Gloomy development regarding bribes in Sweden

23 mars, 2021

Since 2010, the Swedish Institute against Bribery (IMM) has continuously collected and summarized lawsuits about bribery. The purpose is, among other things, to provide an idea of ​​what corruption can look like in individual industries and make it easier for the business community to assess the corruption risks that may arise.

The compilation for 2020 (Swedish) constitutes a particularly gloomy reading as the sum of the total bribes during the year increased by 246 per cent compared with the previous year.

The actual extent of the problem of attempted bribery is naturally impossible to know. Typical cases concern different types of government officials, such as driving examiners, prison staff or decision-makers in government agencies.

The pattern is typical and confirms the picture that corruption risks tend to arise where the public sector encounters private citizens or companies.

The work against corruption should be conducted widely. From the business side, it is important to have knowledge of risk areas and actively work with attitudes within the organizations. From the public sector, there should be a long-term ambition to reduce incentives by limiting the value of transfers managed by individual civil servants, especially in areas that open up for arbitrary assessments.

The very sharp increase in the numbers is in itself very ominous and points to a turning point where a traditionally low Swedish acceptance of cheating seems to be fading. It thus becomes more and more up to authorities and companies to work with organizational cultures when society is unable to maintain its common values.

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