A commission set up by the state ministry in charge of local government administration and modernization has proposed shutting down three state agencies and transferring their functions and jobs to the county level.
Agencies affected include Bufetat, in charge of children and family support, which currently has around 3,000 state employees. Also on the block is IMDI, the state directorate which has 245 full-time staff in charge of integration issues, along with Statped, in charge of state pedagogical services, with 745 employees. Two agencies in charge of continuing education (Kompetanse Norge) and SIVA, charged with promoting industrial growth, would also be affected, along with a competence center for district (rural) development.
The proposal is bound to be controversial in Parliament but also would achieve the decentralization and development of jobs in outlying areas that opposition parties often champion. Trøndelag’s county governor, Tore O Sandvik of the Labour Party, hopes Parliament will “ride out the storm” of “bureaucrats from state directorates who will try to hinder efficiency,” allegedly to hold on to their jobs in Oslo.
The commission delivered its report to Monica Mæland, who succeeded Jan Tore Sanner as government minister in charge of municipalities. She was sending it out to hearing this week with a deadline for comments in early March.