Document No. 3:15 The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation of efficiency in the cycle of processing criminal cases was submitted to the Storting on 15 June 2005. The purpose of the investigation was to assess the degree to which the main agencies involved in processing criminal cases have acted in line with the Storting’s decisions and intentions pertaining to efficient processing times.
The investigation assessed the level to which objectives were achieved by the police, the public prosecution service, the courts, and the correctional services with regard to the length of time taken to process cases. The categories of offence reviewed covered those cases that are prioritised by the Director General of Public Prosecutions, namely violence against the person, assault occasioning bodily harm (cases involving violence and which have a time limit), and cases where the accused was under the age of 18 when the crime was committed. The different parts of the cycle of processing criminal cases have been allocated objectives which in turn cover the process from when the accused is formally charged up to the point when they commence serving their sentence.
The cycle of processing criminal cases as a whole
The investigation uncovered an unsatisfactory achievement of objectives for case processing times at all the stages reviewed. The overall effect on the cycle of processing criminal cases is an accumulation of time resulting from exceeding the different deadlines. The investigation shows that on average deadlines have been exceeded by 143 per cent.
Inadequate main systems for processing cases
The main systems run by the police, the public prosecution service, the courts, and the correctional services do not incorporate sufficient information to allow for following up seven of the nine objectives relating to the time taken to process cases. The investigation has uncovered the need to upgrade, develop and co-ordinate the IT systems within the whole cycle of processing criminal cases.
In the Ministry’s opinion the investigation has provided vital input and has documented several circumstances which the Ministry considers to be of a serious nature and intends following up in the future.
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