Technology and innovation;Public sector
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ICT usage in public sector


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Key figures

4.6 %

of the Norwegian municipalities have been exposed to virus attacks resulting in significantly loss of data or working hours

ICT security problems during the last year. Per cent.
Central governmentMunicipalitiesCounty municipalities
Failure in the connection to Internett or other external networks9.119.7:
Computer virus etc., resulting in loss off information or working hours2.34.6:
Attack of the type 'denial of service'10.012.0:
Unauthorised access to enterprise computer systems or data20.110.2:
Loss of data because the lack of back up6.82.2:
Improper use of IT7.85.2:
Attempts of phishing67.152.9:
The enterprises' ICT equipments is lost44.720.3:

See selected tables from this statistics

Table 1 
Barriers to develop digital services. Per cent.

Barriers to develop digital services. Per cent.
Central governmentMunicipalitiesCounty municipalities
Is a barrier in quite or very big extentIs a barrier in quite or very big extentIs a barrier in quite or very big extent
Lack of political guidelines3.214.5..
Lack of management involvement5.512.6..
Lack of adjustments in the legislation and regulations22.819.112.5
Lack of common data exchange standards26.044.937.5
Lack of common concepts and infrastructure36.550.225.0
Difficult to integrate existing IT-systems with digital administration40.646.862.5
Difficult to release resources for development work56.274.887.5
Higher ICT costs than expected31.143.425.0
Lack of skills in the enterprise27.945.862.5
Dependent on development in other enterprises46.658.537.5

Table 2 
ICT specialists recruitment. Per cent.

ICT specialists recruitment. Per cent.1
Central governmentMunicipalitiesCounty municipalities
1Calculated by the share who have tried to recruit ICT specialists during the last year.
Have tried to recruit ICT specialists during the last year66.735.4:
Had problems recruiting ICT specialist during the last year161.650.4:

About the statistics

The statistics show the public administration’s use of ICT, such as ICT strategies, changes stemming from  ICT projects, cloud computing services, social media, ICT specialist recruitment and ICT security. The public administration consists of the central government, local authorities and county authorities.


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Government agencies: some of the respondents reports on behalf of all units in a directorate. The directorate counts as one unit in the survey.

Employment group: The number of employees in a unit that reports on behalf of a directorate, includes the number of employees in all units in the directorate.

ICT strategy: an official plan in writing consisting goals and guidelines for the enterprise provision or use of ICT

Outsourcing: an agreement were one part is contracting out a business process

Cloud computing: the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet).

Social media: employ web- and mobile-based technologies to support interactive dialogue

ICT expenditures (2011-2012): Include purchase of ICT equipment and lease of computer equipment, purchase and lease of software, and purchase of external services. Expenditures for the enterprises own ICT employees are not included.

ICT expenditures (as of 2018): Include purchase of ICT equipment and lease of computer equipment, purchase and lease of software, purchase of external services, municipality/county municipality ICT expenses for inter-municipal cooperation, ICT related expenditures for digitalization. Value-added tax, leasing of broadband, use of telephone, and expenditures for the enterprises own ICT employees are not included.

Standard classifications

Standard Industrial Classification (SN2007)

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: ICT usage in public sector
Topic: Technology and innovation

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Responsible division

Division for Business Dynamics Statistics

Regional level


Frequency and timeliness

The frequency is annual from 2012. The reference time is the first quarter from 2015. Before the year 2015, it was the second quarter.

International reporting

Not relevant


Non-revised and revised micro data are stored in accordance with Statistics Norway's guidelines for storing computer files. 


Background and purpose

The purpose of the survey is to measure the use of ICT in the public administration. The survey started separately in 2002 for the municipalities, and in 2004 for the central government and county municipalities, It was published annually to 2008. The next survey was in 2012 for the central government, and are published annually since then. From 2018 municipalities and county municipalities are again included.

Users and applications

Authorities, central government activities, business associations and media

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Coherence with other statistics

ICT usage in households 

ICT usage in enterprises

Legal authority

The Statistics Act § 2-2

EEA reference

Not relevant



For the years 2004 to 2008 the population for the central government was defined as all the units in the central government within Statistics Norway’s Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises.

In 2012 the population is reduced to cover mostly the units with decision-making authority in the structure of the central government. Some units reports on behalf of sub units in a directorate. From 2013 units with less than 10 employees are not included in the population. As of 2017 the church is not longer included in the central government, and hence not longer part of the survey.

Data sources and sampling

The survey is based on data collected from questionnaires returned electronically via Altinn for the central government, while for municipalities and county municipalities the data is reported electronic as a part of KOSTRA.

The sample consists of the central government units defined in the population and all municipalities and county municipalities in Norway. 

In 2020 there were about 225 central government units reporting in the survey.


Collection of data, editing and estimations

The survey is based on data collected from questionnaires returned electronically via Altinn. The questionnaire is available in February, and the units have about three weeks to return the questionnaire.

The data are checked for errors manually and in an IT system for editing. The respondents are contacted when needed.

The share of the sample using ICT is calculated on the different areas.

2011-2012: The expenditures are added up and published as total ICT expenditures, including estimation of the ICT expenditures from the non responding sample. The estimates are based on information from the reported ICT expenditures, either the whole sample, or the industry that the non respondent belong to.

In 2020, 219 of the 224 central government units responded to the survey, while 324 of 356 municipalities and 8 of 11 county municipalities did the same.

For some municipalities and county municipalities there are complicated to report data on expenses in computer equipment, software and related consultancy services. The background for this is that the demanded data are not presented as separate figures in the accounting system. It is reason to believe that some of the reported figures approximate correct. Some municipalities and county municipalities have stressed this in their comments.


Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


It is not possible to identify the respondents by published figures.

Comparability over time and space

The survey is not published between 2008 and 2012.

Because of changes in the population for the central government and the sample in 2012, the figures in 2012 are not directly comparable to the figures in 2008. But the change did not result in large differences in the units answering the questions.

Some questions in the survey address what the units have done in periods earlier than the reference period. Due to the regional reform 2020, it has been challenging for some of the county municipalities to answer these questions. Therefore, in the tables where earlier periods are the reference period, no values for the county municipalities have been published in 2020.

For the 2020 figures, the units reporting are the municipalities that were valid from 1 January 2020. On questions concerning periods earlier than 2020, the new municipalities have been asked to report on behalf of the former municipalities.

Because the regional and municipal reform has resulted in fewer and larger units, caution should be exercised in comparing figures for county municipalities and municipalities from 2020 with earlier periods in terms of population level.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Measurement errors are caused by the questionnaire or the respondents' internal system for obtaining the data. Examples are ambiguous questions, misunderstood questions or erroneous data from the respondents. The quality on the answers can also depend on the competence of the respondents. Some public enterprises buy external ICT services, and it can influence the data quality.

Processing errors can occur when Statistics Norway processes the data. In this survey such errors can occur if correct answers for some reason are assumed to be false and corrected. Usually, the respondent iscontacted before any corrections are made.

Errors of non-response refer to errors that either occurs due to missing reports or due to blank boxes in the questionnaires. The response rate is rather high in this survey, 93-95 per cent for state-owned enterprises and county authorities and just under 90 per cent for local authorities. There are not many blank boxes in the reports.

The survey 2020: 8 of 11 county municipalities responded to the survey, which represents a drop of 27%. No reports have been computed on missing reports.

Coverage errors refer to errors in registers that define the population, in this case the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises. As a result of such errors, units may be incorrectly included in or excluded from the population. Other problems are related to delays in the update of the registers and units that are incorrectly classified. From experience it is known that a limited share of the population units is incorrectly classified. This is usually due to misleading or insufficient information at a certain time.


Revision is planned editing in numbers that are already published. See principles for revision in Statistics Norway. Published numbers in this survey is final, and revision occurs seldom.