Doing business with the United Nations Office at Vienna

The procurement of goods and services for the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Office for Outer Space Affairs and the other Vienna-based Secretariat units is handled by the Procurement Section of UNOV.

The major categories of goods procured comprise computer equipment, software and supplies, furniture, communication equipment, office equipment and supplies, security equipment and clothing, and paper products.

The major categories of services procured include software support, telecommunication services, printing services, mail services, equipment maintenance, photocopying machine rental, translation services, and computer and management training.

Contracts are awarded on the basis of the best value for money in terms of life cycle total costs, including responsiveness to specifications, technical acceptability, compliance with delivery schedules, local servicing capability and availability of spare parts.

Registration requirements

It is the policy of the United Nations Secretariat to have as wide and diverse a database of suppliers as possible, from all Member States. Interested suppliers should register at the United Nations Global Marketplace ( http://www.ungm.org), the single portal for procurement for the United Nations system.

Vendors should sign up in the registration section and select the level of business activity that they wish to participate in that best matches their capacity, financial strength, business scope and commercial strategy.

As part of the registration, vendors must code their products and/or services with the United Nations Common Coding System, which is used by the Secretariat to search for suppliers for bidding opportunities. Applications will be evaluated and all applicants informed of the results via the United Nations Global Marketplace. Registration is free of charge.

Competitive bidding

One of the fundamental tenets of United Nations procurement is achieving the best value for money for the Organization. Bids and proposals are obtained through a competitive process. Three types of solicitation document are issued by the Secretariat to fulfil a procurement requirement. While each of the types of document referred to below contain the information necessary to submit a suitable offer, they vary in accordance with the nature of the requirement and the estimated monetary value. All solicitation documents normally provide for generic specifications.

  • A request for quotation is an informal invitation to submit a quotation for a solicitation below a certain procurement value. Prices and other commercial terms and conditions are requested and an award is usually made to the lowest priced technically compliant offer.
  • A request for proposal is a formal request to submit a proposal against requirements that are over the minimum procurement value but that are not fully definable at the time of solicitation and where the innovation and specific expertise of the proposer is sought to better meet the procurement requirement. Price is only one of several factors comprising the evaluation criteria, which are determined before the request for proposal is released. A two-envelope system is used, with technical evaluation completed before commercial offers of technically compliant proposals are opened. An award is made to the offer that substantially conforms to the requirements set forth in the solicitation documents and that is evaluated to be the best value to the United Nations.
  • An invitation to bid is a formal invitation to submit a bid, and is usually associated with requirements that are clearly or concisely defined and that are over a minimum procurement value. Price is normally the sole determinant in the making of an award. Where all technical criteria are met, an award is made to the lowest bid.

Expressions of interest

Requests for expressions of interest are published periodically on both the UNOV and the United Nations Global Marketplace websites and give an opportunity for interested companies to obtain information about relevant products and services that may shortly be solicited. In addition, the United Nations Global Marketplace offers a service for automatic delivery of expressions of interest.

Interested firms or organizations should immediately forward their expressions of interest to the referenced Procurement Officer, giving the expressions of interest reference number and subject, their vendor registration number and full contact details

Requests for expressions of interest do not constitute a solicitation. The United Nations reserves the right to change or cancel the requirement at any time during the expressions of interest and/or solicitation process. Submitting a reply to an expressions of interest does not automatically guarantee that the firm will be considered for receipt of the solicitation when issued. Only prospective vendors that respond and are deemed qualified upon completion of an objective evaluation of their vendor application will receive the final solicitation document.

Requests for expressions of interest

Contact

Procurement Section
United Nations Office at Vienna
PO Box 500
1400 Vienna
Austria

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