Skellefteå Kraft Elnät AB was in breach of procurement rules when it purchased materials for Vitberget, Bergsbyn, and Rönnskär without prior advertisement. The Swedish Competition Authority believes that this was an illegal direct award of contract and is presenting a claim for the company to pay a procurement fine of SEK 225,000.
On June of 2018, Skellefteå Kraft Elnät AB (SKEAB) entered into a supply contract regarding materials for Vitberget, Bergsbyn, and Rönnskär without advertising according to the Act on Procurement in the Water, Energy, Transport and Postal Services Sectors (LUF). The value of the procurement in question is approximately SEK 3,200,000. The procurement was brought to the attention of the Competition Authority by SKEAB’s parent company Skellefteå Kraft AB informing the Competition Authority of the procurement.
According to SKEAB, the direct award of contract was mainly due to the appeal of a previous procurement. The company claims that the contract is subject to the exception for extreme urgency. According to the Competition Authority, the risk of appeal is a circumstance that a procuring authority must consider in its planning. As neither the exception for extreme urgency nor any other exception is applicable, SKEAB has performed an illegal direct award of contract.
“Exceptions shall be used restrictively, and referring to ‘extreme urgency’ to bypass procurement rules is only possible in certain cases,” says Rikard Jermsten, Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
The Competition Authority is now turning to the Administrative Court in Umeå, petitioning for SKEAB to be ordered to pay a procurement fine of SEK 225,000. The fact that the company voluntarily informed the Competition Authority of the direct award has resulted in a certain reduction to the size of the procurement fine.
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