Skip Navigation
Norway

e-Access and Expansion (NO0056)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Norway Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation/ ITPOL/Live Heltberg

Support Institution(s): Organizations of the press

Policy Areas

Access to Information, Right to Information

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

E-access and potential expansion of e-access in the municipal sector The commitment has been included in supplementary letter of award no. 5, 2018 for Difi. No time limit has been defined for the work. Reporting will follow the ordinary reporting routines for tasks assigned in a letter of award. Responsible body Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation is requesting Difi to conduct a survey of the potential for expansion of the e-access solution in the municipal sector. Many municipalities already use online solutions for publication of their electronic journals. The survey should be able to provide an overview of which municipalities currently have alternative solutions for publication and access and those which do not have any such solutions at all. The survey should be able to comment on the prerequisites of the municipalities to implement the common solution and the administrative and economic consequences of such use, both for the owners of the solution and for the individual municipalities. What problem for the general public is the commitment aimed to solve? We have no overview of how the right of access is safeguarded in the municipal sector. There is no re-quirement either for the publication of public journals in the municipal sector. Difi and the City of Oslo have, through the new access solution, e-access, made provisions so that the municipalities who would like to facilitate access can adopt the solution if they wish. Many municipalities have their own online solutions for the publication of electronic journals. Some of them do not have any digital access solutions at all. We do not currently know the number of municipalities that fall into each category. We do not know what administrative processing and archiving system is being used. Knowledge of this would provide a better basis for clarifying the prerequisites for municipalities that do not have access solutions being able to adopt e-access. 22 What is the commitment? Survey the potential for expansion of the e-access solution in the municipal sector. How will the commitment contribute to solving the problem? The survey results will not contribute to solving the problem, but they will give the Ministry a better basis for determining how expansion of e-access in the municipal sector should be organised, with a view to increasing the number of municipalities that have access solutions. How is this commitment relevant to the OGP’s fundamental values? The commitment can contribute to improving the availability of public documents. Additional information Currently, the only binding regulations governing the publication of public journals on the Internet (i.e. e-access) are Section 6, first paragraph of the Free-dom of Information Regulations, which are aimed at a number of central government entities. This is limited by Section 6, third paragraph of the Freedom of Information Regulations, which lists specific exemptions from such publication. There are no legal grounds/authority to instruct municipal entities to publish a public journal on the Internet. Surveying the need for e-access in the municipalities is necessary. Cost assessments must be made before the e-access solution is adopted by the municipalities. A business model must be prepared for how the costs will be shared for the implementation and use of e-access in the municipalities. Milestones Start date End date Survey 2019 2019 Contact information Person responsible from the implementing body Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation/ ITPOL/Live Heltberg Entity Difi E-mail/Telephone Other public participants Collaborative civil society organisations, cross-sectoral working groups, etc. Organisations of the press

IRM Midterm Status Summary

3. E-access and potential expansion of e-access in the municipal sector

Main Objective

"The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation is requesting Difi to conduct a survey of the potential for expansion of the e-access solution in the municipal sector. Many municipalities already use online solutions for publication of their electronic journals. The survey should be able to provide an overview of which municipalities currently have alternative solutions for publication and access and those which do not have any such solutions at all. The survey should be able to comment on the prerequisites of the municipalities to implement the common solution and the administrative and economic consequences of such use, both for the owners of the solution and for the individual municipalities.

Survey the potential for expansion of the e-access solution in the municipal sector.

The survey results will not contribute to solving the problem, but they will give the Ministry a better basis for determining how expansion of e-access in the municipal sector should be organised, with a view to increasing the number of municipalities that have access solutions."

Milestones

  • Survey (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
Under Commitment 2 from Norway's third action plan (2016-2018), the Norwegian Digitalisation Agency launched the eInnsyn platform for electronic public records. eInnsyn improved the availability of electronic journaling as compared to the previous public electronic records system. [12] However, this platform is not currently used by municipalities (except for Oslo). With the eInnsyn platform already in place, this commitment in the current action plan seeks to gather knowledge on its potential usage for municipalities. Currently, the quality and availability of archived documents in municipalities varies significantly, and municipal authorities lack systematic information on archiving practices. [13] According to the regulations following the Freedom of Information Act, it is not mandatory for municipalities to publish journals online. [14] For state public authorities, eInnsyn is free to use, whereas municipalities will have to pay Norwegian Digitalisation Agency for the service provided.

For this commitment, Norwegian Digitalisation Agency will conduct a survey of Norwegian municipalities to analyse how they currently publish their records. The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation (KMD) will then use the survey's results to determine how best to expand e-access in the municipal sector, with the aim of increasing the number of municipalities that have access solutions. While the survey itself will not directly lead to greater public access to government-held information, its findings could result in more Norwegian municipalities providing electronic access to their records. Therefore, the commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information.

The planned survey could provide KMD with better understanding of how it may improve archiving practices in Norwegian municipalities. However, the potential impact of this commitment is minor, as the survey would only serve as an internal diagnostic tool for the government. The Association of Norwegian Editors, Norwegian Press Association, and Norwegian Union of Journalists have previously voiced their concern that it should be mandatory for municipalities to publish their journals. This may be done by changing the regulations related to the Freedom of Information Act, mainly by adding regions and municipalities as public authorities obliged to publish their records. [15]

The IRM recommends the government initiate a legal review to strengthen and harmonise record-keeping and archiving requirements for municipalities and state public authorities. Similar to Commitment 1 (which pertained to archiving practices among national-level government bodies), the IRM also recommends developing guidelines for Norwegian municipalities on maintaining good archiving practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

[12] Independent Reporting Mechanism, Norway End-of-Term Report 2016–2018, pg 13, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Norway_End-Term_Report_2016-2018_EN.pdf
[13] IRM researcher, telephone interview with Stein Magne Os, Norwegian Digitalisation Agency, 26 March 2020
[14] Freedom of Information Act regulations, https://lovdata.no/dokument/SF/forskrift/2008-10-17-1119 (in Norwegian only)
[15] Letter sent from the three organisations to the government as part of the consultation process for the development of the fourth action plan, 18 October 2018.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership