Sala Municipality continued to apply a Framework Agreement, despite the fact that the Agreement had expired. The Municipality thus made an illegal direct award of contract when building services were ordered. The Swedish Competition Authority is now taking the case to court with the requirement that Sala be ordered to pay SEK 1.1 million by way of a fine/procurement claim.
“Making illegal direct awards of contract, where a contract notice has not been published in accordance with the procurement legislation, is a serious breach of the law”, says Rikard Jermsten, Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
Sala Municipality had Framework Agreements with three companies for renovation and repair of schools, retirement homes, managed properties, sports facilities, etc. After the expiry of the agreement, the Municipality applied the agreement as if it was still valid. There was no new procurement conducted for contractor work. Consequently, the Municipality conducted illegal direct awards for just over SEK 15 million.
“When public procurements are advertised, it gives more providers the opportunity to submit tenders, and increases the prospects of doing the best business,” says Rikard Jermsten.
It was after a tip off to the Swedish Competition Authority regarding suspected violations of the procurement rules that an investigation was initiated.
The Swedish Competition Authority is now taking the case to the Administrative Court in Uppsala and demanding that the Court order Sala Municipality to pay SEK 1.1 million in procurement fines.
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