Procurement process for the maternity package
The selection of products included in the maternity package is revised annually. The included products are selected in a public tender process conducted in accordance with the Act on Public Contracts and Concessions. The open procurement procedure is used, so the tender is open to all suppliers who wish to participate in the bidding.
Tenders are conducted once a year in autumn, a little over a year before the distribution of the maternity package is scheduled to begin. For example, bidding for the 2019 version of the package will commence in autumn 2017.
The tendered products are evaluated by an advisory council consisting of representatives of Kela, the National Institute for Health and Welfare, the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and the City of Helsinki Department of Social Services and Health Care. Based on its evaluation, the council proposes which products should be included in the maternity package. The evaluation involves for example washing the products and testing them in practice.
Participation in the tender
Kela posts a contract notice on the HILMA electronic procurement portal at www.hankintailmoitukset.fi. The notice includes a link to the Hanki service, which contains the documents related to the invitation to tender. The invitation to tender lists the products up for tender, describes the selection and comparison criteria applied, and details the supplier qualification criteria.
Suppliers can participate in the tender by submitting an offer by the indicated deadline via the Hanki service. In addition to the tender, which is submitted electronically, the bidders must send product samples to Kela's office in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki. They will be used for quality assessment.
The total monetary value of the products selected for the maternity package may not exceed €140 (0% VAT). The products are selected with a view to their significance for promoting the health and well-being of the mother and the child.
The products are selected product by product (positioning) either on the basis of the lowest price or on the basis of best value. A comparison on the basis of best value means that both price and quality are taken into account (functional and esthetic properties of the product). Kela makes a written selection decision which is communicated to all bidders.
Kela signs a written supply contract with each selected supplier. Orders, packaging and delivery to clients are handled by a company under contract to Kela.