Most documents on which the Riksdag’s decisions are based, or which are submitted to or drawn up by the Riksdag Administration, are official documents. However, any mail that members of the Riksdag receive in their capacity as party representatives is not normally regarded as an official document in the Riksdag Administration.
The principle of public access to official documents serves as a guarantee for transparency in the work of the Riksdag, the Government and the public authorities. The principle is set out in the Freedom of the Press Act, which is one of Sweden’s fundamental laws, and means that everyone is entitled to access official documents.
It means that anyone can contact a public authority and request a copy of an official document kept by that authority. A person requesting access to an official document does not need to provide their name or any details of how the document will be used.
This is an official document
- An official document can be a text, an image, a sound recording or a video.
- An official document is to have been submitted to the authority or created there.
- The document shall be kept by the authority.
- A document that has been created by the authority but has not been distributed outside the authority normally only becomes an official document when the authority has completed its processing of the matter with which the document is associated.
Accessing an official document
A person wishing to access an official document should contact the public authority with which the document is kept. In the case of documents kept by the Riksdag, you are entitled to access official documents free of charge by visiting the Riksdag and accessing the documents here on the premises. If you want copies of an official document, this may involve a charge.
If your request involves a charge, you will be informed of this before the documents are sent to you. The documents are sent when you agree to pay the charge for the copies.
If the Riksdag Administration refuses your request to access a document, you are entitled to a written decision with information about how the decision can be appealed. If the document you wish to consult concerns a parliamentary committee, it is the committee that decides whether the document shall be made available. Such decisions cannot be appealed.
Charge for copies of documents that need to be scanned
For copies of paper documents, or documents that need to be scanned to be sent by e-mail, the first nine pages are free of charge, the tenth page costs SEK 50, and each of the following pages costs SEK 2.
Charge for copies of documents that are already available in electronic form
The charge for copies of electronic documents is SEK 50 if the order comprises at least ten electronic documents. This applies regardless of the number of pages in the electronic document. The charge for any further electronic document is SEK 5 per document.
Documents which are not official documents
An official document can contain information to which secrecy applies. This means that the information is not available to the public. The Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act contains provisions on secrecy to protect public interests, for example, Sweden’s security. It also contains provisions on secrecy to protect individuals’ personal or financial circumstances.
Government bills, private members’ motions and committee reports all serve as a basis for decisions by the Riksdag, and are official documents. You can access these via the heading Documents and laws on the Riksdag website. There, you will also find records of proceedings in the Chamber, interpellations, written questions etc. If you would like a printed copy of any of the parliamentary documents, they can be ordered from the Riksdag Printing Office.
Mail to members of the Riksdag
Documents that are sent to a member of the Riksdag, for example letters and emails, are as a rule directed to the member in his or her capacity as a party representative. They are therefore not regarded as official documents and are not registered in the Riksdag Administration's register.
However, documents that are sent to a member of the Riksdag in his or her capacity as chair of a committee are, as a rule, official documents and are to be registered in the Riksdag Administration's register.
Documents that are part of an exchange between a member and the Riksdag Administration are official documents with the Riksdag Administration. An example of such documents is travel expense forms.
The Riksdag Archives and Registry
The Riksdag Archives and Registry registers the Riksdag’s and Riksdag Administration’s official documents. It keeps, preserves and makes available documents from the Chamber, parliamentary committees, Committee on EU Affairs, Riksdag Administration and other Riksdag bodies. There are over 1,500 shelf metres of paper archives in the Riksdag buildings. Included in the archives are photos and drawings, as well as sound and image recordings from the Chamber.
Documents from the bicameral Riksdag (1866–1970) and the Riksdag of the Four Estates are kept at the National Archives.
Telephone: +46 8 786 60 18
Fax: +46 8 786 51 30
The register on the Riksdag website
Via the Riksdag website, it is possible to search for information about what is registered in the register. Official documents are registered in the authority's register system and all documents are ascribed a file number when they are registered.
On the website you can search the register yourself and ask to access documents registered from 1 January 2017 onwards. You can enter search terms, search using the file number or search within specific categories, for example, the parliamentary committees. You can also limit your search by using dates.
Registration is a way of keeping official documents in good order so that they can easily be found. All official documents do not need to be registered. Documents that can be kept in an organised manner in some other way, for example, in chronological order, do not need to be kept in the register.