2019 Winner
Receipts of Power

Receipts of Power

Aftonbladet

Stockholm, Sweden

Category Best Use of Social Media

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

Checking hundreds of thousands of documents against each of the MP’s own social media posts provided a powerful tool in revealing elected representatives’ misuse and cheating.

To now, four MPs have been forced to resign from assignments due to the exposé. Deductions have been made from nine MPs’ parliamentary fees. One member’s tax base was reassessed upwards by SEK 133,000. A preliminary investigation was initiated against four members for suspected fraud – which has never previously occurred Sweden. Accordingly, “Receipts of Power” was historic, not only in its innovative method, use of social media and concept, but also in its scope, number of revelations and consequences.

The first item was published on August 21, 2018. Since then, some 60 articles have been published and a large number of television features were broadcast in August, September, October, November, December and January 2019. With criminal investigations still ongoing, publication continues as this is being written.

The exposé has attracted tremendous attention and dominated the news on many days, both before and after the election. In the first two days, two MPs resigned in less than 24 hours. More or less all Swedish media covered the exposé and it was also written about abroaad.

The Receipts of Power concept emerged in the run-up to the 2018 election. Aftonbladet’s investigative team sought to examine how all MPs and deputies had used taxpayer funds over the past term of office.

We decided to review all travel accounts submitted by politicians to Riksdag management. However, as information on travel accounts can be relatively scant, we realized we needed to check them against other sources. We quickly realized the most powerful tool would be comparing against MP’s own social media posts. Accordingly, we checked all MPs social media posts against their disclosures to Riksdag management through the receipts they submitted.

 


Results for this campaign

The results were overwhelming.

To date, the exposé has had nearly 8,000,000 page views aftonbladet.se.

The revelations attracted tremendous attention and dominated the news on many days, both before and after the election. In the first two days, two MPs resigned in less than 24 hours.

More or less all Swedish media covered the exposé and it was also written about in Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and in Spanish media.

To date in January 2019, four MPs have been forced to resign from assignments due to the exposé.

Deductions have been made from nine MPs’ parliamentary fees.

One member’s tax base was reassessed upwards by SEK 133,000.

A preliminary investigation was initiated against four members for suspected fraud – which has never previously occurred Sweden.

The exposé revealed a systematic error, an absence of proper controls in Sweden’s highest decision-making body.

The revelations became an issue on which all party leaders agreed: checks on MPs had to be tightened.

In 2019, the Riksdag will, as a result of “Receipts of Power”, review a number of different payments to members.

Riksdag management will also examine all cases revealed by Aftonbladet.

All text here: https://www.aftonbladet.se/story/1f90d1f2-58c6-46e3-ac89-d2d7d39ed6ce

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Contact

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