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Transparency in respect of the Working Environment and Climate Survey (ARK)

Following requests for transparency made by journalists, the UiB (University of Bergen) and the other knowledge institutions which have conducted ARK surveys have recently been ordered to submit reports about their surveys. These knowledge institutions did not wish to allow such transparency and they have seeking support for this, but it been denied in this instance.

This is what we need to submit


Currently we are talking about reports from those faculties and departments which have conducted the survey at the UiB, i.e. all faculties with the exception of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design (KMD). These reports contain the results of completed questionnaires, presented as a simple synopsis of average and distribution figures. It will not be possible for anyone to find out who has responded to the questionnaires because the link between your answers and your e-mail address has been deleted. The management at all our units have been briefed about this.
 

Background


Enquiries about transparency in respect of these reports were received from the media in 2017. We rejected these requests because we believe that when we conducted the survey we promised all the respondents confidentiality as a condition for responding to the survey. We stressed that the reports derived from the survey only applied to employees in the local working environment, and that they would only be used for the work being conducted on the development of the local units concerned. An appeal against our refused was submitted to the Joint Appeals Committee and the Ministry of Education and Research (KD). It has now emerged that the refused of the UiB and the other knowledge institutions has been rejected.

The UiB obviously believes that we should comply with the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act. On the other hand, in this case we do not agree with the extent of transparency which we have been ordered to provide. Based on this case, the UiB will now reevaluate how ARK can be used in the future.