A project on harmonization of procurement in the field, which was completed in 2012, delivered inter-agency procurement guidelines and identified elements in organizations’ policies and procedures that required alignment to ensure that collaboration in the field could be optimized. This initiative enhanced United Nations system effectiveness in programme delivery by ensuring that organizations are able to collaborate in the field, and represents a direct response to paragraphs 41, 113, 119 and 121 of General Assembly resolution 62/208, paragraph 46 of resolution 64/289 and paragraphs 11 and 13 of Economic and Social Council resolution 2011/7. Furthermore, improvements in the procurement process in the field improved the ability of countries to carry out programmatic interventions, in line with paragraph 114 of Assembly resolution 62/208 and paragraph 46 of resolution 64/289. The project includes emphasis and guidance on creating baselines and measurement as requested in paragraph 12 of Council resolution 2011/7.

The High-level Committee on Management has made significant progress in identifying high return items for common procurement, responding to paragraph 45 of Assembly resolution 64/289 and paragraph 11 of Council resolution 2011/7. Headquarters-based collaboration for procurement of common items in Geneva and Rome has generated significant cost avoidance, and similar approaches were initiated in New York and Copenhagen in 2012. Furthermore, collaborative procurement projects on freight forwarding and freight insurance were completed, and an initiative on the joint procurement of vehicles was launched. A careful analysis of areas of high-spending for future common procurement activities has been initiated by the Procurement Network and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Network.

In response to calls for increased access to United Nations system procurement for vendors from developing countries (see reports of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (A/65/16 and A/66/16)), the High-level Committee on Management launched a project to simplify vendor registration, without compromising due diligence. The project seeks to address the high number of vendors that drop out because of the complicated registration process. By simplifying the registration process, more vendors would get access to United Nations procurement contracts and competition would increase, thereby reducing costs.