Skip Navigation
Norway

Disclosure of financial data (NO0048)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Norway National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Finance

Support Institution(s): Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ)

Policy Areas

E-Government, Fiscal Transparency, Open Data, Records Management

IRM Review

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

Starred: Yes Starred

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Background: Since 2010, the Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ) has published government accounting data by chapter/item equivalent to the annual Report to the Storting 3 on government accounts. The publication has not been in machine-readable form until 2015. The Ministry of Finance has stated in the Yellow Book 2016 that the Ministry and the Government Agency for Financial Management will develop a publishing solution to make more financial information more easily accessible to more users. This is in line with fundamental values such as democratic participation, confidence in the public sector and public control of the public administration. Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: The Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ) today publishes government accounting data by chapter/item equivalent to the annual Report to the Storting 3 on government accounts. St. 3 on government accounts. The data is difficult to use for analysis and is difficult to access. From January 2016, the publication will be supplemented with accounting data according to account type (standard chart of accounts) for gross budgeted administrative bodies that report accounting data to DFØ in machine-readable form as a data dump. Main Objective: An overarching goal for the publication solution is to make more government financial information more accessible to both external and internal users in a user-friendly manner. The solution shall make it possible to search in published data, and provide a basis for analysis and comparison of resource consumption across enterprises and over time in open data format. Brief Description of Commitment (140 character limit): Facilitate a solution for publishing financial data on an aggregated, 3-digit level according to a standard chart of accounts, for each enterprise, to be published every month. The solution shall also accommodate future expansions of the basic data (state-owned enterprises that do not report expense data to the government accounts today). Relevance: The publishing solution shall safeguard fundamental values such as democratic participation, confidence in the public sector and public control of the public administration. Ambition: The solution shall be intended for users inside and outside the state administration, and shall be operational from 01/10/2017.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

4. Disclosure of financial data

Commitment Text:

Background: Since 2010, the Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ) has published government accounting data by chapter/item equivalent to the annual Report to the Storting 3 on government accounts. The publication has not been in machine-readable form until 2015. The Ministry of Finance has stated in the Yellow Book 2016 that the Ministry and the Government Agency for Financial Management will develop a publishing solution to make more financial information more easily accessible to more users. This is in line with fundamental values such as democratic participation, confidence in the public sector and public control of the public administration.

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: The Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ) today publishes government accounting data by chapter/item equivalent to the annual Report to the Storting 3 on government accounts. St. 3 on government accounts. The data is difficult to use for analysis and is difficult to access. From January 2016, the publication will be supplemented with accounting data according to account type (standard chart of accounts) for gross budgeted administrative bodies that report accounting data to DFØ in machine-readable form as a data dump.

Main Objective: An overarching goal for the publication solution is to make more government financial information more accessible to both external and internal users in a user-friendly manner. The solution shall make it possible to search in published data, and provide a basis for analysis and comparison of resource consumption across enterprises and over time in open data format.

Brief Description of Commitment: Facilitate a solution for publishing financial data on an aggregated, 3-digit level according to a standard chart of accounts, for each enterprise, to be published every month. The solution shall also accommodate future expansions of the basic data (state-owned enterprises that do not report expense data to the government accounts today). Relevance: The publishing solution shall safeguard fundamental values such as democratic participation, confidence in the public sector and public control of the public administration.

Ambition: The solution shall be intended for users inside and outside the state administration, and shall be operational from 01/10/2017.

Responsible institution: The Ministry of Finance

Supporting institution(s): Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ)

Start date: 1 May 2016 End date: 1 October 2017

Context and Objectives

Norway ranks fourth globally on the Open Budget Index,[Note: International Budget Partnership, Open Budget Survey 2015, http://survey.internationalbudget.org/#rankings] which means that the government provides the public with extensive budget information. However, the Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ) publishes government accounting data by line items (such as tax revenues,[Note: Tax revenues, Income chapter 5501.] expenses related to the royal court,[Note: Royal court, Expense chapter 0001.] expenses on primary health services,[Note: Primary health services, Expense chapter 0762.] etc.) in the annual government expenditure report. This makes it difficult to distinguish and analyze expenditure according to individual government agencies. The data are difficult to access and use for analysis. The commitment aims to publish disaggregated financial data according to public agencies, making this data available in a machine-readable and searchable format with monthly updates. The commitment is relevant to the OGP values of access to information and technology, and innovation for transparency and accountability.

The commitment activities are highly specific, and include steps that are necessary for publishing disaggregated financial data in open data format. The milestones identified by the government in the action plan are cumulative. The first two are related to technical requirements and tender specification, both of which are prerequisites for the publication of the web-portal disclosing financial data.

The potential impact of this commitment is considered transformative, as access to information about financial data and expenditure of various government agencies in such an accessible format would change business as usual, and significantly increase transparency of government expenditure. An overarching goal is to make government financial information more accessible to both external and internal users in a user-friendly manner. The new publication format would make it possible to search published data, and provide a basis for analysis and comparison of resource consumption across enterprises, and, over time, in open data format, which was not possible previously. The availability of the web-portal is considered—by investigative journalists and others interested in 'big data'—a vital and significant undertaking.

Completion

The beta version of the web-portal 'Statsregnskapet' (State public account) was made available in summer 2017. Although outside this report’s review period, it was publicly launched in October 2017, and is updated monthly.[Note: The financial data are available at https://statsregnskapet.dfo.no/. ] The new portal provides financial data for each gross budgeted central government agency. This commitment is completed on time.[Note: The portal was made available to the public a few days later than the set end date in the action plan. This slight delay is irrelevant, however, when compared to the overall achievement.]

Currently, all government enterprises reporting to the Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ) (212) are included in the state public account.[Note: The IRM researcher has reviewed the web portal and double-checked this. In addition to being presented in an edited format, the website of the directorate, www.dfo.no, also publishes monthly reports in Excel file format for state enterprises reporting to the directorate.] The Ministry of Finance is satisfied with the results so far and believes the number of government enterprises that report to the DFØ will increase, and continuously be integrated into the system.[Note: Interview with commitment PoC Knut Klepsvik, Ministry of Finance, 15 November 2017.]

The Norwegian Press Association has been consulted on several occasions during implementation and has provided advice on how information on financial data should be made available. As noted by the representative of the association in an interview, the edited format of the financial data in the new portal may make it less useful for journalists. It is too early to tell how useful the portal will be, and to what extent journalists and other stakeholders will use it.[Note: Telephone interview with journalist Siri Gedde Dahl, member of the Norwegian Press’ Committee for Public Information, 15 November 2017.]

Next Steps

As Statsregnskapet is a new tool, and not all government enterprises report to DFØ, it is recommended that:

The government evaluate the results and use of the web-portal to identify improvements and changes that may be implemented. This should be done by involving stakeholders and end users of this information, such as investigative journalists.

The Ministry of Finance work to ensure that the number of public bodies reporting to the DFØ increases.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

4. Disclosure of financial data

Commitment Text:

Background: Since 2010, the Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ) has published government accounting data by chapter/item equivalent to the annual Report to the Storting 3 on government accounts. The publication has not been in machine-readable form until 2015. The Ministry of Finance has stated in the Yellow Book 2016 that the Ministry and the Government Agency for Financial Management will develop a publishing solution to make more financial information more easily accessible to more users. This is in line with fundamental values such as democratic participation, confidence in the public sector and public control of the public administration.

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: The Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ) today publishes government accounting data by chapter/item equivalent to the annual Report to the Storting 3 on government accounts. St. 3 on government accounts. The data is difficult to use for analysis and is difficult to access. From January 2016, the publication will be supplemented with accounting data according to account type (standard chart of accounts) for gross budgeted administrative bodies that report accounting data to DFØ in machine-readable form as a data dump.

Main Objective: An overarching goal for the publication solution is to make more government financial information more accessible to both external and internal users in a user-friendly manner. The solution shall make it possible to search in published data, and provide a basis for analysis and comparison of resource consumption across enterprises and over time in open data format.

Brief Description of Commitment: Facilitate a solution for publishing financial data on an aggregated, 3-digit level according to a standard chart of accounts, for each enterprise, to be published every month. The solution shall also accommodate future expansions of the basic data (state-owned enterprises that do not report expense data to the government accounts today). Relevance: The publishing solution shall safeguard fundamental values such as democratic participation, confidence in the public sector and public control of the public administration.

Ambition: The solution shall be intended for users inside and outside the state administration, and shall be operational from 01/10/2017.

Responsible institution: The Ministry of Finance

Supporting institution(s): Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ)

Start date: 1 May 2016  End date: 1 October 2017

Editorial note: This commitment is clearly relevant to OGP values as written, has transformative potential impact, and is substantially or completely implemented and therefore qualifies as a starred commitment. 
Commitment Aim:

The commitment aims to publish disaggregated financial data according to public agencies, making this data available in a machine-readable and searchable format with monthly updates. The goal is to make government financial information more accessible to both external and internal users in a user-friendly manner. The new publication format would make it possible to search published data, and provide a basis for analysis and comparison of resource consumption across enterprises.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

The beta version of the web-portal “Statsregnskapet” (State public account) was made available in summer 2017. For more information, please see the 2014–2015 IRM midterm report. 

End-of-Term: Complete

This commitment is completed on time.[Note14: The portal was made available to the public a few days later than the set date in the action plan. This slight delay is irrelevant, however, when compared to the overall achievement.] Statregnskapet was publicly launched in October 2017, and is updated monthly.[Note15: The financial data, https://statsregnskapet.dfo.no/. ] The new portal provides financial data for each gross budgeted central government agency. Currently, 193 government enterprises reporting to the Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ) are included in the state public account.[Note16: The IRM researcher has reviewed the web portal and double-checked this. In addition to being presented in an edited format, the website of the directorate, www.dfo.no, also publishes monthly reports in Excel file format for state enterprises reporting to the directorate.] The Ministry of Finance is satisfied with the results so far and believes the number of government enterprises that report to the DFØ will increase, and will be continuously integrated into the system.[Note17: Interview with commitment PoC Knut Klepsvik, Ministry of Finance, 15 November 2017 and 2 October 2018.]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Major

Prior to the launch of Statsregnskapet, financial data was accessible, but not in the same user-friendly manner. The new portal has improved disclosure, making it possible to compare resource consumption across government enterprises, fluctuations in costs compared to previous years and monthly costs compared to the last year reported. For example, allocations for specific expense chapters such as government funding of public health services[Note18: Specialist health services, expense chapter 1030.] are accessible, but it also provides improved access to information related to specific government enterprises within a given chapter, such as public funding to a given entity providing public health services in a given region, monthly fluctuations of the costs etc.[Note19: This for instance shows that so far in 2018, public expenditure to the Northern Norway Regional Health Authority (providing health services in Northern Norway through four health trusts) has been reduced by 3.3 percent compared to 2017, and that its share of expense chapter 073275 is 8.5 percent, marking a decrease of 6.5 percent compared to 2017 (as of 23 October 2018, monthly figures for the eight first months of 2018 are included) . See (in Norwegian only), https://statsregnskapet.dfo.no/inntekter-og-utgifter/formal/10-helse-og-omsorg/1030-spesialisthelsetjenester/000732-regionale-helseforetak/00073275-basisbevilgning-helse-nord-rhf ] This represents a major achievement in the public’s access to financial information in Norway. Nonetheless, while acknowledging the improvement, media sources have noted that the edited format makes it less useful for investigative journalists who would have preferred open data.[Note20: Telephone interview with journalist Siri Gedde Dahl, member of the Norwegian Press’ Committee for Public Information, 15 November 2017.]

Carried Forward?

This commitment will not be carried forward in the next action plan.


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