Region Blekinge violated the rules on public procurement when the region purchased interpretation services. This is the conclusion of the Swedish Competition Authority, now referring the matter to the Administrative Court in Växjö with the demand that the region must pay a procurement fine of SEK 960,000.
Region Blekinge has an ongoing need to procure interpretation services. However, for much of 2019 the region lacked contracts or framework agreements for interpreters procured with a prior notice. According to Region Blekinge, the fact that no contracts or framework agreements were procured with a prior notice according to the Public Procurement Act (lagen om offentlig upphandling, LOU) was due to delays in the internal work of preparing and producing a new advertised procurement.
Therefore, during most of 2019 the region made direct orders for interpretation services worth approximately SEK 13 million. The application of the Swedish Competition Authority is directed against one of these orders. According to the Swedish Competition Authority, the order constitutes an illegal direct award.
“In illegal direct awards, there’s a major risk that a buyer will not be offered the best price from a competitive standpoint. It is therefore important that contracting authorities have control over their contracts so as not to run the risk of putting themselves in situations where there is no room to carry out well-planned purchases,” says Rikard Jermsten, Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
The Swedish Competition Authority is now turning to the Administrative Court in Växjö and asking that Region Blekinge shall be required by law to pay SEK 960,000 by way of a fine/procurement claim.
For further information, please contact:
Marie Strömberg Lindvall, Communications Officer, +46(0)76 542 15 92, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophia Anderberg, Legal Counsel, +46(0)8-700 15 63, email@example.com