The main goal of FAO procurement is to efficiently support FAO’s mandate of achieving a food-secure world by raising levels of nutrition, improving agricultural productivity, bettering the lives of rural populations and contributing to the growth of the world economy. As such, the primary focus of FAO procurement is in the areas of agricultural, forestry and fishery products and machinery, as well as services related to technical studies, construction and disseminating information.
FAO procurement is generally undertaken on the basis of competition and is based on the fundamental principles of Best Value for Money, fairness, transparency, economy and effectiveness. Additional objectives of FAO procurement are to:
- Promote the standardization and 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; 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.
The Procurement Service (CSDA) located at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy is responsible for all FAO procurement activities. CSDA falls under the general responsibility of the Director of Administrative Services Division (Corporate Services Department) and the direct supervision of the Chief of CSDA.
FAO locations outside of Headquarters including Regional, Sub-Regional and Liaison offices and FAO Representations (Non-HQ Locations) also exercise authority to procure goods, works and services within specified limits which are USD 100,000 for FAO Liaison Offices and Representation Offices, USD 150,000 for Sub-Regional Offices and USD 200,000 for Regional Offices. Procurement actions in excess of the authority delegated to Non-HQ Locations are handled by CSDA.