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Public Procurement and State Aid

Public Procurement and State Aid

Public and Utilities Procurement

Storløkken has experienced lawyers working with public procurement and state aid law.

Public and Utilities Procurement law apply when public authorities (state, local and regional authorities and public bodies), are purchasing goods, services or work contracts. As a member of the EEA, Agreement, Norway has implemented the EU legislation on Public Procurement into Norwegian: The Public Procurement Directive 2014/24, the Utilities Directive 2014/25/EU and the Concessions Directive 2014/23/EU

Storløkken render legal assistance to procuring entities and bidders during all phases of a tender competition, within public communication, transport, work contracts (building and engineering), public infrastructure (ports, water supply, waste management) and procurement of goods and services or concessions.

Storløkken renders legal advice and assists bidders in:

  • Providing legal advice before and after contract award, inter alia with prior risk analysis, assistance during the tender process and evaluation of bids
  • Filing complaints to the public purchaser and the Norwegian Complaints Board (KOFA) about irregularities in the tendering procedure
  • Filing interim measure (application for injunctions to the local district courts) to stop the purchasing authority to sign the contract before the stand-still period has expired.
  • File request for damages from the public purchaser

State Aid

The EEA agreement, article 61, prohibits state aid to prevent negative effects on trade. Exceptions are made for purposes such as environmental protection, regional support and research, innovation and development. The state aid rules in the EEA agreement is broadly equivalent to the state aid rules in the EU Treaty. EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) plays the same role as the European Commission and deals with complaints regarding infringement of state aid law.

The state aid regulation apply, inter alia, when:

  • The State (including government institutions, counties, and municipalities and public entities) are acting as undertakings and engage in an economic activity, and compete with private entities
  • The State (or counties/municipalities) sell or rent out land and buildings
  • The public authorities tender out public services and compensate undertakings entrusted with the operation of services of general economic interest (SGEI)
  • The public authorities enters into cooperation with private entities (Public-Private Partnership)

Storløkken render legal advice in the following:

  • To clarify the presence of state aid
  • Are the state aid in question covered by block exemption regulation
  • Notification and complaints to ESA
  • “Existing” aid or “New aid”? Consequenses for the receipt of illegal state aid (repayment)