With great power comes great responsibility

The Swedish Parliament stands behind what is stated in the recently submitted motion to consider a reinstatement of civil servant responsibility in public administration and announces this to the government.

Summary of the bill:

In the light of recent events in public administration, but also in the light of accelerated development in both state and municipal authorities in recent years in terms of personal activism in the performance of services, a comprehensive approach should be taken with regard to a, worrying and from a democratic perspective, unacceptable development in public administration.

The purpose of the law that we had for state and municipal officials until 1976 was to make sure that the authorities were complying with applicable laws and regulations.

The main difference after 1976 is that a crime of misconduct, which was previously convicted in court, was being assessed internally by the concerned authorities as disciplinary proceedings. There are weaknesses with this procedure - especially regarding public confidence in our state and municipal authorities. To the public, it should be easier to feel confident that a court is acting properly than because the relevant authority does it, especially if the wrong action has been conducted in the interests of the government.

By their decisions, public authorities affect people's everyday lives, and ultimately it can be about life and death. It should therefore also be reasonable for those who commit an error to be subject legal liability and to receive an appropriate penalty. This would partly benefit individuals affected by the wrongful exercise of authority and, on the one hand, strengthen the rule of law and legal certainty in general, but, above all, increase public trust for the state and municipal authorities.