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Norway

The municipal sector (NO0037)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Norway Action Plan 2013-2015

Action Plan Cycle: 2013

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: KS

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Education, Public Service Delivery, Subnational

IRM Review

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

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

-KS will further develop the Board Appointments Register (Styrevervregisteret) in
order to make it more accessible and easier to use and to ensure greater
registration of the interests and board appointments of elected representatives
and municipal managers.
- KS will make efforts to further develop KOSTRA (Municipality-State Reporting)
to provide better management information, among other ways, by further
developing quality indicators and by identifying and removing data not used
actively as management information.
- KS will work to achieve open and accessible information concerning school
objectives, strategies, plans and results at all levels of the organization.
Transparency is the best driving force for improvement and quality development.
The municipal sector must therefore have access to all relevant data for
development of high quality services.
 - KS will further examine dual role issues in connection with the revision of KS’s
recommendations concerning sound municipal ownership, tentatively in autumn
2013.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

25. The municipal sector

Commitment Text:

[…]The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) is the interest organization and employers’ association of the municipal sector. All municipalities and county authorities are members of KS.

Commitment Description

       KS will further develop the Board Appointments Register (Styrevervregisteret) in order to make it more accessible and easier to use and to ensure greater registration of the interests and board appointments of elected representatives and municipal managers.

       KS will make efforts to further develop KOSTRA (Municipality-State Reporting) to provide better management information, among other ways, by further developing quality indicators and by identifying and removing data not used actively as management information.

       KS will work to achieve open and accessible information concerning school objectives, strategies, plans and results at all levels of the organization. Transparency is the best driving force for improvement and quality development. The municipal sector must therefore have access to all relevant data for development of high quality services.

       KS will further examine dual role issues in connection with the revision of KS’s recommendations concerning sound municipal ownership, tentatively in autumn 2013.

Responsible institution: Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS)

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

This commitment addresses a broad range of issues regarding municipal governance and performance measurement. The commitment includes a number of activities undertaken by a civil society organization (CSO)—the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS)—charged with improving the quality and efficiency of municipal government. Information on municipal governments is partially available on national registry sites and more often on local government websites, but is generally not standardized. The quality also varies significantly from region to region, according to the different policies, infrastructures, and political priorities of different municipal and local governments. This can frustrate coordination and national level programming aimed at the municipal level. This commitment aims to improve access to information on municipal governance generally, and includes a specific focus on board appointments, technical indicators, and strategic plans in the education sector.

Status

Mid-term: Limited
KS created the Board Appointment Register, which provides an overview of board appointments and other important roles and interests for about 39,000 elected leaders. KS reports that the milestone regarding KOSTRA (municipality-state reporting) and schooling data are in progress while no progress has been made on accessible information concerning school objectives, strategies, plans, and results. KS also reports that work on examining dual role issues in connection with the revision of KS’s recommendations has not started. While these milestones are targeted at preventing corruption at the municipal level, KS’s status as a CSO seems to have inhibited progress on fulfillment.

End-of-term:  Substantial
Some progress has been made in almost all of the areas addressed by this commitment, and significant progress has been made on some. The Board Appointments Register (Styrevervregisteret, http://www.styrevervregisteret.no/) has been further developed to include 1) specific information on individuals, 2) automatic updates from Norway’s public register (https://www.brreg.no/), and 3) online editing functionality for users’ own profiles and email alerts for users. The municipal reporting mechanism, KOSTRA, underwent an external evaluation,[Note 138: Marianne Holmesland, Simen Pedersen, and Vibeke Wøien Hansen, “Rapport Forenkling av rapporterings-, dokumentasjons- og rutinekrav i helse- og omsorgssektoren og fysisk planlegging, areal og miljø,” Rambøll (2015), accessed September 9, 2016, http://www.ks.no/contentassets/557a8a1ecd4f40a486fa5f1ddead71b3/rapport-forenkling-av-dokumentasjons--rapporterings--og-rutinekrav_final.pdf?id=24671. ] which led to the inclusion of two additional quality indicators and discussion about the implementation of an Application Program Interface (API) for KOSTRA data. These are now incorporated into the KOSTRA platform.[Note 139: ”KOSTRA - KOmmune-STat-RApportering, 2015, reviderte tall,” Norwegian Bureau of Statistics, accessed September 8, 2016, https://www.ssb.no/kostrahoved/?fane=om#content. ] KS has also produced recommendations on dual role issues concerning municipal ownership, which are available at www.ks.no.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Marginal

Easy accessibility of information on municipal governing bodies is an important component of increasing openness at the municipal government level, and the importance of municipal governance has been repeatedly stressed in several consultations the IRM researcher held while preparing this report. It is also clear from the research for this report that implementation of this commitment through a CSO was a challenge, keeping the commitment’s objectives from being realized. This was at least in part due to the complex institutional relationships involved in municipal governance. Non-governmental actors do not always have the legitimacy, authority, or social capital necessary to engage with government counterparts in the ways that other government actors might. Nor do they have direct control over relevant budget lines or administrative processes. The IRM researcher wonders whether this commitment could have achieved greater openness of government if it were implemented and “owned” by a government agency.

Carried forward?

This commitment has not been carried forward in the Norwegian government’s third national action plan, which is available on the OGP website.[Note 140: ”Norway’s third action plan Open Government Partnership (OGP),” Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, accessed September 4, 2016, http://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Norway_2016-17_NAP.pdf.]


Norway's 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