Trust in the Parliament is weakened by travel expenses
The current regulations are too general and invite to an unhealthy culture. We cannot have a system where it is the individual parliamentary representative’s subjective assessments that determine whether their journeys are inside or outside of the framework, the Norwegian Association of Auditors opinionates.
This time around it is the Progress Party’s MP, Helge Andre Njåstad, who is in the spotlight. NRK has uncovered how the Progress Party top on several occasions has brought the family to what is referred to as marvellous hotels across Norway. By attending short job meetings, he has had those trips reimbursed by the Norwegian Parliament.
“These regulations cannot possibly be good enough. It is possible that Njåstad is within the regulations by the Norwegian Parliament, but then it is high time that the Member of Parliament, the Presidency and the Administration gather to discuss whether this is a regulation that serves its purpose,” Managing Director Per Hanstad in the Norwegian Association of Auditors states.
Confidence threatened if it is not cleaned up
the Norwegian Association of Auditors has previously criticised the travel cost practice in the Norwegian Parliament, and Hanstad is dejected by that it is not addressed.
“This undermines the trust that the Norwegian Parliament is so dependent on. They must have confidence from the general population. When people hear these kinds of stories, they naturally ask if this is a sensible way to spend the taxpayers’ money,” Hanstad utters.
Unclear rules and severely deficient or absence of control provide the basis for the establishment of reprehensible practices.
“It is quite simply unacceptable that the representatives can do what they want, as I perceive as what they are doing at present, and state that this is relevant to Parliament business and within the regulations,” Hanstad fumes.
The Parliament must put the foot down
Hanstad believes there are grounds to assume that Njåstad is not alone in his perceived abuse of the regulations.
“An unclear framework invites such unfortunate practices,” Hanstad highlights.
“The current regulations are too general. As I perceive it is the subjective assessments each Member of Parliament makes that determines whether their journeys are inside or outside the rules. This is not the way it must be. There is no one else that I know about who has it that way,” Hanstad concludes.
© Revisorforeningen / #Norway Today