EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

Switzerland

Country score (European Average*)
  • 12(66) Political Financing
  • 9(53) Financial Disclosure
  • 28(37) Conflict of Interest
  • 59(59) Freedom of Information
  • 54(62) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeHigh
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)58280.16
Population, total8372098.00
Urban population (% of total)73.99
Internet users (per 100 people)89.41
Life expectancy at birth (years)83.20
Mean years of schooling (years)13.4
Global Competitiveness Index5.9
Sources: World Bank, UNDP, WEF.

Political Financing

There are no laws regulating the financing of political parties in Switzerland. There are no bans or limits on donations, no provisions on public funding, no bans or limits on spending, no rules on reporting requirements or sanctions.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Bans and limits on private income00000
Public funding1225252525
Regulations on spending2525252525
Reporting, oversight and sanctions00000

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Bans and limits on private income

Bans on donations from foreign interests

Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on corporate donations

Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on donations from trade unions

Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on anonymous donations

Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Other bans on donations

Is there a ban on state resources being given to or received by political parties or candidates (excluding regulated public funding)? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on any other form of donation? No. Absent from legal framework

Donation limits

Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party over a time period (not election specific)? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party in relation to an election? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate? No. Absent from legal framework

Public funding 

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in previous election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Representation in elected body No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Participation in election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in previous election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Registration as a political party No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to votes received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Equal No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to seats received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Flat rate by votes received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Share of expenses reimbursed No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to candidates fielded No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Campaign spending No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Ongoing party activities No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Intra-party institution No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Equal No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Number of candidates Yes. "Parallel to statutory norms, the public service broadcasting SRG and its enterprise units have elaborated on a number of principles that must inform their editorial coverage.‌ In addition, on the occasion of Federal elections, the SRG SSR General Directorate issued detailed instructions on election coverage for its enterprise units.‌ The instructions set forth the principles and rules informing both election-‌related and non-‌election programmes.‌ Consistent with the jurisprudence of the Federal Tribunal, the instructions defined the criteria for the allocation of airtime to candidates during debates and presentations of political parties: access was guaranteed on a proportional basis, according to parliamentary representation at Federal or Cantonal level and the number of candidates lists submitted in different cantons.‌ (OSCE 2008, p 12)" Source: Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (2008), "SWISS CONFEDERATION FEDERAL ELECTIONS 21 October 2007 -‌ OSCE/‌ODIHR Election Assessment Mission Report"; Warsaw" (OSCE/​ODIHR (2007) Swiss Confederation, Federal Elections 21 October 2007, OSCE/​ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission Report 19-​22 June 2007) ( (OSCE 2008, p 12)" Source: Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (2008), "SWISS CONFEDERATION FEDERAL ELECTIONS 21 October 2007 -‌ OSCE/‌ODIHR Election Assessment Mission Report"; Warsaw" (OSCE/​ODIHR (2007) Swiss Confederation, Federal Elections 21 October 2007, OSCE/​ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission Report 19-​22 June 2007) )
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of seats Yes. "Parallel to statutory norms, the public service broadcasting SRG and its enterprise units have elaborated on a number of principles that must inform their editorial coverage.‌ In addition, on the occasion of Federal elections, the SRG SSR General Directorate issued detailed instructions on election coverage for its enterprise units.‌ The instructions set forth the principles and rules informing both election-‌related and non-‌election programmes.‌ Consistent with the jurisprudence of the Federal Tribunal, the instructions defined the criteria for the allocation of airtime to candidates during debates and presentations of political parties: access was guaranteed on a proportional basis, according to parliamentary representation at Federal or Cantonal level and the number of candidates lists submitted in different cantons.‌ (OSCE 2008, p 12)" Source: Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (2008), "SWISS CONFEDERATION FEDERAL ELECTIONS 21 October 2007 -‌ OSCE/‌ODIHR Election Assessment Mission Report"; Warsaw" (OSCE/​ODIHR (2007) Swiss Confederation, Federal Elections 21 October 2007, OSCE/​ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission Report 19-​22 June 2007) (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (2008), "SWISS CONFEDERATION FEDERAL ELECTIONS 21 October 2007 -‌ OSCE/‌ODIHR Election Assessment Mission Report"; Warsaw" (OSCE/​ODIHR (2007) Swiss Confederation, Federal Elections 21 October 2007, OSCE/​ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission Report 19-​22 June 2007) )
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of votes in preceding election No. Absent from legal framework ( )
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?

Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Premises for campaign meetings No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Space for campaign materials No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Tax relief No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised transport No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised postage cost No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Other Yes. P 10, "Tax deductions have recently been introduced for donations to political parties, under the federal Act of 12 June 2009 on the deductibility of payments to political parties, which amended the existing law on the subject at federal and cantonal levels.‌ In the case of federal income tax, for example, subscriptions and other payments to political parties of up to CHF 10 000 (about € 8 200) may be deducted from taxable income subject to one of the following conditions: a) the party is registered on the register of parties (see paragraphs 15 and 16); b) it is represented in a cantonal parliament, or c) it obtained at least 3% of the vote at the most recent elections to a cantonal parliament (section 33.‌1.‌i of the Federal Direct Tax Act of 14 December 1990, amended 2014.‌ In the case of cantonal taxes, subscriptions and other payments to political parties up to a level specified in cantonal law that meet one of the three aforementioned representativeness conditions may be deducted from taxable income.‌ The relevant provision is section 9.‌2.‌l of the federal Act of 14 December 1990 on the harmonisation of cantonal and communal direct taxes, as amended by the Act of 12 June 2009.‌ The cantons are required to amend their legislation within two years of the entry into force of this modification.‌ When this deadline expires, section 9.‌2.‌l will be directly applicable if the relevant cantonal tax legislation fails to meet these requirements and the sums referred to in section 33.‌1.‌i will then be applicable.‌" (GRECO (2011) Evaluation Report on Switzerland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II)) (Section 33.‌1.‌i of the Federal Direct Tax Act of 14 December 1990, amended 2015 (GRECO (2011) Evaluation Report on Switzerland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II)) )
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No. In the report it is stated that: "Political parties and civil society should be encouraged to consider further measures to develop programs that may increase the number of women candidates.‌ In addition, the Swiss government may further consider the development of mechanisms that enhance women’s political participation (OSCE 2008, p 14)" Source: Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (2008), "SWISS CONFEDERATION FEDERAL ELECTIONS 21 October 2007 -‌ OSCE/‌ODIHR Election Assessment Mission Report"; Warsaw (OSCE/​ODIHR (2007) Swiss Confederation, Federal Elections 21 October 2007, OSCE/​ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission Report 19-​22 June 2007) ( Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (2008), "SWISS CONFEDERATION FEDERAL ELECTIONS 21 October 2007 -‌ OSCE/‌ODIHR Election Assessment Mission Report"; Warsaw (OSCE/​ODIHR (2007) Swiss Confederation, Federal Elections 21 October 2007, OSCE/​ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission Report 19-​22 June 2007) )

Regulations on spending 

Is there a ban on vote buying? Yes. Art 281, "Any person who offers, promises, or gives a voter or arranges for a voter to be given a gift or other advantage in return for voting in a particular way, or in return for signing or refusing to sign a request for a referendum or an initiative, any person who offers, promises, or gives a voter or arranges for a voter to be given a gift or other advantage in return for not participating in an election or vote, and any person who as a voter secures the promise of or arranges for himself to be given such an advantage, shall be liable to a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or to a monetary penalty.‌" (Swiss Criminal Code, 1937 (Status as of 1 October 2011)) (Art 281, Criminal Code, 1937, amended 2016 )
Are there bans on state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend? No. Absent from legal framework

Reporting, oversight and sanctions 

Reporting standards

Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances? No. Absent from legal framework
Do political parties have to report on their finances in relation to election campaigns? No. Absent from legal framework
Do candidates have to report on their campaign finances? No. Absent from legal framework
Is information in reports from political parties and/​or candidates to be made public? No. Absent from legal framework
Must reports from political parties and/​or candidates reveal the identity of donors? No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Electoral Management Board No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Special institution No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Political finance oversight

Is it specified that a particular institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/​or investigating violations?
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Electoral Management Body No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Other institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: EMB No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Fines No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of public funding No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Penal/Criminal No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Forfeiture No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Deregistration of party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of elected office No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Suspension of political party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of nomination of candidate No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of political rights No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Legislation

Federal Direct Tax Act of 14 December 1990, amended 2014 (French)pdf
Criminal Code, 1937, amended 2016 (English)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Financial Disclosure

Hardly any financial disclosure requirements apply to Swiss public officials. For example, while the Parliament Law (2002, amended 2016) requires Members of Parliament to disclose their outside employment, they must not disclose income related with it. Additionally, this law requires MPs to declare board memberships if they may lead to a conflict of interest before a debate on the relevant matter begins. Ministers and Civil Servants do not make any financial declarations. The Law on Civil Servants (1927, last amended 2001) foresees that the Parliament decides whether an exclusion based on family relations in the civil service is necessary.

Accordingly, only Members of Parliament are obliged to make regular declarations. These declarations are submitted upon taking office and updated annually. Should an MP fail to make their declarations or make false disclosure statements, the Member may be revoked speaking rights or excluded from attending sessions for a limited amount of time. MPs submit their declarations to the office or institution they are part of, while the President functions as enforcement body, and is responsible for declaring appropriate sanctions. In the case of serious infringements, the parliamentary office specifies a sanction. None of the MPs’ declarations are made publicly available.

(Note: Switzerland has no Head of State by law.)


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Disclosure items51111
Filing frequency1212121212
Sanctions3317171717
Monitoring and Oversight1212121212
Public access to declarations00000

Alternative Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Head of State00000
Ministers00000
Members of Parliament3134343434
Civil servants200000

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Cash No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Ministers

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Cash No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Members of Parliament

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Cash No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Income from outside employment/assets No. Employment and employers must be declared, but income does not. (Art. 11, 1a Federal Act on the Federal Assembly (2002, amended 2020))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Board membership must be declared if a conflict of interest arises before a debate on the matter begins in the corresponding gremium. (Art. 11.3 Federal Act on the Federal Assembly (2002, amended 2020))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Filling takes place upon taking office and in the beginning of each year. (Art. 11 Federal Act on the Federal Assembly (2002, amended 2020))
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Filing required annually Yes. Filling takes place upon taking office and in the beginning of each year. (Art. 11 Federal Act on the Federal Assembly (2002, amended 2020))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. If a member has violated disciplianry procedures ,the President may impose administrative sanctions in the form of forbidding them to speak or excluding them from sessions. N case of serious infringements, the parliamentary office may exclude the member from sessions for up to six months. (Art. 13 Federal Act on the Federal Assembly (2002, amended 2020))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. If a member has violated disciplianry procedures ,the President may impose administrative sanctions in the form of forbidding them to speak or excluding them from sessions. N case of serious infringements, the parliamentary office may exclude the member from sessions for up to six months. (Art. 13 Federal Act on the Federal Assembly (2002, amended 2020))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. Declarations are made in writing to the office of the institution they are part of. (Art. 11 Federal Act on the Federal Assembly (2002, amended 2020))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The President decides whether a disciplinary measure is appropriate, the parliamentary office decides upon sanctions in the case of serious offenses. (Art. 13 Federal Act on the Federal Assembly (2002, amended 2020))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Civil servants

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Cash No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Legislation

Federal Act on the Federal Assembly of 2002_FRA (French)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Conflict of Interest

According to Switzerland’s Law on Government and the Civil Service (1997, last amended 2016), Ministers may not have any additional employment or hold a directing or executing position in any company. For Members of Parliament, the Parliament Law (2001, last amended 2016) specifies that being part of a private entity that carries out state functions is not allowed. This would include owning state-owned enterprises or holding government contracts. When speaking in parliament, both Ministers and MPs may be temporarily excluded based on a conflict of interests in a matter. The Law on Civil Servants (1927, last amended 2001) prevents Civil Servants from receiving gifts, practicing a trade or running a company. All secondary employment of Civil Servants must be approved by the Bundestag.

No monitoring body, enforcement body, or sanctions are specified for ensuring Ministers’ conflicts of interest law. Members of Parliament face administrative sanctions ranging from a temporary loss of speaking rights up to an expulsion for up to six months. All the while, violations by Civil Servants can lead to fines as well as administrative sanctions, reaching as far as to the loss of office.  While the President is responsible for enforcing the law with MPs, the corresponding agency supervises Civil Servants.

(Note: Switzerland has no Head of State by law.)


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Restrictions3240404032
Sanctions2525252525
Monitoring and Oversight2525252525

Alternative Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Head of State00000
Ministers2020202020
Members of Parliament3838383838
Civil servants5262626252

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Ministers

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Members of the government may not have additional employment and not have a directing or executing position in a company (Article 60 Law on Government and the Civil Service (1997, last amended 2011))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Members of the government may not have additional employment and not have a directing or executing position in a company (Article 60 Law on Government and the Civil Service (1997, last amended 2011))
Holding government contracts Yes. Members of the government may not have additional employment. (Article 60 Law on Government and the Civil Service (1997, last amended 2011))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Members of the government may not have additional employment and not have a directing, executing or advisory position in a company. (Article 60 Law on Government and the Civil Service (1997, last amended 2011))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Members of the government may not have additional employment. (Article 60 Law on Government and the Civil Service (1997, last amended 2011))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. When speaking in parliament, conflicts of interest must be stated before a debate on a matter where they exist. They are temporarily excluded wherever a private interest could influence decision making. (Articles 11-11a Parliament Law (2001, last amended 2011))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Members of Parliament

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Being part of an organisation or private entty that is not part of the state but that carry out public tasks is not allowed for MPs. (Article 14e Parliament Law (2001, last amended 2011))
Holding government contracts Yes. Being part of an organisation or private entty that is not part of the state but that carry out public tasks is not allowed for MPs. (Article 14e Parliament Law (2001, last amended 2011))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. Conflicts of interest must be stated before a debate on a matter where they exist. They are temporarily excluded wherever a private interest could influence decision making. (Articles 11-11a Parliament Law (2001, last amended 2011))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Administrative sanctions reach from temporary loss of speaking rights to an explusion for up to 6 months. (Article 13 Parliament Law (2001, last amended 2011))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. The President gives warning to parliamentarians who have or are close to violating disciplinary rules. The President may impose fines for smaller disciplinary mistakes, or the responsible parliamentary agency is able to act in the case of significant violations (they are not specified.) (Article 13 Parliament Law (2001, last amended 2011))

Civil servants

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Accepting gifts Yes. Civil servants may not accept gifts or be promised to receive gifts; unlawfully accepted gifts must be passed on to the state. (Article 26 Law on Civil Servants (1927, last amended 2001))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Practicing a trade or running a company is incompatible with being a civil servant. Secondary employment must always be explicity allowed by the Bundesrat. (Article 15 Law on Civil Servants (1927, last amended 2001))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Secondary employment must always be explicity allowed by the Bundesrat. (Article 15 Law on Civil Servants (1927, last amended 2001))
Holding government contracts No. Secondary employment must always be explicity allowed by the Bundesrat. (Article 15 Law on Civil Servants (1927, last amended 2001))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Practicing a trade or running a company is incompatible with being a civil servant. Secondary employment must always be explicity allowed by the Bundesrat. (Article 15 Law on Civil Servants (1927, last amended 2001))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Civil servants cannot be members of parliament. (Article 14a Law on Civil Servants (1927, last amended 2001))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Breaking disciplinary codes can lead to sanctions, with fines of up to 500 francs. (Article 30, 31.2 Law on Civil Servants (1927, last amended 2001))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Breaking disciplinary codes can lead to disciplinary sanctions, leading from temporary expulsion to exclusion from office. (Article 30, 31.2 Law on Civil Servants (1927, last amended 2001))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. The Bundesrat, the agency of the corresponding civil servant, and the civil court are responsible for for hearings and imposing adequate sanctions. (Article 33 Law on Civil Servants (1927, last amended 2001))

Legislation

Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation of 1999 (French)pdf
Government and Administration Organisation Act of 1997 (GAOA) (French)pdf
Federal Act on the Federal Assembly (Parliament Act, ParlA) of 2002 (French)pdf
Law on the personnel of the Confederation of 2000 (French)pdf
Ordinance on the personnel of the Confederation of 2001 (French)pdf
Code of Conduct for the Federal Administration of 2012 (French)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Freedom of Information

Switzerland’s freedom of information regime is established by the Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (2004, amended 2014). The Act applies to the Federal Administration, public and private bodies outside the Federal Administration that enact legislation or issue first instance rulings. The judicial branch is not specifically mentioned, but the administrative service is included.

Specific exemptions to disclosure are outlined in the aforementioned FOI law, the Criminal Code (1937), and the Federal Act on Data Protection (1992, amended 2014). No public interest test exists whereby exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Appeals are filed with the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner and with the courts. Public bodies do not accept appeals.

There are no sanctions specified in the law for violations of FOI provisions. The Federal Commissioner on Data Protection and Information Freedom is responsible for advising administrative authorities and federal departments on the implementation of the FOI law, mediating in the event of a disagreement, and commenting on draft legal texts that have an impact on the principle of transparency.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Scope and Coverage8989898989
Information access and release8888888888
Exceptions and Overrides6767676767
Sanctions for non-compliance00000
Monitoring and Oversight5050505050

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope and Coverage

Scope of disclosure

Existence of legal right to access No. Absent from legal framework
"Information" or "Documents" is defined Yes. An official document is any information: a. which has been recorded, regardless of the medium; b. retained by the authority which issued the same or to which it has been communicated; and c. which concerns the execution of a public function. (Article 5, Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Proactive disclosure is specified Yes. Public bodies should publish online information about their functions and important matters for which they are responsible, make available further information, as appropriate, which may facilitate the identification of official documents, insofar as doing so does not give rise to excessive costs and publish important official documents on the Internet as soon as possible, where this does not give rise to excessive costs; and where this does not conflict with any statutory provisions. (Article 18 and Article 19 Ordinance on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIO), 2006, amended 2014)

Coverage of public and private sectors

Executive branch Yes. The Act applies to the Federal Administration, public and private bodies outside the Federal Administration that enact legislation or issue first instance rulings. It does not however apply to the Swiss National Bank or the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. (Article 2, Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Legislative branch Yes. The Act specifically covers Parliamentary Services; there is no mention elsewhere of any bodies of Parliament being excluded. (Article 21(c) Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Judicial branch Yes. The Act covers the Federal Administration and public and private bodies outside the Federal Administration, insofar as they issue first instance rulings within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure. The judicial branch is not specifically mentioned otherwise but the administrative service is included. Judicial proceedings are not covered. (Article 21(b) and Article 31a.(2) Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Other public bodies Yes. The Act covers public and private bodies outside the Federal Administration, insofar as they enact legislation or issue first instance rulings within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure. (Article 21(b) Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Private sector Yes. The Act covers public and private bodies outside the Federal Administration, insofar as they enact legislation or issue first instance rulings within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure. (Article 21(b) Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)

Access to specific documents (subject to reactive and/or proactive disclosure)

Draft legal instruments Yes. There is no explicit mention of draft legislation. However, the publication of draft laws is an administrative task and therefore covered by the law. (Article 21 and Article 5 Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Enacted legal instruments Yes. There is no explicit mention of enacted legal instruments. However, the publication of enacted legal instruments is an administrative task and therefore covered by the law. In practice, all enacted legal instruments (laws and statutory instruments) are published in three official publications and are also available online via the government website. (Article 21 and Article 5 Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Annual budgets Yes. There is no explicit mention of annual budgets. However the preparation of an annual budget is an administrative task and information about it is therefore covered by the law. (Article 21 and Article 5 Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Annual chart of accounts (actual expenditures) Yes. There is no explicit mention of annual accounts. However the preparation of annual accounts is an administrative task and information about it is therefore covered by the law. (Article 21 and Article 5 Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Annual reports of public entities and programs Yes. There is no explicit mention of annual reports and programmes. However the preparation of an annual report is an administrative task and information about it is therefore covered by the law. (Article 21 and Article 5 Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)

Information access and release

Procedural access

Universal access (agencies, citizens and non-citizens) Yes. Anyone can request information. (Article 61, Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Type of request is specified (written, electronic, oral) No. The law does not specify through what medium a request should be made. The application must simply be formulated in a sufficiently accurate manner (Articles 101 and 103 Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Assistance to requesters must be provided by law (includes barriers due to language differences, illiteracy, complexity of requests, etc.) Yes. The authority must provide information to the applicant about the official documents available and must assist him/her through the procedure, particularly if the applicant is disabled. (Article 31 Ordinance on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIO), 2006, amended 2014)
Cost of access is specified (free, request fees, photocopying costs, other administrative costs) Yes. Costs are specified by law. Minimal processing costs (ie where the cost of collection is higher than the fee) shall not be charged whilst an applicant must be notified if the costs will go over SFR100 and given the opportunity to confirm the application. (Article 17 Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008 Article 16 Ordinance on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIO), 2006, amended 2014)

Deadlines for release of information

20-day response deadline Yes. The authority shall make a decision as soon as possible and in any case no later than 20 days after receipt of the application. (Article 121, Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Agency granted right to extend response time Yes. The deadline can be extended by 20 days, if the application concerns a large number of documents or documents which are complex to obtain. If the information requested contains personal data, the deadline can be extended as necessary. (Article 122, Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Maximum total response time of no more than 40 days Yes. The deadline can only be extended by 20 days unless the information requested contains personal data, in which case the deadline can be extended as necessary. (Article 122, Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)

Exceptions and Overrides

Exemptions to disclosure

Existence of secrecy/states secrets law No. A state secret is defined by the Criminal Code (Article 267 Criminal Code, 1937)
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. The Federal Act on Data Protection and its accompanying Ordinance protect privacy and a person's fundamental rights when their data is used. (Article 1 Federal Act on Data Protection (FADP), 1992, amended 2019)
Specific exemptions to disclosure Yes. Specific exemptions are defined and include information relating to: state security, foreign policy & international relations; economic interests, state professional and business secrets; civil or criminal proceedings; constitutional and administrative judicial proceedings. (Articles 3, 7, 8 and 9, Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008 Article 19 Federal Act on Data Protection (FADP), 1992, amended 2019 Article 267 Criminal Code, 1937)
Public Interest test: Specified exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Appeals

Appeals allowed within public entities No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Independent, non-judicial appeals mechanism, e.g., information commissioner. Does not include Ombudsman unless appeals decisions are binding. Yes. An appeal must be lodged to the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner within 20 days of the receipt of the decision, via a process called "mediation". (Article 132, Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Judicial appeals mechanism Yes. The appeals procedure is subject to the general provisions found in the relevant legislation governing the federal administration of justice and shall also have access to official documents which are secret. (Article 161, Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)

Sanctions for non-compliance

Administrative sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Fines are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Criminal sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Information officers must be appointed in public agencies Yes. Each department must designate at least one officer to be in charge of access to information requests. (Article 20 Ordinance on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIO), 2006, amended 2014)
Public body that is responsible for applying sanctions No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Public body that is responsible for public outreach (raising public awareness) No. The Federal Commissioner on Data Protection and Information Freedom is responsible for advising on access to information issues within the administration and to individuals but not promoting it. (Article 18(b) and (c), Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Nodal agency for RTI (implementation support/compliance within public sector). Does not include Ombudsman. Yes. The Federal Commissioner on Data Protection and Information Freedom is responsible for: advising private citizens on how to gain access to official documents, advising the administrative authorities and federal departments on the implementation of the Transparency Act, mediating in the event of a disagreement, commenting draft legal texts that have an impact on the principle of transparency. (Article 18(b) and (c), Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIA), 2004, amended 2008)
Ombudsman involvement in implementation is specified by law No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Reporting of data and/or implementation is required Yes. Each authority shall inform the Commissioner, on an annual basis, of: a. the number of applications for access filed during the reporting year; b. the number of such applications granted, refused or partly refused; c. the total amount of fees charged for access to public documents sought under the Freedom of Information Act. (Article 21, Ordinance on Freedom of Information in the Administration (FoIO), 2006, amended 2014)

Legislation

Freedom of Information Act of 2004_FRA (French)pdf
Freedom of Information Ordinance of 2006_FRA (French)pdf
Criminal Code of 1937_FRA (French)pdf
Federal Act on Data Protection of 1992_FRA (French)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Public Procurement

The Swiss public procurement system is regulated by the Federal Act of Public Procurement (1994), the Federal Ordinance of Public Procurement (1995) and the Intercantonal Agreement on Public Procurement (1994). The public procurement body is the Commission (Kommission) is an organization under the Ministry for Finance.

The lowest minimum thresholds for conducting a public procurement tender are:

▪         CHF 230,000 (ca. EUR 200,000) for goods

▪         CHF 8,700,000(ca. EUR 7,400,000) for works

▪         CHF 230,000 (ca. EUR 200,000) for services

The minimum number of bidders is 3 for restricted and negotiated procedures. The minimum submission period is 40 days for open procedures, 25 days for restricted procedures and 25 for negotiated procedures from dispatch date.

There is no preferential treatment towards SMEs or domestic companies and consideration of sustainability issues is allowed during the awarding process. However, there are several options for bid exclusion: outstanding tax and social security liabilities, failing to meet eligibility criteria, providing false information, arrangements undermining competition, bankruptcy. Bids can be also excluded because of abnormally low bid prices.

In the bid evaluation phase, there are conflict of interest restrictions on the composition of the evaluation committee and provisions on the independence of  the contracting authority.

There is no arbitration procedure, as the cases go to the Administrative Court. Court decisions are released publicly.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Scope535184
Information availability33333333
Evaluation81818156
Open competition64646469
Institutional arrangements36363629

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope

Threshold - lowest PP

What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type GOODS) CHF 50000. Up to this threshold a direct award without publication can be issued (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 16 Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 36˛ (c))
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type WORKS) CHF 150000. Up to this threshold a direct award without publication can be issued (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 16 Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 36˛ (b))
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type SERVICES) CHF 150000. Up to this threshold a direct award without publication can be issued (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 16 Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 36˛ (b))

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) CHF 50000. This is the lowest confederation threshold; canton thresholds are lower. Additionally, Law on Public Procurement (BöB) is only applicable if the estimated value of the public contract to be awarded reaches the following thresholds (without VAT): a) 230,000 francs for goods; b) 230,000 francs for services; c) 8.7 million francs for works; d) 700,000 francs for: 1. supplies and services relating to an adjudicator designated in art. 2, al. 2, BöB; 2.the markets that the automobile services of Swiss Post pass as part of their activity in Switzerland in the field of passenger transport. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 61(a))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) CHF 230000. This is the lowest confederation threshold; canton thresholds are lower (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 61(a))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) CHF 230000. The Law on Public Procurement (BöB) does not apply to, inter alia, the procurement of weapons, munitions or war materials and the construction of fighting and command infrastructure for overall defence and the army. However, Armasuisse's website ( https://www.ar.admin.ch/en/beschaffung/lieferant-der-armasuisse-werden.html) states that it follows regular procurement legislation (BöB and VöB). Hence, the threshold provided in the Law on Public Procurement is given. "Armasuisse" is a central (federal) purchasing service which deals exclusively with defence and security procurement. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 31€ Law no. 172.056.15 of 2012 (Org-VöB), as amended in 2018, Arts. 9, 11 and 25^3)

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) CHF 50000. Up to this threshold a direct award without publication can be issued (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 16 Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 36˛ (c))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) CHF 150000. Up to this threshold a direct award without publication can be issued (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 16 Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 36˛ (b))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) CHF 150000. Up to this threshold a direct award without publication can be issued (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 16 Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 36˛ (b))

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Is there a requirement that tender documents must published in full? Yes. The documents concerning the call for tenders will contain: a) the indications mentioned in Annex 5; b) either a complete description of the products or tasks, or a detailed list of services; c) the general conditions or special conditions within the meaning of art. 29, al. 3, set by the adjudicator and applicable to the contract. The contracting authority shall fix in the documents concerning the call for tenders the period during which the offer is binding. This duration will not exceed six months. The contracting authority may set in the documents relating to the call for tenders the date from which questions relating to these documents will no longer be answered. When no document concerning the call for tenders is necessary to award a contract under the open procedure, the contracting authority chooses the indications listed in paras. 1 and 2 which it will add to the text of the invitation to tender. The publications appear on the Internet platform for public contracts managed by the association simap.ch (www.simap.ch). The consultation of this Internet platform is free. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 21˛ Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Arts. 8, 17, 18 and Annex 4 )
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? Yes. www.simap.ch (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 8)
Is it mandatory to keep all of these records? -Public notices of bidding opportunities, -Bidding documents and addenda, -Bid opening records, -Bid evaluation reports, -Formal appeals by bidders and outcomes, -Final signed contract documents and addenda and amendments, -Claims and dispute resolutions, -Final payments, -Disbursement data (as required by the country’s financial management system) Yes. Procurement offices and the demand offices keep all documents in connection with procurement procedures for at least three years from the legally binding conclusion of the procurement procedure, unless further provisions exist. (Law no. 172.056.15 of 2012 (Org-VöB), as amended in 2018, Art. 35)
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published (ie mini contracts)? No. ( )

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors (ie names) in some cases? No. ( )
If yes, what is the threshold for publication (i.e. the % of total contract value subcontracted)? For example, if the threshold is 75%, and you have subcontracted out only 40% of your contract, no disclosure is required. Consultant will insert 75% in the short answer column. General. ( )

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or brands in tender specification/call for tender? No. The contracting authority shall establish the necessary technical specifications in the documents concerning the invitation to tender and the award as well as in the contracts. In doing so, the BöB loosely provides that the contracting authority takes into account, as far as possible, international standards or national standards which embody international standards. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 12 )
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? No. ( )
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) No. The contracting authority ensures equal treatment of Swiss and foreign bidders in all stages of the procedure. This means that bidders from states which are signatories to the GAP shall be treated the same as Swiss bidders. Other foreign bidders shall be treated the same as long as there is a reciprocity agreement for Swiss bidders. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Arts. 4 and 8)
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? Yes. Environmental and ecological considerations are mentioned in lists of scoring criteria. A specialist body on ecological public procurement ("Fachstelle ökologische öffentliche Beschaffung") sets out best practices and provides advice and training to public bodies in their procurement. Importantly though, when the adjudicators referred to in art. 2a of the Government Regulation No. 172.056.11 of 1995 on Procurement (VöB) are in a competitive situation, the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) exempts the sector or the partial sector from public procurement law. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 21 Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Arts. 2b and 40 Law no. 172.056.15 of 2012 (Org-VöB), as amended in 2018, Arts. 16˛ and 28)

Bid evaluation

Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? Yes. The contracting authority may exclude bidders from the procedure as well as delete them from the list provided for in art. 10, in particular when they: a) no longer meet the qualification criteria required by art. 9; b) provided false information to the contracting authority; c) have not paid, at all or in part, taxes or social contributions; d) do not meet the obligations set out in art. 8 (regulating principles); e) they have entered into agreements which significantly restrict or eliminate effective competition; f) they are subject to bankruptcy proceedings. The contracting authority may also exclude a tenderer if: g) the tenderer participated in the preparation of the contract and the competitive advantage thus acquired cannot be offset by other appropriate means; and h) this exclusion does not compromise the effectiveness of competition between bidders. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 11 Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 21a)
Are some bids automatically excluded? e.g., lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. No. Government Regulation No. 172.056.11 of 1995 on Procurement (VöB) only provides that, upon receiving an offer whose price is abnormally lower than the others, the contracting authority may ask the tenderer for clarification in order to ensure that there is no reason for exclusion within the meaning of art. 11 of the Law on Public Procurement (BöB). Exclusion is not automatic. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 11 Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 25^4)
Is scoring criteria published? Yes. Contracting authorities are required to make the selection criteria clear to bidders in the tender documentation. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 9˛)
Are decisions always made by a committee? No. The only relevant provision concerns the design contest procedure, which stipulates that a jury shall evaluate bids and make a decision. (Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Arts. 50 and 51)
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? No.
Is some part of evaluation committee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? No.
Are scoring results publicly available? No. The contracting authority publishes the result of the tender procedure, including that of direct awards, no later than 30 days after its conclusion, indicating: a) the type of tendering procedure used; b) the type and scope of the services ordered; c) the name and address of the contracting authority; d) the date of the tender; e) the name and address of the successful tenderer; f) the value of the winning bid; exceptionally, the contracting authority may indicate instead of this the highest value and the lowest value of the tenders examined in the context of the tendering procedure. (Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 28)
Does the law specify under which conditions the tender can be cancelled? No.

Open competition

CFT publication

Does the law specify the location for publicizing open calls for tenders? Yes. Federal Gazette and online platform simap.ch. Works tenders and related services and supplies must be published in the official language of the location of the contract. All other tenders must be in at least 2 official languages. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 24 Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 8)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing restricted calls for tenders? Yes. Federal Gazette and online platform simap.ch. Works tenders and related services and supplies must be published in the official language of the location of the contract. All other tenders must be in at least 2 official languages. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 24 Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 8)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing negotiated calls for tenders? Yes. Federal Gazette and online platform simap.ch. Works tenders and related services and supplies must be published in the official language of the location of the contract. All other tenders must be in at least 2 official languages. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 24 Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 8)

Minimum # of bidders

What is the minimum number of bidders for restricted procedures? General. (Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 121)
What is the minimum number of bidders for negotiated procedures? General. Where possible at least 3 quotes must be obtained. (Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 26˛)
What is the minimum number of bidders for competitive dialogue procedures? General. The Regulation does not provide for a minimum. (Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 26a)

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for open procedures? General. This can be reduced to 24 days if there is a prior announcement, or to 10 days if the tender is urgent. (Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Arts. 19^3 (a) and 19a1)
What are the minimum number of days for restricted procedures? General. For the application to participate, the minimum is 25 days from date of publication. For tender submission, the minimum is 40 days from the date of invitation. (Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Arts. 19^3 (b) and 19a1)
What are the minimum number of days  for competitive negotiated procedures? General. For the application to participate, the minimum is 25 days from date of publication. For tender submission, the minimum is 40 days from the date of invitation. (Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Arts. 19^3 (b) and 19a1)

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

Does the law specify the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the public procurement law for tenders/organisations? Yes. The Law on Public Procurement (BöB) does not apply to: 1. contracts with institutions for persons with disabilities, charities and penal institutions; 2. contracts awarded under agricultural or food aid programmes; 3. on the basis of an international treaty between GAP contracting states, or Switzerland and other states, which relates to an object to be achieved and supported in common; 4. contracts awarded with an international organization on the basis of a special procedure; 5. the acquisition of weapons, munitions or war material and the construction of combat and command infrastructures for general defense and the army. Additionally, a contracting authority is not required to award a contract in accordance with the provisions of the Procurement Law when: a) it risks being contrary to morality or endangering public order and security; b) the protection of the health and life of people, animals or plants so requires; or c) it infringes intellectual property rights. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 3 )
Does the law specify the main types of institutions that must apply the public procurement law? Yes. The Law on Public Procurement (BöB) applies to: 1. the general administration of the Swiss Confederation; 2. the Swiss Federal Alcohol Board; 3. the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology and their research institutions; 4. the postal and automobile services of the Swiss Post, provided that their activities do not compete with those of third parties not subject to the GATT; in addition, the automobile services of the Swiss Post are only subject to the Law for the contracts that they pass within the framework of the activity that they carry out in Switzerland in the field of passenger transport; 5. the Swiss Federal Inspectorate of Nuclear Safety; 6. the Swiss National Museum; 7. the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology; 8. the establishment within the meaning of Law of 16 June 2017 on compensation funds, with the exception of the administration of assets referred to in art. 3 of said Law. The Federal Council appoints public or private law organizations operating in Switzerland in the water, energy, transport and telecommunications sectors which, in doing so, also fall within the scope of the Law on Public Procurement according to the GATT and other international agreements. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Art. 2 )
Does the law specify the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted? Yes. Open procedure ("offenes Verfahren"), restricted procedure ("selektives Verfahren"), direct award ("freihändiges Verfahren"), negotiated procedure ("Einladungsverfahren"), and design contest (" Planungs- und Gesamtleistungswettbewerbe") (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Arts. 13-16 Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Arts. 12, 13, 34 and 40)
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? No. The Federal Administrative Court ("Bundesverwaltungsgericht") is competent to hear complaints or appeals against contracting authorities' decisions. It is not, however, a specialised procurement court/adjudicating body. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Arts. 26 and 2717)
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? Yes. The oversight of Switzerland's international public procurement obligations is the responsibility of a joint committee made up of representatives of the Confederation and the cantons - Kommission für das Beschaffungswesen Bund-Kantone (KBBK). (Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) (as of 2020), Art. 68a)
Does the law specify procurement advisors' profession (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering process (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? No. ( )
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? No. ( )

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? No. The Law on Public Procurement (BöB) is silent about the existance of a fee. ( )
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? No. The contract can be concluded with the tenderer after the award, unless the Federal Administrative Court has granted the appeal suspensive effect. However, the appeal has no automatic suspensive effect, meaning that only on request may the Federal Administrative Court grant suspensive effect. (Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) (as of 2020), Arts. 2217 and 28)
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint in the case of awarded contracts? N/S. The Law on Public Procurement (BöB) is silent about a maximum number of days. ( )
Is there a requirement to publicly release arbitration court decisions ? No. There is no requirement of publicity, but decisions can be found on the Federal Administrative Court's website: https://www.bvger.ch/bvger/fr/home/jurisprudence/entscheiddatenbank-bvger.html ( )

Legislation

Federal Law on Public Procurement of 1994 (BöB) No. 172.056.1 (German)pdf
Federal Law on Public Procurement of 2019 (BöB) (German)pdf
Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 1995 (VöB) No. 172.056.11 (German)pdf
Government Regulation on Public Procurement of 2020 (VöB) (German)pdf
Law no. 172.056.15 of 2012 on the organization of public procurement in the federal administration (Org-VöB) (German)pdf

*Last update: 2017