Development assistance minister Gunilla Carlsson. Photo: Raina Medelius/Sveriges Radio

Development assistance department "close to collapse"

The development assistance department of the Swedish Foreign Ministry is "close to collapse" according to a new report in the Omvärlden magazine.

It claims external consultants have been brought in to try to sort out the mess, which comes from clashes between the political leadership in the department, including minister Gunilla Carlsson, and civil servants.

Associate professor Torbjörn Larsson, who has seen the report from the consultants, says "I've been investigating the civil service for 30 to 40 years, and this is the first time I've seen such a direct, simple and clear description of a system that has collapsed", he told Swedish Radio News.

The report claims civil servants see the political leadership in the department as strict, formal and obsessed by details, while the politicians say they do not feel they can trust the civil servants.

The report from the consultants cost over SEK 300,000, according to Omvärlden, but minister Gunilla Carlsson says she thinks it was worth it.

"That is always a question you have to ask yourself", she told Swedish Radio, "but I can only say that I needed external help to create a process for us to meet our challenges. So my judgement is that it was worth it."

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