Meld. St. 23 (2012-2013)

Digital Agenda for Norway — Meld. St. 23 (2012–2013) Report to the Storting (white paper)

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Part 2
The digital revolution

4 Business and commerce

Figure 4.1 

Figure 4.1

The ICT industry is a vital source of value creation in Norway. Even more important, however, is how the rest of the economy uses ICT products and services to innovate, improve efficiency, and ensure prosperity. In a survey of 2,000 business leaders in Norway, 76 per cent said that development of new ICT systems was increasingly important for competitiveness.1

Annual administrative costs to business and industry for complying with statutory requirements are estimated at NOK 54 billion. Costs for complying with statutory reporting requirements are estimated at NOK 15 billion. The Government has set ambitious simplification goals to reduce administrative costs by NOK 10 billion by the end of 2015.

Because Norway is a small country located on the outskirts of the European market, it is vital that Norwegian enterprises and consumers can participate inside the EU’s digital market and other international arenas.

The Government wants the Norwegian business sector to conduct business digitally, use digital payment systems, and use ICT in efficient and innovative ways – including cloud computing services. Norway is particularly well placed to achieve these goals because, since manual labour is expensive, introducing technology and processes that reduce the need for manual labour will improve profitability. Furthermore, the Norwegian population is mature in using technology and digital payment systems.

The Government’s goal is to digitise Norway’s business sector as much as possible:

  • The Government will facilitate digital systems to improve the efficiency of business processes and cross-border trade.

  • The public sector will take the lead in developing digital systems to serve citizens, organisations, and business and industry.

  • As far as possible, efficient, electronic payment systems will be offered as an alternative to paying in cash.

4.1 Digital business processes

Two key contributions towards simplification are transition to electronic reporting and development of adequate electronic services for business and industry.

Two factors that particularly improve efficiency are reuse of product and payment information in commercial processes (enquiries, orders, invoices, payments) and less dependency on physical documents. For enterprises to adopt digital systems, however, they must perceive them as simple and secure.

Figure 4.2 Level of digitisation in Norwegian companies

Figure 4.2 Level of digitisation in Norwegian companies

Source Statistics Norway: ICT usage in industry, 2011

Most Norwegian companies have few employees and resources; more than 460,000 companies have fewer than ten employees,2 and few of them have digitised their business processes so far. In other words, significant potential exists for improvement.

Textbox 4.1 RFID and the internet of things

RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags are miniature electronic circuits that communicate via a wireless connection, and are used in objects such as passports, electronic tickets, and highway toll passes in cars.

The question of RFID tags replacing bar codes in the retail industry has long been discussed, but so far their use and benefits are mostly enjoyed by supply chain elements not directly visible to consumers. The tags are often used on pallets and packaging processes for monitoring inventory and for fast and efficient registration of warehouse goods.

An increasingly popular expression is the internet of things, which alludes to the growing trend whereby goods and objects are equipped with RFID tags with an assigned IP address that can communicate via the internet. These tags are often connected to various types of sensors that indicate the status or location of tagged objects. These objects can thus communicate with each other, and previously manual processes can be automated. For example, a shop shelf can monitor inventory levels and automatically order more stock from the warehouse when needed.

4.1.1 ICT-based simplification

The Government has emphasized that work on simplification must be consolidated and rendered concrete. The aim is to design the regulatory framework so as to avoid burdening Norwegian enterprises with unnecessary costs and inconvenience and to ensure that public services underpin value creation in the Norwegian economy. Government regulations and information requirements should safeguard society’s needs without requiring enterprises to use resources unnecessarily.

The Government has set one specific goal for simplification: costs incurred by enterprises for complying with statutory reporting requirements and regulations should be reduced by NOK 10 billion by the end of 2015. The Government has already conducted a survey to identify information requirements in business sector legislation. Between 2006 and 2009, the annual cost of resources spent on administrative activities was estimated at NOK 54 billion. The knowledge and experience gained from this survey are being used to achieve the simplification goal.

In the Norwegian economy, 99.5 per cent of enterprises have less than 100 employees, yet regulations that apply to large enterprises often apply to small ones, too, despite their limited resources. Small enterprises will therefore benefit most from simplification initiatives.

In April 2012, the Government presented a simplification strategy for small and medium-sized enterprises, which also addressed the entire business sector.3 The Government has already launched several initiatives to facilitate simplification for Norwegian business and industry:

  • EDAG (electronic dialogue with employers), a new and comprehensive scheme for reporting on employment and wage matters, will be established. The main purpose is to simplify reporting processes by not requiring employers to repeatedly submit the same information. Once the scheme is established, analyses estimate annual savings for employers of around NOK 500 million.

  • The Government has also proposed amendments to the Bookkeeping Act, the Securities Trading Act, and the Estate Agency Act. One such proposal is that enterprises should be free to choose how they store bookkeeping data, and to store them electronically. The Bookkeeping Act’s requirement to prepare specified reports of accounting information will be relaxed.

  • The Government is undertaking extensive work on further developing Altinn, a common electronic platform for public digital services and a web portal for the business sector. Altinn facilitates use of the same components to perform different services provided by different agencies.

  • Since October 2011, the Government has encouraged enterprises and business federations to make concrete proposals for simplification initiatives on the website More than three hundred suggestions were received and forwarded to the appropriate ministries for consideration, and many suggestions are being followed up. The website will also be used actively in future simplification processes.

4.1.2 New invoicing requirements

Electronic invoicing and payment can mean significant savings for enterprises. Several sectors, such as banking, transport, and grocery retailing, have already made significant progress in so-called ‘B2B’ (business-to-business) communication. For example, major players in the Norwegian grocery retail sector now require all their suppliers to use electronic invoicing systems.

The Government will stimulate widespread use of digital business processes. In autumn 2012, the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs issued a circular to all government agencies instructing them to require their suppliers to use invoices and credit notes that comply with Elektronisk handelsformat4[electronic commerce format] (EHF); see Standardisation Regulations.5This requirement applies to all new contracts entered into from 1 July 2012.

EHF is an open format, which means that all finance and accounting systems can develop interfaces necessary to transmit electronic invoices to public agencies.

The public sector is also establishing a new digital infrastructure for transmitting EHF invoices and other business documentation, which will consist of access points for exchanging electronic invoices and other commercial documents in Norway. An access point is a service provider that can receive and forward commercial messages, such as invoices, in a standardised way, regardless of which formats senders and receivers use. Introducing electronic invoices is important for improving public sector efficiency, but it will also strengthen the Norwegian business sector’s competitive and innovative capabilities.

The Norwegian Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ), which receives invoices on behalf of many public agencies, has seen a notable increase in the number of electronic invoices since 2010, when electronic invoices accounted for only 5 per cent of all invoices received by DFØ; in 2012, the proportion of electronic invoices increased to around 13 per cent and continues to grow. It is reasonable to assume that private enterprises that do not submit electronic invoices to public agencies, do not submit them to other private enterprises, either. Requiring electronic invoices in the public sector might therefore encourage the private sector to require them, too.

The Norwegian public sector will also provide electronic invoicing services to private individuals so that those wishing to do so may have invoices forwarded directly to their online bank. Public agencies will also offer arrangements to deduct payments electronically, wherever possible. The Government will initiate steps to make electronic invoices the standard format in the public sector.

Textbox 4.2 PEPPOL

PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement Online) is an EU-funded project aimed at facilitating electronic cross-border procurement processes within Europe. This is currently a difficult task, partly because national technical systems are designed for use in the respective countries only, and because common standards have not been established in all areas. PEPPOL will ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises can offer their goods and services electronically, regardless of which EU country they are based in. The project will be led and coordinated by Difi (Agency for Public Management and eGovernment), Norway, and is jointly financed by the EU and 17 procurement agencies and industry partners from 11 countries. It will primarily address public procurements, but private sector enterprises will also be able to use the standards developed.

The project will ensure that national eProcurement systems in Europe today can interconnect and communicate via a common infrastructure and can cover the entire process from ordering to payment, thereby giving small and medium-sized enterprises access to a large market with more potential public sector customers.

Source More information at:

4.1.3 Cross-border trade

As enterprises are increasingly expected to conduct cross-border business transactions, digitisation will enhance efficiency in international trade. Although much has already been done to digitise trading documents such as customs declarations, transit procedures, and prior notifications of exported and imported goods, much work remains. Certificates of origin, medical certificates, and other important documents are still distributed as scanned copies of originals, which means the next step in the chain must re-register or reinterpret the information. A growing number of freight forwarders, banks, and other third parties are implementing digital systems, but because individual stakeholders often manage these systems, information cannot be reused throughout the supply chain, from raw-material supplier via producer to end customer.

The lack of standards and the current differences between national business models have impeded interoperability and electronic information flow in cross-border trade. Significant work therefore remains before procurement processes and cross-border trade are fully digitised.

Because the lack of standardisation negatively affects competitiveness, the EU is paying considerable attention to this issue, one result of which is Digital Agenda for Europe. The aim of the Government is that Norwegian companies should operate without paper documents – including documents for cross-border business transactions and processes – by 2020.

International trade agreements

Through the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Norway works to create good international framework conditions for trade. Work is ongoing on the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce. This work is partly conducted by the WTO’s Council for Trade in Services, whose members discuss principles for electronic commerce. These principles concern improving efficiency and exploiting opportunities offered by electronic commerce, while safeguarding consumer rights and data protection. The Information Technology Agreement, which involves 70 participant countries representing about 97 per cent of world trade in ICT products, is being revised. Ongoing negotiations concerning a new list of ICT products that may be imported duty-free by member states are expected to conclude in early 2013. Work is also ongoing on trade obstacles other than tariffs under this agreement, and discussions have begun on an agreement for services in which ICT is expected to be a key component.

Guidance for enterprises

New EU directives and initiatives may have significant consequences for Norwegian enterprises conducting cross-border trade, and information and guidance are therefore clearly needed. Enterprise Europe Network is an advisory network for business and industry, with offices in around 50 countries. In Norway, these advisors are affiliated with Innovation Norway, Nofima (Norwegian Institute of Food, Fishery and Aquaculture), IRIS (International Research Institute of Stavanger), and Norut (Northern Research Institute). The advisors specialise in regulation, technology transfer, research projects, business cooperation, and market access in Europe, and provide their services free of charge.

SOLVIT is an online problem-solving network where EU and EEA member states cooperate in solving problems arising when public authorities fail to apply internal market law correctly. SOLVIT centres in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and in all EU member states handle complaints from both citizens and businesses, and are committed to providing concrete solutions within ten weeks. SOLVIT is part of the national administration; it provides its services free of charge. In Norway, the Ministry of Trade and Industry acts as the national SOLVIT centre.

Textbox 4.3 Initiatives

  • 20. Electronic dialogue with employers (EDAG)

    The Government will develop a new, common reporting system for employment and wage matters that will no longer require employers to repeatedly submit the same information.

  • 21. Altinn

    The Government is undertaking extensive work on further developing security and electronic identification (eID) systems in Altinn. In 2013, priorities are to improve the testing regime, develop competencies, and adjust the system to ensure stability and robustness.

  • 22. Simplification for business

    The Ministry of Trade and Industry will continue work on the simplification programme for the business sector, focusing on integrating simplification measures across ministries. The Ministry has created a secretariat to liaise with the business sector and other stakeholders.

  • 23. Paper-based documents in the business sector

    In cooperation with Ministry of Trade and Industry and other relevant ministries, the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs will review legislation to remove obstacles to digital business processes and digital collaboration with the public sector.

  • 24. Submitting electronic invoices to public agencies

    In its circular concerning digitisation, the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs instructs public agencies to require suppliers of goods and services to submit their invoices and credit notes electronically in electronic commerce format (EHF). This requirement applies to all new agreements. The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs recommends that public agencies use the access-point infrastructure administrated by Difi for processing electronic business documents.

  • 25. Electronic invoicing to be the standard

    The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs will invite the financial sector to assist with establishing electronic invoicing as the standard for public sector invoicing.

  • 26. Cross-border digital commerce

    The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs will actively participate in international initiatives to establish digital collaboration across national borders, thereby seeking to ensure that Norwegian enterprises and citizens enjoy the same opportunities as others to participate in such collaboration.

  • 27. Following up PEPPOL

    Difi will follow up PEPPOL project results by participating from 2013 in a new project, Pilot A, under the EU framework programme Basic Cross-Sector Services. The aim of this project is to further develop and roll out solutions from existing PEPPOL components and new e-commerce components.

  • 28. Guidance on international trade for enterprises

    The Ministry of Trade and Industry will continue providing guidance services for enterprises through the Enterprise Europe Network and SOLVIT.

4.2 Consumer e-commerce

In 2011, Norwegians purchased goods and services over the internet worth around NOK 22 billion.6 The number of Norwegians who shop online has increased yearly. Surveys conducted in the second quarter of 2012 showed that 76 per cent had ordered goods or services online during the previous year.7

Figure 4.3 Types of goods and services bought by Norwegians online in 2011

Figure 4.3 Types of goods and services bought by Norwegians online in 2011

Source Statistics Norway: ICT usage in households. 2012, 2nd quarter

One reason for the growth in e-commerce is the high level of consumer trust in payment security. According to TNS Gallup figures, Norwegian consumer trust in online payment security has remained stable at around 90 per cent for the past three years,8 which is significantly higher than in other European countries, where 35 per cent of internet users felt insecure about paying online.9

Increased use of digital business models, of new services, and of new providers creates a need to continually review and adapt current legislation, because data protection, consumer rights, and intellectual property rights are continually being challenged in new ways.

Figure 4.4 Average online consumption the previous six months (euros, per e-shopper)

Figure 4.4 Average online consumption the previous six months (euros, per e-shopper)

Source DIBS E-commerce Survey 2011: A Comprehensive Study of European E-commerce

4.2.1 E-commerce, eID, and eSignatures across national borders

E-commerce across national borders within the EU has not yet been fully embraced; only 3.4 per cent of European retail sales transactions are conducted online.10

Textbox 4.4 Directive on consumer rights

In 2008, the European Commission proposed a consumer rights directive based on the principle of full harmonisation, meaning that member states could not grant better rights than those contained in the directive. The proposal was controversial because several aspects of Norwegian consumer rights would be weakened; for example, Norway could no longer maintain the five-year complaint period for ‘durable’ goods such as refrigerators or computers. The Norwegian Government acted to have the proposed directive modified to prevent the overall level of Norwegian consumer protection from being undermined, and when it was passed in 2011, most of the disputed issues were omitted. The scope of application in the final directive was significantly narrower than that of the original proposal and, from the Norwegian perspective, improved in many aspects; for example, Norway could maintain the five-year complaint period for home appliances and similar products. Overall, the directive did not impair the level of Norwegian consumer protection.

According to the EU, greater safety and security for both enterprises and citizens are the main prerequisites for stimulating the e-commerce market. Another key requirement is that electronic authentication and electronic signature (eSignature) systems work across national borders. The 1999 directive on eSignatures resulted in new regulations in all EU/EEA countries, but because they are not harmonised, conducting cross-border transactions electronically remains difficult.

On 4 June 2012, the European Commission proposed a common legal framework for electronic ID, electronic signatures, and other related trust services.11 These amendments seek to improve electronic collaboration between businesses, citizens, and public authorities across national borders within the EU/EEA and thereby stimulate economic growth in the internal market.

The legislative proposal applies more broadly the current directive on eSignatures and the obligations of electronic trust service providers through, for example, annual audits. It also facilitates mutual recognition of national eID schemes.

Today’s regulations governing electronic signatures will be strengthened, and new regulations will be introduced governing electronic seals, electronic time stamps, electronic documents, electronic delivery services, and website authentication.

The Government will follow up the EU proposal for new regulations on eID and eSignatures.

4.2.2 Norwegian consumer interests

Norway wants to influence the EU’s position in areas of importance for us. For example, certain Norwegian regulations on consumer protection are more stringent than those in the EU. Full harmonisation of EU consumer regulations might impair Norwegian consumers’ rights, not least in the area of e-commerce and distance commerce. Both the Norwegian Consumer Council and the authorities play a key role in monitoring EU proposals and protecting Norwegian consumer interests as much as possible.

Textbox 4.5 Initiatives

  • 29. Updating consumer protection legislation

    The Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion will monitor technology developments closely, and, in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, will continually assess the need for amendments to consumer protection legislation. The Ministry will also closely monitor the EU’s harmonisation plans to safeguard Norway’s high level of consumer protection.

  • 30. Common legal framework for electronic ID and electronic signatures

    In cooperation with the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs, the Ministry of Trade and Industry will follow up the recent EU proposal for legislation on eID and eSignatures.

4.3 Digital payment transactions

Digital payment transactions are payment transactions conducted using payment cards, online banks, mobile phones, or other electronic means of payment. Norway is one of the countries where digital payment services are most used. In 2011, Norwegian banks handled payment transactions worth almost NOK 2 billion (excluding ATM transactions), 98.7 per cent of which were processed electronically. Norway also ranks among the leaders worldwide in payment card usage. On average, 4 million Norwegian payment card transactions are processed daily. Measured in Norwegian kroner, usage has more than doubled in the past 10 years, while the number of transactions has tripled.12

4.3.1 Digital transactions used most

The Norwegian payment system is essentially based on two means of payment: cash and bank deposits. Cash (bank notes and coins) is so-called ‘legal tender,’ meaning that all consumers may demand to pay in cash.

The transition from cash payments to electronic payment systems has been crucial for developing long-distance commerce and for the financial markets. It is vital for a small, open economy like Norway’s to have well-functioning and efficient electronic payment and settlement systems.

Use of electronic payment systems in the retail sector has also expanded considerably, particularly in Norway. The likely explanation for this trend is that Norwegian banks were quick to develop an efficient payment system (the BankAxept debit card system) and began pricing their manual services so that digital options cost customers less.

The transition from cash to electronic payment systems has had a positive impact; growth in online retail commerce was contingent on electronic payment systems in the retail sector. Efficient and secure electronic payment systems have been a key contributor to e-commerce, at the expense of physical retail outlets.

Reduced use of cash will sometimes reduce the risk of crimes for profit. Moreover, using payment cards is often more cost-effective than using cash, because cash is expensive to produce and distribute. The most common means of electronic payment are debit cards, credit cards, and credit transfers (regular giro payments) via online or mobile banking services. In other areas, such as buying and selling second-hand goods and making instant payment transfers between private individuals, cash remains the most popular means of payment.

In 2010 and 2011, the Government proposed new legislation to facilitate development of new digital payment systems.13 In 2010, the Storting passed – in accordance with the Government’s proposal – a new chapter (chapter 5) in the Payment Systems Act to ensure that new market players were given access to digital payment systems on non-discriminatory terms. In 2011, the Storting passed new regulations on electronic money (e-money) institutions to lower the cost of establishing such undertakings and thereby facilitate development of new digital payment systems.

The Government considers it important to continue promoting growth of secure and simple payment systems for all kinds of transactions. Adequate digital alternatives to cash payment can help increase the proportion of digital payment transactions. However, technology development must not be facilitated at the expense of trust, security, and stability in existing payment systems.

4.3.2 New services based on payment information

Consumers today have limited access to information about their own payment transactions, which are stored electronically with the payment recipient, the payment service provider (the bank), and in the consumer’s online bank.

Some banks can ‘tag’ or sort payments according to the type of business from which purchases originate, and can give customers a better overview of their consumption patterns. Other market players offer customers detailed, electronic information on individual purchases (so-called ‘point-of-sale’ information). The proposed regulations for cash register systems,14 currently under review by the Ministry of Finance, offer retail outlets the possibility to provide customers electronic receipts for their transactions.

The Government will consider whether payment information should be made available for reuse, subject to customer consent. Adequate security systems must be developed before banks and shops can be instructed to give third parties access to transaction details stored in their systems. Distribution of risk and liability is another issue that needs resolving. Systems allowing differentiated access to information must be provided so that, for example, customers can grant access to third parties to retrieve information on accounts and transactions but not to other banking functions.

We envisage that making transaction information available for reuse will generate innovation and competition in services using such information. Customers can choose to share their information with new market actors, such as information service providers whose products are better than those provided by their bank, or obtain better overviews than those provided by chain store customer loyalty cards.

4.3.3 Mobile payments in the future

Many Norwegian bank customers today use mobile banking services for checking their bank balance or transferring money between accounts, but few use mobile devices as a means of payment. Whereas many countries have already begun to use mobile devices for conducting payment transactions, Norway has yet to do so.

Near-field communication (NFC) is a technology for very short-range wireless communication, typically down to only a few centimetres. NFC is based on RFID. An increasing number of mobile phone manufacturers are launching models that support NFC. NFC can be applied, for example, as virtual wallets in mobile phones. The phone is filled with digital cash for use in making small payments, not unlike electronic cards used on transport services or in workplace canteens. To reduce loss in case of theft, users can set limits on single or all transactions. Payments are made by briefly touching the payment terminal with the mobile device (‘touch and go’).

So far, few merchants have invested in payment terminals that can handle NFC, partly because the system of ‘chip and PIN’ in Norway works so well. However, the Norwegian Financial Services Association estimates the cost of upgrading terminals to support NFC as negligible, and we therefore expect NFC technology to become more widespread in the near future.

One security issue with NFC technology is that communication between tag and scanner is not subject to encryption requirements, leaving such communication vulnerable to attacks such as tapping, data modification, and fraud.

Textbox 4.6 NFC City

Telenor and DNB are cooperating with certain retail outlets in Majorstua, a district of Oslo, in a project entitled NFC City. Around 200 customers have been provided with mobile phones equipped with NFC technology and wallet functionality. Although the project is not yet completed, preliminary evaluations indicate that both merchants and customers are very satisfied with the system. The project is supported by VERDIKT, the Research Council of Norway’s programme for core competence and value creation in ICT.

One market still lacking adequate digital payment systems is digital content aimed at children. Young people are large consumers of music and films, products increasingly being sold online. Online game producers are also opting to sell their products via internet links on their consoles rather than via physical carriers. Few young people, however, possess a credit card. Simple payment systems that require no credit card but that are linked to, for example, a mobile phone, might contibute to more use of legal channels when young people acquire entertainment products.15

The EU has published a green paper on card and mobile payments.16 In Norway, we must monitor trends and consider measures if it proves difficult to find payment solutions that can be used by all mobile phone users to pay for all types of products and services. Expanding mobile payment systems is contingent on standards and mutual agreements ensuring that customers can use their mobile phones in all retail outlets, regardless of phone type or service provider.

4.3.4 Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)

Because each country has its own payment system and these systems cannot communicate with each other, cross-border payments are normally far more resource-intensive than are domestic payments. Consequently, cross-border payments require more manual transactions, and are more costly and time-consuming for customers. EU member states are Norway’s key trading partners, and an efficient payment system that works well across national borders would create significant opportunities for the Norwegian economy.

SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) is a European banking industry project to make cross-border payments in euro as simple and as inexpensive as domestic payments in euro. SEPA, introduced in early 2008 with the launch of credit transfers (regular giro payments), covers the entire EEA and Switzerland, and provides a common legal framework and technical standards for services such as direct debits (account withdrawals), credit transfers, and card payments. At year end 2011, the SEPA system for card payments was supported by 90 per cent of all payment cards in the EU.17 However, transition to SEPA’s direct debit and credit transfer instruments has taken longer than expected; so to speed up this process, the EU has passed regulations requiring that transition to these instruments be completed by 1 February 2014.

Norwegian banks participate in developing SEPA and use the instruments in cross-border payments conducted in euro.

Textbox 4.7 Initiatives

  • 31. Secure and stable payment systems

    The Government will work to ensure that technology developments do not compromise trust in, or security and stability of, payment systems. Payment system failures, even for short periods, have serious consequences for society and can harm trust in, and therefore use of, electronic means of payments. The Government will therefore facilitate the growth of secure and simple payment systems for all kinds of transactions.

4.4 Cloud computing

Whereas software previously was stored locally on users’ computers or enterprises’ servers, it is now supplied via the internet. This is known as ‘cloud computing.’ Examples of cloud computing services are office support programmes supplied via web browsers, such as e-mail or word processing. It can also be the storing of files and data or the processing of large data sets on remote computers with online access. Because cloud service providers have large data centres, they can take advantage of the economies of scale and the flexibility these offer, and customers make considerable savings by not having to own their own servers.

4.4.1 Types of cloud computing

Three types of service can be supplied by cloud service providers:

  • Software as a service: applications such as text processing or e-mail delivered via a browser.

  • Platform as a service: platforms whereby an enterprise uses cloud computing to develop its own applications and then supplies them to customers via the internet.

  • Infrastructure as a service: infrastructure whereby customers use their own software programmes but buy storage space and processing power from a cloud service provider.

The key feature of cloud computing is the business model, which is based on pay-per-use, whether it be e-mail accounts, storage space, or processing power. Because customers pay only for what they use, cloud computing is beneficial for enterprises requiring large amounts of computer power for short periods, such as when running annual or monthly tasks such as payroll and invoicing. By taking advantage of cloud services’ inherent flexibility, enterprises do not have to scale their systems to handle peaks in their computing requirements.

The combination of pay-per-use, flexibility, and scalability offers particular advantages to new enterprises, whether they need systems for communication or desktop applications, or want to develop and operate applications for their own customers. By using cloud computing they can avoid high entry costs, such as investment in hardware and software licences, and they can easily scale their systems to handle more employees or customers as they expand.

Cloud computing represents huge potential savings, not only for enterprises but also for public administration and individuals, as the need for owning installations or infrastructure is reduced. In 2012, the EU therefore launched a strategy for using cloud computing, outlining the opportunities and challenges it represents for public authorities.18

The European Commission’s strategy for cloud computing put forward three main actions:

  • standardisation

  • secure and fair contract terms and conditions

  • establishment of a European cloud partnership to drive innovation and growth

Norway will closely monitor EU policy in this area. This issue is also being addressed at Nordic level, under the auspices of the Secretariat to the Nordic Council of Ministers, and Norway participates there, too.

4.4.2 Cloud computing challenges

Because cloud service providers are large market players that mostly supply standardised services, customers generally must sign standard agreements that may conflict with Norwegian requirements, such as those governing data security in the Personal Data Act.

Under those requirements, personal data may normally be stored inside the EU/EEA area, with enterprises in the United States adhering to the safe harbour privacy principles, or in other countries which the European Commission considers to have acceptable levels of data protection. The safe harbour privacy principles are intended to ensure that personal data is handled in compliance with the EU’s directive on the protection of personal data. Because customers using cloud computing systems do not know the exact location of their data at any given time, processing personal data can present legal problems. The Norwegian Data Protection Authority has produced a guide on protecting data in connection with cloud computing services.

In 2012, the Data Protection Authority reviewed the use of cloud services in the municipalities of Narvik and Moss, and subsequently published guidelines for using such services:

  • A thorough risk and vulnerability analysis must be carried out in advance. Enterprises must ascertain what can go wrong and what the consequences would be.

  • Enterprises must use data processing agreements that comply with Norwegian regulations. Norwegian enterprises are responsible for ensuring compliance with statutory requirements.

  • The use of cloud services must be regularly audited, meaning that a third party must conduct security audits on behalf of the enterprise and ensure that data processing agreements are complied with.

  • Data processing agreements must be enforced, and suppliers’ general data protection declarations must not conflict with them.

Because the Bookkeeping Act sets requirements governing geographical location of data storage to ensure that tax authorities can access data during audits, data storage via cloud services can present challenges. In 2010, new regulations pertaining to the Bookkeeping Act were introduced, permitting electronic storage of vouchers in specific EEA countries outside Norway (Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and Sweden).

The Government believes that cloud services can provide public and private sector enterprises with flexible and reasonably priced solutions, and therefore wants to facilitate secure and predictable use of such services within the Norwegian statutory framework.

Textbox 4.8 Initiatives

  • 32. Considering cloud computing services in procuring ICT operating services

    The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs will consider initiatives to encourage public agencies to consider cloud services when procuring ICT operating services.

  • 33. Guidelines on cloud computing services

    The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs will produce guidelines for public and private enterprises wishing to use cloud services. This work will involve clarifying relevant regulations and developing specifications and standard agreements for use in procuring such services, as an alternative to the standard agreements currently used by cloud service providers.

5 Digital content and reuse of public sector information

Digitisation and the internet have transformed many industries, particularly those of media, entertainment, and culture. These industries are based on managing content well suited for digitisation, such as books, films, and music; hence, the term digital content.

The transition to a digital-media and digital-content economy has created – and will continue to create – growth and new jobs. Simultaneously, jobs related to the traditional media formats will disappear. However, studies show that for each job that disappears because of the internet economy, 2.6 new jobs are created.19

Norway was amongst the first countries to experience revenues from digital music sales exceed revenues from conventional music sales,20 and is well placed to become a key market for digital content. Practically everyone can connect to broadband internet, and most citizens are now online.

The Government wants to see Norwegian stakeholders take advantage of the significant growth opportunities which digital content represents. The EU’s Digital Agenda estimates a fourfold increase in digital content revenues. However, experiences from online accessibility in the music industry show the importance of striking the right balance between listeners’ interests and artists’ intellectual property rights and financial interests.

Another area considered to hold significant potential for innovation and value creation is reuse of public sector information (PSI). The Government wants Norway to lead in using and creating value from digital content, and will establish framework conditions to stimulate innovative digital services and digital business models to facilitate this. PSI should, as far as possible, be accessible for reuse and value creation, and publicly funded content should, as a rule, be made publicly accessible.

5.1 Public sector information: Accessibility and reuse

The Government wants as much PSI as possible to be made accessible in ways that facilitate easy reuse. Facilitating reuse of data means making it easier to reuse them in new contexts. Public agencies can facilitate this by quality assuring data, arranging them in logical structures, and publishing data sets in standard file formats along with supplementary documentation. Adapting data and making them accessible must be done in such a way as to safeguard security and data protection.

Accessibility of PSI could help achieve several goals:

  • Development of new services. Information about geographical conditions, meteorological conditions, and water levels are examples of PSI that could form the basis of new services. Standardisation of data formats and software has made it possible for private stakeholders to use raw data in innovative products and services. We have already seen examples of how PSI is well suited to developing simple applications for mobile phones and tablets.

  • Democratic control. Information is a crucial prerequisite for decision making, participating in debates, and influencing social developments. Access to cases and processes provides possibilities to monitor how bureaucrats and politicians use their positions and society’s resources. For example, anyone may use Electronic Public Records to request access to public sector documents. But not only documents can be used to exercise democratic control; data are also being increasingly used in investigative journalism. For example, the Storting’s information service,, provides overviews of how representatives vote on different issues. By processing public sector data sets, the press or others can, for example, reveal irregularities in systems or procedural rules.

  • Improving efficiency in the public sector. Public sector data are used by all public agencies, so making them openly accessible will save unnecessary use of resources on data collection and improve efficiency.

Textbox 5.1 Electronic Public Records

Electronic Public Records (OEP) provides an overview of all documents sent and received by public agencies. Users may search OEP and request access to specific information, and unless such information is exempted from public disclosure, they are granted access. The purpose of OEP is to make the Norwegian public sector more open and accessible to users. OEP was developed and is owned by the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs.

The usage rate for OEP is very high; in 2011, it received nearly 16,000 requests for access in one month.1

1 Difi (2011): Brukerundersøkelse for Offentlig elektronisk postjournal [User Survey on Electronic Public Records], Rapport 2012:5

Source More information at:

5.1.1 Legal framework for making data accessible for reuse

Norwegian regulations require public agencies to make information accessible for reuse.

These regulations are based on the EU’s PSI Directive from 2003, which was intended to harmonise how member states practise reuse of PSI. A main goal was to unlock the potential of PSI for innovation and value creation by the private sector. The directive was implemented in Norway through enforcement of the Freedom of Information Act, which gives citizens broad access to public sector documents and databases. This law also permits reuse of information to which access is granted.

An important goal for the regulations governing reuse is that access to information should be granted on equal terms; it is generally not permitted to discriminate between comparable cases nor grant exclusive rights to reuse information.

Another goal is to ensure that the costs of access and reuse remain low and predictable; under the Freedom of Information Act, the general rule is that charges cover actual costs. Reasonable profit is permitted when information is produced or processed exclusively to meet external parties’ requirements. Geographic information and land register information are exempted from the regulations. Nevertheless, Government policy is that as much PSI as possible should be made accessible free of charge or at prices not exceeding the cost of making material accessible.

Most public agencies are subject to provisions governing reuse of PSI, which are now part of the Freedom of Information Act. Some activities, such as research at universities or programming activities at the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), are covered by the Freedom of Information Act but are exempted from the reuse provisions. Public agencies that are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act may still be covered by the reuse provisions: For example, public agencies that are not obligated to disclose data under the Freedom of Information Act must still comply with its provisions governing equal treatment once access to information is granted.

5.1.2 Publicly funded content must be made publicly accessible

Publicly funded content should, as a rule, be made digitally accessible. Making content accessible can generate considerable benefit, not only financially; for example, if sound and images from concerts are distributed digitally, they can be shared with far more people than merely the concert audience.

Much content that is publicly funded but not publicly owned can also constitute significant value for others: films, publicly funded theatre and concert performances, research findings, TV programmes, and content of museum collections and archives are some examples. These constitute digital content to which the public is not necessarily entitled to have access. However, there is nothing to prevent making this type of content accessible – or reusable – provided clearance is obtained from rightholders. For example, contracts can be worded such that public authorities are granted the right to distribute content for enjoyment by a wider audience. The Government also wants to stimulate accessibility to and reuse of content which the public sector is not legally required to make accessible, so as to achieve greater social return on public investment.

Archives, libraries, and museums

The Government wants as much as possible to facilitate accessibility to and reuse of public collections held in archives, libraries, and museums. Collections should be made searchable, and content should be presented in a user-friendly way so that users can access photographic material and publications online instead of searching for original material held by those institutions. Entitlement to reuse content to, for example, create new services will depend on issues such as intellectual property rights and data protection.

The Ministry of Culture has encouraged museums (both state-owned and others receiving state subsidies) to make raw data publicly accessible in machine-readable formats wherever such data are considered to be of social value, non-confidential, reusable, and inexpensive to make accessible.

Textbox 5.2 Archives, libraries, and museums on the internet, a service provided by the National Library of Norway, contains works published during four decades (1690s, 1790s, 1890s, and 1990s). Books still protected by copyright can be read online, and books no longer covered by copyright (normally those by authors who died more than 70 years previously) can be downloaded.

Digital Archives

The Digital Archives has digitised 40 million pages of documents such as church registers, electoral rolls, and censuses, most of which are published online at In 2011, members of the public read 105 million pages of transcribed material and 122 million pages of scanned material. The National Archives publishes material from its photographic collection on The Commons, Flickr’s online photo collection, where users can download and reuse photos held by the National Archives. These photos have been downloaded more than 150,000 times. Communicating with the public through the Digital Archives has contributed to greater public access to digital, cultural heritage material, and to increased user engagement.

Arkivportal [Archive Portal], established in 2010, is a national search service providing information on historical documents held in different archives in Norway.

The purpose of DigitaltMuseum [Digital Museum] is to make museum collections more accessible to everyone in connection with studies, teaching, and image searches. The aim is ultimately to publish museums’ entire collection data online. By year end 2011, around 983,000 photos and objects, and works of art, design, and architecture had been registered, and 276,000 visitors had viewed them. The site also has its own interface (API) for downloading data from the collection in machine-readable formats.

Research results and data

Every year, the public sector spends significant amounts on research, and it is therefore natural to require research institutions to share their research results with society. Today, research results are mainly disseminated through articles in scientific journals that are costly to subscribe to or to access. In principle, all publicly funded research should be made openly accessible provided no reasons exist not to do so. Open access, by which is meant free electronic access to research articles, will further disseminate research results and contribute towards more effective research through giving researchers better access to relevant literature. The social value of research will also increase when practitioners in different professions, business and industry, and the general public gain better access to research results.

As well as making research results more accessible, the Government will work towards making research data accessible for reuse, and in doing so will follow the OECD’s principles and guidelines for access to publicly funded research data. The Research Council of Norway has surveyed publication and accessibility for reuse of research data at universities, university colleges, research institutions, and health trusts. The findings revealed considerable variations between different institutions and between different fields of research. There are several reasons why publicly funded research data are not made more openly accessible, such as intellectual property rights issues and cost. The Government therefore wants to examine how to facilitate public access to data from publicly funded research activities.

Textbox 5.3 Sharing research data: CESSDA and SIOS

Norway leads two European research infrastructure projects aimed at making research data more widely accessible: the Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) and the Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System (SIOS).

CESSDA is an international organisation for social science databases across Europe, whose main purpose is to improve and stimulate more intensive use of high-quality data in social science research. CESSDA negotiates access agreements and licensing models that permit access to data resources spread across different locations. CESSDA actively promotes development and dissemination of standards for data distribution and management.

The main aim of SIOS is to establish an upgraded observing system for conducting Earth system research through improved research facilities on and around Svalbard. This infrastructure for Arctic research will be multidisciplinary, multinational, and cover multiple research platforms. More efficient use and sharing of data for future research are key elements in establishing SIOS. Data must be managed in line with the visions for large-scale research infrastructure across Europe, meaning an open access policy based on best practice, as defined by ESFRI1 and OECD.2

1 European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, ESFRI (2010): Strategy Report on Research Infrastructures, Roadmap 2010

2 OECD (2007): OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding

Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation: Programme content

The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s (NRK) programme archives constitute an important part of our cultural heritage, and the overall ambition should be to make this material accessible to everyone. NRK is therefore currently digitising as much of its archives as possible. Wherever possible, agreements are made with rightholders of new productions to secure rights to publish material online. Most older NRK programmes cannot be made accessible for reuse because other parties hold the rights to different parts of the productions.

New content to which NRK owns all the rights is being made directly accessible for reuse. For example, it published high-definition film content from the TV programme Bergensbanen minutt for minutt [The Bergen Line – Minute by Minute] under a Creative Commons licence and encouraged others to reuse the film material in new ways.

5.1.3 Stimulating reuse

PSI is often raw material, or parts thereof, from which new applications or services are developed.

Although many public agencies administer large volumes of electronic data and information, they differ in the volume they make accessible for reuse. Differences may be due to financial or capacity constraints, or to lack of knowledge about how to proceed or to fear of information being misinterpreted or misused. Moreover, data protection legislation sets restrictions to protect, for example, personal integrity.

Measures initiated by the Government to stimulate reuse of PSI include:

Standard requirements in all allocation letters issued to public agencies

In 2011 and 2012, accessibility to PSI was made a standard requirement in all letters of allocation issued by public agencies, requiring agencies to make existing and appropriate raw data accessible in machine-readable formats. Requirements apply to information that is of social value, reusable, non-confidential, and inexpensive to make accessible. Agencies considering establishing new, or upgrading existing, public services based on raw data must normally make such data publicly accessible in machine-readable formats. Before establishing new public services based on raw data, agencies must assess the cost-effectiveness of making raw data accessible in machine-readable formats for others to develop new services. Agencies must report which data sets had been made accessible for 2011 and 2012.

Textbox 5.4 Creative Commons

Creative Commons licences enable copyright holders to give others permission to reuse their creative work. The copyright holders must first decide how their creative work may be reused, for example whether the work:

  • must be credited; in other words, whether the author of the original work must be declared

  • may be used commercially

  • may be altered or adapted, and whether any new work must be distributed under the same licence

The idea behind the licences is to create a more liberal and open culture allowing people to reuse and be inspired by other people’s work. All content on Wikipedia is licenced with Creative Commons, and publication of images and videos is permitted under Creative Commons licences on websites such as Flickr and YouTube. The licences are managed by Creative Commons, a non-profit organisation.

Source More information:

Figure 5.1 An example of how public agencies can present an overview of data they administer

Figure 5.1 An example of how public agencies can present an overview of data they administer

Source Climate and Pollution Agency

The requirement for accessibility has helped put this issue on the agenda and raised awareness about PSI, and many agencies have initiated studies to learn which data types can be made accessible and how.

In 2013, the requirement for accessibility stipulated in allocation letters was adopted in similar requirements in the government circular on digitisation.

Guidelines on making PSI accessible

The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs has issued guidelines on making PSI accessible, explaining the term ‘reuse of public sector information’ and instructing agencies how to make their data sets accessible. The intention is to establish principles for making data accessible for reuse and to do so practically, consistently, and efficiently. The guidelines were produced by a reference group comprising the largest public agencies and the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities. is a data source catalogue of descriptions of data accessible for reuse: a kind of directory of public sector data where users seeking to use public sector data can learn which data sets are accessible. is also intended as a meeting place for stakeholders interested in reusing data and a knowledge base for stakeholders seeking more information.

Difi has linked a data hotel to where public agencies can easily upload small data sets in a format that makes it easy to reuse data.

Norwegian licence for open government data (NLOD)

When data are published for reuse, it is important to explain how they can be used. The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs has therefore developed the Norwegian licence for open government data (NLOD), a special licence for using PSI that makes it easy to specify usage terms for data sets.

Difi support for reusers

Difi has operative responsibility for the Government’s work on reuse of PSI and for advising public agencies seeking to make their own data accessible for reuse. Difi also guides stakeholders seeking access to specific public sector data sets and who are unsure about how to find them or how to access unpublished data sets.

Textbox 5.5 Initiatives

  • 34. Provisions in the Freedom of Information Act governing reuse

    In cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs will consider whether to expand the scope of application of reuse provisions in the Freedom of Information Act. In connection with EU’s revision of the PSI directive, the Ministry will consider provisions in the Act governing pricing policy for releasing documents and PSI for reuse.

  • 35. Accessibility requirements for PSI in the circular on digitisation

    The circular on digitisation issued by the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs requires public agencies to make information accessible in machine-readable formats. This requirement applies to information that is of social value, reusable, non-confidential, and inexpensive to make accessible.

  • 36. Support for and guidance on accessibility and reuse of PSI

    The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs will further develop Difi’s role of providing support and guidance to public agencies seeking to make their data accessible to private actors and others seeking access to PSI.

  • 37. Guidelines on reuse and the Norwegian licence for open government data (NLOD)

    The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs has issued guidelines on making PSI accessible for reuse. It will also monitor use of NLOD and inform public agencies about reuse and NLOD.

  • 38. Making research data accessible for reuse

    Commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Research, the Research Council of Norway will study ways of increasing accessibility to publicly funded research data.

  • 39. ICT in public archive institutions

    The Ministry of Culture will continue its initiatives for implementing new ICT solutions by the archive institutions so as to make archive material more readily accessible for reuse and dissemination. The National Archives will be assigned national responsibility to establish cooperation within the archive sector concerning digitisation strategies, digital publication systems, and new options created by technology developments.

  • 40. Digitisation of archive documents

    The National Archives will commence systematic digitisation of documents by means of transcription or scanning.

  • 41. Språkbanken

    Språkbanken – a language technology resource collection for Norwegian – provides digital, language resources for language technology R&D. These resources are freely accessible online, and the collection is continually expanded. Språkbanken is managed by the National Library of Norway.

5.2 Digital content, media, and convergence

Previously, media products were easily distinguishable from each other: TV and radio content was broadcast over the air, books and newspapers were printed and sold in bookstores, kiosks, and other outlets, and music was distributed via records and CDs and sold in record shops and petrol stations. Today, all these media products – or media content – are accessible online in the form of internet TV and internet radio, e-books, news websites, and music files or streaming services. A gradual transition has occurred between different media and content elements, such as online news websites providing live broadcasts of news and sports events. This phenomenon is known as ‘convergence.’

The media and entertainment industry is – and will continue to be – one of the industries most influenced by the internet and digitisation. Conventional media products such as newspapers, films, and games are particularly well suited for digitisation. Digital products offer consumers more diversity and a better, wider choice, and provide industry actors with new ways of diversifying and distributing their products. However, this trend also presents problems; industry actors are challenged to find new and successful business models that appeal to consumers and that still protect the financial interests of rightholders and the industry itself. The Government has appointed a committee to study this issue (see box 5.6).

5.2.1 Regulations

Convergence creates fuzzy boundaries between products and services that previously were regulated separately. Changing technology and consumer patterns are challenging current legislation. Although provisions in the Copyright Act are essentially technology-neutral, the transition to digital technology created a need to more precisely define rules concerning copying for private use. On the other hand, introducing legal protection for digital rights management (DRM) technology on CDs, for example, was a lesson in the wisdom of waiting and monitoring developments before amending legislation; shortly after this technology was introduced – after much discussion – the record industry abandoned it.

Technology, areas of application, business models, and usage patterns are changing rapidly. The challenge for the authorities is to maintain legislation that is as technology-neutral as possible while simultaneously protecting existing interests.

From press subsidies to media subsidies

Digitisation creates significant opportunities for both media and consumers. Digital media can be far cheaper, more flexible, more up to date, and more adaptable than analogue media, but the current period of transition from analogue to digital presents challenges, too. Enterprises and business models are under pressure; revenue streams from traditional media are failing to shift to new media. Conventional policy instruments must be adapted to have relevance in the new, digital age.

A free and effective media is crucial for freedom of expression, rule of law, and a vital democracy. The media receives state subsidies because editorial content has significant social value and should therefore reach as many as possible. For example, access to broad and diverse media coverage provides a basis for informed citizens and promotes Norwegian language and culture. VAT exemption for print newspapers, in addition to press subsidies for the print media in general, has been a key policy instrument for ensuring such media diversity.

The potential for innovation in the media industry is huge, making it a particularly interesting area in terms of value creation. New products such as smartphones and tablets make possible many new media products. News media and magazines are now experimenting with different formats specially adapted to tablets, often with video clips and other content, to test market willingness to pay for such products.

Developments in recent years have resulted in an increasingly digitised media world. The Government has therefore proposed changes to the press subsidies system by relaxing requirements for subsidy recipients to publish print newspapers, though requirements to charge consumers, to have an editor-in-chief, and to sell at least half their circulation via subscriptions will still apply. Proposals have also been made to change the criteria for subsidy allocations so that all publication platforms, including digital publications, are included.

VAT on digital goods and services

Until 1 July 2011, no VAT (value added tax) was charged on digital goods or services purchased abroad. This exemption distorted competition by compelling Norwegian suppliers to charge customers 25 per cent VAT, meaning that music files and software purchased from Norwegian online suppliers cost more than equivalent products purchased abroad. Regulations were needed to ensure Norwegian market players the fairest possible competitive environment, and from 1 July 2011, VAT was also imposed on digital services supplied online from abroad.

Textbox 5.6 Digitisation Evaluation Committee

In 2011, the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs appointed an independent government committee with a mandate to identify obstacles and barriers to growth in the Norwegian digital economy. The Committee was asked to assess technological, regulatory, financial, competitive, and other obstacles to developing services and creating value online. It was also asked to study incentives and initiatives and to identify problems that might require supranational regulation or other types of policy instruments.

The Committee submitted its report on obstacles to digital value creation, NOU 2013: 2 Hindre for digital verdiskaping, in January 2013. The report makes a number of proposals, including:

  • Broadband rollout. According to the Committee, broadband is part of society’s basic infrastructure and is essential to successful digitisation. Sufficient broadband capacity is considered decisive for value creation.

  • Rebalancing intellectual property rights. The Digitisation Evaluation Committee recommends a broad, evidence-based reform of intellectual property rights. Norway should cooperate internationally on developing intellectual property rights to make them more adaptable to changing technologies.

  • Consolidated digital cultural policy. A prerequisite for successfully disseminating digital cultural content lies in understanding new market mechanisms. The Committee points out that subsidy schemes intended for content production may also entail cultural or business subsidies, and that this has caused stagnation and delayed rollout of new services.

  • Raising competence. Competence is built over time, and is important for developing new services, incorporating new technology, and developing society. The level of competence in cyber security is low, and the Digitisation Evaluation Committee fears that this may constitute a threat to Norwegian values.

  • Data sharing. The Digitisation Evaluation Committee believes that increased data sharing is important for digital value creation, and is an area the Government should more highly prioritise.

The report will be subject to public consultation and debate, and will provide an important platform for further policy development in this area.

5.2.2 Copyright

The fact that digital products can be copied, shared, and distributed to a far greater extent than can analogue products is posing challenges for copyright law, because illegal copying and sharing of copyrighted material means that rightholders are losing revenues.

Copyright clearance

A major challenge for media content like music and films is copyright clearance for distribution, particularly across borders. Traditionally, the media industry has divided markets by region or country, and has sold viewing or distribution rights to different actors in different countries. Establishing transnational services is often difficult, and opportunities in Europe are often limited because of the number of small markets. Consumers, on the other hand, increasingly consider themselves part of a global market, and have difficulty understanding why they cannot access content accessible elsewhere.

In working to create a digital single market, the EU has therefore given priority to collective schemes for clearing rights to audiovisual content,21 and in 2012, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for a directive on collective management of copyright. The directive is expected to be important for the entire European music and audiovisual services market.

The EU will also present other directives and revisions to directives in areas of significance in this connection, including a new directive on orphan works, making it easier to digitise and make accessible millions of copyrighted works that currently are not accessible because of difficulties in obtaining clearance from rightholders. In Norway and the other Nordic countries, an extended collective licence system has made clearance easier than elsewhere.

Moreover, a large number of works exist that have fallen into the public domain because of the length of time since their originators died (usually 70 years). Such works are no longer protected by copyright and may therefore be reused for digitisation and commercial purposes.

Revision of the Copyright Act

Many find the Copyright Act and the principles of intellectual property rights complicated. The Ministry of Culture has therefore begun work on completely revising the Act to make it more universally comprehensible.

This work also involves scrutinising how to handle illegal file sharing and other copyright violations on the internet. A consultation paper was published in autumn 2011, and a white paper proposing amendments to the Copyright Act was presented to the Storting in February 2013.

5.2.3 The consumer perspective

Transition to the digital-media economy touches on a number of consumer policy issues. As we have seen, convergence offers more and better services, but people must be well informed of the possibilities and limitations to fully exploit its potential. For example, there may still be uncertainty about what is permitted concerning using music on the internet, so it is important to provide information and guidance on intellectual property rights and other regulations governing content.

The Government will therefore develop improved and more consumer-friendly guidance in this area, including consumer rights when shopping online, tools for secure e-commerce, legal mechanisms for downloading and using content, payment of VAT, and overviews of relevant suppliers of services.

Textbox 5.7 Initiatives

  • 42. Following up the Digitisation Evaluation Committee’s report

    The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs will follow up the Digitisation Evaluation Committee’s report and recommendations in dialogue with other relevant ministries. The report was issued for public consultation in January 2013.

  • 43. Subsidy schemes for business and industry

    The Digitisation Evaluation Committee (see box 5.6) identified what subsidy schemes were available to market players seeking to create business activities based on digital content. The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs will consider the Committee’s proposals and recommendations, in consultation with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

  • 44. Revision of the Copyright Act

    The Ministry of Culture will undertake a full revision of the Copyright Act to make it easier for consumers to use copyrighted material legally, while simultaneously protecting rightholders’ interests.

  • 45. Consumer guidance on digital content

    The Norwegian Consumer Council will expand its coverage of digital services on its portal, Forbrukerportalen. This work will include making long, complicated standard agreements more concise and easier to understand.

6 Health and care services

Few sectors mean so much to so many as the health and care sector. More than 75 per cent of all Norwegians are in contact with it every year, and one in four Norwegians seeks medical attention more than five times a year.22The Norwegian health sector has more than 300,000 employees,23 and in 2011 around NOK 250 billion was spent on health and care.24 Despite its high levels of advanced medical technology and electronic communication, the health and care sector is less digitised than many others. Therefore, significant potential exists for changes that would have positive effects on the sector and its users, in turn creating opportunities for the private sector to supply products and solutions.

Online banking transferred control and decision making from banks to customers; the Government wants the health and care sector to develop similarly.

The Government’s goals are that:

  • ICT should help citizens gain more control of their own health and offer better opportunities to live safely at home with a high quality of life.

  • ICT should be used to achieve high-quality and efficient health and care services.

  • ICT should enable the elderly and others to live safely and independently at home, despite impaired health.

Textbox 6.1 Coordination Reform

Through the Coordination Reform, the Government wants to ensure a sustainable, integrated, and cohesive service that provides high levels of quality and patient safety and that is adapted to individual needs. Emphasis must be placed on health promotion and preventive healthcare, habilitation and rehabilitation, user involvement, agreed courses of treatment, and binding agreements between municipalities and hospitals.

Source Nasjonal helse- og omsorgsplan [National Plan for Health and Healthcare] (2011–2015)

6.1 Welfare technology for good and independent living

Elderly citizens represent a growing proportion of the Norwegian population, and Norwegian and European surveys show that most want to live at home as long as possible. Most elderly people prefer to live at home until no longer able to do so because of serious illness or reduced capacity. In Norway, for example, 50 per cent of people with dementia live at home, and only half of those receive home care services.25

New technology will enable people to live at home and remain self-sufficient and safe, despite illness or reduced capacity. In future, living at home could be a viable alternative to stays in institutions or hospitals.

Textbox 6.2 Welfare technology

‘Welfare technology’ is technology that can help promote safety, security, social participation, mobility, and physical and cultural activities. Welfare technology enhances people’s ability to manage everyday life despite illness or impaired social, mental, or physical capacity. Welfare technology can also help family members and others contribute towards improving accessibility, use of resources, and the quality of services offered. Such solutions can often prevent the need for services or admission into institutions.

Source NOU 2011: 11 Innovasjon i omsorg [Official Norwegian Report on innovation in the care services]

Welfare technology also entails low-tech aids such as walking frames and toilet chairs, long used in the healthcare sector. In future, we will see increased use of ICT-based welfare technologies such as safety alarms, cooker guards, fall detectors, and different types of mobile health monitoring systems. Homes connected to such technologies are often referred to as smart homes.

Welfare technology will be an important focus of R&D and business and industry. Welfare technology can help improve care service quality and efficiency and simultaneously offer users and their families greater safety, independence, and personal autonomy. In future, the demand by municipalities and users for welfare technology will increase, and experiences from Denmark show that welfare technology holds export potential.

Online services, mobile applications, mobile measuring devices, sensors, and smart home solutions will become standard offerings of health and care services. Services and solutions like these will enable us to cope better on our own. They will enable patients and users to be active participants, gain access to information giving them deeper insight into their situation, and have more opportunities to cope with illness, problems, and physical impairment.

6.1.1 The users: An increasingly technology-literate group

Good healthcare services must be based primarily on health considerations. Public health initiatives must comply with current economic constraints but must also be adapted to users’ needs, wishes, and capabilities. The municipalities’ responsibility for public care services gives them a key role in this area. Fundamental reorganisation of the care services cannot be achieved by public sector rollout of technology alone; it must result from user demand for and competence in using available technology.

More than half of today’s 70-year-olds have broadband access at home. In 2020, they will be aged around 80, and most will have broadband access at home and be familiar with the internet and digital solutions. Citizens – including the elderly – will increasingly demand round-the-clock access to good electronic services. They will expect good welfare technology solutions to be an integral part of public health services.

Figure 6.1 Summary of broadband usage by 60- and 70-year-olds

Figure 6.1 Summary of broadband usage by 60- and 70-year-olds

Source Statistics Norway: ICT usage in households, 2003–2012, 2nd quarter

Healthcare policy can increasingly be premised on home-based technology and on an older generation familiar with using it.

Unlike 10–20 years ago, our homes now contain a high level of digital technology such as computers, telephones, cable TV, smartphones, tablets, burglar and fire alarms, and wireless internet. However, few applications in the health and care sector are designed for home use.

Norway’s elderly already use the internet and broadband extensively and are more technology-literate than their foreign peers. The next generation of senior citizens will be even more familiar with new technology. Today, we see young people with reduced capacity using advanced forms of assistive technology. Gradually, the new generation of senior citizens will follow suit.

Through its policy for digital participation and competence (chapter 2), the Government wants to prepare as many as possible for using technology solutions. The Government will emphasize user needs in its welfare technology policy and will shape public policy to facilitate integration of welfare technologies from different suppliers and across the public and private sectors.

6.1.2 Technology: Diversity and standards

The technology needed in welfare services will range from the very basic to the highly complex, increasingly available as cheaper, standardised, off-the-shelf solutions. For example, robotic vacuum cleaners now cost about as much as a few hours of home-help service.

The technologies needed for radical change based on welfare technology exist, and the conditions for change will improve as technology evolves. Nevertheless, products alone cannot shape good welfare technology solutions; flexible and standards-based ICT architecture is needed so that services and products work optimally. ICT architecture describes how a system is designed, the components used, and how they interact. In its 2012 report on welfare technology,26 the Directorate of Health mentions architecture as one of several areas needing standardisation.

Textbox 6.3 Hagen Committee

In the white paper An Innovative and Sustainable Norway (St.meld. nr. 7 (2008–2009)), the Government proposed creating a government committee to investigate innovative solutions to future health and care challenges. This committee, the Hagen Committee, submitted its report in 2011. An issue it highlighted was the potential in the care services to adopt available and develop new technology to enable more people to live at home longer. According to the report, much of the safety and access to health and care services currently provided by nursing homes can also be provided in people’s homes using new technology.

In addition to welfare technology, the report mentions telemedicine as a means to improve services and users’ circumstances by providing treatment, supervision, nursing, and technical support for communication, administration, and management. According to the Committee, demand for good housing solutions, activities, and welfare technology from both private households and the municipal care sector will grow, and a large and financially resourceful generation of senior citizens will drive and shape this demand. This situation may create significant opportunities for economic development in this area.

The challenges related to an ageing population are being followed up in the EU through, for example, the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. The goal for this initiative is to increase the number of healthy life years by two by 2020.

Source NOU 2011: 11 Innovasjon i omsorg [Official Norwegian Report on innovation in the care services]

Welfare technology solutions can consist of:

  • Equipment such as motion sensors for turning on lights, door sensors, fall detectors, sensors that open and close windows and doors automatically, cooker guards, etc. Safety alarms or mobile sensors can also be used to measure, for example, blood pressure or blood sugar levels. In principle, many types of equipment and advanced medical measuring devices can be connected.

  • Infrastructure for connecting and controlling different pieces of equipment. Today, infrastructure for smart homes is available based on open, international standards with which most major electronic equipment manufacturers comply.

  • A central control unit to connect everything robustly and without need for specialist expertise or user maintenance. The control unit can hold information concerning building layout, sensor positioning (using, for example, a building information model (BIM); see chapter 7), critical target values for the user, and who to notify (family members, municipality, private service provider, emergency services, etc.) in different situations.

  • Lines of communication to, for example, family members or the municipality, normally via a regular broadband connection.

It is important for users that equipment from different suppliers work together. In its report, the Directorate of Health stressed the need for standards to ensure that introduction of welfare technology be successful. Standards ensure that information from different devices is communicated and understood and that equipment from one manufacturer can be replaced with another’s so that users or the public sector is not dependent on specific equipment or software manufacturers.

Standardised information models are particularly important. The standardisation organisations CEN and ISO are cooperating to develop health information standards. Promotion of open, international models will ensure that users can choose equipment regardless of whether it is supplied by NAV, the municipalities, the special health services, or private suppliers. This will also create predictability for private actors looking to develop services and, in turn, benefit users by giving them greater choice.

One issue highlighted by the Hagen Committee (see box 6.3) was the need for a standardised communication platform for private homes to enable people to live at home longer. Eventually, it should be possible to connect such systems to a municipal or regional control centre for secure monitoring and communication. Based on the Hagen Committee’s report, the Government will present a white paper to the Storting concerning innovation in the care services.

The smart home concept is not only for private homes. The Government has set requirements, enforceable from 2012, for nursing homes and community care housing subsidised by Husbanken (Norwegian State Housing Bank) to facilitate connection of electronic aids, communication and alarm systems, and other welfare technology. Both nursing homes and community care housing facilities have some experience in using smart home technology. Similar experience from private homes is more limited, but smart home technology is expected to become increasingly relevant in housing development and building quality.27

Figure 6.2 Smart home

Figure 6.2 Smart home

6.1.3 The municipalities: New challenges, new possibilities

A survey shows that around 55 per cent of Norwegian municipalities have adopted welfare technology, most have implemented safety alarms, but few use more advanced types of welfare technology. Differences in technical design and interfaces may be one reason such systems are not more widely used. Uncertainty about data protection regulations may be another. Among the municipalities that have not yet adopted welfare technology, 26 per cent have expressed plans to do so.28

There is significant potential for adopting welfare technology in the municipalities. The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) has decided to set up KommIT, a programme for coordinating ICT in the municipal sector. KS/KommIT participates in SKATE, the Government’s cooperation council for managing and coordinating services in eGovernment (SKATE; see box 8.3).

6.1.4 Business and industry: Innovation opportunities

Welfare technology is a future growth industry in which Norwegian business and industry can participate.

To succeed, even stronger innovation arenas should be developed, and communities with specialist knowledge and experiences must be brought together. KS and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) have initiated a supplier development project to encourage public procurement processes to stimulate innovation and value creation in this area.

Greater innovation in public procurement

The public sector can contribute towards stimulating innovation and economic development in welfare technology. The public sector covers more than 80 per cent of health costs in Norway. Through procurement of goods and services and public R&D contracts, the central and local governments have significant opportunities to demand innovation that contributes towards developing enterprises and industries.

The white paper An Innovative and Sustainable Norway (St.meld. nr. 7 (2008–2009)) and the white paper on sound procurement (St.meld. nr. 36 (2008–2009)) state that public procurement is an important means of promoting innovation in business and industry and that the Government wants to stimulate innovation in public procurement. This policy has since been followed up in other initiatives.

To achieve general, durable improvements in procurement practices, the Government has designed a strategy to increase innovation effects of public procurement.29 Designing public procurements such that they result in more innovative solutions may contribute to cost savings in the public sector. Goods and services will be improved and more efficiently supplied, better services will be provided to citizens, and value creation in business and industry will be enhanced.

The strategy will cover key challenges and propose measures for addressing them. Furthermore, it is important for business and industry to be engaged in meeting the public sector’s development needs and that buyers have the necessary tools and competence. One of the goals is to stimulate competition by enabling more potential suppliers to compete in complex procurements.

Work on enhancing cooperation between the public sector and business and industry on procurements will involve several ministries, directorates, and key policymakers.

Need-based innovation and economic development in the health and care sector

In cooperation with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Health and Care Services is undertaking a 10-year (2007–2017) initiative for need-based and research-based innovation and commercialisation in the health and care sector. This initiative includes innovation in ICT, medical equipment, and public procurement as well as innovation based on key societal challenges such as chronic disease, ageing populations, and improved coordination between service levels and use of personnel resources.

The health authorities, InnoMed, Innovation Norway, Research Council of Norway, and the Directorate of Health are the key actors in this initiative, and all have endorsed a national cooperation agreement and action plan. In 2011, the regional health authorities published a report proposing national indicators for innovation in the health sector. In 2012, in cooperation with Difi, Innovation Norway, and HINAS (the company responsible for coordinating public procurement on behalf of the Norwegian health authorities), the regional health authorities published a report on increased innovation and innovative solutions in the special health services through public procurements.

This initiative entails consolidating the scheme for public R&D contracts (OFU) related to health, and encouraging establishment of arenas and meeting places between industry, the health sector, and policymakers.

Although the public sector accounts for most procurement in the health and care sector, we expect users and their families to become increasingly important user groups that will request technology such as tablet computers and digital measuring devices.

6.1.5 Safeguarding data protection

Certain types of welfare technology can challenge data protection because of more possibilities for gathering, storing, and exchanging sensitive medical data such as type of medication, movement patterns, or physiological functions. It is important that the technology contain good mechanisms for data protection in order to protect personal integrity and privacy, and that they comply with information security requirements for these types of data.

Data protection challenges in welfare technology were studied by the Directorate of Health in 2012.30

Textbox 6.4 Initiatives

  • 46. Standards for welfare technology

    The Directorate of Health is responsible for ICT standardisation in the health and care sector, and will design a standardisation strategy considering the sector’s short-term and long-term ICT needs, such as requirements for uniform terminology, coding systems, and reporting standards. In addition to welfare technology, the strategy will cover telemedicine, mobile systems, and sensor technology.

  • 47. Public procurements that drive innovation

    In cooperation with other ministries, the Ministry of Trade and Industry will follow up Strategi for økt innovasjonseffekt ved offentlige anskaffelser [Strategy to Increase Innovation Effects of Public Procurement].

  • 48. Bill on notification and location technology

    The Ministry of Health and Care Services is preparing a bill concerning use of notification and location technology for people with dementia and others in need of care but incapable of consent.

  • 49. White paper on innovation in the care services

    The Ministry of Health and Care Services is preparing a white paper in response to the Hagen Committee’s report, NOU 2011:11 Innovasjon i omsorg [Innovation in the Care Services], and plans to present it to the Storting in spring 2013.

6.2 Safe and simple digital health and care services

The Government has had a longstanding commitment to ICT in the health and care sector. In the Coordination Reform, ICT is a key tool for providing effective services throughout the patient pathway. The technology used should make all information accessible when needed, wherever the patient is located. ICT should promote better coordination, better resource utilisation, quality enhancement in all stages of the treatment chain, and increased patient safety. Moreover, digital tools should provide patients with better information. Patients should, wherever possible, actively participate in their treatment, something which innovative solutions in service provision are making increasingly possible. Such solutions can allow patients and users to receive services at home, so-called ‘telemedicine.’ Telemedicine offers solutions for providing medical treatment remotely, for example, when doctor and patient are in different locations. In its most basic form, it involves medical consultations via videoconference, but it can include using sensors to measure a patient’s vital signs. Telemedicine technology can then securely transmit medical data, images, and health details from patient to medical practitioner.

One example of technology that can reduce the number of hospital bed days is the COPD suitcase, an electronic device enabling two-way audio and video communication between patient and lung nurse. Another example is mobile X-ray units in nursing homes, reducing the need to move patients to hospital by instead bringing the service to the patient.

Another goal is to promote active patient participation through informing patients about their personal health and through exchanging information with special health services and municipal health and care services. Involving patients in their treatment and in preventive activities may also have a preventive effect.

6.2.1 Electronic prescriptions

Electronic prescriptions replace paper prescriptions. Instead of physicians handing prescriptions to their patients, they send the information to a central database, a prescription broker. Pharmacies or surgical appliance makers can then download them and dispense the correct medicine/appliance. Patients avoid having to handle paper prescriptions, and the system makes everyday life easier, reduces costs, and improves service quality. Electronic prescriptions were finally implemented by all the country’s primary physicians and pharmacies in February 2013.

6.2.2 One patient – one record

To ensure best possible treatment, health professionals need fast, easy, and secure access to information, regardless of where the patient is located. Today, patients’ medical records are spread across different systems.

The Government believes that, to reap the benefits offered by information technology, simply improving existing systems is not enough, and wants to facilitate an integrated, common system for the entire health and care sector. The primary goal is one patient – one record. Work on finding a technical solution for this goal is underway. Establishing such a solution would represent a major boost to Norway’s health and care services and offer new opportunities. Both health care workers and suppliers will be involved in this work.

The Health Registries Act will be reviewed to enable medical records to follow patients and users throughout their course of treatment.

6.2.3 Core patient records

Health personnel sometimes need fast access to vital information about patients unable to provide it themselves. The Government will therefore establish a national system of core patient records containing key information such as medication (medication cards), allergies, diseases, and treatment history. The system will safeguard patient integrity and privacy, and information will be accessible only to health care workers who need such information to administer treatment and to the patients themselves. A system will also be established for logging everyone who accesses the records, enabling patients to see who has gained access. Patients will be given the option to decline registration.


The internet has become the most important source of health information for patients and relatives, and many websites, published by both the private and the public sectors, offer information on diseases, prevention, and treatment. However, patients have difficulties finding and understanding the information they need, and more patients and users want access to their medical records.

The services provided by the health and care sector are fragmented, and patients’ needs for coordinated services have not always been adequately met. The Coordination Reform is intended to address these challenges. Web-based services can give users better insight into their medical situation. Correct and quality-assured information on health and healthy living may prevent health problems. Software wizards will empower patients by providing assistance with finding information and making correct choices. Today, however, few patients have access to their medical records online.

In 2011, the Directorate of Health established the health portal to provide all health information on one site. The portal also already contains self-service solutions such as ‘My vaccines,’ ‘My user fees,’ and ‘My prescriptions’ and will be complemented with others for making appointments, ordering and applying for reimbursements for patient transport, and renewing prescriptions. Another goal is that should provide electronic communication with health personnel.

The health information portal will help citizens and patients find the right service. A well-developed health portal with quality-assured information will make searching for health and care services easier. It will also be easier to find services that best suit user needs; for example, where treatment is available closest to home or as soon as possible. These services are reliant on good data flow, basic data, data quality, capacity, etc.

The portal can also serve as a basis for new and innovative services from both the public and the private sectors. Making these services accessible for reuse via will provide a platform for a new type of innovation in the health and care sector. Publishing a summary of useful services may be considered in future.

6.2.5 Norsk helsenett

Norsk helsenett (Norwegian Healthcare Network) was founded in 2004 to create a secure network for electronic coordination within the Norwegian health and care sector and associated services. The network should contribute to achieving the ICT goals stated in the Coordination Reform, and facilitate and drive secure and cost-effective electronic coordination.

Textbox 6.5 Initiatives

  • 50. White paper concerning digital services in the health and care sector

    In autumn 2012, the Ministry of Health and Care Services issued Report to the Storting No. 9 (2012–2013) Én innbygger – én journal. Digitale tjenester i helse- og omsorgssektoren [One Patient – One Record: Digital Services in the Health and Care Sector]. The white paper emphasizes ICT measures that can contribute to more efficient coordination, better resource utilisation, quality improvement, and – not least – increased patient safety. The Ministry of Health and Care Services will follow up the report. The key measure, a study of alternative systems for core patient records, has already been initiated.

  • 51. Health services online

    The Ministry of Health and Care Services will further expand the national health portal with more content and new services. Part of this work will be to offer all citizens access to their core records.

  • 52. Further development of the Norwegian Healthcare Network

    The Government will further develop Norwegian Healthcare Network and intensify the company’s work on data security, electronic message exchange, and operating and developing ICT infrastructure. The company will facilitate and drive secure and cost-effective electronic coordination between actors in the sector and assist in work on the one patient – one record initiative.

  • 53. Facilitating innovation

    The Ministry of Health and Care Services will enable private sector providers to develop services (such as mobile applications) based on information published on

  • 54. Improved data quality, and facilitating informed decisions

    The Ministry of Health and Care Services will continue to facilitate informed patient decision making by ensuring that information on quality levels, waiting times, descriptions of services, and contact details is quality-assured and more easily accessible online.

7 ICT and climate

Norway actively practises a national climate policy. The climate problem can be resolved only through coordinated international action, yet most concrete policies are determined nationally. Each country is responsible for pursuing active national policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and in Norway this policy has broad political consensus. We have also set ambitious targets for reducing national emission levels and for transforming Norway into a low-emissions society by 2050.

Although global growth in the use of ICT will itself contribute to increased greenhouse gas emissions, it has potential to reduce them.

The Government wants to facilitate:

  • Green ICT: reducing energy consumption and emissions created by production and use of ICT.

  • Dematerialisation: replacing physical products and activities that emit high levels of greenhouse gases with digital alternatives that emit little or none, or that offer other benefits.

  • Smart ICT: using ICT to reduce energy consumption, materials, and emissions in established industries such as transport and retail.

Initiatives exist in all three areas that can contribute to saving energy and/or reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as others that can have other positive effects, such as economic development and improved public service efficiency.

Potential reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through ICT

After considering the white paper Norwegian Climate Policy (Meld. St. 21 (2011–2012), the Storting passed the following resolution: ‘The Storting asks that the Government assess the potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Norway through the use of ICT.’

No specific initiatives for ICT were considered in the white paper, but ICT is used in all sectors. The Government’s current policy instruments and the new ones announced in the white paper on climate policy should contribute to adoption of solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including ones involving use of ICT.

Use of ICT to reduce energy consumption, material consumption, and emissions in established industry sectors is referred to as ‘smart ICT.’

A particularly interesting aspect of smart ICT to consider is its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in smart power grids and management and monitoring systems for energy supply; in buildings and management systems in buildings; and in transport and intelligent transport systems. These aspects are discussed in more detail in chapter 7.3.

The overall significance of green ICT will depend on individual situations. In some cases, for example, reduced energy consumption will mean lower energy prices and, consequently, increased demand, thereby making expected overall reductions slightly fewer than improvements per unit produced. In other cases, effects of real-time systems for public transport may depend on how well developed the overall public transport system is.

The potential to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions using ICT must be seen in relation to other impacts of increased ICT usage. The use of ICT will have environmental impacts throughout the technology life cycle, some of which are presented here:

  • Electric and electronic equipment contains hazardous substances such as heavy metals and organic pollutants that can cause environmental hazards during production and disposal and, to a lesser extent, during operation. Production of electronics is resource-intensive and reliant on, among other things, relatively rare metals. Mining these metals can produce large quantities of waste and chemical emissions.

  • Operating electronics has little environmental impact, but does require electrical power.

  • Because electronic equipment contains hazardous substances, it is important that scrapped products be processed in dedicated systems. Although such systems are regulated, it is difficult to ensure that all waste is collected and handled in approved waste management systems and to prevent scrapped ICT equipment from being illegally exported to countries where waste management conditions are hazardous to health and the environment.

Norway is covered by the EU emissions trading system. After the system is expanded in 2013, around 80 per cent of national emissions will be subject to emission allowances or liable to carbon tax. The allowances in the emissions trading system set caps on total emissions. In a well-functioning trading system, emission reductions in one activity will lead to a corresponding increase in emissions elsewhere in the system. Total emissions in the trading system can be reduced only by reducing the total allowance.

In areas subject to general policy instruments, such as the trading system, the general rule is to avoid further regulation. Simultaneously, the possibility to use other, additional policy instruments continues. For example, developing new technology in Norway can contribute to reducing emissions outside the trading system and to faster transition to more environmentally friendly technologies.31

7.1 Green ICT: Reduced environmental impact from production and use of ICT

ICT accounts for almost 2 per cent of global man-made greenhouse gas emissions32 and contributes significantly to emissions of hazardous substances. Because ICT is increasingly used in almost everything around us, ICT consumption will increase. Although ICT equipment is becoming increasingly energy-efficient, growth levels in production and use of ICT are expected to exceed compensation levels offered by today’s efficiency improvements. To limit energy consumption from production and use of ICT, we could use more energy-efficient equipment and organise ICT use in more energy-efficient ways. This is the essence of green ICT. Green ICT is also about minimising the negative environmental impacts of manufacture, use, and waste management of ICT equipment.

The full life cycle of ICT equipment is highly significant for energy consumption, waste quantities, and combined use of resources. The overall environmental and climate impact throughout a product’s life cycle must be considered when contemplating replacement. Impact will vary depending on how old equipment should be before replacement is viable. From an energy perspective, replacing relatively new equipment may be viable if recent technology developments have dramatically reduced energy consumption, as in the transition from plasma screens to LED.

First-generation environmentally friendly products are rarely optimal. Technology development and research are therefore important, even though first-generation products are not necessarily better than the best of those currently available.

Public procurement legislation stipulates that each procurement take into account life cycle costs and environmental impacts. Sound measurements and reliable standards for climate and environmental friendliness are crucial for helping buyers make informed purchasing decisions.

7.1.1 Green data centres and cloud services

Much of public and large private enterprises’ energy costs are for operating local computers and server rooms. Exact figures are difficult to determine because ICT-related energy costs are usually incorporated in enterprises’ total energy costs and rarely recorded separately in financial statements. An estimated 3 per cent of US energy consumption is used on data centres, and many Western countries operate with corresponding figures.

Data centres serve as warehouses for multiple computer servers. Their size varies from one room, basement, or hall to multi-storey facilities equivalent to 10 football pitches. Green data centres use far less energy and resources than others do by, for example, co-locating multiple data centres in one large facility to achieve synergies in power supply, broadband access, cooling, and more efficient reuse of surplus heat.

Transition to green data centres can reduce power consumption by 15–80 per cent, depending on how energy-efficient a data centre is initially and the extent to which so-called ‘virtual servers’ (see box 7.1) and cloud computing are used.

Cloud computing has grown dramatically in recent years and is expected to continue to do so, primarily as a means to cut costs (see chapter 4.4). Increased use of cloud services will create a need for more data centres. How enterprises use cloud services depends on the data types to be handled; for example, legislation stipulates how and where personal data may be processed.

Because energy represents such a large portion of data centre costs, enterprises will be highly motivated to find energy-efficient solutions. Significant overlap exists between the political desire for greener ICT and industry’s desire to cut costs. Development of the market for green data centres will continue, though it is too soon to say which solutions will eventually prove most competitive.

With its cold climate, strong ICT specialist community, and abundant supply of clean energy, Norway is well placed to host large-scale green data centres. The Government has financed pre-feasibility and reconnaissance studies for such data centres, and has supported several projects via the normal policy instrument system. The Government also actively promotes Norway internationally as a potential host country for green data centres, and Norway has participated in international initiatives for standardisation and facilitation.

Textbox 7.1 Virtualisation

A server is a computer that performs services for other computers in the same network. With server virtualisation, a server that is seen and perceived as one server no longer has to be a physical server; for example, 50 interconnected servers can be perceived by users as 200 servers. Software then enables resources to be used far more effectively.

In cloud data centres, such as Amazon S3 or Microsoft’s Azure, data storage and processing resources are distributed across virtual servers in enormous data centres. As well as optimal resource utilisation, solutions are more secure and stable because they are mirrored in multiple geographical locations, and operating and security costs are shared by many customers.

In 2010, CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, considered establishing a green data centre outside Switzerland, and Norway was a candidate. Several ministers held meetings with potential Norwegian suppliers. On behalf of the Norwegian Government, the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs held meetings with CERN’s management to promote Norway’s candidature. In spring 2012, CERN selected Hungary to host its new data centre.

Invest in Norway

To ensure proper processing, effective resource utilisation, and knowledge acquisition and reuse, the Government wants to facilitate a better-organised and more integrated system for managing enquiries from foreign companies considering Norway as a business location. International actors often want to establish relations with public authorities, to be made to feel welcome, and to receive support. To coordinate processing of foreign companies’ applications is also more cost-effective than processing them individually, particularly in terms of building networks and competence. The Government has therefore decided to establish Invest in Norway, a professional and robust agency in the public policy instrument system for processing investment enquiries. Invest in Norway should also contribute to faster, more streamlined processing of foreign enquiries regarding establishing green data centres in Norway.

Textbox 7.2 Innovation Norway in San Francisco

Innovation Norway’s San Francisco office promotes Norway as a potential host country for environmentally friendly data centres for ICT companies on the US West Coast. In close cooperation with its regional offices in Norway, Innovation Norway’s San Francisco office liaises between American companies and Norwegian specialist communities.

Providing quality-assured information to potential investors is another key task. Offers are legally binding, and preparing estimates and making long-term commitments on energy prices and data provision can be complex. It is therefore important to ensure that interested parties be quickly provided with relevant information so as to build trust between foreign investors and Norwegian data centre stakeholders.

Figure 7.1 Destination Norway. Used by Innovation Norway for promoting Norway in connection with data centres

Figure 7.1 Destination Norway. Used by Innovation Norway for promoting Norway in connection with data centres

Invest in Norway will serve as a contact point and coordinator, facilitating dialogue between international companies considering investing in Norway and Norwegian authorities and policy implementing agencies. Invest in Norway will evaluate potential investments, inform interested parties about framework conditions and support schemes, and forward enquiries to public authorities and relevant local and national actors. Knowledge must be developed and updated on how best to handle such enquiries and on information about areas in which Norway has specialist competence or other competitive advantages.

Innovation Norway has established Invest in Norway in cooperation with SIVA (Industrial Development Corporation of Norway) and the Research Council of Norway. In addition to coordinating with the Norwegian system of innovation policy instruments, Invest in Norway will cooperate with corresponding networks abroad. Invest in Norway will have a website containing relevant information about Norwegian business and industry, framework conditions, business opportunities, and contact points. Embedded in the system of innovation policy instruments, Invest in Norway is positioned to offer unique competence, networks, and a broad spectrum of services.

Innovation Norway’s international offices will closely cooperate with Norwegian foreign service missions, especially in countries where it currently lacks representation, to assist Norwegian businesses with internationalisation and to handle enquiries about potential investment in Norway.

Textbox 7.3 Initiatives

  • 55. Public procurement and green ICT

    Through Difi, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs will develop procurement guidelines for green ICT,1 in line with the environmental policy for public procurements.2

  • 56. Official ecolabels

    The Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion allocates funding to two official eco-labels: the Nordic Swan ecolabel and the EU Ecolabel. The Nordic Swan ecolabel sets labelling criteria for computers, photocopiers, printers, audiovisual devices, and toner cartridges, etc. The EU Ecolabel sets criteria for personal and portable computers and televisions.

  • 57. Coordinating national initiatives on green data centres

    In cooperation with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, and the Ministry of Oil and Energy, the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs will consider initiatives for developing green data centres in Norway.

1 See Difi's website pages on procurement and environment:

2 St.meld. 34(2006–2007) Norwegian Climate Policy, white paper from the Ministry of the Environment

7.2 Dematerialisation: From physical products to digital alternatives

Dematerialisation is about replacing physical products and activities that emit high levels of greenhouse gases with digital alternatives that emit little or none.33

Typical examples of dematerialisation are music files or films in digital formats instead of physical CDs or DVDs, or documents in digital formats transmitted electronically instead of paper documents distributed by letter post or courier. Dematerialisation is also about using ICT to create new services that use resources optimally. For example, ICT has enabled simple digital mobile phones to perform the same functions as analogue devices such as music players, radios, and cameras – in addition to those of a regular phone.

Dematerialisation holds significant potential in many areas of society, and public agencies can contribute towards this in several ways, such as facilitating digital self-service solutions. In the health and care sector, technologies such as telemedicine, electronic prescriptions, and digital medical consultations can reduce the need to move patients and thereby have significant effects in areas far from hospitals or doctor’s surgeries. The government requirement for electronic invoicing enforced from July 2012 will reduce the volumes of paper invoices and physical transport.

Through its eGovernment Programme from April 2012, the Government established the principle that digital communication should be the general rule for all communication between citizens and the public sector. This entails, for example, digital tax cards and digital invoices, digital letters and forms from agencies such as NAV, the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund, and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, and various online self-service solutions. Digital solutions are intended to facilitate easier, more effective communication with public sector agencies, to improve public sector efficiency, and to have positive climate effects. In a 2012 economic survey, Oslo Economics estimated that the public sector (state and local authorities) annually issues around 125 million letters and that public agencies and health authorities receive around 4.5 million invoices.34

Transport volumes could also be reduced by using ICT for teleconferencing, videoconferencing, web meetings, etc. These strategies are specified in most environmental management systems, are used by many private and public enterprises, and must be used by all public agencies. Despite such tools, transport levels in Norway and worldwide have not decreased. However, ICT solutions have probably helped reduce growth in transportation needs, though by how much is difficult to calculate. ICT tools can also be assumed to increase communication, not just reduce travel activities. New needs and new ways of working have been created, and new policy instruments may be necessary to reduce emissions caused by business travel and to learn how to reduce travel activities overall.

Textbox 7.4 Initiatives

  • 58. From physical products to digital alternatives

    Transition from physical products to digital alternatives holds significant potential in many areas in society. The Government will contribute to dematerialisation through:

  • The eGovernment Programme, the primary objective of which is digitisation of documents, invoices, and public services.

  • Facilitating development and increased use of digital content in the form of text, images, film, audio, and combinations thereof.

  • Digitisation in business and industry, such as electronic reporting and new digital services.

7.3 Smart ICT: ICT as a tool for improving the environment

As this white paper shows, ICT has many applications. Nonetheless, the term smart ICT describes only ICT uses for reducing energy consumption, material usage, and emissions in established business sectors. This can apply to areas such as transport, retail, and traditional industrial sectors. Smart ICT covers everything from logistics systems for reducing transport needs to component analysis systems for finding the most energy-efficient building solutions. The Climate Group report, Smart 2020, shows that using ICT across sectors could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 15 per cent by 2020.35Such reductions are contingent on public authorities taking active roles as stakeholders in and facilitators of ICT in society. The Climate Group has prepared a summary of sectors where ICT can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Figure 7.2 Global reductions of greenhouse gas emissions due to smart ICT (gigatonnes CO2 equivalents)

Figure 7.2 Global reductions of greenhouse gas emissions due to smart ICT (gigatonnes CO2 equivalents)

Source The Climate Group on behalf of the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI) (2008) – SMART 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age

7.3.1 Smart grids

Smart grids are electrical infrastructures designed and operated to achieve more effective power systems based on ICT and on market-based solutions.

  • Smart grids can increase security of supply in areas affected by capacity constraints. Grid companies have better possibilities to manage power consumption in periods when power systems are under pressure, such as grid outages, production interruptions, or demand peaks.

  • Smart grids can facilitate integration of additional power from variable renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and small-scale hydropower.

  • Electric and hybrid vehicles can be made more user-friendly through smart methods of fast charging. Large-scale rollout of electric and hybrid vehicles may challenge today’s electricity systems. Smart grids can address these challenges and also enable consumers to use their electric cars as power back-up supplies. Some countries, such as Denmark, are conducting trials using car fleets for temporary storage of electricity.

Today’s grid designs and systems must be developed to meet future needs in terms of technical solutions and functionality, and R&D in grid design and system solutions is crucial for success. The Government’s commitment to R&D and competence-building in smart grids has mainly been addressed by the Research Council of Norway’s RENERGI programme (Clean Energy for the Future). The programme, which has run for almost 10 years, will end in 2013 and will be followed by ENERGIX, a new large-scale energy research programme. This programme, which will run for 10 years and has much the same research focus as its predecessor, will develop technology for smarter and more robust transmission and distribution systems.

7.3.2 Energy management and monitoring

In future, use of advanced energy systems in homes will likely become widespread. More people will produce and store their own energy using technology such as solar collectors, heat pumps, and windmills. Returning surplus energy to power grids will also become more widespread. Smart thermostats, sensors, and energy management systems with basic user interfaces, such as mobile phone applications, will make energy management and energy saving easier for average consumers.

In future, use of advanced metering systems (AMS) in the energy sector will increase, and all Norwegian energy customers will have AMS installed by 1 January 2019. Unlike conventional meters, which customers must read and then report power consumption themselves, AMS registers electricity consumption hourly and automatically transmits consumption data to the grid companies. AMS will also offer customers more detailed information about their energy consumption. AMS provides grid companies with information vital for managing and designing networks, and can also ease the administrative burdens of metering, charging, and invoicing.

Several standards are now in place because of EU standardisation efforts, and these standards can be used in Norway. Because AMS is based on open standards, it is easier to integrate third-party solutions with the grid companies’ own. Such third-party solutions can, for example, manage heat pumps, using energy data from power companies, and combine different energy carriers such as electricity, solar energy, or district heating in the best possible way.36

Frequent meter reading and data storage may challenge data protection. Detailed statements of electricity consumption can say much about customers’ consumption patterns, so it is important that such data be securely transmitted and stored. Data must also be processed in compliance with the agreed purpose and not stored longer than the specified storage time or disclosed to a third party without customer consent.

Consumers own the data concerning their personal electricity consumption, and may share them with selected providers of add-on services that use AMS data to, for example, provide real-time information and statistics on electricity consumption, or that use automated energy management systems based on parameters such as time, usage, temperature, etc.37

7.3.3 Smart buildings

Building management accounts for almost 40 per cent of mainland Norway’s total energy consumption,38 78 per cent of which constitutes electricity, 9 per cent oil and gas, around 3 per cent district heating, and around 10 per cent bioenergy.

The term ‘smart building’ is often used in connection with planning and constructing new buildings where construction processes and subsequent maintenance and management are particularly resource-efficient. A goal for smart buildings is that they should use less energy throughout the life cycle than conventional buildings do.

To achieve maximum resource savings, digital tools are necessary throughout the planning and construction processes, from programming and drawing to completed building. Building information modelling (BIM) is based on open, international standards for data storage, terminology, and descriptions of business processes. BIM can make construction processes more efficient, automate building application processes, and facilitate smart application of ICT. When all elements in a building are described using BIM, models can be used to estimate greenhouse gas emissions in connection with choice of materials, floor plans, heating systems, and other elements affecting a building’s total emissions. Buildings can thereby be made as environmentally friendly as possible.

The Government has proposed developing a strategy for establishing ByggNett,39 which can also form the basis for a register for documenting and storing information on building projects. Such a register could provide construction clients and other actors with easy access to technical data, as well as a basis for making rational decisions regarding management, operation, and maintenance of buildings. In addition to building documentation, a strategy for ByggNett could include facilitating full electronic case processing and integration of BIM.

Through the large public construction clients, Statsbygg and Forsvarsbygg, the state could be a significant driving force behind development of so-called ‘sustainable buildings.’ Sustainability is determined by both environmental impacts and social and economic aspects of a building’s entire life cycle.40 Part of this work has involved developing an integrated method of calculating greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. In March 2011, Statsbygg launched version 3 of, a free, web-based model based on BIM standards. Further development is planned to enable even closer integration with models for building information.41 contains the following modules: materials, transport, management, and outdoor areas.

Since 2010, Statsbygg has required all new building projects exceeding the EEA thresholds to be implemented using BIM. As of 1 July 2012, the threshold for building and construction projects is NOK 40 million.

Smart management systems in buildings

Smart management systems in buildings are systems whereby ICT is built into buildings’ structures so as to monitor and manage buildings as effectively as possible. Examples of such systems are ventilation, heat recycling, heat pumps, alarm systems, telephony, and energy management, including management of own energy production. ICT systems for regulating, managing, and monitoring are key tools for reducing buildings’ energy consumption. These systems will work with improved building standards and BIM. The management systems can also be connected to so-called ‘smart home solutions’ for welfare technology (see chapter 6.1) and used by advance metering systems (AMS) for energy consumption.

Automation of energy consumption using a building management system will reduce energy consumption. On the other hand, it has been shown that buildings whose technical equipment is managed by advanced control systems may use more energy than older buildings with less technical equipment, though their indoor climate is better. An often important parameter for energy consumption in commercial buildings is the human factor, that is, having a technician or caretaker who actively and regularly monitors and calibrates energy consumption.

Climate Cure 2020 studied need-based management of lighting, heating, and related automation beyond current standards for rehabilitation and new building projects for housing and commercial buildings. For housing, the report identified a potential of around 700 GWh for rehabilitation projects and around 200 GWh for new housing. The potential for rehabilitated commercial buildings was around 250 GWh and for new commercial buildings less than 100 GWh. This potential was calculated using empirical data on measures implemented in the respective building categories.

New and creative systems for producing own energy are continually being developed. For example, research is ongoing on systems that can use energy from compressed air produced when someone walks or drives over a surface. This type of energy, for example, can be used for lighting in areas or buildings with high traffic volumes, such as hospitals. Open, international standards will ensure that future solutions can also be integrated with today’s management systems.

7.3.4 Intelligent transport systems

The transport sector accounts for one fifth of Norway’s total greenhouse gas emissions and around half of Oslo’s. Many countries have introduced so-called ‘intelligent transport systems’ (ITS) to regulate traffic and to reduce environmental impacts;42 some examples of ITS for road, air, and sea transport are presented in other sections of this white paper.

ITS entails systems and services using ICT to create more effective, flexible, secure, and environmentally friendly utilisation of transport infrastructure.43ITS is included in the Government’s efforts to reach the objectives in the National Transport Plan for traffic mobility, traffic safety, environment, and accessibility.

The EU has estimated that ITS can help reduce journey times by 20 per cent, increase road network capacity by 5–10 per cent, and significantly reduce environmental impacts.44 Development of ITS sets increasingly higher requirements for standardisation and adaptation between countries. In 2010, therefore, the EU adopted its own ITS directive, which was incorporated into the EEA Agreement in 2011.

In Norway, road, rail, sea, and air transport agencies have actively focused on ITS for many years. For example, ARKTRANS, a framework for developing ITS for different means of transport, has been established to ensure coordination.

The Government wants to stimulate transport innovation through close cooperation between the state and business and industry. A key initiative is to make the transport agencies’ data accessible to external actors.

Intelligent transport systems: Road and rail

Public transport must have good traffic mobility in urban areas to compete with private cars. Initiatives to achieve this include active signal prioritisation (i.e., giving public transport the green light as much as possible at traffic light junctions) and systems for combining passenger car and train transport, such as intelligent ‘park and ride’ solutions.

For commercial transport, systems for real-time information on journey times and road conditions, and automatic notification of traffic congestion and unforeseen incidents can make for faster and more predictable transport. Combined with systems for selecting the best route, such data can make driving and distribution routes more effective and thereby increase payload efficiency and reduce empty running and waiting time. Overall, these initiatives will contribute to more environmentally friendly driving behaviour. ITS solutions are used in goods transport to, among other things, track and monitor the location of goods.

ITS can also be used to enhance security in society; for example, sensors can monitor the condition of vital infrastructure, and systems can automatically detect faults and assess fault frequencies and degree of severity.

Textbox 7.5 Smarter road traffic with ITS (SMITS)

Smarter Road Traffic with ITS (SMITS) is an R&D programme run by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration from 2012 to 2017. The programme examines how ITS can contribute to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration’s goals for traffic mobility, the environment, universal accessibility, and traffic safety. The programme will also serve to drive national research activities on ITS.

Source More information at: Norwegian Public Roads Administration,

Intelligent transport systems: Air

In the aviation industry, the greatest climate benefits are derived from replacing old aircraft with new and from implementing measures on-board aircraft themselves;45 however, much potential for emission reductions also lies in aircraft flight operations. ITS can facilitate new technology, revision of inward and outward flight procedures, and reorganisation of airspace so that planes take a more direct route in the landing pattern and on final approach. This method reduces circling and traffic congestion, and thus fuel consumption.

A project has already been initiated in Eastern Norway to increase the number of continuous landings and take-offs. Allocating take-off and landing slots will reduce waiting time during peak periods, both on the ground and in the air, and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The project will also further develop airspace management over Eastern Norway using modern satellite-based navigation technology.

Norway participates in the Single European Sky initiative, one objective of which is to reduce average flight times by 8–14 minutes by 2020 and thereby reduce CO2 emissions by 1–1.5 tonnes. The EU expects this initiative to reduce the environmental impact of European aviation by 10 per cent.

Intelligent transport systems: Sea

An area where ITS can produce significant benefits is ship traffic management in, for example, ports. Traffic management can prevent unnecessary port time, waiting time, and empty running, and can significantly contribute to reducing fuel consumption and ship traffic emissions. This is particularly important in a country like Norway, which has high levels of shipping and ship-based transport activities.

Intelligent transport systems and data protection

Similar to the advanced metering systems (AMS) in power grids, ITS has the potential to gather considerable volumes of personal data. Such information can be highly sensitive when systems store data on where individuals are located at any given time. This particularly applies to private individuals using road traffic and public transport systems. Fleet management systems, electronic ticket systems, toll booths, and automatic speed control devices are examples of systems that register where individuals are located.

It is important that gathering and processing data for ITS purposes always be balanced against potential violation of travellers’ privacy. The National Transport Plan for 2010–2019 states that all new initiatives must undergo a privacy impact assessment (PIA).

Textbox 7.6 Initiatives

  • 59. Smart grids

    By 1 January 2019, all Norwegian end-users will be provided with advanced metering systems (AMS). The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) is the supervising authority. AMS will have a standardised interface that facilitates communication with external devices based on open standards.

  • 60. Use of BIM in public procurement

    Statsbygg will set documentation requirements for greenhouse gas emissions calculations for all new building projects, in accordance with Statsbygg’s environmental strategy and goals for 2011–2014. Today, the government programmes Fremtidens byer [Cities of the Future] and FutureBuilt set requirements for calculating greenhouse gas emissions using the calculation tool for pilot and showcase projects.

  • 61. Strategy for establishing ByggNett

    In cooperation with the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development will develop a strategy for establishing ByggNett.

  • 62. Further development of

    Statsbygg will continue developing the calculation tool to achieve, among other things, closer integration with BIM.

  • 63. Following up initiatives in the ITS strategy

    The Ministry of Transport and Communications will follow up the ITS strategy.1

1 Samferdselsdepartementet (2010): Strategi – Intelligente transportsystemer [Strategy: Intelligent transport systems]

8 Digitisation in the public sector

Many Norwegian public sector agencies and services are already digitised, and Norway is well underway with providing digital services to businesses. Nonetheless, much remains to be done; a considerable amount of written communication between citizens and the public sector is still conducted on paper, and those who would like to correspond digitally must specifically request to do so. A survey by the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment in 2011 shows that only around 30 per cent of the 100 most used public sector services are fully digitised.

Figure 8.1 The 15 public sector services with greatest annual volumes (except health and care services) and the 11 largest services that are not yet digitised

Figure 8.1 The 15 public sector services with greatest annual volumes (except health and care services) and the 11 largest services that are not yet digitised

Source Difi Rapport 2011:2 – Digitalt førstevalg – status for elektroniske tjenester i staten med Vedlegg 1 – Tjenestematrise [Digital by default: Status of electronic services in the public sector, with Annex 1: Services matrix]. The health and care services and municipal services are generally excluded.

Digitisation programme: Digitising Public Sector Services

Through its eGovernment Programme presented in April 2012, the Government wants to speed up the pace of public sector digitisation. In future, digital communication will be the standard; correspondence regarding applications, invoices, appointment requests, decisions, and various types of reports will be conducted digitally, thereby enhancing accessibility to services and efficiency in the public sector.

In its eGovernment Programme, the Government set the following objectives:

  • The public sector will, as far as possible, be accessible online.

  • Web-based services will be the standard means of communication between the public sector and citizens, organisations, and businesses.

  • A digital public sector will provide better services.

  • Digitisation of the public sector will free up resources needed elsewhere.

The Government’s ambition is for Norway to be at the forefront internationally in developing a digital public sector.

Figure 8.2 Contact with the public sector, by channel of communication

Figure 8.2 Contact with the public sector, by channel of communication

Source IT i praksis [IT in practice]

Digitisation of public sector services can help make citizens’ contact with the public sector a positive experience. Digitisation will make it easier and quicker for users to deal with the public sector. It will make it easier to coordinate information and deliver unified services; for example, users will no longer have to register the same information repeatedly. Digital services will be available round the clock, and users can access them via their mobile phones or computers at home. Moreover, users will experience faster response times.

Figure 8.3 Citizens’ assessments of contact with the public sector in different channels.

Figure 8.3 Citizens’ assessments of contact with the public sector in different channels.

Source Citizens’ assessments of contact with the public sector were obtained from Rambøll (2012) – IT i praksis [IT in practice]. Cost estimates for different types of enquiries obtained from Copenhagen Municipality (2009) – Citizen 2012. Service- og kanalstrategi for Københavns Kommune 2010–2012 [Citizen 2012: Service and channel strategy for the City of Copenhagen 2010–2012]

Digitisation can lead to a better and more efficient public sector. Increased user accessibility and good digital services will contribute to improvement in the quality of information received. Digitisation will also make it possible to automate processes previously handled manually and thus save time for both the public sector and users.

The public sector is being digitised to provide users with good services and because we want to use public resources effectively. But the public sector is also important for Norway’s ICT industry, accounting for more than one third of the total demand for ICT services. It is therefore vital that public agencies be competent customers who contribute to the industry’s continued development.

Figure 8.4 eGovernment Programme

Figure 8.4 eGovernment Programme

Source Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs (2012): Digitizing Public Sector Services: Norwegian eGovernment Program

The eGovernment Programme adopts a long-term perspective and will provide the basis for the Government’s future work on digitising the public sector. The programme shows how digitisation will be implemented in the respective areas within the public sector. Digitisation will result in improved services for Norway’s citizens (see chapter 8.1). Realisation of a digital public sector is contingent on certain premises, such as a common digital infrastructure with technical systems that can be used by the entire public sector (see chapter 8.2). Cross-sector and cross-agency management and organisation of ICT must be improved (chapter 8.3). Laws and regulations must be adapted to facilitate and support digital communication (see chapter 8.4). A fundamental premise for digitisation is that security, robustness, and data protection be safeguarded (see chapter 10.3).

Broad and strong commitment to ICT in 2013

In 2013, the Government is preparing a broad and strong commitment to ICT in line with the eGovernment Programme. According to Statistics Norway, public sector ICT costs in 2011 amounted to NOK 10.8 billion. In the national budget for 2013, priority was given to digitisation initiatives in NAV (Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service), the police and justice sector, and common systems such as Altinn and EDAG (electronic dialogue with employers).

8.1 Digital services for citizens

The Government wants citizens to have online access to self-service solutions, and has therefore decided that all public agencies, including public health authorities, must make their forms and reports digitally accessible. This process will take place gradually over the next few years, and the forms that are most used will be digitised first. Consequently, citizens will no longer have to complete forms, applications, and reports in paper form and send them by letter post.

Digitisation can lead to tangible improvements throughout the public sector in the future. The Government holds high ambitions in many key areas affecting citizens and businesses. NAV, the health and care sector, and the justice sector are areas of society strongly committed to digitisation in 2013. The health and care sector is covered in chapter 6 of this white paper.

8.1.1 Digitisation in NAV

The objectives for establishing NAV were work orientation, user orientation, and efficiency improvement: more people in work and activity; a public sector more user-friendly and better adapted to user needs; and a unified and effective public sector. These objectives can be reached only by developing new ICT solutions for NAV, work the Government has already initiated. In future, NAV will develop new procedures and systems for all public services except for pension services, where these have already been introduced.

ICT modernisation in NAV will develop better services for users and facilitate better, more effective follow-up during transition to employment. The programme will contain new solutions for disability pension and sick pay, self-service solutions, increased automation of decision processes, and electronic collaboration with partners. The programme is planned to take 6 years to implement and is divided into three projects. The Storting has approved the first project, which started in August 2012 and is planned to be implemented over 2.5 years. NOK 735 million was allocated to the project for 2013. As developed solutions are gradually commissioned, ICT modernisation will free up resources and compensate for NAV’s increased ICT operating costs.

8.1.2 Digitisation in the justice sector

ICT is becoming increasingly important for the justice sector to reach its general objectives of reduced crime, increased safety and security, improved efficiency, and sound legal safeguards. Much has been done to prepare the ground for developing new electronic solutions within the justice sector, such as identifying essential information flows and work processes so as to organise ICT investments effectively. Because much existing technology is old, it prevents effective electronic collaboration with the police, as was mentioned in the Gjørv Commission’s report, Report from the 22 July Commission (NOU 2012: 14). In future, the Government wants to contribute to effective collaboration, good information security, and sound management and decision making information within the justice sector. Registration and quality assurance of information will only need to be done once, and will be shared and reused across policy areas and agencies. In time, paper-based systems for information and case processing will be phased out as far as possible and replaced by electronic solutions.

8.1.3 Digital registration

Norway has a good system for registering rights in fixed property and housing cooperatives. The Norwegian Mapping Authority has responsibility for registration. In 2011, it registered 1.5 million legal rights, and 97 per cent of these were completed in four working days, including postage time.

Registration decisions are recorded in the land register. Entries are made electronically but are based on information contained in paper documents. The Norwegian Mapping Authority files copies of registered documents in the register of mortgages archive.

The Norwegian Mapping Authority is working on establishing a digital archive of the register of mortgages. So far, it has scanned (digitised) registered copies equivalent to 2 kilometres of archive shelving, and scanning of copies equivalent to a further 4 kilometres remains. Today, the Norwegian Mapping Authority scans all incoming documents.

The technical structure of the land register does not meet modern-day requirements; for example, it is divided into separate databases for rights in fixed property and shares in housing cooperatives.

The Norwegian Mapping Authority is restructuring the register to create a technical interface that gives users of digital information equal access to the land register.

Registration will be performed more efficiently if documents are submitted electronically, and the Norwegian Mapping Authority is conducting a pilot project to this end. Initially, the solution facilitated registration and deletion of new mortgage deeds only. However, the pilot project was gradually expanded to facilitate deletion of other mortgage deeds and management of execution liens and bankruptcy petitions from the Enforcement Officer. The solution in the pilot project has been tested by 46 different users, mainly banks and estate agencies.

The pilot solution is considered a success, though it has considerable technical limitations. Large-scale electronic registration will not be possible in the pilot solution. The solution will not be expanded for use by more users.

Textbox 8.1 Initiatives

  • 64. Digital services for citizens

    All ministries are responsible for ensuring that underlying agencies, including health authorities, can provide forms, applications, and reports digitally by the first half of 2015. Services with annual submission volumes over 5,000 must be made accessible by the first half of 2014. Services with annual submission volumes over 3,000 must be made accessible by the first half of 2015. Exceptions to this requirement are services where digitisation offers no practical benefits for either users or the public sector, and services that are planned for digitisation during 2015.

  • 65. Digitisation in NAV

    NAV is conducting ICT modernisation to develop better services for users and to facilitate better, more effective follow-up during transition to employment.

  • 66. Digitisation in the justice sector

    The Ministry of Justice and Public Security is responsible for ensuring that ICT is used for effective collaboration, adequate information security, and good management and decision information in the justice sector. This will contribute to the justice sector’s ability to reach its objectives of reduced crime, increased safety and security, improved efficiency, and sound legal safeguards.

  • 67. Digital registration

    The Norwegian Mapping Authority will continue the transition to fully digitised registration through, among other measures, restructuring of the land register database and scanning of the register of mortgages.

8.2 Common solutions in public administration

For the most part, digitisation is taking place within the respective sectors. However, technical solutions required to make digital services work are often the same. To avoid different areas of public administration developing their own solutions for more or less similar functions, there is a need for common solutions, so-called ‘common components.’ Important common components currently in use include registers containing information on people, property, and businesses (the National Population Register, the Cadastre, and the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities) and other common solutions such as Altinn and the common infrastructure for electronic IDs (eID Gateway).

Users will also benefit from common components through, for example, a common login solution for public services and a common digital mailbox for correspondence from the public sector. Thus, common components will facilitate good and coherent digital services across the public sector.

The national budget for 2013 prioritises several such common projects, such as Digital mailbox, Altinn, and EDAG (see chapter 4.1.1).

8.2.1 Digital mailbox for citizens and enterprises

The eGovernment Programme established the general rule that the public sector should communicate digitally with citizens and businesses. In time, most public agencies will be able to communicate with citizens via their digital mailboxes. Many public agencies and commercial suppliers of digital mailboxes therefore have a key role to play in future. The Government wants citizens to be able to choose between market-based mailbox solutions and to receive correspondence from the public sector in the same digital mailbox they use for other digital correspondence.

Citizens may opt out of the system, but businesses will be required to register. The Government will also work towards enabling the municipalities to communicate with citizens via digital mail.

Citizens and enterprises will be notified via text message or e-mail when new mail arrives in their digital mailboxes. Contact details (mobile phone numbers and e-mail addresses) will be gathered in one place to avoid users having to repeatedly supply such details to different parts of the public sector.

8.2.2 Altinn: A common platform for digital services

The Government’s eGovernment Programme describes how future digital services will be established on a single platform of common technical solutions. Altinn is perhaps the best simplification tool we have, and will play a key role in this platform. The Government is therefore pursuing the successful work on developing the Altinn platform as one of the key tools for providing digital services to private individuals and businesses. In 2013, the Altinn II project, which began in 2008 and developed the new Altinn platform, is in its final phase. To secure and maximise the assets that were created and that are today represented in Altinn, work is ongoing to make the platform more robust and increase usage of existing functionality and services.

8.2.3 Electronic ID (eID)

Electronic identity (elD) enables secure use of digital services. MinID [My ID] is a public eID solution with security level 3 (medium level).

Access to services containing sensitive personal data or requiring signature, however, requires ID with a higher security level (level 4). Currently, citizens can use eID from commercial providers who satisfy requirements for high security levels and who have agreements with the public sector. In November 2012, agreements were signed between the public sector and all three providers of high-security electronic ID operating in Norway (BankID, Buypass, and Commfides). These will give more than 2.8 million citizens access to public digital services requiring high-level security. Due to widespread use of high-level secure ID in the population, the Government expects many new advanced digital services to become available.

The Government also intends to establish a national system of ID cards with government-issued eID and a high level of security. The national ID cards will also contain an electronic ID, and will serve as official ID and valid travel ID within the Schengen Area.

The eID Gateway will be further developed to include electronic signature and encryption. Electronic signature will facilitate communication within areas which currently require handwritten signatures. Encryption ensures that information exchanged with the public sector is not disclosed to unauthorised parties.

8.2.4 Digital document exchange within the public sector

When public agencies exchange documents, they often print and send them by regular mail or courier. The Government wants digital communication to be standard procedure within the public sector. This will save resources currently spent on scanning, postage, and manual labour, reduce postage time, and spare the environment. The aim of the Government, therefore, is that all public agencies should establish a digital system for secure internal exchange of documents. This requires so-called ‘enterprise certificates,’ a form of electronic ID for enterprises, which in practice enable enterprises to exchange documents digitally and securely. Further work is required to determine which document categories will be exchanged digitally and how the document exchange system should be designed. The system will be designed so as to gradually enable municipalities to be incorporated into the infrastructure. Before that can happen, however, the municipal sector must be coordinated.

8.2.5 Common registers to support a digital public sector

To perform their duties well, many public agencies are dependent on fast, easy access to updated, correct information about people, enterprises, and property. Such information is held in the National Population Register, the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities, and the Norwegian Cadastre, respectively. These three registers constitute key common components.

The National Population Register holds information such as date of birth, marital status, residence permits, and permanent address of everyone who currently resides or has resided in Norway. The Directorate of Taxes has initiated a project to modernise the National Population Register. The register’s technical solution, organisation, and content will be evaluated in light of the needs and opportunities created by a digital public sector and digital services.

The purpose of the Central Coordinating Register is to coordinate use of basic data from the business sector so as to avoid burdening businesses by duplicating their reporting obligations. The Register of Reporting Obligations of Enterprises maintains an updated overview of the reporting obligations of businesses. The Government will consider whether electronic business addresses should constitute basic data in the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities.

The Norwegian Cadastre is a public register of fixed property containing information on buildings and addresses. This register will be developed so that the information it contains can be used in a digital public sector.

Textbox 8.2 Initiatives

  • 68. Digital mailbox

    The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs is responsible for establishing a solution that will enable all public agencies to communicate via digital mail with businesses and with citizens who have not opted out.

  • 69. Digital mail: Opting out and contact details

    The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs will establish a common system to allow citizens to opt out from receiving digital mail from government authorities and from municipalities that communicate via digital mail.

  • 70. Altinn will be further developed and made more robust

    The Ministry of Trade and Industry wants to further develop Altinn so that the platform remains a central element in developing public digital services and electronic collaboration in areas where no satisfactory commercial solutions are currently available.

  • 71. High security level for eID

    The Government is working towards making secure identification more widely available. The Government also intends to establish a national system of ID cards with government-issued eID and a high level of security. The eID Gateway will be further developed to include electronic signature and encryption.

  • 72. Digital document exchange

    The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs is assessing, based on cost, efficiency, security, and robustness, alternatives for exchanging documents in the public sector.

  • 73. Modernisation of the National Population Register

    The Directorate of Taxes has initiated a project to modernise the National Population Register. The Government will consider whether citizens’ digital contact information should eventually be incorporated into the Population Register.

8.3 Organising and coordinating for more efficient use of resources

Information is increasingly exchanged between agencies in the public sector. The lack of adequate structures to handle how information is exchanged between agencies has created challenges. Increased digitisation of public sector services necessitates better coordination.

The Government will therefore improve coordination of the ministries’ work on ICT development in public administration and consider future organisation of common ICT components. The Government will also require administrators of national common components to safeguard the overall needs of the public sector. In time, it will become necessary to simplify funding models for the national common components.

Textbox 8.3 SKATE

SKATE (Strategic Cooperation Council for Management and Coordination of eGovernment Services) is a strategic cooperation council for senior managers in selected public agencies. The Government gave the Council a mandate to ensure that digitisation of the public sector is coordinated and that it benefits citizens, businesses, and the public sector. SKATE is a key policy advisor concerning which ICT measures ought to be implemented and how to finance them. SKATE will also advise on future development policy and on administration of the common components in the central ICT infrastructure. The Council currently comprises the directors of Brønnøysund Register Centre, Directorate of Taxes, Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service, Norwegian Mapping Authority, Directorate of Health, National Police Directorate, Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund, Statistics Norway, KS/KommIT, and Difi. The Council is chaired by Difi.

8.3.1 Digitisation in the municipalities

It must be easy for citizens and businesses to conduct dealings with the public sector regardless of whether the relevant service is the responsibility of central, regional, or local government. The municipalities are responsible for implementing satisfactory digitisation and development initiatives in their areas of responsibility. It is important for the Government that the public sector be presented in a uniform manner vis-à-vis citizens, organisations, and businesses. It must be easy for municipalities to implement common solutions, particularly the most essential ones of Digital mailbox, eID, Altinn, and the Norwegian Population Register. It is important that the municipalities coordinate their needs so that the state can make it as easy as possible for them to use these solutions. A key step in this direction was taken in 2012, when KS established KommIT to serve as an ICT coordinating body in the municipal sector.

The municipal sector is responsible for a large portion of the services provided by the public sector to citizens and businesses. The public sector also has several important reforms that heavily depend on the municipalities’ capacity to perform their duties, such as the Coordination Reform and the NAV Reform. ICT offers opportunities for the public sector to find new ways of performing its tasks as rationally as possible. To achieve this, however, the entire public administration (central government, county municipalities, and municipalities) must cooperate with each other, implement joint initiatives, and develop universal solutions.

Textbox 8.4 Cooperation between central and local authorities on geographic information

Central and local authorities cooperate closely on establishing, managing, and making available geographic information. This cooperation is generally referred to as Norge Digitalt [Norway Digital] but actually comprises several components, an important one of which is Geovekst, a cooperation project on geodata dating from 1992. Common mapping projects worth around NOK 150 million per year are coordinated via Geovekst. The Norwegian Cadastre, Norway’s official property register, is vital for municipal administration, and much of the data held in this register is maintained by them. The municipalities are primarily responsible for making municipal plans and zoning plans digitally accessible, though they do so in cooperation with central government.

Through the Geointegration Project, the central government, the municipalities, and commercial system providers have developed standards for interoperability between municipal case management systems, recordkeeping systems, and geographic information systems in order to achieve more effective management of planning and building matters. The standards will be maintained through cooperation between KS and the Norwegian Mapping Authority.

This cooperation and the technical solutions developed from it provide the basis for electronic presentation of geographic information and provide new opportunities for openness and involvement. Multiple actors have developed map solutions with options for dialogue and applications for tablets and smartphones.

To strengthen cooperation on society’s common infrastructure for geographic information, a national geographic council was appointed by royal decree on 30 March 2012, comprising members from public agencies, municipalities, and the geomatics industry.

8.3.2 Common ICT support functions

To make public agencies more efficient, the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs is considering establishing new common services, such as the Norwegian Government Agency for Financial Management’s payroll and accounting system. A survey conducted by Statistics Norway in 2012 showed that the bigger the business, the fewer the resources used on ICT support services per employee. Work has now been initiated to establish common ICT support functions in the public sector to benefit from the economies of scale these can provide.

8.3.3 Realisation of benefits

ICT can be used for organisation development, process improvement, and services offering significant potential benefits for society. Such potential, however, is not always realised. Financing and benefit realisation of projects across public sectors and agencies are particularly difficult issues because while costs can occur one place, benefits are often realised elsewhere or are realised at different times in different sectors. The Government emphasizes the importance of preparing good benefit realisation plans when planning public sector ICT projects and of following up plans once ICT solutions are implemented.

Textbox 8.5 Initiatives

  • 74. ICT coordination and the municipal sector

    The Government wants to enable a coordinated municipal sector to use national common components and to encourage good dialogue between central and local authorities concerning ICT.

  • 75. Further development of Norway Digital

    The Ministry of the Environment will further develop cooperation between state and local authorities on geographic information (Norway Digital).

  • 76. Technical solutions for geographic information

    The Norwegian Mapping Authority will contribute to further development of technical solutions for better integration of state and municipal geographic information.

  • 77. ICT support functions

    The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs has initiated work on assessing establishment of a national common ICT support function.

8.4 Adapting laws and regulations to a digital public sector

When public sector technology and organisation allow for new and more efficient ways to perform tasks, the formulation of relevant legislation should be reviewed. Laws and regulations should facilitate digital communication with citizens and businesses, enable reuse of information, and facilitate automated case management wherever relevant.

In 1999, a project called eRegelprosjektet [eRegulation Project] was launched to remove provisions that impede electronic communication. The project resulted in Ot.prp. nr. 108 (2000–2001) and Ot.prp. nr. 9 (2001–2002), proposing amendments to 39 acts of parliament. The Government is now taking a further step in this direction: having given electronic and paper-based communication equal status, it now wants electronic communication to be the standard and paper-based communication to be the exception to the rule.

8.4.1 Digital communication as standard

In future, the Government will work to amend legislation so that correspondence from the public sector can be sent digitally unless recipients have opted out (see chapter 8.2.1). Today, sections 16 and 27 of the Public Administration Act, for example, require recipients’ express approval before advance notifications or notifications of administrative decisions may be sent electronically. In autumn 2012, the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs issued a report on these issues for consultation.

The so-called ‘7-day rule’ in section 8 (7) of the Electronic Public Administration Regulations requires public administration to issue a decision in paper format if electronic correspondence concerning an individual decision is not opened within one week. The 7-day rule was removed from the regulations by royal decree with effect from 1 January 2013.

Furthermore, the Government has initiated more extensive and long-term work to examine regulations that constitute obstacles to digital communication, with a view to removing them. New laws and regulations should be formulated so as to support and facilitate digital services and digital communication.

8.4.2 Reusing and sharing information across the public sector

Regulations will facilitate digitisation. Furthermore, laws and regulations will enable information submitted to one public agency to be reused by others to a larger extent. This presupposes a legal basis for processing and requires examining and taking account of data protection issues. There is also a need for closer examination of laws and regulations with a view to enabling the public sector to use information in public registers more effectively, such as that contained in the National Population Register. Reuse of information must protect the privacy of individuals.

Textbox 8.6 Initiatives

  • 78. Amendment of the Public Administration Act

    The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs intends to propose amendment of the Public Administration Act. The amendment entails replacing the requirement for consent to use electronic communication with a right to opt out. The amendment also entails a legal basis for, through regulation, establishing digital mailboxes, contact details, and an opt-out register.



Perduco (2009): Nordic Business Survey (NORBUS): Report prepared for the Research Council of Norway (VERDIKT)


Statistics Norway (2013): Enterprises, by size and economic activity


Ministry of Trade and Industry (2012): Små bedrifter – store verdier. Regjeringens strategi for små og mellomstore bedrifter [Small enterprises – great value: Government strategy for small and medium-sized enterprises]


Difi (2009): Implementeringsveileder Elektronisk handelsformat. Faktura og Kreditnota [Guidance on implementing electronic commerce format. Invoices and credit notes], updated 2011


Small suppliers can use web-based systems (web-based invoicing portals) to issue invoices to public agencies


PostNord (2012): E-handel i Norden 2012 [Nordic e-Commerce Report 2012], survey conducted by TNS SIFO


Statistics Norway (2012): ICT in households. 2012, 2nd quarter


TNS Gallup: (2012): InterBuss Q2 2012


European Commission (2012): A coherent framework for building trust in the Digital Single Market for e-commerce and online services, Commission Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions


European Commission (2012): A coherent framework for building trust in the Digital Single Market for e-commerce and online services, Commission Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions


European Commission (2012): Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market, COM/2012/238 final


Norges Bank (2012): Årsrapport om betalingssystem 2011 [Annual Report on Payment Systems]


Prop 84 L (2009–2010) Endringer i lov om finansieringsvirksomhet og finansinstitusjoner (finansieringsvirksomhetsloven) mv. og enkelte andre lover (samleproposisjon) og Prop 139 L (2010–2011) Endringer i betalingssystemloven og finansieringsvirksomhetsloven mv. (gjennomføring av EØS-regler som svarer til direktiv 2009/44/EF og direktiv 2009/110/EF) [Prop. 84 L (2009–2010), a bill to amend the Act on Financing Activity and Financial Institutions (Financial Institutions Act), etc., and other acts (consolidated proposition), and Prop. 139 L (2010–2011), a bill to amend the Payment Systems Act and the Financial Institutions Act, etc., (implementation of EEA regulations corresponding to Directive 2009/44/EF and Directive 2009/110/EF)]


Directorate of Taxes (2012): Nytt regelverk for kassasystemer. Utredning om endringeri bokføringsregelverket [New Regulations for Cash Register Systems. Report on Amendments to Bookkeeping Regulations], Commissioned by the Ministry of Finance


Ministry of Culture (2011): Høring – endringer i åndsverkloven (tiltak mot ulovlig fildeling og andre krenkelser av opphavsrett m.m. på Internett) [Consultation: Amendments to the Copyright Act (measures against illegal file sharing and other violations of copyright law, etc., on the internet]


European Commission (2012): Green Paper: Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments


Norges Bank (2012): Årsrapport om betalingssystem 2011 [Annual Report on Payment Systems].


European Commission (2012): Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe, COM (2012) 529 final


McKinsey & Co. (2011): The Impact of the Internet on the French Economy


IFPI (2012): Digital Music Report 2012 and Recording Industry in Numbers, 2012 edition, country page: Norway


European Commission (2011): Green paper on the online distribution of audiovisual works in the European Union: Opportunities and challenges towards a digital single market


Statistics Norway (2001): Helse i Norge – Helsetilstand og behandlingstilbud belyst ved befolkningsundersøkelser [Health in Norway: Status of health and available treatment, informed by a population survey], p. 126


Statistics Norway (2012): Sysselsatte personer og avtalte årsverk, i alt i helse- og sosialtjenester, etter utdanningsnivå [Employees and agreed man-years, total for health and social services, by education level]. 2011, 4th quarter


Prop. 1 S (2012–2013) Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet, draft resolution from the Ministry of Health and Care Services


Sigrid Aktrun, Lisbet Grut, Torhild Holthe, and Sidsel Bjørneby (2011): Hvor trykker skoen? Hvordan kan hjelpemidler og velferdsteknologi være en del av en helhetlig omsorgstjeneste for personer med demens [Where does the problem lie? How can assistive and welfare technology be part of an integrated care service for people with dementia?], pilot project, ALMAs hus


NOU 2011: 11 Innovasjon i omsorg [NOU 2011: 11, Official Norwegian Report on innovation in the care services]


Meld. St. 28 (2011–2012) Gode bygg for eit betre samfunn – Ein framtidsretta bygningspolitikk, white paper on sound buildings for a better society


Hoen, Hallvard, and Tangen, Une (2011): Velferdsteknologiundersøkelse [Welfare Technology Survey], KS Innovasjon og utvikling


Ministry of Trade and Industry; Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs; Ministry of Labour; Ministry of Health and Care Services; and Ministry of the Environment (2013): Strategi for økt innovasjonseffekt av offentlige anskaffelser [Strategy to Increase Innovation Effects of Public Procurement]


Directorate of Health (2012): Velferdsteknologi - Fagrapport om implementering av velferdsteknologi i de kommunale helse- og omsorgstjenestene 2013–2030 [Welfare Technology: Report on implementing welfare technology in the municipal health and care services 2013–2030], (IS 1990)


Meld. St. 21 (2011–2012) Norwegian Climate Policy, white paper from the Ministry of Environment


Giulio Boccaletti, Markus Löffler, and Jeremy M. Oppenheim (2008): How IT can cut carbon emissions, McKinsey Quarterly


The Climate Group on behalf of the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI) (2008): SMART 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age


Direktoratet for forvaltning og IKT (2012): Sikker digital post fra det offentlige – Vurdering av alternativer for realisering av sikker digital postboks i offentlig sektor [Secure digital post from the public sector: Assessment of alternatives to realising a secure digital mailbox in the public sector]. Difi rapport 2012:10, Vedlegg 2; Fornyings-, administrasjons- og kirkedepartementet (2011): Samfunnsøkonomisk analyse av å innføre elektronisk faktura (e-faktura) i staten [Economic analysis of implementing electronic invoicing (e-invoice) in the public sector]


The Climate Group on behalf of the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI) (2008): SMART 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age


European Commission (2010): EU Commission Task Force for Smart Grids Expert Group 1: Functionalities of smart grids and smart meters. Final Deliverable


Devoteam daVinci and Thema Consulting Group (2011): AMS-Tilleggstjenester. Tredjepartsadgang [AMS add-on services: Third-party access], prepared for NVE


Figures from Statistics Norway and NVE


Meld. St. 28 (2011–2012) Gode bygg for eit betre samfunn, white paper on sound buildings for a better society


Standards Norway (2011): NS-EN 15643-2:2011 Bærekraftige byggverk – Vurderinger av bygninger i et bærekraftsperspektiv [Sustainability of construction works: Assessment of buildings]


Statsbygg (2011): 3 – En modell for livsløpsberegning av klimagassutslipp fra bygg [ A model for calculating life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions for buildings. Version 3]


Statens vegvesen (2007): ITS-Strategi for Statens vegvesen – Målrettet, troverdig og effektiv bruk av ITS – på veg for et bedre samfunn [ITS Strategy for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. Targeted, reliable, and effective use of ITS: Towards a better society], rapport 7/2007


Avinor, Jernbaneverket, Kystverket, Statens vegvesen (2012): Forslag til nasjonal transportplan 2014–2023 [Proposed National Transport Plan 2014–2023]


European Commission (2001): WHITE PAPER European transport policy for 2010: Time to decide


Avinor (2011): Bærekraftig og samfunnsnyttig luftfart [Sustainable and Socially Beneficial Aviation], Rapport 2

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