State Administration in Sweden - How it works

The government agencies are responsible for implementing decisions of the Riksdag and the Government. State administration should be efficient, legally secure and of benefit to citizens and companies.

The Fundamental Laws contain regulations on Sweden's form of government and could quite simply be described as society's 'rules of conduct'. They therefore have a special status in society.

All government agencies are responsible for their own areas of activity.

Developing service and efficiency in the central government administration

Efforts to develop the central government administration are based on the contents of the Government Bill 'Public administration for democracy, participation and growth', and the programme 'A central government administration in renewal'. The Riksdag adopted the bill on 2 June 2010. The programme offers support to agency heads and staff in developing service and efficiency in the activities and organisational structures of government agencies.

The county administrative boards represent the Government in the counties

The county administrative boards are generally responsible for central government administration in their respective counties.

They are responsible for coordinating various interests in society and government agencies' activities in the county. The county administrative boards represent the Government in the counties.

They promote development in their counties, monitor conditions there and inform the Government of anything that it needs to be aware of. They ensure that the objectives set by the Riksdag and the Government are achieved in their counties.

The state is a major employer

The Swedish Agency for Government Employers is responsible for and develops state sector employer policy. The agencies are free to design their own organisation, work processes, wage formation and skills provision themselves, based on the requirements of their operations.

Swedish Agency for Government Employers

Terms and conditions of employment for state sector managers

The Government appoints the heads of government agencies. Salaries are set individually based on the requirements of the position and the qualifications and experience of the head of agency.

Heads of agencies are appointed for a limited period, usually six years, with a possibility of extension for a further three years. Their employment cannot be terminated before the end of their period of employment. However, the Government can transfer a head of agency to another position.

When appointing new managers, the Government is to judge applicants solely on their merit and competence. The Goverment's appointments policy is to be predictable, open and traceable.

Basic regulations concerning state occupational pensions

In addition to the national pension, state employees also receive a state occupational pension. State occupational pensions and other insurance benefits are mainly regulated by collective agreements between the principal parties in the area for which state agreements exist.

The Ordinance on retirement benefits for certain employees with management positions in the government sector (2003:55) regulates the terms and conditions for government ministers, directors-general and other senior officials in the state administration.

The Ordinance on occupational pensions and occupational group life insurance for certain employees in non-government sector employment (2003:56) also regulates occupational pensions primarily for employees in state supported theatre, dance and music, in certain Swedish schools abroad and certain other groups.

The National Government Employee Pensions Board is responsible for administering the state occupational pension for more than 500 000 employees and pensioners and 400 employers.

National Government Employee Pensions Board website

The state manages properties

The state manages properties that for defence, cultural heritage or other reasons should have the state as property manager. Examples of such properties are government buildings, county governor residences, embassies, the Royal Palaces, museums, theatres, monuments, defence premises, areas of land and certain properties that have been donated to the state. The National Property Board and the Swedish Fortifications Agency are the agencies responsible for managing the state's properties.

We take part in creating a safer world at The Swedish Fortifications Agency's website

The National Prpperty Board website

Re-examination and appeal of government agency decisions

If you are dissatisfied with a decision of a government agency, you can request that the agency reconsider its decision. Write a letter in which you state the relevant decision, how you want the decision changed and why it should be changed.

The next instance in the chain of appeal is an administrative court.

Introducing the Swedish courts at the Swedish courts website

 

Relevant rules and documents

Sweden's Fundamental Laws
Government Bill 2009/10:175, Public administration for democracy, participation and growth
Memorandum: A central government administration in renewal
Act on regional development responsibility in certain counties (2010:630)
Act on County Coordinating Bodies (2002:34)
Ordinance on retirement benefits for certain employees with management positions in the government sector (2003:55)
Ordinance on occupational pensions and occupational group life insurance for certain employees in non-government sector employment (2003:56)