Technical experts recruitment notice

Technical experts recruitment notice 15/01/2018 10:41:00 103

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TERMS OF REFERENCE

Position: Technical Expert on tax revenue measurement

1. Background information:

As a result of Vietnam’s commitment under the WHO FCTC effective from March 2005, the Prime Minister Decision No.732/2011/QD-TTg dated 17th May 2011 approving the Strategy on reforming Vietnamese tax system from 2011 to 2020, tobacco excise tax of Vietnam has been revised aiming to increase tobacco tax and price sufficiently to make tobacco products less affordable, thereby reducing consumption.

The amended excise tax law was passed in October 2014 by the National Assembly (effective from 1st, Jan 2016). By the law, tobacco tax rate was increased from 65% to 70% since Jan 2016 and from 70% to 75% since Jan 2019. These are transition steps of increasing the tobacco excise tax pursuant to Vietnam commitments and tax system reform strategy till 2020.

However, according to analysis by the WHO, Ministry of Health and others, this roadmap still does not catch up with the increase in tobacco price and inflation rate in Vietnam and has been weak in reducing consumption as tobacco tax percentage accounts for only 35% of tobacco retail price in Vietnam (WHO statistic 2017) while WHO recommends FCTC members to raise tobacco tax to reach the percentage of at least 70% in retail price. Therefore, in order to have greater effect of tobacco tax in reducing tobacco consumption, Tobacco tax needs to be increased sufficiently higher to make tobacco products less affordable, thereby reducing consumption in accordance with the National strategy on tobacco control approved by Prime Minister and its goal of reducing male tobacco prevalence from 45% to 39%.

Given the tobacco excise tax roadmap increase to 75% of factory price by 2019, additional proposal to increase tobacco tax further is extremely difficult, even though tobacco prices have become more affordable over time.

In order to realize this, strengthening capacity for tax policy makers is essential for improving information and evidence for tobacco tax increases, together with communicating the effective tobacco tax policies to stakeholders.

Therefore, the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung diseases together with the Campaingn for Tobacco Free Kids have funded a Project to Tax Policy Dept., Ministry of Finance from 2017-2018 to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Finance towards effective tobacco tax in order to reduce tobacco consumption

2. Objectives:

- General objective : To strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Finance towards effective tobacco tax in order to reduce tobacco consumption

The Project objective is to strengthen the evidence and rationale for effective tobacco tax and undertake capacity building for policy-makers in effective tobacco tax to decrease tobacco use to communicate the need for an effective tobacco tax and price measure in Vietnam.

- Specific objective:

The proposed project aims to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Finance to develop and disseminate evidence to communicate the need for effective tobacco tax and price measure in Vietnam.

The project will focus on knowledge transfer and capacity building for MOF and tax policy makers in effective tobacco tax and price measure to decrease tobacco use and utilizing knowledge/skills gained globally and locally to support the law drafting process and its implementation..

3. Activities: Experts/group of experts will carry out following activities

Specific activities:

Activity 1.1.1: Conduct a review on recent tobacco tax policies in Vietnam and their implementation together with tobacco production, consumption and recent independent studies on illicit trade. This review will provide policy makers with a clear picture of the status of tobacco tax policies and tobacco production and consumption, as well as existing gaps in tax policy and administration that need to be improved -- through an effective tax roadmap -- if tobacco use is to be reduced.

Activity 2.1.1: Desk review on current tobacco prevalence, consumption, production and Prime Minister goal on prevalence reduction. Weakness in implementation towards this goal over the past until now. Understand what is the role of tobacco tax in this process.

Activity 2.1.2: Work out tobacco tax policy options to achieve prevalence reduction goal or partial goal and assessment report

Activity 2.1.5: Revision of policy options and reports

Activity 2.2.1: Brief review on available reports on international recent trend and approach in tobacco tax to reach the goal of reduction in consumption and following consultation with tobacco control partners for updates on international tobacco tax economics and recent trends in adjusting tobacco tax towards consumption reduction.

Activity 2.2.2: Brief review on available reports on international case studies on employment and tobacco tax

Activity 3.1.1: Study, collect evidence and analysis on international practice on tobacco tax and price measures to reduce tobacco consumption and their results, lessons learnt. International case studies on linkages between tobacco taxes, smuggling and consumption.

Activity 3.1.3: Analysis on smuggling and linkages with tobacco control context and tax policy

Activity 3.1.5: Drafting script to program (Interview/talk show) to counter industry and other arguments

Activity 3.2.1: Drafting policy briefs on effective tobacco tax and price measure to decrease tobacco use for dissemination and communication.

Activity 3.2.2: Building handouts/leaflets on international tobacco tax. Comparison with Vietnam case. This handout will comprise of WHO, WTO, status quo of international tobacco tax and updated related information. This handout will be distributed at all meetings, workshops, seminars, in order to provide relevant knowledge on tobacco control and tobacco tax for readers (policy makers, National Assembly delegates, others).

Activity 3.2.3: Produce updates on the tobacco control contexts, applicable tax and price measures and its effects to reduce tobacco consumption

Activity 3.2.5: Analysis on tobacco tax to put on media (MOF website, Financial newspaper, radio, TV program...)

4. Final Outcome:

- Reports on each activity

5. Requirements:

- At least Bachelor degree in the field of Economics or Finance.

- Minimum of 05 years experience in public administration, public finance. Considerable knowledge in excise tax policy, tobacco control and communication would be preferable.

- Experience in communication activities

- High working capacity and motivation and ability to conduct multi-task assignments is expected. Excellent organizational skills.

- Fluency in English (listening, speaking, reading and writing); Good computer skills, mainly Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Internet

6. Responsibilities of Technical Expert/group of experts:

- Carry out activities as described in 3 above.

- Produce reports on each activity

- Consult with the Tax Policy Department on planning and work need to be done.

- Discuss/consult with the Tax Policy Department, relevant officials and agencies during the process of implementation and carrying out activities.

7. Duration: From February – December, 2018

8. Others:

- Tax Policy Department, MOF has the right to use data and reports provided by the experts/group of experts.

- Tax Policy Department, MOF has the right to ask the experts/group of experts in providing related international experience.

- The Union’s and TFK’s support be acknowledged in appropriate publications in accordance with the signed agreement between two sides.

Application

Interested candidates should send their letter of application & CV before 30th January 2018 and copy(ies) of relevant Diplomas, Certificates and references to:

Tax Policy Dept.:

R. 514, No. 28 Tran Hung Dao, Hanoi

Attn: Mr. Dao Tran Khanh

Only short listed candidates will be contacted for an interview, starting from 01st February 2018. No information will be provided by telephone.