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Norway

Electronic Public Records (OEP) (NO0046)

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): Ministry of Justice

Policy Areas

E-Government, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Norway End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Norway Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Background: KMD is preparing a new publication of the OEP solution. This will reduce time consumption and provide easier access for those outside the public administration system (full text publication). A start-up grant has already been allocated. Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: The Electronic Public Records (OEP) has been a success since the ministry launched OEP in 2010 as a joint publishing solution for the public for public records on the internet for state enterprises. Main Objective: A new OEP solution shall safeguard requirements for information security in a more satisfactory manner in the future and will be able to accommodate larger amounts of data. There will also be a goal that a new OEP solution will eventually streamline the work processes in the public administration connected to the work with transparency processing. Brief Description of Commitment (140 character limit): Develop a new system solution for OEP to improve the security in OEP, streamline work processes in the public administration and streamline the transparency work. A new solution with better capacity to accommodate larger amounts of data and with a new technical solution that will provide enhanced search features and improved user experiences.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

2. Electronic Public Records (OEP)

Commitment Text:

Background: KMD is preparing a new publication of the OEP solution. This will reduce time consumption and provide easier access for those outside the public administration system (full text publication). A start-up grant has already been allocated.

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: The Electronic Public Records (OEP) has been a success since the ministry launched OEP in 2010 as a joint publishing solution for the public for public records on the internet for state enterprises.

Main Objective: A new OEP solution shall safeguard requirements for information security in a more satisfactory manner in the future and will be able to accommodate larger amounts of data. There will also be a goal that a new OEP solution will eventually streamline the work processes in the public administration connected to the work with transparency processing.

Brief Description of Commitment: Develop a new system solution for OEP to improve the security in OEP, streamline work processes in the public administration and streamline the transparency work. A new solution with better capacity to accommodate larger amounts of data and with a new technical solution that will provide enhanced search features and improved user experiences.

Responsible institution: Ministry of Local Government and Modernization

Supporting institution(s): Ministry of Justice

Start date: Not specified End date: Not specified

Context and Objectives

The current Electronic Public Records (OEP, by its Norwegian acronym) includes 121 ministries, agencies, directorates, and other state enterprises. On the web-portal,[Note: See www.oep.no.] everyone can search for internal and external documents archived and recorded in the public journal. Documents can be requested, whereupon the user receives an email with the requested documents, or an explanation as to why some documents may have been exempted, with reference to the Freedom of Information Act.[Note: The IRM researcher has, as part of this research, requested documents related to most of the commitments in this action plan. Besides providing access to relevant information, this has provided a test case for the expediency of the OEP. Most requests were granted within days after the request was filed. Some of the documents requested are exempted from official publication, and has not been provided. ] The OEP is widely used by journalists and researchers. Due to the volume of requests and the limitations of the system, the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) monitors traffic and information requests, and, from time to time, enforces a maximum of 10 requests per user visit.[Note: This information is provided in a banner on top of the OEP website, and can change frequently. ]

The new OEP solution aims to improve the security of records, and to streamline work processes in the public administration so as to accommodate larger amounts of data, new enhanced search features, and improved user experiences.[Note: Telephone interview with senior advisor Stein Magne Os, Difi, 11 December 2017.] In a report published by the Office of the Auditor General of Norway, it was emphasized that, although there is a progressive legal framework on access to information, practices among ministries and state agencies vary significantly. In many cases, they fail to live up to the standards and expedience envisaged in the Freedom of Information Act.[Note: The report, Dokument 3:10 (2016–2017) Riksrevisjonens undersøkelse av arkivering og åpenhet i statlig forvaltning (available in Norwegian only), is available for download at https://www.riksrevisjonen.no/presserom/Pressemeldinger/Sider/ArkiveringStatligForvaltning.aspx. ] The Auditor General warns that it cannot rule out that archiving and publication of records are intentionally delayed.[Note: Auditor General (2017), Dokument 3:10 (2016–2017) Riksrevisjonens undersøkelse av arkivering og åpenhet i statlig forvaltning, p. 13. The report refers to an established practice between the Ministry of Justice and Public Security and the National Police Directorate, in which documents in an early phase were kept away from the records. As it is possible to exempt documents from publication, the Auditor General holds that this practice violates the statutory objective of the Freedom of Information Act.] This is an issue of grave concern for journalists who rely on the relatively expedient archiving of documents and continuous updating of public records.[Note: Interview with advisor Kristine Foss, Norwegian Press Association, 5 December 2017.] There are various practices related to archiving and publication of electronic journals in the 121 government entities using OEP and the new solution (eInnsyn in Norwegian). For instance, eight out of 17 Norwegian ministries do not publish records of internal documents.[Note: Auditor General (2017), Dokument 3:10 (2016–2017) Riksrevisjonens undersøkelse av arkivering og åpenhet i statlig forvaltning, p. 86.]

This commitment aims to provide a better technological interface for public disclosure of information, and is relevant to the OGP values of access to information, and technology and innovation.

The commitment text includes specific activity, such as developing a new OEP, yet it is not entirely clear what the actual improvements would be. The commitment is, thus, coded as being medium specific. The potential impact would be moderate, as the changes, if fully implemented, represent a major step for improving the existing OEP. For this commitment to be considered as having a transformative potential impact, it should have fully addressed the challenges related to internal archiving routines referred to in the Auditor General’s report.

Completion

This commitment was substantially completed after the first year of the action plan, as the beta version became available in July 2017. Although outside the assessment period, the new solution, called eInnsyn, was launched in February 2018. It included electronic public records from government enterprises and the Oslo Municipality.[Note: The slightly delayed launch occurred 5 February 2018. See https://www.einnsyn.no/sok. ] EInnsyn allows for full-text documents to be published directly, but it will be up to the discretion of the various government entities using the new solution to decide whether to do this or not. EInnsyn will also introduce a two-tier system in which, for example, journalists will gain access to more data than regular citizens. This is due to privacy concerns, and to the perceived risk of unauthorized web harvesting.[Note: Telephone interview with Stein Magne Os, Difi, 8 December 2017.] However, the Norwegian Press Association would have wanted this mechanism to be available to everyone using eInnsyn, rather than privileged access for journalists only.[Note: Interview with advisor Kristine Foss, Norwegian Press Association, 5 December 2017.]

Next Steps

As eInnsyn will introduce a two-tier system of access, and due to the challenges related to archiving as revealed by the Auditor General, it is recommended that:

The government evaluate the two-tier system, at the latest within one year after the launch of eInnsyn. This evaluation should be carried out in collaboration with representatives from the Norwegian press and Norwegian Data Protection Authority;

The government streamline ministerial archiving practices to provide better access to information for Norwegian citizens.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

2. Electronic Public Records (OEP)

Commitment Text:

Background: KMD is preparing a new publication of the OEP solution. This will reduce time consumption and provide easier access for those outside the public administration system (full text publication). A start-up grant has already been allocated.

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: The Electronic Public Records (OEP) has been a success since the ministry launched OEP in 2010 as a joint publishing solution for the public for public records on the internet for state enterprises.

Main Objective: A new OEP solution shall safeguard requirements for information security in a more satisfactory manner in the future and will be able to accommodate larger amounts of data. There will also be a goal that a new OEP solution will eventually streamline the work processes in the public administration connected to the work with transparency processing.

Brief Description of Commitment: Develop a new system solution for OEP to improve the security in OEP, streamline work processes in the public administration and streamline the transparency work. A new solution with better capacity to accommodate larger amounts of data and with a new technical solution that will provide enhanced search features and improved user experiences.

Responsible institution: Ministry of Local Government and Modernization

Supporting institution(s): Ministry of Justice

Start date: Not specified End date: Not specified

Commitment Aim:

This commitment aims to provide an improved technological interface for electronic public records. Although Norway has a progressive legal framework on access to information, practices among ministries and state agencies vary significantly.[Note5: The report, Dokument 3:10 (2016–2017) Riksrevisjonens undersøkelse av arkivering og åpenhet i statlig forvaltning (available in Norwegian only), is available for download, https://www.riksrevisjonen.no/presserom/Pressemeldinger/Sider/Arkivering.... ] The new solution is meant to improve the security of records, and to streamline work processes in public administration to accommodate larger amounts of data, new enhanced search features, and improved user experiences.[Note6: Telephone interview with senior advisor Stein Magne Os, Difi, 11 December 2017.]

Status

Midterm: Substantial

This commitment was substantially completed after the first year of the action plan, as the beta version of the new solution became available in July 2017, including Oslo Municipality in addition to state agencies and ministries. For more information, please see the 2016–2017 IRM midterm report.

End-of-Term: Complete

The new portal, called eInnsyn, was launched in February 2018. It includes electronic public records from government enterprises and the Oslo Municipality.[Note7: The slightly delayed launch occurred 5 February 2018, https://www.einnsyn.no/sok. ] eInnsyn allows for full-text documents to be published directly, but it is up to the discretion of the various government entities using the tool to decide whether to publish the documents or not. So far, it is only the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) that publishes full-text documents directly. Due to the risk of unauthorized and automated web harvesting, eInnsyn restricts the number of hits provided to regular users for any given search phrase.[Note8: Telephone interview with Stein Magne Os, Difi, 8 December 2017, and 28 September 2018.] Difi plans to introduce a two-tier system of access to eInnsyn, which would allow journalists to use eInnsyn without facing these limitations. However, the Norwegian Press Association would have wanted everyone using eInnsyn to have full access, rather than privileged access for journalists only.[Note9: Interview with advisor Kristine Foss, Norwegian Press Association, 5 December 2017, and 28 September 2018.]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Marginal

This commitment represents an improvement on the old public electronic records system. The new public electronic records portal has introduced the possibility for full-text publication, thus the government has provided a solution that may lead to improved access to information. However, so far, the general uptake among ministries and agencies is meagre. The IRM researcher has only been able to verify that Difi itself uses this feature. The effect on access to information is therefore a positive step forward but, at the time of writing, considered limited in scope.

Carried Forward?

The next action plan is likely to include a commitment about municipalities using eInnsyn.[Note10: Telephone interviews with PoC Tom Arne Nygard, KMD, 25 and 28 September and 2 October 2018.]


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