Internal Market: ESA takes Norway to Court for faulty public tender procedure
EN | NO
The Norwegian Municipality of Kristiansand breached EEA rules on public procurement when awarding a contract for the construction and operation of an underground parking. This is the conclusion of the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA), which today has decided to bring Norway before the EFTA Court.
“The Municipality chose a tender procedure that is in breach of EEA rules. It may also have prevented Kristiansand from obtaining more tenders and perhaps even more advantageous offers both on price and quality,” says ESA president Sven Erik Svedman.
The Municipality of Kristiansand failed to publish the public contract notice EEA-wide and did not respect the minimum time-limit for the submission of applications. Further, the Municipality incorrectly classified the contract as a “service concession”. The classification chosen by Kristiansand does not take into account the construction element of the contract, and, as a result, the tender procedure is not in line with public procurement rules.
Consequently, the Municipality may have prevented competition and precluded companies from other parts of Norway and the EEA from participating in the tender procedure.
“Public tenders tend to involve taxpayers' money and should always be classified correctly and awarded in a transparent and accountable way,” says Svedman.
The Norwegian Government has taken the same position as the Municipality, so ESA now asks the EFTA Court to rule how EEA rules are to be applied. Taking a case to court is the final step in a formal infringement procedure, and the EFTA Court has the final say.
ESA brings the court case against the Kingdom of Norway, not the Municipality of Kristiansand.
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Anne Vestbakke
Head of Communications
tel. +32 2 286 18 66
mob. +32 490 57 63 53