Definition of industry and website terms.

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An affirmation of mutual understanding or assent between two or more parties.


The action taken by the buyer, after examining and comparing the tenders/offers received, through which it:

(i) Selects the tender/offer that is determined to be substantially responsive to the tender documents and is the most advantageous and, (ii) officially notifies the tenderers of the decision as to the award of the contract. It is one of the most important stages of the procurement cycle, since it accomplishes a principal objective, that is, selection of the tenderer who will carry out the works or services or provision of the goods that were the object of the procurement. In effect, the award completes the contract.


Bid Security

Funds or a bid bond submitted with a bid as a guarantee to the recipient of the bid that the contractor, if awarded the contract, will execute the contract in accordance with the bidding requirements of the contract documents.


A legal entity interested in providing a proposal during a tendering procedure. The role of the bidder ends with the award of the contract to the successful bidder, who in turn becomes the supplier. In professional procurement, the word tenderer is often used to the same extent.


An offer of a specific amount of money in exchange for products and services (as in an auction).

Bill of Lading

BOL or B/L is a document issued by a carrier to a shipper, acknowledging that specified goods have been received on board. It is not a contract of carriage in itself, but it serves as evidence of the same.


Cash Subsidy

See Government Support

Construction Cost Guarantee

See Government Support


A company or an individual providing advisory services.

Content Provider

Multilateral lending agencies, MCC, and UN offices that publish information with UNDB. Visit our content providers [hyperlink] page for details.


An agreement between two or more competent parties for the acceptance of doing, or not doing, something specified that has a legal and valuable consideration.

Contract Award (CA)

Contract Awards announce recently awarded contracts, including the type of goods, works or services involved, the amount of the contract award, and the name and country of the executing agency. Contract awards help companies and consultants monitor the competition and follow-up on subcontracting opportunities.

Contract Period

The length of time measured in months or years that the terms of a contract agreement are in effect.


Debt Guarantee

See Government Support


Economies in Transition

Economies which are changing from a centrally planned economy to a free market. Transition economies undergo economic liberalization (letting market forces set prices and lowering trade barriers).

Exchange Rate Guarantee

See Government Support

Executing Agency

An agency that completes assigned tasks and responsibilities to customary or specified standards within a certain time frame.

Expressions of Interest (EOI)

A note received from a supplier in response to a request to express interest in an upcoming procurement activity. It confirms interest to make an offer to supply goods, works, or services.


General Procurement Notice (GPN)

An advertisement announcing upcoming procurement for a project that is generally financed by a development bank or government agency. Specific contracts are not usually mentioned, rather it is designed to let bidders and consultants become aware of certain types of contracts that will follow. A GPN is usually followed by a Specific Procurement Notice (SPN).


Physical and tangible items that satisfy some human want or need, or something useful or desirable that people make an effort to acquire.

Government Notice

An advertisement announcing a contract that is being financed by a government agency.

Government Support

Hosting governments provide financial support to reduce the financial risk of a project in many ways. Some of the forms of government support are:

(a) Cash Subsidy - When a government agrees to provide cash subsidy to a project. It can be a total lump sum or a fixed amount per new connection, and payments can be either in installments or all at once.

(b) Payment Guarantee - When a government agrees to fulfill the obligations of a purchaser (typically a state-owned-enterprise) with respect to the private entity in the case of non-performance by the purchaser.

(c) Debt Guarantee - When a government secures the borrowings of a private entity. That is, a government guarantees repayment to creditors in the case of a default by a private entity.

(d) Revenue Guarantee - When a government sets a minimum variable income for the private operator; typically this income is from user fee payments by end-use customers. This form of guarantee is most common in roads with minimum traffic or revenue set by a government.

(e) Exchange Rate Guarantee - When a government protects a private entity from fluctuations in the value of the local currency. For example, the government will agree to reimburse the private entity for losses on debt services if the value of the local currency dips by, say, 20 percent or greater.

(f) Construction Cost Guarantee - When a government protects a private entity from potential cost overruns in the construction phase of a project.


Implementing Agency

An organization that does the research and implementation of development projects.

All the UNDB implementing agencies are well-qualified to be an intermediary between international development assistance agencies and local people.

International Competitive Bidding (ICB)

The procurement procedure where tendering is open to all local or international legal entities interested to submit a tender.

Invitations for Prequalification

An advertisement announcing a contract to determine if an applicant has the requisite resources and experience to complete the job as required.

Invitations to Bid (ITB)

Oral or written invitation to prospective suppliers to submit a bid on materials or services. An ITB is only a solicitation and does not qualify as an offer since the party making it does not wish to enter into a binding agreement without further negotiations.



An administrative entity composed of a clearly defined territory and its population and commonly denotes a city, town or village, or a small grouping of them. In most countries, a municipality is the smallest administrative subdivision to have its own democratically elected representative leadership.

Monthly Operational Summary (MOS)

Reports on the status of projects while they are in the bank's lending pipeline. Projects appear in the MOS from the point they are identified up to the signing of the loan or credit agreement. After loans or credits are signed, entries for projects are dropped from the MOS. Development Business publishes the MOS of the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.


Payment Guarantee

See Government Support


A complete process of purchasing, planning, financing, transportation, inspection, inventory control, store keeping, and disposal operations.

Procurement Cycle

A full procurement cycle involves the following stages:

(a) Identification of needs

(b) Tendering

(c) Contracting

(d) Contract execution and monitoring

Procurement Notice

An advertisement announcing upcoming or current contracts including Request for Expressions of Interest (for consulting assignments), Requests for Prequalification, and General and Specific Procurement Notices .

Project Name

The project name will generally describe the project type or the project area.



An area considered as a unit for geographical, functional, social, or cultural reasons.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A solicitation document used in a competitive sealed proposal method of procurement, to communicate the district’s requirements to prospective suppliers, when the use of competitive sealed bidding is not practical, and the award will be based on both price and non-price evaluation factors in the solicitation.

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

A solicitation document used in simplified acquisitions to communicate district requirements to prospective contractors.

Revenue Guarantee

See Government Support



A particular aspect of activity (i.e. telecommunication, pipelines, etc.) See our full list of sectors [hyperlink].


The action or instance of soliciting; urgently asking.


An explicit set of requirements to be satisfied by a material, product, or service.

Specific Procurement Notice (SPN)

An advertisement announcing a current contract that is generally financed by a development bank or government agency. This should include enough details, allowing potential bidders and consultants to determine if it is something they could pursue.


The process of entering a contractual agreement with an outside person or company to perform a certain amount of work.



A written offer to contract goods or services at a specified cost or rate.


A legal entity approached by the buyer to submit a tender/offer for a specific project.

Terms and Conditions

A phrase generally applied to the rules under which all bids must be submitted, and the stipulations included in most purchase contracts; often published by the purchasing authorities for the information of all potential vendors.



Manufacturer, producer, or seller



A promise or affirmation given by a contractor to the district regarding the nature, usefulness, or condition of the supplies, services, or construction furnished under a contract.