Government advertises jobs in newspapers

On Thursday the government began following up on its promise to tackle cronyism by advertising two top public sector jobs in the main daily newspapers. The government hopes to find suitable candidates to fill the posts of University Chancellor and Consumer Ombudsman.

“This is the start of the introduction of a new policy. The decision to advertise is a step on the road to greater openness,” Education Minister Lars Leijonborg told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

The government has not reached a formal decision on how best to tackle the issue of appointments to senior civil service jobs. But a steering group has been established to construct a framework for managing the recruitment process.

In a report published in March 2006, the centre-right Alliance parties released a joint report alleging the the Social Democrats consistently broke the United Nations’ corruption convention by openly preferring to appoint Social Democrats to powerful positions in the public sector.

“Appointments are an instrument of power – Göran Persson has shown that very clearly,” the parties said.

The opposition promised at the time to introduce a new system that was more open and predictable. They also said that parliamentary committees should in future be allowed to question appointments to senior posts.