Lapplands kommunalförbund (the federation of local municipalities in Lappland) breached procurement rules with a purchase of educational equipment. The fact that the purchase was financed by an external party does not constitute grounds for an exemption from the rules. This has been confirmed by a ruling of the Swedish Competition Authority.
Certain purchases intended for the electrical and energy education program at Hjalmar Lundbohmsskolan were made without following the procurement rules, according to a ruling by the Swedish Competition Authority. The value of the purchased products exceeded the limit for the direct awarding of a contract. The procurement should, therefore, have been advertised to provide additional suppliers with the opportunity to submit tenders.
“When procurements are opened up to competition by advertising, more suppliers are able to submit tenders. This increases the possibility of making the best purchase of the highest quality and at the lowest price”, says acting Director-General of the Swedish Competition Authority Karin Lunning.
A contracting authority is obliged to comply with procurement legislation even if the purchases are financed by a third party – in this instance, by the LKAB Akademi foundation. The new procurement legislation, which came into effect at the beginning of the year, does not constitute any change in this respect.
The procurement rules also require documentation to be produced for the actual procurement, and this had not been performed in this case.
“Illegal direct awards of contracts are given priority in our monitoring of compliance with procurement rules”, says Karin Lunning.
The purchases in question were made in 2014 and 2015, which means that they happened too long ago for it to be possible to impose procurement fines on Lapplands kommunalförbund. The Swedish Competition Authority’s monitoring work means that the completed procurement is now being subjected to criticism.
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