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Chapter 13. Contract Management and Contract Administration

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13. Contract Management and Contract Administration

       13.1 Overview

                13.1.1 Contract Management

                13.1.2 Contract Administration

       13.2 Vendor Performance Evaluation

       13.3 Dispute Resolution

       13.4 Payments

                13.4.1 Third-Party Payments

                13.4.2 Taxes

                13.4.3 Advance Payments

       13.5 Amendments, Extensions and Renewal

       13.6 Use of Subcontractors

       13.7 Contract Completion

       13.8 Property Disposal

                13.8.1 Property Survey Boards

                13.8.2 Disposal of Property through Sales— Procedures

                13.8.3 Treatments of Offers

                13.8.4 Review by the Committees on Contracts

                13.8.5 Contractual Instruments for the Sale of Goods

                13.8.6 Exceptions to Solicitation

                13.8.7 Deposits

                13.8.8 Notice of Award Billing

                13.8.9 Removal of Property

                13.8.10 Disposition of Assets of Peacekeeping Operations

                13.8.11 Sale of Real Property

       13.9 Handling and Maintenance of Files



13. Contract Management and Contract Administration

13.1 Overview

This chapter describes the key activities required for effective contract management and administration.

13.1.1 Contract Management

Contract Management refers to all actions undertaken after the award of a contract and covers activities such as vendor performance monitoring, payments, contract closure, record retention, and maintenance of the contract file. The primary goal of contract management is to ensure that quality goods and services, in the right quantity, are delivered on time and in accordance with the agreed-upon contract terms.

Depending on the nature of the contract, the Contract Management function is the responsibility of either staff directly assigned to oversee and manage the implementation of the contract, the Requisitioner, or the end-user (hereinafter collectively referred to as “responsible contract management staff” or RCMS). The RCMS is responsible for monitoring the performance of the contractor and for receiving, accepting, and approving the deliverables specified in the contract.

The responsible Procurement Official should be informed by the RCMS of any not-accepted deliverable to ensure proper recording in the procurement case file and to permit action on any necessary contract administration matters.

Acceptance is carried out as follows, per type of requirement:

  1. a. Goods: Upon receipt of the procured goods, the RCMS will record the goods receipt, along with a Receipt and Inspection report (R&I), in UMOJA. This confirms receipt of all goods as per the packing list, as well as documenting, in detail, the condition of the goods received and their compliance with the stated specifications. The applicable UMOJA forms for receipt of goods must be used for this purpose.
  3. b. Services: If services have been satisfactorily received, the RCMS must record in UMOJA that the services have been satisfactorily completed in accordance with the terms specified in the contract.


Delivery has different meanings depending on the type of purchase (i.e., goods, services, or works). Furthermore, with goods, delivery is recognized at different points of time and place depending on the Incoterm used in the contract. RCMS are reminded to consider the relevant Incoterms and contract terms to determine whether delivery is considered complete.


13.1.2 Contract Administration


The Contract Management function is supported by the contract administration activities undertaken by the Procurement Official in charge of the procurement process. Contract Administration is comprised of all actions undertaken by Procurement Officials following the award of a contract that relate to the administrative aspects of the contract, such as contract amendment or extension, contract closure, record retention, maintenance of the contract file, handling security instruments (e.g. Performance Security), and liaising with OLA on any contractual disputes or claims. Issues relating to the interpretation of contract provisions shall be referred by the RCMS to the Procurement Official that issued the contract. Moreover, if the RCMS are not able to resolve a dispute with the vendor, they shall inform the Procurement Official thereof promptly. The Procurement Official shall act in accordance with Chapter 13.3 when seeking to resolve such disputes.


13.2 Vendor Performance Evaluation


The RCMS should conduct an evaluation of the vendor’s performance, supported by the Procurement Official if necessary. The evaluation must consider the experience with the vendor during the entire contract period. It is important to carefully document contract performance and to be able to produce evidence of same in the event of disputes, in order to form an institutional memory, and for audit purposes.

There are five types of Vendor Performance Rating (VPR) forms:

  1. Short-Form Specialist Report (Annex 22);
  2. Supplier Performance Report (Annex 23);
  3. Contractor Performance Report (Annex 24). This form is used for contracts that exceed US$ 200,000 or long-term contracts of two or more years in duration where performance reports are required once a year;
  4. Contractor Performance Report for Short-Term Air Charter Services (Annex 25);
  5. Contractor Performance Report for Short-Term Sea Transport Services (Annex 26).

In order to ensure contract compliance, the RCMS is expected to monitor performance on an ongoing basis through reports, meetings, and, if applicable, inspections. The following topics can be addressed in evaluating performance:

  1. Fulfillment of delivery schedule/timely delivery;
  2. Quality of goods or services provided in accordance with the contract;
  3. Compliance with contractual terms and conditions (including the Supplier code of conduct when issues arise);
  4. Adherence to warranty provisions;
  5. Timely response to UN requests;
  6. Undue delay of the performance under the contract;
  7. Any frivolous claims against the UN;
  8. Failure to disclose information relevant to performance and vendor eligibility, which should then be raised with the responsible officials for vendor registration (e.g. bankruptcy, ongoing litigation, etc.).

Depending on the nature of the procurement, a process to evaluate vendor performance may include the following approaches:

  1. Using questionnaires, which require a sound knowledge of what will be measured to ensure the relevance of the result;
  2. Undertaking site visits;
  3. Using metrics and key performance indicators for contracts;
  4. Developing and using supplier scorecards to measure the cost of poor quality, customer social responsibility, etc.;
  5. Measuring performance against SLAs.

If a contractor has shown significant or persistent deficiencies in performance that led to early termination, application of damages, or similar actions, the RCMS may, in consultation with the Procurement Official, refer the case of such contractor for potential sanctioning to the VRC, along with supporting documentation and justification explaining such performance failures.

The RCMS shall ensure that contract management is conducted as follows:

  1. The RCMS shall develop the performance measurement criteria, which should be included in the solicitation documents and in the contract;
  2. The RCMS shall monitor and evaluate the vendor’s performance against the agreed performance

measurement criteria or contract milestones;

  1. The RCMS shall notify the vendor promptly in case the performance does not meet the agreed performance standard(s) and shall request remedial action. RCMS shall also apply for performance credits as described in the contract to the vendor’s invoices/payments. In case of recurring or continuing a sub-standard performance, the RCMS shall notify the concerned Procurement Official and provide documented proof of such performance and any remedial actions taken;
  2. The RCMS shall complete the Vendor Performance Rating (VPR) form/report, notify the Procurement Official as to whether the vendor is performing adequately, and submit a copy of the VPR form to the Procurement Official and Vendor Registration and Outreach Section in DOS.

The Procurement Official shall administer the VPR form/report as follows:

  1. The Procurement Official shall ensure that a copy of any VPR form/report is included in the procurement case file;
  2. In case the Procurement Official is notified of a vendor's sub-standard performance, he/she shall assess the situation based on the information received from the RCMS and shall recommend an appropriate action to be taken. Depending on the situation, possible actions may include further escalation, dispute resolution, use of remedies, (temporary) suspension, exclusion from future solicitations, or any other remedial action deemed appropriate for the specific situation. Recommended actions shall be submitted to the Director, PD or CPO for approval, who shall request a review by the VRC;
  3. The Procurement Official shall notify the staff in charge of Vendor Management and/or the VRC of any non-compliance or poor performance issues in writing.

Procurement Officials and RCMS should ensure that a VPR form is on file before processing any extension to an existing Contract. If the VPR does not show a satisfactory result, plans should be made to address the performance shortcomings or to retender the requirement.




Annex 22 - Short-Form Specialist Report

Annex 23 - Supplier Performance Report

Annex 24 - Contractor Performance Report

Annex 25 - Contractor Performance Report for Short-Term Air Charter Services

Annex 26 - Contractor Performance Report for Short-Term Sea Transport Services



13.3 Dispute Resolution


Contracts should be clear, and the responsibilities and obligations of the parties clearly stated therein. However, no matter how well a contract is drafted and its performance managed, disputes may arise. The United Nations is committed to fair, orderly, and prompt resolution of disputes with vendors. Moreover, the United Nations is required to make provisions for appropriate modes of settlement of disputes arising out of contracts or other disputes of a private law character to which the United Nations is a party (see 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations).


Contractual disputes are to be addressed as follows:


Amicable Settlement: With a view to providing appropriate means of settlement of disputes, UN contracts provide for a resolution of disputes by way of amicable settlement (e.g. direct discussion between the parties to the contract). Consultation with the OLA or, if the entity is away from headquarters, the Legal Adviser within the entity is required when such amicable settlement results in agreeing to make payment for costs outside the scope of the contract).


Seeking Legal Advice: When it becomes apparent that a dispute with a vendor has arisen and cannot be resolved by the RCMS and/or by the Procurement Official, the Procurement Official shall send a memorandum to OLA or the applicable Legal Advisor seeking their advice. The memorandum shall include, but not be limited to, a detailed description of the vendor’s claims and all relevant information concerning the dispute, including a fully signed version of the applicable contract and all signed amendments, a chronology of events, the status of the dispute, possible consequences of the dispute if it is not settled (e.g. financial, operational, political, reputation/image of the UN), and all applicable correspondence between the contractor and the United Nations in relation to the claim. The memorandum shall also include copies of all relevant documentation and, if the matter is urgent, the reasons for the urgency therefore, should be communicated to OLA or the Legal Adviser.


Conduct of Amicable Settlement: Following receipt of the legal opinion, the relevant Procurement Official authorized to conduct discussions with the vendor shall ensure that any preliminary agreement reached considers the legal opinion. Any discussions shall be conducted by a minimum of two Procurement Officials, at least one of whom is experienced and senior in grade, and minutes should be made of such discussions for UN internal purposes. The Requisitioner should be requested to participate in any discussions involving operational issues. If the vendor requests to have legal representation present in negotiations, the Organization must have legal representation (i.e., OLA or the entity’s Legal Advisor). If an amicable agreement is reached with the vendor, its terms shall be transmitted to the Director, PD for contracts established by PD, and to the CPO for contracts established by entities; who shall review it and seek the relevant approvals. The vendor shall be advised that any agreement reached is subject to UN internal approvals.


Authority to Settle Commercial Claims: The amicable settlement of commercial claims up to the equivalent of US $50,000 is the responsibility of the Authorized Official of the procuring entity, after consultation with OLA6. If the amount of the dispute exceeds the equivalent of US $50,000, the Head of Entity shall refer the case to Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support7, after consulting with the Office of Legal Affairs. The Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance has delegated authority to settle commercial claims above US$ 50,000 upon the recommendation of the Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support8. ASG for Supply Chain Management is the designated authorized representative of the Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support for the review of commercial claims9.


Settlement and Release Agreement: Upon receipt of all required approvals, the Procurement Official shall consult with OLA in the preparation of a settlement and release agreement. The Procurement Official shall forward the draft settlement and released agreement to the vendor for signature, following which the official with the appropriate authority shall countersign the agreement.


Arbitration: In the absence of an amicable settlement, the contractor may seek to arbitrate the matter in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, as provided for in the UNGCC. Should a Notice of Arbitration be received from a vendor, such Notice must be brought to the immediate attention of the Office of Legal Affairs.


File Management: The RCMS and Procurement Official are each responsible for ensuring that the respective case file contains a description of their dispute resolution activities stating exactly what was discussed and how the dispute was resolved, including any executed settlement and release agreement.


13.4 Payments

Payment entails the timely payment of invoices consistent with the terms of the contract.


The Finance Officer shall ensure that the terms and conditions of payment are consistent with those specified in the contract document. The following examples contain standard payment terms for goods, works, and services, but the specific payments terms are outlined in each contract.


It is a standard contractual provision unless otherwise amended by the parties of the contract, that the UN is obligated to pay for goods or services net thirty (30) days upon the vendor’s satisfactory completion of its delivery obligations, in accordance with the delivery terms (e.g. Incoterms). When a normal commercial practice or the interests of the UN so require, payment or payment on account in advance may be agreed upon in accordance with Financial Rule 105.19(a) (e.g. for real estate leasing, subscription- type services, etc.). It is a general practice that progress payments are implemented in accordance with Financial Rule 105.19(b). Thus, under certain conditions, the UN may agree to pay progress or advance payments for delivery of the goods/services or upon completion of clearly defined milestones for goods/services, provided adequate security for the advance or progress payment is established. In such cases, the Procurement Officer should consider establishing specially-developed payment terms that take payment flows into consideration, provided such terms are approved by the Director, PD or the CPO and are tailored to the specific procurement.


It is important to be aware of the specific payment terms applicable to each contract. The contracts should also include details of all documentation that must be submitted before any payments are made.


The payment request is transmitted through UMOJA, and the responsible person shall effect the payment in order to uphold the segregation of duties between procuring personnel conducting the procurement process and personnel effecting the payment. This separation of the procuring and payment functions is a key factor in the principle of segregation of duties (see Chapter 2.9 Segregation of Duties) and must be adhered to for all payments.


13.4.1 Third-Party Payments

The general and normal practice is that the UN does not make any third-party payments (i.e., payment to parties other than the entity that holds the contract).

13.4.2 Taxes

Article II, Section 7 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations provides, inter alia, that the United Nations, including its subsidiary organs, is exempt from all direct taxes (except charges for public utility services) and is exempt from customs restrictions, duties, and charges of a similar nature in respect of articles imported or exported for its official use. In the event any governmental authority refuses to recognize the exemptions of the United Nations from such taxes, restrictions, duties, or charges, the contractor should be required to immediately consult with the United Nations to determine a mutually acceptable procedure. Under the relevant contract, the contractor should be required to authorize the UN to deduct from the contractor’s invoices any amount representing such taxes, duties, or charges, unless the contractor has consulted with the UN before the payment thereof and the UN has, in each instance, specifically authorized the contractor to pay such taxes, duties, or charges under written protest. In that event, the contractor should be required to provide the UN with written evidence that payment of such taxes, duties, or charges has been made and appropriately authorized, and the UN should reimburse the contractor for any such taxes, duties, or charges so authorized by the UN and paid by the contractor under written protest.


13.4.3 Advance Payments


Please refer to Chapter 11.1.4 for details.


13.5 Amendments, Extensions and Renewal

The contract modification is the handling of changes that arise following contract execution, typically involving variations in prices or requirements that were not originally anticipated.

It is the responsibility of Procurement Officials as part of their contract administration duties, in consultation with the Requisitioner, to:

a. Negotiate the appropriate contract changes regarding price, schedule, quality, and performance, and ensure that the contract is amended so that, at all times, it defines the agreed expectations of both parties under the contract;

b. Ensure that the change conditions are reasonable and justifiable in terms of price, time, and quality; 

c. Any such amendment should be requested, reviewed, approved, and signed prior to the expiry date of the original contract.

The amendments must be approved by the corresponding Procurement Approving Authority, Authorized Official or other appropriate official in accordance with the DOA and documented in the contract file. 3

When the Procurement Official receives a request to enact an amendment to a contract, they shall determine how to best conduct the procurement action to meet the new requirements, whether with a new formal solicitation, by awarding the new requirements to the incumbent vendor through a contract amendment, or by any other method or a combination thereof.

In the case of meeting the requirements by awarding the new requirements to the incumbent vendor through a contract amendment, a detailed justification for the contract amendment must be provided to the Procurement Approving Authority.

If such amendments require a committee review, a detailed justification for the requested contract amendment must be provided in the case presentation to the HCC or the LCC as applicable. When the Authorized Official reviews and signs the HCC/LCC minutes, they will also review the justification for the requested amendment.


13.6 Use of Subcontractors


Article 5 of the UNGCC provides that contractors shall obtain prior written approval and clearance from the UN for all subcontractors, with the understanding that such approval and clearance does not relieve the contractor of any of its obligations under its contract with the UN. Subcontractors shall only be approved where their use reflects standard business practice or is otherwise justified by the nature of the goods, services, or works to be delivered. UN Staff (Procurement, Requisitioner, RCMS) responsible for Contract Administration and Management should not deal directly with subcontractors, given that the UN’s contractors are solely responsible for all services and obligations performed by its subcontractors.


13.7 Contract Completion


Contract completion includes the confirmation that all obligations have been met, identification of any residual obligations and completion steps, settlement of final payments, assessment of contractor, and the administrative closing of files.


Procurement Officials should verify that the following activities have been carried out:

  1. All products and/or services required have been provided to the Requisitioner;
  2. Documentation in the contract file adequately shows the receipt and formal acceptance of all contract items;
  3. No claims or investigations are pending on the contract;
  4. All actions related to contract price revisions and changes have been concluded;
  5. All outstanding subcontracting issues have been settled;
  6. If a partial or complete termination was involved, the action is complete;
  7. The final invoice has been submitted and all invoices paid;
  8. Any security (e.g. Performance Security) shall be returned in accordance with the terms of the Contract and the security instrument. In addition, any equipment or unused material supplied by the UN must be promptly returned to the UN.

13.8 Property Disposal

13.8.1 Property Survey Boards

Financial Rule 105.22 states: “Sales of supplies, equipment, or other property declared surplus or unserviceable shall be based on competitive bidding unless the relevant Property Survey Board (See Financial Rule 105.21 a.) Estimates that the sales value is less than an amount to be specified by the Under- Secretary-General, Department of Management; b.) Considers that the exchange of property in partial or full payment for replacement equipment or supplies is in the best interest of the Organization; c.) Deems it appropriate to transfer surplus property from one project or operation for use in another and determines the fair market value at which the transfer(s) shall be effected; d.) Determines that the destruction of the surplus or unserviceable material will be more economical or is required by law or by the nature of the property; e.) Determines that the interests of the United Nations will be served through the disposal of the property by gift or sale at a nominal price to an intergovernmental organization, a Government or governmental agency, or some other non-profit organization”.

Such sale shall be on the basis of payments on or before delivery to the purchaser, except as otherwise provided for in Financial Rules 105.22 and 105.23.


13.8.2 Disposal of Property through Sales— Procedures

Development of Solicitation Documents: The Procurement Officer shall issue Solicitation Documents to prospective purchasers, ensuring adequate competition. Generally, the minimum number of invitees to the solicitation should be established using the guidelines set forth in Chapter 5.7. Such Solicitation Documents shall refer to the relevant approved Property Survey Board (PSB) recommendation that authorizes disposal through a sale.


In order to maximize the return for the UN, the Property may be sold individually or in lots. At a minimum, the Solicitation Documents shall include:

  1. a. An itemized list of the Property;
  2. b. A complete description of the Property;
  3. c. The location of the Property and place of inspection to encourage the potential purchaser to inspect the Property;
  4. d. The condition of the Property (i.e., whether it is damaged, useable, serviceable, in need of repairs, etc.)
  5. e. Reference to the relevant approved Property Survey Board recommendation;
  6. f. Terms of the solicitation (see Sample Sale of Surplus Property Form attached as Annex 27);
  7. g. Date and time of Tender opening;
  8. h. A statement that the Property shall be sold on an “as -is, where-is” basis and without recourse or warranties, express or implied, of any kind;
  9. i. The requirement to deposit, upon submission of an offer, an amount of no less than ten percent (10%) of the total offer value, which, if such deposit exceeds US$ 1,000, must be in the form of a certified check
  10. j. The time period within which the invoice issued to the successful Bidder shall be settled;
  11. k. The time period within which the successful Bidder shall remove the Property
  12. l. Any other relevant matters



Annex 27 - Sample Sale of Surplus Property Form



13.8.3 Treatments of Offers

The UN shall treat offers for the purchase of Property in the same manner as Submissions for the purchase of goods by the UN. Chapter 10 of this PM applies to purchases of Property, subject to appropriate changes as the context may require.


The offers shall be itemized, and the Property shall be sold to the Bidder offering the best value to the Organization.


Successful Bidders shall be notified in writing, and items awarded shall be listed in a contractual sale instrument.


13.8.4 Review by the Committees on Contracts


Prior to the issuance of the contractual instrument, the relevant Review Committees shall review the proposed awards based on the applicable thresholds. Please refer to the Chapter 9 Review by Committees on Contracts.


13.8.5 Contractual Instruments for the Sale of Goods


The disposal by sale shall be affected by the issuance of a Contract for the sale of goods. The Contract for the sale of goods shall, inter alia, list and describe the Property to be sold, the agreed price, and any deposit paid.


The UN may elect to enter into a Systems Contract if it foresees a continuing sale of items over a period of time, provided that this is advantageous to the Organization. In that case, the contractor shall be tasked in writing for each underlying sale, with a reference to the applicable Systems Contract. Please also refer to Chapter 11.6 Long-Term Agreement (LTA).


13.8.6 Exceptions to Solicitation


Negotiation or “Spot Sales”: When the sales value is estimated to be under the threshold amount for an LVA, which is currently up to or equal to US $10,000, the sale can take place without formal issuance of Solicitation Documents. Prospective Bidders can be invited to survey the Property and thereafter submit Bids, either oral or written, within a set time limit. The awarded contractor shall be notified in writing of the sale.


Trade-In: If there is an offer to exchange Property in partial or in full payment for the UN Property, the disposal may be effected by the issuance of a Contract for the sale of goods by the UN or Contract for the Procurement of Replacement Goods, provided it is in the best interest of the Organization, as provided for in Financial Rule 105.22 (b).


13.8.7 Deposits


Bidders shall be required to deposit an amount of no less than 10% of the total offer value with the submission of any offer. Any deposit exceeding US $1,000 must be submitted to the UN in the form of a certified check.


Upon acceptance of an offer by the UN, the deposit shall not be returned to the Bidder except with the written approval of the Director, PD or CPO. The return of the deposit shall take place after full payment for the goods has been received and the Bidder has completed all contractual obligations.


All deposits received from unsuccessful bidders shall be returned with a letter indicating that the Bidder was not successful.


13.8.8. Notice of Award Billing


The Director, PD or the CPO shall sign the Purchase Order or applicable contractual instrument (e.g. Bill of Sale) recording the sale and the final bill, which are then issued to the successful Bidder. Such bill shall be settled no later than five (5) business days after the notice unless otherwise set forth in the Solicitation Documents.


13.8.9 Removal of Property


A limited time, usually five (5) business days, shall be allowed following the sale for removal of the Property unless otherwise set forth in the Solicitation Documents.


13.8.10 Disposition of Assets of Peacekeeping Operations


United Nations Financial Regulation 5.14 states: “Following the liquidation of a peacekeeping operation, equipment and other property shall be disposed of in accordance with the Financial Regulations and Rules and the manner indicated below:

  1. a. Equipment in good condition that conforms to established Standardization or is considered compatible with existing equipment will be redeployed to other peacekeeping operations or will be placed in reserve to form start-up kits for use by future missions;
  2. b. equipment not required for current or future peacekeeping operations may be redeployed to other United Nations activities funded from assessed contributions, provided that there is a demonstrated need for the equipment;
  3. c. Equipment not required for current or future peacekeeping operations, or other United Nations activities funded from assessed contributions, but which may be useful for the operations of other United Nations agencies, international organizations or non-governmental organizations may be sold to such agencies or organizations;
  4. d. Any equipment or property not required or which it is not feasible to dispose of in accordance with subparagraphs (b), (c) or (d) above or which is in poor condition will be subject to commercial disposal in accordance with the procedures applicable to other United Nations equipment or property;
  5. e. Any assets that have been installed in a country and which, if dismantled, would set back the rehabilitation of that country, shall be provided to the duly recognized Government of that country in return for compensation in a form to be agreed by the Organization and the Government. This refers in particular to airfield installations and equipment, buildings, bridges, and mine-clearing equipment. Where such assets cannot be disposed of in this manner, or otherwise, they will be contributed free of charge to the Government of the country concerned. Such contributions require the prior approval of the General Assembly;
  6. f. A report on the final disposition of assets for each such liquidated peacekeeping operation shall be submitted to the General Assembly.”


13.8.11 Sale of Real Property


Any proposed sale of real or immovable property owned by the United Nations shall be authorized in accordance with the delegation of authority in property management


13.9 Handling and Maintenance of Files


For both contract management and contract administrations purposes, the responsible officials (RCMS and Procurement Officials, respectively) must ensure that all documents containing commercial information are treated with confidentiality, that such documents are classified accordingly as confidential material and that such documents are handled in accordance with ST/SGB/2007/6.


Responsible officials and Procurement Officials must also establish and maintain a file for each contract. In addition to information documenting the procurement process, the file must include all information required to successfully administer/manage the contract. Any issues of clarification or change of the contract must be fully documented in this file.


In line with the procurement principles of transparency and accountability, and in order to facilitate internal and external audits of UN operations, every step in the contract management process shall be documented and kept on file (hard copy or electronic).


A standard filing system, as well as a numbering system to enable tracking of files, should be established in every contract management and contract administration offices in order to create an audit trail.


Procurement Officials must open a procurement file for each case, either physically or electronically. Procurement files must be retained in accordance with the applicable retention policy.


The good administration and maintenance of the procurement file are required to assure clarity over actions taken during the course of the contract. Procurement Officials should document events that occur during the life of the contract, which may affect, at a later date, any decision or revision of the contract. A good audit records trail is critical to prevent confusion in the management of files due to the dynamic nature of the procurement function and the mobility of the Procurement Staff. In addition, staff should adopt and maintain discipline in the filing and indexing of contract files, which may be done in physical or electronic filing systems. The file shall at a minimum contain the documents (inclusive of relevant correspondence) relating to the following phases of the procurement process (if relevant):

  1. Pre-Solicitation: Specifications (inclusive of TOR, SOW, RFI/REOI, Market Research, Evaluation Criteria, and weighting), SSP, and provisional registration/special approval form;
  2. Solicitation: signed List of Invitees, RFQ/ITB/RFP, clarifications/amendments to RFQ/ITB/RFP, and inquiries;
  3. Submissions: acknowledgments, Submission Opening attendance register, the record of Submission receipt, technical proposals, financial proposals, and copies of Bid Security;
  4. Evaluation: Request for technical evaluation, technical evaluation, financial evaluation, approved presentation to a Review Committee and agenda, Review Committee minutes containing recommendations, Dunn & Bradstreet report, and relevant correspondence;
  5. Award: Notice of Award, Regret Letters, vendor’s signed acceptance of Award, documents related

to Contract preparation, and copy of Performance Security (originals to be kept in the safe);

  1. Post-award: Signed contracts, copies of insurance certificates and guarantees provided for in the contract;
  2. Contract Administration documents: amendments, Statements of Award, and Vendor Performance Report/Evaluation/ checklist for closed files.

Contract management files must be kept after contract closure for the period required in accordance with the applicable retention policy. Typically, contract management files will include the following relevant information/documentation:

  1. Signed contract/purchase order;
  2. Minutes of the concerned Review Committee meeting and decision on its award, recommendations by the concerned Authorized Official (e.g. ASG, OSCM);
  3. Copies of any advance payment guarantee or performance security received from the vendor;
  4. Correspondence with the contractor (e.g. emails, meeting minutes) regarding the management of the contract;
  5. Signed notes from meetings, phone calls, etc.;
  6. Amendments to contracts/POs with relevant Review Committee minutes when applicable;
  7. The documented decision regarding claims, disputes including amicable resolution, conciliation, mediation, or arbitration;
  8. Any required progress reports and/or other proof of delivery of milestones as provided for in the contract;
  9. Insurance claims;
  10. Proof of payment;
  11. Completed vendor performance evaluation form and meeting minutes, including compliance with KPIs and SLAs.






See paragraph 14 of Section V. “Use of Funds” of “Delegation of Authority from the Secretary-General to Head of Entity”, issued pursuant to ST/SGB/2019/2.



Ibid, see footnote 3.