Doing Business with UNON

What we do

The UNON Procurement Section undertakes the procurement of goods, services and/or works for UNON, UNEP, UN-Habitat and their respective Offices Away from Headquarters (OAHs). The Procurement Section is also responsible for registering vendors. Procurement adheres to the Financial Regulations 5.12 and Financial Rules 105.03 105.19, as well as the Procurement Manual. See latest version of the Procurement Manual as well as the Financial Regulations and Rules under its own headings. Financial Regulation 5.12 Procurement functions include all actions necessary for the acquisition, by purchase or lease, of property, including products and real property, and of services, including works. The following procurement principles shall be given due consideration when exercising the procurement functions of the United Nations: Best Value for Money; Fairness, integrity and transparency; Effective international competition; The interest of the United Nations Organization.

Procurement Procedures

Vendor Registration at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON)

ALL vendors are required to register companies online, on the UN Global Marketplace (UNGM) www.ungm.org. Please note that vendors must ensure that UN Secretariat is selected among the UN Organizations with whom they wish to conduct business.

Mandatory registration requirements:
Basic Registration - Contract value between US$4,000 – US$40,000

  • Basic vendor information
  • UN Supplier Code of Conduct
  • Codes for relevant goods/ services

Level 1 – Contract value between US$40,000 – US$500,000

  • Certificate of Incorporation (or equivalent)
  • Contact details of three (3) references

Level 2 – Contract value above US$500,000

  • Three reference letters (last 12 months)
  • Financial documents – audited financial documents (last 3 years)

Please indicate UNGM number and registration status when submitting quotations/bids/proposals

Expression of Interest (EOI)

It is a mandatory requirement to advertise requirements for all procurement exercises in excess of $50,000. Presently, UNON is posting EOIs on its website www.unon.org, on UNGM (United Nations Global Market Place, www.ungm.org), as well as on Procurement Division's website. All vendors that present their interest and meet potential pre-qualifying criteria will be invited. Other vendors already on the vendor roster will also be invited.

Request for Information (RFI)

Request for Information (RFI) is an instrument to conduct a market survey to obtain information that can be used to identify available or potential solutions/suppliers to fulfill identified needs. The RFI shall be advertised on UNON’s website UNPD website, UNGM, and in any other media considered appropriate by the Procurement Official.

Strategic Source Selection Plan (SSP)

This Source Selection Plan (SSP) provides guidance on the selected solicitation process, establishes organizational responsibilities, defines technical evaluation criteria and procedures for evaluating bids / quotations / proposals received. The SSP describes critical components of the sourcing process and provides justification for sourcing decisions in order to achieve Best Value for Money. The Procurement Section utilizes the SSP for all requirements in excess of US$50,000.

Competitive Bidding - Solicitation documents

TThe UN uses three standard types of Solicitation Documents, namely Request For Quotation (RFQ), Invitation To Bid (ITB) and Request For Proposal. Each is used for a different type of procurement. RFQ is used for what is called Informal Method of Solicitation and ITB/RFP are used for Formal Method of Solicitation. Formal Methods of Solicitation require Public Bid Opening to be held by Procurement Section to which all participating vendors are invited

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

A Request for Quotation (RFQ) shall be used for the procurement of goods, services or works with standard and clear specifications and a total estimated value and up to US$50,000

Invitation to Bid (ITB)

An Invitation to Bid (ITB) shall be used for the procurement of goods with standard and clear specifications and a total estimated value in excess of US$ 50,000. There is no distinction between technical and financial evaluation as is for RFP, see below. A company needs to meet all criteria set out in the bidding document in order to be technically compliant. The award will be to the company that has the lowest cost and is technically compliant. The evaluation is done by Procurement.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

An Invitation to Bid (ITB) shall be used for the procurement of goods with standard and clear specifications and a total estimated value in excess of US$ 50,000. There is no distinction between technical and financial evaluation as is for RFP, see below. A company needs to meet all criteria set out in the bidding document in order to be technically compliant. The award will be to the company that has the lowest cost and is technically compliant. The evaluation is done by Procurement.

Exceptions to Competitive Bidding

There are exceptions to competitive bidding as laid out by the Financial Rule 105.16:

  1. When there is no competitive marketplace for the requirement, such as where a monopoly exists, where prices are fixed by legislation or government regulation or where the requirement involves a proprietary product or service;
  2. Where there has been a previous determination or there is a need to standardize the requirement;
  3. When the proposed procurement contract is the result of cooperation with other organization of the UN system, pursuant to rule 105.17;
  4. When offers for identical products and services have been obtained competitively within a reasonable period and the prices and conditions offered remain competitive;
  5. When, within a reasonable prior period, a formal solicitation has not produced satisfactory results;
  6. When the proposed procurement contract is for the purchase or lease of real property and market conditions do not allow for effective competition;
  7. When there is an exigency for the requirement;
  8. When the proposed procurement contract relates to obtaining services that cannot be evaluated objectively;
  9. When the Under-Secretary-General for Management otherwise determines that a formal solicitation will not give satisfactory results; The Chief Procurement Officer will review and approve waiver requests up to his/her delegated authority, which is US$150,000. Above this level, Director of Administrative Services, will review and approve requests.

Value Added Tax (VAT) and Excise Duty


Without prejudice to or limiting the provisions of Article 18 (Tax Exemption) or other provisions of the General Conditions, all taxable supplies (goods and services) to the United Nations Funds, Programmes and Specialized Agencies based in or operating from Kenya are exempt from Value Added Tax (see the VAT Act, 2013, 2nd Schedule, Part B ‘Zero Rated Supplies to Public Bodies, Privileged Persons & Institutions’, Paras (3) and (5)). Vendors are therefore required to present invoices without a tax element, that is, indicate 0% VAT on all invoices. The purchase orders or contracts issued by the United Nations Funds, Programmes and Specialized Agencies will serve as the basis for the zero rating when vendors are accounting for VAT with the Kenya Revenue Authority. In addition, United Nations Funds, Programmes and Specialized Agencies based in or operating from Kenya are exempt from excise duty (see The Excise Duty Act, 2015, Second Schedule, Part B paragraph 1 (a) and(b)).

Procurement Section
UN Gigiri Complex, Block V-2 West
E-mail: unon-procurement-enquiries@un.org