The Secretariat issues three types of solicitation document to fulfil a procurement requirement. While each of the documents referred to below contains 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.
- Request for Quotation (RFQ): An informal invitation to submit a quotation for requirements that meet our minimum value. Prices and other commercial terms and conditions are requested and award is usually made to the lowest-priced, technically compliant offer.
- Request for Proposal (RFP): A formal request to submit a proposal against requirements that are over the minimum procurement value but are not fully definable at the time of solicitation, and where the innovation and specific expertise of the proposer are sought to better meet the procurement requirement. Price is only one of several evaluation criteria, which are determined before the RFP is released. A two-envelope system is used with the technical evaluation completed before commercial offers of technically compliant proposals are opened. Award is made to the offer that substantially conforms to the requirements set forth in the solicitation documents and is evaluated to be the best value.
- Invitation to Bid (ITB): A formal invitation to submit a bid usually associated with requirements that are clearly or concisely defined, which are above a minimum procurement value. Normally price is the sole determinant in the making of an award. Where all technical criteria are met, award is made to the lowest bid.
- Public openings: ESCWA conducts formal openings of sealed bids and proposals, at which prices are read out publicly, that company representatives may attend. As price is only one of several determining factors, only the name of the company is conveyed in public openings for RFPs and only the technical proposals are opened.
- Expression of Interest (EOI): Information about upcoming requirements is posted on the United Nations Procurement Division (UNPD) and UNGM websites (respectively www.un.org/Depts/ptd and www.ungm.org), allowing interested companies to identify new business opportunities and participate in solicitations. UNGM also offers a service for automated EOI delivery.
ESCWA adheres to global standards in its procurement procedures. It continues to update its information technologies so as to permit the maximum possible number of suppliers to compete in a transparent and fair process.