The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Vendor sanctions

UNOPS requires that all vendors we work with operate with high standards of integrity and competency.

Vendor Sanctions

UNOPS has zero tolerance against vendors that engage in proscribed practices, as defined in UNOPS Vendor Sanctions Policy:

  • Corrupt practice: the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting, directly or indirectly, anything of value to influence improperly the actions of another party.
  • Fraudulent practice: any act or omission, including a misrepresentation, that knowingly or recklessly misleads, or attempts to mislead, a party to obtain a financial or other benefit or to avoid an obligation.
  • Coercive practice: an act or omission that impairs or harms, or threatens to impair or harm, directly or indirectly, any party or the property of the party to improperly influence the actions of a party.
  • Collusive practice: an arrangement between two or more parties designed to achieve an improper purpose, including influencing improperly the actions of another party.
  • Unethical practice: conduct or behaviour that is contrary to the conflict of interest, gifts and hospitality, post-employment provisions or other published requirements of doing business with UNOPS.
  • Obstruction: acts or omissions by a vendor that prevent or hinder UNOPS from investigating instances of possible proscribed practices.

Should a vendor engage in a proscribed practice within the context of a UNOPS procurement, UNOPS grant or UNOPS partnership arrangement, they may be sanctioned further to the provisions in the UNOPS Vendor Sanctions Policy. Imposing sanctions is one of the ways in which UNOPS seeks to prevent and combat fraud and corruption in its projects.

Vendor Suspensions

Suspension of vendors from doing business with UNOPS for reasons other than engaging in proscribed practices subject to the OI Vendor Sanctions.

Independently of the Vendor Sanctions process, a supplier may be fully suspended from doing business with UNOPS for a number of reasons, further to the OI Procurement Procedures. These include:

  • Where the vendor has shown significant or persistent deficiencies in the performance of a prior UNOPS contract which led to early termination of the contract, application of damages or similar actions, as documented through UNOPS supplier performance evaluation processes;

  • Genuine concern about the supplier’s ability to satisfactorily perform contractual obligations, such as, without limitation, filing for bankruptcy, being declared insolvent or the company is in or has recently been in receivership;

  • Upon receipt of a notification by a Member State, or other authoritative source that a supplier has been charged with committing fraud or a criminal offence in that country;

  • If a criminal conviction or civil judgment or administrative determination has been issued against a supplier indicating a lack of business integrity or business honesty;

  • If the vendor has undertaken any other action that is so serious or compelling in nature that it could result in harm to UNOPS reputation or image;

  • If UNOPS has a dispute, claim or other contentious issue pending with a supplier, where the General Counsel has advised that this either compromises or calls into question the ability of that supplier to perform or where performance would be inconsistent with the effective resolution of any dispute;

  • If other compelling information available to UNOPS indicates that a vendor lacks business integrity or business honesty or its ability to satisfactorily perform a contract may be compromised.

The purpose of the suspension process is to enable UNOPS to avoid contracting any vendor which it knows presents a serious risk of causing harm or failure to a UNOPS project, partner or beneficiary or to UNOPS itself.

Any such suspension is preceded by a robust review by the Vendor Review Committee (VRC). Should UNOPS decide to fully suspend a vendor from doing business with UNOPS for a specific period of time, the vendor shall be notified, in writing, including details and grounds for the imposed suspension and the procedures to seek rehabilitation, if applicable. The applicable procedures are set out in the UNOPS Procurement Manual and in UNOPS policy on Procurement Procedures.

The effect of a full suspension under the above provisions is to render a vendor ineligible for UNOPS contracts only. The vendor’s eligibility for contracts with other entities in the UN system is not affected.

Suppliers are advised that responsibilities relating to the Vendor Review Committee – including approval of interim suspensions, sanctions and waivers – are entrusted to UNOPS Director of Procurement.