Norway

Around 80 per cent of Norwegian municipalities use private operators

The proportion of Norwegian municipalities that have put services on tenders increased sharply until 2012, but now the trend is about to turn around.

According to a recently published article by Professor Åge Johnsen at Oslo Met, the proportion of municipalities that had exposed one or more services increased from 54 per cent in 2004 to 81 per cent in 2016. But in 2012 the proportion was 82 per cent. It has thus been a tiny decline from 2012 to 2016, writes Dagsavisen.

The union leader, Mette Nord, believes this cannot be attributed to a change of course by the government, but rather the political course in the municipalities.

– I think there are two reasons why the trend has reversed. One is that we have a majority of red-green municipalities. The other one that we have now received good, or more correct: bad, experiences with competitive exposure and what it actually leads to. We have seen how vulnerable the municipalities are when important infrastructure is put out to tender, says Nord to the newspaper.

Competition exposure of waste disposal services increased from 32 per cent in 2004 to 41 per cent in 2012, according to figures from KOSTRA. After the Nordic competition authorities in 2016 proposed tendering competitions in this sector to clarify whether individuals could offer cheaper and better services, both Veireno in Oslo and Renonorden, which had contracts with more than one hundred Norwegian municipalities, were declared bankrupt.

In Oslo, the Conservative Party has nevertheless been in favor of exposing the renovation in its alternative budget for next year.

– We believe that renovation is suitable for competition, as it was for many years under different majority, says the party’s fiscal spokesman Øystein Sundelin, and points out that Oslo has exposed refurbishment since 1992. He also believes that the Oslo municipality is prepared to use private players after the Veireno scandal two years ago.

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