Haninge Municipality’s property company Tornberget illegally awarded contracts regarding operational services without a prior notice. The Swedish Competition Authority therefore demands that the court sentences Tornberget to pay SEK 100,000 as a procurement fine.
The municipal company Tornberget Fastighetsförvaltnings AB in Haninge was reorganised in 2017. Due to the reorganisation, some activities linked to operational contract services would no longer be performed in-house, but would instead be purchased from external parties. After the in-house staff was dismissed in August 2017, the need for the services in question was met through a number of direct awards. A contract awarded after publication of a contract notice in accordance with the Public Procurement Act (LOU) was not signed until 1 May 2019.
The company claims that the direct awards were due to an extreme urgency. However, according to the Swedish Competition Authority, the procurement should have published since the urgency arose as a result of the company’s own actions and, in addition, the company could have anticipated the events. Therefore, this was an illegal direct award of contract. The value of the procurement in question is just over SEK 1.4 million.
”Exceptions to the obligation to publish a prior notice must always be used restrictively,” says Karin Lunning, Deputy Director General at the Swedish Competition Authority.
”It is important that procuring authorities act in such a way that they do not find themselves in a situation where they are not able to make carefully considered and planned purchases. Moreover, in this case, the purchasing has been allowed to continue for a long time.”
The Swedish Competition Authority has now addressed the Administrative Court in Stockholm and demanded that Haninge’s property company Tornberget be sentenced to pay SEK 100,000 as a procurement fine.