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One of the best ways to assure that each request is well presented, understood and agreed among all the units involved in the process  is to create a coordination space to do it. The usual coordination tool is the implementation of a recurrent meeting between requestorsrequesters, heads of unit, and the procurement team where the requests can be discussed and validated.

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Some agencies my prefer the use of some form of a Long-Term Agreement (LTA), where by a supplier is pre-vetted using a standard solicitation process, but has an open-ended contract for delivery of goods and services. Requesting agencies holding LTAs with vendors can use simple notifications for procurement needs, such as a PO, specifying units, quantities, delivery details, and other important information. The theory behind an LTA is that a single supplier used for routine procurement can be competed and vetted once in a preset pre-set period of time instead of having to bid eveyr every time. 

The act of signing the PO - and the organisation´s Terms and Conditions - by the supplier makes the PO become a simplified contract. An organisation should establish a threshold beyond which the relationship can no longer be formalised through a PO and a contract becomes necessary. Irrespective of the procurement method, each organisation´s Terms and Conditions (TC) must be applied, and it is advisable to attach TCs to all contracts and POs. 

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The transfer of responsibility between the seller/carrier and the agency is a key an important moment in the procurement process. The transfer of responsibility can be done in at the manufacturer/seller premises, or be undertaken fully by the supplier who will be responsible transporting the cargo to the agreed destination, either the agency . An agreed destination can be either an agency's premises, warehouse,   and or in special cases directly to the beneficiaries. The most standard used method of defining the method and location of the transfer of responsibilities is through defining Incoterms in the procurement contract. Incoterms are only applicable for international procurement however, so the transfer of responsibility in domestic procurement may need to be spelled out explicitly. In every case, the transfer of responsibility has to be clearly recorded through the standard set of shipping documents.

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A purchase dossier might contain:

  • The fully signed Procurement Request that initiated the process.
  • The Purchase Order signed by the relevant persons.
  • Copy of the invoice.
  • Proof of delivery of the items might include one of the following:
    • Supplier’s Delivery Note.
    • Internal Reception Note when delivered without supplier delivery note.
    • Internal Delivery Note when delivered to the requester without supplier delivery note.
    • Original invoice, ideally with some form of formal approval written on it.

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A purchase dossier ideally should contain:

  • The fully signed Procurement Request that initiated the process.
  • The originals of the different suppliers’ quotations received and the request for those quotations (especially if no quotes were received).
  • The negotiated procedure evaluation table with all necessary validations, along with an explanatory note, if relevant.
  • The PO or Contract signed by the parties.
  • Copy of the invoice, ideally referencing the solicitation number or other tracking number. 
  • Proof of delivery of the products:
    • Supplier’s Delivery Note.
    • Reception Note when delivered without a supplier delivery note.
    • Internal Delivery Note when delivered to the requester without a supplier delivery note.

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  • Establish a first contact with the supplier.
  • Analyse supplier capacity and professionalism: number of workers, work methods, general cleaning, etc.
  • Analyse the products or services available. Where does the supplier buy , how do they bring them. the product or raw material? How are products delivered? Can they import better/cheaper products?
  • Understand the supplier's business model, its challenges, its sources, its problems.
  • Gather information that would never otherwise be reflected on paper.
  • Identify other possible selection criteria in addition to price.

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Sometimes organisations do not have the capacity to assess in these terms for each supplier, however there are audit companies and standard certification 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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  • Visual Inspection – If a vendor supplies prototype sample prior to final delivery, 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. 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 is defined as any intentional act or omission, designed to harm others, with the result that the victim suffers loss or damage and / or the pepetrator perpetrator makes a profit.
  • Corruption is the misuse of a power entrusted by delegation, for private purposes, such as personal enrichment or that of a third party, a friend, a family member. It consists of refraining from doing, facilitating something, or taking advantage of its function in exchange for a promise, a gift, a sum of money, or advantages of various kinds.
  • Misappropriation consists of the theft or misuse by any means of a resource or material owned by a third party.

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Related to Personnel

  • Manipulation of the evaluation criteria after the opening of the tender.
  • Contracts awarded by single source or non-competitive process.
  • Requirements defined in a way that only a specific manufacturer or supplier can meet.
  • Multiple purchase requests started in close proximity for similar requirements to avoid boundaries threshold.
  • A staff member does not separate duties.
  • Excessively narrow or wide specifications.
  • Officials do not delegate their responsibilities or they refuse to go on vacation.
  • There is no clear information on the presentation of offers.
  • Inadequate documentation (no PR, OC, CBA and GRN).
  • Overly friendly relationship between a provider and a any persons conducting procurement.
  • Unusually high exemption rate.
  • Tender announcements scheduled to match with holidays.

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