According to the decision made by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) on 30 August 2019, the Municipality of Sonkajärvi violated the Act on Public Procurements and Concession Contracts by not publishing a contract notice concerning the procurement of cleaning services.
In November 2018, the Technical Services Committee of the Municipality of Sonkajärvi decided on the procurement of cleaning services from ISS Palvelut Oy for a contract period 2019–2020 as well as a two-year optional extension period. The Municipality had previously sent an invitation to tender to four economic operators that offered cleaning services in the area.
According to the Municipality, no contract notice was published of the procurement in accordance with the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts because the Municipality had estimated that the value of the contract would remain below the threshold for national service procurements, i.e. 60,000 euros. When the Municipality calculated the estimated value of the procurement, it had only considered the 2019–2020 contract period, the estimated value of which was a little over 59,000 euros. When calculating the estimated value, the Municipality did not take into account the value of the two-year optional extension period because the Municipality would decide on the use of the option at the very end of the actual contract period.
The FCCA stated that the Municipality’s plan to decide on the use of the optional extension period at a later date was not relevant when calculating the estimated value and the value of the optional extension period should have been taken into account. Since the estimated value of the contract with the optional extension period is over 118,000 euros, the Municipality should have published a contract notice as required by the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts. The FCCA stated that the Municipality of Sonkajärvi violated the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts and issued an administrative steering.
Read the FCCA decision here (in Finnish)
Further information: Senior Specialist Johanna Kirveskoski, telephone +358 (0)29 505 3710, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Under section 139 of the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts (1397/2016), the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority is tasked with supervising compliance with the legislation on public procurements. For a detected violation, the FCCA can issue an admonition to the contracting entity or provide the contracting entity with other form of administrative guidance referred to in section 53c of the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003). With regard to illegal direct awards, the FCCA can, by virtue of section 140 of the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts, prohibit the implementation of the procurement decision. In the case of direct awards exceeding the EU threshold values, the FCCA can also submit a proposal to the Market Court to impose sanctions such as a penalty fine, shortening of the contract period or quashing of the procurement decision. The same provisions apply also to service procurements and concession contracts referred to in schedule E to the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts, which exceed the national threshold values and have been concluded as direct awards without justification provided by law.
The FCCA’s supervisory authority applies to procurement procedures that have been initiated since the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts entered into force on 1 January 2017.