In April 2008, the Procurement Network submitted to the High-level Committee on Management a funding proposal as part of the plan of action for the harmonization of business practices in the United Nations system. Funding was received in August 2009 to develop a common policy framework for the sanctioning of unethical vendors. The framework includes mechanisms for information sharing, individual organization decision-making and decision recording. The final version of the proposed framework is expected to be delivered following review, endorsement and validation by the Procurement Network and the Legal Network by the end of 2010. The United Nations Development Programme is the lead agency for this initiative.

The Procurement Network, in close coordination with the United Nations Development Group, has made progress in collecting and preparing a comprehensive overview of the procurement manuals of relevant United Nations system organizations. This work is considered essential in supporting the implementation of the “Guidelines for harmonized United Nations procurement at the country level”. With the approval of a proposal to draw up a document on the harmonization of the procurement process and practices in support of field operations, work is expected to be accelerated to develop uniform tools for United Nations procurement practitioners based on insight gained from experience at the country level and documenting outcomes and best practices in support of country operations. The Procurement Network has developed a strong and effective cooperation with the United Nations Development Group’s Task Team on Common Services and Procurement to ensure coordination of efforts.

With the focus on procurement at the country level, the United Nations Global Marketplace now also provides functionality to country offices to upload and maintain rosters of local suppliers and share long-term arrangements to increase access of developing country support to United Nations procurement.

Under the guidance and coordination of the Working Group on Supplier Access, 1,639 potential suppliers in 24 developing countries or countries with economies in transition were reached through business seminars. The contents of the training is focused on general information about the United Nations as a potential market, how to find information about business opportunities and insight into the process of public procurement based on the principles underlying United Nations procurement. Practical guidance in how to register as a potential supplier to the Organization forms an integral part of the seminars. Similar events have taken place in 22 countries.