SUPREME ADMINISTRATIVE COURT UPHELD COUNCIL’S DECISION WHEREBY JONIŠKIS DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY WAS OBLIGED TO CONDUCT COMPETITIVE PROCEDURE
The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (Court) rejected the appeal by Joniškis District Municipality (Municipality) asking to repeal the obligation to conduct a competitive procedure for the provision of municipal waste management services.
On 26 April 2012 the Council found that in 2010 the Municipality authorized UAB Joniškio komunalinis ūkis (hereinafter – Company) to provide municipal waste management services without a competitive procedure and, thus, discriminated against other undertakings willing to provide the aforementioned services. The Council obliged the Municipality to terminate the agreement signed with the Company and conduct a competitive procedure.
In 2015 the Council opened an investigation to evaluate how the Municipality fulfilled the obligation. The Council’s experts found that having terminated the law-breaching agreement, the Municipality made an in-house contract with the Company. The Council asked Šiauliai Regional Administrative Court to oblige the Municipality to conduct a competitive procedure. Šiauliai Regional Administrative Court fulfilled the Council’s request. The Municipality appealed the decision of Šiauliai Regional Administrative Court to the Supreme Court which upheld the Council’s request to oblige the Municipality to conduct a competitive procedure.
The Court’s decision proves that municipalities shall not choose service providers without a competitive procedure. Having a company in the municipal waste management sector does not allow a municipality to ignore the principles of fair competition.
–Jūratė Šovienė, Deputy Chairperson of the Competition Council
The ruling of the Court is final and not subject to appeal.