The new Act on Public Contracts gave the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) the authority to monitor compliance with the legislation on public procurement from the beginning of 2017. The objective of procurement supervision is to ensure the implementation of the key principles of procurement legislation, such as openness and non-discrimination, in procurement. In the supervision of procurement, the FCCA’s focus is primarily on the monitoring of illegal direct awards and other corresponding procurements conducted in a blatantly erroneous or discriminatory manner.
According to the Act on Public Contracts, the FCCA must draw up an annual report on its supervision of public procurements. The report on the first year of procurement supervision includes a summary of illegal activities observed by the FCCA during its procurement supervision operations, and of the measures referred to in the Act on Public Contracts. The report also describes practical experiences of the start-up phase of procurement supervision.
- Maarit Taurula, Head of Research, tel +358 29 505 3381
- Arttu Juuti, Assistant Director, tel. +358 29 505 3614
Section 139 of the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts (Act no. 1397 of 2016; “Act on Public Contracts”) mandates the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority to supervise compliance with public contracts legislation. If it encounters illegalities, the FCCA may caution a contracting authority or provide other administrative guidance referred to in section 53 c of the Administrative Procedure Act (Act no. 434 of 2003). In case of illegal direct award, the FCCA may forbid the implementation of a procurement decision on the basis of section 140 of the Act on Public Contracts. If direct awards exceed EU thresholds, the FCCA may also propose that the Market Court impose sanctions, such as penalty payments, shortening of the contract, or the annulment of a procurement decision. The same applies to service acquisitions exceeding national threshold levels referred to in Appendix E of the Act on Public Contracts, carried out as direct award without legal grounds. However, a motion cannot be put forward to the Market Court if the contracting authority has posted a direct award notice regarding the procurement as per section 131 of the Act on Public Contracts.
The FCCA’s supervisory powers apply to procurement initiated after the Act on Public Contracts entered into force, that is, 1 January 2017.