Procurement refers to the process of acquiring goods, works and services. The process spans the whole cycle from identification of needs, choosing adequate procurement methods, sourcing suppliers and evaluation of their offers up to the award of contract. An integral part of the procurement process is the management of the contracts and assets through the whole project life cycle.
As per UNDP’s Financial Regulations and Rules, the following general principles must be given due consideration while executing procurement on behalf of the organization: a) Best Value for Money b) Fairness c) Integrity d) Transparency e) Effective International Competition and f) The Interest of UNDP
Best Value for Money: By and large the core governing principle of UNDP is to obtain the best value for money. In the context of the procurement process, obtaining “best value for money” means selection of the offer, which presents the optimum combination of life-cycle costs and benefits, which meet the Business Unit’s needs. Best value for money should not be equated with the lowest initial price option rather requiring an integrated assessment of technical, organizational and pricing factors in light of their relative importance (i.e., reliability, quality, experience, reputation, past performance, cost/fee realism and reasonableness). The Business Unit’s parameters can also include social, environmental and other strategic objectives defined in the procurement plan. The principle of best value for money is applied at the award stage to select the offer that effectively meets the stated requirement. To ensure that best value for money is obtained, the process of soliciting offers and selecting a Contractor should:
i)Maximize competition ii) Minimize the complexity of the solicitation, evaluation, and the selection process iii) Ensure impartial and comprehensive evaluation of solicited offers; and Ensure selection of the Contractor whose offer has the highest degree of realism and whose performance is expected to best meet the Business Unit’s specifications, statement of works or terms of reference.
Fairness, Integrity and Transparency: As competition is the basis for efficient, impartial and transparent procurement; Business Units are therefore, responsible for protecting the integrity of the procurement process and maintaining fairness in UNDP’s treatment of all Offerors. Sound procurement (i.e., openness of the process; probity; complete and accurate records; accountability; confidentiality) establishes and then maintains rules and procedures that are attainable and unambiguous.
Effective Competition: The objective of UNDP’s competitive processes as described in these Guidelines is to provide all eligible prospective Offerors with timely and adequate notification of UNDP’s requirements and an equal opportunity to tender for the required goods, civil works and services.
Business Units should ensure that restrictions are not placed on the competitive processes limiting the pool of potential Offerors, as UNDP does not accept procurement awarded to exclusive Contractors or countries, unless otherwise explicitly mentioned in a Donor agreement. However, any such restrictive procurement provisions within an agreement must obtain prior approval of the Chief Procurement Officer.
Interest to UNDP: In practice, the specific procurement rules and procedures established for the implementation of a programme are contingent upon the individual circumstances of the particular case; however four considerations consistently guide the UNDP’s interest for the acquisition of inputs; The need for economy and efficiency in the implementation of the programme, including the procurement of goods, civil works and services involved; the access to procurement opportunities for all interested and qualified Offerors worldwide, except where other criteria mandated by the Security Council or General Assembly prevails; Giving all eligible Offerors the same information and equal opportunity to compete in providing goods, civil works or services; and The importance of transparency in the procurement process
Solicitation procedures for the procurement of goods, services and works- UNDP procures goods and services through competitive solicitations. Importantly, UNDP Procurement is based on competitive bidding depending on the type, complexity, size and value of the project and its procurement elements. The following methods are used for the procurement of goods, works and services.
Micro-Purchasing- Micro-Purchasing is a simplified and informal procurement method intended for the purchase of readily available goods, standardized services and small works, and where the contract amounts involved are not expected to exceed USD 5,000. This is also commonly referred to as “shopping”. The purchase of such low-cost goods, services or small works may constitute a significant volume of UNDP’s total procurement, but their aggregate value remains relatively low with respect to the total value of UNDP’s global purchases. Hence, a simplified process is more preferred, as a way of lowering the transaction cost of UNDP.
Request for Quotation (RFQ)-The Request for Quotation is an informal procurement method used for the procurement of readily available goods, services or works, or any combination thereof, whereby the buyer sends a written request to a vendor, soliciting a written price quotation based on a requirement that is clearly described in the request. The use of RFQ is mandatory for contract values ranging must be higher than USD 5,000 and lower than USD 100,000. Beyond this amount, the formal competitive methods (RFP and ITB) must be used. When writing RFQs, UNDP staff must clearly define the details of the requirement. At a minimum, they should include specifications, delivery terms, delivery location, among other considerations. Some of these information are contained in the model RFQ.
Invitation to Bid (ITB)- An ITB is a formal procurement method intended for the procurement of readily available goods or works that are valued at USD 100,000 or more. In an ITB, the manner of production, technical approaches or management/supervision of the required activities are not requested by UNDP from prospective bidders. The ITB only requires bidders to detail the costs in order to meet the precise specifications of goods needed by UNDP. The ITB method may also be used in the procurement of construction works or services that can be quantitatively and qualitatively expressed.
Request for Proposal (RFP)- An RFP is a formal procurement method used for the procurement of goods, services and works where the inputs and/or outputs cannot be quantitatively and qualitatively expressed in sufficient details at the time of the solicitation, and that are valued at USD 100,000 or more. In an RFP, the services are not entirely readily available but may be designed, provided or undertaken to suit the particular UNDP requirements, so that the review process and analysis need to be more formal and detailed in order to eliminate the risks of subjectivity. Where time and resources allow, or the nature of the requirements warrants, RFPs may also be used for the procurement of goods, services and works valued at less than USD 100,000.
Individual Contracts- As a general policy, the Individual Contract modality is used for the procurement of services of an individual to perform time-bound and non-staff tasks aimed at delivering clear and quantifiable outputs which must be clearly identified in the contract and directly linked to payment. The engagement of individuals as Contractors under the Individual Contract modality is subject to the general procurement principles established by the UNDP Financial Rules and Regulations (Article 21, Regulation 21.02), namely: (a) Best value for money, which is understood as acquiring the best personal services at the most competitive rates for a particular skill, reflective of local and current market conditions. (b) Fairness, integrity and transparency, with selection and management processes that are based on the UNDP Financial Regulations and Rules as well as UNDP procedures more generally, and that ensure that business units are accountable for the proper use of the Individual Contract modality and its results, and that decisions are made in an open manner. (c) Effective international competition, meaning that Individual Contracts must be awarded through a competitive selection process amongst skilled and highly qualified individuals; and (d) The interests of UNDP and the United Nations
Bidding procedures- All submissions for RFQs, ITB’s or RFP’s should be submitted by the closing date and time indicated on the solicitation documents by one of the methods outlined below:
Online submission to dedicated email address; email@example.com
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Delivery by hand or by courier to UNDP Liberia’s Registry on the following address– observing the sealed envelope and marking requirements noted in the solicitation documents.
1st Street, Sinkor, Pan African Plaza Building
7th Floor, Monrovia, Liberia
You can also see all procurement notices on our global procurement site http://procurement-notices.undp.org/
UNDP’s vendor protest procedure provides an opportunity for appeal to those persons or firms not awarded a purchase order or contract through a competitive procurement process. In the event that a Proposer believes that it was not treated fairly, the following link provides further details regarding UNDP vendor protest procedures. Please consult UNDP Policy against Fraud and other Corrupt Practices.
More on UNDP Procurement procedures
Kindly take Note: Beware of fraudulent job offers to extort money
UNDP Liberia is aware of fictitious employment offers being circulated via email or originating from online job boards.
Many of these schemes consist of an alleged offer of employment or contract with UNDP in return for the payment of fees or providing personal or banking information.
Please note that UNDP Liberia does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment/procurement process (application, bidding, interview, meeting, traveling, processing, training or any other fees).