Uppsala municipality’s property company for school premises is facing SEK 150,000 in procurement fines. The Swedish Competition Authority alleges that Uppsala Kommun Skolfastigheter AB purchased IT services by means of an illegal direct award. The Administrative Court in Uppsala will now determine the matter.
In its application to the court, the Swedish Competition Authority states that Uppsala’s municipal school properties company, wrongfully derogated from the procurement rules by entering into a contract regarding the purchase of IT services following the publication of a notice for voluntary ex ante transparency. A new procurement with prior publication of a contract notice should have been made instead. Since no such notice was published, the purchase constituted an illegal direct award.
”Exceptions have to be applied in a restrictive manner, and agencies conducting procurements must make a point of not forgoing the publication of a contract notice without carefully considering the circumstances of each individual purchase,” says Rikard Jermsten, Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
”By informing suppliers of future public procurements through the publication of contract notices, more tenders may be submitted, which opens up for competition. This increases the chances of getting the best contract at the best price. Ultimately, the municipality’s taxpayers are the ones who benefit when the rules are followed.”
Information about the illegal direct award emerged through the Swedish Competition Authority’s strategic intelligence gathering. The contract value of the illegal direct award of IT services amounts to SEK 2.1 million.
The Swedish Competition Authority has now decided to refer the matter to the Administrative Court in Uppsala, with a demand that Uppsala Kommun Skolfastigheter AB be ordered to pay SEK 150,000 by way of a fine/procurement claim.
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