ICT usage in public sector

Updated: 6 May 2021

Next update: 6 May 2022

Percentage of municipalities that expect new ICT-projects to lead to reduced manning

Selected tables and figures from this statistics

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.

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.

Name: ICT usage in public sector

Topic: Technology and innovation

6 May 2022

Division for Business Dynamics Statistics


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

Not relevant

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

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.

Authorities, central government activities, business associations and media

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.

The Statistics Act § 10

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.

The survey is based on data collected from questionnaires returned electronically via Altinn.

Until 2020 the municipalities and county municipalities reported the data electronically 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 2021 there were 223 central government units reporting in the survey.

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 2021, 217 of the 223 central government units responded to the survey, while 351 of 356 municipalities and 10 of 10 county municipalities did the same. Oslo is both a county municipality and a municipality, and reports as a municipality in this survey. Because of this, the sample consists of 10 county municipalitites.

Up til 2020: For some municipalities and county municipalities it is 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.

Not relevant

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

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.

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 of 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 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.

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.


Bruk av IKT i offentlig sektor