World Intellectual Property Organization

The WIPO Procurement Process and General Procedures (as of October 2011)

To access the WIPO procurement process diagram please click here.

General Procurement Procedure

Submission of written request

1. Requests for the purchase of goods and/or services are submitted in writing to PTD either in the form of an inter-office memorandum or utilizing the PTD Purchase Requisition Form. The following information must be provided in all requisitions:

- complete technical specifications for the requested goods, or
- detailed terms of reference for the requested services
- expected delivery time
- budget code
- copy of the latest financial report drawn from AIMS confirming availability of funds
- signature of the Program Manager or his/her alternate and the staff member preparing the requisition
- suggested list of suppliers/vendors (optional)

2. If the requisitioner has already obtained competitive offers, copies are submitted along with the requisition to PTD so that their suitability and acceptability may be determined.

Procurement strategy

3. For large and/or complex procurements, the requisitioner, together with PTD, jointly establishes an acquisition strategy setting forth the various steps in the procurement process, the key issues to be resolved at each of these steps, and the agreed timetable. The strategy should elaborate in detail the needs to be fulfilled and other issues of critical importance to the process, e.g. economic/financial factors, cooperation with external parties involved, if any (for example, if UNDP local in-country procurement procedures would apply, or if government procurement procedures need to be considered), coordination with other related events, trade-offs and other bid evaluation criteria, and future contract management. The strategy may also include special procurement techniques, such as the use of performance bonds, or best value source selection.

Specification of requirements

4. In the case of purchase of goods, details of the requirement should be described using generic, comprehensive and unambiguous technical specifications. Specifications must be clear and sufficiently detailed to enable vendors to meet the identified need and to compete fairly. Except in the case of an approved standardization, specifications should not refer to brand names, catalogue numbers or types of equipment from a particular manufacturer except when it is necessary to guarantee the inclusion of a particular essential design, or characteristic of functioning, construction or fabrication. In these cases, the references should be followed by the words “or equivalent” together with the criteria for determining such equivalence. The specifications should permit the acceptance of offers for equipment with similar characteristics that provide performance and service at least equal to that specified.

Prior clearances and review of requisition

5. At the present time, in the case of purchase of IT equipment and/or accessories and books and/or periodicals, requisitioners should obtain the clearance of the IT Division and the WIPO Library Services, respectively, prior to submitting their requests to PTD.

6. PTD reviews the requirement received from the requisitioner and identifies any issues that do not conform to WIPO’s Financial Regulations and Rules, relevant office instructions or other WIPO’s procurement procedures. PTD brings such issues to the attention of the requisitioner who must correct the requisition accordingly in consultation with PTD.

Procurement actions by PTD

7. Upon receipt of the complete and correct request, PTD undertakes the necessary procurement actions depending on the estimated amount of the purchase request and the nature of the requirement.

8. Applicable procurement procedures are determined on the basis of the value of the purchase. In this regard, it is important to realize that an purchase can result from a single requisition, or a series of related requisitions received and processed during the calendar year. PTD identifies whether requisitions are related to earlier requisitions. If the said requisitions are related, PTD takes the appropriate procurement action resulting from the consolidated value of the related requisitions.

9. Solicitation of offers may be formal or informal. In the case of formal solicitation, potential vendors are invited by placing an advertisement in the WIPO website and/or the website of the United Nations Global Marketplace (UNGM), or by direct notification to invited suppliers that a tender advertisement has been published. In the case of informal solicitation, the procedures described in paragraphs 11 and 12 below apply.

Purchases not exceeding Sfr 20,000

10. For purchase of goods and/or services estimated not to exceed 20,000 Swiss francs, direct purchase is possible, provided that the total payments made to the same vendor or supplier for similar or related purchases during a period of one calendar year has not reached or exceeded 20,000 Swiss francs. If it has reached or exceeded 20,000 Swiss francs, three offers would be required.

Purchases over Sfr 20,000 but not exceeding Sfr 50,000

11. For purchases estimated over 20,000 but not to exceed 50,000 Swiss francs, PTD applies the informal RFQ procedure.

12. The RFQ procedure is used for the procurement of simple, uncomplicated goods or services of standard specifications, which are very clearly defined or ordered on a regular basis. The RFQ includes all requirements (e.g. quantity, delivery time, etc.) and relevant contract information (e.g. reference to WIPO’s General Conditions for the Purchase of Goods and WIPO’s General Conditions for the Purchase of Services). The final date for the receipt of offers following an RFQ is specified in the RFQ and is fixed taking into account in particular the complexity of the requisition and the time required for drawing up offers. PTD issues an RFQ to a number of eligible suppliers (sufficient to obtain at least three offers) via mail, phone, fax, internet or in person.

Purchases over Sfr 50,000 but not exceeding Sfr 100,000

13. For purchases estimated to exceed 50,000 Swiss francs, tenders are formally invited on the basis of either a limited tender or an open international tender.

(a) limited tender: Tenders are invited by sending invitations to a number of eligible suppliers (sufficient to obtain at least three offers).
(b) open international tender: Tenders are invited directly from suppliers responding to a public advertisement, or from eligible suppliers following an open international call for Expression of Interest (EOI).

In the case of a limited tender or an open international tender procedure, one of the following two different approaches is used depending on the nature of the requisition:

(a) Invitation to Bid (ITB) is used for the procurement of goods and services of standard specifications; and deliverables are very clearly defined or continuously used;

(b) Request for Proposals (RFP) is used for procurement for which technical solutions are being solicited from qualified suppliers that would satisfactorily meet requisitioner’s technical and other requirements. Specifications used in an RFP tend to be comprehensive and performance oriented. The RFP includes all requirements (e.g. specification of goods, quantity, delivery time, etc., and/or terms of reference for technical services, performance indicators, qualifications of contractor’s personnel, etc.) and relevant contract information (e.g. reference to WIPO’s General Conditions for the Purchase of Goods and/or WIPO’s General Conditions for the Purchase of Services).

Purchases exceeding Sfr 100,000

For purchases estimated to exceed 100,000 Swiss francs, the open international tender procedure is applied. In addition, the advice of the Contracts Review Committee (CRC) is sought. The general steps below are followed to guide the procurement process for open international tenders:

(a) The time limit for submission of offers is, at the minimum, 20 calendar days from the time of publication of the RFP or ITB, unless the DDG for Procurement has approved a shorter period. Advertisements are published in the WIPO procurement web site and the UNGM web site. All eligible vendors who are registered in WIPO’s Vendor Registration System (VRS) and whose line(s) of business may be relevant to the tender are notified by PTD of the publication of the tender and giving instructions on how to access the tender documents.

(b) In the case of an RFP, the criteria for evaluation of offers is published in the RFP documents.

(c) Vendors interested in participating in the competition should follow strictly all instructions contained in the tender documents, in particular, submission formats and deadlines. 

(d) A Question and Answer phase is provided to enable vendors to obtain clarification and/or additional information concerning the requirements of the tender and other aspects, including the WIPO General Conditions for the Purchase of Goods and/or Services.  A list of all the questions received within the prescribed deadline and all of  WIPO's answers will be published on this web site.  Vendors are encouraged to check this site periodically.

(e) All valid offers will be evaluated by WIPO on a confidential basis using the set of evaluation criteria published in the tender documents.  The winner(s) of the competition will be informed in writing.

(f) The winning vendor(s) may be invited to negotiate a contract, as appropriate.  All contracts will adhere to the WIPO General Conditions for the Purchase of Goods and/or Services.

(g) Contract awards are published by WIPO on this web site.

Explore WIPO