Laws and rules
To ensure that the taxpayers’ money is used in the best way and to safeguard competition in the market, authorities must comply with the procurement regulations.
The Swedish procurement regulations consist of four laws: The Public Procurement Act, The Act on Public Procurement in the Utilities Sectors, The Defence and Security Procurement Act, and The Act on Public Procurement of Concessions. Which of these laws you should choose depends on what is to be purchased or which area it concerns.
The Public Procurement Act applies to the purchase of construction work, goods and services. The Swedish rules are based on EU directives that play an important role in promoting the free movement of goods and services within the EU.
The translation of the Public Procurement Act
Note! This document is from November 2017 and has not been updated based on the changes in the law that entered into force on February 1, 2022.
The Act on Public Procurement in the Utilities Sectors applies to contracting entities in the water, energy, transport and postal services areas.
The Defence and Security Procurement Act applies to procurements in the field of defence and security, including those related to military equipment.
The Act on Public Procurement of Concessions applies to the procurement of services or construction work when awarding a so-called “concession”. There are public work concessions and service concessions. A service concession is a contract relating to the performance of a service and where the remuneration comprises the right to use the subject of the contract itself. A public work concession, on the other hand, consists of the right to use a construction work.
Which law should I use?
In certain cases, a contracting authority, such as a municipality, may conduct various types of activities. Sometimes it can be difficult to know which law applies. What determines whether you should use The Public Procurement Act or The Act on Public Procurement in the Utilities Sectors is the primary business to which the contract relates.
The law that you should use depends on:
- whether the contract is for activities that fall solely under one of the utilities supply areas (water, energy, transport and postal services), or
- whether the contract is for both such an activity and an activity not covered by The Act on Public Procurement in the Utilities Sectors.
Whether The Defence and Security Procurement Act is to be applied instead of The Public Procurement Act or The Act on Public Procurement in the Utilities Sectors depends on whether the subject matter of the contract is a special product, service or construction work covered by The Defence and Security Procurement Act.
It is usually straightforward to determine whether The Act on Public Procurement of Concessions should be applied instead of one of the other laws. That law applies only where the contract to be awarded concerns a service or public work concession.
Legal references (in Swedish) for choosing between the four public procurement laws:
Chapter 2, §§ 3–12 and Chapter 3, §§ 1–3 of The Public Procurement Act
Chapter 2, §§ 10–19, 25 and Chapter 3, §§ 1–3 of The Act on Public Procurement in the Utilities Sectors
Chapter 1, §§ 4–6 of The Defence and Security Procurement Act
Chapter 2, §§ 3–20 and Chapter 3, §§ 1–3 of The Act on Public Procurement of Concessions