Several of the proposed simplifications of the procurement rules that are set out in the report “Möjligt, tillåtet och tillgängligt” (Possible, permitted and accessible) are good and should be implemented. This is declared by the Swedish Competition Authority in an opinion submitted to the Government.
“It should be easy to do the right thing, and that applies to both the companies that supply goods or services to the public sector and those who work with procurement. Simplifying the rules to make public procurement more efficient is an urgent matter”, says Rikard Jermsten, Director-General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
Several of the proposals presented by Förenklingsutredningen (the government inquiry on simplified procurement rules) are given the approval of the Swedish Competition Authority. Examples include using the same methods for calculating the estimated value of procurement the same, regardless of whether the value of the procurement is above or below the EU threshold.
Compiling all direct procurement rules in one place in the legislation is another proposal that is approved, as are giving the national threshold for direct awards a set value and reducing the amount of references to other sections of the procurement acts.
“The aim of the inquiry, for the legislation to have as few regulatory systems and levels as possible, is good. This will make it clearer for those who work with public procurements what rules are to be implemented and it will be easier to monitor compliance”, says Rikard Jermsten.
However, the Swedish Competition Authority has objections to several of the inquiry's proposals. These include the proposals that the threshold for direct awards for social and other specific services (Annex XIV of the classical directive) be raised to SEK 7.1 million, introducing a single national principle for direct awards, concerning “covering purchases” in the event of a review and removing the mandatory grounds for when a company that has committed crimes shall be excluded from procurement processes.
Förenklingsutredningen proposed that both application fees and process cost liability shall be implemented when procurement processes are reviewed. The Competition Authority objects to both of these measures being implemented simultaneously as the consequences are difficult to predict. When choosing which of the two measures to use, it is the Competition Authority's opinion that application fees should be the first choice.
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