Knivsta Municipality kept placing orders after the Swedish Competition Authority had contacted the municipality and opened an investigation regarding illegal direct awarding. This is seen as an aggravating circumstance as the Swedish Competition Authority now brings legal action, demanding that the municipality be forced to pay SEK 210,000 in procurement fines.
When Knivsta Municipality was to create a new comprehensive plan, it employed a consultant. The contract with the consultant was entered into without prior advertisement since the contract value was below the direct awarding limit. The consultant’s assignment was then subsequently expanded and the total cost of the work ended up being around SEK 2.5 million. The procurement should therefore have been advertised so that all interested suppliers could submit tenders.
By not advertising the procurement, Knivsta Municipality is guilty of illegal direct awarding of a contract. The municipality kept ordering services from the consultant, even after the Swedish Competition Authority opened its investigation. The Competition Authority considers this to be an aggravating circumstance.
As grounds for the direct award of the contract, the municipality has referred to factors such as time constraints. This lack of time was due to the municipality deciding that the comprehensive plan should be completed in 2017.
“When a procuring body sets goals, it must take into consideration that the process will take some time. Advertising increases the chances of getting the best contract at the best price,” says Rikard Jermsten, Director-General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
The Swedish Competition Authority has now turned to the Administrative Court in Uppsala and has demanded that Knivsta Municipality be ordered to pay SEK 200,000 in procurement fines.
For more information, please contact:
Magnus Ehn, Legal Counsel, tel. +46 (0)8-700 16 59
Karin Lunning, Head of Communications, tel. +46 (0)8-700 16 42