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procurement at the Financial Ombudsman Service

We buy a range of goods and services, from office supplies to new IT tools and software 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 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:

other contracting authorities supply, services and design contracts works contracts other specific contracts*
£ 181,302 4,104,394 615,278
221,000 5,225,000 750,000

*services listed in Anex XIV of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015

Almost all procurement contracts for business worth more than an EU limit listed above 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 and it is free for prospective suppliers to register on the portal.

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). These documents have been updated to comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with effect from 25 May 2018.

public sector contract

For more information on public sector contracts you might want to visit the "Sell goods or services to the public sector" website. The site provides an overview of the different processes we may 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 equality action plan.

contact us

For more information, please contact our procurement team.