Review of events in 2017
Hansel’s task is to increase the productivity of and reform government procurement activities. Our strategic focal points are introducing a customer-centric operating model into all operations, developing our offering in central procurement, and being an agent for change towards innovative and responsible public procurements, utilising modern digital solutions. We want to offer our employees flexible and efficient ways of working that enable continual competence development.
Hansel is highly involved in Handi, a programme to digitalise government procurements that is being led by the Ministry of Finance. In conjunction with this project, Hansel continued the development of procurement data services, publishing the government’s purchase invoice materials as open data and in the Tutkihankintoja.fi service in September. The Ministry of Defence’s administrative branch and certain other safety-related units are not included in the service. In addition, Hansel produced an online service for agencies, related to the planning of acquisitions, in which suppliers can view the government’s tendering process calendar. eNest, a tool for automatic checking of information provided by authorities, was made available to agencies in 2017.
The new Act on Public Contracts came into force at the beginning of 2017. The purpose of the reformation of the procurement legislation was to simplify procurement practices, use public funds more efficiently, improve SMEs’ chances of participating in bidding competitions, and promote the consideration of corporate responsibility and innovation in procurement.
The new Act on Public Contracts has improved the flexibility of procurement practices, to an extent, by making it possible to define tenders in more detail, by facilitating the use of the dynamic procurement system, and by simplifying negotiation practices, for example. On the other hand, the use of the ESPD form and the checking of extracts from criminal records have increased the administrative burden of both procurement units and tenderers. In addition, the new Act on Public Contracts includes certain complicated transition period arrangements, such as the conflict of law rules that apply to internal tendering processes for framework agreements. By the end of 2017, the new Act on Public Contracts had been applied in the Market Court in only about 30 cases, so the application practices have not been established yet.
The government proposal regarding changes to the Hansel Act (HE 63/2017 vp) was submitted to Parliament in June 2017. The proposal suggests that regions and their procurement units be included in Hansel’s customer base. The change in legislation is connected to the ongoing health, social services, and regional government reform. The government proposal also suggests that the processing of procurement information be included in Hansel’s task and that Hansel be provided review rights to the procurement information of government procurement units. In addition, the government proposes that Hansel be provided with the opportunity to participate in international central procurement as provided in the Act on Public Contracts.
The proposal has been discussed in Parliament’s Commerce Committee, but the process is now pending the coming into force of the freedom of choice decree and the processing of the regional legislation in the Parliament.
At the end of 2017, Hansel was involved in one case in the Supreme Administrative Court and one in the Market Court. The Supreme Administrative Court gave Hansel one ruling in 2017, dismissing the complaint. The company also received three rulings from the Market Court, all dismissing the complaint. In addition, the company received rulings from the Market Court on two framework agreement tendering processes, which remained as was.
Hansel follows the debate on public procurement in the European Union and is a member of the cooperation group for key central procurement units in European states. In addition to Hansel, its members include the following central procurement units: SKI (Denmark), Kammarkollegiet (Sweden), BBG (Austria), Consip (Italy), and ANCP (Portugal). Hansel also began cooperation with SKL Kommentus from Sweden, revolving around corporate responsibility.
Key events after the close of the financial year
In February 2018, Chief Digital Officer Mikko Saavalainen was appointed as a new member of the company’s Executive Committee.
In early 2018, the company received a ruling from the Market Court, dismissing the complaint. This case has been taken to the Supreme Administrative Court.
Our business operations remained essentially unchanged after the close of the financial year.