Background and purpose
The Register of Members’ Interests is a public register set up by the Storting. It contains information on the MPs’ economic business interests, appointments and outside employment. The register was first set up in 1990 as a voluntary arrangement, but became mandatory from 1 October 2009.
There are very few restrictions on what kind of appointments or outside employment an MP may have during his/her time in the Parliament. Neither are there restrictions on an MP’s right to receive gifts that arise from his/her position as an MP - with the obvious exception of unlawful activities such as bribery or corruption.
The purpose of the register is to encourage transparency and thus accountability towards the voters rather than to reveal potential corruption or to survey a Member's total or partial income or assets. Its intention is to provide information about any appointment, pecuniary interest or benefit received by a Member which might be thought by others to influence his or her actions in Parliament. In other words, the aim of the register is to clarify any connections that may imply a personal interest or economic dependency on the part of the MP.
Almost all MPs and Cabinet Ministers have participated in the register since it was set up. The register is available on the Storting’s website.
The Regulation on the Register of Members of the Storting’s Appointments and Economic Interests
(Adopted by the Storting on 18 December 2008, last amended 14 June 2018 and coming into effect from 1 October 2018, cf. The Storting’s Rules of Procedure § 76)
I The Register’s purpose and scope
The purpose of the Register is to provide collected information about the Members’ appointments and economic interests that are of legitimate public interest.
The registration requirement covers all appointments and interests mentioned in sections 2 to 11 of this Regulation. Only the existence and nature of the different interests shall be stated; no amount, value or quantity shall be given, unless the provisions in this regulation expressly stipulate that such information shall be given.
The Regulation applies to all elected Members and Substitute Members who attend on a fixed basis. Section 3 third paragraph does not apply to serving Substitute Members.
II Circumstances subject to registration
Appointments on the boards of private or public sector companies, interest groups and state or municipal bodies. For each appointment, it shall be stated whether or not the position is remunerated. The nature of the appointment and name of the company, organization or body shall be stated. Unpaid appointments in political parties shall not be registered.
Independent income-producing business carried out in addition to parliamentary work, including work as a farmer, doctor, lawyer, journalist, commissioned consultancy work. The nature of the business shall be stated.
All remunerated activities as stated in the first paragraph, and which the Member personally takes part in, shall be encompassed, including those where the business or job is formally organized through a company owned or part-owned by the Member him or herself.
Distinct reference and amount shall be made if individual jobs, or several jobs within the same calendar year for the same contactor, have provided remuneration of more than NOK 50 000.
Paid employment or contract work that is undertaken in addition to the individual’s role as Member of the Storting. The position/contract and employer/contractor shall be stated.
Leave of absence agreements and agreements of a financial nature made with former employers, including agreements on the continued payment of wages, loans or the establishment of welfare benefits.
Employment, contract work or similar agreements with future employers or contractors, even if the employment, contract or job will not take effect until after the Member in question has stepped down from the Storting.
The name of companies, organizations, institutions or individuals that provide the Member in question with financial support or compensation, including material assets, secretarial assistance and the like, over and above the means made disposable by the Storting. Financial support or compensation from the same source that exceeds 50 000 Norwegian kroner in the same calendar year shall be stated separately and with the exact amount.
Real property that is of considerable value and that is used for business purposes. The designation of the real property, nature of ownership, and the municipality it is situated in shall be stated.
Property that is essentially residential or holiday accommodation shall not be registered in this provision. The same applies to farmhouses and work buildings on a farm.
Business interests (shares, stakes, etc.), which the Member in question owns him or herself, either directly or indirectly through another company or that he/she is managing. The company’s name and nature of liability shall be stated. Dividends from the above shall not be stated.
Business interests (shares, stakes, etc.), which the Member in question owns him or herself, either directly or indirectly through another company, or that he/she is managing. The company’s name and nature of liability shall be stated, as well as the stake. Dividends from the above shall not be stated.
Changes in business interests which are indirectly owned through another company, shall be reported twice a year, respectively no later than one month after the newly elected Storting has assembled in the autumn session and no later than April 1 in the spring session.
Business interests which are indirectly owned through another company, are not subject to mandatory registration if the Member, together with related parties (cf. Limited Liability Companies Act Section 1-5 (1)), owns less than 10 percent of the company, and also does not take part in investment decisions. This exception does not apply to companies organized as general partnerships (ANS and DA) or limited partnerships (KS).
Stakes in securities funds or other mutual funds shall not be reported.
Regardless of the third and fourth paragraphs above, economic interests which are indirectly owned through another company or stakes in securities funds or other mutual funds shall be reported if there are particular personal or economic interests that may give rise to potential conflicts of interest.
Section 9 a
Debts from business activities exceeding 10 times the Base Amount of the National Insurance, and business warranty liabilities exceeding 20 times the Base Amount of the National Insurance, for which the Member is personally responsible. This does not include debt or warranties in a stock-based company or other limited companies where a Member has ownership interests.
The name of the creditor, the name of any beneficiary of the warranty or bail, and the nature of the responsibility shall be stated.
Trips/visits abroad where expenses are not covered in full by public funds, by the political party the Member represents or by the Member personally, when the trip/visit is related to the individual’s work as a Member. Who covered the expenses, the name of the country visited and when the trip was made shall be stated.
Gifts or other financial benefits of a value of more than NOK 2 000, received from domestic or foreign donors, when the gift/benefit is in connection with the individual’s work as a Member. The name of the donor, the nature of the benefit and when the contribution was made shall be stated. Anniversary gifts and gifts of appreciation from a Member’s own party or party group do not need to be recorded in the Register.
III Implementation of the registration scheme
For elected Members, and Subsitute Members attending on a permanent basis, the following rules apply:
- Information for the register shall be reported to the Storting’s administration no later than one month after the newly elected Storting has assembled. The register shall be available to the public via the Storting’s website no later than 20 days after the registration deadline has expired.
- Changes or additions to previously registered information shall be reported no later than one month after the new information is available. The Member in question’s previously registered data shall be filed and the register updated with the new information no later than ten days after the Member has given notice of this.
Other Substitute Members than those stated in the first paragraph are obliged to report information for the register to the Storting’s administration the first time they attend the Storting. Any changes or additions to previously registered information shall be reported on the subsequent occasions such a Substitute Member attends.
The form used for the registration shall be approved by the Storting’s Presidium.
Information registered in accordance with section 10 and 11 has a limitation period of 10 years after the time the trip or contribution was made.
If a Member finds that he/she has interests of a particular personal or pecuniary nature which might be thought by others to influence his og her actions in Parliament, but which is not subject to mandatory registration according to Chapter II, such information may also be registered.
All registered information shall be erased from the electronic register after the Member in question has left office, cf. section 12.