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State liquor stores consider ban on Christmas gifts

Due to the bribing scandal enfolding in Sweden, the Norwegian state liquor company is considering banning Christmas gifts from suppliers.

Management at Vinmonopolet, the Norwegian state liquor company, is frightened by the bribing scandal in Systembolaget, the Swedish state liquor company.

The Norwegian management is now considering asking its suppliers to not give Christmas gifts to the employees of Vinmonopolet this year, however, it is feared that the suppliers may be offended by the request. According to Knut Grøholt, head of Vinmonopolet, the final decision will be made in a couple of days.

“The reason why we are discussing this is of course the case in Sweden, and we are asking ourselves if this at all is something that happens here,” Grøholt said. “We don’t think it does, but we want to be as sure as possible.”

According to information revealed in the scandal in Sweden, employees at the state controlled liquor store have been bribed by suppliers to market their merchandise more favourable than their competitions in the stores.

Strict rules

According to Grøholt, the company has its own strict rules regarding gifts to the employees. The main rule is that employees are not allowed to accept gifts, but exceptions are made for special occasions like Christmas and important birthdays. The rules demands that all gifts are reported.

“Gifts must not be of such a kind or value that they will not raise questions about the recipients integrity,” Grøholt stated. “In addition, it is not possible to accept samples from the suppliers.”

According to suppliers, it is not comment to shower the employees at Vinmonopolet with gifts. TV 2 Nettavisen has been informed that at least one larger supplier of wine and spirits has already bought Christmas gifts to the employees at Vinmonopolet.

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