Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip Navigation LinksHome > For media > Press releases > – Continuing need to strengthen the work relating to civil protection and preparedness

– Continuing need to strengthen the work relating to civil protection and preparedness

There are still weaknesses in the work relating to civil protection and preparedness, despite the fact that there have been improvements in many areas. Several ministries lack an overview of risk and vulnerability in their own sectors. "It is also reprehensible that the requirements in this area have not been adequately clarified," says Auditor General Per-Kristian Foss.

Published 5/2/2017 12:00 PM

Document 3:8 (2016–2017) The Office of the Auditor General's follow-up investigation of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security's work relating to civil protection and preparedness was submitted to the Storting on 2 May.

In 2015, the Office of the Auditor General published an investigation of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security's work relating to civil protection and preparedness. Because of the serious nature of the findings, the Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs encouraged the Office of the Auditor General to perform another audit relating to preparedness over the next two years.

The latest investigation reveals important improvements in many areas, but some weaknesses still remain. The underlying requirements for the auditing of the ministries are not sufficiently clear, and there are varying perceptions as regards whether or not the ministries have an independent responsibility to have an overview of risk and vulnerability for the whole of their sector.

"Four of the eight ministries audited during the period 2014–2016 breached the requirement to have an overview of risk and vulnerability. An overview of risk and vulnerability is crucial to the quality of the preparedness work, and it is reprehensible that the requirements in this important area have not been adequately clarified," says Foss.

The county governors have an important role to play in the preparedness work, partly through the auditing of and exercises for the municipalities. The work of the county governors relating to civil protection and preparedness has been strengthened. However, the Office of the Auditor General's investigation reveals that the number of inspections and exercises performed for the municipalities varies considerably, and that there are substantial differences as regards how they are performed and followed up.

In the previous investigation, the Office of the Auditor General noted that the Ministry of Justice and Public Security made insufficient provision for systematic learning from incidents and exercises. In recent years, the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection has been working to systematise experiences from exercises and incidents. A national exercise and evaluation forum (NØEF) has also been established, which will help to address cross-sector improvements in the evaluation work.

"It is positive that a forum has been established where stakeholders across the sectors can reach agreement as to who is responsible for ensuring that improvements are implemented in the individual areas. However, the Office of the Auditor General believes that there are still challenges associated with the follow-up of exercises and incidents across the sectors. Our recently published investigation relating to object security revealed weaknesses in the cooperation between the Norwegian Police Service and the Norwegian Armed Forces. Therefore, it is important to also emphasise the follow-up of exercises and incidents in the future," notes Foss.

Riksrevisjonen, Storgata 16, P.O. Box 8130 Dep, 0032 Oslo, Norway

Phone: +47 22 24 10 00

Org.nr: 974 760 843