Citizen survey shows satisfied users, but public services have room for improvement, minister says

Rigmor Aasrud, Minister of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs

86 percent of the citizens of Norway think that their country is close to being a perfect country to live in.

The highest level of satisfaction is enjoyed by, among others, the public library, the state owned vine and liquor store operator Vinmonopolet and the colleges of higher learning. At the lower end of the satisfaction scale are institutions like the municipal planning and building office, the Norwegian railway NSB and the Norwegian Welfare and Labour Administration NAV. These are conclusions from the nationwide Citizen Survey which measures how satisfied Norwegian citizens are with municipal, regional and government services.

The Citizen Survey provides important knowledge for managers in municipal, regional and government administration. We need surveys like this to get information on where the shoe pinches so that we may target our efforts and improve services for our users, says minister of government administration, reform and church affairs Rigmor Aasrud.

The citizen survey shows that 94 percent of the citizens are satisfied or very satisfied with living in Norway. Close to that number, 89 percent, are satisfied with the municipality in which they live. Around seven out of ten citizens are satisfied with municipal and government services. Less than ten percent express dissatisfaction.

– I am happy to know that our citizens are so satisfied with municipal as well as government services. This shows that public service providers on the whole are doing a good job in securing quality and user orientation in their services. At the same time, the survey makes it clear that several sectors and enterprises have a potential for improvement, Rigmor Aasrud says.

Norwegian citizens think that public services on the whole are abiding by laws and regulations and are treating people respectfully. At the same time, many are finding it difficult to reach the right person in the administration, and more than fifty per cent think that the public sector is treating its resources wastefully.

– It is a serious problem that our citizens have this impression of the use of public resources. One of our most important tasks in the coming years is to see to it that the public sector is getting the utmost out of the money invested. Together with the minister of finance and the other cabinet ministers I am going to give this my priority in the time to come, the minister of reform says.

The Citizen Survey is the largest national survey ever carried out on how satisfied people are with public services. The government wants openness about the results. All data and graphics may be downloaded from www.difi.no and reused. It is also possible to make one’s own analysis of the data material.

The survey has been carried out by the company Synovate on commission from the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) and the Ministry of Government Administration and Church Affairs. Part 2 of the survey will take place in the first half of 2010. Part 2 will be directed towards the users of the different services.

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