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Meld. St. 22 (2020–2021)

Data as a resource— Meld. St. 22 (2020–2021) Report to the Storting (white paper)

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8 Economic and administrative consequences

This white paper outlines the main measures the Government believes should be taken towards further development of the data economy in Norway. Better use of data as a resource in the public and private sectors will contribute to increased value creation, new economically sustainable jobs and a more efficient public sector. The Government’s policy will also promote a balanced data economy in line with Norwegian social values and that respects the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual. To preserve trust in Norwegian society, development must take place in a sustainable, safe and responsible manner. The value of data should benefit the private sector, the public sector and society, and data should be used and shared in ways that ensure user-friendly and safe digital products and services to citizens.

The measures in the white paper that have budgetary consequences have already been followed up in the respective ministries’ budget proposal for 2021. In the budget proposal for the Ministry of Local Government for 2021, NOK 16 million was allocated to development of the Data Factory. The DIGITAL programme has a proposed budget of EUR 7.17 billion (in 2021 prices). Norway’s total contribution to DIGITAL is estimated at EUR 180 million (in 2021 prices), which is equivalent to approximately NOK 1.9 billion.

The following measures will be covered by the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation’s budget allocation for 2021: appoint a public committee for cohesive regulation of the reuse of public sector information (data); appoint an interdisciplinary expert group on private sector data sharing that can develop guidelines on responsibility, ownership and usage rights in connection with sharing these types of data; and map and evaluate the data economy in the public sector, including making recommendations on organisational and financing models for sharing data from the public sector for reuse.

The principles for sharing and using data derive from currently applicable requirements and political guidelines in the EU, the OECD and in Norway, and thus will not have major administrative or organisational consequences. The expectations and requirements that can be inferred from the principles already apply for public agencies, while the principles are to be regarded as voluntary and recommended best practice in the private sector. The principles will therefore not create unreasonable burdens on municipalities or businesses. Nonetheless, many businesses must adjust their activities if they are to succeed in the data-driven economy.

Measures that have implications for the municipal sector will be discussed with the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) in accordance with the principles for coordination of digital policy in central and local government.

Under the World Trade Organization (WTO) treaty, the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), Norway is obliged to be open to other WTO members’ service providers. Under GATS, equal treatment in the Norwegian service market therefore applies between Norwegian and foreign service providers. Measures that are implemented in Norway to fulfil EEA obligations will be exempt from GATS. The measures in this white paper will not have consequences for Norway’s WTO obligations.

Norway has a responsibility to contribute towards reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Digitalisation, technology and data-driven innovation are important means to manage many of our present and future societal challenges. This white paper will therefore contribute directly and indirectly to Norway achieving the goals.

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