The public sector is comprised of the administration and commercial enterprises owned or controlled by the state or the municipalities. Norway has a large public sector compared to other western and industrialized countries. The public sector employs about one third of the population and public spending accounts for around half of the annual mainland GDP.
The extent of the sector means that the public plays a key role in business, both as a buyer of goods and services and as a facilitator for growth and development, as well as a direct competitor to the private enterprises in certain settings. For this reason, the public sector is subject to regulations and guidelines that administer its conduct in interaction with business.
Procurement regulation must, among other things, ensure that public funds are utilized in the best possible manner, and that the procurement contributes to competition. Furthermore, it deals with questions of impartiality and possible dual roles that can occur when the public acts as a government body, supplier and customer. In addition, the public sector must lead by example when it comes to complying with relevant laws and regulations, corporate social responsibility and sustainability.
The intricate interaction between public sector and business raises many legal questions and puts high demands on advisers with experience from both sides. Wiersholm has the market's leading expertise in public procurement regulations, including general and special administrative law. We also have extensive procedural experience related to tendering law.
We understand the complexity of the legislation and the political considerations that must be taken into account. Many of our attorneys have experience from public administration, municipal law offices and publicly owned businesses. In addition, our extensive contact network of relevant people and government agencies enables us to solve all types of challenges quickly and efficiently.
Many of our clients are publicly owned businesses, municipalities or government agencies. In-depth knowledge of sector-specific issues, combined with professional breadth, enables us to assist clientswith all types of legal issues. Similarly, we can assist private companies and organizations in all kinds of meetings with the public, such as tendering processes, applications for dispensation, disputes and general compliance work.
Wiersholm carried out the very first PPP project ("Public Private Cooperation") in Norway, and in the following years has built up considerable expertise in this area, including another major OPS road project in summer 2018.