MUNICIPALITIES – IN SIGHT OF COMPETITION COUNCIL
With regard to complaints and queries on possible restrictions of competition observed in various districts in Lithuania, the Competition Council (the Council) encourages Lithuanian municipalities to pay more attention to the impact that their decisions have on competition.
The decisions adopted by the administrations of municipalities are of great relevance to Lithuanian citizens and undertakings since these decisions are related to transportation services, waste management, heating and administration of multi-storeyed dwelling houses.
With regard to the statements of business and private persons, the Council‘s experts usually carry out a preliminary evaluation and, having established an infringement, addresses public administration bodies with a suggestion to amend their decisions that restrict competition and freedom of economic activity as well as the freedom of private initiative.
Unfortunately, good will is rare among municipalities and most often they ignore recommendations of the Council until the Council opens an investigation on infringements of the requirements of Article 4 of the Law on Competition.
6 out of 25 investigations currently carried out by the Council are related to municipal decisions.
Currently, the Council is examining a complaint by the consumers of Šiauliai District Municipality, claiming that private carriers are deprived of an opportunity to join the public transport system of Šiauliai city. The Council is also examining the information on decisions adopted by Šiauliai and Mažeikiai City Municipalities allegedly restricting competition within heat sector.
The Council aims to ensure that all public administration bodies create sufficient conditions for competition and act in favour of fair competition.
The Council believes that the announcement by Vilnius City Municipality published in the Official Journal of the EU wherein Vilnius City Municipality informs about a competition for private carriers who are willing to integrate into Vilnius public transport system is related to the Council’s resolution of June 19.
The Council also believes that due to combined efforts of the Council and a Government Representative for Kaunas District, Jonava District Municipality took the decision to amend the Special plan related to the organisation of heat supply.
The Council‘s experts have prepared Guidelines for Assessing Impact of Draft Decisions to Competition (the Guidelines) explaining how not to distort competition and ensure equal treatment of all market participants in various economic fields when drafting legal acts. Together with the Guidelines, the Council’s experts prepared a short questionnaire that should help to promptly assess an impact which a draft decision is likely to have on competition.
The Council also organises seminars to present the Guidelines to public administration bodies. On 26 September 2013, these Guidelines were presented to the municipalities of Kaunas City and Kaunas District, on October 7 – to the employees of Vilnius District Municipality and on October 24 – to the Council of the Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania.
The Council seeks for an efficient and trustworthy collaboration with Lithuanian Municipalities.Competition Council Spokesperson