Public procurement - How it works in Sweden
Public procurement must be efficient and legally certain, and make use of market competition. It must also promote innovative solutions and take environmental and social considerations into account. The procurement law framework must also help realise the internal market and facilitate the free movement of goods and services in the European Union. Opening purchases made by public authorities and public bodies to competition can mean better deals for the public sector and a more efficient use of public funds.
Procurement framework based on EU law
Swedish procurement legislation is based on EU directives and EU primary law. This means that free movement in the internal market may not be limited when making public purchases, and that the basic principles of transparency, equal treatment, non-discrimination, proportionality and mutual recognition must be followed.
Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors and repealing Directive 2004/17/EC on the EUR-lex website
Direktiv 2009/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 on the coordination of procedures for the award of certain works contracts, supply contracts and service contracts by contracting authorities or entities in the fields of defence and security
Swedish procurement legislation
Procurement by public authorities is regulated in the Public Procurement Act, the Utilities Procurement Act, the Act on Procurement of Concessions, and the Defence and Security Procurement Act. Several of the provisions in these acts implement the provisions of the procurement directives. However, Chapter 19 of the Public Procurement Act regulates procurements that fall completely or partially outside the directives' scope of application.
This applies to procurements below the threshold values stipulated in the directives, and procurements of social services and other special services.
Chapters 20 and 21 contain provisions on legal remedies that specify how aggrieved suppliers in a procurement can request a court to review the procurement or declare a contract invalid.
National Agency for Public Procurement and Swedish Competition Authority – support and supervision
The National Agency for Public Procurement provides support and guidance in public procurements. Support is provided to public authorities, suppliers and other public procurement actors. The Agency has overall responsibility for developing, administering and supporting procurements conducted by the contracting authorities and units.
Supervision of public procurements is carried out by the Swedish Competition Authority, which can also bring court actions regarding procurement fines..
National procurement strategy
As part of the efforts to develop public procurements, the Government has produced a national procurement strategy. It contains tips and advice on how contracting authorities and units can develop their strategic work on public purchases.
Relevant rules and documents
Public Procurement Act (2016:1145)
Lagen om upphandling inom försörjningssektorerna (2016:1146)
Lagen om upphandling av koncessioner (2016:1147) (In swedish)
Defence and Security Procurement Act (2011:1029)