Fraud & Corruption

UNFPA is committed to preventing, identifying and addressing all acts of fraud against UNFPA, whether committed by UNFPA staff members or third parties involved in UNFPA activities. To this effect UNFPA has developed its Anti-Fraud Policy with the aim to raise awareness of fraud risks, implement controls to prevent fraud, establish a procedure applicable to detect fraud and to enforce its Anti-Fraud Policy.

UNFPA requires that bidders, contractors and their subcontractors adhere to the highest standard of moral and ethical conduct during the procurement and execution of UNFPA contracts and do not engage in corrupt, fraudulent, collusive, coercive or obstructive practices.  For the purpose of this provision such practices are collectively referred to as “fraud and corruption”:

·      “Corrupt practice” means the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting, directly or indirectly, of anything of value to influence improperly the actions of another party;

·    “Fraudulent practice” means any act or omission, including misrepresentation, that knowingly or recklessly misleads, or attempts to mislead, a party to obtain a financial or other benefit, or to avoid an obligation;

·     “Collusive practice” means an arrangement between two or more parties designed to achieve an improper purpose, including influencing improperly the actions of another party;

·       “Coercive practice” means impairing or harming, or threatening to impair or harm, directly or indirectly, any party or the property of the party to influence improperly the actions of a party.

·      “Obstructive practice” means acts intended to materially impede the exercise of UNFPA’s contractual rights of audit, investigation and access to information, including destruction, falsification, alteration or concealment of evidence material to a UNFPA investigation into allegations of fraud and corruption.

The “United Nations Supplier Code of Conduct” promulgated by the United Nations Procurement Division in May 2007, or as revised thereafter, is fully endorsed by UNFPA. UNFPA expects that all suppliers who wish to do business with UNFPA will embrace this code of conduct. 

UNFPA has adopted a zero tolerance policy on gifts and hospitality. In view of this, UNFPA personnel are prohibited from accepting any gift, even of a nominal value, including drinks, meals, food products, hospitality, calendars, transportation, and/or any other forms of benefits. Vendors are therefore requested not to send or offer gifts or hospitality to UNFPA personnel.

UNFPA will:

  • reject a proposal to award a contract if it determines that a vendor recommended for award has engaged in fraud and corruption in competing for the contract in question.
  • cancel or terminate a contract if it determines that a vendor has engaged in fraud and corruption in competing for or in executing a UNFPA contract.
  • declare a vendor ineligible, either indefinitely or for a stated period of time, to become a UN registered vendor if it at any time determines that the vendor has engaged in fraud and corruption in competing for or in executing a UNFPA contract.
  • refer the matter to national authorities through the UNFPA Legal Unit, OED.

UNFPA may conduct audits and investigations relating to any aspect of a UNFPA contract or the award thereof. Suppliers, their subsidiaries, agents, intermediaries and principals must provide their full and timely cooperation with any such audit or investigation.

Such cooperation shall include, but not be limited to the following: access to all employees, representatives, agents and assignees of the vendor and production of all documents requested, including financial records, pertaining to the contract. Failure to fully cooperate with UNFPA investigations may be considered a breach of contract and will be referred to the vendor sanction mechanism, which, inter alia, may lead to one or several of the following: termination of the contract; suspension of the supplier; removal of the supplier from UNFPA’s list of registered suppliers.

All individuals who suspect that a supplier has engaged in fraud and corruption shall promptly report that information to the UNFPA Office of Internal Audit and Investigation Services (OAIS) - which is the administrative entity of UNFPA mandated to conduct investigations in UNFPA, as well as to the Chief, Procurement Service Branch (PSB). The Chief, PSB, shall keep such information confidential until s/he has consulted with OAIS.

UNFPA has established a confidential Investigation Hotline for reporting suspicions of fraud and corruption directly to OAIS at  web2.unfpa.org/help/hotline.cfm 

(Note: The hotline is managed in accordance with strict OAIS protocol, which ensures that access to hotline data is restricted and accessible only to a limited number of authorized individuals within OAIS.)