Minister of Labour Anniken Hauglie wants to have fewer and larger Nav offices. The Centre party fears that this will lead to an increased gap between the Nav offices and the people who use Nav.
– It is absolutely amazing how persistently this government goes about in removing services from the places where people live. To cut the number of Nav offices will affect people in a vulnerable situation and local labor, Centre party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum says to news agency NTB.
He believes the government has to ensure there is at least one Nav office in each municipality and are concerned about the signals in the white paper that Hauglie will put forward today.
Fewer and larger Nav offices, more electronic self service and fewer personal meetings with Nav. That’s the main points of the White Paper, according to the newspaper Dagbladet.
Hauglie- says she wants to give personal meetings for clients with complex needs higher priority.
– Those who have quick questions must ask them by phone, chat, social media, or the like, while those that need to be followed up more closely and thoroughly will get a better follow-up at a Nav office, Hauglie says.
She believes this move will mean that the employees will be able specialize to a greater extent than they are able to do now, but does not want to quantify the number of Nav offices that are going away. According to newspaper Aftenposten, there is talk of “tens” offices.
The White Paper is a response to the report of an expert committee led by Sigrun Vågeng – who has become the director of Nav since then. Vågeng also suggested fewer offices with greater expertise.
Today NAV Nav numbers about 450 offices and 19,000 employees around the country. The agency manages about a third of the state budget through schemes such as unemployment benefit, work assessment allowance, sickness benefits, pensions and child benefist.
According to Dagbladet, the white paper does not say anything about increased grants to Nav, rather that the 11 billion crowns in operating grants are to be used in a “better way”
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today