Head of job agency fired

Sweden's public employment agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) have sacked head Angeles Bermudez-Svankvist describing her position as "untenable" but have said it is not based on reports she racked up a 300,000 kronor ($46,000) mobile phone bill.

Head of job agency fired

Bermudez-Svankvist, who has led the jobs agency for the past five years, was given the news on Sunday with the decision announced in a press conference.

“The current situation is untenable,” said the Minister for Employment Hillevi Engström.

She added: “Angeles Bermudez-Svankvist has finished her position as head of the employment service with immediate effect.

Engström added the decision was made based on an “overall assessment” and not on mobile phone bills as revealed by Aftobladet. The newspaper had seen documents which suggested that Bermudez-Svankvist had racked up 15,000 kronor per month in mobile phone data use charges on her work phone.

Between March 2012 and August 2013, a period which included more than a dozen trips abroad, Bermudez-Svankvist’s total mobile phone bill came to 311,000 kronor.

On Friday the public employment agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) stated they no longer had any confidence in Bermudez-Svankvist.

The 50-year old told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper that the vote of no confidence came as a shock and added that Arbetsförmedlingen had acted “unprofessionally.”

She defended her mobile roaming bill saying; “I didn’t understand how it worked, it’s serious. Now I have roaming turned off all the time.”

Bermudez-Svankvist is expected to remain in the Cabinet office and the Ministries (Regeringskansliet) in a role yet to be defined.

“The government will take advantage of her expertise in a suitable way,” Hillevi Engström told reporters at the press conference.

The departing head of Arbetsförmedlingen said in a written statement said she was proud of the work done during her tenure.

“It has undergone major changes and I’m proud we accomplished the stimulus reform policy,” she said.

Clas Olsson, the assistant deputy general, will take over from Bermudez-Svankvist in the interim while a permanent replacement is recruited.

TT/The Local/pr

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