The Solberg government’s annual budget cut is scrapped for a new trust reform. – We want to create space, closeness, trust and presence, says Minister of Labor Hadia Tajik (Labor).
In the annual allocation letter, Nav is instructed to start the reform. At the same time, the controversial debureaucratisation and efficiency reform (ABE reform) is coming to an end.
It was introduced by the Solberg government and cut 0.5 percent annually in the budgets of state enterprises. The goal was to streamline operations.
– The line of conflict is clear: On the one hand, you have the current government that wants to control the public sector through trust and the employees’ professional competence. On the other hand, you have the right-wing government that implemented repeated cuts, says Minister of Labor and Integration Hadia Tajik (Labor).
According to Tajik, the Solberg government “had a notion that repeated budget cuts would give better results in that employees would run faster, and work harder.”
– Now is the start of the trust reform in Nav. Since then, it will be rolled out throughout the public sector, she says.
– Not top-down
The reform is described as “one of the government’s most important projects” in the public sector.
Employees in the first line will have greater freedom of action to use their professionalism and competence. And the work in Nav should, according to the Minister, be characterized by “the Norwegian model” with cooperation between employer and employee at all levels.
As an employee, you should experience that you have co-determination and influence over the working day. In sum, this will help to support the goal of people who need Nav and the welfare state experience that they get better quality of the services they need, she says.
– Is the most important measure reversal of the Solberg government’s annual budget cuts?
– No, the most important measure is to give those who work in Nav trust. It is important that the trust reform is not unnecessarily top-down.
– No one is against trust. Is there anything in the reform that will provoke your predecessor?
– I have not seen that they are for the trust reform.
– Does the reform mean more power for the employees?
– It means at least greater room for maneuver to utilize its professional competence. That they should not rely on stopwatch or detailed parameters to deliver. It also helps to get the basic staffing up.
– Will there now be less rule management and more discretion from the individual employee?
– There will be more co-determination over the work situation. The purpose is for users to be met by professionals who have time for them, and who have the tools they need. Employees have called for room for maneuver to be able to do their job instead of constantly struggling with measurement, management and documentation requirements that are stepped down over them.
– It must of course be balanced against the fact that users must have a degree of predictability for what they can expect to get. It should not be completely random and depending on which part of the country you visit Nav.
– No distrust reform
– How should you measure whether the reform yields results?
– We start very carefully. It is important that the agency itself owns the process. The assignment is to review the scope of goals and reporting requirements and make a plan for the work. The trust reform in Nav must not be a distrust reform for the management in Nav. That will be the case if I have to control everything from my office in detail.
– Is there a danger that the reform will be a bit abstract and difficult for employees and users to understand what it contains?
– The ABE reform has been a very concrete size. But flat cheese grater cuts are the least effective way to drive efficiency. We want to create space, closeness, trust and presence. There are not as measurable sizes.
– But it is important to me that Nav can be as accessible as possible to people in a difficult situation, says Tajik.
Henrik Asheim, spokesman for the Conservative Party in working life matters, says that it is “a little difficult to understand the reform”.
– Firstly, there are a lot of words that are not filled with other content than that one is against the ABE reform. They say they want more targeted cuts. That means bazaars every autumn with a negative sign because the agencies can not plan for cuts. The ABE reform was predictable with a small reduction every year, he says.
Asheim is concerned that users with clearly defined rights may be treated differently.
– I am for therapists to see each one. The question is how they should handle it and ensure that you as a user do not get different answers depending on which municipality you live in. We must be sure that each user is treated equally.
– We must wait for the reform until we get more meat on the bone, he says.
Elisabeth Steen, chief shop steward in NTL Nav, says the reform gives “very good signals”.
– We are happy that people will have more say and use their professionalism instead of being controlled in detail, Steen says.
– Will the individual to a greater extent be allowed to exercise their own discretion?
– That must mean it. At the same time, we must ensure the legal security of the users, says Steen.