UN System Procurement Statistics Report - 2001


The first annual statistical report on procurement by UN agencies in respect of operational activities, prepared by the Inter-Agency Procurement Services Office (IAPSO) of the United Nations Development Programme, was submitted to the 39th session of the General Assembly (Doc. A/39/417) in 1984. By resolution 39/220 the General Assembly established the need for recurrent reporting of such information on operational activities and encouraged organizations of the UN system to co-operate with IAPSO in this important exercise.

To obtain more complete reporting on operational activities, data on other components of technical cooperation, such as project personnel, United Nations Volunteers and fellowships was included as from 1991. Experience has shown that it has proven very difficult for a great number of agencies and UNDP field office to provide data on personnel components in the required format. Several UN agencies encounter difficulties in apportioning cost of the personnel components in view of insufficient links between administrative and financial records. Resulting in less then representative data being available for presentation in the Annual Statistical Report.


Statistical data on procurement of goods and services and the personnel components for operational activities are requested from 42 UN organizations as well as by UNDP’s network of Country Offices. To facilitate collection and compilation of the large number of data, IAPSO provides pro-forma tables available from the IAPSO website or on diskette, together with instructions for completing the reporting requirements.

The 2001 report compiles information provided by 31 UN organizations and 111 UNDP Country Offices. IAPSO relies entirely on the co-operation of the reporting entities and, in general, the responses have been encouraging and the quality of data has steadily improved from previous years. The information from UNDP Country Offices was provided for projects under National Execution (NEX) and Direct Execution (DEX) modalities.

Data collection from UN agencies involves processing of reports on procurement of goods and services received from supply divisions and procurement units. Data on procurement is reported based on country of procurement for goods and country of head office for services. Moreover, procurement orders and contracts for services are reported on the basis of contract amount and not on expenditures incurred. It is, at the present time, not feasible for most UN agencies to report data based on country of origin of goods nor on actual expenditures.

Data on procurement of goods and services are based on reports from ECLAC, ESCAP, ESCWA, FAO, IAEA, ICAO, ILO, ITU, OCHA, PAHO, UN/PD, UNCTAD, UNDP HQ, UNDP/IAPSO, UNECA, UNECE, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNOG, UNON, UNOPS, UNOV, UNRWA, WFP, WHO, WIPO, WMO and WTO. No data were reported by CTBTO, IDB, IFAD, ICTY, IMO, UNDCP, and UPU. Almost all UNDP country offices supplied data on the procurement of goods and services, except for the following based in these countries; Central African Republic, Cameroon, Comoros, Costa Rica, Djibouti, North Korea, Fiji, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liberia, Mauritania, Mexico, Nicaragua, Qatar, Samoa, Slovakia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Zambia.

TRENDS for 2001

The overall procurement volume of UN Agencies during 2001 increased to USD 4.5 billion from USD 3.7 billion in 2000, representing an increase of approx. 20%. This increase can largely be attributed to substantial growth in annual procurement volume by the following agencies; ICAO, PAHO, UNDP (DEX, NEX, IAPSO and Headquarters), UNFPA, UNICEF, UN/PD, UNON and WFP.

Procurement from Developing countries has increase by over USD 300 million in absolute terms however has only shown a marginal increase in percentage terms (0.9%) from the previous year. This is due to the overall increase in total UN procurement volume. 2001 is the first year that two developing countries amongst the top ten countries to supply the UN system, these are India and Iraq. India is the second largest supplier to the UN system, supplying primarily Emergency Shelter and Housing, Medical and Reproductive Health Equipment, Telecommunications Equipment and IT consultancies. Iraq benefited from a vast increase in construction services contracted primarily by UNON throughout 2001.

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