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PR(05)41: Iceland fails to comply with public procurement rules


The EFTA Surveillance Authority today delivered a reasoned opinion to Iceland arising from a failure by that State to comply with the public procurement rules applicable to the utilities sector.

The Authority’s opinion follows the conclusion of several contracts by the public undertaking Suðurnes Regional Heating (Hitaveita Suðurnesja) without any apparent prior call for tender. The contracts concerned, inter alia, the drilling of production holes in the Reykjanes area.

Public undertakings falling within the scope of the Utilities Directive 93/38/EEC are required to follow a tender procedure when awarding contracts unless they can demonstrate that the conditions for applying one of the exemptions for which the Directive provides are fulfilled. In the Authority’s view, the Icelandic Government has not demonstrated that the conditions for applying the exemptions were fulfilled with regard to the contracts concluded by Suðurnes Regional Heating.

A reasoned opinion is the second stage in the Authority’s formal infringement procedures against an EFTA State. The Government of Iceland is required to take measures to comply with this reasoned opinion within three months.

For further information, please contact:

Mr Hallgrímur Ásgeirsson, Director of the Internal Market Affairs Directorate,
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 60.  

7 December 2005

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