PostBus, the nation’s postal bus service, receives government aid based on its financial performance.
With around 2,200 bright yellow buses operating on around 900 routes, it forms an important part of Switzerland’s transport network and employs around 4,000 people.
However, not long after the private PostBus company was created in 2006, it started manipulating its accounts. An independent investigation calculated that unjustified state subsidies paid to it from 2007 to 2015 could amount to as much as CHF 90 million, according to RTS.
PostBus is a subsidiary of Swiss Post.
Two days ago, Susanne Ruoff, Swiss Post’s CEO resigned. Today, the PostBus management team was suspended.
Doris Leuthard, Switzerland’s minister of transport, told the press that PostBus created two accounts in 2006 and made illegal transfers to them without clearly informing the Federal Office of Transport (FOT). She said that as far as they know no one personally enriched themselves, and the transfers did not give rise to significant bonuses. In addition, she said Swiss Post, PostBus’s parent will pay back overpaid amounts this year.
Leuthard said Ruoff was not aware of the manipulation, which started before her arrival, however there were indicators in 2013, that she should have listened to.
The Swiss People’s Party is demanding Ms Ruoff and PostBus’s management team reimburse all bonuses and pay above CHF 200,000 for all of the years affected by accounting manipulation.
The affair is also the subject of criminal proceedings, which could lead to fines.
The government is launching an external audit to examine the governance of all the private companies it owns.