United Nations procurement delivery in 2011 has decreased slightly in comparison to the previous year. The total UN procurement volume has decreased by $268 million over the previous year, representing a decrease of 1.9 percent. In terms of procurement of goods and services, procurement of goods decreased by $10 million, while procurement of services decreased by $258 million over 2010. The 2011 data further confirms that the UN’s requirement for services exceeds that of goods, reversing the trend of previous years where the proportion of goods procured far outweighed that of services contracted.
The 2011 report analyzes procurement from developing countries and countries with economies in transition, and examines United Nations system performance in increasing opportunities for vendors in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Significant progress has been made towards achieving that objective (refer to Figures 4-8 in the Executive Summary for further details).
In addition, the 2011 report looks at procurement by United Nations organizations from vendors that support the ‘Global Compact’. The Compact measures engagement by the United Nations system with companies that take corporate social responsibility seriously, an increasingly important consideration in the global marketplace. The number of vendors that have signed the Global Compact has almost doubled over the past five years and currently has approximately 10,000 members. While United Nations organizations give no preferential treatment to Compact signatories, the volume of procurement with registered Global Compact vendors shows an increase of six percent over the period 2006-2011.
The distribution of countries and territories used in the report has been revised to follow those used by the Statistics Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) of the United Nations. In previous reports the designations used were developing countries, countries with economies in transition and industrialized countries. The 2011 report uses the following designations developing countries, countries with economies in transition and developed countries. The designations ‘developing’, ‘in transition’ and ‘developed’ are intended for statistical convenience and do not necessarily express a judgment about the stage reached by a particular country or area in the development process.
The 2011 statistical report features an annual thematic supplement, now in its fourth year, that focuses on current issues in procurement. For 2011, the focus of the supplement is on the issue of transparency and its effects on public procurement in the context of the global move towards creating a more accountable and robust system of development cooperation. The supplement provides an overview of the benefits and challenges of transparency, as well as case studies and contributions from practitioners and experts.
This publication has been produced by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on behalf of the United Nations system of organisations. UNOPS is grateful to the United Nations organizations listed in Table 2 on page five for their continuous support and contributions that make the publication possible. UNOPS hopes that this report provides useful information on the breadth and spectrum of United Nations procurement to the reader. UNOPS continually strives to improve and refine the report to better serve expectations and objectives of government stakeholders, donors, the business community and United Nations organizations.
Public procurement is a powerful driver of development. In addition to providing goods and services a country needs, the act of procurement itself can strengthen local economies, support marginalized groups and boost local capacity for commerce.