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Working for a public authority

In the service of citizens

As an employee of a public authority, you have both rights and obligations as well as certain benefits. Find out more about what these are here.

Content on this page

Working for a public authority means conducting activities which apply the laws and regulations decided by the Swedish government and its parliament, the Riksdag. Each public authority works on the basis of a public service agreement. 

In the annual public service agreement, the government defines Lund University’s remit and the funding allocated to activities for the coming year.

Core values

The entire public sector has shared core values based on laws and regulations. The common core values for public sector employees rest on six principles:

  • Democracy: all public power proceeds from the people.
  • Legality: public power is exercised under the law.
  • Impartiality, objectivity and equality: everyone is equal before the law. Public authorities and courts are to treat everyone equally.
  • Freedom of opinion: Swedish democracy is founded on freedom of opinion.
  • Respect: public power is to be exercised with respect for people’s freedom and equal value.
  • Efficiency and service: the organisation is to be run as economically as possible with the highest quality achievable with the available resources.

The principle of public access to official documents

The principle of public access to official documents applies to public administration. This means that the general public and the mass media have the right to access public documents, with the exception of confidential information. 

As a government employee, you have freedom of expression and freedom to disclose information. Your freedom of expression means that you have the right to talk about the organisation with journalists and others so long as you do not divulge confidential information. The freedom to disclose information means that public authorities are not allowed to investigate who passed information to the mass media.

Read more about the rules applying to governing public documents

Due process in the exercise of public authority

Due process is fundamental to all government activity. Citizens must be able to rely on decisions taken by public authorities being based on applicable laws. They must also be sure that everyone is treated equally before the law and that public authorities are objective and impartial in their assessments and decisions.

You therefore have an obligation to follow the rules on conflict of interest and on secondary employment.

Rules on conflict of interest

The rules on conflict of interest guarantee that management at public authorities is characterised by impartiality and objectivity. When processing a matter, you have a conflict of interest if the matter concerns you personally or a person close to you, for example.

Another example of conflict of interest is when the outcome of a matter can be expected to bring significant advantage or prejudice to you or to someone close to you. There are more situations in which conflict of interest can arise.

Secondary employment

As a government employee, you are not to have secondary employment that damages credibility, interferes with work duties or represents competition, as this can affect public confidence in Lund University. The rules concerning secondary employment are contained in different laws and regulations. 

Read more about the rules applying to secondary employment

Swedish Public Procurement Act

The purchase of goods and services is to be conducted in a legal, business-like and efficient manner. Make purchases by placing call-off orders from an existing agreement. If there is no agreement relevant for your intended purchase, you should instead initiate a procurement process. The Purchasing and Procurement Division provides support to the University’s organisational units throughout the process.

Read more about purchasing and procurement 

In the event of a heightened state of alert  

Lund University is not among the public authorities tasked with contingency planning for societal crises. Therefore, in the event of a heightened state of alert, the University will, as far as possible, maintain its regular operations. According to the employment contract, employees at public authorities, municipalities and regions are to be at their workplaces in peacetime and in the event of a heightened state of alert. Employees who have a wartime posting at another organisation are exceptions.

Your benefits as a public sector employee

Gym membership reimbursement, the health promotion hour and partial reimbursement of healthcare and medication costs: find out more about the benefits to which you are entitled as an employee at Lund University.

Read more about your benefints as a public sector employee

For long and devoted public service

This tradition began in 1803 as a distinction for public employees who had shown long and devoted service. The award in the form of a medal, gold watch or engraved glassware is given to those who have worked in public service for 30 years.

You can have worked in different workplaces, as long as they were in the public sector. Special rules apply if for example you are to retire before having worked in public service for 30 years – in that case 25 years are sufficient for obtaining the distinction.

Eligibility for the award

Please contact nor [at] hr [dot] lu [dot] se.


Please send in your personal details (name and department/equivalent) and indicate which gift you have selected via email to nor [at] hr [dot] lu [dot] se.

For more information about the award please contact the HR Division at Lund University by the 

För mer information om utmärkelsen Nit och redlighet i rikets tjänst, kontakta sektionen HR via sektionens ärendehanteringssystem.


Contact your line manager or the HR officer at your organisational unit if you have any questions concerning employment or your organisational unit’s procedures for HR/staff matters.