UN glossary

  1. Acquisition Plan
    The plan resulting from the Acquisition Planning process
  2. Acquisition Planning
    The cooperative process by which the Requisitioner and UN/PD devise a comprehensive plan for fulfilling the Requisitioner's need in a timely manner and at competitive pricing. Planning includes the development of the overall strategy for managing the procurement and includes a detailed list of anticipated purchases over a period of time, usually one year.
  3. Agent
    A person authorized by another to act for or in place of them.
  4. AI
    Administrative Instruction.
  5. Approving Officer
    See Financial Rule 105.6. The Approving Officer is the UN official responsible for approving the entry into the accounts of obligations and expenditures relating to contracts, agreements, purchase orders and other forms of undertakings, after verifying that they are in order and have been certified by a duly authorized Certifying Officer. Approving Officers are also responsible for approving payments, once they have ensured that these payments are properly due, confirming that services, supplies or equipment have been received in accordance with the contract, agreement, purchase order or other form of undertaking by which they were ordered. Approving authority and responsibility is assigned on a personal basis and cannot be delegated. An Approving Officer cannot exercise certifying and bank signatory functions under Financial Rules 105.5 and 104.5.
  6. ARB
    The Award Review Board is a UN administrative board which reviews complaints by Unsuccessful Bidders who challenge contracts awards made by the UN.
  7. BAFO
    Best and Final Offer. A negotiation tool that can be used during the final evaluation phase of a procurement using an RFP when at least two qualified Vendors remain within a competitive range.

    • ASG/OCSS
    • Assistant Secretary-General, Office of Central Support Services, Department of Management.
  8. Audit Trail
    Clear and concise documentation in a suitable format, normally a written log, describing the actions and decisions taken throughout the handling of a case, thereby enabling a reviewer of the case to establish that it has been handled in accordance with the applicable regulations, rules and procedures.
  9. Best Value for Money or BVM
    One of the four general principles of Financial Regulation 5.12 to be given due consideration in the exercise of procurement functions. Best Value for Money is the optimization of whole-life costs and quality needed to meet the user's requirements, while taking into consideration potential risk factors and resources available. Best Value for Money is a principle that is applicable throughout the acquisition process. After all relevant costs and benefits of the complete procurement exercise have been considered, the bid or proposal which is to be assessed as providing the Best Value for Money usually should become apparent.
  10. Bid
    An offer in response to an Invitation to Bid (ITB).
  11. Bid Security
    A financial instrument which provides a source of compensation to the UN for the Vendor's failure to enter into a contract, to provide the required security for the performance of a contract, or to comply with any other condition precedent to entering into a contract specified in the Solicitation Documents, after the Vendor has been selected.
  12. Bid Bond
    A bid bond is a security from a Vendor securing the withdrawal or modification of a Submission after the deadline for submission of such documents; failure to sign the contract or failure to provide the required security for the performance of the contract after a Submission has been accepted; or failure to comply with any other condition precedent to signing the contract specified in the Solicitation Documents.
  13. Bidder
    An entity that submits a quotation or Bid in response to an RFQ or ITB.
  14. BPO
    Blanket Purchase Order
  15. Client-Offices
    Requisitioner(s) of the goods or services
  16. CMP
    Capital Master Plan
  17. CMS
    Chief of Mission Support (Field Mission).
  18. Calling Officer
    A UNHQ staff member outside of UN/PD who is authorized to place orders under a Systems Contract.

    • CAO
    • Chief Administrative Officer (OAH).
  19. Certifying Officer
    See Financial Rule 105.5. The Certifying Officer is the UN official responsible for managing the utilization of resources, in accordance with the purposes for which those resources were approved and the principles of efficiency, effectiveness and the FRR. Certifying Officers review the requests issued by the Requisitioner, ensure that the technical specifications are generic and that funds are available for the procurement. Certifying authority and responsibility are assignedon a personal basis and cannot be delegated. A certifying officer cannot exercise the approving function under Financial Rule 105.6.
  20. CMT
    Cargo Movements Team (UN/PD)
  21. Contract
    In the context of UN procurement, a Contract is a written document, containing the agreement, and the terms and conditions, between the UN and a Vendor, and which establishes the parties' respective rights and obligations. Contracts can take various forms, including a BPO, ICA, Systems Contract or Purchase Order. See Chapter 13.
  22. Contract Administration
    All actions undertaken by the Procurement Staff after the award of a Contract relating to the administrative aspects of the Contract, such as Contract amendment, Contract closure, record retention, maintenance of the Contract file, and handling of security instruments (e.g., Performance Security).
  23. Contract Management
    The ongoing monitoring and management of the Vendor's performance regarding the promised goods or services, as well as all other terms and conditions of a Contract, such as price and discounts. It includes managing the relationship between the Vendor, the Procurement Office, the Requisitioner and/or the end- user, feedback to the Vendor regarding its performance, as well as dispute resolution, if necessary.
  24. Contractor
    A provider or Supplier of goods, services and/or works under a Contract with the UN. A Contractor may take various forms, including an individual person, a company (whether privately or publicly held), a partnership or a government agency.
  25. Committee on contracts
    The Headquarters Committee on Contracts or a Local Committee on Contracts
  26. Core Requirement
    Essential goods and services which, by their nature, lend themselves to local procurement and are not available from HQ Contracts. The list of Core Requirements is included as an attachment to Annex 3-B.
  27. CITPS
    Corporate and IT Procurement Section
  28. Cost-Plus Contracts
    A Contract in which the Contractor is compensated for its costs, plus an agreed profit margin. The agreed profit margin can be a percentage of the cost (cost- plus percentage fee) or a fixed amount (cost-plus fixed fee).
  29. CPO
    Chief Procurement Officer (Field Mission and/or OAH).
  30. Damages
    The amount of compensation due to a party to a contract as a result of another party's breach of such contract. In the case of the UN, such amount should normally be based on a documented assessment of the amount of harm actually caused by the breach or by reference to a Liquidated Damages clause, if applicable.
  31. Deliverables
    Goods or services delivered or to be delivered to the UN pursuant to the terms and conditions of a Contract.
  32. DESA
    Department of Economic and Social Affairs (HQ).
  33. DFS
    Department of Field Support (HQ).
  34. DM
    Department of Management (HQ).
  35. DMS
    Director of Mission Support (Field Mission).
  36. DOA
    Director of Administration (OAH).
  37. DPKO
    Department of Peacekeeping Operations (HQ).
  38. DRU
    Documents Receiving Unit (HQ).
  39. Effective International Competition
    One of the four general principles of Financial Regulation 5.12 to be given due consideration in the exercise of procurement functions. In practice, this normally means that Procurement staff should make everyeffort to achieve as wide a geographical distribution in procurement as possible and practicable.
  40. EOI
    Expression of Interest: A response to an REOI expressing a Vendor's interest in participating in a Solicitation.
  41. Erroneous submission
    Inaccurate or incomplete submission in a non-material respect for which the approval of the submission is based on the discretion of the authorised official. However, inaccurate or incomplete submissions in a material respect, are subject to rejection.
  42. Evaluation Committee
    A committee established by the Source Selection Committee that is responsible for the commercial and technical evaluation aspects of the Source Selection process. The Evaluation Committee is divided into technical and commercial evaluation teams, which are responsible for the technical and commercial evaluation of Submissions, respectively. The Evaluation Committee assesses the ability of the potential Vendors to meet the UN's stated minimum requirements and provides a basis for determining the relative merits of competing bids and proposals
  43. Evaluation Criteria
    Factors or specific areas of consideration that are part of the requirement Specifications. These factors are measurable components of the goods or services requiredand provide a basis for assessing each Vendor's ability to perform or deliver the goods or services.
  44. Exigency
    An exceptional, compelling, emergent need or situation of force majeure not resulting from poor planning or management or from concerns over the availability of funds, that will lead to serious damage, loss or injury to property or persons, if not addressed immediately.
  45. Field Mission
    A UN peacekeeping mission or political mission.

    • FMS
    • Facilities Management Service (HQ).
  46. FRR
    Financial Regulations and Rules of the United Nations as promulgated by ST/SGB/2003/7 of 9 May 2003
  47. Generic Technical Specifications
    Specifications that are performance oriented and do not specify brand names, the products of one company, or features which are unique to the products of a particular company.
  48. GLD
    General Legal Division, Office of Legal Affairs (HQ).
  49. HCC
    Headquarters Committee on Contracts.
  50. HCC Threshold
    The established monetary value above which any proposed procurement action leading to the award or amendment of a Contract shall be submitted to the HCC for the purpose of its rendering written advice to the ASG/OCSS or other designated official.
  51. HCC/LCC Threshold
    The established monetary value above which any proposed procurement action leading to the award or amendment of a contract shall be submitted to the HCC or LCC for the purpose of its rendering written advice to the authorized Official.
  52. Head of Office
    The chief administrative officer of an OAH.
  53. HQ
    UN Secretariat Headquarters, NEW YORK
  54. ICA
    Institutional or Corporate Contractor Agreement.
  55. IMIS
    Integrated Management Information System.
  56. Incoterms
    International commercial trade terms often forming part of a contract for sale of goods and published by the International Chamber of Commerce.
  57. Interest of the UN
    One of the four general principles of Financial Regulation 5.12 to be given due consideration in the exercise of procurement functions. The mandate of the UN as established in the UN Charter together with additional UN documents and directives plus operational circumstances set forth the general interest of the Organisation
  58. Internal Purchase Order
    An instrument issued internally within the UN to obligate funds against Contracts for future payment of goods or services provided under a Contract.
  59. ITB
    Invitation to Bid.
  60. Joint Venture
    A business enterprise jointly undertaken by two or more companies that share the initial investment, risks and profits.
  61. LCC
    Local Committee on Contracts (Field Missions and OAHs).
  62. LCC Threshold
    The established monetary value above which any proposed procurement action leading to the award or amendment of a Contract shall be submitted to an LCC forthe purpose of rendering written advice to a CMS/DMS or other designated official.
  63. Lead Agency
    Pursuant to Financial Rule 105.17, an Organisation of the UN system, a procurement action of which is to be relied by another UN Organisation in carrying out a procurement action (e.g., entering into a Contract or issuing an order) for the purposes of entering into a contract or issuing an order.
  64. Liquidated Damages
    The amounts which a party to a Contract agrees to pay as damages, if the party breaches an obligation (such as delay in delivery). The amount of Liquidated Damages must be arrived at in good faith and must be based on an estimate of the actual damage that will ensue from the breach.
  65. LOA
    Letter of Assist. A contractual document issued by the United Nations (UN) to a government authorizing it to provide goods or services to a peacekeeping operation; the UN agrees either to purchase the goods or services or authorizes the government to supply them subject to reimbursement by the UN. A letter of assist typically details specifically what is to be provided by the contributing government and establishes a funding limit that cannot be exceeded.
  66. LSD/DFS
    Logistics Support Division, Department of Field Support (HQ).
  67. LTS
    Logistics and Transportation Section (UN/PD)
  68. LVRO
    Local Vendor Registration Officer (Field Missions and OAHs).
  69. LVRC
    Local Vendor Review Committee (Field Missions and OAHs).
  70. Market Research
    The collection and analysis of information about capabilities within the market to satisfy the Organisation's needs, inter alia, in order to identify Vendors, assist in the development of Specifications, TORs and SOWs, ascertain pricing information, and obtain information on available technology.
  71. Market Survey
    A type of Market Research involving a survey of a specific market or industry to ascertain whether qualified sources capable of satisfying the Organisation's needs exist and to determine competition and capabilities and to estimate costs. A Market Survey may be done informally, (e.g. phone calls, internet), or formally (e.g.,RFI).
  72. Not-to-Exceed Amount (NTE)
    A maximum amount of goods or services stipulated in a Contract which may be acquired under such Contract.
  73. OAH
    Office away from Headquarters.
  74. OCSS
    Office of Central Support Services (HQ).
  75. OIOS
    Office of Internal Oversight Services (HQ, Field Missions, OAHs).
  76. OICT
    Office of Information Communication Technology
  77. OLA
    Office of Legal Affairs (HQ).
  78. Open Standard Products
    Products without specificity to a particular Vendor, wide distribution of standards, and easy and free or low-cost accessibility.
  79. OPPBA
    Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts (HQ).
  80. OUSG/DM
    Office of the Under -Secretary-General, Department of Management.
  81. PBPU
    Policy and Best Practices Unit (UN/PD).
  82. PCMS
    Planning, Compliance and Monitoring Section (UN/PD).
  83. Performance-Based Contracting
    A type of Contract whereby requirements are specified in terms of performance and output and generally include performance incentives and penalties.
  84. Performance Bond
    A written instrument issued by a bank or insurance company or similar entity, in favour of the UN, and from an issuer and in a form acceptable to the UN, to secure the Vendor's performance of a contract.
  85. Performance Security
    A financial instrument that serves as a source of compensation for a Vendor's failure to fulfil the terms of a Contract.
  86. PPS
    Peace Keeping Procurement Section/UNPD
  87. PO
    Purchase Order.
  88. POS
    Procurement Operations Service/ UN/PD
  89. Procurement Assistant
    A support staff member of UN/PD or other Procurement Office who participates in procurement functions under the supervision of a Procurement Officer.
  90. PMS
    Procurement Management Section/UN/PD
  91. Procurement Office
    UN/PD at HQ or other unit principally responsible for carrying out procurement functions at Field Missions and OAHs.
  92. Procurement Officer
    A staff member who performs procurement functions and has specified authority to enter into Contracts on behalf of the UN.
  93. Procurement Staff
    Procurement Officers, Procurement Assistants and other UN staff members authorized to carry out procurement functions.
  94. Property
    Supplies, equipment or other assets owned by the UN.
  95. Proposal
    A Submission in response to an RFP.
  96. Proprietary Product or Service
    Products or services to which a Vendor has exclusive legal right to manufacture, license, sell or perform because such party has intellectual property rights (e.g., patent or copyright), or other legally exclusive rights (e.g., an exclusive government concession), and for which, as a consequence, there is no competitive market.
  97. Provisionally Registered Vendor
    A Vendor that is temporarily included on the Vendor register pending completion of the registration process.
  98. UNCCS
    UN Common Codification System
  99. Public Bid Opening Organisation
    Unit that performs the public bid opening function at HQ.
  100. R&I
    Receipt and inspection.
  101. Registered Vendor
    Vendor whose registration application has been accepted by the UN organisations in UN Global Market Place (UNGM).
  102. REOI
    Request for Expression of Interest: An advertisement of a forthcoming Solicitation in order to identify Vendors that wish to receive the Solicitation Documents.
  103. Requisitioner
    A UN official that is responsible for submitting to a Procurement Office, through a Certifying Officer, an approved IMIS pre -encumbrance document, or similar document from the local requisitioning system. The Requisitioner develops Acquisition Plans in cooperation with the Procurement Office, and upon identifying a future need, conducts Market Research and develops a description of the requirement through generic technical specifications.
  104. RFI
    Request for Information: A formal instrument to conduct a Market Survey in order to obtain information from the market that can be used to identify available or potential methods for fulfilling the identified need and information on cost and delivery time of such methods.
  105. RFP
    Request for Proposal.
  106. RFQ
    Request for Quotation.
  107. RSQN
    Request for Service in IMIS (HQ)
  108. RQSN
    Request for Goods in IMIS (HQ)
  109. SGB
    Secretary-General's Bulletin.
  110. Sole Source
    A procurement term employed when, for example, The Solicitation of a single source for a requirement when, for example, there is no competitive marketplace for the requirement or the product or service needed is available only from one source.
  111. Solicitation
    A procurement exercise involving the issuance of an RFQ, ITB or RFP.
  112. Solicitation Abstract Sheet
    A document in which certain aspects of Bids and Proposals are recorded for the purpose of facilitating a competitive evaluation of such Bids or Proposals.
  113. Solicitation Documents
    A document issued by the UN to describe its procurement requirements to Vendors, and to invite them to submit a response. Solicitation Documents can be in the form of an RFQ, ITB or RFP.
  114. Source Selection or Sourcing
    The identification of products and Vendors available to provide those products and services, using such methods as Market Research and Market Surveys or procurement instruments such as REOIs and RFIs.
  115. Source Selection Committee
    A Committee consisting of the Procurement Officer, the Requisitioner, and program managers, who have joint responsibility for completing the Source Selection process in accordance with the FRR and the Procurement Manual (including the establishment of the Source Selection Plan) and ensuring that the Submissionof the selected Vendor fulfils all the requirements of the Solicitation Documents.
  116. Source Selection Plan
    The Source Selection Plan (SSP) describes critical components of the Sourcing process and provides justification for Sourcing decisions in order to achieve Best Value for Money. It provides an objective approach to the methodology of selecting the best source to fulfil the established need.
  117. Specifications
    A detailed description of the attributes of a good
  118. Standardization
    Procurement on an exclusive basis of a single brand of product or service or from a Sole Source provider. This has been done with, for example IT equipment
  119. Statement of Award Submission
    A written record of the basis on which a Contract award was made.
  120. Submission.
    The reply received from a Vendor to Solicitation Documents issued by the UN. The Submission constitutes a firm offer from the Vendor to fulfil the requirements set forth by the UN in the Solicitation Documents. The Submission can be in the form of a Quotation, a Bid, or a Proposal, depending on the type of Solicitation Document issued (e.g., RFQ, ITB or RFP).
  121. Submission Opening Officer
    A UN officer who is authorized to carry out a Submission Opening.
  122. Submission Closing
    The deadline for the receipt of Submissions in response to Solicitation Documents.
  123. Submission Opening
    The opening of Submissions submitted in response to Solicitation Documents.
  124. Supplier
    A participant in the procurement process either as a contractor or as an entity that submits a submission.
  125. SVRC
    Senior Vendor Review Committee
  126. Systems Contract
    A Contract used for procuring goods and services required on a recurring basis and for an extended period of time.
  127. Total Contract Amount
    Also known as Total Contract Value (TCV) is the final anticipated amount that is expected to be paid for all services, goods and any other compenents purchased under the contract during the contract period, including any form of option and likely contract amendments.
  128. TCO
    Total Cost of Ownership: the total cost of a good or service over its entire expected life span. It includes consideration of both direct and indirect costs related to the purchase of the good or service, including product costs, maintenance costs and disposal costs, in order to arrive at an amount that will reflect the effective total cost of purchase, all things considered.
  129. TOC
    Tender Opening Committee: Committee at a Field Mission or OAH that performs the public bid opening function.
  130. TTS
    Travel and Transportation Service.
  131. UN/PD
    United Nations Secretariat Procurement Division (HQ).
    United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.
  133. UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules
    UNCITRAL rules for conducting arbitration as used in UN Contracts, adopted by UNCITRAL in 1976.
  134. USG/DM
    Under Secretary-General for Management (HQ).
  135. USG/DFS
    • Under-Secretary-General, Department Support.
    • of Field
  136. UNGCC
    United Nations General Conditions of Contract.
  137. Vendor
    • A potential or actual Supplier or provider of goods, services
    • and/or works to the UN. A Vendor may take various forms, including an
    • individual person, a company (whether privately or publicly held), a
    • partnership, a government agency or a non- governmental organisation.
  138. UNGM
    United Nations Global Marketplace.
  139. Vendor Performance
    The Vendor's fulfilment of its contractual obligations with regard to quality, delivery, timeliness, as well as all other performance indicators and service levels.
  140. VRA
    Vendor Registration Application created on-line by vendors in UNGM.
  141. VRC
    Vendor Review Committee
  142. VRO
    Vendor Registration Officer.
  143. Weighting
    The assignment of relative importance to each Evaluation Criterion so that a rating system can be used to assess whether each Vendor's Proposal meets or exceeds the minimum requirements of a Solicitation and to objectively compare it with other Vendors' Proposals.
Card Set
UN glossary
Glossary of UN terms