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The reorganisation of central government bodies has achieved a varying degree of success - Doc. No. 3:11 (2004-2005)

Government-wide policy objectives pertaining to the reorganisation of central government functions with a view to achieving more efficient utilisation of resources, improved management and co-ordination, and increased user orientation have been met with varying degrees of success. The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation shows that good planning and focusing on the objectives during the implementation and follow-up phases of the reorganisation process are decisive for successfully achieving these objectives.
Published 6/15/2005 2:00 PM

Document No. 3:11 (2004-2005) The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation of reorganisation processes as a policy tool in central government administration was submitted to the Storting on 15 June 2005.

The Office of the Auditor General has investigated twelve instances of the reorganisation of central government bodies carried out between 1997 and 2002. From these the following were subjected to an in-depth review: The Directorate of Fisheries’ external departments, the Norwegian Agricultural Authority, and the Norwegian Directorate for Health and Social Affairs. With regard to attaining the objective of a more efficient utilisation of resources the investigation indicated that difficulties can be encountered in attempts to divert the utilisation of resources away from administrative towards technical functions during a process of reorganisation.

The investigation also shows that these reorganisation processes facilitate and safeguard the objective of strengthening user orientation to varying degrees. Reorganising can by itself, however, act as a suitable measure for improving management and co-ordination provided that, in the opinion of the Office of the Auditor General, adequate planning of and focusing on the objectives are present during the extended implementation and follow-up phases of a reorganisation.

Half of the reorganisations possessed unclear objectives, which made following-up and testing their results difficult. Furthermore, there has been very little systematisation of available information about the planning, implementation and effects of reorganising central government bodies. Additionally, the investigation showed that the costs of a reorganisation are substantial and that little attention has been paid to these costs during the different phases of a reorganisation.

The Ministry of Modernisation agrees with the Office of the Auditor General on the need of improving the information available regarding both the costs related to the reorganisation process and to the potential for increasing the efficiency of administrative functions. The Ministry has already initiated work on not only improving the basis for planning, managing and following up the reorganisation of central government bodies, but also on further developing a methodology and guidelines for calculating the costs of a reorganisation.


Delayed public announcement of documents compiled by or for the Office of the Auditor General pursuant to Document 3:11 (2004-2005) has been lifted, cf. the Governmental Audit Act, section 18, subsection 2.

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