Norway and corruption

I have always imagined that we in Norway are inspired by a sense of justice that, among other things, puts a stop to corruption. As a shop steward for many years, also with partly decisive input in relation to appointments, I was unfortunately often exposed to input where relationships with acquaintances, families, etc. were meant to be of decisive importance for appointments to public positions. My conscience forbade me to circumvent rules / and legislation in order to cover individual interests.

Is Norway corrupt? The question is raised because one sees that cases, for example in public, are often decided or decided in the “back rooms” before the case becomes known or comes to the decisive forums. I have therefore for many years argued that Norway must be one of the most corrupt countries in the world that has little or no corruption.

An acquaintance of mine told me the other day that a UN body had “nominated” Norway for a very discouraging place in the corruption statistics for the world’s countries and peoples. To verify what my acquaintance told me, I did an online search and asked: “Is Norway corrupt?”

Transparency International, the organization that leads the work of fighting corruption in public enterprises, had in 2018 a statistic that shows the degree of corruption in 180 of the world’s countries. On a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 corresponds to a very high degree of corruption and 100 shows a “pure-haired” country, Norway ended up in 7th place at the end that shows the countries with the least corruption. According to these statistics, Denmark was the country with the least corruption. But even Denmark did not reach 90 points on the statistics scale. Norway was behind New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland, all of which were on a points scale of around 85 before Norway came a little behind.

On 30 January this year, Dagbladet had an article about corruption in Norway and the world. I quote from Dagbladet a small part of this article, quote: «Norway does not shine on innocence on the list of corrupt countries. Corruption and lubrication are poisons that paralyze the good forces that hold society together. It weakens trust between people and attacks the people’s relationship with the authorities and public institutions. Corruption destroys competition in business, makes goods more expensive and weakens political and judicial justice. It is like the bearded cry: If you have got the creature into the house, the value decreases, and it is demanding to eradicate the insect. “ Quote end.

In May 2019, the Corruption Perceptions Index was adjusted by Transparency International Norway. This year’s index is topped by New Zealand, followed by Denmark, and with Norway, Finland and Switzerland in a shared third place (85 points). Both Sweden and Finland? has dropped four points since last year. This tells me that parts of the public sector in Norway are struggling with corruption. So even though Norway has improved from last year’s index, there is still a long way to go.

So my acquaintance probably did not have Transparency International’s corruption index in mind when he told me that Norway was in a very bad position in terms of corruption.

But, then one can ask about conditions in our little duck pond here in Oslo, helps to prevent further rise in the corruption index, which is written by Roar Julsen and Kjell Bjørndal. These two, obviously upright men, have also in previous newspaper articles put their fingers on "inflamed” cases in “the small world city”, cases which to the opinion man have appeared to be more than inflamed!

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