Härjedalen’s Municipality violated the rules on public procurement by purchasing staffing services for social welfare services, outside the framework agreement. The Swedish Competition Authority has submitted a claim, requesting that the court shall impose a fine of SEK 260 000 on the municipality for breach of the procurement rules.
Härjedalen’s Municipality has been having problems since 2016 with their framework agreement for staffing services, since it appeared to be difficult for the suppliers to provide consultants. Despite the fact that the problems had been known for a long time, the municipality did not review the agreement, purchasing the staffing services instead from other suppliers outside the framework agreement. The value of the illegal direct awards during 2018 was close to SEK 3.5 million, which widely exceeds the limit for direct awards.
- It is important that contracting authorities regularly review their agreements, and that they allocate funds when existing agreements do not satisfy the authority’s needs, says Karin Lunning, Deputy Director-General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
It was an anonymous tip-off to the Swedish Competition Authority that has led to an investigation of the illegal direct awards.
– Purchases have been made here without transparency, which makes them difficult to detect. Tip-offs are an important supplement to our horizon scanning and help us ensure that procurement rules are observed, says Karin Lunning, Deputy Director-General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
The Swedish Competition Authority is now referring the matter to the Administrative Court in Härnösand with the demand that the Municipality shall be required by law to pay SEK 260,000 by way of a fine/procurement claim.
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