We have previously written about the plans for government IT operations, which are intended to be located at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. And as we wrote in December has moved to the authority’s data center began to get started.
One of the issues that discusses most in this context is whether the Public Procurement Act, LOU, applies when one image is to help another. The usual assessment has been that information belongs to and the same legal person, ie the state. Men that question was asked at its peak after a judgment in the Court of Appeal in Stockholm. When the National Archives was to digitize newspapers for KB the assessment was made that the two authorities were too independent from others and that the service should therefore have been procured in accordance with LOU.
But trot that judgment came a clear position on the issue from the Swedish Competition Authority on December 19, we can state that acquisitions between government data are not covered by the warehousing legislation if the two data contain the same legal entity.
“In such circumstances, there is no procurement obligation”, the Swedish Competition Authority writes in its position and emphasizes that procurement of goods, services or construction contracts between two government tasks that cannot mean that a public contract arises.
“If there is no supplier who is independent of the authority, a contract subject to procurement cannot arise.”
If there is no supplier who is independent of the authority, a contract subject to procurement cannot arise.
The Swedish Competition Authority also addresses the current ruling from the Administrative Court of Appeal in Stockholm and the fact that many authorities after it perceive the rules as unclear. The position points out that there is no precedent from the Supreme Administrative Court in the matter, but that the European Court of Justice has clarified the circumstances in which a contract subject to procurement exists. And the conclusion is that it is this practice that should be decisive in assessing whether the information should be covered by the procurement legislation or not.
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The major outsourcing providers have been clear with the market being able to deliver better and cheaper IT operations than the state. And if the Swedish Competition Authority’s statement makes it easier for the authorities to help others without procurement, it is the wrong way to go, according to a unified industry.
– We lack a nuance of the question, where are the real challenges? Is it really in society’s interest to limit the opportunities for society to make procurements, where leading players are given the opportunity to compete in order to then be able to choose the best solutions? Is there a well-founded basis for taking such steps? wonders Carl Mikael Dufberg, vice president at IBM Swedish and business area manager for the public sector.
– It is not reasonable for the state to conduct operations under its own auspices for all stroke data. We need a better basis for decision-making to improve the dialogue between the private and public sectors. This is to avoid unnecessary costs for society that risk limiting opportunities to drive innovation by taking better advantage of very rapid development that takes place, not least in areas such as AI and automation, he says.
Mia Bartelson Enayatollah, head of the public sector at Fujitsu, also believes that government IT operations are hardly the best way to use the tax money.
– A financing that can have a broader perspective is extensive of the public commitment and what is important to prioritize for the citizen and our tax funds. The public sector also plays a very important role in securing welfare. As our tax funds are a finite resource, priorities for use become very important. For that reason, priority is usually given to those areas where there is no functioning market with actors who can perform services such as the public need. There is probably every reason to consider whether a state IT operation should be accommodated within the public commitment given the great need we have in, for example, health care, school, care, justice and defense, she says.
And rarely do the usually rival consulting giants agree. Lars Richter, Acting Head of Public Sector at Tieto, agrees with the previous speakers.
-Our view of the issue of government IT operations is unchanged. We thus see that an actor that specializes in delivering IT services guarantees the best quality and security, and that with the right outsourcing you get a force that can free up capital for innovation projects while raising security and quality, he says.