Market Court dismissed CGI’s last complaint in the case of Apotti patient information system

A leading US healthcare software vendor, Epic Systems Corporation, won in 2015 the bid for the largest ever IT procurement in Finland: the Apotti client and patient information system. The Apotti information system will replace the current legacy systems in health care and social welfare for the municipalities of Helsinki, Vantaa, Kirkkonummi, and Kauniainen, and the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS). The estimated price for the system is 575 Million Euros in ten years, and it will have about 50 000 users in total, the number of concurrent users being approximately 22 000.

However, Epic’s victory was no walkover. The procurement has been processed in the Market Court five times during the years 2014-2016. The latest complaint by CGI Finland dealt with the decision concerning the award of the contract, and the Market Court gave its decision on 21st March 2016 (MAO:175/16). This time CGI Finland’s claims concerned, just to mention a few, the alleged flaws in contract notice, the alleged unclarity of the invitation to tender, software changes done by Epic Systems during the bid process and Epic’s license terms. However, the claims were found unfounded and the complaint was dismissed.

It is interesting that Market Court’s previous decision concerning that there was no fault in the bidding process, did not prevent it from investigating the complaint about the contract notice. The explanation was that in the previous case the court had not investigated the correctness of the contract notice.

However, it seems that minor mistakes in tendering procedure are not considered as show stoppers anymore. This is reasonable, because in a procurement of this scale it is practically inevitable that minor errors remain in the documents or take place in the procedure. Instead of minor errors in the form of the notice or in the process, the Market Court concentrated on the effects of the errors. In this case, the court did not find any.

The decision of the Market Court means that the preparation of the Apotti project continues. It is possible that CGI appeals to the Supreme Administrative Court, but the preparation of the project will hardly be suspended anymore.