What is the Transparency Act?
The Transparency Act shall promote enterprises’ respect for fundamental human rights and decent working conditions and ensure the general public access to information regarding how enterprises address adverse impacts on fundamental human rights and decent working conditions.
The Act entered into force on 1st of July 2022. The purpose of the Act is:
- Promote enterprises’ respect for fundamental human rights and decent working conditions in connection with the production of goods and the provision of services.
- The Act imposes enterprises to carry out due diligence, publish an account of the due diligence assessments and have duty to provide information. Any person has the right to information. Both the request for information and the answer must be in writing. The deadline is within a reasonable time and no later than 3 weeks after the request is received. The information obligation applies from 1st of July 2022. Enterprises must publish an account of the due diligence for the first on the 30th of June 2023.
It is estimated that the Act will apply directly to around 9000 larger enterprises. Also, smaller enterprises will be affected indirectly, by larger enterprises’ demands upon them.
Who does the Transparency Act apply to?
The Act applies to larger enterprises that are resident in Norway and that offer goods or services in or outside Norway. Larger foreign enterprises that offer goods or services in Norway, and that are liable to tax to Norway pursuant to internal Norwegian legislation.
The Act may also apply to law firms. The Act applies to Bing Hodneland since Bing Hodneland is a larger enterprise with sales revenues exceeding MNOK 70 and average numbers of employees in the financial year exceeds 50 full-time equivalent.
Duty to provide information
Any person has the right to information from an enterprise regarding how the enterprise addresses actual and potential adverse impacts uncovered by its due diligence from the 1st of July 2022.
Request for information must be in writing and can be sent to email@example.com. Both the request and the answer shall be in writing. The request should contain an explanation to contribute to a more comprehensive response to the request. This includes both general information and information relating to a specific product or service offered by the enterprise. Bing Hodneland shall, when requested, publish an account of the due diligence.
Denial of request for information
The general rule is that the Act imposes enterprises to give information regarding how enterprises address adverse impacts on fundamental human rights and decent working conditions. However, a request for information may be denied if:
- the request does not provide a sufficient basis for identifying what the request concerns.
- the requested information concerns data relating to an individual’s personal affairs.
- the requested information concerns data regarding technical devices and procedures or other operational and business matters which for competitive reasons it is important to keep secret in the interests of the person whom the information concerns.
Due diligence assessment
Bing Hodneland carries out due diligence assessment which we will publish an account of the due diligence assessment. The account shall be updated and published no later than 30 June of each year. The first deadline for the due diligence assessment is by the 30th of June 2023.
The Transparency Act requires enterprises to conduct due diligence assessments, meaning that they must look at both their own business, their supply chain and their business partners to find out where the biggest risks are. Part of the assessment is then to prevent and mitigate any such adverse impacts.
Due diligence shall be carried out regularly and in accordance with OECD’s guidance for responsible business conduct.
Reporting of possible infringement of obligations in the Act
If anyone discovers security breaches or incidents that may have an impact on fundamental human rights or decent working conditions relevant to Bing Hodneland, please report them immediately to the Transparency Officer at Bing Hodneland.
Contact information for the Transparency Officer in Bing Hodneland: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you suspect that Bing Hodneland does not fulfill its duty to provide information, you can submit a compliant about a breach of the Transparency Act’s right to information. We hope you first complain directly to Bing Hodneland so that errors can be quickly clarified.