Infrastructure > Cloud

Swedish Cabinet reshuffled in wake of IT security row

Matteo Natalucci Published 27 July 2017

IT scandal turns into political crisis for Swedish government following outsourcing of Swedish Transport Agency contract

It’s not often that an IT security breach leads to the departure of two government ministers. But that is just what has happened in Sweden in the aftermath of a series of disclosures about a data breach and an outsourced IT contract.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven today announced that the country’s interior minister Anders Ygeman and the infrastructure minister Anna Johansson will leave office in response to a no-confidence motion against three of the cabinet's ministers by the opposition alliance coalition over an IT security breach scandal. 

"I don't want political chaos. I want to take responsibility so that the country doesn't end up with political chaos," Prime Minister Löfven said.

On Wednesday, leaders from the Swedish opposition movement 'Alliansen' announced their intention to put forward a no-confidence motion against interior minister Ygeman, defence minister Peter Hultqvist and infrastructure minister Johansson following an IT-scandal at the Swedish Transport Agency earlier this month, which reportedly involved the leaking of sensitive data to foreign IT contractors.

“Sweden’s security has been jeopardised. The most sensitive data of people risk falling into the wrong hands, and still the government can’t answer why it did not take this more seriously earlier,” Anna Kinberg Batra, leader of the opposition alliance coalition said.

The leak of classified information is said to stem from the Swedish transport agency's outsourcing to IBM in 2015 to manage its IT databases and networks. The data is said to include records about police and military personnel, vehicles registration and contingency planning.

"Several ministers have neglected their responsibilities. That must have consequences, here and now," Centre Party leader Annie Lööf said.

Following today's government reshuffle, two of the three ministers facing a no-confidence motion will move into new positions. Minister of infrastructure Anna Johansson will be replaced by the Social Democrats parliamentary whip Tomas Eneroth, and minister of interior Ygeman by justice minister Morgan Johansson.  Hultqvist, who was also subject to the no-confidence motion, will continue in his position.

An IBM spokesperson said the company does not comment on individual clients.

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