The law on public procurement needs to be reviewed

snail & wine | shell-ebrations ? - exploredThe Public Procurement Act (LOU) is unfortunately a joke as it stands today...

The procurements take place without transparency

Recently, we have seen strange procurements in Gothenburg, the arena building and several other places. Of course, all procurements should have an open bidding process and be done completely open and free to follow on the Internet. Currently, there are several companies that sell poor services and expensive subscription services around procurement to small businesses. Why aren't the tenders free so that we as taxpayers get the best possible services at good prices?

The procurements are too specified

The public procurements in Sweden are too specified and thus competition suffers. Suppose that a municipality makes a procurement for gardening, then a company can place a competitive bid on the pricing of the lawn mowing - while for other services, significantly higher margins are placed. If you talk to your friend who owns company B, he may have placed a low bid on the snow removal but placed himself in a high price position for the grass cutting, etc. If they then make sure that the agreements do not apply under certain conditions, they can make sure to milk the procured authority on high prices for all services!

Another example of strange procurements is that the company must have local knowledge while at the same time it must have a certain size - oh how difficult it has become with the competition now... In the promised land of corruption Italy is said to have gone so far that they made procurements for 1 meter of highway in order not to exceed the threshold rules that applied to the tender.

...And how does it work at the system company?

The heavily criticized system company has increased its openness regarding its procurements in modern times. The authority has improved after all the criticism they have had to endure. But coming as a start-up company and getting an audience with the system company is a difficult process and takes several months and something that all entrepreneurs should be warned about. When you visit the head office at the royal garden you can be greeted by the buyers hugging your competitors - yes I was there and it almost made me puke.

The process from when you get permission until you can take part in the procurements is long - which means that many small businesses do not have the stamina and are forced to shut down their operations in the first year. Systembolaget's procurements are highly seasonal, which means that you must follow the process for one year in order to come up with suitable tenders the following year. This basically means that you can't start offering them until after about 1 year. The procurements are approximately 10 months ahead and you only get paid after you have sold your wine. The wine importers are then assessed according to a scale where they are penalized if they fail to deliver. In principle, it eliminates all small business owners who want to enter the market and do not have the financial muscle. I personally sent in about 200 quotations and I managed to win 2 - which were among the smallest that year...

The procurements from the system company are extremely precise: it must be this grape, from this region, with this quality level and quantity, with this exact taste, at this price and with this bottle and modern label... The bottom line is that the tenders risk become a regular order of a specific supplier. In short, the system is set up for crony corruption. When I wanted to sell wine from Spain's second largest wine district, I received the scornful response from the buyer that that region did not produce good wines and that it was not relevant in any offer in the near future.

The fact that the buyers who write the tenders are allowed to stay in the same room as those who do the tasting smells downright bad and makes room for a subjective assessment. I myself have been involved with producers in, for example, Bolivia who, several years ago, refused to have their wine assessed because they perceived the procurements as rigged. According to the wine producer, the procurer was good friends with his competitor. Since the procurers have such a strong position, of course the wine importers recruit the people from there and if I understand it, there is no distinction between one day being a buyer and the next day being a supplier.

Systembolaget has had several cases of bribery, but it seems that it is paying off. The companies that have engaged in bribery are still there and they continue to deliver even though some store managers have been fired. Why aren't the companies punished?

The lack of competence of the procurers

Although it is not only the procurements themselves that have shortcomings. When I spoke to people familiar with procurement, the main problem seems to be that the procurers have a lack of competence. That is why it is the way it is…

So what happens in the banana monarchy - probably nothing and we continue as if there is no problem - but it felt quite nice to sign off...


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