The Academy’s Conclusions in the Whistle-blowing Cases
The Oslo National Academy of the Arts has now concluded its investigation into the allegations of unwanted sexual attention and sexual harassment.
At an open meeting, and in a circular from the Academy’s rector and director, staff and students have been briefed on the conclusions from three specific whistle-blowing cases.
External members of the Academy’s whistle-blowing panel have independently assessed the institution’s handling of whistle-blowing cases at the Academy. These assessments have now been presented to the board.
The allegations raised against the individual members of staff concern disciplinary matters that are subject to confidentiality and exempt from public disclosure, cf. section 13 the Public Administration Act (Forvaltningslova § 13) and section 13 of the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova § 13).
The whistle-blowing panel has determined the following:
- In the first case, it has been established as probable that violations of common norms of acceptable behaviour, instances of sexual harassment and violations of the Academy’s ethical guidelines have all taken place. The case has led to the employee’s dismissal.
- In the second case, there is no basis for concluding that actions constituting sexual harassment took place, but it has been established as probable that the Academy’s ethical guidelines have been violated. The employee has resigned from the Academy.
- In the third case, the verdict was that the allegation of sexual harassment/advances has not been sufficiently substantiated, and the panel must therefore end its enquiry into the matter.
The panel’s external advisors have concluded that the Academy did not check the references of one particular employee during the initial employment process. The Academy was deemed to be at fault for this oversight, and the external advisors underline that it is problematic that the Academy does not have clear guidelines for checking the references of prospective employees.
The external advisors do not find any basis for the criticism that internal relationships between staff members prevented or otherwise impeded anyone from blowing the whistling on wrongdoing.
The external members find there is reason to criticise the failure to follow up an instance of whistle-blowing from 2010. As regards the other instances of whistle-blowing, these have been handled satisfactorily, even as certain elements could have been handled better. The external advisors are also sceptical of whether the general measures that were implemented were sufficient, given the results from some of the student surveys. The external advisors recommend a number of learning points for the Academy.
The Ministry of Education has asked the Academy to consider reporting one of the cases to the police. Given the whistle-blowing panel’s work, where this option was also assessed, the Academy is of the opinion that there is not a basis for reporting the matter to the police.
During a meeting of the Academy’s board on 12 June 2018, the board was informed by the lawyer Anne Marie Due as to the specific allegations, the processing of the cases, the basis for the assessments and the final conclusions. The board was also informed of the external advisors’ recommendations. A report assessing all of the allegations has been written and submitted to the board. This report is exempt from public disclosure (cf. sections 13 and 23 of the Public Administration Act (Offentleglova) and section 13 of the Freedom of Information Act (Forvaltningslova).
20.06.2018 Letter from the Academy’s rector and director to staff and students concerning the whistle-blowing cases at the Academy (only in Norwegian)
All statements to the press on whistle-blowing cases at the Academy will be issued by the rector.
Rector Jørn Mortensen
+ 47 945 23 328
For technical assistance and other queries:
Head of Communications Atle Faye
+47 913 47 369