14.01 Cooperation with UN Entities

UNAIDS has endorsed the principles and guidelines contained in the Common UN procurement at the country level. This document provides the guidelines to support procurement cooperation and promote the harmonization of business practices among United Nations organizations, while also trying to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of UN procurement activities.

Procurement staff are encouraged to read the Common UN Procurement at the Country Level in order to be fully informed on collaborative procurement efforts within the UN.

In line with these guidelines, UNAIDS considers acceptable the following options for common procurement:
  • using existing LTAs or contracts of other UN entities
  • using joint LTAs and contracts (“Lead agency” modality)
  • using procurement services of other UN organizations 
  • procuring from another UN organization 

Using existing LTAs or contracts of other UN entities

UNAIDS staff can support a competitive process by proposing the use of existing UN LTA agreements, thereby being more efficient and taking advantage of a market already assessed for the type of services and/or goods required by UNAIDS.  

Using the LTA of another agency does not exempt the requestor from evaluating different options for contracting. If the contract reaches the threshold of CRC approval, this would need to be reviewed by CRC.

The following conditions for using UN LTAs apply:
  • the LTA/contract must have been established following a competitive process;
  • the LTA/contract validity should cover the period of the proposed contract;
  • the same conditions awarded in the LTA/contract must be applicable to UNAIDS;
  • the agency issuing the LTA/contract must agree to allow UNAIDS to use their contract conditions; and
  • the supplier must agree to extend the same conditions to UNAIDS.

Using joint LTAs and contracts (“lead agency” modality)

UNAIDS staff is encouraged to participate in common procurement exercises in order to benefit from efficiencies and economies of scale, common needs and requirements definitions, and a consolidated position with suppliers. Conducting a joint solicitation process under the leadership of one UN entity—which may be UNAIDS—is accepted, and UNAIDS will accept the procurement process used for selection of a proposed contractor under the procurement regime of the lead agency.

The following requirements will apply: 
  • UNAIDS will require the process to be endorsed by the awarding authority on the leading agency; If UNAIDS is the leading agency normal approval threshold would apply;
  • UNAIDS will require approval of WHO’s CRC if the contract reaches their threshold for review (either its own contract or a common LTA); 
  • a waiver of competitive process is not acceptable; and
  • UNAIDS will require the establishment of its own contract based on the competitive process or will need to be a co-signatory of the LTA established among all the UN agencies participating in the process, subject to UNAIDS legal clearance. 

Using procurement services of other UN organizations

UNAIDS endorses the outsourcing of procurement processes to other UN agencies when it is in the best interest of UNAIDS, and if it can be demonstrated that outsourcing such activity is within the competencies, capacity and mandate of the proposed agency. 

When another UN agency is contracted to carry out procurement activities on behalf of UNAIDS, then that agency will take responsibility for the activity on receipt of an approved UNAIDS Purchase Order.  In such cases, the agency is responsible for all necessary processes and reviews, and it applies its own rules and regulations, policies and procedures.

The following must be considered:
  • the request to outsource must be cleared by the appropriate awarding authority prior finalization;
  • the UN organization must conduct a competitive process according to their procurement regime;
  • standard service fees could be applicable to the transaction; and
  • a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or similar arrangement might be necessary prior to placing the request.

Procuring from another organization

UNAIDS can purchase commercial services or goods directly from another UN organization. This must be justified through a waiver of competitive bidding based on UN collaboration, and the appropriateness of the approach must be made clear.

The appropriate awarding authority must approve the Purchase Order.

The paragraphs before do not apply for collaboration on non-commercial activities among UN agencies. See Chapter 17: Non-commercial contracts.

The contracted agency will report (through the relevant UNAIDS unit) the results of any procurement action it takes to the Planning, Finance and Accountability Department (PFA) in Headquarters.

Any asset purchased through any of the collaboration mechanisms described above must remain property of UNAIDS and be registered in the Asset Register promptly after its acquisition. Maintenance of the relevant asset register will remain the responsibility of the UNAIDS Procurement Requestor in coordination with the asset focal point (AFP).

Procurement through a contracted UN agency does not release the UNAIDS unit from obtaining clearance from the relevant procurement authority