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Swedish agency partied for millions: report
Photo: Abaransk/Flickr

Swedish agency partied for millions: report

Published: 30 Jul 2012 07:11 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 Jul 2012 07:11 GMT+02:00

Since January 2010 the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket) has spent some 7.5 million kronor ($1.1 million) on internal entertainment such as luxury dinners and ski trips, equating to 25,000 kronor per employee.

The annual staff day alone, which was hosted by the prestigious Grand Hotel in Stockholm in May, ran up a bill in excess of one million kronor, according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter daily.

The report included details of stays at castles and mansion, fine dining, wine and chocolate tasting, spa visits and excursions to islands and ski resorts.

In addition, a further 9 million was spent on internal training and other conferences.

The restaurant bill alone at the Grand Hotel indicated that dinner cost 428,225 kronor, equating to 1,476 kronor per head - more than double that stipulated in the agency's own guidelines.

In a similar event last year, the tax-payer funded agency hired the Cirkus arena in Stockholm and the dinner at nearby Hasselbacken ran to 200,000 kronor.

In 2010 the China Theatre was the venue and dinner was taken at the Sheraton.

The agency' director-general Christina Calm conceded that some of the costs incurred were unacceptable but mounted a defence of others.

"The Grand Hotel was actually the cheapest option," she told Dagens Nyheter.

Last year the agency was given an extra six million kronor to be able to cover its costs, although this year the government rejected a new request. The decision means that the agency will be forced to save 10 million kronor.

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Your comments about this article

08:21 July 30, 2012 by robban70226
Tax payer money at work!!!

Wo was in charge? Responsibilities? Accauntability? Sure that nobody, perfect Swedish system to cover this type of waste... under the table
08:47 July 30, 2012 by voiceofreason
That's why I hate to pay so much tax. Vellinge Kommun is still my model, low tax rate and higher efficiency.
08:54 July 30, 2012 by Swedishmyth
In Sweden you are seen as accountable if you wield legal force and have access to tax money, but unaccountable if you're a private company that has to answer to customers or else go out of business.

Upside down, inside out.
10:52 July 30, 2012 by EmployedProfessional
1- There are few accountability standards here. You simply can't get caught if no crime is commited!

2- Swedish government officials are notoriously poor at hiding their abuses,not as good as the Americans,yet though they think they are.

3-It appears that this came to light because of a civillian whistle-blower,not an official investigation.They don't really exist here,yet.
11:17 July 30, 2012 by krattan
I would like to have a closer look on the people that work for Tillväxtverket - "Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth". I would assume they are former Banksters which a different set of standards than traditional governmental workers.
11:18 July 30, 2012 by fikatid
"The Grand Hotel was actually the cheapest option"

Oh please, give me a break. Total crap. I can certainly find somewhere way cheaper than that.
12:06 July 30, 2012 by EmployedProfessional
#5

I'm with you on this.

No doubt there are many hard working regular folks on the ground level,servicing all of us when we need them,most of whom have modest salaries,to say the least.

Corruption is is higher in the chain of command,where the power is,naturally.
12:15 July 30, 2012 by cogito
Top management of ekobrottsmyndighet (Financial Crimes Authority) traveled to Miami Beach, Florida. at a cost of 50,000 per person. The purpose of the 8-day trip was "inspiration," according to the EBM spokesperson.

But there is no corruption in Sweden.
12:44 July 30, 2012 by EmployedProfessional
As I said;

no law agaist it= no crime commited.

And they got to live out the ultimate Svensk drömmen of visiting the USA and getting a tan!
13:18 July 30, 2012 by gerak
Underbart.

Next time they throw a party, they should contact me, I know a couple of excellent musicians who love to be paid well for live entertainment...
04:44 August 1, 2012 by MitchXXX
So why nobody protests, where is the civil society? Swedish administration is acting like the communists in Eastern Europe before 1990.They don't need to be corrupted because they take the money out of our pockets without anyone to control their spending. Also what they do for the money they make - well they party and the people stay on lines 2-3 hours just to get a number to wait even more eventually to get a simple service. Office phones are always busy/off when you try to call them. Now I got it - they are actually in Miami on Vacation. And I was thinking they are working hard helping other tax payers - how naive : ) What a wild bunch a folks!
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