|Consumer council ranks local authorities|
| [30.08.2007, 11:26pm, Thu. GMT]|
|The level of service is disappointingly low in many Norwegian municipalities, according to a ranking by the Norwegian Consumer Council. Some local authorities, argues director Erik Lund-Isaksen, do not even care to answer enquiries from citizens. While the overall result of the Norwegian Consumer Council's comprehensive ranking of local authorities showed that many still have a long way to go when it comes to improving service, there are notable exceptions.The local municipality of Larvik, in south eastern Norway, received the best overall score among the 445 local authorities in the ranking, and was awarded a prize by Minister of Local Government and Regional Affairs Åslaug Haga.|
Haga, pointing out that Larvik is "not the wealthiest" municipality in the country, said that the level of service given to citizens depended heavily on the motivation of local authority staff.
Of the 445 local authorities in the ranking, 54 were placed in the category of "very poor service," said director Erik Lund-Isaksen of the Norwegian Consumer Council.
"Some local authorities seem to not care to answer enquiries from their citizens," he said at a press conference Wednesday.
Generally, the larger local authorities scored better at service than their smaller counterparts. However, the smaller local authorities, with less than 2,000 citizens, showed the most increase in level of service since the last ranking in 2005.
Overall, the level of service provided by local authorities has also increased since 2005, Lund-Isaksen said.
"Local authorities are generally better at service now than the last time we checked. We’re happy about that. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t challenges ahead," he said.
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