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Supplies and Logistics

Procurement Policies

UNICEF follows the Common Guidelines for Procurement by Organizations in the UN System.

The objective of procurement activities within UNICEF is the timely acquisition of the right goods, works and services, while addressing:

  • UNICEF's mandate;
  • fairness, integrity and transparency, through competition;
  • economy and effectiveness; and;
  • best value for money.

Further, UNICEF:

  • only purchases goods and equipment to implement its mandate;
  • purchases primarily from manufacturers and authorized representatives;
  • evaluates and registers suppliers with which it does business;
  • uses primarily competitive tendering for all procurement;
  • invites an appropriate geographical range of suppliers to tender;
  • purchases products that comply with recognised technical standards;
  • does not purchase from companies employing child labour, nor manufacturers of land mines and their components (see paragraphs below). 

    UN Supplier Code of Conduct and the Global Compact
    Companies doing business with the United Nations are required to accept and comply with the UN Supplier Code of Conduct.

    The UN Supplier Code of Conduct reflects the ten principles of the Global Compact in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The Global Compact is a voluntary international network set up to advance responsible corporate citizenship and universal social and environmental principles. The UN strongly encourages all suppliers to actively participate in the Global Compact – for more information, please visit the Global Compact website at: www.unglobalcompact.org

    Children’s Rights and Business Principles
    The Children’s Rights and Business Principles  provide a comprehensive framework for understanding and addressing the impact of business on the rights and well-being of children and set out business actions to respect and support children’s rights. Save the Children, the UN Global Compact and UNICEF hope that these Principles will serve as inspiration and a guide for all business in their interactions with children.

    Child labour
    UNICEF fully subscribes to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and draws the attention of potential suppliers to Article 32 of the Convention that requires that a child shall be protected from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. UNICEF reserves the right to terminate any contract unconditionally and without liability in the event that the supplier is discovered to be in non-compliance with the national labour laws and regulations with respect to child employment.

    Gifts and hospitality from suppliers
    UNICEF requires suppliers and their employees to comply with the highest ethical and legal standards of conduct. UNICEF – and the UN – has a zero tolerance policy on gifts and hospitality. Suppliers are reminded not to send or offer gifts or hospitality to UNICEF personnel. Letters in EnglishFrench and Spanish give more detail and contact information.

    UNICEF requires each supplier to guarantee that neither the supplier's company, nor any of its affiliates, nor any subsidiaries controlled by the supplier's company, is engaged in the sale or manufacture of anti-personnel mines or of components utilized in the manufacture of anti-personnel mines. The supplier recognizes that a breach of this provision will entitle UNICEF to terminate its contract with the supplier.

    UNICEF’s Policy Prohibiting and Combatting Fraud and Corruption
    UNICEF’s Policy Prohibiting and Combatting Fraud and Corruption affirms UNICEF’s long-standing zero-tolerance for all forms of fraud and corruption, and outlines the steps to be taken in response to good faith reports of possible fraud.  The policy can be accessed here.

    UNICEF’s Information Disclosure Policy
    UNICEF is committed to making information about its programmes and operations available to the public. UNICEF considers public access to information a key component of effective participation of all stakeholders, including the public, in the achievement of its mandate. UNICEF recognises that there is a positive correlation between transparency, including through information-sharing, and public trust in UNICEF-supported development work and humanitarian response.  UNICEF’s full Information Disclosure Policy is available here

    UNICEF’s Policy on Conduct Promoting the Protection and Safeguarding of Children

    UNICEF’s Policy on Conduct Promoting the Protection and Safeguarding of Children re-affirms UNICEF’s long-standing commitment to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children, and to promote the universal understanding that the best interests of the child must be a paramount consideration in all actions affecting children.  The policy is available here

    UNICEF Procedure on Sustainable Procurement

    The UNICEF Procedure on Sustainable Procurement is one of UNICEF’s responses to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their targets to end poverty and hunger, ensure prosperity for all and protect the environment. The Procedure sets a path towards sustainable procurement embedded, as and when applicable, in the different stages of its global supply operations. By working closely with industries, partners, governments, civil society organisations and UN agencies, UNICEF is committed to making a measurable contribution to the achievement of the SDGs through sustainable procurement. The procedure is available here

    UNICEF Supply Division adoption of e-signatures for procurement documents

    UNICEF Supply Division has introduced the use of electronic signature for procurement documents (Purchase Orders, Service Contracts & Long Term Arrangements).  This e-signature solution is delivered through a third party application, DocuSign.   This solution is being rolled out for the signature of UNICEF Supply Division procurement documents from mid-February 2020 onwards.  This solution is currently only being used by UNICEF Supply Division (both Copenhagen and New York Offices).  Vendors will be notified of any UNICEF procurement documents requiring their review and signature in an email notification from DocuSign (clearly marked with the name of the relevant UNICEF staff member).   Please note that even for documents issued as e-signature documents vendors will still have the possibility to instead print and sign on paper (using DocuSign’s Print and Sign function).

    This 4 minute video provides full guidance on how to sign a document using DocuSign - https://support.docusign.com/en/videos/New-Signing-Experience

    UNICEF standard contractual texts

    The UNICEF standard contracts, Long Term Agreements (LTA) and solicitation documents are made up of various elements, notably the description of goods or Terms of Reference for services, the contractual provisions, the invoicing instructions, the shipping instructions (in the case of goods) and the General Terms and Conditions (GTCs), which are attached as an annex to all contracts, LTAs or solicitations. Below are the main standard texts that will be part of UNICEF’s Purchase Orders, service contracts, LTAs and solicitation documents:

    General Terms and Conditions

    For Goods
    For Services 

    LTA Contractual Provisions

    For Goods 
    For Services 

    PO/Service Contract Contractual Provisions

    Purchase Order
    Service Contract 
    Shipping and Invoicing Instructions 

    Solicitation Documents

    ITB (Goods)
    ITBS (Services)
    RFP (Goods)
    RFPS (Services)

    Please also see UNICEF’s standard packing, packaging and labelling requirements at the following link.

    UNICEF’s e-submissions platform

    UNICEF Supply Division and some UNICEF Country Offices are using an e-submissions platform for specific solicitation exercises. Any open tenders are advertised in the usual way on UNGM’s tender notices page – and the project description in the UNGM notice will make it clear that the tender will be run through the e-submissions system.  The UNICEF e-submission system instructions to bidders document is available here.



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