Lavish James Bond spy party shakes and stirs Sweden

Actor Daniel Craig at James Bond film event, 24 Jan 08
Image caption Arguments over 007's expenses were not a feature of the James Bond films

Agent 007's expense account was not an issue when he had to save the world, but Sweden's would-be James Bonds are not in the same league.

Government accountants are concerned about a lavish James Bond-themed party thrown for Sweden's spy agency, Sapo.

Sweden's Dagens Nyheter (DN) news website says the party for 1,000 Sapo staff in June last year featured casino tables, a gala dinner and big band.

But questions are being asked about the bill: 5.3m kronor (£508,000; $804,000).

The head of Britain's domestic intelligence service MI5, Jonathan Evans, was among the guests at the bash, DN reports.

Famous celebrities and comedians entertained the partygoers.

Such expenditure was controversial because in recent years Sapo, Sweden's police intelligence agency, has been through a big reorganisation involving budget cuts.

Sapo General Anders Thornberg admitted the organisation had made a mistake with a VAT (sales tax) claim after the event, DN reported. Sapo claimed 974,000 kronor in VAT refunds, exceeding the allowance.

Sapo should also have invited competitive bids for the event, under Sweden's public spending rules, but that was not done.

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