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City Governance

The City of Oslo has a parliamentary system of governance. The City Government is responsible to the City Council in the same way that the National Government is responsible to the National Parliament. The City of Oslo holds both municipal and county functions.

The City Council

The highest decision-making body in Oslo is the City Council, which has 59 members. Elections are held every four years. The City Council is chaired by the Mayor of Oslo. The City Council decides on the City budget and overall policies for the City of Oslo. The City Council also supervises the City Government and its administration. The configuration of the City Council determines the composition of the City Government according to a parliamentary system of government.

The City Council is divided into five Standing Committees: Finance, Health and Welfare, Urban Development, Education and Cultural Affairs and Transport and Environmental Affairs. These committees prepare all matters for decision by the City Council. The Council also has a Procedures Committee which organizes the work of the Council and a Control Committee which supervises the activities of the City Government and its administration.

Party representation in the City Council 2015-2019:

  • 20 Members of City Council from Arbeiderpartiet (A), (the Labour Party)
  • 19 Members of City Council from Høyre (H), (the Conservative Party)
  •   5 Members of City Council from Miljøpartiet De Grønne (MDG), (the Green Party)
  •   4 Members of City Council from Fremskrittspartiet (F), (the Progress Party)
  •   4 Members of City Council from Venstre (V), (the Liberal Party)
  •   3 Members of City Council from Rødt (R), (the Red Party)
  •   3 Members of City Council from Sosialistisk Venstreparti (SV), (the Socialist Left Party)
  •   1 Members of City Council from Kristelig Folkeparti (KrF), (the Christian Democratic Party)

The City Council (PDF 0.1MB)

The City Government

The City Government is the executive body and consists of eight members. The Governing Mayor is the head of the City Government and appoints up to seven Vice Mayors.

The role of the Governing Mayor can be compared to that of a prime minister while the role of the Vice Mayors may be compared to that of national government ministers. The City Government heads the City’s administration, makes propositions to the City Council and is responsible for carrying out decisions made by the City Council. 

The City Government has substantial decision making powers delegated by the City Council.

Governing Mayor Johansen heads a City Government Coalition composed of the Labour Party, the Green Party and the Socialist Left Party.

The City Government (PDF 0.5MB)

Organisation chart

The districts of Oslo

The decentralised public administration in the City of Oslo is organized into 15 districts. These districts are run by locally elected District Councils.

These 15 districts deal with a number of matters, including:

  • care for the elderly
  • day care facilities
  • youth clubs
  • mental health care facilities 
  • health centres
  • services for the mentally disabled 
  • treatment and care of substance abusers
  • integration of refugees and immigrants

The decision making power of the District Councils is delegated by the City Council. Finances are granted in part by the City Council while the balance comes from the political and administrative systems of the City of Oslo by way of fees on services.