In June 2022, the government appointed a special investigator to propose an effective, reliable system for supplier controls for public procurements and when applying to participate in a free choice system. The so-called Supplier Control Inquiry has now submitted its report. A coordinated register check for procuring authorities and entities (SOU 2023:43).
THE PROPOSALS INCLUDE CONTROL OF GROUNDS FOR EXCLUSION
All laws governing public procurement and free choice systems contain rules on so-called “exclusion”. The so-called obligatory grounds for exclusion – which the authorities must apply – are aimed at whether the supplier’s representatives have committed certain more serious crimes such as organised crime or money laundering. The so-called optional grounds for exclusion – which authorities may apply – are aimed, inter alia, at whether the supplier is experiencing financial difficulties or is bankrupt, for example. There are also grounds for exclusion relating to unpaid taxes and social security contributions.
The laws on procurement also contain certain rules on how procuring authorities must check to ensure that a tenderer is not included in the grounds for exclusion. However, there is no coordinated system for control in Sweden and it is therefore up to each procuring authority to decide for itself how the control is to take place. In combination with the fact that it is to some extent unclear which Swedish crimes should lead to exclusion and which group of persons should be subjected to controls, the current system risks leading to defective controls. The purpose of the Inquiry was therefore to propose an effective, reliable system for supplier controls.
THE SWEDISH COMPANIES REGISTRATION OFFICE WILL PROVIDE A SYSTEM FOR COMBINED REGISTER CHECKS
The Inquiry proposes that the Swedish Companies Registration Office provide a system for combined register checks. The Swedish Companies Registration Office will carry out checks at the procuring authority’s request and the checks may include suppliers, companies whose capacity is citied and subcontractors.
The checks will include only information that is relevant for determining whether exclusion should take place due to crimes, unpaid taxes and social security contributions or qualified financial difficulties such as bankruptcy. The Swedish Companies Registration Office will retrieve and compile the information from Swedish public authorities’ existing registers and no new registers will therefore be established. The Inquiry proposes that the following registers be included in the register checks:
- The Swedish Companies Registration Office’s various business registers
- The Swedish Companies Registration Office’s register of prohibitions from trading
- The Swedish Companies Registration Office’s register of beneficial owners
- The Swedish Companies Registration Office’s bankruptcy register
- The Swedish Companies Registration Office’s register of company reorganisations
- The Police Authority’s criminal records
- The Swedish Tax Agency’s tax database
- The Swedish Enforcement Authority’s enforcement and collection database
- The Swedish Enforcement Authority’s debt rescheduling register
- The County Administrative Boards’ registers of foundations
In addition to proposals relating to the implementation of register checks, the report also contains proposals for provisions that override secrecy in the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act (2009:700) and provisions on legal support for personal data processing to enable the register checks to be carried out.
The report also contains proposals and considerations relating to a number of other areas, including legal support for the processing of personal data when monitoring agreements, the obligation to impose specific labour law conditions in the area not subject to the Directive (the Inquiry proposes that no such obligation be introduced) and limits on the number of subcontractor stages.
It is proposed that the provisions enter into force on 1 October 2025.