Swedish opposition urges three ministers to resign over IT scandal

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Sweden’s minority government faced a crisis on Wednesday as the opposition urged three ministers to resign over a scandal involving a state agency that outsourced IT services to foreign employees with no security clearance.

“Several ministers have neglected their duties. This must have repercussions,’’ Annie Loof, Centre Party leader, told newsmen.

The controversial centres on the National Transport Agency, which in 2015 outsourced its IT services to information giant IBMm used employees in several countries, including the Czech Republic without Swedish security clearances.

The foreign IT specialists had access to sensitive data such as driving licences and vehicles, including individuals with shielded identities.

The Transport Agency head was sacked in January and fined for violating rules on protecting classified information.

The opposition criticised the government for failing to inform them of the breach although two ministers for Defence and Interior knew of it in early 2016.

The two cabinet members also failed to inform Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who said he learned of the breach in January this year.

He has labeled the Transport Agency’s actions “a disaster”.

The opposition also slammed the infrastructure minister for failing to oversee the Transport Agency.

Conservative leader Anna Kindberg Batra said the four centre-right opposition parties would request parliament reconvene from its summer recess for the confidence vote.

Lofven’s Social Democrats have been in power since 2014 with the Greens.

They have 138 seats in the 349-seat parliament.

However, Lofven and the ministers under fire have not commented on the opposition’s demand.

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