The inter-agency Procurement Network completed the first project funded under the Plan of Action, led by UNDP, which resulted in a Model Policy Framework for Vendor Eligibility for system-wide use. The procedure, which has been reviewed and approved by the inter-agency legal advisers, allows for the introduction of a common decision mechanism for the handling of suspect vendors. The Model Framework, which responds to the need for improved transparency, accountability and effectiveness in procurement, was approved by CEB at its spring 2011 session.
Furthermore, partially as a follow-up to the high-level mission, the Procurement Network, with funding from the Plan of Action and under the leadership of UNICEF, is also looking at supporting the expansion of joint procurement activities at the field level through a harmonization project in support of field operations. The aim is to invest in the procurement and supply-chain management function of the United Nations by creating a common framework for doing business through harmonization of regulations and rules, streamlining of processes, improving business practices and fostering a division of labour that meets the needs of beneficiaries and builds upon existing expertise among the various United Nations entities. That will also support country-level operations by delivering uniform best-practice tools to United Nations procurement practitioners based on insights gained from Delivering as One United Nations pilots, and documenting outcomes and best practices in support of Delivering as One.
Additionally, at the request of the High-level Committee on Management, the inter-agency procurement specialists have scaled up their focus on collaborative procurement across agencies of the United Nations system. The Procurement Network has reported that collaboration at headquarters locations, particularly in Geneva and Rome, has already led to significant savings. For example, Geneva reports approximately CHF 37 million in cost avoidance in 2010 owing to collaboration in the areas of travel, energy consumption, mail and courier services, supplies and information and communications technology services. Similarly, the Rome-based agencies have experienced cost avoidance owing to collaboration in procurement. Globally, the Network is exploring collaborative procurement in the areas of warehouse and shipping insurance, transportation contracts and vehicles.