16. Procurement

The primary role and responsibility of the procurement unit is to procure the right product in the right quantity and quality, at the right time for delivery to the right place.

All relief activities depend upon procurement for relief materials. Emergencies are life-saving situations, so time is of the essence and we need to procure the required goods and materials, and deliver these to the intended beneficiary in a timely manner.

The importance of communication/collaboration/coordination in the procurement process to the entire relief operation cannot be stressed strongly enough. Slow or ineffective procurement can delay or stop the entire operation if relief items are not available and prevent CARE from achieving its mission of providing urgently needed assistance to disaster-affected people.

1.1 CI roles and responsibilities for procurement

1.2 Procurement staffing

1.2.1 Ensuring adequate procurement staffing levels

1.2.2 Staffing tips for CARE presence and non-presence countries

1.2.3 Functions of key procurement staff

2.1 Critical steps for response

2.2 Critical steps for preparedness

Note: If location is using PeopleSoft the system procedures will not change.  To expedite transaction in PeopleSoft Country offices are encouraged to set up one emergency department.

When an emergency hits, simplified emergency procurement policies and procedures (CAREs CI Harmonization Policy) should be enacted to ensure that procurement can be fast enough to meet the emergency needs while also ensuring adequate levels of accountability.

Lessons learned have consistently demonstrated that in the first stages of an emergency, regular CO procurement procedures are overly cumbersome or inadequate to deal with the fast-paced and urgent demands required for emergency procurement. Simplified procedures must be put in place for the emergency period, or considerable slowing of the procurement process will result, which will delay the entire relief effort.

Decisions about what modifications to procedures will be applied in an emergency should ideally be addressed through the EPP process and be able to be activated immediately when an emergency is declared. The most effective COs are those that already have emergency procedures documented as part of their regular policies, and they simply need to activate them at the time the emergency is declared. Options and recommendations are included in sections 3.2 and 3.3.

3.1 Activating temporary emergency procurement procedures

3.2 Recommended changes to regular procedures for procurement in emergencies

3.3 Case study: Good practices and lessons learned from tsunami emergency response

4.1 Donor guidelines

4.2 Waivers

Based on the initial assessment of the emergency situation and CARE’s response plans, undertake an immediate assessment of procurement requirements and develop a procurement plan using the following steps:

  • Ensure good communication/coordination/collaboration in all planning between the programme, logistics and procurement units at all stages.
  • Obtain a list of items or services to be procured from the emergency team (both relief supplies to be delivered to beneficiaries defined by the programme unit, and support equipment and supplies required by all emergency team members-for example, logistics, telecommunications and IT, visibility materials, and security equipment).
  • Confirm the product specifications with the requesting team members and ensure they meet Sphere and other technical standards. (If possible, this should already be documented in the EPP.)
  • Estimate the volume/quantity of all emergency relief items to be procured-both from local and from overseas locations.
  • Collaborate with the logistics unit to assess transport and delivery requirements (see also Chapter 15 Logistics)
  • Assess the number of locations that need to be served, such as sub-offices, field offices, IDP/refugee camps, distribution centres, etc.
  • Establish the distances that need to be covered from the CO central location to the various sites.
  • Estimate the turnaround time for light vehicles and delivery trucks.
  • Prepare a procurement plan for the expected duration of the emergency response to avoid any interruption in supply that could negatively affect project activities.

Annex 16.2 Procurement Plan

Specific requests to commence procurement for any goods or services must be documented in a purchase requisition order (see section 10.2), which is to be completed by the requesting staff, duly authorised by the appropriate delegate and submitted to the procurement unit. The procurement unit then manages the procurement sourcing and acquisition process in accordance with the following guidelines.

6.1 Market survey

6.2 Sourcing

6.2.1 Determining sources of supply

6.2.2 Sourcing supplies internationally

6.2.3 Support for international procurement

6.3 Vendor selection and screening

6.3.1 Sole or single sourcing

6.3.2 Definitions of sole and single sourcing

6.3.3 Request for quotations or sealed bids

6.3.4 Vendor screening

The procurement unit negotiates contracts with vendors and service providers to supply goods and services, including transport. Contracts should be based on the analysis of bids or quote, and the terms of conditions outlined at the selection stage (see section 6.3). This should be discussed in detail and confirmed with the unit that requested the purchase (for example, Programme unit, and logistics unit).

7.1 Vetting contracts

7.2 Contracts with vendors

7.3 Contracts with service providers

7.4 Contracts with transporters

7.5 Contracts for vehicle rentals

7.5.1 Drivers

7.6 Contracts with consultants

7.7 Contracts with other NGOs/partners

Importing goods into any country are subject to the country’s customs regulations and import taxes. The following issues must be reviewed before placing orders for importing goods.

8.1 Taxes

8.2 Restrictions

8.3 Customs and handling

8.4 Importing checklist

Receipt and dispatch of goods should be handled by the logistics unit. For more information, refer to Chapter 15 Logistics. The procurement unit will often be asked to take responsibility for the receipt and dispatch of some goods. In this event, consult the guidelines at Chapter 15 Logistics, and ensure the following steps are taken:

  • As far as possible, ensure the person receiving the goods is not the person who procured the goods.
  • Check the goods to ensure quality and that they conform to the specifications ordered (including type, brand and model, quality and quantity).
  • Document the receipt of goods in a Goods receiving note (see section 10.2)
  • Any shortages, damages or losses should be properly noted on the supplier’s waybill and the Goods receiving note, and placed on the procurement file.
  • Coordinate with the programme and logistics units to arrange transport of goods to the required destination.

Procurement must be clearly documented throughout each step of the process and documents filed for audit purposes. The internal audit department is responsible for conducting procurement reviews to find out that emergency policies and procedures are correctly interpreted and implemented.

10.1 Procurement status report

10.2 Documents required through the procurement process

When an initial assessment is conducted in a country where CARE does not have an established presence, procurement must be represented in the assessment team. Ideally, this will be a dedicated procurement specialist, but if this is not possible, the most relevant programme support team member must assess procurement requirements. Given that all relief activities are dependent on effective procurement, the involvement of procurement personnel in the initial assessment and start up team is key to mobilise an effective response.

For assessing procurement requirements, see the checklist in section 5, as well as the following additional considerations:

  • Identify potential manufacturers, vendors or agents for the most essential items required, their location and capacity to meet CARE’s needs, including delivery times.
  • Assess port and airport infrastructure, including import agents, and customs and forwarding agents.
  • Procedures for duty-free importation of commodities, especially vehicles, communications equipment, computers and/or other project material that is not readily available in-country.
  • Assess the possibilities of cross-border operations, in case of land-locked countries.
  • Assess internal transport capacities.
  • Assess warehousing capacities and locations in possible areas of CARE’s operations.

For start-up of procurement operations in a non-presence situation:

  • When a decision has been made for CARE to engage in emergency operations in the country, establish the initial procurement team with the recruitment of local staff headed by an international staff member.
  • Train newly recruited staff in the essentials of procurement and proper orientation of staff on CARE’s vision, mission and core values.
  • Document the policies and procedures to be applied, including authorisation limits, bidding thresholds and vendor selection procedures, as approved by the emergency team leader.
  • Put in place standard systems and tools for procurement procedures, including necessary documentation and filing systems (refer to section 10).

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