FAO Procurement
 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the FAO Procurement Policy?

1. What is the FAO Procurement Policy?

On January 1st 2010, the Organization adopted a revised version of the procurement policy (MS 502). It is based on the fundamental principles of Best Value for Money, fairness, transparency, economy and effectiveness. MS502 is also designed to:

  • promote standardization and the use of Framework Agreements, when appropriate, to maximize efficient use of resources;
  • give due consideration to the importance of attaining an equitable international distribution of procurement sources while encouraging developing and emerging economies and supporting capacity building in beneficiary countries, particularly in emergency and post-emergency rehabilitative situations;
  • favour cooperation with other entities of the United Nations system, when appropriate; and
  • promote a competitive market by favouring procurement from the private sector over procurement from government entities,  government controlled enterprises or Vendors receiving government subsidies, except when the latter is the only viable option or would result in substantial benefit to the Organization or to the beneficiaries of its technical cooperation activities.

2. How can I register as a Vendor with FAO?

2. How can I register as a Vendor with FAO?

FAO has recently launched a new Vendor registration system which is accessible through the Internet and interfaced with the United Nations Global Marketplace (UNGM).  Please go to the FAO Procurement web site Vendor Registration page for more details.

3. I have registered as a FAO Vendor but I have never been invited to bid

3. I have registered as a FAO Vendor but I have never been invited to bid

This may be due to several reasons, i.e. the product or service you offer is rarely required by FAO or your registration did not include commodities that FAO requires. However, if you believe that your product and/or services are required by FAO, please contact the Vendor Team on Global-Vendor-Management@fao.org.

4. How can I find out whether my range of products or services is procured by FAO?

4. How can I find out whether my range of products or services is procured by FAO?

You can access this information by clicking on “Frequently Procured Goods and Services” on the left navigation bar of this website. You should also remember that FAO procurement is decentralized. Companies interested in doing business with FAO are encouraged to express their interest to become an FAO Vendor by contacting Regional, Sub-Regional and Country Offices.

5. Are FAO purchases tax/duty free?

5. Are FAO purchases tax/duty free?

As an inter-governmental organization, the UN is exempt from payment of taxes and duties for its purchases.

6. Does FAO do business with small companies?

6. Does FAO do business with small companies?

Yes, absolutely. FAO's procurement decisions are not based on the size of a Vendor, but on the quality, price, ability to supply, perform according to requirements and other factors that facilitate Best Value for Money procurement. 

7. Does the Procurement Service at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy procure for the whole FAO system?

7. Does the Procurement Service at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy procure for the whole FAO system?

No. The FAO Regional, Sub-Regional and Country Offices have delegated authority to carry out their own procurement up to established financial limits. Only requirements beyond these limits and those required by Headquarters Offices are conducted by FAO Procurement Service in Rome.

8. How does the FAO pay Vendors?

8. How does the FAO pay Vendors?

The standard payment term for procurement of goods through a Purchase Order (PO) is 30 days net upon receipt of shipping documents and inspection report on loading/ upon delivery or as indicated in the PO. The payment terms for services through a contract are generally linked to milestones or deliverables.  Advance payments, except as foreseen in MS 502 are permitted only with a financial guarantee (e.g. bank guarantee, performance bond, insurance for non-performance).

9. Does FAO require performance guarantee?

9. Does FAO require performance guarantee?

A Performance Guarantee is normally required for high value or technically complex contracts to secure the performance of the contract, including during its warranty period. The Organization’s standard is usually in the form of a bank-issued Performance Bond equal to 10 % - 20% of the contract amount. The Vendor must confirm that it will be in a position to provide the Performance Bond, which will become a pre-condition to contract award.

10. I will be on a business trip to Rome and would like to meet procurement officers at FAO. Is that possible?

10. I will be on a business trip to Rome and would like to meet procurement officers at FAO. Is that possible?

It is the policy of FAO and the United Nations not to take meetings with potential suppliers. Along these same lines, FAO discourages personal relationships between staff/representatives and suppliers. Instead, we invite all suppliers to access the UN Global Marketplace (www.ungm.org) which is the vendor registration portal. The portal is also available through the FAO website at http://www.fao.org/unfao/procurement/travailleraveclafao/en/.

Submitting a completed application through the UN Global Marketplace does not mean that a vendor will automatically be invited to tender. Invitation will depend on a company's experience, its ability to perform, financial soundness and the relevance of the goods, works or services offered.

11. Do the FAO procurement guidelines give special preferences to companies from certain countries?

11. Do the FAO procurement guidelines give special preferences to companies from certain countries?

No.  However, companies may be requested to provide proof that their products, particularly if sensitive (e.g. pesticides, vaccines, etc.) have been registered in the destination countries.  In addition, FAO procurement guidelines allow, under specific circumstances, invitations to tenders to be restricted to local/ regional Vendors. 

12. How does FAO combat fraud and corruption in procurement?

12. How does FAO combat fraud and corruption in procurement?

FAO strives to observe the highest standards of ethics in procurement. Companies can report allegations of fraud and corruption to the Office of the Inspector General using fax number (+39) 06 5705 5550 or  email Inspector-General@fao.org. As of January 2014, FAO has introduced a Vendor Sanctions policy to which all suppliers are subject. If a company has been proven to have engaged in fraudulent or corrupt practices, FAO may, but is not limited to:

(a) Reject an Offer to award a contractual instrument; and/or
(b) Debar a Vendor for a period of time, from participation in a solicitation process, and/or
(c) Cancel or terminate a contractual instrument,
(d) Inspect and/ or audit a Vendor in connection with a particular contractual instrument.

13. Our company has been doing business with FAO over the last 5 years. As an appreciation of our business relationships, our company would like to present a gift to the Organization. How can we do it?

13. Our company has been doing business with FAO over the last 5 years. As an appreciation of our business relationships, our company would like to present a gift to the Organization. How can we do it?

FAO would not be able to accept any gift from your company since it is bound by “No-gift and no-hospitality policy” which applies equally to all Vendors, current or prospective. FAO personnel who are offered gifts or hospitality must decline and inform the Vendor of the “no-gift” policy and the reasons for it. The Vendor will be requested not to deliver or deposit any gift either for individuals or for a particular department, division, service, office or unit of the Organization. We appreciate your understanding.