Procurement authority and responsibility (Financial Regulations and Rules)

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Financial Regulations and Rules >> V. Utilization of funds >> Procurement >> Authority and responsibility


Authority and responsibility

Rule 105.13[1]
(a) The Secretary-General is responsible for the procurement functions of the United Nations, shall establish all United Nations procurement systems and shall designate the officials responsible for performing procurement functions.
(b) The Secretary-General shall establish review committees, at Headquarters and other locations, to render written advice to him or her on procurement actions leading to the award or amendment of procurement contracts, which, for purposes of these Regulations and Rules, includes agreements or other written instruments such as purchase orders and contracts that involve income to the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall establish the composition and the terms of reference of such committees, which shall include the types and monetary values of proposed procurement actions subject to review.
(c) Where the advice of a review committee is required, no final action leading to the award or amendment of a procurement contract may be taken before such advice is received. In cases where the Secretary-General decides not to accept the advice of such a review committee, he or she shall record in writing the reasons for that decision.

Associated guidance

Procurement manual

Delegation of authority

Authority and responsibility for procurement is delegated to heads of entity under the standard delegation of authority reflected in Annex I of ST/SGB/2019/2

Delegation of authority instrument

As indicated in the delegation of authority instrument:

Authority and responsibility
1. As head of entity you are delegated the authorities set forth below for procurement under the Financial Regulations and Rules. This delegation to procure on behalf of the United Nations is granted with respect to your current function and must be exercised only by the authorities and at thresholds prescribed in the attached Delegation of Procurement Authority (Annex A) and Document Processing and Approval Matrix (Annex B), as revised from time to time.
I. Scope of this Delegation

2. Heads of entity are delegated the authority to enter into contracts up to the prescribed financial limits, based on their current function (role, level and entity), as detailed in Annex A, involving commitments to a single contractor for unrelated requirements based on the cumulative value of the requirement. The exercise of this delegation must be in accordance with the Document Processing and Approval Matrix (Annex B).

3. The Under-Secretary-General, Department of Operational Support is delegated the authority to make decisions regarding any procurement actions and activities not specifically delegated to heads of entity.

4. Heads of entity shall seek authority to commence procurement action for Strategic Goods and Services (as defined under regardless of the value or basis of award including all exceptions to formal methods of solicitation, from the Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support1 through a Local Procurement Authority (LPA).

5. In addition, approval to commence any procurement action under Financial Rules 105.16 (a) (i) - (x) and 105.17 (a) exceeding the head of entity’s delegated authority specified in Annex A, is to be received in writing from the Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, prior to commencing procurement action. Consistent with the principle of mutual recognition, review by a Committee on Contracts is not required when the procurement action is the result of cooperation pursuant to 105.17 (a).

6. If approval to commence procurement action under the Financial Rules referenced in paragraph 5 or an LPA is obtained for the Strategic Goods and Services, the thresholds in the attached Annex A and Annex B shall apply with regards to the review/approval of the proposed contract.

Ex post facto procurement

7. Heads of entity must avoid entering into ex post facto cases unless the situation is exigent as defined in General Assembly decision 54/468. An “ex post facto” case is one where deliverables have already been either fully or partially furnished prior to the review and approval to enter into contract by the appropriate authority. Should the contract include optional contract extension(s), such extension(s) must be submitted for approval to the appropriate authority prior to further committing the Organization. Against the background of Financial Rule 101.2, heads of entity shall be aware and remind all officials involved in the acquisition process under their authority that failure to abide with proper vetting and approval procedures demonstrates a disregard for the Financial Regulations and Rules. Ex post facto cases can be avoided through adequate internal controls, proper planning and timely action by end users, requisitioners, contract managers, certifying offices and procurement staff.

Authority to sub-delegate

8. Any sub-delegation must be to qualified[2] staff only and in accordance with Annex A and Annex B, unless otherwise authorized in writing in advance by the Secretary-General or his/her designated representative. It is important to ensure proper segregation of duties and to avoid any conflict of interest.

9. To exercise this delegation, the head of entity must have sufficient procurement capacity and infrastructure, which includes the following, or access to the following (from another UN Secretariat entity for example): bid receiving and safeguarding; a Tender Opening Committee; a Local Committee on Contracts; and sufficient procurement capacity i.e. a minimum of two fully dedicated, trained and qualified UN procurement officials of which at least one staff shall be a Procurement Officer (minimum P3 or FS6 level), unless otherwise agreed to in writing in advance by the Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support.

10. Procurement Officers must be technically cleared by the Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support prior to selection.

11. The mandatory UN procurement training must be completed by all officials prior to their acceptance of a sub-delegation. It is the responsibility of each official to also complete all required Umoja training prior to being granted access to Umoja.
II. Establishment of Local Committee on Contracts (LCC)
12. The provisions of the ST/AI/2011/8, as amended or superseded, shall apply fully to the present delegation and any resulting sub-delegations and includes the requirement for the head of entity to establish an LCC if that entity will undertake procurement action. At the discretion of the head of entity, they may authorize the D/CMS, D/CoA or equivalent to establish an LCC on their behalf. All cases above the Chief Procurement Officer’s authority will be subject to the review of either the LCC or the Headquarters Committee on Contracts (HCC) as specified in Annex B. All cases shall be submitted and processed only via the official online system as designated or otherwise authorized by the Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance.
III. Procurement Support by Other UN Secretariat Entities
13. If sufficient procurement capacity/infrastructure, does not exist in an entity, and another entity (procuring agent) has been approved by the Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, to undertake procurement on the entity’s behalf the procuring agent will undertake the procurement activity and approve entry into contract based on their own delegated authority, unless otherwise determined by the Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support. 14. Cooperation with any entity outside of the Secretariat within the UN system is subject to approval under Financial Rule 105.16 (a)(iii) and 105.17(a) as detailed in Annex A and Annex B, provided that the regulations and rules of those entities are consistent with those of the United Nations and that their established procurement process is followed when procuring for the Secretariat entity.
IV. Monitoring and Reporting

15. You are required to submit the following reports as specified: link (login required)

16. The Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance will monitor the functioning of the review committees on contracts.

Delegation thresholds

Department of Operational Support

The Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support has been delegated unlimited procurement authority.

Level Maximum sub-delegation
Assistant Secretary-General for Supply Chain Management Unlimited
Director, Procurement Division (DOS/OSCM) up to US$1,000,000
D-1 up to US$750,000
P-5 Procurement Officer up to US$500,000
P-4 Procurement Officer up to US$300,000
P-3 Procurement Officer up to US$100,000
P-2 Procurement Officer up to US$70,000
P-1/G-7 Procurement Officer up to US$50,000
G-6 Procurement Assistant up to US$25,000
G-5 Procurement Assistant up to US$15,000
All other entities

The standard delegation to heads of entity includes unlimited procurement authority. However, strategic goods and services are subject to advance Local Procurement Authority approval.

Level Maximum sub-delegation
Director/Chief of Mission Support, Director/Chief of Administration or equivalent Unlimited
P-5 Procurement Officer up to US$250,000
P-4/FS-7/NO-D Procurement Officer up to US$150,000
P-3/FS-6/NO-C Procurement Officer up to US$100,000
P-2/NO-B Procurement Officer up to US$70,000
P-1/NO-A/FS-5/G-7 Procurement Officer up to US$50,000
FS-4/G-6 Procurement Assistant up to US$25,000
FS-3/G-5 Procurement Assistant up to US$15,000


Rule 105.13 was amended by the Secretary-General in ST/SGB/2013/4/Amend.1 to remove references to the Under-Secretary-General for Management to reflect the management architecture and delegation of authority framework established on 1 January 2019 as part of the management reform.


  1. ST/SGB/2013/4/Amend.1
  2. To be considered “qualified” in the context of this delegation instrument completion of relevant procurement training ( is required in addition to meeting requirements in the relevant classified job descriptions. As of 1 January 2021, all procurement officials (excluding the Director/Chief of Mission Support/Administration or equivalent) will be required to be professionally certified by an internationally recognized procurement certification authority (such as CIPS or equivalent) to the required level as authorized by the Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support.