Procurement Interview Questions & Answers

  1. Question 1. What Is The Objective Of Unicef Procurement Services?

    Answer :

    The objective of Procurement Services is to offer UNICEF’s knowledge, purchasing capacity and logistics expertise to development partners, so that they can use their own financial resources and donor funds to procure life-saving essential supplies for children. Procurement Services is an integrated component of UNICEF’s country programmes of cooperation and has become an important entry point for UNICEF in helping countries to strengthen their national capacity in planning for supply needs, selection of supplies and equipment and their effective delivery and distribution. Procurement Services is designed as a transitional mechanism for Governments until national public and private supply systems can effectively perform their role.

  2. Question 2. Why Does Unicef Offer Procurement Services?

    Answer :

    UNICEF is dedicated to protecting children’s and women’s rights through helping them meet their basic needs and expanding their opportunities. Making essential supplies available, accessible and affordable is core to this commitment. Procurement Services enables UNICEF to support Governments, NGOs, UN Agencies and other development partners in fulfilling children’s right to survival and development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.  The primary purpose is to ensure that Governments and other development partners can access UNICEF’s supply networks, experience and expertise to procure strategic, essential commodities for children.

  3. Recruitment Interview Questions

  4. Question 3. What Services Are Offered Via The Procurement Services Mechanism?

    Answer :

    Procurement Services can assist in the procurement of strategic essential commodities aimed at reducing under-five mortality, including vaccines, safe injection materials, essential medicines, medical and diagnostic supplies, bed nets, micronutrients, therapeutic food, equipment and supplies to ensure safe drinking water.  In addition, Procurement Services covers products required for children’s education as well as other supplies, equipment and services that are in line with UNICEF’s mandate. 

    Supply related services including warehousing, in-country logistics and other operational support are provided with the aim of developing capacity in national procurement and supply systems or to assist in emergency situations.

  5. Question 4. Where Can I Find Details About The Commodities Available Under Procurement Services?

    Answer :

    The UNICEF Supply Catalogue contains specifications for over 2,000 commodities that respond to the needs of children and their families. The Catalogue is designed to help partners identify the most appropriate supplies for the programmes, and assist in supply planning, delivery and monitoring.

  6. Question 5. Does Unicef Make A Profit From Procurement Services?

    Answer :

    No, UNICEF does not make a profit from Procurement Services.

  7. HR Interview Questions

  8. Question 6. How Are The Funds Transferred By A Procurement Services Partner Recorded And Managed By Unicef?

    Answer :

    With the exception of Handling Fees, UNICEF does not take title to funds paid to UNICEF by Procurement Services partners. In general, funds transferred by Procurement Services partners are treated as trust funds by UNICEF and are to be used exclusively to implement the Procurement Services arrangement entered into with the partner.

  9. Question 7. How Does Unicef Ship Supplies?

    Answer :

    We deliver supplies “Cost and Insurance Paid” (CIP – Inco terms 2010) to the port of entry designated in the Cost Estimate. UNICEF nominated freight forwarders deliver the goods to the port of entry designated by the partner.  If you request supplies to be shipped by air, the port of entry is usually the nearest major international airport.  For sea shipments, the port of entry is usually the nearest major international seaport in the country where the project is implemented.  The seaport of entry for land-locked countries varies on a case-by-case basis.  In general, air shipments will carry a higher delivery cost than ground or sea shipments.

  10. Hr Coordinator Interview Questions

  11. Question 8. How Long Will It Take To Receive The Order?

    Answer :

    The lead time on orders is calculated from the time of acceptance of the Cost Estimate and deposit of funds for the supplies, and it depends on factors such as the availability of the commodity, the quantities requested, the general market situation, etc.  Generally, it takes a minimum of 6 weeks after the deposit of funds for the goods to be delivered.

  12. Question 9. How Are Suppliers Selected?

    Answer :

    UNICEF suppliers are carefully chosen through a competitive bidding process, which starts with a pre-qualification stage, on the basis of quality systems/organization, adherence to ethical standards, capacity and financial soundness. UNICEF continuously evaluates its suppliers.  Samples of their products are approved before contracts are awarded, and quality checks can also be made before goods are shipped or received.  All supplies entering the UNICEF Copenhagen warehouse are carefully inspected according to international standards.

  13. Question 10. I Would Like Special Markings On My Supplies. Is This Possible?

    Answer :

    Yes.  Please inform us if you have any special requirements, when you request the Cost Estimate, and before the deposit of funds as this can influence the pricing information.

  14. Question 11. What Steps Does A Partner Need To Take To Order Through Procurement Services?

    Answer :

    • Check to see if you are eligible to order through procurement services (Procurement Services are only available to governments, non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies, international financial institutions, philanthropic organizations and universities)
    • Register as a Partner (only applicable for non-governmental organizations).
    • Select supplies through the Supply Catalogue.
    • Complete a request for Cost Estimate from using UNICEF Supply Catalogue
    • Submit the request to the UNICEF Country Office and/or directly to UNICEF Supply Division Procurement Services Centre.
    • A Cost Estimate for the supplies and services you require is prepared and sent to you with a letter of offer.  The letter outlines the advance payment procedure.
    • A signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) must be received prior to any procurement activity.  If you do not have a valid agreement we will inform you accordingly and guide on the process to establish one.
    • Upon receipt of your advance payment and a signed MOU, procurement activities commence.   An order confirmation is sent to you.
    • A final statement of accounts is sent to you along with a customer survey form, for you to complete and return.

    Any remaining contingency buffer and /or balances can be reprogrammed or returned.

  15. Question 12. In What Languages Are Standard Mous Available?

    Answer :

    Standard MOU templates are available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian.

  16. Recruitment Interview Questions

  17. Question 13. What Is The Difference Between Standard And Non-standard Mous And Who Must Approve And Sign A Mou?

    Answer :

    A standard MOU has a fixed, pre-determined text which has been approved by the Director of Supply Division (SD) and cannot be changed in areas other than designated entry fields. Standard MOUs are signed between the partner and UNICEF Representatives in Country Offices, or in instances where there is no Country Office presence, with SD Director.

    A non-standard MOU is an MOU in which text or format other than the designated entry fields has been changed and is prepared in order to meet specific requests or needs of the customer which are not addressed in the standard MOU. Non-standard MOUs are approved by the SD Director on a case-by-case basis, and are signed between the partner and UNICEF Representatives in Country Offices, or in instances where there is no Country Office presence, with SD Director. UNICEF Representatives in Country Offices may sign a non-standard MOU only upon prior written delegation of signing authority by the SD Director.

  18. Question 14. What’s The Process For Signing A Standard Mou?

    Answer :

    • Make sure the correct template is being used (Government, NGO or UN) and replace all the grey-shaded fields with the correct information.
    • Print two hard copies and sign/date both, then submits both original signed copies to the UNICEF Country Office Representative for counter signature (or to Procurement Services if there is no UNICEF Country Programme). A fully signed copy will be returned to the partner for their records.
    • Please note that any changes to the standard MOU template require clearance from the Director of Supply Division prior to signature.
  19. Question 15. When Can The Partner Expect A Statement Of Account?

    Answer :

    UNICEF issues the Statement of Account within 30 days after the last charge has been received and processed by UNICEF (for supplies, freight and insurance). On average, this takes 3-4 months after the delivery of the final shipment of supplies at the Port of Destination.

  20. Question 16. I Have A Family Member Who Is A Supplier To The University. What Should I Do?

    Answer :

    You need to declare this on the personal interest form and must ensure that the University is notified of this whenever any business dealings may be impacted by this relationship.

  21. Question 17. A Supplier Has Phoned For A Discussion On A Tender, What Should I Do?

    Answer :

    Ask the supplier to put their queries in writing to the Procurement Service (contact details will be included within the tender document). This will then be reviewed and if necessary a response will be provided to all suppliers.

  22. Question 18. Why Must All Suppliers Is Given The Same Information?

    Answer :

    This is to ensure openness and transparency, and to ensure that no supplier is given an unfair advantage over another.

  23. HR Interview Questions

  24. Question 19. What Information Is Deemed To Be Confidential?

    Answer :

    The Procurement Service will review this in conjunction with the supplier and guidance in relation to the Freedom of Information Act.

  25. Question 20. A Supplier Has Offered To Take Me Out For Lunch, What Should I Do?

    Answer :

    If the supplier is contracted to the University and the lunch is of low value (i.e. a sandwich lunch) this is fine to accept. However, if the supplier is currently in a tender process, under no circumstance should lunch be accepted. For a lunch where the value is over £30, the gifts and hospitality form should be completed and sent to the Procurement Service.

  26. Question 21. I Have Been Offered A Gift By A Supplier, What Should I Do?

    Answer :

    This should be notified to the approver and where the value is over £30 the gifts and hospitality form should be completed and sent to the Procurement Service. The gift should then be raffled within the Department with the proceeds being donated to charity.

  27. Question 22. What Is Value For Money?

    Answer :

    Value for money is a detailed and complex evaluation that takes place to review the value that the University will derive from a purchase, whether that is additional value in terms of additional warranty, additional functionality, energy consumption, whole life costs, total cost of ownership or the price that will be paid.

  28. Question 23. My Purchase Is From Grant Funding. Do The University’s Procedures Still Apply?

    Answer :

    Regardless of the source of funding, the money is classed as public money, so University procedures and legislation will apply.

  29. Question 24. How Is Spend Analysis Conducted?

    Answer :

    Spend information is taken from all financial systems, Oracle, acquire and Barclaycard spend. This is then reviewed to look at off-contract spend, and these are then categorised into short-term (contract needed within 12 months, perhaps where there is a legal requirement or there is likely to be an increase in spend); medium-term (contract needed within 24 months) and long-term (contract needed, but not urgent as there are other contracts available that can be used).

  30. Hr Coordinator Interview Questions

  31. Question 25. Who Conducts The Market Research?

    Answer :

    Market research will be led by the Procurement Service, but stakeholders often have a very good understanding of the market available and can provide information that will assist in this review.

  32. Question 26. Can Stakeholders Influence Sourcing Strategies?

    Answer :

    Yes, stakeholders will be included in the planning process to ensure that their needs are met and to capture any specialist knowledge they have.

  33. Question 27. I Need To Write My First Specification And I Don’t Know Where To Start.

    Answer :

    The tender process will be discussed with you as soon as you have highlighted the requirement to the Procurement Service. As part of this process, the specification and requirements will be discussed. Sample specifications can be provided to assist, and the Procurement Service also offer training in how to write specifications.

  34. Question 28. How Will I Know What To Include In The Specification?

    Answer :

    The tender process will be discussed with you as soon as you have highlighted the requirement to the Procurement Service. As part of this process, the specification and requirements will be discussed, and it will be agreed with you the kind of information you need to include within your specification. Sample specifications can be provided to assist, and the Procurement Service also offer training in how to write specifications.

  35. Question 29. I Need To Buy Some Equipment That Fits In With Other Equipment. Can I Specify That?

    Answer :

    Only where there is a specific need to link in to other equipment for compatibility reasons cans a brand be specified. If there is no issue with compatibility, a particular brand cannot be specified. The Procurement Service will be able to provide advice.

  36. Question 30. What Happens If I Realise I Have Missed Something From The Specification After The Tender Document Has Been Issued But Before The Tender Documents Have Been Received From Suppliers?

    Answer :

    This needs to be discussed with the Procurement Service who will be able to advice on the best course of action. It may be necessary to re-issue the tender, or in the case of an EU tender, re-advertise.

  37. Question 31. What Happens If I Realise I Have Missed Something From The Specification After The Tender Documents Have Been Received From Suppliers?

    Answer :

    This needs to be discussed with the Procurement Service who will be able to advice on the best course of action. It may be necessary to re-issue the tender, or in the case of an EU tender, re-advertise.

  38. Question 32. Why Do Evaluation Criteria Need To Be Agreed In Advance?

    Answer :

    In EU tenders, there is a legal requirement that selection and award criteria are notified to suppliers in the notice and documentation, so they understand the importance that we have placed on each section. In non-EU tenders, it is still good practice to do this.

  39. Question 33. Can We Negotiate To Bring The Suppliers Price Down?

    Answer :

    Negotiation or bartering on price is not ethical, however there are techniques that can be adopted to influence a change in a proposal, for example value engineering. This must be done by trained Procurement Service staff. If price is very important, it may be possible to carry out an eAuction. This must be decided in advance of the tender.

  40. Question 34. What Happens If I Do Not Want To Award The Contract Or Tender To The Supplier Ranked In First Position?

    Answer :

    The reason for agreeing the evaluation criteria in advance is to ensure that the correct weightings have been given to those areas of most importance. Through the detailed evaluation undertaken, the supplier ranked in first position should therefore be the correct supplier, and an award will be made.

  41. Question 35. Can I Be Involved In Contract Management?

    Answer :

    Stakeholders can and will be involved in contract management and review meetings, where appropriate.

  42. Question 36. What Is A Contract Management Log?

    Answer :

    A contract management log is a shared document between the University and the supplier that is used to capture all activities relating to the contract. Whether it is improvements, records of meetings or issues, the contract management log will help develop the current contract and also form the basis for future contracts.

  43. Question 37. I Am Having Problems With A Supplier. What Do I Need To Do?

    Answer :

    Please contact the Procurement Service to discuss. There are several options available, each of them will be discussed with you, but could include a formal letter to the supplier detailing issues, formal meeting with agenda to discuss issues, or, in extreme cases, notification to the supplier of breach of contract. The Procurement Service will be in the best position to provide advice.

  44. Question 38. I Am Responsible For Requisitioning On Behalf Of A Department That Uses Acquire. How Long Will It Take For My Requisition To Be Dealt With?

    Answer :

    This will depend on the complexity of the requirement, but all requisitions will be reviewed, though not necessarily auctioned, within 3 working days, as it will depend upon the level of purchase required.

  45. Question 39. Why Does Financial Approval Take Place After The Sourcing In Acquire But Before On The Paper Based System?

    Answer :

    This is because the actual cost is being approved in the electronic system acquiring. It is therefore important to ensure your approver is happy for you to place the requisition, to save them rejecting it after the sourcing has taken place.

  46. Question 40. I Have Already Obtained Quotes. What Should I Do With Them?

    Answer :

    Unless you work in the Faculty of Science and the value is less than £10,000, it is the Procurement Service’s responsibility to obtain quotations. Please attach what you have to the requisition, but for future requests, please ensure that a specification is provided so that the Procurement Service can source quotations.

  47. Question 41. How Do I Raise A Capital Equipment Requisition In Acquire?

    Answer :

    Please ensure that you select the field for capital on the requisition screen.

  48. Question 42. What Else Do I Need To Do If I Am Buying Research Equipment?

    Answer :

    Where equipment is being purchased for research purposes, the research form must be attached to all requisitions, otherwise it will be rejected.

  49. Question 43. Why Do I Need To Complete A Grn?

    Answer :

    Failure to complete a GRN will result in invoices being unable to be matched and paid which could put us in breach of contract with our suppliers.

  50. Question 44. I Know The Supplier I Want, How Do I Identify This To The Procurement Service?

    Answer :

    Unless the supplier is legitimate single source, there should be no stipulation in advance of a tender of who the stakeholder or approver wishes to use. A full tender exercise will be completed that will determine the supplier best placed to fulfill the requirement.

  51. Question 45. How Do I Get A Supplier Added To Oracle For Tendering?

    Answer :

    Please review the supplier process.

  52. Question 46. There Is Only One Supplier Able To Carry Out This Work. Why Do You Still Need To Do A Tender?

    Answer :

    Even though there may only be one supplier capable of fulfilling the need, their suitability to work for the University still needs to be assessed.

  53. Question 47. Why Can I Not Give My Card To Somebody Else To Use On My Behalf?

    Answer :

    This is classed as fraud and must not be done under any circumstance. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to use the card in accordance with the training and policy.

  54. Question 48. I Have A Need To Buy Items Totaling £1,200. Can I Not Raise This As 2 Card Transactions?

    Answer :

    Transactions cannot be disaggregated, and this may result in one of the transactions being declined by Barclaycard. It may also result in your card being cancelled for mis-use.

  55. Question 49. I Have A Need To Buy Items Totaling £1,200. Can I Have My Card Limit Raised For This Transaction?

    Answer :

    Transaction limits for all cards were raised in 2012. Purchases over £1,000 need to be requisitioned and raised formally unless the cardholder works in the Faculty of Science in which case single transaction limits may be increased on receipt of the Purchasing card limit request form.

  56. Question 50. I Am A Grade 4 Administrator In A Department. Can I Have A Card?

    Answer :

    There is no stipulation on grade to be able to hold a purchasing card; it is up to the approver to determine who needs cards in their department or college.

  57. Question 51. I Am Out In The Field And Am Unable To Seek Approval From My Approver, What Do I Do?

    Answer :

    If possible, contact the approver by telephone or email asking for approval and complete the purchase card authorization form as soon as you are able.

  58. Question 52. A Supplier Has Not Sent Me A Receipt For A Transaction. What Do I Do?

    Answer :

    You must ask for a receipt when the purchase is made. If a receipt has not been issued, chase the supplier and ask for an invoice to support the purchase.

  59. Question 53. I Have An Urgent Requirement, What Do I Need To Do?

    Answer :

    If this is a genuine emergency, the in hours and out of hours emergency procedures will apply. However, this process cannot be used for failure to plan.

  60. Question 54. As Durham University Obtains Funding From Sources Other Than The Public Sector, Are We Still Classed As A Public Body?

    Answer :

    The issue of whether a University remains a contracting authority for the purposes of EU procurement law depends on the precise source of funding and this would need to be reviewed by an independent legal expert to determine.

  61. Question 55. Are There Any Advantages To Still Being Classed As A Public Body?

    Answer :

    The advantages that we receive by complying with EU legislation are:

    • Free advertising of requirements and therefore being alerted to other suppliers that may not have been known about otherwise.
    • Compliance with the competition act.
    • Assurance that a robust and fair process has been followed.
  62. Question 56. Why Does It Take So Long To Do An Eu Tender?

    Answer :

    There are timescales stipulated within the legislation that relate to the time the supplier has to review and submit documents. These timescales are deemed to be reasonable. The remainder of the time is linked to the process that the University undertakes in order to ensure a fair process and correct award. This would be undertaken regardless of whether it was an EU tender or not.

  63. Question 57. I Am Not Sure Of The Exact Spending For My Requirement, But It Is Likely To Be Close To £170k. Does This Need To Be An Eu Tender?

    Answer :

    As the limit is so close to the threshold set in the legislation, it would be appropriate to treat this as an EU tender. Failure to do so may result in the tender having to be aborted if costs escalated over the EU threshold.

  64. Question 58. Who Decides Which Eu Process Will Be Undertaken?

    Answer :

    The Procurement Service will make recommendations on the process, whether that will be a one stage or two stages, but the stakeholder is able to provide their own thoughts on this as part of the planning phase.

  65. Question 59. Who Decides If We Do Our Own Tender Or Use A Consortia Agreement?

    Answer :

    It is a requirement, as identified in the Diamond Report, for University’s to use collaborative agreements for 30% of their non pay spends. This is measured on an annual basis through statistical returns. The Procurement Service will always review any agreements that are available to use, and will discuss with the stakeholder if this is suitable for their needs. If they are, a mini competition will be undertaken that complies with the terms set in the framework agreement. This can substantially reduce timescales. If the agreement is not suitable, or does not closely match our requirements, we will have to do our own tender.

  66. Question 60. I Have Items That I Wish To Remove From My College Or Department. What Do I Need To Do?

    Answer :

    You will need to complete the appropriate Sold Note or Gifts of Second Hand Goods and Materials form in compliance with the appropriate procedure.

  67. Question 61. Does It Not Cost More To Buy Something Sustainable?

    Answer :

    We have proven through proactive contract management and engagement with suppliers that sustainable procurement does not need to cost more, and can often cost less.

  68. Question 62. Why Do We Need To Address Social Issues Within Tenders?

    Answer :

    The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 stipulates that public authorities need to have reviewed the social value of the service prior to tendering it. Failure to consider this may result in a legal challenge.