Review of events in 2016
Hansel’s task is to increase productivity in state procurement operations. Our new 2020 strategy was approved in May, and our vision is to be a procurement reformer. Our strategic focal points are introducing a customer-centric operating model into all operations, developing our offering in central procurements, and being an agent for change towards innovative and responsible public procurements. Hansel’s range of expert services is also being expanded to cover procurement development services.
All operations must be based on modern digital solutions. Hansel is highly involved in Handi, a programme to digitalise government procurements that is being led by the Ministry of Finance. Within this programme, Hansel has developed a new government procurement data service for civil servants, which covers all government procurements with the exception of those in the Ministry of Defence’s administrative sector. We want to offer our employees flexible and efficient ways of working that enable continual competence development.
2016 centred on preparations for the new Public Procurement Act, which came into force on 1 January 2017. The Government’s proposed legislation for procurement procedures was put before Parliament in June 2016. However, as the deadline for bringing the EU Public Procurement Directive into force ran out on 18 April 2016, Finland was temporarily forced to apply the Public Procurement Directive directly, due to the delay in completing national legislation.
Hansel’s experts were consulted in Parliament’s financial, administrative and environmental committees. Hansel has participated in stakeholder discussions on legislation, training events, and initiatives relating to the Public Procurement Act’s social objectives, such as projects to promote innovation. The amendments to the Public Procurement Act are based on a 2014 directive on public procurements whose key objectives are to reform and modernise regulations, make more efficient use of public resources, give SMEs more opportunities to get involved, and promote the consideration of social aspects.
The new Public Procurement Act will have a significant effect on Hansel’s operations. The most important changes in our status and tasks relate to the definitions of central procurements and procurement support functions, cross-border central procurements between EU Member States, and amendments to framework agreements. The main changes affecting tenders include revised procurement procedures, changes to electronic information exchange processes, an obligation to share procurements, obligations related to contractual changes, and numerous changes to procurement process flows.
The new legislation emphasises horizontal policies, such as obligations to comply with environmental, social and labour legislation, fight the grey economy, and improve the standing of SMEs. This complete legislative revision has been noted in the focal points of Hansel’s competence development and, for example, also in the development of the tendering system.
In order to support regional procurements, on 21 December 2016 the government’s ministerial reform committee announced that the regions’ rights to use the Finnish Government’s central procurement unit (Hansel) would be legislated separately. The Ministry of Finance has appointed a working group to prepare the amendments to the Hansel Act. The Government’s proposal is scheduled to go before Parliament during spring 2017.
One of Hansel’s major 2016 development projects was introducing an e-tendering solution and supporting customers during its introduction. This project was part of the Handi programme. Since its introduction, all of Hansel’s framework tenders have been implemented using the new tendering solution, including one auction. Meanwhile, further development of this tool has continued in cooperation with the service provider and our customers. Required functionalities have already been implemented, such as electronic auction functionalities, new EU form templates, and numerous smaller features. Currently ongoing are development of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD), development of a mini-tender functionality, and changes arising from the new Public Procurement Act. In 2017, we will continue to launch and support the introduction of new features and, for example, further develop the dynamic procurement system.
At the end of 2016, Hansel was involved in one set of legal proceedings and four complaints in the Market Court, all relating to the same procurement decision. The Supreme Administrative Court gave Hansel one ruling in 2016, dismissing the complaint in question. We received three Market Court resolutions in 2016: one complaint was dismissed and two remained as was.
A representative of Hansel took part in the work of the State Procurement Advisory Board, which consists of representatives from all government administrative sectors and the university sector. The duties of the Advisory Board include overseeing the attainment of the procurement savings targets set in the Government Programme, promoting the practical implementation of Group-level objectives, and promoting the sharing of best practices. The Advisory Board is appointed by the Ministry of Finance.
Hansel follows debate on public procurement in the European Union and is a member of the cooperation group for key central procurement units in European states. In addition to Hansel, its members include the following central procurement units: SKI (Denmark), Kammarkollegiet (Sweden), BBG (Austria), Consip (Italy) and ANCP (Portugal).
Procurement expert services
Sales of procurement expert services rose to €1.3 million (€1.1 million in 2015). There were 162 chargeable projects (126 in 2015) with a total value of about €339 million (€235 million in 2015). Our major customers in 2016 were the Finnish Transport Agency, Finnish Customs, Prime Minister’s Office, and Government ICT Centre Valtori. Some of these projects were socially significant, and therefore of particular interest to Hansel employees. Customer feedback on our unit has been favourable, with a score of 4.7 on a scale of 1–5 (4.4 in 2015). Services related to developing procurement operations accounted for €76 thousand of the total. As of 2017, procurement development services have been separated into their own business area, in line with our strategy.
Key events after the close of the financial year
Our business operations remained essentially unchanged after the close of the financial year.