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Region Värmland should have performed procurement of gift certificates

When Region Värmland concluded contracts with multiple suppliers to give gift certificates to their employees, this was a transaction that falls within the scope of the Swedish Public Procurement Act. Therefore, a contract notice should have been published in accordance with the public procurement regulations. As no contract notice was published, the Swedish Competition Authority is petitioning that Region Värmland be imposed a fine of almost SEK 1.3 million for an illegal direct award of contract.

Region Värmland decided to give its employees a gift in the form of a gift certificate with a value of SEK 2,000 per employee. In late August 2021, the region concluded contracts for gift certificates with seven different suppliers. No contract notice as described in the Swedish Public Procurement Act was published.

The Swedish Competition Authority believes that contracts between Region Värmland and the gift certificate suppliers entail purchases of the kind encompassed by the Swedish Public Procurement Act. Procurement of these contracts should therefore have been subject to prior publication of a contract notice, in accordance with the procurement regulations. The contracts, which constitute separate lot contracts within the same procurement, have a total value of more than SEK 18 million.

‘Purchase of gift certificates must also be done in accordance with the Public Procurement Act. Exposing them to competition is vital to give more suppliers the chance to deliver to the public sector,’ says Rikard Jermsten, director general of the Swedish Competition Authority.

The Swedish Competition Authority is now petitioning the Administrative Court in Karlstad that Region Värmland be imposed a procurement fine of SEK 1,290,000 for having performed an illegal direct award of contract.

For further information, please contact:

Marie Strömberg Lindvall, Press Officer, +46 (0)76 542 15 92,
Therése Westermark, Head of Unit, +46(0)8 700 16 77,

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Last updated: 2022-06-23

Press release21 june 2022