On Wednesday the 22nd of March the Government submitted to the Riksdag the Communication 2005/06:131 "Appropriate governance and administration of the Swedish defence".
The aim of the Communication is to inform the Riksdag of the Government's intentions regarding further changes to the governance and administration of the Swedish defence.
"As the transformation from defence against invasion to operational defence progresses, the defence administration must also be reduced. So far, the functions for support and administration have been relatively unaffected, while at the same time the operational organisation has been significantly reduced. Therefore there must be a redistribution of resources - from support and administration to operational activities. To put it simply, more bang for the buck," says Minister for Defence Leni Björklund.
"I have respect for those who work in the Swedish Armed Forces, the Defence Materiel Administration, the Swedish National Defence College, the National Service Administration and the Defence Research Agency and I understand that they may be worried that their jobs will be affected. It is, however, a necessary change that is being made. It means that a decision taken by the Riksdag is being implemented. The agencies will now be assigned the task of examining how the changes are to be carried out and what consequences this entails. The Government will present effective measures in connection with the Budget Bill," Ms Björklund concludes.
Main points of the Communication
The central command of the Swedish Armed Forces is to be cut back by some SEK 250m. The aim is for the reduction to be fully implemented by 2008.
Research activities are to be reduced by some SEK 500m from 2008. A special advisory body is to be attached to the Swedish Armed Forces with a view to improving their ability to steer research.
A review is to be conducted of the structure and organisation of the combined intelligence activities and security services and of the prospects of developing the aim and direction, governance and financing of the intelligence and security services, in terms of both organisation and content. The aim of the review is to produce proposals for reducing costs within the intelligence and security services.
The administration of land, buildings and premises is to be rationalised and refined so as to promote more efficient joint processes and create conditions for savings of some SEK 100m with full effect from 2008.
A step-by-step procedure for recruitment is to be introduced within the framework of the present system of national total defence service. The procedure is to be designed so as to actively encourage more women to take an admission examination. As a first step, a selection is to be made from the male part of the age group. As a second step, those who are considered likely to meet the requirements for a long course of basic training are to be called for recruitment inspection, which may in turn consist of several steps. The introduction of a step-by-step procedure for recruitment and more rational methods will make it possible to transfer approximately SEK 100m in appropriations from the National Service Administration to the Swedish Armed Forces from 2008.
The future volumes for training senior officers should be set at a lower level than previously and costs to the Swedish Armed Forces should be reduced by some SEK 70m from 2008.
Changes are to be made in the equipment and technical supply process. There is to be further development of the defence equipment process so as to bring it into line with the operational defence and its needs. A change in the division of responsibilities between the state and industry is to be implemented. The tasks, roles and responsibility of the government agencies in the defence equipment process are to be clarified and integrated leadership is to apply for the defence equipment process. The Defence Materiel Administration's costs should fall by some SEK 900m. Some SEK 700m of these expenditure cuts should be implemented by 2008.
The Government intends to clarify the purposes of defence appropriations so as to make it easier for the Riksdag to exercise its financial authority. In order to present a better overall picture of the expenditure area, the Government intends to provide the Riksdag with a consolidated presentation of the results of operations of expenditure area 6 Defence and contingency measures in connection with the security policy reviews. The Government considers that the model for commissioned services financed by charges should be retained, but measures are needed to further improve the way the model functions. The Council for Transparency of the Swedish Armed Forces, which has not filled the intended role as an instrument for transparency, citizen influence and democratic control, is to be abolished.