How should public contracts be advertised?
In accordance with the provisions laid down in section 58 of the Act on Public Contracts and section 62 of the Act on public contracts in the utilities sector, contracting authorities are under an obligation to advertise their contracts. The purpose of advertising public contracts is to ensure real competition in tendering procedures so that contracting authorities would be able to make as economically efficient purchases as possible. In addition, advertising ensures the effectiveness of the principle of transparency.
Contracting authorities within the meaning of the Act on Public Contracts include the following:
- state and municipal authorities and joint municipal authorities
- the Evangelic Lutheran Church and the Orthodox Church and parishes and other authorities thereof
- state enterprises and bodies governed by public law
- any purchaser if it has received more than half of the value of the contract in aid for the award of the contract from the contracting authorities referred to above.
In the utilities sector, contracting authorities include state and municipal authorities, joint municipal authorities, state enterprises, bodies governed by public law, and associations formed by these organisations, pursuing activities in the water, energy, transport or postal services sector.
The obligation to advertise public contracts is met by publishing a notice in HILMA, the free electronic forum for publishing contract notices, maintained by the Ministry of Finance.
Businesses can use HILMA to acquire real-time information about ongoing procurement procedures and prior information about future procedures. The obligation to advertise public contracts in HILMA covers contracts exceeding national and EU thresholds. Neglecting to advertise constitutes a procedural error which may lead to the cancellation of the award decision by the Market Court.
Contracts below national thresholds can also be advertised in HILMA, even though it is not mandatory under the procurement legislation. Notices can be published either in Finnish or in Swedish. The notices are:
- Prior information notice
- EU contract notice
- EU contract notice, utilities sectors
- Contract award notice
- Contract award notice, utilities sectors
- Voluntary ex ante transparency notice
HILMA forwards the notices to the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (S series) and the TED database. Other EU notices are published via the Simap website, maintained by the Publications Office of the European Union.
Further instructions on the publication of public contracts and filling in the forms are available on the HILMA website (in Finnish).
The eNotices website provides standard forms for public procurement notices published in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union. Notices that cannot be submitted via HILMA should be filled in on the eNotices website. Under section 15(2) of the Government Decree on public contracts, a copy of such notices must be sent to the body indicated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment for statistical purposes. The body in question is Edita Publishing Ltd.
TED is an online database that contains all notices published in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the EU, including an archive of notices from the last five years. The database also includes notices for which the deadline for submitting tenders and requests to participate has already expired. The TED portal also hosts summaries of all public contracts above EU thresholds concluded by the EU and GPA Member States.