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Media coverage of public whistleblowing channels

Published: April 27, 2023

The requirements for whistleblower solutions in the public sector in Sweden have existed since the summer of 2022. Now the media have started to follow up on how the new channels are being used.

When newspapers request information on the whistleblowing services, under the public transparency legislation, the authorities will have to adhere to the confidentiality protection they must maintain vis-à-vis both whistleblowers and suspected wrongdoers. Depending on how the individual authority interprets the confidentiality requirement, one can be variously restrictive with the information. From time to time, the media gets some insight into the type of cases that come in and are dealt with in the whistleblower channels.

An example is an article in Läkartidningen (major Swedish publication for physicians), which reviews the cases that have come to the health service authorities since the law came into force. As in other types of operations, the channels are often used for cases that should not be considered whistleblowing cases, but which could still be valuable to catch. Common demarcation problems are when work-related conflicts become so serious or systematic that, based on the fact that it concerns public activity, it can be argued that the matter is of public interest.