Växjö taken to court over procurement fines

Press release

The Swedish Competition Authority requires Växjö municipality to pay a total of SEK 325,000 in procurement fines for five purchases that were made in violation of the public procurement rules. According to the Swedish Competition Authority view, the municipality's illegal actions shall be deemed to be especially serious as they have been carried out systematically.

The Växjö municipal Technical Services Board is, according to the Swedish Competition Authority, guilty of a number of illegal direct awards. This concerns the purchase of a street sweeper, brush shredder, sanitation facility, installation of traffic signals and crushing of asphalt and rock mass for a total sum of approximately SEK 3,7 million.

All five contracts each exceed the limit of approximately SEK 284,000 above which they must be subject to prior notification and thereby opened up for competition. As none were advertised, the cases are considered illegal direct awards. There have been no applicable exceptions to the public procurement legislation in any of the cases.

As this is a case of recurring breaches of the law, the Competition Authority requires procurement fines corresponding to almost 9 per cent of the contract amount, almost reaching the legislated maximum fine of 10 per cent.

"The Technical Services Board lack in procedures for adhering to the regulations and thus systematically failing to open up its purchases to competition should be reflected in the damages we require the municipality to pay. When taxpayers' money is handled like this, there are no guarantees that the best possible purchase is made", says Dan Sjöblom, Director-General of the Swedish Competition Authority.

"Taking measures to strengthen the internal control, like the Växjö municipal Technical Services Board has done, is obviously positive but it does not absolve them of responsibility for the earlier violations of the law. All municipalities and government authorities should take measures and continually follow up on procedures to prevent errors when conducting public procurements", says Dan Sjöblom.

The Competition Authority has now submitted its claim for fines to the Administrative Court in Växjö.

For further information, please contact:
Jimmy Dominius, Press Officer, tel. +46 (0)8-700 15 80 or
+46 (0)76-542 15 80
Kristoffer Sällfors, Legal Counsel, tel. +46 (0) 8-700 16 07
Per Karlsson, Head of Legal Department, tel. +46 (0) 8 700 15 56

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