Review of events in 2020 and outlook for 2021

In accordance with the integration strategy, the company’s vision is to unite Finland’s public procurement power. The cornerstones of the strategy include an excellent service experience and a comprehensive service portfolio, as well as acting as a trailblazer in responsible and effective procurement. Exemplary operations, strong values and an inclusive work culture are expected to make Hansel the most valued public procurement expert and therefore an attractive employer.

From the personnel’s perspective, the integration of Kuntahankinnat and Hansel went very well. The collective agreement concerning all personnel entered into force on 1 April 2020. The flexible work methods already in place at the company, up-to-date instructions and good tools enabled the switch to remote work without a problem during the coronavirus pandemic.

For joint procurement, the company’s management made Covid-19 scenarios for 2020 that were monitored on a monthly basis. The realisation was only slightly better than the best-case scenario. Several governmental and municipal customers joined the new framework agreements. Hansel also assisted the National Emergency Supply Agency in acquiring protective equipment and with the National Emergency Supply Agency, established a dynamic purchasing system for protective equipment for public administration as a whole in October. This purchasing system will be implemented in 2021.

In March, customer work went online. Hansel continued the customer forum’s operation, which consists of governmental and municipal organisations, in three themed remote meetings. The autumn roadshow was organised as seven webinars that brought together a total of 1,700 listeners and received good feedback.

Customer and supplier satisfaction is monitored regularly. A customer satisfaction survey is performed annually and a supplier satisfaction survey every other year. The survey for 2020 was performed in January 2021, and on a scale of 1–5, the average score was 4.08 (3.90 in the previous year). The supplier satisfaction survey will be performed next in 2022, and the average score of the last survey in January 2020 was 3.97 (4.00 in the previous survey). Hansel also requests feedback on all its tendering service projects. For this part, the average customer satisfaction score was 4.65 on a scale of 1–5 (4.62 in the previous year).

The amendment to the Act on a Limited Liability Company Called Hansel Oy became effective on 1 September 2020 (352/2020). The amendment provided specifications for Hansel’s duties such as maintenance of the procurement notice system Hilma, processing and analysis of procurement data, and the obligation of government agencies and institutions to submit procurement data to Hansel. The act also lays down provisions on managing public administrative tasks and liability for acts in office when handling an administrative task. Following the amendment, Hansel launched a development project that specifies procedures for handling public administrative tasks in relation to applying the Act on the Openness of Government Activities and the Language Act, as well as the foundation of an official record of correspondence. The development project also contained personnel training.

The government proposal (244/2020 vp) concerning amendments to the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts was brought to Parliament in December 2020. The government proposal suggests changing the provisions concerning framework agreements so that an offer request concerning a framework agreement must include the total number or value of purchases of the procurement units using the framework agreement. The provision would make framework agreement tendering and use at the time of agreement slightly more flexible than currently. The government proposal also contains some technical changes to the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts.

Over the year, Hansel was involved in several projects such as Procurement Finland (Hankinta-Suomi), an operational programme of the Ministry of Finance and the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, a project on the Competence Centre for Sustainable and Innovative Public Procurement (KEINO) by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the State Treasury’s Tietokiri project, and a working group on the black economy, and public procurement managed by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority.

Hansel continued to develop the new public procurement notice channel (Hilma), launched on 2 January 2020, in an assignment from the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance funds the project, and its related invoicing in other business profits was EUR 1,477,000 in 2020. The company has worked on several other development projects such as website development, constructing mini-competition functions, and renewing the reporting service for suppliers. In 2020, the development projects related to assessing responsibility and efficiency, as well as their indicators, were stabilised as part of the company’s processes.

At the end of 2020, Hansel had two pending claims in the Market Court. One of these claims was withdrawn in January 2021. The company received four decisions in the Market Court in 2020. Two cases dismissed the claims, while two claims concerning the same service procurement entity were successful. Hansel appealed the Market Court’s decisions to the Supreme Administrative Court but withdrew the appeals in January 2021. Hansel has estimated that the probability of there being any financial consequences from the pending legal proceedings is low.

Hansel follows the processing of public procurement matters in the European Union. Hansel is a member of a cooperation group for key central purchasing bodies in the EU. In addition to Hansel, this group includes several European joint procurement units, such as SKI (Denmark), Kammarkollegiet and SKL Kommentus (Sweden), BBG (Austria), Consip (Italy) and ANCP (Portugal).

In 2019, Hansel established a compliance function. On 8 April 2020, the Government issued a resolution (VNK/2020/48) on ownership policy, which requires the integration of corporate responsibility with business operations, for example. As required by the government resolution, Hansel devised an anti-corruption operating and reporting model. Hansel already had a reporting channel required by the resolution. In 2020, a training event was organised for the whole personnel, as well as a survey on the realisation of ethical perspectives at Hansel.

Sustainable development, environmental matters and the black economy

Within public procurement, themes relating to corporate responsibility and combating the black economy are playing an increasingly important role. In its activities, Hansel adheres to the principles of corporate responsibility, in line with the Government policies. Corporate responsibility reporting is integrated with the company’s annual reporting practices and provides detailed coverage of all measures related to responsibility.

Key events after the closing of the financial year

The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a negative impact on Hansel’s business. It has been acknowledged in the company’s financial planning, but the pandemic has increased the number of risk factors. Otherwise, the business operations have remained essentially unchanged since the closing of the financial year.

Outlook for 2021

The company will continue with the implementation of the integration strategy. The adoption of new customers and a related major increase in the joint procurement volume are important parts of the strategy. We are expecting growth, especially in the municipal sector. The development of the business is expected to be favourable, although the company is expected to remain unprofitable until 2022.