Säpo avoids fine for James Bond party

Säpo avoids fine for James Bond party
The Swedish Security Service Säpo has narrowly avoided inspection by the Competition Authority (Konkurrensverket) after splashing out 5.3 million kronor ($802,500) on a James Bond-themed party.

The fancy party took place in June 2011 and had a guest list of around 1,000 people. In contravention of the law, the contract for the event was never put out to tender.

The publication Riksdag & Departement announced on its website that the Competion Authority has decided not to pursue an investigation into the James Bond party.

As a reason they cited the fact that they were notified about the events too late. The grace period to apply for a fine for unlawful tender ran out in the summer of 2012. Details of the costly party only emerged in the end of August 2012 when the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN) broke the story.

At the secret party, intelligence staff enjoyed a gala dinner and gambled with fake money in a casino. There were treated to performances by dance troupes, comedians and a big band which is also the Nobel party house band.

Several well-known Swedish artists and media figures entertained the guests at the party which was planned under the code name “Project Åland”, after the Baltic Sea island.

The decoration alone cost 400,000 kronor.

The head of Säpo Anders Thornberg told DN that the party was a perk for staff members who were under pressure after a particularly stressful year. They had dealt with terror threats, a suicide bombing and a company reorganization.

The party was organized by former Säpo head Anders Danielsson, who is now the Director General of the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket).

It was expected that Säpo would face inspection and a potential court order to pay a fine for failing to put the party contract out to tender.

The Competition Authority insisted that the decision to write off the case was not about taking sides.

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