If Sweden’s municipalities used common policies to account for costs, comparisons between municipalities with different organisations would be facilitated. In addition, the risk of manipulation of the equalisation system for costs associated with the Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS) would be reduced, shows the Swedish National Audit Office audit.
Every year, every Swedish municipality downloads a large Excel form from Statistics Sweden’s (SCB) website. This data is called the Annual Municipal Accounts (RS) and constitutes the State’s most important source of information about the financial situation and development of the municipalities.
The role of RS has gradually evolved from mainly forming a basis for the national accounts and related product, to also providing the financial components of key figures for municipal comparisons. If the data is to serve this purpose, the policies for reporting to RS must be fair even if the municipalities are differently organised. Accounting for common costs may constitute a considerable source of error when comparing municipalities.
The purpose of the audit is to investigate whether central government has created the conditions for municipalities to account for overheads so that RS forms a reliable basis for comparison of municipalities.
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