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Evaluation Committee/ Panel

A committee made up of an odd number of members (at least three) with the necessary technical and administrative expertise to give an informed opinion on tenders or grant applications.

BVM

Short for “Best Value for Money”; the best combination available of monetary and non-monetary requirements that an organization organisation can get from its selection of suppliers.

HPCs

Short for “Humanitarian Procurement Centers”Centres”. Are not-for-profit organizations specialized organisations specialised in the technical and commercial management of supplies and services necessary for the implementation of humanitarian actions. They can provide technical assistance in procurement or supply pre-established stocks, purchasing or logistics capacity

ISO

Short for “International Organization Organisation for Standardization”Standardisation”. An independent entity that has been thinking and standardizing standardising the formulas that describes the best way of doing something.

Certification

Guarantee that a product and/or company has followed a quality process.

Lead time

The time between initiation of the acquisition of the goods and services up to the time of delivery.

Market Analysis

An essential component of context analysis, collecting information that will be useful to program the intervention and how to implement it.

Market Research

Activities and means to identify suppliers in a specific market.

Negotiated Procedure

Procedure without prior publication of a procurement notice, in which the Contracting Authority consults the candidate or candidates of its choice and negotiates the terms of the contract with one or more of them.

Procurement

The process of identifying and obtaining goods and services

Purchase

The specific function associated with the actual buying of goods and services from suppliers.

QA

Short for “Quality Assurance”; A procedure to ensure the quality of products or services by preventing mistakes and defects in manufactured products and avoiding problems when delivering products or services to beneficiaries.

QC

Short for “Quality Control”; checks to ensure quality in a product or a service.

Quality

All the elements and characteristics which constitute the product and which contribute to its compliance with the defined technical specifications.

Sourcing

Identifying and working with appropriate suppliers.

Services

Intellectual and non-intellectual services.

Segregation of Duties

Principle by which must have more than one person to complete a procurement activity.

TCO

Short for “Total Cost of Ownership”; Cost involved in buying and using a product over time.

Tender Procedure

The overall process of putting a contract out for tender, starting with the publication of a procurement notice and ending with the award of the tendered contract.

Works

The design and/or the execution of a rehabilitation, construction, etc. in accordance with the previously specified requirements.

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It is common to see the procurement as a bottle neck and a time-consuming activity, usually associated with delays and strict bureaucracy. However, procurement activities can be agile and practical if agencies understand the roll that procurement plays, why it exists, what the guiding principles are, and how to manage procedures. Through procurement activities agencies acquire the needed supplies and service to perform our daily organizational organisational activities.

Definition

Procurement is the process of identifying and obtaining goods and services. It includes sourcing, purchasing and covers all activities from identifying potential suppliers through to delivery from supplier to the users or beneficiary[1].

It´s important to note that Procurement procurement is not a single action but a Process.  A series process; a series of activities aimed at meeting the needs of humanitarian projects as well as our operation in general. This process is standardized standardised in such a way that it can be replicated it regardless of the place, time or context. At the same time it is the process should be flexible enough to encompass each of the different challenges that the purchasing manager faces. The process is guided by principles, policies and procedures. Viewing all the aspects of procurement as a guiding path instead of a checklist, the person or team responsible for procurement will be able to anticipate, be prepared, and respond to demands in a practical and diligent way.

The words Purchase and Procurement are purchase and procure are frequently used interchangeably; though this may be common this while common using the two words interchangeably is not necessarily accurate. Purchasing is just a part of the procurement process, an important one, but only the specific function associated with the actual buying of goods and services from suppliers.  For the sake of this guide, procurement and purchasing will be defined thusly.differentiated along these lines. 


Procurement Principles in the Humanitarian Context

There are certain principles that will govern the way in which a procurement activity is carried out. These principles are not random or chosen by chance; they are the result of many experiences and lessons learned, established after several discussions and revisionsexperience. Humanitarian actors can have a great large financial impact on the contexts in the context which they work, and procurement plays an important role since a major role in that it has to do with the exchange of money, selection of providers, distributions in insecure contexts, and constant exposure to various risks that need to be mitigated for the correct program implementation.

A general series of principles have been developed that govern the procurement actions, to which the procuring entities are strongly advised to adhere. The ultimate goal of these principles enacting an economic and efficient intervention with the best quality-price ratio.

Best Value for Money

Best Value for Money (BVM) refers to the best combination available of monetary and non-monetary requirements that an organization can organisation can get from its selection of suppliers. It does not mean to achieve the cheapest offer but to balance the attributes such as quality and availability according to the organization needsorganisation needs[2].

The Combination of which this definition speaks are those of combination BVM speaks of are cost, quality and sustainability that best meets the organization´s organisation´s requirements.

  • Cost is understood as those costs of the entire life cycle of the product or service, which is known as . Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) that takes into consideration not only the price but all the cost involved in buying and using a product over time.
  • Quality understood as sufficient specifications to meet the organization requirements, which in part can be summarized in the term Fit for Purposeorganisation requirements.
  • Sustainability, taking into account the economic, social and environmental impacts.

Those responsible for procurement will should look for the lowest overall cost to get the best return of investment.

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Supplier selection - and therefore the procurement of products and services - is based on a competitive process. That means that solicitation documents should be issued to several and different suppliers, enabling an effective competition to achieve the BVM while respecting the local market.  Competition entails:

  • Promoting a culture of neutral specifications (avoiding over/under-specification).
  • Providing suppliers with adequate notification to ensure that there is sufficient time to participate in the procurement processes.
  • Ensuring the comprehensive, impartial and timely evaluation of offers.

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Purchases are part of the joint action of many actors - headquarters, project managers, technical services, field staff, suppliers and communities. It is key , therefore, that each party know separately at any time the means and processes implemented to achieve processes associated with achieving procurement objectives. Both Procedures should be shared both inside and outside the organization, procedures should be shared and available organisation to ensure that each person or group can know understand and question the steps taken for each of the processes. Transparency does not mean that a humanitarian organization organisation loses independence, but rather that it can reason the actions and clarify the principles that have guided it, accrediting the decisions made guiding principles used in the purchase of goods or services.

Transparency is also an important part of security management, since a perception of partiality or lack of transparency could lead to threats or increase risk for the teams in the ground.

Proportionality

In the search for efficiency, aid agencies must diligently ensure principles guide procurement activities. It is strongly advised that there should be increases in control measures and procedures proportional to the value the contract or procurement. The higher that value, the more measures, resources, and stricter procedures will be required. In the same way, if the value is reduced, procedures should be more lax. This principle is the base of the different Procurement Procedures.

Fairness

Humanitarian aid organizations organisations are generally important economic actors in the places in which they operate, due to the high volume of products and services involved in humanitarian operations. Normally aid organizations organisations operate in very small or disrupted markets, so it is helpful to pay attention to the market assessments and keep it in mind in each context analysis.

Humanitarian organizations organisations need to be aware of the local market composition and who are the different actors involved. When designing and implementing interventions, there is a need to assess and analyze local markets and supporting supply chains, in order to facilitate their recovery. This principle is intended to ensure that all potential suppliers have the same tools and information to compete fairly; agencies must be clear in the requirements and the criteria that we are going to use to award the contracts.

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  • Do not use their authority or status for personal gain.
  • Maintain a high level of integrity and ethics in business relationships.
  • Use the resources and assets of the organization organisation responsibly.
  • Do not accept personal gifts from suppliers or engage in any other anti-competitive conduct.
  • Act and behave in a professional manner as representative of the organization organisation and donors, and avoids anything that could bring discredit to the organization organisation or donors.

When possible is a best practice to include the ethical component when tenders are published, and use its compliance as part of the selection criteria even though it is not always easy to evaluate against ethics as a criteria. There could be suppliers that do not have standard certifications - nor they are used to pay attention to this kind of policies. That´s when it becomes more important to have a good Market Analysis and pay regular visits to our suppliers, in order to be able to evaluate their way of working.

Standards, Protocols and Controls

Each organization organisation will establish controls, including disciplinary procedures, to manage any misconduct. Applying the aforementioned standards and protocols in relevant ways and in specific operational contexts is an ongoing challenge for humanitarian organizationsorganisations. The organizationsorganisations, bound by these standards, have developed over the years a framework that enables their leaders and collaborators on the ground to act in accordance with these principles while applying tailored solutions and pragmatic approaches. These principles of action are usually understood as a guide, and may include the following:

  • Humanitarian responsibility. "Do not harm" (prevention of negative impacts, we are guests, respect local cultures).
  • Protection of victims. Presence with the victims as protection.
  • Collaboration with stakeholders (local, international): exchange know-how, optimization of resources, empowerment, sustainability.
  • Commitment to improve the education and training of our teams (national staff) and beneficiaries.
  • Prioritization of the most vulnerable groups. Women, the elderly and children.
  • Maximum beneficiary participation. Search for their autonomy, listening mechanisms.
  • Respect for the environment. Environmentally friendly technical solutions, research and development, impact analysis, community awareness.
  • Integrated approach to interventions/Coordination with other organizationsorganisations.

To guide and enforce these principles, specific policies have been drafted, addressing each issue in depth, explaining the why and how, and establishing corrective measures. Among the most common internal policies are:

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Conflict of Interest can be defined as any actual, perceived or potential incompatibility between an Organization Organisation employee’s private interests and either his/her official duties or the interests of the organizationorganisation. It includes, but it is not limited to, circumstances in which an organization organisation employee, directly or indirectly, would appear to benefit improperly, or allow a third party to benefit improperly, from his/her association in the management or the holding of a financial interest in an enterprise that engages in any business or transaction with the organizationorganisation.

Examples of Conflicts of Interest:

  • Accepting gifts from individuals or external entities with which the organization organisation has a relationship, including vendors, consultants and governments.
  • Accepting entertainment from individuals and organizations organisations which seek to do business with the organization organisation or influence it.
  • Supporting an external organization organisation through your work, major financial donations, or by lending your name or reputation to an effort.
  • Using the reputation of the organization organisation for personal benefit.
  • A direct financial or family relationship with individual or external entities with which the organization organisation has a relationship.

Best Practices 

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Ares of Best PracticeExample
Individual Behavior.
  • Respect organization’s organisation’s rules and regulations
  • Always bear organization’s organisation’s interest in mind
  • Apply principles of professionalism, efficiency and integrity
  • When managing a contract, balance the need to get the supplier’ trust with the one of keeping distances
  • Refrain from sharing confidential information
  • Act in the interest of the organization organisation but taking into account rules and procedures
  • Try to understand the “spirit of the law” and what the rationale behind the rules is
  • Be alert about potential “red flags”
  • Openly discuss whenever facing difficulties
  • Share procurement knowledge within your unit
  • Increase the awareness of ethical values in your unit
  • Ensure compliance with correct procurement procedures.
  • Increase your knowledge of procurement rules and procedures
  • Be aware that there are many documents that might help you to deal with “grey areas”
  • Be sure to document and file any deviation from the correct rules
  • Set a good example
  • If in doubt: ask!
Working Practices with Suppliers.
  • Business should be conducted during normal working hours
  • Meetings with suppliers should be with minimum two organization organisation staff members
  • Suppliers should not be invited to organization organisation staff offices but to the cafeteria or meeting room
  • Meetings should have an agenda and minutes
  • Ensure sufficient distance when working with suppliers, especially when the same one for many years
  • Make sure you are aware of relevant policies and how to apply organization’s organisation’s ethical principles in your work
Avoid excuses among team and employees. Ethics is about doing the "right thing" even beyond the workplace. It is important to be vigilant and not relax working behavior.
  • “I have to cut corners to meet my goal.”
  • “I lack the time/resources to do what is right.”
  • “My peers expect me to act this way.”
  • “My superiors want results.”
  • “I don’t think it is really wrong or illegal.”
  • “Others would think that it is a good choice.”
  • “No one will ever know the difference.”
  • “I am afraid to do what I know is right.”
  • “This is how it has always been done.”
  • “Let’s be practical.”
Watch for Red Flags. look for possible symptoms of unethical behavior and watch out for.
  • Deviations from correct procedures
  • Poor record keeping / Missing files
  • Excessive secrecy
  • Reluctance to delegate
  • Protective of certain suppliers
  • Resistance to audit
  • Unnecessary meetings with suppliers
  • Overcharging by the supplier

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Basically, market categories are a convention that allows a more structured way of compiling and combining purchases due to their nature and specificities, and to ensure that the procurement principles are followed while facilitating the procurement process by establishing standards and tools.  In addition, it is possible that the different categories could have different thresholds. In general, there are four main categories or “markets” humanitarian organizations organisations work with, however variations and additional categories can and do exist.

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It is fundamental to develop a strategy for the successful acquisition of everything needed to facilitate the organization´s organisation´s operations. This strategy must observe the core procurement principles and should be the result of the different procurement plans prepared for any action, program or project where the needs are identified.

A strategy will be based on market and context analysis results, knowledge from where organizationorganisation's can build the best approaches to manage the acquisitions. Knowing what and where supplies are needed, agencies can better choose the supply strategy, paying attention to the total cost of ownership (e.g., initial purchase, shipping, operation, maintenance and disposal costs), the special field conditions and the real possibilities to acquire (or ship) the materials and services needed.

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A strategy has to be flexible and ready to be revised each time a new condition arises, either in the requirements or in the context surround the organizationorganisation. For this reason, each intervention must to have a procurement plan, as the tool that reflects the minimum information on the anticipated needs, allowing:

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  • Description of goods/services to be procured.
  • Estimated costs and quantities of the needed goods and services.
  • Categories of goods and services.
  • solicitation methods.
  • Target delivery dates (timeline/schedule).

It is possible that aid organizations organisations cannot not foresee all needs throughout the project duration, and that any given plan may undergo slight or deep modifications due the volatile situations on the ground. However, there are always recurring requirements that can be anticipated, or at least reasonable estimates based in past experiences from where we can extract information to assure that the activities could be done in a timely manner.

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The following documents can have different names in each organizationorganisation.

Procurement Process Step

Acronym

Document´s Name

Definition

Sourcing

BOQ

Bill Of Quantities

A document used in tendering in the construction industry in which materials, parts, and labor (and their costs) are itemized.

EOI

Request for Expression Of Interest

A formal notification aimed at determining the capacity, interest, and availability of potential suppliers in the market to deliver the goods and services required.

RFI

Request For Information

Is used to supplement the writing of the technical annexes to the solicitation documents and ensure those are accurate and have a comprehensive set of requirements.

Requisition

PR

Purchase Request

The standard and official form to request a purchase.

SOW

Scope of Work

Is used in all types of civil, mechanical, electrical or other engineering/installation services for works, as well as the supply of construction materials and equipment included therein. It provides all information required to allow the contractor to undertake the works.

TOR

Terms of Reference

A description of the work to be performed, the level of quality and effort, the timeline and the deliverables, used to define the performance requirements for services that cannot easily quantified.

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Technical Specifications

A document drawn up by the contracting authority setting out its requirements and/or objectives in respect of the provision of supplies, specifying, where relevant, the methods and resources to be used and/or results to be achieved.

Solicitation

RFQ

Request For Quotation

A written request made to suppliers for the purchase of goods or services, up to a maximum value stablished by the organizationorganisation.

ITB

Invitation To Bid

A letter sent to selected candidates in a restricted procedure or competitive negotiated procedure inviting them to submit a bid. This term is use interchangeably with “RFQ” in this guide.

RFP

Request For Proposal

A written request made to suppliers for complex purchase exceeding the maximum value stablished by the organizationorganisation. This term is use interchangeably with “Tender Dossier” in this guide.

 

Tender Dossier

The dossier compiled by the Contracting Authority and containing all the documents needed to prepare and submit a tender.

Evaluation

ET

Evaluation Table

Tool aimed to compare the different bids received and present them in a Comparative Table.

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Tender Report

Document where present every detail about a tender process, including a comparative table and a reasoned proposition to award the contract

Ordering and Contracting

PO:

Purchase Order

A financial commitment that confirms the purchase details (Units, quantity, price, delivery time and Location, etc), officializing the Order

TC

Terms and Conditions

The applicable rules governing the purchase of a product, service or works.

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Contract

Legally binding agreement between the organization organisation and the supplier. It defines the Terms and Conditions for the good and services provision, as well as the signatories related rights and obligations. (see Contracts).

LTA or FWA

Long-Term or Framework Agreement

A contract concluded between a Contracting Authority and an economic operator for the purpose of laying down the essential terms governing a series of specific contracts to be awarded during a given period, in particular as regards the duration, subject, prices, conditions of performance and the quantities envisaged. ( see LTAs)

Reception

DN

Delivery note

Documentary proof that the supplier commitments have been fulfilled.

RN

Reception note

Documentary evidence of the transfer of responsibility of a cargo.

-

Commercial Invoice

A document that state the parties involved in the transaction, describe the goods purchased and indicate their value.

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Each specific purchase will need to be analyzed from the perspective of the organizationorganisation's own procurement procedures, as well as from that of the funding agency's requirements. Every procurement process must be justified and thoroughly documented, having its own dossier containing all the documents related to a procedure, whether simple or complex. A procurement dossier can be defined as a set of documents that justifies the steps taken in a particular procedure. Not all dossiers will be the same in volume and complexity. (see Most Common Procurement Procedures). At the same time, dossiers have to be preserved for later use (see Documentation Management, Files).

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  • Internally - An adequate filing system increases efficiency and reduces wasted time during the preparation of reports and audits. The appropriate file reflects the principles of the Organization Organisation and provides Professionalism and Transparency.
  • Externally - The organization organisation is responsible for justifying the acquisition, use and disposal of materials, services, equipment, etc. to donors.

A proper filing system has no value if the documents are not duly completed and signed. Therefore, only employees to whom such responsibility has been formally assigned are authorized to sign documents. Those employees must understand the meaning of their signature in terms of their responsibilities and consequences for the OrganizationOrganisation. Files must be kept for months or years, depending on donor requirements or internal audit guidelines. 

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Any procurement for goods or services should be built upon needs. Once the needs are identified measured and planned by a team or individual within an agency, they should be formally communicated to the organization´s organisation´s procurement team, usually through a formally defined a Purchase Request specifying:

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  • POs are a financial commitment that confirms the purchase details (Units, quantity, price, delivery time and Location, etc), officialising the Order. The PO is used for simpler orders, one-off purchase and smaller amounts, where there is no need to define any complex situation, and the purchase represent low risks for the organizationorganisation.
  • Contracts are legally binding agreements between the organization organisation and the suppliers. They define the Terms and Conditions for the good and services provision, as well as the signatories related rights and obligations. (see Contracts). Contracts are used when there is a need to specify the conditions in a complex order (partial deliveries, different timings or location, special conditions of the product, high financial volume or potential risk for the organizationorganisation, etc) and always for a work or a specialized service.

Some agencies my prefer the use of some form of a Long-Term Agreement (LTA), where by a supplier is pre-vetted using the standard solicitation process, but has an open-ended contract for delivery of goods and services. Requesting agencies can use the PO as the confirmation to use the conditions applicable to it and concretizing, units, quantities, delivery details, etc.  

The organization organisation must establish a threshold beyond which the relationship can no longer be formalized through a PO and a contract becomes necessary. However, each organization´s organisation´s Terms and Conditions (TC) applies in any case, therefore, a simplified TC must to be communicated (attached to the PO) and respected by both parties. The act of signing the PO - and the organization´s organisation´s TC- by the supplier makes the PO become a simplified contract.

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The transfer of responsibility becomes effective when the representative of the organization organisation signs the Delivery Note. The signed Delivery Note, the PO and the Commercial Invoice will be the minimum mandatory documents to process payment. In the case that the supplier/carrier is not able to provide any delivery document nor even a Delivery Note, agencies may wish to create and sign a Reception Note, officializing the transfer of responsibility over the cargo and stating any potential deviation.

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A procurement procedure is an internal process established by every organization organisation to set up the minimum requirements to ensure that the purchases made are compatible with the basic principles of responsibility, accountability, transparency, equal treatment of suppliers and proportionality, while guaranteeing the best value for money. The procurement procedures ensure objectivity during the supplier awarding process. However, the awarding criteria themselves will be adapted to the context, program needs and donor regulations.

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For normal operations (not first phase of an emergency response), the procurement method is chosen based on a defined framework with value thresholds.  The framework includes, as a minimum, levels for Direct Purchase, Competitive Quotations and Tendering.  The levels of the thresholds are based on the context, taking into account monetary values; frequency of transactions; lead time to process the procurement and organization’s organisation’s risk tolerance. The threshold set is continuously respected throughout the normal operations and reflects donor and INGO requirements. [6]

Although each organization organisation and/or donor uses different names to the different purchasing procedures, they all share the same logic and basic principles. In this guide we are going to name the different procedures as follows.

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Unlike the negotiated procedure whereby the organization organisation recognizes at least three (3) potential suppliers from whom it requests a quote, a public or open tender process is public and anyone can submit an offer. The offers are evaluated by a tender evaluation committee created at the beginning of the process. All members of the evaluation committee and the employees involved in the bidding process have the obligation to understand and sign the Declaration of Objectivity and Confidentiality or a similar document.

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The tenders could have a different geographical scope, allowing only local economic operators to see and submit and offer, or allow anyone nationally or internationally to present their offer. Principles to take in consideration while choosing between these two options are the support of local economies, the efficiency in the process, the ethical standards and environmental care while assuring the availability of the product/service in the terms that are needed by the organizationorganisation.

It is possible as well, to make tenders Open where all interested suppliers may submit a tender or do it Restricted, where only suppliers within a pre-defined scope or category may take part.

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  • Donor regulations
  • Country/national level requirements
  • Internal organizational organisational audit procedures 

The level of thresholds and the required procedures should be included in each agencies procurement manual or procurement policies. 

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Donors are entities, institutions or individuals that finance the projects that an organization organisation implements. Procurement procedures must guarantee that all goods, services and works are obtained in accordance with their procurement policies, as well as all the laws applicable to these expenses.

Any person or team responsible for procurement must be familiar with donor procurement-related regulations at all stages of the project cycle and ensure that the Organization Organisation fulfills its contractual obligations to the donor. Among other actions, the procurement unit must verify if the donor has specific rules on thresholds and procurement procedures, as well any specific regulation applicable to the acquisition of medical or agricultural products, equipment, etc.

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In a crisis context the humanitarian sector has an enormous capacity to impact the local market, hence it is necessary to act based on humanitarian principles and values, having in mind the concept of “Do not Harm”. For this reason, it is essential to analyze the market in which we operate and thus be able to better control the role the organization organisation plays in it.

Key factors in a market analysis:

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There are several key tools from where the information about the market can be extracted.  As an agency or individual conducts procurement, there is a quite important amount of information that will help to analyze the market that surrounds the organizationorganisation. Humanitarian agencies should to conduct market assessments and revise them with an analytical look when is needed.

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  • They are bankrupt or are ceasing activities.
  • They have been found guilty of serious professional errors.
  • They have not fulfilled the obligations related to payment of social contributions or as per legislation of the country or in the country benefiting from the contract.
  • They have been tried and finally convicted for fraud, corruption, participation in criminal organizations organisations or any other illegal activity.
  • They have been declared seriously in default for failing to observe contractual obligations in other purchase procedures made with the organizationorganisation.

As evidence proving that potential supplier does not come under one of the above-mentioned situations, the candidate shall submit at least one of the following documents:

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  • Are subject to a conflict of interests.
  • Have omitted to supply the information requested by the organization organisation as a condition of participation in the procurement procedures or they have supplied untruthful information.
  • Are guilty of corrupt practices, fraud, collusion or coercion.

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Supplier management is a set of principles, processes, and tools that can help organizations organisations to maximize the value of supplier relationships, minimize risks, and manage overheads throughout the entire relationship lifecycle. It entails creating closer and more collaborative relationships with key suppliers to achieve greater value and reduce risks.

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  • Foster long-term relationships and joint value creation.
  • Prioritize resources and interaction with suppliers that can provide the greatest value for money.
  • Ensure measurement of quality and service levels.
  • Develop a consistent mode of interaction with suppliers across the organizationorganisation.
  • Ensure fairness, integrity and transparency.

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  • They have legal personality and legal capacity to enter into a contract.
  • They shall have sufficient financial capacity (where required, the last two years audited accounts) to successfully undertake a contract awarded by the organizationorganisation.
  • The products or services offered must be of interest to the organization organisation and the supplier must have the necessary professional and technical competence.
  • The supplier must not be on any sanctions list and has not performed fraudulent, unethical or illicit acts.
  • The supplier shall have the adequate experience.

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The registration will be the base of the supplier catalogue, a tool where to insert every supplier registered and all the information about the relationship between them and the organizationorganisation.

Supplier Qualification

Pre-Qualification is generally used to preselect suppliers for the provision of complex/strategic goods and services based on very specific needs. This selection can be from the Supplier Catalogue or include other providers. Only invited suppliers that meet established criteria are then invited to bid. This ensures that only companies with a high level of quality and/or expertise are invited to the solicitation.

Supplier Monitoring

The monitoring of supplier activities with the organizationorganisation, are in most cases done through the Procurement Documents. Each procurement step has to be explained and justified; therefore, all the official communication has to be documented. It is a best practice to create and update a tool that could record key indicators in the procurement process. Such a tool might record of all the interactions with the suppliers allows the agency to analyze and monitor the relations through the time. Key indicators might include, but are not limited to response rates, records of evaluated proposals, number of contracts awarded, POs managed, and expenditures.

Supplier Performance Evaluation

Measurement the performance of suppliers in support of an organization’s organisation’s needs is important. Supplier evaluation in turn influences the identification of suppliers as past performance of suppliers may influence the process of drawing up shortlists.

Surveys are an important source of information, that could facilitate the analysis of the supplier and procurement unit performance. The requesting unit should be asked about their opinion about the supplier performance (in a standardized and official manner) and that should be included in the Supplier Catalogue, to be referenced when new procurement actions are being planned.

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An LTA is applicable when several deliveries are expected, but neither specific quantities nor delivery dates can be foreseen. It is important to understand that a LTA is not in itself considered a purchase commitment, but simply sets out the conditions that would apply if the organization organisation decided to place an order; there is no commitment or exclusivity.

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There are certain advantages inherent in the LTA that make it useful in any agency purchasing strategy, such as avoiding the repetition of processes and the corresponding paperwork for the same item throughout a project. Being by definition a larger purchase, organizations organisations can get the best product/service at the best price in the shortest amount of time.

As a lasting relationship is established with the supplier, it is possible for agencies to work on the quality of the products/services that they offer to organizationsorganisations, since agencies will be able to develop the relationship with suppliers to better understand needs and ways of working. In addition, sometimes LTAs are the only way to follow the correct procedures when only a short time is available. Organizations Organisations can follow all the procurement process without any requisition, being in a position to respond to requests in less time.

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QA focuses on improving a process and making it efficient and effective as per pre-defined quality standards. QA plays a role in the ability of an organization organisation to self-assess and ensure that internal processes are efficient and effective. It also ensures the existence of mechanisms and tools to ensure suppliers and products meet agencies needs.

For internal and external evaluation, the QA complete process has a defined cycle called P.D.C.A. The phases of this cycle are:

  • Plan - Organization Organisation should plan and determine the processes that are required to deliver a high-Quality end product.
  • Do - Development and testing of processes and also "do" changes in the processes.
  • Check - Monitoring of processes, modify the processes, and check whether it meets the predetermined objectives.
  • Act - Implement actions that are necessary to achieve improvements in the processes.

Sometimes organizations organisations do not have the capacity to assess in these terms each supplier, however there are audit companies and standard certification organizations organisations that can. Agencies should seek these third party agencies out and/or include those certifications as criteria for vendor selection.

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There is a wide range of quality certifications, from seals applicable to an entire sector or to a specific product to, those that certify the quality of a process or those that focus on compliance with ethical and environmental standards. Some have great added value, others have more to do with marketing. They can have a national value or be internationally recognized. Although each stamp can be useful at a certain moment, International Organization Organisation for Standardization (ISO) standards are the considered the recognized international best practice.

ISO is an independent, non-governmental Organization Organisation created in 1946, and has been developing standards relating to making products, managing  processes, delivering services or supplying materials.

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A social/financial compliance audit, also known as an ethical audit, is an inspection of an external organization organisation that verifies whether the supplier operations complies with social and ethical responsibilities, health and safety regulations, and labor laws. These audits help to judge if a supplier meets the organization organisation code of conduct, assuring the ethical policies.

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Agencies should schedule time and resources to perform inspection during the product evaluation, before the order, or during reception.  Quality Control (QC) is a continuous, standard and permanent process until the distribution/delivery to the beneficiaries, therefore must to be performed periodically while a product is the warehouse or under the organization organisation responsibility .Sometimes, QC is confused with the QA. Quality control is to examine the product or service and check for the result. Quality assurance is to examine the processes and make changes to the processes which led to the end-product.

  • Visual Inspection – If a vendor is supplying a prototype sample prior to final delivery, organizations organisations or specialists may wish to visually inspect and test the product, either at the vendor premise or at another off site location.
  • Laboratory Testing – In addition to visual inspection, agencies may wish to employ third party laboratory testing. Lab testing may include testing for chemical composition (for durable construction materials or for pharmaceuticals), may test against pre-defined ISO standards (such as flame retardancy of NFIs) or even the quality of food stuffs.
  • Third Party Inspection – Many agencies wish to employ third party inspection companies to carry out quality assurance. Third party inspection companies will generally conduct lab and visual product testing, but may also visit suppliers warehouses and production facilities throughout the production process to ensure full compliance. Organizations Organisations that utilize third party inspection services may want to include the obligation of suppliers to allow third party inspection companies into production sites without advanced notice to enhance the randomness of the process.
  • Provision of Certification – Simpler than conducting independent laboratory testing, suppliers may be asked to produce certificates indicating conformity or quality. Typically, this pushes the cost and complexity of laboratory testing onto the vendor, but may also lead to forgery or fraud as the inspection process is out of the hands of the procuring agency.

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Fraud Prevention

Corporate fraud in any organization organisation runs ethical risks and leads to waste. In the case of non-profit institutions dedicated to tasks such as development cooperation or humanitarian aid, it threatens basic elements of their programming and their credibility within the community. Consequently, fraud must be dealt with through a determined attitude, anticipating events and not only reacting once they have been perpetrated.

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We can place these three at the same level - they are all improper conduct. This guide will refer to fraud and anti-fraud policies when referring to all three of the aforementioned categories. To deal with fraud, it is necessary to for organizations organisations establish an anti-fraud policy document. Likewise, the entity must periodically assess the exposure to the risk of fraud.

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PreventionThrough the appropriation of the organizationorganisation's values ​​by its workers, which in turn explains the possible consequences of fraud for the organizationorganisation. Organizations Organisations should also seek to establish a code of Ethics and Conduct, which must be communicated and disseminated throughout the organizationorganisation, including the appropriate communication channels and complaint formats. Staff should be trained in the identification, categorization and use of these channels and formats. Establish alert mechanisms that can anticipate and prevent the commission of fraud.
ControlCreating an Anti-Fraud Commission whose responsibility is the investigation and verification of compliance with the policies of the institution, dedicated to the systematic or ad hoc examination of the practices observed by persons or bodies of the institution. This commission will be in charge of establishing a compliance program with the established policies and norms and their monitoring. For a good information base to exist, staff must feel safe when reporting, but at the same time, they must feel the responsibility to provide truthful information. Clear responsibilities must be established and due protection to the complainant and protection against false reports.
ReactionDisplaying the principle of zero tolerance through quick and determined actions, always under strong evidence. This is only achieved with the collaboration of whistleblowers and in-depth investigations and the prior establishment of appropriate and consistent measures. Except for security risks that advise against it, these processes should be made public, and communicated among the staff or even with our donors and beneficiaries, so it will be necessary for there to be consistent in these actions. These communications are usually sensitive and should be studied and planned in advance.

It is important to be aware that fraud prevention regulations cannot by themselves guarantee the non-existence of situations or events that have the potential to harm the institution. The effectiveness of fraud prevention guidelines will be based on the definition of the moral tone and the transmission of an ethical culture, which reflect the interests of the organization organisation and the individuals that comprise it.

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  • Collusion between providers -  A group of suppliers work together to manipulate their bids in order to rotate winners.
  • Division of the offer - Demand is split into multiple bids to pass through a lower threshold and therefore reduced due diligence supervision.
  • Adaptation of the offer - Persons within the agency deliberately draft bid documentation to tailor it to the specific strengths of a specific supplier.
  • Price manipulation - A supplier charges a price higher than the one agreed in the Contract / Framework Agreement.
  • Product substitution - The organization The organisation obtains and pays for a certain specification, but the supplier provides a lower / different specification.

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  • Sphere Project, Handbook (2018)
  • International Review of the Red Cross (2016). Principles guiding humanitarian action.
  • CALP The Cash Learning Partnership (2018). Minimum Standards for Market Analysis (MISMA)
  • ECHO, European Commission Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (June 2019). Guidelines grant/contribution agreement with humanitarian organizations organisations
  • ECHO, European Commission Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (May 2020). Framework partnership agreement with humanitarian organizations organisations
    • ANNEX III; General Conditions
    • ANNEX IV; Rules and procedures applicable to Property, Supply, Works and Service Contracts Awarded within the Framework of Humanitarian Actions Finance by the European Communities
  • ICRC, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (2014). Market Analysis Guidance
  • ICRC, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (2014). Rapid Assessment for Markets
  • WFP, World Food Programme, (2020). Goods and Services Procurement Manual
  • SC, Save The Children; Procurement guidelines
  • ACF, Action Against Hunger; Supply Chain guidelines
  • https://parcelproject.org/resources/logistics-standards/procurement/
  • https://www.humanitarianlogistics.org
  • https://corehumanitarianstandard.org
  • https://handbook.ul-standards.org/en/humlog/#sec001

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