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Government ministries fail again and again

Government ministries fail again and again

A few weeks ago, the Climate Policy Council released its report Annual follow-up Climate policy goals. This is a beautiful statement: it thought the climate policy statement was fast, the government was famous for assembling several ministers in one climate college – but still everything is going very slowly.

In particular, the report points to the need to coordinate all state authorities. It was as if the congregation was playing hide-and-seek on Swedish radio. At the same time as the report was released, Vetenskapsradion devoted itself to the criticisms of several district governing boards on the Swedish transport administration’s SEK 800 billion expansion plan until the mid – 2030s. The agency estimates that the expansion will lead to a reduction in emissions – one percent …

Overall control of government efforts is also an issue. The problem is in the lap of the government. The Climate Policy Council thanks the government for meeting so many ministers in one college – but I wonder if the council’s professors and associate professors know how it really goes when the government rules the country. Great colleges in all respects – but the officials in the ministries have to do the work that needs to be done.

And the ministries are the worst rainfall of the state administration – everyone here is stealing information to get more benefits than the others. Formally, government offices are an authority, but in practice each ministry is a separate state. The day-to-day work is led by 35-40 secretaries of state, many of whom have relatively little experience as supervisors.

Government offices will then be an integrated unit without artificial ministerial boundaries.

In this, the climate has an impact – and it is bad for epidemics, gudrons, tsunamis – or whatever the overall social problem you want. Again and again, the various ministries of government have failed to unite for the necessary action.

At best in all worlds, government offices go back to the pre-1840 and 1965 ministerial reforms. The Reformation of 1840 divided the old Chancellor into separate ministries. The 1965 reform merged the leadership divisions of a large number of ministries – where most of the work was done – into departments of secretaries of state who handled the political side of the work.

Government offices will then become an integrated unit without artificial ministerial boundaries guided by non-political officials who will be the bridge between changes in government. This is how ministries in Denmark and the United Kingdom are guided, and it is good for continuity, professionalism and long-term work. To assist them, each minister can set up a committee of political aides, headed by the secretary of state. The government will order the bills and other items from the consolidated office, but it will be the professional executive committee that organizes the work.

But until then, the government needs to find organizational forms that give more impetus to climate work. It would be very useful to set up a climate unit near the budget department of the Ministry of Finance. This is where the most systematic coordination of ministries takes place – this is where the money is. Then the finance minister should share the direct responsibility for climate work with the environment minister – then the necessary efforts will have more weight and power than today’s fragmented efforts.


read more: Your ministers must cooperate, Löfven!

Gunner is an independent columnist on the Wetterberg Express editorial page. Read more of his lyrics Here.

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