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procurement at the Financial Ombudsman Service

We buy a variety of goods and services, from basic office supplies to new tools to help us keep ahead of the curve. If you're a current or potential supplier for us, this page explains how we carry out procurement.

public procurement regulations

We're a "contracting authority" under the The Public Contracts Regulations 2015. This means that all contracts for relevant goods or services worth more than the values set out below have to meet European Union procurement directives:

  supplies services works
other public sector contracting authorities £164,176

Almost all procurement contracts for business worth more than an EU limit must be published in the daily supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). A free version of this journal (called TED) is available online.

We often use existing framework agreements in order to speed up the procurement process. A framework agreement works like a preferred suppliers list.

We use frameworks which have been set up by government departments (for example, the Crown Commercial Service) or other public sector bodies. Frameworks are set up following a competitive tender process and you'll need to directly contact the body in order to be included.

We use an “e-Sourcing portal” - a web-based application hosted by Bravo. This provides a simple, secure and efficient way of managing the tendering process.

E-procurement helps the ombudsman and our suppliers by:

  • providing an efficient, simple and auditable means of managing tendering processes;
  • improving visibility of sourcing activities; and  
  • working openly and collaboratively - and making sure competition is fair and open.

sourcing suppliers

We have a process in place for sourcing and selecting suppliers for goods, services and work we need carrying out. We identify suppliers from a number of sources, depending on the value and complexity of the procurement. These include:

  • the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU);
  • framework agreements set up by the Crown Commercial Service or other public sector frameworks;
  • the contracts finder website
  • researching internal supplier databases;
  • consulting with the sponsor of the tender and/or users;
  • consulting trade journals and business directories; and
  • contacting professional associations.

purchase orders

All suppliers who we work with must make sure they have a purchase order before providing any goods or services. View our full purchase order terms and conditions and annexes (our data processing schedule and security policy).

public sector contract

For more information on public sector contracts you might want to visit the “tendering for public sector contracts” website. The site provides an overview of the different processes we use, and a Crown Commercial Services (CCS) supplier helpline to aid you with any questions you may have about procurement rules and procedures.

procurement and our responsibility

We recognise our responsibility to the environment - and to making sure that our suppliers have fair and ethical labour policies.

As part of that responsibility, we expect all our suppliers to understand and agree with our equality and diversity policy and to share our commitment to our diversity and equalityaction plan.

contact us

For more information, please contact our procurement team.