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.
I.1 The regulations governing contracts of the General
Secretariat shall meet --in accordance with their legal nature-- the following general
i. To protect the legitimate interests of the
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
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
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
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).
Definition of Contracts Subject to the
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,
(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
(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.
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
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
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.
Roster of Contractors and Suppliers of the
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
VIII.15 The Contracting Office shall have the following
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.
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
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
(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
(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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
9. Manual of Operations, Vol. II (October 1970).
10. Memorandum on Programming Contract Service,
11. Memorandum OC/75/027, "Standards for the
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
4. Cl�usula sobre Monto y Moneda. (GN-263-5/Febrero
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
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
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
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
2. Design and Evaluation Service Contracts (E. O.11652.
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.
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.
3.1 Definition of movable property declared to be in "surplus"
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
- Executive Officer of the Office of the Assistant Secretary General (or his
- Executive Officer of the Executive Secretariat for Economic and Social Affairs (or his
- Executive Officer of the Executive Secretariat for Education, Science, and Culture (or
- Executive Officer of the Secretariat for Development Cooperation (or his
- Executive Officer of the Secretariat for Management (or his representative).
The Contracting Office shall serve as Technical Secretariat to the committee.
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
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
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
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.
- 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.
9.1 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
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.