The procurement process (value over SEK 700,000)

Procurement with broad public advertising should be conducted if the value of the procurement exceeds SEK 700,000, and no valid framework agreements exist. Procurement is a formal process that involves all suppliers being invited to submit bids (quotes) through an advertised document.

The procurement unit conducts electronic procurements using the TendSign tool. The entire process, from the invitation for tender to the finalized contract, occurs electronically, including the submission of bids.

Depending on the procurement value, advertising takes place either within Sweden or within the EU, depending on the so-called threshold value, which has specific monetary limits. According to article 25 of the EU Public Procurement Directive, countries outside the EU that have joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) GPA (Government Procurement Agreement) also have the right to participate in procurements targeting the EU.

Procurements are advertised through a document called an "invitation for tender." This document specifies all the conditions of the procurement and contractual terms.

A procurement must adhere to the rules of the Public Procurement Act (LOU) and the EU legal procurement principles, including:

The principles mentioned are key aspects of public procurement:

  1. Principle of Proportionality:
    • The requirements, criteria, and conditions in the procurement should be reasonable (appropriate and necessary) in relation to what is being procured.
  2. Principle of Equal Treatment:
    • All suppliers should be given the same opportunities, and identical rules and deadlines should apply to everyone.
  3. Principle of Transparency:
    • Procurements should be transparent and predictable. Information regarding the procurement must not be kept confidential, and the procurement should be publicly announced. Suppliers who participated in the bidding process should be informed of the outcome.
  4. Non-Discrimination Principle:
    • Regional considerations should not be taken into account. Suppliers from other locations should be treated the same way as businesses from the contracting authority's own municipality. Discrimination based on nationality is also prohibited. Requirements should not be set that only Swedish companies are familiar with or can meet.

The standard flow for a procurement is as follows: 

  1. Initiation:
    • The procurement process begins with a procurement decision in a Request for Procurement Support (BOU).
  2. Document Preparation:
    • Procurement documents (invitation to tender) are developed by the procurement officer in collaboration with the buyer.
  3. Advertisement:
    • The procurement is publicly announced.
  4. Bidding Period:
    • During a specified period, usually at least 3 weeks or 40 days, suppliers can submit bids.
  5. Bid Opening:
    • All bids are opened simultaneously after the specified deadline.
  6. Evaluation:
    • Bids are reviewed and evaluated according to the criteria outlined in the invitation to tender. New requirements that have not been announced in writing may not be added.
  7. Award Decision:
    • A decision is made on the winning bid, known as the award decision.
  8. Notification:
    • All bidders are informed of the award decision.
  9. Standstill Period:
    • The contracting authority observes a standstill period of 10 days during which no contracts can be signed. Concerned suppliers can request a review of the decision from the administrative court.
  10. Contract Signing:
    • Contracts are signed after the standstill period has elapsed, assuming no review has been requested.
Schedule procurement
Schedule procurement Photo: Josef Dadoun

Plan for Procurement Takes Time

In addition to the legally stipulated advertising period, there are many steps to be undertaken. Expect the procurement process to take at least 4-6 months, with more complex procurements taking even longer. Therefore, we kindly ask you to contact the procurement unit well in advance.

The procurement process adheres to absolute confidentiality in all parts related to received bids and the assessment and evaluation of these. Confidentiality is maintained until the award decision is publicly announced.

Responsibilities in Procurements

In general, the procurement officer is responsible for procurement law knowledge and leads the administrative procurement process, while the buyer provides expertise and leads the project itself. The buyer owns the budget and decision-making authority for the purchase.

The procurement officer develops templates for procurement documents. The buyer provides underlying factual information and associated documents (such as product descriptions). The procurement officer compiles the procurement documents.

The procurement documents parts and structure

  1. Invitation to Tender:
    • Presentation of the contracting authority, description of the need, timeline, etc.
  2. Administrative Provisions:
    • Formal requirements for how bids are submitted, e.g., digitally, via the procurement tool, deadlines, etc.
  3. Examination and Evaluation:
    • Describes how the examination and evaluation of bids will take place, e.g., "economically most advantageous tender in relation to price."
  4. Requirements for Bidders:
    • Mandatory requirements consisting of economic, legal, and professional (experience and competence) criteria for the supplier.
  5. Specification of Requirements:
    • Requirements for the product/service.
  6. Commercial Terms:
    • Contractual conditions forming the basis for the agreement, including invoicing, support, penalties, delivery, etc.

Responsibility distribution for the procurement document:

  1. Invitation to Tender:
    • Procurement Officer + Buyer
  2. Administrative Provisions:
    • Procurement Officer
  3. Examination and Evaluation:
    • Procurement Officer + Buyer
      • The procurement officer can provide examples and templates for evaluation models. The buyer is responsible for providing expertise and deciding on the evaluation model. The buyer is also responsible for participating in the evaluation of aspects requiring professional knowledge, such as added values.
  4. Requirements for Bidders:
    • Procurement Officer + Buyer
      • The buyer is responsible for factual information and requirements requiring professional knowledge of the procurement object (professional requirements for the supplier and product) and checks these requirements. The procurement officer verifies administrative, legal, and economic requirements. The buyer assists in checking and assessing professional requirements for experience and competence.
  5. Specification of Requirements:
    • Buyer
      • The buyer is responsible for specifying requirements for the product or service, as these details require professional knowledge. The procurement officer formulates the requirements in the procurement documents and assists the buyer in ensuring that the requirements align with procurement principles (proportionality, transparency, equal treatment, non-discrimination).
  6. Commercial Terms:
    • Procurement Officer + Buyer
      • The buyer is responsible for providing information that requires professional expertise regarding the object, such as product requirements (specifications), suitable warranty periods, payment models, etc., and any underlying documents with requirements for the procured object (e.g., construction documents).

Note that the responsibility for managing the contract lies with the buyer since the buyer owns the contract.

Content reviewer:
Josef Dadoun