The purpose of the framework contracts between UNHCR and its suppliers is to define the conditions applicable to contracts to be awarded during a given period, in particular with regard to the item, price, quality, quantity and delivery. This framework agreement is used when the contracting authority needs goods. The terms of the agreement are simply stated that the qualities are not clear. For many cases, it is useful for UNHCR to sign a long-term contract with a supplier, whether for goods or services. These are known as “framework contracts” and we have signed them with a large number of companies for items used daily by UNHCR staff, including vehicles, radios, telecommunications equipment, generators and office equipment, and for assistance with tents, blankets, isomates and kitchen kits. Framework contracts are “umbrella agreements” that set out the conditions under which contracts are awarded during the specified period. They are common in the business world and are mainly used when the buyer needs products or services for a certain period of time, but is not sure of quantities or volume. These are formal documents used in business circles. Framework contracts save time and costs in a purchasing process by avoiding the renegotiating of standard terms. In the case of long-term purchases, these agreements help improve the relationship between buyers and sellers, collaborating to provide tailor-made solutions that better meet the needs of both parties. They support long-term relationships with suppliers, creating a business environment that is more conducive to sustainable investment and employment, reducing the waste of processes and physical resources.

The initial work required to create such a framework is more extensive than that of tendering and awarding a large-scale contract, but the anticipated benefits will far outweigh it. From year to year, companies under framework contract have obtained improvements in delivery time and delivery costs. This is particularly the case when the use of such agreements is combined with electronic purchasing systems. These fixed-term contracts (usually 3 to 5 years) are usually concluded following an open international call for tenders. They ensure that UNHCR can quickly place orders for its needs at fixed prices, but do not guarantee that the Agency will purchase a minimum or maximum quantity of goods during the term of the agreement. . . .

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