oxfam in Ghana throughout phase 1 from the preparation up to the end of refinement phase. Based on a collective approach and with agreement of Oxfam stakeholders in Ghana, the main output of the consultancy is to produce a concrete GRTI methodology and toolkit (manual / methodological guidance note).
The assignment will cover at least : 1. the purpose(s) and the focus(es) of GRTI for Oxfam in Ghana and partners, 2. the people, process(es) and platform(s) required to achieve that purpose(s) and 3.
the resources to achieve Oxfam’s agreed ambition. Proposed Approach In its initial design, the journey includes 3 main phases :
- Preparation phase including identification of Oxfam and other stakeholders’ visions and expectations, gathering and analysis of knowledge experiences outside of Oxfam, identifying relevant external stakeholders to engage with and preparation of a co creation workshop.
The preparation phase is estimated to take approximately 2 weeks.
- A 1-day co-creation workshop gathering representatives of relevant internal and external stakeholders : The workshop will aim at answering questions regarding the draft methodology and methodological guidance note.
The group will also agree about the refinement phase : next practical steps, who is involved and when, clear decision making and accountability mechanisms.
- A refinement phase where the GRTI tools are further tested and refined and agreed by relevant stakeholders. The details of the refinement phase will be collectively defined and agreed upon during the co creation workshop.
This phase will also include people time commitment to support the work and finalization of the process.
OUTPUTS Date To be completed by : 1 Signing of contract with this ToR, amended if needed. Initial payment of 40% is to cover preliminary field work expenses including the conceptual framework development, methodology and testing of instruments 22nd July, 2019 2 Finalized detailed work plan submitted to Oxfam with initial scoping done and instruments developed and tested 05th August 2019 3 Draft GRTI methodology submitted and 30% of payment made.
This should be substantive and satisfactory for Oxfam 2nd September 2019 4 Review Comments required from and due : Oxfam, Tax Justice Coalition, GRA / MoF and others 16th September 2019 5 Revisions by consultant / author : 6 Final draft due by : By : 23rd September 2019 7 Edits Peer Review Team 8 Author accepts / rejects edits :
Sign-off : regional and affiliate Regional sign-off 10 working days minimum 11th October 2019 Affiliate sign-off 10 days minimum 10 Revisions by author in line with Regional and Affiliate sign-
off comments 11 Final GRTI methodology and related products completed satisfactorily and cleared by peer review team. Final payment of 30% processed and effected By 30th October 2019
Duration : The TOR is expected to be agreed and contract signed by 22nd July , and final methodology to be ready by 30th October.
The total budget available for this assignment is GHC 98,685.00 equivalent of €18,000. (Oxfam existing budget rate). This budget will need to be split in the detail planning between the different forms of data gathering as agreed with successful consultants.
- The main expenses anticipated are : consultant’s time; data gathering, analysis and editing; travel; accommodation; translation;
and other directly associated costs.
Required Skills or Experience
Consultant Profile We are looking for an external consultant or a team of consultants which will bring
- strong understanding and experience of taxation, thought leadership and diversity of knowledge approaches to tax policies in Ghana and beyond
- strong facilitation skills to enable multi-stakeholders’ group to define a collective fair and responsible tax index and a practical pathway to achieve it.
- Strong analytical and tax advisory experience to enable Oxfam in Ghana to identify the required process for implementing the GRTI .
The consultancy will be distributed over 4 months with key moments as described above. The consultant should have demonstrated skills and knowledge in the following areas : Essential
- Strong understanding of tax policy and ability to bring experiences from both the public and private sectors
- Demonstrated experience and very strong facilitation skills both remotely and face to face for multi-stakeholders group located all around the work and ability to lead collaborative processes with a wide range of stakeholders
- Demonstrated experience in supporting / accompanying organizations on tax issues and thought leader in tax issues in Ghana and beyond
- Strong ability to think creatively, strategically and pragmatically
- Demonstrated experience in designing and implementing knowledge and learning initiatives in an international development context
- Demonstrated ability to write and present clearly and concisely using diverse means of communication and proven track record in delivering timely high-quality reports
- Experience of working in Ghana and ideally established connections with tax administrators and private sector stakeholders
- Experience of working with and / or knowledge of Oxfam