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Sweden classifies Säpo spending as secret
Photo: Screenshot Government Offices; Flickr

Sweden classifies Säpo spending as secret

Published: 30 Sep 2012 09:20 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 Sep 2012 09:20 GMT+02:00

Sweden's justice minister Beatrice Ask has classified the running costs of the Security Service (Säpo), putting an end to media revelations over how funds were being used.

Säpo came under fire recently after revelations in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily that some 5.3 million kronor ($802,500) were spent on a lavish James Bond-themed party.

Ask has now decided to agree to classify all details of Säpo's expenses, from the amount spent on coffee to premises rental to telephone surveillance, the newspaper reported on Sunday.

The government has explained the decision by claiming that national security is at risk if the information is made public, DN reported.

Further revelations regarding Säpo's expenses which emerged over the summer included an application for almost one million kronor back in value added tax (moms).

The claim was noticed by the Swedish National Audit Office (Riksrevisionen) in February and the Security Service later repaid 114,500 kronor.

The Security Service announced at the end of August that it would be making major staff cuts due to "financial strain". Around 100 jobs will be cut over the coming three years.

It was in connection with a request for documents pertaining to the planned cuts that Dagens Nyheter was told that all of Säpo's expenses, which amount to around one billion kronor per annum, were classified.

The decision has been confirmed by Beatrice Ask and can not be appealed, the newspaper reported.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:24 September 30, 2012 by Prat
Ask not what your country can do for you...

We need Dr. No

By making profligate overspending secret, she circumvents needed oversight.

She gives the SAPO porkers "a license to swill"
20:26 September 30, 2012 by johan rebel
Sweden's minister of justice: Beatrice Don't Ask.
22:29 September 30, 2012 by sgt_doom
And this is the Justice Minister who, under government pressure, reopened the closed "julian assange/Wikileaks case" ?????

We can really believe her and her credibility, huh????
23:20 September 30, 2012 by Grokh
Next step should be to fire her and put her under investigation and probe the matter at hand even further.

It is not a free country or a democracy when governmental institutions can spend money on parties and do what they want (sell weapons to evil regimes) and not have to take any responsability because its all a secret.

is sweden so tired of being a good country that wants to be like the usa ?
08:50 October 1, 2012 by Great Scott
The truth hurts, when the boot's on the other foot. But there will be justice when it suits her and her other loony buffoon's.
09:30 October 1, 2012 by RobinHood
The whole point of having a secret service is that it's ..... well, secret!

Why was SÄPO's spending public in the first place? No other country in the world publishes its secret service spending; to do so obviously risks national security, and is just plain dumb.

Other countries protect themselves from misuse of funds by appointing members of "the great and the good" to oversee spending - congressional oversight in the US for example. That's should be the next step Beatrice. Then Sweden will have a secret service just like the rest of the world. Instead of one that tells its enemies what it's up to by letting them look at its receipts.
23:51 October 1, 2012 by Uncle
Absolutely correct RobinHood.

In a "democratic country" Grokh style, a secret agency would reveal readily how much they spend on "assets" in Russia, Sudan and Iran, while specifying the quantity of assets, their governmental positions and their access to secret info, by that showing the return on investment for each and every asset.

Also, Grokh would allow the government to sell weapons only to "good" regimes (his personal list). Then Sweden would continue to be a good country like China, Russia, Pakistan and Burma while avoiding being like the evil USA. Simple and crystal clear. Good countries, evil countries.
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