Oslo’s Labour Party-led government has another problem on its hands, following complaints of a “culture of fear” within the city’s planning and building agency (Plan- og bygningsetaten). The city politician in charge has felt compelled to order an external probe.
Hanne Marcussen of the city government said she ordered the probe following “serious claims” that city employees have been yelled at during meetings, blacklisted and threatened with being put in a so-called “dog house” if they challenge the agency’s leadership. The city planning department has been led for years by Ellen de Vibe, considered one of the most powerful people in Oslo.
De Vibe claimed she welcomed the probe after initially declining to comment on the complaints against her management team. The probe comes while the city is also caught up in allegations of fear and a lack of freedom of expression within the city’s education department, and months after an investigation of the city agency handling public housing projects uncovered corruption and overpayments to the tune of more than NOK 100 million.