NAV critics could only criticize the government

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The Norwegian Parliament’s disciplinary committee, led by the opposition Labour Party, concluded its inquiry into the so-called “scandal” at welfare agency NAV by delivering the strongest criticism possible against a government, without declaring a lack of confidence in the government.

That means the criticism has no further consequences for either the political or administrative leaders of NAV. While all the left-center opposition parties supported a proposal to express lack of confidence in the government minister in charge of NAV at the time, Anniken Hauglie, none of the center-right parties went along and there was thus no majority to carry a lack of confidence vote.

Hauglie, meanwhile, has already resigned her post while NAV’s administrative leader, Sigrun Vågeng, has also signalled she’ll be stepping down this summer. Neither could thus be “fired” by the opposition parties.

Results of the state’s external commission (formed to investigate how NAV wrongfully prosecuted scores of welfare recipients who traveled outside of Norway without applying for permission to do so) have not yet been announced. A former Supreme Court judge, meanwhile, has raised questions over whether any scandal actually occurred, leaving the government in the peculiar position of facing more criticism if they’ve been too harsh on themselves.

newsinenglish.no staff