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The pandemic was not a reason for Region Skåne to perform a direct award

With reference to the ongoing pandemic, Region Skåne performed two direct awards regarding transports of people infected with COVID-19. Contract notices were not published for either procurement, despite being required by the Swedish Public Procurement Act. Even during the pandemic, the region did not have reasons to deviate from the procurement legislation. Therefore, the Swedish Competition Authority is petitioning that the region be issued to pay procurement fines totalling SEK 1 million.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, Region Skåne performed two procurements of transportation services in 2021. Contract notices were not published for either procurement, despite being required by the procurement rules.

One procurement related to a contract for healthcare transportation of people with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection. A contract was concluded with a supplier in late June 2021. The value of the procurement was SEK 7 million. The other procurement was related to reinforcement vehicles, i.e., extra capacity of vehicles to be used in case of an increased need for transport services and healthcare transportation. Framework agreements were signed with five different suppliers in July 2021. The value was over SEK 10 million in total.

Region Skåne maintains that the unpredicted circumstances caused by the pandemic made it impossible to perform publication of contract notices. The Swedish Competition Authority believes that the prevailing uncertainty resulting from the ongoing pandemic was sufficient reason to expect there to be a continued need for the services in question throughout 2021, when the contracts were concluded. Particularly given that the purchases were performed during the so-called third wave, when the pandemic was a fact and the situation was no longer as unclear as at the beginning of the pandemic outbreak.

‘It is understandable that the pandemic led to difficulties in operative planning, but the procurement legislation must be observed even in difficult situations,’ says Rikard Jermsten, director general of the Swedish Competition Authority.

The Swedish Competition Authority is now petitioning the Administrative Court in Malmö that Region Skåne be issued procurement fines of SEK 400,000 and 600,000, respectively, for having performed two illegal direct awards of contract.

For further information, please contact:

Marie Strömberg Lindvall, Press Officer, +46(0)76 542 15 92, marie.stromberglindvall@kkv.se
Stefan Olsen Siri, Legal Counsel, +46 (0)8 700 15 37, stefan.olsensiri@kkv.se

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Last updated: 2022-06-27

Press release22 june 2022