New anti-corruption public procurement legislation
On 9 December 2016, a new Anti-Corruption Day was held in Finland. With this theme day, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment wishes to highlight the role of public procurement legislation as a part of anti-corruption activities.
The tendering and transparency requirements of public procurement legislation have for decades been key tools in ensuring the legality of the use of public funds and weeding out corruption. Public procurement legislation ensures, for example, that open and timely announcements are made to all interested parties for the full total of as many as 15,000 initiated public procurements. The parliament is currently considering a government proposal for legislation on procurement procedures (HE 108/2016 vp). The central goal of the reforms is to further reduce the corruption connected with public procurements.
The bill proposes that the contracting authority be allowed to exclude from the tendering process a provider who has attempted to influence the procurement’s content in an inappropriate way or whose connections with the procuring entity create conflicts of interests. It is proposed that the transparency of procurements be improved by requiring the contracting authority in many procurements to obtain from the winner of the tendering competition details of the subcontractors who are participating in the procurement. The contracting authority would also be required to clarify in more detail the grounds for exceptionally low offers received in a competitive tendering process.
The real implementation of anti-corruption goals can be ensured by the bill’s proposal that the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority be made responsible for monitoring public procurement legislation. The purpose of the monitoring would be to intervene in particularly problematic corruption-related situations in which the public procurements have not been put out for tender at all.
Through the reformed Act on Public Contracts, the corrupt use of shared resources is made even more unlikely. In this way, it is possible to effectively achieve the central goal of public procurement legislation: to ensure that our shared resources are allocated to the best providers.
Senior Government Secretary Markus Ukkola, MEE, tel. +358 (0)29 50 47018