7. Contracting

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).

Ensure the use of CAREs contract template, if not available then vendors’ contract must be approved by the local attorney to ensure compliance with local legal requirements.

When vendors have been selected, all purchases must be confirmed by issuing a purchase order. The purchase order forms the contract to purchase goods.

In some cases, a separate agreement or contract is made to supplement the purchase order. This is usually the case for transportation of commodities or the purchase of a food commodity locally, where some additional clauses need to be incorporated within the agreement and which cannot be accommodated within the body of the printed purchase order. A purchase order should be prepared, and reference an attached detailed agreement or contract.

The purchase order must include some standard clauses, and terms and conditions, covering:

  • liability issues
  • responsibility for replacement of all losses and damages

penalty for delayed deliveries

Contracts are required with service providers for a range of services CARE may require, including maintenance, construction and other services. These contracts are negotiated by the procurement unit.

Note that construction services and engineering contracts require technical review, and have specific clauses unique to this category of service, such as liability insurance requirements and penalties for delays. These contracts require careful review by the legal department and a technical specialist. In the case of any contract questions or requirements, each Lead Member should be requested to review before the contract is finalised and/or signed.

(Refer also to Chapter 1 Logistics .)

Contracts with transporters need to consider the following issues:

  • Obtain all relevant data from either the programme or logistics unit about transport requirements, including frequency of movement, tonnages to be hauled, warehouse locations, and delivery points and times (refer also to Chapter 1 Logistics).
  • Discuss with the programme and/or logistics unit which type of contract is best suited for your needs, considering:
  • a daily standard contract
  • a contract based on tonnages hauled
  • a fixed-quantity contract that is also time-bound
  • whether it is a flat-rate fee for haulage from point to point irrespective of the tonnage/carrying capacity, or if it is a per kilometre/per tonne basis.
  • Based on the above information, obtain quotes from registered transporters and select the preferred vendor(s) (refer to section 6.3) and negotiate the contract.
  • It is advisable not to negotiate transport deals with brokers/agents-in some countries, this system does exist. This could jeopardise your emergency operations.
  • Always try to negotiate with the owners of trucks. Check vehicle documents to verify and confirm ownership before signing any agreement with any transporter.
  • Physically check the truck to confirm its roadworthiness.
  • Ensure that all transport contracts are vetted with a local attorney who will provide advice on all local legal requirements.
  • Contracts with transporters should consider CARE’s liability issues in case of accidents and/or injuries/loss of life, and other aspects such as responsibility for transit losses/damage, wrong deliveries or delayed deliveries.
  • Contracts with transporters should include a clause that indicates the transporter cannot subcontract the work without the explicit written agreement of CARE.
  • Make photocopies of driver’s licences of drivers who are assigned to the trucks. This confirms that the driver is authorised to drive that particular category of truck and that the licence is still valid.

(Refer also to Chapter 4 Administration)

  • In most countries, there are reputable agencies that rent vehicles. Check with the programme and administration units on the type of vehicles required-whether it is a sedan for city driving or a four-wheel drive for off-road conditions.
  • Find out the number of vehicles required in each category. The earlier you determine the quantities and types, the chances are better that you get the types and quantities required. Normally in emergencies, there is a scramble for vehicles and you may end up with having to rent a type of vehicle that you really do not need, or that the vehicle is not in a very good condition.
  • Undertake an assessment of the local infrastructure-how many agencies exist and what types of vehicles are currently available. Obtain quotes and the terms and conditions from a number of agencies, as these could differ significantly.
  • Prepare a Summary of Bid Analysis and make recommendations to CO management for a decision.
  • It is advisable to rent vehicles on short-term contracts, with CARE having the first option to renew the contract on the same terms and conditions for a similar period.

7.5.1 Drivers

Vehicle rental companies may offer their own driver as part of the contract negotiation. This is not recommended. Preferably, CARE should recruit drivers directly through normal recruitment processes. This will ensure that:

  • the drivers selected are appropriately skilled and their abilities are assessed through testing
  • the drivers selected are very familiar with the areas of operation
  • they are screened (through the Bridger World Tracker software)
  • the drivers will become employees of CARE, and are bound by CARE’s HR policies and procedures, including safety and security requirements.

The procurement unit is responsible for all contracting of consultants who provide services to CARE.

The CO should have a standard contract for consultants, or contact their Lead Member for a sample if required. CARE USA’s standard contract for consultants outside the US may also be used, but should be reviewed by a local lawyer. This is available at Annex 12.1 Consultant Contract.  To complete the consultant contract, prepare a detailed TOR/Scope of Work to include detailed activities, time frame, costs involved, deliverables, payment terms and conditions.

For other advice or assistance with consultant contracts, contact the relevant Lead Member.

Contracts with other NGOs (also called sub-grants) are normally handled by the programme unit (not the procurement unit). For guidelines on this type of contract, refer to Chapter 12 Partnership and sub-granting.