Lööf slammed in parliamentary review

Lööf slammed in parliamentary review
Enterprise Minister Annie Lööf was criticized on Tuesday in a review by the parliamentary committee on constitutional affairs for how she handled the disclosure of public documents and for providing inaccurate information to the committee.

Lööf was criticized for providing inaccurate information when she was questioned about the extra-curricular costs of the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy, and Communications (Näringsdepartementet) following a 2011 Christmas party.

She failed to comply with the Aftonbladet newspaper’s right to information request to turn over information about the event, instead having a civil servant send the information to Sveriges Radio (SR).

“This is very serious,” committee chairman Peter Eriksson told the Dagens Nyheter (DN).

“The department’s actions were incorrect and it can’t be ruled out that they did this to get their own version out first.”

Aftonbladet reported that the enterprise ministry had tried to write off the feast, which amounted to 616,473 kronor ($92,734), as seminar activity – thereby avoiding a VAT (MOMS) of 123,295 kronor.

“If the information provided is inaccurate, misleading, or incomplete, it undermines constitutional control,” the KU explained its report that was published on Tuesday.

Lööf responded in a written statement:

“KU is an important institution that I have a lot of respect for, so I of course take the criticism on board,” she wrote.

The committee also pointed out that Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has an overarching responsibility to oversee that the disclosure of public documents is carried out in accordance with the law.

Elsewhere in the report, the committee drew attention to former Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors and his handling of the Saudi arms affair of 2012.

It reported “serious shortcomings that ultimately hurt Sweden’s international relations”, adding that Tolgfors should have kept a closer eye on the controversial arms deal.

The parliamentary committee on constitutional affairs examines the government annually to ascertain whether it has observed current rules in the handling of government business. All members of the Riksdag have the right to report ministers to the committee.

This year, the committee investigated 21 reports filed by Riksdag members.

TT/The Local/og

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