In 2002 the Office of the Auditor General’s audit covered 34 wholly-owned limited liability companies, 37 partly-owned limited liability companies, five regional health enterprises, six state-owned enterprises, six enterprises organised through separate legislation and 26 student welfare organisations.
Comments on the Minister’s administration
For 2002 the Office of the Auditor General has comments on the Minister’s administration of the State’s interests in the regional health enterprises under the Ministry of Health and of Posten Norge AS under the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The comments are to the effect that these enterprises have not complied with the regulations that apply to public procurement. Among other things, the regional health enterprises have undertaken several purchases of consultancy services without tendering records having been kept.
As regards Posten Norge AS, there are no tender records for several of the procurements, and where they do exist, they do not satisfy the requirements of the regulations. Moreover, Posten has failed to expose its hived-off own companies to procurement competition. The Office of the Auditor General notes that this practice is not in conformity with the regulations for public procurement.
The Office of the Auditor General provides information on certain aspects of the Minister’s administration under the following Ministries: the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, the Ministry of Culture and Church 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 Education and Research, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Under the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, information is provided on the role of the Chairman of the Board, the composition of the Board and the tasks of the Board members. Under the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Office of the Auditor General provides information on two aspects of the auditor’s independence and objectivity. In addition, information is provided under the Ministry of Health on the lack of a common standard for reporting accounting data from the regional health enterprises, the Ministry’s follow-up and apportionment of subsidies and the code practice in one of the regional health enterprises.
Under the Ministry of Agriculture the Office of the Auditor General inter alia raises the question of whether hidden state support is given to a company and whether the equity ratio in one of the enterprises should be re-evaluated. In addition, the Office of the Auditor General provides information on several matters related to the sale of shares in Nordic Aviation Resources AS under the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Under the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the Ministry of Education and Research, it is stated that some of the companies that do not have the object of providing the shareholders with a financial return lack provisions in their articles of association that govern the application of profit and disposition of assets in the event of a dissolution pursuant to the Companies Act.
The document is available in Norwegian from 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.