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Norway

Archiving Documents (NO0054)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Norway Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Culture

Support Institution(s): The National Archives of Norway

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Norway Design Report 2019-2021

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Guidance for the fulfilment of the duty to journalling and archiving documents
1 February 2018 to 1 June 2019
Responsible body Ministry of Culture
Description
What problem for the general public
is the commitment aimed to solve?
The central government shall give everyone the
opportunity to both control the administrative
procedures in public agencies and to participate
in democratic processes. Access to public agency
documents requires that the agencies record and
archive case documents and give the population
access to the records. With the increasing production of digital case documents and the increasing
communication of these via e-mail, there is a risk
that digital case documents are not journaled or
archived.
What is the commitment? Produce guides and educational materials for
government agencies on the duty to journalling
and archiving documents.
How will the commitment contribute
to solving the problem?
The risk that documents for which journalling
and archiving are required are not recorded and
archived will be reduced.
How is this commitment relevant to
the OGP’s fundamental values?
The commitment opens up the possibility of
releasing more information, improving the quality
of the information available and/or improving the
availability of the information, so that it is more
accessible to the general public.
Additional information
19
Milestones Start date End date
Survey the current guides, and survey
the needs and problem areas.
1 February 2018 30 June 2018
Prepare requirements for new guidance
materials
30 June 2018 30 September 2018
Produce new guides and educational
materials. Test these out.
1 October 2018 31 March 2019
Finalise the guidance materials. 1 April 2019 1 June 2019
Contact information
Person responsible from the
implementing body
Magnar Nordtug
Entity Ministry of Culture
E-mail/Telephone Magnar.Nordtug@kud.dep.no / +47 22 24 80 69
Other public participants The National Archives of Norway
Collaborative civil society
organisations, cross-sectoral
working groups, etc.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

1. Guidance for the fulfilment of the duty to journaling and archiving documents

Main Objective

"The central government shall give everyone the opportunity to both control the administrative procedures in public agencies and to participate in democratic processes. Access to public agency documents requires that the agencies record and archive case documents and give the population access to the records. With the increasing production of digital case documents and the increasing communication of these via e-mail, there is a risk that digital case documents are not journaled or archived.

Produce guides and educational materials for government agencies on the duty to adastere and archiving documents."

Milestones

  • Survey the current guides, and survey the needs and problem areas (1 February 2018 - 30 June 2018).
  • Prepare requirements for new guidance materials (30 June 2018 - 30 September 2018)
  • Produce new guides and educational materials. Test these out (1 October 2018 - 31 March 2019)
  • Finalise the guidance materials (1 April 2019 - 1 June 2019).

Editorial Note: For the complete text of this commitment, please see Norway's action plan at https://www.regjeringen.no/en/dokumenter/norges-handlingsplan-4---open-government-partnership-ogp/id2638814/

IRM Design Report Assessment

Verifiable:

Yes

Relevant:

Access to information

Potential impact:

Minor

Commitment Analysis

This commitment aims to improve the archiving practices of Norwegian public authorities. All public authorities in Norway are required to archive incoming and outgoing documents, per the country's Freedom of Information Act. However, in 2017, the Office of the Auditor General reported that governmental bodies in Norway do not always sufficiently live up to these mandatory archiving and recording-keeping practices. [1] Poor record keeping by government bodies can negatively impact the work of journalists, who rely on expedient archiving and up-to-date public documents. According to a representative from the Ministry of Culture, the situation is exacerbated by communication via email, where the emails themselves (not just attachments) need to be archived. [2]

Although Norway already has a good technical solution for archiving documents through the public electronic records (eInnsyn), [3] record keeping has been practiced differently among the 121 governmental bodies currently using the system. [4] For example, according to the Auditor General's 2017 report, eight out of 17 Norwegian ministries do not publish records of internal documents. [5]

Under this commitment, the Ministry of Culture will survey current guidelines, needs, and practices in the area of record keeping among government bodies. It will then use the findings to develop new guidelines and educational materials, which will be tested out before they are finalised. While the commitment will not directly lead to the publication of information, the new guidelines aim to improve the availability of government documents through better archiving practices. Therefore, the commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information. The new guidelines and educational materials are verifiable, though the commitment lacks details on the planned survey of current practices among government bodies.

If developed and circulated, the new guidelines could help standardise record-keeping practices among Norwegian public authorities. This in turn could improve the ability of public authorities to respond to FoI requests in a timely manner and provide authorities with better information on how to fulfill their duties to archiving and record keeping. However, according to the action plan, the Ministry of Culture expected to conduct the survey of current practices was expected to be completed by 30 June 2018, and finalise the new guidance materials by 1 June 2019, prior to the official start of the action plan (1 July 2019). Furthermore, according to the Norwegian Union of Journalists, the development of guidelines alone is unlikely not sufficient to improve the situation. [6] As this commitment seeks to take preliminary steps towards better archiving practices, the potential impact is considered minor.

Moving forward, after the guidance materials are tested and finalised, the IRM recommends conducting follow-up activities to ensure they are followed by public authorities and adjusted as needed. Furthermore, the IRM recommends that the new materials include guidance for public authorities on record keeping and responding to FoI requests in a timely manner during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government could consider working with the Norwegian Union of Journalists to jointly develop these guidelines on record-keeping practices during the pandemic.

[1] Auditor General, Dokument 3:10 (2016–2017) Riksrevisjonens undersøkelse av arkivering og åpenhet i statlig forvaltning (available in Norwegian): https://www.riksrevisjonen.no/rapporter-mappe/no-2016-2017/arkivering-og-apenhet-i-statlig-forvaltning/, accessed 24 April 2020.
[2] IRM researcher, telephone interview with Magnar Nordtug, Ministry of Culture, 26 March 2020.
[3] For more information see: https://einnsyn.no/sok?sort=
[4] Auditor General (2017), Dokument 3:10 (2016–2017) Riksrevisjonens undersøkelse av arkivering og åpenhet i statlig forvaltning (available in Norwegian): https://www.riksrevisjonen.no/rapporter-mappe/no-2016-2017/arkivering-og-apenhet-i-statlig-forvaltning/, accessed 24 April 2020.
[5] Ibid, p. 86
[6] Statement by representative of Norwegian Union of Journalists at multi-stakeholder meeting for the implementation of the fourth action plan, 25 November 2019.

Commitments

  1. Archiving Documents

    NO0054, 2019, Capacity Building

  2. Making Energy Statistics Available

    NO0055, 2019, Anti-Corruption

  3. e-Access and Expansion

    NO0056, 2019, Access to Information

  4. Open Cultural Data

    NO0057, 2019, Access to Information

  5. Digital Spatial Planning

    NO0058, 2019, E-Government

  6. Streamline Public Procurement

    NO0059, 2019, Anti-Corruption

  7. Preventing Corruption

    NO0060, 2019, Anti-Corruption

  8. Beneficial Ownership Registry

    NO0061, 2019, Anti-Corruption

  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, Access to Information

  13. Transparency Regarding Rainforest Funds

    NO0049, 2016, E-Government

  14. State Employees’ Ownership of Shares

    NO0050, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  15. Promote Freedom of Expression and Independent Media

    NO0051, 2016, Civic Space

  16. Country-By-Country Reporting

    NO0052, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  17. Starred commitment Register for Ultimate Beneficial Ownership

    NO0053, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  18. Public Review and Public Consultation

    NO0020, 2013, Capacity Building

  19. Registering and Preserving Digital Documentation Produced by Public Bodies

    NO0021, 2013, Access to Information

  20. The Norwegian Citizen Survey (Innbyggerundersøkelsen)

    NO0022, 2013, Public Participation

  21. Whistleblowing

    NO0023, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  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, Access to Information

  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, Anti-Corruption

  29. Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector

    NO0031, 2013, Security & Public Safety

  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, Anti-Corruption

  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

  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, Access to Information

  38. Re-Use of Public Sector Information (PSI)

    NO0040, 2013, Access to Information

  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, Anti-Corruption

  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 Openness

  54. Transparency in the Management of Oil and Gas Revenues / Financial Transparency – Combat Tax Evasion

    NO0012, 2011, Fiscal Openness

  55. Transparency in the Management of Oil and Gas Revenues / Financial Transparency – Multi-National Companies

    NO0013, 2011, Fiscal Openness

  56. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government – Create Central Communication Policy

    NO0014, 2011, Fiscal Openness

  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, Access to Information

  60. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government – National Public Opinion Survey

    NO0018, 2011,

  61. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government

    NO0019, 2011, Public Participation

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