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Norway

State employees’ ownership of shares (NO0050)

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): NA

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption Institutions, Asset Disclosure, Conflicts of Interest, Legislation & Regulation

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: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: There is no uniform regulation in the ministries' various policies regarding department employees’ ownership and trading in securities Main Objective: Facilitate the ministries’ efforts to prevent problematic conflicts of interest by clarifying the ethical and legal limits on the ownership and trading of securities Brief Description of Commitment (140 character limit): Prepare a legal clarification and specify in the ethical guidelines, which duties can be imposed on government employees in each ministry in terms of ownership and trading of securities. Ambition: Raise ethical awareness regarding the ownership and trading of securities, and clarify the legal issues that arise

IRM Midterm Status Summary

6. State employees’ ownership of shares

Commitment Text:

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: There is no uniform regulation in the ministries' various policies regarding department employees’ ownership and trading in securities

Main Objective: Facilitate the ministries’ efforts to prevent problematic conflicts of interest by clarifying the ethical and legal limits on the ownership and trading of securities

Brief Description of Commitment: Prepare a legal clarification and specify in the ethical guidelines, which duties can be imposed on government employees in each ministry in terms of ownership and trading of securities.

Ambition: Raise ethical awareness regarding the ownership and trading of securities, and clarify the legal issues that arise

Responsible institution: Ministry of Local Government and Modernization

Supporting institution(s): Not specified

Start date: Spring 2016 End date: Autumn 2016

Context and Objectives

Norway has no standardized way to regulate various ministries' policies regarding department employees’ ownership and trading in securities. This commitment will prepare a legal clarification and update the ethical guidelines for government employees. These were last updated in 2012. In 2016, Parliament called upon the government to consider how the economic interests of permanent secretaries in ministries could be registered. The government opted, instead, to provide guidelines on how the economic interests of all government employees should be registered.[Note: Interview with commitment PoC Daniel Elias Quinones Møgster, Ministry of Local Government and Modernization, 4 December 2017.]

While the commitment text is highly specific overall, the commitment itself is not clearly relevant to any OGP values. Ethical guidelines clearly address potential conflicts of interest of government employees who are also shareholders. However, the commitment text does not indicate any public facing measures to ensure compliance or increased accountability. This would have been a prerequisite if the commitment were considered relevant to the OGP value of public accountability.

The potential impact of preparing a legal clarification and updating ethical guidelines could represent a major step forward in ensuring public sector integrity. However, the commitment is limited in its ambition, since it does not indicate how compliance with the guidelines will be ensured, or whether this information will become public. As a result, the potential impact is seen as moderate.

Completion

This commitment is completed. New ethical guidelines for state employees have been published.[Note: https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/etiske-retningslinjer-for-statstjenesten/id88164/. ] Compared to the 2012 version, the newly revised ethical guidelines contain several amendments under chapter 4.2 on shareholder ownership and extra sources of income of government employees. The new guidelines clearly state that there is a potential conflict of interest for government employees who own shares in companies under inspection, or where licenses are being considered or have been granted. For instance, the guidelines emphasize how the Financial Supervision Act[Note: For the Financial Supervision Act, see https://lovdata.no/dokument/NL/lov/1956-12-07-1 (in Norwegian only).] may restrict shareholder ownership in Norwegian companies among employees’ in the Financial Supervisory Authority. The contact point at the Ministry of Local Government and Modernization believes that inclusion in the action plan bolstered the guidelines’ implementation, especially when facing inter-ministerial opposition to changes in the ethical component.[Note: Interview with commitment PoC Daniel Elias Quinones Møgster, Ministry of Local Government and Modernization, 4 December 2017.] Hence, the inclusion of the commitment in the action plan has added value, a perspective confirmed by Transparency International Norway.[Note: Interview with Guro Slettemark, General Secretary Transparency International Norway, 1 December 2017.]

Next Steps

To make this commitment more relevant to transparency, the next action plan should consider establishing a public register of high-level state employees’ ownership.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

6. State employees’ ownership of shares

Commitment Text:

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: There is no uniform regulation in the ministries' various policies regarding department employees’ ownership and trading in securities

Main Objective: Facilitate the ministries’ efforts to prevent problematic conflicts of interest by clarifying the ethical and legal limits on the ownership and trading of securities

Brief Description of Commitment: Prepare a legal clarification and specify in the ethical guidelines, which duties can be imposed on government employees in each ministry in terms of ownership and trading of securities.

Ambition: Raise ethical awareness regarding the ownership and trading of securities, and clarify the legal issues that arise

Responsible institution: Ministry of Local Government and Modernization

Supporting institution(s): Not specified

Start date: Spring 2016  End date: Autumn 2016

Commitment Aim:

This commitment meant to prepare a legal clarification and update the ethical guidelines related to government employees’ ownership and trading in securities. These were last updated in 2012. The commitment text does not indicate any public facing measures to ensure compliance or increased public accountability.

Status

Midterm: Complete

This commitment was completed at midterm. New ethical guidelines for state employees have been published.[Note26: New ethical guidelines, https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/etiske-retningslinjer-for-statstjenesten/id88164/. ] Compared to the 2012 version, the revised guidelines contain several amendments under chapter 4.2 on shareholder ownership and extra sources of income of government employees. For more information, please see the 2016–2017 IRM midterm report. 

No further activities have been carried out since the progress report.

Did It Open Government?

Access to information: Did not change

Civic Participation: Did not change

Public Accountability: Did not change

This commitment was coded as having unclear relevance to the OGP values in the progress report. There are no indications that, as implemented, this commitment has changed government practice in creating openings either for access to information, civic participation or public accountability.

Carried Forward?

This commitment is not 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