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G E N E R A L      S E C R E T A R I A T

ADMINISTRATIVE MEMORANDUM NO. 50
SUBJECT:
STANDARD CONTRACTING SYSTEM (SUC/OEA)

 

January 7, 1976

1. Pursuant to the provisions of item 3 of Executive Order No. 75-11, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management presented to the Secretary General --within the period established-- the required draft uniform standards and procedures, which has been commented on by the Executive Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries and Directors of the Department of Legal Affairs and other offices responsible for expressing themselves on this matter.

2. On January 7, 1976, the meeting of the Executive Committee, presided over by the Secretary General, approved, on an experimental basis, the STANDARD CONTRACTING SYSTEM (SUC/OEA), whose text is attached hereto, and which is an integral part of this administrative memorandum.

3. The Contracting Office is assigned responsibility for updating any of the provisions of the SUC/OEA, on the basis of experience that may be gathered from the comments, observations and suggestions received, as may be advisable to improve the system.

CHAPTER I

General Standards

I.1 The regulations governing contracts of the General Secretariat shall meet --in accordance with their legal nature-- the following general standards:

i. To protect the legitimate interests of the Organization.

This standard is based on general principles that should govern the transactions of any Organization. Moreover, it appears --although implicitly-- in articles 95 and 99 of the General Standards and in the Introduction of the Budgetary and Financial Rules (RPF).

ii. To optimize the purchasing power of the General Secretariat.

This standard is based on the fact that, as a whole, the contracts entered into involve a very significant amount, which gives the General Secretariat a very large purchas-ing power, provided that it is managed under a system that will unify negotiation for the purposes of obtaining (a) better prices; (b) faster delivery; and (c) adherence to the specifications the General Secretariat requires.

iii. To award contracts on a competitive basis and through committees.

The purpose of this standard is to establish a system of balance and control, with the participation of more than three executives from the various areas of the General Secretariat --at Headquarters and in the field-- in deciding upon contract awards through some competitive method.

iv. To regulate demand.

This standard has the following purposes: (a) To plan demand (quarterly averages, consumption indexes, determination of place of destination, etc.); (b) to achieve some degree of standardization of technical equipment and scientific material; (c) to determine technical and scientific specifications with the greatest accuracy to facilitate the comparative analysis of bids; (d) to Standardize the office furnishings' equipment (typewriters, calculators, etc.) and supplies; (e) to verify the performance and actual quality of furnishings, equipment and supplies purchased to maintain high levels of efficiency; (f) to carry an inventory of furnishings, equipment and supplies; and (g) to provide for a system of data and records that will make it possible to know at any time the status of each contract.

v. To be in accordance with previously scheduled direct services and general service activities which are financed by appropriations approved in the Program--Budget of the Organization.

The purpose of this standard is for all contracts of the General Secretariat to be in accordance with the Organi-zation's resolution on program and budget and with the approved substantive plans of operation and correspond-ing allocation of funds.

vi. To increase efficiency, simplify procedures, expedite processing and improve analysis and evaluation of contractors and suppliers.

The purpose of this standard is to carry out the policy of decentralization approved by providing a uniform system of standardization that will help in assigning greater responsibilities and in better delegating authority to those responsible for projects in the field; to increase efficiency; to simplify procedures; to expedite processing and to contribute to a better analysis and evaluation of the ability and responsibility of contractors and suppliers.

vii. To determine methods and procedures to establish responsibility for failure to comply with current standard regulations and provisions.

The purpose of this standard is to create a general awareness of the need for accountability by those exercising responsibilities which have financial implications and at the same time, to enforce the regulatory provisions covering noncompliance with standards, regulations and other pertinent provisions' recognizing the inalienable right to defense (due process).

viii. To provide annual internal auditing of contracts and biennial evaluation of the Standard Contracting System (SUC/OEA).

The purpose of this standard is to establish an effective mechanism to correct errors and determine responsi-bilities, and to obtain independent and objective observations, comments and recommendations that will make it possible to improve and/or expedite the Standard Contracting System of the Organization of American States.

I.2 These general standards shall be applied in terms of the General Standards of the General Secretariat, being careful (a) " . . . to ensure effective financial management and the best use of all the resources administered by the General Secretariat. . ., " as provided for in article 95; (b) to follow the procedure of compet-itive bidding, ". . . except in urgent cases or in those cases in which the Secretary General considers that the use of this procedure would not be in the interest of the Organization," as provided for by article 99; and (c) to apply the policies of austerity, evaluation and deconcentration approved by Resolution AG/RES. 146 (IV - O/74).

CHAPTER II

Definition of Contracts Subject to the SUC/OEA

II.1 The Standard Contracting System (SUC/OEA) embraces contracts or arrangements of every kind that have a financial consequence and to which the General Secretariat is a party, with the exception of the appointments of the staff of the General Secretariat referred to in article 16 of the General Standards and Rule 104.3 of the Staff Rules, as currently in effect.

II.2 Contracts covered by the SUC/OEA shall be entered into at head-quarters and in the field. They include, among others, the following:

(a) Purchase of supplies, materials, equipment, machines, vehicles, furnishings, etc., for use by the offices of the General Secretariat at headquarters and in the field.

(b) Contracting of printing and other related services with suppliers (letter press, offset, varitype, engravings and illustrations, cuts, binding, etc.

(c) Transport of persons and personal property (personal effects household effects, documents, equipment, materials, etc., for conferences, meetings, seminars, etc. ), regardless of the method used, for implementation of the programs, activities and services of the General Secretariat.

(d) Lease, rental, lease or rental with option to buy, purchase and sale, etc., of real property for use by the offices of the General Secretariat, at headquarters as well as in the field.

(e) Performance contracts (CPR) for individual consultants or consulting firms, organizations or businesses, professionals technicians, expert researchers, visiting professors, administrators, interpreters, translators, nurses, clerks, etc., to provide direct services to the member states, or to meet the extraordinary and temporary internal requirements of the General Secretariat related to mandates or resolutions of the General Assembly or other governing bodies or those stemming from the need to complete or present documents on time, or those growing out of the backlog of work during certain periods of the fiscal year.

(f) Purchase and supply of technical equipment and scientific materials, goods, services, etc. requested by the centers, institutions, national agencies, etc. participating in and benefiting from the programs implemented by the General Secretariat (regular funds, SDAF, FOCIPE, Regular FEMCIECC, Mar del Plata Account (CMP), and Special Account for Culture (CEC).

(g) Insurance policies, bonds, etc. to cover the members of the staff, certain kinds of functions and responsibilities; vehicles and movable and real property;

(h) Every other kind of transaction with suppliers of goods and services to the General Secretariat, or for the transfer of ownership, title, use, enjoyment, etc., of property of the General Secretariat to a member state or to a national center, institution or agency participating in and benefiting from the programs, activities and services implemented by the General Secretariat.

CHAPTER III

Awarding of Contracts

III. 1 The contracts mentioned in the preceding chapter --with the exception of item II. 2(e)-- shall be executed through one of the following procedures:

i. International public competitive bidding for contracts involving amounts greater than US$1 million;

ii. National competitive bidding for contracts involving amount over US$100,000 up to US$1 million;

iii. Private competitive bidding, competitive prices or short list for contracts involving amounts over US$5,000 up to US$100,000;

iv. Telephone request for offers for contracts involving amounts up to US$5,000, except in the case of a single supplier or an order for a specific brand, type of product;

v. Authorization of petty cash expenditure for previously authorized minor transactions, for a total amount not to exceed US$1,200 per year and per project (ordinary/special).

III.2 For performance contracts (CPR), competitive methods shall be used when involving contracts with consulting firms or enterprise or similar concerns for amounts over US$35,000, provided that they do not include firms or enterprises suggested by the member states receiving the direct service requested from the General Secretariat. For performance contracts with individuals (private consultants, experts, specialists, researchers, professors, etc.), the persons responsible for programs shall seek to evaluate several candidates, unless they involve persons expressly proposed and requested by the member states receiving the direct service.

III.3 The Secretariat for Management shall approve the necessary procedures for implementing the procedure for awarding the aforementioned contracts --which are to be carried out at head-quarters or in the field, according to the nature and amount of the contract in question-- and shall provide for contracts to be awarded with the participation of committees consisting of at least three staff members.

CHAPTER IV

Roster of Contractors and Suppliers of the General Secretariat

IV.1 On the basis of information provided to it by all the areas of the General Secretariat, the Secretariat for Management shall organize and establish rules for a roster of contractors and suppliers of the General Secretariat, duly evaluated in advance, which shall be kept up to date and at the disposal of all areas (at headquarters and in the field) that must request, process and/or award contracts.

CHAPTER V

Terms and Clauses of Contracts

V. 1 Without prejudice to the clauses on nature, purpose and general conditions of the contract, parties, period for execution, guarantees and insurance, contracts to which the General Secretariat is a party and whose juridical nature so permits, shall contain clauses (a) that are in keeping with the general standards established and (b) that will free the Organization and/or the General Secretariat and the staff members involved from liability for the following:

i. Civil liability that may stem from execution of the projects, jobs, or tasks covered by the contract; and/or

ii. Damages that may be caused third parties by the normal execution of the contract; and/or

iii. Damages that may be awarded to third parties due to breach of contract or to delay or negligence in execution of the contract.

V.2 It shall also be sought to establish the responsibilities the contractor assumes with regard to the preceding points and, when appropriate, with regard to the confidential nature of the information and documents put at his disposal.

V.3 If the nature of the contract so permits, clauses shall be included to safeguard the General Secretariat's right to cancel, postpone or amend the contract (rebus sic stantibus clause), provided that its purpose has ceased to be of interest or desirable to the member state having requested the direct service or to the General Secretariat; or provided that changes in the Organization's program-budget or its nonapproval by the General Assembly, or any other unforeseen limitation or circumstance affects compliance with the contractual obligation.

V.4 Penalty clauses shall also be stipulated in favor of the General Secretariat for breaches of contract or delay or slowness in execution of the contract, provided it not be due to chance events or force majeure.

V.5 All contracts shall be nontransferable unless the General Secretariat accepts the transfer in writing to suit its interests prior to the effective date of transfer.

V.6 All contracts shall contain clauses to settle disputes stemming from their execution, either by determining the applicable law and jurisdiction or by making use of the generally accepted international arbitration procedures, or the clause on arbitration prepared by the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Com-mission or the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration.

CHAPTER VI

Restrictions

VI.1 Under no circumstances shall contracts of the General Secretariat be executed without their processing having been completed and their approval decided upon by the competent authority or by staff members who have been delegated authority in advance and in writing. Exceptions to this provision must be authorized in writing by the Secretary General.

VI.2 Subject to penalties, no contract may be awarded to contractors who are in any of the following circumstances:

i. To be a staff member of the General Secretariat or have held the poet of Secretary General or Assistant Secretary General, until two years after completion of his term.

ii. To be a relative of any member of the senior staff of the General Secretariat as set forth in the Staff Rules (104. 7).

iii. To be engaged in a partnership or industrial or commercial enterprise or other financial activity with any member of the senior staff of the General Secretariat or in one to which any member of the senior staff is a party.

iv. To be a delegate, representative or employee of any of the member states of the Organization of American States.

v. To be included on the General Secretariat's list of suspended or delinquent contractors.

vi. To be incompetent in any way under common law.

vii. To be on trial in a criminal court of any of the member states for a common crime.

VI.3 Under no circumstances, and subject to penalties, shall staff members accept commissions, privileges, gifts, etc. --in money or in kind-- from contractors or suppliers of the General Secretariat.

CHAPTER VII

Inventories and Maintenance

VII.1 The Secretariat for Management shall organize and regulate the taking, updating and review of inventorial of movable and real property belonging to (or leased by) the General Secretariat at headquarters as well as in the field.

VII.2 The Secretariat for Management shall organize and regulate all matters related to the servicing and maintenance of movable property belonging to or leased by it and, in general all such property mentioned in this SUC/OEA.

CHAPTER VIII

Duties and Responsibilities of Persons Taking Part in a Contract

Staff Members of the General Secretariat

VIII.1 Staff members duly authorized to act on behalf of the General Secretariat --at headquarters or in the field-- in negotiating a contract, have the obligation to do so with the General Secretariat' interests in mind and in accordance with the provisions of the General Standards of the General Secretariat, the Staff Rules, the Budgetary and Financial Rules of the General Secretariat, the current provisions of the SUC/OEA, and other current executive orders, regulations and manuals.

VIII.2 Moreover, they shall seek to make contracts the most desirable in accordance with the interests and procedures of the General Secretariat and in terms of price, quality, delivery date, maintenance and service, etc.

VIII.3 The Secretary General delegates authority to the Assistant Secretary General and to the Executive Secretaries for Economic and Social Affairs and for Educational, Scientific and Cultural Affairs to negotiate contracts in their respective areas that are related to the direct services requested by the member states. They, in turn, may delegate such authority, in writing and with notification to the Assistant Secretary for Management, to the executive officers and directors of each of their respective areas after approval by the Secretary General.

VIII.4 For the negotiation of all other general contracts (purchase and supply of office equipment and supplies, vehicles, purchase and sale and leasing of real estate, travel and transportation, insurance, etc.), authority is delegated to the Assistant Secretary for Management. He, in turn, may delegate such authority, in writing and after approval by the Secretary General, to the executive officer and directors of the corresponding area.

VIII.5 In general or special cases in which it will benefit management of the General Secretariat, the Assistant Secretary General, the Executive Secretariat and the Assistant Secretary for Management may delegate specific authority to the Assistant Secretary for Development Cooperation and to his corresponding executive officer and/or directors of General Secretariat offices in the member states, after approval by the Secretary General.

VIII.6 Staff members of any grade or level who participate in the requisition, processing and awarding of contracts for which they lack written authority shall bear personal and pecuniary responsibility for the ensuing financial obligations, notwithstanding the disciplinary measures the Secretary General may consider it advisable to take.

VIII.7 Staff members at any grade or level authorized to negotiate con-tracts under the SUC/OEA shall bear personal and pecuniary responsibility in the event their activities are invalidated by fraud, culpable negligence or bad faith, as set forth in Rule 101.3 of the Staff Rules.

VIII.8 No staff member who owns or has any title, right, stock, share, interest, etc. in a firm, enterprise, etc. which furnishes the General Secretariat with supplies, goods, services, etc. can take part, in any capacity, in the requisitioning, negotiation or approval of General Secretariat contracts.

VIII.9 All staff members who are regularly engaged in the negotiation and awarding of contracts shall be duly bonded and/or insured, particularly the staff of the Contracting Office, the General Services Office, and the offices of the General Secretariat in the member states.

Department of Legal Affairs

VIII.10 The Department of Legal Affairs must approve all contracts involving the amounts indicated below, as established by Executive Order No. 75-11, to wit:

(a) Contracts provided for in Chapter II. 2, paragraphs (d) and (g);

(b) Contracts provided for in Chapter II. 2, paragraph (e) for amounts above US$25,000.

(c) All other contracts provided for in Chapter II for amounts above US$50,000.

Departments for the Economic Social and Educational, Scientific and Cultural Areas

VIII.11 It shall be the function of directors, persons responsible for programs, and specialists to give technical opinions on the feasibility of requests for technical equipment and scientific material, as well as to provide technical advice for contracts which, due to their nature, complexity or specialty, require their participation

Department of Publications

VIII.12 It shall be the responsibility of the Director and staff members duly authorized by the Secretary General to negotiate and/or award --in accordance with the SUC/OEA and its rules and manuals-- all contracts related to printing jobs and other related services (letterpress, offset, varitype, engravings and illustra-tions, cuts, binding, purchase of paper, printing supplies, etc.) and to send direct information and copies of the transaction to the Contracting Office, for the purposes set forth in Executive Order 75-11.

Department of Conferences

VIII.13 It shall be the responsibility of the Director and staff members duly authorized by the Secretary General to negotiate and/or award --in accordance with the SUC/OEA and its rules and manuals-- all contracts for interpreters, translators, typists, clerks, parliamentary stenographers and other services related to the holding of conferences and meetings or the preparation of documents therefor.

Offices of the General Secretariat in the Member States

VIII.14 It shall be the responsibility of the directors and staff members duly authorized by the Secretary General, under the provisions of Executive Order 75-11, to negotiate and/or award --in ac-cordance with the SUC/OEA and its rules and manuals-- all contracts for goods of national origin up to US$5,000; or for local jobs and services for up to three months and for a total amount not to exceed US$3,000, sending direct information and copies of the transaction to the Contracting Office, for the purposes set forth in Executive Order 75-11. They shall also be responsible for "ensuring the timely delivery of scientific equipment and material to the projects and centers or national agencies benefiting from the OAS programs.

Contracting Office

VIII.15 The Contracting Office shall have the following responsibilities:

i. To see to the application of the standard administrative norms and procedures handed down by the Secretary General so as to carry out efficiently the General Standards, regulations issued as a consequence thereof, this Standard Contracting System (SUC/OEA) and other current rules and manuals.

ii. To govern in general and to centralize and supervise a posteriori the administrative processing of contracts or arrangements of every kind that have a financial impact and to which the General Secretariat is a party, in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 75-11 and this SUC/OEA.

iii. To recommend procedures and methods --that will simplify and expedite administration-- to carry out the provisions of the SUC/OEA; and

iv. To act in all instances as a technical advisory office and/-or secretariat for the contracts entered into by the various offices of the General Secretariat, at headquarters and in the field.

CHAPTER IX

General Provisions

IX.1 This Contracting System (SUC/OEA) shall govern all activities of this kind performed by the General Secretariat, at headquarters as well as in the field and with relation to all the funds financed by the Organization's program-budget.

IX.2 The provisions of the SUC/OEA may be revised, amended, changed or deleted at the proposal of a Committee, which shall submit its recommendations to the Secretary General and which shall consist of the following staff members:

(a) The Assistant Secretary for Management, who shall preside over it;

(b) The Executive Secretaries for Economic and Social Affairs and for Education, Science and Culture;

(c) The Assistant Secretary for Development Cooperation;

(d) The Executive Officer of the Assistant Secretary General;

(e) The Director of the Department of Legal Affairs; and

(f) The Director of the Contracting Office, who shall also act as Technical Secretary of the Committee.

IX.3 The Assistant Secretary for Management shall regulate --with uniform standards-- all the provisions of the SUC/OEA, especially with regard to the general terms of the contracts and the model formats for the most frequently used contracts.

IX.4 The provisions of the SUC/OEA shall enter into effect on March 1, 1976, in order to allow time for preparation of the regulations and manuals that should be issued to provide for its uniform application throughout the General Secretariat (at headquarters and in the field), as well as for the training of the staff members who are to apply them.

IX.5 To ensure uniform interpretation of the terminology used herein, the main terms are defined in the glossary which is included as Appendix I of this SUC/OEA

GLOSSARY

ACCOUNTS, RENDERING OF (see rendering of accounts).

ACQUISITION (of supplies, equipment, materials, etc.). A generic expression used to indicate the purchase by the General Secretariat of movable and real property, services, work, etc., through the SUC/OEA.

APPROVAL DECIDED UPON (by the competent authority). An administrative act carried out by the competent authority or an authorized staff member whereby, in the final instance and after the corresponding procedure, the General Secretariat approves the signing of a contract.

APPROVING AUTHORITY. For the purposes of the SUC/OEA, this is understood to be a staff member (department or office director responsible for program) authorized by the Secretary General to approve contracts involving movable and real property and natural or juridical persons.

ARBITRATION (see arbitration clause). One of the procedures for the solution of disputes to which the parties may submit differences that may arise in the execution of a contract. Ac-cording to the terms of agreement, the parties can submit themselves to the Rules of Procedure approved by the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission, to the provisions of the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration, or to the decision of an arbitrator.

ARBITRATION CLAUSE (see arbitration). A special clause that can be included in a contract to establish the arbitration procedure to which the parties submit themselves in the event they must settle a dispute stemming from the clauses agreed upon or the performance achieved.

AUTHORIZATION. An administrative act whereby the Secretary General or another competent authority empowers a staff member to act on behalf of the General Secretariat in a contract under the SUC/OEA.

AUTHORIZATION OF EXPENDITURES (see petty cash). An administrative act whereby certain allotted amounts may be used after approval of the corresponding plans of operation.

AWARD (of contract). Administrative act carried out by the competent authority or authorized staff member whereby the General Secretariat, pursuant to the provisions of the SUC/OEA, authorizes a contractor or supplier to execute a contract.

BIDDING (see competitive and contest bidding). The act of pre-senting a competitive bid.

BIDDING CONTEST (see bidding, competitive bidding). The general competitive method whereby the General Secretariat invites offers from contractors and suppliers in accordance with a statement of conditions that stipulate the pertinent requirements. Under the SUC/OEA, competitive bidding may be public or private, according to the amount and/or nature of the contract.

BOND. (i) Obligation assumed by an insurance company in favor of the General Secretariat through a policy which covers staff members responsible for negotiation, awards and implementation of the SUC/OEA. (ii) Accessory obligation (real or personal) in favor of the General Secretariat assumed by competitive bidders or contractors to ensure compliance with all obligations and/or to cover the risks stemming from a contract.

CERTIFICATION (of execution of a contract). An administrative act whereby it is affirmed that the work (job, performance or task) or goods covered by a contract under the SUC/OEA has been executed or delivered to the satisfaction of the General Secretary or of the national agency that receives the direct service prepared by the General Secretariat.

CIVIL LIABILITY. One of the forms or degrees of liability. It stems from the existence of an illicit or unauthorized and imputable act which requires pecuniary reparation or indemnifi-cation. It extends to staff members as well as contractors or suppliers.

COMMITTEE ON AWARDS. These are ad hoc groups established under the SUC/OEA and consisting of staff members designated for this purpose by the Secretary General with the appropriate authority to make awards related to a competitive bid, a purchase order, a performance contract, etc. Their activities are governed by the pertinent regulations.

COMPETENT AUTHORITY. For the purposes of the SUC/OEA, this is understood to be a staff member authorized by the Secretary General to act on behalf of the General Secretariat in a contract under the SUC/OEA, with or without the authority to delegate such functions.

COMPETITIVE BIDDING. This is one of the competitive methods whereby the General Secretariat determines which supplier or contractor is to be given a purchase order or awarded a contract. In general, a small number of pre-evaluated suppliers or contractors are invited to make offers in accordance with specifica-tions for the contract in question.

COMPLETE PROCESSING. The administrative course that must be taken by a contract (contract, requisition, purchase order, travel order, etc.) from the time of its initiation/requisition until its approval and awarding by the competent authority of the General Secretariat.

CONFIDENTIALITY. This is the binding commitment assumed by contractors and suppliers who sign a contract with the General Secretariat. It also includes staff members who participate in the negotiation of competitive bidding, etc. In general, it consists of keeping secret all aspects of a contract.

CONTRACT (Contracts). Generic name used to refer to trans-actions of every kind that have a financial impact and which must abide by the provisions of the SUC/OEA.

CONTRACTOR. A natural or juridical person to whom the General Secretariat awards a contract to be carried out, on his own account and at his own risk, under the conditions and/or specifications agreed upon.

CONTRACTUAL CLAUSES. These are the operative clauses of a contract which establish the terms to which the parties thereto bind themselves.

COUNTERPART (national). A generic name used to designate the national institution benefiting from a direct service or participating in a field project.

CUSTOMS CLEARANCE, LOCAL (see local customs clearance).

DAMAGES. (i) Any detriment to or destruction of property; or disadvantage or detriment to the General Secretariat caused by a supplier or contractor as the result of execution of a con-tract. (ii) Also applies to damages caused by the action of a staff member with regard to the negotiation, awarding and/or execution of a contract in which he has taken part on behalf of the General Secretariat.

DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY. An administrative act whereby the Secretary General authorizes a staff member to act on behalf of the General Secretariat in negotiating contracts under the SUC/OEA. For this purpose, the provisions of the Budgetary and Financial Rules concerning the "Delegation of Authority and Responsibility and Accountability" (Chapter IV) should be borne in mind.

DISPUTES, SETTLEMENT OF (see settlement of disputes).

EXECUTION, PRINCIPLES OF (see principles of execution).

FIDELITY (see fidelity bond).

FIDELITY BOND (see bond). A document justifying an insurance contract of such kind.

FILE ON CONTRACTOS AND SUPPLIERS. Reference file containing duly pre-evaluated contractors and suppliers with whom the General Secretariat can or does do business in accordance with the SUC/OEA.

FINANCIAL LIABILITY. Another form or degree of liability, which includes pecuniary indemnification. It includes staff members without prejudice to civil and personal liability under current administrative regulations, as well as contractors and suppliers.

FORMALIZATION OF CONTRACT. The administrative act of making a contract legal. Also the act of accepting or signing a contract.

GENERAL STANDARDS. The body of normative principles which determine the General Secretariat's policy with regard to con-tracts under the SUC/OEA.

GUARANTY (see bond).

INSTRUCTIONS, SHIPPING (see shipping instructions).

INTERNAL AUDITING. Administrative activity to exercise suitable internal control over all transactions of the General Secretariat having financial implications. It consists of evaluating established operating procedures.

INTERNAL EVALUATION. Administrative activity to determine the degree of effectiveness --in terms of results-- of a program, project or activity of the General Secretariat.

LEASE. Bilateral contract whereby one of the parties commits himself to perform "services", or "work" for the other party or to allow him the "use and enjoyment" of a movable or real property at a specific price and for a specific time.

LIABILITY. Generic term that defines the obligation to comply with and enforce the provisions of the SUC/OEA and of the con-tracts formalized in accordance with its provisions. It applies to the staff members and to the Secretariat, as well as the contractors, suppliers, etc. as indicated in the regulations, the contracts, and in general the standards of the General Secretariat.

LIABILITY, CIVIL (see civil liability).

LIABILITY, PECUNIARY (see financial liability).

LIABILITY, PERSONAL (see personal liability).

LOCAL CUSTOMS CLEARANCE. Administrative processing by the appropriate office of the General Secretariat with the customs authority of a country to comply with current national conditions for the entry of goods.

MEMBER, STAFF (see staff member).

ORDER, PURCHASE (see purchase order).

PAYMENT. Administrative act whereby a disbursement in money is made (sight draft, check) to fulfill the obligation of the General Secretariat to pay a contractor or supplier the amount due him by virtue of a contract. Under the SUC/OEA, such payment may be made only against certification or evidence that the General Secretariat has received the object, product or goods contracted for to its satisfaction.

PAYMENT AUTHORIZATION. An administrative act whereby, after confirmation that the terms of a contract or purchase order have been met, the Vouchers and Accounts Payable Unit (OFS) is asked to make the corresponding payment.

PERSONAL LIABILITY. Another form or degree of liability, which also stems from civil liability. It includes staff members who take part in a contract.

PETTY CASH. For the purposes of the SUC/OEA, this is the amount of money an office of the General Secretariat or a field project is authorized to spend (per year) to meet small cash obligations. Such expenditures are to be documented with formal receipts signed by the natural or juridical person who receives or is entitled to receive payment.

PRE-EVALUATION (see file on contractors and suppliers).

PRINCIPLES OF EXECUTION. Clear and specific acts or actions that demonstrate or prove the willingness of the parties to a contract to carry out their corresponding obligations.

PURCHASE ORDER. (i) The administrative act whereby a supplier is awarded a contract to supply specific goods (ii) A document with a list in which the General Secretariat details and specifies to the supplier the goods or services involved and the conditions under which he is awarded a contract for providing them.

RENDERING OF ACCOUNTS. The administrative act whereby every staff member who takes part in a contract under the SUC/ OEA fulfills the obligation of accountability for those acts which, with his participation, have created obligations and rights for the General Secretariat. For this purpose, the provisions of the Budgetary and Financial Rules regarding "Accountability" (Chapter IV.) must be taken into account.

RENTAL (see Lease).

REQUISITION. The administrative act whereby a staff member is authorized by the competent authority to initiate negotiation for contracting for supplies, equipment, services, jobs, etc. by means of the SUC/OEA.

STAFF MEMBER. An individual who is included under the provisions of the Staff Rules.

SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES. The procedure parties choose by mutual agreement for resolving differences that could arise over a contract.

SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS. The administrative act whereby the General Secretariat instructs the supplier as to mode of transport, consignee, documents required (customs, tax exemptions, etc.) packing specifications, and other matters necessary for executing a purchase order.

SHORT LIST. One of the competitive methods whereby the General Secretariat invites no more than five pre-evaluated suppliers or contractors (consultants, technicians, etc.) to submit proposals and offers for carrying out a contract or providing supplies.

TELEPHONE ORDER. One of the competitive methods whereby price quotations are confirmed prior to awarding a purchase order. This is used mainly in the case of technical equipment, scientific material, printing of documents ant publications, etc. All steps taken are recorded in writing in the file on the purchase order in question.

GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY

I. ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES

1. Charter of the OAS (OEA/Ser. A/2, English, rev.)

2. General Standards to Govern the Operations of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OEA/ Ser. D/I. 1. 2, 1 July 1973).

3. AG/RES. 146 (IV-O/74) (OEA/Ser. P/IV-0.2, 7 May 1974) Annual Report of the Preparatory Committee on Recommendations of the General Assembly on Administrative and Budgetary Matters.

4. Standards and Procedures for the Operations of the Regional Educational Development Program and the Regional Scientific and Technological Development Program (OAS Official Documents, OEA/Ser J/IX CECIC/Doc. 36, English, rev. 3, 2 March 1970).

5. Executive Order of the Secretary General No. 75-11 (25 August 1975).

6. Staff Rules (OEA/Ser. D/1.6, Rev. 1, 1 January 1975).

7. Budgetary and Financial Rules of the General Secretariat (OEA/Ser. P, AG/doc. 503/75 - 4 March 1975).

8. Manual of Performance Contracts (CPR M.A. 42), 16 August 1974.

9. Manual of Operations, Vol. II (October 1970).

10. Memorandum on Programming Contract Service, 1976/1978.

11. Memorandum OC/75/027, "Standards for the SUC/OEA".

12. Memorandum SA/859, Response to Memorandum OC/75/027.

13. Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration (OEA/Ser. A/20 /SEPF/).

II. INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK

1. Adquisici�n de bienes de capital en el pa�s prestatario. Margen de Preferencia. (GN-263-4/Septiembre 19/68).

2. Algunos aspectos de la Pol�tica Operativa del Banco. Informe del Directorio Ejecutivo a la Asamblea de Gobernadores. (GN-625/Abril 1970).

3. Procedimientos de Licitaci�n Publica (GN-645/Junio 12 de 1970).

4. Cl�usula sobre Monto y Moneda. (GN-263-5/Febrero 12/71).

5. Selecci�n y contrataci�n de firmas de servicios profesionales por prestatarios y beneficiarios del Banco. Exposici�n de pol�tica y procedimientos (GP-5-1/Noviembre 2/73).

6. Instrucci�n General No. 802. Procedimientos relacionados con la selecci�n y contrataci�n de firmas de servicios profesionales (Noviembre 5 de 1973).

7. Instrucci�n General No. 802. 1. Pol�tica y procedimientos para la selecci�n y contrataci�n de firmas de servicios profesionales por el Banco (Noviembre 5/73).

8. Cooperaci�n T�cnica. Normas de Pol�tica (AT-80-10/ Marzo 4 de 1974).

9. La utilizaci�n de firmas consultores. Exposici�n de pol�ticas y procedimientos para la selecci�n y contrataci�n de firmas de Servicios profesionales por prestatarios y bene-ficiarios del Banco (Febrero 1975).

10. Pol�tica de Adquisiciones. Normas sobre adquisiciones en pa�ses no miembros del Banco (FN-48-1/Abril 11/75).

III. UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION

1. Field Operations Service - Office of General Services - Field Administration Handbook - Part D General Services (December 1974).

2. UNDP - Global Procurement Arrangements - Report of the Consultant Team - Inter-Agency Consultative Board (CB. 20/2/Add. 1, DP/PWG/57/Add. 1/20 August 1975).

3. F. A. O. Manual - Chapter V - Property and Services.

(1) Section 502 - Procurement (Chapter V. Rev. III - May 6/1964). (2) Section 506 - Contractual Services (1 July 1971). (3) Section 503 - Property Accountability (August 16/1974). (4) Section 502 - Procurement of equipment and supplies (September 10/1974).

4. Field Programme Circular 38/72 - Amendment 1 and 2 No. 14/72 - Procedures for the Procurement of Equipment and Supplies by Authorized Field Personnel (April 1974).

5. I. L. O. Circular - Series: 13 Technical Co-operation Activities No. 18 (Rev. 1) (28/8/73) "Supply, Control and Disposal of Operational Equipment."

IV. WORLD BANK

1. Guidelines for Procurement under World Bank Loans and Ida Credits (August 1975).

2. Uses of Consultants by the World Bank and its Borrowers (April 1974).

V. INTER-AMERICAN COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION COMMISSION

1. Reglas de Procedimiento ante la Comision Interamericana de Arbitraje Comercial (Abril 1/1969).

VI. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (AID)

1. A.I.D. Regulation 1 "Rules and Procedures Applicable to Commodity Transactions." (AID 1420-13C/7-72).

(1) General Provisions. Basic Ordering Agreement for Engineering Services.

2. Design and Evaluation Service Contracts (E. O.11652. N/A) (8/12/75).

MARCH 25, 1976

In accordance with the SUC/OEA, Chapters I and III, the following "Procedures for the Sale and Liquidation of Property of the General Secretariat" are established, which shall be in effect henceforth.

1. OBJECT

To implement Chapters I, III, and VIII of the SUC/OEA with respect to the sale and liquidation of movable property of the General Secretariat declared to be in "surplus" or "obsolete and trash" condition.

2. BASIC CONCEPT

For the sale and/or liquidation of a piece of movable property of the General Secretariat, there shall be a prior obligation to have the corresponding declaration that such property is in "surplus" or "obsolete and trash" condition. This procedure shall be under the responsibility of the Contracting Office, with the participation of COVENT.

3. DEFINITIONS

 3.1 Definition of movable property declared to be in "surplus" condition.

3.1.1 Property shall be considered in this condition that (a) has ceased to provide use for the purposes for which it was obtained, acquired, or donated; (b) whose service or use is inadequate; or (c) being out of service, its repair would be too costly.

3.2 Definition of property declared to be in "obsolete and trash condition."

3.2.1 Property shall be considered in this condition that (a) by use, has lost its initial conditions or characteristics; or b) whose normal use has become impracticable, because it has been replaced by more modern or more productive elements. This category includes those goods that require supplies that the market no longer provides.

4. SCOPE OF APPLICATION

These provisions shall be applied both at headquarters and in the field, so long as this is practical, and in the field the actions shall be the responsibility of the Offices of the General Secretariat in the member States.

5. MEMBERSHIP ON COVENT

5.1 COVENT is an ad hoc committee made up of the following members of the staff of the General Secretariat, established to study the presentations made by the Contracting Office.

  • Executive Officer of the Office of the Assistant Secretary General (or his representative);
  • Executive Officer of the Executive Secretariat for Economic and Social Affairs (or his representative);
  • Executive Officer of the Executive Secretariat for Education, Science, and Culture (or his representative);
  • Executive Officer of the Secretariat for Development Cooperation (or his representative);
  • Executive Officer of the Secretariat for Management (or his representative).

The Contracting Office shall serve as Technical Secretariat to the committee.

  1. PROCEDURE

 6.1 When the Contracting Office considers that sufficient pieces of property have been assembled to be declared surplus or in obsolete and trash condition it shall convoke the COVENT, for which purpose it shall prepare the corresponding technical reports, in which it shall clearly state, with the support of photographs when necessary, the reasons why the property has been presented to COVENT.

6.2 The various offices of the General Secretariat, through their respective Executive Officers, may bring before the Contracting Office the actions for the declaration of property as in surplus or in obsolete and trash condition providing the pertinent information.

6.3 COVENT shall make such recommendations as it considers pertinent to the Assistant Secretary for Management, using Form OC/40 for the purpose.

6.4 COVENT may recommend the procedure of sale or liquidation that it considers most appropriate, among those allowable in each case.

6.5 The Assistant Secretary for Management shall be informed on the recommendations prepared by COVENT and shall determine the subsequent disposal of the materials mentioned in points 3.1 and 3.2 by written indication to the Contracting Office.

7. METHODS OF SALE OR LIQUIDATION OF PROPERTY

     7.1 The methods for the liquidation of property whose sale is authorized by the Assistant Secretary for     Management (point III.i - SUC/OEA) shall be the responsibility of the Contracting Office and are the following:

7.1.1 Public Bidding: when the value of the property makes this advisable, since some expense will be involved in attracting a suitable number of bidders.

7.1.2 Private Bidding: when advertising expenses are not justified or when there is not sufficient time to hold public bidding.

7.1.3 Public Auction: for the cases of real estate or works or objects of art.

7.1.4 Direct Sale: this will be done in the following cases:

i.      When the conditions indicated for bidding are not present;

ii. When an invitation to bidding has produced no result; iii. When there are well justified reasons of urgency.

7.1.5 Donation: this shall be done in the following cases:

i. When, after following the procedures indicated in 7.1.1 through 7.1.4 and after using the appropriate media of information, such as advertisements in newspapers (two of the best known), on the radio, etc., and the local public has not shown interest in the property, COVENT may propose that it be donated to some charity institution (Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.). In each case, a record should be kept of the advertising means used.

ii. When the authorities of the General Secretariat, with the recommendation of COVENT, decide on this means of liquidation because of the nature of the property.

7.1.6 Discards: When, because of the nature of the property to be liquidated and having complied with the provisions of paragraphs 7.1.1 through 7.1.5 of these regulations, the COVENT declares that this property is ready to be discarded, as a consequence of which it decides to get rid of it as unusable.

7.2 When the property to be sold or liquidated is deposited in some office or agency of the General Secretariat away from headquarters, the procedure to be followed shall be analogous to that provided for in these regulations, with the intervention of the Contracting Office of the General Secretariat, which shall see to the proper conduct of contracting of this kind.

  1. GUARANTEES AND PENALTIES

8.1 The Contracting Office shall propose such guarantees as it considers appropriate in each case, as well as such penalties as may be imposed increase of non-compliance.

9. AUDITING

9.1 The Contracting Office shall prepare a file containing a record of all the transactions that have taken place, a copy of which shall be sent to the Office of Audit and Evaluation.

10. INVENTORY

10.1 Once the operation of sale and/or liquidation of property of the General Secretariat has been carried out and the property has been delivered to those who have acquired it, the Contracting Office shall proceed to eliminate the property disposed of from the corresponding inventory.

10.2 Any income from sale and/or liquidation of movable property shall be deposited in the appropriate account indicated by the Office of Financial Services.

 

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