UN Women procurement principles

UN Women purchases goods and services from suppliers all over the world. The underlying principles behind the UN Women procurement process include: best value for money; fairness, integrity and transparency; effective competition; and the interest of UN Women.

Best value for money

Application of the “best value for money” principle in the procurement process means selection of the offer that presents the optimum combination of whole life costs and quality. Environmental and social considerations are also considered among these parameters: whenever possible, social and environmental benefits are optimized, and adverse impacts are minimized.

Fairness, integrity and transparency

To achieve best value for money, the procurement process protects the organization from proscribed practices: fraud, corruption, collusion and other unethical practices. Sound procurement requires the openness of the process, complete and accurate records, accountability, and confidentiality.

Fairness – The concept of fairness includes that the procurement process should be free from favouritism, self-interest or preference in judgement.

Integrity — Integrity relates, among other things, to the soundness of moral character, having a sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for personal and organizational behaviour, adherence to commonly accepted moral and ethical principles, impartiality and incorruptibility, and avoiding any behaviour that may be construed as “sharp practice”.

Transparency — Transparency refers, among other things, to the process by which reliable, timely information about existing conditions, decisions and actions relating to UN Women activities is made accessible and visible. Transparency ensures that any deviations from fair and equal treatment are detected very early in the process, and makes such deviations less likely to occur. It thus protects the integrity of the process and the interest of the organization.

Effective competition

The objective of effective competition is to provide all eligible potential suppliers with timely and adequate notification of the procurement requirements and an equal opportunity to tender for the required goods, civil works and services.

Interest of UN Women

Undertaking procurement in the interest of UN Women means carrying out procurement activities in the manner that best enables the organization to reach the general and specific objectives in compliance with applicable procurement procedures. The definition of this principle is derived from the ultimate objective of the procurement, which is to add value to the organization, its programme delivery, and in the fulfilment of programme goals and objectives.