Basic principles for public procurement

All legislation governing public procurement rests on five basic principles. The provisions in the procurement acts should always be interpreted with these taken into account.

1. Non-discrimination

The principle of non-discrimination entails a prohibition on discriminating against suppliers/service providers because of their nationality, for instance through citizenship or country of establishment or operations. The contracting authority may not impose requirements that only Swedish companies will be familiar with or able to fulfil. This is the case even if the contracting authority does not expect any foreign suppliers/service providers to present tenders. Candidates and tenderers from other locations shall be treated in the same way as enterprises from within the local municipality.

2. Equal treatment

The principle of equal treatment means that all suppliers/service providers should be subject to the same conditions. For example, all suppliers/service providers must get access to the same information at the same time, so no single supplier/service provider gains an advantage. The contracting entity may not, for instance, accept a tender presented after a deadline; the same rules and time limits must apply to all suppliers/service providers.

3. Proportionality

The principle of proportionality means that the requirements and conditions in the procurement should be reasonable in proportion to the object of procurement. Measures taken by the contracting authority may not go beyond what is necessary for the procurement in question.

4. Transparency

The principle of transparency means that procurements should be characterized by transparency and predictability. Information relating to the procurement may not be kept secret, the procurement is to be published publically and the suppliers/service providers that have taken part in the tendering procedure are to be informed of the results.

Procurements are to be public and the procurement documentation must be predictable, i.e., clearly worded and include all the requirements made.

5. Mutual recognition

The principle of mutual recognition means that reports and certificates issued by the authorities of any member state shall also be valid in all other EU and EEA states.

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