Mr Hans Christian Holte

Hans Christian Holte (NO)

Presentation: Improving productivity - Regulatory barriers and opportunities


  • 1988-1992: Msc in Political Science, University of Oslo
  • 1984-1988: Bsc in Computer Science, University of Oslo

Work experience:

  • 2013- : Director General - Norwegian Tax Administration
  • 2008-2013: Director General - Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) Directorate
  • 2005-2008: Director General/Deputy Secretary General - Ministry og Education and Research
  • 2002-2005: Director - Directorate of Health and Social Security
  • 2000-2002: Director - Ministry of Health and Social Security
  • 1997-2000: Project Manager/Senior Advisor - Ministry of Labour
  • 1996-1997: Independent Consultant - HC Consult
  • 1993-1997: Consultant/Senior Consultant - Andersen Consulting
  • 1991-1993: Research Assistant - University of Oslo


The Norwegian Tax Administration is at the forefront of  innovation and technological development within the Norwegian public sector.  In the biannual nationwide surveys conducted by the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi), the Administration obtained high scores in most areas. 

Innovation along three dimensions

The drivers for all our innovation and development are based on three dimensions for successful and legitimate tax administrations: “enhanced compliance”, “effective services and reduced burden for businesses” and “internal efficiency “. The presentation will argue that in order to succeed with innovative measures, all three dimensions must be taken into account simultaneously.

Inter-agency approach

One of the key barriers in achieving high levels of innovation within the public sector is the lack of an inter-agency approach. This presentation will look into some of the limitations that arise when focusing on independent agency approaches. It will also highlight one or two successful Norwegian inter-agency projects, including a recently implemented reporting system for employers to three public agencies in Norway. The project, called A-ordningen, has, been successfully delivered  from day one. Lessons learned from this project will be highlighted in the presentation. A-ordningen was implemented in Norway in January 2015 and  all Norwegian employers (220 000) are part of the programme. Cost reduction for Norwegian companies is estimated to be around NOK 600 million annually, and the agencies’ control capacity, and thereby the general compliance level, have been significantly enhanced.  Standardization of the different agencies’ regulations, thorough understanding of the employer’s salary payment systems and a test period for several thousand businesses were key factors for a successful launch.

Understanding the process

The Norwegian Tax Administration has set bold goals for the next decade. Among other things, the taxation process will be subject to major changes; moving from the reporting of historic data to real time reporting. Moreover, the facilitation of new tax schemes has traditionally been developed to meet single tax processes and single functions within the tax administration. Going forward, new tax schemes will be based on the processes already taking place in the companies. This will have several implications for our way of thinking and operating. It will require more systematic data gathering and management of the complexity in the business industry processes; it will challenge our competence in understanding how the actual information and data that ends up as the basis for tax purposes arise.   It will also enable a shift from manual to automatic services for businesses and adopt a holistic, lifecycle perspective on business. Consequently, this will result in new regulations and an inter-agency approach.