Public procurement is regulated
Public contracts are supply, service or public works contracts, into which the state, municipalities and joint municipal authorities, unincorporated state enterprises and other contracting authorities, as defined in procurement legislation, enter with external suppliers.
Public procurement procedures must be carried out in accordance with national procurement legislation and the procurement directives of the European Union. The main purpose of procurement regulation is to increase the efficiency of the use of public funds and to enhance the competitiveness of European businesses – including Finnish undertakings. The regulation strives to secure the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour. These are the fundamental freedoms laid down in the Treaty establishing the European Union.
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for the preparation of legislation concerning public procurement.
Public contracts must comply with rules that guide the different stages of the procurement procedure, the drafting of procurement documents, and the advertising and conclusion of contracts.
The fundamental principles of public procurement provisions include
- transparent and efficient tendering and
- equality and non-discriminatory treatment of tenderers
For example, the principle of transparency requires that public contracts are sufficiently publicised. Transparent and equal tendering procedures are of utmost importance in enabling efficient competition in public contracts.
Competition in tendering procedures opens up opportunities for contracting authorities to conclude as economically efficient purchases as possible. The principles of equality and non-discrimination require that tenderers are treated equally and contracts are awarded based on previously indicated criteria.
Public contracts shall be awarded based on either
- the most economically advantageous tender or
- the lowest price
If the contract is awarded on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender, tenders are measured against previously indicated comparison criteria.
Transparent and equal tendering procedures open up more opportunities for companies and service providers to offer their products and services to the public sector.