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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 2021 edition of the package commenced in autumn 2019.
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 via the Hanki service. The offer must be submitted by the deadline specified by Kela. 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.
Kela’s maternity grant advisory council consists of representatives of Kela, the National Institute for Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency and the maternity and child welfare clinic of the City of Vantaa. 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.
The total monetary value of the products selected for the maternity package may not exceed €170 (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. Best value means that alongside the price also the quality is taken into account. In recent years Kela has paid special attention to the quality of the products. For instance in the 2021 edition of the maternity package, the quality has had a weighting of 70 per cent and the price a weighting of 30 per cent.
Kela makes a written selection decision which is communicated to all bidders.
Kela concludes written supply contracts with the suppliers whose products have been selected for the maternity package. Orders, packaging and delivery to clients are handled by a company under contract to Kela.