Malmö struggles to correct 17 million kronor computer error

Officials in Malmo are trying to figure out how to recoup around 17 million kronor ($2.5 million) in economic support the city mistakenly paid to 1,800 families.

The mix-up affects nearly one in three households in the municipality who receive welfare from the city.

The missing money appears to be a Malmö-city record when it comes to erroneous welfare payments.

“I’ve asked around and no one has ever heard of things ever being this wrong before,” said Gun Jägerhök, an accountant who works for the city, to the Metro newspaper.

On Tuesday of last week, a database error resulted in the system to not registering money which had already been paid, causing the payments to occur again.

The city is now notifying everyone who received the extra payments and asking the money be returned. But it remains unclear how much of the money officials can demand be repaid.

“I can only speak generally. There is a legal option to demand the return of economic support according to the first paragraph of chapter nine of the social service law. At the same time, there’s no right to offset, that is to say, to offset the overpayment against next month’s payment. You have to judge each case individually,” said city lawyer Jan Hoffnell.