Swedish government in unintelligent sourcing shock

The Swedish government is in apparent turmoil and according to the headlines from people such as Euronews it’s down to an outsourcing decision. interior minister Anders Ygeman and infrastructure minister Anna Johansson have stepped down as a result and the opposition is calling for further heads to roll.

Prime minister Stefan Lofven is standing by his defence minister Peter Hultqvist. Meanwhile the PM is trying to avoid calling a general election, which may become unavoidable. He isn suggesting that calls for Hultqvist to step down are “facetious”.

The issue was that unvetted foreign IT workers had access to confidential information residing in the government and police databases during 2015 as the result of an outsourcing deal with IBM in the Czech Republic. There is no suggestion that IBM or any other party did anything illegal or unethical with the data – the potential for a leak, however, is obviously considerable.

Bad sourcing

Intelligent Sourcing magazine has a view on this as you might expect, and that is: they screwed up. This isn’t actually an outsourcing issue, it’s a management controls issue. We actually see no particular reason to suspect that management practice would have been any better had the workers been from a company within Sweden, or indeed from the government’s own staff. The problem is with the word “unvetted” rather than “IBM” or “Czech Republic”.

We can see why heads have rolled. And we’re troubled to see outsourcing in the headlines yet again when surely, it’s the implementation and management rather than the concept that’s at fault.

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