Norrköping Municipality has illegally directly awarded contracts by failing to sufficiently control certain purchases. The municipality has also failed to provide documentation related to the purchases. The Swedish Competition Authority has now issued a supervisory decision criticising Norrköping Municipality.
The Swedish Competition Authority has reviewed Norrköping Municipality’s purchase of services from three different framework agreements that include procurement consulting services, organisational consulting services and consulting brokerage services in the area of digitalisation. The purchases from the framework agreements have been carried out by the Digitalisation Department, a department which is subsidiary to the Municipal Board of Norrköping Municipality.
The investigation shows that purchases have been made without the conditions for awarding contracts in the available framework agreements having been correctly applied. In certain cases, purchases have also been made in breach of the principle of transparency and equal treatment. The municipality has also failed to provide documentation of the purchases, which it neglected to document in accordance with the documentation obligations set forth in the Public Procurement Act.
The municipality has also acted in violation of its own procurement and purchasing guidelines. The municipality’s conduct in connection with the purchases examined in the case is not in accordance with the requirement of objectivity and independence arising from the municipality’s guidelines.
“When the municipality fails to follow its own guidelines, it makes it more difficult to manage its purchases in accordance with the regulations. To the extent that it has not already done so, I assume that the municipality, will take measures to ensure compliance with procurement legislation,” says Rikard Jermsten, Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
The investigation indicates that there have been major shortcomings in the municipality’s handling of the awarding of contracts based on framework agreements during the current period and with regard to the framework agreements in question. The Swedish Competition Authority is now criticising Norrköping Municipality for the identified deficiencies.
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