Norway

   

Executive Capacity

#5
Key Findings
Reflecting a broadly consensual society, Norway’s scores for executive capacity are in the top ranks (rank 5) worldwide. Its score on this measure has declined by 0.1 point relative to 2014.

Careful strategic planning, with participation by experts, guides decision-making. The Ministry of Finance is a key actor in long-term planning, while the Office of the Prime Minister coordinates rather than evaluates policies, working closely with line ministries. Cabinet cohesion is strong, and the coalition-government tradition necessitates coordination among coalition members.

RIAs are frequently performed but not mandatory. Stakeholders are integrated in the legislative process, with societal consensus the goal, though increasingly tight deadlines can limit external influence. While implementation efficiency is generally good, slowdowns and barriers to several major reform projects have exposed difficulties.

Policy is becoming increasingly centralized at the state level, with some tension over the extent of local governments’ discretionary powers. While not an EU member, Norway adopts much of that entity’s legislation. An agreement normalizing government-level relations with China drew concern, as it prevents Norway from criticizing Chinese government policies on human rights and related issues.

Strategic Capacity

#6

How much influence do strategic planning units and bodies have on government decision-making?

10
 9

Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions, and they exercise strong influence on government decision-making.
 8
 7
 6


Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions. Their influence on government decision-making is systematic but limited in issue scope or depth of impact.
 5
 4
 3


Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions. Occasionally, they exert some influence on government decision-making.
 2
 1

In practice, there are no units and bodies taking a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions.
Strategic Planning
7
Significant strategic planning takes place in the course of governmental decision-making. The Ministry of Finance is a key actor in the long-term planning process, and also presents views during the annual budget cycle on how best to cope with long-term economic challenges and the financing of the welfare state.

The typical procedure for major decisions or reforms entails the following steps: First, the government appoints an ad hoc committee tasked with delivering a detailed report on a particular issue. Some of these committees are composed exclusively of experts, while others have a broader membership that includes politicians and representatives of interested parties such as unions, business confederations and other non-governmental organizations.

For instance, a report to the Ministry of Finance would typically be drafted by high-profile academic economists along with representatives of unions, employers and the central bank. When this procedure leads to legislative action, a proposal is drafted and distributed to interested parties, who are invited to make comments and suggestions (a period of three months for comments is recommended, and six weeks is the minimum period allowed).

Only after comments have been received will the government prepare a proposal for parliament, sometimes in the form of a parliamentary bill, but occasionally only as an initial white paper. Governments deviate from this procedure only in cases of emergency, and any attempt to circumvent it would lead to public criticism.

There is an established procedure for the approval of the annual budget. Activity starts a year in advance, when the government holds three conferences on the budget proposal. The finance minister presents an initial proposal to parliament in the first week of October. A parliamentary committee plays an active role in the budget process, making concrete proposals for the distribution of resources. This proposal becomes the basis of parliamentary discussion. After the parliament approves a proposal for the allocation of resources, it becomes binding for subsequent, more detailed discussions that take place in various parliamentary committees. By December 15, this work is concluded and the final budget is approved by the full parliament.

The shortcomings in governance that were revealed in the course of the July 22 terrorist attacks and their aftermath have resulted in a general downgrade in the scores associated with executive capacity. However, these shortcomings have been mostly rectified in the past several years.

How influential are non-governmental academic experts for government decisionmaking?

10
 9

In almost all cases, the government transparently consults with a panel of non-governmental academic experts at an early stage of government decision-making.
 8
 7
 6


For major political projects, the government transparently consults with a panel of non-governmental academic experts at an early stage of government decision-making.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, the government transparently consults with a panel of non-governmental academic experts at an early stage of government decision-making.
 2
 1

The government does not consult with non-governmental academic experts, or existing consultations lack transparency entirely and/or are exclusively pro forma.
Scholarly Advice
8
There is a significant degree of academic influence on policymaking in Norway. Economic and social research helps guide policy to a significant degree. Academics are regularly involved in government-appointed committees for the preparation of legislation. On a more informal level, various departments regularly consult academic experts from a range of academic disciplines. Academics are active in public debate (e.g., by writing newspaper articles) and their views often prompt replies and comments from senior politicians.

Interministerial Coordination

#24

Does the government office / prime minister’s office (GO / PMO) have the expertise to evaluate ministerial draft bills substantively?

10
 9

The GO / PMO has comprehensive sectoral policy expertise and provides regular, independent evaluations of draft bills for the cabinet / prime minister. These assessments are guided exclusively by the government’s strategic and budgetary priorities.
 8
 7
 6


The GO / PMO has sectoral policy expertise and evaluates important draft bills.
 5
 4
 3


The GO / PMO can rely on some sectoral policy expertise, but does not evaluate draft bills.
 2
 1

The GO / PMO does not have any sectoral policy expertise. Its role is limited to collecting, registering and circulating documents submitted for cabinet meetings.
GO Expertise
8
The Office of the Prime Minister has a small to medium-sized staff of 30 to 50 people, about 10 of which are political advisers, with the rest being professional bureaucrats. The office is not tasked with evaluating policy proposals in detail, but rather works to coordinate activities, ensure that government policies are roughly aligned, and monitor whether policy planning is adequate and is following prescribed procedures. The office has sufficient expertise and capacity for these purposes, and is considered to be an elite department with very highly skilled employees. The tradition of coalition governments in Norway involves strong coordination activity among the government coalition partners.

Can the government office / prime minister’s office return items envisaged for the cabinet meeting on the basis of policy considerations?

10
 9

The GO/PMO can return all/most items on policy grounds.
 8
 7
 6


The GO/PMO can return some items on policy grounds.
 5
 4
 3


The GO/PMO can return items on technical, formal grounds only.
 2
 1

The GO/PMO has no authority to return items.
GO Gatekeeping
9
The Office of the Prime Minister plays an important role in coordinating government policy and ensuring a consistent and coherent legislative program, especially in situations when line ministries are in disagreement. It is able to and often does return materials to departments for further elaboration, and frequently works directly with departments on draft proposals. Both the gatekeeping and general policy-oversight functions are shared with the ministries of Finance and Justice.

To what extent do line ministries involve the government office/prime minister’s office in the preparation of policy proposals?

10
 9

There are inter-related capacities for coordination in the GO/PMO and line ministries.
 8
 7
 6


The GO/PMO is regularly briefed on new developments affecting the preparation of policy proposals.
 5
 4
 3


Consultation is rather formal and focuses on technical and drafting issues.
 2
 1

Consultation occurs only after proposals are fully drafted as laws.
Line Ministries
8
Responsibility for the preparation of policies lies with line ministries. As a matter of routine, line ministries will involve the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice, when addressing potentially controversial matters and for the purpose of coordinating with other policies. This interaction often involves ongoing two-way communication during the planning process. Initiatives lacking support by the Office of the Prime Minister would not win cabinet approval.

How effectively do ministerial or cabinet committees coordinate cabinet proposals?

10
 9

The large majority of cabinet proposals are reviewed and coordinated first by committees.
 8
 7
 6


Most cabinet proposals are reviewed and coordinated by committees, in particular proposals of political or strategic importance.
 5
 4
 3


There is little review or coordination of cabinet proposals by committees.
 2
 1

There is no review or coordination of cabinet proposals by committees. Or: There is no ministerial or cabinet committee.
Cabinet Committees
1
There is little use of formal cabinet committees within Norway’s political system. The whole cabinet meets several times a week and generally works together as a full-cabinet committee.

However, there are meetings in subcommittees, such as the subcommittee dealing with security issues. There is also coordination between key officials representing the political parties that form the coalition government. The coalition partners have, for instance, created a subcommittee within the cabinet that coordinates issues on difficult or sensitive topics and a special subgroup for European affairs.

How effectively do ministry officials/civil servants coordinate policy proposals?

10
 9

Most policy proposals are effectively coordinated by ministry officials/civil servants.
 8
 7
 6


Many policy proposals are effectively coordinated by ministry officials/civil servants.
 5
 4
 3


There is some coordination of policy proposals by ministry officials/civil servants.
 2
 1

There is no or hardly any coordination of policy proposals by ministry officials/civil servants.
Ministerial Bureaucracy
7
Senior civil servants and political appointees play an important role in preparing cabinet meetings. This process follows fixed procedures, and matters must be appropriately prepared before being presented to the cabinet. This includes the creation of documentation alerting cabinet ministers to the essentials of a proposal, thus allowing cabinet meetings to focus on strategic issues and avoid being distracted by routine business details. Most issues on the agenda have been prepared well before the meeting.

How effectively do informal coordination mechanisms complement formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination?

10
 9

Informal coordination mechanisms generally support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 8
 7
 6


In most cases, informal coordination mechanisms support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, informal coordination mechanisms support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 2
 1

Informal coordination mechanisms tend to undermine rather than complement formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
Informal Coordination
7
Cabinet ministers meet frequently and keep in close touch with one other on issues of policy. Efforts have been made to encourage cross-ministerial relationships on the level of lower officials as well. There is extensive informal coordination between cabinet and parliamentary committees and party organizations.

Evidence-based Instruments

#7

To what extent does the government assess the potential impacts of existing and prepared legal acts (regulatory impact assessments, RIA)?

10
 9

RIA are applied to all new regulations and to existing regulations which are characterized by complex impact paths. RIA methodology is guided by common minimum standards.
 8
 7
 6


RIA are applied systematically to most new regulations. RIA methodology is guided by common minimum standards.
 5
 4
 3


RIA are applied in some cases. There is no common RIA methodology guaranteeing common minimum standards.
 2
 1

RIA are not applied or do not exist.
RIA Application
8
Norway introduced a system of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) in 1985, and revised it in 1995. The ministers and the government are responsible for providing comprehensive assessments of the potential budgetary, environmental, health and human-rights effects of their proposals. Consequences are to be quantified to the extent possible, including by means of a thorough, realistic socioeconomic analysis. A set of codified guidelines (the Instructions for Official Studies and Reports) governs the production of RIAs. However, the ministry in charge has some discretion to decide when a RIA should be conducted. There is no formal rule establishing when a full RIA must be produced, and when a less detailed assessment is sufficient.

If performed, RIAs are included as a separate section in the ad hoc reports commissioned from experts or broader committees, as well as in white papers and final bills. There is no central body in the government administration that conducts quality control on RIAs, although each department has issued guidelines on how RIAs should be conducted. An interministerial panel on economic impact assessments was established in 2005, bringing together RIA experts from various ministries; this continues to have an advisory function with respect to improving the quality of RIAs. The parliament may send back a proposal if it regards the attached RIA as unsatisfactory. This has actually occurred in a number of cases.

Does the RIA process ensure participation, transparency and quality evaluation?

10
 9

RIA analyses consistently involve stakeholders by means of consultation or collaboration, results are transparently communicated to the public and assessments are effectively evaluated by an independent body on a regular basis.
 8
 7
 6


The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to one of the three objectives.
 5
 4
 3


The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to two of the three objectives.
 2
 1

RIA analyses do not exist or the RIA process fails to achieve any of the three objectives of process quality.
Quality of RIA Process
9
The quality of RIAs associated with parliamentary bills shows great variation, but is generally good. At a minimum, parliamentary bills describe the financial and administrative (governmental) consequences of a proposal. Some also consider environmental and climate effects. Other costs are not quantified systematically or regularly when preparing bills. Affected parties will be also typically be invited to present their views in a public hearing, before a decision is being made. The RIA system is strong in terms of consultation, transparency and creating a broad political consensus around decisions. However, it is weaker in terms of technical quality.

Does the government conduct effective sustainability checks within the framework of RIA?

10
 9

Sustainability checks are an integral part of every RIA; they draw on an exhaustive set of indicators (including social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability) and track impacts from the short- to long-term.
 8
 7
 6


Sustainability checks lack one of the three criteria.
 5
 4
 3


Sustainability checks lack two of the three criteria.
 2
 1

Sustainability checks do not exist or lack all three criteria.
Sustainability Check
7
The government’s Instructions for Official Studies and Reports require that a sensitivity analysis must be made if any appreciable uncertainty exists, and that alternative instruments should be assessed, including instruments not of a regulatory nature (e.g., economic instruments). In practice, the extent to which alternative options are given careful consideration and submitted to a systematic cost-benefit analysis varies from case to case. Quantification of the costs and benefits of different alternatives is relatively rare.

Societal Consultation

#1

To what extent does the government consult with societal actors to support its policy?

10
 9

The government successfully motivates societal actors to support its policy.
 8
 7
 6


The government facilitates the acceptance of its policy among societal actors.
 5
 4
 3


The government consults with societal actors.
 2
 1

The government rarely consults with any societal actors.
Negotiating Public Support
10
Norway is a consensus-oriented society. Interested parties are typically fully informed of measures under discussion and play an active role in the legislative process. In particular, there is a firm tradition of consultation with trade unions and business organizations. Interested parties are invited to express their views before new laws are presented to parliament. Indeed, parliamentary hearings have become more frequent and social confrontations over policymaking (e.g., political strikes or violent forms of protest) have become rarer in recent years. However, as the speed of decision-making is increasing, public-hearing processes often have to cope with short deadlines, limiting the actual influence of external societal actors.

Policy Communication

#4

To what extent does the government achieve coherent communication?

10
 9

The government effectively coordinates the communication of ministries; ministries closely align their communication with government strategy. Messages are factually coherent with the government’s plans.
 8
 7
 6


The government coordinates the communication of ministries. Contradictory statements are rare, but do occur. Messages are factually coherent with the government’s plans.
 5
 4
 3


The ministries are responsible for informing the public within their own particular areas of competence; their statements occasionally contradict each other. Messages are sometimes not factually coherent with the government’s plans.
 2
 1

Strategic communication planning does not exist; individual ministry statements regularly contradict each other. Messages are often not factually coherent with the government’s plans.
Coherent Communication
8
Norway has had coalition governments in recent years. These coalitions have worked effectively, but there will unavoidably be disagreements within any coalition, including in the current conservative-liberal coalition. The dynamics of party politics require that disagreements on important matters find some expression, leading to an occasional lack of clarity in government communications. On the other hand, Norway’s coalitions have been remarkably cooperative and its cabinet members well-behaved, often going to great lengths to avoid airing disagreements in public. It is also common for ministries to offer their opinion on issues – sometimes publicly – which allows for the demonstration of differences of opinion across ministries regarding problems and their solutions. Communication of government policies is often dealt with by the line ministry responsible for the issue at stake.

Implementation

#7

To what extent can the government achieve its own policy objectives?

10
 9

The government can largely implement its own policy objectives.
 8
 7
 6


The government is partly successful in implementing its policy objectives or can implement some of its policy objectives.
 5
 4
 3


The government partly fails to implement its objectives or fails to implement several policy objectives.
 2
 1

The government largely fails to implement its policy objectives.
Government Efficiency
8
The government is a minority government and they depend on support from at least two smaller parties in the parliament. A negotiated agreement governs this relationship, but the agreement has limited influence over budgetary policies. However, it can be expected that this agreement will become increasingly strained and in some instances these support parties will oppose government policy, causing minor “losses” for the government. The potential for conflict between the parties in government has represented one possible impediment to government efficiency, another challenge is gaining support in the parliament. The government can rely on a large, well-trained and capable bureaucracy to implement its policies. However, major educational, health care and local vs regional government reforms have exposed the difficulties in implementing such reforms and demonstrated the need for the government to carefully navigate the needs of different stakeholders and veto players. The government has recently implemented structural reforms of local governance, health care, the police, and the defense and military sector. Though the government faced considerable opposition in some of these areas.

To what extent does the organization of government provide incentives to ensure that ministers implement the government’s program?

10
 9

The organization of government successfully provides strong incentives for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 8
 7
 6


The organization of government provides some incentives for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 5
 4
 3


The organization of government provides weak incentives for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 2
 1

The organization of government does not provide any incentives for ministers to implement the government’s program.
Ministerial Compliance
9
There is a strong tradition of cabinet government in Norway. The cabinet meets several times a week, and government decisions formally need to be made in cabinet. The convention of close ministerial cooperation increases ministers’ identification with the government’s program and makes the government work as a team. As long as divisions between coalition partners are not strong, this system guarantees relatively strong cabinet cohesion, as has been the experience in recent years.

How effectively does the government office/prime minister’s office monitor line ministry activities with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The GO / PMO effectively monitors the implementation activities of all line ministries.
 8
 7
 6


The GO / PMO monitors the implementation activities of most line ministries.
 5
 4
 3


The GO / PMO monitors the implementation activities of some line ministries.
 2
 1

The GO / PMO does not monitor the implementation activities of line ministries.
Monitoring Ministries
8
Norway has a small, consensual and transparent system of governance. The Office of the Prime Minister knows what is going on throughout, or is assumed to know. The cabinet is quite cohesive. There is always a tug-of-war between line and coordinating ministries, but line ministries virtually never deviate from the government line. To do so would require a degree of intergovernmental disagreement and breakdown of discipline that has not been seen for a very long time. The terrorist attacks of July 22 did in part represent a failure to follow up on government decisions made by the relevant line ministries, but these failures have subsequently been by and large rectified.

How effectively do federal and subnational ministries monitor the activities of bureaucracies and executive agencies with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The ministries effectively monitor the implementation activities of all bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 8
 7
 6


The ministries monitor the implementation activities of most bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 5
 4
 3


The ministries monitor the implementation activities of some bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 2
 1

The ministries do not monitor the implementation activities of bureaucracies/executive agencies.
Monitoring Agencies, Bureaucracies
8
Government agencies are subject to monitoring through direct bureaucratic channels and by the activity of the free press. As a rule, executive agencies have autonomy when it comes to their “expertise,” but they rarely act against the directives of the ministries, and there have been very few cases in which agency officials have taken action that could be seen as contrary to government policy. However, it is not unusual that an environmental agency will have different views to an agency responsible for fisheries or oil exploration. The Office of the Auditor General (Riksrevisjonen), which reports to the parliament, plays a key role in monitoring implementation. However, administrative inertia in policy implementation is more prevalent than would be expected in such a well-organized system.

To what extent does the central government ensure that tasks delegated to subnational self-governments are adequately funded?

10
 9

The central government enables subnational self-governments to fulfill all their delegated tasks by funding these tasks sufficiently and/or by providing adequate revenue-raising powers.
 8
 7
 6


The central government enables subnational governments to fulfill most of their delegated tasks by funding these tasks sufficiently and/or by providing adequate revenue-raising powers.
 5
 4
 3


The central government sometimes and deliberately shifts unfunded mandates to subnational governments.
 2
 1

The central government often and deliberately shifts unfunded mandates to subnational self-governments.
Task Funding
8
There is a constant tension between central and local government over the funding of responsibilities imposed on local governments. As welfare policies move more toward ensuring universal rights, the financial and administrative demands placed on the various local units have become more challenging, particularly for some of the smaller units. As a result, local-government funding has been increased. This policy was initially met with great satisfaction by local authorities; however, these bodies rapidly adapted their activities to these new financial flows and relaxed budget discipline which, in turn, led to growing public debt at the local level. Local governments later again began asking the central government for additional funds. In general, regional governments and municipalities are adequately funded, but there have been efforts to promote voluntary structural reforms that would create larger units. However, these reforms have been slow and some have been rejected by voters in local referendums.

To what extent does central government ensure that subnational self-governments may use their constitutional scope of discretion with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The central government enables subnational self-governments to make full use of their constitutional scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 8
 7
 6


Central government policies inadvertently limit the subnational self-governments’ scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 5
 4
 3


The central government formally respects the constitutional autonomy of subnational self-governments, but de facto narrows their scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 2
 1

The central government deliberately precludes subnational self-governments from making use of their constitutionally provided implementation autonomy.
Constitutional Discretion
6
Norway is a unitary state with a tradition of considerable local autonomy. There is ongoing tension between Norway’s local and central governments over the extent of local government’s discretionary powers, and we have observed a long trend of gradually increased centralization around the larger urban areas. Some claim that the central government has increasingly tied the hands of local governments. For example, central government partially controls local government spending by earmarking transferred funds for specific purposes. As part of the current reform agenda, the government has offered to grant greater autonomy to those units that decide to merge and form larger units.

To what extent does central government ensure that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services?

10
 9

Central government effectively ensures that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
 8
 7
 6


Central government largely ensures that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
 5
 4
 3


Central government ensures that subnational self-governments realize national minimum standards of public services.
 2
 1

Central government does not ensure that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
National Standards
8
The Norwegian government is committed to providing public services that are as uniform as possible across the country. Given the large distances involved, and the remoteness of some regions, this implies that peripheral parts of the country receive large (and expensive) transfers, both directly and in the form of infrastructure investments.

Although services are reasonably uniform across the country, this has not been the case for local-government performance in all respects, in particular with respect to financial management.

A number of bodies including the regional prefects (fylkesmannen), the national ombudsman, and similar agencies in the fields of health, patients’ rights and more have been established to ensure the effective and uniform application of rules.

Adaptability

#4

To what extent does the government respond to international and supranational developments by adapting domestic government structures?

10
 9

The government has appropriately and effectively adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational developments.
 8
 7
 6


In many cases, the government has adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational developments.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, the government has adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational.
 2
 1

The government has not adapted domestic government structures no matter how useful adaptation might be.
Domestic Adaptability
8
Government structures have remained fairly stable over time. Norway is not a member of the European Union, but is a member of the European Economic Area. EU policies are therefore routinely transposed and implemented in Norway. EU regulations and legislation affect Norwegian ministries and public administration in much the same way as EU member states are affected.

There are ongoing efforts to improve the institutional framework and further strengthen e-governance, although not primarily in response to international developments.

It is common for new governments to reallocate tasks across ministries. Examples of adaptation include the country’s early establishment of an Environment Ministry, the strengthening of the political leadership devoted to development cooperation, and the recent establishment of a Directorate of Integration and Diversity separate from the body dealing with immigration issues. In general, interdepartmental coordination has increased as a result of international activity, particularly so in relation to the handling of European affairs.

To what extent is the government able to collaborate effectively in international efforts to foster global public goods?

10
 9

The government can take a leading role in shaping and implementing collective efforts to provide global public goods. It is able to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress.
 8
 7
 6


The government is largely able to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. Existing processes enabling the government to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress are, for the most part, effective.
 5
 4
 3


The government is partially able to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. Processes designed to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress show deficiencies.
 2
 1

The government does not have sufficient institutional capacities to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. It does not have effective processes to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress.
International Coordination
8
Norway is a small state dependent on a stable and predictable international order. Over time, Norway has invested significantly in the development of a fair international framework. Norway is active in several international cooperation arrangements, including the United Nations and OECD, and cooperates closely with the European Union. Norway is very diligent in adopting EU legislation. The country is not an EU member state, but still participates in most forms of EU policy coordination as a member of the European Economic Area, with certain exceptions in the areas of agriculture and fisheries. In addition, Norway has numerous agreements with the European Union in the field of internal and external security. However, while the agreements with the European Union are seen as important, they do not give Norway a role in EU decision-making or policy formulation.

Norway has been an active participant in and promoter of various international conventions, forums and activities. Areas of particular interest have been human rights, development and peace. Relative to its size, Norway is a founding member of NATO, and an active member of several international organizations, such as the IMF, the United Nations and the World Bank. The country participates in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Kimberley Initiative on so-called blood diamonds. Norway actively encourages developing countries to join the EITI and is one of four contributors to the World Bank Special Trust Fund tasked with assisting with the fund’s implementation. Norway also supports the initiative on climate risk financial disclosure.

However, in 2017, Norway suffered a setback in its international standing and authority. In order to “normalize” government-level relations with China, the Norwegian government was forced to accept, in a joint statement with the Chinese government, a commitment to not undertake any action that might damage the now good relations between the two countries. This has prevented the Norwegian government from criticizing the Chinese government’s record on human rights and related issues.

Organizational Reform

#5

To what extent do actors within the government monitor whether institutional arrangements of governing are appropriate?

10
 9

The institutional arrangements of governing are monitored regularly and effectively.
 8
 7
 6


The institutional arrangements of governing are monitored regularly.
 5
 4
 3


The institutional arrangements of governing are selectively and sporadically monitored.
 2
 1

There is no monitoring.
Self-monitoring
8
Self-monitoring takes place both informally and formally. On a formal level, there is a parliamentary committee devoted to monitoring whether government and parliamentary activity adheres to the constitutional framework. In addition, the Office of the Auditor General, which reports to parliament, has gradually made itself more assertive while expanding its policy focus. Informally, there is substantial monitoring of the way institutional arrangements affect government functions. For example, ministerial portfolios are shuffled when change is deemed necessary, notably each time there is a change of government.

To what extent does the government improve its strategic capacity by changing the institutional arrangements of governing?

10
 9

The government improves its strategic capacity considerably by changing its institutional arrangements.
 8
 7
 6


The government improves its strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
 5
 4
 3


The government does not improve its strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
 2
 1

The government loses strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
Institutional Reform
8
Institutional reform is an ongoing process, with frequent reorganizations aimed at improving strategic capacity taking place. This includes changes in ministerial responsibilities and portfolios.
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