Procurement of Medicines
ECOWAS Procurement Principles
Overview of ECOWAS Procurement Principles
The goal of ECOWAS procurement process is to ensure that best total value is achieved in the procurement of goods, works and services while at the same time supporting the Community’s operations and mission. Ensuring the achievement of best total value and the impartial and equitable treatment of bidders requires guiding principles that underlie the Community’s procurement process.These principles, as specified in the Tender Code, include:
- Equity/Fairness/equal opportunity
- Economy/efficiency/value for money
These principles are employed globally in all procurements including the development of longterm master agreements. The Community’s funds may only be used to purchase goods, works and services for the official use of the Community.The procurement guiding principles represent the strategic elements that guide the Community’s activities in procurement and contracting practices.These principles and governing policies will be continuously evaluated and improved in order to ensure continuing effectiveness.
PROCUREMENT AUTHORITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Authority to sign contracts and bind ECOWAS Institutions is governed by Article 6. (3) of the ECOWAS Tender Code.The authority to sign contracts may be delegated but authority to award contracts shall not be delegated.Questions regarding signature authority should be directed to the ECOWAS Institution, Agency or Office carrying out the procurement. Only employees with the appropriate level of authority may enter into agreements with suppliers.The authority to endorse, approve and sign purchase orders and contracts has been delegated according to the values elaborated in Schedules 1 - 9 of the Tender Code.
Requisitioners, (user departments) define their needs and make procurement requisitions. Procurement Units are responsible for executing all procurement requisitions.
Requisitioning approvers may only approve purchasing transactions in accordance with their approval authority.
Technical Advisory Groups
The technical specifications of certain categories of goods, works and services are under the responsibility of specific directorates or units.Within these directorates or units, clearance groups and / or designated individuals are available to review and approve all technical requirements that must conform to predetermined standards(for example, office technology, information technology hardware, systems / licenses, furniture, photocopy equipment, printing and facsimile equipment1).The purpose of these clearance activities is to:
- Ensure that ECOWAS Institutions obtain goods, works and services that consistently meet their needs;
- Preclude confusion about what is required in meeting these needs (clear specifications); and
- Control product alternates or substitutions, and by so doing avoid the need to carry excess spare - parts inventories or to undertake skills training to support nonstandard products.
It is the approving manager's responsibility to ensure that all clearance group approvals are obtained prior to approving any procurement requisition and LPOs
GENERAL PROCUREMENT PRACTICES
- The goal of ECOWAS Institutions’ procurement process is to ensure that the best total value is achieved in the procurement of goods, works and services, while at the same time supporting the ECOWAS Institutions operations and mission. Ensuring best total value and the impartial and equitable treatment of bidders requires guiding principles that underlie ECOWAS Institutions administrative procurement process. These include fairness, transparency, competition and value
- If the assessment of medicinal products dossier is successfully completed and jointly accepted, the ECOWAS Member Sates NMRAs will grant marketing authorization within maximum of three (3) months from the date of joint acceptance.
ECOWAS Institutions contract for the provision of a wide range of goods, works and services for their operations (for example: furniture, technology equipment, printing, security services, cleaning services, mail sorting and delivery services, help desk services, travel agency, food services, and temp labor services).As socially responsible organizations, ECOWAS Institutions, through their corporate procurement practices, endeavor to integrate socially responsible suppliers into their supply chain.To this end, ECOWAS Institutions procurement policy addresses supplier activities under the categories of wages and benefits, health and safety; supplier diversity; and workplace accessibility(equipment and facilities).
Wages and Benefits, Health and Safety
- As part of ECOWAS Institutions’ solicitations and contracts for labour services, they will specify measures to be implemented to address contractors' service employees' wages and their health and welfare fringe benefits, and will also specify criteria that address the need for contractors to provide their service employees with safe working conditions and fair and equitable work practices.The primary objectives of these practices are as follows:
- To ensure that service employees engaged in the performance of work under ECOWAS Institutions service contracts or subcontracts receive appropriate wages and health and welfare fringe benefits for the respective job classifications within the geographic areas where the services are carried out
- To remedy situations where contractors bidding on labor-intensive contracts use wage and benefit reductions as a means of competing for service contracts;
- To establish benchmarks for standardizing the appropriate levels of wages and health and welfare benefits for various job classifications; and
- To ensure that service employees engaged in the performance of work under ECOWAS Institutions service contracts or subcontracts are provided with safe working conditions and managed under fair and equitable work practices.
To achieve these objectives, ECOWAS Institutions Procurement Units carry out the following:
As part of ECOWAS Institutions’ solicitations and contracts for labour services, they will specify measures to be implemented to address contractors' service employees' wages and their health and welfare fringe benefits, and will also specify criteria that address the need for contractors to provide their service employees with safe working conditions and fair and equitable work practices.The primary objectives of these practices are as follows:
- Implement and monitor guidelines based upon existing industry and governmental benchmarks and indices for identifying job classification, wage rates, and welfare fringe benefits;
- Incorporate into and implements under all service contracts auditing procedures that validate the contractors' execution of the requisite compensation/benefits for service employees;
- Conduct training with designated ECOWAS Institutions staff on procedures for monitoring all aspects of service employee compensation; and
- Conduct quality assurance procedures in conjunction with designated Project Managers(PMs) to ensure the continual implementation of these objectives.
Technology: e-Commerce, Use of Electronic Systems in the Procurement Practices
Electronic commerce with suppliers significantly enables efficiency and reduction in transaction costs.It is the goal of ECOWAS Institutions to have an integrated electronic business solution for the majority of its supply processes.This extends to the entire supply chain, including advertisements, communications and document exchanges among clients, corporate procurement, suppliers, and other ECOWAS Institutions supply stakeholders.The PCO will attempt to automate the procurement process - particularly from order placement to disposal - as much as possible.
Inherent in this principle is an expectation that ECOWAS Institutions suppliers will become capable of conducting business electronically.New suppliers will be enabled by electronic requirements, purchase order, and invoice and payment processes whenever an electronic business solution is available.This system should only be resorted to when adequate technical safe guards are available.
PROCUREMENT METHOD FOR GOODS, WORKS AND SERVICE
International Competitive Bidding
Where the activity provides financing for a program of imports, ICB with simplified advertising and currency provisions may be used for large - value contracts, as defined in the Tender Code.
Specific Procurement Notices shall be inserted in at least two (2) newspapers of local and international circulation and in the official website, if any, and on a widely used website or electronic portal with free national and international access and on ECOWAS Institutions’Websites.
The selection process will incorporate the following steps:
- expression of needs
- preparation of tender documents
- receipt of bids
- bids opening session
- evaluation of bids
- drafting of contract
- signing the contract
The needs are reflected in the Annual Procurement Plan (APP). On the basis of this plan and technical specifications in the bidding validated, the Procurement Division, in connection with technical departments plan the acquisition of goods or execution of work according to a validated in accordance with Procurement Plan.
Whenever a procurement process is launched, the Procurement Division of each institution must submit a schedule for the opening and evaluation operations by including therein the dates and times of meetings of the Sub Committee, in accordance with a specified time table. Once this calendar is validated, the Chair of the Procurement Committee shall inform all members of the committee.
All provisions of this method are applicable to Limited International Bidding (5.4 8), Local Competitive Bidding(5 .4.9) and Regional Competitive Bidding(5.4.10), however methods of inviting bidders vary.
Limited International Bidding
Limited International Bidding (LIB) is essentially ICB by direct invitation without open advertisement.It may be an appropriate method of procurement where(a) there is only a limited number of suppliers, or(b) other exceptional reasons may justify departure from full ICB procedures.Under LIB, Institutions shall seek bids from a list of potential suppliers broad enough to assure competitive prices, such list to include all suppliers when there are only a limited number.Domestic preferences are not applicable in the evaluation of bids under LIB. In all respects other than advertisement and preferences, ICB procedures shall apply, including the publication of the award of contract.
Local Competitive Bidding
Local Competitive Bidding (LCB) is the competitive bidding procedure normally used for public procurement in the country of the ECOWAS Institution, and may be the most appropriate way of procuring goods or works which, by their nature or scope, are unlikely to attract foreign competition.To be acceptable for use in ECOWAS and Development Partners-financed procurement, these procedures shall be reviewed and modified as necessary to assure economy, efficiency, transparency, and broad consistency with the provisions included in Section I of these Guidelines.LCB may be the most appropriate method of procurement where foreign bidders are not expected to be interested because(a) the contract values are small, (b) works are scattered geographically or spread over time, (c) works are labor intensive, or(d) the goods or works are available locally at prices below the international or regional market.LCB procedures may also be used where the advantages of ICB are clearly outweighed by the administrative or financial burden involved.
Advertising may be limited to the national press. Bidding documents must be only in a national language of the ECOWAS Institutions country, and in the currency of the hosting country of the ECOWAS.
In addition, the bidding documents shall provide clear instructions on how bids should be submitted, how prices should be offered, and the place and time for submission of bids. Adequate response time for preparation and submission of bids shall be provided.The procedures shall provide for adequate competition in order to ensure reasonable prices, and methods used in the evaluation of bids and the award of contracts shall be objective and made known to all bidders in the bidding documents and not be applied arbitrarily.The procedures shall also include public opening of bids, publication of results of evaluation and of the award of contract and provisions for bidders to protest.If foreign firms wish to participate under these circumstances, they shall be allowed to do so.
Regional Competitive Bidding
Regional Competitive Bidding (RCB) is the competitive bidding procedure normally used for public procurement in the country of the ECOWAS Institution, and may be the most appropriate way of procuring goods or works which, by their nature or scope, are unlikely to attract foreign competition.To be acceptable for use in ECOWAS and Development Partners-financed procurement, these procedures shall be reviewed and modified as necessary to assure economy, efficiency, transparency, and broad consistency with the provisions included in Section I of these Guidelines.LCB may be the most appropriate method of procurement where foreign bidders are not expected to be interested because(a) the contract values are small, (b) works are scattered geographically or spread over time, (c) works are labor intensive, or(d) the goods or works are available locally at prices below the international or regional market.LCB procedures may also be used where the advantages of ICB are clearly outweighed by the administrative or financial burden involved.
Advertising must be published into the fifteen (15) members states and in the ECOWAS Website.Bidding documents should be written in the three languages of ECOWAS, and the can submit their offer in their local currency.