Dalarna County Council and Region Gotland are charged with fines/procurement damages for illegally directly awarding air ambulance contracts. The procurements were not advertised in accordance with the procurement rules, according to the Swedish Competition Authority.
Dalarna County Council and Region Gotland were without contracted air ambulances services in 2017. A national collaboration project to provide air ambulance transports was running late. In 2015 it was clear that the collaboration would not provide a contract for 2017. Gotland and Dalarna had not addressed the issue through an advertised procurement while waiting on the joint solution. They ended up directly awarding services of around SEK 3.16 million and SEK 5.2 million respectively. Both cases exceeded the amount limit for when the direct awarding of contracts is allowed.
The need for these services had not arisen suddenly, and the Competition Authority’s investigation has not uncovered any mitigating circumstances.
“Illegal direct awarding of contracts is a breach of the law that we take very seriously. Ending up without an existing contract is never good,” says Rikard Jermsten, Director-General of the Competition Authority.
“When procuring authorities cooperate to make joint procurements, each authority still retains responsibility for ensuring that they comply with procurement legislation. Each procuring authority is responsible for having a correctly procured contract while waiting for the joint project to provide the intended services.”
The Competition Authority now turns to the administrative courts in Falun and Stockholm, petitioning for Dalarna County Council to pay SEK 375,000 and Region Gotland to pay SEK 230,000 in fines/procurement damages.
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