What witnesses describe as “rough lining” after the Local Government Ministry’s summer festival has put the relationship between the civil service and the local government minister to the test over the past year.
– I showed poor character understanding and judgment. “I was clear to the Prime Minister about this,” Municipality Minister Sikbjörn Jelsvik told NRK.
The evening started with a summer party at Det Norske Teatret, moved to Eilef’s Landhandleri, and finally ended at the London Pub. After the summer party – when they went further into town – the kissing episode happened.
Gjelsvik describes his own behavior as “awkward and uncomfortable” and “not in line with the principles I try to live by”.
The woman tells NRK that she found the situation unproblematic and felt well taken care of by the ministry.
Other sources in the ministry say the “sensitive nature” of the case has affected the working environment.
Gelswick Prime Minister Jonas Kahrstor and Center Party leader Trygve Slacksvold Vedum were briefed on the episode shortly after the summer party on August 18 last year.
Storr has hope
Prime Minister Jonas Kahr Storr tells NRK that he was there “Complete Conversations” With the municipal minister, he tried to get all the facts on the table about what happened.
– What Sigbjørn Gjelsvik did is unacceptable. In this matter, he has shown poor judgment and understanding of his role as Minister and Head of MinistryHe says.
– You have known about the matter for over a year, why do you still trust Gjelsvik?
– It is important to get a complete overview of what happened then. Gjelsvik apologized for his behavior and I have made it clear to the employees of the ministry that the head of the ministry cannot act like this, Støre says and continues:
– Then it was important for me to clarify the condition of the woman, and she explained to the Ministry that she was taking good care of herself, and that she did not find the situation unpleasant. On that basis, and with the clear understanding that such a thing will not work, I have faith in him.
– Is it okay for a minister in your government to flirt with a staff member?
– It’s okay, I’ve made that clear.
NRK reached out to the local government minister for comment as early as Wednesday last week, but received a response only after the election.
– Why are you waiting till the election is over to answer?
– I will answer any questions you may have. I am worried that this should not happen…
– But why are you waiting till the election is over to answer?
– I am eager to answer questions about what happened at the summer party, which should not have happened.
– Is it important that you wait until after the election to answer?
– Answering questions related to the case. I am concerned that this is an incident that should not have happened.
– The Ministry administration held talks several times
The government writes itself Websites “It is important to have a good relationship of trust between the political leadership and the civil service.”
Ministerial Councilor Peter Schorheim confirms that the incident has been the subject of discussion among staff and has been raised with management by trade union representatives and safety representatives.
– Since then there has been a good deal of discussion on the issue. The management of the ministry had many conversations with the lady and had a good conversation. She feels well taken care of by the Ministry and is clear that she did not find the situation unpleasant.
Augustfest was Sigbjørn Gjelsvik’s first meeting with many employees at the Ministry after replacing Odd Roger Enoksen at the Government College before the summer break.
Enochsen had to resign when it was discovered that he had been a “sexual mentor” to a young woman.
Gjelsvik was the only politician in the party, and is said to have greeted the opening speech by saying “drink to six”.
– It was flat when he said it, and then more nonsense, says one of the party participants contacted by NRK.
NRK asked if Gjelsvik agreed with the statement.
– What was said (in the opening speech) I cannot reproduce here now, he answers.
– Unresolved questions are still a topic
On the first Monday after the banquet (22nd August 2022), Gelsvik was invited to a meeting with the Council of Ministers at the Ministry of Local Government and Districts.
The content of the conversation was known only to these two, but at a meeting that lasted three days later, several people in the ministry were told that the minister regretted what had happened.
Staff in the ministry were also assured that the incident has been reported to the higher-ups and that the Prime Minister’s Office would take up the matter if found outside the corridors of the ministry.
But outside the corridors of the ministry the “summer party case” did not become a problem.
It was the opposite Inside Case noise and walls that create wear and tear.
– Unresolved questions about both the incident and the handling are still a topic, one of the employees tells NRK.
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