General rules on review procedures

A supplier has the right to have a procurement reviewed if they believe they have suffered, or believe they will suffer, damage from a fault caused by a procuring organisation. There are three different types of review with different time limits.

The information on this page concerns procurements in accordance with:

  • the Public Procurement Act (LOU)
  • the Act on Procurement in the Water, Energy, Transport and Postal Services Sectors (LUF).

A procurement may be subject to review as soon as the procurement process has begun. A procurement is deemed to have begun when the contracting authority or entity (procuring organisation) decides to initiate a procurement procedure and this decision has been communicated externally by the organisation through some form of contact with a third party. It takes place no later than when the procuring organisation decides to send an invitation to tender by advertising, or through other means.

All suppliers who believe they have suffered damage, or may suffer damage at a later stage, due to the fault of a procuring organisation can apply for review.

Before you apply for review as a supplier, we recommend contacting the procuring organisation and informing them about what you feel was incorrect with the procurement. By doing so, you may avoid initiating a lengthy legal process for both parties, because of a misunderstanding.

Three different types of review

Three different situations can result in a review. Review of

  • a procurement
  • a decision to cancel a procurement
  • the validity of a contract.

Reviewing a procurement

Regarding the review of a procurement, the procuring organisation must have been in breach of the regulations in the procurement legislation. This may involve the procuring organisation having set disproportionate requirements or having violated the equal-treatment principle.

Reviewing cancellation of a procurement

A supplier may also apply for a review of the procuring organisation’s decision to cancel a procurement. In these instances, the court will determine whether the procuring organisation had objective reasons for their decision.

Reviewing a contract

When the standstill period expires and the procuring organisation has signed an agreement with the supplier who was awarded the contract, the procurement can no longer be reviewed. But the validity of the contract can still be reviewed.

For example, the validity of a contract can be reviewed if it was entered into after an unlawful direct award or in violation of the regulations on standstill periods.

A review requires that a party suffered damage

Reviewing both the procurement and the validity of a contract requires that the supplier suffered damage or risks suffering damage as a result of what happened.

In cases regarding review of procurement it is important to note that a supplier must take necessary preventative measures in order to limit the risk of harm. This follows from case law and for example it means that the supplier must ask questions to the procuring organisation when the procurement is ongoing, if the supplier finds ambiguities or inaccuracies in the procurement documents.

Where to send the application for review?

Send the application to the administrative court in the court district where the procuring organisation is located. Contact the National Courts Administration if you are uncertain, or go to their website to find the right administrative court.

Sveriges domstolar (website for the Swedish courts)

How much will court proceedings cost?

An application for review by the administrative court is free of charge. But both parties pay their own costs for the process, such as legal counsel remuneration.

How do court proceedings work?

The court often adjudicates the case after having read the written submissions (hearings are uncommon). The court shall process the case hastily.

The court will only consider the circumstances raised in your application and your submissions to the court. Therefore, it is important that you clearly describe what you believe to be incorrect about the procurement, and your objections must be corroborated. All circumstances relevant to your case must, as a general rule, be handed in to the court within three weeks from the day you submitted your complaint to the first instance court.

Application for review of a public procurement (website of the Swedish courts)(SV)

Time limits

Reviewing a procurement

An application for review must be submitted before the standstill period expires.

The standstill period is in effect no less than 10 days from the date the award notice was sent electronically. If the award notice is sent in a different way, such as via regular post, the standstill period shall be no less than 15 days.

The standstill period does not apply to direct awards.

Standstill period (SV)

Extended standstill period

During a review by the administrative court, the standstill period is automatically extended while the case is processed. It expires ten days after the adjudication, a so-called ten-day limit.

When appealing an adjudication to the Administrative Court of Appeal and the Supreme Administrative Court, the supplier must request a formal decision by the court so that the procurement cannot be concluded, a so-called interlocutory decision.

Interlocutory decision

When no standstill period is in effect, the court may decide that no contract can be signed until a decision otherwise, a so-called interlocutory decision. In such instances, a ten-day limit is in effect during which no contract may be signed after the Administrative Court or Administrative Court of Appeal has adjudicated the case or rescinded the interlocutory decision.

A ten-day limit is also in effect when the Supreme Administrative Court has made an interlocutory decision and remanded the case to a lower court. The purpose of the ten-day limit is to provide sufficient time for an appeal to a higher court.

Reviewing cancellation of a procurement

An application for the review of a decision to cancel a procurement must be submitted within ten days from the date the procuring organisation electronically sent a notice of their decision to the suppliers and stated the reasons for their decision. If the notice is sent in a different way, such as via regular post, the time limit shall be 15 days.

Reviewing a contract

An application for the review of the validity of an agreement must have been submitted to the Administrative Court within six months of signing the agreement. However, under certain circumstances, the time limit may be shortened to 30 days.

Sunday rule

The so-called Sunday rule shall be utilized when calculating, for example, the time limit for applying for review and the ten-day limit. The Sunday rule means that if the final day for applying for a review falls on a Sunday, a public holiday, Saturday, Midsummer’s Eve, Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, the period will be extended to the following weekday.