Regulation 5.12 of the Financial Rules and Regulations of the UN states that the following general principles shall be given due consideration when exercising the procurement functions of the United Nations: a) Best value for money; b) Fairness, integrity and transparency; c) Effective international competition; d) The interest of the United Nations.
UNHCR contracts are awarded following these principles. A tabulation of bids is prepared after the Supply Management Service has received the offers. The salient points of each offer are compared. Contracts are awarded on the basis of the lowest evaluated offer best meeting the objective criteria of price, delivery and specifications. While the commitment to quality remains uncompromised, the relative weight given to price and delivery time during adjudication of the tender will vary in function of the urgency of the need. In emergencies, rapid delivery may take priority.
All proposals to enter into commercial contracts valued at 40,000 USD or more for field operations require the approval of the Committee on Contracts, whilst for headquarters, contract award can be approved by the Head of SMS up to 1.5 million USD, and above such threshold by the Headquarter Committee on Contracts. In the effort to make the UNHCR procurement process as transparent as possible, SMS is now posting on the United Nations Global Marketplace (UNGM) all HQ contract awards resulting from a formal solicitation process. A request for contract award information not posted on UNGM will require a specific request to the SMS email address.