For 2000, the Office of the Auditor General made comments regarding the Ministry’s administration of SIVA – The Industrial Development Corporation of Norway. The comments are founded on the fact that the Office of the Auditor General was denied access to a document concerning issues related to the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development’s administration of the State’s interests in SIVA. The Office of the Auditor General cannot perform the monitoring tasks with which it has been charged by the Storting, if the government administration is to decide which documents the Office of the Auditor General is allowed to view.
The Office of the Auditor General also informed the Storting about various factors concerning the following Ministries’ administration of state interests: the Ministry of Justice and the Police, the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Issues that have been raised include: insufficient guidelines pursuant to Section 22 of the Financial Management Regulation for the Central Government, the holding of and procedures at general assemblies, the formulation and amendment of articles of association, high levels of equity capital in some enterprises, and distribution of costs between the company and the shareholders in the light of the provisions of the Act relating to public limited liability companies on dividends from the company.
The report contains a review of all the enterprises that are wholly owned by the State and which the Office of the Auditor General monitors. Partly owned companies are only mentioned in the report submitted to the Storting if the audit gave grounds for comments or information on the part of the Office of the Auditor General.
The Office of the Auditor General’s audit included 26 wholly owned limited liability companies, 31 partly owned limited liability companies, six state-owned enterprises, eight bodies organised through separate legislation and 26 student welfare organisations
The total share capital in the wholly owned limited liability companies constitutes NOK 6.95 billion. The largest companies are the Norwegian national oil company Statoil, with NOK 4.94 billion and the Norwegian broadcasting corporation NRK with NOK 1 billion. The contributed capital in state-owned enterprises constitutes a total of NOK 22.6 billion. The Norwegian Energy Corporation Statkraft SF has the greatest contributed capital, at NOK 19.25 billion. The companies organised through separate legislation, including companies with limited liability, have a total capital stock / contributed capital of NOK 5.5 billion.
In partly state-owned limited liability companies where the state owns at least 50 % of the shares or where the state for other reasons is regarded as having a dominant influence, the state’s stake in the share capital constitutes NOK 17.5 billion, of which Telenor ASA, with NOK 8.4 billion and Norsk Hydro ASA, with NOK 2.3 billion, are the largest.
This report is available in Norwegian on the Office of the Auditor General’s website – www.riksrevisjonen.no – or can be ordered from the University bookshop Akademika, tel. +47 22 11 67 70.