The Social Partners’ Council

Internal and external accountability provides security

onsdag 15 april 2015

Several checks and balances help the system to work efficiently and to prevent corruption. Most important are the rules of transparency; these give all government employees the right to speak freely and to hand over information to the press.

Furthermore, all documents are open to the public unless they are covered by secrecy in the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act or reveal sensitive personal information. Decisions about promotions and wages are not regarded as sensitive.

All agencies submit fairly comprehensive annual reports to the Government that include information on financial outcome, fulfilment of mission and operations, as well as matters related to competence supply and staffing.
Basic values like democracy, legality and objectivity, combined with those of efficiency and service, are supported by a special agency called the Council on Basic Values (Värdegrundsdelegationen).

Employment contracts have been made equal to those in the private sector. Career systems have been abolished and lateral, merit-based recruitments from both public and private sectors in the labour market are the norm. All new posts are usually advertised by the agency concerned.

The very top executives are recruited by the Government for a set time; all other staff is hired by the management of each agency.

There are no political appointments at the agencies with the exception of the Government Offices. In the Government Offices (prime minister’s office and ten ministries) the ministers normally employ political advisers. There are fairly few of these though, less than two percent of the Offices’ staff of about 5 000 employees.

The social partners have agreed on a joint statistical system that provides them with data on all government employees at an individual, group and agency level, combined with data on the type of work and level of responsibility, including management responsibilities. A special computer analysis program based on this system supports the agencies in working strategically with wage formation.