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Last Thursday, the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court ruled in a case regarding annulment of contracts and overriding reasons in the public interest.

According to public procurement law, a procured contract shall be declared ineffective if it has been concluded in breach of certain fundamental provisions. However, in exceptional cases the contract may stand despite the breach, if justified for overriding reasons relating to the public interest. Such reasons may for example be public order and security, the health and life of humans, animals or the environment, or the protection of national treasures.

In this recent ruling, the contract concerned vehicles for transportation services for individuals with special needs. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that such services are of public interest as such. However, the Court stated that for the procured contract to stand, the contract itself must also be necessary in order for the public interest to be met. In this case, the contracting entity had access to other vehicles, and could provide the services regardless of the specific contract. Hence, the reasons in the public interest did not override the fact that the contract was concluded in breach of the Swedish Procurement Act. The contract was declared ineffective.

Time Advokatbyrå continuously provides advice to contracting entities and tendering companies within the field of public procurement. If you would like to know more about this ruling or need assistance with public procurement legislation, please reach out to Jonas Forzelius, head of public procurement.

The ruling in its entirety can be found, in Swedish, under the link below.