County governor (Norway)
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County Governor (Norwegian: Fylkesmannen) is a Norwegian government agency represented in 17 of the Norwegian counties responsible for a number of supervision and management duties. The Governor is the representative of the King and Government of Norway in each county, functioning as the connection between the state and the municipalities. The County Governors are subordinate to the Ministry of Government Administration and Reform, but are also subordinate to other ministries in their respective duties. Governors are parts of the executive branch and thus formally appointed by the King in the cabinet meeting.
The main responsibilities for the Governor include controlling and being an instance of appeal for municipal decisions, and the main instance for exercising state regulation of agriculture and local environmental impact. The Governor is also responsible for civil matters including marriage, divorce and citizenship. If a municipality do not have a balanced economy, the Governor will enter the municipality into the ROBEK registry, and obtain some control over the municipality's finances.
The County Governor has been an institution since the 12th century, though the institution has had many names, including sysselmann, lensmann, amtmann and now fylkesmann. Its present form was created in 1976 when the county municipality was demerged to form a separate, elected body.
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Current governors by county.
Most governors are former politicians or have a background in the police force. It is uncommon for governors to hold an office for less than a decade, and many of the present governors were appointed in the 1990s. It has often been seen as a way to retire former high-office politicians from active political duty, and at the same time issue a high-standing position in the public administration at their home place.
Although almost all County Governors are former active politicians, it has been regarded as customary that an incumbent County Governor does not participate in partisan politics.