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Welfare fraud against
municipalities and regions

English summary of report 2022:1

This report examines incorrect payments from Swedish municipalities and regions to companies and non-profit organisations active in the welfare sector.

Fraud and financial crimes

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About the study

The report includes an analysis of the types of irregularities discovered by municipalities and regions. They range from criminal schemes to more extensive forms of misuse where municipalities and regions have been induced to pay too much. The report analyses the situation at a system level, looking at areas such as home care, association grants, personal assistance and care providers. The report also analyses how municipalities and regions work to prevent and remedy irregularities, as well as how these welfare frauds are handled within the criminal justice system. The report describes both challenges and good examples for municipalities and regions to learn from in efforts to develop their work against welfare fraud. The study is based on interviews with 166 people, an analysis of 97 cases and a questionnaire sent to all municipalities in Sweden.
Welfare markets are particularly worthy of protection. Accordingly, there are barriers that private suppliers have to pass before entering the markets. These include suitability assessments conducted by the authorities when issuing licences and by the municipalities and the regions before signing contracts. However, these barriers do not keep all fraudulent suppliers out as the requirements for exclusion are high. Nor are licences required in all areas of the welfare sector, with healthcare providers being the primary exemption. Moreover, irregularities may arise only after the supplier has established itself in the market. It is particularly difficult to exclude companies that use trustworthy frontmen and false fronts or that systematically replace any board members deemed unsuitable.

Brå’s assessment

Here, Brå presents its assessments and suggestions, which concern improving the conditions and methods to prevent and combat welfare fraud committed by companies and non-profit organisations.

  • Prevent fraudulent companies from entering the market
  • Increase the incentives for municipalities and regions to act
  • Improve the work of municipalities and regions
  • Ensure information sharing
  • Need for national registers
  • Develop sanctions and measures
  • Use the criminal justice system

Publication facts

Author: Henrik Angerbrandt, Johanna Skinnari and Anna Jonsson

© Brottsförebyggande rådet 2022

urn:nbn:se:bra-1032

Report 2022:1

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