media leaks from agency under fire despite legal protection

Government agency head attacks whistleblowing

The head of Sweden’s Medical Products Agency has criticized media leaks from the organization despite a recent pledge to promote openness, reports Uppsala Nya Tidning newspaper.

All public sector employees in Sweden are legally entitled to speak freely to the media without fear of recriminations from their employers, in line with the country's "openness principle".

But at a staff meeting which was filmed, Christina Åkerman, head of the medical products agency , said it was “very, very negative” for the agency that information is passed on to the media.

 

“This is extremely unpleasant," Carl-Gustaf Spangenberg, law professor at Uppsala University told Uppsala Nya Tidning. 

"The Parliamentary Ombudsmen has ruled that a boss at a public authority is never allowed to make statements judging what staff say to the media.“

Åkerman has been under fire in recent months from management at the agency who have complained about her management style. In a letter to the agency's board they complained about bullying and ineffective restructuring.

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