The state’s ten principles for good corporate governance

Together, the state’s principles for good corporate governance and the state’s goal as an owner form the basis for how the state exercises its ownership. There is a broad political consensus about the key elements of the framework for the state’s exercise of ownership. This has created predictability for the companies and the capital market, which is an advantage of the way state ownership is exercised in Norway.

1. The state shall be a responsible owner.

2. The state shall demonstrate transparency about its ownership and exercise of ownership.

3. The state’s exercise of ownership shall contribute to the attainment of the state's goal as an owner. This takes place through expectations of the companies, voting at general meetings and other means of exercising ownership.

4. The state’s exercise of ownership is based on the division of roles and responsibilities between the owner, the board of directors and the general manager set out in company law, and on generally recognised principles and standards for corporate governance.

5. The state’s authority as owner shall be exercised through the general meeting.

6. The board of directors is responsible for managing the company. The state shall assess the company’s goal attainment and its efforts regarding the state’s expectations, and the board’s contribution in this context.

7. Relevant expertise shall be the state’s main consideration in its work on the composition of boards of directors. The state shall also emphasise capacity and diversity based on the distinctive nature of the company.

8. The state shall exercise its ownership in accordance with the principle of equal treatment of shareholders set out in company law.

9. The state’s role as owner shall be kept separate from its other roles.

10. State ownership shall not give companies with a state ownership interest undue competitive advantages or disadvantages compared to companies without a state ownership interest.