How we prioritise procurement supervision
We have a responsibility to use our resources as efficiently as possible. That is why we need to prioritise between our various procurement supervision cases. We focus on investigating issues that are of a general interest and that lead to clear results.
On this page you can see how we prioritise our procurement supervision efforts. We have a prioritisation policy that is used in both the initial prioritisation and continuously throughout the investigation, when we select which issues to investigate further. Various circumstances are then weighed against each other. Not all the factors that we consider in the prioritisation process must be fulfilled; this is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Our prioritisation policy is also continuously applied throughout the investigation when assessing whether the investigation of the case should continue. The number of other investigations underway and their scope may influence a prioritisation decision. However, resource limitations do not prevent us from intervening against serious violations.
We focus on investigating issues that are of a general interest and that lead to clear results. The aim is always to promote effective public procurement for the benefit of public and market actors.
Factors we consider
In order to work as efficiently as possible, we divide our supervisory activities into two parts: planned supervision and incident-driven supervision.
In the planned supervision, we preemptively identify legal issues, areas and authorities that we should examine. The planned supervision is based on an analysis aimed at building a good foundation at the start of various supervisory projects and supervisory cases.
Through our analysis, we can identify legal issues that require clarification, industry areas that need to be reviewed, and contracting authorities or issues that may be relevant for an in-depth procurement review. This approach allows us to be more proactive in our supervision.
In prioritising procurement supervision efforts, we consider the following factors:
We consider whether our supervision can be expected to have a major general preventive effect and/or whether there is a need to provide guidance to a wider range of actors. This means that we prioritise issues where our supervision can be expected to prevent numerous contracting authorities or entities from making mistakes.
When we apply for a procurement fine for a violation, this can provide guidance to other contracting authorities on how we assess that type of violation in our capacity as a supervisory authority.
Through supervision, we can also clarify how to do the right thing. For example, if a violation is common this indicates a need for guidance. We can also help address unclear legal issues or rules that do not have the intended effect.
We take into account the shortcomings in the conduct of the contracting authority or entity that have come to light. Poor procedures, lack of competence and inadequate or unstructured documentation often lead to violations. As a general rule, conscious or repeated violations are considered to be serious shortcomings. In some cases, we may choose to hold off on another intervention until we can see the effects of previous supervision directed at a particular actor.
Corruption, conflicts of interest and conduct that undermines public confidence are harmful to competition and consumers. Such conduct can also enable and exacerbate violations of the procurement rules. We thus attach particular importance to suspicions of corruption when we prioritise the tip-offs we receive, or when we draw attention to an issue that has emerged in connection with our external monitoring.
We may refrain from prioritising a case if some other authority or actor is in a better position to act. For example, it may be that it is possible to have the matter examined in court, that a court process is already under way, or that such a process has just been completed.
We consider what investigative efforts may be involved, how extensive and costly the investigation may be in relation to the expected results of the investigation, as well as our ability to effectively investigate the case.