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Procurement Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I register as a supplier to the United Nations Development Programme?

UNDP is proud to be a partner in the United Nations Global Marketplace. We encourage you to visit the United Nations Global Marketplace (UNGM) in order to register as a potential vendor. The UNGM is accessible by all participating UN agencies, funds, and programmes.

2. How can I find out whether my range of products or services is procured by UNDP?

Always remember that UNDP procurement is decentralized to the country office level. Companies interested in doing business with the UNDP have to do their own market research to find possible business opportunities for the range of products or services they offer. UNDP country offices provide information on ongoing projects and types of services and goods procured through their Web sites .

The Annual Statistical Report provides detailed information about previous major contract and goods procured by UNDP and UN agencies.

3. What are the methods of procurement?

UNDP procurement is based on competitive bidding through formal tender. Any application, proposal or bid submitted to UNDP as part of a competitive process is regarded as an offer, and in and of itself does not constitute or imply its acceptance by UNDP. In any competitive process, UNDP is under no obligation to award a contract to any Offeror. Depending on the nature and size of the project and its procurement elements, commonly used methods of solicitation include:

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

An RFQ is an informal invitation to submit a quotation, usually for goods/services/civil works at a value between US$2,500 and 100,000.

Prices, and other commercial terms and conditions are requested and award is made to the lowest priced technically acceptable offer.

Invitation to Bid (ITB)

An ITB is a formal invitation to submit a bid, usually associated with requirements that are clearly and concisely defined, with an estimated procurement value of US$100,000 or more. Normally price is the sole determinant in making an award. Where all technical criteria are met, an award is made to the lowest bidder.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

An RFP is a formal request to submit a proposal, usually associated with requirements for services, which can not be clearly or concisely defined, with an estimated procurement value of of US$100,000 or more. Price is only one of several factors comprising the evaluation criteria. Award is made to the qualified bidder whose bid substantially conforms to the requirement set forth on the solicitation documents and is evaluated to be the lowest cost to UNDP.

In some cases, exceptions to competition are made and direct contracting is used. This usually happens when a Long-Term Agreement (LTA) is in place, either globally (HQ) or locally (at the country office level).

For values less than US$2,500, country offices may engage in local shopping.

4. What are the principles of UNDP procurement?

    Best Value for Money Fairness, Integrity and Transparency Effective Competition Interest to UNDP (economy, efficiency, equal opportunity to compete, transparency in the procurement process)

5. Is there information on requests for bids/proposals?

Yes, please visit our procurement notices. You can also find procurement notices at theUnited Nations Global Marketplace and Development Business. a publication that lists projects by the UN and its sister agencies (WB, ADB, AFDB etc).

6. I have been approved as a vendor. How come I have never been invited to bid?

This may be because of several reasons. It might be that the product or service you offer is only required on an occasional basis, and we simply haven't needed to buy it yet.

We want to emphasize that successful registration with the UNGM should not be equated with business opportunities. It is in your own interest to find out about current projects by visiting our website and look at our procurement notices. In order to compete as a vendor, we advise companies to proactively market their goods and services and regularly review the country offices’ websites.

7. I heard there is a bid going on for "xyz" product or service. I want to participate. Who shall I contact?


are encouraged to contact the respective procurement officers in the country office for information on procurement action related to the product or services you offer. If it is for UNDP Headquarters in New York, you may also find contact details for the Procurement Support Office here .

8. Are UNDP purchases tax/duty free?

As an inter-governmental organization, the UN is exempt from payment of taxes and duties for its purchases.

9. As a US firm, should my company quote based on GSA contract?

The UNDP seeks the lowest price you can offer.

10. We are producers/manufacturers of "xyz." Can we invite the United Nations Development Programme to attend when we hold demonstrations in my country?

UNDP procurement does not normally make specific visits to individual companies. However, the UN system regularly organizes business seminars, which include visits to select industries. The country representations at the UN organize from time to time business seminars to bring together representatives from the UN agencies and UNDP with potential suppliers. Contact the UN mission of your country and learn more about trade missions to UNDP.

11. How much is the minimum asset required to qualify as a supplier to the UNDP?

This depends on the supply/service for which you wish to be considered for.

12. How does UNDP pay suppliers?

UNDP payment terms are normally net 30 days upon receipt of invoice and delivery of goods or performance of contractual services, whichever is later. UNDP does not issue letters of credit.

13. Does UNDP require performance guarantee?

UNDP may require a successful contractor to furnish performance bonds in the standard format or similar forms of guarantee. The amount of performance bonds/guarantees will vary depending on the nature of the requirements. For example, in case of construction contracts, UNDP calls for performance bonds and labor and material bonds in sums equal to the total contract price. The United Nations may also include a liquidated damages clause in its contractual documents in case adherence to the schedule of delivery of goods or performance of contractual services is critical to meet the requirements of the UNDP.

14. As a non-U.S. based company, would I be advantaged if I appointed a U.S. company or agent to act on my behalf?

No. In fact, UNDP prefers to deal directly with manufacturers. Presence in the United States results in absolutely no advantages, especially because UNDP is a decentralized agency. Depending on the product/service you offer, you should contact the respective country office directly.

15. I will be on a business trip to New York and would like to meet procurement representatives from UNDP. Is that possible?

If you think that your product/service is of interest to UNDP HQ, you should contact your country representation at the UN and organize a meeting through them. A representative of PSO will try to meet with you, even though we encourage marketing your goods and services at the country level.

16. What are the terms and conditions of tenders?

17. What does "sustainable" or "green" procurement stand for?

It is UNDP's policy to manage its business in an environmentally responsible manner. Environmental responsibility is part of “sustainable” or "green" procurement and includes the selection of goods and services that minimize environmental impacts. UNDP "green" procurement promotes the four ' R' strategies:

    1. re-think the requirements to reduce environmental impact; 2. reduce material consumption; 3. recycle materials/waste; and 4. reduce energy consumption.

18. I have been debarred by a UN agency in the past. Can I participate in UNDP procurement actions?

As a general rule, if you have been formally debarred by UNDP or any agency, fund or program in the UN system, and have not been duly rehabilitated, you are not an eligible vendor to UNDP. Exceptions to this are very rare, and usually involve exigent circumstances. Please consult the rehabilitation procedures with the sanctioning agency.

19. Can I partner with a debarred vendor?

Business decisions are the sole responsibility of the vendor. Please be advised that any consortium, joint venture, team, or partnership that includes a debarred entity or individual will be considered ineligible for UNDP procurement actions.

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