NAV scandal leaves no one accountable

NEWS ANALYSIS: Nine months after Norway was clobbered by its biggest welfare scandal of all time, not a single top bureaucrat or politician is being held accountable. Labour Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen is promising improvements and even declaring that it’s now his responsibility to “clean up,” but that doesn’t satisfy legal experts or victims who […]

NAV struggles to pay out benefits

Government officials were confident that they’d be able to quickly set up a new system to pay full unemployment benefits to thousands of newly laid-off workers in Norway. That’s hasn’t happened. Two months after the Corona crisis threw hundreds of thousands of Norwegians out of work, most haven’t received any money. Martin Josefsen is among […]

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 […]

NAV overwhelmed by benefits seekers

Norway’s state welfare agency NAV has been overwhelmed by an onslaught of applications from laid-off workers seeking temporary unemployment benefits. More than 45,000 have streamed in just since Monday, when employers suffering from the Corona virus crisis began laying off staff in earnest. “There’s enormous demand,” Elisabeth Steen of a NAV employees’ labour organization (NTL […]

State rides to the Corona rescue

The usually quarreling parties in Parliament set aside political differences on Monday and got the government to further sweeten its economic crisis package for Norwegian businesses and workers. After working through the night, they announced unprecedented measures to help get Norway through its biggest national emergency since World War II. As the Oslo Stock Exchange […]

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 […]

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 […]