In a bid to ensure greater accountability, fiscal prudence and transparency in the management of available resources, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has revised its procurement policy, code name MS 502.
National Communication Officer David Karls Tsokar made this known in a press statement issued on Monday.
At a recent training for procurement officers of FAO in Africa where an appraisal on implementation and successes achieved since FAO adopted the process in 2010, it was agreed that it has supported the movement towards greater accountability through more effective and streamlined processes
The process also promotes competition, transparency and fairness, and ultimately assists FAO to obtain best value for money for every procurement action.
The FAO procurement officer in Nigeria Thierry Ebo said the policy is designed to promote standardization and the use of Framework Agreements, when appropriate, to maximize efficient use of resources,
He said it will also give due consideration to the importance of attaining an equitable international distribution of procurement sources while encouraging developing and emerging economies as well as supporting capacity building in beneficiary countries, particularly in emergency and post-emergency rehabilitative situations, like we have in northeast Nigeria.
“Being designed to efficiently and effectively procure goods and services, either directly or indirectly, in a transparent, fair and competitive manner, it would also favour cooperation with other entities of the United Nations system, when appropriate”
Ebo explained that “It will promote a competitive market by favouring procurement from the private sector over procurement from government entities, government controlled enterprises or Vendors receiving government subsidies, except when the latter is the only viable option or would result in substantial benefit to the Organization or to the beneficiaries of its technical cooperation activities”
Observations & Recommendations
Milestones have been achieved with actions based on feedback, observations and recommendations from various stakeholders.
This strategy acknowledges progress achieved and introduces further improvements.
The procurement manual MS 502 has been revised to support the further decentralized procurement function and increased delegations of authority (DoA) in the field, with duly revised roles and responsibilities.
Changes are being introduced to further support such trends and promote more responsive, innovative procurement approaches with the concomitant need for adequate compliance and risk mitigation measures.
The process is aimed at responding to change and strengthening capacity and competencies in Decentralized Offices while managing related risk. It was developed to reflect stakeholder requirements, in particular in decentralized locations, and respond to audit observations.
Other changes are in contract management, vendor notification, Solicitation method, introducing default Public Solicitation and adoption of the common UN procurement platform (United Nations Global Marketplace/UNGM) as the primary sourcing portal, enabled through the e-tendering solution In-Tend, Procurement planning, strengthening early planning and enhancing the involvement of Technical Officers, among others.