Combat of tax evasion- are there any organizational obstacles in the governmental cooperation, and if so, what are they?
Background and problem: At the same time as the inception of Ekobrottsmyndigheten, special tax crime investigating units were established at the SKV called Skattebrottsenheter. The newly established authorities are co-dependent in tax crime investigations. However, they are placed under separate authorities with different priorities and separate resources. Due to the fact that each investigation depends on a well functioning cooperation between the two agencies, it is interesting to find out how the collaboration works. Purpose: The intention of this paper is to examine if there are any organizational problems in the process of investigating tax evasion due to the fact that two separate authorities need to collaborate in every separate case. Furthermore, an attempt will be made to present suggestions on how the situation of combating tax evasion could be facilitated. Method: The study is of a qualitative character based on nine interviews. Of those, five were made with employees at the Ekobrottsmyndigheten and four at Skatteverket. The analysis of the empirical material is based on organizational theories, one general organizational theory and one theory specific to Public Management Reform. Result and conclusion: As a result of undefined organizational aims, problems regarding communication and collaboration occur in the relation between the authorities. Territorial thinking and different priorities from the different departments in control cause bottlenecks in the investigation process. Bottlenecks also occur as a result of lack of personnel on different levels, such as prosecutors and investigators. Technological problems from incompatible computer- and filing systems result in extra working hours when material is to be sent between the authorities. Complicating laws of secrecy create obstacles to an effective collaboration not only between the different authorities but also between units within each authority. Newly established divisions at Ekobrottsmyndigheten are very similar to already existing divisions at the State Prosecutors’ Office and could thus be merged to save resources. The authorities in the study believe the process should be overlooked to find a more efficient alternative to the current one. Suggestions for further research: It would be of interest to evaluate the present structure further and attempt to find how one would best organize and implement it. An outlining of the process of combating economic crime in other countries in comparison to the Swedish system could provide alternatives to changes.
Göteborg University. School of Business, Economics and Law