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Norway

User Orientation (NO0045)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Norway National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation

Support Institution(s): The ministries, all government enterprises

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Norway Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Background: Better knowledge of the user's situation and experience of public services can make the services more accurate, relevant and effective. The government therefore wants, as part of the priority area "A simpler daily life for most people", that the public administration shall work more user-oriented. Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: The public administration shall be more user-oriented than today Main Objective: A simpler daily life for most people. Brief Description of Commitment (140 character limit): Instructions (called "common routing") from the government to all ministries: In all award letters to government enterprises, the ministries shall include an instruction that the enterprise shall, among other things, survey the users’ perception of the enterprise (refer also to "Ambition"). Ambition: All state agencies shall: a) Survey how the users perceive the enterprise b) Assess the results of the survey c) Optionally initiate actions to follow up on a) and b) d) Report on the outcome of a) - c) in the Annual Report for 2016 The "Users" can be citizens, the voluntary sector, labour and business interests, local government, other government agencies or other sections of the enterprise, including politicians. Whoever is considered the "user” can therefore vary. Further details are provided in Circular no. H-14 / 2015.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

1. User orientation

Commitment Text:

Background: Better knowledge of the user's situation and experience of public services can make the services more accurate, relevant and effective. The government therefore wants, as part of the priority area 'A simpler daily life for most people', that the public administration shall work more user-oriented.

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: The public administration shall be more user-oriented than today

Main Objective: A simpler daily life for most people.

Brief Description of Commitment: Instructions (called 'common routing') from the government to all ministries: In all award letters to government enterprises, the ministries shall include an instruction that the enterprise shall, among other things, survey the users’ perception of the enterprise (refer also to 'Ambition').

Ambition: All state agencies shall: a) Survey how the users perceive the enterprise b) Assess the results of the survey c) Optionally initiate actions to follow up on a) and b) d) Report on the outcome of a) - c) in the Annual Report for 2016 The 'Users' can be citizens, the voluntary sector, labour and business interests, local government, other government agencies or other sections of the enterprise, including politicians. Whoever is considered the 'user' can therefore vary. Further details are provided in Circular no. H-14 / 2015.

Responsible institution: Ministry of Local Government and Modernization

Supporting institution(s): The Ministries and all government enterprises

Start date: 1 January 2016 End date: Not specified

Context and Objectives

The Ministry of Local Government and Modernization (KMD), in 2015, instructed all ministries to ensure their underlying state enterprises carry out user surveys for the fiscal year 2016. Before 2016, 50 percent of state enterprises carried out such end user surveys.[Note: Difi report 2017-11.] The commitment further instructs the ministries to require state enterprises to report back on user survey results and measures undertaken to the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi).

As this commitment aims to improve public services by obtaining public feedback, it is relevant to the OGP value of civic participation. The objective is clear, and the commitment text contains verifiable activities on how state enterprises should carry out user surveys. If fully implemented, this commitment could contribute to increasing the number of state enterprises collecting user feedback, and, as such, would be an incremental step to improving user-orientation of the public sector.

Completion

At midterm, this commitment is substantially implemented. Ministries have published a dedicated website with the list of award letters and annual reports from underlying government enterprises.[Note: Two examples are KMD (see https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokument/dep/kmd/tildelingsbrev/id522666/), and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (see https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokument/dep/asd/tildelingsbrev/id750471/).] A random sample of award letters and annual reports indicates that award letters provide instructions for carrying out user surveys. The annual reports checked also refer to the results of these surveys.[Note: See, for instance, page 34 in the Annual Report for 2016 from the Norwegian Work and Welfare Directorate, available at https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/ccfdb1de77a04e41ad4989825a70e315/arsrapport_2015_arbeids_og_velferdsdirektoratet.pdf.]

According to the Difi report published in December 2017, approximately 50 percent of the reporting state enterprises referred directly to the 2016 award letter instruction, while the remaining 50 percent argued that such end user surveys were already being carried out on a regular basis. At face value, this implies a (major) positive step toward increased end user orientation in those state enterprises that did not do it regularly prior to the action plan.[Note: The IRM researcher received this report several weeks ahead of official publication to be able to assess the work done under this commitment. Difi report 2017-11 is available in Norwegian at https://www.difi.no/rapport/2017/12/hva-er-status-brukerrettingen-i-staten-na. ] The report indicates that some state enterprises may have misunderstood the meaning to be establishing new ways of facilitating end user surveys, rather than using existing channels to identify and systematize findings.[Note: Difi report 2017-11, pp. 34-35.] A stakeholder often involved in end user related meetings with a major Norwegian state enterprise was not aware of the award letter instruction.[Note: The Norwegian Association for Retirees, which often meet with NAV, the Norwegian Welfare Directorate. Telephone interview with General Secretary Harald Olimb Norman, Norwegian Association for Retirees, 15 December 2017.] The survey results seem to be useful, and, according to the ministerial point of contact, this will be scaled up in a planned government white paper on innovation in the public sector.[Note: Telephone interview with commitment PoC, Senior Advisor Ola Grønning, KMD, 1 December 2017.]

The government’s self-assessment refers to a short delay in which Difi was granted a new deadline for compiling its report; the report was later submitted by the new deadline. The report was not referred to in the commitment text, though it appears to have been the most valuable tool in assessing it. It is an achievement in providing better oversight on how the commitment has been carried out across sectors and in state enterprises.

Next Steps

State enterprises carrying out regular user surveys is important to stakeholders.[Note: Ibid.] One way to scale this up is to involve end users at an earlier stage in the process of gauging how public services could be improved. It is recommended that:

The government, as part of the planned white paper, identify best practices among state enterprises’ user orientation.

From 2019 onward, in their awards letters, government ministries instruct state enterprises to involve end users at an early stage to improve user orientation.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

1. User orientation

Commitment Text:

Background: Better knowledge of the user's situation and experience of public services can make the services more accurate, relevant and effective. The government therefore wants, as part of the priority area 'A simpler daily life for most people', that the public administration shall work more user-oriented.

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: The public administration shall be more user-oriented than today

Main Objective: A simpler daily life for most people.

Brief Description of Commitment: Instructions (called 'common routing') from the government to all ministries: In all award letters to government enterprises, the ministries shall include an instruction that the enterprise shall, among other things, survey the users’ perception of the enterprise (refer also to 'Ambition').

Ambition: All state agencies shall: a) Survey how the users perceive the enterprise b) Assess the results of the survey c) Optionally initiate actions to follow up on a) and b) d) Report on the outcome of a) - c) in the Annual Report for 2016 The 'Users' can be citizens, the voluntary sector, labour and business interests, local government, other government agencies or other sections of the enterprise, including politicians. Whoever is considered the 'user” can therefore vary. Further details are provided in Circular no. H-14 / 2015.

Responsible institution: Ministry of Local Government and Modernization

Supporting institution(s): The Ministries and all government enterprises

Start date: 1 January 2016 End date: Not specified

Commitment Aim:

In 2015, the Ministry of Local Government and Modernization (KMD) instructed all ministries to ensure that their underlying state enterprises carried out end user surveys for the fiscal year 2016. Prior to 2016, only 50 percent of state enterprises carried out such surveys. This commitment aimed to improve public services by obtaining public feedback, as well as following up and reporting on outcomes.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

At midterm, this commitment was substantially implemented. A random sample of award letters and annual reports indicates that award letters provide instructions for carrying out user surveys. The survey results seem to be useful and an important first step to improve user orientation. For more information, please see the 2016–2017 IRM midterm report.

End-of-Term: Substantial

A report published by the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) in December 2017[Note1: Difi report 2017-11 (in Norwegian), https://www.difi.no/rapport/2017/12/hva-er-status-brukerrettingen-i-stat... ] surveyed all annual reports (from 171 state enterprises) and found that all but seven instruction letters mentioned the instruction to carry out end user surveys, and that 84 percent of state enterprises have carried these out. Among those that have not carried out surveys, the majority have less than 50 employees and are related to areas such as conflict resolution and the judiciary.[Note2: Ibid., pp 4-5] Difi has not disclosed findings from specific end user surveys, but individual state enterprises have assessed the results of their surveys and reported to their funding ministry. The Difi report indicates that the commitment is implemented to a substantial degree.

Did It Open Government?

Civic Participation: Marginal

The commitment as implemented has been an incremental yet positive step in terms of providing opportunities to the public to influence development of services. Since the results of user surveys have not been publicly disclosed, it is unclear what specific feedback has been received, what measures have been taken to follow up and how it has changed overall service delivery. According to Difi’s assessment, findings from end user surveys are now better integrated and, to an increasing degree, taken into account in the development and management among state enterprises.[Note3: Ibid., p 25] At face value, this implies a positive step toward increased end user orientation in those state enterprises that did not do it regularly prior to the action plan.

At the time of writing this report, the Ministry of Local Government and Modernization has noted that the results of this commitment are feeding into the government strategy for digitalization of the public sector, with a strategy document expected in the first half of 2019.[Note4: According to commitment PoC Ola Grønning, Ministry of Local Government and Modernization, email to IRM researcher, 10 October 2018.]

Carried Forward?

This commitment will not be carried forward into the fourth action plan.


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