Trouble for Norway’s bureaucrats continues, Monday, following last week’s chain of events in the wake of the 22 July Commission’s damning report.
Several aggrieved following the Utøya shootings tell tabloid VG they want to see Ingelin Killengreen fired.
Killengreen is one of Minister of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs Rigmor Aasrud’s top staff. Director of Norway’s National Police Directorate for 11 years, she assumed her new post just over five months prior to Anders Behring Breivik’s attacks.
“Ingelin Killengreen had the power and authority of the police for eleven years, and therefore a large part of the responsibility. I find it little reassuring that she is now sitting in another management position with responsibility for security. Nonetheless, this is typical – everyone at this level is protected and takes on new roles all the time,” one parent said to VG.
Three others express similar opinions. Minister Rigmor Aasrud stated she still has confidence in her advisor, however.
Killengreen spoke for the first time on NRK’s 'Dagsrevyen' news programme on Friday, five days after the 22 July Commission released its report.
When asked why she had kept silent on the findings of the Commission, she said, "Øystein Mæland was the police director when the report was released."
“In hindsight, I can see that things could have been better and that decisions could have been made differently. I ask myself if I was ready to do that which believed was important. That's something I have to live with," she added.
NRK's commentator, Knut Magnus Berge said that "Killengreen has a big responsibility for things in the report. Adding, "we don't have a tradition for firing people...that's up to others to decide if she will continue to sit in that department."
Former police director Øystein Mæland
©2012 Sarah Pettersen/The ForeignerIn the next round of bureaucratic swing doors, Dagens Næringsliv reveals now former police top man Øystein Mæland could work as a special advisor to Minister of Justice Grete Faremo.
His work contract as national police director features a clause that details his right work as a special advisor until the end of the year.
There is a tradition in the Civil Service that men/women who hold senior positions and who hand in their resignation before the end of their contract can be offered a special advisory role.
Former PST (Police Security Service) director Janne Kristiansen, who let the intelligence cat out of the bag about Norwegian agents in Pakistan, is one example of persons given special advisor positions after they had resigned.
Mæland handed in his resignation, three days after the 22 July Commission published their report criticising police’s handling of the terror attacks.
His stepping down sparked debate about whether he was ousted or resigned of his own accord. Mæland himself, the police union, and the Office of the Prime Minister declined to comment.
At Friday’s press conference, Minister of Justice Grete Faremo said that, "Mæland chose to go himself. I have been more informed today after finding out last night.” She did not want to comment on personal issues but this it was a "difficult day” for both her and Mæland.
Grete Faremo (L), Odd R. Humlegård (R)
Ministry of JusticeOn the same day, it was announced that Odd Reidar Humlegård is now new National Police Directorate director. According to a Ministry of Justice press release, he has been instructed to begin in this job.
Minister Faremo said he has both an academic background and work experience in the Defence. Declining to confirm when the decision to employ Humlegård was made, the minister did say she contacted him earlier in the morning.
Humlegård told NRK reporters, “I was asked today at eight o'clock, and I accepted after a thorough discussion with the minister and the civil service. I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and improve what the police are criticised for in the report.”
Whilst there is internal police disagreement whether he is the right man for the job, Coalition and Opposition politicians have welcomed the move.
However, Humlegård may not, in fact, be staying particularly long in his current position, expressing he wants to return to his old job as head of at national criminal police (Kripos).
“I’m chief of Kripos. It’s a fixed term appointment, and one in which I intend to stay. Nevertheless, I'm prepared to make an extra effort now and strive for that we work together to develop the police. These will be important months for police, and there’s a lot to be done before Christmas.”
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