Requirements on impartiality, independence, transparency and equal treatment are strongly connected to the operations of Hansel. Some of the requirements are directly based on the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts. We have created internal processes with our Code of Ethics, detailed work instructions and a project work model. Our employees are obligated to comply with these processes.
A tendering project is always completed by a team consisting of several people, and our employees are obligated to excuse themselves whenever there is any conflict of interest. We limit communication with the tenderers to a minimum when the tendering process is underway. We believe that centralising expertise in public procurement and creating established professional processes is the most efficient means of preventing corruption in its different forms.
One of the goals of the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts is to promote efficient use of government funds. The Act annually regulates procurement amounting to more than €30 billion in Finland. The Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts (section 80) lists mandatory exclusion criteria, which means that if a tenderer is guilty of a criminal offence laid down in a regulation and has been convicted of the crime with a legally valid verdict, the tenderer must be excluded from the tendering process. Extracts from the criminal record are always checked in connection with tendering. The Act also lays down several discretionary exclusion criteria (section 81). Their application is a more complex matter.
Due to legislative amendments made in 2017, governmental procurement units now receive information they need to verify tenderers’ compliance with requirements directly from statutory registers. Hansel uses an electronic tendering system where the retrieval of the statutory information from a variety of registers has been automated, except for the extracts from the criminal record. It is a shame that unethical or even illegal activities sometimes pop up also in the field of procurement, but more efficient oversight and inter-authority cooperation have made it is easier to address.
Hansel has invested in the promotion of transparency in procurement by realising the Tutkihankintoja.fi service based on an assignment from the Ministry of Finance. The service makes purchase invoices related to government procurement available to citizens via an easy-to-use interface. The same documents are also available through the avoindata.fi service. The service also includes Hansel’s own expenditure, and we hope that municipal organisations will join the service in the future. Our customers have access to even more detailed analyses about their own procurement through the Hankintapulssi service. For more information on Hankintapulssi, please see Planning improves management of procurement.
With its operations, Hansel has promoted the transfer to structural electronic invoicing in Finland. Hansel has, for instance, promoted new legislation on the subject matter. Electronic invoicing prevents the black economy: no fake e-invoices have been detected in Finland. Hansel has required e-invoices from its suppliers in all of its joint procurement contracts for some ten years now.