Key operators in public procurement

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (MEAE) is responsible for drafting national legislation governing public procurement (Acts on public contracts), providing information about the statutes, following the reforms and topical issues relating to public procurement, and ensuring that the internal market mechanisms are working.

Part of the MEAE’s remit is to influence the decisions made in the EU and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on public procurement. The Act on Public Contracts determines certain tasks that fall under the responsibility of the MEAE, such as the obligation to communicate the thresholds, as laid down in section 26. The MEAE maintains HILMA, the electronic contract notice system.

Maintained by the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and the MEAE, the Public Procurement Advisory Unit provides contracting authorities with information and advice on the application of procurement legislation. The advisory unit operates an online service, and its experts can also be contacted by e-mail and telephone.

The public procurement duties of different ministries depend on their respective administrative branches. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for providing general guidance and developing central government procurement activities, for example by defining the general principles followed in the central government procurement strategy and public contracts and developing procurement practices and methods. The Ministry of Finance also decides which public contracts will be subject to a centralised tendering process in the central government.

The Ministry of Defence is responsible for preparing the legislation on defence procurement. 

The website of the Ministry of the Environment provides information about integrating environmental considerations into public procurement. Further information about the ministries’ roles in public procurement is available on their respective websites.

Hansel Ltd is the government’s central purchasing body, which invites tenders for supplies and services, establishing and maintaining framework agreements concerning the tendered items on behalf of central government contracting authorities. It also provides contracting authorities with expert services concerning public contracts and procurement practices. Hansel Ltd is a wholly state-owned company operating under the guidance of the Ministry of Finance.

The Market Court is a special court hearing public procurement cases. Tenderers may refer matters concerning public contracts to the Market Court with a written petition. Appeals against the rulings issued by the Market Court can be lodged in the Supreme Administrative Court.