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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

  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

Open Government Partnership