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Weaknesses in the Norwegian Maritime Directorate's case processing and management information

The Norwegian Maritime Directorate has only to a very limited extent developed procedures and routines to ensure that its document control of vessels and seafarers is of high quality. The Directorate also has insufficient management information in relation to its case processing. - The result is an increased risk of case processing errors, says Auditor General Jørgen Kosmo.
Published 4/29/2010 12:30 PM

Document 3:8 (2009–2010), The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation into the Norwegian Maritime Directorate’s case processing in connection with document control of vessels and seafarers, was submitted to the Storting on 29 April 2010.
The absence of important management information means that the Norwegian Maritime Directorate has an insufficient basis for following up its own activities, use of resources and results.

Incomplete overviews of the number of appeals, case processing times and the number of processed and unprocessed cases are examples of this lack of management information.

The Norwegian Maritime Directorate has only to a very limited extent developed procedures and checklists for document control of vessels and seafarers. Good case processing procedures that ensure that the vessels and the seafarers' qualifications meet the regulatory requirements are very important to safety at sea. - Inadequate case processing procedures can increase the risk of incorrect decisions being made, says Mr Kosmo.

The investigation also shows irregularities in connection with archiving. The Norwegian Maritime Directorate has omitted information from its public correspondence records, and it also emerged that some case files did not contain all the necessary information.  - It is a serious matter that information is withheld from public correspondence records, Mr Kosmo emphasises. - It is important that all material documentation in a case is filed in order to ensure reliability and verifiability.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry acknowledges that there is room for improvement in the Norwegian Maritime Directorate’s case processing, and has stipulated a number of requirements for the improvement of the Directorate’s internal control and management information in its allocation letter for 2010.

The document can be downloaded from the link on the right.

The deferral of public access to documents prepared by or for the Office of the Auditor General in connection with Document No 3:8 (2009-2010), cf. the Act relating to the Office of the Auditor General section 18 second paragraph, is hereby set aside.

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