Chief Procurement Officers meet in New York for annual conference

The 2014 annual conference of the Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) of the UN Secretariat was held in New York from 27 to 31 January 2014.

The five-day conference aimed to facilitate a professional exchange of information among a community of practitioners who carry out the same functions around the world so that they would be better informed and equipped to be responsive to clients’ needs.

The Department of Management and the Department of Field Support (DFS) convened the conference, which brought together over 30 Chief Procurement Officers from Field Missions, Offices Away from Headquarters, Regional Commissions, as well as Tribunals. The Under-Secretary-General for Management, Mr. Yukio Takasu, the Assistant Secretary-General, DFS, Mr. Anthony Banbury and the Assistant Secretary-General for the Office of Central Support Services, Mr. Stephen J. Cutts addressed the attendees at the opening session.

The first day was also attended by the Chairs of the Local Committees on Contracts (LCCs) and Headquarters Committee on Contracts (HCC) and included topics of common interest, such as the status and implication of IPSAS and Umoja, an update on procurement policies, status of implementation of other recommendations of the HCC, etc.

This year’s conference also included several updates on new contracts established by the Procurement Division, a panel discussion with the aim to standardize contracting for travel services for Secretariat entities including field missions and an update on audit observations, amongst others. A full day was also dedicated to Umoja issues, considering that peacekeeping missions are already implementing Umoja. This will also provide a learning opportunity for the remaining CPOs which are due to implement Umoja in cluster 2 as of beginning of March this year.