Department of National IT Policy and Public Governance

The department has coordination responsibility for the public administration policy and the national ICT policy, for parts of the data protection policy and for electronic communications. The responsibility includes work on digitalisation and innovation in the public sector, the Personal Data Regulations and administrative responsibility for the Norwegian Data Protection Authority and the Privacy Appeals Board. The department is also responsible for the supervision of the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) and for the Norwegian Communications Authority. The department is the professional secretariat for both the Minister of Digitalisation Nikolai Astrup (ICT policy, parts of the data protection policy and electronic communications and for the Minister of Local Government and Modernisation Monica Mæland (public administration policy). The department is led by Director Jan Hjelle.

The pubic administration policy is about developing a public administration that is efficient, user-friendly and has a high level of trust in the public sector.  This requires greater innovation and coordinated use of instruments such as governance, organisation, management, communication and development of expertise.

The public administration policy establishes a common framework for how the public administration should function and be organised. Each sector, ministry and subordinate agency has an independent responsibility to organise itself and work toward achieving the political goals.

The ICT policy is about identifying cross-sectoral challenges and initiating, coordinating and following-up cross-cutting measures. The ICT policy involves all sectors of society and is an important prerequisite for achieving simplification and efficiency improvement in the public sector. The ICT policy also helps to promote innovation and value creation in the business sector and to ensure sustainable and inclusive development of society.

Protection of privacy is a human right that follows from both Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 102 of the Constitution. Protection of privacy is about the protection of personal integrity and the right of individuals to have control over their own personal data. These are fundamental and necessary values in a democratic society.

The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation has the overall responsibility for parts of the Government’s data protection policy and for the Personal Data Regulations. The Ministry has administrative responsibility for the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, which manages the data protection regulations and the Privacy Appeals Board, which processes appeals against the decisions of the Norwegian Data Protection Authority. The responsibility for the Personal Data Act lies with the Ministry of Justice and Public Security.

Electronic communications are about communication services that use resources from the electromagnetic frequency spectrum.  The aim is that users across the country will be offered good and future-oriented services at competitive prices. The Ministry will ensure that all players receive equal competitive conditions through sector-specific competition regulation, while the market itself develops sustainable competition wherever possible.  The Norwegian Communications Authority is the ministry’s subordinate agency, together we manage the national frequency and number resources and oversee that the telecom companies meet their obligations to ensure that the telecommunications networks are as secure as possible and can withstand serious cyber attacks and the stresses of extreme weather.

The department has a large international network of contacts in its fields. The department is responsible for the coordination of Norwegian monitoring of EU ICT policy, including several ICT-related programmes.

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