Swedish bureaucracy watchdogs 'inefficient'
TT/The Local · 26 Dec 2010, 11:38
Published: 26 Dec 2010 11:38 GMT+01:00
Both the Ombudsmen for Justice (Justitieombudsmannen, JO) and the Chancellor of Justice (Justitiekanslern, JK) devote much of their efforts toward examining the efficiency of operations at various Swedish state agencies.
And both offices have been known to direct sharp criticism at various parts of the Swedish bureaucracy for long processing times.
But the office of the Ombudsmen for Justice is unable to measure its own processing times and the Chancellor of Justice's processing times have doubled over the past five years.
“This is totally unacceptable,” Chancellor of Justice Anna Skarhed said to news agency TT.
Last year JK had an average processing time of approximately 77 days, and preliminary figures show that this year it has gone up by as much as 13 procent, to approximately 87 days.
Anna Skarhed explained the long processing times to the newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) , citing her inexperience as Chancellor of Justice, her employees’ competence and experience, and lack of resources as some of the problems.
“We’ve been very, very strained over the past year,” she told the newspaper.
The Ombudsmen for Justice, also known as the Parliamentary Ombudsmen is tasked with ensuring that state agencies comply with Swedish law and other statutes governing their actions by evaluating and investigating complaints from the public about alleged misdeeds or abuse, or by carrying out other self-initiated inquiries.
The Chancellor of Justice is a government appointed, non-political civil servant who acts as government's ombudsman in the supervision of authorities and civil servants and represents the Swedish state in legal disputes.
n addition, the Chancellor oversees adherence to Sweden's press freedom laws and acts as the prosecutor in cases for offences which are thought to violate freedom of the press and the freedom of expression.