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Norway

Transparency and Anti-Corruption Efforts (NO0036)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Norway Action Plan 2013-2015

Action Plan Cycle: 2013

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Finance

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption Institutions, Legislation & Regulation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Norway End-of-Term Report 2014-2015

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Transparency is also a key dimension of the Norwegian recently adopted Action Plan
Against Economic Crime (March 2011). The action plan discusses measures such as
country-by-country reporting (CBCR). CBCR is a different concept from regular
financial reporting as it presents financial information for every country that a company
operates in, rather than a single set of information at a global level. Reporting, for
example, taxes, royalties and bonuses that a multinational company pays to a host
government is likely to show a company’s financial impact in host countries. Such a
transparent approach will also encourage more sustainable businesses.
The Ministry of Finance has in October 2013 proceeded a bill on CBCR to the
Parliament.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

24. Transparency and anti-corruption efforts

Commitment Text:

[…] Transparency is also a key dimension of the Norwegian recently adopted Action Plan Against Economic Crime (March 2011). The action plan discusses measures such as country-by-country reporting (CBCR). CBCR is a different concept from regular financial reporting as it presents financial information for every country that a company operates in, rather than a single set of information at a global level. Reporting, for example, taxes, royalties and bonuses that a multinational company pays to a host government is likely to show a company’s financial impact in host countries. Such a transparent approach will also encourage more sustainable businesses.

In October 2011 the European Commission proposed to introduce an EU system of CBCR, to increase transparency regarding payments to governments made by large companies and companies listed in the EU that are active in the extractive and logging industries. The proposal was adopted by the Council and the European Parliament in June 2013.

Norway generally supports the EU- provisions on CBCR. The legislation is in line with the Government’s work related to increased transparency in international payment flows. The legislation is also in line with the Government’s efforts to enter into information agreements with so-called “tax havens” for the purpose of fighting tax evasion. […]

The Norwegian Government appointed a working group in December 2012 to look at national regulation of CBCR. The Ministry received the working group report at the beginning of May, and aims to introduce such requirements from 2014.

COMMITMENT DESCRIPTION

The Ministry of Finance has in October 2013 proceeded a bill on CBCR to the Parliament.

Responsible institution: Ministry of Finance

Supporting institution(s): None

Start date: Ongoing           End date:  Unclear

Editorial note: The text of the commitments was abridged for formatting reasons. For the full text of the commitment, please see http://bit.ly/1QlVIja.

Policy Aim

Country-by-country reporting (CBCR) of financial transactions by international corporations and their subsidiaries is an effort to increase international financial transparency, combat illicit financial flows, and impose appropriate taxation. Inspired by regulatory mechanisms in the United States, CBCR became a priority issue among Norwegian civil society in 2011 and prompted a discussion with the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, which eventually led to the activities described in this commitment.[Note 133: “Positiv til land-for-land-rapportering men venter på EU,” Tax Justice Network Norway, accessed October 11, 2016, http://taxjustice.no/ressurser/positiv-til-land-for-land-rapportering-men-venter-pa-eu. ]

Status

Mid-term: Complete
This commitment was complete at the mid-term when the government proposed the CBCR bill to the parliament. For more information, please see IRM Progress Report 2013-2014.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Marginal 

The commitment opened access to information by increasing private sector transparency. It mandated the disclosure of information such as the registration of company subsidiaries, including those in tax havens. However, some sectors and tax havens are exempt from reporting, and civil society actors have expressed a desire to strengthen the legislation,[Note 134: “Hvorfor Norge bør prioritere utvidet land-for-land rapportering,” Publish What You Pay Norway (26 May 2016), accessed October 11, 2016, http://www.publishwhatyoupay.no/nb/node/16898; and ”Land-for-land-rapporteringen må være åpen,” Tax Justice Network Norway (January 27, 2016), accessed September 8, 2016, http://taxjustice.no/ressurser/land-for-land-rapporteringen-ma-vaere-apen.  ] which is set to be reviewed in 2018. However, proposals have already been made by government ministries to amend the legislation to require less transparency,[Note 135: ”Endringer i ligningsloven (land-for-land-rapportering til skattemyndighetene),” Stortinget Prop. 120 L (2015-2016), accessed September 8, 2016, https://www.stortinget.no/no/Saker-og-publikasjoner/Saker/Sak/?p=65606. ] a move met with strong resistance from civil society. [Note 136: ”Lurer du på hvorfor LLR må være åpen?,” Tax Justice Network Norway (June 15, 2016), accessed September 8, 2016, http://taxjustice.no/ressurser/lurer-du-pa-hvorfor-llr-ma-vaere-apen. ] The future of this legislation appears unclear at this time. Desk research and interviews conducted by the IRM researcher have not identified any instances in which the CBCR information produced by these activities have been used by civil society to seek accountability. The potential for it is significant, however.

Carried forward?

This commitment has been carried forward in the Norwegian government’s third national action plan, under the following commitment heading: 

8. Study how relevant information related to country-by-country reporting from subsidiaries and support functions in third countries should be presented in the accounts, as well as possible supervisory schemes. (Country-by-country reporting).

The action plan is available on the OGP website.[Note 137: ”Norway’s third action plan Open Government Partnership (OGP),” Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, accessed September 4, 2016, http://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Norway_2016-17_NAP.pdf.]


Commitments

  1. Archiving Documents

    NO0054, 2019, Capacity Building

  2. Making Energy Statistics Available

    NO0055, 2019, E-Government

  3. e-Access and Expansion

    NO0056, 2019, Civic Space

  4. Open Cultural Data

    NO0057, 2019, E-Government

  5. Digital Spatial Planning

    NO0058, 2019, E-Government

  6. Streamline Public Procurement

    NO0059, 2019, E-Government

  7. Preventing Corruption

    NO0060, 2019, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  8. Beneficial Ownership Registry

    NO0061, 2019, Beneficial Ownership

  9. User Orientation

    NO0045, 2016, Capacity Building

  10. Electronic Public Records (OEP)

    NO0046, 2016, E-Government

  11. Transparency Regarding Environmental Information

    NO0047, 2016, E-Government

  12. Starred commitment Disclosure of Financial Data

    NO0048, 2016, E-Government

  13. Transparency Regarding Rainforest Funds

    NO0049, 2016, E-Government

  14. State Employees’ Ownership of Shares

    NO0050, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  15. Promote Freedom of Expression and Independent Media

    NO0051, 2016, Civic Space

  16. Country-By-Country Reporting

    NO0052, 2016, Extractive Industries

  17. Register for Ultimate Beneficial Ownership

    NO0053, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  18. Public Review and Public Consultation

    NO0020, 2013, Capacity Building

  19. Registering and Preserving Digital Documentation Produced by Public Bodies

    NO0021, 2013, E-Government

  20. The Norwegian Citizen Survey (Innbyggerundersøkelsen)

    NO0022, 2013, Public Participation

  21. Whistleblowing

    NO0023, 2013, Whistleblower Protections

  22. Strengthened Information Exchange for More Efficient Crime Prevention and Combating

    NO0024, 2013, Justice

  23. Strengthening the Transparency of Public Authorities and Administration

    NO0025, 2013, Capacity Building

  24. Egovernment with an End-User Focus

    NO0026, 2013, E-Government

  25. Plain Legal Language

    NO0027, 2013, Capacity Building

  26. Norwegian Grants Portal (MFA)

    NO0028, 2013, Aid

  27. An International Convention or Agreement on Financial Transparency

    NO0029, 2013, Private Sector

  28. Reducing Conflicts of Interests – Post-Employment Regulations

    NO0030, 2013, Conflicts of Interest

  29. Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector

    NO0031, 2013, Security

  30. A Better Overview of Committees, Boards and Councils – More Public Access to Information and Better Opportunities for Further Use

    NO0032, 2013, E-Government

  31. Modernizing Public Governance

    NO0033, 2013, Capacity Building

  32. Transparency in the Management of Oil and Gas Revenues

    NO0034, 2013, Extractive Industries

  33. Transparency in the Management of the Government Pension Fund (GPF)

    NO0035, 2013, E-Government

  34. Transparency and Anti-Corruption Efforts

    NO0036, 2013, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  35. The Municipal Sector

    NO0037, 2013, Education

  36. “Simplify” (“Enkelt Og Greit”)

    NO0038, 2013, E-Government

  37. Electronic Public Records (OEP) – (Offentlig Elektronisk Postjournal)

    NO0039, 2013, E-Government

  38. Re-Use of Public Sector Information (PSI)

    NO0040, 2013, Capacity Building

  39. Access to Health Data

    NO0041, 2013, E-Government

  40. Renewal of the Government’S Website (Regjeringen.No – Government.No)

    NO0042, 2013, E-Government

  41. Declaration of Principles for Interaction and Dialogue with NGOs

    NO0043, 2013, Capacity Building

  42. Simplification and Digital Administration of Arrangements for NGOs

    NO0044, 2013, Capacity Building

  43. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government

    NO0001, 2011, Capacity Building

  44. Measures to Promote Gender Equality and Women’S Full Participation in Civic Life, the Private Sector, the Public Administration and Political Processes.

    NO0002, 2011, Gender

  45. Gender Equality – Participation in the Private Sector

    NO0003, 2011, Gender

  46. Increase Women's Representation in Local Government

    NO0004, 2011, Gender

  47. Gender Equality Program

    NO0005, 2011, Gender

  48. Gender Equality – Inclusion of Immigrant Women

    NO0006, 2011, Gender

  49. Gender Equality – Combat Gender Stereotypes

    NO0007, 2011, Gender

  50. Gender Equality – Youth Initiatives

    NO0008, 2011, Gender

  51. Gender Equality – Combat Domestic Violence

    NO0009, 2011, Gender

  52. Transparency in the Management of Oil and Gas Revenues / Financial Transparency

    NO0010, 2011, Aid

  53. Transparency in the Management of Oil and Gas Revenues / Financial Transparency – Government Global Pension Fund

    NO0011, 2011, Fiscal Transparency

  54. Transparency in the Management of Oil and Gas Revenues / Financial Transparency – Combat Tax Evasion

    NO0012, 2011, Fiscal Transparency

  55. Transparency in the Management of Oil and Gas Revenues / Financial Transparency – Multi-National Companies

    NO0013, 2011, Fiscal Transparency

  56. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government – Create Central Communication Policy

    NO0014, 2011, Fiscal Transparency

  57. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government

    NO0015, 2011, E-Government

  58. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government – Public Data Use

    NO0016, 2011, Public Participation

  59. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government – National Statistic Publication

    NO0017, 2011, Open Data

  60. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government – National Public Opinion Survey

    NO0018, 2011, Records Management

  61. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government

    NO0019, 2011, Public Participation