Tax boss takes on overwhelmed NAV

Hans Christian Holte has his work cut out for him when he takes over in August as the new head of Norway’s social welfare agency NAV. It’s been swamped with more than 400,000 new applications for unemployment benefits and emergency financial aid for Norwegians who’ve lost their jobs during the Corona crisis, while also emerging […]

Commission: NAV scandal may widen

A government commission publicly confirmed on Wednesday that state welfare agency NAV did indeed wrongly prosecute many Norwegians who received benefits while abroad. Questions have been raised over whether NAV actually did violate EU/European Economic Area (EEA) rules, but the commission’s legal experts confirm violations occured and maybe for even longer than previously thought. The […]

NAV critics could only criticize the government

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 […]

Judge questions severity of NAV scandal

A retired Norwegian Supreme Court justice has taken it upon himself to evaluate the grounds for a series of welfare fraud convictions deemed by state officials themselves to be wrongful. Judge Karl Arne Utgård doesn’t think they’re so scandalous after all. Utgård told legal news website Rett24 this week that he doesn’t think state welfare […]

NAV departures frustrate MPs

News that the two top political and administrative leaders of embattled state welfare agency NAV were stepping down should perhaps have satisfied members of the opposition in Parliament. They’d signalled a lack of confidence in both NAV boss Sigrun Vågeng and the Conservatives’ Labour Minister Anniken Hauglie, but have since postponed presentation of their own conclusions […]

NAV hearing full of apologies, excuses

“I’m sorry … I apologize … I accept criticism … with the benefit of hindsight … I beg your pardon.”  That refrain became all but standard during two days of parliamentary hearings that ended  Friday into the unprecedented scandal at Norway’s state welfare agency NAV. It remains unclear, however, whether any of those responsible will lose […]

New commission for NAV complaints

Prime Minister Erna Solberg vowed at her annual pre-holiday press briefing on Tuesday that her government will “clean up” after what she readily admitted is a “scandal” at state welfare agency NAV. Efforts will also include formation of a new commission that will be set up to handle any complaints over the compensation that’s already […]

NAV admits blame in welfare scandal

An internal review has resulted in Norway’s state welfare agency admitting to several “possible reasons” for why it wrongly accused thousands of Norwegians of welfare fraud, many of whom were fined and jailed. It pointed to a lack of competence regarding EU regulations, inadequate personnel capacity to handle cases, along with misunderstandings and poor communication […]

‘Complicated’ to get free legal NAV help

The Norwegian government is now offering free legal assistance to those caught up in in the ongoing scandal around state welfare agency NAV. It’s already being harshly criticized, however, as being “hopelessly complicated.” The scandal affects those who traveled abroad while collecting unemployment benefits or sick pay, and later had their benefits withdrawn or were […]

Tax authority adds to NAV scandal

NAV isn’t Norway’s only state agency admitting to mistakes and apologizing to the public. The head of the state tax agency (Skatteetaten) also had to admit that it’s found 17,500 cases in which NAV clients were ordered to pay back welfare benefits in full, but didn’t get refunds themselves for the taxes they’d paid on […]