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Parliament starts investigation into transport data scandal

Published torsdag 17 augusti 2017 kl 09.00
Political commentator: There are a lot of question marks
(3:08 min)
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The transport agency outsourced its IT to a private company abroad, where staff without security clearance handled classified information. Credit: Erik Simander/TT

Today the constitutional committee will start its review of how the current government, as well as the previous, handled the IT-scandal in the Transport Agency.

The constitutional committee is a cross-party body in parliament, whose job it is to hold the government and its ministers to account.

In Thursday's extra meeting, the committee, known as KU, will handle four separate motions that concern the Transport Agency's outsourcing of its IT, which led to classified information being handled by people abroad, who had no security clearance. This happened despite the Swedish Intelligence and Security Service explicitly advising against it.

The current centre-left government has been reported to the committee by an MP from the Christian Democrats and one from the Moderate party, who want the government to be more open about when they found out about the scandal. The previous centre-right government has also been reported, by MPs from the Social Democrats and the Left Party, who want the committee to review the decision to encourage government agencies to outsource their IT-services in the first place.

Ewa Stenberg, political commentator at the daily Dagens Nyheter told Radio Sweden she believes the first meeting of the committee will plan the work for the months ahead.

"I think they will discuss whether to make a faster process in the inquiries, because if they don't they will end up in May/June next year, and it will come into the election campaigns. So I think they will discuss if they will stick to the time-table, or if they will make a fast track for this," she said.

"A lot of information that hasn't been released about how the government has handled this scandal. There are links to the Prime Minister's office, and there are a lot of question marks: why didn't the Swedish security police stop this outsourcing of this register when they realised that a crime was being committed, when some of the identities that were vital to Swedish security were not protected," said Stenberg.

Two ministers have resigned over the scandal, and the former general director of the Transport Agency was sacked and fined for deciding that the agency would sidestep laws that are supposed to protect sensitive information.

The parliamentary defence committee will also hold an extra meeting this Thursday, to gather information into what consequences the scandal has had for the Swedish Defence. The Supreme commander of Sweden's Armed Forces Micael Bydén will take part in the meeting, as well as a top civil servant from the Ministry of Defence.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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