This International Mine Action Standard (IMAS) provides guidance on the development and management of mine action contracts, including commercial and NGO, to conduct specific mine action activities. This standard considers mine action contracting in general terms. It does not propose a specific contract structure as the most suitable structure will be dependent on the nature of the parties to the contract and the situation and environment in which the contracted activity will be conducted. Additionally, many potential principals such as the World Bank1, the European Commission2, the United Nations3 and major commercial organisations have their own well-tried procedures for developing and managing mine action contracts. This standard is not intended to replace these procedures. Rather, it is intended to highlight the key issues of the process as guidance to those that don’t have such procedures and as an aide-memoire for those that do. This standard does not provide specific guidance on grants or grant agreements.
The aim of this standard is to provide guidelines for the preparation of contracts for mine action and the subsequent management of the contracted activity. Even when work is carried out under an arrangement such as a letter of agreement rather than a formal contract, the basic principles and considerations should be contained in that arrangement. The aim is to promote a common and consistent approach to framing and managing contracts. This should then ensure the inclusion of those conditions that are necessary for the generation and demonstration of high quality management practices and operational capabilities. Such conditions will be regardless of the size or experience of the organisations carrying out the work.
For the purposes of this standard, the term ‘principal’ has been used rather than ‘donor’, ‘client’ or similar. This has been done in recognition of the fact that the organisation seeking to establish the mine action contract is paying a mine action organisation to achieve a particular outcome. This holds true whether the contracting organisation is a direct beneficiary of the mine action such as an infrastructure contractor or an indirect beneficiary such as a donor seeking an outcome for a local community. Equally, the guidance offered in this standard applies to commercial companies, NGOs and any other type of organisation that may be contracted to conduct mine action activities. From a contractual point of view, no distinctions are made between the types of contractor active in mine action. The principles of good contracting remain relevant whether the contractor is an NGO or a commercial enterprise. However, the principal may choose to apply the principles of contractor selection differently if there is insufficient time for the full contracting process, such as might be the case in an emergency situation. The actual contract should still incorporate the various issues and items identified in this standard.
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