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Offentlig upphandling vid synnerlig brådska - när otillåtna förfaranden blir tillåtna och ogiltiga avtal får bestå

Sönnerdahl, Elin LU (2016) JURM02 20162
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Syftet med regleringen av offentlig upphandling inom unionsrätten är att upprätthålla konkurrens och fri rörlighet på den inre marknaden inom Europeiska unionen. För att uppnå detta syfte finns ett grundläggande krav i upphandlingslagstiftningen på att offentliga kontrakt ska konkurrensutsättas genom annonsering. Trots det kan upphandlande myndigheter under vissa givna förutsättningar frångå kravet på annonsering i situationer då det råder synnerlig brådska att tillgodose allmänhetens behov av viktiga samhällsfunktioner. Rättsläget på området har länge varit oklart då förutsättningarna för undantag från annonseringskravet måste avgöras utifrån omständigheterna i varje enskilt fall. Bristen på vägledning i rättskällorna leder till stora... (More)
Syftet med regleringen av offentlig upphandling inom unionsrätten är att upprätthålla konkurrens och fri rörlighet på den inre marknaden inom Europeiska unionen. För att uppnå detta syfte finns ett grundläggande krav i upphandlingslagstiftningen på att offentliga kontrakt ska konkurrensutsättas genom annonsering. Trots det kan upphandlande myndigheter under vissa givna förutsättningar frångå kravet på annonsering i situationer då det råder synnerlig brådska att tillgodose allmänhetens behov av viktiga samhällsfunktioner. Rättsläget på området har länge varit oklart då förutsättningarna för undantag från annonseringskravet måste avgöras utifrån omständigheterna i varje enskilt fall. Bristen på vägledning i rättskällorna leder till stora svårigheter för den upphandlande myndigheten att på förhand avgöra om någon av undantagsbestämmelserna kan tillämpas vid en brådskande upphandling i det enskilda fallet. Vid en felbedömning av undantagsreglernas tillämplighet finns en risk att tilldelningen av avtalet anses utgöra en otillåten direktupphandling.

Otillåtna direktupphandlingar utgör en av de allvarligaste överträdelserna av såväl upphandlingsrättens som fördragens bestämmelser till skydd för den inre marknaden. För att motverka sådana överträdelser har offentligrättsliga sanktioner införts på upphandlingsområdet som gör det möjligt för domstol att ogiltigförklara otillåtna avtal samt att ålägga upphandlande myndigheter att betala upphandlingsskadeavgift vid överträdelser av lagstiftningen. För att säkerställa att följderna av sanktionerna blir proportionerliga har en ventil införts i bestämmelserna som gör det möjligt för domstol att i undantagsfall låta ett otillåtet avtal bestå om det föreligger tvingande hänsyn till ett allmänintresse.

Utredningen visar att det finns ett stort behov av ett klargörande av vilka omständigheter som kan anses omfattas av begreppet, tvingande hänsyn till ett allmänintresse, på upphandlingsområdet. Begreppet har visat sig vara av central betydelse såväl vid bedömning av om ett avtal ska anses vara otillåtet som i bedömningen av om ett otillåtet avtal ska bestå. Trots det oklara rättsläget intar de svenska förvaltningsdomstolarna en relativt strikt hållning till begreppets innebörd och omfattning. Mot bakgrund av begreppets tolkning och tillämpning på andra områden inom unionsrätten torde det finnas utrymme för en mer flexibel tolkning även i den nationella rätten.

Trots den nuvarande restriktiva inställningen till undantag finns det situationer då åtgärder som till sin art utgör allvarliga överträdelser av lagstiftningen ändå kan tillåtas med hänvisning till att konsekvenserna annars skulle bli orimliga. När en upphandlande myndighet, i sin strävan att uppfylla ett behov av viktiga samhällsfunktioner, felaktigt tillämpat undantagsreglerna. Finns det, under förutsättningen att avtalet inte orsakat någon betydande skada på lagens huvudsakliga skyddsintresse, utrymme i gällande rätt att låta avtalet bestå samt att underlåta att döma ut upphandlingsskadeavgift. Inom ramen för arbetet presenteras förslag på hur det utrymme som ges inom gällande rätt kan utnyttjas på ett mer ändamålsenligt sätt i väntan på klargöranden från lagstiftaren eller avgörande från högsta instans. Därutöver diskuteras behovet av vissa förändringar i utformningen av nuvarande tillsynsverksamhet och sanktionssystem. (Less)
Abstract
The purpose of the regulation of public procurement in Community law is to maintain competition and free movement in the internal market within the European Union. To achieve this purpose it is a fundamental requirement of procurement legislation that public contracts must be subject to competition through prior publication of a contract notice. Nevertheless, contracting authorities are, under certain conditions, able to waive the prior contract notice and directly award contracts in situations where there is extreme urgency to meet the public's need for essential functions. The legal requirements of the area have long been unclear since the conditions for exemption from the requirement of prior contract notice must be decided based on the... (More)
The purpose of the regulation of public procurement in Community law is to maintain competition and free movement in the internal market within the European Union. To achieve this purpose it is a fundamental requirement of procurement legislation that public contracts must be subject to competition through prior publication of a contract notice. Nevertheless, contracting authorities are, under certain conditions, able to waive the prior contract notice and directly award contracts in situations where there is extreme urgency to meet the public's need for essential functions. The legal requirements of the area have long been unclear since the conditions for exemption from the requirement of prior contract notice must be decided based on the circumstances of each case. A lack of guidance in the legal sources leads to significant difficulties for contracting authorities to determine in advance whether any of the exemptions can be applied to an emergency procurement in the individual case. At a misjudgement of the exception rules applicable there is a risk that the award of the contract constitutes an illegal direct award.

An illegal direct award is one of the most serious violations of procurement law as well as the Treaties for the protection of the internal market. To counter such violations public law sanctions have been imposed on procurement, which allows the court to consider the illegal award ineffective and to impose on contracting authorities to pay fines for breaches of the legislation. To ensure that the consequences of the sanctions are proportionate exemptions from the sanction of ineffectiveness have been inserted in the provisions, that makes it possible for the court, in exceptional cases, to allow illegally awarded contracts to remain with regard to overriding reasons relating to the public interest.

This study indicates that there is a need for clarification of the circumstances that may be considered covered by the concept, overriding reasons relating to the public interest, in the field of public procurement. The concept has proven to be of principal importance both in the assessment of whether a direct award should be deemed illegal, and therefore deemed ineffective, as well as in assessing whether an illegally awarded contract shall be allowed to remain. Despite the lack of legal certainty the Swedish administrative courts apply a relatively strict approach to its scope and meaning. In the light of the concept's interpretation and application in other areas of Community law, there should be room for a more flexible interpretation within national law.

Despite the current restrictive approach to exceptions, there are situations in which actions, which by their nature constitute serious violations of the law, may nevertheless be allowed on the basis that the consequences would otherwise be unreasonable. When a contracting authority, in its efforts to meet the needs of important social functions, have incorrectly applied the exemption rules, there is scope within current law to allow the ineffective contract to remain, whilst omitting to impose fines on the contracting authority, under the premise that the illegal award has caused no significant damage to the legislations main interest of protection. In the context of this study proposals are presented on how the scope for exemptions provided under current law can be used in a more effective manner while awaiting clarification from the legislator or through a ruling from the highest court. In addition, the need for some changes in the design of the current regulatory activities and sanctions are discussed. (Less)
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author
Sönnerdahl, Elin LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Public procurement in the event of extreme urgency - when illegal proceedures are allowed and ineffective contracts may remain
course
JURM02 20162
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
förmögenhetsrätt, konkurrensrätt, rättsvetenskap, EU-law, EU-rätt
language
Swedish
id
8897596
date added to LUP
2017-01-25 11:00:47
date last changed
2017-01-25 11:00:47
@misc{8897596,
  abstract     = {The purpose of the regulation of public procurement in Community law is to maintain competition and free movement in the internal market within the European Union. To achieve this purpose it is a fundamental requirement of procurement legislation that public contracts must be subject to competition through prior publication of a contract notice. Nevertheless, contracting authorities are, under certain conditions, able to waive the prior contract notice and directly award contracts in situations where there is extreme urgency to meet the public's need for essential functions. The legal requirements of the area have long been unclear since the conditions for exemption from the requirement of prior contract notice must be decided based on the circumstances of each case. A lack of guidance in the legal sources leads to significant difficulties for contracting authorities to determine in advance whether any of the exemptions can be applied to an emergency procurement in the individual case. At a misjudgement of the exception rules applicable there is a risk that the award of the contract constitutes an illegal direct award.

An illegal direct award is one of the most serious violations of procurement law as well as the Treaties for the protection of the internal market. To counter such violations public law sanctions have been imposed on procurement, which allows the court to consider the illegal award ineffective and to impose on contracting authorities to pay fines for breaches of the legislation. To ensure that the consequences of the sanctions are proportionate exemptions from the sanction of ineffectiveness have been inserted in the provisions, that makes it possible for the court, in exceptional cases, to allow illegally awarded contracts to remain with regard to overriding reasons relating to the public interest.

This study indicates that there is a need for clarification of the circumstances that may be considered covered by the concept, overriding reasons relating to the public interest, in the field of public procurement. The concept has proven to be of principal importance both in the assessment of whether a direct award should be deemed illegal, and therefore deemed ineffective, as well as in assessing whether an illegally awarded contract shall be allowed to remain. Despite the lack of legal certainty the Swedish administrative courts apply a relatively strict approach to its scope and meaning. In the light of the concept's interpretation and application in other areas of Community law, there should be room for a more flexible interpretation within national law.

Despite the current restrictive approach to exceptions, there are situations in which actions, which by their nature constitute serious violations of the law, may nevertheless be allowed on the basis that the consequences would otherwise be unreasonable. When a contracting authority, in its efforts to meet the needs of important social functions, have incorrectly applied the exemption rules, there is scope within current law to allow the ineffective contract to remain, whilst omitting to impose fines on the contracting authority, under the premise that the illegal award has caused no significant damage to the legislations main interest of protection. In the context of this study proposals are presented on how the scope for exemptions provided under current law can be used in a more effective manner while awaiting clarification from the legislator or through a ruling from the highest court. In addition, the need for some changes in the design of the current regulatory activities and sanctions are discussed.},
  author       = {Sönnerdahl, Elin},
  keyword      = {förmögenhetsrätt,konkurrensrätt,rättsvetenskap,EU-law,EU-rätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Offentlig upphandling vid synnerlig brådska - när otillåtna förfaranden blir tillåtna och ogiltiga avtal får bestå},
  year         = {2016},
}