- KS has been a main coordinator between the local government sector and national authorities. The need for knowledge based information has been huge.”, says First Vice President Gunn Marit Helgesen. Helgesen is also known as Co-President of the Presidency of Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR).

The Norwegian Coronavirus Commission has been established by the Norwegian government and has the task of undertaking an independent, thorough, and complete evaluation of the authorities’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

- The Norwegian local government sector has made a fantastic effort at a demanding time. Municipalities and county authorities have been instrumental in keeping the level of contagion low, through both implementing local measures and undertaking contact tracing and testing, and in ensuring that citizens are informed and taken care of, says Helgesen.

The commission is to look at both the preparations made before the pandemic and how the crisis has been handled. KS has closely followed coronavirus developments and has been in on-going contact with the authorities and other relevant actors.

The following describes KS’ role during the pandemic and has been sent to the coronavirus commission.

KS has:

  1. acted as contact point and coordinator between the local government sector, parliament, government, and directorates.
  2. had responsibility for the local government sector’s negotiations and co-operation in matters of employer/employee relations.
  3. supported municipalities and county authorities by spreading and gathering information.
  4. established and administered digital meeting places for municipalities and county authorities both within the sector and national authorities – both centrally and in each region.
  5. been a body of expertise that has provided knowledge and information about crucial areas of society, such as municipal finances, working life (employee and employer-related), education and pre-school, health services, the social situation locally (in each municipality), and shared digital tools (track and trace, etc.).

Read the letter from KS to the Norwegian coronavirus commission