reader speech This is an entry in the discussion, written by an external contributor. The publication expresses the views of the author.
Nav trust reform should be based on giving employees the confidence to do the work and the space to do it. In the Social Security scandal, at least 80 people were wrongfully convicted of Social Security fraud. Almost 1,100 people have received a reimbursement claim. The case became the epitome of horror, and led to many people wanting to fix NAV. The savings requirements in the reform of bureaucracy and efficiency (ABE reform) introduced by Solberg’s government make offices less accessible and with fewer resources. This is why the LO Insider regional conference wants a comprehensive review of net asset value.
Achieving the “blind spot” revealed that there are deficiencies in four K’s in NAV: aptitude, ability, communication, and critical thinking. NAV is the first line of the welfare state. It is essential to have a well-functioning job market and good living conditions for all residents. At one time or another, everyone uses NAV services, and we expect NAV to be there when we need it.
Staff competence is NAV’s most important resource. In order to provide quality assistance, we need a sufficient number of staff with appropriate and wide experience, including social work and legal expertise. Broad competence is important, as are experienced consultants and others with relevant, realistic competence. We need to review the composition of expertise in NAV offices. We need to know that employees have the knowledge to help people in the best possible way.
NAV regulation must be seen. After integrating Aetat and Trygdeetaten and coordinating them with the municipal social service, some people find it difficult to contact the person they need. What was supposed to work as a kebab 15 years ago has become a maze for both users and employees. Consolidation of NAV offices and limited opening hours reduce access, which in turn can lead to more frustration, risk of violence and threats, and in the worst case scenario, increased homicide. Services should be organized so that everyone gets the help they need, without making them feel like a pawn in the system.
Judgment models in Nav are complex. Nav features goal and outcome management according to New Public Management (NPM) principles, which are used in ABE reform. This is a form of management that has contributed to a greater focus on measurable tasks and measures. Many politicians who were once promoters of NPM now come out and admit that the model is not a good management model for general welfare, in which relational processes are critical to the outcome. Professional evaluations of employees should be given greater confidence and independence.
Interaction and information exchange both internally and externally should be improved in Nav. Staff should be given increased opportunities to interact across units/departments, and it should be easier to clarify professional questions and explanations without bureaucratic hurdles. Ensuring such interaction will be in line with the Social Services Act. The LO Regional Conference in Inlandet believes that increased interaction with other municipal services is important and that trust reform can contribute to this.
Availability means you can contact your supervisor or your local NAV office. Good social work requires building relationships over time. This means that employees must be accessible to citizens. On the other hand, the Norwegian Health Authority revealed a very different fact in itself Report on the NAV Call Center. What was supposed to be a “one-door entrance” to the NAV turns out to be a major diversion for those in need of municipal social services. At worst, it becomes a dead end. The LO Regional Conference Inside believes that there should be more local NAV offices close to service users.
The report showed that the last safety net of the welfare state, social services, is not available to large segments of the population. Odds have a huge impact on whether or not you will talk to someone who can help you. We need an open and accessible NAV that provides personalized help to those who need it, without huge differences in availability and unwanted geographic differences.
It is time to realize the intention behind NAV, which is to make it easier to get help. There are many skilled personnel at NAV, who should be given more confidence. The LO Regional Conference in Inlandt requests that all efforts be made to make NAV a better system. A good society does not come by itself.