August 1st 2017
Last autumn, on October 24th 2016, Maksuturva Group Oy appealed to the Market Court regarding actions contrary to the Procurement Act in a public procurement regarding online payment. In a decision delivered by the Market Court on July 4th 2017, it was found that the State Treasury acted contrary to the Procurement Act when, in its bid request regarding online payment, it failed to provide sufficient information, for the purposes of submitting a bid, on the scope of the procurement and possible associated user organisations. The decision made by the Market Court is based on the Supreme Administrative Court’s yearbook decision delivered on November 17th 2016, wherein KL-Kuntahankinnat Oy put out a joint procurement of health care treatment products for bidding on the part of the whole of Finland.
In an EU procurement notice published on July 12th 2016, and in a correction notice published on August 26th 2016, the State Treasury announced a online payment service procurement, to be implemented through an open process. In the official bid request published in the summer of 2016, the scope of the procurement was defined as covering an estimated 40-88 user organisations in a five-year period, when, in December 2016, news was published regarding the payment system, indicating that it would handle the financial transactions of up to 1000 operators.
In a procurement decision made on October 10th 2016, the State Treasury chose the group of Paytrail Oyj and Nets Oy as its contract supplier. Maksuturva Group Oy placed second in the bid competition, receiving maximum amount of points in the “quality” category. On October 24th 2016, Maksuturva Group Oy made an appeal to the Market Court because in its view, the bid request was contrary to law, and did not give equal conditions for success in the bid competition to all parties that participated therein or that were considering participating therein.
‘The Market Court’s decision shows that we were correct, and in the decision, per our claim, it is found that the State Treasury’s process in the online payment procurement was illegal, because the scope of the procurement and the user organisations involved that would utilise the service were left unspecified’, says Maksuturva Group Oy CEO Mikael Smeds.
During the judicial proceedings, on December 12th 2016, the Market Court gave the State Treasury an implementation permit for initiating the online payment supply operation together with the party that had won the bidding competition. On January 31st 2017, Maksuturva Group Oy petitioned the Market Court to overturn the implementation decision, and to halt the implementation due to changed circumstances.
‘The implementation decision was made in a great hurry and, in our opinion, carelessly, without proper justifications in response to the facts we presented. We have consistently opposed allowing implementation, and petitioned to have the implementation decision overturned due to changed circumstances, but the decision has not been overturned. However, in regards to our legal proceedings, it is a partial victory for us that the Market Court has found the procurement to be illegal on precisely the same grounds that we used to petition for the reversal of the implementation decision. We are considering appealing to the Supreme Administrative Court to get the rights that belong to us in their full scope’, Mikael Smeds continues.
Earlier news on the call for bids for the payment system:
According to news published by Tietoviikko, the subject of the call for bids is a payment system that will handle the financial transactions of approximately 1000 public sector operators. The Municipalities, Trafi, and the Patent- and Registration Office are among those moving to the payment system. According to Jukka Sorvali, Project Manager for the State Treasury, this is Northern Europe's largest public call for bids for a web-payment system, and all Finnish citizens that have a bank account or payment card are potential users of the system.
CEO, Maksuturva Group Oy
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Maksuturva Group Oy is a payment institution operating under the Financial Supervisory Authority and internationally, specialised in intelligent payment, and a PCI DSS-certified provider of payment services. The company’s clients include e.g. Zalando, Finland’s Olympic Committee, Hobby Hall, Reima, Neste and Kotipizza. A separate ICT service company, Maksuturva ICT Services Oy, is responsible for the technical implementation of payment services, together with certified service providers. www.maksuturva.fi